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EMC VP Chuck Hollis details his thoughts on the challenges facing the enterprise with their storage infrastructure and virtualization using VMware. I’ve excerpted a bit, but read the whole thing.

Link: Chuck’s Blog: VMware Virtual Infrastructure 3 – Climbing The Mountain.

The Core Infrastructure Challenge

Simply put, the central infrastructure challenge is that server
virtualization adds another layer in the stack.  As an example, instead
of server / network / storage, it’s now virtual server / physical
server / network / storage.  …

Challenge #1 – Flat Name Space for VMotion

One of the most powerful and sexy features in VMware ESX 3.0 is the
advanced capabilities of VMotion, managed by DRS. … But this presents a new challenge to the storage infrastructure.
You’re going to want the ability for every virtual server image to be
able to see every storage object from every server. …

Challenge #2 – Storage Resource Management

The starting point for enterprise-class SRM is discovery and
visualization.  What do I have, how does it connect, and how is it all
related? … Now, insert server virtualization into this stack. … What happens?  It breaks the connection.  Maybe I can see the
virtual machines.  Or maybe I can see the VMware ESX servers.  But,
unless some heavy lifting is done, I won’t be able to see that
stem-to-stern view that makes enterprise SRM useful.  And you can’t
manage what you can’t see. …

Challenge #3 – Backup and Recovery

Backup and recovery – never a pleasant topic in the physical server
world – gets even more thorny and problematic in a virtual server world. …

Challenge #4 – Managing End-To-End Service Delivery

I’ve made the case before
that we don’t live in a world anymore where one user uses one
application.  What the user sees is a logical combination of
application services that run on an increasingly complex IT
infrastructure stack.  And IT finds it harder and harder to drive back
to a root cause when there’s a performance or outage that users are
noticing. …