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On virtualization and Microsoft's Hyper-V: an inteview with Todd Abrams, COO & President of Layered Technologies
2008-07-09

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Recently, Layered Technologies announced that the company became the first hosting provider to launch dedicated servers running Microsoft Windows 2008 and Hyper-V. In this exclusive interview, we talk to Mr. Todd Abrams, COO & President of the company, about the challenges and promises of virtualization technology.

HostReview: Layered Technologies’ Hyper-V dedicated server offerings are most likely meant for professionals. Nevertheless, how would you explain the benefits of LT's Windows Server 2008 based virtualization solutions to a less tech-savvy audience?

Todd Abrams, COO & President Todd leads the Layered Technologies team and oversees daily operations. Prior to founding Layered Technologies, he served as CEO and founder of FX-DirectorsSolutions, a leading technology services company in the funeral services industry. At FX DirectorsSolutions, Todd worked to build a solid technology and financial foundation that was acquired to form Aldor Solutions in late 2003. Previously, Todd served as Vice President of North American Operations for EDGE Technologies, a large wholesale computer component and white box system distributor. While at EDGE, Todd built the North American Operations and grew sales from $2 million to over $110 million within 2 years, while also establishing 8 U.S satellite locations. Earlier in his career, he worked for EDGE Internet Services Australia (EISA), an ISP that was publicly traded on the Australian Exchange. EISA aggressively grew in the US market by acquiring other ISP's across North America.

Todd Abrams:I’ve seen a lot of people overcomplicate the concepts behind virtualization.This seems to make those of us who are less technical shy away from experimenting with the technology.But the reality is that virtualization actually simplifies installation and management of operating systems and applications.One example of how virtualization could make life easier comes in the form of pre-packaged applications.Let’s say a business wanted to use the popular Sugar CRM application.Instead of having to install an operating system, install the application, optimize both, and secure them, one could simply download a virtual machine created by a Sugar CRM expert and run it instantly.Indeed, once a server has been virtualized, it has a number of capabilities that were simply not present previously: •Snapshots and backups •Instantaneous provisioning of Virtual Machines•Easy migration and upgrade paths•Simplified management of multiple machines

Why did you choose Hyper-V? Did you initially consider similar open source technologies?

Microsoft and Layered Tech have a long-standing relationship.In addition to supporting many Microsoft operating systems and applications we are strong believers in the future of data center virtualization.From this perspective supporting Hyper-V is a necessity.In addition to working with Microsoft, Layered Tech also has experience with supporting other major virtualization offerings from 3Tera, VMware, Xen, and Parallels.

What did being the first hosting company to implement Hyper-V involve? How long were the planning and implementation phases, and did you work with Microsoft experts on this?

Hyper-V was implemented in essentially the same manner as any new product roll out.However, Layered Tech’s extensive experience in supporting virtualized environments, including our Grid computing platform, enabled us to move much more quickly than other hosting providers.We worked very closely with the Microsoft team in all aspects of the roll out including training, implementation and product development.

What kinds of clients are you targeting with the new Hyper-V offerings?

We believe Hyper-V will be particularly attractive for Enterprise level clients with a large investment in equipment powered by Microsoft operating systems. Hyper-V fills a gap for clients who previously found competing products either too expensive on a per VM basis, or too unsupported for serious investment.

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