Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Hyper-Dense Virtualization

Hyper-dense virtualization
Whether building a Cloud, running a web farm, hosting 100's of sequel databases or serving up 1000's of virtual desktops; hyper-dense virtualization enables you to run more of everything more VMs, more connections, more clients.

What do we mean by Hyper-dense?  VM ratios of 5:1 even 8:1 are common; our experience is that a ratio of 10:1 is fairly easily achievable on well setup of the shelf commodity hardware. At VMC our objective is to start at what is considered by many as very dense 20:1 with 50:1 or even 100:1 being considered normal and our objectives being to go far beyond that.  Without compromising performance, we believe it is not a case that you can have performance or density, we believe that it is perfectly possible to have both.

VMs per server 09.png

This chart from IDCs 2009 report on virtualization trends showed the split that their researchers had uncovered amongst 400 US enterprises using virtualization technologies.


Achieving Hyper-density
We achieve these extreme densities by employing a number of tactics:

1.   Focusing on the physical specification of our systems; designing them without compromise and in such a way as to remove contention between components ensuring that the optimum mixture of real CPU cores, RAM and Network IO is in place to deliver maximum firepower where and when it's needed.  We design up to a specification - not down to a price point

2.   VMC systems are delivered as turnkey Appliances; with the hypervisor preloaded and tuned to the platform, we have spent several man years learning how to get the most out of configuring and tuning the various hardware, firmware and software components so our customers don't have to.

3.   We provide software an orchestration layer; Virtual Estate Manager watches over the physical and virtual performance of the appliances, manages logs, issues reports & alerts, identifies resource bottle-necks and offers guidance on allocation of resources to ensure you get the most out the systems; whilst ensuring that you maintain healthy safety margins on all resources.

Supported Hypervisors
We currently support latest versions of VMware ESX/ESXi and Citrix Xenserver 

Thursday, 7 July 2011

More than just Cloud Music Services threatened by Kazaa founders patent ruling

Cast your minds back a few years along with Niklas Zennstrom (of Skype fame) an Australian businessman Kevin Bermeister was one of the key players at the Kazaa; the early days peer-to-peer site.  Bermeister and Kazaa finally fell foul of the Australian Federal courts in 2006.

Quote: In the 'Kazaa' case (Universal Music vs Kazaa Networks), the Federal Court found that Bermeister and five others associated with the companies Sharman Networks and Altnet had "knowingly allowed Kazaa users to illegally swap copyrighted songs."

Well here is a turn-up for the books. The Music worlds Nemesis has been granted three new US patents which his company plans to use to demand license fees from hosted music download service providers such as Apple and Google.  Oh the irony; the same music industry that is relying on sales through only line stores is now at the mercy of the guys they tried to have stuck in the State Pen'

But more seriously the rulings could effect the wider delivery of content delivery industry as CDNs work by storing content all over the world, and as a user requests content, working out the copy that can be delivered most efficiently. De-duplication of content helps make the process more efficient – e.g., by making sure that each node in a CDN only holds only a single copy of any particular file; while access control touches on the subscriber interaction.  All of which can be considered by legal minded folks to be covered by the patents.  

Also, I wonder how this will work within organisations and vendors who will want to use distributed data techniques in Cloud type environments which share similar characteristics.