match to our needs to create a single
integrated desktop—DaaS, or Desktop
as a Service: one vendor for the presentation layer, a different one for application virtualization, and a third one for
The more interesting point is that
from an IT management point of view,
the hypervisor is getting less and less
interesting. Worry less about where
you get your hypervisor from and more
about where you get your management
from. Ask whether the management
you need today can be sufficiently provided by your vendor, whether that is
the hardware partner, a third-party, or
the direct vendor.
Is the Microsoft hypervisor going
to perform slightly better with small
packet operations than the other competitors? Maybe, but that is just for this
release; it’s ephemeral. By the time
you’ve installed it, the competitive matrix has changed, so realistically you
don’t care. It all comes down to the fact
that management technologies change
slower than hypervisor technologies.
mache cReeGeR: It’s like the TPCc
wars of the early 1990s. Vendors would
jockey back and forth after every release, but at some point customers realized that they could not pick a vendor
based on who was ahead at any given
It was mentioned that some companies were putting management tools
together over the cloud, and that Microsoft is developing a multi-hypervi-sor management console.
aLLen ste WaRt: Microsoft is an established system-management company
and look at managing systems holistically. Initially we focused on the workload and were moving the VM based on
the performance of the VM. Now we’re
looking at the workload that’s running
in the VM and making decisions based
tom BishoP: This is the hard part. You
want to make the decision based on application behavior, not on VM behavior.
mache cReeGeR: You want service-level agreements (SLAs).
tom BishoP: The problem is that by
and large SLAs are not available today.
aLLen steWaRt: And that is totally
our focus in the system-management
a feature set, not
an objective. it’s
a technology that
we should look at
in the same way
as compilers or
it’s a passing fad.
the real benefits
will come out of
the overall ability
throughout its life
tom BishoP: All you’re going to do is
change the problem. Will everybody
build all of their applications using
Microsoft tools? No. All we’ve done
is change the context in which we address the SLA.
aLLen ste WaRt: Actually in the Microsoft Systems Center world, we don’t
require you to do that any more. We do
require that you have some knowledge
about the actual application, and ISVs
are building in that knowledge. Once
you have that knowledge, you can then
make decisions based on that knowledge.
mache cReeGeR: So should we expect
that over time vendors will define standards around instrumentation for ser-vice-level responsiveness, but that it’s
going to take a long time to get there?
simon cRosBy: I don’t think so. Somebody tell me a metric that everybody
cares about. Somebody tell me what
tom BishoP: It’s capacity, throughput,
and response level.
aLLen ste WaRt: And one of the ways
you do that is by standardizing higher up
in the stack. When developers are build-
ing these applications, this SLA model
is composed with the application.
steve BouRne: One of the things that
I have heard from the NANOGd guys
(North American Network Operators
Group) is that you are nuts if you’re
running your desktop in a non-virtu-
al-machine environment and visiting
random Web sites. So my question is
do you see security on the desktop as a
simon cRosBy: Yes. There are two
layers of virtualization that are useful
there. One is the isolation between applications and OSs, where applications
are streamed to desktops. The other is
having separate VMs for different contexts—a VM for a user’s personal context, which can be thrown away and restarted again, and another VM for their
People like me want applications
to work on an airplane. Another category of user is the task worker. I think
there’s a ton of different technologies
that could provide viable solutions but
I think it’s too early to comprehensively
understand which ones apply to specific user categories.