Central management of virtual resources

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1 Central management of virtual resources White paper Executive summary Virtual sprawl, a lack of uniform security, and corporations inability to clearly see and manage their entire virtualization environments hinder the effective use of virtual computing. This paper examines the root causes of these potential obstacles to enterprise virtualization and proposes cost-effective solutions to more effective deployment and management of virtual assets. Introduction Virtualization has become the most adopted technology by businesses over the last four years. According to a study by IDC, virtualization services are expected to grow to $11.7 billion in sales by The reason for the enormous growth in virtualization technology is simple: virtualization enables businesses to better utilize a greater percentage of their computing resources, saving them money, time, and energy. Cost savings are real and readily quantifiable. Gartner recommends that vendors take advantage during this disruptive period by introducing leading-edge management tools in support of virtualization initiatives and ensure that virtualizationspecific management products can integrate within existing management frameworks. Alan Dayley, Research Director, Gartner Group Initially adopted by large enterprises, virtualization is now making great inroads into medium and small businesses as the technology becomes more affordable and easier to deploy. In particular, this growth in adoption by smaller businesses is a key indicator that virtualization is now a mature and stable technology. Companies experience the biggest financial gain when implementing server virtualization. This consolidation reduces the number of physical servers in most data centers while increasing the overall utilization of existing resources. Network virtualization helps many companies overcome network bandwidth bottlenecks and, again, get the most from their existing equipment rather than purchase additional switches and routers. Finally, companies deploy storage virtualization to reclaim partially used disk space and enhance disaster recovery at their sites. All virtualization technologies allow companies to quickly deploy new resources within a virtualized environment once they develop a virtual server, network, or storage template, they can easily replicate the virtualized service for additional resources. However, as with many maturing technologies, rapid adoption of virtualization also introduces complications. While virtualization architecture, engineering, and features have stabilized, customers are now concentrating on making their operations more efficient and secure. As more and more solutions enter the market, selecting the right virtualization product for a particular business environment or application becomes more difficult, particularly when customers must integrate products from multiple vendors. Additionally, management and optimization tools for virtualization technology have not matured at the same rate as the core technologies.

2 The need for virtualization management Because of the relatively rapid deployment of virtualization technologies, many companies have identified numerous key issues that must be resolved. These issues generally center on greater integration of services, better visibility into virtualization processes, and matching virtualization services to existing and future workloads and applications. Without such improvements, companies may not realize virtualization s full benefits. 1 Visibility and performance With many differing virtualization products deployed at once, or across many sites, most companies have little insight into their total virtualization environments. Administrators must hop from management console to management console in an attempt to piece together a unified picture of their virtual resources. In this scenario, inevitable conflicts over resources occur. In some cases, a critical lack of resources becomes apparent only when applications demand them and it is too late to provision additional physical devices. Applications can experience a sudden drop in performance when resources run low. The ability to view and monitor virtualization services on a global basis throughout the enterprise is essential for not only application integrity, but also to ensure servicelevel agreements (SLAs) are met. Capacity planning and application stability depend on a clear, unambiguous view into virtualization resources. In short, the only way to fully optimize critical resources and guarantee SLAs is through central visibility management. 2 IT organizations need new processes and systems to address virtual environments. Walker White, XML Journal Security Many companies may take the security of their virtual services for granted, but virtual operations are only as secure as the physical platforms on which they run. Consequently, many virtual services may be at risk. In particular, the two areas of greatest concern are network connections among virtual services and the use of virtual services by unauthorized users. While many of these security concerns can be addressed at the physical layer, the time and administration efforts required can be overwhelming and may not consider all scenarios. Therefore, addressing security concerns on a globally managed basis is best. Visibility into virtual environments is a key element in controlling security. Virtual sprawl and non-compliance Because deploying and copying virtual environments is easy, unsophisticated users and branch and remote sites may be cloning and saving a proliferation of virtual machines, creating virtual sprawl. With no centralized control, these virtual environments can spring up across the enterprise, jeopardizing regulatory guidelines and compliance rules, such as GLBA, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and many others. Internal data compliance restraints are also regularly violated in such environments. Each instance of a virtual environment needs to be as carefully managed as physical resources, but without the proper tools and 1 Shirman, Mark. What s Next for Virtualization: Optimizing the Environment. TechNewsWorld, December 10, Desai, Anil. Optimizing Virtualization Performance. Virtual Strategy Magazine, March 21,

3 safeguards in place, violations are sure to follow. In a Gartner Group report from August 2007, analyst Cameron Haight warns that virtual machine sprawl is a major concern that appears to lack a comprehensive solution. Aside from the compliance and administrative costs this sprawl represents, unchecked and ad-hoc virtualization can consume all the resources and cost-benefits realized by the initial move to virtualization technology. 3 Proliferation of virtualization products Compounding the need for central management and visibility into virtual resources is the proliferation of virtualization solutions. Many companies had the foresight to standardize on one platform, thereby easing some of these management issues. However, many others have adopted specific virtualization technologies to solve very specific IT goals which may only accomplished by mixing solutions from various vendors. Also, limiting the enterprise to one virtualization vendor may be a dead end, as critical point solutions and new enterprise technology advances may come from a vendor other than the one chosen as the standard. Again, the need for central management and visibility across a variety of products and vendors is essential to creating the most cost-effective and productive virtual infrastructure. The case has been made so strongly for virtualization technologies that companies are no longer questioning whether to use them but many may not be optimizing their systems to glean the most value from their investments. Mark Shirman, CEO, Glasshouse Technologies Need for virtualization management tools For companies to adequately realize the full benefits of virtualization, they must have the tools to view and manage their virtual resources. Management capabilities should include the ability to monitor and secure virtual resources, improve network and application performance, and, ideally, manage both physical and virtual assets from the same interface. Circadence MVS 1300 Systems Management suite: Central management of virtual resources Since its inception in 1993, Circadence has worked with companies in every conceivable business environment and many government and defense-related institutions. Consequently, the company has closely tracked its customers use of virtualization, and in many cases, worked with customers to solve many of the challenges in effectively utilizing virtualization products and virtualized assets. In 2006, Circadence delivered virtual WAN optimization products and support for Xen server and Oracle virtualization, as well as the industry s only virtualized WAN optimization. In April 2008, Circadence delivered the MVS 1300 Systems Management suite a comprehensive platform for managing the performance and assets of virtual environments. Central visibility and control 3 White, Walker. Optimizing Virtualization Success in a Time of Virtual Sprawl. XML Journal, September 11,

4 With the MVS 1300 Systems Management suite, companies can view and manage both the physical and virtual assets of their entire enterprise whether in one location, across remote sites, or across the globe. By giving administrators a tool to finally view their entire environments, managing assets to improve performance, guaranteeing SLAs, and ensuring compliance are more feasible and cost-effective. Using the Circadence MVS 1300 Systems Management suite, administrators can view and manage the physical and virtual assets of servers, network connections, desktops, and handheld devices. In addition, the MVS 1300 Systems Management suite is platform agnostic, supporting VMware, Xen, Oracle, and Microsoft hypervisors. Both Windows workstations and server service are supported, and Circadence offers support for a growing list of handheld computers and smartphone devices. 4 Strong security The Circadence MVS platform uses Active Directory for assigning virtual asset permissions. Therefore, Active Directory rights secure creating and maintaining virtual assets. Rogue virtual machines and non-compliant use of physical and virtual assets is eliminated. Since permission for the creation or cloning of virtual assets can also be assigned, Circadence MVS solutions can help prevent virtual sprawl. For the first time, virtual assets can be tied to uniform user and group policies. In addition, the Circadence MVS 1300 Systems Management suite utilizes Circadence s patented optimization protocol, which not only improves network bandwidth throughput but also provides U.S. Department of Defense (DoD)-grade encryption across any WAN without requiring hardware upgrades. Cloud computing on demand With the Circadence MVS 1300 Systems Management suite, enterprises can pool virtual resources for true cloud computing. Resources can be combined from across the enterprise from the central management interface, allowing companies to allocate resources when and where they are required. Because the Circadence MVS 1300 Systems Management suite is tied to Active Directory policies, users have access to only the resources allotted to them, ensuring the security of virtual and physical assets. For example, as the workday ends at a company site in the U.K., resources can be reallocated to offices in the U.S. or reassigned to special projects at other global facilities. Utilizing Circadence s superior built-in WAN optimization, these cloud computing environments do not sacrifice performance or suffer from network congestion. Circadence solutions for virtualization Circadence virtualization solutions are available in the following products: Circadence Virtual MVO This network solution provides support for Oracle VM, VMware, Microsoft Virtual Server, Xen, and other virtualization solutions and can serve as a virtual gateway. Circadence MVS 1300 Host Installed on each server with a minimal footprint, the server becomes a part of the network of resources. Virtualization the abstraction of computing resources into virtual representations is generally deployed in four key areas: Network virtualization: Physical connections and bandwidth are bundled into virtual data channels. Server virtualization: Virtual servers, including CPUs, drives, and memory, are created from one or more physical servers. Storage virtualization: Pools of physical disk drives are used to create one or more virtual drives. Desktop virtualization: Preconfigured desktop environments that include authorized applications and configurations are delivered to users on the network, simplifying the deployment and support of end-user devices. Subsets of virtualization include application and memory virtualization, as well as the creation of computer clusters and grid computing by combining multiple physical

5 Circadence MVS 1300 Manager This web-based interface module allows administrators to deploy and manage an unlimited number of virtual and physical machines from anywhere in the enterprise. Optimization protocol Built in to all Circadence applications, Circadence s patented protocol optimizes WAN performance in virtual environments by tunneling through network congestion. Circadence s protocol enhances and enables communications across networks that struggle with high latency, packet loss, high-bit error rates, constant data transfer, and large file transfers. Solution testing has shown that Circadence s protocol can push data across the Internet up to 36 times faster than ordinary transport methods such as TCP/IP. These transport improvements prove especially valuable in combating heavy Internet congestion. Conclusion Circadence MVS software provides the management tools for improving the performance, visibility, and security of virtual assets throughout the enterprise. Platformagnostic, the MVS 1300 Systems Management suite allows administrators to combine virtual assets on demand to create cloud computing environments from many virtual resources. The underlying Circadence technology provides WAN optimization and acceleration with no modifications to the existing network infrastructure. Circadence s patented optimization protocol tunnels through network congestion and incorporates an additional layer of network security. About Circadence Since 1993, Circadence has leveraged the power of advanced technologies to pioneer smarter, faster, and more cost-effective solutions for improving IT performance. What started with an innovative platform for making massively multiplayer online games run faster has quickly grown into the most capable suite of optimization solutions available. Based in Boulder, Colorado, Circadence continues to expand today s possibilities with tomorrow s technologies addressing new, growing concerns with dynamic, highperformance solutions. Only Circadence offers the most capable IT innovation solutions available proven to outperform some of the world s most demanding challenges. For more information on Circadence, visit Circadence. All rights reserved. Circadence, the Circadence logo, Technology powered by tomorrow, Circadence MVS, and Circadence MVO are trademarks or registered trademarks of Circadence in the U.S. and in other countries all other trademarks referenced in this document are the property of their respective owners. 5

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