It seems like I blinked and 2009 went by, but in that time I've been working on so many interesting projects at F5, I have a backlog of information to share with the community.  The first post this year is about the long distance VMotion with VMWare's ESX system.  This is a solution that enables the movement of live running virtual machine hosts from one data center to another.

The main problems in routing VMotion between data centers are latency, bandwidth, client traffic and security.  In BIG-IP 10.1 we have a solution that compresses, encrypts and shields the ESX servers from prevailing WAN conditions, to enable long distance motion of running hosts.  Take a look at the following screencast to see how this works:

 

 

 Screen shot 2010-02-02 at 10.44.45 AMIn the chart below are some of the typical improvement times we see with long distance VMotion with BIG-IP.  When latency goes up, VMotion is often not possible without BIG-IP in place.  For example, with 100 ms of round-trip latency, on an OC3, a virtual machine that has one gigabyte of active RAM memory, takes roughly three and a half minutes to migrate across the WAN.  If you were to try the same VMotion without BIG-IP in place, it would take more than 13 minutes and only succeed about half the time.

I'm excited about the types of architectures that can be enabled with this kind of solution in place.  F5 is laying the ground work to make some exciting infrastructures possible

 

Have a look at the F5 deployment guide which describes how to set this solution up and how to architect new solutions across your data centers: http://www.f5.com/pdf/deployment-guides/vmware-vmotion-dg.pdff