|By Alan McMahon||
|February 1, 2013 08:00 AM EST||
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.
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.
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 ...
Dec. 3, 2016 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,737
Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more business becomes digital the more stakeholders are interested in this data including how it relates to business. Some of these people have never used a monitoring tool before. They have a question on their mind like “How is my application doing” but no id...
Dec. 3, 2016 05:15 PM EST Reads: 2,132
In IT, we sometimes coin terms for things before we know exactly what they are and how they’ll be used. The resulting terms may capture a common set of aspirations and goals – as “cloud” did broadly for on-demand, self-service, and flexible computing. But such a term can also lump together diverse and even competing practices, technologies, and priorities to the point where important distinctions are glossed over and lost.
Dec. 3, 2016 04:30 PM EST Reads: 1,468
Information technology is an industry that has always experienced change, and the dramatic change sweeping across the industry today could not be truthfully described as the first time we've seen such widespread change impacting customer investments. However, the rate of the change, and the potential outcomes from today's digital transformation has the distinct potential to separate the industry into two camps: Organizations that see the change coming, embrace it, and successful leverage it; and...
Dec. 3, 2016 03:15 PM EST Reads: 3,220
Monitoring of Docker environments is challenging. Why? Because each container typically runs a single process, has its own environment, utilizes virtual networks, or has various methods of managing storage. Traditional monitoring solutions take metrics from each server and applications they run. These servers and applications running on them are typically very static, with very long uptimes. Docker deployments are different: a set of containers may run many applications, all sharing the resource...
Dec. 3, 2016 02:15 PM EST Reads: 5,469
Join Impiger for their featured webinar: ‘Cloud Computing: A Roadmap to Modern Software Delivery’ on November 10, 2016, at 12:00 pm CST. Very few companies have not experienced some impact to their IT delivery due to the evolution of cloud computing. This webinar is not about deciding whether you should entertain moving some or all of your IT to the cloud, but rather, a detailed look under the hood to help IT professionals understand how cloud adoption has evolved and what trends will impact th...
Dec. 3, 2016 02:00 PM EST Reads: 2,480
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, showed how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that enables everyone fro...
Dec. 3, 2016 01:45 PM EST Reads: 1,830
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, 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. @ThingsExpo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Dec. 3, 2016 01:00 PM EST Reads: 1,872
The 20th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Containers, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportunity. Submit your speaking proposal ...
Dec. 3, 2016 11:30 AM EST Reads: 2,091
You have great SaaS business app ideas. You want to turn your idea quickly into a functional and engaging proof of concept. You need to be able to modify it to meet customers' needs, and you need to deliver a complete and secure SaaS application. How could you achieve all the above and yet avoid unforeseen IT requirements that add unnecessary cost and complexity? You also want your app to be responsive in any device at any time. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Mark Allen, General Manager of...
Dec. 3, 2016 11:15 AM EST Reads: 1,640
"Dice has been around for the last 20 years. We have been helping tech professionals find new jobs and career opportunities," explained Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 19th Cloud Expo, held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Dec. 3, 2016 09:30 AM EST Reads: 846
Application transformation and DevOps practices are two sides of the same coin. Enterprises that want to capture value faster, need to deliver value faster – time value of money principle. To do that enterprises need to build cloud-native apps as microservices by empowering teams to build, ship, and run in production. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Neil Gehani, senior product manager at HPE, discussed what every business should plan for how to structure their teams to delive...
Dec. 3, 2016 08:30 AM EST Reads: 1,371
Rapid innovation, changing business landscapes, and new IT demands force businesses to make changes quickly. In the eyes of many, containers are at the brink of becoming a pervasive technology in enterprise IT to accelerate application delivery. In this presentation, attendees learned about the: The transformation of IT to a DevOps, microservices, and container-based architecture What are containers and how DevOps practices can operate in a container-based environment A demonstration of how ...
Dec. 3, 2016 08:30 AM EST Reads: 771
As we enter the final week before the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo in Santa Clara, CA, it's time for me to reflect on six big topics that will be important during the show. Hybrid Cloud This general-purpose term seems to provide a comfort zone for many enterprise IT managers. It sounds reassuring to be able to work with one of the major public-cloud providers like AWS or Microsoft Azure while still maintaining an on-site presence.
Dec. 3, 2016 04:00 AM EST Reads: 2,738
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, Phil Hombledal, Solution Architect at CollabNet, discussed how customers are able to achieve a level of transparency that e...
Dec. 3, 2016 02:15 AM EST Reads: 797
Much of the value of DevOps comes from a (renewed) focus on measurement, sharing, and continuous feedback loops. In increasingly complex DevOps workflows and environments, and especially in larger, regulated, or more crystallized organizations, these core concepts become even more critical. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 18th Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, showed how, by focusing on 'metrics that matter,' you can provide objective, transparent, and meaningful f...
Dec. 3, 2016 01:45 AM EST Reads: 4,543
Between 2005 and 2020, data volumes will grow by a factor of 300 – enough data to stack CDs from the earth to the moon 162 times. This has come to be known as the ‘big data’ phenomenon. Unfortunately, traditional approaches to handling, storing and analyzing data aren’t adequate at this scale: they’re too costly, slow and physically cumbersome to keep up. Fortunately, in response a new breed of technology has emerged that is cheaper, faster and more scalable. Yet, in meeting these new needs they...
Dec. 3, 2016 12:15 AM EST Reads: 1,769
@DevOpsSummit 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. @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York Call for Papers is now open.
Dec. 2, 2016 10:30 PM EST Reads: 1,745
Logs are continuous digital records of events generated by all components of your software stack – and they’re everywhere – your networks, servers, applications, containers and cloud infrastructure just to name a few. The data logs provide are like an X-ray for your IT infrastructure. Without logs, this lack of visibility creates operational challenges for managing modern applications that drive today’s digital businesses.
Dec. 2, 2016 08:00 PM EST Reads: 1,553
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor – all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
Dec. 2, 2016 01:30 PM EST Reads: 5,718