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.


Many network virtualization products appear to be aimed at the top 10,000 customers worldwide, accounting for their price as well as their published product direction. While this is a limited and myopic view, many claim it is for the best, their reason being that network virtualization is only really needed by the very large networks. The more I think about this approach, the more I believe it is incorrect. Let us be frank here. Most networking today, within many different organizational sizes, is a hodgepodge of technologies designed to solve the same problem(s) over and over: how to get data quickly from point A to point B with minimum disruption to service.


With this set of announcements, VMware has solidified its position as a leader in providing a suite of management solutions across its own data center virtualization platform, the VMware Hybrid Cloud Service, Microsoft Hyper-V and Amazon AWS. As more of the data center gets virtualized, virtualization and cloud focused solutions like these from VMware become de-facto enterprise grade solutions since once the enterprise is 100% virtualized there will be no more need for expensive and outdated legacy management solutions from IBM, BMC, CA and HP. Clearly if VMware can help its customers get rid of these legacy management frameworks, the hard dollar ROI associated with their replacement will be enough to fund a large expansion in the estate of virtualized and cloud based data centers.


Since the turn of the century, virtualization and cloud computing have become two of the best technological advances of the 21st century, so far. Now that the technology has matured, as well as become mainstream, have you ever stopped to ponder the question….. what part of the business market appears to be benefiting the most from the cloud?

Coho Data DataStream

Most storage vendors are happy to just add flash to their existing product lines, often using it as cache, or as a storage tier handled transparently within the array. Few vendors take the opportunity to rethink the way storage works, though, from the basics of performance to how it meshes with the idea of public & private clouds. Coho Data, coming out of stealth mode with their first product, the DataStream, does just that.


In early 2012 SanDisk, well-known manufacturer of flash memory products, acquired FlashSoft. Like a number of other companies in the virtualization storage space, FlashSoft has several different products designed to use SSD and flash memory to cache storage I/O. They have specific products for Microsoft Windows Server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (and clones). They also have a product for VMware environments, SanDisk FlashSoft 3.1 for VMware vSphere.

Virtual Networking Is Not Network Virtualization

While SPB is a very interesting protocol, my questions were about how deep into the virtual environment the protocol extends. While SPB and other networking protocols are considered by some to be network virtualization, I could not see this within the realm of the virtual network and hence, confusion reigned supreme. Depending on who is talking to each other, the same words can mean many different things. What I found amazing, still, is that most people thinks networking ends at the physical NIC within the virtualization host, and that what is inside, does not matter as much as what is outside.