RED HAT CREATE SECURE INDEPENDENT VIRTUAL ENVIRONMENTS FOR DEVELOPMENT AND TESTING
Coming from an open source background doesn't change the way Red Hat general manager A/NZ, Max McLaren, views the benefits of virtualisation.
"I think there are a variety of benefits that people are seeking from virtualisation and I would suggest that those benefits are the same in the open source world as the proprietary world," he said.
Regardless of background the same benefits of server consolidation, green IT in the datacentre and cost savings generally apply. Yet McLaren also claimed virtualisation will become more widespread.
"I think the interesting thing is virtualisation has become the 'trend de jeure' with VMware's rise to prominence," he said.
McLaren highlighted the technology's use in sectors where having multiple but independent and secure environments is sought after; a prime example being developers.
"Developers like to be able to run up a virtual environment to try different stuff in their 'dev and test' environments," he noted. "It's used in a number of specific cases where they are compelled to use multiple desktop computers for multiple reasons."
He also pointed to industries where security is of the utmost importance as being interested in adopting a multilevel virtualised environment.
"People might want to virtualise in some of the military spaces where they may need a variety of different domains, like a top secret domain, a secret domain and a non-confidential domain," McLaren said. "The problem up until now is the security in a lot of virtual environments hasn't been adequate to provide for that."
But with many contemporary offerings you can wrap security around each application and environment, he pointed out.
"We can restrict virtualisation down to, for example, the NIC card," McLaren said. "So you have a security policy that would just have one virtual environment associated with your network interface card (NIC) and wrap security policy around that."
With all the hype over the past couple of years we asked DataCore CEO, George Teixeira, to give us his tips and tricks for navigating a virtualisation play:
- 1. Think end-to-end virtualisation; users have servers, desktop and storage resources that are not being fully utilised. Promote the strategic change and value of virtualisation as software that gets the most productivity and utilisation across all their hardware resources. Many resellers propose a tactical sale, a server solution plus a box, and the only differentiator is the colour of the box.
- 2. A software-based virtual server and virtual storage solution will futureproof the environment for the user and create a consulting revenue stream for the reseller. Solutions such as Xenserver, VMware and DataCore all are hardware independent and therefore survive hardware platform obsolescence.
- 3. Virtualisation goes beyond product, it is about change, people and procedures; all of which are opportunities for consulting and training for customers.
- 4. Invest in training and make your engineers experts not only on virtual servers but on virtual storage and virtual desktops since customers want holistic solutions.
- 5. Invest in the ability to demonstrate your solution; customers want to see complete solutions. For example, virtual server software advanced features such as VMotion require shared storage. Many partners therefore are looking at solutions like DataCore that enable partners to run a virtual SAN on the same platform and demonstrate the entire end-to-end virtualisation solution on a single laptop.