Posts Tagged ‘System Center Virtual Machine Manager’

Battle for Cloud City: Microsoft strikes back? Part II.

In Opalis, Operations Manager, SCOM 2012, SCVMM 2012, Service Manager, System Center, Virtualization, Vmware on November 16, 2011 at 22:28

Part I.

One of biggest advantages of posting on a blog when compared with writing an official proposal or something similar is that I get to ramble on about the things I feel are important. Or peculiar, alienating or just entertaining. Looking at private cloud management solutions in a more trivial way give me the opportunity to talk about factors that might or might not matter for most but do say something about how a product is perceived – a degree of brand value if you wish.

You might wonder where this will lead considering that fact that the more serious part of this series started of with some dubious analogies – but don’t worry I actually intend to make a point here. This is my comparison:

I’ve conjured five topics:

  • Names – If have to explain stuff to my boss and I’ve taken the “cloud” and “virtual” hurdles, I want to have a nice set of abbreviations or a awe inspiring product name to work with
  • Powershell – Very important. Maybe a bit overrated by some – a general sense of logic, a search engine and Powergui are all that are needed to keep you from flipping burgers.
  • “Open” Standards – In what sense can each offering be accessed, extended and customized by both vendors and end-users?
  • Citrix, Emc – Alliances – The cloud and virtualization market seems rather peaceful with what I perceive as a mutually beneficial status-quo between Microsoft and Vmware on the hypervisor front, between Microsoft and Citrix on the SBC/VDI front and Cisco and EMC working with both Microsoft and Vmware to tie everything together. However if we are talking about clouds, unification and abstraction a cloud management solution that provides more integration then the cliche “single-pane-of-glass” everyone seems to be selling might dictate the choice for a hypervisor the next time licenses expire…
  • Monitoring Sprawl? – We consolidated 200 servers into 4 pieces of hardware but need 15 servers to monitor our environment…and we might feel unsure about hosting a monitoring solution on a platform that’s monitored by that solution…or which damn web interface do I need to do this…and of course – how can be VM status be green, my server object in maintenance mode and my email stuck in my outbox?

My conclusion? If you are going “Vendor A unless” Microsoft scores the best on the “trivial” side of things. If you go “best-of-breed” vSphere, vCenter (and PowerCLI/CapacityIQ) are very strong at what they do.

Note Bene:

The success of Powershell, pre-alpha stuff from EMC like project Orion and SMI-S show that there is a need for a universal API and framework for managing infrastructure. The sad part is that those initiatives are not new and many technologies have fallen and entered the eternal cloud – or are still there and are still used by deemed unworthy by some (such as SNMP).

The question that remains is – who will bring balance to the force – the chosen but fallen Anakin or the Light’s side counteraction, Luke ?

Lucy in the sky with diamonds

In Tech Ed on November 10, 2010 at 15:31

I’m writing this post, my first post on my first blog, from Tech Ed Europe in Berlin. In between sessions I’m going to try to provide some coverage of this event and present my view on what I’ve heard and seen here.

My visit to Tech Ed is part of the reason why I’ve jumped on the blogging bandwagon – I wanted to let my co-workers know how I’m doing and what I’m doing over here.

This years Tech Ed is all about clouds. I’ll skip all the obvious and not so obvious allusions about Berlin,walls, windows and clouds but I do want to mention that Microsoft seems to be a little late in the cloud game ( as I am in the blogging game perhaps). However,because Microsoft’s ecosystem forms such a substantial part of a lot of services that customers consume, it has an edge on competing unified management systems because it can fully manage this ecosystem and can manage it better.

The System Center suite (which to some extent also seems to include FIM) has been transformed from a vaguely integrated group of management, monitoring and reporting tools into a cloud management quilt where the system center products are the patches and the newly acquired Opalis automation software is the thread.

As I said before Microsoft is late – Vmware has been promoting the idea of a personal clouds for a while now. And great progress has been made to tightly integrate VM’s, Network, Storage and in some cases even OS and software. But where it was lacking was in native support for Microsoft back-end/infrastructure. If Microsoft can take the experiences of the likes of Cisco, NetApp,EMC e.a. with cloud management on the network and storage level(which it has judging from some of the demo’s I’ve seen here) and combine that with its knowledge of managing its own ecosystem no Windows administrator will ever have to leave her or his office to see their clouds but can just look through their windows.

This is the first in a series of posts on Microsoft Tech-Ed, the next posts I will focus on the details regarding System Center and Opalis.