A large development bank focused on infrastructure investments in India was facing a number of challenges before turning to SimpliVity. The bank needed to improve service delivery for internal customers, including faster service enablement, predictable performance, and support for self-service provisioning. Disaster recovery and business continuity also needed to be improved in order to reduce the risk of downtime. And like most other IT organizations, it needed to do all of this while reducing total cost of ownership (TCO).
The bank was hoping to address the infrastructure supporting its tier-1 and tier-2 banking applications, VDI for task workers, and dev/test environments. With three globally distributed sites – production, disaster recovery, and ROBO – SimpliVity and Cisco helped the bank to establish a private cloud strategy leveraging Cisco UCS Director for orchestration and automation, and Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) for network virtualization, all running on SimpliVity OmniStack on Cisco UCS.
SimpliVity equates its approach for private cloud to a “three legged stool.” The three-legged stool of data center infrastructure virtualization is compute, network virtualization, and storage. Network virtualization, which is provided by using a hypervisor like VMware vSphere, abstracts the operating system and applications away from the hardware. Specifically, network virtualization from Cisco ACI allows the network boundaries to extend beyond physical sites, which is critical to multi-site or hybrid cloud environments. And decoupling the storage from the hardware can be accomplished by SimpliVity’s Data Virtualization Platform. To further enhance the flexibility of a multi-site or hybrid cloud, SimpliVity provides capabilities to make data movement across the WAN far more efficient than ever before.
Another important element of the software-defined cloud is the cloud management application and the ability for the application to manage and orchestrate the entire infrastructure. Utilizing Cisco UCS Director as the cloud management application provides the ability to orchestrate the compute resources (not only the vSphere software, but also the servers via Cisco UCS Manager), the virtual and physical networking layers, and the SimpliVity Data Virtualization Platform.
This approach utilizes SimpliVity’s integration with Cisco UCS Director for policy-driven cloud orchestration and automation, allowing the bank’s application owners to request and manage VMs directly with no IT involvement required. This means higher customer satisfaction among IT end users because of self-service provisioning and faster delivery times. This is exactly the type of self-service enterprises need and expect from a private cloud.
Other benefits that the bank realized from their SimpliVity and Cisco private cloud strategy included seamless mobility of VMs between sites that enable better application level disaster recovery testing, enable most of the application owners to place VMs where most effective to the business and the ability to better leverage capacity-on-demand models. From an IT perspective, infrastructure can be placed into the data centers equally as the application owners consume that capacity. The bank was able to reduce risk of downtime with full disaster recovery and failover for all of its tier-1 and tier-2 applications. Additionally, it was able to improve its recovery point objectives and recovery time objectives with faster backup and recovery times that originally took hours, but now take just minutes or even seconds to complete.
The cherry on top, especially for this financial customer, was the reduced infrastructure costs, applications delivered on time, with full disaster recovery testing completed. With this newfound time to work on other projects to support the business, this is a real life example of how to bring the ideal of private cloud to life and the 80/20 rule into reality with SimpliVity and Cisco UCS.