I just spoke with Jerry McCloud, VP of Business Development of Fastscale Technology, about the newest release of their product, FastScale Composer™ Suite. This product is aimed at reducing the complexity of creating and maintaining virtual machine images. Previous versions of the product supported VMware's ESX Server. This version adds Microsoft's Hyper-V to the list. At this point, the company doesn't support Xen or KVM.
Here's was Fastscale has to say about FastScale Composer™ Suite
FastScale Composer Suite was designed specifically to eliminate the labor-intensive process of building and managing server software environments throughout the lifecycle. With FastScale Composer Suite software environments average 95% smaller than traditional golden images, are built on-demand and deployed to bare-metal or virtual servers – in seconds to minutes. Because FastScale software environments are so compact, the entire
server infrastructure is a dynamic pool of compute resources, able to run any Windows or Linux application at any time.
In addition to the support of heterogeneous server environments, the new FastScale solution builds on the company’s patent-pending Application Blueprinting? technology and its minimalist operating system deployment model to now deliver lightweight, just-in-time provisioning of the application layer. For large, modular enterprise applications, the entire software stack can now be streamlined automatically based on workload requirements, with only the necessary files provisioned. FastScale’s unique software component repository enables dynamic retrieval of any files not included in the lightweight provisioning, ensuring full application compatibility. This new lightweight application provisioning allows for the deployment of the smallest possible software stack, decreases memory requirements, supports stateless server configurations, and increases virtual server density by 3X or more.
FastScale Composer Suite with support for Windows is available now. Pricing starts at $30,000. For more information, visit http://www.fastscale.com.
Snapshot AnalysisAs organizations make heavier use of virtual machine technology, they often take the approach of making a few "golden images" and then adding applications or tools to create the desired image for a specific task. As updates and extensions come in for the virtual machine software, the operating system, the database management tools, the application frameworks and the applicaitons themselves, IT staff members face the task of updating the golden images and then doing the right incantations to create each of the images that are deployed for specific tasks. Just about the time they get the updates installed, it's time to do it again. Furthermore, this approach doesn't lead to the creation of images that are optimized for any specific task. So, the images may be significantly larger than needed and contain software that's not really needed everywhere.
Once organizations have begun to recognize that they've been pushing a rock up a hill only to watch it roll back down again soon after, they'll start to seek tools to make this task easier. These organizations are Fastscale's target market.
If your organization has come to the conclusion that pushing the same rock up the same hill is no longer fun and the view from the top of the hill doesn't seem quite as exciting as before, it might be wise to look into what Fastscale is doing.
I hope to speak with someone who uses Fastscale's product. I'd like to learn if it lives up to the promising picture the company paints of their technology.