VMware users indifferent to vCloud updates, virtual storage plans

VMware vCloud updates, as well as plans for enterprise-wide storage virtualization, have sparked only lukewarm reactions from the IT community.

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VMware has taken over the virtualization spotlight again this week. The vendor unveiled enterprise-wide storage virtualization plans at VMworld Europe, as well as vCloud updates and future vCenter integration intentions. And not to be ignored, Cisco hopes its free Nexus 1000V version will entice more VMware shops to adopt the virtual switch. Take a look at what users and industry pros had to say about recent developments.

“I can’t go to [a client] and say, ‘here’s this whole stack they just put together’. I’m still waiting for it to solidify.”
John Bythrow, systems and solutions engineer for Open Sky Corp.

VMware announced several cloud management updates in addition to the re-introduction of DynamicOps as vCloud Automation Center, but offering these developments to the public now seems like the company is simply trying to recreate a popular brownie recipe only to serve them before they’re fully baked.

Given the costs associated with adoption, and the fact that there will be further integration between vCenter, vCloud Director and vCenter Operations over the next year, data centers aren't exactly jumping for an underdone brownie cloud management platform. Much like VMware's attitude toward storage of late, these rollouts serve as further proof the virtualization giant wants to expand into other markets.

“In theory it takes two minutes to provision a VM, but in reality it takes more like five days, because you have to provision its storage, security and availability.”
Shruti Bhat, Product Marketing Manager, VMware

For storage provisioning tasks such as building disk pools, setting Raid levels and LUN configuration, traditional storage doesn't quite meet the demands of virtualization. Addressing this challenge and speeding up the VM provisioning timeframe seems to be part of VMware's motivation for enterprise-wide storage virtualization.

During Wednesday's keynote at VMworld Europe, the company’s marketing manager Alberto Farronato hinted at the vendor's plans to include storage management features in future versions of vSphere, in addition to creating and managing pools of storage from multiple vendors’ SAN and NAS devices, as well as from a server DAS.

"With the pricing, complexity and the lack of any ecosystem, Cisco was fighting a losing battle."
Bill Hill, a senior engineer working in the public sector

Cisco may be buckling under pressure to increase adoption rates for its Nexus 1000V virtual switch. Based on VMware and Cisco figures, the number of Nexus 1000V adoptees amounts to just 3%. Several aspects contribute to such languor, including the fact that VMware shops needed to invest in VMware's most expensive license before they could even shell out money for the virtual switch -- an added cost of up to $600 per socket.

Cisco will offer a free "Essentials Edition" of the switch to data centers running VMware's Enterprise Plus license, or even Hyper-V, when version 2.1 ships before the end of the year.

 “I spoke to the SAP engineers and left with a notebook of notes and a box of tissues.”
Jason Nester, senior technical engineer at Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores

Is there group therapy for frustrated and dismayed virtualization users? During this week's VMworld Europe, Nester described his company's attempt to virtualize an SAP environment and migrate from an IBM mainframe onto x86 servers using VMware technologies. Apparently the process was trying enough to cause tears of exasperation. #VirtualizationAdminProblems

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