Linked by Jordan Spencer Cunningham on Wed 30th Jun 2010 20:08 UTC
OSNews, Generic OSes I was lucky enough to receive an invitation to the HP Technology Forum 2010 via OSNews and just spent most of this last week in Las Vegas with five thousand other nerds of varying caliber. The tech forum is focused more on enterprise technology than that of the consumer, and-- let's face it-- even if any of us could afford a $30,000 rack of servers, most of us have little idea of what we'd do with so many resources except brag. Despite the focus on an area not quite as natural to OSNews and many of its readers, there was a plenitude of good and interesting information shared-- aside from that, the forum was simply fun. There were a few subjects that were especially eye-catching, though many of them not necessarily comprehensive enough to base an entire article on; thus this overview.
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by akro on Thu 1st Jul 2010 13:50 UTC
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First Disclaimer I work for HP and regularly implement most of these technologies for customers, Virtualization, Virtual Connect etc....

I describe Virtualization and VMWare as good enough computing. Which is really just an extension of existing IT dept practices of buying a single service for every service. However the reality is while the hardware has grown exponentially more powerful the user demand has not. Most IT shops have a 5 year recap cycle but the customer demands haven't increased with the new server capabilities. Hence you had servers that where 20% utilized now 1 to 2 % utilized. So virtulization allows us to consolidate those workloads while maintaining the logical separation that IT has adopted. Luckily open systems virtualization has great features to really provide some benefits over a single box, live migration allows me to move a VM with no downtime between physical servers is a key one. Now with virtualization I can proactively fix hardware problems without bringing down services and without clustering complexities. Virtualization allows me to reserve specifically CPU and Memory resources in a pool to gurantee VM performance. Not to mention some customers love the single hardware platform for development to deployment.... It does simplify many things.

However Virtualization everything is not a good motto. Some things don't scale\work\make sense to be virtualized and in those cases Bare Metal make most sense.

Virtulization will always have a place unless there is a radical change in the way mainstream OSes operate. Someday maybe but my guess it will always be easier to virtualize.

In fact I would argue we will see OS's change to virtualize better. Thinner OS'es with less complexity, just enough to host the application.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Virtualization
by xiaokj on Thu 1st Jul 2010 17:14 in reply to "Virtualization"
xiaokj Member since:

I describe Virtualization and VMWare as good enough computing.


Which is really just an extension of existing IT dept practices of buying a single service for every service.

Which is, again, management problems. Why do we already work around problems instead of tackling them head on as it should be?

In fact I would argue we will see OS's change to virtualize better. Thinner OS'es with less complexity, just enough to host the application.

What has more information with which to manage resources better, OS or hypervisor?

OS evolved so as to abstract away hardware in order to allow applications to work in as close to ideal conditions as possible and for applications to benefit from centralised abstraction of hardware. Now hypervisors are trying to abstract applications to allow live migration of software between physical hardware instances. And it does so by abstracting OSes? I really don't understand why we don't just have something like clusters that share workload where the OS itself helps the workload to slush around, instead of all these virtualisation rubbish.

The proliferation of frameworks mean that traditional OSes can only increase in bloat rather than decrease. It also means that the overhead of virtualisation is doomed to keep increasing and thinning is just the opposite. If you want to promote your virtualisation business, you really need to consolidate frameworks first.

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RE[2]: Virtualization
by akro on Thu 1st Jul 2010 18:16 in reply to "RE: Virtualization"
akro Member since:

As long as it less expensive to through everything on their own OS instance then to work out the kinks and resource contention at the OS level people will virtualize. Even the app vendors do it as the expect the machine to give them all it can. I can chop up at the hypervisor exactly how much memory and clock cycles a given vm gets. That is not a layer of granularity avaialble to me in most operating systems. For example take this example

One box running


The MySQL database goes crazy for whatever reason and starts occupying a tremendous amount CPU time. Mail and Apache will be affected. Hence why people will put them on three different servers to protect the services.

I can instead VM those three server and say
VM1 - My SQL - 2 CPU's at 1000MHZ and 4GB Ram
VM2 - Mail - 1 CPU at 500MHZ and 1GB Ram
VM3 - Apache - 1 CPU at 500mhz and 2GB Ram

Once virtualized I can move both the VM and Storage tied to it between hardware non disruptively. If I want a true HA solution I can even run them in lockstep on another box on VMWare. Heck even clustering works so I can cluster between different VM's

It is indeed powerful features we get. Granted if Owned a big sunfire\superdome it may not make sense but that is a different market segment.

Remember competent IT engineers are not easy to come buy but I most people can set up vmware without too much effort and with hardware now a days it's easy enough to buy your way out a problem versus engineer it corectly.

By the way I agree Virtualization is band-aid for a broken architecture. I think the reality is that the legacy cruft won't let us do it the right way and right now I don't see Windows and Linux giving us the same advantages at the host level to dial in the resource usage by process we need virtualization does. By the way this won't change until the cost of Virtualization outweighs the "right way" Hardware is moving so quick most people have more Memory and CPU then they know what to do with. What they don't have enough AC\Cooling\FloorSpace....

Edited 2010-07-01 18:23 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1