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Monthly Archives: July 2010

Open Standards for Interoperability, Portability, and Security

B-winstonbumpusPosted by Winston Bumpus
Director of Standards Architecture, VMware

I’m Winston Bumpus, director of standards architecture at
VMware and president of the Distributed
Management Task Force Inc.
(DMTF). I want to share some thoughts on the
ever-evolving cloud computing environment, specifically around open standards
and open source software.

You might have seen an announcement this week on OpenStack, and I wanted to take this
opportunity to shed light on VMware’s opinion on the value of open source and
the need to view it differently from interoperability. OpenStack, an initiative
between NASA and Rackspace, a VMware service provider partner, seeks to
accomplish some interesting standards work similar to other open source cloud
projects like Nebula, offering customers another choice in cloud platforms.

We
love providing customers choice of hardware, operating systems, management
platforms and cloud computing platforms. We expect to see all sorts of cloud
computing implementations that will provide customers a range of price points,
features, benefits and specs based on their requirements.

But what’s most important to us as it relates to these
various implementations – those that currently exist and those that are still
to come – is that the interfaces work together so that true choice is possible.

When we look at cloud computing, we approach it from a
customer-centric point-of-view. We’re in a new era of computing and we see
three key issues with Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud computing that
currently concern customers:

  • Interoperability
    (common APIs)
  • Portability
    (standard packaging and deployment formats)
  • Security
    (standards-based security infrastructure)

We’re working on all three of these issues through:

  • Our
    support of the Open Virtualization Format, which is currently the key cloud standard for
    interoperability
  • Our
    participation in cloud
    standards development
    within the DMTF and working with other industry
    leaders including AMD,
    CA, Cisco,
    Citrix, EMC,
    Fujitsu, HP,
    Hitachi, IBM,
    Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, Novell, Rackspace, RedHat, Savvis, and SunGard.
  • Our
    work with the Cloud
    Security Alliance
    to develop cloud security best practices based on
    existing standards and technology.

Additionally, we don’t confuse open standards with open
source. Open source is a collaborative development process for creating an
implementation of a product or service while open standards are developed by a
collaborative process to ensure interoperability among various competing
product offerings.

We’re huge supporters of open source software efforts,
having placed major bets on Spring and RabbitMQ, among others. And while open
source makes sense for some product offerings, open standards provide
interoperability between open sourced, shared sourced, and private sourced
implementations. 

We believe that customers should be able to choose the best
products at the best prices and have the flexibility to migrate to a better
solution if and when it becomes available. That’s why open standards are
critical for both open sourced and other sourced implementations.

We partner with numerous companies, some of which are
developing open source cloud computing environments, and we expect those
partnerships to continue to grow. But when it comes to interoperability, we
encourage customers to judge technologies on performance, not how they were developed.

VMware vSphere 4.1: Advancing the Platform for Cloud Computing

Steve_Herrod

Posted by Steve Herrod
Chief Technology Officer

A number of our recent VMware blog posts have focused on the newer VMware technology areas… SpringSource, RabbitMQ, Gemstone, and the partnerships we’re forming to deliver cloud-portable applications. With this blog post, I get to highlight vSphere and vCenter, VMware’s largest engineering investment areas and the very foundation of our broader cloud computing story. Today we are announcing general availability of VMware vSphere 4.1, and I’d like to share a bit more about it from both a technology and an engineering process perspective.

First, the technology… when we launched vSphere 4.0 in May of last year, we highlighted three main themes that are core enablers of cloud computing: Efficiency, Control, and Choice. These are themes that you’ll see us focus on for many years to come, and we’ve made major progress on each of them with vSphere 4.1.

Efficiency: The goal here is to squeeze the most out of your hardware investment and to make management of large, virtualized datacenters simple and scalable. We’ve made major progress on this theme with 4.1. Two areas I particularly like are:

I’m also excited in how we’ve dramatically increased the scalability of almost every component of our product suite. In vSphere 4.0, the engineering team made several major architectural changes designed to help the software scale better. We took some advantage of these in 4.0, but with 4.1, we’ve had a chance to really exploit the new software base. Here’s just a selection of the key scalability improvements:

Those are some pretty big increases to a product that is already fairly scalable!

Control: The focus of this theme is helping IT have complete control over the performance and availability of their applications, something particularly challenging in today’s public clouds. The biggest breakthrough we’re delivering in this area focuses on storage and the ability to guarantee certain levels of bandwidth to a VM, even in a heavily consolidated and multitenant environment. There were some early videos showing off earlier versions of this new Storage IO Control capability. You can read more about it and just try to request guarantees on performance from today’s clouds!

Choice: The last theme is around enabling customer choice… choice as to what applications you run, what hardware you run them on, and, as we move forward, which cloud you run them in. With vSphere 4.1, we continue to increase VM performance, making virtualization a no brainer for even the highest end applications]. We’ve also continued to grow our hardware compatibility list substantially, ensuring that you can leverage your existing investments while having broad choice as to your future hardware purchases. As of this writing, vSphere 4.1 is fully supported with more than 2000 server models and more than 2200 storage array targets. And stay tuned for more news as to how vSphere 4.1 forms the foundation of cloud portability…

This is just a short take on the technology advances. There’s lots more data available here and I’ve also recorded a short video to give more context to the above advances.

As for the engineering process angle, I’m extremely proud of how the team delivered this release. After the launch of vSphere 4.0, we have moved to a “train model” of vSphere and vCenter product releases, targeting more regular (and predictable) releases of the software. This is critical to customers and partners, who are basing a lot of their own products and plans on new vSphere and vCenter offerings. And we plan to keep the trains running on time, so we’re already hard at work on the next two vSphere and vCenter releases where we’ll continue to push forward on efficiency, control, and choice.

And I thought I’d close with a bit tech-y, but great quotation about this release from one of our more than 800 beta-testing customers… “This release has the stability of a ‘dot-1’ release with the advancements of a ‘dot-0’ release”. Indeed!

Happy virtualizing, all!