Fujitsu Optimized Server Solution for VMware EVO: RAIL

    Modern business in large numbers generates new and new tasks, and IT, in turn, must provide their solution, and with maximum speed and minimum cost. Business introduces new services to the market, and the faster it does, the more likely it is to gain a strong position with the prospect of further growth. IT is required to provide and deploy the appropriate applications that support these services. This time we will talk about one of the latest IT solutions for small and medium businesses - the Fujitsu Integrated System Appliance for VMware EVO: RAIL hyper-converged infrastructure.

    The most optimal way to solve such problems is virtualization. Deploying the application on a virtual server is much faster and cheaper than on a physical one. Moreover, the price benefit concerns both the installation and, most importantly, the subsequent operation. According to Gartner analysts, by 2016, 71% of infrastructures will be fully virtualized. However, network complexity is increasing. Many companies use both physical and virtual servers, while virtual ones, in turn, use several hypervisors from different manufacturers.

    An integrated infrastructure can help overcome these difficulties, where there are no boundaries between physical and virtual servers, storage and other components, since all this complex "farm" is managed from a single console. This greatly facilitates the work of management and administration. A vivid example of such an integrated solution can be called a smartphone or tablet, with which you can solve a wide range of tasks - calls, surfing the Internet, listening to music, watching videos, reading books, taking pictures, working with office documents and much more. However, such a device is controlled from a single menu and a single interface.

    Integrated tools are also needed to manage virtual environments, which are becoming increasingly difficult from year to year. One of these is the Fujitsu Integrated System Appliance for VMware EVO: RAIL. This decision was announced at the end of the summer of this year, and officially introduced to Russian users in early November. The system is built on an integrated principle. This means that configuration, management, deployment, updating - all this is concentrated in a single console. Physically, EVO: RAIL is a 2-unit Fujitsu Primergy CX400 server with four computing modules, each of which is equipped with two processors, RAM, capacious SSD and SAS drives, as well as a 10-Gigabit Ethernet interface. The solution includes all the necessary licenses for VMware products.

    This is a basic solution, the foundation of the entire infrastructure. And it also contains everything necessary. If we are talking about a small infrastructure, one such “brick” will be quite enough for the customer, if the infrastructure is growing and the solution needs to be scaled, you just need to purchase additional “boxes” and not think about which drives you still need to purchase, if there are enough licenses, etc. .d. At the same time, the process of adding a new module does not cause any difficulties, since the system automatically recognizes new resources using IPv6 auto-discovery, connects to them and creates new virtual machines. In the first version of EVO: RAIL, 16 servers can be included in one cluster, which is quite a lot even for medium-sized companies.

    As for the software component of EVO: RAIL, it is built solely on VMware products. At the core are three basic components. The first is vSphere 5.5 U1, a well-known and popular virtualization solution on the market. It allows you to virtualize almost any application and any tasks that arise at the customer. For business, vSphere is useful primarily because it allows you to reduce capital and operating costs, while maintaining a high level of service quality.

    The second component of the solution is VMware Virtual SAN. It allows building fault-tolerant storage based on local hard drives and SSDs that can withstand both single and multiple failures. Virtual SAN provides the ability to abstract available storage resources from physical hardware, supports policy-based storage configuration and management, and infrastructure scalability with SSD caching. Along with classic storage systems, VSAN Datastore is also supported - a new solution from VMware that allows all input and output from virtual machines to be written directly to the SSD, and then transferred to the HDD. The creation of such a solution was made possible due to a significant reduction in the cost of SSDs.

    The third component of the EVO: RAIL solution, which, as it were, “sticks together” the rest, is called the EVO: RAIL Engine. This engine is written from scratch in HTML5, without the use of Flash and other languages. It simplifies system deployment and administration. Almost any modern platform and any modern web browser are suitable for the engine to work.

    The EVO: RAIL deployment process is quite simple, and you do not need to involve highly qualified specialists to implement it. First of all, you need to fill out a simple menu of basic settings, which will then be checked for correctness in automatic mode. After that, within a few minutes, also in automatic mode, the solution will be deployed. We are talking about deploying hypervisors and a control center for them, setting up a hardware cluster (balancing, fault tolerance, etc.). Then virtual machines are created, which is also not fraught with any difficulties. If necessary, you can connect using the web client and fine-tune the virtual machines.

    What might be the solution EVO: RAIL? First of all, by the fact that it allows those departments and those employees who do not have special knowledge in the field of working with it to work with virtual infrastructure. Secondly, it simplifies the process of managing and monitoring equipment as much as possible, since it displays the load, memory status and other parameters for each server, block, or the entire cluster, and also warns of failures and errors that occur. In addition, integration with VMware vCenter Log Insight, a log collection server, has been implemented. The upgrade process for the EVO: RAIL solution is zero downtime. All downloaded updates from VMware are already pre-tested for compatibility with the hardware.

    As for the scenarios of using EVO: RAIL, here we can note the quick commissioning of IT infrastructure. No need to check every component. If one node works, then all the others will work. And all the work of connecting is reduced to unpacking the box, installing it in a rack, plugging it into an outlet, and connecting to a 10-gigabit network switch. Another scenario is equipping a company’s virtual IT infrastructure with business units specific to virtual machines, but does not imply deep knowledge in the field of virtualization. Thus, the flow of requests from these units to the technical support service is reduced. Finally, the third scenario for the use of EVO: RAIL concerns those customers who decided to abandon the “zoo” in IT and switch to mono-vendor solutions. In this case, they need common standards for the equipment used. Ideally, such a standard could be EVO: RAIL, which makes it easy to increase computing power in the amount in which they are needed.

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