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Virtualization storage, virtualized applications and more resolutions

Members of our Server Virtualization Advisory Board resolve to focus on virtualization storage, deploy more virtualized applications and upgrade to new technologies in 2010.

New Year's resolutions are common in our personal lives. Every Jan. 1, people vow to shed a few pounds, quit smoking, stick to a budget, etc. But all too often, those same people are back chowing down on burgers, puffing on cigarettes and going on shopping sprees.

New Year's resolutions can also apply to our professional lives, even if you're in the virtualization business. And luckily, the benefits of making positive changes to your virtual environment can bring significant benefits to your organization -- all the more incentive to follow through on your New Year's resolutions.

Focusing on virtualization storage and deploying more virtualized applications were just two of the responses we got when we asked members of our Server Virtualization Advisory Board:

What's your New Year's virtualization resolution for 2010?


Jack Kaiser, GreenPages Technology Solutions

My New Year's virtualization resolution for 2010 is to continue to show our clients that virtualization is applicable for all applications, including mission-critical ones, and for disaster recovery. Virtualization was the most disruptive technology of the 2000s, and in 2010 we will see:

  • Virtualization will bring cloud computing closer to reality.
  • VDI will become much more common.
  • Solid-state drives for storage will become more popular options for reducing power and cooling (green IT initiatives) and increasing IOPS, which is critical for effective VDI deployments.
  • Virtualization will continue to challenge traditional backup environments, making deduplication (of both source and target) more prevalent.
  • Management tools by virtualization technology vendors as well as third-party companies will continue to improve as virtualization utilization, reporting, analytics, etc. become more important.

2010 will be a year of innovation and acceptance of virtualization, and it will be fun to be a virtualization consultant.


Rob McShinsky, Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center

My New Year's resolution is a lot like many folks' after the holidays: to slim down. Luckily, I still have not seen the family metabolism crash just yet, so my focus is on slimming down my virtual server environment.

Finally decommissioning my legacy Virtual Server 2005 environment and cleaning out the test/development pool will bring a sense of control back into the environment and help control VM sprawl. Seriously looking at third-party products to reduce storage requirements will also be a major focus of the upcoming year. Using third-party tools will be a big step away from my normal philosophy of sticking with Microsoft offerings, but it's a step that will alleviate some of my virtual server pain points.


Greg Shields, Concentrated Technology

My virtualization resolution is multi-hypervisor advocacy. You can see the signs of this new trend in today's third-party add-on products. Vizioncore, vKernel, Veeam, 5nine, Citrix and other companies have seen the value of unhitching from a single hypervisor and becoming the management layer for everyone at once. Today's smart IT organizations should be as well.

Consider today's hypervisor playing field: On one hand you've got high-end capabilities with high-end price tags. On the other hand, you've got general-purpose virtualization that in many cases has no price tag at all. Now, combine this with the new recognition that not every workload has the same virtual infrastructure requirements, and you can see how multi-hypervisor management tools become a brilliant play.

Come on, IT! For 2010, let's end the screaming match about whose hypervisor is better. That's old news, and it isn't particularly constructive. Instead, let's implement the right one in the right circumstances, and layer a pervasive multi-hypervisor solution over the top to manage them all from a single pane of glass.


Rick Vanover, Alliance Data

In my virtualization practice, 2010 will see a full migration to vSphere across all virtualization environments. Even though I was involved in the lengthy beta process for vSphere and happy for its release in May of 2009, not until now do I feel ready to make the transition to vSphere for production workloads.

In 2010 I will also replace ESX with ESXi for production-class hypervisors. Moving to vSphere from VI3 is the right time to revisit the hypervisor choice. VMware has made it clear that ESXi is the forward-looking product, and ESX has a sunset date. Migrating to ESXi is not without careful consideration, however. A thorough review to ensure that ESXi will support the larger virtualization ecosystem is a required step for organizations currently using ESX.

In my case, a new virtualization installation will pilot vSphere for production workloads. Once that is fully tested and accepted, the process will repeat as an upgrade for the rest of the environments. No surprises either time around.

Have a question for the Server Virtualization Advisory Board? Email Colin Steele, Site Editor.

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