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Want to successfully move beyond 30% virtualized datacenter?

February 22, 2011 - 0 Comments

Virtualize Tier-1 Enterprise Applications on FlexPod for VMware

In today’s competitive environment, companies have to innovate rapidly to stay ahead of their competition, improve profitability, create new services and revenue streams, and reduce risks by adopting cost efficient business models.

The increased business pressure has a direct impact on the IT organization to innovate rapidly and efficiently meet the ever demanding business needs. At the same time, CIOs are struggling with the legacy, siloed, underutilized IT infrastructure and operational processes that were built based on the requirements of individual enterprise applications and processes. The end result is increased total cost of ownership and inability to help business be more agile, introduce new services, and achieve operational efficiency.

Why move enterprise applications to Virtual Infrastructure and Private Cloud?

IT organizations require new, innovative approach to efficiently meet the ever evolving business requirements with technology innovations allowing the delivery of hundreds of enterprise applications and services from the same, shared, elastic IT infrastructure. The goal is to efficiently meet the rapidly changing business needs without introducing any negative trade-offs.

Data center virtualization and cloud computing are styles of IT that improves efficiency by enabling the pooling and on-demand consumption of IT resources (compute, network, storage) and services by individual enterprise application on an as needed basis. The end result is business agility, faster response to changing needs, higher overall efficiency, and affordability.

Moving Enterprise Applications to Virtual Infrastructure and Private Cloud

Customers are in different phases of their journey to private cloud with most of them at 30% virtualized datacenter (i.e. done with Phase 1 and getting into Phase 2).

  • Phase 1: Consolidation and virtualization of non-mission critical workloads e.g. Test and Dev, Tier-2/Tier-3 apps
  • Phase 2: Virtualize Tier-1 enterprise applications e.g. Microsoft Exchange, Sharepoint, SQL Server, Oracle, SAP etc.
  • Phase 3: Fully automated private clouds enabling the consumption of IT as a service (ITaaS)

Security, high availability, disaster recovery, end user experience, disruption to current IT processes have been the major inhibitors for customers to move to Phase 2 (and beyond) in their journey to the cloud. Additionally, resistance from application owners, lack of proven shared virtual infrastructure stacks along with supporting Reference Architectures, and concerns about ISV support have been the popular concerns among customers.

This was one of the key discussion points at VMware Partner Exchange 2011 few weeks back. VMware  is working aggressively with technology and channel partners to help customers move past 30% virtualization and be successful in the Phase 2 of cloud journey (i.e. virtualize Tier-1 enterprise applications).

FlexPod for VMware

Cisco, NetApp, and VMware have collaborated to create FlexPod™ for VMware, a unified, pretested, and validated shared infrastructure solution to simplify your data center transformation. It is a pre-validated data center solution built on a flexible, shared infrastructure that can scale easily, be optimized for a variety of mixed enterprise application workloads, or be configured for virtual desktops or server infrastructure, secure multi-tenancy cloud environments. FlexPod delivers leading components including VMware® vSphere™, Cisco Unified Computing and Unified Networking, and NetApp Unified Storage.

The key enabling highlights of the solution are:

  • Performance-matched stack
  • Step-by-step deployment and sizing guidelines
  • Support for multiple classes of compute, network, and storage
  • Centralized management with VMware vCenter, Cisco Unified Computing System Manager and NetApp FAS plug-ins

FlexPod for VMware can be easily scaled for efficiently hosting and protecting hundreds to thousands of virtualized enterprise applications (e.g. Microsoft Exchange, SQL Server, Sharepoint, Oracle, SAP etc.), optionally in a secure multi-tenant cloud environment. Here is a great post by my good friend Vaughn Stewart @ NetApp introducing FlexPod.

Why consider FlexPod for virtualizing Enterprise Applications?

  • Maximize efficiency and decrease costs with a simplified, virtual infrastructure that increases asset utilization and integrates into your existing environment
  • Improve IT agility and “future proof” your business with a flexible, unified infrastructure building to securely virtualize and protect your mission critical enterprise applications, and can be easily optimized to be a fully automated private or public cloud solution
  • Reduce risks and time to deployment for all your enterprise applications with pre-validated, standardized architecture, open delivery ecosystem,
  • Tested and validated enterprise application solutions (e.g. Exchange, Sharepoint, SQL Server, Oracle, SAP, VDI etc.) with Cisco Validated Designs (CVD) to help deploy mission-critical Tier 1 enterprise applications on a performance matched stack.
  • Cisco, NetApp and VMware cooperative 24/7 support model provides a more streamlined response to identify and quickly solve potential issues related to shared infrastructures. This saves customers valuable time and resources when requesting product and technology support with joint escalation processes.

Here is the initial list of resources that can help you get started with virtualizing Tier-1 enterprise applications on FlexPod for VMware.

In a follow on blog, I will highlight how the FlexPod solution provides great value for virtualizing Tier-1 Microsoft application e.g. Exchange, SQL Server, Sharepoint. Stay tuned!

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