December 28, 2011 in Branch Office
One of the biggest challenges faced in achieving High Availability in Remote Office/Branch Office (ROBO) environments, is managing multiple sites without requiring technically trained staff locally and without having to depend on centrally based/external IT to visit on site to resolve issues
Central Management enables IT administrators to resolve issues from a central location without having to leave the comfort of their desk (To be fair they could do with a little sunshine). So central management means no more IT staff at local sites and no more IT travel expenses, Right??
Well, central management means you can manage the site centrally (Duh!) but without high availability at each site you’re in the same situation, as if the server goes down……you guessed it, pack your bags.
Traditionally to achieve high availability you would implement a physical SAN or a NAS into a 2-3 server infrastructure, that’s great if you have $40,000 spare to spend on each site (And that’s just for the SAN), not exactly an affordable solution. However even if it was affordable, essentially a physical SAN / NAS is a single point of failure, this means that if/when it fails, the benefits of central management are redundant as it would require an IT person on site to resolve the issue.
A Storage Virtual Appliance (SVA) enables the benefits of shared storage (HA, vMotion & DRS) without the associated cost and single point of failure. An SVA mirrors data across multiple servers and presents that mirrored data as the shared datastore required to enable VMware features such as HA etc. Because an SVA is a software based solution if anything did go “wrong” it can be managed centrally and as it mirrors the data across multiple servers you can be confident that any server can fail without business operations coming to a halt.