Anyone who has been tracking the latest release of VMware vSphere® may have noticed that there is a newly re-engineered set of fault-tolerant capabilities. From our perspective here at Stratus, we see this as good news for the market in general. As more and more of the “easy” workloads have been virtualized, two things have happened:
- Enterprises have become very confident in virtualization technology and believe it can support even the most business critical workloads
- Virtualization is now the de-facto IT “platform” by adoption, so at some point emphasis needs to be placed on the remaining non-virtualized workloads which are more often than not the more business critical ones.
This is a set of beliefs we at Stratus have been extolling for years and we have thousands and thousands of business critical workloads supported today. As we’ve been engaging with our customers and partners over the years, we have established that there are a few characteristics that need to be understood when you plan to deploy fault-tolerant technology. If you are considering any of the fault-tolerant solutions out there – including ours – you need to ask these questions:
- What is the overall performance required?
To be honest the only way to achieve bare metal type performance with fault tolerance is with a hardware based solution like our ftServer® systems – which coincidentally provide high performance fault tolerance with VMware out of the box. That’s right, using our ftServer with VMware there is no performance penalty unlike VMware FT. Now this overhead is not limited to VMware – it will be the same for any software-based fault tolerance solution, including our own everRun® Enterprise. However, in our own internal testing we have found that everRun’s performance is often twice that of VMware FT.
- Where is the solution going to be deployed?
One of the areas where Stratus excels is in field-based or edge deployments. When you consider deploying technology outside a data center (and potentially in multiple sites) there are a number of new requirements to be considered – serviceability, simplicity of deployment and administration and long support lifecycles. So, if you’re looking at a business critical application outside the data center, you’ll want to consider different options than you would in the datacenter.
- Where do you need more flexibility and choice?
This one is less about fault tolerance and more about vendor selection. Our ftServer technology is multi-hypervisor meaning you can get FT capabilities leveraging other hypervisors such as Hyper-V. Maybe you are committed to open source technology but want to stick with a preferred hardware vendor – that’s where our KVM based everRun software excels.
So, to sum up, we’d like to thank VMware for raising the visibility and profile of virtualized business critical workloads. For everyone else, understand that there are many options out there including two very solid and widely adopted solutions from Stratus.