4 posts • joined 5 Jan 2009
not mission-critical ready
Relying on the cloud for true fault-tolerance may be a bit pre-mature. The required uptime assurance for critical applications is exactly why data centers will keep them close. Achieving that uptime and the necessary DR that goes along with it can be done and is being done. Running VMware or Hyper V on a fautl-tolerant server to host mission-critical applications is safer, probably more cost effective, and definitely simpler than attempting it in the cloud or with servers other than fault tolerant ones.
the value of hardware
I compliment the author for bringing attention the importance of the underlying hardware in a virtual infrastructure. One could think virtualization is a magic elixir that solves all problems. A goodly number of the issues mentioned are significantly minimized when fault tolerant server hardware is part of the mix. Critical applications are being virtualized today, but not with clusters or robust standalone x86 servers, which are not up to the task.
Virtualizing Business Applications
Very fine article. The move toward virtualizing not only business applications, but business-critical and mission-critical applications is under way. By virtue of the nature of our business (fault tolerant servers) we see the early adopters, which include organizations managing funds transfers, electronic payments processing, electronic healthcare records, and life-safety services. These companies and agencies give equal consideration to both the underlying infrastructure and the virtualization software to achieve the levels availability these applications require. Thinking that robust software on commodity servers -- clustered or otherwise -- can do the job is a high-risk strategy.
Mr. Balkansky makes an interesting point that many applications are unable to take advantage of all the power provided by multi core processors. The same is true for applications running on the FT technology demoed by the company at VMWorld 2007 and 2008. Absent SMP support, only apps capable of running on a single core will run on this future software. Far more robust fault-tolerant virtualizaton solutions are available now.
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