The IT infrastructure that most enterprises want is pretty obvious: it is a private cloud. Less intuitive, however, is how enterprises will transition from simply hosting file, print and web servers in their private clouds today to hosting business critical applications tomorrow. Successfully navigating this transition requires that enterprises introduce a new set of proven technologies that deliver the agility and cost-savings that they have come to expect from private clouds with the availability, performance, manageability and visibility they need for their business critical applications and data.

While initially this decision was driven in large part by enterprise desires to lower costs and improve utilization, with less emphasis to application and data performance. IT now desires more from their private clouds such as:

  • Easy identification of storage network bottlenecks
  • The ability to monitor hardware infrastructure and respond to failures
  • Predictable performance of data access
  • Reduce or eliminate manual tuning and configuration of storage paths

The challenges of virtualizing business critical applications explain the deepening alliance between NetApp and Symantec. What makes it unique is that they are collectively working to equip enterprises with the respective technologies they need to enable their private clouds to now handle business critical applications.

The trick to successfully accomplishing these goals is more than just consolidating hardware and utilizing it well. While that was sufficient to justify virtualizing the first wave of less critical applications, other factors come into play as IT looks to virtualize business critical applications and data including:

  • Highly available, reliable and resilient hardware. Deploying business critical applications into a virtualized private cloud makes the hardware’s availability, reliability, performance and resiliency even more critical. As enterprises look to move business critical applications and data into private clouds, these characteristics take on an added degree of importance including the selection of the proper storage and SAN infrastructure.  
  • Robust multi-pathing software. In physical systems, it is common practice to run business critical applications utilizing feature rich multi-pathing software. In the virtual world or in private clouds, robust multi-pathing software is equally if not more important. Multi-pathing software ensures consistent performance and availability of business critical applications and data.  
  • Manageable. The only way private clouds are practical is if they are manageable. Eliminating the need to manually configure multi-pathing software reduces the chance of these errors.  For example, Symantec’s Veritas Dynamic Multi-Pathing (DMP) for VMware provides default algorithms designed to provide enterprises streamlined deployment capabilities, while still ensuring a high level of performance.  
  • Visibility into the virtualized infrastructure. Private cloud creates the real problem that it becomes very difficult to determine how resources are allocated to applications, when they are using them and the location of performance issues. When application performance issues emerge, enterprises want definitive answers on what is wrong, when it will be fixed and what steps are being taken to make sure they do not occur again.

DMP for VMware provides detailed visibility to the storage, including how applications are consuming those resources. This also comes into play is and when organizations need to discover the location of performance bottle necks if they exist.  

Symantec brings its DMP for VMware technology into the private cloud picture. DMP for VMware offers enterprises a full-featured multi-pathing software solution that is certified with VMware ESX operating systems. Using DMP for VMware enterprises continue to get the same levels of load balancing, path management, and visibility into the storage network and storage array on virtualized infrastructure that they were accustomed to receiving in the physical environment.

NetApp storage systems fit hand-in-glove with Symantec DMP for VMware as they are designed without single points of failure to provide maximum uptime enabling the availability and resiliency that organizations require for their virtualization and private cloud deployments. By scaling in performance, capacity, and I/O ports, organizations get the flexible, dynamic storage solution that they need. DMP for VMware then complements NetApp storage by providing the software components to detect and respond to storage path failures to ensure the server is suitable for hosting most critical business applications.

DMP for VMware and NetApp storage also give organizations the flexibility to use storage networking protocols such as FC, FCoE and iSCSI. DMP for VMware’s ability to work across different storage networking protocols coupled with its VMware certifications goes a long way toward explaining why Symantec and NetApp are partnering. In fact, as the leader in Ethernet storage NetApp is the first storage vendor to offer FCoE and iSCSI protocol support over a shared network port using the NetApp unified target adapter.

Since there is evidence to suggest that the adoption rate of 10 Gb Ethernet and FCoE is growing and may supplant FC in the years to come in enterprise private cloud deployments, NetApp and Symantec offer enterprises the right combination of storage technologies to implement business critical applications now while preparing them to make the transition to this potential change in their private cloud infrastructure transparent and seamless in the future.

Enterprises will continue to move more business critical applications into their private cloud. However doing so requires a resilient infrastructure to ensure that business critical applications are afforded the same availability and performance characteristics prior to deployment in a private cloud. NetApp and Symantec offer their customers the hardware and software that is proven in the most demanding physical environments for use in their private cloud without sacrificing the level of availability, manageability, resiliency and visibility to which they are accustomed.  

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