Yesterday we talked about VMware vCloud Air and AWS from the perspective of a senior executive who works within VMware cloud services (vCloud Air: We Typically Win against Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure Because of Compatibility) – today let’s talk about the concept of nested virtualization. Nested virtualization is simply the concept of running a hypervisor (like VMware vSphere ESXi or Microsoft Hyper-V) inside any other hypervisor. The traditional argument against nested virtualization is that it’s slow; however, it’s important to remember at the start of virtualization adoption the same argument was made against hypervisors in general.
Ravello – a company founded by some of the folks who created the KVM hypervisor – has been one of the leaders in nested virtualization. The company recently announced some products that enable enterprises to extend their existing VMware infrastructure into the cloud. What’s different than vCloud Air? Ravello enables businesses to extend their VMware environments into AWS and Google Cloud as well. Ben Kepes over at Network World has a good article about this (Ravello Delivers a Virtual Private Cloud, on a Real(ish) Public One) that I recommend reading for more on this. In the article Ben leads by asking if nested virtualization makes sense or is rendered unnecessary by containerization. He judges that it does make sense.
We agree. Ravello’s new InfinityDC is some pretty cool stuff – and we see use cases all the time in our customers and buyers who are making a major investment in Amazon Web Services but also have significant on-premises VMware vSphere deployments. Just yesterday a prospective buyer asked us about Ravello and Boomerang – whether they competed or cooperated. What we told them was the bottom line was when you decided you wanted to “crack the egg (in nested virtualization)” – and did you want to crack one egg at a time or all at once. Here’s what we meant by the strained metaphor. When you have a VM and you want to run it within a cloud, your choices are to use a homogeneous technology (such as VMware vCloud Air), use a homogeneous acting technology (Ravello), or “crack the egg” by using automated transformation technologies to move it to (and from) the native cloud. When you “crack the egg” what you’re doing is enabling your VMware vSphere virtual machine to operate natively on AWS – as well as your vSwitch-based virtual networking to be transformed to AWS CloudFormation as well.
If you think of it that way, nested virtualization and Boomerang’s VMware to/from Amazon replication and transformation technologies complement each other.
In any case, that’s what we think; would love to hear from you concerning nested virtualization, VMware vSphere, AWS, vCloud Air, or anything else!
You can read more about how Boomerang can, on command, automatically remodel VMs as native Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) in EC2 here.