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Category Archives: overviews

vSphere 6.0 vExpert Blog Articles Covering What’s New, Installation, VVOLS, vMotion, VSAN, Web Client and much much more

Today we announced vSphere 6.0 and the vExpert community has some excellent insight into what this release is about. The articles below are written by VMware vExperts who are the best IT professionals in virtualization.

There are several in depth single as well as multipart articles to help understand this release. Throughout the day we will update this blog with new highlighted blog articles from additional vExperts.  Most of the articles are in English but there are several in international languages as well. Be sure to keep an eye on #VMW28days on Twitter. Be sure to also try vSphere 6 and VSAN today online over at labs online.

Here are some of the highlight topics covered in the articles:

  • What’s new in vSphere 6
  • VMware AppVolumes
  • Install Walkthrough (vSphere & vCenter)
  • Server Design & installation
  • Features & Enhancements of vSphere 6 Web Client
  • Multi-Processor Fault Tolerance
  • How to Install and Configure vSphere 6 Hypervisor
  • vSphere 6 Certificate Authority & Design Decisions
  • VVOL’s
  • What’s new in VSAN
  • vMotion Enhancements & Long Distance vMotion
  • Managing your vSphere 6 Environment

vExpert Blog Articles

Adam Eckerle – Is a TAM for VMware, vExpert, 3xVCAP holder (DCA/DCD/DTD), and passionate about Data Center virtualization technology.

  1. New Features in vSphere 6 – VMware vSphere 6 is another step forward to enabling the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC). There are some very exciting new features that have just been announced so here is a (non-exhaustive) list broken down by area.

Alex Muetstege

  1. Whats’s new in vSphere 6 covering scalability, availability. vCenter Server, vMotion enhancements, Storage, vSphere 6 Pricing

Andrea Casini – I’ve been working in the IT industry for over 14 years designing, implementing and managing IT infrastructures. All the technology I’m passionate about is somehow related to VMware and the revolution they started with virtualization.

  1. vSphere 6 Certificate Lifecycle Management – Since the introduction of SSO, managing certificates have became more and more difficult and problematic. With the introduction of VMCA and VECS VMware is giving us the tools to make this process more streamlined and less cumbersome, making it easy for companies of all sizes to move away from unmanaged self-signed certificates and deploy internal or 3rd party certificates including all vSphere components in the corporate security policy.

Andrea Mauro – Works in IT since 1996 and held several technical certifications (VCP, VCAP, VCDX, MCITP, MCSA, MCSE, CCA). And he’s also a VMware vExpert (2010/2011/2012/2013/2014).

  1. VMware vCenter Server 6 design – This post describe the step by step installation procedure for VMware vSphere 6.0
  2. VMware vSphere 6 Client
  3. VMware vCenter Server 6 adds more cloud features – In this new version vCenter Server has been extended with some new interesting features (partially from vCloud Director capabilities) to make it more cloud oriented.

Andreas Lesslhumer – 16 years in IT, specializing in virtualization and server infrastructure. Virtualization Evangelist and Blogger at Running-System.com

  1. Features and Enhancements of the new vSphere 6 Web Client – Features and Enhancements of the new vSphere 6 Web Client”  waiting for the launch.
  2. vSphere 6 Fault Tolerance highlights and improvements –  vSphere 6 brings some great enhancements to Fault Tolerance. Read more in the article about topics like multi processor VM support and other improvements you can expect.

Andreas Peetz – Virtualization Engineer and Evangelist, Blogger and Tool author, Maintainer of the V-Front Online Depot for ESXi, vExpert since 2012

  1. What’s in ESXi 6.0 for free license and white box users? – Read what the new vSphere version brings for users of the free ESXi license and white box hardware, and how it behaves with community supported drivers and tools.

Ather Beg – Ather Beg is a technology blogger, vExpert and Chief Virtualogist at Virtualogists.com.

  1.  vSphere 6: Platform Services Controller (PSC): Design Decisions – This article discusses the new vSphere 6 architecture component Platform Services Controller (PSC), possible configurations, design decisions and their impact for a vSphere install or upgrade.
  2. vSphere 6: VMware Certificate Authority (VMCA): Design Decisions – This article discusses the new vSphere 6 component “VMware Certificate Authority”, deployment configurations, design decisions and their impact for a vSphere install or upgrade.
  3. vSphere 6: Upgrade Considerations – This article discusses the various vSphere 6 upgrade scenarios and paths, points to consider before embarking on an upgrade program and the design decisions involved.

Benjamin Troch  – is a seasoned IT veteran with 15 years+ experience providing (virtual) infrastructure consulting services for some of the largest financial institutions in the world. vExpert 2013/2014, VMware User Group (VMUG) leader for Singapore and SME on VMware technologies Benjamin holds VCAP DCD and DCA certifications alongside MCITP and Citrix CCA certs

  1. vSphere 5 is dead, long live vSphere 6 – Virtualb.eu’s overview of the new platform

Benjamin Ulsamer – Planning, designing and realising VMware & NetApp projects since 10 years as Senior Consultant, Architect, Systems Engineer and Trainer

  1. The easy way to vSphere 6 – Part 01a – Install vCenter 6 on Windows
  2. The easy way to vSphere 6 – Part 01b – Deploy the vCenter Appliance 6
  3. The easy way to vSphere 6 – Part 02 – Install vSphere Client 6 to connect ESXi Hosts
  4. The easy way to vSphere 6 – Part 03 – Install Update Manager 6
  5. The easy way to vSphere 6 – Part 04 – Install Update Manager Client 6
  6. The easy way to vSphere 6 – Part 05 – Update ESXi 5.x Hosts to version 6 via Update Manager 6

Bob Plankers –  IT Generalist specializing in systems management, virtualization, and cloud design & operations.

  1. 9 Things You’ll Love About vSphere 6.0 – vSphere 6.0 has major advancements in many areas, with the addition of major functionality and thousands of minor improvements. Here are 9 big & small things that vSphere users will really enjoy.

Brian Trainor – Is a consulting engineer with UNICOM Systems and has experience in data center management, infrastructure and operations management, and virtual infrastructure design.

  1. The New vSphere 6.0 Web Client – A quick overview of the new and enhanced vSphere Web Client 6.0. This might be one of the most welcome upgrades offered in vSphere 6.0 as significant improvements have been made in performance and user experience.

Chris Nickl – Chris is a Datacenter Architect/Engineer for World Wide Technology’s Professional Services.

  1. What’s cool in vSphere 6? – VMware has finally released version 6.0 of their vSphere Environment.  What are largest new features and enhancements.
  2. VVOLs What are they? – VMware has been talking about VVOLS for over two years.  What are they and how do they help us?
  3. vSphere 6 : vSphere Client is ALIVE!! – The long standing VI-Client that was rumored to be killed off, is in fact still around and works with vSphere 6.
  4. vSphere 6 now supports NFS v4.1 with Authentication – vSphere 6 finally supports NFS version 4.1 and even allows Kerberos authentication.  This will allow NFS Multi-pathing and better authentication.
  5. vSphere 6: Multi-Processor Fault Tolerance – With the announcement of vSphere 6.0, one very cool feature that is new is Multi-Processor Fault Tolerance.  You can now turn FT on for VMs with up to 4 vCPUs.
  6. Installing the new vCenter 6.0 Appliance – VMware has released the new 6.0 vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA).  This will detail how to exactly install it so that you can get your environment running.

Dave Morera – Is an experienced virtualization and storage Architect, with breadth of knowledge in other areas as well.

  1. vSphere 6 Web Client: Let’s go there… – This article highlights the new features of the new vSphere 6 Web Client. The most noticeable features are highlighted based on customer feedback via social media and VMUG meetings.
  2. vSphere 6 Availability Enhancements – This article highlights the new availability enhancements provided in vSphere6. Such enhancements play an important role in maintaining HA and a DR strategy.
  3. VVols: Go for Launch – This article provides a high level view of VVols as well as its requirements. VVols allow for a better management and integration of storage and vSphere 6.

Derek Seaman – Is VMware VCDX #125, and a Senior Solutions and Performance engineer at Nutanix. He specializes in Microsoft enterprise software, and detailed how-to articles for a variety of enterprise products.

  1. vSphere 6.0 Install Pt. 1: Introduction – Back by popular demand and following in the vSphere 5.5 footsteps, this is the first article in a long series of how-to install and upgrade to vSphere 6.0.
  2. vSphere 6.0 Install Pt 2: PSC
  3. PEX 2015: VVOL Overview
  4. What’s new in vSphere 6.0

Edward Haletky

  1. vSphere Upgrade Saga: Planning for vSphere 6.0

Emad Younis

  1. vCenter Appliance (vCSA) 6.0 – New & Improved – vSphere 5.0 introduced us to the vCenter appliance (vCSA). The vCSA continues to evolve with each release and this one is no exception.

Filip Verloy – Is an NSX SE at VMware based in Belgium and has been blogging about virtualization and networking since 2012.

  1. The vSphere 6 blog post focusses on what’s new related to vMotion, including cross vCenter- and long distance vMotion and the new use cases it enables.

Florian Grehl – Is a Hosting Engineer working for a managed services provider in Germany.

  1. vSphere 6 vMotion Enhancements – This article introduces cross vSwitch and cross vCenter vMotion. It also analyses what’s geographically possible with the increased supported RTT of 100ms.
  2. vSphere 6 Web Client Enhancements – This article highlights the changes in the vSphere Web Client and presents a performance analysis compared to the previous version.

Greg Schulz – Five-time VMware vExpert, independent advisory consultant and author of several books, his blog is storageioblog.com and twitter @StorageIO.

  1. VMware Announces vSphere v6 Virtualization Technologies – VMware has announced version 6 (V6) of its virtualization hypervisor called vSphere aka ESXi, this post looks at the announcement and what it means for implementing a software defined data center including coverage of Virtual Volumes (vVOLs).

Iwan Rahabok – A VMware CTO Ambassador and author, started the user community in ASEAN 6+ years ago. The community Facebook group is one of the largest globally.

  1. vSphere 6 First Impressions – A tour of the changes in the UI. Web Client is now cool again!
  2. vSphere 6: Features that are now global – A great enhancements for customers with multiple vCenter Servers. And who doesn’t!
  3. The rise of SDDC Architect – A strategic take on the launch, encouraging VMware professionals to rise up and become the SDDC Architect.

Jason Conine – Virtualization Evangelist, Systems Engineer, MBA, vExpert, VCP5-DCV

  1. VMware vSphere 6.0: What’s New?

Jim Jones – Systems and network administrator working in state government. Jim has over 15 years in the IT industry.

  1. Managing your vSphere 6 Environment – vSphere 6 provides a great deal of enhancements to its manageability and scale. This article will provide the high points.

John Nicholson – (vExpert 2013-2014) is the manager of Client Services for Synchronet.  His focus is on Storage and Virtual Desktop Architecture.

  1. VMware VSAN : What’s new – This article looks at the end management updates to VSAN as well as the implications of the powerful back end updates to the file system.

Josep Ros

  1. Novedades de VMware vSphere 6.0

Kevin Kelling – Is a 4-time VMware vExpert holding an MBA as well as nearly 20 years of Information Technology experience.

  1. Top 6 Features of vSphere 6 – vSphere 6 may just be the most significant release in VMware’s history.  Let’s take a quick walk through the 6 biggest features that enable a whole new world of capabilities and opportunity.

Keith Norbie – Sr. Business Development Manager at SolidFire, and works closely with solutions architects, marketing, sales and channel teams to drive forward some of SolidFire’s most strategic technology partnerships, including VMware and Citrix Systems. Keith has a strong history of experiences working in different channel and business development roles within the enterprise IT and storage market. He is also an active VMware vExpert and member of VMware’s Partner Technical Advisory Board (PTAB).

  1. vSphere 6 Storage – The Future of Storage at Scale

Leon Scheltema – I am a IT professional for over 14 years specialising in Virtualization and Storage, last couple of years focussing on designing virtual infrastructures, Blogger

  1. VMware Reveals vSphere 6 – The article highlights the most important enhancements and new features of the latest vSphere release. In addition a high-level overview of the differences between the vCenter components in the previous version and in the latest version, and how this affects deployment of vCenter nodes.

Michael Webster – Is among a small number of VMware Certified Design Experts (VCDX-066), currently the only VCDX in New Zealand, and a vExpert, with deep experience delivering project management, ITIL based VMware operational readiness and technical architecture consulting services to enterprise and service provider clients around the world.

  1. VMware vSphere Release Revolution for Mobile Cloud Era –  For the first time you will be able to live migrate from private cloud to public cloud, a true hybrid cloud and software defined datacenter. Expect to improve qualify of service for all applications, scale to unprecedented levels, and support even higher levels of service. All while reducing management overheads and complexity across the entire ecosystem. This release has been baking for a while and for good reason. There is a big commitment to product qualify, which was evidenced by the first ever public beta for VMware vSphere.  This is a major release, and is well deserving of the 6.0 version number.

Mohammed Raffic – A VMware vExpert, VMware Employee and an author of the Book “VMware ESXi CookBook”. Independent author and Founder of the blog “www.VMwarearena.com” focusing on VMware Virtualization and Cloud computing. He has more than 7 years of high level knowledge in Remote infrastructure services, consulting, designing, implementing and troubleshooting VMware Virtualization technology.

  1. vSphere 6.0 – New Configuration Maximums – This article focuses about the New Configuration maximums available with vSphere 6.0. It provides the Comparison table between the configuration maximums of vSphere 5.5 and vSphere 6.0.
  2. vSphere 6.0 vMotion Enhancements – vMotion Across vSwitches and vCenter Servers – This article focus about the vMotion enhancements available with vSphere 6.0. It provides detailed information about vMotion across vSwicthes, vMotion across vCenters and Long Distance vMotion.
  3. vSphere 6.0 – What’s New in VMware Fault Tolerance (FT) – This article focus about the VMware vSphere 6.0 Fault Tolerance and its new features. It also provides comparison table between vSphere 5.5 and vSphere 6.0 Fault Tolerance
  4. vSphere 6.0 New Features – Content Library – This article focus about one of the New Feature called “Content Library” available with vSphere 6.0. It also provides details about configuring content library and deploying Virtual Machines from Content Library.
  5. vSphere 6.0 – What’s New in vCenter Server 6.0 – This article focus about the new components and pre-requisites for the installation of vCenter Server 6.0. It also provides the details about 2 different components of vCenter Server along with the details about vCenter Server 6.0 deployment models.
  6. vSphere 6.0 – What’s New in vCenter Server Appliance(vCSA) 6.0 – This article focus about the new Installation type, Deployment Model, Appliance Sizing about the vCenter Server Appliance 6.0. It also provides comparison table between Windows Version of vCenter Server and vCenter Server appliance.
  7. vSphere 6.0 New Features – What is VMware Virtual Volumes (VVols)

Niels Hagoort – I am a virtualization enthusiast with a love for software defined solutions. Working at YaWorks as a Sr. Virtualization Consultant.

  1. vSphere 6: Multi-Processor Fault Tolerance (SMP-FT)
  2. vSphere 6: mClock scheduler & reservations

Paul Braren – “TinkerTry IT @ home” Founder and IT Professional Paul Braren actually enjoys the bleeding edge of technology, residing happily at the forefront throughout his multi-decade IT career. Paul has done many years of customer trainings and virtualization implementations. He’s always been tinkering, but most recently, he’s been honing his photography, videography, and writing skills, with over 500 in-depth articles and over 300 how-to videos at TinkerTry.com.

  1. Getting my mitts on the vSphere 6 bits including ESXi and vCSA, already enhancing my home lab – It’s been a long wait for vSphere 6.0, and in the home lab, that likely means ESXi 6.0 coupled with VCSA 6.0. The question for IT Pros/home lab enthusiasts: will my efficient/affordable/unsupported equipment still work with this major new release? Wait no more, catch a good glimpse of all that vSphere 6.0 goodness coming soon to your our home lab.
  2. Sneak Preview – Build your own vSphere 6 home datacenter in about an hour – Today, the day vSphere 6 is announced, I’m already ready to show you exactly how I just re-built my home lab today, in about an hour…stick with hard-coded IPs, SSO auto-configuration in the vCSA appliance now works very nicely. The video is now available, exclusively at TinkerTry!

René Bos – Technical Consultant at Conclusion FIT, SnowVM blog

  1. The new features of vSphere 6

Robert Verdam – My main focus is infrastructure (Storage, Networking and Computing), but I’m also very interested in designing and implementing VDI and Server Based Computing-environments.

  1. vSphere 6: vMotion enhancements – A brief history about vMotion and an overview of new exiting vMotion features. Shows what are use-cases and requirements for these new vMotion features.

Roger Lund – Solutions Architect at Deltaware Data Solutions; Blogger,  VMUG leader, Tech Field Day Delegate, and VMware vExpert.

  1. vCenter Server 6.0 New Features
  2. vSphere 6.0 Platform New Features
  3. vSphere 6.0 Fault Tolerance – New Features
  4. vSphere 6 Configuration of Fault Tolerance

Rutger Kosters – Virtualization Consultant working at YaWorks. Tech Junkie!

  1. mClock Scheduler & Reservations – A closer look at the mClock scheduler and how it is used in vSphere 6 for reservations in association with Storage IO Controls.

Sittichai Palanisong – Currently a Systems Engineer manager for VMware. Has 22 years of experiences in IT industry. Started with systems programming using C. Spent 18 years of career in the world of  UNIX and alike environments.   VCP5 and VCAP-DCD5 certified.

  1. What’s New in vSphere 6 (Thai)

Vikas Shitole

  1. vSphere 6.0 : How SIOC works with Storage IO reservation – Yet another vSphere 6.0 feature which will excite you to move your Tier-1 IO intensive apps to vSphere.

Vipin V.K. – Working for a VMware partner company, in India. vExpert 2014/15

  1. vSphere 6 enhancements – Let’s take a look – Discussing some of the new key features with the new vSphere release, vSphere 6.

Vladan Seget – IT Consultant, professional Blogger and owner of vladan.fr ESX Virtualization website.

  1. vSphere 6 Long Distance vMotion – vSphere 6 breaks the traditional boundaries which is a datacenter – Po. Long distance vMotion is a game changer in DR strategies and architecturing DR solutions.
  2. vSphere 6 Features – vCenter Server Details – Windows based vCenter or VCSA? The barrier is gone as VCSA 6 scales the same way as Windows vCenter Server 6 – up to 1000 hosts and 10k VMs including support for linked mode…

Top 5 Community Blog Posts – Nov 26th 2012

Hello Everyone! I am Patricio Cerda, vExpert 2011 and 2012, and virtualization blogger.

Here I am again to write about the content of the Community Blogs and to provide you with the Top 5 recommended blog posts to read.

So, here is the selection for the last 2 weeks. (In no particular order).


Is SSD only for performance?
In this article Greg give us an overview about alternate uses for SSD (besides the traditional use for performance)
Read the full article here


VMware vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager 1.0
Here Samuele gives us a great review about the recently launched, vCenter Multi-Hypervisor Manager 1.0, which enables support for heterogeneous hypervisors in vCenter Server.
Read the full article here


vSphere5.1 Revision: Distributed vSwitch Port Bindings
In this post, Mike talks about Port Binding on Distributed vSwitches, something important in a vCloud Director environment, where the usage of ports on the switch is much more dynamic and in a larger scale.
Read the full article here


Garbage data in, garbage information out, big data or big garbage?
Here Greg makes a point about the garbage data and analyze how (or if) the use of big data could be the solution for this.
Read the full article here

Simple VXLAN lab on Workstation viewing traffic with Wireshark Part – 1
In this article kevin shows to us how to setup a virtual lab to create VXLAN and view the VXLAN traffic with Wireshark
Read the full article here

Enjoy the reading!!!

Top 5 Community Blog Posts – Nov 12th 2012

Hello Everyone! I am Patricio Cerda, vExpert 2011 and 2012, and virtualization blogger.

Here I am again to write about the content of the Community Blogs and to provide you with the Top 5 recommended blog posts to read.

So, here is the selection for the last 2 weeks. (In no particular order).

Why CIOs are Choosing the Vblock
In this article, Archie talks about the CIO role, and why they are choosing vBlock to get success in their jobs.  Archie lists 3 basic steps that a CIO must follow to be successful Read the full article here


Second Level Address Translation (SLAT)
What is SLAT? Jawad explains to us what is this processor technology.
Read the full article here

How to connect/interact with VCVA DB (DB2 and vPostgres)
Here Marcelo gives us a step-by-step guide to connect and interact with the vCenter Appliance Database.
Read the full article here


vCenter and the certificate saga
In this post, Bilal talks about why and how to replace the vCenter and ESXi host default certificates
Read the full article here


SplitRX Mode – Taking VMware Multicasting to the Next Level
Here Archie gives us an overview about SplitRX Mode, including a recap of networking basics and how packet forwarding is done on an IP network
Read the full article here

Enjoy the reading!!!

Top 5 Community Blog Posts – Sept 24th 2012

Hello Everyone! I am Patricio Cerda, vExpert 2011 and 2012, and virtualization blogger.

Here I am again to write about the content of the Community Blogs and to provide you with the Top 5 recommended blog posts to read.

So, here is the selection for the last 2 weeks. (In no particular order).

Entendendo as limitações do Esxi 5.1 FREE
In this post, Joao talks about vSphere Hypervisor, the free version of ESXi, and gives us a very good overview about the limitations included in this version.  Remember vSphere Hypervisor is a great solution to testing the advantages of virtualization and, of course, of VMware.
Read the full article here

How to check if NUMA is enabled on ESX hardware?
In this article, Marcelo shows to us how to check if NUMA is enabled on ESX hosts by using ESXTOP.
Read the full article here

Password security – its the length that matters (gigity)
Here Jon makes a point about Password Security and shows why longer passwords could be better than complex passwords.
Read the full article here

Are True Virtual Data Centers Coming?
In this article, Steven talks about Virtual Data Centers and how the new technologies make Virtual Data Centers start to become reality.
Read the full article here

Dr Performance: One Million IOPS
In this post, Mike analyses the most recent performance stress-testing on vSphere, which proves that VMware is able to smash through the barrier of 1 Million IOPS.
Read the full article here

Enjoy the reading!!!

Top 5 Community Blog Posts – Sept 10th 2012

Hello Everyone! I am Patricio Cerda, vExpert 2011 and 2012, and virtualization blogger.

Here I am again to write about the content of the Community Blogs and to provide you with the Top 5 recommended blog posts to read.  The last two weeks there were a lot of articles, so my apologies for the delay.

So, here is the selection for the last 2 weeks. (In no particular order).

Enhanced / Improved / X – vMotion in 5.1

In this post, Bilal talks about Enhanced vMotion which is included in the recently launched vSphere 5.1, and gives us a very good overview about all the improvements and  how Enhanced vMotion works.
Read the full article here


What is the Software-Defined Datacenter?

Here Mike give us a really great explanation about what is “Software-Defined Datacenter”.  This term has been used very often the last weeks, specially at the VMworld keynotes, so now we can better understand about what this term implies.
Read the full article here


PHD Virtual Backup 6 and Instant VM Recovery

Antone talks about a new feature in PHD Virtual Backup, which provides a quick recovery from backup, and explains how this works.
Read the full article here


Does software eliminate or move location of vendor lock-in?

Here Greg talks about the vendor lock-in, and the claim of software vendors about that their solution eliminates vendor lock-in.   Truth or half-truth?
Read the full article here


Part 1: What’s New vSphere5.1: The Web-Client

In this article, Mike gives us an overview about the new vSphere Web Client (Adobe Flex based), which replaces the traditional vSphere Client (C# based).
Read the full article here

Enjoy the reading!!!

Top 5 Community Blog Posts – Aug 27th 2012

Hello Everyone! I am Patricio Cerda, vExpert 2011 and 2012, and virtualization blogger.

Here I am again to write about the content of the Community Blogs and to provide you with the Top 5 recommended blog posts to read.

So, here is the selection for the last 2 weeks. (In no particular order).

The SMB and VMworld
Mike Laverick talks about the SMB coverage at VMworld 2012 in San Francisco. The Vmworld 2012 has a lot of news focused on SMB Market.
Read the full article here

Preparing for VCP5
Jonathan makes a nice compilation of resources for VCP 5 exam preparation. This post includes some tips and advices in order you get prepare to this exam.
Read the full article here

PHD Virtual – Backup review
Bilal makes a great review about PHD Virtual, a useful solution to make backups on our virtual environment.
Read the full article here

IBM buys flash solid state device (SSD) industry veteran TMS
How much flash (or DRAM) based Solid State Device (SSD) do you want or need?
In this article, Greg talks about the latest IBM adquisicion, Texas Memory Systems (TMS), an industry veteran, in order to get more SSD capabilities.
Read the full article here

In this article, Bilal talks about the infamous PSOD and provides a compilations of links to helps us to face it.
Read the full article here

Enjoy the reading!!!

Virtualization Technology Comparison

Masssimo Re Ferre’, who has produced, among other resources, a very nice VDI broker comparison and hypervisor architecture overview, has just released a big table comparing different virtualization technologies. It’s more useful  than the equivalent over at Wikipedia, which isn’t surprising, since Massimo actually knows what he’s talking about and works with the technologies every day.

Massimo is careful to disclaim the entire thing, since you can’t really reduce these technologies to a matrix of checkmarks. Corrections/suggestions to him.

And this should go without saying, but I’ll say it anyway: although this is interesting in a technical curiosity sort of way, you shouldn’t base any purchasing decisions on something like this. A check mark doesn’t tell you how a feature was implemented or how well it works, and a list of features doesn’t tell you about how a solution will fit your business needs.

Just to take one row in the matrix — scalability. VMware Infrastructure has memory page sharing, which means that VMs can share common parts of their memory, like OS pages. This means you can get more VMs per physical box. This can significantly impact your ROI, and in many cases VMware is actually cheaper than other solutions that are "cheaper."


Virtualization … Wars?

David Marshall, who has been virtualizing for years (he even was an external alpha tester for ESX Server), has written a good overview of where we are in the adoption of virtualization, and how we got here over the last few years.

Link: Virtual Strategy Magazine – Virtualization Wars.

  • Maximize resources – Perhaps the most common problem being
    solved with virtualization today – applications are running on their
    own dedicated servers, which results in low server utilization rates
    across the server environment. Server consolidation is used to help
    maximize the compute capacity on each physical server which therefore
    increases ROI on existing and future server expenditures.
  • Test and development optimization – Test and development
    servers can be rapidly provisioned by using pre-configured virtual
    machines. By leveraging virtualization, development scenarios can be
    standardized and quickly executed upon in a repeatable fashion. It also
    allows for increased collaboration, and ultimately helps with
    delivering a product to market faster and with less bugs.
  • Quickly respond to business needs – Deployment processes are
    becoming more difficult to manage in a complex environment and IT is
    unable to adapt as quickly to changing business requirements. Moving to
    a virtual environment helps with procurement, setup and delivery,
    giving IT the efficiency needed for rapid deployment.
  • Reduce business continuity costs – Virtualization
    encapsulation (creating an entire system into a single file) and
    abstraction (removing away the underlying physical hardware) help to
    reduce the cost and complexity of business continuity by offering high
    availability and disaster recovery solutions where a virtual machine
    can easily be replicated and moved to any target server.
  • Solve security concerns – In an environment where systems
    are required to be isolated from each other through complex networking
    or firewalls, these systems can now reside on the same physical server
    and yet remain in their own sandbox environment, isolated from each
    other using simple virtualization configurations.

It’s a good article; recommended. In the first part, David lays out where we are as an industry, and the current drivers and speed bumps on the way to virtual infrastructure. This would be good intro for anyone. The second part is where David talks about the last few years in the marketplace. This is interesting as context to the current players — such as Microsoft’s original perspective on virtualization as being useful as a migration tool for moving to new versions of Windows, which is very different from our current view of virtualization as freeing us from the rigid coupling of compute resources to physical hardware.

I have a bit of a problem with the title; perhaps it’s a reaction to the current world situation, but I have a hard time seeing what we’re doing as a "War," even metaphorically. This is not a mature market, like with the RDBMS in the 90’s and Oracle, Sybase, and Informix all slugging it out. It’s certainly a Race, with VMware in the lead, building value on top of the hypervisor while others are still building their core technology. We actually do a lot of teaching in the field, as customers try to figure out where they should be using hardware virtualization vs. other technologies. "War" has an unfortunately focus on the vendors themselves and the competition between them; I’d rather be listening to customers and how they’re solving problems.