So in the past couple of weeks I have been looking at all sorts of different hardware platforms to run a vSphere environement. In our environment at work we run all kinds of different implementations. We use Dynamic Desktop Virtualization (DDV), Virtual Desktop Infrastrucuture (VDI), Remote site virtualization, and finally Server Virtualization. We started late in the game but have made relitively great leaps in moving forward. We currently have about 5000 VDI desktops, 300 DDV desktops (Very New), and over 2000 Virtual Servers at 2 data centers, Not to mention the remote sites as well.
So obviously this begs the question. Why haven’t we looked at what UCS, vBlock, or other hardware platforms have to offer? Something tells me in the heat of getting things to a virtual platform we had to just go with something very quick. Our big virtual push begin over a year ago and as of today we still leverage HP Hardware systems and most recently built a cluster of 12 DL380′s which are performing much better then what we have seen with our previous implementations. This however still doesn’t address other concerns like centralized management, Randomized workloads, and consolidation of other things like networking – which UCS and HP can bring to the table. Not to mention Xsigio? I probably left a few out but please forgive my ignorance..
When its all said and done I am looking back going why? I still think it would be great to see what UCS could bring to the table but in our environment we deal with many different types of workloads. We have UNIX, Windows, Essbase, Oracle, SQL, Active Driectory (One of the largest), and this is to name only a few and have yet to begin to virtualize these systems. Given we have gotten some Dev and Cert areas done but we all know production is a different beat altogether. We implemented HP Blades on our first go around – no 10g there. Now we have implemented DL380′s and still no 10g there as well. Cisco UCS can bring a lot more ROI in the long run when you just look at network consolidation and management. However, performance isn’t really where we are hurting – the place I see most improvement in the virtual infrastructure is the storage side of things. How do you maintain that solid disk read/writes with out running into hot spots and taking a huge hit in performance? I have seen systems like IBM XIV and NetAPP IPAM card that can really help with that though I think NetAPP is better due to how are environment has many different kinds of workloads. I really hope we see different hardware platforms being tested this next year and quit taking all this stuff from HP. Don’t get me wrong I like HP and they do have good products for virtualization I personally would like to see some competition and anwers to some of these questions. Anyways here is a bit on our environment.
Feel free to comment!
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So me and a colleague had some conversation about storage and we are doing in our environments at this moment in time. He mentioned that they do use XIV and mentioned some of the things it could do when it comes to provisioning, load balancing, and things of that nature. Not to mention the ability for adding capacity without downtime and so forth.
I am ofcourse kind of a NetAPP fan but in the end I always want to be unbiased as much as possible as I dont really work for any vendor out there. In fact, we only started using NetAPP recently and in our current VDI/DDV environment use NFS in particular. In our server virtualization environment we use it for FC and ofcourse run ESX on the bl460c blades – thats HP ofcourse.
After this conversation I decided to do some digging on my own and as always I came across some old blog post and decided if anyone else was interested in learning about IBM XIV they too can take a look. Ofcourse don’t try to pass it off as something that is a hot topic as it seems the dust may of settled from what I could read. If you also have any good reading links that you would like me to post leave them in the comments and I will certainly add them. As alway Thanks!