My recent research has focused on the impact of server, storage, and desktop virtualization on your networking infrastructure – and I’ll write more about that in a future post. In short, it’s a boatload of unintended consequences.
In a recent conversation with Vyatta, I got thinking: what’s virtualization’s impact on the networking industry? We already see a handful of networking companies investigating the option of selling “VM” SKUs for their network appliances. These virtual appliances completely change the economics of consuming network infrastructure, although there are server performance specifications that must be considered. But imagine if the premium you pay today for all of your networking intelligence is suddenly free. That’s right… free! Think about it.
Your network is commoditizing rapidly. Routing, switching, VPN, and even firewalls are not the top criteria that determine tier one networking vendors. Manageability, supportability, reliability, and price are the factors which thin the field. As these functions mature – as do the communities that support them – we see viable open source alternatives. The interesting part comes when you can deploy open source appliances as a workload on a virtual server – providing you with the manageability and reliability of a mature virtual infrastructure player like VMWare. Add a vendor like rPath to the mix and you can even ease updating and patching.
been some interesting news from Oracle today — they have announced that they
will support virtualization of a long list of ten or so Oracle applications on
their own flavor of the Xen hypervisor, which they dubbed Oracle VM. In
addition to applications like Oracle Database, Application Server, PeopleSoft
Enterprise, and Siebel CRM, customers can run other non-Oracle apps on Oracle
VM as well. You’ll be able to download it for free on the 14th,
though you must pay for support ($499 per year per 2-CPU system, or $999 per
year for a system with unlimited CPUs). The details of the announcement can be
had on Oracle’s web site.
Today, Microsoft gave their next-gen hypervisor a new name and took the covers off of several aspects related to their upcoming server virtualization plans. Hyper-V (formerly known as Viridian and Windows Server Virtualization) comes in two basic flavors: bundled with Windows Server 2008 and as a standalone product. The first is what we already knew it was going to be, a role in the OS that could be added like IIS or any other service. For those that don’t want to re-buy a hypervisor, namely those that are purchasing it for their VMware environments, they offer Windows Server 2008 without Hyper-V at a $28 discount. By adding Hyper-V as a nominal fee, they hope to chip away at VMware’s huge market share. For many Microsoft shops, this might be an enticing option. Feature for feature, it doesn’t stack up well against ESX at all, but for those that are comfortable with the Microsoft way of doing things and have plans to deploy or expand their System Center use, this might offer “good-enough” capability for their short-term, consolidation-focused goals while Microsoft catches up on developing Hyper-V’s missing features.
Wouldn’t it be nice if the enterprise software world were on board with your server virtualization efforts? Imagine downloading the latest version of PeopleSoft or Crystal Reports in a virtual server format that could be loaded on to VMware ESX and would just run – no installation, no configuration hassles, just instantiate and go.