Virtual Data Center

The promise and perils of server virtualization


Introduction: Editor’s Letter

Welcome to the promise—and the perils—of a new era in IT, ushered in by server virtualization.

Welcome to Virtual DataCenter, a guide to your next data center. In IT, things are a bit schizophrenic these days. As always, there are a million fires to extinguish and a long list of projects that stretches out as far as the eye can see. And each project has a business owner who believes that his project is the most important and should have been done yesterday.

Then there are serious changes afoot—new technologies, new priorities—and a new sense of the importance of solid processes. Here’s a thought experiment: Imagine a data center in 2013. Now compare it with your data center circa 2003.Our contention is the differences will be more pronounced than in any similar comparison over the past 10 years.

Consider the combined effect of ubiquitous virtualization; networked storage, 10Gigabit Ethernet; multi socket, multi core commodity servers with more power and memory; and new management software to harness all these elements and create a more fluid data center.

Yes, it’s the fabled paradigm shift. The key to survival is the ability to scan that new wave and see what can really take you to new places and what will send you straight into the rocks—and learn how to make choices accordingly.

In other words, it’s about getting underneath the claims, the hype and the promise and understanding the architectures, the integration challenges, the risks—and yes, the opportunities—all happening at once.
And that’s also where our bi-monthly e-zine, Virtual Data Center, comes in. In each issue, our aim is to bring you useful, thoughtful and insightful examinations of key technology concerns you face today and tomorrow as you navigate these new waters. But Virtual Data Center will not be a “good news” publication. Along with highlighting the potential big wins of these technologies, our expert authors—who are in a position to know, not just to opine—will also expose the downsides. They’ll also look at these technologies from the application side and the underlying technology side.

In this issue, Dave Welch dives into a controversial topic: Should you run databases in virtual machines? In his role as an integrator of Oracle database management systems with VMware, Welch has answered that question many times. Barb Goldworm, who has explored virtualization since its inception, takes on the complex question of what kinds of storage you should use for virtual servers.

As you sort through these thorny issues, we hope you’ll find these articles useful. Let us know how the content works for you and which topics you’d like us to cover in upcoming issues. Leave comments on our blog.


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