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.

Virtualization – A Feature of the OS, or a New Platform?

Microsoft and Red Hat has just announced that they have completed the certifications of the cross OS hypervisor agreements that the companies originally announced back in February of 2009. This means that Microsoft now certifies Red Hat Linux guests on Hyper-V and Red Hat certifies certain Windows guests on KVM. Red Hat has an excellent article on its web site that details which version of which products work with which and which provides an excellent FAQ.

Eucalyptus is a software stack that when added to a standard virtualized data-center or co-located server network, turns it into a Cloud which looks exactly like the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). It is a “self-build” Amazon Cloud kit. Just add hypervisor.

We consider Eucalyptus in the context of cloud to datacenter migrations, and standards for cloud APIs.

VMware vs. Microsoft – Management Stack Strategies

VMware has made it very clear that it views virtualization as the catalyst technology which enables driving complexity and cost out of the data center, and injecting freedom, agility, and choice into the data center. VMware has also made it clear that these benefits from virtualization will only occur if virtualization itself (the hypervisor and the low level hypervisor management tools) are complemented by a layer of management tools that allow applications that are hosted on internal and external clouds to be managing very differently than they have been in the past.

There is a great debate on which hypervisor vendor works with ISVs and which do not. You have a number of ISVs working with VMware that are just now starting to work with Hyper-V. A number of ISVs that are struggling to catch up in the virtualization space. Hypervisor Vendors that are directly competing with ISVs as well as welcoming ISVs. This story is not about any of this, but about how easy is it to launch a new product for each of the hypervisors available with or without help from the hypervisor vendor. In essence, is there enough documentation, community, and code out there to be interpreted as welcoming ISVs.

In the fog of the datacenter virtualization war, it is difficult to see clearly who will end up on top, and yet the outcome is almost certainly determined, and the victorious generals are even now moving on to fight new battles. Here at the Virtualization Practice we too would like to think we can see through the fog to work out who has won, so here are our thoughts, take account of them as you wish. They concern, primarily, the big four protagonists: Microsoft/Hyper-V, Citrix /Xen, VMware/vSphere and Red Hat/KVM.