Today’s enterprise data center crisis is largely caused by the sprawl of under-utilized x86 systems, ever escalating electricity costs, and increasing staffing costs. Using virtualization to centralize and consolidate IT workloads, many organizations have significantly reduced their IT capital costs, reduced operational expenses, improved IT infrastructure availability, and achieved better performance and utilization.
Last month, Red Hat, Inc. (NYSE: RHT) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced that they are working together to make products and solutions based on KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) technology the OPEN VIRTUALIZATION choice for the enterprise. Several successful deployment examples i.e. the IBM Research Computing Cloud RC2 and BNP Paribas were highlighted.
Subsequently, later in the month, BMC Software, Eucalyptus Systems, HP, IBM, Intel, Red Hat, Inc., and SUSE today announced the formation of the Open Virtualization Alliance, a consortium intended to accelerate the adoption of open virtualization technologies including KVM.
The benefits of KVM (http://cabotpartners.com/Downloads/IBM_Linux_KVM_Paper.pdf) include outstanding performance on industry standard benchmarks, excellent security and reliability, powerful memory management, and a very broad support for hardware devices including storage. Further, since KVM is part of Linux, clients can benefit from the numerous advantages of Linux including lower TCO, more versatility, and support for the widest range of architectures and hardware devices. Moreover, Linux performs, scales, is modular and energy-efficient, is easy-to-manage, and supports an extensive and growing ecosystem of ISV applications.
While we believe that OPEN VIRTUALIZATION holds great promise to address the crises in today’s centers and is a key enabling technology for clients contemplating a transition to cloud computing, its success – and those of the alliance members – will largely depend largely how this new alliance grows and how alliance members can:
- Build a more complete and robust IT ecosystem that includes Independent Software Vendors (ISVs), Systems Integrators (SIs), and other data center/cloud solution providers
- Provide a MEASURED MIGRATION http://cabotdatacenters.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/measured-migration-is-smart-for-the-datacenter-and-clouds/ path to existing clients who have substantial IT investments on proprietary virtualization technologies
- Deliver differentiated offerings (systems, complementary software, and services) that best address the growing client workloads and data center crises now and in the future.
More proof points for further momentum of this alliance in the future would be the participation of a major ISV or SI as key driving members of this alliance and/or the adoption of OPEN VIRTUALIZATION for mission critical environments at banks or large scale government environments that demand bullet proof security and reliability. We think this will happen – sooner than later as the KVM alliance momentum builds!
In the end, the Open Source (VIRTUALIZATION included) movement has always been about providing clients the flexibility of choice, growth, and customization by avoiding the proprietary traps of vendor lock in; yet maintaining the most stringent enterprise grade requirements of security, reliability, and quality of service!