Welcome!

SDN Journal Authors: Michael Bushong, Lori MacVittie, Tom Leyden, Torben Andersen, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: Virtualization, SOA & WOA, Open Source, Cloud Expo, Big Data Journal, SDN Journal

Virtualization: Article

An Application-Driven Approach to Virtualization

Enhance efficiency and reduce operational expenses

Server virtualization has already proven beneficial for many enterprises. Through data center consolidation, server virtualization is able to enhance efficiency and reduce operational expenses. As this technology continues to evolve, however, IT professionals are moving beyond the basic benefits of consolidation. With advanced virtualization technologies, IT organizations can provide a variety of cloud-based services for users. These innovative services are best supported through application-driven virtualization, an approach that dramatically simplifies management and deployment.

Benefits of Application-Driven Virtualization

  • Minimizes operational expenses
  • Improves the efficiency of IT response
  • Accelerates and simplifies the deployment of business-critical workloads and applications
  • Administrators can manage and deploy enterprise application services quickly.
  • Scalable, easy to manage and easy to use.

Virtualization management platforms vary. However, available platforms are able to optimize, configure and manage all components of the application stack. Using such platforms, IT professionals can manage all storage, networks, servers, virtual machines and applications in operation. Because these platforms improve IT's ability to deploy and maintain its enterprise applications, the organization's overall agility and efficiency improves as well.

Virtualization management (VM) platforms also include complementary servers, capable of handling virtual machines and enterprise workloads up to a set maximum. If the organization's needs exceed the server's capabilities, multiple servers can be utilized together. Most platforms group multiple servers into pools. Within each pool, all servers have access to shared storage space. Each VM operates on a single host server, typically assigned according to the availability of resources on each server. If resource availability is compromised, IT can transfer the VM to another server in the same pool. Administrators can also load balance VMs across the pool based to optimize performance and speed.

Complex Tasks
Virtualized application deployment often requires administrators to perform complex tasks that go beyond basic VM management. For example, IT professionals may configure and deploy application software, middleware and databases. If administrators must perform the tasks manually, the process is tedious, expensive and time-consuming. Fortunately, some advanced virtualization management platforms simplify this process through the use of templates, which are tested, prebuilt examples of VMs. These VM templates include patches, applications and operating systems. Using a template, administrators can dramatically reduce the amount of time it takes to deploy an application. Instead of configuring a VM from scratch, administrators can download a template, customize it and import it directly into a server.

After installing a template, many management platforms even allow for customization. Using the customization process, IT departments can create a new, more complex template that contains multiple facets, including databases, application servers and web servers. To create even more complicated template packages, some management platforms allow administrators to create entire assemblies, which are sets of templates with management policies, VMs and configuration information included in the package.

Managing the Virtual Stack
There are many benefits to be gained from a multi-tiered virtual environment. Nonetheless, it also presents significant challenges. Managing such a complex system can sometimes raise operational costs. For example, whereas traditional data centers operate on a single server, a multi-tiered virtual environment requires multiple servers, each of which supports multiple VMs. Furthermore, each VM operates multiple applications, including business software, middleware and databases.

Without a capable management tool, a complex multitier virtual network becomes an administrative burden. For this reason, it's important for developers to choose a platform that includes effective management tools. Using multiple tools for each layer of the infrastructure is too labor intensive and it often requires professionals to have specialized expertise. With a multifunctional management tool, however, IT organizations can manage the entire computing stack using a single tool. Using this management tool, professionals can oversee cloud services, middleware, databases, operating systems, VMs, servers and storage.

Many of these multifunctional management tools include a browser-based, interactive interface that administrators can use to maintain the entire application stack. The interface shows the status of the virtual and physical environment, typically in real-time. These tools also include wizards for typical management tasks to save even more time. In addition, some of these tools include features that administrators can use to manage resources through automatic rebalancing of the server, which improves operational efficiency.

Application-Based Virtualization: The Natural Evolution of IT
Using application-driven virtualization, IT organizations can create a virtual environment that is easy to manage, efficient and cost-effective. As more organizations move toward the use of virtual application stacks, finding effective management tools is imperative in order to control the costs of operation and promote quality. Using templates, administrators can create multiple VMs, applications and databases. Using management programs, administrators can deploy, configure and maintain all facets of the application stack with ease. By choosing a virtualization platform that provides all of these management tools, organizations can ensure that all aspects of virtualization run as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

More Stories By Alan McMahon

Alan McMahon works for Dell. He has worked for Dell for the past 13 years and is involved in enterprise solution design across a range of products from servers and storage to virtualization. He now focuses his attention on marketing for Dell. He is based in Ireland and enjoys sailing as a past time.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@CloudExpo Stories
The BPM world is going through some evolution or changes where traditional business process management solutions really have nowhere to go in terms of development of the road map. In this demo at 15th Cloud Expo, Kyle Hansen, Director of Professional Services at AgilePoint, shows AgilePoint’s unique approach to dealing with this market circumstance by developing a rapid application composition or development framework.
SYS-CON Events announced today Isomorphic Software, the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software ...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's

"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com...
"Our premise is Docker is not enough. That's not a bad thing - we actually love Docker. At ActiveState all our products are based on open source technology and Docker is an up-and-coming piece of open source technology," explained Bart Copeland, President & CEO of ActiveState Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, p...
The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps become...
AppZero has announced that its award-winning application migration software is now fully qualified within the Microsoft Azure Certified program. AppZero has undergone extensive technical evaluation with Microsoft Corp., earning its designation as Microsoft Azure Certified. As a result of AppZero's work with Microsoft, customers are able to easily find, purchase and deploy AppZero from the Azure Marketplace. With just a few clicks, users have an Azure-based solution for moving applications to the...
Verizon Enterprise Solutions is simplifying the cloud-purchasing experience for its clients, with the launch of Verizon Cloud Marketplace, a key foundational component of the company's robust ecosystem of enterprise-class technologies. The online storefront will initially feature pre-built cloud-based services from AppDynamics, Hitachi Data Systems, Juniper Networks, PfSense and Tervela. Available globally to enterprises using Verizon Cloud, Verizon Cloud Marketplace provides a one-stop shop fo...
“In the past year we've seen a lot of stabilization of WebRTC. You can now use it in production with a far greater degree of certainty. A lot of the real developments in the past year have been in things like the data channel, which will enable a whole new type of application," explained Peter Dunkley, Technical Director at Acision, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada...
SYS-CON Events announced today that AIC, a leading provider of OEM/ODM server and storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AIC is a leading provider of both standard OTS, off-the-shelf, and OEM/ODM server and storage solutions. With expert in-house design capabilities, validation, manufacturing and production, AIC's broad selection of products are highly flexible and are conf...
Leysin American School is an exclusive, private boarding school located in Leysin, Switzerland. Leysin selected an OpenStack-powered, private cloud as a service to manage multiple applications and provide development environments for students across the institution. Seeking to meet rigid data sovereignty and data integrity requirements while offering flexible, on-demand cloud resources to users, Leysin identified OpenStack as the clear choice to round out the school's cloud strategy. Additional...
The cloud is becoming the de-facto way for enterprises to leverage common infrastructure while innovating and one of the biggest obstacles facing public cloud computing is security. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Jeff Aliber, a global marketing executive at Verizon, discussed how the best place for web security is in the cloud. Benefits include: Functions as the first layer of defense Easy operation –CNAME change Implement an integrated solution Best architecture for addressing network-l...
“We help people build clusters, in the classical sense of the cluster. We help people put a full stack on top of every single one of those machines. We do the full bare metal install," explained Greg Bruno, Vice President of Engineering and co-founder of StackIQ, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 15th Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
“DevOps is really about the business. The business is under pressure today, competitively in the marketplace to respond to the expectations of the customer. The business is driving IT and the problem is that IT isn't responding fast enough," explained Mark Levy, Senior Product Marketing Manager at Serena Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Mobile commerce traffic is surpassing desktop, yet less than 20% of sales in the U.S. are mobile commerce sales. In his session at 15th Cloud Expo, Dan Franklin, Segment Manager, Commerce, at Verizon Digital Media Services, defined mobile devices and discussed how next generation means simplification. It means taking your digital content and turning it into instantly gratifying experiences.