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Introduction to the Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud Solution

The Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud (FEHC) solution is is a complete virtualized data center offering from EMC and it's federation partners including Pivotal, RSA, VCE, Virtustream, and VMware.  This is a real Software Defined Data Center offering without hype.  Hats off the the product and services teams at EMC and VMware that developed the solution.   EMC scalable storage arrays, integrated EMC and VMware monitoring, and data protection suites are some of the key technologies that power the FEHC.

 

Customers implementing the Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud will get:

  • a validated and tested virtualized data center that can be designed and implemented in as little as 28 days
  • a repeatable implementation process
  • EMC support for FEHC solutions implemented through EMC
  • upgrade guidance based on the testing and validation completed by the Federation engineering teams, and
  • the benefit of extensive testing and validation that has been conducted by the solutions engineering teams

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Every implementation of FEHC starts with a foundation of hardware and software configured for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).  Some customers need only this configuration but most will layer on higher level application services with add-on modules such as those for Encryption Services, Data Protection Services or Microsoft Application Services.  I'm going to talk mostly about the details of the Microsoft Application Services and SQL Server Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS). implementations in the remainder of this article.  If you want to read more about the foundation concepts and architectural options available within the Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud solution then you should download the Concepts and Architecture Solution Guide.

 

What is driving the need for DBaaS?

Businesses that are thriving excel at software development for both internal and external facing applications.  At the heart of that success is an innovation engine that needs the resources to quickly build, test and evolve software.  Microsoft SQL Server has become THE most successful operational database management system on the market according the 2015 Gartner Magic Quadrant results.  It is easy to see why so many application developers rely on SQL Server for their success.

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Many IT departments have not been able to provide self-service offerings for software development innovation that rival what is available from contract infrastructure and platform as a service providers like Amazon and Microsoft.  Therefore, application developers are going outside their corporate IT offerings to get access to self-service DBaaS.  The costs for utilizing these outsourced services are difficult to predict.  For example, there are significant networking infrastructure investments that are needed to link corporate and contract data centers.  Billing rates associated with managing data movement can be complex to interpret and may result in higher than expected monthly charges. Many organizations have been surprised by bills that exceed the estimated costs based on simply the known per minute server fees.  IT organizations need  a credible on premise alternative to reduce the dependence on external contract services solely.  The FEHC is a complete hybrid cloud solution that can can be evaluated as an alternative to outsourced services today.

 

SQL Server Database-as-a-Service the Easy Way

Now, let's look at what you can do with the FEHC solution if you manage lots of SQL Server instances and databases.  Immediately upon  implementation of the FEHC you have access to a complete Database as a Service (DBaaS) offering in your data center.  All you need to do is enable what services you want to be available from the self-service portal and configure user access control to specify what services they can access the portal.  All the workflows that you need to create virtual machines, SQL Server instances, databases, and configure Always On protection have already been developed.


In addition to being capable of supplying self-service DBaaS for software development scenarios, FEHC can also be implemented as a database consolidation environment for existing and planned production applications. The next section will describe the possibilities in more detail.


Microsoft Application Consolidation Capabilities

Standardization and automation are  key to providing cost effective IT services to the business. The designers of FEHC have implemented best practices for virtualization, networking and storage configuration that scale and simplify management of all the major Microsoft enterprise applications in one easy to purchase and implement solution.  The FEHC for Microsoft Applications includes implementation of provisioning and management for Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint in addition to SQL Server.


The Microsoft Application Services solution uses VMware® vRealize™ Application Services and VMware vRealize Hyperic™ to enable automated deployment, management, and protection of all the major Microsoft server applications. Users interact with a fully implemented self-service portal that permits rapid, on-demand provisioning of any or all of the application services listed above.  This means that you can enable all the application services for Microsoft servers or just the ones you need.  Download and read the full description of the Microsoft Applications Solutions Guide on FEHC for more information.

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There are also workflows for implementing self-service Backup-as-a-Service. To give you a sense of the maturity and completeness of the FEHC for Microsoft Applications you can read in detail how the Backup as a Service features for SQL Server as well as SharePoint and Exchange have been implemented in the Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud 3.1: Microsoft Applications Protection and Availability Solution Guide.


The Future Is Hybrid Cloud

Few organizations have been able to allocate the development time to build a complete solution that compares to the FEHC feature set.  EMC and the federation partners have made the investment because it can be leveraged by thousands of customers.  The resulting solution can ready to use in as little as 28 days, completely virtualized and automated by software.  This can be a game changer.  The self-service portal controls access to all services you choose to layer on the foundation of IaaS such as encryption or data protection.  You can implement multiple services out of the gate or build up capability over time.


The Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud solutions can revolutionize the way you purchase and implement hardware and software.  What could you do with the time and labor you will save by purchasing virtual data center solutions fully automated and  ready to add business value in as little as 28 days?

 

Thanks for reading, leave us any questions or comments you have below.

Phil Hummel @GotDisk