Next Thursday will be the first time I present my new-for-2011 Storage for Virtual Environments seminar. I’ve worked hard on the content, and appreciate all the input I’ve had from my readers and industry contacts since I first asked for help here on my blog.
The Virtual Opportunity
So what am I going to cover in this seminar? I hit on an interesting twist while working on the content: Virtual environments pose a challenge but also create an opportunity for storage people. Virtual environments are very demanding of storage features and performance, but we have the necessary tools in our arsenal. We just have to use them!
The first of three seminar hours is spent talking about the “big picture” issues for server virtualization. We talk about the trend for IT to move in a new direction, and how server virtualization is just the first step. It’s a bridge to the past, enabling legacy applications and operating systems to me used in a more-dynamic and flexible fashion. But the real change comes next, as virtualization and containerization hits the applications and they move away from legacy infrastructure.
Bur the reality check for server virtualization is starting to hit us. Look at the chart above, from an InformationWeek Analytics study on Virtualization Management. Server virtualization pros are scaling back their projections for virtualization penetration this year. Although most still believe many servers will be virtualized before the end of the year, it’s not the clear majority who thought that in 2009.
Another great source of information is the virtualization survey conducted by Chad Sakac. Although any web poll is not as scientific as a professional survey, it does reveal some interesting facts. One stand-out fact is the overwhelming: VMware ESX really dominate market for server virtualization. Although Microsoft Hyper-V and Citrix XenServer do have users, VMware controls more than half of the market.
Next, I talk about some of the realities of server virtualization: I contrast the simple virtual hardware environment that the guest believes it is running on with the complicated reality of the modern virtual data center. I also talk little bit about the cloud, and what this future IT infrastructure will look like.
Transitioning to Storage
But this is all a prelude to the meat of the seminar content: The impact that these virtual environments will have on storage infrastructure. As one of the three pillars of server performance, storage I/O is critical. But we must also consider the integration opportunities for advanced storage technologies.
This leads me to the roadmap for the rest of the seminar. Storage folks hold the keys to the future, but they must unlock the doors. It’s time to start thinking about storage in a new way:
- Storage presentation must adapt to the demands of the hypervisor
- Converged I/O technologies (“Everything over Ethernet”) bring exciting new opportunities
- Storage virtualization technology (volume management, thin provisioning, automated tearing, and so on) finally have a use in virtualized environments
- New storage architectures, including solid-state disks, are also required
This is the real thrust of my presentation. Storage folks need to change both their assumptions and architectures to respond to the challenges of this new virtual environment.
Want to get involved? Here’s what you can do:
- If you’re not already, subscribe to my rss feed – I’ll use the “Virtual Storage” category for this topic
- Check back over the next month or so as I post slides, commentary, and data regarding storage for virtualization environments
- Consider joining me at the seminars – I have 9 dates, and I’m sure most readers would qualify to attend free of charge!
- Thurs. Mar. 10 – Philadelphia, PA
- Thurs. Jun. 16 – Phoenix, AZ
- Tue. Jun. 28 – London, UK
- Tue. Jul. 19 – Toronto, ON
- Thurs. Jul. 21 – Cleveland, OH
- Tue. Aug. 9 – Denver, CO
- Tue. Oct. 18 – Dallas, TX
- Thurs. Oct. 20 – St. Louis, MO
- As the year progresses, I’ll be asking for clarification and posting updates to the material
I look forward to hearing from you, meeting you at the seminars, and putting some great content together!
A Note on Copyright
As promised, the seminar slides will be released using the Creative Commons license, specifically CC-BY-NC-SA 3.0. This means that anyone out there can get a copy, remix them, or reuse them as long as they attribute me, share their work with the world under the same license, and don’t try to make money off of it. As producers of this seminar series, TechTarget will have a special license allowing them to use the content.