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.

SSD options for Virtual (and Physical) Environments Part IV: What type of SSD is best for your needs.

Let us continue to look at what SSD to use for different environments and build off the other parts of this series of articles. Part 1 of this series laid out the basics of nand flash Solid State Devices (SSD) with part II discussing endurance and performance. Part III looked at SSD options for virtual servers, VDI or virtual desktop as well as storage for physical server environments, usage and configuration criteria. So which SSD options are best for which environments?

A look at Microsoft Windows PowerShell Web Access

Microsoft Windows Server 8 Beta has been open to the public and there is one feature that really caught my eye. With Windows Server 8 you can now have basic PowerShell console over HTTPS with Microsoft Windows PowerShell Web Access (PSWA). Think about the possibilities with that. You get an email that there is an issue and you could start PWSA on your phone, or other device, and resolve the problem or request.

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Windows Server 8 and Hyper-V 3 may blow up the entire rationale for EMC owning VMware. Cheap storage for virtualization enabled by new Microsoft features will force VMware to embrace cheap storage as well. This will precipitate the commoditization of the storage market, and accelerate the pace of virtualization and cloud computing.

VirtualizationBackup

During a briefing of Quest’s new data protection announcements I started to think about the future of data protection. Quest recently announced that NetVault will now work with Exagrid devices and that there is now a Capacity Edition targeting SMBs and SMEs. These changes add some more capabilities to an existing product suite. While, these announcements do not necessarily merge with virtualization backup, the combination of Quest’s tools and partnerships do form an impressive view of the future with respect to Data Protection.

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While participating in the GestaltIT Virtualization Field Day #2, I was asking PureStorage on whether or not SSD based storage was throwing hardware at a problem that is better fixed, by changing the code in question? What brought this thought to mind was the example used during the presentation which was about database performance. This example, tied to a current consulting problem, where fixing the database improved performance by 10x. This alleviated the need for over all storage improvements. So the question remains, is using SSD, throwing hardware to solve a basic coding problem?

DataCenterVirtualization

Should software licensing be completely based off of the hardware MAC address of the NIC and or UUID of the mother board? This process worked very well before the introduction of virtualization but now that virtualization has become more prevalent in most environments. I think software venders really need to reconsider how they are going to license their software although it seems that some companies have not bought on to the idea of virtualization and would prefer to continue to support their product type to a specific hardware platform that the vender put together and shipped out. Can software venders hope to survive and remain current without embracing virtualization? I think the answer to that question is going to be no in the long run.

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Quest Software has turned the acquisition integration process on its head by integrating vFoglight with the vKernel vOperations Suite. This is one more feather in the cap of the “easy to try and easy to buy” model of selling operations software into the virtualization market, and one more arrow through the heart of the legacy process of selling operations software to the enterprise systems management and network operations teams. VKernel (Quest) now has the ability to bring substantial depth and breadth of functionality to both existing and new customers. A new chapter in the operations management industry has begun.

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VMware prices and licenses its products today along a set of models that are not optimized for either pure market penetration (like Microsoft) or pure extraction of the maximum cash from each customer (like Oracle). These policies will likely ensure that VMware continues to dominate the high end of the market – especially in enterprise accounts, but that VMware will leave itself open to being eaten from below by Microsoft Hyper-V (especially in Windows only SMB/SME accounts). The long term answer to how VMware positions itself with respect to price and value in the marketplace will likely come from vFabric and Cloud Foundry, as both of these products are crucial to the long term strategic position of VMware in the market – and also will rely upon aggressive third party support to succeed.

SSD options for Virtual (and Physical) Environments Part III: What type of SSD is best for you?

Part 1 of this series laid out the basics of nand flash SSD with part II discussing endurance and performance. This part looks at SSD options for virtual servers, vdi or virtual desktop as well as storage for physical server environments, your usage and configuration criteria will have a bearing on what type of SSD solution is best for you.