Introduced earlier this week at its VMworld conference in San Francisco, EVO:SDDC is a hyperconverged infrastructure design for the software-defined data center (SDDC), combining compute, storage, and networking control onto one layer of software. VMware says that EVO SDDC (introduced last year as EVO:RACK) will allow enterprises and service providers to more quickly deploy a software-defined data center at scale.
Indranil Sengupta, senior director of cloud services development with NTT America, says EVO:SDDC “is big for us because we’re trying to promote a cloud-based disaster recovery (DR) system.”
Sengupta says a big problem with DR-redundant data centers is that the customer pays almost the same price for the secondary site as for the primary data center. But a cloud-based DR could reduce costs dramatically.
DR is Too Expensive
NTT America conducted a DR survey of its customers and found that more than half of enterprises don’t even test their DR systems annually because of the expense. “Testing is a huge project,” says Sengupta. “It could take three weeks to three months, but if you don’t test, you really don’t know if it’s working or not.”
A cloud-based DR data center would allow for testing of a select sample of users, making sure the system works, but in a more cost effective way.
NTT’s Backup/Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) provides server replication with automatic failover and failback. In the case of a server failure, automatic failover redirects data and users to the NTT America cloud-hosted replica servers. After running from the replica server, a failback process — transparent to end users — redirects to the primary servers and synchronizes the changed data.
NTT Likes Both VMware and OpenStack
Although NTT America uses VMware, it also works with OpenStack. Sengupta doesn’t see a problem in doing both.
“Most enterprises are still using VMware,” he says. However, “they’re trying OpenStack with some of their non-core applications.” He points out that VMware itself is using OpenStack for some applications.
Others claim OpenStack usage is getting more serious. Mirantis CEO Adrian Ionel said at the OpenStack Silicon Valley conference last week that increasingly, OpenStack is brought in for “onboarding a first software initiative or a particular business unit,” and he sees “fewer and fewer people doing just experiments.”
Sengupta compares the open-versus-proprietary tension to the evolution of Linux. “At first it was all free,” he says. “Then companies came out with their own version of Linux, and that’s when it really took off. You don’t pay for the software; you pay for the support. We have certain customers who say we want to do everything in OpenStack. Others say, ‘Our entire environment is VMware, and we’ll pay the fees.’
“Definitely OpenStack is here to stay. The trick is whether companies will adopt in-house or use providers.”