Data Center Architecture
In data centers like Cisco's UCS (Unified Computing System), every server be it blade or rack-mount, is provisioned through a Service Profile. Just the way a SIM card holds an identity of a mobile phone, the Service Profile holds an identity of a server in data centers. The Service Profile thus maps to a single server defining its network and storage characteristics. As the Service Profile contains MAC addresses (for each vNIC), WWN addresses (for each vHBA), UUID, server boot policies etc.. the Service Profile is critical for any server in the UCS domain to become functional.
One can disassociate the Service Profile from its attached server and associate it to another. After the association (attachment) of the Service Profile on the new server, the burned-in settings such as UUID and MAC addresses on the new server gets overwritten with the Service Profile configuration. Thus, without changing any physical configuration on the target server the Service Profile can easily migrate from one bare metal to another. This can serve as a mechanism for quickly replacing faulted servers with available (not associated with any Service Profile) bare metal servers.
From High Availability perspective in data centers, we can think of a Service Profile as a critical application which should be always be up and running. But the idea of monitoring the health of Service Profiles and providing HA to it differ from the traditional health monitoring that we do for enterprise applications.
How is monitoring the health of service profile different from monitoring the health of any enterprise application ?
How to achieve Service Profile failover ?
Cisco UCS Manager has exposed some XML APIs to manage entities inside the UCS domain. Be it chassis, blade server, adapter, NIC, Service Profile, etc.. every object can be modified (within the realms of possibility). Symantec solution for Cisco UCS uses these APIs to monitor health of Service Profiles and performs policy based action (failover) whenever hardware fault is identified on the server or service profile.
Model of Symantec HA solution inside UCS datacenter
Symantec UCSHA solution interacts with the UCS Manager using XML APIs and does the following