CloudEndure Briefing Note
Mobility is a key capability that data centers are looking for as they modernize IT operations. It is the ability to move any application or group of applications from anywhere to anywhere. But workload mobility is more than simply copying a virtual machine’s data files from point A to point B. It requires preparation so that workload experiences minimal disruption and it may require transformation so that workload will run no matter what hypervisor the destination cloud is using.
While the most common business case is a “one way migration” to the cloud, workload mobility also allows IT administrators to respond to unexpected surges in workload demand or they may want to leverage the cloud as a disaster recovery target. In these cases IT will likely want to instantly move a workload from an on-premises private cloud to a public cloud to overcome an unexpected surge in compute demand. Conversely if I/O performance or security becomes a concern they may want to pull a workload from a public provider and run the workload in house on their all-flash array.
Workload Mobility Challenges
Workload mobility requires two key components. First is the secondary location. It has to prepare by having that location either in the public cloud, private cloud or even an alternate data center that the organization owns. Preparation is the seeding of data so that when the moment comes to move the workload, the bulk of the data set is already in place which requires the sending of only an update. Preparation reduces the time for the workload to move.
Workload mobility is largely dependent on virtualization. A virtualized workload is encapsulated and is much easier to move. But not all data centers and cloud providers run the same hypervisor, so a second key component to mobility is transformation. Transformation converts the virtual machine so that it is able to execute in a variety of hypervisors.
Cloud Endure – Live Workload Mobility
CloudEndure installs as an agent on either a physical or virtual machine and provides continuous replication to the target. The agent detects write operation in memory before storing to media, it replicates these blocks asynchronously to the target.
Most snapshot-based replication technologies require an interface with the operating system or application in order to get a clean copy of data but because the CloudEndure solution captures write in memory application interfaces are not as critical. During its replication process there will be multiple points where all the data is in sync. For organizations that need to ensure data consistency at specific moments in time CloudEndure will add interfaces with services like Windows Volume Shadow Services by the end of the year.
More Than Replication
In addition to the replication capabilities of the solution CloudEndure also provides virtual machine conversion from the various hypervisors it supports. CloudEndure claims that conversion takes less than 30 seconds. The combination of continuous replication and 30 second conversion should allow organizations to meet very strict RPO/RTOs. The solution also provides orchestration to automate the conversion and startup of the alternate copy of the workload. Finally the solution manages the failback process providing a quick sync with data already at the original site.
Solutions like CloudEndure can be the cornerstone of an IT modernization process. But unlike other solutions that require new applications, CloudEndure supports current applications. IT can use it for disaster recovery, disaster recovery as a service, cloud bursting and even cloud to cloud protection. While agent-based, it does enable the adherence to stricter RPO/RTOs thanks to it continuous replication capabilities. Organizations looking to leverage the cloud should find CloudEndure a versatile solution well worth consideration.