Archive for category Virtualization
Recently, IBM announced a $1 billion initiative intended to improve the overall flash storage market and integrate flash storage in the company’s line of enterprise technology equipment, including servers, storage, and other products. The company feels that flash-based storage is an a tipping point in the marketplace and is poised to become much more widely used, thanks to the incredible performance gains offered by the technology. Further, as is the case with any technology, as it approaches a critical mass point, the overall costs of the technology begin to drop and this is certainly happening with flash storage. There are also other significant cost benefits to flash-based storage, such as reduced power consumption. At scale, such power savings can be real and significant.
With its recent announcement, VCE is showing the world that it is more than a solution of parts from the parent companies (Cisco, EMC, VMware and Intel). VCE’s revenue is now tracking over $1B per year thanks to Q4 2012 being over $250M and according to industry trackers, is the top selling converged infrastructure solution. The most notable piece of VCE’s recent announcement is that for the first time, the company is bringing a software product to market that was developed in-house – VCE Vision Intelligent Operations which will start shipping with all Vblocks in April 2013. First of all, the creation of a new software line is a proof point that the company is not a short-term project; despite the coopetition between parent companies, the bottom line is that VCE provides revenue and strategic value in how EMC and Cisco bring data center solutions to the market. At its core, VCE Vision software helps deliver on the mission of the company, which is to help simplify infrastructure for virtualized environments by moving from siloed components to management at the rack level. Managing by the rack rather than the component is how hyperscale companies manage their environments at much lower operational costs (see Rack Level Architectures and Hyperscale Operations). Virtualization administrators will now manage a “Vblock” item directly in vCenter, so the internal components become invisible, allowing for much less day-to-day touching of the solution.
Over the years, I’ve attended a lot of conferences. For the first time, I’ve decided to write up a critique of a conference from the perspective of an attendee. VMworld 2012 was, overall, an incredible show with a vendor exhibit show, which, alone, was worth the time spent on travel to San Francisco. Here are some of my thoughts on the show as a whole. I’m not commenting on all of the content of the conference (i.e. keynotes) as those thoughts will be written up in separate posts.
Virtual Desktop Infrastructure or VDI has long been kind of the lesser flashy sidekick to server virtualization and the cloud. We often hear so much about virtualization, and especially the cloud, because they are flashy, they do have that element of consumerization of IT. VDI however has been making consistent increased presence in the enterprise for a number of years now. For some organizations, it can be complicated to ingest the kind of changes that VDI introduces and the advantages it brings about. VDI products typically build on virtualization platforms, and that is one sure advantage. It also delivers improvements and efficiencies to the enterprise environment that is changing the ways a lot of environments are conducting business.
There is no doubt that virtualization is transforming data centers across the world. More and more organizations are now solidly in line on a virtualization track and on the way somewhere along the virtualization spectrum from zero virtualized guest systems to 100% virtualization. Organizations no doubt enjoy the fiscal and operational benefits of migrating from existing physical to virtual systems in their data centers, but there are many things to consider before jumping right in to doing that.
Although new product has been continuously shipped over the past two decades, the world of storage advancement has remained relatively stagnant, at least from a performance perspective. According to PCWorld’s 50 Years of Hard Drives, the first 10,000 RPM disk was released in 1996 and the first 15,000 RPM disk released in 2000. Since that time, storage companies have focused on density and capacity rather than on performance, leading to the need for an ever-increasing number of spindles—spinning disks in an array of arrays—in order to improve overall storage performance. As a result of this eager march toward density, the primary metric by which storage has been measured has been as a function of capacity—dollar per gigabyte or dollar per terabyte, for example.
HP stated on a recent analyst call that its VirtualSystem best-of-breed integrated system is the “only real alternative to VCE” [Vblock]. While HP may have VCE in its competitive sights, all of the major storage vendors have been ramping up efforts in the converged infrastructure space.
While the number of virtual machines (VMs) that can be deployed on any infrastructure will vary by workload and there are many other capabilities (such as energy efficiency, cost, support, performance, and application support) that should be considered in evaluating stacks, it can be seen that not all stacks are geared for all environments.
Over a year ago, I posed the question, “Does 10Gb Ethernet change the Competitive landscape?” Cisco has been the dominant player in networking, for over a decade no competitor ever captured even ten percent of the market. While Ethernet is continuing its march into new markets and new applications, the market landscape has definitely changed. Fresh off of VMworld, there is a buzz in the networking world around new opportunities and architectures.
The Big Trends
At VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas, VMware previewed its tentative plans for fundamental changes in the way storage-related operations will be handled by VM and storage administrators.
At the heart of the plan is a new logical construct dubbed VM volumes (VMV). A VMV contains all the storage instantiations of a Virtual Machine (VM) including its VMDK, clones, snapshots, replicas and QOS parameters.
Earlier this year, SiliconANGLE and Wikibon barnstormed 5 tech shows in 5 weeks, reaching more than 2 million views of our live CUBE programming. We’re back at it and Wikibon is once again pleased to be a part of the SiliconANGLE.tv and VMware production of VMworld Live from Las Vegas. We have an amazing lineup to discuss the future of virtualization, cloud, big data and mobile technologies. Here’s a glimpse of what’s coming next week: