Advantages of disposable virtual machines in a hyperconverged environment
What is a Disposable VM
A virtual machine or VM is a system that emulates the hardware of some platform.
Another type of virtual machine is a disposable VM or Disposable VM.
Disposable VMs are VMs created to be used once. They are created and deleted, along with the data they contain, as soon as the job they were created to do is completed.
What are Disposable VMs and Disposable VMs for
Disposable VMs are often created for a single application, such as a viewer, editor, or browser. With such a program, a user can safely open a suspicious file or avoid saving the history of their online activities.
Here are some of the most common scenarios for using Disposable VMs:
- testing of software and applications. With disposable virtual machines, it is possible to test code in environments with different characteristics and in different operating systems. This allows you to repeatedly evaluate the ability of the program to work on any devices;
- testing in “sterile” conditions, which are easy to obtain on the newly created virtual machine;
- work in a safe environment. You can create a VM without access to individual network components to get a secure environment;
- providing lambda-like tasks, for which the important thing is the result obtained, and all the overhead (for example, large file systems with a lot of junk in them, a large number of application software packages installed in the system and outdated in a very short time) – a temporary phenomenon, which has no meaning after the result of the task;
- use of different operating systems. The VM allows the use of different operating systems in parallel to test and access the unique products of these operating systems;
- deploying copies of an application. Suitable for running multiple instances of the same program or application simultaneously during the testing phase and after the service has started;
- temporary scaling of software using horizontal scaling technology to provide additional workload that occurs for a short time or occurs regularly (massive reports in BI systems or data offloads from CRM/OLTP systems, re-creation from scratch in DWH-systems, etc.).
One-time virtual machines are created to host a single application or program.
With disposable VMs, developers can safely work with any files without the risk of compromising other virtual machines. Even if malware is found among these files, the attack will be isolated. The virus will only be able to affect a one-time virtual machine and will be automatically deleted after it is closed. This will prevent cybercriminals from accessing the rest of the files.
Virtual machines are created and run using virtualization services.
Pros of creating disposable VMs on the Russian hyperconverged vStack platform
There are several virtualization platforms in Russia. Among them, the HCI solution vStack, which combines software-defined compute, storage and networking layers into the same elements, offers full-fledged hyperconvergence.
One scenario for using the vStack hyperconverged platform is the mass creation of a large number of disposable VMs. With vStack, you can create a virtual machine in just one second. A new VM can be available in as little as 15-40 seconds (depending on the OS and how it is customized). At the same time, if necessary, each of the virtual machines can be highly customized, determining the functional properties of such a virtual machine.
Here are a few more benefits of the vStack platform:
- You can create a virtual machine and describe guest OS customization in a single request using the JSON-RPC API;
- The vStack solution can be managed through a single interface. One specialist is enough for this task, the company does not need to hire a whole team of administrators. This reduces IT infrastructure and maintenance costs and simplifies scaling;
- you can create a virtual enterprise-class data center based on consumer-grade equipment without any loss of performance;
- vStack platform successfully operates in CPU overcommit conditions, which allows for serious increase in cost-effectiveness;
- Administrators can quickly scale infrastructure and replace failed elements;
- vStack virtual machine snapshots contain the configuration, including virtual network ports, which is an additional sub-option of using disposable machines, in which the machine is not recreated but rolled back to a snapshot containing the virtual machine in the desired state, allowing the VM attributes (IP addresses, MAC addresses) and guest OS content to be preserved where used at the application level.
By using disposable virtual machines, you can instantly run programs, applications and processes in a purpose-built, secure environment. When an application is deleted or terminated, the disposable VM is deleted, freeing up resources. This allows you to test complex solutions quickly and cost-effectively and provide resources for lambda-like tasks, while also improving operational security.