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Kevin Lawton's virtualization 3.0 vision: VM memory WAN acceleration and De-duplication

If you want to talk about x86 virtualization, you couldn't do better in my book than to speak with a friend of mine named Kevin Lawton.  Many people attribute VMware as the pioneer in the x86 market, but Kevin is one of the father's of this technology we all know and love.  If you think back to the 90's, you might remember a full x86 PC emulation project called bochs, a highly portable open source IA-32 (x86) PC emulator written in C++, that runs on most popular platforms.  It includes emulation of the Intel x86 CPU, common I/O devices, and a custom BIOS.  Kevin was the author of this project, and it was used in one form or another by a number of virtualization players, including VMware.

Kevin is obviously a pioneer, and a forward thinker.  And in his latest missive titled Virtualization 3.0: VM memory WAN acceleration and De-duplication, he writes about virtualization 3.0 and the importance that memory will play in this vision. 

To get to where virtualization needs to go, we need to be able to look at virtualization as a fabric, stretching or overlaying numerous physical sites. And Cloud Computing will absolutely exacerbate this need. Many things that we've contemplated on a small scale (e.g. load balancing, power management, down-time maintenance), need to be brought to a larger context of a virtualization fabric stretching across physical sites. Virtualization needs to stretch to the cloud. To be sure, there are a number of issues to solve to make this happen, including networking and storage continuity. But I'd like to present a part of this next evolutionary step, virtualization 3.0, which is critical to its success yet unanswered elsewhere to my knowledge.

Memory density in servers continues to go up following its own exponential path. And as virtualization is used for increasingly higher-end workloads, the size of per-VM memory will continue to rise. Just imagine if you piled up all the RAM from all of your data centers, in one spot! Yet, to enable a fluid and dynamic virtualization 3.0 fabric, we need to rapidly allow all kinds of intra and inter-site VM migrations to occur, often driven automatically. That requires a whole new approach to how we manage VM memory; huge volumes of it effectively need to be transported rapidly. On the storage front, there are a number of technologies afoot, which are enablers of virtualization 3.0. But, I've been working for some time on concepts for making VM memory a 1st class citizen of the virtualization 3.0 vision.

Kevin said that if we manage memory with virtualization 3.0 in mind, "we can enable faster and more long distance VM migrations, cross-site load balancing and power management, de-duplicate memory thoughout multiple sites, and even WAN accelerate VM memory!" 

Find out what else Kevin Lawton is talking about in his latest article and make sure to check out his PowerPoint presentation that includes Patent Pending technology.

Published Sunday, March 15, 2009 8:02 PM by David Marshall
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Kevin lawton | Alloutwarclan - (Author's Link) - September 3, 2011 1:06 PM
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