Services in a Second

PinwheelThis week’s VMworld Barcelona may draw enterprises, but service providers have even more to gain. Virtual network services, like Silver Peak’s Agility, can be provisioned in seconds, allowing service providers to rapidly onboard new customers. Coupling Agility with other services gives providers the capacity to deliver innovative, robust revenue generating services — fast.

Our friends over at Zerto, for example, deliver virtualized non-array based replication solutions, or as I like to call it, replication for the workload world. The Zerto Virtual Replication Appliance (VRA) resides on a virtual machine (VM), tapping its I/O stream. Each time the workload writes to its virtual disks, the write command is captured, cloned, and sent to the recovery site.

But the Internet and today’s wide area networks (WANs) all suffer from the problems of high latency, packet loss, and bandwidth limitations, which undermine replication performance. So whether service providers want a virtual replication service to protect their own data assets or offer one to their customers, they must address the underlying network problems to maximize service performance and predictability.

Like Zerto, Silver Peak Agility works at the workload level to tackle these problems. There is no complex setup or reconfiguration of the network required. Operational mangers simply right-click on a VM from within the management console, selecting “backup” or “optimize,” and instantly that service is enabled.

With Silver Peak and Zerto, service providers can help themselves or their customers protect an order of magnitude more data within their existing recovery point objectives (RPOs) or meet even more stringent RPOs. The replication service is made more predictable and more carrier-grade regardless of whether some user floods the network with BitTorrent, or if the network looses packets or delivers them out-of-order.

From an operations perspective, a Silver Peak-Zerto solution is attractive because it deploys quickly. Capital costs are also reduced in many ways:

1) Zerto and Silver Peak run on existing hardware,

2) reduce fault-tolerance costs by leveraging vSphere High Availability (HA), and

3) maximize hardware resources with DRS (Dynamic Resource Scheduling).

Maintenance downtime is avoided by vMotioning Zerto-Silver Peak replication to a new host during maintenance windows or to a different location for follow-the-sun operation.

Bottom line — a combined Silver Peak and Zerto replication service helps with the bottom line. Service providers can protect more of their own data and help customers do the same.

Image credit: WikiMedia Commons


  • Doug Youd

    Do you have any examples of this scenario actually being deployed? My understanding is that Zerto has some degree of built-in compression (which I’ve seen to work quite well). It’d be really interesting to see how well the two work together.

    If you don’t have anyone already doing it….. I may be in a position to give it a go….

    • dave greenfield

      Hi Doug,

      You’re right, Zerto does have good compression built-in that
      you can enable/disable, however, it only compresses ZVR replication, not the
      other activity on the network. Silver Peak particularly helpsall applications, including Zerto, to overcome network congestion issues and latency problems, which are more common than you might realize on today’s WANs.
      Since Silver Peak looks across all the data streams on the network, some
      reduction can also be seen at times even with Zerto compression enabled.

      If you’re interested in more information/specifics I can
      have someone give you a ping…just let me know.
      Dave