SmartStyle Computing Platform Overview
Leverage the most recent technological advancements to create a comprehensive
and agile service-delivery platform.

The platform is based on the utility (cloud) computing model. The result is an entirely reconfigured, fault-tolerant, highly reliable and scalable platform that provides full functionality out-of-the-box that caters to the SMB client’s IT requirements. The platform is comprised of the following components:

Management Node:

The Management Node is the brain of the platform and consists of two main components: Smart management software with its integrated Web-based control panel, and the unique Dispersed Storage technology that securely backs up all platform and client data. Both of these critical components – along with a built-in firewall – are mirrored to ensure the continuity and integrity of the computing environment.

  • These appliances are the brain of the platform.
  • Comes pre-configured in an Active/Passive configuration for fault tolerance.
  • Hosts the web-based management software for system administrators to create new users, golden images, and virtual servers among other management tasks.
  • Hosts the DSS storage director, DSS volume director cache and DSS storage daemon, and contribute disk space to the archive storage pool of the platform.

The smart management software was adapted from cloud computing software built on a Sun Platform to provide cloud computing and virtual infrastructure as a service. It has been adjusted for the SmartStyle platform to enable the infrastructure to become an agile service delivery platform. Model-driven orchestration provides a layer above the Virtual Box hypervisor for rapid provisioning and on-demand deployment of applications, servers, storage, and bandwidth. The solution is managed with an intuitive web-based control panel and includes reporting, backup management, provisioning, user management and more. No installation media or back-end interfaces are required for setup and host management. All configurations are done through the Web portal.

The management portal allows configuration:

  • Setup the platform
    • Installation of the SMART STYLE COMPUTING Platform Management Nodes into a local network
    • Specify a subnet of IP addresses to assign to the smart clients
  • Setup users and manage images
    • Create and assign golden images to users
    • Provide users with credentials
  • Manage virtual servers
    • Deploy, start, and configure virtual servers using the Virtual Private Data center (VPDC)
    • Manage backups
    • Backup schedule will be fixed every 15 minutes with one daily consistent backup
    • Configure on-demand backups to the SmartStyle Computing Platform SAN or to a USB drive
  • Recover failed servers
    • Choose the backup to restore from, and bring the server back online in minutes
    • The “recovery mode” allows a virtual server to be manually recovered in a segregated environment for testing purposes
  • Monitor SmartStyle Computing Platform activity
    • Extensive logging and debug information is provided

The smart management software conducts failover of virtual servers. If a resource node fails, the application automatically looks for resources on another node and restarts the virtual servers on that node. No configuration is needed to setup the failover.

Resource Nodes:

  • Provides CPU, memory and storage resource muscle to Virtual Servers and Smart Clients
  • Comes with two pre-configured resource nodes in an Active/Active cluster to provide load balancing and fault tolerance.
  • Scale easily by adding one or more resource nodes to the Platform
  • or pairs of storage resource nodes to accommodate the need for additional capacity.

Network Resources:

  • Gigabit Ethernet networking for each platform is comprised of a
    • management back plane,
    • storage back plane,
    • public back plane, and a
    • logical external plane to provide access to the client network for virtual machines and Smart Clients.
  • Uses iSCSI protocol to provide local disk storage for smart clients via Ethernet.

Storage Resources:

  • Pre-configured fast primary storage with ultra-reliable archive storage.
  • Storage built into the resource and management nodes.
  • Primary storage pool uses RAID5
  • Archive storage pool uses dispersed storage technology

Smart Clients:

  • Supports Golden image technology.
  • Client has processing and memory
  • Connects to OS and Storage on the Platform side.
  • Uses iSCSI protocol