Set my Applications free – Achieving VM Mobility

Virtualization 1.0 provided an early taste of the value of application mobility by allowing the live migration of virtual machines to alternate hosts. But that mobility was confined to a single hypervisor, and for the most part a single data center. In virtualization 2.0 we want to set that application free, allowing it to move between hypervisors and even outside the data center to managed service providers (MSP) or public cloud service providers (CSP).

What is Virtualization 2.0?

At Storage Switzerland, we talk a lot about the next wave of virtualization where the focus is on more than just server consolidation and improved application availability. In the next wave, “Virtualization 2.0”, we want that return on investment (ROI) to lap the initial ROI that made virtualization 1.0 such a success. This can be accomplished by increasing VM density and it can also be done by enhancing application or virtual machine mobility.

The Value of Application Mobility

There are many benefits that almost any sized data center can reap from application mobility. The most apparent is disaster recovery, the ability to have an application on standby in a separate facility, be it the organization’s site, an MSP, or a CSP like Amazon. Service providers are ideal targets because they typically manage a well maintained multi-tenant data center and they typically charge by computing resources used, which for a standby system would be almost nothing.

Cloud bursting is another use case. This allows an organization to quickly move an application to an MSP or CSP for additional compute resources to address a spike in demand. Cloud bursting is ideal for seasonal workload spikes and allows data centers to build for normal demand instead of just a worst case scenario.

The Key is Agnosticity

The keys for application mobility to truly work is complete agnosticity from the underlying storage resources, the hypervisor, and the location. To be agnostic requires encapsulating the virtual machine metadata and abstracting it from the day-to-day environment so that it can be easily transported.

For more information, check out this video with my colleague Colm Keegan, Senior Analyst at Storage Switzerland and Jennifer Gill, VP of Global Marketing at Zerto as they walk through some of the issues associated with setting those applications free.


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George Crump is the Chief Marketing Officer of StorONE. Prior to StorONE, George spent almost 14 years as the founder and lead analyst at Storage Switzerland, which StorONE acquired in March of 2020. In his spare time, he continues to write blogs on Storage Switzerland to educate IT professionals on all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought-after public speaker. With over 30 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS, SAN, Virtualization, Cloud, and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland, he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration, and product selection.

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