Monday Sep 25, 2006

Virutalising Computer Systems

The rest of the day we considered virtualisation technology. What we have to offer has not changed much since the last conference, (blogged here...), but it seems we have a lot more experience in using many of the currently available tools. Basically we're late to market with some of the competitively defensive technologies and the problem is being defined by Windows and the answer by VMware. Sun's broader range of technologies and the sophistication of the combining these tools into an appropriate new answers are inhibitor's to adoption. To my mind the simple answer is not enough, the data centre manager needs an architecture that supports both his or her applications portfolio, the businesses' change velocity and the technology platforms needed to support these, I don't think VMware does this, but I'm not convinced our story is yet sufficiently aligned. We have more work to do.

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Tuesday Feb 28, 2006

Monday - Virtualising the Data Centre

Joost Pronk Van Hoogeveen, Solaris Virtualisation Product Manager presented. He had one rather excellent slide, showing Sun's technologies as a spectrum, from Dynamic System Domains, though a Hypervisor solution, to Containers and then the Resource Manager.

Virtualisation Spectrum

While this misses the aggregation dimension of virtualisation (and I know he understands this), placing these technologies as a spectrum and making the deployment decision accountable to the applications' non functional qualities is very powerfull. It allows better evaluation of technology choice and hopefully deprecates the "I'm only using one virtualisation technology" view and encourages people to use requirements driven design. It may also enable a richer solution design capability to solve the hetrogeneity question; data centre managers need to implement a "Real Time Infrastructure" delivering multiple APIs i.e. windows, J2EE, Oracle, Solaris & Linux etc. If performing architecture on the virtualisation question forces the explicit statement of an applications non-functional qualities, then a service will have been performed.

Joost kindly sent me this reference, which is a Sun Inner Circle article called "The Many Faces of Viurtualization", from which I have taken the picture. (I've put the link up; I think it'll be an interesting read).

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Monday's Data Centre Bites

Sun gets a two year beta with its Express programme, customers get early access to allow rapid adoption of our innovation.

Solaris 10 offers 30-40% perfromance improvement over previous versions.

A key inhibitor to consolidation using containers is that "downtime" is accountable to seperate business units, who will/can not agree or compromise. Certainly, downtime (or availablity) is a service's non-functional quality. These ownerships are sometime expressed through legal ownership.

Cool Tools at OpenSPARC is advertising (as coming soon) a new gcc compiler backend for SPARC. This promises superior compilation and performance for opensource (or other Linux optimised) programs.

These bites were taken from yesterday.

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