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Tuesday
Dec252007

Enterprise Virtualization and the Problems of Management

For the most part, I've found the Toutvirtual posts by Schorshi overdone with respect to rant and vitriol directed at the "big guys" -- VMware, Microsoft and (to some degree) XenSource.  I suppose it's possible that what comes across to me as stage-managed outrage is an effective way to address the failings of the major VMEs and put ToutVirtual's offerings in a good light.  I don't usually find the posts enjoyable.  However, in catching up this afternoon with some of my reading, I picked up on this summary of the issues facing enterprise computing's management of VMEs.  If you can get past the flaming, there's substance here.

ToutVirtual Enterprise Virtualization - A Proper Virtual World

...
Defining terms for a moment, an enterprise customer, for the sake of discussion is one that has more than 100 virtual servers and more than 1500 virtual instances. However, the issues to be discussed do cause real pain to customers below that level, even if someone only has 10 virtual servers and maybe 100 virtual instances, it is ugly. Virtualization was supposed to, at least in part, make management of virtual instances easier, if you listen to the sale teams, the term easy is used, not easier, which is arguably somewhat more accurate. This is misleading, because management of virtualization is complex, and creates its own set of issues. I have already discussed these issues in the past, so I will not do so now, but the short list is:
* Pre-provisioning

* Appropriate charge-back or costing

* Configuration Management

* Monitoring and Alerting

* Trending and Analysis

Anyone familiar with virtualization at a practical level, beyond a simple lab/test environment, will see these pain points as valid, and I am sure many of you will or do have more to add. However, to illustrate why, Microsoft and VMware have both missed the entire enterprise customer view of virtualization, continue reading. ...

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