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DH2i: Getting Mission Critical Apps Virtualized

Last week we found ourselves in a discussion with a new vendor in the virtualization space. It’s a crowded space to get into but their target seems right on – virtualizing mission-critical applications. That’s a hot topic these days as folks try to squeeze even more benefits out of enterprise virtualization efforts by tackling apps that have high availability, performance, and integrated storage requirements.

DH2i presented their approach to virtualizing the application at a distinct level above the hypervisor-based virtual machine. In fact their approach to application virtualization is agnostic as to whether the underlying O/S is running on a virtual or physical instance.  

It’s interesting to consider the limits of server virtualization when it comes to managing critical applications. For example, can server hypervisors ever provide the same virtualization benefits to individual database instances that they provide to machine instances? The primary database owner, usually a DBA, tends to work at the instance level and may have hundreds of instances to manage. Sure, each database instance could be run in its own virtual machine, but that could lead to terrific VM sprawl, not to mention huge licensing costs and perhaps unnecessary strain on the VM hosts.  And then the DBA effectively needs to administer each VM instance rather than focusing on the database layer.

Ideally the database application itself would be abstracted from the O/S, enabling the DBA to work more effectively with idealized “virtualized” database instances. IT admins could then host and shift those virtual app instances around the data center (or cloud), as cost, capacity, performance, and availability needs dictate.

What DH2i is offering with their first release of DxConsole, database virtualization above the O/S for Microsoft SQL Server, sounds promising:

·      High workload mobility – migrate database instances seamlessly across VMs and physical hosts as needed

·      Incredibly simplified database app version maintenance and upgrade with golden images not of whole VM’s, but of database installs

·      Avoiding machine sprawl – virtual and physical – since effectively isolated database instances can easily be stacked on the same O/S

·      And for some databases like SQL Server, stacking in this way can save big licensing costs

Application virtualization appears to be the necessary next step in bringing virtualization to mission-critical applications. By layering application virtualization on top of server and storage virtualization, the benefits multiply. And it’s not just for layering on server virtualization - we think application virtualization could soon play an important role in the more agile enterprise in the areas of DevOps, quick test and dev cycling, hybrid cloud hosting, and big data analysis.

  • Premiered: 04/18/12
  • Author: Mike Matchett
Topic(s): Virtualization Application Virtualization DH2i SQL Server database virtualization


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