Virtualization? What’s that? And why?

By , June 22, 2006 06:24

Colleagues did start a discussion on the usefulness of virtualization technologies, as available today. Sadly, it’s in german only, so I will summarize here, after providing the links to the blogs:


Ingo states, that virtualization today is mainly seen as hardware or server virtualization, and refers to a couple of articles (mostly in english!), that state, that this approach add problems, and does not solve problems, because one needs to learn the abstraction layer also, which adds to the complexity.

He continues, in stating, that this also opens new problem areas, like billing, but also adds complexity to change-, configuration- and release-management. Problems, for example in the billing area: Who does pay for the ressources needed for the virtualization layer?

Jörg adds to this, and states, that Ingo’s approach in describing the problems is too honest. Jörg simply states:

Virtualization as done by tools like VMware simply replace a box by a virtualized box. This solves nothing really important (and, we all know, HW prices keep falling, and only are about 20% (mostly even less!) of the overall costs of “a project”).

So, he continues in stating, that the real problem is provisioning (see my older entries) of SERVICES, and not the SERVERS.

And, once you have put a “model” around the description of your service (aka: you have virtualized the service), you no longer need server-virtualization (or: you can benefit more! You can make better use of the HW), because you are then able to quickly “re-deploy” your service (and not the server!) from one system to a different system (and that can even be a different OS, different CPU-Architecture, you name it!).

Thanks to both, Ingo and Jörg for starting this discussion!

5 Nines?

By , June 22, 2006 05:26

Yesterday I was invited to talk to the “AK Server und Betriebskonzepte” (Work Council Server and Operatingconcepts) from BITKOM on 99.999% availability and how to achieve it.

As this is a cross-industry council, presenters from all other major IT vendors were also present.

We all agreed on a couple of major points:

  • 99.999% availability is achievable
  • 99.999% availability is NOT a technical problem
  • 99.999% availability REQUIRES cooperation/including of people/processes

And, most importantly:

  • Do not talk about 99.999% availability, talk about SLAs, etc.
  • Do not talk about technology, do talk about business impacts, procedural requirements, etc.
  • Do NEVER believe, technology alone (regardless of the technology!) delivers 99.999% availability.

As this was common sense among the participants, the team still considers it a requirement to educate deciders, non-IT-management, consultants on these simple facts. That’s why I added this entry to my blog… ;-)

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