DailyTech Poll Discussion
What are the Biggest Drawbacks to Virtualization?
August 17, 2009 8:46 AM
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What are the biggest drawbacks to virtualization?
Performance – virtualizing slows everything down. (743 votes)
Lack of redundancy – placing multiple virtual machines on a single piece of hardware is risky. (390 votes)
Complexity – virtualization has a lot of “moving parts,” so there’s more to go wrong than with a single nonvirtualized machine. (239 votes)
Cost – it’s not always the least expensive way to go. Watch out for hidden costs! (187 votes)
Drawbacks, schmawbacks! Virtualization just rocks. Enough said. (439 votes)
1,998 total votes
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8/19/2009 9:32:57 AM
Having worked with virtualization, I can say that performance should be "almost" a non-issue with virtualization nowadays - as long as you remember to use products like ESX/Hyper-V/Xen, not host-OS-based virtualization products like VMware server, VMware workstation, or MS Virtual Server. I say "almost" because there
a few applications that is not suitable for virtualization, and even if it is, most likely you will see "near native" performance due to overhead - even if the overhead is supposedly very small. Security and high availability can be set up to be just as secure and highly available as if you were running all physicals - any virtualization vendor or experts will be willing to help you with that.
The real problem is poor planning. Looking at just one side of things is what breaks virtualization project. You are essentially rebuilding your whole infrastructure, so you need to look at the whole picture - network, storage, security, servers, facility, power, and more.
Also, be warned that newer CPUs are much better for virtualization than the older CPUs. You can search for "hardware virtualization nuts and bolts" article and many more articles about virtualization in anandtech, but bottom line is, if you're going for virtualization, you may need to buy new servers. Make sure you do your homework to see if the initial investment will pay off in the long run. Then again, your servers may be due for a hardware refresh anyways.
"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive
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