Data Centre Virtualization Products for Cloud Computing

The Backbone of Cloud Computing is Virtualization or so to say splitting a single box into multiple virtual boxes each capable of providing similar functionalities on a smaller scale. So next time you want 5 application servers, think before you buy 5 machines.

The Virtualization has hit almost all Vendors and in almost all phases of Network, Security and Applications.

Processor Virtualization:

Intel and AMD have entered this on a Hardware level. They have started to produce Multi Cored Processors, especially for the Virtualized environments. This will change the Software only Virtualization to Hardware assisted virtualization. If I remember this right, AMD Opteron  (AMD-V technology) is being developed by AMD, and Intel is fighting it out with the Intel® VT-x processors. These have the ability to assist the hypervisors in the Trap processing, Hyper threading and Pipelining request.

Desktop / server virtualization:

The first one to be hitting virtualization was the Desktop/Server technology, earlier it was not a hit because the servers that could run those hypervisors would not do so good under multiple operating systems and there were performance issues that were seen earlier. Not so much now, with the advent of all the hardware vendors going towards virtualization, this has become easier than ever.

One of the well known products in this field is VM Ware with a host of different things like VM Ware server, VMotion, VSphere, all assisting in Virtualization. Microsoft is not behind, the Virtual PC is already there in the market.

If you are a fan of the Open source Technology, you can choose to use Sun Virtual Box, or the new KVM (Kernel Based Virtual Machines). The Open source technology is doing very well in the Virtualization field as well.

It is a war between the different products, and i will elaborate on each of them in the future, with recommendations on which you should go for.

Firewall Virtualization:

After the Servers were virtualized, next came the Firewall’s. Here they are not only Virtualized but have become  more than just firewalls. Again here, we have almost all vendors in.

Checkpoint has released the VSX, Fortigate Firewalls are fighting it out with VDOM’s and ADOM’s. Cisco ASA has come with Context(s), Juniper is not behind, they have introduced the Virtual Systems, Palo Alto, Trend Micro are all in the the list. They have all stopped just “simple firewalling” and most of them give features like, IDS/IPS, Web Content Filtering, Anti Virus features.

The throughput of the boxes range all the way to 30 Gbps for an Enterprise, but with all features turned on, it drops to about 3 – 5 Gbps. Now a days, we have appliances that do firewalling in Hardware and thus this is able to achieve brilliant throughputs

Load Balancers

The Load balancers are also ready to be Virtualized. We get F5 introducing routing domains, which is a key feature for the Virtualized environment. We also have the Virtual Appliances being launched from f5. We have http://loadbalancer.org which can also be used as Virtual Load balancers

Not just the individual products, all of them are also moving towards blades, which is helpful in Data Centre design.

So these are the few products you might want to consider when you are going for virtualization

More on this later …

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