interviews virtualization futures

Raghu Raghuram on the hypervisor and the next big opportunity

VMware VP Raghu Raghuram at Redmond Magazine. Link: Redmond | Redmond Report Article: Driving VMware.

Redmond: What are the major differences between VMware and Microsoft in how each company views hypervisors?

Raghuram: There are some stark differences. Our view
is that the core virtualization layer belongs in the hardware. It also
has to be much smaller in order to reduce its surface area for attacks.
This is why we introduced the 3i architecture, which will become
mainstream over the course of this year.

Our product will be less than 32MB, but will still have all
the functionality. Our sense is if you turn on the server, you turn on
virtualization at the same time. Our approach is similar to that of
mainframes and big Unix machines where there’s no separate
virtualization software as part of the operating system. Our
architecture enables this notion of a plug-and-play data center. So, if
they need more capacity for the data center, then they just roll in a
new server, which is automatically virtualized.

The Microsoft approach is to have virtualization be an adjunct
to the OS. With the Virtual Server architecture, it’s explicitly a
separate layer that relies on the OS. With the Hyper-V architecture,
they’re still maintaining the same dependency on the OS, so it’s not
fundamentally different than the Virtual Server in that respect. The
downside for customers is the Virtual Server architecture is still tied
to a commercial OS, which is fairly vulnerable to attacks and has a big

Everybody ‘gets’ server consolidation. The math is easy, the ROI immediate. Do you ‘get’ business continuity? For many organizations, virtualization can be the difference between a notion of a plan and having a real, operational capability. More from the interview:

Some of these products also address what you
are calling IT Service Continuity. How important is this to your
strategy going forward?

Very important. Business continuity is the silver bullet
for virtualization beyond consolidation. In fact, two-thirds of all our
customers are already trying to do business continuity using
virtualization. These [products are] designed to automate all processes
so that if your data center fails, you can automatically failover to
another data center and then fail back. One of the interesting things
about business continuity is because it’s so complex to do, people have
business continuity plans on paper, but they are hardly ever tested.
The products we announced enable the automated testing of those sorts
of plans.


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