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Pancetera: 2011 Virtualization Predictions

What do Virtualization and Cloud executives think about 2011?  Find out in this series exclusive.

Contributed Article By Henrik Rosendahl, CEO, Pancetera 

2011 Virtualization Predictions

Disaster recovery strategies are changing as result of the increased number of virtual servers. No longer is it only large enterprises that need to protect against disasters - small to midsize companies are looking for turn-key disaster recovery strategies and solutions as well. Traditionally corporate data has been streamed to tape or replicated offsite over a WAN.

However, as more and more workloads reside in virtual machines it opens up the opportunity for new alternatives. Whether VMs are replicated to a secondary data center or copied to a cloud storage provider, limitations arise when using legacy approaches. As the mass movement of VMs utilizes very high I/O network bandwidth and imposes operational complexities, the process quickly exceeds the capacity of existing network and storage resources.

As such, virtualization and WAN acceleration haven't really intersected, mainly because the protocols used to move VMs across the WAN couldn't be effectively accelerated. Today backing up, copying or moving VMs across a WAN cause a tremendous burden on WANs with extremely high costs, and cannot be scaled effectively to remote sites. To that end I see the following happening in 2011.

1. Host-Based Replication Takes Off

In the next year host-based replication (HBR) will play a key role in implementing data protection strategies for all companies, not just by large, enterprise companies with the capital and IT staff to support a data storage initiative. Companies still struggle with the daily operational challenges including configuring VMs in the datacenter and pushing them to a ROBO, backing up every night to the datacenter, replicating VMs to a disaster recovery site and taking advantage of the emerging cloud storage and private cloud providers. A host-based solution can be deployed at a fraction of the cost of a high-end, storage-based implementation and critical for companies that don't have the infrastructure necessary to replicate or don't want to be limited to a peered storage replication solution.

2. VM Mobility Becomes a Reality

Companies that don't have the infrastructure necessary to replicate VMs to a disaster recovery site can begin taking advantage of emerging cloud storage offerings. However, today's available options to move VMs to the cloud are difficult and expensive to effectively scale. Therefore, enabling the mobility of VMs to create a more dynamic infrastructure has become critical as the enterprise looks towards the future when highly fluid VMs can move anywhere at a moment's notice. Over time, VM mobility will come to mean not only moving between homogeneous environments, but also moving between heterogeneous storage, networks and hypervisor environments. I think there is a huge opportunity to make this process much easier. Shouldn't moving VMs from one data store to another, across different networks or even between different hypervisors ultimately be as easy as moving files between directories? I'd like to think so.

3. Cross Platform Tools Proliferate

VMware continues to have a dominant market share in server virtualization, but Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer and KVM are making significant inroads. In the new year, organizations will look to increase the penetration of virtual servers within their environment and increase the number of virtual machines per physical server. While this trend has already been established, I think we are going to see an increase in cross platform tools that allow you to easily work with a variety of hypervisors in a compute and storage agnostic manner. Ultimately what matters to end-users is availability of their core data and applications, not the underlying compute and storage elements. Ongoing commoditization of the both VMs and their associated storage is going to make the flexibility provided by cross platform tools progressively more appealing.

About the Author

Henrik Rosendahl, CEO, Pancetera

Henrik joined Pancetera from VMware where he served as Director of Application Virtualization. His most recent role was CEO of Thinstall in San Francisco prior to the acquisition by VMware. Henrik is a successful serial entrepreneur with extensive business development and sales experience. Henrik founded In2itive Technologies in 1992, which was successfully sold to SPSS in 1997. Henrik was also formerly the CEO of Interse A/S, EVP PremiTech inc. and VP at IT Factory Inc.

Published Monday, December 13, 2010 5:10 AM by David Marshall
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