The start of VMworld 2012, the biggest Virtualization conference of the year, is less than two weeks away. The surge of marketing emails have started to arrive, announcing all the new and exciting offerings that the venders and 3rd party companies are planning on showing off at VMworld. This is one of the things I enjoy the most about attending these conferences, seeing what’s new and the direction of the trends in virtualization. At last year’s show, VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas, the trend that I saw was the advancements in storage and storage virtualization. My prediction at the end of VMworld 2011 was that 2012 would be the year for the network virtualization and/or software defined networking.
Articles Tagged with Xsigo
Coming on the heels of VMware’s acquisition of Nicira, Oracle announced today that it is acquiring network virtualization vendor Xsigo Systems for an undisclosed amount. So now two shoes have dropped in the question of how networks will be designed and operated in the future (perhaps the entity in question is an octopus, and we have six shoes to go). Clearly the notion of software defined networks has legs and clearly VMware is not the only company who sees this.
The Oracle Announcement
Oracle Buys Xsigo
Extends Oracle’s Virtualization Capabilities with Leading Software-Defined Networking Technology for Cloud Environments
- Oracle today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Xsigo Systems, a leading provider of network virtualization technology.
- Xsigo’s software-defined networking technology simplifies cloud infrastructure and operations by allowing customers to dynamically and flexibly connect any server to any network and storage, resulting in increased asset utilization and application performance while reducing cost.
- The company’s products have been deployed at hundreds of enterprise customers including British Telecom, eBay, Softbank and Verizon.
- The combination of Xsigo for network virtualization and Oracle VM for server virtualization is expected to deliver a complete set of virtualization capabilities for cloud environments.
Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. More information on this announcement can be found at oracle.com/xsigo.
- “The proliferation of virtualized servers in the last few years has made the virtualization of the supporting network connections essential,” said John Fowler, Oracle Executive Vice President of Systems. “With Xsigo, customers can reduce the complexity and simplify management of their clouds by delivering compute, storage and network resources that can be dynamically reallocated on-demand.”
- “Customers are focused on reducing costs and improving utilization of their network,” said Lloyd Carney, Xsigo CEO. “Virtualization of these resources allows customers to scale compute and storage for their public and private clouds while matching network capacity as demand dictates.”
What Does This Mean?
The most disconcerting statement in the release is the part about the “combination of Xsigo and Oracle VM”. This means that Oracle is continuing to play its “vertically integrated solution stack” game, which is in direct contrast to the horizontally layered strategies that VMware, Microsoft, Red Hat, Citrix, the CloudStack community, and the OpenStack community are all pursuing. While this might be very appealing to a customer that is 100% or nearly 100% Oracle, the notion of jamming Oracle VM down the throat of a customer in order for them to get Xsigo is just another example of the foolishness of Oracle’s closed, proprietary and arrogant approach. This could not be more at odds with VMware’s notion of the Software Defined Data Center which is completely open with respect to the hardware layers underneath it and the workloads that run on it.
In Virtualization Performance Management – What if we Started Over, we suggested that in order for virtualized environments to become great platforms for business critical and performance critical applications, that much of the infrastructure that supports virtualization might have to be reinvented. The assertion behind this suggestion is that running dynamic virtualized and cloud based workloads on legacy infrastructure is like driving a Ferrari on a gravel road – you can do it, but you will not be taking advantage of the Ferrari while doing so. We are now starting to see signs that some very bright and experienced technical people are getting together with leaders in the venture capital community to start to make this happen.
When server virtualization started to get its foothold, one of the key reasons for going virtual was the ROI that could be saved from running many servers on one physical box. It would make logical sense that this same key point can be applied to other aspects of virtualization and now we are really seeing the consolidation within the I/O area. This is the point where virtual I/O will really start to take off. After all, haven’t we all seen this nightmare during our career?
There seem to be three styles of IO Virtualization (IOV) taking place within the virtual environment. At VMworld, the IO Virtualization companies were out and talking to people about their wares, products, and approaches to IO Virtualization. These three methods are:
- Converged Network Adapters used within Cisco UCS, HP Matrix, etc.
- Attached IOV top of rack devices such as the Xsigo Device
- PCIe Extenders
Each of these provide unique benefits to your virtual environment but which to use? First, we need to know what each of these approaches brings to the table.
Just like a Telco, the ‘last mile’ of Virtualization is often the most difficult, I would say even more difficult than the initial phase of virtualization. What do I mean by the ‘last mile’?
The 5-10% of systems that you have LEFT to virtualize.
These systems are your most highly used, too X to virtualize, the most complex to migrate, dependent upon specific hardware, or travel around the world (such as laptops and other hand held devices). These issues are also highly political as well.
Those of you who attended VMworld this year will remember the stack of servers and storage on display happily serving VM’s to the vistors, exhibitors and Staff at the conference, well one of the key components of that stack was provided by Xsigo. Their product the I/O Director offers significant savings in large environments by effectively virtualizing the I/O stack. I am not going to go into the ins and outs of I/O virtualization in this article. Well it now appears that they are expanding their partnerships.