A long time ago, a computer program was a stack of punch cards, and moving the program from computer to computer was easy as long as you didn't drop the box. Every command, instruction, and subroutine was in one big, fat deck. Editors, compilers, and code repositories have liberated us from punch cards, but somehow deploying software has grown more complicated. Moving a program from the coding geniuses to the production team is fraught with errors, glitches, and hassles. There's always some misconfiguration, and it's never as simple as carrying that deck down the hall.
After years of false starts, virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) products are here. They work, and if implemented correctly they can deliver substantial cost savings to enterprise IT shops. What are the risks and rewards involved in embarking on a VDI implementation for your organization?
VMware's latest salvo in its virtualization war with Microsoft is vSphere 5.5, which features a host of improvements, the most interesting being high availability, support for Big Data/Hadoop and improved storage and backup.
The proliferation of virtualization coupled with the increasing power of industry-standard servers and the availability of cloud computing has led to a significant uptick in the number of servers that need to be managed within and without an organization. Where we once made do with racks of physical servers that we could access in the data center down the hall, we now have to manage many more servers that could be spread all over the globe.
At first blush, F5 Networks' new Synthesis Architecture for Software-Defined Application Services might appear to compete with new offerings from Cisco and VMware. But no, F5 CEO John McAdam and executive vice president of Strategic Solutions Manuel Rivelo tell IDG Communications Chief Content Officer John Gallant that F5 is very much in sync with these two data center giants (we did not, however, press them on the relationship between Cisco and VMware).
Cisco wasn't the only networking company making big virtualization news last week with the debut of its Insieme product line and Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) strategy aimed at virtualizing the data center. F5 Networks, in addition to announcing that it will work hand-in-hand with Cisco on ACI integration, launched its own Synthesis Architecture for Software-Defined Application Services, which aims to virtualize networking functions above Layers 2/3.
When a data visualization and analysis software provider found that its backend storage was slowing down its developers, it resisted the urge to add capacity. Instead, it turned to a software solution that scales storage performance using virtualization.
CEO Michael Friedenberg reads the signs of an enterprise tech industry that is unraveling before our eyes. But as one computing era ends, a new one (which IDC calls the third platform) is just beginning.
Virtual desktop infrastructure has come a long way since the terminal service days of the 1960s. Heck, VDI has come a long way since the 2000s thanks to plummeting prices for clients, better graphics cards and improved administration. By and large, though, VDI deployments remain more of a niche solution.
As CIOs try to make sense of the hype surrounding software-defined networks (SDNs) and their potential in data centers, some experts and vendors say IT leaders are looking for answers in all the wrong places.