An Introduction to ProfitBricks VDC

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1 ProfitBRICKS IAAS VIRTUAL Data center An Introduction to ProfitBricks VDC

2 Why Cloud Computing? In the future, it will be difficult for IT service providers to avoid the subject of cloud computing. Still regarded as an innovation, these flexible IT services tailored to user requirements will become more widespread over the next 10 years. Even today, the question in many areas of business is no longer whether cloud infrastructure should be used, but rather the extent to which it should be utilized. Cloud computing principally means reductions in total and variable costs, while increasing in performance and flexibility. As a result, IT sectors will noticeably adjust to the incumbent technology. With the cloud, new business ideas can be implemented quickly and without a high level of investment. Both large and small companies would benefit from the increased business agility and flexibility. Cloud computing heralds a significant paradigm shift in the IT sector. Business processes are optimized by providing and managing IT services over the Internet, and billing according to how they are used. The concept of providing a pre-assigned product, available locally and also utilized as a service in real time via the Internet, is the central idea behind cloud computing. This as a service principle can be applied for software (SaaS), in development environments (PaaS) or in an entire network infrastructure (IaaS). SaaS, PaaS and IaaS are all part of what is called the cloud computing stack. SaaS is at the top with PaaS in the middle and IaaS on the bottom. Every level in the stack incorporates each level below it. This makes IaaS the basis of cloud computing. 1) BITKOM Cloud Computing Guidelines ProfitBricks Technical Introduction Getting Started with ProfitBricks and the DCD Page 2

3 Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) ProfitBricks is located in the Infrastructure as a Service segment of the cloud computing market. Using modern virtualization technology, ProfitBricks detaches the hardware from the software and makes it available to customers via stable, virtualized servers and storage resources as an infrastructure service. The result is a fast, stable, reliable and scalable on-demand infrastructure with a high level of standardization and intelligent system management, which can be scaled according to requirements. Fig. 1.: Cloud Capacity / Time Chart Large companies can make their IT flexible with cloud computing. Computing capacities fluctuate very substantially in such companies The internal IT is currently designed to handle peak loads. With cloud computing, the demand peaks can be cushioned quickly and at a low price. Martin Jetter, BITKOM e.v. (BITKOM Guidelines) Source: The advantages of IaaS solutions are very clear. Instead of fixed investment costs, users only pay for what they actually use. At the same time, fluctuations in utilization can be easily compensated for by fast scalability of the IT infrastructure. In contrast to conventional offerings in the hosting industry, IaaS solutions offer a high level of cost efficiency through flexibility, programmed control and usage-based payment. 2) ProfitBricks Technical Introduction Getting Started with ProfitBricks and the DCD Page 3

4 Though the IT infrastructure is provided over a network, users still retain full control of their virtual data center at all times. ProfitBricks has developed a graphic user interface that is unique in the market, to create and maintain virtual data centers easily: the Data Center Designer (DCD) offers almost all functions that users know from real data centers. This tool can be used to design, configure and provision IT infrastructure completely and intuitively. The remote console enables complete root access to the virtual server. Handling has a natural feel and requires little effort. Using the Profit- Bricks API, the resources can of course also be managed without a GUI. Fig. 2.: Datacenter Designer The Data Center Designer (DCD) enables you to design and configure your virtual data center completely intuitively, using a browser-based graphical interface. In contrast to the offerings of many other providers, you can choose from an array of preconfigured operating systems or load your own, provided it is compatible with standard hardware from Intel and AMD. 1) BITKOM Cloud Computing Guidelines ProfitBricks Technical Introduction Getting Started with ProfitBricks and the DCD Page 4

5 Why ProfitBricks? ProfitBricks is one of the few European IaaS companies in an internationally integrated, fast-growing market: The ProfitBricks DCD offers an intuitive, graphical and browserbased user interface to configure your own virtual data center. ProfitBricks supports transfer rates of up to 40 GBit/s by using InfiniBand, a cutting-edge, high-speed transmission technology. ProfitBricks customer support is only performed by first-rate system administrators with several years of experience, contrasted with the tiered approaches that are counter-intuitive to troubleshooting. The ProfitBricks price model is clear and comprehensible, thus enabling you to make accurate estimations and comparisons with other providers. The reliability of Internet applications is a complex task. It depends on the quality of the network and hardware team and on the quality of the application developers. Our System Engineering Team looks after the network and the hardware, your developers do the rest. ProfitBricks is one of the only services that provide its users with dedicated physical cores. Unlike other services, your CPU cores will never be shared with anyone else. ProfitBricks Technical Introduction Getting Started with ProfitBricks and the DCD Page 5

6 Reliability from the Cloud However, while flexibility, performance and usability are decisive factors in cloud hosting, reliability of the IT infrastructure is also crucial. ProfitBricks relies on technologies that offer the highest possible availability and accuracy. To this end, all ProfitBricks data centers are equipped with ample reserve capacities. We use only RAID 10 systems with a high failsafe level and redundant storage servers. These systems and procedures guarantee maximum data reliability. In the unlikely case that a server should fail, all virtual servers are restarted directly on a different physical instance. Your data will always be safe if a server fails, as storage is physically separate from servers. All stored data is retained on a highly available basis on a second system through hot failover. Each ProfitBricks server has redundant network paths, ensuring no service disruptions in the event of network equipment failure ProfitBricks offers better disaster control than in-house data centers, as data storage and servers are geographically separate and on request, data can even be managed at different locations at the same time. On request, virtual servers can be accommodated in high availability zones on a redundant basis. Due to the geographical separation of the hardware, failure of virtual servers due to external factors can be virtually ruled out. ProfitBricks Technical Introduction Getting Started with ProfitBricks and the DCD Page 6

7 ProfitBricks Server Virtual ProfitBricks servers can be set up and activated using the graphical user interface of the DCD. The servers created in the DCD are provisioned and hosted as virtual servers on physical servers. A virtual server created in the ProfitBricks DCD behaves exactly like a physical server and can be configured and maintained accordingly. At ProfitBricks, there are no operating system restrictions (vendor lock-in). You can either select a pre-specified image or your own image for each server in the DCD. ProfitBricks provides hard drive images of current versions of the customary Windows and Linux operating systems for this purpose. Alternatively, you can upload your own images to the respective directory of the ProfitBricks server via FTP access. As a user, you receive full root/administrator access to your virtual server and can thus configure it according to your own needs and requirements, without any restrictions. ProfitBricks high-speed connectivity, virtualization solutions and innovative IP routing concepts are only some of the latest techniques that we use and that make your virtual data center faster and more powerful than standard in-house data centers or leased dedicated server solutions. Once provisioned, a virtual server retains its settings, IP addresses and drive assignments even if it is stopped via the operating system. A server is only removed from the data center if the user deletes it in the DCD. Any number of servers with up to 48 cores and 196 GB RAM each can be set up in the ProfitBricks DCD or via the ProfitBricks API. ProfitBricks Technical Introduction Getting Started with ProfitBricks and the DCD Page 7

8 ProfitBricks Storage In order to ensure stability and reliability, only RAID 10 systems are used in the ProfitBricks data centers. Although storage with RAID 10 technology can compensate for the failure of several hard drives, our storage server systems use 4x redundancy to provide maximum protection for your data. ProfitBricks maintains a mirrored, synced counterpart of your system in another fire zone in the data center to ensure maximum protection. A virtual storage that is created in the DCD corresponds to an iscsi block device and behaves like an attached storage. Storage is managed separately from servers, and can be scaled as desired. We take care of storage redundancy, without you having to create it specially in the DCD. Like the entire network infrastructure, all storages are of course always hosted on a redundant basis by ProfitBricks. A hard drive image can be assigned to each storage device in the DCD. You can access either one of the standard images provided by Profit- Bricks or upload and use your own individual image via FTP. ProfitBricks Technical Introduction Getting Started with ProfitBricks and the DCD Page 8

9 ProfitBricks Network A network that is created in our DCD behaves like a separate LAN. The traffic from this segment is isolated from other network segments. Network segments can be routed publicly or privately. Fig. 3.: A Network Topology in the Data Center Designer To ensure the security of your data, the entire ProfitBricks infrastructure is maintained and monitored 24/7 by experienced system administrators. All protocols that are based on Ethernet can be used. While private IPs can be selected by the user manually, public IPv4 addresses are automatically assigned by the system via DHCP. In addition to the fixed dynamic IPv4, additional fixed IPv4 addresses can be reserved and assigned to a network interface (NIC) upon request. These IPs must be configured within the server operating system after they have been assigned. Reserved IPs are always purchased and returned in blocks and are usually over a continuous IP range. The default internal MAC addresses must not be changed. ProfitBricks Technical Introduction Getting Started with ProfitBricks and the DCD Page 9

10 Switches are not reproduced in the DCD when setting up a network segment, functions such as switching, routing and forwarding are integrated into the ProfitBricks network stack. ProfitBricks performs all traffic distribution tasks. In order to protect your network from unauthorized access from the Internet, you can activate a firewall for each NIC, at no extra cost. The default behavior of the firewall is to block all traffic. In the next step, you define rules for your firewall,. These rules, determine which data packages are allowed to pass through and which are not. You can define, for example, rules for individual source or destination IPs for the TCP, UCD and ICMP protocols. ProfitBricks guarantees failover protection with redundant systems and high reserve capacities safer than in a real data center. ProfitBricks Technical Introduction Getting Started with ProfitBricks and the DCD Page 10

11 Stable High Speed From the Cloud In order to ensure maximum efficiency and network speed, ProfitBricks uses the latest high-performance transmission technologies. Instead of 10 GBit Ethernet (10 GbE), we use only 4x QDR InfiniBand technology in our ProfitBricks data centers, which supports maximum transfer rates of up to 4x10 GBit/s with a switch latency of 200 ns. ProfitBricks thus offers transfer rates 4x higher and latency times 10x lower than comparable providers; competitors typically work with standardized 10 GBit Ethernet technology. At the same time, InfiniBand offers a lower interference than 10 GBit Ethernet and enables faster scalability of the infrastructure without loss of performance or efficiency. Data Protection in the Cloud We host the ProfitBricks IT infrastructure, provisioned in the European region, exclusively in German data centers. All clouds provisioned in Europe are thus subject to European law. ProfitBricks supports network signal rates of up to 40 GBit/s through the use of high-quality, up-todate technologies. According to a community study of the Distributed European Infrastructure for Supercomputing Applications together with BigGrid and SARA ProfitBricks currently offers the fastest Infrastructure as a Service on the market. No comprehensive legal regulations that guarantee basic data protection exist in the USA. Many American cloud hosting providers, have committed to the regulations of the Safe Harbor Agreement between the USA and the EU, in order to ensure sufficient data protection. This data protection agreement, however, does not protect against the legal access by the US government, as defined in the Patriot Act, with regard to the acquisition and storage of personal data. ProfitBricks Technical Introduction Getting Started with ProfitBricks and the DCD Page 11

12 Unlike companies whose corporate headquarters are located in the USA, transfer of personal data to third parties is excluded by the European data protection directive 95/46/EG at ProfitBricks. In order for data control to be retained by users,the owner of the data remains responsible for data encryption. Encryption is thus controlled by users themselves and cannot be accessed by the provider or any other third parties. From the perspective of data protection, the location of a data center is the decisive criterion of the cloud hosting provider. In contrast to American companies, European providers cannot be compelled to issue data from non- Americans to the US authorities. Author: Cornelia Otto Copyright 2012 by ProfitBricks HEADQUARTER US OFFICE ProfitBricks GmbH ProfitBricks Inc. Greifswalder Str Tudor Street Berlin, Germany Cambridge, MA Phone: +49 (0) Phone: Fax: +49 (0) Fax: Executive Management: Achim Weiss, Andreas Gauger ProfitBricks Technical Introduction Getting Started with ProfitBricks and the DCD Page 12

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