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Virtualization and Storage: Overview, Vendor Solutions

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There’s no denying that virtualization platforms such as VMware and Hyper-V have revolutionized the way in which computing resources are deployed.

Physical servers were usually under-utilized and took time and effort to deploy. These servers also consumed data center space, power and cooling. Virtualization reduced hardware costs, reduced the environmental requirements by saving on power and cooling and improved the utilization of physical hardware in comparison to dedicated server environments.

Read the rest of this article at Datamation.

About Chris M Evans

Chris M Evans has worked in the technology industry since 1987, starting as a systems programmer on the IBM mainframe platform, while retaining an interest in storage. After working abroad, he co-founded an Internet-based music distribution company during the .com era, returning to consultancy in the new millennium. In 2009 Chris co-founded Langton Blue Ltd (www.langtonblue.com), a boutique consultancy firm focused on delivering business benefit through efficient technology deployments. Chris writes a popular blog at http://blog.architecting.it, attends many conferences and invitation-only events and can be found providing regular industry contributions through Twitter (@chrismevans) and other social media outlets.
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    When we look an increasing number of storage projects we recognize that high availability (continuous operation) has become the priority one focus. Many customers run server virtualization and consolidate a big number of services into a small number of server boxes. Sure that these servers are then mission critical and have to be protected on every level Server/SAN/Storage and HA/DR.

    Looking to storage and SAN the demand is seamless failover between two server centres.

    When anything in the SAN breaks the request is that the storage environment recovers automatically in a very short timeframe for that the VMWare servers do not recognize any timeout. The server layer has to be isolated from any trouble in the storage layer.

    The setup for this is very much straight forward and does not even need additional functions.

    You place storage and one virtualization nodes in both server centers then you take care for mirroring data between these to storage systems, IO synchronization and split brain protection. When your virtualization nodes are able to work active/ active you also solved the data mobility need with just accessing your data by the one or other virtualization node.

    Whenever one storage or virtualization node or SAN component breaks you have an automated response which overcomes this situation easily. With proper split brain management you are fine otherwise you can not automate failover.

    Whenever one of the server centers breaks you recover your servers and send your IO requests to the other server center. No further action needed because your virtualization layer is active/active so it doesn’t matter which of the systems are addressed.

    There is always a need for disaster recovery – no problem – you just mirror your data from the existing HA environment to a mirrored location anywhere else.

    So with this you have the best of both worlds. Seamless failover in the production environment plus DR mirrors to another location.

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