Intel is among the companies embracing the current trend for virtulisation. We spoke to senior solution architect at Intel Australia Peter Kerney to get the low-down on the technology and its future.
PCA: In CPU development it appears its becoming more and more expensive to increase CPU speeds, but the number of cores is increasing. Do you believe that the expansion of multiple core technology in CPUs will impact the future of virtualisation? If so, how?
PK: As Intel introduces products with more and more cores, certainly virtualisation is one way of utilising this extra processing power by consolidating a number of workloads onto the platforms.
This is not the only way to take advantage of multiple cores. ISVs are seeing the benefits of parallelising their applications in order to realise these higher performance levels in a non-virtualised environment as well.
PCA: In your experience, what are people using virtualisation for now? What is the most common reason and why? Do you think this will be changing in the future?
PK: As already mentioned, virtualisation can be used in a number of different usage models. There are figures available from third-party research organisations that break down the most common usages.
From memory, I think that server consolidation is the most common one right now. I think that some of the virtualisations vendors such as VMware have some excellent data on this.
There appear to be two common trends at the moment: the first is where the enterprise takes a few big expensive machines and virtualises everything on them, and the second is for the enterprise to get many more small cheap machines and to make a small cluster out of them so that it doesn't matter if one or two go down.
PCA: Is this what you're seeing? Which trend do you think will dominate? Which way of doing things do you think is better?
PK: The first method you describe is server consolidation. As mentioned previously this is just one usage model. The other method is a virtual pool of compute resources or a cluster.
There is not one approach that will apply to all enterprise workloads. There is still a place for large scale systems as well as clusters of smaller nodes. It is very much application specific as to which platform infrastructure is more appropriate for a given workload.
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