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Showing posts from May, 2007

Bluelane's VirtualShield best of Interop!

Greg pinged me on this exclusive news (to be published tomorrow)

"Winning Best of Interop this year is well deserved validation for our state-of-the-art approach to server security," said Jeff Palmer, president and CEO at Blue Lane. “There were more than 100 security vendors exhibiting this year. This was clearly a watershed win for all of us championing signature-free security for virtual and physical servers.”
“The Best of Interop Awards are always an indicator of the most innovative and exciting offerings in these product categories and this year’s winners are no exception,” said Art Wittmann, editor in chief, Network Computing. “Blue Lane and each of the category winners have truly demonstrated superior technology and innovation, and deserve recognition for their contributions to the industry.”
Addressing the unique challenges of virtual infrastructure security, VirtualShield protects guest virtual machines running on VMware Infrastructure 3. VirtualShield delivers the…

Veeam releases Reporter 2.0 tool for VI3!

Our friends @Veeam are going strong!

Veeam™ Software, a new provider of best-of-breed systems management solutions for virtual machines (VMs), today announced the release of a new major version of Veeam Reporter 2.0 for VMware Infrastructure 3 (VI3)

Veeam Reporter 2.0 collects information about VI3 environment, its components and configuration settings, and provides comprehensive reports for analysis and documentation. Designed for professional use by ESX administrators, system integrators and datacenter managers, the tool is fully integrated with VMware VirtualCenter and ESX Server.


Discovering in Minutes

A manual process of collecting information about VI3 environment can take hours and is prone to human errors. With Veeam Reporter the discovery of entire infrastructure usually takes from one to five minutes. Tremendous time saving allows IT administrators and datacenter managers to be more productive.

Analyzing in Visio

Veeam Reporter 2.0 offers users the bird…

Microsoft's Virtualization platform too weak to deploy

This article talks about how Microsoft is trailing behind in its Virtualization adventure.

However, Microsoft does say that this technology is likely to be included in a Service Pack 1 release of the product, but this also raises questions about Microsoft's ability to produce the live migration capability on its architecture for WSV.

The knock-on effect of live migration not being in the first release of WSV is that Microsoft's System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) product, due for release in the second half of 2007, will not be able to perform the live movement of VMs, which is a major reason why some customers would use SCVMM.

The second feature removed from the first release version of WSV is the ability to add storage, network, memory, or CPUs on-the-fly to running VMs This lack of this ability will restrict users from dynamically adjusting the resources to meet the current demands.

The rest of the article here.

Virtualization: Trouble for Servers?

BusinessWeek muses on the impact of virtualization on Server market and the industry as a whole.

The fortunes of chipmakers Intel and AMD could also turn in part on how the virtualization market develops. As companies use software from VMware, Microsoft, and smaller companies such as XenSource and Virtual Iron Software to consolidate sprawling sets of software programs onto fewer computers, the once fast-growing market for some types of servers—specifically, low-cost x86 servers—could suffer. "It does have an impact on total server count," says Diane Bryant, vice-president and general manager of Intel's server platforms group.

So far, vendors have managed to stave off ill effects of increased reliance on virtual machine software. After all, companies need to buy new servers to tap into the technology and many require more powerful and expensive hardware to exploit it. Intel points to customers' desire to update their data centers with new equipment to support virtualiz…

EMC to hold VMware for another 2 years

VMware was and is a cool technology provider and has been the coolest and cheapest buy for EMC. I guess had they (VMware waited they could've minted a billion or 3. Anyways EMC is too happy busy milking this baby and will not let go , as the CEO put it "for the next couple of years".

EMC's April filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said the IPO would raise up to $100 million. VMWare's so-called virtualization software allows companies to boost the efficiency of data centers by tapping processing power that would otherwise go unused, allowing one computer to perform work typically done by multiple machines.

Read ahead...

Analyze malware with VMware

Good read this.

Here are some suggestions for mitigating these risks: Keep up with security patches from VMware. Dedicate the physical host to the VMware-based lab; don't use the system for other purposes. Do not connect the physical laboratory system to your production network. Monitor the physical host with host-based intrusion detection (IDS) software, such as a file-integrity checker. Periodically re-image the physical host using cloning software, such as Norton Ghost. If this option is too slow, look to hardware modules, such as Core Restore, for undoing changes to the system's state.

Check out the original article.

VMware VI3 issues with multiple extents

This user/poster seems to have discovered some issues with this...

So you just upgraded the VMware's VI3 (ESX Server 3), you've linked the host to a 50TB SAN, and everything is sunshine and roses, right? Perhaps not. In the past, VMware ESX has fully supported and operated with concatenated LUNS on a single volume store, adding additional LUNs as "extents" to the original assigned space. This is all and well until VI3 loses a LUN, and your redundancy is shot. Hitachi calls it "stepping on a LUN," VMware dances around the issue by strongly recommending against multiple extents while still claiming to support them...

Read the rest and do comment!

VW builds Virtualized SAN!

VW seems to have succeeded in building a Virtualized SAN with SANmelody from Datacore.

VFS UK runs two data centres in Milton Keynes to support internal staff and provide application support to the UK retailer networks. In compliance with the Financial Services Act, the organisation ran two mirrored data-recovery sites to support the 100 servers comprising its storage network.The organisation has installed a solution from storage specialist Datacore, called SANmelody, which automatically manages the space allocation in each server, balancing the storage load and reducing the chance of failure.

Check out the rest here.

Clustering Solaris with SunCluster 3.2 on VMware ESX 3.x

We have been building and even doing our performance/benchmarks tests on the ESX 3.x and Oracle RAC. And Sun folks too want to demo their cool software on ESX.

However, VMware ESX has a feature called Raw Device Mapping (RDM), which allows the guest operating systems to have direct access to the devices, bypassing the VMware layer. More information on RDM can be found in VMware documentation. The following documents could be starting points: works with either Fibre Channel or iSCSI only. In the setup here, a SAN storage box connected through Fibre Channel was used for mapping LUNS to the physical hosts. These LUNS could then be mapped onto the VMware guests using RDM. SCSI reservations have been found to be working fine with RDM (both SCSI-2 Reserve/Release and SCSI-3). These RDM devices could therefore be used as shared devices between the cluster nodes. However, of course they can al…

Hu Yoshida goes beyond Virtualization

...and he elaborate how "Hitachi Universal Storage Platform V" will take us all to the "All Virtualized Infrastructure".

Dynamic Provisioning which enables the ability to virtualize capacity within virtual volumes. This enables IT to eliminate the waste of allocated but unused space. While virtual volumes enabled non disruptive data movement for migration, replications, and tiered storage, it did not address the problem of allocating more space than is actually used in the primary volume as well as in all the replicas of that volume. Some storage systems can virtualize capacity with thin provisioning, but they don’t offer virtualization of the volume for non-disruptive data mobility. Hitachi’s Dynamic provisioning provides all this and much more. With Dynamic provisioning Hitachi also provides wide striping across large storage pools, where hundreds of disk drives can be employed to service an I/O request and provide self tuning.

Check out his blog. It is a sales pit…

Want "Total Enterprise Virtualization", go to TAS in Sydney

"Our solutions design services now include storage virtualisation architectures, allowing the advantages of virtualisation to extend to storage platforms. Our clients will be able to benefit from designs that optimise and leverage storage in concert with their desktop and server virtualisation investments," said Tony Wilkinson, TAS Managing Director. "We've chosen the Beyond Boundaries virtualisation Roadshow to feature this element of our practice because it tends to draw a progressive, VMware savvy group that will be highly receptive to ways that they can improve upon and extend the benefits that they are currently achieving through virtualisation."

Technical Architecture Solutions (TAS) is a vendor neutral IT architecture design and services integration company. TAS understands IT technologies and knows how to make these work to purpose in your enterprise.

They claim to be vendor neutral and can be found here. Rest of the article here...

EMC adds VMware support to its ControlCenter

Its good to see the vendor listening to the customers here.

Motzko said she has been “frantically waiting” for EMC to upgrade ControlCenter. She noted that the growing dependency of data, applications and databases upon available disk space is making SRM a must-have capability for her to properly manage, reallocate and provision storage.

> However, she also criticized the new offering for the lack of clustering awareness in StorageScope, the SRM monitoring and reporting component of ControlCenter.

“I’m kind of upset that in 6.0, [StorageScope] is still not cluster-aware. That is very aggravating to me,” noted Motzko, who said the omission leads her SRM reports to initially say a cluster server sharing disk has twice as many available gigabytes at the host level than it actually does.

Original article here.

InovaWave rated "Excellent" by InfoWorld

Got this email from our friend David Marshall (the guy runs VMblog, writes for Infoworld, works for InovaWave and does a lot of work around Virtualization).

I did get an offer from David to try out their impressive DXtreme. That is an excellent tool to really optimize your VM's performance.

Today DXtreme is limited to 32-bit Windows hosts and virtualization platforms that run on Windows. But although the initial market is small and the product very new, hopefully the coming months and years will bring InovaWave's innovations into the broader market of VMware ESX, Xen, and other Linux-based VM solutions, because if my testing is any indication the company has made significant strides in improving I/O subsystem performance for virtualization workloads.

You must check them/DXtreme out and also check the rest of the news.

Hacker. Dropout. CEO: Who makes a top entrepreneur?

Reading this story only reminds us of all those dropouts who just, kind of , were rebels. This kid was too. Today he is the CEO of FaceBook. He founded it and he seems to be on a totally different track (read the article fully, its a great read!). Oracle, Apple, Microsoft etc CEOs too dropped out BTW.

Great read for me too. I am wanting to pursue my MBA. I always wanted to do it. Why? Don't I have the guts to go amuck and run a shop like them? Haven't I lived on the edge and faced a shotgun right in my face in a vague country ( It was Nigeria, BTW, back in 1991)? Didn't I quit a career and start afresh in a country that spoke a language I couldn't comprehend? I've had my share of "excitement"! And they were all fun!

The reason today I am in need of a legit means to kick some ass is because I am not a 22 year old bloke anymore. I've got kids and won't risk walking in the dark picking up a quarrel just because some kid wants to steal my $20 Casio (tha…

Microsoft Virtualization delayed

The company is changing three key features of the hypervisor technology to try to stick to its schedule of releasing the technology within 180 days of completing its Windows Server "Longhorn" operating system, due to be finalized before the end of the year. The features will be included in a future version of Viridian, formally called Windows Server Virtualization, the company said.

The first feature that is being taken out of the initial Viridian release is so-called live migration, which enables people to move a running virtual machine from one physical server to another. The initial release of Viridian also won't support on-the-fly, or "hot," adding of memory, storage, processors or network cards. And it will only support computers with a maximum of 16 processing cores--for example, eight dual-core chips or four quad-core chips.

Read on...

Virtualization: Security and Compliance still the bottleneck

Interesting post this.

Consider the following scenario: While it may be easy to see that a user is part of Active Directory "Group X," what access clearance does that group actually provide? What policies are in place to ensure that the user should get access to specific applications via the virtual product? If the IT team adds a user to Group X in order to give them access via a virtualization application, what other access do they get by being associated with this group? If these questions haven't been asked yet, you can be sure this is the next question your auditor will ask – "How did this user get access and why?"

Read further...

Impact of HBA performance with Server Virtualization

Introduction of 64-bit, multi-core processors, PCI Express host bus and improved memory architectures have greatly benefited server consolidation and its rapid adoption in the virtualized datacenter. In the storage networking space, the evolution of consolidated server deployments and the move to 4Gb Fibre Channel switches and storage arrays is demanding a need for higher scalability in server connectivity to storage. To meet these ever-growing demands in consolidated and virtualized environments, it is imperative that enterprise IT managers deploy a scalable, high performance HBA architecture; an HBA architecture that can address the demands placed by multiple virtual machines (VMs) or guest OSes, and applications in virtualized environments running simultaneously on a single physical server.

Go get this whitepaper from Qlogic.

VMware : So what will Virtualization fetch?

This nice article at SeekingAlpha. A good summary of how to survive as a Billion dollar company

When distributed transactions hit the mainstream, BEA was there. As transactions expanded into JAVA application servers, BEA shifted too. But the underlying technology had been around for a long time, in some cases 20 years, before being broadly adopted. And even BEA stalled out at $1B in revenues. So, is virtualization set to push a company like VMware into a sustained growth market above $1B in revenues? Thanks to the recent S1 filing we can all see that:

# VMware reached $704M in revenues for 2006.
# Its growth trajectory suggests revenue estimates just above $1B for this calendar year.
# Operating expenses grew rapidly last year, up 100% vs. the 80% revenue increase.

Using some simple back of the envelope figures we’re guessing the stock will trade off of a 50c earnings number and could enjoy a 40x P/E multiple. That means a $20 stock drives a $6.6B market capitalization, and if that s…

Gartner : Virtualization too expensive?

I wanted to kick back to this article and start my own rebuttal but I must admit there are a lot of clients who NEED virtualization very badly but are totally confused with the licensing, usage and are in a "state of flux". They need a strong reason to believe that Virtualization is a boon. But currently it costs you a lot. That is a simple fact! I don't blame VMware for cashing on it, they made this technology a hero. I personally think that freeing Virtualization is not just going to make them any happier as its not just the cost but also the benefits and dangers that they need to weigh out properly.

Eventually you do pay a price to have a new technology in your shop. Is this article another hint to push VMware to reduce prices? Or even free ESX Server? I did mention one that VMware can go the IBM way and start concentrating on the services. Milking your core product is a good thing but I think the industry needs reassurance that its all gonna be fine. VMware could bett…

VMware ESX Server future in the hands of Workstation 6!

All of those cool features that make developers/testers happy can make a data center admin happy as well! That is what Workstation release are doing. The best used features are all added to the server core product.

In particular, Phillips pointed to two experimental Workstation 6 features that have a place in future versions of ESX.

Record and replay
First shown on stage at VMworld to audience applause by VMware chief scientist Dr. Mendel Rosenblum, Workstation's new record and replay feature allows a developer to "record" the behavior of a virtual machine, including system behavior such as interrupts, and later "rewind" the VM and precisely "replay" its behavior.

"Think of it as a surveillance video" trained on a VM, Phillips said.

Read more on this...

Patching Virtual Infrastructure smartly

BlueLane folks are getting lots of raving reviews for their hardwork and dedication towards providing a smarter and intelligent patching system.

Perhaps IT's least-favorite necessary evil, security patches are disruptive, time-consuming, and risky. They arrive unannounced or on the vendor's timetable, with no respect for your own well-considered change management processes. And like any change, they need testing before deployment. Even if testing goes smoothly, there's always a chance they'll introduce some new problem or other. Thus the need for security is pitted against another datacenter imperative: system availability.

The founders of Blue Lane had a better idea: implement security patches in a network appliance that fronts the servers, and every server could be protected against software vulnerabilities without having to make changes to the servers themselves. IT could install the actual patches later, on its own timetable.

Read the rest of the article.

IBM to cut 150,000 US jobs?

I'd be so worried if I were a US citizen!!!

The IBM project I am writing about is called LEAN and the first manifestation of LEAN was this week's 1,300 layoffs at Global Services, which generated almost no press. Thirteen hundred layoffs from a company with more than 350,000 workers is nothing, so the yawning press reaction is not unexpected. But this week's "job action," as they refer to it inside IBM management, was as much as anything a rehearsal for what I understand are another 100,000+ layoffs to follow, each dribbled out until some reporter (that would be me) notices the growing trend, then dumped en masse when the jig is up, but no later than the end of this year.

Shocking but may not entirely be untrue. IT is, as we see it, eventually undergoing that kondratiev (downhill)and IBM is making that move.

Read for yourself and comment!

Virtualization: Security an afterthought!

This is not new. Cool stuff comes first and security comes later. When critical busness are jeopardized with all kinds of "unsecure" practices, after millions are lost restoring order in the data centers, the penny drops!

The fact is that no one knows how much virtualization is going to upend the 15 years of work the industry has invested to build defenses for systems and applications. In order to grasp the situation, it's important to understand that security functions are different in a virtualized world.

To again be clear, it's impossible to say exactly what the most significant virtualization security challenges will be, but here are some key points to consider.

Read ahead...

Virtual Iron: Finalist at MITX 2007 awards

"We are very pleased that our vision for bringing enterprise-class virtualization and management capabilities to the mainstream market has been recognized by the Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange," said Mike Grandinetti, chief marketing officer for Virtual Iron. "This is another validation point for Virtual Iron's innovative approach and our ability to drive broad adoption of server virtualization."

"The regional economy is showing real strength, and it's in no small part due to the resurgence in the technology sector and the innovation that fuels so much of the growth," said Kiki Mills, executive director of MITX. "The MITX Technology Awards are a wonderful opportunity to recognize the companies that are leading the way and to celebrate their accomplishments and that of the entire technology community."

Original article.

Will Ubuntu 7 be most suitable for VMware Server?

Check out the original article...

Ubuntu 7.04 is available in desktop and server flavors. The server variant is solid, but, aside from its suitability as a platform for VMware Server, Feisty doesn't do much to rise above the pack of other free Linux server operating system options.

As a desktop option, Ubuntu 7.04 is an excellent fit, and is worthy of consideration as a Windows replacement. Most ISVs do still target Windows exclusively, and even though the Linux-supporting alternatives are getting better all the time, this is still a troublesome issue for potential migrators. Once users become acquainted with the Linux applications they require, however, it's much easier to install and update these applications on Ubuntu than it is on Windows.

eWeek article.

XP desktop in your own browser?

This is indeed really cool. OS independece is going to help a lot of folks make critical choices. The choices that they always had but now only made a bit too obvious to ignore.

Called Nivio, the service enables a Windows XP desktop along with a range of applications to be accessed from within any compatible browser. This means that Windows applications can be run on Mac, Linux and even some handheld devices, and further to this can be run regardless of system specifications as the server does all the heavy lifting.

Nivio's site and the original article.

Akorri goes to understand the Virtual Infrastructure

In a move to help manage the complexities of today's data center, Akorri, a Littleton, Mass.-based application service level management software provider, today announced BalancePoint 1.5.

The goal of BalancePoint is to help enterprise "understand the relationship from applications down to storage," said Tom Joyce, vice president of marketing at Akorri. "We look at the performance of an application and how you can tune it."

The appliance-based software analyzes your applications, servers and storage devices. For example, Joyce said, if there is contention between applications trying to access the same storage, you need to know when to move to a different array.

Check out Akorri and the original article.

High Availibility: ESX and Exchange Server

Nice article this. Funny that it's on a Linux site ;-)

With the choices made, implementation was next on the agenda. First, the infrastructure was established. A point-to-point 45Mbps WAN connection was established between the primary data center and the DR site. The DR site also had a direct connection to the Internet via a T1 line, which served as the gateway to send and receive SMTP e-mail in the event of a disaster as well as provide a means for remote access to Outlook Web Access in the event of a disaster.

Check out the whole article.

KBC Clearing chooses XenSource

“We follow banking restrictions which require the separation of certain services on different servers,” said Rob de Wit, IT specialist of KBC Clearing. “XenSource has made our lives much easier by allowing us to follow these regulations through the provisioning of virtual servers. We have found XenEnterprise easy to use, enabling us to create virtual machines in minutes and reduce the number of physical servers, helping to simplify our data center and allowing us to more easily manage our virtual environments.”

KBC Clearing researched other vendors before deciding to virtualize with XenSource. The company made their decision after testing both VMware ESX and XenEnterprise, and finding XenEnterprise’s performance to be superior. Since deployment in July 2006, KBC Clearing has reduced its data center to an eighth of its original physical size, and cut costs by not needing to manage and purchase additional physical servers.

“Like many other XenSource customers, KBC Clearing chose XenSource…

Bluelane continues to educate the industry on Virtual Security!

I have regular contact with Greg Ness (VP Marketing, BlueLane) and am amazed the amount of work these people put up besides their regular day jobs. I'm sure the Virtualization community has a lot of work to do before they have a fully secure Virtual Infrastructure. Good jobs.

Check out the latest podcast here.


1. Introduction
2. Commoditized Virtualization
3. Key elements of virtualization
4. hypervisor gaining more functionality
5. VM Sprawl to laptops
6. VMotion can break firewall rules
7. Virtual Appliances
8. New threats to VMs
9. Patch Challenges
10. VirtualShield
11. Security at the Network level
12. VirtualShield sits between the hypervisor and the Virtual Machine
13. 0-Day protection
14. Fixing the root cause
15. Setting up VirtualShield
16. Integration with VirtualCenter
17. Customer Feedback
18. Hardware level security without the hardware
19. Closing

Get a Virtual Reality Check!

Virtualization offers us a vision of more efficient, better consolidated IT infrastructures built on standardized parts that can be manipulated, moved, and redeployed in an instant. Companies are virtualizing at the OS and server levels in droves. So why does your IT staff continue to spend 60% of its time fixing problems? Because your applications have been left behind!

Check out this webcast organized by Trigence.

Ubuntu chief sees VMware understanding the Linux community better!

There are some really good candidates for virtualization under Linux, Shuttleworth said, adding that he has been impressed with the approach of VMware's engineers to Linux.

"Often we see proprietary software companies just completely fail to understand not only the motivations of the Linux community, but also the processes. It's very practical, there's a way to get things done, and it's different. The VMware guys have really engaged with us completely and worked to the agenda set by the Linux community, which is not an ideological agenda but a practical one," he said.

There are also two free software options on the virtualization front—Xen and KVM (kernel-based virtual machine) —that are being driven by Intel at a hardware level, he said.

"While Xen is the poster child of free software, and I would very much like for them to succeed, they need to step up and make their stuff available through the same framework as KVM and VMware have done. I expect them to …

StorServer makes VMware backup easier

Each schedule creates a virtual machine snapshot, mounts the snapshot to the StorServer in the SAN and then uses the StorServer backup client to either back up the full virtual machine or to perform file level incremental backups, thus allowing the virtual machine to continue to operate while the backups are taking place, the StorServer spokesperson added. When the backup is complete the schedule dismounts and releases the snapshot of the virtual machine.

Not bad.

Virtualization more powerful than ever?

But now that virtualization is becoming commonplace, it turns out that there are a range of ancillary benefits that can dramatically lower costs, boost capabilities and simplify operations throughout the enterprise. From virtual SANs to virtual PCs and right down to such esoteric matters as disaster recovery and business continuity, it turns out that the virtual environments being installed now have the potential to continue paying dividends well into the future.

Let’s take a look at storage. There’s a lot of activity surrounding storage provisioning and file clustering. The same ideas, it seems, that made virtualization so attractive to the server farm can have equal benefits on the storage side. 3Par is one of the firms leading this charge, adding provisioning capabilities to its InForm operating system that drives the InServe and InSpire systems.

Indeed the time has come to see and fave virtualization as the reality. A reality that has been happening for a long time. All the shops wh…

Dividends an issue at EMC?

With stock performance picking up and the initial public offering of one of its subsidiaries expected to garner $100 million, the president and chief executive officer of EMC Corp. told shareholders yesterday the company would not pay a dividend with the IPO proceeds.

Read the rest of the story.

Virtualization: Older Management Styles stick to old methods

This is an interesting interview on why managers with older (second world war'ish times) line management styles just dodon't get (dig) the new technologies.

Migrating to virtualization and blade servers can decrease the number of physical servers IT staffers have to manage, but that doesn't necessarily put the managers on easy street.

"A virtualized environment has more managed entities -- all the same OSes (operating systems) as the original plus the VM hosts," said CiRBA CTO Andrew Hillier, co-founder and CTO of CiRBA, a data center intelligence software firm. This causes "an increase in the workload on administrators, not a decrease."

Changing your IT practices can help mitigate the increased management burden posed by VMs and blades, said Hillier in this interview. Failure to change can cause some big problems. caught up with Hillier before his participation in a panel discussion, "Blades and Virtualization - Transfo…

VMware Benchmarking Q&A

Q: Why does your EULA prohibit the publishing of benchmark results? A: We endorse benchmarking but we want people to follow proper procedures. There's not much known about benchmarking VMs.

For example, how do you make an industry standard benchmark map onto virtualisation? Take TPCC -- you modify it, run multiple workloads, how do you get meaningful numbers? Our EULA provides guidance on how to do this and want to help people get the right numbers. We want people to use VMmark and learn how to benchmark virtual systems.

Read the rest here.

IBM Virtualization helps hospital consolidate

"St. Anthony's came to us with the problems of exponential server and storage growth," says Jack Russell, Manager of the Advanced Technologies Group at Lowery Systems. "Together, we determined the time was right to introduce Virtualization technologies not only to meet their current challenges but, perhaps more importantly, to be sure their data center would be ready to accommodate future growth of the hospital and the services it would offer."

St. Anthony's data center is now 75 percent virtualized -- running 160 virtual servers on eight servers and staffs 10 employees to manage more than 240 applications in the data center.


Microsoft SCVMM Beta 2 VHD ready!

Got this email from Microsoft...

Hi all,
Today we have uploaded a pre-configured VHD that contains SCVMM Beta 2 (and all its prerequisites) to the SCVMM downloads section.
This VHD can be used to easily test/demo SCVMM Beta 2 in your environment. A detailed installation instructions are also included in the download.
Thank you for helping to make our product better.

Go to the download section and download it!


This pre-configured VHD can be used to quickly evaluate SCVMM Beta 2 features.
Installation instructions;
1. Download all three files below and double click WIN2K3R2EE_SCVMM.part1.exe and merge all files.
2. Install Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 on your test machine. You must install the Virtual Server Administration Website.
· If you already have Virtual Server 2005 installed, you must upgrade to R2 SP1 and install the Virtual Server Administration Website to create the VMM Beta 2 virtual machine.
3. In the Virtual Server Administration Website, create a VM using th…

Enomaly creates new VMcasting specification

VMcasting is an automatic virtual machine deployment mechanism based on RSS2.0 whereby virtual machine images (also known as virtual appliances) are transferred from a server to a client, securely delivering files containing a technical specification and virtual disk image format Extensible Virtual Machine (XVM). VMcasting together with virtual appliance formats such as XVMs eliminate the need to separately install, configure and manage interdependencies between virtualized operating systems and applications. Rather then updating single virtual machines, large groups of virtual machines can be delivered at once using a standard definition and process.

Check out the specs here.

Virtual Iron's VDI webcast

Check out the benefits of VDI with Virtual Iron.

Desktop computing makes up an increasingly large part of enterprise computing infrastructure today. As distributed end points, desktops are difficult to secure, manage and maintain. Refresh cycles, compliance, ongoing maintenance and user support are huge undertakings. These challenges put IT resources under tremendous pressure and significantly increase total cost of ownership.

Enroll for the webcast.

Webcast: Network storage with Server Virtualization

Server virtualization is one of the hottest technologies to sweep the market in recent years. Major growth at companies like VMware is catching the eye of analysts, end users and investors and network storage is the ideal complementary technology. From the desktop to the datacenter, virtual servers are driving storage managers to look more deeply at the fundamentals of storage infrastructure.

This webcast will explore the relationship between server virtualization and storage architectures, and will include an overview of:

* Key virtualization vendors
* Differing technology approaches to virtualization
* How smaller businesses can reap datacenter benefits with these solutions
* How and when to position your organization to take advantage of virtualization technology

Do check it out

Virtualization fits in SMB world

I think it has a lot to do with the fact that the play in the Enterprise market has been long materialized. SMB market has always been a hard nut to crack. You know it needs it, but still can justify why. You know there is a lot of money in it, but can't really show a figure to the investor. You know it is a very interesting and growing market but how to penetrate it?

Virtualization , as we see, found that hole and in penetrating pretty successfully in the SMB market.

Today, virtual operating systems allow companies of all size to take advantage of hardware that would have made yesterday's IT managers salivate in envy. Multicore processors, inexpensive system memory and commodity-priced massive disk drives are putting the disk farms and mainframes of years ago into a small chassis. The result: technology that once was the province of multinational companies can now be used by small- and mid-sized businesses as well--assuming they have the technological wherewithal to implement …