IBM has reduced the price of its Mainframe/Linux platform, providing an IBM price point and feature benchmark against which to compare the consolidated offerings which are starting to emerge from competing vendors, such as the Acadia group (Cisco, EMC, or VMware) and HP/Microsoft.
It is clear that once virtualization started delivering hard dollar CAPEX and OPEX savings to IT executives that these executives wanted this trend of “more for less” to continue. Most IT organizations are far from 100% virtualized, and there are still substantial cost savings to be gained from further virtualization. However, forward thinking vendors (like Cisco, EMC, and HP) see the handwriting the wall and are taking steps now to be able to deliver solutions at reduced costs to their customers.
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Virtualization has been a catalyst for significant changes in the performance management business at all layers of the IT stack (from hardware to transaction). These changes have only begun. As the more and more tier 1 applications get migrated over to a virtual infrastructure, these vendors will advance their functionality, and more vendors will jump into the fray. It is also highly likely that over the next 24 months, the larger traditional vendors (HP, IBM, BMC) will get more active in this space – driven primarily by the fact that CA has now gotten active via its acquisition of NetQos.
Which is better Hyper-V version deploy for production environments? For a traditional server based virtualization project, it makes financial sense to deploy Datacenter, and this is most likely the case for a hybrid deployment of Server and Desktop devices. However, for raw VDI and Open source deployments, it is obviously more fiscally prudent to utilise the free version which has been available for over a year.
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If VMware buys Zimbra it will set off a a nuclear hand grenade throwing contest between Microsoft and VMware. Microsoft is trying to commoditize the layer of software where VMware makes all of its money – the hypervisor. VMware is returning the favor by using open source initiatives like SpringSource and (possibly) Zimbra to commoditize the layers where Microsoft makes all of its money – applications and applications platforms.
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.
Quite a bit has gone on in our industry in the last year. While this is not intended to be a comprehensive review of all that has occurred, we hope that we have captured the important events that have shaped virtualization and cloud computing.
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.
The team at Sun continue to update VirtualBox – 3 releases in 1 month. Of these the 3.0.12 release (November 17) and the 3.1.2 release (December 17) were maintenance releases with bug-fixes, whereas the 3.1.0 release (November 30) was a fairly substantial release containing new features, including Live Migration.