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Real Customer Stories: Rackspace customers suffer for "departmentalization fever"; won't share virtual infra

Well, I didn't hear that from John Engates, who I spoke to a few days back myself. But customers indeed are the ones who are playing really tough. John does have a point about the I/O, security and Performance as well.

I am taking up this initiative myself, within my new employer (AtosOrigin) to have some of these optimization tools as a default design option within our Data Centers.

Anyways here are the stories:

Engates said that in fact security was not a major concern when it came to virtual machines (VMs) - until someone finds a way of tunnelling into the hypervisor. He was clear however to point out that security issues still remain within VMs themselves and that they need to be managed from a security standpoint just like physical boxes.

Rather, his customers were concerned about sharing a physical server because they would not have visibility into what other customers were doing on the hardware.

Since it makes no sense to virtualise an application that hammers the hardware, it's reasonable to assume that most virtualised applications don't generally hog resources. But, if an application in a VM gets hit hard - whether for legitimate reasons or because it's the victim of a DOS attack for example - and then hogs the CPU, storage link or Ethernet ports, all other VMs on that box would be affected. If company A's VM gets hit, company's B's applications slows right down - and there's nothing they can do about it.

The problem is, according to Engates, that there are few if any ways, given the current state of virtualisation technology, to prevent one VM hogging resources, especially I/O or CPU. He said that the tools just aren't there.

Engates acknowledged that the problems Rackspace faces in this regard is similar to that in most organisations, where departments that "own" a server - and are being charged for it - are frequently reluctant to share it with another department in the same company, often for similar reasons. At a recent meeting of IT admins, this issue was voiced as a matter of concern. So it's perhaps hardly surprising that those using managed hosting providers are wary of external organisations.


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