Microservices Expo Authors: Lori MacVittie, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, David Sprott, Kevin Benedict

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
When we talk about the impact of BYOD and BYOA and the Internet of Things, we often focus on the impact on data center architectures. That's because there will be an increasing need for authentication, for access control, for security, for application delivery as the number of potential endpoints (clients, devices, things) increases. That means scale in the data center. What we gloss over, what we skip, is that before any of these "things" ever makes a request to access an application it had to...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Transparent Cloud Computing (T-Cloud) Consortium will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. The Transparent Cloud Computing Consortium (T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data proces...
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Eric Robertson, General Manager at CollabNet, will discuss how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that e...
In many organizations governance is still practiced by phase or stage gate peer review, and Agile projects are forced to accommodate, which leads to WaterScrumFall or worse. But governance criteria and policies are often very weak anyway, out of date or non-existent. Consequently governance is frequently a matter of opinion and experience, highly dependent upon the experience of individual reviewers. As we all know, a basic principle of Agile methods is delegation of responsibility, and ideally ...
The evolution of JavaScript and HTML 5 to support a genuine component based framework (Web Components) with the necessary tools to deliver something close to a native experience including genuine realtime networking (UDP using WebRTC). HTML5 is evolving to offer built in templating support, the ability to watch objects (which will speed up Angular) and Web Components (which offer Angular Directives). The native level support will offer a massive performance boost to frameworks having to fake all...
Today every business relies on software to drive the innovation necessary for a competitive edge in the Application Economy. This is why collaboration between development and operations, or DevOps, has become IT’s number one priority. Whether you are in Dev or Ops, understanding how to implement a DevOps strategy can deliver faster development cycles, improved software quality, reduced deployment times and overall better experiences for your customers.
Apache Hadoop is a key technology for gaining business insights from your Big Data, but the penetration into enterprises is shockingly low. In fact, Apache Hadoop and Big Data proponents recognize that this technology has not yet achieved its game-changing business potential. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, John Mertic, director of program management for ODPi at The Linux Foundation, will explain why this is, how we can work together as an open data community to increase adoption, and the i...
All clouds are not equal. To succeed in a DevOps context, organizations should plan to develop/deploy apps across a choice of on-premise and public clouds simultaneously depending on the business needs. This is where the concept of the Lean Cloud comes in - resting on the idea that you often need to relocate your app modules over their life cycles for both innovation and operational efficiency in the cloud. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at19th Cloud Expo, Valentin (Val) Bercovici, CTO of So...
JetBlue Airways uses virtual environments to reduce software development costs, centralize performance testing, and create a climate for continuous integration and real-time monitoring of mobile applications. The next BriefingsDirect Voice of the Customer performance engineering case study discussion examines how JetBlue Airways in New York uses virtual environments to reduce software development costs, centralize performance testing, and create a climate for continuous integration and real-tim...
Virgil consists of an open-source encryption library, which implements Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) and Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) (including RSA schema), a Key Management API, and a cloud-based Key Management Service (Virgil Keys). The Virgil Keys Service consists of a public key service and a private key escrow service. 

SYS-CON Events announced today that eCube Systems, the leading provider of modern development tools and best practices for Continuous Integration on OpenVMS, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. eCube Systems offers a family of middleware products and development tools that maximize return on technology investment by leveraging existing technical equity to meet evolving business needs. ...

Let's just nip the conflation of these terms in the bud, shall we?

"MIcro" is big these days. Both microservices and microsegmentation are having and will continue to have an impact on data center architecture, but not necessarily for the same reasons. There's a growing trend in which folks - particularly those with a network background - conflate the two and use them to mean the same thing.

They are not.

One is about the application. The other, the network. T...

This is a no-hype, pragmatic post about why I think you should consider architecting your next project the way SOA and/or microservices suggest. No matter if it’s a greenfield approach or if you’re in dire need of refactoring. Please note: considering still keeps open the option of not taking that approach. After reading this, you will have a better idea about whether building multiple small components instead of a single, large component makes sense for your project. This post assumes that you...
DevOps is speeding towards the IT world like a freight train and the hype around it is deafening. There is no reason to be afraid of this change as it is the natural reaction to the agile movement that revolutionized development just a few years ago. By definition, DevOps is the natural alignment of IT performance to business profitability. The relevance of this has yet to be quantified but it has been suggested that the route to the CEO’s chair will come from the IT leaders that successfully ma...
@DevOpsSummit has been named the ‘Top DevOps Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @DevOpsSummit ranked as the number one ‘DevOps Influencer' followed by @CloudExpo at third, and @MicroservicesE at 24th.
Without lifecycle traceability and visibility across the tool chain, stakeholders from Planning-to-Ops have limited insight and answers to who, what, when, why and how across the DevOps lifecycle. This impacts the ability to deliver high quality software at the needed velocity to drive positive business outcomes. In his session at @DevOpsSummit 19th Cloud Expo, Eric Robertson, General Manager at CollabNet, will show how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that enables everyon...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Arch...
As software becomes more and more complex, we, as software developers, have been splitting up our code into smaller and smaller components. This is also true for the environment in which we run our code: going from bare metal, to VMs to the modern-day Cloud Native world of containers, schedulers and microservices. While we have figured out how to run containerized applications in the cloud using schedulers, we've yet to come up with a good solution to bridge the gap between getting your conta...
DevOps theory promotes a culture of continuous improvement built on collaboration, empowerment, systems thinking, and feedback loops. But how do you collaborate effectively across the traditional silos? How can you make decisions without system-wide visibility? How can you see the whole system when it is spread across teams and locations? How do you close feedback loops across teams and activities delivering complex multi-tier, cloud, container, serverless, and/or API-based services?
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in Embedded and IoT solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and ...