Over the last few years virtualization became a mainstream tool for IT administrators looking to consolidate applications within a data center and continues to be adopted as companies expand the technology to plan for business continuity and create high-availability servers.
At the same time virtualization becomes more available in desktops and mobile devices, where the increased flexibility allows businesses and consumers to reduce costs and increase security.
At VMware’s conference in San Francisco today, their chief scientist Mendel Rosenblum demoed an impressive step ahead in raising the high-availability capabilities of Virtualization technology.
Rosenblum saw the future of Virtualization and named it continuous high availability
He demonstrated two servers running Microsoft Exchange Server being replicated in real time from one virtualization host to another. The primary server on stage that was running the equivalent of 50 users pounding on Microsoft Outlook. The server’s ongoing activity was being mirrored on a secondary server, which was receiving a live stream of events as they were entered into the log of the virtual machine on the first server.
Through a new twist on VMware’s management software, Virtual Infrastructure 3, he unplugged the primary machine, and the second detected a failure and shifted handling the users to the secondary server. Since this secondary server was already receiving a stream of log events, it could pick up at the precise point where the other had left off. The pause between one virtual machine stopping and the secondary server’s virtual machine starting appeared to be about a second. This is basically extending to memory and input devices interaction what is applied to storage data with continuous data protection (CDP) solutions well-known in the security industry. Read the above twice and show of your knowledge of the latest acronym to your tech-savvy friends and explain what CHA or “continuous high availability” stands for in Virtualized environments.
“Ultimately, virtualization will bring about a vision that server makers years ago presented–a dynamically adjusting, self-managing data center…since this approach works not for a few select applications but for anything that runs in a VMware virtual machine! By adopting an approach in between streaming and software-as-a-service, the application starts to run after about 10% of the download occurs, making virtualized applications more palatable to end users…What we’re effectively doing is taking things that were statically assigned in the past and turning them over to a piece of software that makes decisions about how to schedule it. We’re moving toward this idea of a data center that really manages the hardware itself.” Rosenblum added.
Although this much applauded technology is far from being shipped to their customers, VMware seems to have set another milestone in the Virtualization history.
Detailed reports of his keynote are written by the editors Stephen Shankland, Charles Babcock and industry blogger Alessandro Perilli.