When comparing your options in WAN optimization controllers you might be hearing conflicting claims about key features and architectures that can make it difficult to figure out what makes one product better than another. Most products on the market today are mature and have a competitive feature set. Core features such as compression, caching and TCP acceleration are a given for a product to get on the short list. The performance between products on core features might be similar in routine tests so making a choice could be difficult, but there might be other things to consider that are not so obvious that might really make a difference in how a product works for you.
Consider for example how stable a device is under a heavy load. It is one thing for a device to perform well under an average load, or even to operate reliably near the rated load, which most equipment can do, however do you know how a device will work under a heavy load that bursts up over the rated capacity? Will it stand up to the load or will it block traffic and take a long time to recover?
I am happy to share that the Cisco Unified Computing System was just awarded Gold Award in the “Hardware for Virtualization” category at the Best of VMworld 2009 Awards. The system represents a lot of hardwork and commitment from a large number of folks and we truly appreciate the industry recognition. Thank you.
So, since we initially demo-ed an inter-data center VMotion solution and CiscoLive!, we have been working dilligently with VMware to develop and refine the solution. Inter-data center workload mobility has a lot of moving parts involved. Essentially, you need to be able to address three areas:
Mobility at layer 2
Mobility of the data, since there is seldom value in moving the workload if it loses access to the data it needs
Mobility at layer 3 and of services
The work with VMware to date has focused on formalizing solution requirements, establishing a solution roadmap and developing a reference architecture. Work has progressed to the point that we can jointly publish a reference architecture for for the first phase of the solution, which addresses both layer 2 mobility and data mobility.
The joint solution essentially allows you to cluster data centers that are up to 200km apart and move virtual machines between them as if they were part of the same vSphere cluster. The solution lends itself to workload mobility amongst data centers, as well as simplifying consolidation, migration, and maintenance. Paired with Storage VMotion or active/active replication storage models, the Cisco/VMware solution helps customer implement a significantly improved disaster avoidance strategy. Looking at the jointly validated architecture below, one of the cooler things to point out is that, for Cisco customers, at least, the solution builds upon the gear they probably already have in place.
For more details, Cisco and VMware have jointly published a white paper the details the solution criteria, the validated design, and the testing results. For those of you that are here at VMworld 2009, check out session TA3105 this Wednesday at 4:30 or simply drop by the booth (#2118) for a demo.