Virtualization Technology News and Information
VMware's popularity belies its complexity

Quoting ComputerWorld

Suddenly all things virtual are good. After VMware's IPO last week, the whole world has discovered virtualization's value proposition.

VMware's value proposition is simple. Instead of purchasing 5, 10 or 30 physical servers from Dell that each host a single application, you only need to purchase one physical server and VMware's software that can then host these different applications.

Businesses love this since VMware allows them to realize immediate cost savings. It eliminates the requirement to buy new hardware every time a company needs a new application, which shortens project implementation life cycles. It also means fewer servers on data center floors, which reduce cabling, power and floor space requirements.

Where businesses need to exercise caution in this new virtual environment is the complexity that virtualization introduces. Though businesses can virtualize servers and, in so doing, reduce their infrastructure costs, complexity takes on a virtual component as well.

For instance, backups become much more complex. Prior to VMware, each physical server often had its own dedicated network connection it could use for backups. Now each virtual server must share the same physical network connection with other virtual servers on the VMware host.

Unfortunately, the amount of data each virtual server needs to back up has not necessarily diminished, only its available bandwidth. This may force companies to implement alternative storage technologies such as continuous data protection or storage system-based asynchronous replication so servers are no longer backed up in traditional methods. This introduces new costs into the system and, with it, new levels of complexity.

VMware helps bring about an end to the "new application, new server" mentality to which companies are accustomed. But virtualization does not eradicate complexity and as complexity moves, corporate IT departments need to ensure storage technologies keep pace with similar progress in server virtualization.

Read the original, here.

Published Thursday, August 23, 2007 10:30 PM by David Marshall
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