Friday, March 23, 2012

Windows Server "8" for hosters


Windows Server «8» for hosters

A quick reference for what`s new and exciting for hosters in Windows Server «8»

·         Windows Server «8» is a cloud optimized operating system with some major enchancements related to mobility, scalability, flexibility and highly availability
·         Support for multi-tenancy through network virtualization which provides isolation in a secure and reliable manner

So, we have access to the Beta bits of Windows Server “8” now, and what`s the first impression?
To be honest, I have never been so excited about technology my entire life – I think.
And just to clarify, the content provided here is basically related to private cloud, virtualization and infrastructure in general.
If you`re in the hosting industry, you are most likely pulling your hair once in a while to figure out how to scale properly. One of the major concerns about cloud and multi-tenancy is security and isolation. How can Windows Server “8” help you with that?

·         Network Virtualization and extensible virtual switch

What exactly is network virtualization? In a nutshell, it makes it possible to have several VMs with the same IP-configuration living on the same physical network.
VMs have so far – been tied to the network they`ve lived on. If you want your VM to access anything on the LAN and also have access to the big great internet, you must create a virtual switch which is bound to a physical NIC on the host. The same still apply, of course, but the physical NIC must be patched to the correct physical network to be able to present networking in general to the VMs. This is not ideal at all – and not well suited for scale, since you`re most likely to run out of available IP-addresses, have too many VLANs and so on. In Windows Server “8”, you can have VMs can be presented for a subnet that differs from the physical network.
So how does this work? It’s enabled by using two IP addresses for each VM together with a virtual subnet that indicates which virtual network the VMs belongs to.
So for hosters, they can receive the customers VMs without having to reconfigure the IP-settings – which is such a pain for the applications that rely on IP configuration. This means that VMs running on-premise in a customer’s site can be replicated (via Hyper-V Replica) to the cloud/hoster and operate as usual.
With the new Hyper-V Extensible Switch, you can provide the required isolation for an Infrastructure as a Service multi-tenancy by leveraging Private Virtual LANs (PVLAN),  VLAN in trunk mode, protect against spoofing (ARP poisoning) and DHCP snooping and Router Guard (so that VMs who pretend to be a router will not create a mess in your infrastructure).
With QoS policies, the IaaS provides can ensure to meet the SLA based on maximum and minimum bandwidth limits on a per VM basis.

·         Hyper-V over SMB2

What keeps the storage vendor up all night?
-          Windows Server “8”.
Because of support for file servers and storage combined with RDMA, storage spaces and storage pools, you`ll have a budget solution for “high availability” to reduce cost. RDMA can take care of the performance requirements if this is supported in your environment. So in Windows Server “8”, the file server is actually cool.
This is not a solution for a unplanned failover, but for planned failover


·         Migration

You can now migrate your VMs between clusters, in and out of a cluster, and between stand-alone hosts over different subnets – with no downtime, and also do concurrent live migrations.
Live Storage Migration will work in the same way, and let you move storage of running VMs so that you can do maintenance on the storage subsystem and to free up space. Your imagination is the limit here, though the live migration requires the servers to be in the same domain. And if that`s a limit, you`ll always have Hyper-V Replica.

A thing that I have not tested yet is the advantages of network offloading technologies, like SR-IOV, RSC, RDMA and RSS so that the main processor can take care of more workloads.

·         Hyper-V Replica


This was just a quick reference and there`s a lot to cover the upcoming weeks. 
But if you`re looking for a more reliable, mobile and well suited platform for hosters and cloud, you`re at the right place.

1 comment:

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