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No Two Data Centers are the same

We just concluded the first iteration of training for the virtualization administrators at our prospect / customer data centers. We had representatives from one very large data center and another medium size data center in India apart from the folks from our Asia distributor.

The training program had a half day of theory followed by almost twodays of hands on sessions.

VMUnify basically helps service providers create compute instances for customer specific multi-tenant clouds. These compute instances are nothing but Virtual Machines or VMs. The most basic part of every VM is the OS, RAM, CPU, Storage and Network Interface cards. Though the customization of these resources is one of the most sought after features, there was no single view on how the customization options should be represented for these resources:

OS: Typical representation is in the form of the images available, for e.g., Win2k8 32 bit with a Web Server and Database component. Another form of representation is to go with a step-by-step procedure of selecting the OS first and then the applications that are required one by one. While the former method makes it easy for the customer to choose the option quickly, the representation on the UI can become cumbersome if there are more than 50 or 60 images.

Network Interface Cards: In our discussions with customers, we have seen VMs with one as well as four interface cards. While one of the prospects was ready to deploy VMUnify with support for just one interface card, the other one was insistent on us supporting 4 cards, before any deployment happens.

CPU: A basic way is to provide the ability to increase or decrease the CPU count in the VMs. Another option is to also be able to configure the percentage of the host CPU that is allocated to each VM. CPUs are also desired to be both shareable and dedicated.

RAM: Auto scaling or the ability to dynamically scale without user intervention is the most sought after feature, but in its absence, there should be a granular increase of allocated RAM in both shareable and dedicated format.

Storage: Ability to extend the already dedicated disk and the ability to add new disks.

As seen, for each of the basic VM resources we heard at least two view points on how the customization could be achieved. While each of the options is valid, the driving factor we believe is the desire of these cloud service providers to differentiate themselves from their competition.

The customization option is one of the key features that will make each cloud service provider unique and we at VMUnify are happy to help.