Virtualization and Cloud Computing :- Why Enterprise Should Consider It

Posted: September 7, 2008 in Architecture Series
Let me start this series with Why we need virtualization and why Enterprise seriously start thinking about Virtualization?
But before I start why as an Arch or Technology decision maker you need to  understand the Virtualization and Cloud Computing  ,I often see a trend where most architect let it pass to the infrastructure folks to handle the virtualization ,although I dont blame them for this,after all they need to handle so many other bits and to catch up the new technologies and trend is never an easy task for most of the Archs.
 
So Why do you need Virtualization??
In short Virtualization is all about the pooling physical and logical systems resources. These resource pools can then be used for a variety of purposes including:
Improving System Utilization,Testing App in Different PlatForm and PRoduction test beds,Improving FailOver and Recovery,Setting of a Virtual Lab Automation System,Reducing the Cost and Rapid HardWare Configuration ,Creating a dynamic IT and reducing Management Costs and So On.The World is not far behind on the importance of Virtualization and now all major players in IT industries is catching up with the Virtualization  trend.
 
There are different types of Virtualization :- DeskTop Virtualization,Server Virtualzation,Application Virtualization but the ultimate goals still the same and Many palyers ESX,Microsoft and Citrix were quite popular with many of their Virtualization products and technologies .I am not going to the full details on the why since you can find many articles in Microsoft virtualization site as well as ESX site as well as many other authors has quite a few post on this .I personally like this post from david why virtualization matters http://www.virtual-strategy.com/Features/Why-Virtualization-Matters.html.
 
VMWare is the enterprise market leader In Virtualization and Microsoft is catching up  although VMware  has high licensing costs their ESX products are feature rich. Generally speaking certain applications and workloads are good candidates for virtualization (web servers, app servers, cpu bound) while others are less desirable (db servers, high disk IO). I believe VMWare publishes general guidance around performance hit of vms compared to physical counterparts – I believe they say roughly 30% hit on CPU, and up to 50% hit for network and disk IO. Given the hardware support of virtualization in modern day cpus and SANs, these deviations may be different today. You will see a performance hit so you should at least expect that much.
However before choosing a Virtualization strategy you need to have a requirement taht better match the VM Environment.The benefits of virtualization in many cases outweigh the performance hits in my experience – cloning, migrating running vms across physical hardware servers, suspension, simplified networking, automation/scripting, clustering, higher availability/minimized downtime etc. Some of these benefits are clearly desirable in a production environment. Imagine having to perform a hardware upgrade on a physical server… you could simply temporarily migrate your running vms to the other physical servers and migrate them back after the upgrade with no downtime.The best bet would be to try with a Test or trial Run .Do refer to this post also for a details before you start Virtualization on production:-http://virtualization.sys-con.com/node/508299?page=1
 
 
As I mentioned there are different types of Virtualization and in this post i ll confined to Server Virtualization and specific to WindowsServer 2008 Hyper-V and VMWare ESX.
 Before I move onto Cloud Computing , Let me clear for folks considering Hyper-V that I found it quite useful and I spefically like many of their features which make them a strong competitors of VMware.Other then the List above I like the PowerScript Support,Support of VMware system  in VMM[VMM is still in beta and you can participate using msconnect] also you can see a Linux and Mac based system support in Hyper-V soon.For hyper-V you need Windows 2008 X-64 based system as base OS .Currently no other OS supports this and beaware of the sysprep and integration components since I found earlier VHD or VM on VirtualServer 2005 or VPC 2007 or 04 sometimes cause problem while importing into Hyper-V.Although there is a KB article for the resolution ,for me un-installing the Vmcomponents always done the trick.Finally on Virtualization ,This site also has quite a few good resources to understand virualization http://virtualization.sys-con.com/
 
 
To limit this blog post I am not going to provide a lot on Cloud Computing,However the following articles would provide you much info:-
Cloud Computing and Virtulization perfect together http://virtualization.sys-con.com/node/607253
 
 
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