OT: VM slicing and dicing

James Hess mysidia at gmail.com
Mon Nov 15 21:13:51 CST 2010

On Tue, Nov 9, 2010 at 10:17 AM, Brandon Kim <brandon.kim at brandontek.com> wrote:
> I'm not looking for companies that offer this service, but the actual software engines that allow you
> to create VM's on the fly. So a customer goes to your website and says I want Win2008 with 8gigs of RAM and 120gigs of HDD.
> Just like custom configuring a new PC.

How about I send you some terms to search for, using your favorite
search engine...
Multi-Tenant Hosting > Cloud Computing >   IaaS / HaaS
(Infrastructure as a Service)  >  Self-Service Provisioning
Because the question is so vague,  I think you need more research.
If you read the documentation of portal software, you should be able
to tell to what extent it would be "turn key"

Before looking too closely at any offering... some things to think about are..
How would you go about handling virtual networks  and access to them?
Will you want one shared network  (with requisite Layer 2 security minefield),
or will your portal of choice  somehow decide to permission and make
certain LANs available to certain users' VMs?

There will be security and performance considerations that some portal
software programs allow you to answer, and some do not.     So you
need to decide the hard requirements for security,  management
flexibility,  UI attractiveness/ease of use,  functionality for the
end user,  resource management,  and price :)

Different portals have different options, so define requirements first.
A Multi-Tenant  IaaS environment  (meaning different users sharing
pieces of metal, storage, etc) brings in some complexity.

Think about how will the resources be balanced?  E.g. Will you have a portal
place workloads on its own, or rely on some outside system like vmware DRS.
Will the portal  implement and enforce resource SLAs  for  Network latency/loss,
limit the number of VMs per NIC or  per datastore,  Memory, CPU
and provide I/O response delay assurances, or will machines be left
/ overutilized, because the portal is bad at optimizing placement on physical
servers, or bad at avoiding overcommit?

For an IaaS provider, underutilization eventually means you are eating
more kW·h than necessary, and overutilization could be
immediately detrimental.

The different major virtualization software vendors each have their own
Self-Service Provisioning solutions, and there are some third party programs.
Most are for Enterprise internal self-provisioning; Hosting providers
might have
special requirements like "integrated user signups and billing"
and "no license restriction against provisioning for outside users".
I would expect these to be more expensive,  or include monthly per-user fees.

Offhand  I recall  Virtuozzo  [perhaps the oldest?],  Enomaly /
Enomalism, enStratus,  MS  Dynamic Datacenter Kits which are a
framework,   VMware  vCloud Express  through the VSPP,  Citrix XCP,
Eucalyptus,   as interesting
by no means exhaustive.


More information about the NANOG mailing list