Cloud based virtual servers, cloud replication, fully managed private cloud infrastructure - Inflight Cloud Platform from Envision Technology Advisors

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Ready to stop wasting time and money trying to manage your own network infrastructure?

Then Inflight Boundless Cloud is for you.

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What is InFlight Boundless Cloud

InFlight Boundless Cloud is a cloud services platform for servers provided by Envision Technology Advisors.

Boundless Cloud can be delivered through one of Envision’s secure data centers, providing high availability, security, and complete management and monitoring up to the operating system so that you can focus on your business applications*.

We leverage best of breed technology to deliver exceptional performance while our Ground Control team keeps a vigilant eye on availability and environmental metrics.

Anatomy of the Boundless Cloud Offering

The Boundless Cloud platform is built on industry-leading hardware and software, and is hosted in a datacenter with SOC2, SOC3, PCI DSS, and other certifications.

Designed from the ground up as a multi-tenant hosting platform, it can serve many different use cases, including:

  1. Primary production environment
  2. Business continuity / off-site replication
  3. DevOps, testing, and staging
  4. Hyper-local private or hybrid cloud
  5. On-ramp to other cloud services

Boundless Cloud services include:

  • Cloud Based Virtual Servers - provision 10 virtual machines or 100, Boundless cloud can handle whatever you may need and can deliver rapid scalability for your business. We offer direct connection to Azure, AWS, GCS, Mass IX, and more, allowing you to place your work where it makes the most sense for your business needs.
  • IT as a Service – Envision offers a variety of services that serve to complement the Boundless Cloud offering, including full managed deployment, performance tuning, monitoring, and offsite backups – plus local resources that are always ready to meet with you and your team.
    • Fully Managed Private Cloud Infrastructure - the InFlight platform can provide you with dedicated blades, storage, security, and backend infrastructure that's fully managed. Get up and running fast and avoid the headaches of owning the equipment and the problems.
    • Managed Replication Targets - don't want to have to keep track of your offsite replications? Envision's Ground Control team will manage the replication for you.
    • Management of Your Windows VMs - whether you are leveraging InFlight for cloud based virtual servers or for a fully managed private cloud, Envision's Ground Control team can manage the servers being delivered by InFlight. Stop worrying about patching, reporting, monitoring, trend assessment, and service availability. Our team can give you the freedom to focus on your business.

*Depth of monitoring depends on services contracted

InFlight Boundless Cloud Specifications

Don't build it yourself. Leverage our certified professionals and the InFlight Boundless Cloud Platform to help free up your IT resources and keep your business agile and competitive.

Environment Overview

  • Redundant Dell server blades to ensure high performance and availability
  • Redundant 40Gb/s back-end and 10Gb/s front-end switching
  • For customers needing VM image-level backups, Veeam backups are available

Performance Storage Powered By Tintri and Tegile

  • Unparalleled virtualization-centric, hybrid, and all-flash storage
  • Boundless Cloud's backend can deliver hundreds of thousands of IOPS, ensuring you the best possible performance
  • Dedicated storage arrays available for customers with compliance obligations who need additional security

Physical Facility

  • Force10 switching
  • SonicWall Security Appliances
  • SAS70 II - SSAE 16 to ensure world class service and support to our customers
  • All Boundless Cloud facilities are Tier III or better
  • Fully alarmed secure facility with 24/7 electronic video and environmental surveillance
  • Redundant HVAC cooling systems to ensure there is no single point of failure
  • 800 kilowatt 3-phase service from National Grid which enters the facility on redundant feeds, conditioned power and backup power via UPS, and a back-up diesel generator
  • Registered with ARIN and carrier neutral to provide fully redundant IP bandwidth using Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) up to 10Gb/s

Management and Reporting

  • VMware NSX and vCloud Director multi-tenancy and management
  • Ability to direct-connect with Azure, AWS, GCS, Mass IX, and more
  • Security is built-in, and includes Reputation-Based Threat Protection, IPS, IDS, Gateway AV, Application Controls, and more
  • The Ground Control customer portal provides access to reporting on all cloud services provided by Envision, not just InFlight's reports
  • Using another vendor's cloud services? The Ground Control portal can accept and aggregate their reporting too!

Scalability

  • With Boundless Cloud, you can increase capacity at any time

Cloud Replication Services

Most companies recognize the value of replicating their data and VMs off-site, unfortunately the process is often too expensive and complex to be viable. With InFlight, that ends now. InFlight simplifies the process by offering two forms of replication: Scheduled Replication and Live Replication. Envision partners with Zerto, Veeam, and Azure to deliver unparalleled replication services.

Scheduled Replication

For most companies, the priority is to ensure that there’s a copy of their data and VMs off-site in the event of an emergency. To meet this requirement, Envision leverages Veeam and Azure backup and replication technology to send a copy of your VMs and data to the InFlight cloud on a daily basis.

Boundless Cloud Scheduled Replication contracts are easy to understand - size your Boundless Cloud environment so that it can run all the VMs in the event of an emergency. The monthly replication cost will be 65% of the cost of that cloud contract. If you have an emergency and need to stand-up your VMs for production purposes, your monthly charge will increase to the full amount of the cloud contract. It’s that simple.

Need to run a quarterly test ? That’s OK, InFlight has you covered. Each Scheduled Replication agreement comes with an allowance that allows you to perform a restore and spin up your replicated VMs for up to one hour each quarter with no additional charges.

Live Replication

Powered by Zerto and Azure, Live Replication transmits data and VM changes continuously from your system to the InFlight cloud. In the event of a failure at your site, your replicated system will be ready and waiting for you.

With Live Replication, your replicated VMs are always being replicated to the InFlight cloud and can be set to power on as soon as an outage is detected. A Live Replication contract is exactly the same as an InFlight Cloud Server agreement. Simply size your cloud environment and bandwidth (see our sizing guide) and once your cloud is provisioned, you are ready to go! With Envision's Ground Control managed services, we can build an agreement to manage all aspects of the replication to your specific needs.

How To Plan for Replication

Planning for replication doesn't have to be difficult. It's a simple matter of understanding your needs and environment.

Understand your RPO and RTO

Recovery Point Objective (RPO) – This is the amount of data that you can afford to lose if you have an emergency. For years, most companies backed up nightly. As a result, if they lost the network at the end of business (prior to the next backup) they would lose that day’s data. That's a 24-hour RPO.

Recovery Time Objective (RTO) – RTO is the measure of how long it will take to get critical systems back up and running. For many companies, a 24-hour RTO is still appropriate. The problem is that recovery from tape could take hours, days, or even a week, depending on the data footprint in the environment. That is not acceptable in today’s business environment.

Which Solution is Right for You?

For most companies, a 24-hour RPO is acceptable if the RTO is very low. VMs that are replicated to InFlight have an extremely low RTO and can be spun up almost immediately in the event of an emergency. If a nightly replication with a fast recovery time is right for you, then Envision recommends Scheduled Replication to our InFlight cloud platform.

In some cases, regulatory or business obligations could require a much shorter RPO. In those situations, Envision recommends Live Replication to our InFlight cloud platform. To learn more about Scheduled Replication vs Live Replication, review our replication services summary or ask one of our solutions engineers for more details.

Understand Your Environment

To plan for replication, gather information about your current virtualized systems. Information you will need includes:

  • Total number of vCPUs assigned to your VMs
  • Total amount of assigned vRAM and the average amount of vRAM used at any given time
  • Total amount of storage assigned to your VMs

Cloud contracts are priced based on the amount of storage, vCPU, and vRAM in your environment. Right-sizing your VM’s (assigning only the resources they actually need) will help keep your costs under control.

You will also need to understand your change rate and available bandwidth in order to size your environment for replication. See our sizing guide for more information.

Replication Sizing Guide

If you've prepared for cloud replication, then you know whether you need to consider Scheduled Replication or Live Replication. You likely also know what resources you will need in terms of vCPU, vRAM, and storage. However, there's still the issue of bandwidth. How do you figure out how much bandwidth you need? That answer is that you have to understand your change rate.

Understanding Change Rate

Change rate is the amount of data that changes in your environment daily. If you have 900GB of data, and 15% of that changes daily, then you have a change rate of 135GB per day. Industry averages vary, but most experts say that the average file server will see a daily change rate of 5% - 10%, while database servers will likely be as high as 35%.

Every network is different. To determine your change rate, look at your current backup system. A differential backup shows you the exact amount of data that’s changed since the last backup.

Available bandwidth

Once you have a sense of your change rate, you need to consider available bandwidth. The operative word here is available. For example, if you have a 20Mb/s internet circuit that’s 50% used during the day, then you have 10Mb/s of bandwidth available for replication during business hours. Once the work day ends, that could climb to as much as 90% of the total circuit speed giving you 18Mb/s to use for replication during the overnight hours.

With Live Replication, your primary concern will be bandwidth available during business hours. With Scheduled Replication, you will be primarily concerned with bandwidth available during off-hours.

Most people work backwards. They start by understanding their change rate and then go from there. For example, let’s assume you have a total data volume of 800GB with change rate of 4% (32GB changes per day). You want to do a Scheduled Replication during off-hours and have a window of 10 hours to complete the replication. That means you need to move 3.2GB per hour. Converting that to Mb/s,you need a circuit that has available bandwidth of about 7.6Mb/s. In other words, the 20Mbps circuit mentioned above will be more than enough for Scheduled Replication.

Additional Factors

Other factors that will impact the performance of your replication may include your internet provider’s latency, any data de-duplication, and any compression occurring. For guidance on these factors, and for help sizing your environment, please reach out to one of Envision's team members for assistance.

As a starting point, we present the following bandwidth conversion chart. It will help you understand the amount of data that can be transferred at various internet circuit speeds when considering an overnight window or a full day.

Circuit Speed GB/hour Data Moved in 10 Hours Data Moved Per Day
5 Mbps 2.09 20.9 50.16
10 Mbps 4.19 41.9 100.56
15 Mbps 6.28 62.8 150.72
25 Mbps 10.86 108.6 260.64
50 Mbps 20.95 209.5 502.8
100 Mbps 41.91 419.1 1.005 TB
500 Mbps 209.5 2.095 TB 5.028 TB
1 Gbps 419.4 4.194 TB 10.065 TB

The Team Behind Inflight Boundless Cloud

The InFlight Boundless Cloud Platform is an Envision Technology Advisors' solution.

Founded in 1998, Envision Technology Advisors are technology consultants focused on cloud evolution. With specialties that include cloud and managed services, desktop and data center virtualization, wireless infrastructure and design, networking consulting, website design and development, and enterprise data solutions, Envision offers much more than just a cloud platform – they offer the services to help make your businesses’ transition to the cloud a success.

With two offices – one just outside of Providence, RI and the other a few miles from Downtown Boston, Envision is one of New England’s most comprehensive business-oriented technology companies.

Envision's people are regular contributors to leading industry publications and speakers are various events and conferences. Proud of the work that they do and the culture that they have created at Envision, those same people have voted the company as a "Best Place to Work" for the past ten consecutive years.

You can learn more about Envision at envisionsuccess.net.

Want to Learn More or Take a Tour?

Do you have additional questions or would you like to see InFlight up close? We would be happy to take you on a tour of our solutions and the datacenter that powers InFlight. Complete the form below and a representative from Envision will be in touch with you to answer your questions or schedule your tour.

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