Open up VMware vSphere with a high-end license and you’ve got the best product on the market, and the VMware ecosystem is where all the coolest stuff happens. But less-demanding customers are increasingly turning to alternative offerings from Microsoft, Citrix, and others.
As I have done since version 3.5, I’m charting the storage changes in VMware’s latest release of vSphere, 5.1. Unlike version 5, which included many new technical storage features, 5.1 mainly tweaks existing features and adds these new elements to the mix.
EMC VFCache (nÃ©e Project Lightning) is a fairly simple offering: A server-based PCIe flash card that acts as a read cache with no integration with storage arrays or hypervisors. But EMC’s entrance into the host-based flash storage market is a powerful demonstration of the wave of disruption caused by flash-based storage and high-performance computing.
Moving cold virtual machine images from system to system, or even across great distances, is one of the main selling points of server virtualization. But it becomes much more difficult to manage movement of virtual machines that are still running, especially outside cluster or across WAN links. When talking about virtual machine mobility, it is important to consider what is being moved, the state it is in, and where it is going.
We are a turning point in IT infrastructure. It is now possible to build a completely virtualized and abstracted data center environment, one where applications and operating systems are completely independent from server, network, and storage hardware. Join me in 2012 at a new all-day in-person seminar series as I work through the challenges of building a virtual data center.