What is Green House Data's Private Cloud?

Green House Data’s Private Cloud is a custom built and dedicated virtual infrastructure deployment that can support any size workload. All environments are built to at least N+1 redundancy to prevent against any single hardware failure. Unlike a multi-tenant hosting environment, compute resources are never shared with other tenants. Customers are also given full admin access to all hardware and software components of the Private Cloud to allow for customization and integration of third-party solutions.The Path to Green House Data's Custom Private Cloud

 

 

 

 

Compute Hardware

Dedicated compute resources for the virtual workloads are provided by Dell PowerEdge R730 servers. These are 2U chassis that contain up to 2 physical Intel processors and 768GB of RAM. Prebuilt resource configurations are available, and hosts can also be custom built based on specific requirements.

All servers are configured with redundant power supplies and gigabit Ethernet cards to protect against a single point of failure. 8Gb Fiber Channel HBAs are included to allow for integration with Green House Data’s gBlock shared SAN storage. 10Gb Ethernet interface cards can also be added to support faster transfer speeds between hosts, or for use with iSCSI storage.  

A minimum of two physical host servers are deployed to provide redundancy. As additional compute resources are needed, additional physical hosts can be added to scale out the size of the cluster.

Virtualization

VMware’s vSphere Suite is the primary virtualization platform used in our Private Cloud Deployments. VMware ESXi is installed onto each of the physical hosts, and a dedicated Windows-based vCenter Server is created and configured to manage them. Typically, the latest version of the vSphere Suite is used, but older versions can be installed to maintain compatibility with other cloud deployments or third-party software.

Inside of the vCenter server one or more clusters will be created out of the physical compute hosts. The cluster will be configured for maximum performance and reliability, including the following features:

Customers will have full access to the VMware vSphere interface which they can use to build and deploy Virtual Machines and Virtual Appliances using the provided resources.

VMware’s vCloud Director Suite can also be added on top of vCenter. vCloud Director is an additional software layer that turns your cluster into a multi-tenant environment where compute, storage, and network resources can be assigned by department or organization.

VMware's vCloud Director Suite home screen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Networking

Each physical host server is configured with two redundant Network Interface Cards (NICs), one on the chassis and the other a PCI-E expansion card. The NICs can be 1Gb or 10Gb Ethernet depending on the requirements for throughput between hosts, to the internet, or to iSCSI-attached storage.

The server NICs are connected to redundant active/active Layer 2 Ethernet switches. Multiple private VLANs are created and tagged through the switch infrastructure to separate management and vMotion traffic. Switches can either be shared infrastructure or dedicated to the Private Cloud, and Layer 3 options are also available.

Redundant firewalls are deployed to provide internet access, security, and remote access services. By default, Green House Data provides Cisco ASA 5500-X series firewalls, but other vendors can be accommodated by request. Virtual and shared firewall options are also available.

The LAN interfaces of the firewalls are connected back into the redundant switches and handle the inter-VLAN routing. The WAN interface is connected to dedicated Ethernet drops backed by Green House Data’s Premium Blend Bandwidth service, which is a highly available blend of multiple broadband carriers. WAN port speed can be set at various commit levels with bursting options available. Private Circuits can also be incorporated into the infrastructure to provide internet access or to create a Hybrid Cloud environment. Ethernet cables are also connected between firewalls to provide the active/active high availability.

The firewalls are configured with a basic ruleset to allow internet access and remote access from the customer’s location. Additional services such as Intrusion Detection/Intrusion Prevention can also be provided and configured.

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Storage

To support the storage needs of the virtual machines and appliances, Green House Data’s gBlock shared SAN storage is provided to the vSphere cluster. This storage is presented from a series of EMC VNX storage systems over 8Gb fiber channel to each host.

The gBlock storage is offered in three different performance tiers, leveraging multiple disk and pool types of achieve specific Input/output Operations per Second (IOPS) levels. The gBlock tiers are:

Tier
Estimated IOPs
Disk Type
Performance Level
gBlock 500
500
SAS, SATA
Standard
gBlock 1000
1,000
SAS, SSD
High
gBlock 2000
2,000
SAS, SSD
Extreme

Storage is presented to the clusters as a minimum of two data stores (LUNs) based on the space needed. When more storage space or additional tiers are needed, the data stores are grown or new LUNs are added to the cluster. 

Green House Data also offers file-based NFS/CIFS and object-based storage services that can be accessed by the virtual machines running in the Private Cloud. In the case that specific performance levels or disk types are needed, dedicated SAN or iSCSI storage can be provided and used in the Private Cloud environments.

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