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.

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

We realize that extending your Cloud and application environments across multiple geographies involves many technologies and different skill sets from your team.  We’ve brought together best practices across the application environment to address key factors driving business continuity and workload mobility for your Cloud.

1) Simplify the multi-site design and optimize it for the enterprise environment.  Our simplified VMDC design reduces deployment risks because we’ve validated the performance across a real multi-site topology, using real enterprise applications, on Cisco’s latest cloud products. Our reference design spans different sites, and each application element, including WAN connections, tenancy, security, network containers, distributed virtual switches, L4-L7 services, hypervisor migration tools, and storage replication. Our competitors typically only support all virtual environments and conveniently ignore critical elements (like stateful firewalls, WAN connections to users, tenancy, and robust L2 extensions). This VMDC solution supports a typical application environment, including both physical and virtual resources, with scaling for large and small private clouds.  Our solution was validated using a three site model.


2) Minimize disruption to your critical applications. For your most critical applications, our VMDC solution provides live workload migrations that maintain active user connections, security, and stateful services, while less critical applications can use cold migrations with minimal service disruption.  VMDC also allows operators to preserve IP addresses of moved applications and their services between sites. There is no need to “re-IP” your applications just because they’ve moved to a different city.

3) Planned usage of recovery capacity, with fewer idle components.  We insure that recovery capacity at remote sites can be used during “normal operations” and “reclaimed” as needed during recovery events. This “reuse-reclaim” strategy allows for planned utilization of extra capacity, reducing CAPEX/OPEX and idle resources.

4) Provide two common design options that Operations Teams have been asking for.  We validated two of the most common recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO) targets. The first design option supports near zero data loss or time outage (RPO/RTO) for your most business critical functions. Less business critical applications can be mapped to a second option to achieve RPO/RTO recovery targets of 15 minutes or more.  Most enterprises use both design options.


5) Reduce CAPEX/OPEX for multi-site topologies. VMDC helps our customers choose a design that meets their application’s RPO/RTO needs. The most stringent recovery targets typically require the highest CAPEX/OPEX. We therefore provided a framework to first map applications to different criticality levels, and second select the most cost effective design option that meets your application’s needs. This provides you the flexibility to build a private cloud that matches your unique business needs, without breaking the bank.

6) Provide simplified orchestration and measured product performance.  Our solution provides simplified orchestration, management, and provisioning across multiple sites topologies.  We’ve also measured and documented the performance of Cisco products and partner products across multi-site environments. Design recommendations, scaling, and restrictions are provided for our validated solution. You can deploy your multi-site design with confidence and much reduced risk.

For More Info:

We encourage you to follow my blog series and check out our business continuity and workload mobility solutions (VMDC DCI), which describe key business drivers, Cisco DCI innovations, and validated designs that our customers are deploying in their private clouds.

Deploy with confidence! (and sleep better knowing your Cloud is more reliable and secure)

  • CVD Design Guide – Cisco Business Continuity and Workload Mobility solution (VMDC DCI ) 
  • Solution Overview – Cisco Business Continuity and Workload Mobility solution (VMDC DCI)
  • BrightTalk Session – VMDC DCI for Business Continuity and Workload Mobility in the Private Cloud (webcast)

In the same blog series:


R.Wayne Ogozaly

Technical Lead Engineer – Cloud Architect