Since we announced JetStream Migrate in April, we’ve been helping cloud service providers manage live migrations of their customers’ workloads from on-premises VMware environments to VMware in the cloud. Through our close collaboration with our cloud service provider partners, we’ve learned a lot about their needs, and we’ve incorporated a great deal of their requirements into our new JetStream Migrate, now officially Generally Available.
Cloud Service Providers Told Us What They Wanted in a Migration Solution
Our cloud service provider partners have told us pretty clearly what they require:
- Workload migrations to the cloud must present minimal interruption to business operations. This includes downtime as VMs start up in the cloud; and it also includes minimizing any impact on application performance as data is replicated.
- Any technology deployed to the customer’s data center must be lightweight, non-intrusive and play well with the customer’s existing hardware and software infrastructure.
- Administrators want to be certain about their migrations: before migration they want to know how much time to schedule for data replication; during migration they want real-time statistics, progress monitoring and incident alarms; after migration they want verification of success, and they want any software deployed in their customer’s data center uninstalled easily, with nothing left behind.
Based on VMware IO Filters
The core design of JetStream Migrate substantially addresses these requirements. By choosing a unique design – replicating data to the cloud through an IO Filter (based on VMware’s vSphere APIs for IO Filtering) – the software enables VMs and applications to continue running on premises throughout the data replication process. Most importantly, it provides this live migration capability without extraneous components such as software agents in the VMs, virtual appliances, or data caches.
One more advantage of the IO Filter-based design: JetStream Migrate is certified VMware Ready.
Simplicity and ease of use, and with powerful features too
Given the simplicity and compatibility of JetStream Migrate, our cloud service provider partners found it extremely easy to deploy and use for their customers’ cloud migration projects. At the same time, we learned a great deal from our partners, and much of their experience has gone into the more advanced features in today’s new release. These features include:
Data Replication Estimation
By far, this feature was the one where we got the most feedback. The JetStream Migrate IO filter initially runs in “observation mode” prior to data replication. By measuring network throughput and monitoring storage I/O over time, the application can show the administrator the time required for data replication for individual VMs or groups of VMs. Thanks to feedback from our cloud service partners, prediction is integrated into the administrative workflow. When migrating to the cloud, you have to “look before you leap.”
Live VM Migration with Data Transported via Device
Administrators were especially interested in JetStream Migrate’s ability to support the transport of virtual disks on a physical device, allowing applications to continue running on-premises as the “data transport device” (DTD) is in transit. Newly written data is captured by the IO Filter and replicated over the network to the cloud destination, and reconciled with the copied virtual disk when it arrives. This was especially important to cloud service providers supporting migrations for customers with many VMs, poor network connectivity, or both.
Migration Orchestration & Automation, for Individual VMs and VM Groups
By default, the administrator can schedule multiple individual VMs to migrate automatically, moving their data to the cloud and starting them up automatically, one after another. In addition, interdependent VMs can be selected for migration as a group, and the administrator can confirm the group is complete at the destination before allowing the VMs in the cloud to take over for the on-premises group.
Dual Backpressure Controls
If the data migration process runs “too hot,” the high replication rate may place demands on resources at the on-premises data center. In this case, the administrator can throttle the replication rate to avoid negatively impacting application performance on premises. Similarly, VM storage I/O can be controlled on-premises, to avoid overwhelming a slow replication network link.
Runtime Statistics and Alarms
As the saying goes, you can’t manage what you don’t measure. The JetStream Migrate administrative interface presents current and historical statistics for the administrator. Data can be exported for reporting purposes. In addition, the administrator can configure notifications for any incident, such as an interruption to a migration in process or the completion of a migration task.
Are you ready to learn more?
Our goal has been to make JetStream Migrate the simplest solution for live workload migration, and also the most powerful. This release takes us a big step in that direction, and we would love to show you what we mean.
Contact us to get a deeper dive in the product with technical materials, demonstration videos, or even a proof-of-concept demonstration.
Rich Petersen is president and co-founder of JetStream Software and has more than 20 years of experience in enterprise technology. Previously vice president of product management at FlashSoft, which was acquired by SanDisk in 2012, Petersen served at LogicBlaze/Red Hat, Infravio and Interwoven. He earned his MBA at the Haas School of Business at the University of California Berkeley. For more information, please visit www.jetstreamsoft.com, www.linkedin.com/company/jetstream-software-inc/ and @JetStreamSoft.