We each behave according to our nature. It should come as no surprise, then, to learn that while a virtualization supplier believes that the operating system is, effectively, a feature, an operating system vendor would argue that the converse is true. The philosophical differences between Red Hat and VMware could not have been more apparent during their respective events – September’s VMworld gathering in Las Vegas and yesterday’s Red Hat analyst day held at the New York Stock Exchange.
OS and Virtualization or Virtualization and OS?
2008-10-11 Red Hat 9 Comments
I use VMware ESX a lot, but I do believe that it and also expensive SANs exist mainly due to the overwhelming desire to use cheap commodity OSs and servers in applications that demand just a little bit more than commodity stuff is built for.
Take for example Windows. Can it do volume snapshots and clones? Is it wise to run several “main” apps on one big OS image? Is it easy to measure performance? Is it built for high availability? Can sysadmin errors be easily reverted? Is bare metal recovery easy? Is server provisioning easy?
The answer to all of these questions is now mostly “yes” , but it was “no” or “not really” until fairly recently, meaning during the period that x86 virtualization gained popularity. That it made it possible to rehost legacy Windows apps from the dark ages made it even more attractive.
Adding a lower layer like VMware or a SAN fixes some of these deficiencies while still keeping Windows Windows, which keeps businesses happy because they can continue to hire cheap people and reduce cost of acquisition. Whether this actually saves money is anybody’s guess, but I think VMware is a good answer to “never mind how we got here, now that we’re here, what do we do?”
ESX currently leads everybody on features. It’s anybody’s guess what’ll happen as commodity OSs get better. But for now, I think the “hypervisor below the dumb commodity OS” model makes the most sense.
Why do we need to run all these SEPARATE OS’s?
On a VMS system or a mainframe, or hell on UNIX like Solaris, and HPUX we could run lots and lots of different applications ALL ON THE SAME system. We could manage them all independently, patch them they would co-exist well, etc…
Seems like a huge waste of resources to have to run TWO whole operating systems just because you can’t run Oracle and MSSQL on the same server.
Maybe its because Windows when you get down to it is still A SINGLE USER DESKTOP OS, which had a few features SLAPPED on it to make it look like a server.
Edited 2008-10-12 00:54 UTC