Enterprise Cloud Computing FAQs
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is Savvis Symphony VPDC?
- Wasn't Savvis Symphony VPDC actually announced in 2009?
- When did Savvis Symphony VPDC become available?
- How does Savvis define cloud computing?
- Is Savvis Symphony VPDC Savvis' first offering in the cloud computing space?
- What are the key aspects of Savvis Symphony VPDC?
- What is a VPDC?
- What kind of resources can I configure in a VPDC?
- How is Savvis Symphony VPDC different from Savvis' current cloud offerings?
- What are the multi-tier service profiles?
- Has Savvis Symphony VPDC pricing been disclosed?
- Are there any new enhancements to Savvis Symphony Open and Savvis Symphony Dedicated?
- What are the enterprise-class security features in Savvis Symphony VPDC?
- What virtual server operating systems are supported in a VPDC?
- Has Savvis been audited against SAS70?
- Does Savvis Symphony VPDC provide a Service Level Agreement (SLA)?
- How does Savvis Symphony VPDC charge for network bandwidth?
- How will Savvis Symphony VPDC provide high-levels of uptime?
With Savvis Symphony VPDC, Savvis introduces a new era of its leading cloud services. Complementing the existing Savvis Symphony Open and Savvis Symphony Dedicated cloud compute services, Savvis Symphony VPDC introduces one of the industry's first enterprise-class virtual private data center (VPDC) solutions with multi-tiered security and service profiles.
Savvis Symphony VPDC delivers a powerful capability for defining, configuring and deploying a full virtual data center without having to procure, install, configure or manage any hardware. A VPDC can contain a complete set of enterprise data center services, including compute instances of varying sizes, multiple tiers of storage, a wide variety of security features, high-performance, redundant bandwidth and load balancing. This provides a major leap from virtual hosting environments that emphasize just the compute instances.
- Full data center provisioning through the VPDC concept. This establishes Savvis Symphony VPDC as a complete Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering, and one of only a handful of services that support the VPDC concept on the market today
- Fast, self-service data center provisioning through Web-based drag-and-drop topology designer or application programming interface (API) integrated into the SavvisStation portal
- Multi-tiered service profiles with policy enforcement, which provides a key enabler to meet unique requirements across the application lifecycle: Test/development, quality assurance (QA), Web hosting and enterprise mission-critical applications
- As the application in the VPDC later progresses in its lifecycle, it can be promoted to a higher service profile to address new production requirements
- Enterprise-class security, platform redundancy and high-performance information lifecycle management (ILM) storage
- Massive scalability for all data center services
- System designed to address the unique security challenges of a virtualized environment, such as those introduced for VM mobility, VM patching and inter-VM network traffic
Savvis Symphony VPDC was initially pre-announced at VMWorld on Sept. 1, 2009, as Savvis' "next-generation" cloud service under the name "Project Spirit." Symphony VPDC was renamed "Savvis Symphony Virtual Private Data Center (VPDC)" in December 2009 via a Savvis press release announcing an expanded relationship with Cisco around the development of Savvis cloud services. As part of this press release, Savvis announced a new name for its cloud computing services suite, now referred to as Savvis Symphony. Savvis Symphony VPDC entered a private beta period in December 2009, which lead up to commercial launch in June 2010.
While the Savvis Symphony VPDC service references a virtual "private" cloud, it is in actuality a multi-tenant and public cloud with the distinct ability to carve out "virtual" dedicated (private) clouds for multiple customers within it. Savvis Symphony VPDC's multi-tenant infrastructure precludes it from being defined as a "private" cloud; yet, it is important to note that customer data is both secure and segregated from that of other "tenants" on the platform.
Savvis Symphony VPDC became generally available (GA) on June 14, 2010. This followed an extensive beta period that began in December 2009, and employed more than 30 beta customers to perform usage testing and provide feedback on the system.
Savvis defines cloud computing as having the following key elements:
- A dynamic managed compute infrastructure - with scalable, virtualized, dedicated and multi-tenant platforms
- Enhanced customer user experience - greater user control with easy to access self-service portal for on-demand services
- Flexible business terms - usage-based billing terms and fractional compute resources
- Meets a range of enterprise needs - from burstable compute for seasonal Web traffic, rapid delivery of SaaS, and flexible test and development environments
No. As stated above, Savvis already has two service offerings in the cloud computing space: Savvis Symphony Open (previously Open Cloud Compute) and Savvis Symphony Dedicated (previously Dedicated Cloud Compute). Savvis Symphony is the service portfolio name for Savvis' complete line of cloud computing services, which includes:
Savvis Symphony Dedicated (previously Savvis Dedicated Cloud Compute)
Savvis Symphony Open (previously Savvis Open Cloud Compute)
Savvis Symphony VPDC (previously Project Spirit)
These offerings provide a complementary set of services that may be used standalone or in a hybrid environment of more than one service to address a customer's requirements. For example, a customer may utilize Savvis Symphony Dedicated to establish a dedicated cloud environment to provide baseline compute and storage resources for a key e-commerce Web application, and utilize Savvis Symphony Open or Savvis Symphony VPDC to "burst" for event-driven or seasonal spikes in online customer traffic. This enables a customer to burst above initially procured compute resources in their dedicated cloud environment to provide additional Web server resources as needed to address periodic spikes in activity.
Savvis has extensive experience in the technology and operational skills required to build scalable, reliable cloud services. Savvis initially introduced its Utility Compute and Storage service back in 2004, which was built on an infrastructure including VMware virtualization. These are the same underpinnings used in the Savvis Symphony portfolio so Savvis brings all of this experience to bear on these new offerings.
- Virtual Private Data Centers.
Savvis Symphony VPDC provides one of the industry's first enterprise-class virtual private data center (VPDC) solutions with multi-tiered service profile capabilities.
- Fast, self-service data center provisioning.
The VPDC provides an interface to cloud computing that breaks new ground in ease of use. Through a drag-and-drop topology designer, users can create, configure and deploy a data center very quickly - through a browser-based interface - without ever touching any hardware.
- First public cloud with multiple service profiles.
Multiple service profiles provide flexible, automated configuration of the cloud infrastructure to suit a wide range of application environments.
- Massively scalable.
This enables the dynamic scaling up and scaling down capabilities promised by cloud computing. Customers can pay-as-they-go, being billed only for services and resources they actually use.
- Built on an enterprise-class infrastructure.
Leveraging industry-leading VMware virtualization technology, Savvis Symphony VPDC provides enterprise levels of reliability and availability and capitalizes on Savvis' expertise in end-to-end data center security.
By eliminating the need to procure, install and manage hardware systems, Savvis Symphony VPDC dramatically lowers cost to customers compared to in-house IT infrastructure. Furthermore, the multi-tiered service levels provide additional choices of features, function and cost. Finally, there are no up-front commitments with Savvis Symphony VPDC, just a flexible month-to-month usage-based billing model that charges the customer only for resources that are actually consumed.
A Virtual Private Data Center (VPDC) is a customer's own virtual data center, created in a public cloud. It is separated from all other VPDCs in the cloud. A VPDC enables creation of a full-featured data center, with compute, network, storage, security, load balancing and other data center resources.
Savvis Symphony VPDC will offer a new user interface with a graphical topology designer embedded in the SavvisStation portal. It is very easy to use, with drag-and-drop capabilities, Web-based configuration and management of data center resources, and one-button data center deployment.
Almost anything that can be configured in a real (physical) data center can be configured in a VPDC. This includes virtual servers, storage, load balancers, firewalls and networks. Think of a VPDC as providing all the services of a physical data center, without the headaches of having to buy, install or manage hardware.
Savvis Symphony VPDC introduces the VPDC concept and the multi-tiered service profiles on a shared (multi-tenant) cloud infrastructure. It also enables complete virtual data centers, including compute, network, storage and security resources - hence it provides a complete Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) solution.
The Savvis Symphony Dedicated offering will continue to appeal to clients who desire to work on a private (non-shared) cloud infrastructure, while the Savvis Symphony Open offering will continue to evolve as a solution for traditional hosting clients that require additional capacity through a cloud bursting capability.
Savvis Symphony VPDC offers a choice of several pre-defined service profiles that the user may select when creating a VPDC. The goal is to provide differentiated service levels to optimize each VPDC for the applications it will support. For example, there are different cost, performance, availability and security requirements for VPDC's supporting stages of the application lifecycle such as application test and development, Web hosting or mission-critical enterprise applications.
Savvis Symphony VPDC therefore features a unique multi-tier service profile feature allowing users to optimize a VPDC for its intended usage. The three Service Profiles include Essential, Balanced and Premier. Each service profile is differentiated by features, resource sizing, resource priorities and support levels. Service differentiation includes, but is not limited to, size of computing resources, redundancy, security, network bandwidth, service level agreement (SLA), priority, storage tier, support level and cost of service. Users may select individual service profiles for each VPDC that is defined according to specific application needs.
Savvis has created a dramatically simplified pricing model for Savvis Symphony VPDC as compared to other cloud services available on the market. This simplified pricing model is based on a strategy of including all basic infrastructure services except compute instances, network bandwidth and storage capacity, in a single monthly VPDC fee. For example, basic networking services and security services such as load balancing, IP addresses, firewalls and resource guarantees are included in the monthly VPDC fee. In contrast, these are typically charged as separate fees in competing vendor's offerings.
Savvis' simpler pricing model makes it easier to estimate, quote and compare Savvis Symphony VPDC pricing versus other cloud services. In some cases, a competitor's pricing may appear lower but in truth be similar or even higher. This is due to the need to include multiple "add-on service" fees that are not part of the vendor's basic service fees. For example, in most cloud computing services, storage capacity is charged on a unit capacity (per gigabyte) per month basis. In competing offerings, additional fees may be charged for the number of storage IOs utilized per month, for data transfers in and out of storage, or for data protection mechanisms such as snapshots (both capacity and access fees). In Savvis Symphony VPDC, we provide a simple single storage capacity fee that includes these add on services. It is therefore critical to look comprehensively at a competitor's pricing before assuming it is less expensive than Symphony VPDC pricing.
A set of enhancements to Savvis Symphony Open and Savvis Symphony Dedicated were launched recently in the 1.1 release and include:
- Image library for replicating and recalling instances
- Enhanced automation to enable greater customer control over the cloud environment
- Hourly billing
- Additional purchasing models (capacity reservation)
- Cloud-to-cloud migration practice
- Infrastructure refresh
The system is designed on the established Savvis Security Architecture, which is a set of processes and architecture designed to provide end-to-end security on the Symphony virtual platform. The system provides well-defined security policies and procedures, and ensures compatibility between newer security protections designed specifically for virtualized environments and more traditional, physical security controls. This enables the system to address the unique security challenges of a virtualized environment, such as those introduced for VM mobility, VM patching and inter-VM network traffic.
Comprehensive security features and processes are integrated with Savvis Symphony VPDC at all service profiles to optimize the cost/security tradeoff for each VPDC and its use case. At the Essential level, cost is optimized for the test/development use case, so the system configures the VPDC with a single public VLAN, plus authenticated access through security access control lists (ACLs). At the Balanced level, the system additionally configures the back-end servers (application servers and database servers) onto a dedicated private VLAN, and configures a VMsafe™ virtual firewall in front of the servers. For the Premier level, the system will configure three separate private VLANs for each server tier and additionally configures dedicated physical (stateful) firewalls for each tier. In this manner, Savvis Symphony VPDC provides a comprehensive end-to-end security infrastructure for each VPDC use case.
Initially VPDC will support Red Hat Linux 5 and Microsoft Windows 2008. In a subsequent release the system will provide a custom image upload capability, enabling customers to upload their own operating system images.
Savvis has currently met SAS70 type II qualification on all of its U.S. data centers.
Yes, Savvis Symphony VPDC provides a two-tier SLA, including a 100 percent infrastructure uptime SLA, and a separate VPDC SLA for the components within the VPDC based on the service profile. Essential VPDCs provide a 99.9 percent uptime SLA, and Balanced VPDC provide a 99.99 percent uptime SLA. Full details are available in a separate Savvis Symphony VPDC SLA document.
Symphony VPDC network pricing is based on Savvis standard model of a flat bandwidth fee of $50.00 per Mbps per month. Billing is based on measuring the customer’s bandwidth in a 95th Percentile usage model and billing based on that usage. This flat bandwidth fee is independent of the VPDC’s service profile, with the same rate charged for bandwidth in all three tiers.
For example, if a customer utilizes no more than 1 Mbps of bandwidth during 95% of the month (approximately 28 of 30 days), and the customer utilizes over the 1 Mbps for less than 5% of the month (approximately 2 of 30 days), the 95th percentile method will only charge for the nominal 1Mbps utilization, or a total of $50.
Savvis Symphony VPDC is built on an enterprise-class infrastructure that provides enterprise levels of availability, reliability and security. The platform starts with best-of-breed hardware including Cisco networking and virtual fabrics, and uses industry-leading virtualization technology from VMware. The cloud provides total platform-level redundancy at all levels of the infrastructure. The infrastructure provides compute node and network path redundancy as well as storage mirroring to ensure high availability. At higher service levels, the system configures redundancy at the virtual machine (VM) level, with VMware HA providing high-availability monitoring and automated failover. The system also performs active monitoring of errors or failures at the physical and virtual server level.