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Showing posts from March, 2007

Virtualization drag

This article walks through several scenarios and yet another attempt to warn users. Why they used the title "VMware: the..." is something I can't comprehend. In many ways this article is repetetive.

Oddly enough, then, when we recently asked readers which tech buzzword they most despise, virtualization came in a strong second, just behind SOA. One in four respondents threatened bodily harm to the next salesperson who mentioned it, and 20 percent said they didn't realize expected benefits.

Still, virtualization is here to stay, and that's a good thing despite its apparent image problem. Whether you use Microsoft Virtual Server, VMware, Xen or another package, virtualization delivers a raft of benefits, from better use of physical assets to improved management of applications to the ability to divvy up resources across machines in a way that the sum of a virtual assigned resource--such as memory--exceeds actual physical memory. Using virtual machines may reduce physi…

Virtualized Web App performs poorly

Seriously if you're an admin, you know there is a lot more to performance than an underlying layer.

Virtualization is the magic wand = wrong
App will live happily ever after = do they now?
I have cron/scheduled tasks jobs running
What about those Virus scanners? Do they know you're benchmarking your VM?
Questions, Questions...

Well anyways this article got analysed by Slashdot users as media continues to thrash VMware's product by running outdated products, beta products and in many cases also beta benchmark tools!

Original article says:

The purpose of this article is to explore the performance impact of virtualization on a web application that uses typical development methodologies. The goal is to give administrators some idea of the performance impact that virtualization will have on their applications as they become loaded - and how it is different from the native servers. For our reference application, we will use the ASP.NET Issue Tracker System, part of the Microsoft ASP.NET…

ESX Server compared with VMware Server with VMmark

These results show that ESX Server not only achieves higher throughput than VMware Server for a single VMmark tile (6 workload VMs) but also exhibits better scalability when a second tile is added. This behavior is a natural consequence of the different virtualization approaches taken by the two products. VMware Server runs on top of a heavyweight, general-purpose host operating system, which manages the hardware resources.

Read the article.

Windows Server Division: RTM Viridian and Longhorn on schedule

It is good to see the Windows Server Division coming out and saying it all. Especially when press starts publishing inaccurate news.

Yesterday, IT Pro magazine (UK) posted an article about Longhorn and Windows Server virtualization (codename Viridian), and it contained errors about the timing of Windows Server virtualization and Longhorn. In this case, the reporter wasn't aware of the product milestones we announced at last year's WinHEC, and once shown what we announced last year, he admitted the error of his ways. As you'll recall, at WinHEC (May 2006) we announced the planned RTM timeframe for Windows Server virtualization as "within 180 days of the release to manufacturing of Windows Server Longhorn." The transcript from Bob Muglia's MMS 2007 keynote yesterday will be posted, and he reiterated the RTM timing of Longhorn (2nd half 2007) and Windows Server virtualization.

Check it out.

Will Virtualization justify SOA?

Thats exactly what this guys is talking about.

I like the way Brad Shimmin of Current Analysis describes service virtualization: it's a process "where bandwidth emerges from the mist and vanishes just as mysteriously in response to provisioning rules and service-level agreements."

He also is watching the growing convergence between SOA and virtualization. He describes the challenge this way: "With so much talk recently about automated biofeedback monitoring and business rules within rules, you might think that an enterprise stands as much of a chance of optimizing its service-oriented architecture applications as it does launching a Saturn V rocket. And you'd be right."

Read here.

EMC, Microsoft team up on Network Management

Interesting development this.

Microsoft will include EMC's Smarts network-monitoring technology in future versions of Microsoft System Center Operations Manager, software used for end-to-end IT systems monitoring. EMC is also developing network management and root-cause analysis management packs that will be used in existing and future versions of System Center Operations Manager.

Read the rest.

5 ways to screw up Virtualization

This is better article than some plain "Virtualization is good" or "Virtualization is bad". How can you mess up Virtualization or any other breakthrough technology for that matter.

Too much , too soon
Ignore security
Failing to utilize it to its full power
Ignoring the departmental politics
Not understanding the license well enough

Not my words but coming from this article from ComputerWorld.

As the number of virtual machines climbs from dozens to hundreds, or thousands, tracking what you have becomes challenging. "It's easy to lose track of what's out there in the virtual world," because there are no physical machines to see or serial numbers to record, says David Rossi, managing partner at Sapien LLC, an application service provider in Morristown, N.J. that runs its operations on virtual servers. "The cataloging and administration of that is one of the ‘gotchas,' he says.

You'll lose the TCO and ROI advantage way too soon. And it really doe…

Cimex Media chooses XenSource for Virtualization

Xensource is gaining ground.

Cimex tested competing server virtualization solutions from VMware, but decided on XenEnterprise because of its performance, comprehensive feature set, and affordable price. The initial savings that Cimex has experienced with XenEnterprise has come as a result of a reduction in the number of servers needed for any given project.

"XenEnterprise has saved us a lot of time and money," said Peter Murray, systems manager at Cimex Media UK. "For a recent client, we only had to buy two servers rather than ten. That's a huge savings for us. XenEnterprise also offers us easier server management, more time for QA, and a streamlined R&D process. We're passing these benefits onto clients by getting their websites to them faster while having even more time to test them before going live."

Read the story here.

Las Vegas, May 22nd 2007: Virtualization and Security Panel

BlueLane folks are spending a lot of time and energy talking about Virtualization.

For years, virtualization was relegated to development and test environments. IT organizations were wary of this new technology in their production environments. Recently, migration to production has been accelerating, but is this because there is now less reason to be wary? Quite to the contrary, the transient nature of Virtual Machines introduces new security and compliance challenges not addressed by traditional systems management processes and tools. Organizations that aren't dealing with those challenges head-on are in for some headline grabbing surprises. This panel of leading experts on virtualization and security will discuss the security risks inherent in virtualized environments and what can be done to mitigate them.

Check the full Virtualization agenda!

VMware helps ATL teachers save electricity bill

Silicon reporting...

The ATL previously had 23 to 24 servers with some using only 50 per cent of their capacity but sitting around consuming power for the whole of the time, according to King.

The virtualisation software lets the ATL run different applications on the same server - sometimes based on different operating systems - meaning fewer servers are used.

The VMware software the association is using also allows old hardware to be reused and has allowed the ATL to become hardware-independent.


Virtualization shift: Prime Time for Open source?

Amy Newman, from ServerWatch reporting...

Shifting gears a bit ...

Open source virtualization options are on the rise. While Xen has long held court as the media darling, it's not alone anymore. SWsoft, the force behind the OpenVZ project, which is now the basis for Virtuozzo increased its stronghold. (Virtuozzo competes with VMware, despite taking a different approach to virtualization.)

And in related news on Monday, Qlusters announced an increase in its virtualization capabilities and Xen support for openQRM, its open source data center provisioning and management software for physical and virtual environments.

The open source license is pretty much where the similarities end, however.

openQRM is licensed under the Mozilla Public License and is designed to integrate with Xen and VMware, while OpenVZ is developing the environment itself.

"The philosophy behind the Qlusters architecture is that it is open and can integrate with components already there," Ofer Shoshan, founder…

Virtualization Strategy : Go Open Source

Some technologies cannot be held back but some technologies cannot be milked forever. This article (Which I found on Ashish's blog) has the same thing to say. freeing the VMware Server, Comparison models etc is making virtualization a hard place to make money on virtualization itself. As the writer notes there is loads of money to be made when you start cashing on the "relatively new technology" matra to your own good. Microsoft did this to stop VMware's mad rush to the clients. VMware can further push its prices down and use the same "its a great new technology, we got our own staff to assist you set the things up" to their very own favor.

Why the big change in strategy? In one word: Xen. This is an open source virtualization product emanating from Cambridge University, with a commercial arm called Xensource. The entrance of an open source product into the market has caused the effective price of virtualization to head toward zero. What’s interesting about…

Virtualization Scalability Comparison by LRI, France

More researchers and papers springing up. Latest conducted by " Laboratoire de Recherche en Informatique" This one concludes with the following:

The evaluation of machine virtualization tools is a difficult exercise. We first motivated the use of microbenchmark to better understand the scalability limitations and merits of virtualization tools. We have described a set of metrics (overhead, linearity and isolation), and related microbenchmarks for the CPU, memory, disk and network resources. These metrics allow testing many aspects of these systems, performance as well as usability. We have compared 4 virtualization tools using this methodology: VMware, UML, Vserver and Xen. We clearly noticed strong limitations with VMware and UML, as previously published by other authors, but we have provided a detailed evaluation, identifying overhead, linearity and performance isolation limitations for all machine resources. Vserver and Xen clearly provide the better performance. However, …

Oracle RAC and VMware Workstation 6 Beta delight!

I just love the copy feature. It not only copies fast across the host to guest and saves me huge amount of time. Previously I either FTP'ed the files or downloaded them from the VMs. But this one is very fast! And not only that , it also carries the permissions across the machines. That is very crucial for me when testing RAC as the permissions always kills me. Be it a tar, zip or even a edited bash_profile filer on windows and then copying it to the Linux VM.

Check out the lovely print screens!

Dell to powerpack their Servers with Virtualization koolaid!

Despite the complications, virtualization is marching inexorably toward mainstream x86 servers, those that use Intel's Xeon and Advanced Micro Devices' Opteron chips. VMware pioneered virtualization for x86 servers, but the open-source Xen is built into prevailing Linux products and Microsoft's upcoming Longhorn Server has another alternative technology code-named Viridian

When people are thirsty, they'll drink the sand. And Dell is powerpacking its servers with Virtualization. Read more...

Performance comparison: XenSource 3.2beta VS ESX 3.0.1

XenSource's 3.2 Enterprise Version beta was compared with the ESX 3.0.1.

Our performance comparison of XenSource XenEnterprise 3.2 beta to VMware ESX Server 3.0.1 is now available, having been vetted and approved by VMware’s benchmark police.

As hinted at earlier, we have nothing to be ashamed of, and lots to be proud of, given the fact that XenEnterprise hasn’t reached its first birthday yet. In most tests, the results for the two virtualization platforms are essentially indistinguishable; in the Linux test, the value of paravirtualization is borne out strongly.

Get the PDF.

No open source future for Virtualization?

Well that's what Dana Blankenhorn concludes after spending some quality time at XenSource HQ.

But does it help open source? While Xensource is an open source company, and has a range of products for enterprises, server owners and individuals, virtualization moves the control point of computing to the virtualizer, and Xen does not necessarily win.

I don't get it. Is it taking a jab at all other firms like Redhat, Novell, Virtual Iron and warning them not to rely too much on Xen? This summary is rather succinct and honestly does not do any justice to what the Open Source is capable of. But anyways read the rest here.

LSI's StoreAge bags Virtualization prize from China Information World

With its innovative, "split-path" architecture, SVM provides centrally managed storage pooling and virtual volume allocations for entire heterogeneous SAN environments. SVM enables independent scalability, top performance, and high availability of all SAN resources, bringing substantial improvements to managing enterprise-class storage networks, reducing administration costs, and improving utilization of storage resources. SVM also enables the implementation of advanced disaster recovery and backup applications, including rapid application recovery, low-bandwidth remote mirroring and online data migration.

The news from the LSI's pressroom. Learn more about StoreAge. (recently acquired by LsiLogic).

VMware's TSX April 2007 Agenda

This is pretty rich agenda. If I were you, I'd be registering right now!

Should VMware open source ESX server?

This blogger has some points to make about open sourcing ESX server.

His arguments are:

ESX is already using many open source technologies and components, whether we say it's built on top of Linux OS, using Linux kernel, or is a Linux derivative, it is built on an open source foundation.
ESX Server make Linux users feel at home, and Linux community are used to find, evaluate and use open source projects before they recommend it to their employers and use it in the enterprise, imagine a project called OpenESX, and fully open source and free virutualization project where anyone if the world can contribute to the design, development, testing, and documenting of every part of it just like Fedora project and Redhat. VMware will sponsor the project and support the development.
It will provide rapid progress, more innovation, closeness to the users, and larger user exposure: open source's advantages.

Good point but in the wake of the apparent legitimization of Linux and Open Source and a…

Windows 7 (or Vienna) to ship Hypervisor built in by 2009

Interview on Windows 7 release:

Q: What features will be included in Windows Vienna?

A: Microsoft hasn't publicly committed to any features for Vienna and the company is currently still deciding what this next Windows release will look like. We do know a few things about Vienna, however: It will include a new version of Windows Explorer that is being built by the same team that designed the Ribbon user interface in Office 2007. It will likely include some form of the "Hypervisor" (Windows Virtualization) technologies that will ship shortly after Windows Server "Longhorn". It will also likely include the WinFS (Windows Future Storage) technologies, though they won't be packaged or branded as WinFS.

So meaning that the desktop/client version will also have a hypervisor built in?

Read the rest.

Static Security? It's Virtualized Dynamic Security

Greg talks about the shift! The Shift!

Virtualization promises to clearly demarcate security technologies into two camps: 1) the dynamic and 2) the dead.

Now lets talk about some of the specific challenges that virtualization is bringing to security vendors.


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 …

Virtualization and Multi-core Innovations the big disruptors!

IDC reporting...

According to IDC's updated forecast, multicore and virtualization will cost the x86 market more than 4.5 million shipments and $2.4 billion in customer spending between 2006-2010. Overall, x86 shipments that were once projected to increase 61% by 2010 are now facing just 39% growth during that same period.

"The server market is at a crossroads and customer buying behavior is increasingly driven by the strategic business benefit of the IT investment rather than a singular focus on cost containment," said Matt Eastwood, program vice president for IDC's Enterprise Platforms Group. "In today's business environment, it is clear that technologies such as virtualization and multicore are particularly important enablers for the consolidated IT infrastructure IT organizations are increasingly seeking to deploy."

Good news is that the consumer is greatly benefiting from these innovations but it does impact:
Software: Licensing issues, like Oracle RAC…

Cheaper way to go VPS: Use Xen and webmin

This blogger details out a simple way to use Xen for webmaster's using VPS. You can start up your own ISP that way!

Suppose you have a server that has a Linux Operating System and you would like several people to share as if everyone had a physical server machine. In this situation, you need virtualization of the hardwares on your real physical server so that everyone hosted can manage “theirs”. With Xen, you can have multiple operating system and services running simultaneously. This is how Xen works to make VPS possible.

In addition to Xen, Virtuozzo Power Panel (VZPP) and VMware also can virtualize servers. Because of the good support for commercial use, VZPP and VMware are more widely used. However, the license of Xen is GPL, which means free for use. So why pay for virtualization when there is free software available out there?

The rest here. (I just hope that the content is original and not copied from any Linux Mag , like I am seeing lately!)

ESX 3.0.1: Installation gotchas for Oracle Linux RAC setup!

This article will be published on 5th April.

Brief intro

As I said on my blog, I have been trying to setup Oracle Linux 10gR2 RAC on Oracle Enterprise Linux 4.4 with VMware ESX 3.0.1 as our chosen platform for Virtualization. This article mentions several issues that we will try to cover all in one go. If that's not possible, we'll finish it up in the next article.
What I used?

* 4way SMP box
* ESX 3.0.1
* Oracle Linux 4.4
* Oracle 10gR2

Is Oracle Enterprise Linux installation all smooth sailing?

Not really. After carefully selecting all of the possible options, (you do know that several binaries like ASM and OCFS come along with the Oracle Linux), while going through the installation I still came across several anomalies on some rpms.

This link should come alive by 5th April here.

Virtualize your Mac OSX on Linux

Check out the project and try running your Mac on your favorite Linux distro!

MacOnLinux project.

Xen not ready yet?

This blogger wanted to give Xen a shot on Ubuntu but was discouraged due to issues which the industry is blaming VMware for (that dutch article link below). Hardware and other pre-reqs. I must tell you one thing.

My advice: Its good to try to romance with the other ladies but make sure you come home for supper.

I still don’t know (feel free to enlighten me!). The issue got a bit murky with VMX full virtualisation, a processor-supported technology for running oblivious operating systems inside a virtual machine; my old P4 doesn’t appear to support this. In any case I’ve spent too much time on the problem and gone back to trusty old VMware.

Jay, why didn't you give Free VMware Server a shot?

Is IT Dilbertized?

This is an interesting and yet painful phenomena. There are lesser and lesser IT undergrads and people are expecting IT to just flow like water and electricity. I have said it long ago, Virtualization will speed up the commoditization of IT. Most IT firms are already changing their tag lines and mantras. Soon IT will be managed by some poor bloke in Elbonia.

I don't think we can stop the commoditization but what we surely can do is to bring back the innovation.

I was speaking (yesterday) to a young dutch student from our University (born in Holland with Chinese origin). His folks sent him to China to learn Chinese, the culture and values. This kid had done IT and is not at all excited about how IT is treated in Holland. He was eager to go back to China to continue his studies as he "didn't like the drag here". This is playing massively in developed countries. IT has been pushed out and given to the cheapest bloke to manage.

IT isn't fun anymore, and while a lack of …

Microsoft to acquire XenSource?

Well there is a rumor and this dutch article apparently talks about it and the way things have turned in Microsoft's favor since Lotus 1-2-3 days in the 80's:

Nu dan terug naar de toekomst. Mijn stelling is dat Microsoft het staaltje powerplay, zoals in de inleiding is beschreven, in de komende twee tot drie jaar gaat herhalen op het gebied van servervirtualisatie en mogelijk zelfs gaat beslissen in haar voordeel. Een goede observant zal hebben opgemerkt dat Microsoft zich flink aan het versterken is op verschillende gebieden van de virtualisatiemarkt. De overname van Connectix in 2003 zorgde voor een entree in de virtualisatiewereld met producten zoals Virtual PC en Virtual Server. In 2005 werd Virtual Server doorontwikkeld tot Virtual Server 2005 R2 dat ook gebruik kon maken van op x64 gebaseerde hardware. In 2006 werd Softricity overgenomen, waarmee het superieure applicatievirtualisatieproduct SoftGrid werd binnengehaald. Nu gaan er zelfs geruchten dat Microsoft (wellicht i…

EMC's Mark Lewis on flat IT

Mark says it flat out ;-)

Virtualization, I believe however, will go well beyond it beginnings and become a key base unpinning within the Flat IT world. Utilization will be a part of it but, more importantly, virtualization allows us to create a completely fluid and dynamic IT environment. This fluidity is the lynchpin in terms of how we really build IT Utilities.

Let’s think about some simple examples. If you have ever configured a server, think about the time it takes to change a server from a Web server to a database server, to an Email server. Even with the best tools, it is not easy and it is definitely not dynamic. With virtualization the fluidity of change will simply move to a completely new level, allowing IT resources to be applied (leveraging other technologies like Grid) almost instantaneously to meet changing needs.

For most IT Managers, I believe they would just be happy not having to plan downtime when the want to migrate a server or storage system. Yes, in ten years we m…

openSolaris Virtualization: Zones, BrandZ and Xen

This is an excellent presentation from Nils Nieuwejaar.

Here a little peep at the Solaris Zones VS Hypervisors:

Solaris Zones vs Hypervisors
• Zones
> Scalable, fast, virtual platform, platform agnostic
> Emphasis on sharing, simpler administration
> Improved fault isolation over “single system.”
> Alternate brands
• Hardware Virtualization
> Emphasis on separation
> Fault isolation, (Xen: SPOFs remain)
> Live Migration
> Foreign OSes
Download it now! and do drop by at Nilss' blog as well.

RHEL5 Virtualization: First impressions

I'll soon do mine as well. (If I ever get time, that is!) but this detailed review from a blogger - who copied all of the content from!- says a few things:

Interestingly, the interface between the operating system and Xen is “virtualized” as well: all connections to the virtualization system are done via a special library called libvirt. If Red Hat wants to replace Xen in the future with another virtualization technology, the only component to change is libvirt. Any software that depends on libvirt should continue to run unchanged.

Xen does place some demands on the system, ranging from almost no overhead for machines running paravirtualization, to about 5 percent of CPU for machines running full virtualization.

Given the novelty of virtualization and its possibilities, the technology comes with something of a learning curve. To help end-users ramp up, Red Hat has established a Web site, to educate users. The site is chock full of training videos, case studies, and document…

Get HP's Blade Virtualization Whitepaper

In this technology brief, IDC examines HP Virtual Connect and the benefits and challenges associated with using this technology to virtualize I/O with HP BladeSystems. It joins the IDC white paper Forecasting Total Cost of Ownership for Initial Deployments of Server Blades, which describes the overall TCO advantages of the BladeSystem c-Class portfolio, as well as the technology briefs Enabling Technologies for Blade Management and Enabling Technologies for Power and Cooling, which focus on the operational and cost advantages of HP Insight Control and HP Thermal Logic, respectively.

Go register and get it here.

My new HP laptop

Finally my 4G RAM, Dual Core laptop. Check it out. (I'm still struggling with the memory issue as on XP Pro it shows 3.37G instead of a much higher figure but I guess I'll just install fedora as I need this platform to host multiple VMs).

I did want to own that Mac but due to several reasons like RAM (MacBook can only house 3G max) and availability made me go for the HP box.

Well primarily, my colleague installed Supreme Commander on it and was pretty much impressed.

Check out some screenshots. My new one is a HP Mobile Workstation nw9440 while the other one (where my little one, Brian, is working on is a HP nc8230).

It's got neat stuff:
Doesn't weigh that much
Massive 1900x1200 Resolution
2.33 Ghz Dual Core
Nvidia Quadro FX 1500M

Xensource Webcast and Global 20-city seminars

Xensource is on a solid track with Forrester backing :-)

In this webcast, Frank Gillett, Vice President at Forrester, will discuss what the server virtualization hype is all about, how the recent technology evolution is affecting the way companies can leverage virtualization for server consolidation, and recommendations on how to get started now.

Frank conducts research on strategic issues in enterprise IT infrastructure. Current topics include next-generation data center architectures and related business strategies, including terms like utility computing, grid computing, on-demand eBusiness, adaptive enterprise and dynamic systems.

Where all?

March 22 - London, U.K.
March 28 - Birmingham, U.K.
April 17 - Wellington, New Zealand
April 18 - Munich, Germany
April 19 - Frankfurt, Germany
April 19 - Sydney, Australia
April 19 - New York, U.S.
April 20 - Washington D.C., U.S.
April 24 - Atlanta, U.S.

April 25 - Chicago, U.S.
April 26 - Dallas, U.S.
April 26 - Paris, France
April 27 - Amsterdam,…

Diane Greene on "Hosting desktops on Servers"

Diane Greene, our favorite CEO, was interviewed.

"I think there is a real desire out there now to host desktops on a server," said Greene, who holds degrees from MIT, the University of Vermont and the University of California at Berkeley. "I think you're going to see the ability to run more desktops on servers and companies investing more in thin clients. This is going to allow companies to have PCs with instant restart, no booting and have a lot more control over the management of the data."

The lady has a point. Not only that but hosting multiple VM desktops on powerful desktops is also a growing need. So indeed there is a very rich roadmap out there. Effective collaboration is now the key to future success!

But anyways, read the rest here.

Redhat will challenge Oracle RAC?

Huh? I'm beginning to get a bit tired of all this hyper disruption. Who is capable of what? Its like everyone wants to do everything!

Register reports:

That brings us on to Oracle. Red Hat unveiled three so-called solutions encompassing storage, high-availability, systems management provisioning, identity management consulting and training for: data centers, database availability and high-performance computing. Red Hat will build systems for customers by drawing on its “domain expertise”, according to chief technology officer Brian Stevens.

Red Hat has promised to save customers running clustered database installations like Oracle’s Real Application Clusters (RAC) up to $200,000 per clustered database through a combination of RHEL’s virtualization and dynamic resizing. Stevens claimed Red Hat is “leveling the playing field” against RAC.

Register does cover the story here.

Symantec's take on Virtualization

And I'm sure Altiris too ought to play a role in this or not? Just wondering but interesting development anyways.

Symantec and Red Hat will also expand their existing engineering relationship by launching "Unix-style" joint phone support for mutual customers at no extra cost beyond current tech support subscription fees.

"This will fill a key gap in Linux (tech) support. It will be the kind of support that enterprise customers are accustomed to getting on Unix," maintained Laura Shepard, Symantec's product line manager, in an interview with LinuxPlanet.

Due for release in the April time frame, Symantec's storage solutions for RHEL 5 will include Veritas Storage Foundation, Cluster Server, and Net Backup.

But meanwhile, on the virtualization side, Symantec will expand upon its previous support for VMware virtualization by launching a beta implementation of Xen virtualization later this month in both Storage Foundation and its dynamic multi-pathing technology…

WebEx bought by Cisco for $3.2 Bn

Well we didn't expect Cisco to go this hyperdisrutive but what the heck...

Cisco will use WebEx's technology services to build a stronger combination of communications and collaboration platforms for business customers, said Cisco Chief Development Officer Charles Giancarlo.

Read more.

PS: This article called (maybe rightly so) Cisco a "Giant Network Squid".

RHEL5 is here with Virtualization!

The brand new Linux horse has Virtualization built in!

"AMD and Red Hat have been leading the transition from 32-bit to 64-bit computing for years and with the AMD64 processor platform, our joint customers have come to depend on AMD and Red Hat to deliver efficient, high performing and stable solutions," said Terri Hall, vice president, Software Solutions and Alliances, AMD. "At AMD, we've long been focused on developing technology that enables virtualization on the AMD64 platform and we've been excited to work closely with Red Hat to help customers deploy powerful and secure virtualization technologies based on a common and consistent architecture. Together, hardware-assisted AMD Virtualization technology and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, will help customers achieve higher levels of efficiency and utilization as they deploy their virtualization strategies."

Check out all the features here.

4 node 4way SMP Oracle RAC 10g R2 on ESX 3.0.1

Soon I'll be writing an article (on our continuing RAC installation series at Jupitermedia Inc) on some basics installations "watch-out" stuff like:

Extending a VMFS3 VMDK file on ESXExtending the same partition inside a Linux guest OS (here our Oracle Enterprise Linux)Installation of several packages for backward compatibilityRunning for checking the readinessLinux commands for swapMore stuff for the needy DBA
Expect this article to be published by end March this year. So if you want your DBAs to have a test and development environment, you have so gotta watch this. Someday you'll be needing it!

eXludus and VMware on Adaptive Virtualization

Really cool.

In collaborative tests conducted on the White Rose Grid cluster at York, RepliCator’s prototype Virtual Provisioning Optimizer capability and VMware software were employed to create a virtual container within the cluster's native 64-bit Linux environment. Within this virtual container, RepliCator then launched the popular NCBI – BLAST application with its own 32-bit Windows Vista operating environment.

Both the Vista virtual environment of 6 GB per image and 1 GB of human genome data were provisioned with RepliCator parallel file serving to all cluster nodes simultaneously. A total of approximately 100 GB was provisioned in under 4 minutes to all nodes across Gigabit Ethernet. Provisioning with RepliCator occurs asynchronously, overlapped with other computation so processing never stalls for network I/O. With RepliCator, virtual provisioning is no longer inevitably associated with performance-degrading overhead. RepliCator removes a significant barrier to wider adoption…

Neoware boxes "thin client virtualization" ready

This just came in. Neoware does mention VDI but they mean Virtual desktop Initiative here.

According to Neoware, the VDI Edition products -- dubbed c50 VDI, e140 VDI, and m100 VDI -- are equipped with "fully compatible" support for the "leading" virtualization technologies in the PC market. These include VMware's Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), IBM's Virtual Client solution (VCS), and Citrix's Dynamic Desktop Initiative (DDI).

Additionally, the VDI Editions include support for Microsoft RDP (Remote Desktop Protocol) and the latest version of Citrix ICA; are compatible with connection brokers from Leostream and Propero; are certified as Citrix Ready; and are compatible with the Citrix Dynamic Desktop Initiative, the company said.

Read on...

Cisco enters Storage market with Neopath acquisition

This is definitely a year of the disruptor. The hyper-disruptor. With this acquisition Cisco has made a bold statement to enter the storage world.

NeoPath sells systems that virtualize or aggregate multiple cross-vendor NAS or file-level storage devices into single namespaces. This is a small and developing sector with limited sales, in which NeoPath has only a handful of rivals. One of those competitors is EMC, courtesy of the NAS v-word systems it acquired when it bought Rainfinity Inc in 2005.

EMC is also one of the largest resellers of NetApp's storage networking or SAN equipment. Not wanting to provoke any speculation that even limited NAS v-word competition could jeopardize its relationship with EMC, Cisco yesterday refused to say what its plans are for NeoPath's products.

Instead Cisco said that by acquiring NeoPath it will gain the expertise that it says it needs to develop interfaces that will allow EMC and other vendors to run their file-level software on Cisco's ne…

Webhosting provider choose XenSource over VMware

Alex Barrett from TechTarget reporting...

Why not VMware?

Why did Putegnat choose XenSource over more established options like VMware or Microsoft Virtual Server?

The answer to why not Microsoft Virtual Server was simple. "I'm not a big Microsoft fan," Putegnat said. Plus, since the applications in Joots' software stack are virtually all open source, he was more comfortable with a Linux-focused virtualization suite.

VMware, however, also runs on Linux quite well, and Putegnat did in fact consider it. But the more he looked, the less he thought it was necessary. "We could have shelled out for VMware, but it didn't seem that important," he said. Joots paid $350 for its initial XenSource license. In comparison, list price for a two-processor VMware Infrastructure 3 Starter edition is $1,000, and it ramps up to $5,750 for Enterprise Edition.

Putegnat doesn't regret his choice. He currently runs 25 dedicated Red Hat 4.5 virtual machines on the first XenSource…

DarkReading covers BlueLane's Virtual Shield

We covered the VirtualShield from BlueLane a few days back. Now DarkReading covers BlueLane as well.

The Gartner report says virtual machines may be convenient, but they also bring with them "embedded vulnerabilities and require special consideration for patching and updates." Gartner recommends building security into VM implementations, and watching out for the common security "holes" in VM environments: The separation of duties for administrative tasks, which can lead to opening security holes in VMs Patching, signature updates, and protection from tampering with offline VM and VM "appliance" images Limited view into the host operating system and virtual network, which prevents finding vulnerabilities Limited view for IPSes of inter-VM traffic Security policies and settings don't necessarily follow mobile VMs "With virtualization, just like with RFID and Web 2.0, security wasn't baked in from the beginning," Gartner's MacDonald says…

The New Age Of Aspirational Computing

I have been giving this quite a thought. There is a term what marketing folks call "Aspirational Marketing" but how are you going to achieve it with the given product line that you have? Anyways we would be in denial if I say that today the consumer is getting impatient, needs a lot of new stuff, gets bored quickly and you say that it is not happening. Blame it on the consumer, blame it on the well being and prosperity. Blame it on anything you want but one thing is for sure it is changing the way we ought to start looking at the consumer. This is also happening in corporate world (in prospering economies like US, Europe for sure), your employees are your customers as well.

While companies are charging ahead with all kinds of disruptive moves, massive mergers, buy-outs and restructuring. The consumer segment seems to be in a state of flux. Imagine waiting for Vista was great but the users starting ripping the OS apart in a few weeks already. Reputation is everything and all t…

PlayStation 3 Cluster Super Computer on Sony Virtualization layer

This is really neat. OK cluster are not unknown. OSCAR Rocks, MPI, Piranha..there are loads of them. This one was also cool. Here is the official news print.

“Scientific computing is just number crunching, which the PS3s are very good at given the Cell processor and deploying them in a cluster,” Mueller said. “Right now one limitation is the 512 megabyte RAM memory constraint, but it might be possible to retrofit more RAM. We just haven’t cracked the case and explored that option yet.”

Another problem lies in limited speed for double-precision calculations required by scientific applications, but announcements for the next-generation Cell processor address this issue.

“In the computing world there is a list of the top 500 fastest computers,” Mueller said. Currently the fastest is BlueGene/L, a supercomputer with more than 130,000 processors at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The PS3 cluster at NC State does not break into the top 500, but Mueller estimates that with approximatel…

How many Virtual Machines do you currently have?

This indeed can grow if unchecked.

"Right now people are bringing up machines without management knowing – in my company we had 12 added without my knowledge," he said. "We see a lot of customers trying to balance their VM count – they're losing control of it. It's like the server sprawl we saw 10 or 15 years ago.

"My concern is people will bring up unlicensed machines, and that's a big fine for willful infringement."

He suggested this could even be one reason why Microsoft has sought to limit the number of times a Windows license can be moved from server to server as part of a VM.

Well what kind of a manager are you anyways to not have a track of the machines (Virtual or Physical) in your environment? I think this Register story is merely a sales pitch to sell yet another auditing software. While you're on this FUD-Train, buy our software!

Remember, admins will never allow (virtual or physical) machines to grow in their environment. Why? Simple, it…

Apple: Do you want the whole world to love you, get Virtualized then.

Well , its not about the users who might be Apple-worthy, its about time that Apple saw it being worthy for the consumers. I have wondered like OK Dell has been trying to push Linux stickers on their laptops but the Mac has been a rather robust OS to be sold on any Intel hardware.

Anyways, this is a wake-up call for Apple. Remember don't bank too much on that iPhone. Try other places. All places! And Virtualization and collaborating with market leaders like VMware will be a great place to jump into the market

But for a number of reasons, word of the benefits of Apple Inc. hardware -- and software -- on enterprise desktops is now spreading. That list of reasons includes:
Years of spyware, malware and virus headaches that affect Windows XP have pushed IT managers to scramble for new options they might not have considered in the past.The learning curve and disparity of Linux distributions is too high for easy general office use.Many corporate applications have been ported to W3-complia…

How to secure a Virtual Infrastructure: White Paper by Bluelane

Security is getting a lot of attention. A lot of environments have heard of security but have applied it into their IT in a very limited way. I have worked at and seen organizations grow from being a totally hacked places into a "reasonably" secure environments. Its not just the security its also the policy. Policy makers and enforcers in the legacy IT infrastructure have found ways to do things in the typical DMZ/Secure infrastructures.

Although I do notice a considerable shift from the DMZ/Secure into more of a "Application Pooling" the security still remains in the same place. The pix needs to be configured but cannot enforce a typical fine-grained IPS/IDS from its end. I am not saying that its impossible but I see a severe need to do it in a more "Per Application Pool" basis.

But how are you going to enforce and even manage the great new way of provisioning a fully tested and patched "Appliance" from environment to environment? Virtualization …

Virtualization and desktops

This article discusses the whole ball game of Application Virtualization.

VMware has also been quick to embrace new CPU and hardware Relevant Products/Services technologies, such as 64-bit processing and expanded memory for next-generation applications. VMware exclusives, such as the ability to take snapshots of a VM's running state and "roll back" to a saved image have earned affection from the developer community. But in the end, VMware's willingness to expose its underlying virtualization technology to the masses may pay the biggest dividends.

Projects like the VMware Player, a stand-alone tool for hosting a VMware-created VM on any Windows desktop system, seek to position the VMware file image as a de facto standard for delivering appliancelike application functionality. Already, a large selection of prebuilt VM images is available through the VMware Web site, most containing open source OSes and applications that can be freely redistributed.

Read the rest here.

OpenVZ poll: How do we know its not rigged?

When I look at this poll, I see a huge amount of folks casting thier vote. and surprisingly openVZ and Xen scored amazingly high. I really don't know. I too have a poll running and it has a check on your IP/session and does not allow you (not even me) to poll more than once.

Anyways check it out here.

I need an employee count on OpenVZ ;-)

Virtualization: VMware client stories rolling in!

Well if you have been thinking that that ride is going to be bumpy then you are not the only one. This company went through that same narrow lane and came out winners in the end.

For example, in 2006, STM's major focus was to replace 30 aging IBM Netfinity servers at a cost of approximately $212,000. This would have been for just one-to-one replacement of the physical machines, without any frills like redundancy, he explains. In comparison, the VMware software and associated hardware cost $178,000 but had enough capacity to house 45 servers instead of 30. So even with a conservative ratio of 15:1 for the server consolidation using high-end IBM 3950 servers, STM was able to improve performance and provide physical redundancy for all servers.

Even with the consolidation of the initial 30 machines, there's room enough to add another 10 to 20 servers into the mix.

Although the initial plan was to implement the original 30 server loads onto three of the new IBM servers, Stefanakis'…

VMware ACE 2.0 accoladed by the Industry

The Register reports about the Desktop assault with the launch of VMware's ACE product. Another great way to transform a product into something suddenly so cool. ACE 1.x has been cool as well. But like I always say, timing is everything. Today ACE 2.0 will suddenly propel the desktop revolution. A lot of vendors who are on the "Server Virtualization Track" should take a deep look at VMware.

VMware has , with the release of ACE 2.0, taken a deep move to the "Server to Desktop Virtualization Track". Obviously we will do the ACE work and blog about it from time to time of its capabilities. In fact , I will "ACE Master" the developer box that I created on my ESX, converted it using VMware Converter to a VMware Server image and work on securing the box with the expriy dates. It is very effective when working with contract developers (like I had some days back for a couple of weeks). That way you can propogate the contractual agreements on the development AC…

Virtualization: Microsoft hiring 30 developers in Boston?

Atleast that's what this post says:

A couple of years ago I metthe guys from Softricity ( who had somne really interestering virtualization technology*.

Well, the business guys at Microsoft thought they were interesting too, so we bought thecompany.

Now we’re gonna really grow that Microsoft product group.

If you’ve every wanted to work at Microsoft but don’t wanna move to “The Rainy City” (Redmond/Seattle) now’s your chance.

If you’re interested, contact Lauren.

Lauren Day
Microsoft Staffing Consultant
617-695-0336 ex. 101 EST

* Corrected the typo for her. So if you're in Boston and want to play with Virtualization @ Microsoft, then this is your chance!

VMware : VMmark studies the VMware DRS

Vroom guys/gals are busy.

A two-node DRS cluster was created for these experiments using IBM eserver 336 systems. Two modified VMmark tiles, consisting of five server VMs each (file, database, java, standby, and web servers), were used. A baseline throughput measurement was first taken to determine the optimal expected throughput (Scenario 1 in the slide). Subsequent tests were started with all workloads running on a single server within the DRS cluster (Scenario 2). The DRS scheduler was then run with both moderate and aggressive settings. The resulting VM placements are shown in Scenario 2a and Scenario 2b, respectively. The aggressive setting results in the intuitive placement of essentially splitting the tiles across the two systems except for the standby server. That the standby server does not migrate is not surprising since it is consuming few resources.

Good stuff there. Hopefully someday we could also study the RAC with VMware. But I'll hear when I'll hear ;-)

Check it o…

Avastu Associates shining!

I know we are lying a little low lately but it has a deep secret strategic intent! Nope kidding :-). We are on projects and are promoting Virtualization in a major way. All over the place and all the time. I will soon publish a draft on Avastu's "Virtual Appliance Framework" white paper. Dario too is working hard with his exams and working on the Spanish version of our White Papers.

Ashish, my Indian Associate has recently had the distinction of calling himself a , well this is how he put it.

All along I was preparing for NCFM - an exam conducted by the National Stock Exchange of India. Well, now I am a certified financial markets analyst.

Congrats, Ashish! Take a look at NCFM here.

Sridhar, on the other hand has been around the globe, setup his own firm in China and currently working as a Morgan Chambers associate and gave a interview here at BusinessWorld India. Me and Sridhar will do an African trip in the coming weeks.

Great going, guys!

Veeam at it again: Veeam reporter for VI3 unleashed!

Ratmir's team has been awfully busy. I'll be needing those tools for my project, Ratmir!

Official Press release here:

Press ReleaseVEEAM™ SOFTWARE ANNOUNCES THE RELEASE OF VEEAM REPORTER for VMware Infrastructure 3New Veeam Reporter, an essential tool for VMware Infrastructure reporting, facilitates High Availability (HA) & VMotion planning.Saint-Petersburg, Russia, March 7, 2007 – Veeam™ Software, a provider of best-of-breed virtualization management solutions, today announced the release of Veeam Reporter for VMware Infrastructure 3.Veeam Reporter is a reporting tool to discover, document and create a visual (Microsoft Visio) diagram of a VMware Infrastructure environment. Designed for professional use by ESX administrators, system integrators and datacenter managers, Veeam Reporter integrates with and extends the functionality of VMware VirtualCenter and ESX Server. The tool collects information about VMware Infrastructure 3 (VI3) environment, its components and…