Ask the Experts: How Do Hypervisors Impact Cloud Strategy?

Welcome to Ask the Experts, brought to you by In this video, Intelisys’ SVP of Cloud Transformation Andrew Pryfogle discusses discusses how the hypervisors your customers are using today may impact the cloud strategy they deploy with RapidScale’s William Hiatt. Learn more about cloud computing solutions from the RapidScale team here:

Andrew: Diving into another Ask the Experts here. We’ve been talking a lot about virtualization. We’ve been talking about the hypervisor, what it is, the role that it plays in virtualized computing environments. I want to talk about how this kind of drives a lot of decision-making process for end-user customers. Customers that have already adopted virtualization strategies, albeit maybe premises-based virtualization strategies, and which hypervisors they’re using today may have a lot to do with what cloud strategy they ultimately deploy. I want to welcome to our conversation here a really smart guy. One of the smartest guys I know in this space: William Hiatt, CTO of RapidScale. William, thanks for jumping in again, man.
William: Hey Andrew, appreciate it.
Andrew: You heard my intro there. Let’s talk about the hypervisor. Customers of all sizes have already gone down the road of virtualization in many cases. They already have standardized on a hypervisor, in many cases, for their own premises-based server architectures. I’m curious how the decisions they’ve already made around hypervisors might impact the decision of where they ultimately want to go around a cloud strategy. Speak to that, and what is RapidScale’s strategy around hypervisors that you guys are standardized on, as well?
William: As the real expensive consultants says, it really depends, right? If I look at  . . . our production infrastructure today is predominantly VMWare based, so we’re predominantly based off of vSphere. We have some Hyper-V in some dev environments. We’ve looked at some of the newer open source technologies as well, but if I look at 95% of our workload, they’re all running on vSphere. Our teams know that we’ve been doing it since the first iteration to VSX 12 years ago, and we know it really well, inside and out.
That being said, if I go and look at, what’s that matter to a customer? Generally, what our sales engineering team will tell customers is, it doesn’t really matter. We can deliver the performance, we’re protected. If I look at our infrastructure service platform, it’s highly available, highly secure, highly available. And that’s again vSphere based, but the customer is abstracted from the underlying hypervisor, so again, it really doesn’t matter. When we get into our hybrid customers that do more hybrid cloud approaches, that’s where it starts to make a difference. Because we may need to do some interlinking between where they click and move workloads from their on-prem to our environment with little to no downtime.
That’s where the hypervisors may start to matter. We do some things in DR now, where we’re agnostic on the hypervisor from the DR perspective. Depends on the solution and is the customer going from physical or virtual? But if the customer’s coming from virtual, either Hyper-V or VMWare, which is the majority of the market set in the commercial or enterprise space … We’re now agnostic to that, so it doesn’t matter what we’re running on our end. The customer and the workloads transfer.
It really comes down to, what’s the customer trying to do? If it’s a full cloud play where it’s managed hosting, they’re migrating a majority of the environment to a company like RapidScale, we say hey, they hypervisor doesn’t really matter. Here’s what we do, we do it well. When we get into more of the hybrid deployments in some of our larger customers, that’s where it starts to become a conversation piece.
Andrew: Makes sense. So the customer that’s kind of outsourcing 100% of this to RapidScale for all their DaaS solutions, all their data sitting there, all the compute sitting there, you guys manage it. You wrap managed services around it, you kind of handle it turnkey, hypervisor becomes less important to the customer. In their hybrid deployments, where they still have a lot to do with the control layer of this, if you will … What hypervisor they’re comfortable using is going to have a lot more to do with their decision process, it sounds like.
William: Correct. And really in your former example, Andrew, they’re abstracted from the underlying infrastructure. We have full web portals, they can go in and create machines and reconfigure machines, and manage the network and add networks, they can do all that really with a couple of clicks. But the hybrid, to your point on the latter example. Hybrid is where really the hypervisor becomes a conversation piece.
Andrew: That’s great stuff, Will, and thanks so much. That helps clear up some things, I know, in the minds of Sales Partners around this really technical topic, but a really important one. Thanks for jumping in again, man.
William: Andrew, my pleasure.
Andrew: All right guys, that’s William Hiatt. William is the CTO of RapidScale, one of our go-to providers for cloud service, specifically around DaaS and VDI. Make sure you check out the RapidScale learning center. It’s got great information in there, sales tools, and case studies, white papers that you can download, study and get smarter about these topics. Make sure you tap into both William and his team of engineers that can help come alongside and help you kind of discover and design and close really big cloud deals. We’re having a lot of success with them, you can too. Make the investment in time; it’s worth it. William, thanks again, and for everyone else, good selling.