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.

The week that all of us virtualization junkies have been waiting for has finally arrived. In case you are not sure what I am talking about, it is VMworld 2010 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco California. The weather for me is a little cool with the wind but then again I am from Florida so it does not take much for me to think it is cool. The sun is shining and the place is packed. All and all a great start for this event.

When I first started with virtualization, the only option you had at the time was single core processors in the hosts. Scale up or scale out was the hot debatable topic when designing your infrastructure. On one side of the coin the idea was to scale up in that it was best to get a few of the biggest servers you could find and load them up with as much memory and processors that you could fit in the box. The end result were some very expensive servers able to run a lot of virtual machines for its time. The other side of the coin presented the idea that it was better to scale out with more, smaller servers to make up the cluster. I have worked in both type of environments and attitudes over the years and as for me, personally, I aligned myself with the scale out philosophy. The simple reason for aligning with the scale out group was host failure.

VMworld Pilgrimage Part 2

In my Preparing for the VMworld Pilgrimage post last week, I went over some things, namely hotel and airfare, which you should have confirmed by now if you are planning on attending VMworld 2010 in San Francisco. I have heard through the grapevine that there are going to be around 15,000 people in attendance this year so it is shaping to be another great event. This post is going with the assumption that your travel, logging, sessions and labs have been booked and taken care of. With that said, what is the best way to stay current and get the most out of the week? I would like to present the thought that the VMTN Community Lounge / Blogger Area is a good place to start. If you are looking to meet some of the most active individuals in virtualization, this will be a place that you should consider checking in periodically throughout the week.

The Consolidated server stack has been the big items over the last year using converged network adapters, blades, and integrated storage that is designed around providing an order-able element that is a single SKU that provides enough resources for a set number of VMs. Currently the VCE colition has the VBlock which combines VMware, Cisco, and EMC products into a single stack. HP has its Matrix stack. But where is IBM’s and Dell’s stacks. Could the acquisition of 3Par be the beginning of a integrated stack play from Dell?

VMworld is clearly the largest dedicated virtualization conference, and yet from an Open Source perspective it is slightly disappointing because the VMware ecosystem naturally attracts proprietary software vendors, and also some of the more interesting activities in Open Source are through multi-vendor foundations which do not have the same marketing budgets as vendors themselves.

Nevertheless, there are a number of key Open Source players, and some interesting smaller players, represented at VMworld.