Is it time to plan for the virtual future in our virtual designs? Happy New Year and welcome to 2013!! What a year 2012 turned out to be for virtualization and/or cloud computing in general. Microsoft Hyper-V, RedHat and VMware have all made quite a few enhancements with the hypervisor and we have finally gotten to a point where we really have some good competition between hypervisors, but also the competition boundaries are being expanded to include much more than just the hypervisor itself as we start to focus on the ecosystem as a whole.
It is time to expand the virtual playing field. Since the release of both Hyper-V 2012 and vSphere 5.1, there have been an abundant amount of posts comparing the two hypervisors in a head to head fashion. All the different charts, graphs, and tables point to the fact that when comparing maximum values head to head.
I can remember back in the day when we connected to the Internet via a modem and were charged by the minute while accessing the “Information Superhighway”. Now, the Internet and really, the network it runs on, has pretty much become invisible to the naked eye. Just as we expect the lights to turn on when we flick a switch, we also pretty much expect the internet to always beon and always available without thinking twice about it. Internet service providers have gotten past the point of only wanting Wi-Fi in your house to now working on providing connectivity to the entire city, giving the metro user internet access from inside and outside of your home or office.
Moving to the cloud! Let me be a little more precise and say moving to the public cloud. This concept has really been embraced and thrives in the consumer area but will this concept really take off in the corporate world and really should it? One of the main concepts of virtualization, in the beginning, was the ability to consolidate physical systems into a virtual environment to shrink the overall foot print size as well as being able to take advantage and use all available compute resources available in a physical server and having centralized control of the compute, storage and networking resources.
One of the companies and technology to watch is Hotlink with its Cross Platform Management Technology (winner of Best of Show, VMworld 2012). If you have not heard of this before I think you will in the near future. This technology allows you to use VMware’s vCenter Server to manage and control all major hypervisors and public clouds to include VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (KVM), CloudStack, and Amazon EC2 all from within VMware vCenter.
One topic that gets discussed quite often is Microsoft Hyper-V vs VMware vSphere and a quick Google search will return at least several hundred thousand hits. There seems to be a large number of posts and articles trying to make a case for which version is better by listing and comparing features one by one of the hypervisor itself. The purpose of this post is not to campaign which platform is better than the other. Is that the best way to really compare the different virtualization technologies as a whole or should we take a step up to a higher point of view and really look at difference in approach for the virtual infrastructure and/or virtual ecosystems?
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Stratus Technologies, one of the leaders in hardware fault tolerant platforms, has acquired its main competitor, Marathon Technologies in a move that consolidates the best of hardware and software fault tolerant computing systems into a single entity. Stratus’s claim to fame came from its hardware fault tolerant servers that were built in pairs, with duplicate hardware, to ensure that no single component failure will cause any system downtown. Stratus built very solid and reliable systems but on its own proprietary hardware and this acquisition now expands Stratus’s ability to provide software fault tolerance to any industry-standard physical or virtual server. This opens opportunities for new customers no matter what physical hardware the customers uses and prefers.
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Now that VMword 2012 San Francisco is over and I have some time to reflect on my virtualization thoughts in general before getting ready for VMworld Barcelona. One thing I took noticed with the recent announcements about vSphere 5.1 and Hyper-V 2012. Microsoft and VMware both released a specific new feature to each platform respectfully at basically the same time. Is this a sign that Microsoft is really closing the gap on VMware? I think we are getting there but I have also made some other personal observations on how I think both see virtualization in the future and I foresee a completely different method and mindset for the future between these two companies.
Now that VMworld 2012 is well underway I wanted to share some of my first thoughts and observations about the conference. At the start of the conference, during the first General Session, the virtual passing of the torch from the outgoing CEO, Paul Maritz to the new incoming CEO, Pat Gelsinger took place with Mr. Gelsinger getting his opportunity to say hello to a crowd of around twenty thousand people that are present at the show.
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