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An Introduction To Server Virtualisation
 

An Introduction To Server Virtualisation

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  • CP-40 was the first operating system that implemented complete virtualization, i.e. it provided a virtual machine environment supporting all aspects of its target computer system (a S/360-40), such that other S/360 operating systems could be installed, tested, and used as if on a stand-alone machine. CP-40 supported fourteen simultaneous virtual machines. Each virtual machine ran in "problem state" – privileged instructions such as I/O operations caused exceptions, which were then caught by the control program and simulated. Similarly, references to virtual memory locations not present in main memory cause page faults, which again were handled by control program rather than reflected to the virtual machine. Further details on this implementation are found in CP/CMS (architecture). The basic architecture and user interface of CP-40 were carried forward into CP-67/CMS, which evolved to become IBM's current VM product line.
  • NTVDM stands for "NT Virtual DOS Machine". WOW stands for "Windows on Windows". They are both names for the same Win16 subsystem that runs under Windows NT, 2000, and XP. The Win16 subsystem is an emulated DOS subsystem that runs under NT-based Windows operating systems. It allows 16-bit applications to run as if they were being executed on a DOS computer, with that computer's multitasking and segmented memory model. The subsystem is preemptively multitasked, so that 16-bit DOS and Windows applications cannot crash the operating system. Within the subsystem, however, applications behave exactly as they do on a DOS/Win 3.x computer, so 16-bit applications within a Win16 subsystem can crash one another or the Win16 subsystem. When a DOS program running inside a VDM needs to access a peripheral, Windows will either allow this directly (rarely), or will present the DOS program with a Virtual Device Driver (VxD in short) which emulates the hardware using operating system functions.
  • Traditionally, every application requires its own server. Vendors are often unhappy to share physical servers and operating systems. This leads to a situation whereby a new server is bought for every new application being deployed. The practical result of this is that the application becomes closely coupled with the hardware leading to underutilisation of resources and increased cost of ownership.
  • In the virtualised model, a thin virtualisation layer, or hypervisor, is introduced which abstracts the physical hardware layer and presents a standardised subset of hardware to the virtual machines running on the system. Virtual machines are isolated from each other and run as processes on the host system. We have now broken the dependancies between applications and physical hardware and provided a safe and supportable mechanism for running multiple applications on a single hardware platform, thus optimising utilisation levels and reducing ownership costs.
  • Most servers operate and very low levels of CPU utilisation, typically around 10%. However, a CPU efficiency will remain constant up to about 85% utilisation. Any unused CPU cycles between 10% and 85% should be exploited. One way of doing this is to time divide CPU cycles across multiple workloads, in this case by running multiple virtual machines on a single CPU.
  • When purchasing new hardware for applications, organisations will often overprovision, that is, they will purchase more memory and CPU resources than will actually be used by the application. In a typical situation, the vast majority of servers in an organisation will use less than 10% of CPU resources during normal business hours. As idle hardware is a cost both in terms of acquisition and power consumption, our aim should be to drive up utilisation levels
  • Server virtualisation helps us to realise the concept of a “virtual infrastructure”. We no longer think of providing extra resources, be they storage, network, memory or CPU resources, to a single application. Resources now become part of a pool that virtual machines can draw upon, using as much or as little of each resource as they each need. Available resources can be taken from the pool and returned to the pool as required. This leads to a more efficient use of the IT infrastructure.
  • a hypervisor (or virtual machine monitor ) is a virtualization platform that allows multiple operating systems to run on a host computer at the same time. The term usually refers to an implementation using full virtualization. The term hypervisor apparently originated in IBM's CP-370 reimplementation of CP-67 for the System/370, released in 1972 as VM/370.
  • Type 1 hypervisor (or Type 1 virtual machine monitor ) is software that runs directly on a given hardware platform (as an operating system control program ). A "guest" operating system thus runs at the second level above the hardware. The classic type 1 hypervisor was CP/CMS, developed at IBM in the 1960s, ancestor of IBM's current z/VM. More recent examples are Xen, VMware's ESX Server, and Sun's Hypervisor (released in 2005).
  • Type 2 hypervisor (or Type 2 virtual machine monitor ) is software that runs within an operating system environment. A "guest" operating system thus runs at the third level above the hardware. Examples include VMware Server and Microsoft Virtual Server.
  • Microsoft Virtual Server and Virtual PC are referred to by Microsoft as “hybrid VMMs”. They are clearly not Type 1, as they rely on a hosting operating system for much of their functionality. However, neither are they Type 2, as they run their virtual machines directly on the hardware whenever possible. In a hybrid VMM architecture, a small hypervisor kernel, sometimes referred to as as a µ-hypervisor , controls CPU and memory resources, but I/O resources are programmed by device drivers that run in a deprivileged service OS . While a hybrid VMM architecture offers the promise of retaining the best characteristics of Type 1 and Type 2 VMMs, it does introduce new challenges, including new performance overheads, due to frequent privilege-level transitions between guest OS and service OS through the µ-hypervisor,
  • Here, the virtual machine does not necessarily simulate hardware, but instead (or in addition) offers a special API that can only be used by modifying the "guest" OS. This system call to the hypervisor is called a "hypercall" in Xen, Par r allels Workstation and Enomalism; it is implemented via a DIAG ("diagnose") hardware instruction in IBM's CMS under V r M (which was the origin of the term hypervisor ). Examples include Win4Lin 9x, Sun's Logical Domains, and z/VM.
  • Full virtualization , is a virtualization technique used to implement a certain kind of virtual machine environment: one that provides a complete simulation of the underlying hardware. The result is a system in which all software capable of execution on the raw hardware can be run in the virtual machine. In particular, this includes all operating systems. Binary translation is the emulation of one instruction set by another through translation of code. Sequences of instructions are translated from the source to the target instruction set.
  • Intel VT is available on most Pentium 4 6x2, Pentium D 9x0, Xeon 3xxx/5xxx/7xxx [1], Core Duo (excluding T2300E) and Core 2 Duo processors (excluding the T5200, T5500, E4x00). AMD processors using Socket AM2, Socket S1, and Socket F include AMD Virtualization support. In May 2006, AMD introduced such versions of the Athlon 64, Turion 64, and 64-bit Sempron processors. AMD Virtualization is also supported by release two (x2xx series) of the Opteron processors.
  • As industry standard servers evolve, more systems meet the criteria for native virtualisation. At time of writing, the servers listed above all reached the minimum specifications required.
  • A virtual machine should contain all the essential hardware elements as found in a physical machine, but represented by virtual rather than real devices. Standard components will include: 1 or more network cards 1 or more storage controllers 1 or more virtual CPUs Virtual memory A mouse A keyboard Floppy and CD/DVD drives In special cases, a virtual machine can also be given access to the following physical devices on the host machine: Parallel ports Serial ports Sound cards
  • At its most basic, a virtual machine will consist of a virtual BIOS (Basic I/O System). The BIOS will load from a file rather than from a BIOS chip but will have all the functionality found in a normal BIOS and is usually based on an actual commercially available BIOS, such as the PheonixBIOS chip. The BIOS can be used to control the boot order of the virtual machine by allowing you to specify whether to boot from the virtual hard disk, a CD-ROM or even over the network via PXE.
  • Most virtualisation platforms allow you to define complex networking infrastructures within the virtualisation layer. Virtual switches can be created which provide network connectivity between virtual machines and also to external physical networks. This is usually achieved by linking the virtual machines to the virtual switches by means of virtual NICs. These NICs have all the features of physical NICs, such as MAC addresses and bound IP addresses. Virtual switches can then be connected to the physical network via uplink connections to the physical NICs on the host. These physical NICs normall operate as simple bridges and do not have associated IP addresses.
  • By combining internal and external virtual switches, more complex network environments can be created within the virtualisation layer. In the example above, two back-end systems provide database and application functionality to a web front-end server. The back-end systems cannot be accessed directly by users and are thus protected by the firewall functionality of the web server.
  • Virtual machines will see their allocated disk storage as storage devices attached to a storage adapter. In actuality, the storage devices will be monolithic files stored on a central file system. In the case of VMware, these will be VMDK files stored on a VMFS volume. Microsoft Virtual Server uses VDF files stored on an NTFS volume. The virtual machine will use these virtual disks as it needs. On a virtual machine running Windows Server 2003, they could be formated as NTFS and used for standard file storage. On a virtual machine running Linux, they could be formatted as ext3 file systems or used as swap devices, for instance. Physically, most standard storage systems are supported, such as direct attached SCSI, storage area networks, iSCSI and network attached storage.
  • On the host platform, one must consider how the operating system on the host is to be licensed and how the virtualisation software is to be licensed. In the case of Type 1 VMMs such as VMware ESX and Xen, where the virtualisation layer runs directly on the physical hardware, there are no associated host operating system licensing considerations. However, the virtualisation technology itself will generally be licensed on a per CPU socket basis. In the case of Type 2 VMMs, where the virtualisation software runs as an application within an operating system environment, there may be a licensing requirement for the host OS. There may or may not be a licensing requirement for the virtualisation technology itself. For instance, VMware Server, which runs on Windows or Linux, is available as a free download. Microsoft Virtualisation, a hybrid VMM that will be part of the Longhorn release of Windows Server, will be a free add-on. On the guest, operating system licensing is generally the same as it is on physical servers. An exception is when running Microsoft Virtual Server. When the host OS is Windows 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition, you will be licensed for the host OS and 4 virtual machines running Windows 2003 R2 Enterprise Edition. If the host OS is Windows 2003 R2 DataCenter, you will be licensed for the host OS and an unlimited number of virtual machines running any version of Windows 2003 R2. Guest applications may be licensed on a per CPU basis. In some cases, this may be restricted to the number of virtual CPUs presented to the virtual machine. In other cases, the software vendor may insist on licensing based on the number of physical CPUs in the host server.
  • Careful consideration must be given to application support issues when considering deployment of a virtual server solution. In some cases, although the application may run correctly and efficiently on a virtual machine, the software vendor may not be prepared to support such a deployment. Microsoft Virtual Server support policy: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/897613 Support policy for Microsoft software running in non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software: http://support.microsoft.com/kb/897615/ The following Windows Server System software is not supported within a Microsoft Virtual Server environment: Microsoft Speech Server Microsoft ISA Server 2000 Microsoft SharePoint Portal Server SharePoint Portal Server is currently not supported running within Virtual Server. Support for SharePoint Portal Server within Virtual Server is expected in a future release. Microsoft Identity Integration Server 2003 Microsoft Identity Integration Feature Pack Note Microsoft ISA Server 2006 is supported within a Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 environment.
  • There are many reasons why we may choose to deploy servers as virtual machines. We will examine each in turn.
  • Gartner defines 3 types with progressively greater operational savings, return on investment and end user benefits Logical implement common processes and enable standard systems management procedures across the server applications. Physical Co-location of multiple platforms at fewer locations i.e. reduction in the number of data centres without altering the number of actual servers. Rational implementing multiple applications on fewer, more powerful platforms.
  • Perhaps the most obvious use of virtualisation is to consolidate existing server workloads onto fewer, more powerful systems. Often the first candidates selected for consolidation are those that could be categorised as infrastructure applications. These will include Active Directory domain controllers, DHCP servers, DNS servers, and file and print servers. These are often identified as having very low utilisation workloads. However, many datacenter workloads can also be good candidates for virtualisation. Another group of systems often targeted for virtualisations are those that run legacy operating systems such as Windows NT 4 Server. As the range of available hardware systems that can run these operating systems diminishes, it makes sense to move them to a platform that will ensure easy recoverability in the event of a hardware failure. The ability of most virtualisation platforms to partition CPU and memory resources means that virtual machines can be limited in the amount of these resources that they can use, ensuring that multiple workloads can be run side by side without any one application monopolising available computing power.
  • Many organisations find traditional business continuity and disaster recovery strategies difficult to implement. Bare metal restore tools often require that systems are recovered onto identical hardware and require a one-to-one correspondence between production and BC/DR systems. Virtualisation techniques can assist by making it easier to create and maintain “virtual” versions of existing production systems that can be restored rapidly onto any system supported by the preferred virtualisation platform. “Physical-to-Virtual” (P2V) techniques can be used to create these virtual machines which can then be either maintained or archived for later restore. Virtualisation can also make OS and application patching less risky. Copies of production virtual machines can be made or snapshots taken prior to patching. This makes it easier to roll back in the event of issues resulting from the patching process. Virtual networking makes it simple to isolate virtual machines which may be required to prevent malicious code such as viruses, adware and trojan horses from infecting other systems.
  • The concept of the dynamic datacenter envisages the ability to move virtual machines based on the changing requirements of individual workloads. Depending on the capabilities of the virtualisation platform in question, this could be either an automated process or a manual task. A typical scenario would be where an application requires an increased share of the computing resources available on a server. Other virtual machines running on the same server could be dynamically migrated to other systems, thus freeing up resources for use by the more demanding application.
  • Rapid provisioning of virtual machines Provide multiple VMs for testing quickly Use save state to start up quickly Maintain libraries of test systems Create arbitrary test scenarios Recreate reported issues Avoid use of production network Use snapshots to rollback to known state Wider test range for niche scenarios Provision multiple VMs with variations Simulate Complex environments
  • Virtual machines are, in essence, represented by a collection of files. These will typically consist consist of files representing: Virtual hardware configuration Virtual BIOS settings Virtual disks Other aspects such as snapshots, saved states, etc. This means that virtual servers can be treated in a similar way to other types of files. Provisioning a new virtual server can now be as easy as copying a set of template files. Migrating a server to a new location, such as a DR site, can be as easy as a file backup and restore or a network copy. We can clone or copy entire servers using file management techniques, save versions of virtual machines as they change and develop, and keep archives of servers for restore purposes. Using software and hardware based replication techniques, we can also create remote mirrors of running virtual machines for DR purposes.
  • Shared storage, in the form of fiber channel-based storage area networks (SAN), network attached storage (NAS) or iSCSI, plays a crucial role in the maintenance of a highly available virtual infrastructure. The file representing a virtual machine will be ideally located entirely in a central location that is accessible by a number of systems operating as a cluster. This allows us to move virtual machines as running processes from one physical host to another without having to move the files themselves. Many shared storage solutions also include snapshot, clone and replication technologies that can be leveraged by the virtual infrastructure.
  • Live migration is the process of moving virtual machines from one host to another without interrupting processing or user connectivity. This is accomplished through a combination of centralised shared storage and high speed copying of memory contents. Because the virtual machines files are centrally stored and accessible by every host taking part in the live migration, there is no need to move files at any time. Only the memory contents of the virtual machine are moved. This is usually accomplished by having a dedicated gigabit Ethernet link between the physical hosts. Virtual machine memory contents are copied across this link from one host to another. When all memory contents have been copied, updates to the memory are temporarily suspended while the running process representing the virtual machine is stopped on one host and restarted on another. Live migration can be used to achieve zero downtime maintenance of the host servers and to dynamically balance resource utilisation across the infrastructure.
  • The debate as to whether it is better to scale up or to scale out when designing a virtualisation infrastructure continues. While both approaches have advantages and disadvantages, it is generally agreed that scaling out is the best overall approach as it is the most cost effective solution while providing better utilisation levels.
  • Most of the leading virtualisation platforms provide all of the features outlined above. As new solutions appear on the market, they should be carefully evaluated before being implemented.
  • For most people, VMware Workstation was their first experience of i386-based virtualisation. It is an example of a Type 2 VMM in that it runs as an application on a host operating system. The product is aimed at those wishing to run multiple operating systems on a single desktop PC and will run on either Windows or Linux. This could be for software test and development or for training purposes. Supported guest operating systems include Windows, Linux, NetWare and Solaris.
  • VMware Server is VMware’s free virtualisation platform. Again, it is a Type 2 VMM and uses much of the same code as VMware Workstation. The product runs on any x86 hardware so there is no necessity to refer to any hardware compatibility list when installing it. VMware Server is intended as a “step up” product, allowing users to experience virtualisation before moving on to Type 2 hypervisor products.
  • VMware Infrastructure 3 represents VMware’s flagship virtualisation product and consists of two distinct elements: A Type 1 VMM platform called VMware ESX 3, and a a management application, VMware VirtualCenter 2. 4-way virtual SMP is provided for multi-threaded applications and up to 16GB of RAM can be provided to any individual virtual machine. Live migration is implemented via a licensed feature called VMotion. Also individually licensed are: VMware HA, a high availability technology that provides failover for virtual machines in the event of a hardware failure of a cluster node VMware Distributed Resource Scheduling which can be used to ensure uniform utilisation of resources across the infrastructure VMware Consolidated Backup, a technology that leverages the SAN infrastructure to provide high speed virtual machine backups
  • VMware Infrastructure 3 provides the ability to add additional processing resources to a cluster with zero downtime and without disrupting any business processes. Additional servers can be introduced and workloads can then be redistributed via live migrations of virtual machines.
  • The DRS feature improves resource allocation across all hosts in a VMware cluster. DRS collects resource usage information for all hosts and virtual machines in the cluster and generates recommendations for virtual machine placement. These recommendations can be applied automatically. Depending on the configured DRS automation level, DRS displays or applies the following recommendations: Initial placement . When you first power on a virtual machine in the cluster, DRS either places the virtual machine or makes a recommendation. Load balancing . At runtime, DRS tries to improve resource utilization across the luster either by performing automatic migrations of virtual machines (VMotion), or by providing recommendations for virtual machine migrations.
  • In a VMware HA solution, a set of ESX Server hosts is combined into a cluster with a shared pool of resources. VirtualCenter monitors all hosts in the cluster. If one of the hosts fails, VirtualCenter immediately responds by restarting each associated virtual machine on a different host. VMware HA fully integrated with DRS. If a host has failed and virtual machines have been restarted on other hosts, DRS can provide migration recommendations or migrate virtual machines for balanced resource allocation. If one or both of the source and target hosts of a migration fail, HA can help recover from that failure.
  • VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB) provides a fast and efficient method of backing up virtual machines by leveraging high speed fiber channel SAN data transfer and the virtual machine snapshot technology of VMware ESX. A Windows Server 2003 proxy server is attached to the SAN used by the VMware servers and is presented with the LUNs used by VMware to store virtual machine files. A VCB pre-backup script runs on the proxy which creates a snapshot of the virtual machine to be backed up and mounts it on the proxy. A third-party backup tool can then be used to move the data to disk and/or tape storage.
  • Microsoft has been providing virtualisation products since 2004 when it released Virtual PC. This was soon followed by Microsoft Virtual Server. Traditionally, Microsoft virtualistaion solutions have been managed via a web interface. However, this will change with the introduction of Virtual Machine Manager which functions as an MMC snapin. The next generation of Microsoft virtualisation will be called Windows Virtualization and is scheduled to be released within 18 months of the release of the next version of Windows Server, codenamed “Longhorn”
  • Virtual PC is a product aimed at desktop virtualisation, and as such is not considered a suitable product for production environments. However since it shares the same disk format as Virtual Server, it can be used as a development platform for virtual machines which will eventually run on Microsoft Virtual Server.
  • Support for Multiple CPUs 4 with Standard 32 with Enterprise Guest limited to single CPU Support for Intel VT and AMD Virtualization New processor designs from AMD and Intel specifically built with virtualisation in mind providing enhanced performance Will not speed up Windows guests (as long as VM additions are installed) but will improve performance for non-Windows guests Will improve install times for Windows
  • Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 supports clustering both at the guest and the host level. Virtual Machine Clustering Guests can failover to another guest on the same machine Uses shared SCSI on guests Virtual Host Clustering Can cluster host server enabling planned or unplanned moves to another server Requires use of havm.vbs script (available from Microsoft)
  • Windows Server virtualization is a hypervisor-based technology that is a part of Windows Server “Longhorn”. Windows hypervisor is a thin layer of software running directly on the hardware which works in conjunction with an optimized instance of Windows Server “Longhorn” that allows multiple operating system instances to run on a physical server simultaneously. It leverages the powerful enhancements of processors provides customers with a scalable, reliable, secure and highly available virtualization platform.
  • System Centre Virtual Machine Manager, an MCC snapin for managing Microsoft virtual environments, is currently in Beta - release is set for October 2007. Its key features will be: Managing and planning deployment of virtual servers. Works with both Virtual Server and Windows Virtualisation. Monitors existing physical servers to identify candidates for virtualisation. Manages load on virtual host servers. Identification of migration candidates is based on an analysis of both peaks and averages. The selection parameters are user definable. Performs physical to virtual migrations Uses VSS to copy data across Process can be either wizard based or scripted through PowerShell Supports Windows 2000 and Windows 2003 Servers
  • Systems Centre Virtual Machine Manager will feature a full set of preconfigured reports that integrate fully with the Systems Center database.
  • Virtual infrastructure is commonly used in test and development environments where there is consistent provisioning and teardown of virtual machines for testing purposes. With Virtual Machine Manager, administrators can selectively extend self-provisioning capabilities to user groups and be able to define quotas. The automated provisioning tool will manage the virtual machines through their lifecycles including teardowns. It will a llows self service provisioning of virtual servers using a website and a central library of templates. The administrator defines what templates are available to the user.
  • The forthcoming Windows Server Virtualisation will aim to build on the functionality of Virtual Server 2005. Key improvements will include: Support for 64bit OS’s Virtual SMP for guests Hot add of memory Hot add of processors Hot add of storage Hot add of networking Transition from web-based management to a MMC snap-in.
  • Xen is an open-source hypervisor solution released under the GNU licensing scheme. It is a solution that installs on bare metal and so requires no host operating system. Several products have started appearing on the market based on the Xen paravirtualisation code and many vendors are including Xen in their OS offerings including Novell, Red Hat and Solaris. The forthcoming Windows Server Virtualisation will share the same core architectural design as Xen.
  • XenSource offers a solution based on the Xen paravirtualisation approach. Whereas with hardware emulation based products, such as VMware, each virtual machine is presented with an emulated hardware layer that offers the guest operating system the illusion of a standard server with well-known hardware devices, in XenSource products, guests interface with the hypervisor via an efficient, low-level API, known as the hypercall API, rather than through hardware emulation. This allows the hypervisor and operating system to co-operate to optimally virtualize the underlying hardware and schedule guest CPU and I/O, resulting in tremendous performance, security and portability advantages.
  • XenSource offer a range of products aimed at different levels of usage. XenSource does not offer support for older versions of Windows, such as NT 4. Live Migration and Shared Storage support is promised for mid-2007.
  • The Xen open source hypervisor provides the foundation for Virtual Iron. It leverages the hardware-assisted virtualization capabilities built into the latest micro-processors to create an abstraction layer between physical hardware and virtual resources. Virtual Iron supports 32-bit Windows and 32 and 64-bit Linux operating systems, up to 8 CPUs per guest operating system, 32 CPUs per physical server, 96 GB memory, and multiple network and storage adaptors.
  • Virtual Iron’s Virtualization Manager provides a central place to control and automate virtual resources. It is a Java application with a client-server architecture and a high performance distributed object oriented database. The user interface uses a transactional job-based model to provide fault tolerant workflows with rollback. The While the hypervisor and service partition components of Virtual Iron are covered under the GNU public license, the Virtualisation Manager is the commercial property of Virtual Iron and provides much of the advanced features of the product.
  • Virtualization Manager’s built-in policy engine and event monitor allow users to customize the environment to optimize application performance, ensure availability, and simplify resource management. A remote virtual desktop provides graphical console, keyboard and mouse without client or server-side additions. Virtualization Manager provides the following capabilities: Physical infrastructure: Physical hardware discovery, bare metal provisioning, configuration, control, and monitoring Virtual Infrastructure: Virtual environment creation and hierarchy, visual status dashboards, access controls Virtual Servers: Create, Manage, Stop, Start, Migrate, LiveMigrate Policy-based Automation: LiveCapacity, LiveRecovery, LiveMaintenance, Rules Engine, Statistics, Event Monitor, Custom policies Reports: Resource utilization, System events
  • LiveMigration – moves a running virtual server from one physical server without pausing or impacting running applications. LiveCapacity – monitors virtual server CPU utilisation or other application needs to determine when a workload needs additional capacity. When a user-defined threshold is met, the virtual server is LiveMigrated to a physical server that has the necessary resources. LiveRecovery – monitors the status of physical resources and moves virtual servers to maintain uptime in the event of a hardware failure. LiveMaintenance – moves virtual servers to alternative locations without downtime when a physical server is taken offline for maintenance.
  • The Virtual Iron Platform requires a set of x86 servers linked via a standard Ethernet network.Virtualization Manager is installed on one server that is networked to the other servers. Operating system images, including installed enterprise applications, are stored in a network accessible location using NAS or SAN to be deployed on virtual servers. Alternatively, deployment applications can be used to install an operating system directly onto a virtual server. The Virtual Iron Virtualization Manager automatically inventories the physical infrastructure and presents it through the management user interface.When an administrator creates and configures virtual servers, the Virtualization Manager reserves the physical resources, configures the virtual server resources, deploys the operating system, and starts the virtual server.
  • Again, as with XenSource. Older versions of the Windows operating system are not supported by Virtual Iron. Virtual Iron is only supported on systems with the newer range of Intel and AMD processors that include virtualisation extensions.
  • Virtuozzo is an operating system level server virtualization solution. Virtuozzo creates isolated partitions or virtual environments (VEs) on a single physical server and OS instance to utilize hardware, software, data center and management efforts with maximum efficiency. The Virtuozzo low-overhead, efficient architecture maximizes server resources. Virtuozzo adds a portable layer to existing operating systems which adds a dynamic partition or Virtual Environment (VE) that resides on a common OS. The single thin Virtuozzo layer introduces only a small percentage of overhead and allows up to 100s of VEs to run on a physical server.
  • Parallels Workstation is the first desktop virtualization solution to include a lightweight hypervisor that directly controls some of the host computer’s hardware resources. It has strong OS support for guest virtual machines, including: The entire Windows family - 3.1, 3.11, 95, 98, Me, 2000, XP and 2003 Linux distributions from popular distributors like Red Hat, SuSE, Mandriva, Debian and Fedora Core FreeBSD “ Legacy” operating systems like OS/2, eComStation and MS-DOS. Parallels Workstation also supports next-generation CPUs built on Intel’s VT architecture, and will support AMD Pacifica architecture when it is released to the general public.
  • The HP Virtual Server Environment encompasses a number of fully integrated, complementary components that enhance the functionality and flexibility of a server environment. Control starts with HP Systems Insight Manager (SIM), a unified infrastructure management platform that provides common fault, configuration, performance, and asset management across all HP Integrity, HP 9000, and HP ProLiant servers and HP StorageWorks storage. The VSE management tools plug into SIM for a central point of administration for consistency and enhanced efficiency. Next is ongoing management and configuration. P Integrity Essentials Virtualization Manager is the first comprehensive, easy-to-use virtualization management tool. It allows you to instantly see the relationship between physical and virtual resources and easily perform configuration management tasks for all your VSE resources. Finally, server resources can be directed to the highest business priorities via intelligent policy engines that monitor service levels in real time and automatically adjust server resource allocation when needed. To help increase flexibility and systems administration efficiency, the HP VSE supports all operating systems that run on the HP Integrity server platform: HP-UX 11i, Microsoft® Windows® Server 2003, Linux, and OpenVMS. To allow you to choose the operating system that best meets your business needs, many of the components of the HP VSE, such as HP Systems Insight Manager and HP Integrity Virtual Machines, were designed specifically for a multi-OS environment.
  • Often, the most time consuming and difficult aspect of a server consolidation project will be the process of converting physical servers into virtual machines, often referred to as P2V. There are several commercial products available that can be used to accomplish this task. Converting servers can, in some cases, be performed while the server is “live” but will often require that applications are quiesced in order to maintain data consistency. Often, it is better to perform “cold” conversions. Some operating systems, moreover, will not support live transfers of data. The P2V process will usually consist of the following steps: Analysis of the source server to determine memory requirements, data capacities, etc. Creation of a target virtual machine Transfer of data from physical source to virtual target Transformation of the virtual machine to replace drivers, disable unwanted services, reset IP addresses, etc.
  • VMware Converter is managed through a simple, task based user interface that enables users to convert VMware virtual machines or third-party virtual machines and disk image formats to VMware virtual machines in three easy steps: • Step 1: Specify the source physical server, virtual machine or third-party format to convert. • Step 2: Specify the destination format, virtual machine name, and location for the new virtual machine to be created. • Step 3: Create/Convert to destination virtual machine and configure it. VMware Converter achieves faster speed of conversions through the use of sector based copying ( vs file level copying in other products). VMware Converter first takes a snapshot of the source machine before migrating the data, resulting in fewer failed conversions and no downtime on the source server. VMware Converter communicates directly with the guest OS running on the source physical machine for hot cloning these machines without any downtime and as such has no direct hardware level dependencies.
  • Platespin PowerConvert is marketed as an “Anywhere-to-Anywhere” conversion tool. The range of sources includes physical servers, virtual machines and system images. Targets can be physical servers, virtual machines or system images. So, as well performing traditional P2V-type operations, one can also perform physical-to-physical (P2P) operations for hardware upgrades, physical-to-image (P2I) and virtual-to-image (V2I) for DR purposes, and numerous other types of transformation.
  • Platespin PowerConvert features a simple drag-and-drop interface that can be used to automatically create conversion jobs, which can then be edited as necessary.
  • For customers wishing to convert Novell NetWare servers into virtual machines, there are no products that have been expressly designed to perform P2V operations. However, Portlock Storage Manager has been successfully used to copy entire volumes from a physical server to a virtual machine. The virtual machine can then be easily transformed to create a fully functional server.
  • Before consolidating servers onto a virtualised platform, it is important to gather as much information as possible about the existing environment to assist with sizing and planning. For this reason, several products have been developed which will gather inventory and performance data and use these data to halp with what is known as capacity planning. Commonly, these products will report on which servers are good candidates for virtualisation and which should be excluded from the virtualisation process, and also help you to size the virtualised environment. What-if scenarios can usually be run to examine the effects of using different types of target hardware, or excluding or including different types of servers.
  • The VMware Capacity Planner Data Collector is installed on a Windows system at the company site and uses WMI and registry calls to gather server information without requiring the use of agents. The VMware Capacity Planner Data Analyzer serves as the core analytical engine that performs all of the analysis required for intelligent capacity planning. The VMware Capacity Planner Dashboard is the front-end, Web-based user interface to the Information Warehouse and Data Analyzer. The Capacity Planner Dashboard delivers all the key capacity planning analysis and decision support to end-users in a secure and organized manner.
  • In contrast to VMware Capacity Planner, Platespin PowerRecon collects and stores all data onsite and analyses it locally. Again data is gathered without the use of agents. PowerRecon can be used to create and save P2V jobs that can then be used by Platespin PowerConvert.
  • VMware Lab Manager automates the setup, capture, storage and sharing of multi-machine software configurations. Development and test teams can access them on-demand through a self-service portal. Features include: Automatically and rapidly set up and tear down complex, multi-machine software configurations for use in development and test activities. Give every developer or test engineer the equivalent of their own fully-equipped data center with dedicated provisioning staff. Maintain a comprehensive library of customer and production system environments
  • With VMware ACE, security administrators package an IT-managed PC within a secured virtual machine and deploy it to an unmanaged physical PC. Features Provision secured, IT-managed endpoints on unmanaged PCs Secure confidential data on endpoint PCs Run multiple secure PC environments on a single PC Dramatically lower the cost of business continuity
  • Companies can host individual desktops inside virtual machines that are running in their data center. Users access these desktops remotely from a PC or a thin client using a remote display protocol. Since applications are managed centrally at the corporate data center, organizations gain better control over their desktops. Installations, upgrades, patches and backups can be done with more confidence without user intervention.
  • Policy-Based Virtual Service Life Cycle Management Provisioning of Virtual Servers Disaster Recovery Virtual Servers backup/archiving Data centre daily operations automation Virtualised environments optimisation High availability of Virtual Servers Change management tracking Implement best practices and business policies
  • Backing up and replicating virtual machines for the purposes of rapid recovery and DR has traditionally been a challenge. Vizioncore have produced two applications that solve these issues by leveraging the VMware software development kit (SDK) which is made public by VMware. esxRanger Professional creates backups of running virtual machines on VMware ESX servers by taking advantage of the ability to take point-in-time snapshots of virtual machines. Backups can occur over a LAN connection or, by leveraging VMware Consolidated Backup techniques, over a high speed SAN connection. esxRanger maintains a catalogue of backup images which can be rotated in the same way as standard backup media. esxReplicator creates replicas of running virtual machines on a secondary VMware ESX platform for the purposes of business continuity and disaster recovery. It uses the same snapshotting technology as used by esxRanger to achieve this.
  • esXpress and Virtual Solution Box both provide online backups of virtual machines and are implemented as virtual appliances. That is to say, the application is downloaded and installed as a prebuilt, preconfigured virtual machine which is then customised as necessary by the end user.
  • esxCharter is a Vizioncore product which allows you to view key performance metrics on a VMware ESX platform in an easy to use dashboard presentation. Key features include: Provides top-down multi-level view that easily allows administrators to identify bottlenecks or other problems. Provides both “real-time” and historical monitoring of hosts and virtual machines. Allows shares adjustment for both individual or groups of virtual machines. Offers threshold alerting. Supports VMware Infrastructure 3.
  • For customers that have already deployed VMware ESX 2.x and wish to upgrade to VMware ESX 3.x, migrating virtual machines to the new platform can be very time consuming and difficult. esxMigrator allows users to perform the migration with the minimum amount of downtime while always maintaining a failback position.
  • If you haven’t begun consolidating on virtualized servers, now is the time to explore your options. The benefits are proven, and virtualization is seeing exceptionally rapid adoption. Evaluate your applications for potential consolidation. Legacy applications running on older operating systems are a common first target, but virtualization and consolidation are moving rapidly toward the mid-tier and back-end of the datacenter. Understand the differences between various virtualization solutions. Cost, functionality and performance vary considerably and value will differ depending on your IT and business environment. Look closely at the licensing and support policies of your software vendors. Licensing and support policies are in flux with respect to both virtualization and multi-core processors, and both issues can strongly impact the ROI of a consolidation project. Start small. Virtualization and consolidation involve new products, technologies, usage models and IT procedures, so a small pilot deployment is recommended before consolidating on a broad scale.
  • Work with business units to manage expectations. Business decision-makers may be reluctant to run their applications on shared physical servers until they understand the benefits and safeguards. Beware of “virtual sprawl.” Virtual servers are extremely easy to deploy and provision, but don’t abandon all constraint. Every new virtual server introduces new OS and application instances, which can increase licensing, patching and general management costs. Consider blades as a complementary consolidation strategy. Blade servers help to consolidate and optimize physical infrastructure, while virtualization software optimizes the use of those physical resources. The combination can be especially effective. Integrate server consolidation with a broader consolidation strategy. Consolidation of facilities, storage and data are equally important, and provide a solid foundation for application consolidation on virtual servers. Develop a framework for continuous consolidation: Products and technologies are changing rapidly. Success will require careful planning, a long-term strategy, and an approach that comprehends benefits, risks and costs.

An Introduction To Server Virtualisation An Introduction To Server Virtualisation Presentation Transcript

  • An Introduction to Server Virtualisation Alan McSweeney
  • A loose definition
    • Virtualisation is a framework or methodology of dividing the resources of a computer into multiple execution environments, by applying one or more concepts or technologies such as hardware and software partitioning, time-sharing, partial or complete machine simulation, emulation, quality of service, and many others.
  • Some history
      • An old concept – first virtual machines created on IBM mainframes in early ’60s
      • Typically, IBM's virtual machines were identical "copies" of the underlying hardware. Each instance could run its own operating system.
      • Virtualisation formed the basis of “time sharing”
  • Some virtual machines you may know…
      • NT had Virtual DOS Machine (NTVDM) and Windows on Win32 (WOW)
      • Windows 95 used virtual machines to run older (Windows 3.x and DOS) applications
  • The old model
      • A server for every application
      • Software and hardware are tightly coupled
      • Underutilised resources introduce real cost into the infrastructure
  • The new model
      • Physical hardware is abstracted by a virtualisation layer, or hypervisor
      • Manage OS and application as a single unit by encapsulating them into virtual machines
      • Separate OS and hardware and break hardware dependancies
      • Optimise utilisation levels
  • Increased Hardware Utilisation
    • Before Virtualisation
    • After Virtualisation
  • Underutilisation of Resources
    • Most organisations over-provision
      • Multiple processors in each server
      • Memory requirements over-estimated
    • Aim to drive up CPU utilisation
    Actual DSS customer data – 120 servers monitored
  • Virtual Infrastructure
    • Virtual infrastructure brings uniformity to the data centre
    • Dynamically map computing resources to the business
    • Lower IT costs through increased efficiency, flexibility and responsiveness
    • Provision new services and change the amount of resources dedicated to a software service
    • Treat your data centre as a single pool of processing, storage and networking power
  • How is it implemented?
      • Typically, in order to virtualize, you would use a layer of software that provides the illusion of a "real" machine to multiple instances of "virtual machines". This layer is traditionally called the Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM) or “hypervisor”.
      • The hypervisor could run directly on the real hardware or it could run as an application on top of a host operating system.
  • Type 1 VMM IBM CP/CMS VMware ESX Windows Virtualisation (2008) Xen Virtual Iron Hardware VMM Guest VM Guest VM Guest VM
  • Type 2 VMM VMware Server Hardware VMM Guest VM Guest VM Guest VM Host OS
  • Hybrid VMM MS Virtual Server MS Virtual PC Hardware VMM Host VM Guest VM Guest VM
  • Paravirtualisation
      • Paravirtualization is a virtualization technique that presents a software interface to virtual machines that is similar but not identical to that of the underlying hardware.
      • This requires operating systems to be explicitly ported to run on top of the virtual machine monitor (VMM)
  • Full Virtualisation
    • Provides a complete simulation of the underlying hardware
    • With binary translation, rewrites some x86 instructions at run time that cannot be trapped and converts them into a series of instructions that can be trapped and virtualised
    • Capable of running existing legacy operating systems without modification
  • Native Virtualisation
      • Leverages hardware-assisted capabilities available in the latest processors from Intel (Intel VT – “Vanderpool”) and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD-V – “Pacifica”) to provide near-native performance.
      • Virtual Iron is one of the first companies to offer virtualization software to fully support Intel-VT and AMD-V hardware assisted virtualization.
  • Native Virtualisation
      • Dell
        • Precision 380 Intel Pentium D
        • PowerEdge 430 Intel Pentium D
        • PowerEdge 440 Intel Xeon 3xxx
        • PowerEdge 1435 AMD Opteron 22x
        • PowerEdge 1950 Intel Xeon 5xxx
        • PowerEdge 1955 Intel Xeon 5xxx
        • PowerEdge 2950 Intel Xeon 5xxx
      • HP
        • ProLiant DL140 G3 Intel Xeon 5xxx
        •   ProLiant DL320 G4 Intel Xeon 5xxx
        •   ProLiant DL360 G5 Intel Xeon 5xxx
        •   ProLiant DL365 AMD Opteron 22xx
        •   ProLiant DL380 G5 Intel Xeon 5xxx
        •   ProLiant DL385 G2 AMD Opteron 22xx
        •   ProLiant DL580 G4 Intel Xeon 7xxx
        •   ProLiant DL585 G2 AMD Opteron 82xx
      • IBM
        • xSeries 100 Intel Pentium-D
        •   System x3455 AMD Opteron 22xx
        •   System x3550 Intel Xeon 5xxx
        •   System x3850 Intel Xeon 7xxx  HS21 Intel Xeon 5xxx
        •   LS21 AMD Opteron 22xx
  • What’s in a Virtual Machine?
  • What’s in a Virtual Machine - BIOS
    • VM has its own BIOS
    • Has everything you would expect to see in a real BIOS
    • Boot options may include floppy, CD-ROM, disk drive and PXE.
  • What’s in a Virtual Machine - Networking
    • Each VM has a virtual NIC
    • Virtual NICs are connected to virtual switches implemented in the virtualisation layer
      • VMware – vSwitches
      • Microsoft - .vnc-files
    • Virtual switches have uplink connections to physical NICs on the host
  • Combining internal and external virtual switches
    • Virtual switch with one outbound adapter acts as a DMZ
    • Backend applications are secured behind the firewall using internal-only switches
  • What’s in a Virtual Machine - Storage
    • To the applications and guest operating systems inside each virtual machine, the storage subsystem is a simple virtual SCSI host bus adapter connected to one or more virtual SCSI disks
    • Virtual disks are files kept on physical storage.
      • VMware – VMDK files
      • Microsoft – VDF files
    • Virtual disk represents a local drive on a virtual server, such as a C or D drive in Windows
    • Physical storage could be
      • Direct attached SCSI
      • SAN attached
      • iSCSI
      • NAS
  • Licensing Considerations
    • On host
      • Host OS?
      • Virtualisation technology?
    • On Guest
      • Guest OS?
      • Guest Applications
  • Support Considerations
    • Two meanings
      • Is it technically possible?
      • Will the vendor support a virtual environment?
    • The Microsoft position
      • “ For Microsoft customers who do not have a Premier-level support agreement, Microsoft will require the issue to be reproduced independently from the non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software.”
      • “ Microsoft supports Windows Server System software running within a Microsoft Virtual Server environment subject to the Microsoft Support Lifecycle policy ... “
  • Usage Scenarios for Virtualization Consolidation Workload Mobility Business Continuity Management Development and Test
    • Logical
    • Physical
    • Rational
    Usage Scenario Production server consolidation Gartner definition
  • Usage Scenario Production server consolidation
    • Consolidate workloads
      • Infrastructure applications
      • Low-utilization workloads
      • Branch office and datacenter workloads
      • Efficient use of available hardware resources
    • Re-host legacy OS and applications
      • NT4 guest applications on virtual platform
        • Run on current hardware and current OS
        • No application updates required
    • Partition resources
      • Limit CPU resource per VM
  • Usage Scenario Business continuity management
    • Disaster Recovery
      • Maintain DR systems as virtual machines
      • Eliminate traditional problems associated with bare metal restores
    • OS and application patching
      • Deploy and test patches off-production, and swap
      • Eliminate scheduled downtime
    • Isolation / sandboxing
      • Isolate OS environments for untrusted applications
      • Prevent malicious code from affecting others
  • Usage Scenario Dynamic datacenter
    • Workload mobility
      • Package up entire OS environment and move to other location
      • Flexible deployment of workloads
  • Usage Scenario Development and test
    • Rapid provisioning of virtual machines
    • Create arbitrary test scenarios
    • Wider test range for niche scenarios
  • Application + OS: Now A Data File
    • Server provisioning is similar to copying a file
    • Server migration is now similar to data migration
    • Data management techniques can be used for server management
      • Server cloning/copying
      • Versioning
      • Server archival
      • Remote mirroring
    Entire server – OS, apps, data, devices, and state – is now simply a file.
  • The Role of Shared Storage
    • Virtual Machine files are centrally located.
    • Multiple access.
    • Virtual Machines can be moved for DR purposes, system repair/upgrade, etc.
    • Can take advantage of advanced SAN features such as snapshots, clones and replication.
  • Live Migration
    • Move running virtual machines from one physical system to another with no downtime
    • Zero downtime maintenance
    • Balance resource utilisation across infrastructure
  • Hardware Infrastructure – Scale Up or Scale Out?
    • Scaling up means fewer, larger systems
      • Advantages
        • Fewer ESX Server images to manage
        • Lower infrastructure costs (Ethernet/SAN switches)
      • Disadvantages
        • Higher hardware costs (servers)
        • Big H.A. impact in case of failure of a node
        • Fewer CPUs supported "per rack“
        • Headroom required for HA is expensive
        • Servers may go obsolete
        • Locked into server architecture
    • Scaling out means more, smaller systems
      • Advantages
        • Lower hardware costs (servers)
        • Low H.A. impact in case of failure of a node
        • More CPUs supported "per rack“
        • Headroom required for HA is less expensive
        • Not locked into obsolete hardware
        • More flexible
      • Disadvantages
        • Many hypervisor (ESX) images to maintain
        • Higher infrastructure costs (Ethernet/SAN switches)
  • What should an enterprise ready virtualisation platform offer?
    • Efficient server partitioning
    • SMP support in guest VMs
    • Scalable memory in guest VMs
    • Fault isolation – a crash in one virtual machine should not impact other virtual machines
    • Security isolation – a virtual machine should never access the memory or I/O operations of another virtual machine
    • Resource isolation – runaway applications in one virtual machine should not “starve” others virtual machines.
    • Non-disruptive addition of capacity
    • Scalable management tools
  • VMware Workstation
    • Desktop Virtualisation
    • Run multiple operating systems simultaneously on a single PC
    • Supports Windows, Linux, NetWare, Solaris
    • Software development/test
    • Training
  • VMware Server
    • Free virtualisation platform
    • Type 2 “hosted” VMM
    • Runs on any standard x86 hardware
    • Runs on a wide variety of Linux and Windows host and guest operating systems
    • Intended as a “step up” to Type 1 hypervisor products.
  • VMware Infrastructure 3
    • VMware ESX Server 3.0 - Type 1 VMM
    • VMware VirtualCenter 2.0
    • 4-way vSMP / 16GB Virtual RAM support
    • VMware VMotion
    • VMware HA
    • VMware Distributed Resource Scheduling
    • VMware Consolidated Backup
  • Non-disruptive capacity on demand
  • Automate resource assurance for critical applications DRS
    • Dynamic Balancing
    • Continuous Optimization
  • Automatic availability for all applications X VMWARE HA
  • Backup anytime
    • Decouple backup from production VMs
    • 20-40% better resource utilization
    • Pre-integrated with 3 rd party backup products
    VMWARE CONSOLIDATED BACKUP
  • Microsoft Virtualisation Products
    • Virtual PC
    • Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2
    • Virtual Machine Manager (in Beta but available for download)
    • Windows Virtualisation (to be released after Longhorn)
  • Virtual PC
    • Suited to use in testing on a desktop environment
    • Not recommended for production servers
      • Single CPU support only
      • No remote management possible
      • No SCSI support
      • Starts as an application not as a service
    • Shares disk format with Virtual Server
  • Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1
    • Microsoft’s current offering for virtualisation in production environments
    • Shares underlying technology with Microsoft Virtual PC
    • Web based management portal
    • Guests supported include:
      • Windows (up to Vista with SP1)
      • Linux
  • Clustering in Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 Host to Host Cluster storage SAN or iSCSI connection Guest to Guest Cluster storage iSCSI connection
  • Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1
    • VM Additions
      • VM additions provide enhanced performance and additional functionality to the guest OS
      • Additions available for XP, Windows 2003, Vista and Linux
      • Windows additions provide:
        • Allow for direct mode kernel execution (faster processing of some commands)
      • Linux additions provide:
        • Time sync
        • Shutdown support
        • SCSI disk
        • Does not allow for direct mode kernel execution
      • Important to update for each new release to maximise performance benefits
  • Windows Virtualisation
    • To be released within 180 days after the Longhorn release (no Beta available as yet)
    • Requires Intel VT or AMD Virtualisation hardware
    • Uses Hypervisor (a thin layer of software under the “Host OS”)
    Hardware VMM (Hypervisor) Guest 1 (“Host OS”) Guest 2
  • Virtual Machine Manager
  • Centralized Management: Reports Full set of reports, integration with MOM database Actions one click away in context sensitive Actions Pane
  • Self Service Portal Ability to control owned virtual machines Thumbnails of all owned virtual machines
  • Self-Service Portal Provisioning User selects from list of templates Administrator has associated with that user
  • Self-Service Portal Provisioning New virtual machine ready for use, Terminal Services connection information automatically emailed to user.
  • Virtual Server 2005 vs Windows Server Virtualization   Virtual Server 2005 R2 Windows Server Virtualization 32-bit VMs? Yes Yes 64-bit VMs? No Yes Multi-processor VMs? No Yes, up to 8 processor VMs VM memory support? 3.6 GB per VM More than 32 GB per VM Hot add memory/processors? No Yes Hot add storage/networking? No Yes Can be managed by System Center Virtual Machine Manager? Yes Yes Microsoft Cluster support? Yes Yes Scriptable / Extensible? Yes, COM Yes, WMI Number of running VMs? 64 More than 64. As many as hardware will allow. User interface Web Interface MMC 3.0 Interface
  • Xen
    • Open source hypervisor solution
    • Installs on bare-metal
    • Linux VMs fully supported
      • Red Hat
      • Debian
      • Suse
    • Windows VMs require Intel VT or AMD-V processor
      • Microsoft Windows Server 2000
      • Microsoft Windows Server 2003
      • Microsoft Windows XP SP2
  • XenSource
  • XenSource Products N/A N/A Mid-2007 Shared storage N/A N/A Mid-2007 Live Migration Red Hat EL 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 5.0; SUSE SLES 9.2, 9.3, 10.1; Debian Sarge N/A (Windows guests support only) Red Hat EL 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 5.0; SUSE SLES 9.2, 9.3, 10.1; Debian Sarge Linux guest support Windows Server 2003; Windows XP; Windows 2000 Server Windows Server 2003; Windows XP; Windows 2000 Server Windows Server 2003; Windows XP; Windows 2000 Server Windows guest support Developers, testers, support, IT enthusiasts Windows IT professionals Enterprise IT, system integrators User Profile
  • Virtual Iron
    • An enterprise ready native virtualisation platform
    • Uses hardware-assisted virtualisation technologies of Intel VT and AMD-V processors
    • Based on an open source hypervisor derived from the Xen open source project
    • No software need be installed on physical hardware
  • Virtual Iron Components Operating systems that are fully virtualised on a physical server Varies Guest operating systems Controls virtual servers through an agent in the service partition Commercial Virtualisation Manager Second software loaded when physical server boots. Manages virtual server creation and configuration and all I/O. GPL Service Partition First software loaded when physical server boots. Manages all hardware resources GPL Hypervisor Function License Component
  • Virtualization Manager
    • Java-based application
    • Allows for central management of virtualized servers
    • A physical server can have many virtualized servers, which are run as unmodified guest operating systems.
  • Virtual Manager Policy-based Automation
    • LiveMigration – moves a running virtual server from one physical server without pausing or impacting running applications
    • LiveCapacity – monitors virtual server CPU utilisation or other application needs to determine when a workload needs additional capacity. When a user-defined threshold is met, the virtual server is LiveMigrated to a physical server that has the necessary resources
    • LiveRecovery – monitors the status of physical resources and moves virtual servers to maintain uptime in the event of a hardware failure
    • LiveMaintenance – moves virtual servers to alternative locations without downtime when a physical server is taken offline for maintenance
  • Virtual Iron Architecture
  • Supported Configurations Up to 16 Virtual disks per virtual server Up to 5 Virtual NIC adapters per virtual server Up to 5 Virtual servers per physical server CPU Up to 96GB RAM per Physical Server Up to 8 Processors per virtual Server 100s per virtual data centre Virtualised Nodes Intel Xeon with Intel VT AMD Opteron with AMD-V Processors 32 and 64-bit Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 32 and 64-bit SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 9 32-bit Windows XP 32-bit Windows 2003 Operating systems Support Feature
  • Virtuozzo
      • Operating System–Level Virtualisation
      • Creates multiple, isolated virtual environments (VEs)
      • Whereas VMs attempt to virtualize "a complete set of hardware," VEs represent a "lighter" abstraction, virtualizing instead "an operating system instance"
  • Parallels Workstation
    • Test/Development solution aimed at desktop market
    • Uses hypervisor technology
    • Wide guest OS support
      • Entire Windows family - 3.1, 3.11, 95, 98, Me, 2000, XP and 2003
      • Linux distributions Red Hat, SuSE, Mandriva, Debian and Fedora Core
      • FreeBSD
      • “ Legacy” operating systems e.g. OS/2, eComStation and MS-DOS.
  • HP Virtual Server Environment
    • Implemented on HP Integrity and HP 9000 systems
  • Physical to Virtual (P2V)
    • P2V is the term used to describe the process of converting physical servers into virtual machines
    • Can be performed while server is live
    • Some operating systems require cold migration
    • Process:
      • Analyse source
      • Create a target VM
      • Transfer data from physical source to virtual target
      • Transform VM
  • VMware Converter
    • Replaces P2V Assistant
    • Wizard based conversion process
    • Can convert physical machines, virtual machines or third party system images (e.g. Symantec Ghost, Backup Exec LiveState Recovery)
    • Source physical machines:
      • 64-bit Windows XP/2003
      • WinNT SP4+
      • Windows 2000
      • Windows XP
      • Windows 2003
  • Platespin PowerConvert
    • “ Anywhere to anywhere” conversion
      • Peer-to-Peer
        • Physical to Virtual (P2V)
        • Virtual to Virtual (V2V)
        • Virtual to Physical (V2P)
        • Physical to Physical (P2P)
      • Image Capture
        • Physical to Image (P2I)
        • Virtual to Image (V2I)
      • Image Deployment
        • Image to Virtual (I2V)
        • Image to Physical (I2P)
      • Disaster Recovery
        • Physical to Virtual (P2V)
        • Virtual to Virtual (V2V)
    • Windows and Linux sources can be converted
  • Platespin PowerConvert
  • Portlock Storage Manager
    • Third-party NetWare data management product
    • Can be used for P2V conversions of NetWare servers
    • Requires some manual reconfiguration of VM
  • Capacity Planning
    • Important first step in any server consolidation project
    • Aims:
      • Understand server performance and utilization rates of a group of servers
      • Identifying servers that are good candidates to be migrated into virtual machines
      • Size virtual environment accurately
    • Statistics are gathered and processed
    • What-if scenarios can be run to examine different possible approaches
  • VMware Capacity Planner
    • Onsite data collection and analysis
    • Scenario modelling (what-if)
    • Agentless operation
    Platespin PowerRecon Inventory Analyse Workload Data Collection Recommend
  • Some additional products…
  • VMware Lab Manager
    • Create centralised pools of VMs, storage and network components
    • Rapid setup and tear down of test/dev environments
    • Maintain library of customer and production system environments
  • VMware ACE
  • VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
  • Dunes VS-0
        • http://www.dunes.ch/content/view/82/157/
    Dunes VS-O
      • esxRanger Professional
        • LAN/WAN backups
        • Backup active servers
        • Database of backup activity
      • esxReplicator
        • Replicate changes to remote location – “chunked” by time or data change volumes
        • Effective business continuity
    Virtual Machine Backup and Replication
  • Virtual Machine Backup and Replication
    • esXpress
      • Virtual Backup Appliance runs backup jobs within a VM
      • Offloads CPU and memory utilisation from VMware ESX console
    • Virtual Solution Box
      • Also implemented as a virtual machine appliance
  • esxCharter
    • A Windows based esxtop and more…
  • esxMigrator
    • Assists customers upgrading from VMware ESX 2.X to VMware ESX 3.0
    • Uses data manipulation strategies that can copy virtual disks much faster than allowed by the VMware console
    • Enables failback contingency
  • Best Practice Recommendations
    • Explore your options.
    • Evaluate your applications for potential consolidation.
    • Understand the differences between various virtualization solutions.
    • Look closely at the licensing and support policies of your software vendors.
    • Start small.
  • Best Practice Recommendations
    • Manage expectations.
    • Beware of “virtual sprawl.”
    • Consider blades as a complementary consolidation strategy.
    • Integrate server consolidation with a broader consolidation strategy.
    • Develop a framework for continuous consolidation.
  • More Information
        • Alan McSweeney
        • [email_address]