How to modernize your virtualization stack

In a recent webinar with David Davis from ActualTech Media sponsored by Platform9, featured Chris Paap of Platform9 discussing this very important topic of how to modernize virtualization stacks. 

The webinar addressed several topics: 

  • Compelling reasons for modernization  
  • Why now is an ideal time to modernize 
  • The challenges of modernization and tyranny of multiple stacks 
  • Platform9’s unified offering 
  • KubeVirt as a viable alternative to VMware 
  • A demonstration of Platform9 and KubeVirt 

We’ve summarized some of the key points below. You can also watch the webinar recording on-demand to catch this entire informative and in-depth session right now. 

Challenges and Benefits 

There are compelling reasons for enterprises to modernize their IT infrastructure: 

  • Aging legacy applications and hardware necessitate modernization for better performance and scalability.  
  • The cost of maintaining and licensing existing environments is high, leading many organizations to explore open-source alternatives or consider moving resources back on-premises from public clouds.  
  • Empowering developers with self-service capabilities for deploying and managing applications improves efficiency and reduces delays.  

Streamlining these processes translates to faster time-to-market, increased revenue, and better product development.  

However, modernization of your IT infrastructure is no easy task, especially when you have active production workloads that need to be migrated to a modern environment. These workloads may include legacy applications, critical but outdated applications, and customized applications unique to your company. Migrating these applications to a cloud-native environment adds complexity, particularly when decomposing them into containers while ensuring uninterrupted operations. 

Lifting and shifting your workloads to public clouds was once the “easy choice” for many companies with the management mandate to go “cloud first”. This approach is under heavy scrutiny now with tight IT budgets and challenging economic conditions. While public cloud providers offer scalability and resource abundance, it may not be a one-size-fits-all solution. Organizations may still require on-premises or edge resources, creating a do-it-yourself (DIY) challenge. Finding the right balance between on-premises, edge, and public cloud resources is crucial to achieving cost-effectiveness, efficiency, and scalability. 

Things can get more complicated when you have distributed edge workloads. Retail and telecom industries, among others, require compute resources where the data is generated, leading to the need for distributed locations instead of a centralized data center.  

In their modernization journey, companies often find themselves managing separate infrastructures and application stacks (e.g., separate stacks for VMs and containers, cloud, on-premises, etc.), which increases licensing costs and extends the time required to spin up and shut down resources. This complexity also places a burden on IT departments and application teams who need to learn and manage multiple technologies and platforms. 

Platform9: Offering the best of  VMs and containers  

With Platform9, organizations can enjoy the flexibility of running their environment wherever they choose, whether on-premises, at the edge, or in the public cloud. The platform provides centralized control and management through a SaaS model, allowing users to easily manage their infrastructure from a single management plane. This not only ensures availability and scalability but also simplifies operations and reduces the burden of maintaining multiple stacks. 

One of the key advantages of choosing Platform9 is the 24×7 support it offers. In the event of any issues or breakdowns, the support team is readily available to provide assistance, minimizing downtime and resolving problems promptly. This level of support adds an extra layer of reliability and peace of mind for organizations. 

Platform9’s value extends beyond just Kubernetes. While it is known for its strong Kubernetes capabilities, it also offers virtualization solutions. The platform caters to both. . It supports production-ready Kubernetes deployments and provides bare-metal-as-a-service, enabling deployments on-premises with the flexibility to run virtualization clusters and applications alongside containers. 

In addition to the core offerings, Platform9 includes infrastructure services such as networking, load balancing, and observability stacks. These services enhance the overall management experience and provide essential tools for monitoring and troubleshooting.  

The platform’s user interface is designed to be user-friendly, making it easy for end-users to navigate and perform operations without requiring in-depth technical expertise. It strikes a balance between catering to advanced users and ensuring simplicity for those who prefer a more intuitive experience. 

Platform9’s unified architecture and comprehensive set of features make it an attractive choice for organizations seeking to modernize their IT infrastructure. It offers a flexible and scalable solution that can adapt to current and future needs, whether it’s running virtual machines, containers, or a combination of both. With Platform9, organizations can overcome the challenges of modernization and leverage the benefits of a modern virtualization stack while enjoying the support and ease of management provided by the platform.  

Modernize your virtualization with Platform9 KubeVirt

KubeVirt is a key component of Platform9’s virtualization solution, and understanding its features and benefits is crucial. KubeVirt allows organizations to run virtual machines (VMs) alongside containers in a single-stack infrastructure. It utilizes KVM (Kernel-based Virtual Machine) as its underlying technology, providing high performance and availability. With KubeVirt, organizations can manage both containers and VMs from the same interface, whether it’s through the user interface (UI) or API, streamlining monitoring and operations. 

One of the significant advantages of KubeVirt is its ability to eliminate the need for separate stacks. Traditionally, organizations had to manage different virtualization and cloud-native stacks, often with different vendors. This complexity resulted in additional interfaces and orchestration challenges.  

KubeVirt simplifies this by allowing organizations to manage both VMs and containers within a unified infrastructure. This approach is highly pragmatic, especially for organizations in the early stages of their cloud-native journey. It enables them to run VMs where they are comfortable, such as in a UI-based VMware environment, while gradually migrating to a cloud-native approach. 

When considering KubeVirt, many organizations have concerns about its ability to handle tier-one applications. They worry about performance, availability, and whether it is mature enough for prime time. However, KubeVirt is built on KVM, one of the most widely adopted hypervisors globally. This foundation ensures high performance and availability.  

Platform9 KubeVirt advantages

Platform9 has integrated into KubeVirt advanced features such as GPU processing, CPU pinning, and other high-performance capabilities required for demanding workloads like AI/ML and data mining. It is capable of meeting the needs of tier-one applications without compromising performance or availability. 

Deploying KubeVirt with Platform9 offers additional benefits. The architecture provides a centralized control plane managed by Platform9 in the cloud, accessible via the GUI or API. Whether organizations choose to deploy in the public cloud or on-premises, they can connect back to the centralized control plane, enabling efficient management and lifecycle operations.  

For on-premises deployments, Platform9 deploys on top of bare metal or existing operating systems like CentOS or Ubuntu. This flexibility allows organizations to leverage their existing infrastructure while adding Kubernetes and KubeVirt capabilities. 

Platform9’s KubeVirt architecture ensures scalability, high availability, and efficient management. Virtual machines are encapsulated within pods, allowing for easy management, migration, and high availability. Organizations can take advantage of features like live migration and workload scalability, ensuring uninterrupted operations even during maintenance or node failures.  

The unified infrastructure and simplified management reduce complexity and optimize costs. Organizations no longer need to manage separate infrastructures or deal with licensing costs associated with multiple stacks. Platform9’s support and 24×7 monitoring further enhance the reliability and ease of operations. 

To learn more about Platform9 Managed KubeVirt, check out our product page: 

The KubeVirt demo 

In the live demonstration of KubeVirt, Chris Paap showcased the management of a Kubernetes environment and the real-time provisioning of a virtual machine (VM). The demo highlighted the advantages of combining the scalability and high availability of Kubernetes with virtualization, offering resiliency and advanced capabilities for workloads. Paap also showed the portal and its centralized interface for managing the infrastructure, Kubernetes, and KubeVirt.  

The demo showcased the VM management capabilities, including actions like restart, stop, pause, and migration. Important features such as resource allocation, storage options, networking configurations, and advanced settings were also demonstrated. Additionally, the demo emphasized the performance and operating system support of KubeVirt, making it suitable for various use cases. The benefits of running KubeVirt on Platform9 were highlighted, including a unified stack, comprehensive support, and user-friendly management. The demo concluded by emphasizing the ease of use and the opportunity for enterprises to explore KubeVirt through engaging with the Platform9 team and accessing the relevant documentation and resources. 

Checkout the documentation on KubeVirt: 

Start with business outcomes before making migration decisions 

As the pending acquisition of VMware by Broadcom introduces uncertainty and potential disruptions in the server virtualization market, organizations are seeking alternatives for their existing and future workloads. Evaluating infrastructure options for enterprise workloads now involves considering a broader range of possibilities, including various forms of server virtualization such as containers, cloud infrastructure, private clouds, etc. Additionally, pricing models in the server virtualization market are undergoing changes, with a shift towards core-based licensing and software subscription models, raising cost concerns for many organizations. In this context, it becomes critical to explore alternative solutions that offer flexibility, performance, and cost optimization. 

Thinking through exactly what business outcomes you are trying to achieve is crucial when you are making new platform, technology, or migration decisions. Platform9’s philosophy revolves around starting with the business outcome and working backward to provide a platform that ensures a smooth transition without leaving any applications or services behind. Our focus on pragmatic solutions and customer success sets us apart in the market. You can reach out to us to schedule a meeting and see for yourself how the experts at Platform9 help you modernize your infrastructure to meet your business needs and goals. 

Kamesh Pemmaraju

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