“To Cloud” is Officially a Verb in Today’s Data Center

This is part 3 of a 3 part blog
entry series exploring how VMware and server virtualization
technologies are evolving data center infrastructure, operations, and
future requirements. HP virtualization technologies combined with Bell
Micro packaging and services enable OEM vendors to more rapidly respond to and prepare for these changing requirements
.

Cloud is this year’s virtualization, or ILM, or even ASP for those of us who go back a while. Cloud is the latest term of interest in the data management market, but one that is fraught with the same level of confusion and misunderstanding as those previous terms. However, cloud brings with it a certain level of interest and for good reason: virtualization technologies are one of the only methods available that offer to solve a problem plaguing IT budgets and environments.

The problem with computing today is that the majority of IT budget, time, and administrative effort is spent on status quo computing. The bigger problem is that the percentage spent on status quo computing gets larger every year.

What is status quo computing? It’s the effort put in to maintain the capabilities and infrastructure already present in the environment. Status quo computing is merely keeping it all running, available, and in good enough shape to support business as usual.

Computing infrastructure takes too many resources and traps businesses in status quo operational methods. New initiatives have less resource to support them. New methods of doing business cannot be easily supported. Competitiveness drops.

Virtualization helps solve this problem of consuming IT budgets with status quo computing by dramatically streamlining, consolidating, and simplifying those environments. The combination of virtual server, virtual network, and virtual storage technologies enable dynamic resource provisioning at all levels of the infrastructure. This offers better flexibility for maintaining and upgrading these environments while keeping applications and data available for business use.

The coming cloud is a reality for which OEM vendors must prepare. Previously in this series, I discussed how VMware and virtual server technologies in general offer better flexibility for OEM vendors interested in packaging new application capabilities into Virtual Machines (VMs) which can be dynamically added to OEM appliances already deployed in end-user customer environments. However another reason to build appliances on a virtual server platform is because of the coming need to participate – and to take advantage – of data center clouds.

In the coming cloud environment, IT teams will expect appliance platforms to come with certain core capabilities built into the platform. Thought of as add-on capabilities today, these include systems monitoring and policy enforcement to avoid VM sprawl, security at the hypervisor level, assisted network and storage provisioning, and even built-in data protection like data backup and replication. All of these capabilities must be rebuilt and reinvented to fit better with virtual environments so they can take better advantage of the inherent capabilities of virtual environments.

The good news for OEM vendors working with technologies from HP and Bell Micro is that they can build their appliances knowing that their platforms technology includes the latest in virtualization capabilities. Technologies like VMware or Microsoft Hyper-V platforms act as the basis for the OEM appliance solution. Technologies like virtual networks and storage. Technologies that include software capabilities built into the platform. Working with HP and Bell Micro, OEM teams and their end-user customers have a path to the cloud environments of the future.

Part 1
in this 3-part series discuss how VMware is gaining ground as a better
OEM platform and what benefits OEMs derive from HP and Bell Micro
services and support.

Part 2 in this 3-part series explores the factors contributing to and inhibiting OEM success with server virtualization, HP’s and Bell Micro’s roles in that success and the future of where virtualization can take the OEM community.

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