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Nerdio 2018 Predictions: 5 Predictions for Virtualization in 2018

VMblog Predictions 2018

Industry executives and experts share their predictions for 2018.  Read them in this 10th annual VMblog.com series exclusive.

Contributed by Amol Dalvi, Senior Director of Product, Nerdio

5 Predictions for Virtualization in 2018

The virtualization of applications and desktops is becoming a mature technology, as indicated by its widespread mainstream adoption. This trend is characterized by the transition from basic VDI to DaaS, eventually resulting in full ITaaS. VMware and Citrix continue to compete to improve user experience, often by meeting the ever-increasing demand for graphics-intensive applications. Major predictions for virtualization in 2018 include the widespread adoption of hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) for scaling cloud deployments. Other significant trends include an increase in VDI to simplify the performance management of dynamic workloads and the greater use of centralized consoles.

1. HCI will begin to replace traditional virtualization.

HCI is an IT infrastructure that uses a hypervisor to virtualize all the elements of a traditional hardware system. It's completely defined by software, including software-defined networking (SDN) and a storage area network (SAN). An HCI usually runs on an industry-standard physical server.

HCI will begin to become a popular extension of traditional virtualization in 2018, primarily as a means to simplify IT operations. Its ability to manage components from different vendors with hypervisors will allow organizations to move away from a silo system that depends on physical hardware. This trend will be most prevalent for SMBs, where this reduction in complexity will result in a greater benefit to an organization's bottom line.

The cost of virtualization software will decrease in 2018, allowing virtualization to play a greater role in the commoditization of hardware. The trend toward hyper-converged platforms will result in the inclusion of hypervisors as a standard feature of an IT infrastructure, rather than an independent software product. Hypervisor vendors will become more likely to form partnerships with public cloud providers, rather than competing for on-premises deployments. This trend will eventually lead to license-free virtualization software as this IT deployment model matures.

2. Performance management tools will become more specialized for desktop virtualization.

Organizations have historically used general-purpose legacy tools to manage the performance of application and desktop virtualization. However, these tools aren't sufficiently specialized to proactively identify and resolve performance issues in a virtualized infrastructure. Performance management tools specifically designed for this environment will therefore become more common in 2018.

Effective performance management will become a more critical requirement for virtualized applications and desktops as end-user computing continues to evolve. For example, the use of dedicated graphics processing units (GPUs) is an increasingly common method of improving user experience. Performance management tools will therefore be required to monitor GPU utilization and suggest corrective action.

3. More organizations will monitor virtualized applications and desktops from a single integrated console.

Improved performance management will also require the use of an integrated console. Platform vendors typically focus improving the performance of their own platforms, often at the expense of developing tools that can keep pace with these performance improvements. Organizations have therefore needed to use multiple tools and consoles to monitor different tiers of infrastructure in a virtualization service.

This practice has resulted in an increasing reliance on virtualization experts to perform manual analyses to determine a course of corrective action. The maturing virtualization industry will require a faster troubleshooting cycle, which will increase the degree of automation in performance management. This process will require a single console to correlate metrics from multiple infrastructure tiers, which will become essential for virtualized infrastructure.

4. The increasing complexity of cloud models will drive the need for better performance management.

The vendors of virtualization software are looking for more efficient ways of deploying their technology, which may increase platform complexity. For example, the Citrix Workspace Cloud's data plane currently resides on the customers' premises, while its control plane resides on the cloud. This architecture facilitates deployment for the customer since Citrix manages the control plane.

However, it also adds an additional layer of complexity that makes performance monitoring and management more difficult. A performance problem in this architecture has more potential causes such as the service provider's control plane, the on-premises data center and the network itself. Cloud platforms in 2018 will therefore require virtualization tools that can provide these layers with greater visibility.

5. Enterprises will implement performance management tools as soon as they deploy a virtualized infrastructure.

Organizations have traditionally considered the use of monitoring tools only after an infrastructure begins experiencing performance problems. However, the lack of historical data often limits the ability of these tools to provide a solution, even when they're able to achieve adequate visibility into areas that may be causing the bottleneck. In these cases, the ideal solution may be to re-engineer the infrastructure, which is generally impractical.

System architects are now realizing that they must implement performance monitoring when the virtualization is first deployed. This practice will increase in 2018, resulting in better performance of virtualized infrastructure early in its life cycle. Furthermore, it will allow administrators to take corrective action before the problem impacts end users.

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About the Author

Amol Dalvi, Senior Director of Product at Nerdio

A true software geek, Amol Dalvi's tech career began in software development in the ‘90s and hasn't slowed down since. Prior to joining Nerdio, Amol was CTO and Co-Founder of a marketing software firm as well as an angel investor in a handful of innovative start-up companies in Indianapolis. Now, Amol is Senior Director of Product at Nerdio, where his passion lies in building easy-to-use, uber-intuitive software products.  When Amol isn't banishing IT headaches for SMBs by making magic happen behind the scenes at Nerdio, you‘ll find him biking, hiking, running, or walking the many beautiful trails in Southern California.

Published Friday, October 13, 2017 7:31 AM by David Marshall
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