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Secure, Always-On, Scalable: Planning and Design Considerations for Fully Virtualized SAP Infrastructure

by Chris Ritter | SAPinsider, Volume 15, Issue 1

January 1, 2014

Read this article to learn about the various components that make up the storage foundation for the Vblock Systems from VCE, which combines technology from Cisco, EMC, and VMware into an integrated computing infrastructure offering. These components help to create a design that will scale based on demand, but leverage the smallest number of software and hardware pieces to maintain the lowest cost of ownership. Features include:

    •  A storage infrastructure with high scalability, performance, availability, and protection

    •  Data replication through a centralized management console

    •  Fully automated storage tiering, allowing users to monitor the temperature of their data and allow the array to move that data to the appropriate storage at the appropriate time, without impacting performance

 

Virtualizing an SAP landscape or environment requires the right technology and strategy. Solution architects must consider the overall objective for the solution based on business requirements and create a flexible, software-defined data center where SAP systems can be managed and monitored. The key is to create a design that will scale based on demand but leverage the smallest number of hardware and software pieces to maintain the lowest overall cost of ownership possible.

Creating that environment means leveraging the best-of-breed technology for each level or function of the technology stack. Through its partnerships with other technology vendors, EMC provides the storage foundation for Vblock Systems from VCE, which combines technology from Cisco, EMC, and VMware into an integrated computing infrastructure offering. Let’s review some of its components.

Storage

A virtualization solution needs a storage infrastructure that offers high scalability, performance, availability, and protection. Because storage demands grow exponentially, organizations need a solution that can easily expand capacity over time. The solution must simplify processes to reduce storage costs and complexity. In the Vblock stack, this capability comes from EMC Symmetrix VMAX, which provides the information scalability and “always-on” availability needed at this level.

Expanding Application Availability

Every business strives to increase the utilization of its information to improve business productivity. The business challenge is to create an environment in which a singular instance of corporate information can be accessed in parallel by multiple business units and retain multiple checkpoints of that data throughout the day without consuming large amounts of disk space.

In the Vblock stack, the array-based EMC TimeFinder software provides local replication and creates two views of business-critical systems. First, it creates snapshots that are logical point-in-time, space-saving views of production information. Second, clones provide full-volume copies identical to the original, which can be written to just like a standard volume.

Data Replication

Data replication is a vital, but often time-consuming aspect to virtualization. Organizations need to put the right data in the right place at the right time — and they need to do that either on demand or automate it based on schedules and policies. EMC Replication Manager manages replication through a centralized management console. It simplifies your replication and puts the right data in the right place at the right time, saving time and money while increasing data protection and options for repurposing.

Tiering

Fully automated storage tiering allows users to monitor the temperature of their data and allow the array to move that data to the appropriate storage at the appropriate time, without impacting performance. This activity is based on policies that associate a storage group to multiple drive technologies via virtually provisioned storage pools, as well as the performance requirements of the application contained within the storage group. EMC Symmetrix VMAX Fully Automated Storage Tiering for Virtual Provisioning automates the identification of data volumes for these purposes and puts the right data on the right storage type at the right time so the balance between performance and cost are always optimized.

End-to-End View

Organizations seek an end-to-end view that provides storage performance monitoring and analysis across the virtual and physical infrastructure. EMC Storage Resource Management Suite provides that end-to-end view with the additional security of threshold alerts that enable proactive problem identification for fast resolution, and uses historical data to identify trends, isolate bottlenecks, and optimize performance.

To learn more, visit https://community.emc.com/community/connect/everything_sap.

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Chris Ritter
Chris Ritter

Principal Systems Engineer
EMC



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