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.

Will access to VMware’s source code change the hypervisor threat landscape?

VMware100x30Many of the virtualization security people I have talked to are waiting patiently for the next drop of leaked VMware hypervisor code. But the real question in many a mind is whether or not this changes the the threat landscape and raises the risk unacceptably. So let’s look at the current hypervisor threat landscape within the virtual environment to determine if this is the case, and where such source code will impact. Are there any steps one can take now before the code drop is complete to better secure your environment? Continue reading Will access to VMware’s source code change the hypervisor threat landscape?

News: VMware Acquires Cetas for Big Data Analytics

On Thursday April 26 VMware announced that it has acquired Cetas, an early stage startup focused upon making access to advanced big data analytics much easier and cheaper. The obvious goal of this is that if you make something easier and cheaper, more of it gets consumed, which then allows more people to benefit from it. 25 years ago, mobile phones were expensive, the size of shoe boxes, and few people could afford to buy them and bother to use them. We all know how ubiquitous mobile phones are now, and this is entirely due to the democratization and commoditization of mobile phone access.

What Does Cetas Do?

Cetas makes it easy to apply advanced self-learning complex event processing technology to random sets of data. Furthermore it is built from the ground up to handle “big data” which means that it is designed to handle large data sets, large amounts of rapidly arriving data, and data that arrives at high rates of frequency (at or near real time rates).  VMware thinks that Cetas is good for three primary uses cases shown in the diagram below.

There are two very interesting problems that VMware could potentially address with Cetas. The first is that doing analytics at cloud scale (think of trying to analyze data about every virtual server at Amazon at the same time) is clearly a big data problem, and a challenging problem purely on the front of making the analytics work and be easy to use with data sets of that size.

The second has to do with Operational Performance and Application Performance data. Right now VMware collects data from its hypervisor at 20 second intervals and rolls that up into 5 minute intervals for access via the vSphere API. These intervals are too long, and the rollups obscure too much data, but until now VMware has not had any way to analyze the data to make it more useful. Cetas therefore can potentially solve problems that apparently the Integrien technology that VMware purchased a couple of years ago is not suited to address.

How is Cetas Deployed

Cetas is available as a cloud resident service (analytics as a service), or as an on-premise solution.


When we look back five years from now, we will probably conclude that the Cetas acquisition was one of the most significant acquisitions that VMware did. The Cetas technology is going to bring real time self-learning analytics to several layers of VMware’s management offerings over time. As soon as VMware gets into the business of producing and analyzing real time, continuous and deterministic management data the final nail will be driven in the legacy management solutions that sample and operate at 5 minute intervals.

Ecosystems for Both VMware and Microsoft Hypervisors

DataCenterVirtualizationSince the start of the Windows 8 Public Beta, there has been a great deal of discussions and comparisons galore.  There have been points made that Microsoft Hyper-V will be good enough to draw good consideration in companies looking to the future.  For me personally, feature comparison was not my first consideration. One measurement that I consider is the eco-structure of the technology, or in other words, how large is the 3rd party partners and products supporting both the technologies? Continue reading Ecosystems for Both VMware and Microsoft Hypervisors

What is Considered Too Big for Virtualization?

CloudComputingA customer recently asked me, can we virtualize our Tier 1 App that receives 7Billion requests per day? My initial response was, on how many servers? Their answer was 15. This is quite a shocking set of numbers to consider. Add into this numbers such as 150K sessions per second, the need for a firewall, and sub-second response time and you end up with a few more shocking numbers. So could such workloads be virtualized? or is it too big for Virtualization? Continue reading What is Considered Too Big for Virtualization?

VMware Licensing Past and Present Compared to Hyper-V

DataCenterVirtualizationWhen we look for patterns from the past, sometimes we can really get a good idea of what the future might entail. If you take a look at the way VMware has rolled out licensing changes during each of the major releases you can see a pattern and get an idea of what the future may bestow upon us. When Virtual Center was first released, vMotion and vSMP were licensed separately from Virtual Center as an add-on for Virtual Center. Continue reading VMware Licensing Past and Present Compared to Hyper-V

EMC VSPEX vs. vBlock, or NetApp FlexPod. Can VMware VARs “Refuse” the Offer?

CloudComputingOn 4/12/2012, EMC in conjunction with technology partners VMware, Microsoft, Cisco, Brocade, Citrix and Intel announced EMC VSPEX. EMC VSPEX is an specification framework that allows multiple vendors to participate in providing “standard” building blocks for virtualized data centers and private clouds – targeted at accounts who need less than 250 virtualized servers and/or 2000 virtualized users (VDI) and delivered exclusively through EMC/VMware/Cicso/Microsoft/Citrix partners. The goal of this initiative is to provide the mid-market with cost effective, pre-certified, pre-integrated solution sets and leverage standard building blocks from leading vendors. In other words this is VCE/vBlock for smaller companies delivered through the distributor and VAR channels of the respective vendors. Continue reading EMC VSPEX vs. vBlock, or NetApp FlexPod. Can VMware VARs “Refuse” the Offer?