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Four Things Summer Movies Taught Me – About Virtualization

By Steve Glissman | Jul 18, 2011 | Insights

Summertime brings back lots of memories for me.   Lazy days at the beach.  Working as a bagger at a grocery store.  Long car rides to visit family.  (Note to readers: Four people driving in a 1982 Nissan Sentra for eights hours = not optimal).

Of course, summertime also brings back memories of great summer blockbusters.  Whereas I don’t have as much time to watch movies as I did when I was younger, I can look back and see lessons about virtualization that were not apparent in the past.

“I feel the need … the need for speed” – Performance THEN Capacity


I learned a lot of things from Top Gun – the Navy is awesome, volleyball is to be played sans shirts, and that you can take a highway to the Danger Zone.

In addition, Maverick and Goose taught me the importance of the need …. the need for speed.  With virtualization, it is important to consider performance before you consider capacity.  In planning your physical infrastructure, it is not enough to not focus on having lots of available storage, but to make sure that your infrastructure can perform to serve the particular needs of your environment.

“You’re going to need a bigger boat” – Importance of Storage and Scalability


This is not to say that capacity planning is not important for virtualization.  Once you have gauged the performance needs, you can plan your storage solutions accordingly.  With capacity planning, as opposed to ‘ballparking,” you can ensure that equipment and platform software are appropriate for your environment.  In addition, capacity planning allows to factor scalability into your decision making.  As demonstrated in Steven Spielberg’s  Jaws, while infrastructures are scalable, it is not unfortunate for Quint that boats are not.

“Nobody puts Baby in a corner.” – Storage Options for Virtualization


Whenever I see this scene from Dirty Dancing, I generally think of two things: 1) I would rather be watching Roadhouse 2) The storage platform is the foundation of your virtual infrastructure. 

With storage, your two main categories are Block storage and File system storage. However, don’t let yourself to be placed in a corner with Baby (or go to her plastic surgeon).  You don’t have to select this false choice, as there are unified arrays that provide for your infrastructure’s current needs, but also provide flexibility for future growth. Don’t buy the false choice of storage options, and you will have the time of your life.

“Do or Do not. There is no try.” – No shortcuts in virtualization


With virtualization, there is a great temptation to take shortcuts.  The road to virtualization can take a while, and there often is pressure to cut corners on your infrastructure.  Yoda would not want you to give in to this temptation, and neither do we.  As illustrated by The Empire Strikes Back, and further illustrated by the deeds and mustache of Bad Harley, you need to fully commit to a proper planning process.  “Trying” to construct an environment without thinking ahead will only cause you more problems down the road. 

While the summer movies might appear to be concerned with superheroes and big explosions, there could be lessons about your virtual infrastructure right in front of you.

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