Virtualization of Virtual Environments
Key drivers of the next wave of virtualization projects for mission-critical applications are the growing concerns of line of business executives over business continuity in a competitive 24x7 economic environment. The challenge for IT is to assuage the business continuity fears of corporate executives within budget constraints that exclude costly disaster recovery components, such as fault-tolerant servers, redundant hardware and software, and standby network bandwidth.
The cost-effective solution for business continuity that IT is now embracing is an extended VOE for mission-critical applications. Using a hierarchy of workloads as fundamental building blocks, IT can respond in minutes to changes in business processing via the automatic provisioning and moving of VMs. This is a game changer for the old perception of IT as being a cost center and not a business enabler.
Nonetheless, moving beyond simple, stand-alone VM solutions into the world of complex business workloads increases the complexity of provisioning and prototyping. Using CloudShare, however, IT can focus entirely on the construct of a workload, which has a natural affinity to a CloudShare environment and a business service.
From Workflow Problem to Cloud Prototype
Large, complex workflows are especially problematic for in-house IT groups. The issue for them is the freeing up of sufficient resources to provision a full environment for testing and evaluation. Using the CloudShare environment construct, the only resource needed for testing and development is a desktop PC with a high-speed connection to the Internet.
To test the ability to stage a second-generation proof-of-concept VOE that demonstrates the ability to deploy and collaborate about a business continuity SLA, we used CloudShare to create a prototype cloud platform with five VMs: four servers and one desktop. Three servers ran 32-bit Windows Server 2008, the fourth ran 64-bit Windows Server 2008 R2, and the desktop VM ran Windows XP Pro. In addition, we installed Active Directory 2008, DNS, IIS 2008 and Exchange 2010 on the servers. We also installed up.time 5 server resource monitoring to track performance, resource usage and SLA compliance. On the desktop VM, we ran MS Office 2010 and Acrobat X.