, a leading provider of storage virtualization, business continuity and disaster recovery software solutions, today announced that its storage virtualization technology is powering the storage aspect of an all-virtual private data center (vPDC) platform developed by Host.net
. Host.net delivers private cloud computing services for companies ranging from SMEs to large enterprises, utilizing a true software-based approach for the greatest flexibility.
The Host.net platform also includes VMware server virtualization and Cisco Nexus virtual network technologies, plus unique architecture and transport capabilities such as ultra redundant compute and enterprise storage platforms deployed at multiple Host.net data centers, dedicated SANs for each compute cluster to eliminate disk overload, and connectivity within Host.net's own multi-site network. The vPDC's are geographically distributed across Host.net's Cisco Powered 10G multinational backbone.
"We chose VMware, DataCore and Cisco in the core design of our vPDC platform because each vendor delivers the very best virtualization component in their respective areas of competence," said Jeffrey Slapp, VP of Virtualization Services for Host.net. "In three months' time, dozens of companies have signed on as new customers because of the competitive advantages we have achieved with this combination of technologies and architecture."
Cloud Agility through Hardware Independence
"It seems to me that any cloud computing platform needs to, at its very core, be based on portable software," stated George Teixeira, President and CEO, DataCore Software. "Many clouds are being built from a hardware vendor-specific mindset. What is wrong with this picture? Well, the whole point of cloud computing is delivering cost-effective services to users - and that demands the highest degree of flexibility and openness, versus being boxed in to specific hardware platforms that may not adapt to changes over time. Aren't clouds, after all, supposed to be soft and agile?"
Because the Host.net vPDC platform is comprised of software-based technologies, the company's offering is not tied to any specific hardware. This avoids the problems associated with building clouds with a hardware provider sandwiched between virtual servers and virtual networks, enabling flexibility far beyond any cloud offering dependent on hardware vendors like IBM, EMC and NetApp. It also essentially eliminates any capital expenditure outlays from the customer.
"With or without a recession, companies are looking for cost-effective infrastructure solutions. A software-based cloud architecture helps answer that need," said Lenny Chesal, Executive Vice President of Host.net. "This makes it a direct, positive impact on the customer's bottom line as well as overall efficiency, enabling companies to do more with less."
Storage in the Cloud & Beyond
Another key benefit relates to redundancy. Until now, it has been extremely difficult for companies to embrace a rock-solid, mirrored solution due to the costs involved with proprietary SAN solutions.
With Host.net's vPDC platform powered by DataCore SAN virtualization software, Host.net's client companies can have a full-blown, multi-path SAN available to them on demand. That includes the key benefit of a virtual disaster recovery component that eliminates the need for Host.net clients to incur massive upfront SAN-related capital expenditures that can run $100,000 or $200,000. It also feeds the corporate appetite for storage, both inside and outside the cloud.
"Interestingly, we are finding that the demand for storage far outpaces the demand for individual virtual systems. With DataCore technology, we can deliver a highly flexible storage solution both to the customers inside our cloud who are using virtual servers, and to the clients who are still utilizing physical servers in our data centers," Slapp said. "Clients don't have to make large capital investments to implement SAN solutions. We can carve out the storage for them very rapidly."
A Cloud Built on Software
With Host.net's vPDC platform, private clouds are built upon virtual servers from VMware, virtual storage from DataCore and virtual networks from Cisco. The platform includes:
- VMware vSphere - As the de facto standard for compute virtualization as well as the market leader in the enterprise virtualization space, VMware gives Host.net the ability to dynamically grow compute, storage and network resources on the fly. It also offers powerful features and tools ranging from workload high availability and live migration to dynamic resource allocation.
- Cisco Nexus platform - This converged networking and storage core equips Host.net with the latest networking capabilities in a highly dense and very powerful server architecture, along with valuable features such as policy-based virtual machine connectivity, mobile VM security and network policies, and a non-disruptive operational model.
- DataCore storage virtualization - DataCore technology frees Host.net's cloud computing platform of hardware dependency, provides critical synchronous mirroring for all storage resources in the cloud, and eliminates risky and time-consuming SAN hardware refreshes by enabling storage to be added and migrated on the fly transparently with no downtime.
"The benefits offered by our virtual private data center are not just available to the cloud client or to the colocation client," Chesal noted. "Clients can be offsite in another data center, anywhere in the world. All they need is the right connection."