SPO3962: Enabling business continunity with VMware Metro vMotion

This session was pretty good and covered many use cases for long distance (metro) vMotion for DR/BC purposes. Highlights include:

  • Planning for BC/DR is imperative and if you don’t and a disaster strikes, statistically you could be out of business in less than a year.
  • New technologies are enabling disaster avoidance, and fundamental to this is vMotion over long distances.
  • Brocade has WAN/storage technologies that enable synchronous replication with up to 10ms of latency, up from the native 7ms in VMware Metro vMotion. That amount of latency could allow ~200 miles of separation between the primary and target locations.
  • 79% of natural disasters are from weather, and people have hours to days of notices.
  • 70% to 90% of downtime is planned
  • Using global load balancing services (GSLB) is key to transparently moving workloads between datacenters.
  • One example of long-distance vMotion is to lower power costs by migrating VMs to lower cost power during off-peak or off-season times. Specifically, your Seattle datacenter could host most VMs during the spring when hydroelectric produced electricity is cheap, then migrate workloads to another datacenter during other times of the year, or even time of day.
  • You need synchronous high-speed replication for this to be effective. In the not too distance future companies may need 10Gbps WANs.
  • Within a datacenter legacy servers move data in a north/south pattern (through the access layer to the aggregation layer and to the core), but virtualization totally changes that and data moves east/west within a datacenter on flat L2 networks.
  • Datacenters of the future will leverage large L2 networks that may even span datacenters.
  • The Brocade ADX is a GSLB that integrates with vCenter to help automate the redirection of client traffice to different datacenters as the workloads move.
  • You need to assume mobility of applications within and between your datacenters, either in whole or sub-components.
  • Again, Layer-2 architecture is key for virtualization and is radically different from the datacenters of yesterday.

They key takeaway from this session is that server virtualization cannot happen in a vacuum, and the supporting networks must radically evolve to support all of the new technologies. Don’t think you can rely on your legacy switching and routers to support a highly virtualized and agile infrastructure.

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