Question

Why is it important to look at the “full stack” in virtualization?

Answer

In hardware virtualization systems, it’s important to understand the entire context of the environment that virtual machines and other components are working in. Virtualized systems are made to operate independently of a particular hardware setup, but the digital environment is extremely important.

Without an understanding of the full stack in virtualization, there is less of an ability to control results. Network administrators, engineers and business leaders may not fully understand the way that data flows through storage, computer and network resources, whether latency is excessive, or how close virtualization systems are to a desired state.

Superior virtualization platforms can help companies to understand the full stack in a virtualization system – the entire range of hypervisors, containers and other data storage components that are relevant, as well as function of the underlying cloud vendor products and network systems that support enterprise architectures.

Without these types of resources, data tends to get stuck in silos. It tends to not be universally visible and transparent to users. Workload management problems tend to pop up, and it becomes much more difficult to ensure proper resource allocation for virtual machines.

One emerging solution to this issue is the principle of hyperconvergence. In fact, those discussing convergent and hyperconvergent systems may use the term “stack” to refer to pre-packaged virtual desktop infrastructure setups that carry forward some of these ideas for enterprise customers.

The essential idea of hyperconvergence is that storage, compute and network components operate on the same individual single platform. Instead of being sourced separately and put together, they are fundamentally combined and created as a single unit. This type of bill offers evident benefits for controlling storage in a more transparent and unified way. For example, instead of having to go in and manage a separate or loosely coupled storage solution, those administrating in a hyperconverged network will simply be able to deal with the integrated storage component of the greater system.

An application performance control platform should be a system that contemplates the full stack. It should assess the VM setups and the hypervisor or container environment, and utilize application programming interfaces to work with separate areas of the system. A map of end-to-end relationships and evolved resource consumption models help to show how every part of a system contributes to its overall function. Real-time monitoring and assessment can help to create efficiencies and solve all sorts of serious problems, which is one of the biggest reasons why companies should really have tools to understand the full stack that they are working with when taking advantage of the principle of network virtualization.

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Justin Stoltzfus
Contributor

Justin Stoltzfus is an independent blogger and business consultant assisting a range of businesses in developing media solutions for new campaigns and ongoing operations. He is a graduate of James Madison University.Stoltzfus spent several years as a staffer at the Intelligencer Journal in Lancaster, Penn., before the merger of the city’s two daily newspapers in 2007. He also reported for the twin weekly newspapers in the area, the Ephrata Review and the Lititz Record.More recently, he has cultivated connections with various companies as an independent consultant, writer and trainer, collecting bylines in print and Web publications, and establishing a reputation…