Virtualization as a technology existed from the mainframe era in large glasshouse data centers.
Transfer of virtualization technology on to commodity x86 based hardware has increased the adoption of virtualization.
The first generation of x86 based Virtualization technologies had limited use in testing, development and re-hosting legacy applications.
We are seeing rapid evolution of Virtualization technologies by the vendor community into what we know as Virtualization 2.0.
What is Virtualization 2.0 ?
In my view, Virtualization 2.0 is about taking the virtualization from development, staging and production servers to Desktop (Virtual Desktop Infrastructure - VDI), Mobile and affordable Cloud based Disaster Recovery/business continuity applications.
Virtualization 2.0 signifies free/inexpensive access to advanced hypervisor based Virtualization technologies from various vendors.
This is allowing the change in deployment models for virtualization from typical scale-up approach(SMP with large Memory servers) to scale-out model on low-cost cost off-the-shelf hardware.
There is a lot of emphasis on hardware Assistance (Intel VT etc), Provisioning, Metering and Management tools.
Trends and Technologies propelling Virtualization 2.0
Green IT - The proponents of Green IT have raised the consousness on energy efficiency and resource utilization.
Cloud Computing - Creating large uniform Compute clusters to enable cloud computing is a common practice. Amazon has taken lead on providing on-demand compute and storage resources to scale up your operation. Portability of Server state provided virtualization is fundamental requirement for the success of cloud computing.
Blade Servers - Blade servers are improving manageability and creating opportunities for labor and material savings in the datacenter. Their elegant design, easy operations and reliable performance are helped the adoption of virtualization
Networked Storage - Networked storage both SAN/NAS have helped in consolidating servers and services in Virtual machines by removing scalability constraints imposed by direct attached storage. Today VM's are directly being mounted from networked storage.
Networking - the average speeds of internet connectivity are growing. this growth is fuelling need for better utilization cloud based virtualization.
Impact of Virtualization 2.0 on Storage and Networking
Virtualization 2.0 would not only feed on Networked storage but also generates a need for larger network capacity.
· In case of VDI the Virtual Machines of Non Logged on users remain dormant and when accessed consume a lot of bandwidth.
· Mobile Device are the next target for virtualization due to falling cost of flash storage and ease of application downloads due to better connectivity.
·In Disaster Recovery Scenarios…Storage Network based replication helps Virtualization to create easy recovery options.
What are the benefits of Virtualization 2.0...
Virtualization demands better managed data center environment due to power and cooling density due to higher compute/storage resource utilization.
The effect of better utilization of compute, network and storage resources translates into the hard dollar savings on IT infrastructure while promoting the Green IT agenda.
The cloud computing or Server in the cloud is relavent to internet centric businesses, academic and one-off projects.
A more compelling story is emerging due to virtualization in the Enterprise Cloud computing.
There is Rapid development, evolution and availability of provisioning, metering and management tools for virtual servers and cloud computing.
This trend is creating opportunities for in-expensive capacity building for enterprise cloud computing farms using low-cost servers, network elements and storage(iscsi).
Virtualization helps typical stateless workloads like Internet Security gateways, Web servers and application servers to be moved into enterprise clouds to reduce overall cost of the infrastructure.
The savings realized from redeploying expensive servers and network elements to new data oriented state based applications.
Disaster Recovery and Business continuity have become compelling in terms of cost and reduction of deployment complexity due to advances in synergy of storage and virtualization technology.
The Availability of ample bandwidth and on-demand cloud computing is enabling even the small and medium enterprises to implement working Disaster recovery environments using virtualization.
Challenges of Virtualization 2.0...
There is a significant challenge in the management large scale virtual infrastructures. There are no clear boundaries and responsibilities in terms network, storage and datacenter management teams.
The impact of faults and incidents is felt across the environment. it hard to troubleshoot the performance and stability issues as there is significantly small body of knowledge on Virtual server implementations of software products.
The support teams for most of the Enterprise software vendors are not particularly geared to support virtual environments.
The open-source product deployment is little bit more complicated as there is lack of community participation on deployment issues.
There is a significant learning curve to realize the synergies of Virtualization and networked storage. Most of the Virtualization still limited development, test and isolated production environments.
Security of Virtual Server environment is a hard nut to crack.. Wider availability of virtualization technology lends more discovery of vulnerability and exploits. This creates resistance in deploying mission critical workloads on virtualization.
Virtualization 2.0 is here to stay...
In spite of the learning curve, cost and security issues, Virtualization is here to stay due the flexibility, energy and cost savings.
Virtualization helps us by improving the time-to-innovate, time-to-test and time-to-deploy.
It improves the efficiency of IT staff and allows them to focus on innovation in servicing customer requirements.