Infrastructure planning has completely changed the landscape of modern data centers. The current requirements to reduce power consumption, gain greater efficiencies with existing equipment and the ever increasing number of servers required to support an enterprise have resulted in the current push for new technologies to solve the problems.
Blade servers and server and storage virtualization are the current tools on the market designed to get the maximum amount of usage out of the investments clients are making in server and storage hardware. With the current processor technology being widely under-utilized, the first area that our clients need to seriously consider is the virtualization of their server environment. Clients often find that the majority of their servers are under-utilized and that depending upon the applications being used, a modern dual or quad CPU server is capable of hosting 10+ Windows Server virtual machines on a single system.
Like most enterprise applications, the tools and software to manage and build a reliable infrastructure are complex and require vast expertise to take maximum advantage of the technologies. Using HP or Dell server equipment, a modern virtualization solution would typically center around the use of VMware ESX software, all managed by VMware Virtual Center Management Console. For larger installations, the “farm” of ESX servers would be managed by the Virtual Center software allowing for the most efficient use of CPU, RAM, storage and bandwidth for each application server being hosted. Tools such as Vizioncore’s ESXRanger allow clients to make backups and restore virtual machines on the fly and replicate between locations.
To fully leverage the virtual server infrastructure of a modern data center, a SAN or storage area network is required. The drive arrays of a SAN are used to house the images of each virtual machine and the SAN connects to each ESX server using Fiber Channel or iSCSI. Such a design allows for the virtual machines to be shutdown and restarted on another ESX server and allows for load balancing and recovery from hardware failures in seconds rather than hours.
Flexibility and Reliability
The Asbury Group Integrated Technologies, LLC recommends a modern SAN solution and sells DataCore products to manage reliable and scalable storage solutions from HP or Dell. The DataCore products allow for SAN replication and create virtual storage solutions that grow with your business, thus allowing your IT department to better and more quickly respond to changing business requirements. After using EMC for many years in our own data center, we switched to the DataCore SANSymphony solution and have enjoyed the benefits of flexible, reliable storage solutions and replication.
A modern data center requires a rethink of past practices. The Asbury Group Integrated Technologies, LLC not only has the trained engineers to help you design a virtual server and storage solution for your business but can also show you how we use these very same technologies for the 1000 user network that we manage for our parent corporation. Please contact our sales team for more information.