Servers and Storage in the Middle of Nowhere? No Problem
January 30, 2014
Hello, Glenn Bontje here – Long View’s HP business development representative for the HP Enterprise Product Suite. I’ll be appearing on this blog when there’s something in the combined Long View and HP toolkit that provides a particularly unique, useful or powerful solution to a real-world customer problem.
This time I want to focus on an issue we see fairly frequently – the need to provide effective server and storage resources in a remote site with no on-site IT support. Many solutions have been used to address this area, including running all resources remotely with WAN optimization, having support employees driving to remote sites, and simply having a local on-site person remember to plug a tape into the backup drive before leaving at night, and hoping for the best. Often, remote compute and data requirements are large enough that the only solution is to provide remote management of onsite employees and in this situation simplicity can be important in ensuring effective operations; having your server and VM managers, your SAN and backup managers all trying to operate remotely can be a complex and frustrating exercise. Furthermore, the cost of servers, filers and dedupe/backup devices can be prohibitive if your challenge spans multiple sites.
There are a couple of tools in the HP portfolio that can address these issues, by providing a small, powerful chassis for up to four virtualized servers, and adding shared storage and backup capabilities via virtual appliances running as VMs on one or more servers. This means that your remote management specialist can control the server, application, virtualization and storage resources all from a single console, and that network traffic is minimized while still providing datacenter-grade support and local performance.
The bundle starts with hardware, the SL2500, a four nodes server in just 2u of rack space with up to 24 small form factor drives. We add to this platform the unique HP StoreVirtual SAN appliance software. The VSA provides a fully featured iSCSI SAN environment running as a virtual machine. By running on multiple VMs on multiple servers, it allows for high-availability network RAID, ensuring that storage is available through the loss of an individual VSA host, and that all those drives mentioned above are available to all VMs on all nodes. Finally, the StoreOnce VSA provides a similar, virtual implementation of full featured data deduplication. Now, without needing a dedicated de-dupe appliance the StoreOnce VSA can operate in a VM, backing up data with dramatic reduction in capacity requirements and full remote backup functionality.
All of these tools are applicable to a broader range of use cases than is discussed here, but this combination of remote performance and capability with centralized management is attractive to a number of environments where Long View’s customers operate. For a cost significantly lower than separate server, SAN / NAS and dedupe devices, the Remote Site appliance from HP and Long View provides a unique, compact and powerful approach to managing remote sites effectively. It forms one part of the arsenal of solutions Long View brings to our customers, many of which operate in well sites, field camps or mobile environments.
For information on Long View’s Virtualization Practice: http://www.longviewsystems.com/?page_id=1133
For more on the SL2500: http://www8.hp.com/h20195/v2/GetDocument.aspx?docname=4AA4-8164ENW
For more information on this configuration or on any other aspects of the HP/Long View partnership contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.