The current IT architecture process is to order the number of racks needed to support initial requirements, order some additional empty racks with a Right of First Refusal, and add a backup datacenter when the company has enough resources. The problem with this process is that the end result is usually not a cost-effective design. The datacenter just continues to grow ad hoc as projects are added, becoming less cost-efficient, more complicated, less reliable, and more difficult to manage over time. Most companies never get big enough to afford a backup datacenter and 100 percent redundancy cost -- and if they do, the backup datacenter is built to a completely different design than the primary one, so it's useless to test one against the other.
RAID Cloud Architecture (RCA) is a revolutionary IT architecture -- a collection of one or more datacenters -- based on the same proven design as Disk RAID systems. The major difference between current IT and RCA is that RCA is not built in an ad hoc way; it is an infinitely scalable design starting with a minimum of three hybrid cloud datacenters for a maximum 33 percent redundancy cost.
A RAID cloud architecture design starts with a combination of three or more datacenter modules (DM). A DM is a complete configuration of routers, switches, servers, storage, etc. DMs are connected at Layer Two (of the OSI Seven Layer Model) to create a single logical architecture. In a six DM design, the first two DMs should be located very close together and close to the main Enterprise office for low-cost point-to-point connectivity from the office and to each other, and to create the first datacenter cluster for RAID 1c redundancy. Assuming that, for budgetary reasons, they need to be built as needed, the third datacenter should be in the center of the US, the fourth on east coast of the US, the fifth in the center of the US, and the sixth in the eastern US to create three Datacenter Clusters with an overall 16 percent redundancy cost. The Datacenter Clusters are created to support live vMotion and storage replication for 100 percent availability.
RCA is designed to be cost effective due to higher virtualized resource and datacenter space utilization and the use of smaller, less expensive components than those used in a "traditional" datacenter. Using multiple datacenter co-location and bandwidth vendors for each datacenter module provides leverage for cost negotiation and price protection. The modules are a small cookie cutter designed to be inexpensive.
RCA is designed for infinite 100 percent reliability by using many multiple colocation and bandwidth sources. Using global server load balancing, an entire datacenter can be down for maintenance or service failure and only cause a loss of capacity, not availability. RCA is scalable: As more capacity is needed, more DMs are added until six DMs are created. As more capacity is needed beyond six, each DM can be quickly increased in size. Because DMs are generally built as needed, they are contracted over time, so if less capacity is needed, DMs can be decommissioned. This flexibility makes RCA a very efficiency design.
DMs are designed to be quickly configured, usually in under a week, and all the components are the same, so the configurations can be duplicated. Multiple duplicate DMs allow testing of new versions of system software without affecting an entire architecture. Multiple DMs also provide swap space to upgrade systems; in a single datacenter, space has to be left open to install new systems or significant downtime has to be scheduled to support in place upgrades. RCA is based on a heavily virtualized infrastructure so capacity can be quickly added. In addition to low-cost connections, DMs are located close together and close to the office, so multiple DMs can be visited with minimum travel expense incurred by technical staff. One company estimates a $20k+ annual savings in driving time alone for the LA area.
Taken as a whole, the RCA design offers significant advantages over traditional datacenters, especially if redundancy is a primary concern. If the IT efficiency arguments don't get your attention, perhaps the savings in gasoline and employee miles can draw your interest.