Hardware

Video: Five things you should know about virtualization

Whether it's through consolidating a data center, deploying software appliances or streaming applications, virtualization will bring dramatic change to IT over the next decade. In this IT Dojo video, Bill Detwiler discusses five things you should know before going too deep down the virtualization rabbit hole.

If you're not working with virtualization today, you likely will be. Whether it's through consolidating a data center, deploying software appliances or streaming applications, virtualization will bring dramatic change to IT over the next decade.

In last week's Sanity Savers for IT Executives episode, Jason Hiner outlined several big-picture virtualization principles that IT executives should understand. In this IT Dojo video, l take a more tactical approach and discuss the following five things you should know before going too deep down the virtualization rabbit hole:

  1. Virtualization is more than just VMWare.
  2. Check the licensing requirements first.
  3. 64 bits are better than 32.
  4. Virtual appliances rock!
  5. Virtualization can increase security

For those of you who prefer text to video, you can go to the video player page for this IT Dojo episode and click “Full Transcipt,” or you can download Deb Shinder's list of, "20 things you should know about virtualization"--the basis for this video.

You can also sign up to receive the latest IT Dojo lessons through one or more of the following methods:

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

25 comments
d_zavitske
d_zavitske

Need to mention Windows Small Business Server 2008. All the components in one box, I'm a windows guy and Hyper-v rocks.

mworts
mworts

This article realy does only discuss Windows virtualization. What about the other data centre operating systems?

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

I do mentioned Microsoft's Virtual PC, Windows Server 2005, and Hyper-V for Windows Server 2008. But, I also named VMWare ESX Server, VMware Workstation, VMware Server, and Citrix XenServer Express. This video was not designed to focus on any one specific virtualization product, Microsoft or otherwise. Our intent was to discuss several important virtualization concepts that IT pros should be aware of.

Fred Mackie
Fred Mackie

You want a Windows-specific overview of virtualization? Get it here: microsoft.com/events/series/detail/webcastdetails.aspx?seriesid=101&webcastid=3972

reisen55
reisen55

We have enough to learn and keep up with in the traditional models. Virtual machines are landscape alterations and that frightens the hell out of me. Entire careers are going to be destroyed by this new technology which reminds me nothing than the old IBM model of Mainframe and slave workstation with enormous updating. Terrifying and how do you justify the cost of change to corporations already looking at expenses with a fine eye (why CHANGE) and doing something new that can wreck everything anyway. IT professionals have enough of a career hit by Bangalore and Tata. American IT professionals are being decimated and this new subject, however fascinating, does not help us at all.

jphallett
jphallett

You really should try it especially if you are trying to keep up with new operating systems and software. VM's are great for learning and testing before implementation even if you are going to implement on physical machines. I think that if you try Virtualization and see how easy disaster recovery, backup, etc. is you will have a whole different view. There will always be a need for IT professionals that configure and install software. It is by the way the same operating system and software just running in a virtual environment.

paul.huber
paul.huber

We are talking about MAINFRAME capabilities in CLIENT/SERVER when one considers VM/ESA running virtual machines running VSE/ESA with isolated partitions within LPARS (Logical Partitions) with resource management in OS/390 MAINFRAME.

XnavyDK
XnavyDK

I use Virtual server 05 as a guest on my web server to run a sql server that the host (webserver) points to. beats the heck out of buying another box to isolate services. so far so good. I have had no drawbacks and its a breeze to maintain.

mszs2
mszs2

I do have a nice little machine with dual AMD processor board and a bunch of disks. I would like to couple Solaris and some Linux versions. How do I start? Thanks for any input.

XnavyDK
XnavyDK

host machine set is normal virtual machine uses what hardware + emulation you tell it to. I currently run server 08 x86 version as my web server on a dell t300 server intel processor. I have a virtual set up to use 50%(or there about) of the host processor/ram and network cards with server 03 standard edition. It runs perfectly. It took my a little while of testing to get the virtual stable and running just the way I wanted it. Learning curve is not bad at all. Nice thing about it is, if you make a mistake, delete and start over you dont lose a thing. I had a heck of a time getting the hard-drives to behave like I wanted. but that aside just load your host with what you want. hard-drives the way you want. install the virtualization sw and go to town, it was quite fun. I wish I could have used Hyper V but I run a 32 bit system.

1Twanna B3
1Twanna B3

VMware Workstation isn't a free Program/tool. It costs up to $180 per license, all you get for free is a 30 day trial license.

SgtPappy
SgtPappy

It appears you are correct. VMWare Server is free though. I've been using it for several years now. It meets my needs.

Bill Detwiler
Bill Detwiler

SgtPappy, You are correct, a single license for VMWare Workstation costs $189. http://www.vmware.com/products/ws/ Thank you for alerting us to this mistake. We have updated the video with correct information. Thanks again.

bernalillo
bernalillo

Mr Duh here, If a VM is broken into on a vm server how secure are the other VM's? Same as another physical box on the same domain I would expect but then I hate guessing.

Aaron Mason
Aaron Mason

It depends on how the hypervisor handles host access for guest systems. The hardened ones prevent the guests from accessing any host memory not allocated to them. Hypervisors that don't take measures to prevent unauthorised memory access are asking for trouble. If a VM is compromised in one of these, all hope is lost for every other machine, especially if they get into the hypervisor. That said, if the guest OS has security issues, along with other VMs running the same software, you've got bigger problems IMHO.

bernalillo
bernalillo

It seems obvious but I have been burned often by the obvious.

1Twanna B3
1Twanna B3

Yes if a VM is broken into the other VM on that server are just as venerable as a physical box on the same domain.

1Twanna B3
1Twanna B3

I just had to post due to the fact that in this video and the PDF its based on both state that VMware workstation is free. VMware does offer quite a few free programs and Operating Systems for virtualization.

Cisco-SA
Cisco-SA

I have been using Virtualization for years but did not realize it. Run Linux with ssh/vnc. No need to boot to a full GUI. This is the Sun Workstation way pioneered by Mainframes of the 1970s,1980s. One big iron and everything is the network. After all who cares where the instructions are executed as long as you have a nice GUI in front of you. This is where Windows/Microsoft falters, they do not know how to do good network appliances. It is just another step to completely virtualizing the desktop. Virtualization is another way of pushing dumb-terminals, except this time the dumb-terminal is a full Graphical User Interface of some multi-megapixel format. Once the leap from laptop to virtualized desktop is made, you realize that the hardware no longer needs to drag along with you. With a good network, all you need is the virtualized interface on your...laptop, cell-phone, tablet, heads-up display. I have more to say but it is time to get back to work on my virtualized desktop.

koby@disklace.com
koby@disklace.com

Virtualization is very hot, but adding more and more layers of controlling systems is going to change the user experience. Maybe it will not happen today, but get ready. The problem is, that there are not too many tools that measure end-to-end service as service level, and not even one that measurs the service level online without affecting the service level itself. I am not objective, because our free tool LACELEVEL2 is the closest to the optimum. It measures as a by-product the quality of data of the servers, and this stands with a direct porportion to the user experience. Koby Biller www.disklace.com

dennis.jones
dennis.jones

Am I being a bit dense here but isn't this exactly what we used to do in the 60's and 70's and it was called emulation? You could run legacy programs based on different hardware and OS concurrently with running a multiuser and multi application workload on your main system. Proof again that the IT world lives on hype and reinvention

Aaron Mason
Aaron Mason

Emulation still exists, in the form of QEMU and various game system emulators. Virtualization only extends the host system while giving the illusion to the guest OS that it's in a real machine. You couldn't run Windows on a VM running on a SPARC machine for this reason - however you could happily run it under QEMU on Solaris SPARC, provided the x86 emulator's been ported to that platform (which I'm pretty sure it is).

vpaldi
vpaldi

It is very fancy talking about virtualization for x86 server boxes or PCs. But: there are 'organic' virtualization techniques on the market for years or decades. They are roboust, flexible and technically reliable solutions. Just a few example: (1.) PR/SM or LPAR (Logical Partitioning) of IBM Mainframes. This is realized in the microcode of the host system. The customer is allowed to run different opsys in the LPARs. Processor resources are dinamically assigned to the partitions, while memory is static. External I/O-s can be dedicated or shared between partitions. z/OS, z/VM and z/Linux may run in the same box, sharing resources on a managed way (2.) IBM z/VM operating system on zServers. This is a software virtualisation (VM stands for Virtual Machine), the roots are back to the 1970s. You can run different guest operating systems under z/VM. And yes, you can combine LPARs and VM! The beauty of z/VM is that you can easily clone virtual machines, and run hundreds of z/Linux images under the control of z/VM. (3.) LPARs on IBM iSeries IBM iSeries can be partitioned and is able to run iOS and AIX in the same box. (4.) LPARs on IBM pSeries Partitioning and resource management between the partitions are part of the box. Am I an IBM-er? No. I could cite examples from other vendors, but I work with IBM boxes, this is the reason I wrote about them. And simply: I just want to make it clear that virtualization is traditional in enterprise computing and besides the hype it is on the stage for decades.

SgtPappy
SgtPappy

Not sure what you are talking about. I'm managing 4 virtual servers using VMWare Server and 3 separate physical servers. I've never had it easier. My end users tell me the network is always running smoothly for them. I don't use any special management software or network analyzing tools from third party vendors. Life is good, what more can I ask for?

Aaron Mason
Aaron Mason

... for it to stay that way? I think what this person means is that over time your IT needs will outstrip what the virtual hypervisor will provide. By the time that happens, I believe, there will be more powerful machines available and you'll be able to upgrade.