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  • Virtualization Is Happening Today MAY / JUNE 2009 / VOLUME: 2 ISSUE 3 Making the Case for Data Virtualization Robert Eve 3 Virtualization Experts in High Demand DAVID LINTHICUM 5 Taming the Butterfly Effect in Virtualized Environments HEZI MORE 14 Solving the Virtual Machine Backup Conundrum LAURA BUCKLEY 18 Enterprise Data Storage DAVE PISTACCHIO 20 Memory: The Real Data Center Bottleneck CLIVE COOK 24 Server Virtualization Technology Makes Its Way into Storage Systems LEE CASWELL
  • EDITORIAL When the going gets tough, PRESIDENT & CEO Fuat Kircaali fuat@sys-con.com Senior VP, Editorial & Events the tough get LEAN. Jeremy Geelan jeremy@sys-con.com EDITORIAL Executive Editor Nancy Valentine nancy@sys-con.com Virtualization Experts in High Demand Be prepared to pay Research Editor Bahadir Karuv, PhD bahadir@sys-con.com ADVERTISING Senior VP, Sales & Marketing Carmen Gonzalez carmen@sys-con.com BY DAVID LINTHICUM Advertising Sales Director Megan Mussa megan@sys-con.com Associate Sales Manager Corinna Melcon corinna@sys-con.com EVENTS T Events Manager Sharmonique Shade sharmonique@sys-con.com hose with virtualiza- reason. They’re either too slow to promote or PRODUCTION tion skills are in high don’t provide competitive wages. Lead Designer demand right now. The core issue around virtualization is that Abraham Addo abraham@sys-con.com That makes them virtualization goes well beyond simple net- Associate Art Directors Louis F. Cuffari louis@sys-con.com just as difficult to retain as work and system administration. Many seek Tami Beatty tami@sys-con.com it is to find and hire them. traditional “network administration” types, and CUSTOMER RELATIONS Indeed, as virtualization they quickly find that the skills go far above the Circulation Service Coordinator becomes more important network. There are many abstraction layers to Edna Earle Russell edna@sys-con.com to enterprise IT, those who consider, and virtualization is much more com- understand VMware, and plex than traditional systems administration. To SYS-CON.COM other virtualization technology, and understand this end, virtualization skills require that the ideal Web Designers Richard Walter richard@sys-con.com virtualization in general are commanding top sala- candidate be a jack-of-all-trades and a master of ries and they are often recruited away from current VMware. ACCOUNTING employers. As the use of virtualization rapidly expands, Financial Analyst Personally, I’m getting a few calls a week from the need for talent will expand with it. At this Joan LaRose joan@sys-con.com headhunters looking for design and operational point there are more positions chasing too few Accounts Payable virtualization talent, even in the downturn when candidates, and that could mean salaries go up Harness the power of Lean IT to drive business value, reduce Betty White betty@sys-con.com data centers are shrinking. At the heart of the is- quickly for the core talent, or they settle for those waste and maximize productivity. SUBSCRIPTIONS sue is that virtualization now touches all parts of who don’t fully fit the bill. Either way, it’s going to the data center, the use cases are becoming more cost more to maintain virtualization in 2009 and Virtualization management solutions from CA help increase the value IT delivers to the subscribe@sys-con.com complex, and the operational value is mission- 2010. For additional business by enabling reliable, high-quality services, improving operational efficiency and Call 1-888-303-5282 For subscriptions and requests for bulk orders, please send critical. information agility, and reducing costs through automation and integration with CA enterprise managers. your letters to Subscription Department $49/yr (6 issues) In responding to this need, many organiza- About the Author please visit tions have created virtualization centers of David S. Linthicum, Editor-in-Chief of SYS-CON’s Virtualization ca.com/virtual. CA virtual management solutions can help you: excellence with the hopes of creating new talent Journal, is an internationally known cloud computing and service- EDITORIAL OFFICES SYS-CON MEDIA and becoming more attractive to virtualization oriented architecture (SOA) expert. He is a sought-after consultant, • Centralize virtual and physical management and provisioning 577 Chestnut Ridge Rd., experts. Typically this means an investment that speaker, and writer, and formed Blue Mountain Labs, a leading Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07677 Telephone: 201 802-3000 Fax: 201 782-9601 • Leverage repeatable and extensible process automation Virtualization Journal (ISSN #1549-1331) the IT leaders hope comes back to them quickly cloud computing advisory, validation, and consulting organization. is published bimonthly (6 times a year) as virtualization becomes a larger part of the in- In his career, Linthicum has formed or enhanced many of the ideas • Audit system and application configurations in minutes not hours or days Postmaster: send address changes to: Virtualization Journal frastructure, and the use of cloud computing and behind modern distributed computing including EAI, B2B Application SYS-CON MEDIA private clouds begins to become more pervasive. Integration, and SOA, approaches and technologies in wide use • Create a self-service provisioning model 577 Chestnut Ridge Rd., Woodcliff Lake, NJ 07677 So, how can you attract new virtualization talent? today. For the last 10 years, he has focused on the technology and The trick is to understand first that you have to strategies around cloud computing, including working with several • Enhance agility with automated resource allocation based on business needs ©Copyright 2009 by SYS-CON Publications, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or pay for talent, and perhaps pay more than some cloud computing startups. His industry experience includes tenure mechanical, including photocopy or any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission. All brand of the existing players. Talk to recruiters and can- as CTO and CEO of several successful software and cloud computing and product names used on these pages are trade names, service marks or trademarks of their respective companies. didates to understand more about expectations. companies, and upper-level management positions in Fortune 500 Beyond that, plan on paying retention and sign- companies. In addition, he was an associate professor of computer FOR LIST RENTAL INFORMATION: Kevin Collopy: 845 731-2684 kevin.collopy@edithroman.com ing bonuses, and being creative around work/life science for eight years, and continues to lecture at major techni- Frank Cipolla: 845 731-3832 frank.cipolla@epostdirect.com issues, such as allowing a liberal telecommuting cal colleges and universities, including University of Virginia and policy and a relaxed dress code. Arizona State University. He keynotes at many leading technology REPRINTS So, if you’re a virtualization expert, how can conferences, and has several well-read columns and blogs. Dave has For promotional reprints, contact reprint coordinator Megan Mussa megan@sys-con.com you find the best places to work? Look for orga- authored 10 books, including the ground-breaking “Enterprise Ap- nizations that invest in your talent as well as IT. plication Integration” and “B2B Application Integration.” You can SYS-CON Publications, Inc., reserves the right to revise, Copyright © 2009 CA. All rights reserved. MP338650409 republish and authorize its readers to use the articles Those organizations that seem to have a lot of reach Dave at david@bluemountainlabs.com. submitted for publication. turnover typically have that turnover for a good david@linthicumgroup.com 2 MAY / JUNE 2009 Volume: 2 Issue: 3 http://virtualization.sys-con.com http://virtualization.sys-con.com MAY / JUNE 2009 Volume: 2 Issue: 3 3
  • STRATEGY INSIDE Taming the Butterfly Effect in 3 FROM THE EDITOR Virtualization Experts in Virtualized Environments High Demand How small inconsequential events can have DAVID LINTHICUM radical consequences down the line BY HEZI MOORE STRATEGY 5 I Taming the Butterfly Effect n 1969 Edward Lorenz, the famed meteorolo- senior analyst at Enterprise Management Associ- in Virtualized Environments gist and Chaos Theory proponent, introduced ates, coined the phrase “Fog of Virtualization” to HEZI MOORE the concept now known as the “Butterfly Effect” describe this new challenge. Since one cannot when he posed the famous question: “Does the manage or control what they can’t see, virtual flap of a butterfly’s wings in Brazil set off a tornado data center administrators are experiencing man- in Texas?” The Butterfly Effect theory describes the agement and policy enforcement limitations. FEATURE phenomenon of how small variations in a dynamic Visibility into both the virtual and physical 8 Making the Case for Data system can subsequently cause larger and more complex variations over the long term. infrastructure is becoming a crucial operating requirement. Administrators need a visual repre- Virtualization: Hard Metrics Today’s modern virtualized data center repre- sentation of their virtual environment to under- for Hard Times sents a new kind of dynamic system. Just as the stand the entire virtual network, track changes, Brazilian butterfly may set off a tornado a world and manage both their physical and virtual ROBERT EVE away, any change to the virtualized objects that infrastructure. Virtualization creates an invisible are the components of the virtual infrastructure line where servers and applications are easily can have severe and unintended consequences to moved and managed by multiple cross-functional VIRTUALIZATION 2.0 virtualized systems, networks, and data centers. organizational departments. Not only can serv- 14 Solving the Virtual Machine As virtualization technologies are deployed in live production environments, the potential for small ers, storage, and networks can be dynamically managed as a single pool of resources but servers, Backup Conundrum changes at the virtual layer disrupting the virtual switches, and networks can be created at the click LAURA BUCKLEY and physical network resources are becoming a real of a mouse with applications moving seamlessly concern. from one physical server to another. Consequently such a dynamic environment Seeing Through the Fog of can create issues uncommon in traditional DATA STORAGE 18 Enterprise Data Storage Virtualization The evolution of IT has been marked by several physical environments. Policies can be defined to dynamically move virtual machines based on DAVE PISTACCHIO distinct cycles. The adoption of virtualization in resource utilization or for disaster recovery and the data center is proving to be the next major business continuity. This automated mobility paradigm shift as was the change from main- means that administrators only know the current frame to client/server computing in years past. location of a virtual machine. Of course, with vir- NETWORK RESOURCES 20 Memory: The Real Data The next advance in the corporate infrastructure is now underway with the broad embrace of cloud tualization it’s fast and easy to deploy new servers. Perhaps a little too easy, as administrators Center Bottleneck computing, marked by the use of Software-as-a- struggle to control this new breed of 10 CLIVE COOK Service (SaaS). Cloud computing will become in- creasingly more prevalent once more servers and virtual server sprawl which adds another layer of complex- desktops are virtualized and migrating servers in ity and decreases the the cloud is as easy as dragging and dropping an cost savings to the AGGREGATION icon onto a remote server. organization. Virtual 24 Server Virtualization Technology Clearly, the virtual data center is quickly be- coming a reality and organizations that deploy environments are subject to an ex- Makes Its Way into Storage Systems virtualization are now coming to grips with a treme number LEE CASWELL new set of management challenges. Jim Frey, a of infrastruc- 4 MAY / JUNE 2009 Volume: 2 Issue: 3 http://virtualization.sys-con.com http://virtualization.sys-con.com MAY / JUNE 2009 Volume: 2 Issue: 3 5
  • STRATEGY ture configuration changes that tend to obfuscate environments now bring potential risk to enter- ers with features such as Distributed Resource ture Management no longer fear the winds of the data center as a whole – understanding how prise operations. Complex virtual environments Scheduling (DRS) and High Availability (HA) that change or Lorenz’s Butterfly Effect. Leveraging components are connected, and the consequenc- coupled with high end-user expectations, the are based on VMotion’s enabling technology. the Virtual Infrastructure Management tools, IT es of changes, can mean the difference between pressures to meet SLA agreements, and a focus DRS continuously optimizes resource alloca- departments can evolve and add the following success and failure. on cost reduction have significantly increased the tions based on defined rules and resource utili- capabilities: To maintain proper and secure configuration probability of disruption. zation. The changes to resource allocation can in a virtual environment, organizations must For example, virtual machines are typically be automatically executed by performing live • Gain visibility and assert control across virtual be able to track all infrastructure changes in connected to shared networks. Any virtual ma- migration of virtual machines through VMotion. environments. Since you can’t control what real-time to maintain an accurate model of the chine or group of virtual machines connected The frequency of moves depends on the aggres- you can’t see, visibility is key in managing and virtual environment. If Murphy were a data center to a common network can communicate across siveness of the policy chosen. A more aggressive monitoring the virtual infrastructure. Admin- administrator, his law might read: “A misconfig- those network links and can, therefore, still be DRS implementation would set off a flurry of istrators need a visual representation of their ured device possesses a risk equal to one that’s the target of network attacks from other virtual VM migrations on a frequent basis. Like Lorenz’s virtual environment to understand the entire unpatched for known vulnerabilities.” Virtualiza- machines on the network. As a result, adminis- Brazilian Butterfly, frequent changes that DRS virtual network, track changes, and address vir- tion makes configuration of virtual infrastructure trators apply network best practices to harden imposed on the infrastructure can have serious tualization challenges that have management a point-and-click operation, opening the doors the networks and isolate them to minimize the consequences. If the butterfly hadn’t flapped its implications. for simple human error. risks of data leaks from one virtual machine wings and DRS stopped migrating VMs at such • Track all infrastructure changes in real-time zone to the next across the network. The com- a high frequency, the trajectory of the system and maintain an accurate model of the virtual The Unintended Consequences of mon approach used in implementing segmen- might have been vastly different. While neither environment. With Virtual Infrastructure Man- Interdependent Systems tation is the use of virtual local area networks the butterfly nor the DRS activities directly agement tools at their disposal, administrators Large virtual infrastructures have grown so (VLANs). This approach is based on VLANs caused the tornado, the flap of its wings and the can track changes to assets and alert stakehold- complex and interdependent that the Butterfly providing almost all of the security benefits initial configuration of the virtual environment ers when critical assets are modified. In addi- Effect is emerging as a real threat. There are a inherent in implementing physically separate are an essential part of the initial conditions that tion, the administrator has access to historical number of dynamic forces at work in virtual networks. Two virtual machines in the network presage disaster. Recurrence – the approximate changes to identify unauthorized configuration systems, and changes to one part of the infra- are unable to transmit packets back and forth return of a system toward its initial conditions changes, configuration errors, and enforce structure can have far-reaching consequences. unless they’re part of the same VLAN. Proper – together with sensitive dependence on initial policies across the entire virtual infrastructure. The downside of these complex interdependen- segmentation of the virtual data center using conditions are the two primary ingredients for Each time a change is detected, the change cies is that human mistakes, even small errors VLANs requires careful planning of both the chaotic motion. and all relevant details (who, when, why) are in configuration, can manifest themselves as physical and the virtual network components. The Butterfly Effect is a real phenomenon in recorded major problems down the road. These forces VLANs segmentation increases the network’s virtual data centers that can increase risk, drive • Monitoring and managing virtual performance conspire to put pressure on both the system complexity and creates environment depen- up costs, negatively affect availability, and frac- enables organizations to increase business and administrators, increasing the probability dencies between the physical and the virtual ture IT’s credibility. Several core problems faced efficiency and assure business continuity in of mistakes and making their impact more far- network. by nearly every large IT organization have magni- the virtual data center. The ability to detect reaching and costly. IT specialists attempting to Administrators require vigilant monitoring fied these burdens. Information about virtual network bottlenecks inside the virtual infra- configure, change, release, and support critical and tight coordination of configuration changes configuration interdependencies is poorly under- structure, identify over-utilized VMs, improve applications can find themselves facing a daunt- across both the virtual and physical network. A stood, tracking it is inefficient, and mapping out the performance of critical applications, and ing reality. simple change to the VLAN configuration of the a dynamic virtual infrastructure is a complicated avoid network outages will allow administra- The Butterfly Effect in the virtual data center is virtual infrastructure can impact the security and time-consuming endeavor. But organizations tors to improve the delivery of these critical exacerbated by a complex infrastructure designed level and the performance of VMs that will fail can mitigate these effects by automating their applications, quickly troubleshoot issues, and to support multi-tiered networks, interdependen- to perform the business task it was designed to virtual infrastructure management. optimize their virtual infrastructure. cies between different layers of infrastructure, do. Small variations of the initial configuration of IT organizations need a new breed of manage- fewer IT resources, and more applications that the virtual network’s VLANs structure or VLANs ment tools that understands and takes advan- From a philosophical standpoint, the Butterfly require changes and demands to support new configuration changes to the physical network tage of virtualization’s unique requirements and Effect provides a framework for understanding initiatives like service-oriented IT and distrib- can produce large variations in the long-term capabilities. Virtual Infrastructure Management how seemingly small and inconsequential events uted architectures. Administrators are struggling behavior of the virtual and the physical environ- is now being embraced by organizations around can have radical consequences down the line. to manage the Butterfly Effect while trying to ment. Just as Lorenz’s Brazilian Butterfly has the world as a way of achieving large increases in This theory can be applied to the virtual data cen- meet the conflicting challenges of providing the the potential to set off a tornado thousand of availability and reliability for relatively modest ter, a system that has become exponentially more continuous availability of critical applications. miles away, frequent changes that network VLAN investments in services and tools. Organizations complex and unpredictable as it grows in scope But achieving continuous availability in complex configuration impose on the infrastructure can implementing tools like Reflex’ management and gets beyond our direct control. While such virtual environments is no small task. have serious consequences and negatively impact solution for virtual environment have achieved systems will always possess a measure of uncer- Virtual environments are subject to an extreme the security and performance of the entire data these goals by reducing the time required to tainty, we will require new tools and diagnostics number of infrastructure configuration changes center. resolve problems, improving capacity planning, that let us look deep into the black box. that increase the complexity in the IT enterprise. Another example is VMotion migration tech- monitoring configuration changes, increasing Knowing how network resources are connected, nology, which adds a much needed dynamism to business resiliency, and better managing their About the Author and the consequences of change, can make all the virtual environments. Virtual machines and their virtual data center assets. Those enterprises that Hezi Moore is the CTO and co-founder of Reflex Systems, a pro- difference. Seemingly small changes to the virtual applications are moved between physical serv- have made the leap to effective Virtual Infrastruc- vider of virtualization management solutions based in Atlanta, GA 6 MAY / JUNE 2009 Volume: 2 Issue: 3 http://virtualization.sys-con.com http://virtualization.sys-con.com MAY / JUNE 2009 Volume: 2 Issue: 3 7
  • FEATURE Data Virtualization Data virtualization is used to integrate data from multiple disparate sources – anywhere Making the Case for Data across the extended enterprise – for consumption by front-end business solutions, including por- tals, mashups, reports, applications, and search Virtualization: Hard Metrics engines. (See Figure 1.) As middleware technology, data virtualization or virtual data federation has advanced beyond for Hard Times high-performance query or enterprise informa- tion integration (EII). As IT architecture, data virtualization is implemented as a virtualized Increased risk and an opportunity data layer, an information grid, an information Source: Composite Software, Inc. for better security fabric, or a data services layer in Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) environments. It can also be Figure 1 Data virtualization at a glance deployed on a project basis, for business intel- available to revenue-producing and customer- ligence (BI) and reporting, portals and mashups, facing staff for better sales-related business deci- and industry-focused single views. sions. Hard metrics include: BY ROBERT EVE • The number of decisions within the project’s Data Virtualization’s Five Value Points scope; and The many ways data virtualization delivers • The revenue-enhancing value of improving value to business functions and IT operations can each decision based on the availability of more be categorized as: complete data. • Sales Growth • Risk Reduction An energy provider used data federation to • Time Savings increase oil production from its 10,000 wells. • Technology Savings The data included complex surface, subsurface, • Staff Savings and business data in high volumes from many disparate sources. The data virtualization solution Converting these to hard metrics requires federated actionable information to automate an understanding of the relationships between maintenance and repair decisions made through- specific data virtualization capabilities and the out the day, while relieving key resources for other IT and business value they deliver. Value calcula- value-adding tasks. This increased both staff and tions are made using one or more forms of re- repair rig productivity, which were key factors in turn-on-investment (ROI) calculators. Examples the 10% increase achieved in well revenue perfor- of the five value points and their metrics along mance and efficiency. with actual customer case studies are provided below. Fresher Data Data virtualization’s on-demand data access Sales Growth and delivery capabilities reach difficult-to-access As an important indicator of an enterprise’s data and deliver it to consuming applications in success (or, in the public sector, as an indica- near-real-time. Fresher data means more timely A chieving compelling value from infor- measured in U.S. dollars, then rise by 9% in 2010.” tor of service growth or mission effectiveness), and accurate decision-making, often yielding mation technology is critical because With smaller budgets, IT must validate purchases sales growth results from business strategies sales growth. The hard metrics include: IT is typically an enterprise or govern- by correlating tangible business and IT returns such as improved offerings, better customer • The number of decisions in the project’s scope; ment agency’s largest capital expense. that align with corporate strategic objectives. This support, and faster market response. Data and Increasing business complexities and technology validation should come early in the acquisition virtualization supports these strategies by pro- • The revenue-enhancing value of improving choices create greater demands for justification process as well as after the implementation to viding data federation, on-demand data access each decision based on the availability of more when making IT investments demonstrate actual value and justify expanded and delivery, and automated data discovery timely data. Cambridge, MA-based analyst firm Forrester adoption. and modeling. Research recently reported that, “Business and Evaluating data virtualization first requires A leading marketing information company government’s purchases of computer and com- understanding how it specifically delivers value. More Complete Data used on-demand data access and delivery to munication equipment, software, IT consulting, This understanding can then be used to calculate Data federation capabilities enable the integra- grow sales by providing its large consumer goods and integration services and IT outsourcing will value and provide the hard metrics required for tion of disparate data on-the-fly without physical clients with more timely access to its huge col- decline by 3% on a global basis in 2009 when hard economic times. data consolidation, making more complete data lection of consumer trends and demand infor- 8 MAY / JUNE 2009 Volume: 2 Issue: 3 http://virtualization.sys-con.com http://virtualization.sys-con.com MAY / JUNE 2009 Volume: 2 Issue: 3 9
  • FEATURE mation. The data virtualization layer enabled These data virtualization capabilities and IT the data needed while reducing the latency multiple data consumers including Microsoft simplified and rapid development of the real-time benefits are similar to those driving sales growth. between business event and response. So IT SharePoint, Business Objects Business Intel- queries required by the customers’ self-service However, for risk reduction, the business benefit is under constant pressure to provide these ligence, Tibco Spotfire, Microsoft Excel, and reporting tools. This capability was the key factor is better risk visibility and faster problem reme- new systems and their associated information various Web portals. This resulted in a 90% behind a 2% increase in revenue. diation. In both cases, quicker time-to-solution more quickly. Strategies for saving develop- reduction in the time required to deploy new helps get new or improved applications online ment and deployment time as well as decreas- information sets. Quicker Time-to-Solution faster. However, in the case of risk reduction, ing data latency are crucial. Data virtualiza- Data virtualization’s automated data discovery these might be applications for risk management tion supports these strategies by providing High-Performance Data Delivery and rapid modeling capabilities reduce the time or compliance reporting, rather than sales or a data services library; installation wizard, Data virtualization’s query optimization typically wasted on searching for relationships customer management. manager and clustering; and query optimiza- and caching capabilities help eliminate data among data tables. These capabilities automate tion capabilities. latencies, speeding the delivery of critical many of the detailed modeling and validation More Complete Data information to users and applications, thereby activities. With quicker time-to-solution, new Data federation provides more complete Less New Code, Greater Reuse shortening the time between business events sales-impacting applications and their associated data to risk and compliance management staff, The data services library holds complete collec- and response. revenues are available sooner. The hard metrics thereby improving data visibility and reducing tions of reusable views and data services. By using A North American telecom chip maker tar- include: overall risk. The hard metrics include: these existing objects, the need for new coding geted faster responses to customer requests. • The number of months the project can be • The number of risk decisions in the project’s efforts is lessened, permitting greater reuse across To do this, its sales force management analyt- delivered earlier; and scope; and multiple applications. This saves project develop- ics required up-to-the-minute data from the • The revenue-enhancing value associated with • The risk reduction value of improving each de- ment time for both new applications and existing packaged Salesforce.com CRM application as each month where value was accelerated. cision based on the availability more complete ones when changes are needed. The hard metrics well as other systems. The manufacturer used data. include: data virtualization to optimize query per- An investment bank used data discovery and • The number of views or services planned; formance, ultimately cutting average report modeling to increase revenues by improving its A global pharmaceutical company used data • The savings per view or service; and runtimes from four minutes to 30 seconds or trade order management, debt/equity market federation to shorten lengthy R&D cycles and re- • The percentage reuse factor for a specified time less. research, and risk management applications. duce the risk of new product delays. Its Research frame. The abstracted data layer in the SOA environ- Scientists’ Workbench solution combined dis- Technology Savings ment enabled rapid modeling and complex query parate structured and semi-structured research A major investment bank wanted to build Just as storage, server, and applications’ creation that was shareable across the bank. The data from across the enterprise. Armed with more new applications faster, but it couldn’t be- virtualization have demonstrated huge tech- resulting 60% reduction in integration design and complete information, researchers were able to cause key reference data, such as counter-par- nology savings, data virtualization has proven development time on revenue-enabling applica- resolve problems faster, resulting in 60% fewer ty accounts, was duplicated across multiple to provide similar savings by requiring fewer tions and portals contributed to a 2% revenue new product delays. applications. Other than slowing develop- physical data repositories along with the increase at the bank. ment, this proliferation contradicted good systems required to operate and manage them. Fresher Data and Quicker Time-to-Solution banking practices and data governance. The Many users find that these technology infra- Risk Reduction Data virtualization’s on-demand data access bank shaved 25% off its average development structure savings alone justify the investment. Risk reduction has become increasingly and delivery capabilities improve the timeliness time by creating a shared data services library This is frequently a natural place to start a data important as a result of greater complexity and of data so risk issues can be remediated faster. to house Web Services for sharing counter- virtualization deployment. regulation. Becoming more agile in response to Data virtualization’s automated discovery and party master reference data. risk, improving predictability in light of risk, and modeling accelerates new risk management and Fewer Physical Repositories, Lower Hardware, ensuring compliance with changing regulations compliance reporting application development, Easy Installation & Reliable Operation Software, & Facilities Costs and reporting mandates are a few of the strategies thereby delivering their associated risk-reducing Various installation wizards along with man- Data virtualization doesn’t require replica- to reduce risk. Data virtualization supports these benefits sooner. ager and clustering capabilities accelerate and tion in intermediate physical data repositories. strategies through its data federation, on-demand automate the installation and runtime of data Fewer physical data marts and operational data access and delivery, and data discovery and Time Savings virtualization solutions. As a result, new solutions data stores mean less supporting hardware modeling capabilities. New information systems must deliver are deployed faster. The hard metrics include: and software. This, in turn, means less rack • The number of months a project can be deliv- space, electricity, air conditioning, manage- “Evaluating data virtualization ered earlier; and ment software, and other facilities’ costs. The • The assignable value associated with each hard metrics include: month the value was accelerated. • The number of servers reduced due to virtual first requires understanding how federation rather than physical consolidation; A leading life sciences R&D organization and needed to quickly prototype, develop, and de- • The assignable hardware, software and facili- it specifically delivers value.” ploy the new information solutions required ties cost associated with each server. to support strategic decisions by business executives. It used data virtualization to build A leading computer maker wanted to re- and deploy virtual data marts in support of duce the cost of its supply chain and custom- 10 MAY / JUNE 2009 Volume: 2 Issue: 3 http://virtualization.sys-con.com http://virtualization.sys-con.com MAY / JUNE 2009 Volume: 2 Issue: 3 11
  • FEATURE er management operational BI applications, Furthermore, analysts and data designers can which included more than 50 intermediate transfer models to application developers and data marts. Each mart required a server, operations teams to complete the process. resulting in lifecycle hardware infrastructure This encourages team collaboration and helps costs of $20,000 each. It used data virtualiza- reduce rework. The hard metrics include: tion to provide a virtual supply chain data • The number of hours saved; and hub that replaced the physical data marts. • The cost per hour. This resulted in $1 million in infrastructure cost savings. The same global money management firm cited above wanted to improve the collabora- Staff Savings tion of its 100 financial analysts. Many of its The cost of internal and outsourced staff is financial models relied on similar data and typically the largest IT expenditure. Substitut- data models, but technology hindered these ing automated tools for labor is one strategy analysts from effectively sharing their work. A for cutting staffing costs. Increasing existing common virtualization layer over the finan- staff productivity by improving SDLC process- cial research data warehouse provided the es is another. Simplifying the work to employ financial analysts with reusable data views lower-skilled (and therefore less costly) staff that could be shared for the first time. In is a third. Data virtualization supports these addition, IT provided a dedicated DBA and strategies by delivering a user-friendly GUI data architect who created the new views as development environment, along with auto- needed. The improved collaboration resulted mated data discovery and data services library in higher portfolio returns and a 150% ROI in capabilities. six months. Fewer Skills Required Metrics for Hard Times Data virtualization’s GUI development envi- By understanding the specific contributing ronment simplifies and automates the detailed value factors of data virtualization, C-level design and development work that would executives and IT managers can more easily otherwise require more technically capable staff. Enterprises find they spend less money calculate both the estimated and actual value of each data virtualization implementation Mark Your Calendar & Join SYS-CON Events’ on expensive consultants. Enterprises also find that they can redeploy their highly skilled staff under consideration, be it architecture or project. The resulting hard metrics that clearly 2009 Conferences & Expos to other more critical work. The hard metrics contribute to enterprise-wide goals arm bud- include: get decision makers with the data they need • The number of consulting staff hours being to make confident decisions in hard economic reduced; and times. • The cost per hour. A global money manager wanted to reduce About the Author the effort required by 100 financial analysts Robert Eve has held executive-level marketing and busi- October 6, 2009 Washington D.C. Spring 2010 Europe who build the complex portfolio models used ness development positions at several leading enterprise by fund managers. Its solution was to build a software companies. At Informatica and Mercury Interactive, virtualization layer surrounding the ware- he helped penetrate new segments as vice-president of November 2-4, 2009 Santa Clara, CA house to abstract away the complexity of the market development. Bob also ran marketing and alliances underlying data. This simplification resulted SAVE at Kintana (acquired by Mercury Interactive in 2003) where in a financial analyst productivity increase he defined the IT governance category. As VP of alliances at REGISTER TODAY AND of 25%, allowing many to be redeployed to PeopleSoft, he was responsible for more than 300 partners develop additional financial analytics useful and 100 staff members. In his nearly 10 years at Oracle, CALL 201 802-3021 OR EMAIL events@sys-con.com to the firm. Bob held positions such as Oracle manufacturing’s first product manager and head of its revolutionary software Greater Collaboration integration program, CAI. Bob has an MS in management For over a decade, SYS-CON Events has delivered the world’s leading i-technology Discovery capabilities within today’s data from MIT and a BS with honors in business administration conferences, seminars, and expos, including Virtualization Conference, Cloud Computing virtualization platforms quickly validate new from the University of California at Berkeley. He is a frequent Summit, SOA World, AJAXWorld, Enterprise Open Source Conference, “Real-World Flex” reporting solutions with end users using contributor to publications including SYS-CON’S SOA- Seminar Series, iTVcon, Real-World Java One-Day Seminar, and Real-World Ruby-on-Rails live data early in the development process. World and Virtualization magazines. Seminar Series. Our world-class conference programs, roster of exhibitors/sponsors, the industry’s most-respected faculty, and paid delegates solidify our position as the largest, most intelligent, and well-attended i-technology conferences, seminars, and expos in the world. 12 MAY / JUNE 2009 Volume: 2 Issue: 3 http://virtualization.sys-con.com http://virtualization.sys-con.com MAY / JUNE 2009 Volume: 2 Issue: 3 13
  • VIRTUALIZATION 2.0 possible resource degradation during concurrent virtual machine; however, it adds complexity to backup operations of multiple virtual machines the backup procedure. Restores should also be Solving the Virtual Machine on a single host server. Licensing, maintenance, and scalability issues may also be encountered. tested and verified to ensure consistency of the backups. Backup Conundrum Method 2: Backup Agent Installed on ESX Server Service Console Another method that can be used for backing Common disadvantages to all of the approach- es described above include possible resource contention and degradation during concurrent up and restoring virtual machines is to install a backup operations of multiple virtual machines Best practices for a backup-and-restore strategy backup agent on the ESX Server service console. on the same ESX server host. In addition, there in a VMware environment The backup agent can then be configured to backup the virtual disk files and virtual machine are maintenance and complexity issues involved in writing, scheduling, and maintaining the BY LAURA BUCKLEY configuration files (.vmdk and .vmx). These files scripts required, as well as the inability to restore contain the virtual machine operating system, individual files and directories from the backed- memory, and all data files. The entire virtual up .vmdk files. J ust when it seems that you’ve finally met data recovery. It’s possible a restore of an individ- machine can then be restored by simply restor- and solved your data backup and recovery ual file, file system, or database may be needed. ing these few files. However, it’s not possible to Method 3: Using VMware challenges, along comes another kink to It’s also possible a rapid restore of the entire ma- restore individual data files and directories from Consolidated Backup complicate the problem. chine is required in the event of a disaster, or you this backup. This method is typically faster than VMware Consolidated Backup provides a cen- While server virtualization provides many may want to move a virtual machine to a different creating a virtual machine, installing the operat- tralized backup facility for virtual machines. It’s benefits, it may create a conundrum when deter- physical machine for resource load balancing. ing system, installing the backup agent, and re- not a complete enterprise backup solution and is mining an organization’s best backup and restore There are three basic approaches that can be storing all of the data files as described in Method intended only as an enabling technology to be used strategy. combined to meet different backup-and-restore 1, so it’s preferred for disaster recovery and virtual in conjunction with enterprise backup software. In a physical server environment, some com- objectives: machine relocation. VCB is essentially a set of scripts and driv- bination of full and incremental backups of all • Install a backup agent in the virtual machine. To ensure a consistent and recoverable backup ers that enables third-party backup software to files, volumes, and servers are most likely being • Install a backup agent on the ESX Server service of the full virtual machine, it’s recommended that protect virtual machines through a centralized performed. Perhaps you’ve included a product console. you pause, suspend, or freeze the virtual machine backup “proxy” server that runs on a Windows that provides deduplication and an incremental- • Configure a VMware Consolidated Backup with one of the following approaches: server. Doing backups “by proxy” removes the only backup strategy that reduces the need to (VCB) proxy server and install a backup agent • Back up the inactive virtual machine. This is backup workload from VMware ESX servers and do weekly or monthly full-system backups. Or, on it to centralize the backups of many virtual considered the best way to ensure a consistent virtual machines. maybe you’ve decreased your reliance on tape machines. backup; however, it requires that the virtual VMware supplies different sets of integration for off-site backups and have included a data machine be shut down during the backup. This module scripts for different third-party backup replication or snapshot technology that will help Method 1: Backup Agent Installed on may require pre- and post-backup schedule applications. You execute these scripts as pre- and to quickly restore critical applications or systems the Virtual Machine scripts that execute the commands to shut post-process commands for the backup agent on in the event of a failure. To achieve file level, directory level, and volume down the machine, back up the .vmdk files, and the proxy server. During the pre-processing, the But now that your servers have been virtualized level backup and restore, a backup agent in the the restart the machine. script calls the VCB proxy utilities either to create there are new challenges: What should be backed virtual machine can be installed. This is the same • Back up a suspended virtual machine. Again, a snapshot of the virtual machine and mount it to up? You’ll certainly want to continue to have as installing a traditional backup agent for a cen- you’d need to script pre- and post-backup the proxy server (for file-level backups) or export backups of all files and application data as you’ve tralized network backup application on a physical schedule commands to suspend the machine. the virtual machine to a set of files on the proxy done in the physical server environment. You’ll machine, and provides the same capabilities This method can minimize machine downtime, server (for full machine backups). also want to be able to restore any individual (i.e., incremental backups, full backups, file level but restores should be tested and verified to file, directory, or file system from these current restores, and full volume restores), but does not be sure that the backup of the .vmdk files are backups. But virtualization offers another level of provide for full virtual machine backups and consistent and restorable. consideration for backup. Since the “guest” virtual restores. • Back up an active virtual machine. Again, machines are presented by the “host” server as In the event of a complete virtual machine using scripted commands in pre- and post- files, you can back up the entire virtual machine recovery, the first step would be to install the backup schedule jobs; you can make a as just one or several individual file objects. This virtual machine operating system and backup snapshot of a virtual machine and backup the means that if backed up correctly, you could agent. Next, restore all of the volumes backed up .vmdk files. This approach essentially freezes restore an entire virtual machine by restoring just for the virtual machine from a full backup. This the virtual machine, but allows it to continue a file or two. would be a directory-by-directory and file-by-file operating with all updates being sent to a Let’s explore the best practices for a backup- restore. This is similar to a bare machine recovery snapshot file. When the backup is complete, and-restore strategy in a VMware virtual infra- process of a physical server and is typically more the post-schedule command script unfreezes structure environment. When deciding how best time consuming than restoring from a full virtual the machine and the changes in the snapshot to protect VMware virtual machines, it’s impor- machine backup as described in Method 2. file are committed to the virtual machine. tant to consider your business requirements for Common disadvantages to this method include This method provides for “hot backups” of the 14 MAY / JUNE 2009 Volume: 2 Issue: 3 http://virtualization.sys-con.com http://virtualization.sys-con.com MAY / JUNE 2009 Volume: 2 Issue: 3 15
  • VIRTUALIZATION 2.0 REPRINTS! DELIVERING The Promise of Virtualization VIRTERA is the leading independent virtualization consulting firm with proven For file-level backups, the virtual machine continues experience in enabling a highly-adaptive and agile IT infrastructure. to operate without interruption during the snapshot process. Changes to the virtual machine while it’s in Experience The economic downturn has companies focused on ways to reduce costs and improve their bottom snapshot mode are written to a snapshot file that’s line. In many cases budget cuts are the first steps towards achieving this goal. stored in the virtual machine. These changes are ap- IT executives are having to deal with reduced budgets and headcount with an expectation to plied to the machine when the snapshot is dismounted. Cost Reduction innovate in order to drive further costs out of their operation. They are being asked to provide For full machine backups, the virtual machine is suspended during the export. When the export is increased level of service to the business and to support new business initiatives. This challenge leaves IT executives in an almost “paralyzed” state as they try to balance budget, resources and complete, the machine resumes and the backup agent can then backup the exported files. Transparency the risk of undertaking a complex project such as virtualization. After the pre-processing step is complete, users VIRTERA understands these pressures and provides clients with solutions that: Innovation Scalability must run the backup agent on the proxy server to per- form the backup of a particular drive or drives on the • Help identify new cost reduction initiatives proxy server where the snapshot or exported machine • Provide IT service delivery cost transparency files reside. When the backup is complete, users must • Deliver a strategic virtualization roadmap with supporting tactical deliverables execute the post-processing scripts to dismount and Adaptability Agility • Realize benefits in as soon as a business-quarter delete the snapshot or virtual machine files. • Support corporate sustainability initiatives The advantages of using VCB to consolidate back- ups of virtual machines are that it reduces resource utilization on production virtual machines and hosts 800.848.7185 Call or visit our website and allows virtual machines to continue to operate with little to no impact during backup operations. Ad- virteratech.com for more information ditionally, using the central VCB proxy server means it’s not necessary to install individual backup clients on each virtual machine. However, VCB can be complex to implement using the supplied integration module scripts. In many cases, the scripts will need modification. It may also be diffi- cult to schedule the scripts for individual pre- and post- processing of each virtual machine, especially for large numbers of virtual machines. Finally, it may be difficult MARKYOURCALENDAR& to troubleshoot anomalies when using the scripts. Recognizing these difficulties, some backup appli- cation suppliers have developed their own integration JOINSYS-CON EVENTS’ utilities or agents for VCB. These products simplify the implementation of VCB by providing easy-to-use scheduling and reporting functions, while eliminating the need to use the VMware integration modules. 2009CONFERENCES& There are many considerations for backing up virtual environments. Just as when solving the backup needs of your physical environment, you should care- EXPOS fully define your business requirements for backing up and restoring data in the virtual infrastructure. Once you understand recovery time and recovery point objectives, you can begin to implement and test your strategy. About the Author Laura Buckley is president of Colorado Springs-based STORServer, visit www.events.sys-con.com Inc. STORServer was founded in 2000 to provide simple, adaptable, and scalable solutions for data protection. A privately held corpora- tion with locations in the United States and Europe, STORServer is the manufacturer of STORServer Appliances. Each appliance is an enterprise-wide comprehensive solution that installs quickly and contact tel 201-802-3021 takes just minutes a day to manage.. MEGAN MUSSA tel 201-802-3024 magan@sys-con.com 16 MAY / JUNE 2009 Volume: 2 Issue: 3 http://virtualization.sys-con.com http://virtualization.sys-con.com MAY / JUNE 2009 Volume: 2 Issue: 3 17
  • DATA STORAGE Enterprise Data Storage A data center’s network should serve as an enabler for virtualization, SaaS, and/or cloud computing technologies BY DAVE PISTACCHIO B usiness continuity and disaster recovery costs and risks associated with protecting, destroy- continue to be top priorities for enter- ing, storing, and recovering physical data assets. prise IT decision makers. Big or small, Alternatives such as virtualization, storage-as- data storage is a critical issue impacting a-service, and cloud computing are also gaining every business in every market segment. traction among enterprise decision makers due and diverse alternative to the traditional phone cision makers need to constantly re-evaluate how A survey of 80 large U.S. companies conducted to their inherent cost-savings. Regardless of the company network is ideal. It ensures data protec- they deploy technologies and how their network by Infonetics Research last year indicated they had service customers are looking for from their data tion and access in the event of an emergency. Eth- will be there for them, no matter what decision they an average of 501 hours of network downtime a center provider, the biggest thing setting one pro- ernet is rapidly becoming the technology of choice make. year, and this cost them almost 4% of their revenue vider apart from another is the network on which it to meet these mission-critical needs because of its As IT managers make decisions during the next totaling millions of dollars. It’s not very difficult to relies. inherent ability to provide the best connectivity years regarding servers, virtualization software, and see that downtime directly translates into dol- A data center’s network should serve as an en- over a wide area. traditional data networking to control their data, lars, lots of dollars. Businesses trying to survive abler for virtualization, SaaS, and/or cloud comput- Furthermore, it’s important that enterprises be sure that a fiber network is top of mind in that in today’s economic environment can’t take this ing technologies. High-speed fiber-based networks have point-to-point Ethernet connectivity to their decision process. lightly. with large amounts of bandwidth are ideal for data storage facility, ideally via a fully fiber-optic Today, most high-end enterprise-size companies Infonetics also found that data centers can rep- powering these technologies. Companies leverag- connection. This will let the data be transported house their data in their own in-house data centers resent 50% of an IT budget for an organization. As ing SaaS offerings buy bulk bandwidth and require instantaneously, securely, and reliably. Without this and replicate their data with providers such as more and more companies add branch offices and “ultra-high” availability. Carrier-class Ethernet lets type of network, the data center’s range of critical Cervalis (using them for strictly backup purposes). servers, with their top priority being cutting costs, these companies do this effectively and reliably. business services to its clients won’t be delivered Small companies today are using service providers backup plans are becoming extremely difficult. The network should serve as the backbone of a effectively – including business continuity and or virtual storage services. Moving forward, we may A host of state and industry regulators require company’s data storage solutions – strong enough disaster recovery. see larger companies begin to virtualize their data the development and implementation of business to handle the demands of emerging technologies Leading data centers in the New York metro- centers rather than investing in in-house solutions, continuity plans to effectively and efficiently back and flexible enough to scale seamlessly alongside politan area have chosen carrier-class Ethernet or taking advantage of private cloud environments up, protect, and recover data. Threats such as an a companies growing needs. Carrier-class Ethernet to support their business. This advanced network where companies have multiple connections to exponential increase in the volume of data, space networks offer the ideal solution. No matter what enables these companies to provide a range of multiple service providers. As we continue to watch demands, and logistics of physical storage, the method of storage is chosen, companies on fiber critical business services to their clients including how these new trends shape the enterprise data increasing difficulty and effort required for manual gain tremendous advantages in scalability, virtual- business continuity/disaster recovery, production storage landscape, one thing remains evident – reli- discovery and the escalating liabilities and legal ization, and reliability. data center outsourcing, and Internet application able high-bandwidth connectivity will be essential risks for IT and business managers are key drivers Data centers are a growing piece of enterprise hosting solutions all delivered over a highly intel- to overall success. in businesses that chose the data center for their data management architectures due to significant ligent, reliable, and secure network. Many of these backup plan. improvements in data transport reliability, security, data centers service customers in highly regulated About the Author In developing their plans, businesses look for and scalability. Growing administrative frustrations, industries, such as financial services, where reli- Dave Pistacchio is president of Optimum Lightpath. A 29-year services designed to support a range of storage shrinking disk storage costs, and rising tape backup ability is paramount. veteran of the cable industry, he is responsible for driving Optimum hosting and backup services including business expenses are fueling greater interest in data centers. There is no crystal ball for anticipating growth Lightpath’s growth as the premier provider of data, Internet, voice continuity disaster recovery (BCDR), remote rep- Additionally, data centers continue to be more at- and technological changes in your business. The and video transport solutions and managed services for mid-sized lication, backup and recovery, data center storage tractive to enterprise IT managers concerned with data center, as well as its network, should be able and larger businesses across the New York metropolitan area. He area network and disk and transaction mirroring. entrusting highly sensitive data to the cloud. to respond to growth and changes in equipment, joined Lightpath in 2005 and guided the company as it switched its Independent data centers have made tremen- A key element of making these facilities so ap- standards, and demands all while remaining man- entire offering to Metro Ethernet services delivered over its fully fiber dous strides in providing companies with viable, pealing is the IT infrastructure they’re built on. ageable and of course, reliable. optic Intelligent Enterprise Network. This “game changing” move hearty solutions for their growing data stores and A data center with a highly reliable and secure IT managers need to seriously consider every has resulted in accelerated business growth and significant industry requirements. They continue to work to reduce fiber-optic network that provides a fully separate option available to them. As businesses evolve, de- recognition. 18 MAY / JUNE 2009 Volume: 2 Issue: 3 http://virtualization.sys-con.com http://virtualization.sys-con.com MAY / JUNE 2009 Volume: 2 Issue: 3 19
  • NETWORK RESOURCES to make money, and it’s a race to performance. The fastest trading desks will profit most. Memory: The Real Data Alongside the significant impact of peak perfor- mance is the need for certified messaging. Trading data streams must be certified – reliably stored for Center Bottleneck record keeping and rollback. Current solutions to the trading message problem are difficult to integrate, expensive, and cannot meet the performance re- Memory virtualization solves the key barrier to increasing quirements of the algorithmic trading desk. A leading vendor’s message bus solution has transac- the efficiency of existing network resources tion latencies in the millisecond range, and reaches maximum throughput at close to 5,000 transactions BY CLIVE COOK per second. This performance hampers algorithmic Figure 1: trading, and throughput is not enough to meet the peak trading volumes at the opening bell, closing A CIOs and IT managers agree that mem- imply that data centers are storage-bound, in many bell, or during market-moving events. ory is emerging as a critical resource cases the true performance barrier is memory. To constraint in the data center for both that end, both a major network vendor and a domi- Memory Virtualization – Breaking the economic and operational reasons. Re- nant server vendor have recently made announce- Memory Barrier gardless of density, memory is not a shareable re- ments about dramatic increases in the memory The introduction of memory virtualization shat- source across the data center. In fact, new servers footprint of servers to better support data center ters a long-standing and tolerated assumption in are often purchased to increase memory capacity, virtualization. data processing – that servers are restricted to the rather than to add compute power. While storage The major network vendor built their first-ever memory that is physically installed. Until now, the capacity and CPU performance have advanced blade server with custom developed hardware to data center has been primarily focused on server geometrically over time, memory density and support a larger memory footprint (up to 384 GB) virtualization and storage virtualization. storage performance have not kept pace. Data for one dual-processor blade. This is significantly Memory virtualization is the key to overcoming center architects refresh servers every few years, larger than the 144 GB maximum that is typical in physical memory limitations, a common bottle- over-provision memory and storage, and are high-end systems. The dominant server vendor neck in information technology performance. This forced to bear the costs of the associated space, enables individual VMs to use more of the local technology allows servers in the data center to power and management overhead. The result of system memory. share a common, aggregated pool of memory that this inefficiency has been high data center costs lives between the application and operating sys- with marginal performance improvement. Industry Challenges tem. Memory virtualization is logically decoupled Memory: Where Are We? Memory constraints continue to impact ap- from local physical machines and made available Business-critical applications demand high perfor- plication performance for a number of industries. to any connected computer as a global network mance from all network resources to derive value For example, data for seismic processing of oil and resource. Figure 2: Benefits of Memory Virtualization Compared out of the ever-increasing volume of data. Memory gas extraction, flight and reservation information, This technology dramatically changes the price to Over-provisioning is one of the three key computing resources, along or business analytics quickly add up to terabytes, and performance model of the data center by with CPU and storage, which determine overall much too large to fit in even large-scale (and bringing the performance benefits of resource thousands of reads from storage or databases to data center performance. However, memory has expensive) local RAM. These growing data sets cre- virtualization, while reducing infrastructure costs. one, by making frequently read data available in lagged far behind the advances of both processors ate huge performance slowdowns in applications In addition, it eliminates the need for changes to a cache of virtualized memory with microsecond and storage in capacity, price, and performance where latency and throughput matter. Multi-core applications in order to take advantage of the pool. access speeds. This decreases reliance on expensive ratios. While processor vendors assert that data processors are underutilized, waiting for data they This creates a very large memory resource that is load balancers and allows servers to perform opti- centers are processor-bound and storage vendors can’t get fast enough. And, currently available much faster than local or networked storage. mally even with simple, inexpensive round-robin solutions are inefficient and don’t entirely solve the Memory virtualization scales across commod- load balancing by linking into common file system problem. ity hardware, takes advantage of existing data calls or application-level API integration. Any Latency, or the delay in delivering the initial center equipment, and is implemented without server may contribute RAM into the cache by using piece of data, is critical to application performance application changes to deliver unmatched trans- a command-line interface or a configuration and in areas such as manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, actional throughput. High-performance com- management dashboard that sets up and controls energy, and capital markets. As an example, algo- puting now exists in the enterprise data center the virtualized memory pool through a web-based rithmic traders can execute hundreds of thousands on commodity equipment, reducing capital and user interface. Memory virtualization then uses of trades per day. Twenty-five percent of securities operational costs. native high-speed fabric integration to move data trades are now algorithmic trades – trades initiated rapidly between servers. by computers in response to market conditions or Memory Virtualization in Action – Large For applications with large working data sets, trading in patterns and sequences that generate Working Data Set Applications larger than will fit in physical memory, such as profits. These trades leverage trade execution speed Memory virtualization reduces hundreds to those found in high-volume Internet, predictive 20 MAY / JUNE 2009 Volume: 2 Issue: 3 http://virtualization.sys-con.com http://virtualization.sys-con.com MAY / JUNE 2009 Volume: 2 Issue: 3 21
  • NETWORK RESOURCES analytics, HPC and oil and gas, memory virtualiza- cally with no downtime, and application servers tion brings faster results and improves end-user can easily connect to virtualized network memory experiences. In capital markets, memory virtualiza- to share and consume data at any time without tion delivers the lowest trade execution latencies, re-provisioning. includes certified messaging, and integrates simply High Availability features eliminate data loss as demanded in this competitive market. when servers or networks go down by keeping The associated performance gains relative to multiple copies of data in the cache and employing traditional storage are huge. NWChem is a compu- persistent writes to comply with certified messag- tational chemistry application typically deployed in ing standards. an HPC environment. In a 4 node cluster with a 4 In the storage area, SAN and NAS have decou- GB / node running NWChem, memory virtualiza- pled storage from computing, but storage is not tion cut the test run time from 17 minutes down to the place for the active working data set. Storage ac- 6 minutes 15 seconds with no additional hardware, celeration can only marginally improve application simply by creating an 8 GB cache with 2 GB con- performance because it connects too far down the tributed from each node. stack and is not application-aware (understands state). The millisecond latencies of storage requests Alternatives Fall Short are unacceptable bottlenecks for business and mis- Attempts to address these challenges include sion-critical applications. scaling out (adding servers), over-provisioning In some cases, data center architects have turned (adding more storage or memory than is needed), to data grids in the search for performance. Data scaling up (adding memory to existing or larger grids impose a high management overhead and servers), or even designing software around the performance load and tend to replicate the working current constraints. data set, rather than truly share it. These solutions Larger data centers draw more power and re- are difficult to integrate, debug, and optimize, quire more IT staff and maintenance. For example, and remain tightly coupled to your application, a 16-server data center with 32 GB RAM/server reducing flexibility. Architects who have imple- costs $190,000 in capital and operational expense mented these solutions complain of the “black box” over two years. Scaling out that data center to 32 software to which they have tied their applica- servers would double the cost to $375,000 (see Fig- tions’ performance and disappointing acceleration ure 1). Scaling up the servers to 64GB RAM/server results. would raise the cost to $279,000 (data center costs based on the cost of scaling up a 16-node cluster Conclusion from 32GB to 64GB per server, and scaling out a Memory virtualization has solved the key barrier 16-node cluster to 32-nodes, two years operational to increasing the efficiency of existing network expense). resources in order to improve the performance What does this investment buy you? You get of business-critical applications. This capability more servers to work on the problem – but per- decouples the memory from its physical environ- formance has not improved significantly because ment, making it a shared resource across the data they aren’t working together; each server is still center or cluster. Addressing today’s IT perfor- working only with its own local memory. By try- mance challenges, virtualized memory enables ing to divide and conquer your data set, you’ve new business computing scenarios by eliminating fragmented it. Like fragmented drives, fragmented application bottlenecks associated with memory data sets restrict the flow of data and force data to and data sharing. Currently available, memory be replicated across the network. The overhead of virtualization is delivering optimized data center drawing data into each server consumes resources utilization, performance and reliability with mini- that should be focused on one thing – application mum risk and immediate business results. performance. By sharing memory, data centers require less About the Author memory per server because they have access to a Clive Cook is CEO of RNA networks (http://www.rnanetworks. much larger pool of virtualized memory. Memory com), a leading provider of memory virtualization software that virtualization also enables fewer servers to accom- transforms server memory into a shared network resource. He plish the same level of application performance, has a track record of success building and leading technology meaning less rack space, power consumption, and businesses including VeriLAN and Elematics, and holds an management staff (see Figure 2). MBA from the Ivey School of Business, University of Western Additional cache capacity can be added dynami- Ontario. 22 MAY / JUNE 2009 Volume: 2 Issue: 3 http://virtualization.sys-con.com http://virtualization.sys-con.com MAY / JUNE 2009 Volume: 2 Issue: 3 23
  • AGGREGATION tion technology because there just aren’t enough consolidation servers into the SAN platform controllers to make it technically viable or com- is reduced acquisition and management costs Server Virtualization Technology Makes mercially beneficial. A traditional storage system contains only one or two RAID controllers that derived from the eliminated physical servers. The consolidated physical servers are normally Its Way into Storage Systems provide data protection for many drives as shown quad-core Xeon processor machines with 2GB in Figure 1. Besides providing dedicated data protection for SERVER INNOVATION STORAGE APPLICATION STORAGE MARKET DISRUPTION many drives, each controller must have adequate x86 CPU Replaced proprietary controllers Differentiation moved to software A common platform for both server apps resources to protect all of the drives in case the other controller becomes disabled. The scarcity of Windows File System Windows NAS platform Wide-scale deployment of NAS and a clustered IP SAN controllers also limits the end-customer benefit of sharing the x86 CPU resources since consoli- Server Virtualization Table 1 Host servers on SAN hardware Serverless Computing dating one or two servers has a nominal impact BY LEE CASWELL on a system containing hundreds of disk drives. Clustered Storage Systems Are Uniquely Suited S torage engineers have a long-standing example would be the NTFS file system designed for Server Virtualization tradition of pilfering innovations from the by Microsoft for the server market. Microsoft Clustered storage architectures are character- server market to create disruptive prod- realized that the core NTFS functionality could ized by many controllers working in parallel to uct improvements in storage systems. be shipped independently of the more general provide data protection. In a clustered archi- This tried-and-true method works because the Windows Server operating system to proliferate tecture, each appliance contains an x86-based server market is larger than the storage market NTFS across volume servers, and reach a lower controller with relatively few disk drives (see and, correspondingly, collects more investment price point without cannibalizing the mainstream Figure 2). Data protection and controller failover dollars and has more engineers working on server server OS. High-volume server companies, such responsibilities are evenly distributed across all of innovations. Storage engineers constantly look as HP and Dell, resell the repurposed file systems the appliances, so that no one appliance is heav- for ways to reuse or repurpose server innovations a mainstream NAS offering, which has quickly ily loaded. Figure 1 Conventional systems have few controllers that reduce development costs, speed product become the unit volume leader in the NAS space. More resources, such as a second x86 control- introductions, or, in extraordinary cases, break ler, more RAM, and more NIC ports, can be easily open new product opportunities. Server Virtualization Disruption: added to each controller appliance since the clus- Unleashing the Serverless SAN tered approach relies on industry-standard server Hardware Disruption Example: Platform technology. Thus, the performance of both the Repurposing x86 CPUs as Storage It would be difficult to name a more disruptive underlying storage system and the shared virtual Controllers technology in the server market than server virtu- machine server environments can be ensured. The use of server processor chips in high-end alization. The $9 billion market value of VMware storage systems is an obvious example of this alone speaks to the immediate concrete savings Serverless Computing Versus borrowing trend. Most high-end storage systems that customers realize by replacing standalone Conventional Server Consolidation Figure 2 Serverless computing combines clustered storage & server from companies such as EMC, Network Appli- physical servers with virtual machines that run In traditional server consolidation, applications virtualization ance, and Pivot3 use general-purpose x86 CPUs x86-based hardware concurrently. This powerful running at low CPU utilization are consolidated for advanced RAID controller functions, although value proposition has made server virtualization on beefy servers platforms dedicated to server- this silicon was designed for general-purpose one of the most quickly adopted technologies only tasks. Storage in the traditional model has server applications. By repurposing this high-per- in recent memory. So it should be no surprise to generally moved external creating a massive formance server silicon as high-end SAN and NAS see storage architects looking for creative ways market opportunity for easy-to-use IP SAN solu- storage controllers, storage companies eliminate to deploy this technology innovation to storage tions. However, while server consolidation leads internal chip development expense and leverage systems. to widespread use of external shared storage, the the massive engineering investments made by Why Haven’t Conventional SANs server and storage platforms are discrete, man- silicon specialists Intel and AMD. This move to Adopted Server Virtualization? aged separately, and based on different hardware off-the-shelf server silicon allows these same stor- It turns out a conventional storage system can’t platforms. age companies to redirect engineering dollars and easily or practically integrate server virtualiza- engineers to work on software innovations that Customer Benefits of Serverless Computing offered more direct product differentiation. Serverless computing allows, for the first time, the consolidation of server applications on to a Software Disruption Example: common platform that runs both server apps and Repositioning NTFS as a NAS Offering a clustered IP SAN ( see Figure 3). The benefits are Server software is also frequently reused to startling. meet the needs of the storage market. A good • Reduced Cost: The most obvious benefit of Figure 3 Serverless computing consolidation benefits 24 MAY / JUNE 2009 Volume: 2 Issue: 3 http://virtualization.sys-con.com http://virtualization.sys-con.com MAY / JUNE 2009 Volume: 2 Issue: 3 25
  • AGGREGATION ATTRIBUTE TRADITIONAL SERVERLESS Savings appliance is treated as a simple RAID failure so that data is preserved and volume access is Server Acquisition Costs $276k 0 $276k unimpeded. At the same time, the virtual ma- Server Management Costs $92k/year $0 $92k/year chine that was running on the failed appliance Power/Cooling 92 KWH/yr 40KWH/yr 52KWH/yr can be automatically restarted on any available appliance, so that the application can restart. Server Rack Space 4 Racks 0 4 Racks This is possible because both LAN connections Table 2 and storage connections are virtual and can be automatically reestablished once the applica- of RAM, two NIC ports, and dual redundant power supplies in a 2U form factor, such as a tion restarts on a resident appliance. This level of application failover is normally found only in the VIRTUALIZATION AT THE JAVAONESM CONFERENCE Dell 2950. By consolidating the physical servers most expensive fault-tolerant server solutions. The JavaOne conference brings together a vibrant developer community actively creating the innovations that will SM into a serverless computing platform, the exter- • Simplified Management: Applications run on shape many industries. Come to the Conference, and learn how Java™ technology is helping with server, storage, nal servers are not required. one of the physical appliances, but these same and desktop virtualization. Here are 10 reasons why the JavaOne conference should be your must-attend conference Table 2 provides an example of how a recent applications have access to the aggregated ca- customer using 1.2 petabytes of clustered SAN pacity and performance of all the appliances in of 2009: storage was able to eliminate more than 90 Dell the clustered storage array. Since load balanc- Reason 1: Gain hands-on experience with Java technology as Reason 8: Sit down with Sun’s Java technology architects, servers by deploying serverless computing: ing of performance and provisioning of capac- part of an amazing range of embedded devices you can carry, and create applications and content together for the Java and • Improved Failover: The use of a combined ity is automated, system configuration is much share, and drive. JavaFX platforms. SAN/server platform also introduces a new stan- simpler to design and ongoing management is dard for failover protection for both server and simplified since system administrators manage Reason 2: Network with peers, and influence the future of Reason 9: Develop JavaFX Mobile applications, and run them storage workloads. On the storage front, a failed server and storage resources at an aggregate the Java platform, including Java SE, Java Development Kit 7, on a nifty new handset. level instead of managing physical attributes of JavaFX™, Java ME technology, and more. individual appliances. Reason 10: Build interactive content for TV that you can watch Advertiser Index Reason 3: See what’s new on the Java EE 6 platform and the on that new big screen or Blu-ray player you’ve been wanting. Summary GlassFish™ v3 application server. The application of server technologies to stor- Nowadays money’s tight. That’s why it’s more important ADVERTISER URL PHONE PG Reason 4: Learn how to use the MySQL™ database with the age architectures has generally led to monumen- than ever to attend the one conference that delivers GlassFish application server. Appsense http://www.appsense.com 23 tal shifts in value. Server consolidation offers everything you want to see, learn, and experience—all these types of benefits and is uniquely suited Reason 5: Hear about lightweight and RESTful approaches to under one big roof. And that’s the JavaOne conference. to clustered storage architectures. Serverless services. computing holds the promise of extending the CA http://www.ca.com/us/ C2 reach of server virtualization technology to a large Reason 6: See what’s new with contemporary integration in Save Your Spot—Register Today! market that could benefit from consolidating Project Fuji. By the way, check out CommunityOne, Sun’s conference on servers. This is a market that until now could not JavaOne http://java.sun.com/javaone C3 Reason 7: Learn about cloud services. open-source innovation and implementation, colocated with have benefited from consolidation. the JavaOne conference. developers.sun.com/events/communityone SYS-CON Events http://events.sys-con.com/ 201-802-3020 13 & 17 About the Author SYS-CON Media http://www.sys-con.com 201-802-3020 C4 Lee Caswell is the co-founder and chief marketing officer of Pivot3. He is an experienced technology executive with more than 20 years of marketing and management experience in the storage, networking, Platinum Cosponsor Save $200 and digital video markets. Prior to Pivot3, Caswell held positions as on Conference registration! EVP of marketing and business development at VMware and was a Virtera http://www.virteratech.com 800-848-7185 17 corporate officer at Adaptec, where he was VP and general manager Cosponsors Register by June 1st at of Adaptec’s $350 million Storage Solutions Group. Prior to Adaptec, he was VP of sales and marketing at Parallax Graphics where he java.sun.com/javaone General Conditions: The Publisher reserves the right to refuse any advertising not meeting the standards that are set to protect the high edito- successfully closed funded development relationships with HP and rial quality of .Net Developer’s Journal. All advertising is subject to approval by the Publisher. The Publisher assumes no liability for any costs or damages incurred if for any reason the Publisher fails to publish an advertisement. In no event shall the Publisher be liable for any costs or IBM. Caswell was also a co-founder and director of marketing at damages in excess of the cost of the advertisement as a result of a mistake in the advertisement or for any other reason. The Advertiser is fully Kodiak Technology, a LAN start-up, and was a marketing analyst at responsible for all financial liability and terms of the contract executed by the agents or agencies who are acting on behalf of the Advertiser. Conditions set in this document (except the rates) are subject to change by the Publisher without notice. No conditions other than those set forth SEEQ Technology, an Ethernet semiconductor company. He spent the JAVAONE CONFERENCE: June 2–5, 2009 | The Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA | THE PAVILION: June 1–4 in this “General Conditions Document” shall be binding upon the Publisher. Advertisers (and their agencies) are fully responsible for the content first five years of his career in management programs at GE. Lee has of their advertisements printed in .Net Developer’s Journal. Advertisements are to be printed at the discretion of the Publisher. This discretion includes the positioning of the advertisement, except for “preferred positions” described in the rate table. Cancellations and changes to adver- a BA from Carleton College where he was a Wingspread Fellow and tisements must be made in writing before the closing date. “Publisher” in this “General Conditions Document” refers to SYS-CON Publications, Inc. This index is provided as an additional service to our readers. The publisher does not assume any liability for errors or omissions. an MBA from the Tuck School at Dartmouth College where he was a Tuck Scholar. © 2009. All rights reserved. Sun, Sun Microsystems, the Sun logo, Java, JavaFX, and JavaOne are trademarks or registered trademarks of Sun 26 MAY / JUNE 2009 Volume: 2 Issue: 3 http://virtualization.sys-con.com http://virtualization.sys-con.com Microsystems, Inc. or its subsidiaries in the United States and other coutnries. Information subject to change without notice. Issue: 3 MAY / JUNE 2009 Volume: 2 27
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