Contributed article by Ed Franklin, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Fujitsu America
Virtualization in 2010: What's next?
With hypervisor software going mainstream and the easy server consolidations already done, is virtualization now in a dormant phase? Hardly, as IDC predicts that virtual machine software market will grow a robust 26% again next year. So what's ahead of us?
- Flexible server pools will replace banks of dedicated computers as the infrastructure of choice. But before you think that this might just an idea which is enjoying its 15 minutes of fame, a recent IDC poll found 20% companies reconfigure hardware resources hourly or daily, with another 30% doing so weekly. Our view is that this trend will strengthen. If a System Administrator can quickly redeploy assets according to a constantly changing mix of virtualized and native servers, then the hardware investment is much better leveraged. But to do so...
- System management tools are beyond critical. A system administrator today needs skills in operating systems, storage technologies, networking technologies, hypervisors, and more. One study showed that already today 1 in 3 companies deal with multiple hypervisors. The administrator cannot be expected to master multiple tools and remember settings moving from one tool to another. And with almost one third of IT department budgets spent on personnel costs, any simplification of tools is sure to provide payoffs. A GUI based, "single pane of glass" is the best solution to configure, manage, and maintain all hardware in the pool. Administrators can move and/or balance loads, deploy server images to new hardware (local or remote), or even shut down unused resources for power savings. But for to achieve high availability, a cool tool will not be enough. Also needed...
- Virtualization of I/O is requisite in order to make failover and high availability a part of any SLA. If a VM (or even a native app) moves from one CPU to another as part of load balancing or failover, an administrator can't be spending hours manually re-aligning World Wide Names or MAC addresses; this would defeat the whole purpose of agility. Tools need to take care of this for you. IDC reports that almost 70% of respondents consider data automation a top investment priority. A final key trend...
- Virtualization will play a role in reducing data center cooling and power costs. Historically, power bills for data centers were buried in the facilities budgets, but with energy costs continuing to go up, IT managers will find themselves answering a lot of questions about their power needs. And with data centers running out of space and and/or cooling capabilities, consolidation and server pools can play an important role in advancing the ROI of these projects.
Meanwhile, the supplier landscape may very well change.
- Large enterprises have largely standardized on VMware and are unlikely to move. And why should they? It works. Barring a meltdown, expect VMware to hold high ground on power users and applications. This is evidenced by VMware's recent move into Fault Tolerant usage, netting the sac red ground of mission critical enterprise applications. But are they vulnerable in other emerging segments? Watch for...
- Microsoft will emerge as a serious virtualization supplier. Microsoft will see enterprises not upgrade their MS operating systems as quickly anymore because virtualization allows older apps to continue running. IN order to replace this revenue stream, Microsoft needs a strategy to get a piece of the virtualization market. Clearly Hyper V 1.0 was not ready for prime time, but Microsoft still has an excellent distribution and technical consultant channel that can effectively reach SMB's and enterprise departments. Microsoft also has deep pockets ability to provide extremely aggressive pricing and bundling with other more valuable Microsoft properties. And they will not be alone. You can also expect...
- Oracle will emerge as a serious virtualization supplier. Visualize all the Oracle enterprise and database software installations in the world. Now visualize, say, one quarter of them deploying Oracle Virtualization Manager simply to continue support. The numbers would be impressive without Oracle even trying hard.
In short, in 2010 we expect business to support multiple hypervisors as readily as they support multiple OS's.
And two more trends worth watching in 2010:
- Virtualization as a stalking horse for cloud computing. Not so much with Software as Service offerings (e.g.salesforce.com) but rather with the other public and private cloud computing models such as Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service. Expect new products that permit the design of a server through a simple GUI interface, which can then turn around to automatically provision and deploy a VM to match your needs. A VM could be a very handy level of granularity for cloud architectures.
- A wakeup call on desktop virtualization, meant in two ways. First, desktop virtualization provides a very useful application delivery strategy, especially where security and/or access control are issues. But equally important, architects will realize in 2010 that for a variety of reasons not all applications can be deployed through desktop virtualization, and that there is little to no cost savings in the user desktop hardware (although would be some system administration cost savings).
With 2010 bringing more VM's per machine and the use of virtualizing to address such disparate problems as Remote Office/Branch support and software lifecycle deployment, we predict virtualization will drive up server volume. But with hardware vendors providing near identical X86 systems and supporting all the same major virtualization alternatives, buyers will demand additional features to make virtualization and server pools operate best in their environment. They will use the opportunity to re-evaluate existing buying criteria and current vendor preferences, putting customers in the driver's seat.
About the Author
Ed Franklin, Senior Product Marketing Manager, Fujitsu America
Ed is responsible for virtualization strategies and products at Fujitsu America. Previously, he was appointed Trade Representative with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, assisting offshore IT companies with North American entry strategies. Ed earlier helped launch a series of Silicon Valley infrastructure and data security startups, including RSA Data Security, Segue Software, and Unisoft Systems (acquired by Fujitsu). He has earned an MBA degree from the University of Michigan and a BS Engineering degree from Northeastern University. Ed is also an Adjunct Professor at the Golden Gate University Graduate School of Information Technology; in 2004 he co-edited the Handbook of Data Security (John Wiley and Sons).