Friday, 30 December 2011

Commoditised virtualisation products / Multi-vendor hypervisor strategy

Its interesting to watch the virtualisation / support / management / deployment tools as the current and emerging tools continue to mature. I wrote an article some time ago around the choices that you have in the market space, an area that was once dominated by VMWare is now being challenged by a number of players (please see previous blog article here: http://www.stuiesav.com/2011/08/competition-to-vmware-there-is-choice.html )

Watching the emergence and maturity of product sets has got a number of the consumers & technologists that work with these product areas thinking about how to leverage tool sets, what are the right use cases to consider and obviously the cost implications of doing this (everything has a price - and its about what you are willing to pay for a given tech stack).

There is still no doubt that VMWare is best of breed as a x86 virtualisation and consolidation tool but when you look for others that are "good enough" and when taking into account possible "tax-breaks" that you could leverage things get interesting.

So what do i mean by the term tax-breaks? I am really referring to the fact that certain products that can virtualise also adjust the way that licensed guest products will be charged (in some cases it can be a discounted or an out and out release). Hyper-V gives some great wins when it comes to guested Microsoft product sets as an example - so a combination of good enough and a significant price point drop really adds to the case of going multi-vendor in the virtualisation and management space.

So where else are we seeing this level of challenge - just take a good hard look at the emergence of combined deployment, orchestration and workflow management tools that are coming through the ranks - element tools that are provided for just one flavor of stack are becoming less and less palatable for the medium to large enterprise - tool sets that cover complete sets of infrastructure, can tie into an existing ecosystem and fit in with existing tool sets and processes (process does have to change)has got to be the way to go!

So in summary i guess what i am really saying is:
- Hypervisors are commodity as is the ecosystem that wraps around them
- Understand the use case and make an informed decision based on cost as well as the "nice to haves"
- Consider "good enough" rather than rolls-royce - you vary rarely need *all* product functions
- Commoditise your use case by vertical if you can - VDI, MS-SQL Servers, web services etc would be examples of this
- Consider tax breaks you can utilise based on different vendors (i.e. Hyper-V / OS Licensing implications)
- Management tools that tie to one product set will become a thing of the past quickly

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