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ACI Programmability Enables Cloud Tenant BC/DR Across Dual Data Centers

Ask any storage administrator trying to deploy Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BC/DR) solutions between two data centers if it is simple  to get the networking set up for mission critical applications in a BC/DR scenario.  I am willing to wager you’ll hear the same tales I’ve often heard, that the storage team and the network team have a difficult time setting up the necessary network configurations for the storage replication application’s service level requirements between sites.  Equally important, there is also a complicated challenge with providing a duplicate infrastructure at the secondary site so that the application will be able to come up to restore the application to service  quickly (often referred to as the Recovery Time Objective, RTO).

Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure enables a novel solution to this problem which one of our ACI partners, World Wide Technology, Inc. (WWT), recently deployed. It illustrates the power of the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller’s (APIC) and the ACI fabric’s open programmability. To appreciate this, let’s take a closer look at the problem.

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Disaster Recovery Oversights

It can be challenging and expensive to design an efficient network and data center that minimizes downtime.  Yet, even if you’ve put together a bulletproof solution, there’s always the possibility of disaster to consider.

Developing a robust disaster recovery plan involves much more than just installing redundant resources.  There are so many factors to consider, and so many that are easily overlooked.  For example, a comprehensive disaster recovery plan includes not only redundant electrical systems; it ensures electricity sources are redundant as well.

Disaster recovery is an example of an application that is well-suited for the cloud.  Certainly you can take on the challenge – and expense – of putting together a complex, in-house solution.  Alternatively, you can leverage the expertise and up-to-date solutions available from cloud providers.  Cloud-based disaster recovery services can also be put in place must faster and at substantially lower cost.

Partnering with a cloud provider can greatly simplify implementing a comprehensive disaster recovery plan. Not every cloud provider offers enterprise-class service.  Nor do they all guarantee their promises with written service level agreements. Choosing the wrong service or the wrong provider can put the reliability of your recovery strategy at risk.

In Shopping List for Cloud Recovery Services, cloud provider Sungard AS reviews key factors to consider when evaluating disaster recovery cloud services.   They offer many service levels, such as the speed with which different infrastructure and applications are restored.  Properly balancing your plan with your business requirements leads to the best price.  The right provider can also help you understand your vulnerabilities and different approaches to address them.

Cloud-based disaster recovery services provide a cost-effective approach to enable you to ensure the safety of your organization’s data and continuity of operations.  Learn more about how industry leaders like Cisco, Sungard AS, and Allstream are working together to manage risk in the cloud.

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Business Continuity and Workload Mobility for Private Cloud (Cisco Validated Design-Part1)

As a Cloud Architect, I’ve had the privilege to work with CTOs and CIOs across the globe to uncover the key factors driving Business Continuity and Workload Mobility across their cloud infrastructures. We’ve worked with enterprises, large and small, and service providers to answer their top five concerns in our new Business Continuity and Workload Mobility solution for the Private Cloud.

1) Can you provide business continuity, workload mobility, and disaster recovery for my unique mix of applications, with lower infrastructure costs and less complexity for my operations teams?  Yes.

2) Can you provide a multi-site design that reduces business outages and costly downtime, allowing my critical applications to be more secure and available? Yes.

3) Can my operations teams perform live migrations of applications across sites while maintaining user connections, security, and stateful services?  Yes.

4) Does your multi-site solution allow me to utilize idle standby capacity during “normal” operations, and reclaim that capacity as needed during an outage event?  Yes.

5)  Can your Cisco Validated Design greatly reduce my deployment risks and simplify my design process, saving my business significant time, money, and resources?  Yes.

 

A Proven Multi-site Design, Built on the Most Widely Deployed Cloud Infrastructure    

We addressed each of these pain points as we designed, built, and validated our new multi-site business continuity and workload mobility solution. Our multi-site solution is built upon Cisco’s cloud foundation, the Virtual Multi-service Data Center (VMDC) that’s been deployed at hundreds of the world’s top enterprises and service providers. In our latest VMDC release, we’ve extended our cloud design to support multi-site topologies and critical use cases for private cloud customers. This validated design simply connects regional and long-distance data centers within your private cloud to address some critical IT functions, including:

  • application business continuity across data center sites;
  • stateful workload mobility across data center sites, will maintaining user connections and security;
  • application disaster recovery and avoidance across data center sites; and
  • application geo-clustering and load balancing across data center sites.
Cisco business continuity and workload mobility for the private cloud -Cisco Validated Design

Choose the Cloud Infrastructure that Fits Your Unique Business Needs

The  VMDC Business Continuity and Workload Mobility solution (CVD Design Guide) is grounded in the reality of today’s cloud environment, providing different design choices that match your applications needs. We realize there is no “one size fits all” cloud design, that’s why we support both physical and virtual resources, multiple hypervisors and storage choices, and security compliant designs with industry certifications like FISMA, PCI, and HIPPA.

Key Factors Driving Business Continuity and Workload Mobility in the Private Cloud
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Business Continuity and Workload Mobility for Private Cloud (CVD-Part2)

In my previous blog, we provided an overview of the critical use cases and innovations we included in our new Business Continuity and Workload Mobility Solution for Private Cloud.  This blog highlights the critical trends and challenges driving new multi-site Cloud designs.

Two important trends are driving CTO’s and CIO’s to deploy new multi-site Cloud solutions that provide better Business Continuity, Workload Mobility, and Disaster Recovery.

  1. More workloads are moving to the Private and Public Cloud versus the traditional data center
  2. Cloud Data Centers have a higher density of workloads per server than traditional data centers due to increased virtualization.

Cisco Global Cloud Index: Forecast and Methodology, 2012–2017

Blog 2 - Trends

This ever increasing volume of Cloud hosted workloads is placing serious pressure on operations teams to manage larger scale data centers, and insure that they keep these workloads up and running, avoiding costly downtime or a nightmare service outage.  Many of the CTO’s and CIO’s we’ve worked with are re-assessing their Multi-site strategy to insure they can answer some tough questions:

  • What are the common weak points of multi-site Cloud designs that could prevent us from achieving our Business Continuity goals for our critical apps?  Can we avoid them?
  • How can we provide Workload Mobility between sites to provide a more agile Cloud environment?
  • In the event of site outage, can our Private Cloud reduce the time it takes to recover critical applications to a new site?
  • How can our Private Cloud deliver these critical services (Business Continuity, Workload Mobility, and Disaster Recovery) with lower cost and complexity?

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Data Protection Solutions for the Vblock System

Chandra_Jacobs_headshotToday , I met Chandra Jacobs, Product Marketing  at EMC to talk about her experience at Cisco Live 2013 in Florida  and the solutions she presented.

Chandra – Can you introduce yourself ?

I love creative and challenging projects in the emerging technology product space. I have a background in technology, innovation, and product development, especially as applied to web and mobile development, but have recently expanded into content marketing and digital marketing.

In my role in product marketing at EMC, my specialties are Backup and Recovery Solutions for highly virtualized, converged environments (like the VCE Vblock System) as well as  “Cloud Backup as a Service “(BaaS) for Service Providers, Outsourcers, and Systems Integrators. I am active on social media, often tweeting from @EMCBackup as well as @therestlessroad, and write regularly for TheBackupWindow.emc.com, the Backup Recovery Systems Division blog

Sounds that you had a lot of fun at Cisco Live , but you  also have been pretty busy ?

Chandra1Yes ! With over 20,000 show attendees, Cisco Live was  all about the power of networking. I hope you enjoyed the play on words—I particularly think it is clever, considering the theme of the conference as well as the value attendees, partners, and customers get out of interacting and connecting with one another.

Chandra3Representing EMC Backup Recovery Systems here at Cisco Live, I witnessed first-hand exceptional collaboration between EMC partners around booth activity, social media promotion, and product expertise. VCE is the perfect example. In fact I counted up to 4 VCE Vblock Systems on the show floor !
At the EMC booth, the VCE booth, the Cisco Data Center and Cloud booth, the VMware booth !

 

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Not only is that a lot of exposure for a great product, but it also shows the level of commitment and support the partner companies have in making the Vblock System a success.

So in this spirit , how does your team contribute to the success of the Vblock System ?

My team is dedicated to provide the best  Data Protection solutions for the Vblock System, which is built upon a foundation of backup and recovery architected with TLC around leading edge EMC products EMC Avamar and EMC Data Domain systems.

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