On Wikibon’s September 4, 2012 Peer Incite, Rezolve Group’s CIO Robert Reeder shared how his company is looking to use new generations of technology to tackle the challenges of managing two primary locations on opposite coasts of the United States. In a typical configuration, Rezolve Group has its active location on the West Coast and a passive disaster site on the East Coast. In this configuration, Reeder expected recovery to take up to 24 hours.
Like many companies, Rezolve Group is finding that its 30%-50% annual growth makes keeping up with backup processes difficult. The environment is already 80% virtualized (all VMware) and expected to be 100% by the end of the year. Reeder is currently testing a solution with Infineta and is seeing greater utilization of resources and considering moving to active-active deployment between its two locations.
The challenge of connecting long-distance is much more than a bandwidth issue. Rezolve Group had a 1Gb pipe between sites, but the IT group found that it had a limited transfer rate due to the response time latency over the long link. Adding additional bandwidth would not solve this as transfer rates topped out at about 130Mb for Rezolve Group’s configuration across 3,000 miles. To overcome this issue, he evaluated application-specific software solutions for WAN optimization, but found that these required that application owners change processes and introduced the added complexity of maintaining a different communications process for each application.
He was looking for a solution that adhered to Occam’s razor - the simplest approach is the best approach. An appliance-based WAN optimization solution, like Infineta, would work across all applications while being transparent to application owners and users. Additionally, software solutions and many older WAN optimization appliances were not designed for today’s high bandwidth applications. Infineta’s solution was designed for virtualization and Big Data applications that require scalability of 1Gb and up. Rezolve Group can add bandwidth to its WAN optimization deployment (going from 1Gb today to at least 8Gb in the future) without having to add any additional boxes.
One test that Reeder did was a SQL Anywhere database replication of 100,000 records. The remote site is ready to use in five seconds. He said that with the size of his environment, growth of data, and distance between his sites, backing up the environment would soon become untenable without Infineta. Rezolve Group is taking a slow, deliberate path towards adoption of this technology and is learning a lot about how to improve utilization and adjust resources with the new capabilities available using Infineta’s WAN optimization solution.
Action Item: CIOs have long struggled with the challenges of maximizing resource utilization between dispersed locations. Virtualization and Big Data increase the volume and change the patterns of traffic between locations. Solutions that are designed specifically to address these challenges, such as Infineta WAN optimization, should be on the short list of technologies to consider.