The Virtualization Practice

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Public Cloud SLA’s are worthless. They need to be replaced by metrics that measure the responsiveness of what the cloud provider owns to the layer of software from the customer running in the cloud. Developing these metrics will require significant changes to existing APM approaches in order to be able to separate time spent in the application from time spent in the application framework or OS.

Federated Clouds? Possible?

Mike DiPetrillo’s post entitled VMware is Building Clouds sparked some interesting thoughts and discussion about what it means to have federated clouds and how do you define such federation? Is federated required to make ‘cloud’ ubiquitous or are we already there? But is the discussion really about federated clouds or simplistic data object movement between the VMs or about cloud management?

A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is an excellent expectations-managing mechanism, but it’s important to manage your own expectations of what an SLA can realistically accomplish. Just those three words “Service” “Level” and “Agreement” is often an attention turn-off I know: SLAs are to infrastructure bods what documentation is to developers. Yet, when considering taking up cloud and utility services many consider that the SLAs offered aren’t reliable, if they exist at all. So the SLA becomes the blocker – ‘If I move services out of my data centre, how will I guarantee availability and performance’.

Amazon’s Service Level Agreement (SLA) is so narrowly-drawn that it could easily be argued that the recent Elastic Block Store (EBS) outage wasn’t a failure of Amazon Web Services at all. Anyone using EBS in a production environment was, arguably, reaping the fruits of their own folly. Of course they don’t tell you when you read the hype that architecting for resilience in the Cloud is actually very complicated, particularly if you want to take the sensible step of not relying on a single provider like Amazon, no-matter how dominant their hype may be.

VDI Printing. Is it the Nemesis it was with Presentation Virtualisation? We consider the core printing options for the likes of Citrix XenDesktop, Microsoft RDS, Quest vWorkspace and VMware View; and how they match to our printing considerations. We take an overview of solutions from ThinPrint, triCerat and UniPrint. An effective printing strategy must provide both the facility for printing to local printers as well as remote printing and include dedicated print server support. Ideally, you are in a better position to understand the cost of printing to your organisation: but don’t be surprised with incredulous looks when you tell user’s how much printing out their team meeting agenda cost.

Running VMware on legacy infrastructure is like driving a Ferrari on a gravel road. If you look at what is run in most production VMware environments today, the only really new things in the environment is VMware vSphere, and possibly some new monitoring, security and backup tools. We have barely started to reinvent everything that needs to be reinvented in order to properly take virtualization, IT as a Service and public clouds to their logical and most beneficial conclusions.

Veeam Survey on using Enterprise Management tools for Virtualization

Many enterprises see virtualization as an opportunity to dump what they perceive as expensive, inflexible, and difficult to use enterprise management tools in favor of ones built for the new dynamic data center. Other enterprises simply view virtualization as one more silo that that needs to be managed with existing tools. Veeam’s nworks products clearly cater to the group who fall into the latter category.