November 5, 2019 By John Lindblom 2 min read

With the planned release from the IBM Cloud for VMware team in December 2019, we are announcing the general availability of automated vSAN stretched clusters with NSX-based stretched networking.

As part of the greater IBM Cloud for VMware Mission Critical Workloads offering, customers needing to maintain the highest levels of data and application availability can use the automation to deploy VMware’s vSAN stretched clusters across IBM Cloud’s growing portfolio of Multi-Zone Regions (MZRs).  

This infrastructure provides a higher availability and failover success rate than most VMware clients can achieve with on-premises environments. The offering builds on our award-winning infrastructure by using synchronous data replication of vSAN stretched clusters and the stretching of NSX-based networks for zero data loss in the event of a site-wide outage. Customers can start with a minimal host requirement and scale as demand requires while retaining the flexibility and full control over their secure, single-tenant infrastructure. 

In addition, when coupled with a fully managed engagement with IBM Services teams, customers can enhance their SLAs to as high as 99.99% at the virtual machine level. This is built on the architecture of VMware’s best practice installation of vSAN stretched clusters, stretched NSX-based networking, vRealize management components, and ongoing Day-2 operations, management, and monitoring.

The automated installation options are integrated with the IBM Cloud for VMware vCenter Server offering. With the addition of vSAN stretched clusters, customers can leverage the flexibility of hardware options to configure a highly available environment specific to their VMware workload needs. Additional efficiencies, such as no-cost data transfer between IBM Cloud availability zones, also bring a key differentiation for customers replicating large volumes of data. 

Automation of installation

With the planned announcement of automated deployment coming in December 2019, the offering consists of automating the installation of the following components:

  • VMware-certified IBM Cloud bare metal systems within MZR zones
  • vSphere infrastructure, including the following:
    • Base ESXi hypervisor and configuration
    • Configuration of storage subsystems (VMware vSAN stretched clusters and NFS-based attached storage) within an MZR
    • NSX-V-based networking, including stretched networks for workload/resource clusters
    • Dedicated workload/resources clusters, dedicated management clusters, and a witness cluster for quorum
    • High availability (HA) configuration of components, including stretched cluster HA and vCenter HA

The IBM Cloud for VMware Mission Critical Workloads architecture provides an end-to-end infrastructure with automated failover for customer workloads. It can be deployed and managed by the customer for maximum control. 

Alternatively, when deployed through an IBM-managed service engagement, a broad set of complete management and monitoring functions are included, as noted below:

  • Compute architecture (VMware vSphere)
  • Network architecture (currently NSX-V)
  • Storage architecture (VMware vSAN)
  • Tools for monitoring, troubleshooting, performance, and capacity management:
    • vRealize Suite pattern (Operations, Log Insight and Network Insight)
    • Active Directory pattern
    • Resiliency patterns (backup and recovery)

Availability and more information

IBM Cloud for VMware Mission Critical Workloads is available in the following IBM Cloud MZR regions:

  • America: Dallas and Washington, DC
  • Europe: Frankfurt and London
  • Asia-Pacific: Sydney and Tokyo

Additional MZRs in Canada and South America are also planned in 2020.

Visit the IBM Cloud for VMware Mission Critical Workloads offering, contact your local IBM representative, or reach out directly to me at john.lindblom@ibm.com.

Statements regarding IBM’s future direction and intent are subject to change or withdrawal without notice and represent goals and objectives only.

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