Government Cloud Authors: Liz McMillan, Gopala Krishna Behara, Raju Myadam, Kevin Jackson, Carmen Gonzalez

Related Topics: Containers Expo Blog

Containers Expo Blog: Article

VMware Announces OS for All Aspects of the Virtual Datacenter

Virtual Datacenter OS (VDC-OS): the next step in the evolution and maturation of virtualization

Scott Lowe's Blog

The way to really view VMware Virtual Datacenter OS (VDC-OS) is not as a “datacenter OS”, because it’s not intended to provide automation of non-virtual resources. Instead, look at VDC-OS as a framework. Within this framework are sets of services that can be extended or modified in very standardized ways (via APIs and SDKs) to provide different functionality for the applications running within that framework.

What VMware is working on is an OS for the virtual datacenter, not a virtual OS for the datacenter. The distinction is important. VDC-OS isn’t intended to be an OS for all aspects of the datacenter. It’s intended to be an OS for all aspects of the virtual datacenter.

When you think of an OS, you think of software that manages access to resources and provides services to applications. That’s what VMware is doing with VDC-OS: managing access to resources and providing services to applications, only this time the applications are workloads (virtual machines with an OS and a set of applications on that guest OS). VDC-OS will provide sets of services to these applications:

  • Application vServices, like availability, security, and scalability. These application vServices are provided via features like VMotion, Storage VMotion, VMware HA, VCB, and—in the future—stuff like VMware Fault Tolerance (FT), formerly known as Continuous Availability. See this page on VMware’s site for more examples.
  • Infrastructure vServices, like compute functionality (vCompute), networking connectivity (vNetwork), or storage features (vStorage). These vServices are manifested as features like VMware DRS, and will be extended in the future with things like vStorage Linked Clones, or 3rd party virtual switches, or VMDirectPath. The APIs are there for additional third party vServices to be added as well; one example would be network load balancing as an infrastructure vService.
  • Cloud vServices enable the interaction of on-premise infrastructure (the servers in your data center) to integrate with external cloud infrastructure. There are no concrete examples to really share here; in my opinion, this is the most nebulous part of this announcement. See this page for more information.
  • Finally, management vServices provide…well, management functionality for the virtual data center and the applications running in the virtual data center. More information is available here.

The way to really view VDC-OS is not as a “datacenter OS”, because it’s not intended to provide automation of non-virtual resources. Instead, look at VDC-OS as a framework. Within this framework are sets of services that can be extended or modified in very standardized ways (via APIs and SDKs) to provide different functionality for the applications running within that framework. Some third party ISV wants to write a different way of providing fault tolerance and failover? Fine, no problem, that can be plugged into the VDC-OS application vService framework for availability. I used the example earlier of a load balancer as an infrastructure vService. VMware announced the VMsafe APIs back at VMworld Europe, and the idea of VMsafe ties directly into API access for ISVs to develop new or different security-related application vServices that can be provided to all applications running within the VDC-OS, such as anti-virus or host-based intrustion detection/prevention.

I was a bit worried that this messaging wasn’t going to be received as clearly as I had hoped it would be, and the initial coverage I’m seeing so far confirms that many people are going to misread what VMware is trying to do. Hopefully, we can get the idea across to everyone so that they can begin to really understand where VMware is headed with this idea and why it is the next step in the evolution and maturation of virtualization.

New Features in VDC-OS

Now that I’ve gotten through the first part of discussing VMware’s VDC-OS announcement — making sure that the message and vision is a bit clearer — I can focus on some of the specifics contained within the announcement. In other words, I can talk about new features.

  • VMware Fault Tolerance (FT), formerly “Continuous Availability,” (demoed at VMworld 2007, described in my liveblog here) provides real-time VM mirroring between two different hosts. If a host fails, the mirrored VM on the secondary host picks up automatically with no disruption to the users. Marathon Technologies is working on similar functionality for Citrix XenServer, and both companies are expected to deliver next year. If VMware wants a leg up on the competition, they need to deliver this first.
  • The Distributed vSwitch enables administrators to define network settings at the cluster level, instead of on a host-by-host basis. This is huge for larger shops. Define your port group once, and you’re done.
  • As has been pointed out elsewhere, Cisco is announcing the first third-party vSwitch for VMware ESX. Alessandro points out rumors that it will run NX-OS and will be a distributed vSwitch. In any case, it will certainly bring hard-core Cisco shops closer to embracing VMware as it will give them end-to-end control over the networking environment, all the way down to the virtual port level within any given VMware ESX host.
  • vStorage Thin Provisioning will help on storage demands. I suspect this is just the use of thin provisioned VMDKs, but if anyone has any other information to share I’d love to hear it.
  • Similarly, vStorage Linked Clones just brings to VMware ESX a feature that VMware Workstation and VMware Lab Manager have had for a while.
  • VMware will finally enter the backup market with vCenter Data Recovery, which (to my understanding) will leverage VCB to provide a backup solution for the virtual infrastructure.

That’s quite an impressive list of features slated to be included in VDC-OS. What I’m also interested in seeing, though, is how the underlying components of VDC-OS — VMware ESX and VirtualCenter/vCenter — are going to change. I’ve seen rumors of 64-bit VMkernel and Console OS, and Duncan Epps points out linked vCenters (which is quite cool, might I add). I suppose that will be part of the “Tech Preview” sessions that are going on later this week at VMworld 2008.

More Stories By Scott Lowe

Scott Lowe is a senior engineer with ePlus, a local reseller/VAR in Raleigh, NC, where he specializes in server virtualization, storage, and related enterprise technologies. He has been in the IT field for more than 15 years, starting out with desktop support. Along the way, he has worked as an instructor, a technical trainer and Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT), systems administrator, IT manager, and as Chief Technology Officer for a small start-up.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@ThingsExpo Stories
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...