From time to time I’ll share reading recommendations to highlight key technology concepts. These recommendations will be technology related, not product related. I believe it’s important to thoroughly understand the technology before focusing on products. For example, rather than going to training on VMWare one should research virtualization and educate themselves on how it truly works. This knowledge can be applied to architect the virtual environment and select the right product (e.g., KVM, Xen, vSphere, or Hyper-V) to address their need. At that time the focus should shift to product training. (This is just an example and not intended to disparage VMWare.)

Below are three articles that clarify cloud computing and virtualization concepts. Why these topics? Cloud computing has been integral in changing the paradigm in IT service delivery. Technology professionals must understand cloud computing and its implication, the good and the bad. Virtualization is a technology that enables cloud computing. One can’t address cloud computing and ignore virtualization.

I hope you find value in this content…

Above the Clouds: A Berkeley View of Cloud Computing – I read this white paper four years ago and it helped to clarify my thoughts on the economics of cloud computing and the opportunities afforded by these services. The document is still relevant today.

An Open Source Solution for Virtual Infrastructure Management in Private and Hybrid Clouds – This document does a good job describing the cloud ecosystem and the responsibility of each layer – virtual machine manager, virtual infrastructure manager, and cloud manager. Technology professionals focused on IaaS should understand the concepts described in this document. The next step is drilling into each layer to determine what characteristics of the technology is needed to satisfy your needs, then focus on the products that represent the best fit. For example, the scheduler is one of the most critical components in dynamic computing. Understanding how it works and the limitations enables better workload deployment decisions.

A Performance-Based Performance Comparison of Four Hypervisors – Understanding the difference between hypervisors is important. Selecting the right hypervisor is one of the first considerations when building a private, hybrid, or public cloud. This article does a good job of comparing the technical differences between the most prevalent hypervisors. The focus is on performance but there are other considerations such as security and ability to scale.

Posted by Karl

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