VMWare: Is diversification your best option?

14 01 2010

Over the years, many organizations have come to rely on VMWare for their underlying hypervisor of choice.  As the product has evolved, these organizations have been able to leverage additional core functionality that has moved VMWare to the forefront of datacenter operations.  Advances in management, availability, backup, and other areas have all fallen under the VMWare umbrella, and they are a nice fit.  The pieces of the the datacenter puzzle are fitting together.  To complete the puzzle beyond the local datacenter, VMWare started to really focus on the cloud.  The cloud was, and is, about offering up core services regardless of location and free from traditional infrastructure limitations.  I need some work done, and in a timely manner.  I dont really care where my SQL query is running, I just need the results.  Fast.  I need my email to just work.  Again, I dont care where it’s running.  It needs to send when I click send.  You get the idea. 

All these puzzle pieces have been making sense as we build out a more available and scalable infrastructure.  But then VMWare bought Zimbra.  All of a sudden, the focus is shifted from core available infrastructure to the applications running on that infrastructure.  Sure, VMWare has always made sure that any and all applications you want to run are available and scalable, but now they own an email application.  The can of worms is wide OPEN. I would offer the following questions to think about… 

1.  Now that VMWare owns an email platform, what are they going to do with it? Are they really trying to go toe-to-toe with Google and Microsoft in the application space?


2.  As they flesh out infrastructure in the cloud, how does VMWare email fit in?  Obviously, email is very important.  We use it every day. I certainly do care that it is up all the time.  But, as a business customer,  I also care about features and functionality around scheduling, document management, voicemail, and other features that are very mature on other platforms.  Can VMWare email deliver?


3.  If we go to the next logical step,as Google and Microsoft have, now we need to start offering vDocs, vPresent, vMessaging, vPhotos.  What next?  Historically, VMWare has been in the position of being on the forefront of virtualization, constantly innovating and bringing new functionalities to the datacenter. They are the clear leader.  Now they are trying to play catch-up in the application space?  This kind of ME TOO attitude leaves a sour taste in my mouth.


I do not claim to have all the answers here.  All I am asking is that VMWare remember their core business.  Please don’t diversify yourself into irrelevance.  Focus on what has made you the best! 


Apps.gov: The future of IT?

16 09 2009

Well, how about this?  The GSA has started an “app store” for U.S. government image agencies.  This is not your everyday, fart app.  No, these are major applications like Salesforce offered up in the cloud.  The agency picks what they want, how many users, etc., and it gets built.  I think this is where true virtualization really kicks off.  All I have to do is pick my application that I want, how many people are going to use it, and maybe some SLA’s, and I am off and running.  Does the agency care about how much storage or redundancy is required on the back end?  Nope, they just order it…


VMWare vSphere explained

22 04 2009

One of my favorite blog/review sites, anandtech, has an excellent article explaining this new “Cloud-OS” that vmware is pushing out the door.


When I first think of cloud-computing, I immediately think of an external service out of my control. VMWare takes the approach that all of your internal resources are a “cloud” or pool from which all your virtual machines can grab resources as needed. Well that doesn’t sound all that new, kinda sounds like the definition of virtualization. What is new, is that with vSphere you are able to leverage SLA’s to ensure the best performance for your applications. You can define a set of metrics that must be met, such as a sql query must be delivered in say…..10 seconds or less. If your internal “cloud” of resources is unable to fulfill the request, it relies on a third party external “cloud” of resources to fulfill the request. So no matter what, things get delivered in a timely manner. Interesting stuff.

VMware vSphere Upgrade Path

21 04 2009

Earlier today, the CEO of VMWare revealed a good deal of information regarding the new version of vmware infrastructure, now called vSphere. Want to know how to upgrade? Check this page for details….http://www.vmware.com/products/vsphere/upgrade-center/upgrade.html

I watched the upgrade videos, and it seems reasonable. You can upgrade your cluster and hosts without rebooting. You basically vmotion everything off the host (put it in maintenance mode), run the upgrade, and vmotion it back. Running the upgrade will take about 25-30 minutes per host. Unfortunately, the upgrade of vmware tools and vmware hardware on the guests each require a reboot! 2 reboots per guest, so time to schedule some downtime. They have changed the licensing to a keycode instead of a license file, which is nice. I didnt see a release date on the website, but it says you can start getting upgrade licenses on May 21st, so hopefully it will be soon.

P.S. Whoever created the videos needs some lessons in video editing and audio sync.

VMWare Next Gen Announcement

20 04 2009

There should be some interesting announcements tomorrow around vmware’s take on private cloud computing….register here!