The rapid pace of change in data and business requirements is the biggest challenge when deploying a large scale cloud. It is no longer acceptable to spend years designing infrastructure and developing applications capable to cope with data and users at scale. Applications need to be developed in a much more agile manner, but in such a way that allows dynamic reallocation of infrastructure to meet changing requirements.
Choosing an architecture that can scale is critical. Traditional “scale-up” technologies are too expensive and can ultimately limit growth as data volumes grow. Trying to accommodate data growth without proper architectural design, results in un-needed infrastructure complexity and cost.
The most challenging task for the cloud operator in a modern cloud data center supporting thousands or even hundreds-of-thousands of hosts is scaling and automating network services. Fortunately, server virtualization has enabled automation of routine tasks – reducing the cost and time required to deploy a new application from weeks to minutes. Yet, reconfiguring the network for a new or migrated virtual workload can take days and cost thousands of dollars.
To solve these problems, you need to think differently about your data center strategy. Here are three technology innovations that will help data center architects design a more efficient and cost-effective cloud:
1. Overlay Networks
Overlay network technologies such as VXLAN and NVGRE, make the network as agile and dynamic as other parts of the cloud infrastructure. These technologies enable automated network segment provisioning for cloud workloads, resulting in a dramatic increase in cloud resource utilization.
Overlay networks provide for ultimate network flexibility and scalability and the possibility to:
- Combine workloads within pods
- Move workloads across L2 domains and L3 boundaries easily and seamlessly
- Integrate advanced firewall appliances and network security platform seamlessly
This past week in Atlanta, I got the chance to attend the sessions, presented and exhibited at the OpenStack Summit. The Summit was attended by over 4,500 registered participants. Today there are more users than ever! More than 200 companies have joined the project, and the main contributors of current OpenStack release are Red Hat, HP and IBM. The OpenStack Foundation has posted a recap video showing some highlights:
Some themes emerged during the summit. The new concept of big users becoming major contributors is really taking off. Big users are becoming major contributors to the project because it means they can move faster as a company. These big users include large banks, manufacturing, retailers, government agencies, entertainment and everything between. Instead of spending time trying to convince vendors to add features, these large organizations have realized that they can work with the OpenStack community directly to add those features and move faster as a business as a result.
Windows Azure continues to be the leader in High-Performance Computing Cloud services. Delivering a HPC solution built on top of Windows Server technology and Microsoft HPC Pack, Windows Azure offers the performance and scalability of a world-class supercomputing center to everyone, on demand, in the cloud.
Customers can now run compute-intensive workloads such as parallel Message Passing Interface (MPI) applications with HPC Pack in Windows Azure. By choosing compute intensive instances such as A8 and A9 for the cloud compute resources, customers can deploy these compute resources on demand in Windows Azure in a “burst to the cloud” configuration, and take advantage of InfiniBand interconnect technology with low-latency and high-throughput, including Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) technology for maximum efficiency. The new high performance A8 and A9 compute instances also provide customers with ample memory and the latest CPU technology.
The new Windows Azure services can burst and scale on-demand, deploy Virtual Machines and Cloud Services when users require them. Learn more about Azure new services: http://www.windowsazure.com/en-us/solutions/big-compute/
: Eli Karpilovski manages the Cloud Market Development at Mellanox Technologies. In addition, Mr. Karpilovski serves as the Cloud Advisory Council Chairman. Mr. Karpilovski served as product manager for the HCA Software division at Mellanox Technologies. Mr. Karpilovski holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering from the Holon Institute of Technology and a Master of Business Administration from The Open University of Israel. Follow him on Twitter