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Guide to VMware High Availability

Guide to VMware High Availability

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Published by Constantin Videnski
The Essential Guide to How to Build a SAN provides a brief overview to building your own Storage Area Network (SAN) using your existing industry standard x86 or x64 server hardware as well as freely available SAN software that will convert your box into a highly reliable and highly available SAN. Your newly built SAN will work directly on your Ethernet network without any additional investments.
The Essential Guide to How to Build a SAN provides a brief overview to building your own Storage Area Network (SAN) using your existing industry standard x86 or x64 server hardware as well as freely available SAN software that will convert your box into a highly reliable and highly available SAN. Your newly built SAN will work directly on your Ethernet network without any additional investments.

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Published by: Constantin Videnski on Mar 12, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/18/2012

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How to Increase VMware Application Availability with Shared Storage
The Essential Guide to Using Shared Storage with VMware to Achieve High Availability While Reducing Operating Costs
WHITE PAPER
 
[2]
www.starwindsoftware.com
 
 
INTRODUCTION
It’s 2010 and today server virtualization has become indispensable for almost every IT environment, growing at a projected rate of over 100% per year, according to a recent IDC study.This growth is attributed to the fact that server virtualization improves IT management, reducesexpenses and improves server utilization. But probably the key reason that server virtualization isexpanding so rapidly is that it considerably increases application and data availability. Ensuringthat data and applications are continuously available and operating even in the event of failure,disaster or human error is driving the growth of server virtualization initiatives in IT departmentsaround the world. This increase in application and data availability is generally referred to as HighAvailability or HA.At the foundation of each successful virtualized IT environment is a centralized, networkedstorage. This “shared storage” also referred to as a Storage Area Network (SAN), is required toenable VMware administrators to provision virtual machines and to move them between physicalhosts for workload balancing and to restart unresponsive VMs from a different host in the caseof failure, which enables the high availability of the virtual machines. Basically, VMware vSphereenvironments can take advantage of the high availability and business continuity features suchas VMotion, VMware HA, Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) and VMware Consolidated Backup(VCB), all of which depend on a centralized, networked storage to work.Traditionally, shared storage has been too expensive and too complex to manage for mostorganizations. But the latest SAN software (also known as Storage Virtualization software)technology changes all that, easily and inexpensively allowing you to turn any industry-standardx86 or x64 server into shared storage on your existing IP network that uses standard networkingcables to transfer storage data from your VMware servers to the centralized storage. This SANsoftware technology works like “storage firmware” that runs on top of an industry-standard server with hard drives and operates it like an intelligent block-level storage device, or a SAN, making itvery reliable, robust, powerful and very easy to install and manage.StarWind Software started in 2003 and developed a powerful SAN software product that wouldhelp customers eliminate the expenses and complexities of the traditional, proprietary SANs thatwere available at the time only from big storage vendors. StarWind developed a solution whichturns a standard, Intel-architecture server into a highly reliable and highly available, fault-tolerantSAN. Today, StarWind is used to build shared storage appliances for VMware and this combinationof StarWind and VMware creates a powerful virtual infrastructure that is highly available, easy toprotect and simple to manage. There is proven synergy between StarWind and VMware with over 30,000 users in over 100 countries. Combined, the two can: Transform a standard, Intel-architecture server into a fault-tolerant SAN with High AvailabilityTake advantage of VMotion, VMware HA, DRS, and VCB featuresBuild a high-end SAN without the high costs associated with proprietary vendor productsEnsure Business Continuity with Synchronous Mirroring, Remote Replication andCDP/Snapshots of the Virtual MachinesIn this paper, we will show you how SAN software empowers the VMware administrator to usehigh availability storage with the high availability features of VMware and we’ll illustrate howStarWind Software delivers the most advanced and cost-effective “shared storage” for VMware onthe market. You will also learn how to use your existing Ethernet network to implement a sharedstorage solution without the costs of purchasing new equipment or investing in Fibre Channel.Finally, VMware professionals will learn about the flagship StarWind storage virtualizationsolution, which is the most cost-effective storage alternative on the market combined with rocksolid reliability, scalability and performance.
The newest SANtechnology isrobust, powerfuland very easy toinstall
 
SAN SOFTWARE IS STORAGE VIRTUALIZATION
SAN Software is, at a basic level, a storage virtualizationtechnology that virtualizes a standard, off-the-shelf Intel-architecture server and allows discrete disk drives tooperate as a single shared storage resource. Similar to server virtualization technology, storage virtualization creates anabstraction layer between the actual storage hardware andlogical data volumes.Storage Virtualization combines well with VMware’s server virtualization capabilities. Server Virtualization with StorageVirtualization work together to improve overall infrastructureefficiency both on server and storage sides. StorageVirtualization allows data volumes to be located and stripedacross multiple (and diverse) physical storage resources,including storage systems, RAID groups, disk types, andcontrollers. This enables higher performance and scalabilitythan is possible with server virtualization alone. It also allowsdata volumes to be transparently moved from one set of resources to another without disrupting operating systemsand applications that use data. It enables an administrator to create a scalable, highly resilient and flexible storageenvironment. The result: higher storage utilization rates andreduced operating costs. Storage virtualization simplifiesprovisioning and storage management, increases storageutilization, provides flexibility and scalability in capacity andperformance, enables simple migration of VMDK files andfacilitates load balancing. All in all, it significantly simplifiesyour virtualized IT environment.
WHY SHARED STORAGE OR SAN?
Enterprise-class storage is at the foundation of any successfulvirtualized IT infrastructure. Many of the key benefits of server virtualization require networked storage in order to reducethe effort ordinarily required to move VMs between physicalservers for load balancing, to achieve high availability of applications running in VMs and to ensure maximum use of resources when deploying virtual machines.Centralized networked storage is a key requirement for successfully harnessing high availability and businesscontinuity features such as VMotion, VMware HA, DistributedResource Scheduler (DRS) and VMware Consolidated Backup(VCB). And ultimately, there is more redundancy when placingyour VMDK files on a SAN.A shared storage, or a SAN, will help a VMware vSphereto access any VMDK because it is stored centrally on thenetwork. It permits simple re-hosting of the virtual machine
[3]
www.starwindsoftware.com
and eliminates copying individual virtual machine files,applications, and data from one server to another. A SANenables you to use advanced VMware features like VMotion,HA, VCB and DRS. SANs also offer key benefits such asimproved availability and reliability and they help you keeppace with data growth by being simple and inexpensive toexpand storage capacity (hard disks) as well as memory, 10GigE NIC cards and other hardware.As companies create vast volumes of information, IT managersare forced to begin consolidating storage to get the most outof each storage system. What was once only affordable tolarge companies is now readily available for small and midsizecompanies: highly reliable, highly available, high performancestorage at a truly affordable cost.
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BENEFITS OF STORAGE VIRTUALIZATION
Fully protects your VMware systems in the event of amajor failure, minimizing downtime and ensuringcontinuous application availabilityAccelerates hardware upgrades, data migrations, andload balancingSpeeds disaster recovery - more capable of restoringbusiness operations rapidly using replication andsnapshot capabilitiesSimplifies storage management for VMwareImproves hardware utilization

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