The Virtualization Practice

VMware + Ionix Assets – Impact Upon the Virtualization Performance Market

Existing VMware offerings competed in the Resource and Availability Management space prior to the acquisition of the Ionix assets, and the acquisition has done nothing to change the fact that vendors in this space face strong competition from VMware (or certainly will do so once Hyperic is integrated and ships as a VMware product). Infrastructure Performance Management is the key category that IT Operations needs to focus upon to understand the performance of their virtual environment, and the acquisitions do not change the positions of Akorri, CA/NetQos, Virtual Instruments and Xangati in this space. Adding ADM to VMware’s assets in the APM space adds a significant capability, but at the end of the day does not yet put VMware in the position to be able to provide an APM solution across physical and potentially multiple virtual environments as can AppDynamics, BlueStripe, Coradiant, New Relic and OPNET.

In many ways, the IT world has gone certification happy. Nearly every job requirement lists certifications as well as length of service, however, in the realm of cloud computing and virtualization what do these certifications mean? Are they even valuable? Is there a general enough certification that covers all the hypervisors, is there a third party certification available?

On March 18, Microsoft embarked on a major offensive to focus the desktop virtualisation market away from VMware View. Microsoft announced updates for their desktop virtualization technologies and solutions, including virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). The question is, are these announcements marketing hype or do they actually help deliver an improved VDI experience? Indeed, are you a VMware View in peril? The announcements from Microsoft and Citrix to little to impact on this marketing statement especially when we consider that, licensing changes aside, this announcement is an announcement of things to come, not an announcement of things available now.Perhaps an effective rescue for VMWare’s VDI will be to for VMware to deliver their client side hypervisor first and offer a single management environment for a business desktop delivery, regardless of device.

We recently received a presentation on a combined solution from Eucalyptus and Terracotta. Initially we were suspicious because they clearly share an investor – Benchmark Capital. Was this a PowerPoint integration dreamt up by two Venture Capitalists over a power breakfast? However, the combined solution was presented by some very plausible techies with a real-live demo and does look as though it starts to provide a generally-useful abstraction over which to deploy scalable applications (specifically Java stacks), and it too works with commodity hardware. It’s not as slick as the 3Tera solution, more of a command-line approach, but it potentially has the edge in scalability.

Cloud Applications Performance Management gets Serious

I had the opportunity to present on Applications Performance Management for Cloud Hosted Applications at the Cloud Connect Conference in Santa Clara CA on March 15, 2010. It was an eventful presentation as I was part of panel assembled by Hon Won (former founder of NetIQ and now EVP of Business Development at Coradiant). The panels included users of business critical applications in the cloud, cloud vendors, and vendors of performance management applications for cloud hosted applications.

The most recent Virtualization Security Podcast was on the subject of virtualization security for the SMB. Specifically cover the case where the customer wanting virtualization security could afford to purchase a hypervisor and perhaps one other security product. In the end the panelists came up with a list of suggestions for virtualization security for the SMB that are applicable to all levels of Virtualization. The panel looked at SMB security with an eye towards Availability, Integrity, and Confidentiality.

Bringing a Virtual Host to its Knees

I recently got called to examine some performance issues that were happening to a VMware VDI Cluster. I was told all the hosts in the cluster would run at 100% CPU utilization for an extended period of time and the client would like an explanation and recommendation. I pretty much had a good idea what the problem was before I ever started looking at hosts. I know this topic has been covered many times before but it does not seem like it has been covered enough.