OmniCube. SimpliVity OmniCube and Multi Federation ROBO Reference Architecture. White Paper. Authors: Bob Gropman

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1 OmniCube SimpliVity OmniCube and Multi Federation ROBO Reference Architecture White Paper Authors: Bob Gropman Date: April 13, 2015

2 SimpliVity and OmniCube are trademarks of SimpliVity Corporation. All trademarks and registered trademarks mentioned herein are the property of their respective owners. Information in this document is subject to change without notification. Reproduction in any manner whatsoever without the written permission of SimpliVity is strictly forbidden. SimpliVity Corporation 2014 Publication Date: 4/14/2014 2

3 1 Executive Summary Introduction Typical ROBO Design Traditional ROBO Architecture ROBO on SimpliVity OmniCube A Best Practice Simple design for a complex business Multi-Federation ROBO on SimpliVity OmniCube Large Scale Design Considerations Conclusion Glossary

4 1 Executive Summary This paper documents methods of deploying SimpliVity s OmniCubes to support a Office and Branch Office (ROBO) environments in both a standard and scale out design using multiple blocks of federated OmniCubes. The purpose of the document is to provide the reader with specific examples of OmniCube configurations that support real-world ROBO in virtualized environments, meeting the performance, reliability and data protection requirements of the enterprise customer. This document also highlights the many unique advantages of OmniCube that make it a superior infrastructure platform for managing multiple office locations. The intended audience for this document is IT decision makers who are responsible for the successful deployment and ongoing operation of remote and branch office virtualized infrastructure. This includes IT professionals responsible for VMware, data center operations, infrastructure, and data protection. SimpliVity s OmniCube,, a 2U infrastructure building block for the virtual environment, is the only truly hyperconverged platform on the market. The benefits of this architecture are unmatched TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) savings by converging previously disparate technologies including server and storage, virtualization, backup and disaster recovery, and WAN optimization, among others. OmniCube is a revolutionary solution for ROBO, as it is an all-in-one solution based on three core innovations: 1. Hyperconvergence: a single shared resource pool abstracting applications and VMs from the underlying hardware across not just server, storage, network, but also backup, disaster recovery, and WAN optimization 2. Data Virtualization Platform: inline deduplication, compression and optimization of ALL data at inception, once and forever across all stages of the data lifecycle 3. Global Unified Management: manage all resources globally from a single pane of glass, provide VM-centricity and mobility to backup, restore, move virtual resources and their associated data from a click of a button without the manual efforts of the past around LUNs, shares, volumes, disk groups, masking, mapping, and other legacy storage infrastructure tasks. Leveraging these attributes for managing remote or branch offices, SimpliVity gives the IT department the ability consolidate and reduce complexity while enabling growth and expansion in a logical manner. 4

5 2 Introduction and branch office architecture (ROBO) is critical to the operations of many companies both large and small. The designs of such systems are considerably different than traditional datacenters, in that there are environmental, operational networking and storage decisions that affect the deployment of this infrastructure. The environmental parameters that ROBO systems must conform to are space, power and cooling. These are challenges for many companies, as the available space at these locations may not be data center quality or provide for optimal conditions, thus reducing the amount and types of equipment that may be deployed. These constraints necessitate a highly compact and efficient system and are typically not practical for a traditional server, storage array and backup. Operationally, supporting ROBO sites has additional complexities when it comes to administration. Managing servers, storage and backup vendors hardware/software can be challenging for the datacenter, and may prove to be extremely difficult in locations that do not have dedicated systems administrators. Support is often done remotely with the help of local office employees or outsourced help. When failures occur with the system, diagnosis and repair can be time consuming and costly. At a remote office, services such as backup and disaster recovery are key to providing availability to the location. These services depend on the availability and bandwidth of a WAN (Wide Area Network) link. Typically, ROBO sites have a network to the Internet for and WWW browsing with a connection back to the corporate office. This network is usually shared with the back office equipment (servers storage, network services) and used for system backup and communications with centralized infrastructure services (AD, DNS backup systems) In order to ensure there is enough bandwidth for the office, it is advantageous to employ data reduction techniques by using tools such as WAN optimizers and data de-duplication tools at the ROBO site. This adds yet another layer of cost and complexity to manage and maintain. A typical design for managing the availability of a remote office is to replicate all data and systems to a centralized hub (often the main or regional datacenter). If there are many locations, the hub will have to have an aggregate amount of storage to contain all of the copies of data for each site. As more and more backups need to be stored the amount of storage can grow exponentially and a perfect example of what SimpliVity refers to as the Data Problem. What is the data problem? The data problem is the perfect storm that starts with exponential data growth IDC estimates over 40 zettabytes by 2020 and is exacerbated by the increasing demands put on that data: management, mobility, protection, and performance. It is no longer enough to simply store data. Now, we live in a virtualized world where data is expected to be mobile. Data is also expected to be: Automated, orchestrated, and associated to virtual machines and applications, all driven by policy. 5

6 Protected through local backup and off-site disaster recovery. Always available and never experience loss. Perhaps more importantly, businesses expect and demand that IT meets their Service Level Agreements (SLAs), especially for business and mission-critical application in remote or branch offices. Typical Challenges delivering traditional ROBO Infrastructure Typical issues when deploying ROBO: Storage: The need to buy a SAN or NAS for connecting multiple ESXi hosts to a shared storage pool High Availability: Loss of access to systems when services become unavailable. Restoring IT services are critical to the operation of the remote site Data Protection: Difficult and expensive backup and disaster recovery in terms of actual cost and performance leading to a huge risk of experiencing data unavailability and loss. Environment: Space, cooling and power are all factors when planning a remote site. If these resources are inadequate, the location is at risk for an outage IT Skills: The infrastructure traditionally needed to support these sites takes a highly trained systems administrator(s) to adequately manage and maintain the equipment. In the event of a systems issue, the lack of such an individual can greatly increase Virtualization solved these issues at the application level. But what about the data? Even though the computer and memory processes had been virtualized, the storage still was not. Therefore, although the application may have high availability or data protection, for example, the data is still locked to the physical storage array. To deliver the requisite infrastructure capabilities using traditional infrastructure has been a complex and very costly endeavor. Introducing the SimpliVity OmniCube Reference Architecture for ROBO SimpliVity s OmniCube is the industry s first and only globally federated and hyperconverged infrastructure solution. Designed and optimized for the VM environment, OmniCube is a 2U rack mounted building block that delivers server, storage, and networking services in addition to a complete set of advanced functionality that enables dramatic improvements to the management, protection, and performance of the VMs all at a fraction of the cost and extreme reduction in complexity compared to today s traditional infrastructure stack. 6

7 3 Typical ROBO Design The first layer in the ROBO design is the facilities. The location, power and cooling of the hardware is critical to enable the functioning of the office. Many times this space is a closet or an empty office, where it lacks the basic needs for the equipment and inhibits the ability for growth of the office and the addition of services. As the office grows, so do the computing needs In network design, latency, bandwidth and network link redundancy are all factors in providing services to support the use of the office. Administrators have to ensure a quality of services (QOS) for mission critical applications that depend on the network. These may include VOIP, , file services collaboration tools, Internet and intranet. Other services such as backup and replication are also vying for bandwidth across a branch office network. To this end, Network administrators will employ techniques with hardware and software to reduce and optimize the traffic traveling across the offices WAN links. Additional hardware such as firewalls, routers and switches may round out an offices network topology. Storage and servers is the next layer in a remote office. In order to reduce the number of servers in a location, administrators introduced virtualization. This may have included a single server with all of the services installed on virtual machines. A tape backup device may have been deployed and or data replication/backup software may have been used to protect against data loss and systems becoming unavailable. If higher availability is needed, a second server and a storage array are added to the environment. Software to manage the storage array is needed and the ability to monitor the ever-growing hardware and software stack are needed. 3.1 Traditional ROBO Architecture As is depicted in the diagram below, the complexity and administrative burden to maintain and enhances these traditional systems is high and needs very specialized skills. In traditional ROBO design, there are many components to consider: Storage A shared storage array for ensuring availability and performance of disk WAN Optimizer - For reducing the data duplication and caching of redundant data in data streams across a WAN Virtual Servers To reduce the total number of physical servers in a remote office Appliances and Data Protection Software Either local or remote backup of data for recovery purposes in the case of a site, system or virtual machine failure Data replication software/appliances 7

8 Deduplicated Disk Appliance! Deduplicated Disk Appliance! Tradi&onal*Shared* Storage*Array* Deduplicated Disk Appliance! Tradi&onal*Shared* Storage*Array* Deduplicated Disk Appliance! Tradi&onal*Shared* Storage*Array* Deduplicated Disk Appliance! Tradi&onal*Shared* Storage*Array* Deduplicated Disk Appliance! Tradi&onal*Shared* Storage*Array* Site A Protection Apps Data Protection Apps Appliance WAN Optimizer ROBO Storage Site B Protection Apps Data Protection Apps Appliance WAN Optimizer Data Center Hub Protection Apps Data Protection Apps Appliance Virtual Center ROBO Storage Site C Protection Apps Data Protection Apps Appliance WAN Optimizer WAN Cloud WAN Optimizer SSD SSD SSD SSD ROBO Storage Tradi&onal*Shared* Storage*Array* Site D Protection Apps Data Protection Apps Appliance WAN Optimizer ROBO Storage Site E Protection Apps Data Protection Apps Appliance WAN Optimizer ROBO Storage Figure 1 Legacy ROBO Architecture Scaling ROBO in this fashion is both costly and complex, needing specialized hardware, software and administrators to manage it all. 4 ROBO on SimpliVity OmniCube A Best Practice This section details the major factors and considerations in designing reliable remote or branch office on OmniCube. Deploying remote site architecture takes particular considerations and includes the specialized design of facilities, networks, storage and servers. Subsequent sections of this document demonstrate the benefits of running 8

9 virtualized remote or branch office deployments on OmniCube, and provide reference architectures for the reader. SimpliVity OmniCube delivers three fundamental innovations critical to the success of ROBO sites in a virtualized world: 1. Hyperconvergence: OmniCube provides the functionality of the core data infrastructure-- server, storage, network in addition to backup, disaster recovery, WAN optimization and cloud enablement, creating a single shared resource pool abstracting applications and VMs from the underlying hardware. a. Benefit to ROBO: Simplify operations, native data protection; dramatically save on Total Cost of Ownership across CAPEX and OPEX. 2. Scale-Out Architecture: Each OmniCube is a 2U infrastructure building block optimized for the virtual environment; expanding the environment is a simple operation of adding a new OmniCube to an existing Federation. a. Benefit to ROBO: As new locations come on line connecting offices with OmniCube is a simple and low-cost operation. 3. Data Virtualization Platform: inline deduplication, compression and optimization of ALL data at inception, once and forever across all stages of the data lifecycle. a. Benefit to ROBO: Significantly increase data efficiency with the elimination of redundant data; increase performance by maximizing utilization of available CPU, Memory, and IOPS for the application, instead of wasting them on storage processes and backup. Enables optimized data replication back to the hub office. 4. Global Unified Management: Manage all resources globally from a single pane of glass, provide VM-centricity and mobility to backup, restore, move virtual resources and their associated data from a click of a button without the manual efforts of the past around LUNs, shares, volumes, disk groups, masking, mapping, etc. a. Benefit to ROBO: Easily manage remote sites from a single location. 4.1 Simple design for a complex business Implementing ROBO using SimpliVity greatly reduces the complexity of the design by incorporating many of the key elements of the traditional ROBO design into a hyperconverged system. SimpliVity combines Storage,, WAN Optimization and Inline Data Deduplication, all managed within vcenter, in a globally federated architecture to produce a superior design. The administrative burden is greatly reduced as the systems administrator can manage all major functions. The design starts with hub and spoke architecture. A pair of OmniCubes is deployed at a hub location and act as a highly available target for remote backup. At each site, either 1 or 2 OmniCubes are deployed (Two OmniCubes are deployed as a best practice to ensure optimum availability at the remote site, however you may chose a single OmniCube as well.). Local backup policies are set for maintaining data at the remote location. backup from the ROBO site to the hub location is then 9

10 configured based on the RPO of the office. All data at the remote site is compressed and deduplicated in line, in real time, thus all backups to the hub are also compressed and deduplicated. This greatly reduces the time and bandwidth needed to backup, and subsequently restore data at the hub site in the event of a disaster. The design below depicts a typical SimpliVity deployment. ROBO Site A Simplivity ROBO on OmniCube ROBO Site B Main Data Center Hub 1 ROBO Site C Virtual Center WAN ROBO Site D ROBO Site E Figure 2 OmniCube Federation **Note: Although a hub and spoke design is a best practice, any ROBO site may use another ROBO site as a remote backup target enabling even more flexibility in design. 10

11 5 Multi-Federation ROBO on SimpliVity OmniCube Large Scale To scale beyond the size of a single federation it is possible to create a multi-federated design for larger numbers of ROBO sites. When choosing this design there are some design considerations to be taken into account 5.1 Design Considerations For enterprises needing more remote sites than a single federation, simply deploy additional federations. When architecting this infrastructure, there are key design considerations to take into account. Each federation requires a vcenter Multiple vcenters enables separation of management functions for each grouping of remote sites and its dedicated hub. For businesses that need localized management of VM resources, a linked mode vcenter within the federation may be added to the ROBO site as well Geographic locations - The geographic location is an import design element. Segmenting the federation into logical locations or regions enables simpler management of each office Latency and bandwidth between locations When deciding on remote backup partners, latency and bandwidth should be taken into consideration. The less latency, the faster and more frequent backups can occur. The largest amount of data to be transferred at a given time will dictate the amount of bandwidth needed to complete the backup Pre-Seeding Pre-seeding is a method of reducing the time to copy backup data to the hub. By deploying a set of data from the ROBO site to the hub before an initial backup all data will be deduplicated and compressed, thus any subsequent backups will benefit as it will not have traverse a WAN link. ports Since all members of the federation communicate with each other for status and availability, the appropriate firewall ports must be open at each site RTO & RPO Objectives The backup policies should be reflective of a company s needs for RPO (Recover Point Objective) and RTO (Recover Time Objective). Understanding this is critical in designing the optimum use of bandwidth resources When designing for large-scale deployment of ROBO sites it is important to consider the above points to enable a successful design. Understanding the requirements of each office, including systems management, applications, environmental, network and availability SLAs are critical to ensure daily operational norms and productivity of remote employees. Designing with SimpliVity OmniCube greatly reduces the complexities of this design and enables the IT team to focus on providing greater value to its customers. 11

12 ROBO Site A ROBO Site F Simplivity ROBO on OmniCube ROBO Site B Simplivity ROBO on OmniCube ROBO Site G Main Data Center Hub 1 ROBO Site C Main Data Center Hub 2 ROBO Site H Virtual Center WAN Virtual Center WAN ROBO Site D ROBO Site I ROBO Site E ROBO Site J ROBO Site P ROBO Site K Simplivity ROBO on OmniCube ROBO Site Q Simplivity ROBO on OmniCube ROBO Site L Main Data Center Hub 4 ROBO Site R Main Data Center Hub 3 ROBO Site M Virtual Center WAN Virtual Center WAN ROBO Site S ROBO Site N ROBO Site T ROBO Site O Figure 3 OmniCube Multi Federation Architecture OmniCube s building block, scale-out architecture allows the IT team to construct their infrastructure in a standard and repeatable fashion. As application capacity and performance requirements increase, more OmniCube systems can be dynamically added to the Federation for on-demand, non-disruptive scalability. A minimum configuration of two OmniCube systems provides high performance and high availability for the deployed virtual machines. data centers can link together within the OmniCube Federation, providing for simplified, bandwidth efficient DR and data migrations across sites, in addition to unified management of all applications, VMs, and the underlying infrastructure across the globe. Organizations large and small are taking advantage of the above functionality for their remote locations, deploying robust, highly available and scalable infrastructure solutions 12

13 while achieving radical TCO savings. 6 Conclusion The SimpliVity OmniCube is the only truly hyperconverged platform on the market and is uniquely designed to provide for superior deployment for ROBO. With the ability to easily deploy at remote sites and provide backup and disaster recovery services all in a highly scalable, simple to use common architecture, SimpliVity s OmniCubes are the perfect solution. This document has shown real-world customer based strategies for ROBO, and provides designs that are unique to SimpliVity s OmniCube federations. Built into the OmniCube are the following breakthrough technologies that enable a superior design for ROBO: 1. Hyperconvergence: a single shared resource pool abstracting applications and VMs from the underlying hardware across not just server, storage, network, but also backup, disaster recovery, WAN optimization and cloud enablement. 2. Scale-Out Architecture: the ability to grow the infrastructure by adding simple building blocks to an existing deployment, while the application remains online. 3. Data Virtualization Platform: inline deduplication, compression, and optimization of ALL data at inception, once and forever across all stages of the data lifecycle. 4. Global Federated Architecture: manage all resources globally from a single pane of glass, provide VM-centricity and mobility to backup, restore, move virtual resources and their associated data from a click of a button without the manual efforts of the past around LUNs, shares, volumes, disk groups, masking, mapping, etc. 7 Glossary CAPEX Multi-Federation OPEX ROBO RPO RTO Capital Expenditure More than one OmniCube federation Operational Expenditure Office, Branch Office Recovery Point Objective Recovery Time Objective 13

14 TCO Total Cost of Ownership 14

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