Published On: 29th June 20174 min readTags: , , , ,

Business Challenge

Cisco’s Secure Ops is a managed cybersecurity solution for OT (Operational Technology) networks, targeted to medium sized and large enterprises. Their original architecture ran in their datacenter and was dependent on non-HA local storage to provide the performance and uptime required for their clients. When they revised the architecture to include a clientside compute infrastructure to provide security protection paired with a datacenter component to collect and analyze data, they required a new approach to servers and storage.

The new solution needed to be cost-effective but still deliver the required performance and high availability to ensure their clients’ information is always protected. They were also looking to conserve space and find the most rack-dense solution possible.


At each client site, there is a cluster of two Cisco UCS C220 M4 rack servers that communicate back to another cluster of two Cisco UCS C240 M4 rack servers in a Secure Ops datacenter. The servers are virtualized using VMware and the storage is virtualized by StorMagic using internal server disks. There is no need for external storage arrays at any of the sites. Additionally, SvSAN mirrors data between servers that provides the required high availability at each location. Before selecting StorMagic SvSAN to deliver the virtual storage, they also evaluated other virtual storage software solutions, an integrated hyperconverged appliance solution, a traditional external storage array and an inhouse development approach using open source software. The Cisco/StorMagic solution was selected because all of the design requirements were met: low cost, performance, high availability and density.

Why StorMagic

The Cisco Advanced Services team that developed the Secure Ops solution is very happy with their choice of Cisco servers and StorMagic’s SvSAN for virtual storage and high availability.

They now have an extremely rack-dense solution at each site, without the cost, complexity or space required by traditional external storage arrays. Many of their end user clients are in locations that have poor network connectivity and depend on satellite links (256Kb bandwidth/up to 3 second latency) – SvSAN performs flawlessly in these harsh environments. Deployment and management have been a breeze as they’ve been able to handle all of it from a remote location. Secure Ops has been able to lower their capital expenditures by more than 40% and uptime went from 96% to over 99% – which eliminates a lot of headaches for their support team.

Technical Configuration

Server Configuration (Per Server)

SvSAN License SvSAN 8TB Platinum
Hardware Cisco UCS C220 M4 and UCS C240 M4
CPU 2 per server, 20 cores each
Memory 128GB per server
Storage Mix of 2.5” and 3.5” 10K and 15K disks, RAID-5 (single parity)
Datacenter clusters: 20 disks, 18TB allocated for SvSAN
Client-side clusters: 6 disks, 6TB allocated for SvSAN
Networking Each cluster: 2 x 10Gb direct connection between client and Secure Ops datacenter: satellite (256Kb/sec)
Hypervisor VMware vSphere 5.5 & 6.5 (Enterprise Edition)
Applications Proprietary Cisco Secure Ops applications designed for security protection and analysis.
Multiple Windows and Linux VMs required at each location.
Data Protection Veeam

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