Faction Inc. for VMware Cloud on AWS & DRaaS

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Faction came across my radar a few years back when I was designing a hybrid cloud solution for a former client. Since then I have watched Faction become a top 20 partner of VMware and be an early partner of VMware Cloud on AWS. Below I will describe why VMC on AWS and why Faction with VMC on AWS may be a good DR solution for individual companies looking to have a more flexible storage option in the cloud.

DRaaS use case
The primary use case I believe VMC on AWS answers is DRaaS.
Gartner in a December 2017 reported:

  • Cloud-Based Recovery Is the Preferred Choice in Recovery Location for Critical IT Infrastructure Services
  • Roughly 80% of Survey Respondents Reported an Incident During the Past Two Years That Required an IT DR Plan

https://www.gartner.com/doc/3834668/survey-analysis-it-disaster-recovery

Why VMC on AWS for DR?
Cost: I have personally seen a cost savings of 38% from going from operating a traditional brick and mortar to cloud based infrastructure
VMware: VMC on AWS allows you to extend your onprem VMware environment into the AWS cloud managing it as a logical extension of your onprem
Scale: VMC allows you to scale up or scale down your hosts in the cloud in a matter of minutes instead of waiting weeks for hardware to arrive onprem
Easy button failover: Site Recovery Manager allows your to failover to the cloud in a matter of minutes with an automated process

Why Faction for VMC on AWS?
You are probably asking, if VMC is so great then why consider Faction? There is one issue that comes up with VMC on AWS and that is storage.

An i3 node has 2 sockets for 36 cores, 512GB RAM, & 10.7TB Raw storage with a minimum of 3 nodes for a total: 108 cores, 1.5TB RAM & 32.1TB Raw storage per starting cluster.

When you take 25% off the top for vSAN Slack space that only leaves you with a 24TB usable storage before Raid1 or Raid 5/6 policy is applied.

Scenario
We have 300 general purpose VMs’s averaging 2 vCPU, 4GB RAM & 250GB storage that we want to replicate to the SDDC. To keep storage costs down, we will leverage a Raid6 policy. Plus, we will enable dedupe/compression for extra savings at 1.5:1 ratio.

Total requirements of our VMs = 600 vCPU, 1.2TB RAM, 75TB storage.

That would require either 8 x i3 nodes to satisfy our storage requirement.

The Challenge
8 x i3 nodes = 288 cores, 4TB RAM, 85.6TB Raw Storage when we only need 150 cores (4:1 ratio vCPU:pCPU), 1.2TB RAM to satisfy our compute requirements when 4 nodes would suffice.

Why Faction for VMC on AWS?
Cloud Control Volumes
CCV’s are a cloud attached storage solution, which allows you to deploy additional datastores in your SDDC that scale up independently.
This allows for the ability to scale storage without the need to add compute nodes, thus, not wasting resources that aren’t needed.

Faction offers three tiers of storage options to right size the right storage for the right workload.

Finally, Faction hosts data in their cloud with a patented high-speed network fabric to your AWS environment for access from the VMC. This means, should AWS ever suffer an outage and you aren’t replicating data between clouds, then your data is protected and safe in the Faction cloud.

Summary
I have spoken a lot to the value Faction’s partnership with VMware is bringing to the VMC. DRaaS with Faction is a great use case for keeping compute count low while expanding storage but that is just the beginning. With the three tier storage offering from Faction it is possible to deploy any workload and match it to the proper storage offering. I’m intrigued and excited to see what other use cases will evolve from this partnership.

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