Monday, April 11, 2011

Secure Multi-Tenancy and FlexPod

In my two previous postings, I highlighted the key features and benefits two industry leading private cloud architectures; the VCE VBlock Infrastructure Package and the HP BladeSystem Matrix. This posting will provide a brief overview of the Cisco/NetApp/VMware FlexPod Architecture.

The FlexPod Architecture is a Cisco Validated Design based on Cisco UCS Compute resources, Cisco Nexus, NetApp Storage, and VMware vSphere at the virtualization layer. The FlexPod architecture allows customers to adapt quickly and offers the needed flexibility to make fast changes without large amount of resources and processes.

Secure Multi-Tenancy

A shared cloud environment requires strict isolation between the different tenants that are resident within the infrastructure. The tenants can be different clients, business units, departments or security zones. Previously, customers with a shared cloud infrastructure were able to achieve “pockets” of isolation within the virtual server layer, the network layer, and storage, but never completely end-to-end.

Feature and Benefits of FlexPod

- Low-risk standardized shared infrastructure supporting a wide range of environments
- Highest possible Data Center efficiency
- IT flexibility giving business agility: scale out or up, but manage resource pools
- Complete Data Center in a single rack
- Flexibility in performance and capacity
- Fast setup for production
- Solutions guide for multiple environments
- Easy path for upgrading without fork lifting or data migrations
- Centralized management: NetApp OnCommand and Cisco UCS™ Manager
- VMs are isolated using vShield zone technology
- VMs connected and secured using Nexus products
- VMs on secure partitioned storage via MultiStore
- Service level assurance through VMware resource pools, Cisco QoS, and NetApp FlexShare

WWT and FlexPod
As a NetApp Star Partner with over 100 NetApp customers, combined with Cisco’s North American Partner of the Year, WWT is the leading FlexPod systems integrator. For example, WWT recently planned, designed, and implemented a FlexPod for a major financial institution based in New York and hosts a number of FlexPod demos throughout the United States.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

The HP BladeSystem Matrix

"Thirty-nine years of my life had passed before I understood that clouds were not my enemy; that they were beautiful, and that I needed them. I suppose this, for me, marked the beginning of wisdom. Life is short." — Iimani David, author of literary fiction

Whether you are leveraging the public cloud or building out your own private cloud, Cloud Computing is on the minds of most of the customers that I talk with. DHS is certainly building out their own private cloud initiative. In my previous post, I briefly discussed the VCE Coalition and the Vblock Architecture for the private cloud. This post will briefly discuss the BladeSystem Matrix, which is HP's compelling vision for the private cloud infrastructure.

The HP BladeSystem Matrix is a converged infrastructure platform for shared services that is ideal for private cloud deployments. HP BladeSystem Matrix delivers one virtualized pool of network, storage, and compute resources that can be continuously optimized and instantly adjusted to meet dynamic business demands for any workload type. It unites the tools, processes, and architecture of the physical and virtual worlds to help cut costs and speed time to service delivery, while reducing Capital expenditures (CapEx) and operational expenditures (OpEx).

The HP BladeSystem Matrix Architecture at a High-Level

HP BladeSystem Matrix is comprised of one or more BladeSystem c7000 enclosures, server blades, and shared storage, sized to each customer’s requirements, as well as all of the management software needed to provision, optimize, and protect the infrastructure. Matrix arrives at the customer site as a factory-integrated solution. Each Matrix solution also includes HP on-site implementation services and training, enabling the customer to begin realizing the value of Matrix and the shared services model immediately.

Matrix supports the full range of HP ProLiant and Integrity full-height and half-height server blades and is scalable to over 1500 managed systems (virtual machine and physical machine instances). The StorageWorks 4400 Enterprise Virtual Array (EVA4400) can be factory integrated (recommended option) or Matrix can be connected to newly purchased or existing HP StorageWorks or supported third-party Fibre Channel storage area networks (SANs).

The Matrix management console, built on HP Insight Dynamics, combines automated provisioning, capacity planning, disaster recovery, and a self-service portal. Matrix can be easily incorporated into existing data center environments: Virtual Connect modules in the BladeSystem enclosure enable Matrix to be connected to any standard Ethernet network or N_Port ID Virtualization (NPIV)-capable Fibre Channel fabric and the platform is compatible with a range of operating systems and hypervisors.

With its open, extensible approach, BladeSystem Matrix runs any application workload out of the box and integrates seamlessly with storage and network infrastructure from HP StorageWorks and HP Networking, as well as infrastructure from other vendors such as EMC and Cisco. It is also integrated with the leading virtualization technologies from HP, Microsoft, and VMware.

WWT and HP BladeSystem Matrix

WWT is an HP Elite Partner and is certified to resell and deliver the HP BladeSystem Matrix. WWT is one of a handful of HP Elite Partners to have a fully installed and working HP BladeSystem Matrix demo unit in our Customer Briefing Center. With over 59 HP-certified Technical Architects and Pre-Sales engineers on staff, WWT can assist in the Planning, Design, and Implementation of HP BladeSystem Matrix and other HP solutions.