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With VPLEX and OTV, Cisco,EMC and VCE change the Mobility and Disaster Recovery Game (Part1)

May 25, 2012 at 6:15 am PST

if you get the chance to be at EMC World you probably saw an interesting demo shared by Cisco, EMC and VCE  about Mobility and Business Continuance -- If you didn’t , Cisco Live San Diego will be another opportunity to see it

Our favorite bloggers Jake Howering  and Omar Sultan wrote  in the recent past  about DCI (Data Center Interconnect)  , OTV (Overlay Transport Virtualization)  i.e  DCI as an enabling framework for both Workload Mobility & Disaster Recovery 

Today I am pleased to have EMC Colin Durocher, bringing his perspective on the best way to address a critical challenge for a lot of IT organizations.
Next week I will post a second part  (here) , with a video  about the demo itself

Colin Durocher (on Twitter  @OtherColin) is a Principal Product Manager with the RecoverPoint VPLEX Business Unit.He has been working with the VPLEX product in several capacities including QA, software development,
systems engineering, and product management for over 10 years.
He is a father of two, a professional engineer, and is currently pursuing an MBA.
Colin is based out of Montreal, Canada.

“Life Inside the Datacenter Silo

The traditional approach to IT is characterized by datacenter silos.  Within each silo, we have our operations down to a science:

  • We use server clustering, redundant network fabrics, and RAID storage to protect against unplanned local failures.
  • We maintain spare capacity to absorb failures and workload spikes
  • We don’t think twice about moving data between tiers, or even between arrays to optimize cost and performance.
  • We commonly move virtual machines non-disruptively from server to server to load balance or perform maintenance.
    As far as mobility and availability needs are concerned, life is good…  Within the silo.

Crossing the Chasm (Between Silos) 

When it comes to protecting against site failures, we use array replication to maintain a copy of all our data in a secondary (often passive) datacenter.  We maintain scripts to automate our failover in case we ever need to declare a disaster.  We practice our DR plan at least once a year.  Don’t we?  Moving applications between datacenters is complicated enough that we really just try not to do it.  When we do, it often entails a professional services engagement.

All this has worked reasonably well for us up to now.  But IT budgets are being squeezed and IT administrators need to eliminate waste, reduce complexity and find ways to increase their operational efficiency.  It isn’t an optional thing.  Consider the IDC digital universe study (2011) which estimates that by 2020, the amount of information under management will increase by a factor of 50 while the number of IT staff managing it will increase by only 1.5

That gap will need to be filled by different technologies.  Let me introduce one to you – EMC VPLEX Metro.  For hundreds of customers, it is breaking down the barriers between datacenters bringing new levels of efficiency, simplicity, and availability.

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DCI as an enabling framework for both Workload Mobility & Disaster Recovery using OTV and LISP

A couple of colleagues of mine wrote a  document on live Workload Mobility and Disaster Recovery for Tier-1 applications.   I think you should check it out and here’s a couple of key points that I want to highlight:

  1. A single physical Cisco, EMC, VMware infrastructure
  2. Both vMotion and SRM validated on same infrastructure
  3. Tier-1 Enterprise Applications tested

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LISP – Finding the Optimized Path for your Workload

Update: LISP solves the problem from client to server, IE Ingress Path Optimization.  FHRP solves the problem from server to client, IE Egress Path Optimization.  You can check out Egress Path Optimization here.

We recently published a Data Center Interconnect -- DCI-  related document on cisco.com and I wanted to get it in front of you.  Locator/Identifier Separator Protoc0l -- LISP -- provides the path optimization technology to forward transactions via the most direct path, ultimately meaning better application performance. The link for the LISP Virtual Machine Mobility paper is below.

As a side note, LISP can be used many other ways and here’s a pointer to one of  our LISP pages.

For our purposes in DCI, we use LISP for path optimization and we can see here why the  need arises. The box on the left shows an existing transaction that looks pretty direct.  The middle box shows the workload is now in a new data center but the transaction is suboptimal, it still goes through the firsts data center.  The box on the right shows the desired path, the direct path from user to workload withouth going through the first data center.  It’s pretty easy to see the need here for path optimization and the desire to have the direct path to the new data center location as shown on the far right box.

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Place Your Data Center Bets

June 8, 2011 at 10:00 am PST

Novelty bets are all the rage these days in gambling.  Bookmakers are laying odds and allowing side bets on the minutiae of major events ranging from athletic contests to national elections to royal weddings.  My favorite novelty bet from the 2011 Super Bowl:  how long would Christina Aguilera hold the note “brave” at the end of the National Anthem?  (It went nine seconds by my unofficial count.  Feel free to time it yourself.)

Can we get the Data Center industry a piece of this action?  Imagine the odds line for happenings in and around your server environment in the next six months: Read More »

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3 Best Practices for Protecting Virtual Environments

Virtual servers and storage environments need regular backups to protect them from downtime, data loss.

Smaller companies are adopting virtualization technologies more than ever, according to AMI-Partner’s “2010 SMB Virtualization Market Analysis and Assessment”. Small businesses are applying virtualization to their servers and storage infrastructure, which can drastically change how and where employees store data and access applications, quickly making virtual environments as important to a company’s day-to-day operations as its physical equipment.

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