Is Virtualization Ready for Mission Critical Applications?

Many IT departments embrace virtualization as a cost-saving technique, yet they hesitate to deploy it for their truly core applications.

Many IT departments embrace virtualization as a cost-saving technique, yet they hesitate to deploy it for their company's truly core applications. Paul Rubens discusses VMware's take on the issue.

Is virtualization technology really ready to handle your mission-critical applications, or is that just foolish, foolish, wishful thinking? It's an important question because there's definitely a feeling in the air that the time to virtualize everything has finally come. You can almost smell the inevitability of it.

As you'd imagine, VMware is rubbing its corporate hands with glee at the prospect while making itself busy encouraging anyone who wants to listen. Talking at the VMware Forum 2011 in London earlier this month, David Burgess, a VMware solution architect, argued that it's not just that you could virtualize your mission-criticals -- it's more that you should. Running business-critical applications on physical, non-virtualized servers is actually bad for business, he'd have you believe. And perhaps he has a point.

Of course, Burgess works for VMware, so he's paid to take that view, but that doesn't mean it's not worth listening to him and making up your own mind. One of his key points is that 95 percent of mission-critical applications (as he defines them) can't make use of all the resources of the physical servers on which they run. "If you look at it, most of these applications can't scale beyond two to four cores," Burgess said. Since the performance of the applications running in VMs is about the same as those running on physical servers, he maintains, what's the argument against server virtualization? "Running business-critical apps in a physical environment is simply not sustainable," he said.

Read the rest about virtualizing mission critical applications at ServerWatch.

Tags: virtualization, VMware

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