Last year we ran a little series called Ask the Experts where you all wrote in your virtualization related questions and we got them answered by experts at Intel, VMWare as well as our own expert on all things Enterprise & Cloud Computing - Johan de Gelas.

Given the growing importance of Enterprise & Cloud Computing technology we wanted to run another round, this time handled exclusively by Johan. The categories are broad, but if you've got any questions related to Enterprise, Datacenter and/or Cloud Computing respond in the comments. Johan will be picking a couple of questions to answer in his usual in-depth style next week!
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  • fzzzt - Saturday, July 23, 2011 - link

    That might seem like a good idea, but it isn't. Once an ant shorts a chip on the motherboard, or an intern pushes the wrong button, and your 200 VMs are down--possibly corrupted--you'll likely revisit that opinion.

    Different VM software schedules workloads differently, but generally speaking, the VM hypervisor manages separation between VMs and controls which VM uses which CPU. Registered RAM may be able to talk to each other, but I think the CPU or a bridge is a gatekeeper for that. Good VM hypervisors can share RAM and do other tricks like balooning or over-committing to make it appear that you have more RAM (or disk) than you actually do.

    VMware (and probably others) has documentation on most of these technologies if you're interested.
  • fzzzt - Saturday, July 23, 2011 - link

    Actually, I read this week somewhere about Microsoft I think and the US government requiring that it is able to gain access to data. The US government can, of course, attain data if it wants to (e.g. for security reasons), usually with a court order. The issue is that some of this cloud data is about European citizens...or something like the EU was up in arms about privacy. The US gov't can subpoena Google for all the email on the British Prime Minister, if it were stored in GMail, for example, since the data lives in the US. Complicating things is the fact that increasingly the data is replicated across countries.

    One can encrypt the data before it's put into the cloud, if security is important, though this will kill your throughput. There are safeguards on the service side to prevent cross-access, of course. It's just a matter of how paranoid you are. Do you trust the service provider? The system admin? The janitor? I suspect an enterprise that spends a large amount on security will either use a private cloud, or not store its data in a cloud.
  • iamabovetheclouds - Friday, July 22, 2011 - link

    Will Blu-Ray and USB become obsolete? Will people forgo optical drives?
  • HMTK - Friday, July 22, 2011 - link

    VMware just screwed their existing customers with their new licensing scheme.

    After introducing a new licensing model with vSphere 4 VMware has done it again and personally I think they're going to lose a lot of customers over this. Nobody's talking about the new features in vSphere 5, only about being screwed for the second time in as many years. Only this time it's worse than missing the new high end features you only get in vSphere Enterprise Plus. With the new licensing scheme CURRENT investments in vSphere licenses become insufficient for companies that use more than 48 GB/CPU on average. Companies that use any version for VDI are also screwed because is typically memory hungry and 48 GB/CPU just doesn't cut it.

    Any thoughts about how this may change the virtualization landscape? People are scrambling to check out Hyper-V and Xen and even when VMware changes its licensing for the better they may not come back. After all, VMware has for the second time proven to be a bad partner. Having the best technology is NOT enough. VHS vs BetaMax anyone?
  • ServiceChaperon - Friday, July 22, 2011 - link

    From an end business user service perspective, which cloud service is growing fastest? (Platform, Application, Data) Why?

    For businesses moving to cloud based services what order of migration makes the most sense? (Platform, Application, Data) Why?

    Suggestions for finding/working with software vendors to support cloud based platforms to run their applications? (It is hard getting vendors interested in making their products scalable for cloud platform (VM) based installations).

    Top three biggest security risks with cloud based services for businesses using external cloud service providers?

    Internally developed cloud vs. external cloud provider, which to choose and when?

    How to maintain a healthy datacenter architecture with both physical and VM based systems?

    Cloud for global service distribution vs. for compute power distribution, which is the biggest driver, when does each make sense?
  • prophet001 - Sunday, July 24, 2011 - link

    To piggy back on the security question. That is my biggest concern. Why would people want to give the government and large corporations more power and information? It has already been seen that anything is hackable and can be compromised. Not only that but the corporations themselves aren't necessarily the best place to land your personal and private documents.

    Why should we give all of our email to google or all of our word docs to microsoft? Why do we need to?
  • JohanAnandtech - Thursday, July 28, 2011 - link

    Your questions are very broad. Can you narrow them down a bit?
  • vignyan - Friday, July 22, 2011 - link

    With so many processors serving the cloud, It would be wise to improve the efficiency of the processor, by making a custom processor for the cloud. I am looking for feedback on some development in hardware front to make the developer's life easier and/or make processor's more efficient by effectively masking the processor's short commings with expectations from the cloud.
  • policeman0077 - Saturday, July 23, 2011 - link

    assignment of such a lot request from customers and hardwares must be a tough work
  • smcguire6177 - Saturday, July 23, 2011 - link

    With VMware stating that vsphere 5 will bring new license terms, their costs have also gone up exponentially. The data center I work at is looking at virtualizing all their machines using VMware, and based on what I've been reading on articles like the below, we would be severely affected.
    With costs going up astronomically for machines (half the costs of some blades or more?!?), do you see resellers moving away from high capacity machines to more mid-level configurations with lower power draw? Or is this the opportunity competing companies need to lessen the lead VMware offers in the visualization space and offer better value products?

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