VMware In­dia

Vir­tu­al­iza­tion is here to stay, but its break­ing out from its co­coon of be­ing con­strained to servers and now spilling over to net­works and stor­age. In­for­ma­tion­Week’s Varun Haran spoke to T Srinivasan, MD, VMware In­dia on where vir­tu­al­iza­tion is headed

InformationWeek - - Front Page - T Srinivasan

What would you say is the next revo­lu­tion about to hap­pen in the data cen­ter to­day? If you look at the data cen­ter to­day, the three key phys­i­cal com­po­nents are servers, net­works and stor­age. Be­yond servers, net­work and stor­age are the new emerg­ing ar­eas in the vir­tu­al­iza­tion mar­ket­place to­day. We en­vis­age that go­ing for­ward, soft­ware is go­ing to gov­ern the data cen­ter as all com­po­nents of the data cen­ter will be vir­tu­al­ized. Fun­da­men­tally, vir­tu­al­iza­tion will take cost and com­plex­ity out of the sys­tem.

Can you shed some light on the sig­nif­i­cance of net­work and stor­age vir­tu­al­iza­tion? While pro­vi­sion­ing in server vir­tu­al­iza­tion is now near im­me­di­ate, it’s the pro­vi­sion­ing of the aux­il­iary com­po­nents that pre­sents the bot­tle­neck. It is only log­i­cal in such a sce­nario to look at net­work vir­tu­al­iza­tion and stor­age vir­tu­al­iza­tion to be able to lever­age the true po­ten­tial of a soft­ware-de­fined data cen­ter. Net­work vir­tu­al­iza­tion en­sures that all the tiers of the net­work L1 to L7 get vir­tu­al­ized. Stor­age vir­tu­al­iza­tion is even more in­ter­est­ing, be­cause while ven­dors sell ex­ter­nal stor­age de­vices us­ing the SAN and NAS model, there is a lot of stor­age that servers typ­i­cally ship with. More of­ten than not, this stor­age is not uti­lized prop­erly. Stor­age vir­tu­al­iza­tion can vir­tu­al­ize these in­ter­nal drives into one co­he­sive piece, which will help cus­tomers save money and man­age their data cen­ter bet­ter.

What ben­e­fits does vir­tu­al­iza­tion of net­works bring to the ta­ble? Typ­i­cally, while the hard­ware com­po­nents in the net­work are still re­quired, vir­tu­al­iz­ing them helps over­come var­i­ous lim­i­ta­tions of the phys­i­cal in­fra­struc­ture. This makes the net­work more ef­fi­cient by en­abling uni­ver­sal con­nec­tiv­ity within the SDN.

What are VMware’s pri­or­i­ties as far as growth is con­cerned? VMware has three big pri­or­i­ties: the soft­ware de­fined data cen­ter, the hy­brid cloud and end-user com­put­ing. Let me touch a lit­tle on hy­brid cloud. We find that cus­tomers want to be on the cloud. How­ever, most cus­tomers con­tinue to re­tain at least part of their data cen­ters, even af­ter mov­ing to an ex­ter­nal cloud. Cus­tomers are now look­ing at hav­ing pri­vate clouds within these data cen­ters that can be lever­aged by in­ter­nal cus­tomers to pro­vi­sion ser­vices on their own. This in­cludes the abil­ity to drag and drop ap­pli­ca­tions to the ex­ter­nal cloud and move it back. We be­lieve pri­vate clouds will be the norm and hy­brid clouds will be a part of the data cen­ter, go­ing for­ward.

What is VMware’s in­ter­est in end-user com­put­ing? VMware’s end-user com­put­ing foray comes in the form of Hori­zon workspace, which pro­vides pol­icy-based ap­pli­ca­tion ag­gre­ga­tion in the cloud — whether it is an in­ter­nal ap­pli­ca­tion hosted in the data cen­ter or an ex­ter­nal SaaS ap­pli­ca­tion — in a se­cure man­ner. Hori­zon workspace also pro­vides Drop­box func­tion­al­ity for in­ter­nal col­lab­o­ra­tion. This goes be­yond the thin client con­cept and vir­tu­al­izes ap­pli­ca­tion pro­vi­sion­ing within the or­ga­ni­za­tion as well. These apps can be streamed across plat­forms. So for in­stance a Win­dows app can be made avail­able on an iPad in an emer­gency. This pro­vi­sion­ing is not vir­tu­al­ized and it is ac­tu­ally a copy of the phys­i­cal end­point main­tained cen­trally that can be ac­cessed through other de­vices. I think the key take­away here is that the de­vice is no longer im­por­tant — the user is; pro­duc­tiv­ity is.

What does this mean for li­cens­ing when you talk about ap­pli­ca­tion pro­vi­sion­ing? I don’t think as­set man­age­ment will get any more com­pli­cated, be­cause the li­censes will be de­ter­mined by your ac­cess points, even if it’s pro­vi­sioned through the pri­vate cloud. It might ac­tu­ally make it eas­ier to man­age your soft­ware as­sets, since the count is now kept cen­trally.

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