Virtualization for Clouds–Which Is the Best?
There are many good reasons for moving to cloud computing. Clouds can be highly effective and efficient for managing applications and processes. In addition, they’re proving to be important venues for fundamental innovation through new cloud-centric applications.
As the cover story in this issue makes clear, the most efficient and effective cloud environments are built on secure, scalable virtualization technology. It’s a simple formula: The greater the security and scalability of the underlying virtualization, the greater the value derived from the cloud.
This must be taken into careful consideration by IT leaders and professionals planning to implement a cloud infrastructure—especially if the cloud is to carry mission-critical workloads. All workloads are by no means equal. Virtualization that may be merely “good enough” is inadequate where mission-critical workloads are concerned.
Superior security and scalability are among the major reasons why many organizations, after investigating all of their virtualization options, have decided to make Power Systems* technology with PowerVM* virtualization the foundation for their clouds. PowerVM technology has set the highest standard for efficiency and capability with dynamic logical partitioning, live partition mobility, active memory sharing and other unique features lacking in other virtualization packages.
One key differentiator is that PowerVM virtualization is dynamically scalable—resources can be either added or removed from running applications. By contrast, VMware only scales up—so to reduce resources, the applications must be shut down.
The superior capabilities of PowerVM virtualization are well documented. With its core technology built into the system firmware, it offers a highly secure virtualization platform. It’s notable that the PowerVM hypervisor has never had a single security vulnerability. A recent study by Solitaire Interglobal titled “Does Your Virtualization Platform Matter?” ibm.co/JXvOwe found that PowerVM virtualization excelled in key criteria compared with other virtualization platforms, including:
• 170.9 percent faster deployment times
• 71.4 percent lower overall expense
• 5.5 times less downtime, which translates to higher availability
• 105 percent advantage in resource utilization
Cloud infrastructures built on Power Systems servers with PowerVM virtualization are delivering significant benefits to organizations across regions and industries. One example is the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, which significantly improved SAP response times, cut backup time by more than 99 percent and reduced client setup time by 90 percent when it deployed a Power* technology-based cloud solution. SAP landscape provisioning that used to take five days now takes 12 hours.
Another instance is China Telecom, which reduced time to market for new offerings from three or four months to just two or three days—a key competitive advantage—with a Power technology-based private cloud.
The importance of selecting the best virtualization upon which to build a cloud infrastructure can’t be overstated. Business as well as technology factors must be weighed. Comparisons must be carefully made among competing options. In my view, success in achieving the full advantages of moving to the cloud rests ultimately on the strength and quality of its virtualization foundation.
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