fault tolerance

VMworld 2008VMware announced that they now view their product, VMWare’s VI3, as the Virtual Datacenter OS and are building to provide services to the entire datacenter for automation, security, and dependability.  By creating a system that virtualizes the computing power, storage, and memory required for applications, they are positioning themselves as a full service provider for applications in the datacenter.  This concept will be more fully developed in the upcoming release of VI4… sometime in 2009.

Fault Tolerance is a new feature being built into the new VI4, allowing for mirrored VMs, one in production and the other on standby, that ships transactions from the hypervisor from one to the other.  In event of a failure on the primary VM, the backup will automatically take over with NO DOWNTIME…  Yes, that is correct.  By shipping hypervisor calls, the backup is perfectly in sync with the last transaction and therefore a perfect replica for the production environment.

VMSafe is a new API being built into VMware’s VI3 allowing for third party security partners to monitor the hypervisor transactions.  Simply put, you can run a virtual appliance to handle firewall, antivirus, and IDS on each host and be able to monitor the activities for all guests, thereby eliminating the need to run those processes within each VM.  Saves on overhead and licensing from a client perspective while maintaining secure computing within your guest servers.

vSwitches are a new concept being introduced at VMWare.  By creating a virtual switching environment that can be spanned over servers in a cluster, it eliminates the need to configure virtual networking for each host in the infrastructure.  This not only eliminates management overhead and potential configuration mistakes, but also allows for easier replication between hosts, central management, and the ability to monitor VMs on a cluster basis as opposed as a host basis.

Those are a few of the new announcements and concepts being discussed a VMWorld.  Please feel free to add your own insights to these solutions or others being discussed.


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