The Virtualization Practice

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In case you missed it, Intel has bought McAfee, a security company best known for virus scanning and other malware detection software, for $7.68Bn (on revenues of about $2Bn). This is a tidy multiple in any marketplace, particularly as McAfee is not the dominant player. It is the largest deal Intel has ever done, and the largest pure-play security deal ever. Plus the deal was in cash.

Add to this the Intel plan to purchase the Wireless Solution unit of Infineon (for $1.4Bn) and you now have the direction in which Intel plans to go. More Security in the hardware.

With VMworld around the corner, it is interesting to note the new an old players within the Virtualization Backup space. The virtualization backup space often includes:

* VM Backup
* VM Replication
* Continuous Data Protection (CDP)
* Storage Hardware Replication

Pretty much anything that will maintain your VMs while allowing your data to be placed elsewhere for later retrieval; such a place could be the cloud. In this article we will avoid Storage Hardware Replication and discuss only backup software.

When I first started with virtualization, the only option you had at the time was single core processors in the hosts. Scale up or scale out was the hot debatable topic when designing your infrastructure. On one side of the coin the idea was to scale up in that it was best to get a few of the biggest servers you could find and load them up with as much memory and processors that you could fit in the box. The end result were some very expensive servers able to run a lot of virtual machines for its time. The other side of the coin presented the idea that it was better to scale out with more, smaller servers to make up the cluster. I have worked in both type of environments and attitudes over the years and as for me, personally, I aligned myself with the scale out philosophy. The simple reason for aligning with the scale out group was host failure.

There are some applications that are “never” going to go into a public cloud and the monitoring of those applications is not going to be done on a MaaS basis either. However, the ease with which these solutions can be purchased, initially deployed and then managed on an ongoing basis means that for applications that fit into a public cloud deployment scenario (you can live with the security and performance issues of the public cloud), MaaS is a very viable option for the monitoring of these applications and may represent the future of monitoring just as Cloud Computing may represent the future of computing.

The Consolidated server stack has been the big items over the last year using converged network adapters, blades, and integrated storage that is designed around providing an order-able element that is a single SKU that provides enough resources for a set number of VMs. Currently the VCE colition has the VBlock which combines VMware, Cisco, and EMC products into a single stack. HP has its Matrix stack. But where is IBM’s and Dell’s stacks. Could the acquisition of 3Par be the beginning of a integrated stack play from Dell?

VMworld is clearly the largest dedicated virtualization conference, and yet from an Open Source perspective it is slightly disappointing because the VMware ecosystem naturally attracts proprietary software vendors, and also some of the more interesting activities in Open Source are through multi-vendor foundations which do not have the same marketing budgets as vendors themselves.

Nevertheless, there are a number of key Open Source players, and some interesting smaller players, represented at VMworld.