[colug-432] virtualization, clouds, and infrastructure

Angelo McComis angelo at mccomis.com
Wed Dec 15 23:03:31 EST 2010

Interesting... Novell/Attachmate -- they (Attachmate) say they will run
Novell and SuSE as separate business units.  Not sure how the play between a
Platespin branded product and SuSE Linux will get along in the future.
Remains to be seen.

But whilst on the topic of KVM, performance, and VM costs... let's break
this down a bit.

I propose that you could (if you really wanted to), run an Open SuSE server,
with shared storage (GigE NFS), and KVM, and across multiple hosts, you
could get Vmotion-like stuff to happen.  Hot-migrate is TBD, but cold
migrate would be a snap.  Host affinity/anti-affinity rules, elegant virtual
switching, Storage Vmotion, Fault Tolerance, and Dynamic Resource
Scheduling are all probably more than any of us could emulate with even the
slickest of bash/perl/python hacks on our own.  -- But those things are only
valuable if they're valuable _to_you_.  Backing up a little bit... if NFS
won't cut it for your workload, you could go with OCFS2, GFS, Lustre, or
other cluster-aware FS but be prepared for the added overhead/management of
dealing with fenced nodes and what not.

VMware SRM is only valuable when you have everything virtualized, and in
most larger environments, you still have Z, or other proprietary UNIX laying
around, and it's going to be running apps, replicating data, and doing it's
own DR thing alongside.

I know that RedHat bought the KVM/Qemu stuff, and are selling that as RHEV
-- and as their people put it, it's 80% of VMware's features for 20% of the
price. I get it, but I think that's a bit disingenuous, as KVM is open
source, and what RH is actually selling is their support structure and
management tools... Because the same KVM/Qemu stuff is available in
OpenSuSE, Centos, etc. as well, it's just not called RHEV.

Short version: VMware is a market leader, but they are neither free, nor are
they cheap.  Can you get close with KVM or even Xen? Sure. But you're making
up the difference in missing features, functionality, and overall product

On Wed, Dec 15, 2010 at 5:51 PM, Brian Miller <bnmille at gmail.com> wrote:

> On 12/15/2010 03:38 PM, Scott Merrill wrote:
> > On a similar vein, how are you folks handling the management of
> > virtualized servers in your environments? It's trivial with KVM and
> > similar tools to run a couple of virtual instances on a single
> > physical box. It's not so trivial to run those virtual instances in a
> > highly available fashion across a cluster of physical machines.
> We use Vmotion in our environment.  Another (pay) option is Platespin,
> which Novell obtained by a buyout a few years back. See
>  http://www.novell.com/products/migrate/  for more details.  We never
> really evaluated it, but I did watch a demonstration once.  It seemed
> pretty good.  Of course, you'd be dealing with Novell, so depending on
> your politics and/or concern over what Attachemate might do, you might
> want to wait.
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