12 Jan 2012
The industry leading cloud and virtualisation platform, VMware vSphere 5 has now reached the ripe old age of 6 months, where has the time gone? The UKFast Enterprise Division now find ourselves asking the question, is it possible to virtualise everything?
Here at UKFast we often come across skepticism when it comes to virtualising high usage systems. The virtual machine configuration maximums in VMware vSphere 4.1 and Microsoft Hyper-V, are restrictive in some larger deployments, to the extent that a traditional physical server deployment was the only viable option.
VMware vSphere 5 has revolutionised the service provider market, with virtual machine capabilities that are up to four times more powerful than previous versions of VMware vSphere. The fixed limitations and hurdles that usually encumber cloud computing discussions are a thing of the past, exciting times indeed for both UKFast and our customers. In certain circumstances a traditional physical server still isn’t a good virtualisation candidate. More often than not, this is down to application licensing or application support issues, rather than the raw compute requirements which were major considerations in the past.
Surveys suggest the vast majority of Enterprise IT Leaders consider cloud computing to be a priority in the next 12 months, it appears vSphere 5 is here at the opportune moment to capitalise on a market that is increasing at a phenomenal rate.
Working as a Solutions Architect in the UKFast Enterprise Division, my vision is to see a continued uptake in cloud computing. The ability to have a highly available, redundant server infrastructure is critical for nearly all companies, the golden 99.999% uptime that becomes a reality with a cloud platform.
An overview of the most noteworthy new or upgraded features in vSphere 5 leveraged by UKFast:
- vSphere Storage DRS – New feature for vSphere 5.
- vSphere vMotion – Optimised for higher latency networks.
- Virtual Machine Version 8 – Support for 3D graphics and USB 3.0 devices.
- Larger Virtual Machines – 32vCPU, 1TB of RAM, 2TB+ VM Disk size
- vSphere Network I/O Control – I/O control at the VM level allowing more-granular control
In answer to the original question,” is it possible to virtualise everything?”
Well, aside for the ever-present bad virtualisation candidates, the percentage of physical servers that can now be virtualised has increased dramatically. As confidence in cloud computing rises, alongside the huge technological leaps forward in the vSphere 5 virtualisation platform, the potential to virtualise everything is now becoming a major reality.