The Virtualization Practice

Data Center Virtualization

Data Center Virtualization covers virtualizing servers, networks, and storage delivering server consolidation, CAPEX savings, IT agility, and improved management. Major areas of focus include the tradeoffs between various virtualization platforms (VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and Red Hat KVM), the evolution of hypervisors into data center management platforms, ...
VMware’s Software Defined Data Center strategy, and how the SDDC is spurring innovation in storage, networking and server hardware. Covered vendors indlude VMware, Microsoft, Red Hat, CloudPhysics, Hotlink, Tintri, and VMTurbo.

As business critical applications move into production virtualized environments, the need arises to ensure their performance from a response time perspective. Legacy Applications Performance Management tools are in many cases not well suited to make the jump from static physical systems, to dynamic virtual and cloud based systems. For these reasons enterprises need to consider new tools from vendors that have virtualization aware and cloud aware features in their APM solutions. Vendors like AppDynamics, BlueStripe, Corellsense, ExtraHop Networks, dynatrace, New Relic, and VMware (vFabric APM) are currently leading this race to redefine the market for APM solutions.

I mentioned in my last post that I have started the process of preparing for my VCP5 exam that I need to have finished by the end of February. While I was watching the Trainsignal training video about installing and configuring vCenter, I got to thinking about how much vCenter had changed and matured over the years. Let’s start with a look at where vCenter started and where it is today.

News: VMware vCenter Operations Suite 5.0 Now Available

The delivery of vCenter Operations 5.0 to the market by VMware represents several important milestones in Operations Management for virtualized environments. The tight integration with vSphere and the integration of the Integrien analytics with real time configuration change detection and application mapping put a nail in the coffin of legacy solutions that rely upon periodically updated CMDB’s to understand the environment. The integration of performance, capacity, configuration, and application discovery first into a bundle and later into a full suite will put pressure on many vendors of point solution. However the biggest question remains the viability of a management strategy focused just upon vSphere, when every other vendor (including Microsoft) is taking a more open and cross-platform approach.

The answer is to dramatically narrow the scope and set of enforcement actions for SOPA and PIPA so that they target just offshore sites engaged in large scale commercial piracy and so that the existing safe harbor for sites that take content from users is both maintained and formally recognized as an exception to the scope of SOPA and PIPA. This will ensure that law enforcement can go after the really bad actors, and that the many good and useful sites and are the basis of the “good Internet” are not collateral damage in these enforcement efforts.

News: Virsto introduces new virtual storage options for VMware and Hyper-V

The virtual storage market is hotting up with Virsto Stoftware’s announcement of two new products for release Tuesday, January 17th. Following on from its June 2011 acquisition of EvoStor and building on its existing Virsto for VDI platform, Silicon Valley-based Virsto Software has made good on its investment by announcing the release of Virsto for vSphere.

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.

New Year and New Exam – Prepping for the VCP5

Happy New Year and welcome to 2012 and as is customary this time of year, I would like to start things out in 2012 with a New Year’s Resolution. My resolution this year is to take the VMware VCP5 exam before the class requirement grace period comes to an end for all of us VCP4s. When I see that someone has made a post that they passed an exam that I need to take, I have a question that immediately comes to my mind. What did you use as your reference and study material? Since the clock is ticking for a lot of us to complete the exam, I wanted to share some of the resources that I will be using and hopefully if you have something else that you use, please comment and share your secrets.

Data Protection techniques should be implemented and tested long before they are needed. This is a necessary component of any IT organization. However, the most recent communities podcast brought to light several implementation aspects of Data Protection, specifically about Disaster Recovery: organizations still do not test their DR plans and organizations are waiting for a hardware refresh to implement a DR plan.

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.