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, (Read More)

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.

Building a Management Stack for Your Software-Defined Data Center

SDDC.Management.Stack.Reference.ArchitectureData Center Virtualization has spawned several entirely new categories and variants of management software. This is largely because data center virtualization alone was a large enough change to create new requirements that legacy management products could not meet. This created a new constituency for management solutions—the virtualization team—which proceeded to purchase management solutions that met their needs. This trend was facilitated by the “easy to try and easy to buy” business model that many of the new vendors of virtualization management solutions adopted. Out of this a new management software industry arose. Continue reading Building a Management Stack for Your Software-Defined Data Center

Are Things Becoming too Automated?

DataCenterVirtualizationAre things becoming too automated? That is a question I cannot believe I am asking. I have spent most of my virtual career creating automated processes from my virtual environments. I spent a great deal of time creating a “toolbox” of scripts to perform almost all of the tasks that I found myself needing to do in an automated fashion. A lot of my peers and I were all creating automated build and automated configuration of our environments from the very beginning and now are seeing a great deal of the automation that we created in one way or another being added to the product suite. Is that a bad thing? No, on the contrary, this shows the active deployment of the technology and gives us insight to the direction the technology may follow. Continue reading Are Things Becoming too Automated?

Virsto: Software Defined Data Center: Tip of the Iceberg

CloudComputingVMware buying Virsto is a big move and after considerable discussion a logical step for VMware in many technical areas as well. We previously mentioned that Virsto would add to VMware’s existing in Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), but there is more to this than just SDDC, which I believe is the end goal. Getting there absolutely requires a storage abstraction layer. So what does VMware gain other than SDDC with Virsto. Continue reading Virsto: Software Defined Data Center: Tip of the Iceberg

Ravello Revives Binary Translation for Cloud Hypervisor

CloudComputingThe team that brought you KVM are back with a new product and new direction. Qumranet founders —Benny Schnaider and Rami Tamir, have lifted the covers off Ravello Systems announcing it nested hypervisor platform HXV and a bold goal to create a cloud spanning hypervisor that will allow workloads to be moved from platform to platform regardless of the underlying infrastructure. Continue reading Ravello Revives Binary Translation for Cloud Hypervisor

Cross-Platform Cloud Management Features

DataCenterVirtualizationHotlink and their Cross-Platform Cloud Management technology have been in the news recently with the announcement of the latest release and the release of the free version of their flagship product, Hotlink SuperVISOR for VMware vCenter. This technology extends the VMware vCenter management capabilities to Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (KVM). Bernd Harzog did a great post covering this latest release so no need to repeat things, but I would like to share my thoughts on how this type of technology has the potential to fundamentally change the direction of virtualization and/or cloud computing.

One of the secret ingredients in Hotlink’s technology is the Transformation Engine, which basically decouples VMware vCenter from the vSphere hypervisor so that multiple different hypervisors can be controlled via VMware vCenter Server. The Transformation Engine is what I would call the integration engine, in that it performs the translation between technologies. I wonder if during the Hotlink development, the ability to decouple and manage all the different hypervisors was the project plan all along, or was it an added bonus discovered during development of the Transformation Engine?

Additional feature or added bonus, call it what you want, but I think this is going to open some doors in cross platform features. Hotlink is just the first of what may be many different cross-platform strategies. In the way that Hotlink has made VMware vCenter Server the centralized management point, I think there will be other companies that will present similar technology; having Microsoft’s System Center as the management point would be just one example.

Now here is where it can get really good. Once the cross-platform management concept really takes off, when we really have a choice of which technology we want to use as the central management point, we could really get to a point where certain features could be cherry picked and used with all systems. What I mean is hopefully there will be the ability to take advantage of specific features that are available for a specific technology. One example with the Hotlink technology is taking advantage of VMware’s Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) and expanding the use of the technology to a Microsoft Hyper-V Cluster. An additional bonus features would be the ability to take advantage of VMware’s vCenter Operations.

Would it be too much to think that in the future we might be able to take advantage of different features from the different platforms to pick which features we could use and apply to the infrastructure as a whole? Why not?  The integration engine is the key to keep everything talking to each other.

By design or by accident, cross-platform cloud management has opened a door to a possibility that I don’t think VMware, Microsoft, Citrix, or any other hypervisor vender would have thought might happen. Will this “feature” continue to grow and expand or will functionality be diminished or removed? Time will tell and we will just have to see for ourselves.