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What's next with hypervisors?

John Dix | Dec. 14, 2011
The world of hypervisors is complicated by the fact that there are proprietary and open source tools.

KIM: If the cloud provider is using a particular technology there's a natural desire to use a corresponding equivalent on your side. I don't know that that's a technical issue or more of a business perception issue, but that's certainly some of the feedback we've been getting.

JOLLANS: A lot of the time companies are looking at cloud as a flexible extension to their IT systems so they want to be able to offload workloads from internal systems, so it's going to become more and more important to agree on that.

GILLEN: Adam you're right on the money there because, over time, the attributes of the cloud that become appealing are the service levels offered, the cost per unit of measure that you're purchasing and your ability to interact with that cloud easily and seamlessly.

Let's dig a little bit deeper on the management side of things. Are there large differences in terms of the capabilities supported by the different toolsets or are they all similar at this point?

GILLEN: I think you'll find there are differences and the differences are somewhat subtle. Sometimes it comes down to, for example, do you have the ability to extend directory or federate into a cloud. Do you have the ability to move blocks of IP addresses and bring storage from one set of services to another, and how these things are implemented differ from vendor to vendor. Some management and cloud infrastructures are more suited to certain types of environments. So, for example, if you're looking at a System Center management infrastructure you're going to find it works a little better with a Microsoft environment.

At the same time, if you've got a very mixed environment where you've got two different flavors of Linux and Windows in the same infrastructure, in many cases that's the type of environment where customers have a natural tendency to look toward VMware because VMware is seen as having less of a platform agenda.

Kerry, you have a take on that?

KIM: Our business strategy has been to support customer choice in terms of the management platforms that they want to use. So we're on the operating system and infrastructure layer and support various third-party tools, whether they're open source or proprietary.

How about you, Adam?

JOLLANS: In terms of the management of hypervisors I think the homogenous versus heterogeneous is one of the key points here. My expectation is it's going to get more heterogeneous than less heterogeneous. So either the VMware tools need to be able to manage other hypervisors or you'll have to turn to tools like IBM's VMControl, which can start to manage multiple hypervisors. Now, in a cloud you quite possibly have a pure environment because you're going to optimize by standardization. If' you're an enterprise IT center it will probably be heterogeneous because the rest of the data center tends to heterogeneous anyway.


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