Consolidation in Virtual Reality

By Francis Chu  |  Posted 2003-07-09
Server consolidation undertakings are being made simpler as virtual software vendors come up with new and better solutions to help enterprises tackle virtual environments.

Deploying virtual machines on larger multiprocessor servers not only allows companies to reduce the number of hardware systems to manage, but also enhances productivity in software development and testing.

Most companies find deploying VMs easy, but, once implemented, VM systems pose challenges to efficient host management and day-to-day operations. There are several important factors to consider in order to have a successful VM deployment. In addition to having a robust interface for managing VM properties, access control is also important, both for security reasons as well as for collaboration.

Integration with corporate Active Directory or LDAP systems will allow enterprises to more easily and seamlessly adapt new VM environments into their existing security models.

Conversion tools that quickly and effectively convert a physical operating system environment into virtual images are essential for areas such as application and legacy OS migrations.

Resource management and monitoring is crucial to keeping taps on VM health and managing workloads and uptime in cluster systems.

For scalability, SMP support for the VMs will be required in order to run more resource-intensive applications.

Leostream currently has a robust management solution for managing VMWare and the pre-released version of Microsoft Virtual Server.

VMWare is not far behind, and last week also announced its upcoming VM Control Center that provides comprehensive management capabilities for VMWares suite of VM solutions. Although VMWare has been the frontrunner in developing VM solutions for running Windows and Linux OSes on x86 systems, it faces some fierce competition. Microsofts recent acquisition of Connectix Corp.s VM assets allows the Redmond company to offer its own VM solution for the enterprise.

Microsoft has big plans for Virtual Server, slated for release toward the end of the year. Virtual Server will include support for the entire stack of Microsoft OSes and applications, and will leverage some of the monitoring capabilities in Windows 2003.

With VMWare and Microsoft scrambling to outdo one another in the VM space, it will be interesting to see the end result. Competition in the market usually benefits consumers.

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