Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Infrastructure Orchestration in use within SPs & Hosting providers

For the past months I've held that new technologies are OK... but the litmus test is whether they're actually used and valuable in the real world.

One of those new technologies in the Enterprise Data Center space is what I call Infrastructure Orchestration (others term it
fabric computing or unified computing). HP, IBM and now even Cisco have solutions in the space, but I believe only Egenera has been doing it the longest, and has the broadest installed base of enterprises in the real-world using it and expanding footprint.

With the explosive growth of virtualization, this segment of technology is hotter than ever. Why? In the way virtualization abstracts & configures the software world (O/S, applications, etc.), Infrastructure Orchestration abstracts and defines/configures the infrastructure world (I/O, NIC cards, HBA cards, storage connectivity, LANs, switches, etc.). So, not only can you define a virtual server instantly, you can define a *physical* server (maybe a virtual host, or a physical machine) down to I/O, NICs, Storage and Network. By doing this, you can reconstruct an entire data center -- giving you a unified approach to HA and/or DR. Cool.

I've been pointing out applications for this technology in Healthcare as well as in the Financial sector, and I thought it would also be useful to illustrate value in the Service Provider / Hosting market.

For this segment, the Infrastructure Orchestration approach is essentially used to build Infrastructure-as-a-Service, or IaaS. In the past it's been called "utility computing" but in the era of cloud computing, this seems to be the term in use.

In 2004, Savvis set a goal to become the industry’s first totally virtualized utility computing data center, integrating virtualized servers, storage, networks, and security into an end-to-end solution. Today, the service provider houses over 1,425 virtual servers running on 70 industrystandard Egenera servers, 370 terabytes of storage and 1,250 virtualized firewalls.

As a complement to its managed hosting and collocation business, the company has built huge, scalable service platforms that can be leveraged by multiple clients with full security. This utility approach enables them to charge customers for resources more closely tailored to their actual needs. Each year, more revenues and profits are generated from utility hosting contracts with business and government customers ranging from start-up entrepreneurs to the largest enterprises in the world, enabling Savvis to compete and win against traditional hosting providers and outsourcers.

Albridge Solutions:
Albridge Solutions migrated from UNIX servers to industry-standard servers running Linux and Egenera-based Infrastructure Orchestration. Initially, they considered building a virtualized environment by combining virtualization and management point-products. They discovered, however, that resulting complexity would be overwhelming. Servers from the industry’s largest vendors were also ruled out since their legacy architectures made virtualization and resource sharing impossible. Today, using industry-standard servers and Egenera's software, Albridge can run any application on any server at any time based on demand... regardless of whether those applications are virtual, or native.

Panasonic Electric Works Information Systems Co., Ltd.
Panasonic chose Egenera products to consolidate servers and reduce floor-space. Along with enabling server consolidation, the software is delivering superior high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (HA). Applications running in the data center include an order-processing service for the manufacturing industry, a content delivery system and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). Based on results, Panasonic has designated Egenera software as its standard infrastructure virtualization management software for mission-critical processing.

1 comment:

Liza said...

Excellent post, very useful to understand about Managed hosting and its need. Thanks