The Datacenter Dynamic or Otherwise

Allen Stewart from the WinCat team I focus on the Datacenter from an Architecture standpoint across many technologies and I have expertise in Virtualization Technologies as well. Service Oriented Applications, Real Time Infrastructure. Service Oriented Infrastructure is all new buzz words to describe various application and infrastructure design approaches for the datacenter. Add the various Virtualization technologies: Hardware, Application, Storage, Network, Presentation and Virtualization management into the mix of technologies for someone looking at changing, implementing or redesigning a datacenter it is an exciting time.

In today’s datacenter are we just adding technologies to solve today’s problems or are we retrofitting the datacenter one disruptive technology at a time? Take for instance Hardware Virtualization (I will not preach about all of the benefits we know them well) it changes the way we provision, manage and allocate resources in the datacenter. As I work with customers it becomes apparent in some cases that Virtualization has been deployed without looking at things like what is the over arching impact to various datacenter services. Take for instance what is the Storage Architecture required to support the Virtual environment especially as virtualization makes workloads portable between servers. In addition, what are the types of servers we should be purchasing there are various camps blades, larger multiple core machines with Virtualization as the partitioning technology that allows the best server asset utilization. What are the management/security requirements for the virtualized world are they so different then the physical world?

As you see there are lots of things to think about and incorporate. I have been working with customers architecting Virtualization solutions with Microsoft Virtualization technologies and have taken various architectural approaches. I look forward to hearing your comments and sharing some design decisions with you from various customer scenarios. Here are some areas for us to explore:

Patch Management in the Virtualized datacenter

Capacity planning in the Virtualized datacenter

Storage architecture in the Virtualized datacenter

Business Continuity in the Virtualized datacenter

Configuration management in the Virtualized datacenter

Allen Stewart

Principal Program Manager

Windows Server Division


Comments (2)

  1. allenstew says:

    I tend to agree with you on this now that we have found a way to ensure we utilize the additional capacity with Virtualization. I know blades have a place in footprint constrained environments but I am not in the blade is the consolidation target camp. In the new virtualized datacenter is power and cooling still going to be a concern? I think it is a interesting question especially if we add larger servers and have a solid physical server to virtual machine ratio.

  2. DavidZie says:

    Hi Allen! I have the server hardware architecture (blade vs. multi-proc vs. big iron) discussion at a lot of customers. With the move to hypervisor-based virtualization and VM’s that can support multiple-cores as Windows Server Virtualization will, my view is that the market will swing back toward larger physical servers, reversing somewhat the trend of the last few years towards blades. Density/power/cooling concerns will still be paramount but I think the "sweet spot" for server buys in the Intel/AMD space will go from 2-proc to 4-proc and there will be a resurgence of 8-proc servers.