When it comes to simplifying virtualization, less is more

Virtualization is the word of the year, and for good reasons. And a lot of the media and companies are talking about how their product enables virtualization in some form or fashion. The problem is that if every piece of technology has some ownership in virtualization, none will own the whole picture. At the same time, other companies are building large, complex, over-engineered virtualization solutions, which add two more layers of complexity – vendor lock-in and armies of consultants.

If you have been studying this subject you’ll know that Dell has a completely different view of virtualization. It really boils down to these ideas:

  • The need for simplified virtualization is today, not in the future. Many companies are announcing solutions that will be coming in the next few months or even years. But we saw this coming years ago, so we’re offering simplified products, services and solutions today.
  • The only way to realize the true value of virtualization is if IT can be simplified. Tools that only manage the virtualized environment have limited value. "Mainstreaming" virtualization management into the tools that are already used increases the value by demonstrating the impact of the physical environment on the virtual environment and vice versa. It also extends the life and adds return to the investment of the tools already in play. More importantly, it allows the user to accomplish more with less…..which is what virtualization is all about in the first place, isn't it?
  • Standardized virtualization platforms are the only way to go. This way, as new devices and applications are developed, they will me more interoperable, rather than proprietary and requiring legions of expensive consultants. When we see other companies building new virtualization management tools that are derivatives of their proprietary architecture, we see the hidden agenda – lock-in.
  • Virtualization is much more than consolidation. Many vendors and customers are stuck in the logic box that virtualization is all about simple consolidation. But virtualization is a dynamic tool that can manage power and thermals and radically increase utilization. So our focus has been in simplifying the deployment and management of virtualization from the desktop to the data center, and we’ve worked directly with VMWare and Microsoft to accomplish this.
  • You can’t trade “server sprawl” for “virtualized server sprawl.” Some vendors are more than happy to trade your single-application servers currently running at 9% utilization (the industry average), for new virtualized servers. Going from 100 physical machines to 1000 virtual machines doesn’t solve the problem if you can’t manage them. This is why we focused our efforts on the management layer, through partnerships, through our own development, and through our fast-start services. It is also why we share everything we’ve learned.

Virtualization is much more than just reducing the number of servers to reduce capital expenses. It is about reducing operating expenses, so you can get IT faster, run IT better, and grow IT smarter. These are just a few examples of how we think of these things holistically rather than individually.  These issues are here today and we’re solving them today.

Check out this podcast that expresses our view, and post a comment below to let us know what you think on this subject. We want to hear from you.

About the Author: Jeff S. Johnson