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.

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.

VMware’s Fourth Quarter and 2012 Financial Results

VMware100x30VMware has announced financial results for the fourth quarter of 2012 and for the entire year of 2012. Fourth quarter revenue came in at $1.29B growing 22% over the fourth quarter of 2011. Full year revenue came in at $4.61B also growing 22% over 2011. The full results are detailed in the table below:

Continue reading VMware’s Fourth Quarter and 2012 Financial Results

Virtualizing Business Critical Applications: Data Protection

VirtualizationBackupA major aspect of virtualizing any business critical application is data protection which encompasses not only backup, but disaster recovery, and business continuity. It is imperative that our data be protected. While this is true of all workloads, it becomes a bigger concern when virtualizing business critical applications. Not only do we need backups, but we need to protect the business, which is where business continuity comes into play. Continue reading Virtualizing Business Critical Applications: Data Protection

VDI Stall: VDI Appliances solve the hardware problem so, what next?

DesktopVirtualizationWe’ve discussed the fact that VDI appliance makers were making good progress simplifying adoption of a virtual desktop infrastructure.  An appliance-based route to market can be seen as win-win: being designed both to reduce cost and complexity of implementation (for the customer) and shorten sales cycles (for the vendor). So goes the theory. To understand this theory further one VDI appliance vendor, Pivot3, commissioned Dimensional Research to survey global IT in order to get real-world insight into the state of VDI.

The survey showed that over 80% of respondents had VDI in their current strategy. Over 50% of those deploying VDI would utilize new hardware. What was perhaps more interesting was that traditional stall points of VDI, hardware complexity and security, took a back-seat in a list of concerns. The appliance model was undoubtedly popular, but if that problem is solved – what were the main concerns of organisations?

Continue reading VDI Stall: VDI Appliances solve the hardware problem so, what next?

Cloud Products and Services

CloudComputingCloud products and services are only in their infancy, but new and exciting technology is being released at an incredible rate. One example of something new is Kim Dotcom’s newly launched Mega cloud storage service with its free 50GB of storage. What really got my attention with this announcement was that the data would be stored encrypted; it is nice to see security being built into the offering from the beginning. There are a few bugs that are being reported, but hopefully it is the start of the push to secure the cloud.

With all the application and services that are available, does the average small business need the expense of physical infrastructure within their organization?  I just had a meeting with a client, and we talked about consolidating their physical infrastructure as much as possible and then migrating what was left to the cloud. During our conversation, we broke down the different applications that were needed to run the business, to look at these applications separately. Continue reading Cloud Products and Services