Five example customers using NSX to enable application continuity for their business
No one looks forward to data center outages. Not the business leaders who fear revenue loss from applications being down, nor the heroic IT admin whose pager is going off at 3:00 AM. Therefore many critical data centers have a sister location and some form of a disaster recovery plan, should something go awry. At the same time, infrastructure teams are under pressure to be more agile and more responsive to the business, across the board, while still lowering costs and making the most out of what they already have. So what exactly happens in the case of a disaster?
The Ponemon Institute reports the average cost of a data center outage to be $740,357, but with massive variance – some known examples going up to $150 million. As businesses move to accelerate to keep up with changes in their industry, each minute lost to downtime can have an impact not only on company resources but also on brand reputation. This is why enabling business continuity or application continuity in a manner that doesn’t require new infrastructure is vital. VMware NSX can offer companies a competitive edge through networking and security virtualization when facing internal or external threats, such as natural disasters or security breaches.
Example Logical Multi-Site Topology
1. Disaster Recovery
Due to outage infrequency, businesses are often unprepared for downtime, overlooking the amount of manual effort that will eventually be required in the event of the outage. Although solutions for data center storage and workload recovery exist, turning on backup sites often requires manual moving of workloads, manual syncing of networking and security hardware configuration, or in some cases, manual reconfiguration of network IP addresses on a per application basis. This can add hours, if not days. VMware NSX opens up the static nature of networking, providing a network virtualization and security platform that enables workload mobility by defining network services in software, opening the door for a more flexible business.
For companies like AeroData, which launches approximately 21,000 flights per day worldwide, extensive time lost to outages isn’t an option. When the AeroData team couldn’t achieve its desired architecture with a hardware-based approach, it leveraged NSX’s network site mobility to provide a platform that seamlessly integrates on-premises resources and reduces the manual efforts normally required. As Terry McDonough, President and CEO of AeroData said, “With the help of VMware, we have transformed our environment and have moved from being ‘hardware dependent’ to ‘software managed’ while dramatically improving the availability of our applications by eliminating single points of failure.” This exhibits how alleviating unnecessary manual processes can prevent outages from negatively impacting system operations.
2. Multi Data Center Pooling: Multiple sites, one pool of resources
While network extension across sites can smoothen disaster recovery plans (active/passive), the same foundation can also allow for multi data center pooling. Mobility across sites helps businesses gain flexibility when establishing consolidation activities, application level redundancy and disaster recovery. Through increased mobility, companies can utilize existing infrastructure resources in various sites for a single operation. This has come up after a merger or acquisition and a company finds itself with more data center locations they’d like to consolidate without downtime, or even something as simple as wanting to take hardware out of service to perform an upgrade. The network no longer has to prevent hosting from another building from being a feasible option.
When Kuwait Natural Petroleum Corporation (KNPC) was looking to increase mobility in order to accelerate service delivery, improve IT efficiency and deliver a better customer experience, it selected VMware NSX to ensure cloud transformation enabled its IT operations to parallel its business growth speed. With VMware NSX allowing KNPC to migrate VMs or entire data centers from one location to another with minimal or no application downtime, KNPC was able to successfully leverage its resources from various physical data centers to operate as a single logical cloud.
Baystate Heath (Health Care)
Other industries have benefited from this centralized model as well. In the healthcare sector, Baystate Health utilized VMware NSX to ensure optimal application performance for doctors and staff while containing costs and matching increasing healthcare demands. CIO Joel Vengo stated “there’s no difference between data centers in different physical locations—it’s as if they’re in a single rack,” which drives home how VMware NSX helps companies effectively streamline and leverage IT resources.
3. Cross-Cloud: A new industry approach to cloud
In today’s IT industry, the public cloud’s flexibility and elasticity has already altered business workflow and market innovation, but a challenge customers face is cloud capabilities being considered as completely separate entities. These siloed and disparate projects can prevent organizations from fully utilizing private and public clouds for applications, as networking and security solution barriers can obstruct this collaboration. Additionally, with the market becoming increasingly competitive, companies are now searching for ways to institutionalize the public cloud through services like VMware NSX.
Using NSX as part of VMware Cloud Foundation, Marriott extended their data center security and IT model into the public cloud, giving them a consistent way to manage services in both private and public environments, and enabling a consistent experience for their users. Alan Rosa, Senior Vice President for Marriott International can be seen discussing their strategy here, and more details can be found here.
Plains Capital Bank (Finance)
Plains Capital Bank is already leveraging the NSX integration with Site Recovery Manager (SRM) to streamline and automate their disaster recovery processes, but moving forward, they’re looking at how NSX can be used to make their journey to the cloud. “The cross-cloud initiative fits in with what we’ve been looking to do,” explained David Stanaway, VP & Sr. Systems Administrator at Plains Capital Bank, in this video:
Plains Capital Bank
If you’re interested in learning how NSX can help prevent your next disaster, or provide consistent networking and security across your environment, here are some resources to get you started:
- Solution brief providing an overview on how the platform empowers organizations to increase business application continuity
- Disaster recovery overview and demo
- Ongoing blog series on Cross vCenter NSX by Humair Ahmed
- Walkthrough detailing the latest Cross vCenter NSX security enhancements
- NSX-V Multi-site options and cross-VC NSX Design Guide, which outlines several NSX solutions available for multi-site data center connectivity
- Our Hands-On Labs, which give you hands-on experience with the platform, without requiring your own setup