Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: JP Morgenthal, Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Cloud Best Practices Network

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog, Microservices Expo, Open Source Cloud, @CloudExpo, @BigDataExpo, SDN Journal

Containers Expo Blog: Article

An Application-Driven Approach to Virtualization

Enhance efficiency and reduce operational expenses

Server virtualization has already proven beneficial for many enterprises. Through data center consolidation, server virtualization is able to enhance efficiency and reduce operational expenses. As this technology continues to evolve, however, IT professionals are moving beyond the basic benefits of consolidation. With advanced virtualization technologies, IT organizations can provide a variety of cloud-based services for users. These innovative services are best supported through application-driven virtualization, an approach that dramatically simplifies management and deployment.

Benefits of Application-Driven Virtualization

  • Minimizes operational expenses
  • Improves the efficiency of IT response
  • Accelerates and simplifies the deployment of business-critical workloads and applications
  • Administrators can manage and deploy enterprise application services quickly.
  • Scalable, easy to manage and easy to use.

Virtualization management platforms vary. However, available platforms are able to optimize, configure and manage all components of the application stack. Using such platforms, IT professionals can manage all storage, networks, servers, virtual machines and applications in operation. Because these platforms improve IT's ability to deploy and maintain its enterprise applications, the organization's overall agility and efficiency improves as well.

Virtualization management (VM) platforms also include complementary servers, capable of handling virtual machines and enterprise workloads up to a set maximum. If the organization's needs exceed the server's capabilities, multiple servers can be utilized together. Most platforms group multiple servers into pools. Within each pool, all servers have access to shared storage space. Each VM operates on a single host server, typically assigned according to the availability of resources on each server. If resource availability is compromised, IT can transfer the VM to another server in the same pool. Administrators can also load balance VMs across the pool based to optimize performance and speed.

Complex Tasks
Virtualized application deployment often requires administrators to perform complex tasks that go beyond basic VM management. For example, IT professionals may configure and deploy application software, middleware and databases. If administrators must perform the tasks manually, the process is tedious, expensive and time-consuming. Fortunately, some advanced virtualization management platforms simplify this process through the use of templates, which are tested, prebuilt examples of VMs. These VM templates include patches, applications and operating systems. Using a template, administrators can dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to deploy an application. Instead of configuring a VM from scratch, administrators can download a template, customize it and import it directly into a server.

After installing a template, many management platforms even allow for customization. Using the customization process, IT departments can create a new, more complex template that contains multiple facets, including databases, application servers and web servers. To create even more complicated template packages, some management platforms allow administrators to create entire assemblies, which are sets of templates with management policies, VMs and configuration information included in the package.

Managing the Virtual Stack
There are many benefits to be gained from a multi-tiered virtual environment. Nonetheless, it also presents significant challenges. Managing such a complex system can sometimes raise operational costs. For example, whereas traditional data centers operate on a single server, a multi-tiered virtual environment requires multiple servers, each of which supports multiple VMs. Furthermore, each VM operates multiple applications, including business software, middleware and databases.

Without a capable management tool, a complex multitier virtual network becomes an administrative burden. For this reason, it's important for developers to choose a platform that includes effective management tools. Using multiple tools for each layer of the infrastructure is too labor intensive and it often requires professionals to have specialized expertise. With a multifunctional management tool, however, IT organizations can manage the entire computing stack using a single tool. Using this management tool, professionals can oversee cloud services, middleware, databases, operating systems, VMs, servers and storage.

Many of these multifunctional management tools include a browser-based, interactive interface that administrators can use to maintain the entire application stack. The interface shows the status of the virtual and physical environment, typically in real-time. These tools also include wizards for typical management tasks to save even more time. In addition, some of these tools include features that administrators can use to manage resources through automatic rebalancing of the server, which improves operational efficiency.

Application-Based Virtualization: The Natural Evolution of IT
Using application-driven virtualization, IT organizations can create a virtual environment that is easy to manage, efficient and cost-effective. As more organizations move toward the use of virtual application stacks, finding effective management tools is imperative in order to control the costs of operation and promote quality. Using templates, administrators can create multiple VMs, applications and databases. Using management programs, administrators can deploy, configure and maintain all facets of the application stack with ease. By choosing a virtualization platform that provides all of these management tools, organizations can ensure that all aspects of virtualization run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

More Stories By Alan McMahon

Alan McMahon works for Dell. He has worked for Dell for the past 13 years and is involved in enterprise solution design across a range of products from servers and storage to virtualization. He now focuses his attention on marketing for Dell. He is based in Ireland and enjoys sailing as a past time.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
Here’s a novel, but controversial statement, “it’s time for the CEO, COO, CIO to start to take joint responsibility for application platform decisions.” For too many years now technical meritocracy has led the decision-making for the business with regard to platform selection. This includes, but is not limited to, servers, operating systems, virtualization, cloud and application platforms. In many of these cases the decision has not worked in favor of the business with regard to agility and cost...
In their general session at 16th Cloud Expo, Michael Piccininni, Global Account Manager - Cloud SP at EMC Corporation, and Mike Dietze, Regional Director at Windstream Hosted Solutions, reviewed next generation cloud services, including the Windstream-EMC Tier Storage solutions, and discussed how to increase efficiencies, improve service delivery and enhance corporate cloud solution development. Michael Piccininni is Global Account Manager – Cloud SP at EMC Corporation. He has been engaged in t...
The emerging Internet of Everything creates tremendous new opportunities for customer engagement and business model innovation. However, enterprises must overcome a number of critical challenges to bring these new solutions to market. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Michael Martin, CTO/CIO at nfrastructure, outlined these key challenges and recommended approaches for overcoming them to achieve speed and agility in the design, development and implementation of Internet of Everything solutions with...
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann returns to 'DevOps at Cloud Expo 2017' as Conference Chair The @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "DevOps is set to be one of the most profound disruptions to hit IT in decades," said Andi Mann. "It is a natural extension of cloud computing, and I have seen both firsthand and in independent research the fantastic results DevOps delivers. So I am excited to help the great t...
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, John Jelinek IV, a web developer at Linux Academy, will discuss why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers...
An overall theme of Cloud computing and the specific practices within it is fundamentally one of automation. The core value of technology is to continually automate low level procedures to free up people to work on more value add activities, ultimately leading to the utopian goal of full Autonomic Computing. For example a great way to define your plan for DevOps tool chain adoption is through this lens. In this TechTarget article they outline a simple maturity model for planning this.
In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Claude Remillard, Principal Program Manager in Developer Division at Microsoft, contrasted how his team used config as code and immutable patterns for continuous delivery of microservices and apps to the cloud. He showed how the immutable patterns helps developers do away with most of the complexity of config as code-enabling scenarios such as rollback, zero downtime upgrades with far greater simplicity. He also demoed building immutable pipelines in the cloud ...
Adding public cloud resources to an existing application can be a daunting process. The tools that you currently use to manage the software and hardware outside the cloud aren’t always the best tools to efficiently grow into the cloud. All of the major configuration management tools have cloud orchestration plugins that can be leveraged, but there are also cloud-native tools that can dramatically improve the efficiency of managing your application lifecycle. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, ...
True Story. Over the past few years, Fannie Mae transformed the way in which they delivered software. Deploys increased from 1,200/month to 15,000/month. At the same time, productivity increased by 28% while reducing costs by 30%. But, how did they do it? During the All Day DevOps conference, over 13,500 practitioners from around the world to learn from their peers in the industry. Barry Snyder, Senior Manager of DevOps at Fannie Mae, was one of 57 practitioners who shared his real world journe...
Software development is a moving target. You have to keep your eye on trends in the tech space that haven’t even happened yet just to stay current. Consider what’s happened with augmented reality (AR) in this year alone. If you said you were working on an AR app in 2015, you might have gotten a lot of blank stares or jokes about Google Glass. Then Pokémon GO happened. Like AR, the trends listed below have been building steam for some time, but they’ll be taking off in surprising new directions b...
We call it DevOps but much of the time there’s a lot more discussion about the needs and concerns of developers than there is about other groups. There’s a focus on improved and less isolated developer workflows. There are many discussions around collaboration, continuous integration and delivery, issue tracking, source code control, code review, IDEs, and xPaaS – and all the tools that enable those things. Changes in developer practices may come up – such as developers taking ownership of code ...
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and Containers together help companies to achieve their business goals faster and more effectively. In his session at DevOps Summit, Ruslan Synytsky, CEO and Co-founder of Jelastic, reviewed the current landscape of D...
In his General Session at 16th Cloud Expo, David Shacochis, host of The Hybrid IT Files podcast and Vice President at CenturyLink, investigated three key trends of the “gigabit economy" though the story of a Fortune 500 communications company in transformation. Narrating how multi-modal hybrid IT, service automation, and agile delivery all intersect, he will cover the role of storytelling and empathy in achieving strategic alignment between the enterprise and its information technology.
When building DevOps or continuous delivery practices you can learn a great deal from others. What choices did they make, what practices did they put in place, and how did they connect the dots? At Sonatype, we pulled together a set of 21 reference architectures for folks building continuous delivery and DevOps practices using Docker. Why? After 3,000 DevOps professionals attended our webinar on "Continuous Integration using Docker" discussing just one reference architecture example, we recogn...
"We're bringing out a new application monitoring system to the DevOps space. It manages large enterprise applications that are distributed throughout a node in many enterprises and we manage them as one collective," explained Kevin Barnes, President of eCube Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
All organizations that did not originate this moment have a pre-existing culture as well as legacy technology and processes that can be more or less amenable to DevOps implementation. That organizational culture is influenced by the personalities and management styles of Executive Management, the wider culture in which the organization is situated, and the personalities of key team members at all levels of the organization. This culture and entrenched interests usually throw a wrench in the work...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developm...
In his General Session at DevOps Summit, Asaf Yigal, Co-Founder & VP of Product at Logz.io, will explore the value of Kibana 4 for log analysis and will give a real live, hands-on tutorial on how to set up Kibana 4 and get the most out of Apache log files. He will examine three use cases: IT operations, business intelligence, and security and compliance. This is a hands-on session that will require participants to bring their own laptops, and we will provide the rest.
As the race for the presidency heats up, IT leaders would do well to recall the famous catchphrase from Bill Clinton’s successful 1992 campaign against George H. W. Bush: “It’s the economy, stupid.” That catchphrase is important, because IT economics are important. Especially when it comes to cloud. Application performance management (APM) for the cloud may turn out to be as much about those economics as it is about customer experience.
When you focus on a journey from up-close, you look at your own technical and cultural history and how you changed it for the benefit of the customer. This was our starting point: too many integration issues, 13 SWP days and very long cycles. It was evident that in this fast-paced industry we could no longer afford this reality. We needed something that would take us beyond reducing the development lifecycles, CI and Agile methodologies. We made a fundamental difference, even changed our culture...