Bangalore, India; August 19, 2014: AO Cloud Ltd (AO Cloud) has created a new network architecture for cloud platform services with “convergent cloud” solutions based on Brocade VCS Fabric technology. With its low-latency, high-availability onshore hosting environment, AO Cloud meets data sovereignty needs in keeping corporate data within New Zealand borders. Delivered by local Brocade partner, Connector Systems, the new infrastructure will enable AO Cloud to pioneer the country’s first active-active cloud data centre based on Brocade solutions.
Within its data centres AO Cloud has deployed 10 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) Brocade VDX 6740 Switches, featuringVCS Fabric technology, to create single-layer 10 GbE fabrics. The fabrics are automatically aware of all devices (servers, switches, appliances) within their domain, and AO Cloud can add and remove switches from any VCS fabric without manual configuration. Virtual Machine (VM) network automation features are intrinsic to the fabric and are also hypervisor-agnostic, providing VM alignment capabilities that match the real-world needs of today’s data centres.
The overall Brocade solution has removed the need to manually reconfigure network infrastructure, simplifying network configuration and management, as well as streamlining the ongoing operations for AO Cloud. The company can now focus on deploying and managing cloud services for its clients with a hypervisor-agnostic network and a selection of VM technologies, which is a strategic benefit in meeting individual client cloud services requirements.
To extend VM awareness and mobility between data centres, AO Cloud has also deployed Brocade NetIron CER 2000 Series high-performance routers that support Layer 2 VPN connections between sites. In common with the Brocade VDX switches, the new routers feature Software-Defined Networking (SDN) capabilities based on the OpenFlow standard, providing greater programmatic control over the network.
Director of AO Cloud Jeff Herbert said, “AO Cloud is differentiating its cloud services offering with a new network architecture we have branded convergent cloud. Our plans always encompass fast compute and storage facilities that could talk to multiple production data centres, capable of isolating customer traffic in VLANs and producing an extremely secure environment.”
“For this we needed the highly scalable capabilities of Brocade Ethernet fabrics. We also wanted to provision the network for SDN capabilities to facilitate drag-and-drop capabilities for VLANs between data centres, and prepare to write our own SDN software to modify new connections as homogenous across the network. For this we needed an active-active data centre environment to host resilient managed services. It had to be Brocade,” added Herbert.
Active-active data centre architectures support real-time synchronization and load balancing of applications and their data between two or more cloud data centers, enabling service delivery from any or all of them. This approach makes location another virtualized layer in the service cloud. AO Cloud is leveraging the SDN capabilities of Brocade routers and switches to help its customers design and self-provision secure Layer 2 VPNs within the cloud built around multiple data centres.
Senior Director for Australia and New Zealand at Brocade Gary Denman said, “The automated fabric environment that AO Cloud has constructed provides a key technical benefit of allowing it to manage customer services, rather than focusing on managing infrastructure. Not very long ago, the concept of virtual machine mobility between data centers was just a theory, but AO Cloud is now leveraging it to offer a range of services with strong value-add. I believe this is very much a sign of how the cloud will deliver business services in the future.”
With a presence in three New Zealand data centres and plans to expand to another domestic location as well as two Australian data centres, AO Cloud is well positioned to deliver continuous availability and automated disaster recovery to the New Zealand and trans-Tasman markets.