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August 31, 2009




Could you explain how FastScale differs &/or compliments Linked Clones from VMware? Also, could you explain how this differs &/or compliments VAAI (vStorage API) from VMware, since it was also designed to offload some of this complexity from hosts over to intelligent storage.

Chuck Hollis

Hi Brian

Complementary concepts, really.

Linked Clones presumes a "master copy" of a virtual machine, "linked clones" are nothing more than deltas -- think writeable snaps, if that helps. Nice, but only goes so far.

By comparison, FastScale creates an optimized, managed "master copy" (much smaller) which then can be used with Linked Clones if desired.

The vStorage APIs are just areas where us storage vendors can plug in to what VMware's doing, e.g. making a copy, etc. with our hardware assists. FastScale plays at a level a few floors up in the architectural stack.

Hope this helps?

-- Chuck

Geoff Mitchell

Chuck, Firstly your coment on scaling VMware - I'm still waiting for Cisco to publish Vmarks for maximum UCS memory configurations. I think the industry knows by now that Vmware only scales to a point in its current configuration, which is why we haven't seen Cisco publish such benchmarks. Thus,until VMware addresses this, the concept that Cisco UCS better scales in virtualized environments than HP, Dell and IBM is a red herring.

Secondly, cutting the memory footprint from 20-90% does away with one of the potential selling points for UCS. The customers I'm speaking with these days are comfortable with virtualized environments but are very cautious about expanding the number of VMs per server beyond today's spread. I see as few as 8 and as many as 60, depending upon the application.

Thirdly, yes - this is another step forward to server and workload consolidation. Ten years from now, we'll wonder why someone didn't think of this before.

Chuck Hollis

Hi Geoff

You're right, there are various VM-per-server limits floating around today, but I think none of them are architectural in nature -- simply a matter of letting the tech catch up a bit.

If we fast-forward to early 2010 (not that far away, really), it's pretty clear to me where the limits will be, and I think this sort of approach will all-of-the-sudden be far more appealing.

I wonder how many people aren't really thinking about the current limits, but the ones after that, and the ones after that?

Thanks for writing!

-- Chuck



I can see the value of the software, but why wouldn't EMC management encourage VMware to purchase FastScale instead? Seems like a more logical place to get the engineering in sync (at the source of the VM).

Chuck Hollis

Funny, I'm getting asked that question a lot, so it must be on at least a few people's minds.

If you focus *solely* on reducing the memory footprint within a VM, then -- yes -- you do have a point, it could have been picked up by VMware just as easily as by core EMC.

However, consider the usefulness of the tools in physical environments, bare-metal environments, non-VMware hypervisors and public clouds. Don't know if VMware would have been interested in all those different use cases, but many enterprises certainly are.

And then there's the tie-in with IT compliance and security as well, both complementary disciplines in the EMC portfolio.

Simply put, I think EMC can extract more value from the acquisition than VMware might have been able to. Besides, VMware ends up in a win-win position -- full access to the technology, but doesn't have to fully invest.




It's interesting that EMC is changing course, especially after you've been talking about 100% virtualized data centers for the last 9 months (or more).

Chuck Hollis


Changing course? It doesn't look that way from where I sit, so I can't really comment. Don't know what you've seen, been told, etc.

From where I sit, it looks like a directional vector -- one concept leading to another. But that's just my personal perspective.



How about using DDUP to produce differences between one application image and another. After all, DDUP should be able to operate at a level below all this application dependency charts and give the benefits of differential update to images.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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