1 The Essential Guide to Virtualizing Microsoft Applications on EMC VSPEX For organizations running mission-critical Microsoft enterprise applications like Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft SharePoint, and Microsoft SQL Server, these are times of great challenge and great opportunity. Exponential data growth, budget constraints, changes in the workforce, and intensified market competition have combined to place steep demands on Microsoft application administrators; they need to: Process and store far more data than ever before, and do it with little or no waste. Back up data often, but without interrupting the round-the-clock service availability demanded by a mobile, globalized workforce. Deliver steady, dependable enterprise-scale application services, but be ready to change course quickly when business imperatives call for it. EMC PERSPECTIVE
2 Fortunately, if the challenges for today s IT organizations are great, so too are the opportunities afforded by the recent revolutions in infrastructure technologies and operational design. In particular, virtualization technologies and the cloud service delivery model now enable IT organizations to achieve unprecedented levels of efficiency, service quality, and agility. Corporate or public organizations that virtualize Microsoft applications such as Exchange, SharePoint, or SQL Server can reap immediate and sustained benefits including: Far greater utilization of physical compute and storage resources. Increased application scalability and availability. Vastly improved IT agility in response to changing business needs. Robust foundational support for private cloud computing services. Most administrators of Microsoft enterprise applications are aware of the profound benefits of virtualization. The question is how to make the necessary IT transformation at an accelerated pace while maximizing value, minimizing risk, and taking advantage of existing assets as much as possible. Three Paths to the Virtualized Private Cloud Virtualization employs an abstraction layer to decouple software systems from the underlying physical resources that those systems use. Compute resources were the first to be virtualized, as hypervisor technologies enabled multiple guest operating systems to reside on and dynamically share the resources of the same physical server. Toward the same end, storage virtualization now allows applications to dynamically share an integrated pool of physical storage capacity. Fully virtualized applications capitalize on both server virtualization and storage virtualization, dissolving the hard, fixed linkages between applications and physical resources that are characteristic of traditional IT topologies. Virtualization s ultimate pay-off is that it paves the way to the private cloud service delivery model and the benefits that model provides for your users. From the user perspective that of the departments, work groups, or branch offices that utilize the IT services your team provides a private cloud means quick provisioning of new applications or new users; fast and easy scale up or scale down of service usage as needs fluctuate; the ability to closely monitor service usage; and some degree of selfservice. From the IT perspective, virtualization delivers the scalability, elasticity, and agility that s required of cloud services. Broadly, the primary requisites of a private cloud are: A robust virtualization infrastructure, first and foremost. Automation technologies to further accelerate the dynamic allocation and reallocation of resources. Some mechanism for implementing multi-tenancy, so service usage can be traced and charged back to user groups. Some mechanism for supporting user group self-service, such as web services APIs. Virtualization and private cloud computing deliver clear benefits. What s less clear for many organizations is how best to migrate from conventional compute and storage infrastructures to a virtualized, cloud-ready infrastructure. As a leader in helping corporate and public organizations transform their IT architectures, EMC sees three alternative paths to the virtualized private cloud:
3 Build Your Own from Parts Converged Infrastructure Reference Architectures The do-it-yourself approach, which entails architecting and building a virtualized cloud infrastructure from separate component parts of your choice, provides the most flexibility. It s also the most challenging approach by far and carries with it some risk. EMC supports the do-ityourself approach with a comprehensive portfolio of infrastructure components and with expert professional services. A converged infrastructure is as close as you can get to a turn-key solution for virtualization and the cloud, with a single vendor providing all the components in an integrated, pre-configured package. This approach is comparatively straightforward but offers only limited flexibility. VCE Vblock Systems are a leading example of converged infrastructure. A reference architecture is a set of components that has been rigorously tested together in defined configurations, but that allows the purchaser the flexibility to choose among a number of vendors and solutions within the different infrastructure layers. In many respects this path offers the best of both worlds: predictability, guidance, and assurance, but also a substantial degree of choice. For many enterprises running mission-critical Microsoft applications, the right reference architecture can be the ideal solution for an accelerated, confident transformation to the virtualized private cloud. For these enterprises, EMC offers EMC VSPEX Proven Infrastructure solutions. VSPEX Proven Infrastructure for Microsoft Application Virtualization VSPEX is a modular, virtualized infrastructure validated by EMC to deliver reliable and predictable performance. Available exclusively though EMC channel partners, VSPEX Proven Infrastructure enables small and midsize business (SMB) and mid-tier organizations to transform IT service delivery and increase the return on their Microsoft investments. For enterprises wanting to deploy a virtualized private cloud in which to run mission-critical Microsoft applications, VSPEX provides a simple, efficient, and flexible solution.
4 Proven Architectures to Accelerate Your IT Transformation and Reduce Risk Through extended and rigorous testing, EMC has validated and documented more than a dozen VSPEX reference architectures featuring best of breed technologies at the virtualization, physical server, networking, storage and backup layers. By taking the guesswork and the trial and error out of private cloud planning and deployment, these proven VSPEX virtualization infrastructures can dramatically accelerate your IT transformation. Whether you re running Exchange, SharePoint, SQL Server, or some combination of these applications, EMC channel partners can help you quickly and confidently choose the right VSPEX reference architecture based on your current and projected workloads and your vendor preferences. VSPEX reference architectures for virtualization not only hasten your migration to the private cloud, they sharply reduce the risks associated with the migration. With VSPEX validated virtualization solutions you can count on components working together smoothly while the infrastructure as a whole delivers predictable levels of performance. Component Choice to Align with Your Needs One of the key advantages of the reference architecture path to the cloud, as opposed to fully converged infrastructure, is the flexibility it gives you in choosing components. By enabling you to use products from multiple leading vendors at several layers of the virtualized infrastructure stack, VSPEX gives you freedom of choice and helps you get the most from your existing IT investments and in-house expertise: At the hypervisor layer, you can use VMware vsphere or Windows Server with Hyper-V. VSPEX solutions perform equally well with either of these leading virtualization technologies, and the solutions include administrative plug-ins to maximize the power and reach of either hypervisor. At the physical server layer, you can use any server that meets the requirements of the VSPEX configuration that you choose. At the networking layer, you can use Brocade or Cisco solutions. The storage and backup foundation for the VSPEX stack is EMC s award-winning EMC VNX family, with industry-leading backup and recovery provided by EMC Avamar, EMC NetWorker, and EMC Data Domain.
5 Next-Generation Storage Optimized for Virtualized Applications Traditional Microsoft environments commonly use direct attached storage (DAS) to store the growing quantity of data associated with Exchange, SharePoint, and SQL Server. As a means of managing large-volume, dynamic application data, DAS is complex, inflexible, and wasteful, with underutilized capacity as the norm. Consolidating storage into an efficient, flexible pool of shared capacity is a vital part of transforming your IT operations to a cloud services model. In VSPEX reference architectures, the EMC VNX series fills this critical storage role. The VNX family delivers high-performance unified storage, optimized for virtualized applications. With unified support for file, block, and object protocols, VNX provides an ideal foundation for consolidated storage. Utilization rates climb and administration simplifies as mixed workloads are moved out of silos of DAS and on to a shared VNX array. Purpose-built to provide the flexibility and efficiency demanded by virtualized environments, VNX also delivers the superior performance you need to get the most value from your Microsoft enterprise applications. The VNX series was designed to capitalize on the latest advancements in flash drive technology. With EMC Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST ) Cache, highly active data is served from flash drives for best possible performance. As data ages and becomes less active, EMC Fully Automated Storage Tiering for Virtual Pools (FAST VP ) tiers the data from highperformance drives to high-capacity drives. This automated tiering, driven by customer-defined policies, optimizes performance while minimizing total cost of ownership. For organizations that require the ultimate in continuous availability for missioncritical Microsoft applications, VSPEX configurations are also available with EMC VPLEX technology for a multi-site private cloud. Utilizing innovative distributed cache coherence mechanisms, VSPEX with VPLEX enables organizations to run two physically separated, mirrored data centers in active/active mode, with dynamic load balancing across the sites. Using VSPEX with VPLEX, critical application services remain continuously available even in the event of a full site failure. Integrated Storage Management for Clear Visibility and Control To fully capitalize on a virtualized private cloud infrastructure you need powerful, integrated administration tools that provide visibility and control throughout the shared storage environment. In a VSPEX virtualized infrastructure, storage administrators use EMC Unisphere as a single point of control for the VNX shared storage pool. Through the intuitive Unisphere interface, storage admins can efficiently perform all tasks required for storage provisioning, management, and monitoring, including: Automatically discover and identify all VNX installations in the environment. Manage file, block, and object storage from a single interface. Use time-saving wizards to provision storage for VMware and Hyper-V virtual machines and Microsoft applications. Monitor and fine tune storage utilization and allocation across mixed workloads.
6 With VSPEX, it s not only storage administrators who gain deep visibility into and control over the shared storage pools. VSPEX includes management plug-ins that enable server and application administrators to manage and monitor physical and virtual storage resources, through the consoles that they re already comfortable with. In VMware environments, the EMC Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI) plug-in lets server and application administrators use VMware vcenter to complete storage management tasks such as: Quickly and easily provision storage for virtual machines and applications. Create and manage virtual machine clones. Manage FAST VP automated tiering policies. Offload selected storage operations from VMware vsphere to the VNX storage array, enabling faster, more efficient execution of these operations. What VSI does for VMware administrators, EMC Storage Integrator (ESI) does for Windows Server and Hyper-V administrators. ESI is an agent-less, no-charge plug-in for the Microsoft Management Console (MMC) that enables server and application admins to manage and monitor VNX storage resources through the console. From this familiar interface, Windows administrators and Microsoft application administrators can use wizards with built-in best practices to quickly implement application-aware VNX storage provisioning for Hyper-V and for Microsoft applications. Smarter Backup for Data Protection Assurance and Big Savings VSPEX Proven Infrastructures for application virtualization feature EMC backup solutions for disk-based backup and recovery. EMC Avamar backup and recovery software implements variable-length data deduplication at the client, sharply reducing the amount of backup data that s sent over the LAN or WAN to a backup storage system. Backup data can be sent either to an Avamar Data Store or to an EMC Data Domain deduplication storage system, which performs inline deduplication before data hits the disks and also supports features like extended retention and virtual tape library (VTL) functionality. With EMC s disk-based, deduplicated backup and recovery safeguarding your virtualized Microsoft environment, you can accelerate your virtualization deployment and: Reduce virtual server backup times by 90 percent. Reduce network usage for backup by up to 99 percent. Perform fast, single step restores. Optimize Microsoft application protection via comprehensive integration and complete support. Reduce backup storage capacity requirements by 10 to 30 times. Replicate backup data offsite using existing WAN links, for efficient disaster recovery. Reduce backup administration time by 81 percent.
7 Why Use VSPEX to Virtualize Exchange, SharePoint, or SQL Server? For organizations running Microsoft enterprise applications, VSPEX provides a proven, low risk path to a virtualized private cloud infrastructure; vendor choice at multiple layers of the stack so you can take advantage of your existing investments and expertise; scalable, high-performance unified storage that can be managed through familiar VMware or Windows management consoles; and deduplicated disk-based backup for faster, more efficient backup and recovery. VSPEX can deliver transformative benefits whether you re running Exchange, SharePoint, SQL Server, or a combination of these Microsoft applications. VSPEX for Virtualized Exchange Microsoft Exchange administrators are challenged to ensure uninterrupted service availability to geographically dispersed, mobile workforces. At the same time, the storage demands of Exchange are voracious, driven by the ever-growing quantity of and by legal requirements for protection and retention. VSPEX transforms Microsoft Exchange by simplifying provisioning and management, reducing physical resource requirements, and speeding backup and recovery operations: Confidently choose the right VSPEX configuration for your needs, based on familiar metrics like number of mailboxes, maximum mailbox size, mailbox input/output per second (IOPS) profile, number of DAG copies, deleted item retention window, projected growth, and desired level of capacity utilization. Virtualize all Exchange server roles including Mailbox server, Client Access Server, and Hub Transport Server. Use a best practices-based provisioning wizard specific to Exchange to provision 500 mailboxes in less than two minutes. Dramatically reduce virtualized Exchange backup times and backup storage capacity requirements and gain data protection assurance. Quickly and easily recover Exchange data at the mailbox, folder, or individual message level. VSPEX for Virtualized SQL Server In today s enterprise, SQL Server supports a wide range of critical workloads, in ways that change often in response to shifting business needs. Typically these workloads require exceptional levels of performance, and nearly always the data must be backed up to guard against loss. Virtualize your SQL Server deployment with VSPEX to gain agility, boost transaction performance, and streamline backup and recovery operations: Confidently choose the right VSPEX configuration based on familiar metrics like the number and sizes of existing databases, maximum system IOPS required, expected peak transactions per second, projected growth, and desired level of capacity utilization. Replace tedious and imperfect manual tiering processes with EMC FAST automated tiering.
8 Top Reasons to Use EMC VSPEX to Virtualize Microsoft Applications Virtualize faster while minimizing risk. Use Windows Server or VMware. Gain 2 to 3 times better online transaction processing (OLTP) performance from FAST and other built-in performance optimizations. For even greater performance for your hottest OLTP workloads, use EMC XtremSF server-based flash storage to access disk objects with in-memory speed. Make IT more efficient and agile. Reduce database storage setup and deployment time by 80 percent. Increase Microsoft application availability and performance. Manage your entire virtual infrastructure from a single point of control. Automate tiered storage optimization. Simplify backup and recovery of Microsoft application data. Reduce backup costs with deduplication. Consolidate and simplify SQL Server data backup. Reduce backup times by 90 percent and speed recoveries by 30 times. VSPEX Proven Infrastructure: Simple. Efficient. Flexible. Looking to get a better return on your Microsoft investment by virtualizing? As a solution for virtualizing Microsoft applications, VSPEX is: Simple. With proven interoperability and performance, VSPEX removes the guesswork and uncertainty from IT transformation and sharply reduces risk. Once deployed, VSPEX breaks down silos, unifies compute resources and storage resources, and streamlines operations. Efficient. VSPEX provides a short, direct path to the virtualized private cloud. Once deployed, VSPEX optimizes physical resource utilization and saves time for busy server, storage, and backup administrators. Flexible. By offering choice among leading vendors at different layers of the infrastructure stack, VSPEX flexibly aligns with your organization s investments, skills, and preferences. Once deployed, VSPEX delivers the IT agility your business needs to compete and win in today s marketplace. Take the Next Step To learn more, contact EMC or your local EMC business partner. CONTACT US To learn more about how EMC products, services, and solutions can help solve your business and IT challenges, contact EMC or your local EMC business partner. EMC 2, EMC, the EMC logo, Avamar, Data Domain, FAST, FAST VP, NetWorker, Unisphere, VNX, VPLEX, VSPEX, and XtremSF are registered trademarks or trademarks of EMC Corporation in the United States and other countries. VMware, vcenter, and vsphere are registered trademarks or trademarks of VMware, Inc., in the United States and other jurisdictions. All other trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners. Copyright 2013 EMC Corporation. All rights reserved. Published in the USA. 06/13 EMC Perspective H EMC believes the information in this document is accurate as of its publication date. The information is subject to change without notice.
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