F5 and VMware demonstrate live migration of a virtualized application across clouds without downtime or user disruption

Cloud is reaching the peak of possibilities and that (often) means just more paper solutions. You know the ones; the ones that exist only on paper (or in blogs as the case may be). Those paper solutions need to exist because the ideas need to come first either out of necessity, i.e. to solve a specific problem, or out of a desire to find new ways to leverage emerging technology, like virtualization. But still, you’d like to see some of these paper solutions come to fruition, if for no other reason than to prove to yourself (or management) that this stuff is real.

imageNow, we’ve talked about cloud balancing, about cloud bursting, and how to utilize cloud environments as overdraft protection and availability insurance. We’ve more recently dived into internal cloud bursting and leveraging virtualization from the inside out. But one of the things we haven’t talked about is how virtualized applications get from one data center to another, regardless of whether that’s between cloud providers or between corporate data centers or some combination thereof.

Oh, we’ve talked about sneakernet and virtual private cloud connections, but that doesn’t dig into actually moving the virtual machines from one physical location to another. Until today. As you’ve been very patient about that, we can take that concept one step further and not only migrate virtual machines from one locality to another, but we can show you how to do it live.  

Seriously, not kidding. Live migration of an application running in a VM from one vSphere environment to another. No downtime, no disruption,migration no kidding. The ability to perform such a feat is brought to you by a virtual private cloud connection, vMotion, vSphere, F5 BIG-IP Local Traffic Manager, BIG-IP Global Traffic Manager, iSessions, and F5’s service-enabled control plane, iControl.

And several very tired (but excited) solution architects.

There are caveats to such a feat (VMotion is today limited to a single L2 broadcast domain, Storage VMotions are even more restrictive, and IP address space limitations make management cumbersome at best) hence the requirement for a virtual private cloud connection and the employment of integration technologies provided by the infrastructure, but what you’ll see is an application move over a secure, accelerated virtual private cloud connection – completely – from one data center to another without disrupting users. And if you abstract the technologies, you’ll soon see that if we can get some kind of standards going in the cloud around interoperability then we really can move applications – live – between clouds by leveraging virtualization and a dynamic infrastructure.

This kind of live migration is one of the ways in which both internal and external cloud bursting can be achieved in real-time; it’s a way to support on-demand cloud balancing; it’s a way to leverage secondary data center – cloud-based or not – when there may be a need for the primary data center to “go offline” for maintenance, to keep costs down, for whatever reason you may have.

It’s a demonstration that the collaborative capabilities of Infrastructure 2.0 are real and beneficial; that the integration of the application delivery network with the application infrastructure does result in the ability to design some truly innovative solutions that can be leveraged to take advantage of cloud-based data centers.

If you’re hanging around VMworld you can see this happen live and in the flesh. If you’re not fortunate enough to be hanging out at VMworld you can still take a gander at the process and watch it pseudo-live (recorded earlier).


vmworld_2009

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 2 @ 10:30am & 5:15pm

in the cloud pavilion: live application migration between clouds with f5 and vcenter

You can follow F5 on Twitter for reminders - we’ll make sure you know where to be when it happens.


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