Feeds

Interoute sells virtual servers

Even virtualisation's gone virtual

The essential guide to IT transformation

European telco and managed services provider Interoute has launched a hosted virtual server service - but unlike smaller hosting companies which use the likes of Virtuozzo to generate virtual webservers, it's using a full VMware ESX set-up.

It allows customers to have a virtual machine (VM) of their own, complete with its own instance of Linux or Windows, plus VMs can be moved from machine to machine if the physical server fails or needs maintenance. They can even be moved to a machine in a data centre in another country, said Sander Chandon, Interoute's hosting product manager.

"We've built VMware hosts in our Amsterdam and Munich data centres, plus we have a demo system in Geneva," he said.

If the physical server crashes, the system will restore the virtual servers from the SAN to spare hardware - although of course this process cannot save and restore the server's active state, so that is lost.

This ability to move VMs around was what attracted Interoute to VMware, said Chandon. He added: "Virtuozzo splits a box up very efficiently, but it can't move virtual machines to another box so easily."

It is possible to convert physical servers to VMware ones, and hosted VMs will be slightly cheaper per month than hosted physical servers, he said.

However, he claimed that the real benefit of the virtual approach is not cost, but reliability and provisioning speed - customers will even be able to buy VMs online.

"We haven't built this just to reduce costs, but also to increase reliability and availability. For example, one of our customers was doing a migration and it was going to take them three weeks just to buy and rack four machines."

Customers can choose what system resources they'd like allocated to their VM, and can also mix and match, for example backing-up physical servers with virtual ones, instead of having secondary hot-standby machines.

"Our customers aren't buying VMs, they're buying a pool of resources. You have a choice - you can either pay a lot for a very fast response, or be more selective about what you need."

According to Chandon, the choice of virtual framework comes down to what you want to achieve. He acknowledged that there is a performance hit from VMware, but said it is "very small, perhaps five to 10 per cent".

He added that with average server utilisation running at 15 per cent, there is still a big advantage to be had from consolidating several lightly-loaded servers onto one machine - even if the process carries an overhead.

"We've had this running for six weeks now and already have 10 customers live." ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
VMware's high-wire balancing act: EVO might drag us ALL down
Get it right, EMC, or there'll be STORAGE CIVIL WAR. Mark my words
Forrester says it's time to give up on physical storage arrays
The physical/virtual storage tipping point may just have arrived
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.