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

By Justin Stoltzfus | Last updated: July 10, 2017
Made Possible By Turbonomic

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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Written by Justin Stoltzfus | Contributor, Reviewer

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Justin Stoltzfus is a freelance writer for various Web and print publications. His work has appeared in online magazines including Preservation Online, a project of the National Historic Trust, and many other venues.

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