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What are our key technology focus areas?
Well, firstly, and predominantly, we’ll be looking at the hypervisor layer, with Hyper-V and VMware. We’re going to spend the majority of the first day building our knowledge of the key features of Hyper-V, as the engine of the Microsoft private cloud, and we’ll also look at how this compares and contrasts with the vSphere hypervisor – part of vSphere.
We’ll then look specifically at VM management, and how we perform the day to day tasks of managing the virtual machines running on your infrastructure, from deployment and migration, through to templating and cloud creation. This section, combined with the Hyper-V modules, will make up the majority of the course, as their equivalents, vSphere hypervisor and vCenter, are what the majority of vSphere admins will be used to using on a day to day basis.
Once we’re comfortable with the VM management, we’ll start to look at how we can better delegate access to our infrastructure through self service, and how this gives application owners, VM owners, service owners, the ability to access the resources they need, in a controlled yet intuitive manner.
We’ll then take a look at how we can use Operations Manager to start to gain visibility into our virtualized infrastructure, gaining levels of insight into both Microsoft, and heterogeneous infrastructures, from the metal, right up into the applications running inside the VMs, from both inside, and outside the infrastructure walls.
We’ll take a quick look at backup, and how Data Protection Manager plays a part in protecting Hyper-V virtual machines, but also, workloads and applications inside your infrastructure too.
Finally, we’ll wrap up with a look at Service Management, specifically how we can introduce the ability for users to request resources, infrastructure components, virtual machines, cloud capacity, and more, and how <click> we can automate all of the technologies we’ve seen and heard about, into a powerful private cloud, which can keep costs low, and free up administrator time to work on using the technology to drive the business forward.
From a licensing and acquisition perspective, both VMware and Microsoft have made significant strides in simplifying the acquisition of their portfolios, with Microsoft adopting a single licensing approach for System Center, which provides organizations with all the key components we’ve discussed. Hyper-V, as we’ll find out, is available as a separate download, or purchase, but can also be acquired with System Center as a combination, saving customers even more money.
VMware have taken a similar approach, combining the still-individually-licensable products, in an offer, known as the vCloud Suite, that customers can embrace to reduce the cost of purchasing the licensing separately, and also, because the vCloud Suite (just like the System Center licensing we discussed earlier) is licensed per CPU, it makes it slightly more affordable versus the per-VM licensing that customers would have to adhere to, if they were to purchase the vCenter Management components outside of the vCloud Suite.
And from a licensing perspective…
As we can see from the Microsoft column, Hyper-V is included within Windows Server 2012 and Windows Server 2012 R2, or it’s available as a free download as Hyper-V Server, which you’ll learn more about shortly. From a management perspective, System Center, as a single license, provides all of the management agents, the management servers, and the usage rights for SQL Server, and can be purchased in 2 SKUs:
System Center 2012 R2 Standard
System Center 2012 R2 Datacenter
Just like Windows Server licensing, the only difference is the virtualization rights. Each license covers 2 CPUs, and whilst Standard edition provides 2 VM’s worth of System Center management, plus the host OS, Datacenter on the other hand, provides an unlimited number of OSE’s that can be managed by all the components of System Center, from VM management, through to monitoring, through to backup and more.
VMware on the other hand, as part of the vCloud Suite 5.5, license per individual CPU, and the features/components included within each of the SKUs (Standard, Advanced or Enterprise), differ depending on which one you choose. As you can see, the pricing for the Enterprise edition of the vCloud Suite, which does include several management tools along with vSphere, is over $11,000 a CPU, which is considerably more than what System Center costs, and delivers fewer integrated capabilities from a management perspective.
You can also see, for reference, the prices (excluding S&S) of the core vSphere suite, which wouldn’t provide management outside of core VM management.