Understanding the model of a virtual datacenter is often explained by textbooks and online instructional manuals as being a stack with layers that lie on top of each other. These layers are dependent upon one another in order for the virtual datacenter to work properly. Virtual datacenters abstract each of these resources into a pool that can be used on demand when instructed by an administrator using a hypervisor. So what are the layers of the virtualized datacenter model?
When you think about the way a virtualized datacenter abstracts the traditional components of a datacenter, the first component that must be virtualized is the networking component. Without being able to interconnect of all of your devices, you have a room full of computers that will be unable to communicate with each other. In a traditional sense, setting up a datacenter can get confusing quite quickly. Once the network layer has been virtualized, you more easily manage nodes while being able to dictate the actual function and connectivity of your entire datacenter.
When you have a rack full of servers that all have internal hard drives, it can be difficult to utilize traditional means that help you identify what data is stored where. Storage virtualization is an important part of this spectrum because it creates a pool of all of your available storage which allows you to use storage on demand. You would theoretically run out of space when all of your hard drives in your datacenter are completely full. The storage load will be spread across all eligible storage devices.
If you have a rack full of servers, wouldn’t you be able to do more if you were able to harness all of the power of the processors in the rack versus just one or two at a time. The virtualization layer of processing power is essential to tackling large computing tasks. If you have a multicore processor, you can dedicate a portion or an entire core or multiple cores to one virtual machine. The process is as easy as moving a slider until you receive the perfect amount of resources for your computing task.
Application and access virtualization
Being able to virtualize your applications will give your end-users a consistent experience regardless of their underlying operating systems. If you think about the way software-as-a-service is delivered in the cloud, you already have a perfect understanding of application virtualization. When you virtualize your application layer, you can instantaneously deploy applications without having to worry about things you have previously had to worry about when deploying to bare metal machines such as hardware requirements or system incompatibilities.
How are you going to access this infrastructure? Access has its own virtualization layer in this model as well. Since there are so many different methods to authenticate onto a system, virtualizing the access platform makes for an efficient method of delivering authentication services to your end-users. With a virtualized access platform, you can integrate popular identity services such as active directory which can give you the ability to offer single sign-on for your users.