Virtual Data Centre (VDC)
  • 21 Nov 2023
  • 7 Minutes to read
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Virtual Data Centre (VDC)

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Article Summary

Introduction to Virtual Data Centre

Servers Australia’s Virtual Data Centre (VDC) is a reserved pool of resources (CPU, RAM and Storage) that gives you the flexibility to deploy Virtual Machines (VMs) and configure networking through VMware’s vCloud Director. You can also manage backups for your VMs from within the same interface.

Features

Scaling Resources

If you need extra resources such as CPU, RAM or more IP addresses, you can increase these resources at any time from your VDC product page in MySAU. The full list of components that can be increased are:

  • CPU and RAM
  • Storage for all tiers
  • Additional IPs
  • Windows Licences

You can also decrease any excess resources as required.

High Availability (HA)

High Availability helps to mitigate the impact of hardware or network failures on your applications. Every VDC automatically has HA enabled. If there is a hardware or network failure of a hypervisor node on which your VDC resides, the affected VMs are immediately moved to another node without any manual intervention.  

Backups

Backups are an important part of a business continuity and disaster recovery plan. You have complete control over how you manage backups for your VDC using the Veeam Backup manager within the vCloud Director control panel. 

Backup storage automatically scales and is completely separate from your VDC storage. It doesn't consume storage from your pool of VDC resources.

Pricing for backups can be found in the pricing section of this article, below.

For a complete overview of backups, please see the “Managing Backups in VDC” article.

Ransomware Protection

Some types of ransomware attacks actively seek out backups and try to encrypt at the same time as the data in your servers, making recovery from a ransomware attack much harder. Our repositories are all set to 7 days immutability. This protects backups from modification or deletion by ransomware or hackers. GFS Full backups are made immutable for the entire duration of their retention policy. 

Short Retention Policies
Note that as there is 7 days of immutability, backups cannot be removed if they are less than 7 days old. If you set a 7-day retention policy, the original 7 days cannot be removed until after a full new 7-day backup chain is created.
This means the minimum retention would be 14 days.

Firewalls

Firewalls help protect your applications and VMs from unwanted or dangerous traffic. Your VDC includes a, fully-functional firewall as part of the edge gateway. You can configure your firewall’s rules and policies from within the vCloud Director control panel. For a complete overview of VDC firewalls, please see the firewall how-to guide

Prebuilt and Custom OS Images

Your VDC comes with several prebuilt Operating system (OS) images to get you up and running quickly. You can also upload your own ISOs to use when creating VMs. When you upload an ISO, you choose which storage tier to store the file on. Any files you upload will consume space in your storage.

Pricing and Billing

VDCs are billed monthly, and the total amount charged each month is made up of 2 components: fixed costs and variable costs.

Fixed costs are consistent month-to-month depending on your VDC configuration, and are billed up-front at the beginning of each month. The fixed cost components of your VDC are:

  • vCPUs
  • RAM
  • Storage (Tier 0, Tier 1 and Tier 2)
  • Additional IP Addresses
  • Edge Gateways
  • Number of Windows licences

Variable costs may change based on your particular usage and are billed in arrears at the end of each month. You can view your current month usage and estimated cost on your VDC page in MySAU. The variable cost components of your VDC are:

  • Data transfer
  • Backup licences (per VM)
  • Backup storage

If you decide to scale up your VDC, your fixed costs will increase. When you scale up, the difference between the current cost and the new cost is pro-rated to the end of the next billing cycle. The pro-rated amount must be paid upfront before the scale-up will take effect. 

Example
Your current billing cycle is 30 days, and there are 10 days left in the cycle. You choose to increase your fixed costs from $1000.00 per month to $1500.00 per month. The pro-rated amount is $166.67 (($1500 - $1000) / 30) * 10.

Resources

All the resources on your VDC are reserved for you, even if they’re not currently allocated to a VM. You can increase the resources assigned to your VDC at any time from within MySAU Portal. The prices for each resource component are as follows:

  • vCPU- $7.00 per vCPU. Minimum 2 vCPUs
  • RAM - $15.00 per GB. Minimum 2GB RAM
  • Storage - Starts at $0.07 per GB for Tier 2 storage, and increase as you move up the Tiers:
    • Tier 0 Blaze (25,000 IOPs) - $0.15 per GB
    • Tier 1 Hot (5,000 IOPs) - $0.10 per GB
    • Tier 2 Warm (250 IOPs) - $0.07 per GB
Note
Your storage quota is used to provision the disks for the VMs you create. They cannot be used for backup storage, and the two are not interchangeable.

Storage Requirements

When determining the minimum storage requirements for your Virtual Data Centre, you will need to take into account your expected RAM requirements. This is because for any Virtual Machine (VM) created, the system will need to generate an associated 'swap' file of equal size to the VM's allocated RAM.

Given this requirement, you will need to ensure you have additional storage available in your VDC of an amount equivalent to the allocated RAM.

Example

You require 2 VMs, one with 8GB of RAM and 100GB of storage, and the other with 12GB RAM and 100GB Storage.

You should ensure you have at least 220GB of Storage in your Virtual Data Centre, with 8GB being reserved for swap on from the first VM, and 12GB being reserved for the second.


IP Addresses

1 external IP address is included with every VDC. Additional IP addresses are $5.50 each, up to a maximum of 25.

You can create and assign as many private IP addresses as required on the internal networks inside your VDC.

Edge Gateway

Each VDC is provisioned with an NSX-T edge gateway, which is where your public IP addresses are assigned. On the edge gateway, you can create north-south firewall, and NAT rules, and can also configure IPsec VPN tunnels.

Data Transfer

We only charge for outbound data transfers (from your VDC out to the internet) which are measured at the VDC edge gateway and start at $0.06/GiB for the first 10,000 GiB/month. The price for outbound data transfer is calculated on the total usage per month, and decreases as you use more:

  • 0-10,000 - $0.06 per GB
  • 10,000-50,000 - $0.05 per GB
  • 50,000-100,000 - $0.04 per GB
  • 100,000+ - $0.03 per GB

All inbound data transfer (from the internet into your VDC) is free. 

All internal traffic between VMs inside a single VDC is unmetered. However, traffic between multiple VDCs on the same account are charged at the standard rates.

Data transfer is billed monthly in arrears. You can view the usage for the current month on your VDC’s page in MySAU.


Billable Utility
This is classified as a billable utility and will be charged only if consumed. There are no discounts available to these via contract termed deals.

Backups (self-service)

Backups for your VDC are billed monthly in arrears and are shared across all VDCs on the same account. The monthly price is made up of 2 components:

Each VM that is covered by a backup policy during the month incurs a flat rate fee of $12.50/month. You are not charged extra if a VM is covered by multiple policies. If a VM is not covered, there is no charge for that VM.

The price for storage is determined by the amount of space used to store all backups. This starts at $0.07/GB for the first 10,000 GB/month, and the pricing tiers decrease as you use more:

  •     0-10,000 - $0.07 per GB
  •     10,000-20,000 - $0.06 per GB
  •     20,000+ - $0.05 per GB

Backup storage usage is billed monthly in arrears. 

There is no charge for bandwidth in/out of the backup platform.

You can view the usage for the current month on your VDC’s page in MySAU.


Billable Utility
This is classified as a billable utility and will be charged only if you consumed.
Example
You have backup policies applied to 2 out of 6 VMs in a VDC. The total amount of disk space used for storing the backups is 1,500GB. The total monthly charge is $130 (2 * $12.50) + (1500 * $0.07).
Note
We do not automatically remove any backups when a VDC is terminated. You are billed for any backup storage usage that remains after termination. To end billing, please ensure that your backups are deleted from the backup manager.

Windows Licences

The cost of one Windows licence is $60.00/month and covers a single VM. If you need to purchase licences for more than 8 VMs, choose the Unlimited option which allows you to install Microsoft Windows on as many VMs as you like in your VDC for a flat rate of $500.00/month. 

You must ensure that all VMs running Microsoft Windows on your VDC are correctly licensed. As per our SPLA agreement, we regularly audit the usage of Microsoft Windows across our network to ensure compliance.

Windows licences only apply to the VDC in which they are purchased.

Limits

  • By default, you can only scale up your VDC up to a maximum of 256 vCPUs, 512GB RAM and 15 TB of disk space per tier from within MySAU Portal. Please contact our sales team to discuss scaling your allocation beyond these limits.
  • The maximum number of assigned IP addresses is 26 (1 included + 25 additional).
  • It is not possible to transfer IP addresses currently used on your existing services with Servers Australia if you migrate to a VDC.



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