Storage Bin 2.0: Virtualization challenges


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Backup agent in the hypervisor:
  • No file-level recovery.
  • No individual VM-level backup or recovery.
  • Doesn't support enterprise applications such as Exchange, Oracle and SQL Server.
Infrastructure management is another concern. Most of the management tools we use were built for physical systems. Each has its own limitations and challenges, but it turns out these tools are even less efficient when it comes to managing a virtual infrastructure. To a large degree, storage admins are blind to the availability, performance and optimization of the virtual infrastructure because the tools are lacking. For example, if multiple VMs share the same LUN and a storage admin discovers an IO problem, they need some tool that will allow them to determine which VM is causing IO contention.

While IT vendors tout their technologies, they need to focus more on teaching people how to effectively and seamlessly use their stuff with VMs. Vendors should create interactive communication with their users. It seems to me that the entire world--except for high-tech vendors--is into social networking and Web 2.0.

The journey toward a virtual data center is essential and (dare I say) may even be requisite, but it's fraught with obstacles and challenges. My intent

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isn't to scare anyone away from implementing VMs, but rather to encourage users to make well-reasoned decisions. Virtualization offers a ton of tactical value to the business and the data center. However, an impulsive, frenzied move toward virtualization can lead to confusion, misinformation and big mistakes. We must leverage knowledge to mitigate risk.

This was first published in December 2007

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