View Poll Results: Virtualization the way of the future?

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  1. Senior Member
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    #1

    Default Virtualization the way of the future?

    I for one think it is because working as a network field technician I've met many IT people commenting on how they are about to implement virtual servers into their current arsenal of servers. Also surprisingly to me virtual networks is actually pretty stable, what do you guys/girls think?
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  3. Senior Member
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    #2
    Virtualization is definitely the way of the future. In all honesty, there is no reason not to virtualize.
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  4. Certification Invigilator Forum Admin JDMurray's Avatar
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    #3
    As more uses are found for virtualization it will eventually become an indispensable technology, like flash memory and Bluetooth. After a few years, it will seem unnecessary to mention virtualization because it will be so common in all of the computing appliances that we use.
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  5. ROFL-Copter pilot snadam's Avatar
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    #4
    I definitely this is the wave of the future!

    The ONLY downside I can think of is that most current setups have a single point of failure when it comes to hardware. Obviously there are better practices and fault tolerant setups that are becoming more and more popular. So eventually that single point of failure will be minuscule.
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    #5

    Default Without question

    YES!
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  7. Nidhoggr, the Net Serpent Claymoore's Avatar
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    #6
    Virtualization is not the wave of the future, it's the wave of the past.

    Virtualization is such a broad term, although lately people have been using it to refer to multiple virtual servers on one physical server. However we have been virtualizing in IT for a long time - just ask any old mainframe admin! Vlans are Virtual LANs - multiple logical LANS on one physical LAN - and we have been using those for years. Disk partitions are multiple logical drives on one physical disk. Conversely a RAID array is one virtual disk made of several smaller discs - virtualization can go both ways (sometimes called lensing in or lensing out). Server virtualization isn't a new concept either. Ever seen a sever cluster? That's virtualization. Multiple named instances of SQL on one server is also an example of virtualization.

    What's new about virtualization is that there is a brand and a stock symbol to go with it now. Every vendor who walks in our door is pushing VMWare so hard it makes me wonder if VMWare is offering to pay for their child's college education if they sell the most seats that quarter. Frankly, I'm sick of hearing about it. We will implement it eventually - when the maintenance contracts on our servers expire and I can replace them with 64 bit hardware. In the meantime I have a SAN to implement.

    Besides, I am having a hard time getting my company to reimburse me for the expenses I incurred for updating my MCSE last fall. I doubt they will be excited about spending $5000 to send me off to VMWare training.
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  8. ROFL-Copter pilot snadam's Avatar
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    #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Claymoore
    Virtualization is not the wave of the future, it's the wave of the past.

    Virtualization is such a broad term, although lately people have been using it to refer to multiple virtual servers on one physical server. However we have been virtualizing in IT for a long time - just ask any old mainframe admin! Vlans are Virtual LANs - multiple logical LANS on one physical LAN - and we have been using those for years. Disk partitions are multiple logical drives on one physical disk. Conversely a RAID array is one virtual disk made of several smaller discs - virtualization can go both ways (sometimes called lensing in or lensing out). Server virtualization isn't a new concept either. Ever seen a sever cluster? That's virtualization. Multiple named instances of SQL on one server is also an example of virtualization.

    What's new about virtualization is that there is a brand and a stock symbol to go with it now. Every vendor who walks in our door is pushing VMWare so hard it makes me wonder if VMWare is offering to pay for their child's college education if they sell the most seats that quarter. Frankly, I'm sick of hearing about it. We will implement it eventually - when the maintenance contracts on our servers expire and I can replace them with 64 bit hardware. In the meantime I have a SAN to implement.

    Besides, I am having a hard time getting my company to reimburse me for the expenses I incurred for updating my MCSE last fall. I doubt they will be excited about spending $5000 to send me off to VMWare training.
    wow, somebody woke up on the wrong side of the virtualized bed this morning

    sorry, couldnt help it!
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  9. Certification Invigilator Forum Admin JDMurray's Avatar
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    #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Claymoore
    I doubt they will be excited about spending $5000 to send me off to VMWare training.
    All the more reason to choose XenSource over VMWare, I guess.
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    #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Claymoore
    Server virtualization isn't a new concept either. Ever seen a sever cluster? That's virtualization. Multiple named instances of SQL on one server is also an example of virtualization.

    What's new about virtualization is that there is a brand and a stock symbol to go with it now. Every vendor who walks in our door is pushing VMWare so hard it makes me wonder if VMWare is offering to pay for their child's college education if they sell the most seats that quarter. Frankly, I'm sick of hearing about it. We will implement it eventually - when the maintenance contracts on our servers expire and I can replace them with 64 bit hardware. In the meantime I have a SAN to implement.
    With all due respect, the likes of VMWare, Microsoft with Hyper-V and Virtual Server, and others is not the same kind of virtualization as you've described. This isn't application virtualization, it's hardware virtualization. Software clustering is NOT the same as physical virtualization. How they work, and the benefits of each are not the same at all.

    We're not talking about a brand and stock symbol change. It's a paradigm shift in how we think of servers, how we buy servers, and how we manage servers. Physical virtualization once embraced has significant impacts on things like network topology, number of servers, how you buy servers, power management, patch management, migrations, server management, etc.

    Salespeople will slap lipstick on any pig or super model to sell it, but there's a reason this new type of virtualization is hot and being heavily adopted, and is the technology of the future.

    I'm not a virtualization goon who thinks that everything should be virtualized. But at the same time, I'm embracing it because what it allows you to do and its benefits are undeniable.

    About the comments concerning VMWare, sorry, but VMWare is the virtualization platform right now. It's the undeniable best of the best. It's also a great career path. If your employer is too cheap to pay for your training, pay for it yourself if you can.
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  11. Nidhoggr, the Net Serpent Claymoore's Avatar
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    #10
    Quote Originally Posted by snadam
    wow, somebody woke up on the wrong side of the virtualized bed this morning

    sorry, couldnt help it!
    Nice!

    Don't misunderstand me - I am a big fan of virtualization, and I think VMWare is a great product. I first used the workstation version back in 2002 on a couple of SMS software packaging and distribution projects. The ability to load virtual machines rather than reimage PCs all day saved us a crazy amount of time when testing deployments - although I might be a bigger fan if I hadn't been billing by the hour on those projects...

    I guess the point I am really trying to make is that VMWare (or HyperV or Xensource) is not the end-all, be-all of virtualization. They didn't invent the concept, it's been around since early in the mainframe era. Virtualization is a concept that applies to the entire data center and really relies on all the pieces being virtualized in order to get the maximum benefit. We have already been virtualizing in the LAN, SAN and Application areas and it's finally the server's turn.

    Having a 'brand' to lead the virtualization craze helps. When that brand has the sales and marketing power of EMC (aka Everyone Makes Calls) behind it, well that helps even more. What doesn't help is when we hear VM pitches from 4 different vendors in the same week when we were really trying to finalize our SAN bids. Those 4 pitches only succeeded in getting my director to buy some VMWare stock. Marketing isn't everything - there are plenty of other reasons to virtualize and consolidate servers:

    1. Server power has outpaced the software needs. 64bit quad-core processors create wasted clock cycles that still have to be cooled, which leads to...
    2. The 'Greening' of the data center. Using our servers more efficiently is not only good for the environment, it saves the company money! Which reminds me..
    3. Data center space is expensive. Hosting centers bill by the square foot in order to provide uninterrupted power and A/C so we can...
    4. Provide Five Nines of uptime. Without using any type of virtualization how could you only have 5.26 minutes of downtime in a year? It takes longer than that to apply patches for...
    5. Security. In an effort to reduce a Server's potential attack profile we have been forced to spread tasks to multiple servers rather than run multiple applications on a single server. This leads to under-utilized servers, which leads us back to reason number 1.

    Virtualization addresses, but doesn't completely eliminate, the above issues. I understand that and I want to start implementing it. So does my manager. My director, however, wasn't interested at all until a couple of months after he bought some VMWare stock. Then virtualization seemed like a good idea - either because by that time it seemed like it was his idea or because VMWare announced their FY2007 results. Maybe a stock symbol and a bump in my director's portfolio is what it takes to finally get my company to move towards server virtualization.

    Maybe I should call his broker and get him to recommend some Citrix stock so we can implement desktop virtualization as well...
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  12. Senior Member Kasor's Avatar
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    Go Green IT operation,
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    #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Claymoore
    Quote Originally Posted by snadam
    wow, somebody woke up on the wrong side of the virtualized bed this morning

    sorry, couldnt help it!
    Nice!

    Don't misunderstand me - I am a big fan of virtualization, and I think VMWare is a great product. I first used the workstation version back in 2002 on a couple of SMS software packaging and distribution projects. The ability to load virtual machines rather than reimage PCs all day saved us a crazy amount of time when testing deployments - although I might be a bigger fan if I hadn't been billing by the hour on those projects...

    I guess the point I am really trying to make is that VMWare (or HyperV or Xensource) is not the end-all, be-all of virtualization. They didn't invent the concept, it's been around since early in the mainframe era. Virtualization is a concept that applies to the entire data center and really relies on all the pieces being virtualized in order to get the maximum benefit. We have already been virtualizing in the LAN, SAN and Application areas and it's finally the server's turn.

    Having a 'brand' to lead the virtualization craze helps. When that brand has the sales and marketing power of EMC (aka Everyone Makes Calls) behind it, well that helps even more. What doesn't help is when we hear VM pitches from 4 different vendors in the same week when we were really trying to finalize our SAN bids. Those 4 pitches only succeeded in getting my director to buy some VMWare stock. Marketing isn't everything - there are plenty of other reasons to virtualize and consolidate servers:

    1. Server power has outpaced the software needs. 64bit quad-core processors create wasted clock cycles that still have to be cooled, which leads to...
    2. The 'Greening' of the data center. Using our servers more efficiently is not only good for the environment, it saves the company money! Which reminds me..
    3. Data center space is expensive. Hosting centers bill by the square foot in order to provide uninterrupted power and A/C so we can...
    4. Provide Five Nines of uptime. Without using any type of virtualization how could you only have 5.26 minutes of downtime in a year? It takes longer than that to apply patches for...
    5. Security. In an effort to reduce a Server's potential attack profile we have been forced to spread tasks to multiple servers rather than run multiple applications on a single server. This leads to under-utilized servers, which leads us back to reason number 1.

    Virtualization addresses, but doesn't completely eliminate, the above issues. I understand that and I want to start implementing it. So does my manager. My director, however, wasn't interested at all until a couple of months after he bought some VMWare stock. Then virtualization seemed like a good idea - either because by that time it seemed like it was his idea or because VMWare announced their FY2007 results. Maybe a stock symbol and a bump in my director's portfolio is what it takes to finally get my company to move towards server virtualization.

    Maybe I should call his broker and get him to recommend some Citrix stock so we can implement desktop virtualization as well...

    Not that this converstation is any kind of an argument, but man I would like to say that:

    That was very nicely stated.

    And I agree!
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  14. Certification Invigilator Forum Admin JDMurray's Avatar
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    #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Claymoore
    I guess the point I am really trying to make is that VMWare (or HyperV or Xensource) is not the end-all, be-all of virtualization. They didn't invent the concept, it's been around since early in the mainframe era. Virtualization is a concept that applies to the entire data center and really relies on all the pieces being virtualized in order to get the maximum benefit. We have already been virtualizing in the LAN, SAN and Application areas and it's finally the server's turn.
    Nobody is saying the virtualization wasn't around before (except for a few mis-guided sales people). We are currently in a virtualization renaissance because of the changes Intel and AMD made in their processors back in 2005-2006 to better support virtualization engines (Hypervisors). These changes, along with multi-core CPUs, made virtualization software fast and efficient, and lots of marketing dollars spent by VMWare got it noticed.
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  15. TaskStream Stalker arwes's Avatar
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    #14
    I can't speak for everyone of course, but it's definitely the future of my company. Our board of directors requested that we have data replicated around 300 miles away from our data center. We're going to convert our servers into virtual machines, and use vReplicator to replicate data to a colo in Dallas. It's pretty neat, we'll have it set to replicate any changes every two hours.

    This will be my first time doing any major production work with VM's, and thankfully we've got a decent consulting shop down the street that will handle the majority of the grunt work. I can't wait to play with the new stuff!
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    #15
    Not to cast aspersions upon your plan, but did your company look into any other replication solutions other than the total virtualization of your servers? It seems like overkill to use virtualization just to add replication unless all other replication solutions would not fit. Will virtualization be bringing other needed improvements to your information infrastructure?
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  17. TaskStream Stalker arwes's Avatar
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    #16
    I guess I should have gone into further detail. It's not just for replication, they basically want a hot site. We have a deal with a disaster recovery company that will (within 24 hours of a disaster I believe) provide us with a double wide trailer with 3 servers, 48 workstations, satellite internet access and a generator. So at the moment, in case of catastrophe we would have to load our latest backups on the servers and then the users can work, whereas with virtualization our rebound time should be greatly reduced (if everything works correctly of course...there's always that catch).
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    #17
    Actually, you described a warm site. To have a hot site, the trailers and servers would need to be continually operating and available to receive your backups and journaling. With only a warm site, you'll need to backup, journal, and replicate your data to a geographically remote data center and restore from there.
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  19. TaskStream Stalker arwes's Avatar
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    #18
    My apologies, warm site.
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    #19
    Quote Originally Posted by arwes
    My apologies, warm site.
    No biggie. I'm studying for some heavy duty information security certifications right now, so I'm a bit hyper about details right now. The information in your description looks like a typical exam question:

    You organization has contracted with a disaster recovery company that will provide a
    double wide trailer with 3 servers, 48 workstations, satellite internet access, and a
    generator within 24 hours notice. This is an example of:

    A) A hot site
    B) A warm site
    C) A cold site
    D) Off-site data vaulting
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