When was the last time you judged somebody because of the brand and type of undershirt they were wearing? Likely never. You may have judged someone for NOT wearing an undershirt (ugh), but that’s a different story. Nobody cares what kind or brand of undershirt you’re wearing. Except for one person. You. Why is that? What do you consider when you’re at the store and need fresh undershirts?
You probably care about several things:
- YOU want to be comfortable. This is the primary reason you stick with an undershirt brand or type, typically regardless of cost.
- YOU want to look professional. Wear an undershirt. My fellow dudes, wear one.
- YOU have to pay money for these shirts, so they can’t be ridiculously over priced compared to alternatives.
- YOU do not want OTHERS to perceive you as bad-smelling.
One of these bullet points has something to do with others. And it’s the last one. Arguably, it’s the single most important reason to wear an undershirt.
When it comes to your choice of hypervisor:
- YOU want to be comfortable with the technology choice
- YOU have to pay for your platform (sometimes the software, at the very least the hardware and support)
- YOU do not want OTHERS to perceive you as providing a bad smelling platform and application experience
The point I’m trying to make here is, your personal preferences for Xen, KVM, vSphere, OpenStack, Hyper-V are just that. Your preferences, battle scars and stories are all about you and your perspective. You also care about others understanding the success you’ve had and enjoyed with solutions in the past.
If you’re a Linux guy with a beard to your belt, you might be more apt to support a KVM environment simply because you can make it do what the others can for less capital software investment, and because you can operate it immediately with less training. Alternatively, if you’ve traditionally been a Windows administrator, perhaps you’re more apt to pay for vSphere, because of familiarity and the ease of implementation and integration. You might be all in on the Microsoft stack and Hyper-V it makes sense given severe cost restrictions and lack of Linux administration experience.
What you prefer, may simply not be the best fit for what you are trying to accomplish, but not for the reason you might think. When looking at TCO, you have to look at everything involved in a solution, including the salaries for human resources that can run it, cost of hardware, training, support and software.
All the personal preferences, feature capabilities, doesn’t mean anything if you as an IT professional at the end of the day you can’t provide:
Availability – High uptimes for your platform and application
- Manageability – Your people can own the solution stack. Also, you can easily provide access to consumers.
- Performance – You can size your platform to fit your workload with excellence
- Recoverability – You can recover your solution after accidental deletion or destruction
- Security – Your solution has an update lifecycle and can meet the business security requirements.
- Cost – The solution must operate within the financial constraints.
You can build an on premises cloud today with a standardized HP cloud type server with a standard Ubuntu build and Docker. You can build it with Nutanix and KVM or vSphere. You can build it with vSphere and VxRAIL or VxRACK. Why do you ultimately pick up one over the other? Mostly the same reason you pick an undershirt from the aisle.
If it meets the requirements, you won’t smell bad, and it doesn’t break the bank, it sounds like you’ve got a winner. But just like I don’t care what kind of undershirt you’re wearing, I guarantee you that your end users don’t care what kind of OS on a hypervisor you’re running. They care how well you run their applications. So if your platform choice is ultimately impacting the business or causing them to perceive you in a negative light to due lack of availability, high time to value with capital expenses, or the inability to recover lost information, you might be looking at an indicator that you need to check the market. If not, keep your eye on the cost meter and keep on truckin’.
**Disclaimer: While the illustration used in this post does cater more specifically to men, it is not meant to be gender inclusive. There are tons of excellent IT professionals who are women, to whom this article applies to equally.