MSDN And TechNet Virtualized

Lately I’ve been analyzing various solutions for resource (applications, desktops and servers) virtualization, pooling and provisioning from the various players in this market (Microsoft, Citrix , VMware , Sun , HP).

There are many advantages to virtualization:

  • Hardware consolidation with out the need for server consolidation.
    • Energy cost reduction.
      • Servers and desktops can be instantiated on demand. No more need to have machines turned on waiting for users.
    • Hardware cost reduction.
      • One big machine can host many servers and desktops.
  • Ease of deployment and maintenance.
    • Deploying is just copying a file.
    • Patching can de done on a copy that is deployed after.
  • Ease of diagnostics.
    • If a problem occurs, it can be diagnosed on a copy that will be then patched and redeployed.
  • Ease of development.
    • When development teams need a new environment for a new application they just need to deploy and start up a copy of a pre-existing environment.
  • Business continuity
    • If a data center is taken offline for any reason, all it takes is new machines and the latest backup and you’re up and running. (It’s not that easy, but a lot easier than installing all the applications in the data center).
  • … and much more.

Lately there has been some discussions on database virtualization. Database systems are very resource intensive (both memory and I/O), but the advantages for business continuity purposes are starting to weigh in some IT departments’ decisions.

When a co-worker and good friend of mine told me that Microsoft had virtualized MSDN and TechNet, I couldn’t believe it. You can get the detailed report from here.