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 of the end of last year, there are a new breed of virtualization backup tools (Veeam, vRangerPro, esXpress) now available, end-to-end backup tools (Acronis, Symantec). These tools will backup a virtual machine to tape using built in mechanisms instead of requiring scripting, or multiple backup tools. The question is: is this necessary? Should virtual machine backups be dropped to tape at all? Something to watch through out the year.

VMware is today a product, the start of an architecture and almost certainly a culture. How this changes as VMware adapts in order to continue to grow and drive its market share will be interesting to watch. A great deal of very technically competent people have become part of the VMware ecosystem because VMware is both difficult t to fully master completely and because it drives great benefits to the enterprises that adopt it and the service providers that implement it.

Just as Milton Friedman (the Nobel prize winning economist) once said “There is no such thing as a free lunch”, there is also no such thing as free software. The minimum cost of a supposedly free piece of software is the opportunity cost of your time spent using it, and the forgone value of that time spent doing something else. Therefore neither Microsoft Hyper-V, nor VMware ESXi are really free.

VMware Study – Benefits of Virtualization for the SMB

VMware has recently released the results of a new study that VMware did of 309 companies that have between 20 and 1000 employees. The two major benefits of virtualization reported by the survey participants were reduced time spent on routine and repetitive tasks, and improved applications availability. 73% of respondents reported reductions in time spent on routine tasks, and 71% reported improvements in applications availability.

I recently participated in the InformationWeek Dark Security Virtual Event as a panel member with Hoff, Craig Balding, Chris Wolf, Glenn Brunette, and Jon Oberheide. A very far ranging group of individuals from research, security organizations, analysts, and authors. What is interesting is that most of these same people have joined me on the Virtualization Security Podcast, and the others I hope to have as guests next year. There was one question that set me to thinking even more, do we need a new way of thinking about virtualization security?

Applications Performance Management Vendors – Cross Platform Support

2010 will be the year that many enterprises confront two very important changes to how they will use server virtualization. The first change is that as VMware vSphere has proven its maturity, performance and scalability enterprises will increasingly put business critical tier applications, at least in part on virtualized platforms. The second change is that at the same time, these very same enterprises will start to evaluate virtualization platforms from other vendors, in particular Hyper-V from Microsoft.

75% of users report using VMWare today, and nearly 2/3rds report having tested an alternative hypervisor with Microsoft Hyper-v and Citrix Xen most often mentioned. Of those who have tested an alternative, 27% plan to use the it, while an additional 20% report that they may use it. Only 2% of VMware customers plan to switch to an alternative additional 9% considering it.