PowerFlex and CloudStack, an Amazing IaaS match!
Have you heard about Apache CloudStack? Did you know it runs amazingly on Dell PowerFlex? And what does it all have to do with infrastructure as a service (IaaS)? Interested in learning more? If so, then you should probably keep reading!
The PowerFlex team and ShapeBlue have been collaborating to bring ease and simplicity to CloudStack on PowerFlex. They have been doing this for quite a while. As new versions are released, the teams work together to ensure it continues to be amazing for customers. The deep integration with PowerFlex makes it an ideal choice for organizations building CloudStack environments.
Both Dell and ShapeBlue are gearing up for the CloudStack Collaboration Conference (CCC) in Paris on November 23 and 24th. The CloudStack Collaboration Conference is the biggest get-together for the Apache CloudStack Community, bringing vendors, users, and developers to one place to discuss the future of open-source technologies, the benefits of CloudStack, new integrations, and capabilities.
CloudStack is open-source software designed to deploy and manage large networks of virtual machines as a highly available, highly scalable Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud computing platform. CloudStack is used by hundreds of service providers around the world to offer public cloud services and by many companies to provide an on-premises (private) cloud offering or as part of a hybrid cloud solution.
Users can manage their cloud with an easy to use Web interface, command line tools, and/or a full-featured RESTful API. In addition, CloudStack provides an API that is compatible with AWS EC2 and S3 for organizations that want to deploy hybrid clouds.
CloudStack can leverage the extensive PowerFlex REST APIs to enhance functionality. This facilitates streamlined provisioning, effective data management, robust snapshot management, comprehensive data protection, and seamless scalability, making the combination of PowerFlex storage and CloudStack a robust choice for modern IaaS environments.
You can see this in the following diagram. CloudStack and PowerFlex communicate with each other using APIs to coordinate operations for VMs. This makes it easier to administer larger environments, enabling organizations to have a true IaaS environment.
Figure 1. Cloud Stack on PowerFlex Architecture
Let's talk about IaaS for a moment. It is a fantastic concept that can be compared with ordering off a menu at a restaurant. The restaurant has unrelated dishes on the menu until you start looking at their components. For example, you can get three different base sauces (red, pink, and white) with just a red sauce and a white sauce. With a small variety of pasta and proteins, the options are excellent. This is the same for IaaS. Have a few base options, sprinkle on some API know-how, and you get a fantastic menu to satisfy workload needs without having a detailed knowledge of the infrastructure.
That makes it easier for the IT organization to become more efficient and shift the focus toward aspirational initiatives. This is especially true when CloudStack and PowerFlex work together. The hungry IT consumers can get what they want with less IT interaction.
Other significant benefits that come from integrating CloudStack with PowerFlex include the following:
- Seamless Data Management: Efficient provision, backup, and data management across infrastructure, ensuring data integrity and accessibility.
- Enhanced Performance: Provides low-latency access to data, optimizing I/O, and reducing bottlenecks. This, in turn, leads to improved application and workload performance.
- Reliability and Data Availability: Benefit from advanced redundancy and failover mechanisms and data replication, reducing the risk of data loss and ensuring continuous service availability.
- Scalability: Scalable storage solutions allow organizations to expand their storage resources in tandem with their growing needs. This flexibility ensures that they can adapt to changing workloads and resource requirements.
- Simplified Management: Ability to use a single interface to handle provisioning, monitoring, troubleshooting, and streamlining administrative tasks.
- Enhanced Data Protection: Data protection features, such as snapshots, backups, and disaster recovery solutions. This ensures that an organization's data remains secure and can be quickly restored in case of unexpected incidents.
These are tremendous benefits for organizations, especially the data protection aspects. It is often said that it is no longer a question of if an organization will be impacted by an incident. It is a question of when they will be impacted. The IaaS capabilities of CloudStack and PowerFlex play a crucial role in protecting an organization's data. That protection can be automated as part of the IaaS design. That way, when a VM or VMs are requested, they can be assigned to a data protection policy as part of the creation process.
Simply put, that means that VM can be protected from the moment of creation. No more having to remember to add a VM to a backup, and no more "oh no" when someone realizes they forgot. That is amazing!
If you are at the CloudStack Collaboration Conference and are interested in discovering more, talk with Shashi and Florian. They will also present how CloudStack and PowerFlex create an outstanding IaaS solution.
Register for the CloudStack Collaboration Conference here to join virtually if you are unable to attend in person.
If you want to learn more about how PowerFlex and CloudStack can benefit your organization, reach out to your Dell representative for more details on this amazing solution.
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KubeCon NA23, Google Cloud Anthos on Dell PowerFlex and More
Sun, 05 Nov 2023 23:26:43 -0000|
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KubeCon will be here before you know it. There are so many exciting things to see and do. While you are making your plans, be sure to add a few things that will make things easier for you at the conference and afterwards.
Before we get into those things, did you know that the Google Cloud team and the Dell PowerFlex team have been collaborating? Recently Dell and Google Cloud published a reference architecture: Google Cloud Anthos and GDC Virtual on Dell PowerFlex. This illustrates how both teams are working together to enable consistency between cloud and on premises environments like PowerFlex. You will see this collaboration at KubeCon this year.
On Tuesday at KubeCon, after breakfast and the keynote, you should make your way to the Solutions Showcase in Hall F on Level 3 of the West building. Once there, make your way over to the Google Cloud booth and visit with the team! They want your questions about PowerFlex and are eager to share with you how Google Distributed Cloud (GDC) Virtual with PowerFlex provides a powerful on-premises container solution.
Also, be sure to catch the lightning sessions in the Google Cloud booth. You’ll get to hear from Dell PowerFlex engineer, Praphul Krottapalli. He will be digging into leveraging GDC Virtual on PowerFlex. That’s not the big thing though, he’ll also be looking at running a Postgres database distributed across on-premises PowerFlex nodes using GDC Virtual. Beyond that, they will look at how to protect these containerized database workloads. They’ll show you how to use Dell PowerProtect Data Manager to create application consistent backups of a containerized Postgres database instance.
We all know backups are only good if you can restore them. So, Praphul will show you how to recover the Postgres database and have it running again in no time.
Application consistency is an important thing to keep in mind with backups. Would you rather have a database backup where someone had just pulled the plug on the database (crash consistent) or would you like the backup to be as though someone had gracefully shut down the system (application consistent)? For all kinds of reasons (time, cost, sanity), the latter is highly preferable!
We talk about this more in a blog that covers the demo environment we used for KubeCon.
This highlights Dell and Google’s joint commitment to modern apps by ensuring that they can be run everywhere and that organizations can easily develop and deploy modern workloads.
If you are at KubeCon and would like to learn more about how containers work on Dell solutions, be sure to stop by both the Dell and Google Cloud booths. If it’s after KubeCon, be sure to reach out to your Dell representative for more details.
Author: Tony Foster
Dell PowerFlex at VMware Explore in Barcelona – Nothing Controversial
Thu, 19 Oct 2023 22:38:22 -0000|
Read Time: 0 minutes
For those who aren’t aware, there are some big changes happening at VMware. If you watched the VMware Explore Las Vegas keynote, it was a whirlwind of changes and important information. CEOs of several major companies took the stage and spoke about the direction VMware is going, attendees hanging on their every word and wondering what the changes meant as well as how it would impact their operations.
For many, the impact is still unclear. This could radically change data centers and how organizations do work, leaving many in IT and business asking questions about what’s next and where things are headed.
We can all expect to find out more at VMware Explore Barcelona coming up 6 to 9 November, which will bring more clarity in direction and illuminate what it will mean for organizations large and small.
At VMware Explore in Las Vegas this year, the message was clear. VMware is embracing AI workloads. NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang and VMware CEO Raghu Raghuram spoke to this during the general session keynote. Jensen stated, “we’re reinventing enterprise computing after a quarter of a century in order to transition to the future.”
The entire IT industry is moving in the direction of AI. Dell PowerFlex is already there. We’ve been on this journey for quite some time. If you were lucky enough to have stopped at the Kioxia stand during the Las Vegas show, you saw how we are working with both NVIDIA and Kioxia to deliver powerful AI systems for customers to make that transition to the future.
If you couldn’t make it to Las Vegas for VMware Explore but plan to attend VMware Explore in Barcelona, you’re in luck. PowerFlex will be showcasing the amazing performance of Kioxia storage and NVIDIA GPUs again. You can see a live demo at the Kioxia stand, #225 in the Solutions Exchange.
When you visit the Kioxia stand, you will be able to experience the power of running ResNet 50 image classification and Online Transactional Processing (OLTP) workloads simultaneously, live from the show floor. And if that’s not enough, there are experts and lots of them! If you get a chance, talk with Shashi about all the things PowerFlex unlocks for your organization.
PowerFlex supports NVIDIA GPUs with MIG technology, which is part of NVIDIA AI Enterprise. NVIDIA MIG allows you to tailor GPU resources for the workloads that need them (Yes, there is nothing that says you can’t run different workloads on the same hosts). Plus, PowerFlex uses Kioxia PM7 series SSDs, so there are plenty of IOPS to go around while ensuring sub-millisecond latency for both workloads. This allows the data to be closer to the processing, even on the same host.
In our lab tests, we were able to push one million transactions per minute (TPM) with OLTP workloads while also processing 6620 images per second using a RESNET50 model built on NVIDIA NGC containers. These are important if you want to keep users happy, especially as more and more organizations want to add AI/ML capabilities to their online apps (and more and more data is generated from all those new apps).
The following shows the TPM results from the demo environment that is running our four SQL VMs. The TPMs in this test are maxing out around 320k, and the latency is always sub-millisecond.
The future is here and waiting for you to visit.
If you are unable to visit the stand and would like to get an overview of PowerFlex’s abilities when it comes to GenAI, check out this video.
As you can see, PowerFlex has true flexibility when it comes to GenAI, making it the ideal platform to reinvent your enterprise IT environment as you transition to the future.
If you find yourself at VMware Explore in Barcelona, be sure to stop by the Kioxia stand (#225) and talk with the team about how Dell PowerFlex, Kioxia drives, and NVIDIA GPUs can accelerate your transition to the future.
See, nothing controversial here!
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Author: Tony Foster, Sr. Principal Technical Marketing Engineer
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