Virtualization Everywhere

Charlie Babcock over at InformationWeek has a good overview article on what's going on in virtualization these days.  I got to spend some time with Charlie in mid-2006 when he was working on an article about Pfizer's use of virtualization -- which included Cassatt's software.  Charlie's latest article gives a good perspective on the kinds of things people are starting to do.  While I agree virtualization became mainstream in 2006, I think we're really still at the front-edge of the adoption curve for all of this.  I think the trend will continue upwards in 2007, but it will accelerate even further in 2008.  During 2007 you should expect to see people evaluating options and ideas that go beyond Windows consolidation with VMware -- which is where most of the action is today.

It's going to be an interesting year! 

Comments:

"During 2007 you should expect to see people evaluating options and ideas that go beyond Windows consolidation with VMware -- which is where most of the action is today."

What you forgot to mention is why the most of the action is in VMware/Windows space. I used to work for a perfect VMware customer -- it was a small firm of about 50 people which found it expensive to buy even a single $300 SCSI drive, and which repeatedly denied requests from developers to get even a smallest Sun system, even though it was needed to do development for a customer!

The bright lightbulb of an "IT manager" there had the idea of running VMware as servers on a bunch of DELL workstation-class systems and Windows instances. I quit before my 90 day probation, and never regretted it.

Even the megacorp where I work now endlessly debates server consolidation but tries its hardest to resist it, inspite of high-level management pressure to reduce the server count by a double digit percentage.

Lastly, as nice as it is, and as much as it can be a benefit, virtualization has the ineherent problem of putting all your eggs in one basket, for one better have highly redundant and highly available hardware and OS or else -- all the virtual servers can go buh-bye in an instant.

Which gets us back to expensive big-iron systems (fine by me!) that resemble the mainframe era, exactly the thing many IT managers are trying to get away from!

So, virtualization, anyone?

I do agree with you that we've barely scratched the surface; what follows may very well turn out to be a nightmare for sysadmins all over the world.

Disclaimer: I'm myself depend heavily on Solaris zones; but I don't like it because of the "all your eggs in one basket" problem. The way I see it, "striped clustering" might be my only insurance policy, but I haven't thought of a way to deploy preconfigured Sun clusters \*noninteractively\* and \*automatically\* over tens of thousands of systems.

Yet.

Posted by UX-admin on January 02, 2007 at 05:57 AM PST #

Yeah, there is the real potential for VM Sprawl caused by unmanaged virtualization. Tools for this stuff need to get better.

Posted by Steve Wilson on January 02, 2007 at 11:09 AM PST #

Looking ahead a bit, VMs are just gonna sink into the application (or into the OS). They're "sprawling" today, but they will become part of the fabric tomorrow. Taking a business perspective on this, VMs are simply "Enablers" of a bigger disruption to come: the complete commoditization of hardware, to the point where IT management can be automated, and the data center acts like a "utility" to support applications. "Virtualization is dead; long-live virtualization"

Posted by Ken Oestreich on January 04, 2007 at 06:43 AM PST #

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Thoughts on cloud computing, virtualization and data center management from Steve Wilson, Oracle engineering VP.

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