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Data Virtualization Provides VM Mobility Between Data Centers

Hybrid cloud has a data problem: Data is slow and expensive to move between clouds, despite some recent advancements. VM compute and networking move data relatively freely, but VM storage continues to limit mobility. Server virtualization has allowed a VM to throw off the restrictions of physical servers and move from one to another within a data center. Now, network virtualization allows the VM to keep its network identity as it moves from one data center to another. The remaining issue is that the VM's data isn't mobile.

A platform that allows data mobility between data centers will enable far greater VM mobility in a hybrid cloud. For example, SimpliVity has a data virtualization platform and a program that enable cloud service providers to offer improved hybrid cloud mobility.

Server virtualization has transformed IT operations by decoupling VMs and their applications from servers. Now, VMotion allows the VM to move from one physical server to another.

The next shackle to break has been the networking. Many applications are tied closely to the network identity of their VM, an IP address. Historically, a range of IP addresses would belong in one physical location—for example, one data center. SDN products virtualize IP address ranges and allow simpler mobility across sites. Now a VM can migrate from one data center to another without changing its network identity. The SDN product ensures that the VM is available on the same ID wherever it lands. Compute and network can now move freely between sites, or to and from a public cloud.

The challenge is that it takes one or two orders of magnitude more time to move the files that make up the VM than to VMotion the VM. A VMotion might take seconds to a few minutes to complete. By contrast, a storage VMotion within a data center may take hours to complete. Migrating a large VM from one data center to another can take days if the whole VM must be copied.

What we need for hybrid cloud mobility is a data virtualization platform that allows rapid VM mobility between data centers. We need a platform that allows VMs to migrate to a public cloud in seconds, not hours or days. The same platform needs to allow the VM to move back again in seconds. SimpliVity offers a hyperconverged platform with global deduplication, even for replication between sites. This deduplication means that complete VMs are never copied between sites, only the unique blocks are ever replicated.

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Even a busy VM does not create a huge amount of new unique data every hour or day. When the data that makes up the VM is virtualized, it is a simple matter to migrate VMs from your own data center to a cloud provider's data center. This could be feasible for DR to the cloud, or as part of a multi-data center architecture.

To enable a SimpliVity (deduplicated) storage migration, both the source and destination must be SimpliVity-enabled. In other words, the cloud provider must use SimpliVity hardware as well, so it is natural that the company has a program for cloud providers. The program allows cloud service providers to leverage SimpliVity as a cost-effective, agile foundation for their public cloud services, and it aligns the provider's costs with the service they provide to tenants. The cloud provider only pays full price for the SimpliVity hardware if the tenant is using it, and paying the provider.

With a virtualized data platform, VM storage becomes as mobile and software-defined as compute and networking. SimpliVity enables hybrid cloud mobility by virtualizing all the resources used by VMs.

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