Valovic on Virtualization

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Welcome to the “Lego-Set” Data Center

One of the goal’s of VMware’s VDC-OS is over time to move the data center towards a new level of flexibility and scalability. According to Bogomil Balkansky, Senior Director of Marketing, the notion is akin to “building a giant computer from piece parts.” Balkansky says that the goal is eventually to emulate Google, which is of course is well known for building its data center out of industry standard x86 “building blocks.” This “lego-set” approach has its advantages but it’s worth pointing out that it stands in sharp contrast to the notion of a ”data center in a box” associated with efforts like Sun’s Project Black Box, a prototype, according to Sun, of the world's first virtualized datacenter.

The VMware argument certainly makes sense in terms of capacity since you can add it very efficiently to such an environment by either adding more physical and then virtual servers or taking servers off line if the capacity isn’t needed. This notion of compute resource pooling isn’t new and has been a longstanding part of VMware’s basic value prop.

Once vCloud gets added into the picture (recently announced at VMworld), an IT department gets another range of options and can offload VMs to a VMware-compatible cloud computing provider, another way of dynamically expanding or contracting the capacity of compute resources. So far so good, but the critical success factor in my mind is what happens to this model when the more complex areas of storage and networking infrastructure get brought into the picture under the VDC-OS architecture. Here the company is planning to create storage and network “resource pools”, similar to what it’s already done with compute. If successfully executed, it will definitely be a game-changer.

Posted by Tom Valovic on 10/02/2008 at 12:49 PM


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