The Virtualization Practice

Author Archive for Mike Norman

Mike Norman
Mike NormanFrom 2009 to 2014 Dr Mike Norman was the Analyst at The Virtualization Practice for Open Source Cloud Computing. He covered PaaS, IaaS and associated services such as Database as a Service from an open source development and DevOps perspective. He has hands-on experience in many open source cloud technologies, and an extensive background in application lifecycle tooling; automated testing - functional, non-functional and security; digital business and DevOps. in 2014 he moved on to become Cloud Services Architect at JP Morgan Chase.

Eucalyptus is a software stack that when added to a standard virtualized data-center or co-located server network, turns it into a Cloud which looks exactly like the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). It is a “self-build” Amazon Cloud kit. Just add hypervisor.

We consider Eucalyptus in the context of cloud to datacenter migrations, and standards for cloud APIs.

In the fog of the datacenter virtualization war, it is difficult to see clearly who will end up on top, and yet the outcome is almost certainly determined, and the victorious generals are even now moving on to fight new battles. Here at the Virtualization Practice we too would like to think we can see through the fog to work out who has won, so here are our thoughts, take account of them as you wish. They concern, primarily, the big four protagonists: Microsoft/Hyper-V, Citrix /Xen, VMware/vSphere and Red Hat/KVM.

In trying to re-use some old server hardware I re-vsisted VirtualBox/Ubuntu, a viable and completely free Open Source option for non-virtualization-enabled hardware. It is a neat solution, simple and well-supported, but the open source version of VirtualBox is nobbled to make it extremely awkward to use, in a different way to VMware’s nobbling of the non-Open Source (but also free) ESXi.

Now is the time, for Oracle/Sun to put all the features of VirtualBox into the Open Source version, and let it live on, perhaps not for use on Linux servers, but as free virtualization platform for other operating systems on Windows. If Apple ever loosens up the licencing on MacOS, it could turn 15 million PCs into Macs – overnight.

The Linux Kernel Virtual Machine (KVM) has been available for some time in, for example, Ubuntu 8.0.4 LTS (Released April 2008). KVM is widely used and stable and it is high time that Red Hat who acquired KVM when they purchased Qumranet in September 2008, started to move their customers onto it – at least to remove the uncertainty in the customer base.

When VMware acquired SpringSource it also gained an OSGi runtime known as SpringSource dm Server, to which developers can directly build applications using the Spring and other development toolsets without the use of a J2EE application Server such as WebSphere or Tomcat (which is integrated into SpringSource dm Server for backwards compatibility. It is not entirely fanciful that the OSGi Runtime could, in due course, be made to run directly on the hypervisor, removing the requirement for a Guest O/S, leaving a complete VMware Enterprise Java stack.

Google Circle
Join my Circle on Google+

Plugin by Social Author Bio