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.

EMC, the majority owner of VMware, has agreed with the Department of Justice not to acquire 33 Virtualization Patents from Novell as part of a side-transaction in the acquisition of Novell by Attachmate. The Statement from the Department of Justice sheds significant light on the deal that had been struck between Novell and a newly-created company formed by Microsoft, EMC, Apple, Oracle to acquire a portfolio of patents for $450M, and the anti-trust threat that the Department of Justice saw to the Open Source community. And whilst the spotlight has been on Microsoft’s role, it seems that the role of EMC in seeking to acquire Virtualization patents was at least as concerning to the Department of Justice.

Facebook (which had previously bought commodity servers and rented data center space) has opened up a whole new area of Open Source technology by publishing the full specification of both its new custom server and its new data center as “Open Source” at OpenCompute.org. Overall, Facebook claims that its new data centers are 38 per cent more efficient than its existing leased data centers, but the cost is about 20 per cent less. Published data (such as it exists) indicates that Facebook is at or ahead of rivals or peers such as Microsoft and Google. OpenCompute designs are released under new set of Open Source agreements. The intent seems to be to allow innovation within the published specification, but to ensure multiple providers of the technology. Facebook is clearly seeking to get multiple tier-1 third-party providers for both servers and data centers according to these designs, turning these Open Source specifications into a form of de-facto Standard, which could have broad impact by driving the marketplace away from shared storage models (such as Red Hat’s IAAS reference architecture) to local-storage-friendly IAAS architectures such as OpenStack or Eucalyptus.

It has been just over two years that the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) was announced and released to the world. I wanted to give my feedback on the progress of the platform and how it is fitting into the Cloud Computing space.

When Cisco announced their Unified Computing Platform a couple of years ago, the thinking was not to just design and get into the server business, Cisco’s goal was to and become the heart of the datacenter itself. This was a big move by Cisco considering, that they had a very good working relationship and partnership with HP well, at least until the announcement that Cisco was getting into the server business.

Microsoft SCOM as a complete Management Solution for a VMware Environment

Adding the Veeam nworks management pack to Microsoft SCOM makes SCOM into a fully competent vSphere management solution. Adding BlueStripe’s FactFinder plugin allows you to see end-to-end application topology and response times for physical and virtual applications. SCOM’s plug-in architecture combined with Microsoft’s DNA to partner on the sales and marketing fronts makes SCOM into a formidable competitor to VMware’s own management offerings.

There were two announcements over the last few days that struck me as quite important to the virtualization community. While some may question this statement, the long reaching effects of these purchases will impact virtualization and cloud computing in not so distant future. In fact, these purchases could add a whole new layer to vSphere as we know it today. Which for VMware is a good thing. They need to continue to innovate to stay ahead of the pack. The purchases I talk about are:

VMware purchasing/taking over control of EMC Mozy
RSA purchasing NetWitness

With the diversity of cloud’s available today, data being sent from one to another could appear to be a hodge-podge of security. As one colleague put it recently when I asked what he was expecting to maintain integrity of data in motion between clouds:

“… what kind of kludge can things end up being when you have multiple connections to multiple hybrid clouds all doing different things” — Steve Beaver

So how does data transfer between the clouds? Is it a kludge? or can it be done using a uniform security policy, procedures, and protocols while maintaining Integrity and Confidentiality and auditability?

vSphere Client for the iPad

The VMware Community Roundtable, which is recorded every Wednesday, has been available for download from iTunes for the last couple of years or about as long has the podcast has been presented on TalkShoe.com. Other than the community podcast and The Virtualization Security Podcast there have not really been too many other things available on iTunes for VMware technologies or products. You could find a VCP study guide, VCP Exam Cram from Pearson Education and some other third party tools to control VMware vCenter from your iPhone and/or iPad. Within the last couple of years there have been hundreds if not thousands of iPads that have been given away at the different technology conferences and the sneak peak from VMware at these conferences, on the iPad application that they are working on, it was just a matter of time and that time has come with VMware releasing the VMware View for iPad and the VMware vSphere Client for the iPad.