I just finished reading Jim Klein’s thought-provoking piece “Is XEN Ready for the Data Center? Is That the Right Question?” on the Server Virtualization Blog, and in my opinion, he’s got it right in several areas, such as:

  • People focus too much on the GUI interfaces, data center tools and virtualization in particular aren’t desktop macros or spreadsheet chart wizards, you can expect to use a command line interface now and then and often a well-written and implemented script can be the most useful item in your system management quiver
  • Virtualization-awareness is a growing trend, where the actual OS knows it’s being virtualized and compensates for that fact, by being more flexible in requesting resources, how it accesses memory and hardware and in how it performs under load
  • Why XEN seems to be winning the marathon, but not every footrace. Typically, when talking about VMWare or other legacy or historical virtualization schemes, people discuss how “refined” or “mature” they are, which is probably what was said about the dinosaurs, and has certainly been said about many things that are currently established. I mean, buggy whip manufacturers responded poorly to the advent of cars, if they had blogs back then there would have been all sorts of opining about how cars are an “unproven technology” and “unfit for the roadways” etc.
  • Should you begin to use virtualization? What version or type should you use? I recommend reading everything you can on the topic, and engage with one of us about it, there are a lot of reasons to use any of the available methods, it’s best to do some discovery before just plunking down and hacking away at it

I recommend reading Jim’s article, and make your way through both the Server Virtualization Blog and our own Virtualization and DataCenter categories. Time well spent.