May 24, 2011
My last few blog posts have focused on the benefits of deploying the CommandCenter Secure Gateway as a virtual appliance (VA). Now, with the release of CC-SG 5.1, it’s time to talk about how CC-SG hardware appliance users are shifting over to a “virtual CC”.
First, a quick review… In November 2010, Raritan made CC-SG 5.0.5 available as VA — thereby providing customers with two deployment options: physical (i.e. hardware) or VA. Version 5.0.5 was the vehicle for delivering “Virtual CC” to the market; 5.0.5 firmware does not run on the physical appliance.
Now back to the future. I specifically mentioned release 5.1 above because this is the first version of CC-SG firmware that can run on either the physical or the virtual appliance. Because of this, the two appliance types are interoperable and the CC-SG database of one 5.1 unit can easily be copied over to another 5.1 unit — physical or virtual. As a result, physical appliance owners now have an easy avenue toward moving to a virtual appliance if desired.
Here’s a high level snapshot of the steps involved with migrating to the virtual appliance:
1. Upgrade your physical appliance to 5.0 and then to the latest firmware level (currently 5.1).
2. Order and install the virtual appliance (CCSG128-VA) and licenses, including any add-on license(s).
3. Pause management of all devices being managed by the physical appliance by using the new Pause Management feature in 5.1 that supports performing this action on a bulk basis.
4. Copy the physical appliance database to the virtual appliance (see below).
5. Resume management of the aforementioned devices on the new virtual appliance.
Note that if two physical appliances are operating as a primary/backup cluster, only one VA is needed. The CC-SG VA utilizes VMware’s failover features in lieu of a dual-appliance cluster. This is one of several cost benefits of opting for the virtualized solution. Other benefits include no additional cabling, IP allotment or hardware warranty. And because the first year of software maintenance is included with the VA, support costs are deferred as well.
As mentioned, with this current release, the physical and virtual appliances are interoperable. As a result, customers who’ve considered adding to their CC-SG footprint (e.g. create a CC-SG “Neighborhood) but prefer to go virtual can leave their physical units alone and add virtual appliances to their configuration.
Going virtual has several benefits; consolidation, energy savings and now it’s an option for deploying the most comprehensive centralized IT management solution available.