What do Virtualization and Cloud executives think about 2010? Find out in this VMblog.com series exclusive.
Contributed Article by Jim Comstock, VP of Marketing and Business Development at Akorri
Four Virtualization Realities of 2010
For the majority of the IT marketplace over the last couple of years, virtualization was in a state of euphoria. Enterprises raced to deploy virtualization due to its significant cost savings. It was easy to justify the Test and Development implementation ROI (faster deployment for new environments and lower overall infrastructure costs) and it was low risk. The impact to an enterprise's business was minimal. In Windows environments, where lots of under-utilized servers lived, virtualization took a second and more important strong hold. Enterprises embraced the simple value proposition of reducing the number of physical Windows servers, thereby reducing costs on servers, power, cooling and footprint. This was a wonderful time for virtualization and VMware, fast growth and one supplier dominating the marketplace. Virtualization is now entering a second phase of adoption. In this phase, to be successful, enterprises need to focus on managing that virtual infrastructure. Here's why.
Reality #1: Virtualization of Tier 1 applications will take longer than you think.
VMware continues to push their ability to support Tier 1 business critical applications but they don't have the tools necessary to manage the complexity. Tier 1 application virtualization doesn't have the same value proposition seen with Windows and Linux applications. Since these applications are typically I/O intensive, there's more risk involved. IT executives and administrators want assurance that service levels will be maintained for the business and many are not sure how to do that.
Reality #2: It will be a multi-hypervisor world.
Will VMware be the main Data Center Operating System? Not with Microsoft, Citrix, Oracle, RedHat and IBM having a say. There's Hyper-V, IBM's AIX/LPARs, Citrix XenServer, RedHat's KVM, and with Oracle's ultimate solution TBD, there will be lots of potential options.
Microsoft will be successful working from the bottom up. Their product is improving and they have a solid value proposition in Windows-centric enterprises. It will be tough for VMware to compete with free. Hyper-V's penetration will continue its growth in 2010.
Oracle and Sun may have the best end-to-end (Application to Storage) stack from any single vendor. How they will manage it all remains unclear, but I believe it's an opportunity for them. They would need end-to-end management from the end-user to the bits on the disk, but I believe Oracle will be a significant player in the virtualization space starting in 2010.
VMware clearly is the incumbent, but it will not be the only player. 2010 will be an interesting year, as other data center hypervisor solutions become more viable.
Reality #3: Infrastructure service levels matter
CIOs understand the value of virtualization and they are viewing it as just another piece of infrastructure, pushing the implementation details down into the trenches to figure out how to virtualize everything. From a CIOs perspective, it's all about costs and service levels. CIOs and enterprises don't want to play system integrator any more. They want to focus on business application deployment and optimization, utilization and costs. But virtualization is becoming more mission critical in all areas. For example, virtualized test and development implementations are no longer just about fast time to virtual machine deployment. They have become mission critical environments that businesses depend on to deliver their products and services on schedule. Many organizations running virtualized environments are seeing an increasing number of performance related issues as storage, server and network resource complexity and contention grows.
Reality #4: Virtual Infrastructure control is key for successful cloud deployments
The term "cloud computing" can be confusing. At one level, it seems to be just another name for the next generation of data center architectures being deployed on virtualization. At another level, it looks like another name for enterprises being able to outsource IT. Neither of these are a new concept. Regardless of what you want to call Clouds - Dynamic IT, Dynamic Data Centers, Grids, Utility Computing - they will continue to evolve in 2010. Private clouds will enable enterprise IT organizations to benchmark their current IT. Ultimately, it's about saving money and if companies can do it less expensively outside, or it's not strategic any more to keep it inside, they will move it to an external organization to manage, aka a Private cloud. But before an IT organization can make good Cloud decisions, enterprises first need to ensure they are efficiently managing and optimizing their existing virtual and physical infrastructure. Over-provisioning won't work anymore, enterprise IT organizations need to be competitive vs. Private clouds. If not, they'll be out of business. And enterprises will need to characterize their workloads in order to determine their ability to potentially migrate workloads to a private cloud infrastructure.
Dynamic Data Center Optimization
So what does this all mean for 2010... Dynamic virtualized environments need new solutions to manage the performance and utilization of their virtualized infrastructure. Companies will need a management tool that:
- Assures performance of Tier 1 applications
- Supports multiple hypervisors
- Manages infrastructure service levels
- Enables migration to the cloud
These tools will allow IT organizations to maximize their virtualization ROI by providing data center level Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and service level metrics that help them to virtualize more applications faster, while guaranteeing service levels.
About the Author
Jim Comstock, VP of Marketing and Business Development
Jim is a proven executive with 25 years of extensive business management experience at top tier system, storage and virtualization companies. Prior to Akorri, he was the Director of Storage Area Network (SAN) strategy at NetApp, and held senior management positions in engineering, marketing and business management at Sun Microsystems, Pirus Networks, Adaptec and IBM.