I have been thinking of writing about Virtualization technologies for quite long time. And I decided to start this topic today… finally… huh… It is really a very interesting development in recent years in the IT field. However the concept is available for a long time now. Now-a-days, a lot of customers started using hardware virtualization technologies for the Peoplesoft deployment in their data centers. I know some of them. Some customers, that I know of, are using IBM system p hardware and another customer, is using Sun LDOMS technologies along with Vmvare as well. As a Peoplesoft infrastructure person, I supported Peoplesoft applications in a virtualized environments. And… there are many differences between a legacy hardware systems and a virtualized systems. You need to understand these differences during sizing, tuning and troubleshooting Peoplesoft applications in a virtualized environments.
I dont know how to define the term Virtualization. And really, I dont know the definition because Virtualization simply means virtualization and I dont have a definition. I did a search in google and I found an academic definition, it says, Virtualization simply means layer of abstraction between two layers. It has the word “virtual”. To put is simply, when we talk about hardware virtualization, then the hardware is virtual. When we talk about Operating System virtualization, then the OS is virtual and so on.
Being an Unix Administrator as well, I was mainly interested in hardware and operating system virtualization technologies. There are variety of hardware virtualization technologies out there in the market. I am going to talk about some of the major ones used with Peoplesoft Applications, how we can size a Peoplesoft environments.
From the operating systems point of view, we can consider a following operating systems requirement based on the knowledge gained from many of the systems running in the customer data centers:
- one or more UNIX or Linux systems to run the database, app server, web server and batch servers
- one or more Windows servers to run the batch servers
There are always exceptions. This is designed for an ideal scenario only. Some of the customers also use mainframe systems to run the database, and some other use some other operating systems as well.
For UNIX and Linux Systems, Lets talk about the hardwares that Peoplesoft can run on. Sun uses the SPARC based hardware for its Solaris Operating System. HP has two options with their hardware for its HP-UX Operating System offer, either it can be HP-RISC based or HP-Itanuim based. IBM has system p hardware for the AIX Operating System.
For the Linux Operating Systems, there are three Linux distributions supported in the proposed Peopletools 8.50 Release. They are Redhat Enterprise Linux, SuSe Linux Enterprise Server and Oracle Enterprise Linux. The hardware for Linux Systems are going to be either x86_64 or z-series. I have to make a point here that this Unix and Linux list is based on the supported Operating Systems Certifications for running Peoplesoft applications. (For example, Linux can run in many other hardware platforms, such as x86_32 bit, however the support for Peoplesoft applications are limited to x86_64 bit and z-series only).
There are various hardware virtualization technologies supported by the hardware vendors. For example, as i mentioned earlier, Sun Microsystems supports LDOMS (Logical Domains) technology for its Sun SPARC hardware systems. IBM supports LPARS (Logical Partitions technology) for its p-series based hardware systems. For the Linux Systems, there are a lot of evolving hardware virtualization technologies such as Xen, KVM etc.
Being a very evolving topic in the field of Peoplesoft and other techologies for hardware virtualization, I am planning to write more about Virtualization technologies and Peoplesoft in the coming weeks as well. until then.