Stretched clustering is one of the challenging topics I get when meeting with customers. Many customers think that stretched clustering is the ultimate disaster recovery solution and that it makes SRM obsolete. This is due to the fact that people think that HA will solve all their problems when it comes down to DR and that they still have the advantage of vMotion to have workload mobility between two data centers.
This however isn’t always true and there are some catches to the implementation of stretched clusters. In some cases, depending on the customers requirements, it even is better to have an SRM implementation to fulfill the requirements.
The table below give a graphical representation of which solution best suits which requirement.
So in the end its up to the customer to decide which solution best suits its requirement. To help make this decision VMware Tech Marketing created a whitepaper to help make the right choice. A must read for everybody involved with disaster recovery and availability within a vSphere infrastructure.
VMware is releasing a nice application as addition to the vCloud solution stack. vFabric Application Director (a.k.a. App Director) is one of the latest additions and is a really nice tool to use within your private and public cloud.
App Director presents the user with a portal that can be used to build custom application stacks through a drag-and-drop web interface. The user himself can select the virtual machines OS, the middleware and the applications that are needed. All can be selected from a pre-populated catalog which has been created by the App Director administrators. This way a self-service portal is created for application owners. They can log in to the portal and create their own application stack at any given time.
At the backend App Director integrated with VMware’s vCloud solution. Creating vApps on the fly on the users request and giving him / her the ability to deploy the application on any vCloud enabled platform. This can be your private, public or hybrid cloud.
In short vFabric Application Director has three core values :
1. Application Portability; Deploy whatever you created anywhere, anytime
2. Improved Operational Efficiency; Through self-service applications can now be deployed on-the-fly
3. Simplified and Standardized Deployments; By using a standard catalog every deployment as easy as going to a webshop and selecting standardized products
In my opinion App Director is a nice addition to the VMware vCloud stack and really makes self-service a What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get experience!
For more info see this YouTube video explaining vFabric Application Director.