Forget CLOUD - I only want TRUE CLOUD...

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So why has VMware and XEN been popular in the past?

saloob's picture

This is a very good question - with many dimensions affecting many different parties.

Here are a few answers;

  • Firstly, VMware IS good technology - no doubt - for what it was designed for - consolidating legacy systems. It was also one of the earliest to enter the market. It is a handy type of Hardware Emulation when you want to "archive" some legacy systems or even keep some legacy systems on life-support - at less cost than running the same number of VMs as physical servers - reduced electricity, etc. Parallels also provides a similar technology - which became a massive hit for Mac (Windows on Mac). The BIG difference between VMware and Parallels is that VMware doesn't also have Container virtualization - whereas Parallels is the only vendor in the world that provides both - along with an open API that melds the two together - as well as a full suite of automation solutions - perfect for Hosting, SaaS AND Enterprise.
  • Hardware vendors LOVE it compared to others! They know it requires a lot more hardware, CPU power, memory and so on just to run it, then to create VMs. Intel knows this - and so do all the other hardware vendors. Why else do you think they support it so much? Bare in mind one crucial point - the benefit to hardware vendors and VMware does NOT necessarily translate over to benefits to customers. In fact, many customers are being duped by their system integrator partners who ALSO make revenue on the hardware component! Think about it...we have heard from an engineer with one of Japan's largest system integrators that Intel Marketing has warned/threatened their partners from publicly announcing support for other virtualization technology - or they will lose their juicy discounts.
  • Also for the above reason, customers have been duped into thinking that VMware is "the" enterprise solution, for its support and wide usage - giving the illusion that it is some kind of standard. The problem is that the decision makers are usually CIOs or IT managers that have lost touch with technology and are at the beck and whim of the system integrator partners. Or worse, the decision-makers have NO idea about the technology - and just have a need - and will be led down the rosy path to their bank account. These guys are like ATMs for such system integrators. How embarrassing it must be to be duped like this for so long...
  • You can run multiple Operating Systems on VM technology. This is handy for consolidating legacy systems or for R&D or even demos on your laptop. We also use Parallels VM technology for this. However, we would NEVER use this approach on production servers. You have to be either really needing some kind of special kernel or crazy or out-of-touch with technology.
  • Running production Linux servers on VMware is a real joke. Again, unless your kernal requires some real specific patching (there are work-arounds with Container tech) -then there is ABSOLUTELY no reason why you shouldn't use Container technology. It is just impossible to reap any greater benefits. Technically impossible. If you use VMware for Linux, then you need to really reassess your standing in the IT world.

It amazes us to see so many supposedly intelligent people and companies falling for the above scandles - constantly.

Let's put it into a simple example;

Requirement: Consolidating 20 Windows 2003 Servers.

  • VM Solution;
    • Hardware;
      • 4-8 x86_64 Quad CPUs
      • 16-32 GB RAM
      • 2 TB (Depends on each servers' requirements)
    • Software
      • VM Software
      • 20 x Windows 2003 Licenses
      • 20 x Windows 2003 OS Installation
      • 20 x Windows-based Application Licenses
      • 20 x Windows-based Application Installation
    • Labour & Management
      • 20 x VM Creation, Management, Resource Allocation (Static)
      • 20 x OS Updates, Fixes, Support, etc.
      • 20 x Application Updates, Fixes, Support, etc.
  • Container Solution;
    • Hardware;
      • 2-4 x86_64 Quad CPUs
      • 8-16 GB RAM
      • 1-2 TB (Depends on each servers' requirements)
    • Software
    • Labour & Management
      • 20 x Container Creation, Management, Resource Allocation (Dynamic)
        • Can be auto-created via XML command
        • Can be migrated from physical server (P2V)
        • Resources can be dynamically adjusted via XML command
      • 1 x OS Updates, Fixes, Support, etc.
      • 1 x Application Updates, Fixes, Support, etc.

HELLO!

Doesn't something seem EXTREMELY evident from the above?

Both solutions are based on ONE hardware Node. It is obvious that the Container technology will win out in this scenario, but what is your CIO using? What is your system integrator "Partner" recommending?

Any CIO NOT at least testing Container technology needs to be ashamed of themselves - simple as that. We can say that because we have tested both. We have seen the results. We are in the know. Have you or your guys tested it yet? We just say, "hmmmm...."

Proper Cloud requires complete management and automation..

saloob's picture

Parallels now provide their Automation software as a revenue-based delivery model!

What this means is that they have finally done what we recommended in 2007 (now 4 years ago) - but it also means that any serious player has the opportunity to provide a good Cloud service with the only true virtualisation layer underneath.

http://www.parallels.com/products/automation/business/

You can hook up mutliple data centers anywhere in the world, any type of hardware (as long as it has Virtuozzo on it), multiple currencies, languages and payment systems.

It is a good idea to put some SaaS on it (Open-Xchange, Funambol, etc) and/or use as thin client delivery (Windows or Linux)..

Enjoy!