VMware provides cloud computing and virtualisation software and services. Without technologies such as these, the use and creation of virtual machines and therefore cloud computing, would not be possible.
Virtualisation technology utilises hardware elements of a computer (or server), such as memory or storage, and divides them to create virtual copies of the computer. These are known as virtual machines.
The virtual machines run in the same way as a physical computer, with its own operating system for example. However, despite each virtual machine being independent, they all rely on the underlying hardware to operate.
This can create a more efficient way of working – less hardware is needed to create higher returns. Investment in hardware can be reduced and accessibility to more resources is increased. This is how Secura extend our service offerings from our infrastructure to our customers using virtualisation technologies.
Relying on a physical environment can be inefficient, as users may not necessarily be utilising all of the resources in their entirety. This is understandable, as it may be in preparation for expected growth or demand, or left over from a period of increased use. With a virtualised environment, resource can be more easily tailored to meet demand, and scaled up or down to align with ongoing requirements.
Through the sharing of resources in a virtualised environment, users are no longer required to invest in the physical hardware themselves. This removes the initial investment into hardware and saves the ongoing expenses of technology refreshes and updates. If management and support are delivered from your cloud provider, your internal IT teams can now also be utilised in other ways, increasing business productivity.
The virtualisation of a physical computer’s resources means users no longer have to rely on a single physical machine to run critical applications. Advances in virtualisation technology can allow applications can be split up to run across multiple independent operating systems and hardware hosts, and if they crash, they can be moved and won’t the effect the integrity of the other operating systems.
With a physical environment, should an event occur which takes the whole system down, it can take days, even weeks, for the system to be rebuilt and back online. The workloads and data may be entirely unrecoverable. Virtual resources can be backed up and recovered rapidly elsewhere should any event or failure occur, ensuring online applications and business operations are protected.
Secura is a VMware Enterprise Level Service Provider Partner, and we use a number of VMware technologies to deliver solutions and services to our customers. Let’s explore them in some more detail.
vCloud Director (vCD) deploys, automates and manages the software for virtual resources in multi-tenant cloud environments. This enables cloud providers to extend physical data centres into highly accessible and scalable virtual data centres.
vCloud Director manages all of the products in this list and creates customer environments that are completely separated from one other. Through virtualisation, many individual tenants can operate platforms independently utilising the same physical infrastructure. This is commonly referred to as a ‘software defined data centre’. Essentially, this means that the whole data centre is virtualised. For Secura, this enables us to create as many virtual copies of a component that a customer needs, exclusively for their use.
ESXi is the operating system that sits on the hardware in Secura’s data centre. It allows administrators to abstract the physical hardware into virtual elements. For example, a processor has 4 physical cores. In a physical environment, this can serve one client, the owner and user of the processor. However, in a virtualised one, a processor’s resource can be shared between four clients, one at each core.
vSphere allows for the central management of many ESXi hosts and the respective hardware. This creates the clusters that are used in Secura’s Virtual Private Cloud environment, and provide the inbuilt high availability – for example, if workloads require migrating in the event of hardware failure, this can be done automatically.
NSX handles all of the networking parts of the Virtual Private Cloud infrastructure. This includes, but is not limited to, creating all of the virtual networks. Think of these like virtual network cables, connecting all the virtual machines together. NSX also manages network security of the Virtual Private Cloud, such as the edge gateway firewalls, which create and implement security rules and requirements.
vCloud Availability is a disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) solution. It provides replication, failover and migrations for virtual machines. This is the disaster recovery product that Secura use for our Cloud DR solution, allowing for the replication of VMware workloads in other locations on the internet, directly into our vCloud Director environment
We hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post and learned more about VMware technologies and how Secura utilises these to deliver our solutions. If you have any questions, please don’t hessite to get in touch.
Matthew is Secura’s content specialist, producing gripping, emotionally complex, edge of your seat, cloud hosting articles and videos.
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