Virtualize the entire data center? It sounds like the virtualization proponents have finally gone off the deep end. But, believe it or not, there is already a lot of conversation going on around the concept.
Think of it like this: We still have physical components at the data center level. We are still using servers, cooling equipment, and advanced types of power distribution technologies. Data center virtualization takes the entire data center layer and begins to abstract it. That means connecting the logical with the physical.
Consequently, as the modern data center evolves into the "data center of everything," engineers and architects will need to find new ways to control vital platforms from the growing number and types of threats against the datacenter environment. Four trends are driving this:
- The data center operating system. Companies like IO, which sells integrated data center hardware and software technology, are getting the idea quickly. They released their IO OS where administrators have granular visibility into components that they wouldn’t have been looking at otherwise. Furthermore, they are able to connect multiple data center nodes to create one logical cluster. This means one pane of glass -- and a lot more control over the entire data center management process.
- Connecting the physical and the logical. In the past, physical components would be separate from the virtual or logical workloads running on top. The modern data center has come so far that this approach no longer applies. Both components are vital to the entire delivery process, and there needs to be visibility into everything. This means seeing full metrics around both physical and non-physical systems running within the data center.
- New security requirements. Advanced, persistent threats (APTs) are wreaking havoc on data center workloads. Remember, these aren’t just your typical DDoS attacks. These are new, constantly live, and always present threats against physical and virtual data center components. Intelligent datacenter operating systems can now look for anomalies in normal operations and actually re-route network traffic if there is a situation. These DC OS platforms logically connect the datacenter to the applications and data that it houses. That way, it can better protect the entire logical and physical stack.
- Creating the mobile data center. No, your data center isn’t going to get up and run around. Rather, the virtualized data center can now be controlled in new ways. With so much DC distribution, there needs to be a way to see multiple nodes and control them virtually. So, in the sense of data center virtualization, administrators will be able to manage data centers from remote locations or intelligently bring multiple nodes together under one management UI. And yes, this does mean having some controls from mobile and web-based devices as well.
The abstraction of the hardware layer within the data center means we are able to deploy new types of controls -- and these new technologies are being deployed at a very fast pace. Segmenting physical components from the workloads that are running on top is no longer the right way to approach data center management. This is why data center virtualization offers a new -– and better -- way of seeing the data center operating system.
Big data center providers are already approaching this management methodology. What are the results? Greater visibility, more control, and the ability to be proactive with very important workloads.