Virtualization Actually Makes Management More Complicated

By Frank Ohlhorst  |  Posted 2011-12-22 Print this article Print


Another myth involves the belief that that resource reservation simplifies virtualization management. In other words, it is thought that specific resources can be assigned to specific virtual machines to prevent conflicts and interference.

"Resource reservation may reduce risk but requires more specific knowledge of logical and physical infrastructure, introducing more complexity," said Laczynski.

In reality, resource reservation is not always possible and it is far from efficient. While CPU and memory can have static assignments for a virtual machine, those resources are better used for dynamic loads to reduce waste. What's more, other elements, such as disk and network, cannot be statically assigned to a virtual machine, further complicating the management conundrum.

A third myth is that virtualization platform metrics are sufficient for effective management.

However, native management platforms only focus on a single dimension, specifically the number of physical resources a virtualization platform uses. In reality, according to Ramanathan, multiple dimensions need to be managed and monitored, such as how much of a physical CPU is being used by an individual virtual machine and how much of those resources are being used by the applications being run inside the virtual machine.

The only way to get the full management scope of a virtualization solution is to know what is happening on the virtualization platform, as well as in each and every virtual machine running on the platform and every application being run on those virtual machines, said Ramanathan. That information proves critical for assigning resources, scaling systems, managing hardware use, as well as maximizing the savings that can be offered by virtualization.

Another false notion is that virtualization is another IT silo. Simply put, this means that virtualization falls into the hands of IT and is then segregated into its own management group, where the virtualization team manages the VMs and operates independently of the enterprise operation team.

While some think an independent VM management team helps expedite the rollout of a VM platform, the truth is that virtualization is a critical component of the overall IT infrastructure, and a problem with the virtual infrastructure affects business services. That means virtualization management should be integrated with overall IT management, allowing a unified approach. One way to manage all this is to invest in cloud infrastructure that someone else, like a Datapipe, runs off premise.

"However, managed service providers can provide the benefits offered by both physical and virtual servers, without introducing sprawl, by incorporating the most appropriate solution to a customer use case," said Laczynski. "There is a better way to operate, where businesses aren't worried about sprawl at all, or the complexity of it, because they use providers to manage that problem space for them."

Frank Ohlhorst Frank J. Ohlhorst is the Executive Technology Editor for eWeek Channel Insider and brings with him over 20 years of experience in the Information Technology field.He began his career as a network administrator and applications program in the private sector for two years before joining a computer consulting firm as a programmer analyst. In 1988 Frank founded a computer consulting company, which specialized in network design, implementation, and support, along with custom accounting applications developed in a variety of programming languages.In 1991, Frank took a position with the United States Department of Energy as a Network Manager for multiple DOE Area Offices with locations at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL), Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPL), Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), FermiLAB and the Ames Area Office (AMESAO). FrankÔÇÖs duties included managing the site networks, associated staff and the inter-network links between the area offices. He also served at the Computer Security Officer (CSO) for multiple DOE sites. Frank joined CMP TechnologyÔÇÖs Channel group in 1999 as a Technical Editor assigned to the CRN Test Center, within a year, Frank became the Senior Technical Editor, and was responsible for designing product testing methodologies, assigning product reviews, roundups and bakeoffs to the CRN Test Center staff.In 2003, Frank was named Technology Editor of CRN. In that capacity, he ensured that CRN maintained a clearer focus on technology and increased the integration of the Test CenterÔÇÖs review content into both CRNÔÇÖs print and web properties. He also contributed to NetseminarÔÇÖs, hosted sessions at CMPÔÇÖs Xchange Channel trade shows and helped to develop new methods of content delivery, Such as CRN-TV.In September of 2004, Frank became the Director of the CRN Test Center and was charged with increasing the Test CenterÔÇÖs contributions to CMPÔÇÖs Channel Web online presence and CMPÔÇÖs latest monthly publication, Digital Connect, a magazine geared towards the home integrator. He also continued to contribute to CMPÔÇÖs Netseminar series, Xchange events, industry conferences and CRN-TV.In January of 2007, CMP Launched CRNtech, a monthly publication focused on technology for the channel, with a mailed audience of 70,000 qualified readers. Frank was instrumental in the development and design of CRNTech and was the editorial director of the publication as well as its primary contributor. He also maintained the edit calendar, and hosted quarterly CRNTech Live events.In June 2007, Frank was named Senior Technology Analyst and became responsible for the technical focus and edit calendars of all the Channel GroupÔÇÖs publications, including CRN, CRNTech, and VARBusiness, along with the Channel GroupÔÇÖs specialized publications Solutions Inc., Government VAR, TechBuilder and various custom publications. Frank joined Ziff Davis Enterprise in September of 2007 and focuses on creating editorial content geared towards the purveyors of Information Technology products and services. Frank writes comparative reviews, channel analysis pieces and participates in many of Ziff Davis EnterpriseÔÇÖs tradeshows and webinars. He has received several awards for his writing and editing, including back to back best review of the year awards, and a presidentÔÇÖs award for CRN-TV. Frank speaks at many industry conferences, is a contributor to several IT Books, holds several records for online hits and has several industry certifications, including NovellÔÇÖs CNE, MicrosoftÔÇÖs MCP.Frank can be reached at

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