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.

There have been a recent set of VMware Communities questions that have got me thinking about the prospect of virtualizing high performance computing (vHPC) and whether or not this is even practical, reasonable, and would give any gains to HPC. I think there are some gains to be made but with everything there are some concerns as well. This is of interest to me as at one time I was deep into High Performance Technical Computing and marrying Virtualization to HPC/HPTC would be a very interesting option.

VMware has updated its document on Timekeeping in Virtual Machines. This update includes a new mechanism by which vendors of performance management products can accurately measure response times for applications and transactions. This strongly positions vendors like Dynatrace, Optier, Knoa and Aternity to provide transaction performance management solutions in support of the virtualization of business critical applications on the VMware vSphere platform.

While VMware is being lead by two executives, Paul Maritz and Todd Nielson who were instrumental in the establishment of Windows as a dominant platform, VMware is today still not acting like a true platform company. Windows became a dominant platform because Microsoft structured its business model around making the platform a success. This included a laser like focus upon the success of the platform, and an approach to partnering that is still unmatched in the industry. VMware can make vSphere into a dominant platform, but only if VMware adopts some plays from Microsoft’s book.

VMware has shipped AppSpeed, the product resulting from VMware’s acquisition of B-hive. AppSpeed is a critical component of VMware’s drive to allow customers to virtualize “every application” even those that require response time guarantees from applications owners. The shipment of AppSpeed will place a focus upon response time as the measure of applications performance in virtualized environments. However, it will also create challenges for VMware Administrators who may view AppSpeed as a source of application and transaction level data that is above a beyond the infrastructure response time data that VMware Administrators really need.