Hosted Virtual Desktop (aka VDI) environments are sufficiently complex and different from either physical desktops or virtualized servers to warrant a dedicated approach to planning and assessing the migration from physical desktops to virtual desktops, and a dedicated approach to monitoring the resulting HDV environment in production.
On January 25th 2010 VMware reported earnings for the fourth quarter of 2009 and for the full year of 2009. While we are not a financial analysis site focused upon earnings and stock prices, there is important information contained in these earnings numbers about the success of VMware.
Enterprises are urged to look at virtualization management as a separate purchasing decision from the decision to purchase and standardize upon a virtualization platform. Third party vendors are likely to be more in tune with the requirements of constituents other than virtualization administrators, and products from these third party vendors are more likely to provide robust support for multiple virtualization platforms.
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Capacity Planning and Capacity Management are essential activities for any production virtualization deployment, and should be supported with appropriate tools that support the target hypervisor(s). However, the emerging need in this area is for true Infrastructure Performance Management – as these solutions give the IT Operations staff the information that they need to be able to confidently support Tier 1 applications in production – while being able to demonstrate the performance of the virtualized system to the applications owners and business constituencies.
It is clear that once virtualization started delivering hard dollar CAPEX and OPEX savings to IT executives that these executives wanted this trend of “more for less” to continue. Most IT organizations are far from 100% virtualized, and there are still substantial cost savings to be gained from further virtualization. However, forward thinking vendors (like Cisco, EMC, and HP) see the handwriting the wall and are taking steps now to be able to deliver solutions at reduced costs to their customers.
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Virtualization has been a catalyst for significant changes in the performance management business at all layers of the IT stack (from hardware to transaction). These changes have only begun. As the more and more tier 1 applications get migrated over to a virtual infrastructure, these vendors will advance their functionality, and more vendors will jump into the fray. It is also highly likely that over the next 24 months, the larger traditional vendors (HP, IBM, BMC) will get more active in this space – driven primarily by the fact that CA has now gotten active via its acquisition of NetQos.
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If VMware buys Zimbra it will set off a a nuclear hand grenade throwing contest between Microsoft and VMware. Microsoft is trying to commoditize the layer of software where VMware makes all of its money – the hypervisor. VMware is returning the favor by using open source initiatives like SpringSource and (possibly) Zimbra to commoditize the layers where Microsoft makes all of its money – applications and applications platforms.
Quite a bit has gone on in our industry in the last year. While this is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all that has occurred, we hope that we have captured the important events that have shaped virtualization and cloud computing.
VMware is today a product, the start of an architecture and almost certainly a culture. How this changes as VMware adapts in order to continue to grow and drive its market share will be interesting to watch. A great deal of very technically competent people have become part of the VMware ecosystem because VMware is both difficult t to fully master completely and because it drives great benefits to the enterprises that adopt it and the service providers that implement it.
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