Archive

Posts Tagged ‘availability’

How to monitor your Internet facing service globally – #Azure, #ApplicationInsights, #Citrix, #NetScaler, #EnvokeIT

Hi again all!

It’s been quite a long time since I wrote a blog post.. I’ve just been too busy working! 🙂

But this is a really cool capability that I think that many of you will like, how often do your company or service provider have a good way of monitoring availability, performance etc. from the public Internet? And if they do then most of the time the larger service providers will build a service and install their own probes on different geographical locations and then they charge quite a lot for this service, and every time you change your application the charge you again for modifying the scripts that the probes use etc.

What I’ve tried and now think is going to be great for both smaller and larger organisations is the Azure Application Insights service. It’s really great and can assist with just this, it’s a service that microsoft provide from their locations globally where you can test your apps in Azure or course but also any web site out there on the Internet. And it doesn’t stop there, you can also use the server installer to also provide metrics from your Windows IIS server up to Azure to get more detailed statistics about the web server itself and requests etc.

Just think about how much it would take for you to setup monitoring from APAC, Americas and Europe for your NetScaler environment.. that would not be done in 10 minutes if you talk to your standard service provider. It took me 10 minutes to setup this reporting to ensure that the NetScaler is available from different locations around the world:

Availability

 

And this is just a simple url ping test to ensure that we get a proper 200 OK response from our EnvokeIT Lab environment that my colleague Björn have setup and modified so nicely with the X1 StoreFront look & feel.

NetScaler_StoreFront_x1_look_and_feel

 

URL_ping_test_netscaler_bear_lab_envokeit

Of course you can make a more proper test than just a url ping test like in this case, the service supports multi-step tests and also content matching etc. It’s also very easy to create one application/service that then consists of multiple locations that you want to monitor, for instance if you’re using GSLB FQDNs as well as regional to ensure that you get the full picture.

More information about what can be done you can find on the Azure Application Insights  pageRead more…

Metro Availability – Nutanix site-to-site cluster! Sooo cool! – #Nutanix, #EnvokeIT

October 10, 2014 Leave a comment

This is a really cool feature, I know many companies right now that are thinking about refreshing their platform (computer, network and storage) solution(s) and datacenter strategy. Most have dual datacenters today and would like to simplify the setup and ensure that they don’t have to handle two private clouds and manually create disaster recovery processes and technical solutions for ensuring that they can ensure high availability of their applications running on top of the IaaS solution.

This is where this new feature from Nutanix comes into play, now you can get data protection and mirroring of your data across two or more sites built into the product. Think about it, you can ensure your application availability in the event of downtime (planned or unplanned). Really cool!! 🙂

Introducing Metro Availability

Business-critical applications demand continuous data availability. This means that access to applications and data must be preserved even during a datacenter outage or planned maintenance event. Many IT teams use metro area networks to maintain connectivity between datacenters so that if one site goes down the other location can run all applications and services with minimal disruption. To keep the applications running, however, requires immediate access to all data. 

Nutanix is the first hyper-converged infrastructure vendor to deliver continuous data protection across multiple datacenters. Using synchronous mirroring, Metro Availability stretches datastores for virtual machine clusters across two or more sites located up to 400km apart. All functionality is natively integrated into Nutanix software, and supported across all Nutanix platforms with no hardware changes. Enterprise IT teams benefit from improved business operations by maintaining application availability during planned and unplanned site downtime. 

Virtualization teams can now non-disruptively migrate virtual machines between sites during planned maintenance events, providing continuous data protection with zero recovery point objective (RPO) and a near zero recovery time objective (RTO). Metro Availability is deployed within minutes and managed directly from Nutanix Prism UI, eliminating any need for additional management consoles. 

  • More Flexibility – Only Nutanix enables customers to deploy different configurations for primary and secondary sites, and support one-to-many and many-to-one topologies. Customers are no longer forced to have identical platforms and hardware configurations at each site
  • VM Awareness  – Individual VMs can be mirrored across sites using Metro Availability, giving administrators unparalleled flexibility in configuring multi-site deployments and improving overall system efficiency
  • 2X Greater Distances Between Sites – Nutanix Metro Availability supports single datastores stretched up to 400km – twice what current systems support today

Metro Availability enhances and extends the already rich set of integrated data protection and high availability capabilities in the Nutanix solution, catering to the diverse needs of enterprise customers.

Official release not you can find here!

And contact EnvokeIT if you want more information on how this can provide value to you!

//Richard

 

Nutanix NX-3000 review: Virtualization cloud-style – #Nutanix, #IaaS

January 29, 2014 Leave a comment

A great review of the Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform! 🙂

Nutanix NX-3000 Series
Nutanix NX-3000 review: Virtualization cloud-style

What do you get when you combine four independent servers, lots of memory, standard SATA disks and SSD, 10Gb networking, and custom software in a single box? In this instance, the answer would be a Nutanix NX-3000. Pigeonholing the Nutanix product into a traditional category is another riddle altogether. While the company refers to each unit it sells as an “appliance,” it really is a clustered combination of four individual servers and direct-attached storage that brings shared storage right into the box, eliminating the need for a back-end SAN or NAS.

I was recently given the opportunity to go hands on with a Nutanix NX-3000, the four nodes of which were running version 3.5.1 of the Nutanix operating system. It’s important to point out that the Nutanix platform handles clustering and file replication independent of any hosted virtualization system. Thus, a Nutanix cluster will automatically handle node, disk, and network failures while providing I/O at the speed of local disk — and using local SSD to accelerate access to the most frequently used data. Nutanix systems support the VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V hypervisors, as well as KVM for Linux-based workloads.

[ The Nutanix NX-3000 is an InfoWorld 2014 Technology of the Year Award winner. Read about the other winning products in our slideshow, “InfoWorld’s 2014 Technology of the Year Award winners.” | For quick, smart takes on the news you’ll be talking about, check out InfoWorld TechBrief — subscribe today. ]

Nutanix was founded by experienced data center architects and engineers from the likes of Google, Facebook, and Yahoo. That background brings with it a keen sense of what makes a good distributed system and what software pieces are necessary to build a scalable, high-performance product. A heavy dose of innovation and ingenuity shows up in a sophisticated set of distributed cluster management services, which eliminate any single point of failure, and in features like disk block fingerprinting, which leverages a special Intel instruction set (for computing an SHA-1 hash) to perform data deduplication and to ensure data integrity and redundancy.

A Nutanix cluster starts at one appliance (technically three nodes, allowing for the failure of one node) and scales out to any number of nodes. The NDFS (Nutanix Distributed File System) provides a single store for all of your VMs, handling all disk and I/O load balancing and eliminating the need to use virtualization platform features like VMware’s Storage DRS. Otherwise, you manage your VMs no differently than you would on any other infrastructure, using VMware’s or Microsoft’s native management tools.

Nutanix architecture
The hardware behind the NX-3000 comes from SuperMicro. Apart from the fact that it squeezes four dual-processor server blades inside one 2U box, it isn’t anything special. All of the magic is in the software. Nutanix uses a combination of open source software, such as Apache Cassandra and ZooKeeper, plus a bevy of in-house developed tools. Nutanix built cluster configuration management services on ZooKeeper and heavily modified Cassandra for use as the primary object store for the cluster.

Test Center Scorecard
 
  20% 20% 20% 20% 10% 10%  
Nutanix NX-3000 Series 10 9 10 9 9 8
9.3 EXCELLENT

 

Continue reading here!

//Richard

Under the Covers of a Distributed Virtual Computing Platform – Built For Scale and Agility – via @dlink7, #Nutanix

November 21, 2013 Leave a comment

I must say that Dwayne did a great job with this blog post series!! It goes into expelling the Nutanix Distributed File System (NDFS) that I must say is the most amazing enterprise product out there if you need a truly scalable and agile Compute and Storage platform! I advise you to read this series!!

Under the Covers of a Distributed Virtual Computing Platform – Part 1: Built For Scale and Agility

Lots of talk in the industry about how had software defined storage first and who was using what components. I don’t want to go down that rat hole since it’s all marketing and it won’t help you at the end of the day to enable your business. I want to really get into the nitty gritty of the Nutanix Distributed Files System(NDFS). NDFS has been in production for over a year and half with good success, take read of the article on the Wall Street Journal.

Below are core services and components that make NDFS tick. There are actually over 13 services, for example our replication is distributed across all the nodes to provide speed and low impact on the system. The replication service is called Cerebro which we will get to in this series.
Nuntaix Distrubuted File System

 

This isn’t some home grown science experiment, the engineers that wrote the code come from Google, Facebook, Yahoo where this components where invented. It’s important to realize that all components are replaceable or future proofed if you will. The services\libraries provide the API’s so as newest innovations happen in the community, Nutanix is positioned to take advantage.

All the services mentioned above run on multiple nodes in cluster a master-less fashion to provide availability. The nodes talk over 10 GbE and are able to scale in a linear fashion. There is no performance degradation as you add nodes. Other vendors have to use InfiniBand because they don’t share the metadata cross all of the nodes. Those vendors end up putting a full copy of the metadata on each node, this eventually will cause them to hit a performance cliff and the scaling stops. Each Nutanix node acts a storage controller allowing you to do things like have a datastore of 10,000 VM’s without any performance impact… continue reading part 1 here

Under the Covers of a Distributed Virtual Computing Platform – Part 2: ZZ Top

In case you missed Part 1 – Part 1: Built For Scale and Agility
zz-top-03082012-19
No it’s not Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, or drummer Frank Beard. It’s Zeus and Zookeeper providing the strong blues that allow the Nutanix Distributed File System to maintain it’s configuration across the entire cluster. Read more…

#Windows #Azure Virtual Machines and Virtual Network now are generally available

As I use to write; THIS IS INTERESTING! I think that Microsoft will take some market share for sure with their cloud service offerings!

Windows Azure Virtual Machines and Virtual Network now are generally available. We have new prices for Virtual Machines, Virtual Network, and Cloud Services.

Today is a major milestone for Windows Azure and all of our customers and partners. We are excited to announce that Windows Azure Virtual Machines and Windows Azure Virtual Network now are generally available. We also want to update you on new prices for Virtual Machines, Virtual Network, and Cloud Services.

Virtual Machines and Virtual Network help you meet changing business needs by providing on-demand, scalable infrastructure. These infrastructure services enable you to extend your data centers and workloads into the cloud while using your existing skills and investments. With these services, you can:

  • Provision Microsoft SharePoint farms in minutes without up-front hardware investments. Integrate full-trust code to run rich apps and provide Internet-facing collaboration sites.
  • Prototype your newest app or extend data marts into the cloud using Virtual Machines as a robust infrastructure for Microsoft SQL Server software. Scale on demand and connect to your on-premises infrastructure using Virtual Network.
  • Embrace rapid innovation using the cloud for development and test scenarios. You can spin up any test lab or sandbox quickly, and be agile in your learning, development, and prototyping.

Let’s take a closer look at the news that we are announcing today with general availability.

New high-memory instances for Virtual Machines

When your apps need more memory, new 28-gigabyte (GB) and 56-GB instances deliver.

Updated SLA

When you deploy multiple instances of Virtual Machines, Microsoft provides a financially backed 99.95 percent monthly service level agreement (SLA).

Customer support

Our customer support team is ready and available to help you troubleshoot 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We have several support plans tailored to meet your needs—from basic developer support to Premier Support. When you work with Microsoft, you have a single vendor to call for cloud and on-premises needs. 

Validated workloads

The best of Microsoft server products are validated to run on Virtual Machines, including Microsoft Dynamics NAV 2013, SharePoint Server 2013, BizTalk Server 2013, and more. We also offer prebuilt virtual machine images—such as BizTalk Server and SQL Server—through the Windows Azure Virtual Machines Image Gallery with hourly pricing. Prebuilt Linux images—such as CentOS, Ubuntu, and Suse Linux Enterprise Server (SLES)—are available in the Image Gallery from commercial distributors. In addition, a wide variety of the most popular open source applications are available as prebuilt images in VM Depot, a self-service community portal. Read more…

#Citrix #XenDesktop Monitoring: Desktop Availability – #EGinnovations #HP #BAC

October 29, 2012 3 comments

Ok, this was an interesting blog post from Miguel Contreras. First of all I’d like to thank you Miguel for this post!

You can read the blog post here prior to reading my ramblings… 😉

XenDesktop Monitoring: Desktop Availability

The whole blog post message hits a spot that I know many of our EnvokeIT customers are looking for: AN E2E (END-TO-END) MONITORING CAPABILITY! 

Citrix has great products and they work from a technical point of view, but I think that most part of the time development and evolvement of the products goes to fast so that the product teams doesn’t have time to synchronise how well they work together or what the service provider will need cross-products in the stack to deliver a managed IT service!

This blog post really proves it as well… Miguel has developed a powershell script that he schedules to run so that he could see in the morning if he could go to work or if everything is ok with his desktop service (or Windows as a Service (WaaS) as Citrix now talks about this type of service). And is that the way to go? I’m still looking for this E2E monitoring solution from Citrix that can provide real and good facts about how the overall WaaS service performs. Is the NetScaler VIP up, StoreFront, AppController, PVS/MCS, XenServer, the VM, File Server that hosts profiles etc. It’s only if yo get this full picture and fact that you can say that the service WaaS is available. It doesn’t matter if the desktop is running if the AGEE vip is down and he/she cannot reach it… or?

If Citrix isn’t getting into the monitoring business then please guide your customers to who of the partners that does the job, for instance EGinnovations, HP BAC etc.

Yeah yeah… my ramblings are over for tonight and this was not my first complaint about this “service readiness” stamp I’d like to see on enterprise products…

But still = I think no one else right now does the WaaS-job like Citrix!! But they can always improve like all of us! 😉

Cheers!

//Richard

%d bloggers like this: