vBastard mode and the politics of server consolidation

March 13, 2010

It’s 2010 (according to reliable sources 😉 ), and I hardly believe that there are still sooo many software vendors that freak out as soon as I propose virtual servers for hosting their apps (virtual has been our default for the last 2+ years).

Whether they’ve been hit by evil FUD or simply (that’s the vast majority of the cases) unaware of what virtualization is nowadays, I simply don’t accept it, unless there are SERIOUS reasons (e.g. insanely huge performance/capacity requirements, which account for .00001 of our workloads – to be fair -, or a dumb support/licensing policy (ORCL, can you heaaar meeee?)).

So, virtual is the way to go. But as a *seasoned* 😉 IT admin, I know my chickens, and know well that sooner or later they’re going to show up and blame the virtual environment for their app’s poor performance, and waste my precioussss time to prove they’re wrong (I’m the server guy and they’re the software monkeys… They should already know that it’s their fault… But they’re monkeys, so… 😉 ).

vBastard mode to the rescue. Joking apart, since my assumptions and proposals about the virtual environment are not based on black magic or voodoo rituals, but rather on performance metrics, years of statistics for a wild variety of application workloads, and plain ‘experience’ on the field, and since I take responsibility anyway for the platform hosting those applications, I blended a bit the ‘politics of server consolidation’, introducing the vBastard mode: simply put, if the vScared app vendor insists in using FUD against the virtual environment, I’ll cease the virtual proposal and embrace a fully physical environment, adding some makeup to the thing: ‘oh no!!! Your oh-so-cute-and-critical-and-precious Crap, ahem… App should be given its own iron!!! That V thing is for toys and dhcp servers… Don’t worry, I’ll bring you the gozillahertz and ultrabytes you need. Oh, and if you’ll see something like ‘vmtools’ running in the box, or vmx* sort of device drivers/modules, don’t worry… We install them just… for… standard… governance… guidelines’ (most of the time, the monkey will stare at you wondering what a device driver is 😉 ).

Needless to say, it ends being virtual (most of the time, at least). And you already know it… The V thing simply does its job (and more).

I know this sounds so BOFH, but since some people won’t EVER learn, I prefer to let them live under their pRock, while I can go on with the vParty!
And most important of all, I can deliver a better service to my employer, which is what matters at the end of the day.

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3 Responses to “vBastard mode and the politics of server consolidation”

  1. Jason Boche Says:

    I don’t think you are a BOFH. vBOFH maybe but not a BOFH. 🙂

  2. david dwyer Says:

    I would be great if I could find a way to rename the actual hard drives, video drive, etc to the VMware equivalents, and have the VMware client run in the task bar. (a regedit hack?)

    I have a new vendor that is showing 60-80% CPU load on a dual CPU VM w/ 2Gig RAM (per spec! Their application creates only 60 reports a day for our Accounting Dept. It’s on their end as a problem, I know that.

    I would move them to a low end desktop, but to ‘fake’ it so they didn’t know.

    vBastard mode would be much appreciated.


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