Cloud Deployments You Can Learn From - Page 2


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6. Cloud Convergence

With so many areas of IT having succumbed to convergence, it makes sense that the coming together of storage and networking would be accelerated by the cloud.

"To support cloud computing," says Tom Nolle, president of CIMI in Voorhees, N.J., "you would have to look for more robust connectivity within data centers and higher capacity between them, and the networks have to be more available and reliable."

Accordingly, Brocade's Virtual Cluster Switching (VCS) Layer 2 Ethernet technology (Brocade's Virtual Cluster Switching Layer 2 Ethernet) has three components: Ethernet Fabric, Distributed Intelligence and Logical Chassis. Any switch in the system can communicate with any other switch, as the Ethernet Fabric acts as a single logical switch, connecting all servers and devices. Rather than having to individually manage each switch at the top of a rack or in a blade chassis, each physical switch is managed as if it were a port module in a chassis. More than 1,000 ports can be self-aggregated into a single logical chassis, without manual configuration or having to install separate aggregation switches. The fabric can have as few as 48 ports, or it can scale up into the thousands of ports, and still look to the rest of the network as just another Layer 2 switch. This enables a flatter, faster network. This VCS technology is incorporated into Brocade's VDX family of data center switches primarily to facilitate cloud computing.

7. Cloud Backup

Zmanda has upgraded is cloud backup solution. Known as ZCB 4.0, it can store backups directly on the cloud; on local disks; or a hybrid backup, which is a combination of the two. Better application support allows users to backup selective data stores in Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SQL Server; and to perform differential backups of Microsoft SharePoint. Zmanda's ZCB Global Dashboard is a web-based interface that monitors the backup activity and cloud storage used across multiple ZCB installations, said Chander Kant, Zmanda's CEO.

8. Multi-Site, Low-Cost Replication

Panzura Alto Cloud Controllers provide options to replicate data across multiple locations within a single cloud provider, multiple cloud providers, or a combination of public and private cloud storage repositories.

"Combining the off-site and professionally managed infrastructure of a reputable cloud provider with the ease-of-use of a high-performance cloud controller makes DR simpler and more cost-effective, while at the same time ensuring that critical data is available when and where needed, even under the worst of circumstances," said Howard Dratler, CEO of Panzura.

9. Faster Restores

Jeff Bell, director of marketing at Zetta, said that traditional offsite storage choices are too slow to meet enterprise recovery requirements.

"Tape is very slow and unreliable," he said. "Online backup services require lengthy data retransmission before restoration is complete."

Zetta, he said, maintains a mountable copy of data ready for instant access directly from the Zetta data center or for rapid replication back to the customer's location. No tapes or data reformatting is required. Data is always online and accessible for validation. Continuous scrubbing detects and corrects any storage errors to eliminate failed restores.

10. Cloud Development

Application development is also moving to the cloud. eXo has developed a platform as a service (Paas) offering called eXo Cloud IDE that makes it easy to deploy Java applications in the cloud. The code lives in the cloud, accessible from a computer with Internet access. As a result, moving an app from development to production is faster.

This approach is available for VMware's Cloud Foundry PaaS. It helps developers to create Java, Spring, Ruby and other types of applications and deploy to Cloud Foundry in minutes, all in the cloud.

Drew Robb is a freelance writer specializing in technology and engineering. Currently living in California, he is originally from Scotland, where he received a degree in geology and geography from the University of Strathclyde. He is the author of Server Disk Management in a Windows Environment (CRC Press).

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