So you are a loyal VMware customer. You have licenses for vSphere 4 and you are about 40% virtualized. Based upon the revised vRAM entitlements in the revised vSphere 5 licensing, you think you are going to be OK as you progress through the more demanding business critical purchased and custom developed applications that lie in front of you.
But at the end of the day, you cannot know for sure. You cannot know for sure, because of three things:
- You cannot know for sure what vRAM configurations will be required for your purchased applications. Many vendors of these applications specify a vRAM allocation, and you could well get hit with a new version that requires an extra gig or two of RAM per VM that would in turn trigger the need for extra vSphere licenses.
- You cannot know for sure what the developers of your internal custom developed applications are going to do. Applications tend to expand in functionality over time, and as they expand in functionality they tend to use more memory.
- You cannot know for sure what VMware is going to do with vRAM entitlements as CPU price/performance continues down the road of Moore’s law (a doubling of price/performance every 18 months). From VMware’s perspective, this new pricing is simply designed to ensure that the number of vSphere licenses that you require does not get cut in half if you replace 100 existing servers with 50 new ones each of which have twice the memory of the previous one. However, this march toward increased density will ultimately cause many customers to buy more licenses than they had before, which is what people want to guard against.
The result of the Hotlink solution is that you can now use vCenter to directly manage Hyper-V VM’s in the same manner that you would use vCenter to manage VMware vSphere VM’s. This is implemented via a vCenter plug-in as shown below.
Finishing the Picture
So let’s assume that Hotlink is successful and that you get to pick your management console (vCenter or MS SCVVM by way of example) and then manage any combination of vSphere, Hyper-V, or ultimately other virtualization platforms like Red Hat KVM or Citrix XenServer.
The next step is to round out the management functionality in your environment around highly functional yet cross-platform virtualization management tools. Some good choices are listed in the table below.
|Performance and Capacity Management Solutions|
|vKernel||vOperations Suite||VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V|
|Quest||vFoglight||VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V|
|VMTurbo||VMTurbo||VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V|
|NetApp||Insight Balance||VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V|
|Microsoft||SCOM/SCVMM||Hyper-V, VMware with Veeam nworks MP|
|Xangati||Xangati Management Dashboard||VMware View (on vSphere), Citrix XenDesktop (on vSphere)|
|Zenoss||Service Dynamics||VMware vSphere, Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer, Red Hat KVM|
|Data Protection and Backup|
|Quest||vRanger Pro||VMware vSphere only|
|Veeam||Backup and Replication||VMware vSphere, Hyper-V (announced)|
|Private Cloud and IT as a Service|
|Abiquo||Abiquo||VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer, Red Hat KVM|
|DynamicOPS||Cloud Automation Center||VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V|
|Gale Technologies||GaleForce||VMware vSphere, Citrix XenServer|
|Platform Computing||Platform ISF||VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V|
|Catbird||vCompliance, vSecurity, Cloud Edition||VMware vSphere, Citrix XenServer|
Hotlink is breaking new ground by allowing you to use vCenter to manage Hyper-V in the full and rich manner that you would want to manage any virtualization platform from its native console. The timing for Hotlink could not be better, as the new vRAM licensing for vSphere is making many customers look at alternatives – at least for workloads that do not require vSphere’s market leading features. The true cost in adopting a second virtualization platform is not in adopting the platform itself, but in managing it. Hotlink combined with cross-platform tools that address higher level management needs beyond what is in the console may be the best way to minimize the number of management tools, while keeping ones options open on the front of the virtualization platform.