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Showing posts from January, 2007

Yet another Benchmark on Virtualization

DrJ from BSDnexus forums talks about his benchmarking with CrystalMark

Here's how they are read: CrystalMark tests various components to computer performance, assigns them a number, and those numbers are added to give a system rating. There were some anomalies, so I left out the overall CrystalMark. When a raw score is give (like frames per second, or FPS) the actual value is stated, and the CrystalMark is shown in parentheses. I've listed native results for both a single and dual CPUs to show how the benchmark scales.

Check it out here.

For CrystalMark go here.

CIO India on VMware Converter

VMware Converter's launch is making a lot of small and enterprise businesses to try the VMware migration into their test and development environments. This will help the decision makers quickly decide what it means to virtualize their ailing environments.

The Starter version is designed to entice smaller businesses who are undertaking their first virtualization project, said Charles King, president of Pund-IT Inc., a technology research firm. The Enterprise version is for larger businesses, which likely have their own IT staff familiar with virtualization. But either type of customer can benefit from simplified management.

"They've taken some solid steps to remove some of the headaches of going to virtualization," said King.

Read on...

So where should VMware go then?

Everyone is shouting that EMC should let go of VMware. El Register, ZDnet but this particular post of David Berlind seems to be rather straight forward. He, in fact, predicts that XenSource will overtake VMware! Lets see what he has to say here.

Long term, unless VMWare embraces the same fundamental (and open-source) paravirtualization technology that XenSource has embraced, my belief is that XenSource will eventually overtake VMWare in terms of marketshare (this may take a while due to the VMWare installed-base staying with VMWare, and in some cases, re-upping its licenses with VMWare thereby fueling continued revenues).

Unless? Well we don't know where Xen is going. A lot of vendors are building up their virtualization solution with Xen and otherwise. There are so many of them. Who
says that Xen will overtake VMware. This market place is getting too crowded already . And that will become (is already) plain VMware's advantage.

Today IBM, Microsoft are teaming up with Xen for a …

Project ConVirt: Manage your Virtual Machines

Formerly known as XenMan, this one is a free management tool for managing your DataCenter.

Project ConVirt is an active, open source project concieved with the goal of tackling the administrative and infrastructure management challenges that adoption of virtualization platforms presents to the traditional datacenter. The XenMan administrative console is project ConVirt's first release.

XenMan is an intuitive, graphical management tool aimed at operational lifecycle management for the Xen virtualization platform. XenMan is built on the firm design philosophy that ease-of-use and sophistication can, and should, co-exist in a single management tool. So, XenMan should hopefully prove valuable to both seasoned Xen Administrators as well as those just seeking an introduction to Xen Virtualization.

Here for more details on Project Convert.

Check out some screenies here.

Next Strategy Article: Successful Customer Loyalty Program

Who are my loyal customers?
Do I let them also stand behind the stalls so they can play the co-designers?
Do they get to be the hero?
Do they get to be our heros?What kind of market segmentation should I focus on (age groups, classes, too many level, too few segmentation levels)

These (and more) are typical questions that any emerging and established firm might ask itself. We will try to examine what this can mean for Virtualization market. VMware has done some really cool things to keep its customer base happy and loyal.

Its like having customers truly feeling the friendship from the supplier, all marching together hand-in-hand. That is when loyalty begins to show!

Keep watching this space. I'll publish it within 3-4 days.

Avastu Argentina talks about Virtualization

Avastu Associate in Argentina, Dario Quintana gives a brief introduction on Virtualization. Virtualization will indeed soon be on its way to a grand scale commoditization. We are not just reporting things from China, India, Argentina and Africa (Ghana, Kenya, Uganda etc), but also making sure that we advice and present the case of virtualization as the justifiable path to the future.

By all means, the virtualization, is not the solution of all the problems. With a bad infrastructure and tools of administration, this can be turned an insolvent case, without telling that for this type of implementations they require skills strengthened on the part of the administrators well and sufficient know-how to do it.

Check more here...

Check out Dario's (New) Blog!

Vista on VMware Fusion

Sven reporting of his Vista on VMware Fusion Mac:

I’ve been running Vista on Fusion since Macworld and I must say, it runs better on my Mac than it does on Parallels Desktop. I love the drag-and-drop file sharing (one of the main things I didn’t like that Parallels lacked,) and the dynamic screen resolution is absolute fantastic. There are features not yet fully enabled, but for a beta, this is pretty rock solid and I think Parallels has got some hot competition on its heals!

Also interesting discussion on his post, see here.

Improving Disk I/O performance for VMware Workstation

I too myself get enough calls from the Oracle mail. Many complain of a OS running rather slow (sometimes). There is a lot you can do with customizing the Oracle memory but we should also pay attention to the general guest OS's performance as a whole.

This blogger haas some suggestions...

Even on a 2 GB RAM workstation VMware virtual machines can run slowly. Too slowly sometimes.
This can depend on a large amount of factors but we can reduce the number to 4 critical issues:

1. Antivirus real-time protection
You probably run VMware Workstation on your everyday working computer, and you probably want to stay secure running an antivirus software.

The most useful feature of any AV is the real-time protection, catching and monitoring I/O accesses of every process for ........

Read further and also do not forget to read the manuals (online and PDF) regularly

VMware better watch the Big Blue's advances, Butler Group report

And that is where a new business model might come in place. India is a different place to be, So is Africa, China,South America, Singapore, Indonesia, list can go on and on.(Having worked in all these continents in the past 16 years, I had a painful yet enrichening experience of learning how to make things work) Things move differently. Things are different! Period!

It is going to take a lot more than just a Pimsleur Approach to maintain a steady market capitalization in these continents.

Anyways this Butler Group report says that the z9's are going full ahead in these areas. And what Virtualization solution are they going to use there? Our Avastu man from India did report of the P Series being talk-of-the-town.

You will need to request for subscription before you can log in to read the whole article.

PS: I am wondering what our Avastu guy in Argentina has to say on the movements there? China report will come soon. ;-)

A different IT world thanks to VMware?

I think it has a lot more to do than just dethroning Microsoft. Microsoft has to come up with a different strategy as well. I welcome Microsoft to use my advice freely to contend into the space as a low-cost innovative rival. But the sad part is that even devoted Microsoft folks are beginning to feel rather disappointed about the Virtual Server offerings from Microsoft.

The fact that VMware's offerings are changing the face of the IT infrastructure and even the work-ethics is something we are experiencing. But it has nothing to do with any dethroning practices like that of Java against ASP. Java is here for being Java and ASP is there for its purpose within the Microsoft environment.

I must honestly say, Microsoft has just about too much in its hands. A columnist also mentioned that its time for deconstruction. And rightly so.

The death of Windows was last prognosticated with the advent and meteoric rise of Java, which had many of the potential landscape changing characteristics of v…

MacBooks for the Corporate users?

I think with the increasing adoption of Intel Architecture and X86 model, Apple is coming pretty close to allowing those lone-rangers to help MacBooks (Macs in general) penetrate into the Enterprise.

This post makes me so jealous. You can also see his regular Office software run in "coherence" with Parallels.

After using the my political juice at work, I weaseled a new MacBook Pro out of corporate IT to be a "trial user" for Parallels. I had a last gen Powerbook G4 and this is so much zippier. But the coolest part is Parallels. For those that don't know, Parallels is virtualization software that lets you run Windows at the same time as Mac OS X. There is a new version on their site that adds all kinds of nifty features, the coolest of which is Coherence mode. Coherence basically lets you run Windows apps on the Mac desktop.

And this is what I meant in the previous post about user happiness and creativity. It really doesn't matter if its a Mac or not, users oug…

USB virtualization with Moka5

Came across this software. I'm sure you're not new to the "copy and run it all in the USB drive" idea. A lot of folks have been doing this for quite a while.

Anyways this initiative is from some Stanford PHDs under the leadership of Dr. Monika (Moka?) Lam.

Their explanation of a LivePC (TM'ed as you can see already):

LivePCs™ are virtual PCs that you can create and share just as you can share the rest of your digital life (photos, music, videos, etc..) A LivePC contains everything needed to run a virtual computer — an operating system and a bunch of applications. You can create and share your own LivePCs, or use the public LivePCs created by others in our LivePC Garage™. You can use LivePCs on your desktop, or you can take them with you everywhere on a portable USB drive.

CheckPoint Upgrades VPN-1 :Network Security Virtualization

With all the talk about Virtualization and the hype around it, it would make perfect sense to have also thought about Security, right? Sorry kidding! A security expert would not think of it as a joke.

Security is paramount especially when the Virtual Infrastructure begins to roll out. These decisions are very crucial. We have spoken about Reflex VSA in the past. I also coordinated an international project when we too the VSA for a test drive. But CheckPoint too has been there for quite a while. Do check it out, I haven't run it in VMware (yet) but am in a process of testing/learning about CheckPoint tutorials in VMware ;-).

From the horse's mouth:

What is CheckPoint?

Check Point VPN-1 Power VSX is a virtualized security gateway that allows managed service providers (MSSPs), including application and telecom service providers, as well as enterprises with virtualized networks to create up to 250 virtual security systems - including firewall, VPN and intrusion prevention - on a singl…

VMware Converter to be released today and its Free!!!

We have been crazy about this tool. It was amazing to see all kinds of crazy old legacy and cumbersome applications and services go happy on the new hardware. Now you can reap the benefits and go about virtualizing starting now!!!!

The plan to offer the software for free is twofold, according to Matheson. The first is to get more companies familiar with virtualization, especially the products made by VMware. The second is the hope that once the companies use the products, they will want to expand into VMware's high-end software offerings.

"This tool is totally and fully focused on customer feedback," Matheson said. "We are the market leader in physical-to-virtual tools and usability performance and reliability. We are continuing to be focused on customer concerns and reliability and making a scalable product."

Download the Starter Edition Now!


SWsoft's "funny" tactics with Parallels?

We all know that SWsoft was daddy-dear to Parallels for a long time. And all this news of Parallels coming with its own server products (geez..don't we have enough on our hands?) , the tone on their blogs might have to change, says this blogger:

Moreover, the Virtuozzo blog has long been a critic of hardware/para-virtualization, where VMWare, Xen and Microsoft Virtual Server are frequently attacked. For example, this (VMWare taking over the role of OS, so Linux and Windows vendor should take up the fight with the alternate solution), or this (VMWare=slow, OS virtualization=fast), or this (para-virtualization is slow), or this (hardware/para-virtualization is re-inventing the wheel). I am not saying the attacks are miss-leading, and there are indeed a lot of truth in there! However, now with Parallels, another hardware virtualization software, on board, I wonder whether the tone of the Virtuozzo blog will be different.

Funny isn’t it? 4 months ago the hardware/para-virtualization tec…

India got bitten by the Virtualization bug

It seems like the Indians are finally getting to get grip on themselves and getting serious with it. Honestly I still need to see this really happening. We are ourselves looking for several In-sourcing firms (the one's who are taking all the outsourcing orders from the West and even regionally) and also our tie-ups with the BPO/IPO independent advisers (I will soon publish a Dual-Interview with a top Virtualization vendor and major Outsourcing advisor about their views and relationships of Virtualization and Outsourcing)tell us that this is increasingly becoming part of their advisory package. With "this" I meant the Infrastructure and Virtualization in particular.

In 2007, Indian enterprises would graduate to the second level of 'Dynamic IT infrastructure', where IT infrastructure would be able to effect changes in response to the changing business scenario, it said.

The key technology components that would come to the fore to attain this state would be virtualiz…

IBM evangelizing Virtualization in India

Our Avastu Associate from India (Ashish Anand) reports:

Innovations in server technology are changing the economics of computing to help enterprises improve server utilization and productivity, and hence, reduce costs. IBM's new 'eServer p5' series servers focus on virtualization that helps consolidate discrete systems, allows flexibility in resource deployment and helps manage resources better. These are high-performance systems for high bandwidth infrastructure, have a higher performance/processor, and facilitate the reduction of the overall number of systems in the enterprise.

We have conducted market survey in the north of India and found ourselves that the Indian IT sector need to really understand the importance of Virtualization and take serious note to it. I think analysis (paralysis?) is one thing but we are talking about a technology which is going to be delivered with your servers soon. So if you are ignoring the potential of your new servers, you'll have comp…

Virtualization a boon for us all!

I say users intentionally as essentially we all are users (super-users, developers, managers etc). This .NET developer who wanted to keep his Mac and didn't want to travel with multiple laptops discovered that Virtualization is a total bliss. Well I have enjoyed this bliss for a long time as a consultant.

Of course, I’ve seen and heard all the stuff about Parallels and how good it is: many orders of magnitude better than Virtual PC, which must create a virtual set of hardware on which Windows can run. Parallels (and the upcoming VMWare for the Mac) take advantage of virtualization hardware on the Intel chip, so you really do get near native speed when running Parallels inside OS X. Notice: not dual booting, but running Windows in a window inside OS X. But, I’m on a .NET project, and “it almost runs good enough to do .NET development” isn’t quite enough. Thus, my hesitation up until this point to take the plunge. Well, I’m hear to say: it works as advertised. Building our project in…

Virtualization craze: CIOs and Managers ought to focus on the ABCs of Virtualization!

With so much going on in the Virtualization arena, it is getting increasingly difficult for managers, CIOs and just about anyone to see virtualization happening in their production environment. The confusion which may result from the "too much information" phenomena, may have many influencers and decision-makers bogged down.

I too blog on several issues and try to address many key issues through the means of strategy articles, reporting other bloggers opinions , and obviously sharing my experiences with the others. I am approached by CIOs privately. (I'm sorry , I won't take any names) and am asked what it is. And all I can advice them is to get a simple idea of what Virtualization is and what it can really mean for an organization. Today VMware is a market leader. Its market share is not just plainly "first in" advantage they have (adequately) addressed several crucial issues and have addressed the manageability of such complex infrastructure by providing s…

HP through thick and thin with Virtualization: One Desktop Per Client (ODPC)

Mike Reports...

It’s something we might see more of in the next year or two, as computer manufacturers are eager to give IT managers easier ways of implementing Windows Vista across a large number of workstations.When it’s time to upgrade to Vista, models like the new HP Compaq t5135 (specs here), which will sell for $199, may look good to managers facing the prospect of replacing hundreds of machines at once.

I think the thin computing at work place ought to be totally OS independent. All the organizations need to really evaluate the needs of their staff and in the end I won't be surprised if all of them are replaced with those thin clients from Sun (which we also tried at our place, I loved the idea though!). With all the applications becoming web-enabled, how would anyone care what OS a Thin Apparatus is facilitating?

And as you can see, that stuff is cheap too! They will be shipping these thinnies by Feb 2007.


Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 Security Risk

This is almost scary to watch actually. Read this post and judge yourself. Check out this link.

You may be wondering why Solitaire is a security glitch? Well look at the two vitural machines, they are both running solitaire, one is Windows 3.1 and the other is Windows XP Pro. I opened up each of the solitaire windows to visual compare the difference between the operating systems when I notice something. The order of the card deals was IDENTICAL.

Hmm... We have a lot of ground to cover, I see. Read along...

SPEC on Virtualization Benchmark

AS you can see that VMware is the only Virtualization vendor participating in the committee. The way I read it, its still in the beginning phase.

The group is investigating the use of heterogeneous workloads that are spread across multiple virtual machines on a single server. A key aspect will be defining a methodology to model the dynamic nature of customer workloads in this environment.

SPEC will use its current worldwide standard benchmarks as the basis for generating workloads that are typical of server use. The methods and metrics used by the benchmark will be defined as part of the working group's efforts.

SPEC expects that a wide range of computer server manufacturers, systems integrators, and virtualization software vendors will run the benchmark and report results. Data from running the benchmark tests is targeted for use by IT professionals and decision makers throughout the industry interested in using virtualization to reduce costs and ease IT infrastructure management.


1 TB disk might make you Virtualize

Storage virtualization and network virtualization is not as hyped up as the Server and Desktop virtualization. But imagine the amount of space you might save if you stacked up 1TB disks.

So why will network-based storage virtualization take off this time? As companies SAN-connect more of their servers using lower-cost Ethernet connections, their storage provisioning and data migration problems will become more acute. This will force many companies to re-evaluate network-based storage virtualization's value proposition and why it now makes sense, whereas just a few years ago, its risks outweighed its rewards.

Costs indeed! And I'm , pretty confident that network virtualization is going to take off this time pretty big.

Read what Jerome Wendt has to say...

VMware: A Classic from 2002

I'm a sucker of old nostalgic stuff. Just like that beautiful place in Japan (Kanokawa) which I visited in 1995. It always is such a pleasure to just run across some older versions and stories and visit the past (which held great promises of today, the future then).

This nice little explanation is one of those.

As for essence of imagination PC you expressed that there is the simultaneity. Other multiple boot technique never is not is quite the important function which cannot. When plural PC exist simultaneously, naturally as for exchanging the information of that PC that the problem which you say whether how it does happens. Because information interchange between each PC, it means that many of meaning of simultaneity are lost.

 If with VMware once it is the text data, it is possible to share between host OS, and each guest OS via the clipboard, but information interchange after all in earnest, probably there are no other things in network. Calling information interchange, because wi…

VirtualBox twice as fast as VMware?

John posts this on his blog.

The best bit was yet to follow…the performance. Now, I’ve never used xen before, but compared to vmware, this thing flew. Honestly, I’ve never seen virtualisation so fast. Windows installed in no time at all on my Celeron 1.4ghz 768MB ram. Very impressive. So I thought I’d put it to the test. I loaded up a high def xvid video (960×528 w/5.1 sound).. it played flawlessly. This was stunning. I’d say it’s probably somewhere between 5-10% off native speed, and closer to the 5% than the 10%.

By the way, the Innotek guys were the one's who wrote and sold VirtualPC to Microsoft.

Check it out...

HP unleashes services offerings for Virtualization Market

Everyone wants a piece of Virtualization. Hardware vendor, Software vendors, Virtualization vendors, heck for all you know my wife's grandma would have invested in Virtualization is someway I don't know of. This $ 20 Billion market is bound to grow and a lot of parties are expanding their claws with their offerings rather aggresively. IBM, HP, Dell, Sun, Apple etc are all into it in some way. Some ared doing it more aggresively than the others but they are have shown the strategic intent and they all will strike, thats for sure.

Virtualization service providers have some solid stats to help their cause. Enterprise servers are generally considered to be under-utilized, at only about 30 percent capacity on average, according to IDC. Virtualization consolidates servers into a far more efficient system, helping to ease the costs associated with managing what many companies now call "server sprawl."

About $140 billion worth of server assets go un-utilized every year, said I…

Uptime software adds support to VMware VI3

Uptime Software has just added support for for monitoring the Virtual Infrastructure 3.

The agent-based monitoring system shows managers how server farms are performing and provide information for remedial action if necessary. It also provides capacity planning and can profile server farms and help sysadmins plan consolidation projects, according to Johnson. For example, Johnson said, you can assess what resources are being used by a particular platform - whether hardware or software - and derive from this a consolidation plan using virtualisation. Reporting factors include CPU, memory, network, and disk I/O.

Couple of screenies here, here and here. Read the rest here yourself ;)

VMware Fusion vs Parallels Benchmark tests with HDBench

This is a japanese version , translated in English. This guy used HDBench.

When you look at the result, now presently with function of speed and Coherence Mode etc,
As for the difference of Parallels and VMWARE you felt that it is large.
At present time Parallels probably is best selection.
Originally because VMWARE was used, we would like to expect rollback future to.

So the HDBench tests , according to him, tend to tilt in Parallels favor. I still am waiting for my MacBook Pro, so I can't say anything about it. Anyways check out both his benchmark test series Part 1 and Part 2 respectively.

Note: John Troyer rightly noted that its meaningless to compare a GA vs Beta product. But I also saw that he used a HDBench beta product, would that make the whole comparison a waste? I wouldn't use a benchmark tool in Beta myself!

VMware continues to be the hero in 2006: >100% revenue spike!

For EMC, for us (for me) and a lot of users (be it developers, admins, testers, QA engineers, creative people and myth busters*). As Toomre reports...

Frequently, key applications supporting each of these areas are deployed on one or more additional servers stored in some out-of-sight data center. For those business applications critical for the operation of a product or functional area, a similar number of servers are deployed in a back-up data center facility to stand ready in case of business interruption. This has resulted in a shift from what some describe as scaled-up environment (centralized mainframe centric) to what often is an enormous scaled-out structure (server centric). In fact, some Chief Technology Officers ("CTOs") laugh about the difficulty in trying to nudge the door open to their data centers because those centers are so jammed with servers, communication gear and cooling equipment.

Really its time to stop laughing and take those ailing, screaming datacente…

XenSource works on remote management interface?

Here's a blogger's take on the XenSource's remote management interfaces:

Today Ewan Mellor of XenSource gave a run down of old and upcoming Xen management interfaces (on the Xen-API mailing list). Quoting:

* xend-http-server: Very old and totally broken HTML interface and legacy, generally working SXP-based interface, on port 8000.
* xend-unix-server: Ditto, using a unix domain socket.
* xend-unix-xmlrpc-server: Legacy XML-RPC server, over HTTP/unix, the recommended way to access Xend in 3.0.4.
* xend-tcp-xmlrpc-server: Ditto, over TCP, on port 8006.
* xen-api-server: All new, all shiny Xen-API interface, available in preview form now, and landing for 3.0.5.

Read more here

And the reality is...

While we keep pondering and blogging about who's gonna do what , we know VMware is marching pretty strong and the polls are saying the same story. Although I see the rise of Virtual Iron. Its taken the lead leaving Xen behind.

Note: Read Xen as Xensource the company, Virtual Iron too uses Xen (the open source component of XenSource company). So see this as a Virtualization Vendor poll! (Thanks John)

Keep on polling!

Parallels plans for OSX on a PC!

I am really beginning to doubt my prediction on VMware grabbing the marketshare on the OSX. Parallels is gaining ground. If it really does host a virtualized OSX on a PC.

However, CNN is reporting that an upcoming version of Parallels could make running OSX on a PC a reality…by accident. Apparently, this feature wasn’t really planned, it was a “consequence of the nature of the technology” especially now that Intel has built virtualization into its chips.

While Steve Jobs will undoubtedly resist the idea of OSX running on non-Mac hardware, CNN points out that there is already huge pressure being placed on the company to break away from its proprietary way of thinking. The bottom line is that Apple is going to have to cooperate at some point - this sort of functionality on a PC is an inevitability. It is only a matter of time before the lines between Mac owners and PC owners will begin to blur.

No matter what Steve thinks here's the reality for the Apple folks.
Users are increasingly ge…

Virtual Iron Webcast : Enterprise Virtualization for Everyone!

Got another invite.

Server virtualization has quickly become a key area of investment for IT organizations worldwide. Its well-documented benefits involve minimal risk and provide a rapid payback. The clear return on investment combined with a broadening set of virtualization use cases has created the potential for mainstream customer adoption. This webcast will look at some of the emerging solutions that are fundamentally changing the economics of virtualization - facilitating dramatic gains in price performance and enabling the benefits of virtualization for a whole new set of users and business applications.

Go register...

SWSoft acquires Parallels (a year ago??)

In a memo to their employees, the CEOs of two leading virtualization companies recently revealed that their companies have merged. Specifically, Serguei Beloussov, of SWsoft Inc. and Nick Dobrovolskiy of Parallels Inc. acknowledged that SWsoft now owns Parallels.

According to a source close to the companies, SWsoft bought Parallels "about a year ago -- but kept them very separate and very quiet." Moving forward, the CEOs said that "Parallels and SWsoft have continued to grow and succeed independently in the marketplaces in which they participate."

Really! And why keep a secret for that long! We were so anxious to know--NOT!
Anyways we'll try to analyze in the coming days what this means for the virtualization arena. None to the server market (for now, till Parallels does something with its server edition), some to the desktop market (which VMware will soon gobble up).

More later, read this for now...

Virtualization advices keep pouring in...

"We've been well past the development/QA stage...". A lot of folks start off like that. Insufficient (or even none!) feedback keeps those virtualization solutions in the labs. It is very important that the managers pull up their socks and start reporting back to their bosses. (For the very same reason the CIOs too must take serious interest in these matters!)

All I want to say is that virtualization is running in production of companies like Google (and these guys run some real stuff there). The virtualization has been running in production for quite many years. Anyways if you're still a newcomer then an advice like this will help you decide:

Instead, you can have each app on its own virtual server, and put them all on one or more physical machines -- however many are needed to run the apps effectively. Costs are reduced since you have fewer machines to power, watch, store, and maintain. Scaling applications can be simplified since you can allocate more or fewer resour…

VMware : A Convenient Truth

Cartoon time folks! Diane Greene did push this vision during the VMWorld 2006 and we'll just see how we need to tell this truth to the world (old school of thought would have said: sell this software to potential clients)

Scenario 1: Old School of Thought

Sell the software to potential clients

Scenario 2: New Age for World Citizens

We talk about deeper and long term relationships

Moral of the story: If you have watched Al Gore's movie (documentary?) then you will realize that we are talking about serious issues here. It is not just evangelizing, there are some serious issues here. And obviously productivity and reduced costs will also help us overcome this hurdle smartly and creatively. And while you are at it , do also look for a "safer" ground to place your virtualized datacenters or else you might have to suffer the Mother Nature's wrath! In our next movie I've advised Al Gore to mention VMware..just kidding, but you get my point, I see ;-)

Linux Virtualization Predictions

Well they are Jeff Dike's predictions

Dike also noted that SWsoft and XenSource are trying to get OpenVZ and Xen technology, respectively, into the mainline kernel, but says that's unlikely. Dike says that Xen "doesn't fit in the Linux world," and called it "a technological dead end." He predicts a "family of virtualization stuff under KVM." Whatever makes it into the mainline kernel, says Dike, is what the distros will follow.

He also says that OpenVZ is unlikely to be adopted in the mainline kernel tree, at least as it is. Dike says that OpenVZ has to have "code sprinkled all over the place" to work, and it violates conventions within the kernel.

not mine ;)

Symantec announces Veritas Cluster Server 5 for VMware ESX

Just in.
Optimal for improving server resource utilization across data centers, Cluster Server for VMware helps prevent downtime associated with application, virtual machine, network link, or server failures. In addition, Cluster Server for VMware helps ensure availability in a single data center, as well as multiple data centers across a campus, metropolitan or wide area network (WAN). Cluster Server is a key component of Veritas™ Server Foundation, a comprehensive server and application management solution for data center automation (DCA) which helps IT organizations meet service level expectations and control operating costs in complex and changing environments.

More datasheets from Symantec: PDF, PPT

See all the details here...

VMware: Tales of a true MarketBuster!

PS: I am too eager to post it, typos and corrections will follow. consider this a "beta" and devour it!Businesses all over the world have had to deal with high-risk and explosive growth. It really does not matter if it comes from within your organization or from a low-cost rival. Most of the firms have a low-risk/low-cost model and phase their activities through incremental changes and work their way up. Then they start gaining critical mass and having reached an inflection point, moving into a more aggressive mode. Almost killer-mode, you would say. Take an example of parallels, they started out small and deceptively went on to whack the apple market with their product. It came out and we all didn't notice. It made products like desktop virtualization for Win/Lin and who would have thunk it that VMware would have had to come out to pick on this "little guy". Sure you would say Apple has a relatively small market share but look around yourself. You just can'…

Don't use Blades for Virtualization!

Well thats what a guru (shudder) says here:

For one thing, VMware ESX is very particular about which logical unit number (LUN) it boots from. Also, if you boot from SAN and your SAN crashes, you're stuck. But if the ESX server boots from local disks, it's a relatively easy process to point it to another source of virtual machine images.

In short, boot from SAN "works, but we've seen it be problematic," Lucero said. "We'd certainly never recommend it, especially not with the cost of internal disks today."

Read the rest of the advice here but take your own decision. In anycase, Please virtualize starting now! ;-)

EMC offloads Insignia staff in VMware

This is really interesting news. I know one thing for sure. I have been and seen enough reorgs and I know the feeling when a growing and dynamic part of an organization has to make a compromise by forgetting their plans of hiring new staff because the other offloaded units have to facilitate the reappointment of internal staff. EMC has its share of troubles but they must realize that VMware needs to grow and thrive independently.

Anyways I'm sure they are talented staff and VMware certainly can use an extra pair of hands. Hmmm anyways I'll be posting my (almost finished) MarketBusting article on VMware today.

Anyways very painful for the Dantz staff/engineers.

DCMA reaches 100% Virtualization with VMware's VI3!

Williams and his team set out to consolidate DCMA's 17 data centers
located around the world down to three, and so far the agency has
consolidated 560 servers to 160 en route to its consolidation goal. With
VMware Infrastructure, DCMA has offset server hardware maintenance and
upgrade costs while simplifying data center management and emergency
recovery procedures.

Awesome! OK DCMA may seem like a massive client, but that shouldn't keep you waiting. Go ahead and start virtualizing NOW!

Read further...

VMware Server and Oracle 10g R2 RAC Series!

As a reminder, if you search google , my articles will come up front. But many users seem to miss out on the Linux (RHEL/CentOS 4.x) articles. Please click here for the whole article series. or Google me!
Installation (Windows, Linux, Will continue for Solaris etc)
Administration and Performance Multi-part series

All these series have been tested on VMware 4.x through 6.x Workstation, VMware Server 1.x, GSX Server and ESX 2.5 and ESX 3.x Servers.

VirtualBox: Round 2!

Hmm, I was tempted to quickly download and install it on my box. Really quick and fleeting impressions are good. This one is going to compete against the VMware Server I think. Anyways here are the sceenies:

We will do a more detailed review soon!

VirtualBox: Another contender around the bend?

Some of the features of VirtualBox are:

* Modularity. VirtualBox has an extremely modular design with well-defined internal programming interfaces and a client/server design. This makes it easy to control it from several interfaces at once: for example, you can start a virtual machine in a typical virtual machine GUI and then control that machine from the command line, or possibly remotely. VirtualBox also comes with a full Software Development Kit: even though it is Open Source Software, you don't have to hack the source to write a new interface for VirtualBox.

* Virtual machine descriptions in XML. The configuration settings of virtual machines are stored entirely in XML and are independent of the local machines. Virtual machine definitions can therefore easily be ported to other computers.

* Guest Additions for Windows and Linux. VirtualBox has special software that can be installed inside Windows and Linux virtual machines to improve performance and make integration…

People still love VMware Server!

And this could be an extremely ridiculously cheaper option. These Gurock guys just found that out.

But based on my observations and tests, I suspect that such a server should easily handle all the common services like Subversion, E-Mail, File Server, Active Directory and web based applications for up to 10 users or more and therefore makes it a very economical solution for small ISVs. And besides the space and cost savings such virtual servers provide, it becomes ridiculous easy to backup entire servers just by copying or burning the virtual machine files.

Now how can you argue with that.

VMware Server and Veeam software

I did interview the CEO last and was wondering how the guys were doing? I will be needing the Veeam software for training purposes should my client want to go for VMware Server instead of ESX. Although it'd be better if they make a wise decision and go for the ESX Server.

In any case we will be using the simplicity of Veeam with the datacenter capabilities of openQRM.

Maybe I'll just ping the CEO and check up on him.

Virtue of Virtualization: For ROI or Opportunity?

Most go for both. Some go for ROI and fools go for opportunity, you'd say. But this manager @ PWC sees and advises this:

* hink strategy first
Evaluate why you are doing it (know your goals), where it helps your organisation and the business as a whole, find the opportunities, think long term. Look at achieving cost reduction; server maintenance is one of many opportunities.
* Structure
Virtualisation enables you to create an infrastructure by the book, efficiently maintained, managed and secured
* Think Business
In order to get buy-in from management and the business, work backwards. Do not try to find justifications, which might convince the business, instead directly target the business goals. Understand where the business is going and what it needs to achieve its goals. Then identify where the virtualisation as technology and approach fit into those requirements.

I've advised many of you of the same and only more. Clients, friends, project buddies an…

Symantec Security Researcher talks about Virtualization security

An excerpt:

Whereas VMware uses a special port to perform guest-tohost
and host-to-guest communication, VirtualPC relies on the
execution of illegal opcodes to raise exceptions that the kernel
will catch. This method is very similar to the illegal opcode
execution that Windows NT and later operating systems use in
their DOS box to communicate with the operating system. By
reverse-engineering the VirtualPC executable file, the author
of this paper found that the opcodes are the following

Peter Ferrie is a Sr. Researcher @ Symantec. Check out his site as well, you'd wanna download this interesting article.

Linux Virtualization: Rusty changes Lhype to Lguest

what is Lhype or Lguest? He'll make the changes soon enough.

The Great Renaming has not happened yet becase James Morris offered to look at SMP host support, and it would completely screw his merge if I rename everything.

However, my TODO list has been reordered into "before the merge" and "after the merge". Now the console is non-bufferred, I've been spending more time actually working inside an lhype guest. This has refocused me away from optimizations (and there are still plenty there) and back towards functionality. In particular, suspend/resume has moved to "before the merge", since obviously the startup and resume paths should be the same.

Rusty is not new to Linux, no sire (author of NetFilter Team)!

UML Virtualization?

It's User Mode Linux, stupid! :-) Here's the site for more details.

Mark writes and takes it for a test drive:

User Mode Linux (UML) allows you to run Linux kernels as user mode processes under a host Linux kernel, giving you a simple way to run several independent virtual machines on a single piece of physical hardware. Let's take a look at UML and how it can give you more bang for the hardware buck, or make it easier to debug the kernel.

A good read.

Parallels much awaited update!

Parallels has declared war. And they're dead serious. There are obviously some challenges with Microsoft's upcoming requirements/restrictions.

Although Parallels has been on a run as of late, being cited as a solid, reliable product, concerns have arisen with regard to Microsoft's upcoming operating system, which will be released at the end of the month. Current Microsoft licensing forbids the use of the home editions of the operating system under virtualization environments such as the one Parallels provides, a move that pushes the user to look towards variants of the operating system within the $400 range as opposed to one within a $100 range.But this new will have support for:
USBiSight Camera3D graphics improvementsMulti-core supportRead here...

GridToday's report on Virtualization

The 451 Group believes that server virtualization is transforming datacenter management by breaking the one-to-one relationship between applications and (usually Windows) servers.

I'be been saying for a long time. While you all are looking at the relationships between apps and servers. If you are a manager this is what I can (almost) guarantee you will happen:
A healthy working venn will be created with all the collaborative units within and outside your domain, meaning users/admins/all of them will be able to relate to each other.Will help both your E- and O (Nohria & Beer, HBR) change models dramaticallyApplications mobility will be a reality (how often we have choked on all kinds of little fixes)Clients will experience enormous gains and insights into their "own intellectual property" by committing themselves (Or should I say flirt) to such proven technologyI can go on and on. But honestly this the first good thing I am seeing from a disruptive technology such as vi…

VMware TSX (Technical eXchange) coming to Nice, France

Richard (Garsthagen) reports of this. I'll be signing in for sure (If I'm not traveling abroad obviously, hated it when I missed the VMworld due to my foreign trip engagement).

I'm also curious to meet several folks (including you, Richard of course. We've spoke on phone several times ;-))

Anyways the site with details will be coming soon!

VMware VS Xen : Flirt vs Commitment?

I call VMware a flirtation because it will run on an otherwise ordinary system (provided that I have enough kernel source around to compile its modules). Installing and using VMware is thus a reasonably casual thing, something I can do without particularly perturbing the system. I can even normally boot my system with VMware's kernel modules loaded, and only contaminate things if I actually need it this time around.

Xen's hypervisor approach requires a much bigger change in my system; I can't add Xen to a running system, I have to boot the Xen environment from the start. Which requires a special Xen-enabled kernel, which requires special patches that you have to integrate into your kernel, which gives me nervous flashbacks. Being able to run stock kernels is valuable for me, and with Xen I give that up, so setting things up for Xen means a fairly significant commitment.

I can understand from a developer's point of view. We flirt with everything that is there. But somewhe…

Virtualization: Its never too late!

If this post about a hacker finding the free VMware Server is free in 2007 doesn't move you, then you are not living on this planet ;-)

Today I found out that VMWare server is now free for download. Their major upsell is service contracts and add-ons, but if you don’t tend to use that or need it for testing and you run Windows but want to run other operating systems or perform potentially dangerous tests, this is the software for you.

Moral of the story: It's never too late. But hey, doesn't this say something about the VMware Server's marketing? or the lack thereof?

Check it out...

India in 2007: Virtualization and SOA

China, Africa, S. America and East Europe will follow suit (If they haven't already started it, that is!)

India continues to soar. South Asia’s largest economy will continue to lead the pack as the next IT market opportunity. A major wave of IT investments has started to take place across banks, financial services institutions (FSI), telecom, manufacturing, government, resource, education, and other industries. This is probably why India is the fastest-growing country by IT spending in 2006 (22.4 per cent) and is forecast to remain so in 2007 (21.5 per cent) when it reaches Rs 75,891 crore

Dynamic IT to enter Phase 2 in 2007: From Consolidation to Virtualization and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA).

The growth is there (That is 758.91 Billion dollars!). Sometimes I think it might be a pretty good idea to spend sometime there as an expat and help the industry expand there. Maybe I'll just do that!

Read here...