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.

DataCenterVirtualization

Since the start of the Windows 8 Public Beta, there has been a great deal of discussions and comparisons galore. There have been points made that Microsoft Hyper-V will be good enough to draw good consideration in companies looking to the future. For me personally, feature comparison was not my first consideration. One measurement that I consider is the eco-structure of the technology or in other words, how large is the 3rd party partners and products supporting both the technologies?

CloudComputing

A customer recently asked me, can we virtualize our Tier 1 App that receives 7Billion requests per day? My initial response was, on how many servers? Their answer was 15. This is quite a shocking set of numbers to consider. Add into this numbers such as 150K sessions per second, the need for a firewall, and sub-second response time and you end up with a few more shocking numbers. So could such workloads be virtualized? or is it too big for Virtualization?

DataCenterVirtualization

When we look for patterns from the past, sometimes we can really get a good idea of what the future might entail.

If you take a look at the way VMware has rolled out licensing changes during each of the major releases you can see a pattern and get an idea of what the future may bestow on us. When Virtual Center was first released, vMotion and vSMP were licensed separately from Virtual Center as an add-on for Virtual Center.

Once VMware ESX3 was released, vMotion and vSMP pretty much became a standard feature included in ESX3. Virtual Center was still sold separately and then VMware presented three licensing models for VMware ESX3.

CloudComputing

EMC VSPEX is a converged infrastructure offering targeting private clouds offered through EMC and VMware VAR’s. This focus upon the channel makes this the first “private cloud in a box” that is explicitly designed for VAR’s and SI’s to take to their mid-market customers. As such the potential for such an offering is huge. However it is highly likely that the success of VSPEX will be clouded by EMC’s less than stellar track record with the channel, and the complete absence of management software from the offering.

Hotlink SuperVISOR – vCenter for Hyper-V, KVM, and XenServer

If you are going to have more than one virtualization platform, you should not have more than one virtualization management stack. Hotlink SuperVISOR lets you use the market leading virtualization console (vCenter) to manage other virtualization platforms like Hyper-V, KVM, and XenServer. Furthermore it extends the vCenter API data used by third party management vendors with data from these other platforms, turning Hotlink into the management data broker for the virtualization management industry.

CloudComputing

There is a difference between outsourcing layers of your infrastructure and making the organization to whom you have outsourced those layers responsible for them, and losing all rights to change those layers in support of your business and application needs. Careful contract and product decisions need to be made in order to ensure that when you used a managed cloud service, you are not giving up the control you need to be agile and responsive to you business constituents.

StorageNetworking

There are many different types of metrics pertaining to storage and IO that can be grouped into Performance, Availability, Capacity, Economics and Energy (PACE). Every application or workload has some characteristics attribute of Performance, Availability, Capacity, Economics and Energy that can be further broken down into metrics that are more detailed.

DesktopVirtualization

There has been a lot of buzz and coverage about Windows 8 since its consumer preview. There will be some very cool features with this release and one feature that really stands out with me is that Microsoft added an additional supported processor type in that Windows 8 will run on Intel, AMD and now ARM based processors. That gives Windows 8 the ability to run on desktops as well as mobile phones and tablets.

Hyper-V.Extensible.Switch

One of the areas where VMware vSphere has had a large advantage over Microsoft Hyper-V has been in the architecture and capabilities of the VMware vSphere Virtual Switch. The most important of these capabilities has been the ability to designate one or more ports on the switch as promiscuous or mirror ports. These ports make a read only copy of all of the data flowing through the switch available to whatever virtual machine is sitting on that port. This is an essential capability for many security products and also performance management solutions like those from ExtraHop Networks that rely upon deep packet inspection to work.