CloudScale Reference Architectures: Proven enterprise cloud solutions

By Phil Williams | | Cloud

Today we announced CloudScale Reference Architectures, a new program for our technology alliance partners. These are both hardware- and software-based blueprints that help organizations build repeatable, proven infrastructure stacks.

Enterprises continue to modernize IT and embrace cloud architectures. However, most enterprises still don’t know the exact recipe for the cloud. How much is on premises versus in a public cloud? Do I use VMs or containers and for which apps? Do I use OpenStack to manage my cloud and, if so, where do Apache Mesos and Kubernetes fit in?

These are tough questions and the onus of answering them should fall on us, the technology industry. Given the pedigree of our founder, Hedvig has the fortuitous position of being a trusted advisor to our customers. CloudScale Reference Architectures are a codification of that expertise. More importantly, they equip our CloudScale Partner Program solution providers with the same capabilities.


Over time you’ll see us introduce a wide array of CloudScale Reference Architectures. You can download them all here. We chose to start with Docker, though. Many of our customers have seen grassroots adoption of Docker containers, but now they need an enterprise-ready and IT-managed approach. There are three inaugural reference architectures for Docker environments:

  • QuantaGrid CloudScale Reference Architecture: a hyperscale integrated system for plug-n-play containers using Docker Datacenter.
  • ClusterHQ CloudScale Reference Architecture: a software-only reference architecture for HA databases using Docker Swarm, Apache Mesos, or Google Kubernetes orchestration.
  • ContainerX CloudScale Reference Architecture: a reference architecture for enabling Windows and VMware environments to manage Docker from a single management tool.

Stay tuned as we provide more details on each. In fact, my colleague Eric Carter will elaborate on the ClusterHQ solution tomorrow. I’d like to take a moment to detail our Quanta Cloud Technology solution as we believe this will accelerate enterprise adoption of Docker. You can download the solution brief or visit us at booth S15 at DockerCon 16 to see the solution live!


Hedvig partnered with Quanta Cloud Technology to build a solution around one of the most innovative servers we’ve seen: the QuantaGrid D51PH­-1ULH. Why? Because this is a 1U rack-mounted server that provides 12 3.5” drives plus four SSDs. This is the perfect foundation for a space-efficient, high-density, high-performance software-defined storage solution.

We built a four-node solution around this basic building block. Three servers run the Hedvig Distributed Storage Platform, and one server (with different CPU, memory, and drive configurations) runs the Docker Datacenter stack. This four-node solution provides a complete integrated system with software-defined compute, networking, and storage. It’s designed to run both stateless and stateful containers (e.g. MySQL, MongoDB, or Cassandra) and scale from tens of containers to thousands. As your needs grow, you can simply add more four-node “blocks” to scale container compute and data capacity together, or choose to scale the compute and storage nodes separately.

The result is a system that benefits from the simplicity and ease-of-management advantages of a hyperconverged solution but with the scalability and flexibility of a hyperscale system. (Read our previous blog on hyperconverged versus hyperscalefor a more detailed primer and infographic.) Put simply, this CloudScale Reference Architecture does for containers what reference architectures like VMware’s EVO:RAIL and EMC’s VSPEX strive to do for VMs.


Diving a bit deeper into the QuantaGrid CloudScale Reference Architecture, there are four fully integrated components:

  • Hedvig Distributed Storage Platform – a software-defined storage solution that virtualizes and aggregates flash and spinning disk in an industry-standard server cluster or cloud, presenting it as a single, elastic storage system that can be accessed as block, file, or object storage. Hedvig’s storage flexibility and economics were designed from the beginning for VM- and container-based environments.
  • Hedvig Docker Volume Plugin – takes advantage of the Docker Volume API to integrate the Hedvig storage platform with Docker Datacenter and ensure persistent, portable access to storage resources. It is Installed on each host that requires access to Hedvig storage.
  • QuantaGrid rack-mounted servers – QCT’s innovative D51PH-1ULH features a hybrid-tiered storage architecture in an ultra-dense hot-swappable 1U platform. The D51PH-1ULH is a rackmount server based on Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 v3, v4 product family and with up to 1TB memory capacity. It hosts up to 12x hot-swappable 3.5” disk drives and 4x hot-swappable 2.5” SATA SSD.
  • Docker Datacenter – an integrated container-as-a-service solution that includes leading Docker open source projects like Docker Engine, Docker Swarm, Docker Universal Control Plane, and Docker Trusted Registry with commercial software, and integrations with validated and supported configurations.

To learn more about this solution and see the full recipe for the hyperscale integrated system, download the full reference architecture showcasing stateful containers using Apache web server and MongoDB.