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March 17, 2009

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Paul Stamp

This is awesome stuff, Chad.

Being a security and compliance guy this looks good for us too, since it's going to force people to define better what interactions and dependencies there are - rather than #5 as happens today.

So when you need to secure a piece of information, or show that it's being dealt with properly, you've got a heck of a lot more information about the things that store/process/transmit that information.

That's half the battle here.

I blogged about it here

http://tokensecurityguy.typepad.com/token_security_guy/2009/03/that-cisco-ucs-stuff-looks-cool-it-might-even-help-with-security.html

Brad Hedlund

Chad,
Great post. Thanks for the link and commentary of my Nexus 1000V article. I like how you have organized the content in your blog.
I think I'll steal your idea of an "Anti-FUD" category, I like that. :-)

Lots of great content you have here. Nice work.

Cheers,
Brad

Jerry Thornton

Great post, Chad! So, let me see if I get where you're going; combine VN Links/tags and DRS policy management with a policy-driven storage OS (such as ATMOS, but block level. I mean, how long before EMC moves ATMOS-type policy-driven storage OS into the block-level and FCoE space?), and you've REALLY got global cloud virtualization with Vapp spaces and their storage moving around the globe to follow the sun or demand. Sounds more game-changing than most analysts give them credit for, but I think you're spot on.

marc farley

Nice post Chad. Just think how much further we would be if FC originally had tagging, as opposed to being an afterthought. So its great to see it coming into vSphere now in the early stages. That really is huge!

I would assume that any relatively beefed up server system would be capable of supporting VN-Link and the 1000v, not just UCS. Of course, that would depend on whether Cisco sells the Nexus 1000v as a software product that runs on any qualified system or as a UCS-only virtual appliance. If it's the latter, it seems a wee bit artificial to spin it as a technology breakthrough of UCS - but its not difficult to understand Cisco wanting to maintain a key differentiation for UCS to get traction for its new business.

Regarding storage tie-ins, you said: "These need to evolve to be sub-LUN level – and not file-level, but vApp-level, and for the subsystem to be aware of the needs of the vApp." Yes! I totally agree that integrating at the vApp level would be optimal, which would radically change the way storage is subdivided, mapped and exported. (As a 3PAR employee) I have to mention that 3PAR's wide striping across chunklets is probably the right kind of architecture for getting this done.

You mentioned our marketing of Thin Built In for VMware. It's true that our thin provisioning is not integrated with VMware storage provisioning (like all other storage vendors products), but we do have other VMware integration points with VDI and SRM. FWIW, we think its great that everybody has some form of thin provisioning (including VMware soon) and we welcome comparisons. "Thin Built In" is not just marketecture, it is next-gen chip-level "capacity crunching" technology. But I don't want to "go pimpin" here and detract from your excellent post, so I'll shut up now. :)

Paul Wegiel

Thanks for the very insightful post Chad.

I have been following the Cisco Unified Computing announcement and I cannot help but smile...

Although It's difficult to foresee the exact impact it will have on the industry at large before the product actually ships,
one thing is certain - Cisco is betting their strategic growth on virtualization.

I think that the sheer size of Cisco (and fact they are not a 'traditional' server/virtualization vendor) and the weight they are throwing behind UC validates virtualization in a huge way,
not as a way to consolidate servers but a "way of the future data center". I am so curious to see what HP, IBM and Dell's response will be. Perhaps we are seeing their response already - IBM getting ready to acquire SUN?

There was something else I noticed in Cisco's announcement -
in it, Cisco clearly stated that their aim is "to deliver virtualization technologies all the way to the end user".

It is difficult to say exactly what they meant by that statement - but I think they mean virtualized desktop.

Cisco UC will ship with vSpehere built in and their hardware will be based on Nehalem CPU design
from Intel. Nehalem has some GREAT features - like the QuickPath Interconnect technology (WAY WAY faster memory access
than FSB), 1.25x-2x performance improvement based on early specs from Intel),
and some virtualization-specific hardware instructions vSpehere will be able to take advantage of.

I think these features will make virtualized desktop ROI a reality.
I.e. right now 5-6 virtual desktops per CPU core is pretty much a standard.
With Nehalem, this number will go up to 1.5x (conservatively speaking), which will give us 7.5-9 desktops
per CPU. coupled with the other areas where Nehalem will be better - i.e. memory access (QuickPath Interconnect),
and enhanced virtualization instruction set I would argue it is safe to assume 10 desktops/CPU core to be a more realistic
estimation.

Nehalem's server chips will initially ship with 6 cores, later (H2 2010) to go up to 8 cores.
so, for a typical 2-socket 6-core system (midline, affordable configuration) a customer will be able to
comfortably run up to 120 desktops per server. That is amazing and I think will drastically alter desktop computing.

I think stars will align themselves for a huge push in virtualized desktop - namely, Cisco entering the market with their network-compute-virtualization stack. Such combination is optimal for putting your data center through its paces if all your desktops
run from it - you need 100% optimized and intertwined virtual data center to be able to run ALL your infra from it (i.e. including all desktops).
All this coupled with the release of Windows 7 (ready to ship September '09 based on the latest news from Redmond) makes VDI not a matter of if but when/how soon.... I seriously think that starting with Windows 7 'traditional' desktops will be no more and
that customers will all (in some capacity) explore and implement desktop virtualization.

I think this is the most exciting time to be in the virtualization/storage industry!
With companies lining up to virtualize their desktops, their needs for virtualization
and storage will be massive...

Chad, what is your take on Virtual Desktop?
Do you see it as a huge potential?

chalazion surgery

Don’t get what I’m driving at? These screenshots are always the thing that hammers it home for me.

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