Valovic on Virtualization

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Server Virtualization Ratios: Getting It Right

Sharmila Mulligan is the chief marketing officer, Business Technology Optimization, for HP. On a call regarding the company’s latest announcement, I asked her about the major pain points they were hearing from customers about virtualization. At the top of the list: server virtualization ratios and making the right decisions about how many VMs to put on servers.

Some discussions that editor Keith Ward and I had later in the week shed some additional light on this topic. Talk to companies like Neterion, 3Leaf, or Xsigo and you’ll hear an interesting related observation, namely that I/O limitations can be a major inhibitor in terms of the number of VMs that can be configured on a single server. In this context, Jon Toor, VP of marketing at Xsigo recently told us the company has some customers who have managed to put as many as 40 VMs on a single server using their product, an I/O virtualization solution called the VP780 I/O Director. (An enhanced version, x2, was just announced.)

Not bad. Toor went on to point out that most capacity planning tools out there today don’t have the sophistication to factor in the possible changes in scenario planning that virtualized I/O can bring into the picture. As a result, a lot of I/O vendors are put into after-market mode (not surprising in an emerging technology space) simply because many IT shops will tend to deploy first and then, once some experience has been garnered, realize they need to attack the bottleneck problem.

Posted by Tom Valovic on 09/08/2008 at 12:49 PM


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