The Virtualization Practice

Business Agility

Business Agility covers using the technical agility delivered by virtualization and cloud computing to improve business agility, performance and results. This includes the agility derived from the proper implementation of Agile and DevOps methodologies, the agility derived from proper application and system architectures, ...
the agility derived from the proper implementation of Infrastructure as a Server (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS) clouds, the agility derived from proper monitoring of the environment coupled with a process to resolve problems quickly, and the agility derived from have continuous availability through the use of high availability and disaster recovery products and procedures in place.

Whatever your enterprise desktop issue – VDI is often hailed as the answer. But a remote desktop is not always available anytime, anyplace, anywhere. More importantly, a VDI infrastructure is complex and expensive to deliver. Virtualisation will certainly play a major part in the next generation desktop: but does that next generation desktop have to be hosted and run in a datacentre? A client hypervisor can solve the issues that are inherent for many applications and use cases when you take the compute power away from the end-device and try and put it back in the data centre?

If you are going to try to virtualize performance critical applications in 2012, you should arm yourself with a tool that can measure how those applications perform in the eyes of their end users – which is their end-to-end response time. The approach you take should be a function of the mix of applications you have to support – including whether they are purchased or custom developed and if custom developed with what language or framework.

VMware is going to make progress on its automated service assurance vision this year, with initial steps coming in the Q1/2012 version of vCenter Operations and the initial release of vFabric APM. On the third party vendor front, progress is most likely to come by partnerships between vendors who have interesting pieces of the puzzle, but do not have the entire puzzle themselves. On this front the most interesting vendors are Netuitive, Prelert, Blue Stripe, ExtrHop Networks, and VMTurbo. The wild card in this equation is how service assurance will fit with cloud management and offerings from vendors like DynamicOps, Abiquo, Platform Computing and Gale Technologies.

Citrix Release CloudGateway Enterprise v1: Aggregated Cloud Access Nearer than the Horizon?

CloudGateway is a unified service broker that aggregates, controls and delivers all apps and data, including Windows, web, SaaS and mobile, to ANY device, anywhere. It provides end-users with an intuitive single point of access via Citrix Receiver and self-service to all their business apps on any device anywhere, and provides IT with a comprehensive single point of aggregation and control for all apps.

The 2012 Cloud Management Challenge

Private cloud management offerings are today very well suited to create and manage self-service scenarios for workloads that are either transient, or that require significant scaling of resources during the daily or weekly cycle of business activity. Private cloud management offerings are today not well suited to be the management solution through which all future workloads get provisioned an managed – but must become so, so as to participate in the further progress of virtualization. The best way for private cloud solutions to leverage the further progress of virtualization, is to help drive it- by helping to drive the concept of automated service assurance for business critical applications.

While the legacy enterprise management vendors might like to think of themselves as the Borg (prepare to be assimilated – there is no escape), the new technical requirements and the new buying patterns in the virtualization market do not lend themselves to a repeat of history. Legacy management vendors are unlikely to be able to acquire themselves into this market because their core platforms and business models do not work with the customers who are running virtualized environments and buying management solutions. So to my good friend Andi Mann, I respectfully disagree.

2011 Winners and Losers in Virtualization Management

The management ecosystem for virtualization started to transform significantly in 2011, driven by VMware’s new management strategy and management offerings. The big four are now boxed into an untenable position with expensive software that is hard to buy and hard to deploy. In 2012 there will be aggressive partnering in the ecosystem as vendors try to compete with the VMware suite by integrating with other vendors who have adjacent functionality.

Of all the vendors in the hosted desktop space, Citrix has been delivering desktop virtualisation solutions the longest. As such, perhaps they are the most aware that an enterprise desktop strategy isn’t about delivering a single solution. A solution needs to be flexible enough to present a variety of services to a range of devices. This isn’t just about having different client support, but about delivering applications and data either to different environments: secure and insecure, managed and unmanaged, fat and thin.

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