Friday, 8 April 2011

How Old Man Kryder Gets Back his Giddyup

As the hypervisor wars continue to rage, much attention is being paid to the high end of the market. There is a reason for this – Microsoft is flexing its marketing muscles promoting successes in large, mission-critical deployments. The most recent example of this was a deal it announced with Target, in which Target is migrating numerous mission-critical applications to its Hyper-V environment.

While the large-enterprise sector currently receives the lion’s share of the glitz, we all know that 95% of the economy is the small- and medium-sized enterprise (SME) sector. And, we also know that the SME sector is where the first shots of the hypervisor wars were fired, with Microsoft’s launch of Windows Server 2008.

What we have seen since then is a classic case study in why competition is a good thing for customers. VMware responded to Hyper-V with new SME-friendly products, and since then both companies have been “sweetening the deal” with even more attractive bundling and pricing of products and features. Thus, it’s no surprise that as we sit here in 2011, virtualization adoption in the SME market is skyrocketing.

But there is a rub – because while desktop and server virtualization technology costs have never been more appealing, ancillary costs have never been more daunting – particularly storage costs. Kryder’s Law, which states that storage density doubles every 13 months, was remarkably accurate until 2005. Since then, however, capacity gains have slowed and today one can expect no more than 30 or 40 percent annual gains in capacity at any given price-point.

What this means is that traditional storage economics are not keeping pace with growing storage demands. And with virtualization projects causing huge increases in storage consumption, the age-old approach of “throwing hardware at the problem” is fatally flawed.

Kryder’s Law is no longer a valid solution to keeping storage costs in check – particularly when one considers the exotic and expensive hardware that is often required to achieve sufficient performance and availability in a virtualized environment. A far more practical solution lies in getting more out of existing and lower-cost off-the-shelf hardware through the use of device-independent storage virtualization software.

The time has never been better for SMEs to move forward into the brave new world of virtualization. But they need to understand that Old Man Kryder needs some help these days because he just doesn’t move as fast as he used to. He needs a healthy dose of storage virtualization software to get back his giddyup.

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