The Virtualization Practice
DesktopVirtualization

Dell has joined the the highly competitive and technically diversified single box desktop virtualization market in partnership with Citrix to package VDI-in-a-Box as a virtual appliance. The somewhat awkwardly named Dell “DVS Simplified 1010″ appliance is built on the Dell PowerEdge R710 rack server that comes pre-installed with Citrix XenServer 5.6 and VDI-in-a-Box 5.0.

SSD options for Virtual (and Physical) Environments Part III: What type of SSD is best for you?

Part 1 of this series laid out the basics of nand flash SSD with part II discussing endurance and performance. This part looks at SSD options for virtual servers, vdi or virtual desktop as well as storage for physical server environments, your usage and configuration criteria will have a bearing on what type of SSD solution is best for you.

VirtualizationBackup

While participating in the GestaltIT Virtualization Field Day #2, I was asking Symantec about Application Aware Backups. In other words, could one backup an entire application, regardless of how the application was defined. This concept goes hand in hand with Application Aware Security measures. We can always backup VMs and their data to remote locations, but can we backup or maintain the application interactions within a multi-VM Application regardless of how it is defined.

I was involved with the design and deployment of a small proof of concept that would introduce virtualization to a local SMB in my area. The idea was to build them something small that they would grow into and at the same time demonstrate all the really cool things that virtualization can bring to the table. I built a couple of hosts and deployed virtual center virtually, as well as added the VMware Management Appliance and the VMware Mobile appliance. It is really fun to get a chance to introduce virtualization to people, it is almost as fun as bringing a child to a candy store. Showing the client what they can do with virtualization as well as what they can do on their iPad is just priceless.

My answer to my computing needs is a very high end Windows 7 desktop, a very low end Windows 7 Netbook and an Android phone. I am and will always be a non-fan of the vertically integrated Apple model. I will probably always pay a price in terms of complexity of my computing life for this bias. But being a free market economist at heart, I like Shrek believe in the value of layers. I believe that processors, system software, device design, operating system design, applications development and content are all separate disciplines with completely separate bases of comparative advantage. I believe that attempts to integrate across these layers in a proprietary and closed way will fail. Windows computers have always outsold Mac’s for this reason. Android phones are already outselling iPhones for this reason. If Microsoft could get its act together on the phone and tablet front, it could restore the natural economic order of the marketplace to the device industry. But that is the subject of another post.

Application Security within the Virtual and Cloud Environments

Virtualization and Cloud Security architects, pundits, and writers like myself often talk about protecting the data within the virtual and cloud environments. However, in order to protect that data we need to be able to determine how the data will be used, accessed, modified, and eventually removed. So, how can we understand data security without understanding the application around it. But there is an even more fundamental problem, how do we define the application and the security measures we should take?

PerformanceManagement

Virtualization is such a profound change to how systems operate that it not only creates new management requirements, but it also breaks legacy management solutions. For these reasons, enterprises should look outside of traditional legacy management vendors for their virtualization performance and capacity management solutions. The focus should be on the richness of the virtualization aware functionality in the solutions, their support of multiple platforms, and how easy the solution is to try, buy and implement.

SSD options for Virtual (and Physical) Environments, Part II: The call to duty, SSD endurance

Let’s continue by taking a look at endurance for storing and retaining data using nand flash SSD. The importance of the first part of this series is to understand the basics of nand flash based SSD in order to make informed decisions on what is the best for your virtual or physical environment. In addition to SLC (high cost, improved duty cycles) and MLC (higher capacity, lower cost), there is also EMLC or Enterprise MLC which is striving for a balance between SLC and MLC characteristics.