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Showing posts from February, 2007

Bloggers go ga-ga over Virtualization!

The reason that freedom and creativity are not yet the force behind server virtualization is because developers are currently dragging all of the baggage of the legacy world into their virtual machines. How popular would Second Life be if the first step in building an avatar was to do a full and exact body, social, and intellect scan of the player in order to project that exact image into the avatar? And all of the rules and environment of the game were exactly the same as the rules and environment of the physical world? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Second Life would be a colossal flop if these were the ground rules. It’s time that developers took charge of their applications in the virtual world and leave the constraints of the legacy server world at the threshold of the virtual environment.

More on Billy's musings.

Let's study these servers in greater detail. In a large enterprise, both systems play an important role. A typical deployment is to have 2 servers, o…

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4.5 Beta: Get ready for RHEL 5!

Lots of Virtualization support coming in.

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 4 Update 5, which moved into beta testing on Feb 26, is now supported as a paravirtualized guest on x86 and x64 platforms, according to the beta documentation released this week.

The version 4.5 update includes changes to the kernel that will enable customers to run current RHEL 4 workloads efficiently on RHEL 5, the first Linux distribution from the company that will host virtualization.

Red Hat has some really cool stuff under the hoods. Hat's off to the guys. Despite the Oracle's Linux distro, MS+Novell thing and Ubuntu, Red Hat was one of the fastest growing companies!

Read the rest of the news!

HP: Blades Virtualization on cClass Chassis with Virtual Connect Technology

Blades really want revenge real bad. When I look at the blades project we started a coupel of years back, it just kind of died down in out test environment. It still runs but no one has even come to testing it.

Well HP is hell bent to change that. Look at what El Registero is reporting...

In short, Virtual Connect maps all of your storage area network connections to the blade chassis rather than individual blades. So, you can pop blades in and out all day – or until someone notices – without having to reconfigure the servers' storage ties.

As it turns, HP only "laid the foundation" for Virtual Connect at the c-Class product launch. The Ethernet and Fibre Channel modules that really make the technology work only went on sale this month.

The blades are coming back, but are you ready to welcome them too?

Check out the rest...

From the PDF:

HP Virtual Connect – Breaking down barriers to change HP Virtual Connect modules for HP BladeSystem make LAN and SAN connections available to a…

Virtualization : Its business as usual, right?

What was all that whole fuss about "you build on my turf" then?

El reg reporting...

"Microsoft believes the claims made in VMware’s whitepaper contain several inaccuracies and misunderstandings of our current license and use policies, our support policy and our commitment to technology collaboration," said Mike Neil, Microsoft virtualization GM in a statement. "We believe that we are being progressive and fair with our existing licensing and use policies and creating a level playing field for partners and customers. We are deeply committed to providing high-quality technical support to our customers who are utilizing virtualization technology. In addition, we are committed to working collaboratively with industry leaders to foster an environment of interoperability and cooperation that best serves our customers."


Through its PR firm, Microsoft declined to make anyone available for an interview to discuss the "inaccuracies and misunderstandings" …

OpenSolaris Student Guide on VMware!

Yep, its OpenSolaris guys. Check out the curriculum here:

Student Guide Overview;
The basics of processes, debugging, multi-threaded programming, kernel module characteristics, and scheduling were also discussed at a high level in the guide, as a primer to operating system computing concepts. In the second version of the student guide, revised during the fall of 2006, template character device driver development labs were replaced with modules describing basic ZFS administration and Zones management.

The feedback indicated that driver development was likely beyond the scope of undergraduate University students and it was clear that environment setup and basic administration were a barrier to OpenSolaris adoption to be addressed with students. This updated student guide was translated into Russian, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Spanish in December of 2006.

Additional University Materials;
Meanwhile, the Bejing OpenSolaris education representatives developed extende…

Virtualization: Are VMs any less secure than PMs?

Saw this on Dark Reading:

And VMWare's desktop Ace software lets you lock down virtual machines, even when they are moved around. Lin says it works like a network access control (NAC) for virtual machines.

Thomas Ptacek, a security researcher with Matasano Security, says the move to virtualization is the biggest thing happening in IT today. "And every application running in a modern IT organization is on a path to being moved to one big iron [machine] running multiple VMs," he says. "And its impact on security touches everything."

What I find great about Virtualization phenomena is that besides addressing the issues (security, provisioning, consolidation, flexibility), things finally will happen to the IT industry where a lot has been left undone.

Overall a good article, a bit of marketing pitch for Blue Lane (I thought there was Reflex VSA as well, among many others) but never mind.

Dark Reading's article and Matasano's take on it.

I am just glad that the l…

In KVM's defense

This blogger raises some key issue on KVM. I don't think KVM is all bogus. It definitely has a massive potential. Like any other Virtualization option like rusty's Lguest, Qemu etc. I just wonder about:
InteroperabilityUsabilityReliabilityProduction readiness

So why do these companies (and Xensource makes this statement as a company) make such statements? The answer should be not surprising: they have a lot or all to lose. KVM can be the one-in-all solution, unlike any of the others. Xensource and VMWare want to get on your system by providing a hypervisor which then can be used with all kinds of OSes. But: they are in ultimate control. The idea that there suddenly is a virtualization solution which does not need any hypervisor must be absolutely frightening to them. So, they try to suppress this no technology from the start.

Besides anything I also want to mention that innovation is a great thing. I already have Fedora Core 7 test distro and am equally anxious to try out KVM. Th…

Incipient recieves 5th Storage Virtualization Patent!

This just in my email.

Incipient, Inc., a leading provider of network-based storage virtualization software for Storage Area Network (SAN) environments, today announced that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has approved and issued a fifth patent to the company for its technology innovations. U.S. Patent 7,173,929, titled “Fast-path for performing data operations,” was issued on February 6, 2007. The newly awarded patent covers split-path architecture for performing block level storage virtualization for scalable and highly-available switching fabrics which is a core technology within Incipient’s flagship product, Incipient Network Storage Platform™ (iNSP™).

EMC's Jeff Nick to open the Virtualization conference

"Next generation IT," he continues, "will be based on the combination of model-driven architecture and service-oriented architecture applied to applications, information delivery, and IT resources alike."

"The agility gained in IT infrastructure coupled with highly configurable, lightweight, 'last mile' visualization technologies will dramatically increase the relevance and reactivity of IT to the business. By applying these architectures, technologies and open standards to the problems faced by IT we can focus on qualities of service delivery of IT in support of business value."

The conference is sponsored by Sys-con's Virtualization Journal.

Check out Jeff's Bio at IBM (good to see a developer go this far :-)) and his current profile at EMC.

Virtualization : Slashdot discussion

"VMWare released a white paper detailing its concerns with license changes on Microsoft software that may limit the ability to move virtual-machine software around data centers to automate the management of computing work.

Some interesting and funny comments:

"We set out to partner with Microsoft," said Peter Levine, president of XenSource, "and VMware chose to compete with Microsoft."

Because partnering with Microsoft in a space they want to own has always been a workable strategy, right? Apparently Mr. Levine has been either been asleep for the last ten years, or is determined to be happy with whatever crumbs Microsoft throws him before the poison takes hold.

If Microsoft used the license agreement against Virtual Machines at the same time as releasing their own, they'd get into legal trouble. Legal trouble is a pain in the neck, so what they're doing is saying that "Virtual Machines are a security flaw" and banning them from the operating syst…

VMware answers!

Summary is very important.

Microsoft needs to fundamentally accommodate market choice and interoperability. Customers require freedom of choice to implement both Microsoft and non-Microsoft applications running on Windows with any chosen system virtualization layer. Customers do not benefit from being forced into a homogenous virtualization/OS/application stack.

To address these customer requirements, Microsoft needs to follow business practices, licensing and technology disclosure policies that result in the ability of Windows-based applications and OS’s to be created, licensed, supported and distributed equivalently on Microsoft or non-Microsoft system virtualization stacks. This includes evaluation, OEM licensing, software distribution, and production use cases, as well as free and unrestricted use for technical specifications and APIs for third parties.

Read on...

Cellarit: Virtualization with VMware successful!

You, the client, are the hero! You have paid for something that has delivered you the promise as promised! You ought to celebrate!

"At the end of the day virtualization made sense and is a cheaper solution on a monthly basis," Witt said. "Effectively, as a virtual customer we are removed from the hardware cycle. If we retained the old cycle, every few years we were forced to evaluate a move to the latest hot box."

Witt said hardware capacity is no longer a concern for Cellarit because "at the end of day we can dial up any usage on the virtual server."

"To us as an e-commerce company with customers in Australia and around the world using our service 24x7, being able to expand in a seamless fashion rather than in large physical chunks is much smoother," he said. "At the end of the day we are all about providing the highest level of service to customers."

Witt is confident the reliability of a virtualized solution, built with VMWare Inc.'…

KVM Virtualization: Do you need Yet Another Virtualization software?

KVM is growing and is really gaining a lot of momentum. But it sometimes seems like everyone is kind of building another Virtualization platform. I am sure it is unique and has a super cool micro-hypervisor and so on...

But does the world need another virtualization option? EMC subsidiary VMware rules the roost today. Microsoft is working on a project, called Viridian, that is set to debut in roughly a year. And numerous open-source allies already have focused attention on an open-source rival called Xen. While KVM delivers some new options and competition, it also brings new complications.

"In the near term, KVM will cause some pain because of the market confusion and developer dilution it will cause," said Illuminata analyst Gordon Haff. "But in the longer run, better technical options can only be good for Linux and open source."

Virtual Box is working on its hyper-kernel and I'm sure everyone is doing something real cool. No doubt. But the important question th…

Virtualization: Windows Server Division responds

Along those lines, there’s been much written about the EULA for the home editions of Windows Vista. But what hasn’t been well reported is where we have made advances. The primary use cases here are with business customers and enthusiasts. In Windows Vista Enterprise edition we allow the user to have 4 installs of Windows in VMs and they can install and use Vista Business Edition in a VM. Virtualization is a new technology for consumers, and one that I believe isn’t mature enough yet from a security perspective for broad consumer adoption. But for the enthusiasts and early adopters we do provide Vista Ultimate to be used in a VM. As an example we have researched these issues with current virtualization hardware architectures. One area that is clear is that our security and data protection features can potentially be subverted by a malicious virtualization layer. We’re working with the hardware and software industry to improve the security of virtualization technologies and we will…

Virtualization : Vista's reputation already damaged?

The fact that organizations may totally refuse to upgrade to Vista because its standing in the way of their Server and Desktop Virtualization strategies.

Microsoft says the blockade is necessary for security reasons. But that is disputed. The circumstances might simply reflect a business decision Microsoft doesn't want to explain.

This is beginning to smell real bad. I mean all the Vista bashing at Slashdot and the user community. Companies screaming to the whole EU to ban Vista!

Don't worry before Longhorn will be launched there will be three great things playing in the Virtualization arena:
Grid VirtualizationDesktop Virtualization (Slice and dice the desktops, with already shipping Dual Core and soon Quad core on desktops, you will have a massive desktop consolidation taking place)Application Virtualization (or Application Streaming as some like to call it)

Time isn't ripe, we're running late. And a lot of people will move to either Mac or Linux (Ubuntu) as these moves a…

Virtualization and Microsoft: To Virtualize or not to Virtualize

Longhorn will stress Virtualization OR Virtualization is going to be stressful to Longhorn? Time will tell. This is being discussed at Slashdot as well.

The recent revelation that OS-virtualization player Parallels Inc is owned by hardware-virtualization player SWsoft Inc indicated that virtualization is a complex market, and it is for this reason that Microsoft is looking carefully at its own capabilities before it makes its move.

I sincerely hope for them to be very aware of the complexity involved. Microsoft might just lose everything should they take a wrong approach and/or misinterpret the signals in this very complex virtualization space.

Check out the discussion at Slashdot as well.

VMTN: Ultimate Virtualization Resource Center

This recently polished VMTN section has several great resources. Look at it. It is complete with:
Discussion Forums: I drop by once in a while to see and sometimes am pulled by the alerts that I allow to send me an email , should there be something going on like a new post or direct response to my post.Documentation*: I cannot stress enough. I read them from time to time. Check out all the update documents there. I will be preparing a course material for VMware Server for my international project and thus will be reading that manual really thorougly! But if you are preparing for a VCP exam then you will be spending a lot of time here and carrying the printed docs under your arms. Like I said, to know your stuff real good , this is a great starting point.KB (Knowledge Base): Things and all other issues like time synchronisation on Linux Server (SMP VMs), disappearing vNICs on Windows hosts, etc c an all be found here. Very rich and helpful resource.Discussion Forums: A very cool place t…

Which HP Box to choose for VMware ESX Server

I was chatting up with my Server Division and we were talking about what servers we ought to buy. We are HP client and have a few hundred DL 580, DL 380, DL 360 and DL 320 series. We need to buy servers while keeping the VMware ESX Server 3.x certification in mind. We may also explore the blade possibilities when looking for renewing our servers eventually but currently our server strategy is to look for ESX support for every new HP server that comes in.

Anyways if you too are a HP client and looking towards virtualization in the coming days (who is not these days!), then do please check it out.

New York Times: Is VMware the new king of X86 world?

When I saw the title "A Software maker goes up against Microsoft". I smiled wryly. Wouldn't "software maker against software maker" be the better title? Lets break this up ans see what I think of it here.

“There are certainly some analogies here to what Microsoft did with Netscape,” said Mendel Rosenblum, a founder of VMware and its chief scientist.

Maybe Mendel, but the only difference is Netscape was a browser and IE practically didn't exist in the internet world. Microsoft's OS is getting enough poor reviews. Organizations are continuously choosing for Linux OS. Embracing Novell will eventually deliver a dead-lock (to one of them, I am predicting both). We are not in the 90's and the web and blogs and customers are all telling tales of what they want.

VMware is leery of such an accommodation, fearing it would prove to be a one-sided bargain. “We will not sign agreements that give Microsoft control of this layer,” Ms. Greene said

Absolutely! The one w…

VMotion Compatibility Matrix by HP

You need to read this if you are acquiring HP and are looking to benefit from the VMotion tool.

The ProLiant servers listed below are organized into VMotion compatible groups [VMotion to and from any Server/Processor combination within a group]. This grouping list will continue to be updated as new processor and server combinations are released by HP. Please use this document as a guideline with the understanding that new processor releases and processor steppings affect the content and compatibility listed by this document.

Get it here.

Virtualization: Vista is a non-issue

Its Saturday and I have no time to ponder about this repeatedly slamdunked dead horse. Microsoft does not want people to run Vista on Virtualization. Why?
Vista is new to the marketIt still has a reputation to buildReputation: Lots of folks are testing lots of distros on Virtualization platforms and sure they will all complain that their Virtual Vista is running too slow. I might just need to run with some finely tuned sweet spots. So this is going to be a major cause of Vista's poor sales as it would get a lot of negative publicity like: "My Vista runs awfully slow!" Heck even people running Vista on a new hardware might be disappointed. Bottom line: Vista needs good reviews.Virtualization is not new to the market and it certainly is not a new technology
For production machines and everyday usage, virtualization is a fairly new technology, and one that we think is not yet mature enough from a security perspective for broad consumer adoption. Today, customers using vir…

Sneak Peek : FastSCP 2.0 from Veeam for ESX Server

I got to test the FastSCP version 2.0 against my ESX Servers and I was truly impressed with this tool! The new features are totally cool! The tool will be released on 26th Feb 2007, coming Monday thus.

Check out the cool new features:

ESX to ESX direct copy. FastSCP 2.0 allows a user to copy files directly between ESX servers or within one ESX server. Copying is fast and secure and doesn’t require any configuration or setup. Multiple ESX Management. The new version allows a user to work with several ESX servers at the same time within a single interface. All servers are displayed as a folder tree in the Windows Explorer-like UI. The user can easily navigate through the folder tree and switch from one server to another. Complete File Management & Windows Integration. FastSCP allows a user to work with ESX servers just like one works with files and folders in Windows. FastSCP supports both Drag n’ Drop and Copy & Paste.

And if you have forgotten, its a FREE TOOL!

Veeam CEO Ratmir o…

Think "Out-Of-The-Box" with EMC in Rotterdam 13th March 2007

Got several posts at home, at work and now at email from EMC folks. We all have to start thinking out of the box. EMC will address all the coolest and important aspects of our current challenges.

Out of the Box 2007 richt zich op vier boeiende en actuele thema’s:

Information Storage presented by EMC
Virtualization presented by VMware
Content Management & Archiving presented by EMC² | Documentum
Information Security presented by RSA

Dankzij een reeks uitgekiende overnames beschikt EMC nu over een nog completer productportfolio wat u in staat stelt uw informatie nog beter the managen, stroomlijnen en te beheren. Nieuwsgierig? Tijdens Out of the Box 2007 hoort u alle details.

Interessante keynotes:

Peter R. de Vries*

* Peter R de Vries is an amazing guy, if you have followed his programs and achievements. What I also like about him is that he sounds like my pa-in-law (who's a top-cop too by the way :-))

Dus meteen aanmelden, mensen!

VMware expands in Cork (Ireland), creates 369 more jobs!

So, if you're in Ireland, then you're in luck, mate :-)

Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment Micheál Martin TD today announced that VMware , a global leader in software for industry-standard virtualized desktops and servers, is to expand its EMEA Technical Support Centre in Ballincollig, Cork. VMware will extend the range of activities at the centre and create an additional 369 new positions, with the support of IDA Ireland.

Read on...

Microsoft embraces yet another Virtualization vendor

Ashlee reports from The Register:

It is, however, another sign that Microsoft is willing to get along with other players in the virtualization game - most notably XenSource - if that will help the companies give clear market leader VMware a bit of trouble.

Microsoft is in the midst of overhauling its server virtualization software, as it has a less than competitive product available for free at the moment. Eventually - please, please don't hold your breath - Microsoft will release the fresh virtualization code via an update to Longhorn Server.

When that day arrives, the beasty from Redmond may be less comfortable helping out rivals. In the meantime, though, it would prefer to lessen VMware's clout in the market by pushing customers anywhere besides the EMC subsidiary in Palo Alto.

The reason I like the folks at Register and Inquirer is not because of their sheer love for Microsoft but for the plain fact that they are brutally honest! So here's my honesty.

SWsoft didn't mak…

VirtualWiFi from Microsoft Research Labs

Found this at the Research corner at Microsoft.

This new functionality introduced by VirtualWiFi enables many new applications, which were not possible earlier using a single WLAN card. For example,
# With VirtualWiFi, you can connect to a guest's machine or play games over an ad hoc network, while surfing the web via an infrastructure network.
# You can use VirtualWiFi to connect your ad hoc network, which may contain many nodes, to the Internet using only one node.
# VirtualWiFi can help make your home infrastructure network elastic by extending its access to nodes that are out of range of your home WiFi Access Point.

Neat stuff this.

Forrester Webcast with XenSource, Intel and IBM

Got an invite from XenSource on this Forrester Webcast. It is scheduled for March 20th 2007.

Advances in hardware and software virtualization, as well as integrated technology solution bundles such as the IBM System x server with XenEnterprise, remove common barriers to server consolidation such as cost and complexity. View our webcast and hear an analyst's perspective on why now is the time to leverage virtualization for server consolidation. Then attend a seminar in a city near you, and get more details about how this next generation virtualization supporting both Window and Linux with blazing fast performance can dramatically reduce your IT costs while increasing business agility and IT responsiveness.

Frank Gillett of Forrester will try to explain the "hype" on Virtualization. I thought we left the hype long long ago. I think what most vendors and analyst firms should do is to help the indecisive and very nervous CIOs come up to relax and open up their minds to adopt t…

Avastu White Paper: Indian Market Research

Our Avastu Associate, Ashish has written a nice whitepaper on India. He has conducted the report while keeping North Indian Market in mind.

To download the WhitePaper please send an email to info[at]avastu[dot]com.

Have you seen the "Dell Virtualization Zone"?

Some excellent whitepapers from Dell at ComputerWorld.

A virtualized IT infrastructure can deliver significant operational and economic benefits, boosting availability and flexibility while slashing cost of ownership. Dell virtualization solutions - including servers, storage, virtualization software, management tools and services - are designed to streamline the migration from a physical to virtual infrastructure. This Zone will help you learn more about how Dell's virtualization offerings can revolutionize your data center.

Do check out some of those WhitePapers here. Dell's own Virtualization space.

Virtual Shield: Secure your Virtual Enterprise

Nice article by Greg @ StanfordSummit...

The emergence of the hypervisor looks at this point like the biggest thing in IT since the PC; or the equivalent of the first new operating system in 15 years. By decoupling hardware from the OS it has, in effect, created an entirely new data center OS, an entirely new potential for slicing and dicing processing power into virtual machines that can be created, moved, and erased at the speed of electrons.

One of the more subtle outcomes of the hypervisor layer is that the network is now exposed on the server. This is good news and bad news – good in that it allows a new guard post on the servers, which can provide “zone defense” for the VMs without any footprint on the VMs; bad in that it presents a new target that can be exploited by hackers. It has been said that virtualization is changing everything. Security is obviously no exception.

Excellent post. Read it here!

Incipient's Network Virtualization: Bags award at NetworkWorld

Storage virtualization vendors too are flocking the market. And in great numbers. This is what NetwoekWorld had to say about Incipient.

Storage virtualization became a lot more interesting last September, when Incipient launched its iNSP software. Running on a storage blade within a Cisco director-level switch, the software offers data migration between heterogeneous and tiered storage environments, all while the arrays are online.

Although storage vendors have been offering similar wares, until now they worked only within their own switches and arrays. By moving the storage intelligence off the array and onto the network in a vendor-agnostic way, and by allowing live data migration, Incipient opens many options for its customers.

Check it out...

and guess who topped that list! VI3 of course...

The VirtualCenter management tool also has become significantly better with the new release. It now supports resource-pooling and automated distribution of server and storage resources on the fly. P…

Yet Another Virtualization Conference

People are going to chew over the issues yet again:

Topics will include:
• Hosted Virtualization
• Para-virtualization
• Virtualization Hardware Support
• Hardware-level Virtualization
• Storage Virtualization
• Virtualization for Server Consolidation and Containment
• Desktop Virtualization
• Windows Virtualization
• Utility Computing

If you are in NY around June 25-27th then you might want to check it out. Lots of speakers in the forum. do they have anything to do with virtualization? Heck, its everybody's business these days, isn't it?

VMware VMTN subscription ends as of 16 Feb 2007!

Just got an official email about it. We were going to order the ESX licenses anyways.

VMware Server and VMware Player; enhanced its Technology Alliance Partner Program; introduced the Community Source program; and made many other technologies fully open, including the VMware VMDK disk format, our VMware Perl toolkit and the VMware SDK. As a result, VMware feels there is no longer a need for the VMware VMTN Subscription and will no longer sell or renew VMware VMTN Subscriptions as of February 16, 2007.

Virtualization: A comparison of sorts

David Strom compares and advices on choosing the right Virtualization software.

There is a difference, however: Microsoft requires a lot more than just the OS to run its virtual server product. you have to run the latest SPs and IIS and Active Directory and use IE. VMware needs just the basic OS. (More on that in a moment.)

VMware Server also runs on numerous Linux distributions, and Microsoft's supports testing but not production use on XP Professional. Others, such as the paid VMware versions and Xensource, run on the "bare metal" of a PC – meaning that no OS is needed,...

Read the rest here.

VDI : Very Different Idea

But not a dumb idea, I don't think so. All those who have thought up the thin computing deserve all the credit of bringing the ThinComputing to the market. So VMware is bringing it to the masses. Some might say its clever rebranding, I will take it up further and say its something that fits perfectly with the Server Virtualization and its ready for prime time!

I know that a lot of Thin Computing folks might feel like "Hey, we've walked on fire and you dare to...".

Anyways its still funny to read this view...

It’s a harsh assessment, but one that’s born out of pragmatism. Back in the glory days of the thin-computing movement IT organizations were faced with TCO-inflating issues like remote application deployment and configuration management. Many shops actively sought alternative compute models in an effort to bring some degree of order to the chaos, and server-based computing was a long considered the front-runner.


PS: I went up to look for Randall's post…

Howtoforge: Using VMware Converter to convert Windows Servers!

OK, enough news and gossip stuff. Lets see some real people with real tools in action. Howtoforge is run by some really hardworking guys who document some really useful appliances. I once used the whole IspConfig from their site. Very handy.

This time they go ahead using the VMware Converter to convert physical machines to Virtual Boxes! Check it out.

Microsoft's Virtualization Summit in Australia, 5 March 2007!


* Microsoft Virtualization Roadmap
* Impact of Microsoft Virtualization technologies for your business.
* New Licensing models with Virtual Server 2005 R2 and implications
* Microsoft Virtualization Products
* Virtualization Platform demo
* VHD Re-Distribution Program
* Virtual Server 2005 R2 Redistribution program
* Go To Market Business opportunities enabled by Microsoft 2006 initiatives.
* Collaborative Discussions + Networking

And they are Globe Trotting! (Singapore, Bangalore, Sydney, Seoul,...

Virtualization: Solaris Containers are better?

Paul from ZDnet has some reasons to say why one ought to choose Solaris against other solutions.

Part of the issue here is that the popularity of PC style virtualization responds to issues the Unix community has never had - the pretend professionalism implicit in copying data processing's commitment to partitioning, and the nineties NT manager's learned aversion to trusting NT with more than one application at a time.

Notice that both of these illustrate what happens when people refuse to adapt as reality changes - the cost and memory management issues that drove partitioning and VM in the 1960s were history by the late seventies, and today's Windows servers can easily handle a number of concurrent applications provided that the load process leaves the registery in a consistent state and no more than one hacks it during operations.

Obviously there are some commets that beg to disagree. I liked the one by toadlife

"because you need to pay for the VM licensing and support,…

Virtualization goes slow in Europe?

Well thats what I see here.

As for indifference...

According to the latest information from Forrester Research, there has been a growth in the number of European companies that are aware of virtualisation, from 62 percent in 2005 to 78 percent last year. There is also a significant growth in disinterest, with 27 percent of European organisations saying they are not interested in virtualisation compared to 16 percent in 2005.

I just have a few words for all of them. In many cases its not only disinterest but laziness. and also nto to forget that this is not new. US always is the driver, Europe moves in slower. What I think and should also happen is to take the interest to Asia, Africa and South America. Virtualization is going to be commoditized. We should also not forget European companies commit heavily to Microsoft and hardware vendors like HP. Although it amazes me to see a deployment of MS Virtual Server rise to 11%. Is it in Production? I doubt that. And HP, IBM , are they mainframe…

Virtualization: Novell got ripped?

Well at least that's what this article happens to suggest. Novell has been building up a massive hate camp in the Linux community. FSF banned Novell when it went ahead to tie a knot with Microsoft.

And there is apparently also lack of communication out there...

“I think that there has been a strong amount of external communication by Microsoft and Novell on this topic,” he said. “We certainly expect that there will be those cases where customers will consume those coupons. We’re certainly encouraging one or two customers to consume all of them, let’s get this over with.”

Says this report.

I got to read the article at Boycott Novell.

Virtualization: Linux's bandwagon to the enterprise?

Irrespective of what you pick, the only thing to conclude here from Neil's trip to the Virtualization Exec Forum is that Linux is getting a legit entrance into the enterprise. And you have to thank Microsoft for it. They are letting Linux in themselves. But again we are talking about what vendors are providing.

From traditional systems management software vendors such as CA, HP, and IBM, to newer companies such as Hyperic, to such niche players as PlateSpin, Virtuozzo, and Virtual Iron, the industry is turning toward solving the problems of server management like never before. Virtualization is at the heart of this trend. And because Linux and virtualization are practically synonymous, Linux customers can expect to benefit more than any other segment of the market.

So I don't really agree that it's just Linux customers. I think Virtualization is set for bigger goals. It will probably accelerate the "Kondratiev"* curve and help IT become a regular GPT (General Purp…

Sexy Cluster with VMware's VI3!

If I look at the amount of memory that dude has. I too would go wonka-bonka on the possibilities for building cool clusters!

Anyhoo, our new servers arrived, and I spent the day getting VMWare Virtual Infrastructure 3 up and running. Since our SAN won’t be implemented for a few weeks, I have set up an iSCSI FreeNAS server to act as a mini-SAN.

Here is a sexy screen shot for the fellow nerds in the audience.

Great to see people having so much fun! Check out John's site.

Virtualization : So you think you can do without it?

CIOs and CEOs of companies who are facing increasing electricity consumptions issues ought to take this message very very seriously! The power consumption has doubled in the past five years. We continue to not only consume more power but in the end run the risk of having nothing in our hands.

It really amazes me the amount of environmental issues that are being handled in Africa, Asia and S. America. Not because they "think" about the nature. It just comes as a pure need. In Africa there is huge amount of problems with power. It is the primary concern. When I began thinking about the project I didn't have to think twice when my director approached me to think up a strategy for the project. Simple: Vitualization and Wireless. Easy to deploy and very cost effective. We didn't even speak a word about power savings or the environment. We did talk about the Victoria lake whose level is lowering (and it too affects the power supply to the regions of East Africa, BTW). So pe…

Vyatta goes full ahead with its plans with market segmentation!

My brothers at Vyatta are going strong and doing real good!

Roberts sees Vyatta as a direct alternative to Cisco's routers, particularly in small offices or enterprise branch offices. He predicts that, even with subscriptions figured in, the cost of running a Vyatta router is only about one-third that of running an equivalent Cisco product.

Traditionally routers have been seen as hardware devices running specialised software, but companies such as Vyatta have divorced the software layer from the hardware allowing the routing protocols to be installed on any x86 hardware

Proud of you guys! Good job and keep it up! Download our Vyatta Virtual Appliance and test it today and test it on VMware!

IBM and Intel push virtualization on Big Machines with VMware!

A lot of firms are making love and not war and joining the Virtualization space. Microsoft and Novell grinded their teeth together and decided to run their OS on their OS! Hah, got you there!
Anyways IBM and Intel too are doing that. These guys have a massive footprint so it is definitely going to make things a lot complex in the coming years. There is enough folks getting their feet wet out there. Hitachi is coming with their promise of Virtage, EMC has VMware. Other storage vendors and Application Virtualization vendors too are joining in.

Anyways, this is what they say:

“As mid-sized and large enterprise IT organizations strive to cash in on the cost savings of data center consolidation through server virtualization, hosting applications on larger, more expandable multi-processor servers delivers the best return on investment,” said Jim Northington, vice president, System x, IBM. “Nevertheless, many organizations need the tools to help them select the server platform that works best i…

Who has the control on Virtualization: Microsoft OR Novell?

Answer: The one who's controlling the Virtual Machine Management console.

Anyway, Microsoft and Novell say the virtualization side of their agreement will see SUSE as a guest on the upcoming service pack 1 for Microsoft's Virtual Server 2005 R2 and on its Vista server, Long Horn, whenever that gets here. Long Horn, which has virtualization built in, will also be a guest of SUSE running on Xen, the open source virtualization widgetry that Novell supports.

Hmmm... I'm still perplexed. Go figure it out yourself.

Virtualization promise delivered by VMware

Those who are enjoying the benefits of virtualization already know that. They are in that promise land already! I saw a lot of folks , ZDnet especially, talking about just about everyone dethroning VMware. eWeekss' labs got the sweet taste of ESX on their Intel and AMD based processor boxes. and they too fell in love...

We bound the boxes together under VMware's VirtualCenter management server. From there, we installed several Linux, Windows and Solaris virtual machines onto our ESX hosts, and we were pleased with how the ESX/VirtualCenter duo enabled us to fine-tune our VM implementations.

Companies looking to consolidate single-application servers, to squeeze more out of under-utilized hardware, to extend the availability of their networked services or to get a surer handle on the machines in their data centers would do well to evaluate Virtual Infrastructure 3, which can deliver compelling results in any of these scenarios.

But they too noticed little or no support of manageme…

Virtualization: What to choose?

Another view of a blogger about choosing Virtualization solutions. Obviously he missed out several others. That would put you in even bigger doubt but still I'm sure you will choose carefully :-)

But choosing what products best fit a given organization is complicated because no best product exists per se. Moreover, the best product for a large organization would be useless (and pricey) for a smaller one. The best approach an SME can take when choosing virtualization products is to really understand its purpose for deploying virtualization in the first place. Looking to run several operating systems on a single server? Looking to upgrade client desktops without having to install and run tests on every last PC? Looking for open-source software that runs on an IBM blade? Looking for freebies to test out the technology without having to immediately invest in it?

Read it here...

Reflex Security Teams up with Virtual Iron!

Security is getting hotter and hotter in the Virtualization space. And Reflex Security expands its portfolio by extending relationship towards Xen vendors like Virtual Iron.

According to industry analyst IDC, 75% of all companies with 500 or more employees are currently deploying virtualization. Virtualized server configurations create incremental security challenges not easily addressed by conventional IT security products. Operating as a virtualized appliance inside the virtualized environment, Reflex VSA transcends the limitations of traditional network security approaches to effectively detect and mitigate threats between virtual hosts
and networks.

Read the rest.

Testing the waters in Virtualization

It really does not matter what or how you test,as long as you get started with it. And you never know, sometimes you might just need oen in production! and these are the real gains that I am talking about:
1. Being aware of your goals and technologies that will assist you in reaching there.2. Willingness to act.Thats all you need sometimes. This blogger from Rochester College explains how he reached to that decision-making process:

And for a while now we have been using VMware Workstation for simulation and testing purposes. But then one day a print server needed to be replaced and it felt like the right time to jump with both feet in the water and test the VMware Server product. The few benefits are tremendous factors in achieving efficiency and higher/faster success rate in server management and disaster recovery. I personally love the ease of management.

Check out the rest.

Redhat's business argument : Have we forgotten performance?

Saw this on ZDnet...

Crenshaw argues that with current VMware software a customer buys software from VMware and then has to buy more operating system licenses for each instance virtualized. By combining the operating system–in this case Red Hat–with virtualization technology those additional licenses aren't necessary.

does anyone really care about performance? Consolidation is obviously nice, saving cost is necessary but do you want to compromise on performance? Would you be willing to risk your business line just because someone offered you a cheap solution?

My advice to clients/customers: Think about it!

Thinstall: Yet another Application Virtualization Suite

Well, you will see a lot of players in the market. All of them going for the Application Virtualization space. Network computing guys have done a review of Thinstall.

TVS lets you virtualize the entire application. A program's files, registry settings and virtualization layer are built into a single .EXE file. If the program has more than one .EXE to be started by the end user, a small, shortcut executable file can be created.

By virtualizing software packages, the apps become easier to deploy and manage. A wrapper around the application, files and registry settings isolates it from the OS and other apps. Any changes to the file or registry can be stored temporarily in a sandbox (a user-writeable directory where file and registry changes can be stored) instead of being written back to the actual OS. Because each virtualized app is isolated from the others, it can't cause conflicts. The benefit is reduced integration testing time needed by IT before deploying an app.

Unlike its co…

HP-UX 11iv3 eases the need of Virtualization

From the horse's mouth...
Virtualization, which allows IT resources to be pooled and shared so that supply of resources can meet business demands, is transforming IT in data centers worldwide. The HP Virtual Server Environment (VSE) allows HP-UX 11i to go a step further and has integrated virtualization and mainframe-class availability to deliver mission-critical virtualization for customers with the most demanding workloads. HP has broadened the functionality and simplified the deployment of its mission-critical virtualization capabilities for HP-UX 11i.

" Deployments of virtualized environments are simpler due to the addition of four new VSE Reference Architectures, including ones for Oracle, SAP software and shared services based on HP's own application server and database implementations. These reference architectures can help cut a customer's deployment time in half.

The mainframes want their piece of the meat too. Anyways this was expected.

StorageCraft signs OEM with VMware

While loads of speculation and talk is going on all around the web, it is only fair to talk about the real gains in the Virtualization space.

“The addition of live conversion capabilities to VMware Converter provides customers with a powerful tool for migrating into a virtual environment,” said Brian Byun, vice president of global partners and solutions for VMware. “We are pleased to enter this agreement with StorageCraft and expect their VSM technology to help us deliver the best possible conversion experience to our customers.”

So here you go.

What about awareness on Virtualization?

Awareness has reached 92%, WHIR blogs found out.

And which virtualization vendors are these companies familiar with? VMWare (53%). I was surprised that only one respondent mentioned Xen, but the upcoming Xen-integrated RHEL5 might change that. 6 mentioned Solaris Containers, which Joyent offers. SWSoft's Virtuozzo was notably absent from the list; I think its focus on web hosting providers as a distribution channel might be at least partially to blame.

I'm pretty sure VMware will be more that content to get 50-60% of the market , if they continue to maintain the lead. so by 2010 they might be a $10 to $12 Billion company. Not bad! But if I were at VMware I'd go for full blast and a 100% run! (I'm sure that's what they're gonna go for!)

OK but be well aware of the dangers and Check out the WHIR.

So where is Hitachi's Virtage?

We did a little talk on virtage in the past. all I see now is a new page on Hitachi's site and all we see is some post that says yet again "Competitor X threatens VMware". I know, I know, a firmware is the thinnest layer on top of the bare metal of Hitachi hardware? D'oh! So I have to buy blades from Hitachi?

The approach has been built into a new species of Hitachi's blade servers called BladeSymphony with Virtage, Virtage being the so-called "breakthrough" embedded widgetry that bakes virtualization into the hardware as an alternative to third-party virtualization software.

Yep, breakthrough indeed on a PDF! When do we get to really see it in action?

VMlogix: Provision your Data Center, Reduce the hill of Pain

That is what the CEO, Ravi Gururaj of VMlogix explained yesterday on our telephonic interview/online demo of the product of VMlogix's Lab Manager. Hill of pain. Today we look at the server provisioning as a painful ritual. It involves a lot of work. Then when the sysadmins are done configuring the OSs, you have the middle tier guys, they need to configure the applications. You need to deploy it and if things don't work for whatever reason you throw the log files at the managers who have to bite their tongue and explain to the client why stuff went bad. All these cumbersome activities leads to losses and clients walk away. Well you know the how it goes. And obviously there is a huge TCO and it increases 4-fold with a new service. And besides if you are a development shop then you will obviously have a multi-faceted environment. You might have Microsoft Virtual Server, Xen, VMware (Workstation, VMware Server, ESX) and also physical servers. A typical heterogeneous environment t…

No Virtualization for Mac!

I'm glad that this controversy is over (for now). This has dragged along enough.

The reasoning behind this was because they don't want to put their users at risk of breaking the OS X EULA—unlike Windows Vista, there is no version of OS X that can be run under a virtual machine—and more importantly, they don't want to strain their (currently good) relationship with Apple.

Virtualization market will rarely encounter Mac in the production environment. They will be largely Windows servers and to a certain extent Linux environments. But anyways I'm glad the controversy is over.

There are more important things to look at like Hypervisor, Full virtualization strategy or taking para-virtualization.

See the rest on Ars...

PS: And there are lots of users who don't understand why Apple does what it does...

KVM Virtualization enhancements in Linux Kernel 2.6.21

Kernel maintainer Andrew Morton, revealed some plans for the new kernel. I kind of look back and smile back at the Gartner's prediction of Linux will get to be the hero in 2007. Then it struck me! Would Virtualization make Linux the hero? Did Microsoft saw that in Linux and made a quick move to embrace Novell? Questions, Questions.

When I look at that Virtualization Manager tool in Fedora Core 6, it is a sign. We could very well have users getting everything out of Linux and Xen in the coming years. You just don't know.

In a message to the kernel developers mailing list, Morton gave an indication of some of the major new components that will go into 2.6.21. One change will be improvements to the KVM virtualization system, which made its debut in 2.6.20 along with an implementation of paravirtualization.

Check it out here...

Vista or OSX Virtualization: Will the users lose interest in it?

If I read this slashdot post and see what the community is saying, I sometimes get the feeling that virtualization is pushing a bit too hard from all sides. The users are finally getting to run virtually any operating system on a virtual stack. Microsoft and Apple may be feeling threatened (for obvious reasons, I'm sure) but eventually they may have to give in to it.

Bottom line is : Users are tired of being hardware bound. Virtualization has made that a lot easier. I just need one hardware and run several different OSs side by side. We all do, don't we?

Yet another Virtualization Intro

I think evangelizing is something which one has to continue despite all odds. Telling the users what its all about is very important. It will remain important for the user.

Infoworld talks about different Server Virtualization stacks and obviously vendor comparison.

I think its a matter of time before the Virtualization Tsunami will capture our minds and datacenters.

In fact, today’s datacenter managers have a dizzying array of virtualization solutions to choose from. Some are proprietary, others are open source. For the most part, each will be based on one of three fundamental technologies; which one will produce the best results depends on the specific workloads to be virtualized and their operational priorities.

Keep following the Virtualization space and make the right decisions for your environments. Read this intro here.

SAN and NAS Virtualization

Well Virtualization is not limited to just (x86 or otherwise)Servers and Dsktops but also to SAN and NAS. This intesting article goes through it thoroughly.

Virtualization can also help you achieve better storage utilization and faster provisioning. The laborious processes for provisioning LUNs and increasing capacity are greatly simplified — even automated — through virtualization. When provisioning takes 30 minutes instead of six hours and capacity can be reallocated almost on the fly, you can make much more efficient use of storage hardware. Some shops have increased their storage utilization from between 25 and 50 percent to more than 75 percent using storage virtualization technology.

See for yourself.

Virtualization: Don't we all need labs?

This blogger needed to learn about security and hacking. So he turned to VMware's VMware Player. Well there are lots of things you can do with the free VMware Server as well. Loads of them. I have personally lab enviroment where I cook (including the heavily downloaded Avastu Appliances) loads of appliances. Convert them for different formats (like Vmware Workstation etc) with VMware Converter and send them over to various clients (users, external developers etc).

Anyways this blogger too describes how he turned to VMware for his lab testing...

One of the tools I use is called VMware Player, a FREE application that allows you to run predefined virtual guests, which can also be downloaded for FREE. All the FREE virtual machines offered are obviously open source. VMware Player can be played on Windows 2000 Pro and Server, Windows XP Home and Pro, and also Windows Server 2003. It can also be played on various flavours of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE Linux, Mandrake Linux and Ubuntu L…

VMware Workstation 6: Remote Debugging made easy!

This proud VMware employee took on the challenge of making the lives of hundreds of developers easier.

I began by talking to a few Workstation customers who also use Eclipse for Java development so I could get a feel for their workflow and pain points. Then I sketched out the proposed workflow model for virtualization-assisted remote debugging and ran it by them along with rough mockups of my UI ideas. Based upon their feedback, I designed the feature as an Eclipse plugin that adds a new type of Launch Configuration to the stock set. The UI for this new launch config reuses most of the tabs already familiar to Eclipse users from running Java apps locally and adds a new one with a few virtualization options, of which only one requires the user to make a choice: in which VM should the code be executed? Once a launch configuration has been created and a VM selected, as with any other launch config, it can be activated in future simply by clicking on the Debug button in the Eclipse toolbar…

Dutch Market ready for mass scale virtualization?

According to this article, it is apparently happening. The market research was conducted during(?) the seminar "Enterprise Linux en Open Source Virtualisatie". Intel, Gartner, Novell and Akibia.

Voor het realiseren van virtualisatieoplossingen kijkt de helft naar zowel het open source-product Xen als het commerciële VMware, terwijl 17% alleen naar VMware kijkt. 8% neemt naast Xen en VMware ook Microsoft Virtual Server of Sun Solaris 10 in overweging. Een kwart van de organisaties weet daarentegen nog niet welke oplossingen ze in overweging gaan nemen.

50% are looking both at Xen and VMware, 17% only at VMware, 8% want to look at Xen, VMware, Microsoft or Solaris 10 and the rest (25%) is still unsure.

Unsure..hmm. According to me only 17% is sure and the rest 83% is unsure. Thats how I look at it. I'm sure Xen will be a very mature technology someday but if you are "looking" then it really doesn't count as joining the mass-virtualization party. And honestly I d…

Sun: Increasing demand needs brutal efficiency!

And even brasher,"rock hard effectivity"! Efficiency has been the slogan for the organizationalists! Love thy colleague, no problemas if things don't work out, tomorrow is another day. But if your clients are not responding to your "conventional marketing" and are responding faster to the new kid on the block whose pitch is pretty much at the whims of the client/customer using a highly adaptable "aspirational marketing strategy", then I wonder what message are you going to take back to your share holders and investors. I mean you bosses ;)

So what is it like being brutally efficient? Solid and robust flexibility! We all need that as customers. That was also apparently the hot topic at the SAS (Sun Analyst Summit) 2007. Forget paradigm shift , its just plain old tectonic shift. Adapt or disappear in that gaping hole. Thats the message.

It's hard to argue with Sun's view of where computing is heading, although "brutal" efficiency sounds …

Virtualization: Why are people so upset at Vista?

I mean, Parallels blog complained about the EULA issue. and Forbess' guy was so upset that he couldn't help but complain.

Windows Vista: more than five years in the making, more than 50 million lines of code. The result? A vista slightly more inspiring than the one over the town dump. The new slogan is: "The 'Wow' Starts Now," and Microsoft touts new features, many filched shamelessly from Apple's Macintosh. But as with every previous version, there's no wow here, not even in ironic quotes. Vista is at best mildly annoying and at worst makes you want to rush to Redmond, Wash. and rip somebody's liver out.

You have got to be really upset to say that!

VirtualSteve (from Sun) writes this:

Microsoft and Apple are both treading on very dangerous ground right now. Until recently it seemed impossible that another desktop player could make a real impact on the world, but the two desktop giants of computing appear to be committing what could be a fatal error.…