Data Center

The Word from VMworld: Prepare for More Virtualization

Virtualization technology is becoming easier to deploy for both servers and desktops, so prepare now to be able to handle an ever-increasing amount of both flavors in your data centers and branch offices.

For data center managers, that was the key takeaway from the recently concluded VMworld 2012 in San Francisco, the annual virtualization event hosted by VMware. In keynote addresses at the event, VMware executives unveiled two new software suites – vCloud Suite and Horizon Suite.

vCloud Suite is a collection of existing VMware software packaged to make it easier to build what VMware calls a “software defined data center,” defined as a data center where all the infrastructure is virtualized and delivered as a service, and the data center is entirely controlled by software. (By “infrastructure,” Gelsinger was referring to servers as well as networking equipment, such as routers and switches – but not the power and cooling infrastructure that you read so much about on this site.)

The suite is intended to make it just as easy to build a software defined data center as it is to create a new virtual server. Indeed, in a demo during Gelsinger’s keynote, a VMware engineer created an entire new virtual data center in about 5 minutes and populated it with applications.  Yes, it was just a demo but still – it certainly appears like VMware is making it a simple matter to get an awful lot of infrastructure up and running in very little time.

That, of course, will make it all the more imperative that IT folks communicate closely with those responsible for data center facilities and infrastructure. As we’ve covered before, virtualization presents new demands on that infrastructure so you’ll need to be prepared with the proper power and cooling.

Horizon Suite, on the other hand, could extend virtualization technology to your desktops and all manner of mobile devices. It is intended to provide all the software companies need to address their workforce mobility requirements, including virtual desktop infrastructure software that works with various operating systems, including Android and iOS, and tools to centrally manage policy and security.

Keep in mind that with VDI, all the heavy duty processing goes on in the data center, on centralized servers, not on the client devices. So here again, it’ll drive up demand for processing power – as well as power and cooling – in the data center.

Against this backdrop we also have Microsoft this week (Sept. 4) shipping Windows Server 2012, which includes the latest version of Hyper-V, its server virtualization technology.  As usual, customers who buy Windows Server get Hyper-V at no additional charge. Here again, that makes it pretty easy for IT to start rolling out lots of virtual servers – or, more probably, lots of additional virtual servers. Take another read on our previous post to make sure your data center is ready.

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