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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  • jhh - Monday, July 25, 2011 - link

    Without SR-IOV virtual NICs, network-bound applications don't virtualize well, as the virtualization layer has to handle each packet individually. SR-IOV allows virtual NICs in the guest access, without significant involvement from the virtualization layer. The virtual NICs have difficulty with live migration of guests, because the hardware association with the virtual NIC driver, and associated state information. I saw one company which transitioned between processing packets in the virtualization layer during the switch to avoid this problem. Related to this problem is access to storage. FCoE and iSCSI are a couple of options, with different host overhead.

    What do you see in the future for better support of virtual network devices and live migration, both on the hardware and software side? What direction do you see storage access going - FCoE or iSCSI or something else? What options are there for hardware acceleration capabilities, and will they support live migration? What impact will that have on data center networks?
  • ProDigit - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    How long until Intel Atom Z processor powered servers (or ARM) become available for small businesses, mainly servers that handle several tens or perhaps hundreds of atom cores?

    And how far are we from an (Intel) 100+ thread, low power CPU core (also for small servers/ home project rendering farms/video conversion)?

    Talking about a serious boost in the amount of threads a CPU can process (to increase performance of multi threaded apps), while lowering cores to 1,66 or 1Ghz per core to keep power draw low (or at tolerable levels)!
  • bobbozzo - Wednesday, July 27, 2011 - link

    I doubt I/O would scale well with that many processors.
  • ProDigit - Tuesday, July 26, 2011 - link

    ps: above comment is also meant for cloud serving, the more hardware side of cloud services.
    I'm sure many services could do perfectly fine with low power, megamulti threaded machines, while others that run mainly games would probably need some serious arrays of Xeon processors or something...

    I'm more interested in the smaller, simpler cloud services, at least, the hardware that they could be running!
  • casperb - Friday, July 29, 2011 - link

    Of the available and soon-to-be released processors from the different manufacturers, which is likely to be most suitable for the most widely used cloud applications and why?

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