Virtualization Technology News and Information
HotLink: 2012 - The Year of Virtual Diversity


What do Virtualization and Cloud executives think about 2012? Find out in this series exclusive.

2012 - The Year of Virtual Diversity

Contributed Article by Joe Vaccaro, director of product, HotLink

An important outcome of the broad migration to virtual infrastructure is that IT is now core to many business models, not just a provider of infrastructure to run the business. This movement towards delivering IT as a service will depend on further virtualization advances inside the datacenter and out. The next wave of virtualization embodies 3 mega-trends that will accelerate in 2012.  

Multiple hypervisors becomes the norm

When server virtualization began to take shape during the last 2-3 years, only one vendor, VMware, was capable of providing the level of functionality and reliability necessary to widely deploy virtualization for core production systems. In 2011, this trend began changing course. Analysts and customers now agree that real choice exists for enterprise-grade hypervisors. Recent reports by Gartner, Forrester and other key analysts show dramatic hypervisor growth by Citrix and Microsoft at the direct expense of VMware. In fact, market researchers at Vanson Bourne released the results of a survey of over 500 enterprises, and more than 30 percent of the respondents utilized Citrix and Microsoft as their primary hypervisor. Additionally, close to 40 percent of enterprises are actively planning to change their primary hypervisor. Mainstream movement towards lower cost virtual infrastructure is primed to pick up significant momentum.

What will this mean for 2012?  The once taboo thought of deploying mixed hypervisors in the datacenter will now become normal practice as customers look to balance technical requirements and cost. As features continue to converge, IT shops will introduce alternative hypervisors in their datacenter as a normal course of business.  Specific application deployments will rise that are tailored to a specific hypervisor such as Citrix XenServer for XenDesktop, Microsoft Hyper-V for Exchange, or Red Hat KVM for JBOSS, further driving adoption of mixed hypervisors.  Overall, the result will be an increased comfort level deploying heterogeneous offerings, proving once again that one size doesn't fit all in the datacenter.  This new co-existence model, where IT will mix and match platforms, will drive rapid advances in technologies to manage these hybrid installations.  In 2012, heterogeneous management solutions will be differentiated by their levels of flexibility, integration and the ability to seamlessly manage a mixed environment as effortlessly as a homogeneous one. 

Virtualization focus shifts from the hypervisor to management layer 

To date, innovation in server virtualization has largely centered on the core hypervisor functionality. Advances in live migration technologies, increased consolidation ratios, larger virtual workloads and reduced hypervisor footprints dominated the virtual landscape in the last several years. While most IT organizations are rapidly extending the reach of virtualization throughout their environment, the impact has yet to fundamentally alter most management architectures.  In 2012 CIOs will increase demand solutions to the management challenges of virtualizing diverse workloads at scale.  This will be exacerbated by the rise of heterogeneous virtualization infrastructure.  Unfortunately, the inflexibility and lack of agility of legacy management tools will encourage many vendors to take cover in the "cloud" and attempt to hide for another maintenance renewal cycle. 

Tackling the challenges of holistic management of a fully virtualized datacenter will take center stage in 2012, and vendors will begin to shift their marketing and engineering focus to meet the next generation of management requirements. This new frontier of virtualization management will require fundamentally new approaches to reducing management complexity and increasing the overall efficiency of a heterogeneous virtualized datacenter. Since traditional system management solutions will not scale due to legacy approaches, a new generation of startups offering innovative solutions will fill the gap.

New forms of vendor lock-in emerge in the cloud

In 2011, building a strategy for utilizing cloud services, whether now or in the future, was a prerequisite for virtually every CIO. For enterprises, the roadmap from strategy to implementation, however, is much more of a challenge.  Naturally, the virtualization vendors and datacenter automation incumbents are front and center with their "integrated" public cloud offerings.   

Already concerned about on-premise vendor lock-in, the risks and uncertainties of extending those franchises off-premise are front of mind for most CIOs.  Taking a step back in order to look forward to 2012, this anxiety will unfortunately create significant stall in the enterprise adoption of public cloud outside the SaaS sector. 

In 2012, key cloud vendors will continue to aggressively evangelize their "open" architectures and obscure the reality that cloud APIs such as vCloud, OpenStack, AWS and others offer no portability between platforms. The good news is that 2012 will see the introduction of technologies from new start-ups in the management market to enable true cloud portability.  New solutions for cross-platform interoperability between cloud and service providers will be introduced and ultimately become part of the decision criteria for enterprise adoption of public cloud.  Additionally, service providers will start developing plans to support multiple platforms as existing infrastructure partners begin to encroach on their primary business. 

At HotLink we're looking forward to an exciting and eventful 2012 in the virtualization and cloud ecosystems.  


About the Author

Joe Vaccaro serves as the director of product at HotLink Corporation, which offers heterogeneous data center system management platforms for virtual, cloud and physical computing infrastructures. Joe has over 10 years of experience in the virtualization and software industry and has held several positions at Cisco Systems and Sun Microsystems including product management and strategic lead of OEM partnerships with Red Hat, Novell, and VMware.

Published Tuesday, November 22, 2011 7:37 AM by David Marshall
Comments - Virtualization Technology News and Information for Everyone - (Author's Link) - January 4, 2012 7:08 AM

I'd like to personally welcome each and every one of you to the start of 2012! As we begin what will certainly prove to be a fantastic new year, I wanted to make sure to thank all of the loyal member's and readers of Once again, with the help

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