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Showing posts from September, 2007

HowToForge: VMware tools for various Linux distros

I used the VMware Tools v1.0.3-44356 provided by VMware Server v1.03.

This howto is meant as a practical guide; it does not cover the theoretical backgrounds. They are treated in a lot of other documents in the web.

This document comes without warranty of any kind! I want to say that this is not the only way of setting up such a system. There are many ways of achieving this goal but this is the way I take. I do not issue any guarantee that this will work for you!

Nice work, HowToForge!


Citrix on VMware, Oil and Water?

Citrix at a high load can be a demanding application due to high kernel-resource utilization and a high level of context switches associated with its underlying Terminal Server architecture. But in many environments this high utilization often doesn't occur. Many times, application conflicts -- or the need for security isolation among applications or users -- force a horizontal scaling of Citrix servers. These kinds of applications or users that can't cohabitate on a single server can result in an organization buying new Presentation Servers even though existing server utilization is low.

In a virtualized environment, multiple server instances are enabled to run on the same physical server chassis. When application conflicts or security requirements force additional servers to be brought online, virtualization can enable it to be done with relative ease. You can copy and paste new servers to your heart's content until the hardware resources of your physical chassis max out.

Businesses to save millions with Virtualization

Infrastructure virtualisation will be the dominate technology in datacentres within the next few years, thanks to the convergence of three significant factors in the global economy, according to analyst firm Butler Group.

Virtualisation is the practice of running a layer of software on a server that allows multiple operating systems and environments to run on the same piece of hardware as if they were separate physical servers. virtualisation allows computing resources to be used more efficiently and also allows much greater flexibility in managing and allocating these resources.

Many vendors are touting the benefits of virtualisation, and it is perhaps no surprise then that Butler thinks the technology is set to dominate the datacentre.

The three factors influencing this, says Butler in its report, "Infrastructure virtualisation," are the need for organisations to reduce their energy consumption and carbon footprint; the increasing need of being able to respond quicker to mark…

AN4 group expects over 20% growth with VMware partnership

VAR AN4 Group plans to increase turnover by 20 per cent in the coming year after becoming a fully accredited partner of virtualisation vendor VMware.

The reseller has enjoyed a successful period of late, signing lucrative agreements with vendors in the security sector. Turnover also soared to £15m last year, an increase of 12 per cent, and AN4 is adamant that it is on track to surpass this in 2007.

“We have made a significant investment to gain the accreditation,” confirmed Kristian Connor, sales director at AN4. “We have set a target to increase turnover by 20 per cent in the next year and through being accredited, we are well on our way to achieving this.


Economist: Use virtualization to dodge security issues

A better idea is to adopt something called virtualisation—a technique that’s been around for ages, but has only lately come back into fashion. Virtualisation provides a way of hiding a computer’s resources—its central processor, operating system, internal memory, network controller, and storage devices—behind a software curtain. The idea is to give users (not to mention nefarious strangers) the impression they have control of the machine, when really they are dealing with a simulacrum created entirely in software.

The technique was invented by IBM back in the 1960s, when software was relatively cheap and hardware incredibly expensive. By using virtualisation, one costly mainframe could be partitioned so as to run many different applications all at the same time—each within its own “virtual machine” in a layer of software running on top of the physical machine’s actual operating system.

With modern hardware so cheap, Intel-based servers that dish out applications and data have proliferat…

UBS virtualizes application infrastructure

"It's sometimes called grid," he said. "But at it's simplest it's about running virtual application components over a heterogeneous pool of devices at low management cost."

UBS first started using application virtualisation techniques in 2002, but now has a sophisticated pool of global computing resource with which to run and dynamically provision its most CPU-intensive risk simulations and calculations.

Morgan said that, in this time, the internal development of frameworks and management tools has been key to getting business buy-in that sees different functional areas and geographical regions dynamically sharing their IT resources around the clock.

Go here.

KVM may rout out XenSource

KVM emerged out of an Israeli company, Qumranet, last year as lead developer Avi Kivity posted 12,000 lines of code to a Linux kernel mailing list. The Oct. 19 post "came out of nowhere" and was added to the kernel after a review of "just a few months," said Jonathan Corbet, kernel developer and author of the Linux Weather Forecast, a Linux Foundation update on weekly kernel developments, in an interview.

"It looked like it was kernel-ready on day one. It was an exceptional patch in many ways," said Andrew Morton, Linux kernel maintainer and one of Linux Torvalds' top lieutenants. By "patch," Morton means a donation of new code, not a bug fix or repair of existing code.

The kernel developers didn't know Kivity from previous contributions -- he hadn't made any. Nor was there good information available on his company. "I went to the Qumranet Web site. It didn't tell me much," said Morton. Qumranet, a venture capital backed …

How is Storage Virtualization useful?

A Q&A with a Burton Group analyst:

Q: Does storage virtualization really reduce administrative overhead the way the vendors claim it does?
A: No, not necessarily. What it does is move the work from one place, the individual arrays, to another place, the centralized console of the virtualization product. But administrators still have to perform the same day-to-day chores such as volume management, data replication and migration. However, virtualization can certainly make your life much easier if you're running a mixed-vendor storage environment. In that case the only thing you have to do on each vendor's specific console is initial configuration, then after that you do everything from the centralized console.

Read on...

Server Virtualization drives cross domain management

A new set of challenges
Without the tools to optimize and manage end-to-end virtualization, IT is unable to do system-wide capacity planning, lacks visibility into server and storage resource allocation and utilization, has difficulty troubleshooting and managing change, and can no longer carry out historical analysis. The impact can be severe. Challenge #1: System-wide capacity planning becomes impossible
The data center exists to maximize application performance, and IT keeps service level agreements (SLAs) to track its success. Meeting service level objectives requires IT to optimize resource capacity and planning, but the growth of complexity in mixed environments has made this increasingly difficult to do. In an age where virtual machines can be created easily, manual capacity planning across the infrastructure becomes impossible. The inability to do accurate capacity planning forces IT to over-provision resources. This is particularly true with storage, but extends to other do…

Veeam Monitor for VI3 beta

Features and BenefitsComprehensive control - Veeam Monitor provides for single-screen detailed reporting and alerting of key usage and performance statistics, such as CPU, memory, disk, network, and swap usage for cluster, resource pool or virtual machine. Multiple administrators may access the data without affecting ESX and VirtualCenter performance or changing access policy.VI3 independency - Veeam Monitor is integrated with VMware VirtualCenter to provide cluster-aware monitoring of your VM. For small datacenters or development labs running without VirtualCenter, Veeam Monitor can still provide useful monitoring, alerting and reporting for multiple ESX servers. Historical reporting - Veeam Monitor collects and stores historical performance data for a period of up to one year. Using the HTML reporting functionality, you can generate graphical reports for any period of time. Reports include detailed graphs on CPU, memory, disk and network and swap usage swap usage for cluster, resou…

Virtualization: Qumranet goes public with Solid ICE

A desktop virtualization vendor that's been operating in stealth mode, Qumranet, has emerged as one of the first companies to make use of the KVM virtualization engine, already implanted in the Linux kernel.

Few developers know much about KVM. It was added to Linux kernel 2.6.20 in October 2006. KVM is a hypervisor capable of making use of the virtualization assists built into the latestIntel (NSDQ: INTC) and AMD (NYSE: AMD) chips. Those hardware hooks simplify some of the complexity in the x86 instruction set, giving KVM a lean and mean profile at just 12,000 lines of code.

Qumranet is offering one of the first virtualization products to be built on top of KVM. That may be because the lead KVM developer, Avi Kiviti, and several other developers are part of the startup, which has offices in Netanya, Israel, and Sunnyvale, Calif.

Qumranet made its debut Monday at the Demofall 07 show in San Diego, emphasizing its desktop virtualization product, Solid Independent Computing Environment,…

Intel, VMware partner for Virtual Machine Migration

VMware is building support for Intel's FlexMigration assist for virtualized environments in VMware's Vmotion technology, which is used to move running virtual machines from one physical server to another. The collaboration is expected to help VMware customers move virtual machines to Intel's upcoming processors based on its 45nm scale process technology, Jake Smith of Intel's Advance Server Technology Group told InformationWeek.

Intel is scheduled to ship in November its first 45nm server chip built using 45-nanometer technology, codenamed Penryn. That release is expected to be followed in 2008 with Nehalem, codename for Intel's upcoming microarchitecture.

Read on...

VMware on Virtual Switch Security

In the article, Wolf said, “one significant issue with virtual machine security is with virtual switch isolation. The current all-or-nothing approach to making a virtual switch ‘promiscuous’ in order to connect it to an IDS/IPS is not favorable to security.”

For example, “if you connect an IDS appliance to a virtual switch in promiscuous mode,” Wolf said, “not only can the IDS capture all of the traffic traversing the switch, but every other VM on the same virtual switch in promiscuous mode could capture each other’s traffic as well.”

This statement ruffled some feathers at VMware, and they quickly emailed me and Burton to “educate us” and the VMware community that in fact, VMware allows (and encourages) users to configure only the ports they need to be promiscuous as such. This is not a per vswitch setting, but rather a per portgroup setting. The way to configure a vswitch for IDS/IPS is to create a separate portgroup from those used for normal VMs and configure it for “Promiscuous All…

Credit Suisse plans to fire 10,000 physical servers with virtualization

That is massive, big daddy of all projects!

That still left a large pool of virtualization candidates -- about 10,000 servers, in fact, most running either Windows or Solaris. In general, their utilization was low, particularly those used in development and test environments where, in both cases, the boxes tended to have more horsepower than needed. That low utilization is apparent in Hilton's expectations of how many VMs he will get per physical server: at least a 20:1 ratio for servers in the development environment; 15:1 to 10:1 for the test and disaster recovery environment; and 5:1 in the production application environment. Hilton's team is now in the process of virtualizing these servers, with plans to be done with 5,000 by early 2009. The group has already virtualized 1,000.

In crafting Credit Suisse's server virtualization strategy, Hilton decided to take a page from the storage virtualization playbook and conceive of the environment as a shared service, not just as …

VMware goes for the storage market!

Well, all the folks who have seen VMware grow in the past should hold on to their horses and appetite coz VMware is coming for the storage.

VMware, Inc., the virtualization leader, today announced a new hardware certification program for storage virtualization devices. Combined with the virtualization-enabling technologies in VMware ESX Server, this program is designed to enable customers to have more choice in deploying virtualized storage solutions with VMware Infrastructure.

“VMware is committed to working with our storage partners to offer customers the greatest choice of storage vendors when deploying virtualization across their organization’s infrastructure,” said Parag Patel, vice president of alliances at VMware. “As enterprises increasingly standardize their IT environments using virtual infrastructure, it is important to have a breadth of storage hardware options available to them.”

By enabling hardware vendors to certify storage virtualization devices for VMware Infrastructu…

Bluelane: VirtualShield 4.0 released, adds support for Virtual Center

Blue Lane Technologies today announced the October 5th general availability of VirtualShield 4.0, the first VM security solution to deliver real-time network flow visibility and security by protocol, operating system, application and VM cluster. The latest version of the award-winning VirtualShield features VirtualFlow™ Center console management, integration with the VMware VirtualCenter, template-based deployment of VM shields, and data center, cluster, host and VM-level vulnerability protection, policy and visibility into network flows.

Existing VirtualShield features also included in VirtualShield 4.0 include: dynamic cluster/VM risk reports; VM vulnerability detection/correction; VM operating system, application and port-based policy administration and dynamic content updates. Blue Lane is a VMware Technology Alliance Partner.

"Blue Lane's VirtualShield 4.0 offers dynamic views into VM traffic, giving operations and security teams unprecedented VM traffic intelligence and u…

Financial: VMware research calls

This morning, several brokerages put out research calls on VMware (VMW), the immensely popular EMC (EMC) spin-out.

UBS started the company as a "buy". Bank of America started VMW at "neutral" with a &75 price target.

Wachovia began VMW as "market perform". Citi started the company as a "buy" with a $100 price target. Deutsche Bank started it as "hold". Credit Suisse began coverage with "neutral" and an $85 price target.

Merrill started the company as "neutral." JP Morgan opened coverage with an "overweight": rating.

VMW currently trades just below $80, and is up about 55% since its IPO.

24/7 reporting.

VMware clears the ESX 3i confusion

“The ESX Server 3i hypervisor — think of it as a single server virtualization that is what the capability is and then customers will have the option to add more management and functionality on top of that,” Byun said.

Byun was responding to comments made by Keith Norbie, director of storage at Plymouth, Minn - based Nexus Information Systems.

In a blog item that appeared last week, Norbie wanted clarification on exactly what would be embedded into other vendor’s hardware Now that he knows, Norbie said he is relieved and thinks partners can make good money adding features to their customers systems.


EMC gets warm hugs from Citi, Bear Strearn

EMC Corp. (EMC) was upgraded both by Bear Stearns and Citigroup, with the brokers citing the benefits of its 87% ownership in VMware (VMW), as well as its own valuation.

Citigroup, which upped the stock from hold to buy, said "the mid- to long-term demand generation for networked storage attributable to server virtualization ( is) attractive" and EMC's positioning is sound.


VMware: VDM 2.0 Beta goes live!

Get Control & Manageability in a Single SolutionVMware VDI is a comprehensive solution that provides the functionality that most organizations need in order to connect and manage their remote clients and centralized virtual desktops while keeping data safe and secure in the data center. Designed for desktop administrators, VMware VDI offers an intuitive Web-based management interface with Microsoft Active Directory integration for user authentication and policy enforcement. Centralized administration of all desktop images helps you simplify upgrades, patches and desktop maintenance, and you can use the VMware Virtual Desktop Manager (VDM) to manage connections between remote clients and their centralized virtual desktops.Support Remote Users without Sacrificing SecurityVMware VDI is also a highly secure solution. Authorized end users access their virtual desktop environments through a secure network connection, and each virtual desktop is isolated from the host operating system an…

Virtualization Enhancements: Itanium and Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.1

The reliability, availability, serviceability (RAS) and security features of the Intel® Itanium processor allow users to confidently deploy industry-standard software virtualization, enhancing customers' ability to consolidate multiple applications on Itanium-based systems.

"Itanium Solutions Alliance founding sponsors worked with Red Hat to test, validate and optimize this fully integrated virtualization solution. Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.1 provides customers with the maximum choice among enterprise systems when deploying open source applications on Itanium," said Scott Crenshaw, Vice President of Product Marketing at Red Hat. "Also, Red Hat Enterprise Linux Advanced Platform 5.1 provides additional high availability and storage virtualization technologies, and scales to support any number of processors and guest environments - making it the perfect solution for today's large, high-performance Itanium systems."

"The Itanium Solutions Alliance is pleas…

Lippis Report: A new era in networking with virtualization

The three pillars of IT computing, networking and storage have always been embraced in an odd dance of shifting functionality responsibility as Moore’s Law continues to break down, blur and redistribute lines of responsibility across the three pillars in an effort to increase application performance. For example, networking has always off loaded tasks that were once done by computers. In fact some of the first routers were DEC mini and micro VAX systems back in the early 80s. This trend continues today with more computer functions such as load balancing, caching, security and certain aspects of computer operations migrating to the network fabric. Access to and configuration of storage has gone through huge changes over the years, thanks to networking, with the introduction of Network Attached Storage (NAS) and Storage Area Network (SAN). Computing functionality, applications acceleration, storage access and many other functions have shifted into the network fabric. The latest shift is…

Virtualization a reality today!

In a step that may be seen to be extending a friendly hand to potential competitors, VMware announced the development of a standard called OVF (Open Virtualization Format) along with Microsoft, which is working on a virtualization product code-named Viridian and Xensource, the open source virtualization technology. The standard is aimed at easing the packaging and distribution of virtual machines. But Greene avers that VMware is ahead of the game than Microsoft citing that the latter's product doesn't support the live migration of virtual machines while they are running purportedly a very powerful feature in virtualization.

CIOL reporting

XCalibre choose Virtual Iron

The UK-based web host deployed the server virtualization and virtual infrastructure management capabilities of Virtual Iron, to create a true utility platform for its hosted services. The virtualization and software platform will support Xcalibre’s 9,000 plus residential, business and reseller customers. The software is hoped to help XCalibre to increase service levels, simplify infrastructure management and reduce operational costs across its entire ISP infrastructure.

Tony Lucas, CEO at XCalibre Communications offered, ”Virtual Iron is the first server virtualization platform that could satisfy our requirements and it is now turning our vision for a flexible and dynamic IT infrastructure into reality. We’re able to deploy Virtual Iron across our entire ISP infrastructure to increase service levels for both our internal and external customers.”

XCalibre has just released a limited Beta of its FlexiScale Platform, a new outsourced infrastructure service which many industry watchers exp…

IBM: watch out for the virtual bugs!

A survey of the vulnerabilities publicly disclosed in VMWare's popular virtualization software discovered that almost three-quarters of the 100 flaws discovered since 1999 were found in the last two years, Kris Lamb, director of IBM's Internet Security Systems' research group, stated Friday in a blog post. Nearly 60 percent of the vulnerabilities found could be exploited remotely, Lamb said.

It cannot be stressed anymore that the second you are in the virtual world, you could very soon be lost. So if you aren't taking security seriously, you'er putting your data center at risk.


Dell woos SMB with cheap SAN

Who You Calling SCSI? We can forgive some omissions because The MD3000i does strike an even balance between features and price. Automated I/O path failover, automatic array failure detection and rebuild using a standby hot spare are available out of the box. Premium features like snapshot technology and volume-copy functionality can be purchased as software upgrades. In the lab, we were very impressed with the simplicity of Dell's MD Storage Manager application. The Java-based management GUI was very simple to navigate and performed as quickly as a well-written client/server application. As for setup, we managed to rack and configure the device and get a server connected to an array in just one hour. We opted to read the manual, but if you're pressed for time, Dell offers a Remote Implementation Service in which a technician connects to your management station via WebEx and guides you through configuration of your array and host servers. Best of all, RIS is free. Who needs tr…

So are we looking for a AMD buyout?

I guess its Saturday and imaginations are flying. This L'Inq reporter thinks AMD can still save the ship. I didn't know that the ship was sinkin'!

Option 1 AMD continues as it is, comes out of the doldrums, creates internal $$$ to repay the mounting debt, and Hector Ruiz becomes the new Steve Jobs-like IT hero figure.

Option 2 IBM decides it is the time, and buys AMD as it is, lock stock and barrel. Benefits? It gains control of its own competitive X86 platform, with potential future socket compatibility with POWER7 for cross-platform shared infrastructure, sets up truly serious competition against Intel. Headaches? Well, what to do with the current management, and why should IBM bother repaying all those debts.

Option 3 Samsung comes in, figuring out it should continue where it stopped in 2001 after the Alphacide. Samsung did try to get into the worldwide 64 bit CPU market then with Alpha, and could do it now again with AMD. Will it happen? Hardly, in my mind - Uncle Sam mig…

Security gets more attention as virtualization goes mainstream

The wave of hype around server virtualization technology has already receded as solution providers and their customers bury their heads in their SANs and work with mature and maturing technologies from VMware and several competitors.

Yet like a Pacific Ocean tsunami, the departure of the wave signals not a falling tide, but the building of a new and larger wave of hype and confusion about how the growing virtualization of server infrastructures impacts the security of the data center.

Virtualized servers are in many ways similar to physical servers, with each individual virtual or physical server requiring processor time, memory, I/O, and an operating system to run an application which does not care on which type of server it is found.

Yet the difference between having an application run on a dedicated piece of hardware or on one of several virtual servers sharing resources within a physical server is spurring a debate about the best way to protect the virtual world.

In one camp are those…

DataCore goes for the SMB market

DataCore Software today announced that it has made it even easier for server virtualization users to evaluate the cost saving impacts of thin provisioning and iSCSI virtual SANs. DataCore’s free-to-try, downloadable, SANmelody storage virtualization software can now run on and thin provision storage from VMware, XenSource, Virtual Iron and Microsoft virtual machines.

“VMware environments and storage networks go hand-in-hand, but the cost to implement a SAN was a major limiting factor until we found and evaluated DataCore,” said Chris Cooper, president, Span the Wan. “The software was easy to install on our existing systems with Ethernet connections. Moreover, SANmelody gave us a lot of flexibility and - most importantly - it worked seamlessly with the VMware set up.“

“The fact that you can download a trial of SANmelody or purchase it without spending thousands of dollars is very important,” stated Marty Zigman, chief technology advisor, Lawyer Links, LLC. “That allows people to take the…

Virtualization: Security concerns are here to stay

Unless ofcourse start considering the security as the "default" option when purchasing Virtualization software for your IT infrastructure. Adoption is getting quicker and don't forget to add security shields as standard installation with every virtualization installation.

Lamb says that his post isn't intended to smear VMware specifically, but rather to point out vulnerabilities in virtualization software in general. Virtualization allows enterprises to convert physical hardware, such as servers and desktop PCs, into software, which can then be consolidated onto a single machine, saving energy and hardware costs. But according to Lamb, that consolidation may also turn a business's IT infrastructure into a larger, more unified target for hackers.

"Instead of 30 discrete servers, now they're all on one physical machine. You could potentially compromise and own the whole system," he says.

In fact, Internet Security Systems released a vulnerability on Wedn…

Microsoft to ship Windows 2008 RC next week

Neil said Windows Server would contain application programming interfaces based on standards developed by the Distributed Management Task Force. The DMTF is an organization that develops and maintains standards for system management of IT environments. Participants in DMTF's efforts in developing standards for plugging management tools into virtualization environments include VMware, XenSource, which Citrix ( CTXS) plans to acquire this year; Dell (Dell), Hewlett-Packard (HP), and others.

Microsoft launched this month System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2007, which provides centralized deployment and management of virtual machines, which connect operating systems to the hypervisor or host OS. In addition, System Center enables IT managers to convert VMware offerings to a Microsoft-compatible format.


Intel high on Virtualization

"Virtualisation is a very powerful force in the industry today," the company's senior vice president and general manager of its digital enterprise group told delegates during his keynote speech at the event. "We're now in the process of re-plumbing the entire platform for virtualisation."

Looking back at the innovation that has occurred in the last 10 years as the chip giant celebrates the 10th anniversary of the IDF, Gelsinger reiterated the points he made about the potential of virtualisation during VMworld last week, suggesting that this technology will be one of the driving forces over the next decade, alongside the two other key issues of security and manageability.

"I presented our vision for virtualisation [at the event] and I looked at some of the key observations around virtualisation technologies. [Historically] we've had a one-to-one relationship between the operating system (OS) and the underlying platform. Virtualisation essentially disa…

Visioncore launches Global Partner Alliance Program

Virtual infrastructure vendor Vizioncore has launched a global partner alliance programme to increase technical collaborations, deliver higher levels of customer service and grow the market for virtualisation.
Under the Vizioncore Alliance Partner Programme (VAPP), the vendor has already recruited vendors Data Domain, DataCore and EqualLogic to bring together the latest in virtualisation technologies.


VMware revenue model shift may put Microsoft back into the game

I am still betting on that "Curve Ball Strategy" where VMware is really getting pretty good at. I am wondering what is keeping Clayton from using VMware to talk about the innovation and continuous disruptive strategies to steer and confuse the competition.

Look at it this way, Microsoft felt like it had to make a hypervisor because it was so hot. Everyone talked about it and everyone wanted to hear about it, then suddenly we're talking some weird 3i stuff, so where does that leave Microsoft? Should it make a "super thin viridian"? And then that revenue model story, Microsoft has to take a reactive detour again, first grope in the dark and then come out with some service-less talk at VMworld in 2008?

I think what we are are forgetting is that VMware is still offering virtualization and will continue to offer it s the market is barely capitalized, with the VaaS (Virtualization as a Service) strategy, it is merely trying to resolve all the issues that the customers …

Xen and Fault Tolerance

So it’s not surprising to see the fault tolerant systems vendors turn their attention toward moving their technology into the virtual realm. It’s also not surprising to see them turn toward Xen. The open source Xen hypervisor is getting some attention. Egenera chose Xen as the platform for its virtual environment management tool last fall. And late last year Stratus forged a partnership with XenSource to embed the Xen hypervisor into its fault tolerant technology.

And earlier this year, Marathon Technologies announced a deal with XenSource. While Stratus and NEC sell specially designed fault-tolerant x86 systems, Marathon sells fault tolerant software.

Marathon’s software uses a virtualisation layer to make two physical servers appear as a single system. Marathon executives say their software, which can run on unmodified Windows servers, reduces the cost and complexity of traditional clustering approaches.


DR: Recover your entire site with Site Recovery Manager

I still need to see how cool it is, but given VMware's offerings, it must be!

VMware has upped the ante with the release of VMware Site Recovery Manager. According to VMware, “VMware Site Recovery Manager is a pioneering product that uses virtualization to provide end-to-end disaster recovery management and automation across your entire data center.” In a nutshell, Site Recovery Manager uses Virtual Infrastructure 3 in order to help an organization create disaster recovery plans for a data center assuming that the organization has a remote location in which a hot site can be located. Site Recovery Manager takes advantage of your storage solution’s replication capability — a feature found in many (but not all) SAN solutions, both iSCSI and Fibre Channel.


Stock: what to expect from VMware and EMC now

This weekend may mark the official end of Summer, but VMware (NYSE:VMW) and EMC Corp. (NYSE:EMC) shareholders are going to have to watch the calendar. The brokerage firm and underwriting quiet period for this super-hot IPO should be ending. This may actually be one of the most impacting events on shares of VMware and on EMC since the IPO, even if it is merely the order of post-IPO transition on the calendar. That being said, the analysts at the underwriting firms will all be able to issue formal research reports and those may start coming very soon.

To throw another wrench in the machine, Friday is September stock options expiration date. We recently noted how traders have been using stock options as a stealthy way of having exposure to VMware. We have referred to a "VMware conundrum" and this may be contributing to the option trading as "less risky" trade if you can imagine that.

Some analysts have already started coverage, but the real research from the underw…

VMware bugs in spotlight

The DHCP software is used to assign IP addresses to the different virtual machines running within VMware, but IBM researchers discovered that it can be exploited to gain control of the computer. That could be very bad news for someone running a lot of applications on the same VMware box, said Tom Cross, a researcher with IBM's Internet Security Systems group. "By exploiting this vulnerability you get complete control of any of the machines that are running on that virtual environment," he said.

IBM's researchers have developed exploit code for three separate flaws in the DHCP software, all of which are now patched, Cross said.

In order to attack a system, however, an attacker would first need to gain access to software running within the virtual machine. Typically VMware's DHCP server is not configured to be accessible to systems on other machines.

But VMware fixed them alright. They always do it prompty not like Oracle's quaterly bugs, no matter hoe full yer b…

IGEL and VMware to bring VDI to customers

This technology lets users host desktops inside virtual machines running on centralized servers located in data centers. The virtual desktops are accessed remotely using a traditional PC, a thin client, or a re-purposed computer using a remote display protocol. This type of setup offers high security for sensitive data.

Using remote desktop in this way also lets managers set digital rights for VMware environments. The result is device consolidation, lower costs, easier management and more efficient use of servers.


Metron,VMware to host Free Half day Educational Seminars

Metron, whose Athene product provides integrated support for every state of a virtualization project, is hosting a series of seminars on ‘Capacity Management of Virtual Systems’ in partnership with VMware, the world’s leading virtualization specialist.

Virtualization offers the opportunity to increase IT efficiency, decrease costs and respond faster to changing business demands. It also raises a number of challenges – new and old – for capacity managers. The seminars will enable delegates to:

* see how capacity management techniques can help ensure successful implementation of virtual environments by helping identify suitable candidates for virtualization

* experience how capacity planning techniques can help in the choice of ‘mix and match’ alternatives prior to implementation to see how systems will perform


Platespin ships PowerRecon 3.1

David reporting:

Long time virtualization application provider PlateSpin announced an updated version of its award-winning PowerRecon data center planning and analysis solution. And although only a dot release increase, it offers powerful new features for managing, billing and optimizing VMware Infrastructure environments.

The key features of PowerRecon Virtual Infrastructure Edition include:

Virtual Machine Growth Reporting – The practice of quickly and easily creating a new virtual machine to address almost any requirement can result in rapid proliferation of virtual machines. PlateSpin PowerRecon enables organizations to better monitor and manage the growth of VMware Infrastructure without having to implement restrictive IT policies or lengthy approval procedures. By providing greater visibility into how the dynamic virtual infrastructure is growing and changing, IT directors gain a deeper understanding of how many virtual machines are deployed, who owns them and how they use availabl…

Virtualization to boost mobile security?

This will allow companies to keep a tight security rein on the increasing number of different types of mobile gadgets by making sure that every corporate device adheres to the same consistent security rules, according to the analyst.

But the bad news is that such virtualization tools for mobile devices will not be around until 2012--so businesses need to start bringing in policies in the short term, Gartner said.

Speaking at the Gartner IT Security Summit here, Monica Basso, research director at Gartner, said more personal devices are being brought into the business space. She said this diversity--and the lack of security on such devices--is putting companies at risk.

"Technology over the next five years will allow convergence of (mobile) devices and tools, and virtualization is one of the many enablers to allow this convergence," Basso said.

The consumerization of mobile devices "is adding a lot of complexity to IT organizations because there is no one device that will fit…

Virtualization Africa: Workshop underway, we're watching movies all the time

We're third day into the workshop. Things are moving real fast and the project members are learning stuff all the time. So what is so exciting about this workshop?

Did you watch the movie?: All the stuff that I train, I make movies with the VMware Workstation 6.0.1 (yeah, latest version, Hon!) and the candidates don't have to come up to me all the time, "Watch them movies!", I tell them. I am also using Microsoft's OneNote (which I neat, I must admit, it gets the job done) to instruct the candidates and then upload the vids on the NFS so they can play them.Complete VI3 on the WorkStation 6.0.1: No I'm not nuts! We've covered all the virtualization aspects and next week I'll be demo'ing the ESX server (2 ESX Servers, Virtual center and Openfiler, all of them on my laptop!). Ain't it cool?Virtual Appliances all the way: We're playing with Virtual Appliances like OTRS, openQRM, Vyatta, Sakai (All of them I built thanks to my friends out there)…

The Register Analysis: VMware's mad growth vs Microsoft's play

I used to enjoy covering VMware.

In the good old days, CEO Diane Greene would stop by the office to chat about everything, including point upgrades to ESX Server, GSX Server - remember that - or Workstation. She never tried to oversell the products. She embraced a humble, intelligent approach to discussing VMware's products and plans.
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You won't find much reserved about VMware these days. The company's gaudy IPO - documented here in pornographic detail - shattered any notions of holding onto the blushing pride of yesteryear.

So too did last week's VMworld conference in San Francisco. The show used to be a niche event all about a niche vendor. Then, in one year, it transformed into the flagship virtualization gala.

Covering the event turned into an oppressive process due to the volume of marketeers trying to hitch their virtual workloads to VMware and those trying to define their means of besting VMware.

I told Greene, who maintains her incisive, …

XenSource CTO on VMware's SMB package

VMware, in a fit of generosity, has announced it is slashing prices for SMB customers purchasing 3 licenses of VMware ESX. I thought a quick head-to-head comparison with XenEnterprise v4 might help to convince you what a steal this deal really is, and remind you to keep your hands on your wallet.

First, the deal offers 3 ESX licenses with Virtual Center thrown in for free. But the Virtual Center version they offer is limited so that it can only connect to 3 ESX servers. And the ESX servers are just ESX servers recycled from their VI3 Starter package, already priced at $1000 per host today, and with a severely hobbled feature set.

Of course, when you want to buy your 4th ESX Starter server it will cost you $6,000. That’s $5,000 for a full version of Virtual Center plus another $1,000 for an additional ESX Starter license. And here’s what that ESX starter license won’t offer you:

· No SMP support for VMs (1 CPU per VM)
· Limited to using 8GB of host memory
· Limited to 4 sockets per host
· No…

ESX 3i embedded server may pose new challenges for admins?

With 3i, instead of executing scripts directly on the Linux-like console, administrators will have access to a remote command line interface (CLI) from a standalone virtual infrastructure (VI) client to perform old ESX commands, said Raghu Raghuram, VMware vice president of platform products.
But remote CLI allows administrators to invoke only ESX-specific commands, such as those that start with the "esxcfg" string; Linux-specific facilities are not included. That means that "the commands we use to gather information will remain the same but how we invoke them will have to change," said Alistair Sutherland, director of Taupo Consulting, a VMware integrator in Edinburgh, Scotland.

Granted, running scripts in the service console is somewhat of a relic from a previous era, said VMware's Raghuram, even if the practice persists today. "Before VirtualCenter, we had the service console concept, and we used to encourage people to go there," he said. But with th…

Which firm has bigger market cap: VMware or Adobe?

When recent IPO's in tech stocks reach $20 Billion and $25 Billion in market capitalization rates, it is always interesting to see how this compares to other giants in related sectors. Surprisingly, depending on which source you use, the market capitalization rates are virtually identical for VMware (NYSE:VMW) and Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE). Here is how the quarterly earnings and growth rates stack up against each other:VMware showed its financial filings of its second quarter on Monday (which were already mostly known), and the results were $296.8 million in revenues (up almost 90% over Q2 2006) and earnings rose over 100% to $34.2 million, or $0.10 on an EPS basis.Adobe's earnings which were not previously known also came out on Monday. The company posted profits of $205 million, or $0.45 EPS on a non-GAAP basis, on revenues of $851.7 million (up 41% from the same period in 2006). The company did already acknowledge that its growth rates would slow in 2008 because it ack…

VMware Academic Program gains traction

Qualifying schools provide instructors with technology resources that help them instruct students on software development. VMware also sells its products and services at a discount to higher education and K-12 schools for user in their campus IT infrastructure.

This news comes at VMware released most of its VMware Tools as open source. The tools are a suite of guest operating system virtualization components geared to improve Vmware virtual machine performance and management.

VMware is aiming to ease Linux integration for its distribution partners with the open source tools by easing porting to new operating systems, increasing user involvement in test and development and fostering innovation. To that end, Linux vendors can now integrate open-source-based VMware Tools--hosted at future versions of their OSes.


Hitachi finally brings out Virtage, embeds it in Xeon blades

Hitachi will continue carving out its own place in the virtualization market with a Xeon-based blade server that includes a built-in hypervisor.

In the first quarter of next year, Hitachi America – a subsidiary of the big guy – will ship a Xeon version of the BladeSymphony 1000 system outfitted with homegrown Virtage technology. Virtage stands as Hitachi's firmware-based hypervisor that has been available with the Itanium-based version of BladeSymphony since last November. The pre-loaded hypervisor gives Hitachi a unique attack in the server game with the company claiming performance and security leads over rivals with the technology.
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Built-in hypervisors have suddenly become all the rage. VMware and XenSource have revealed plans to work with OEMs on embedded hypervisors that pop into the flash memory of servers. Hitachi, however, thinks it's creating a much tighter bond between hardware and the hypervisor with its Virtage approach.

"All they are …

VMware partners look out for other hypervisors as well

"You can't be a one-trick pony," said Britton Almy, senior consultant in the enterprise systems and storage group with Lewis Center, Ohio-based Sarcom Inc. "You need to understand what's out there and what's driving the market."

"Our company is always looking at alternatives, and I actually think it's a good thing with a number of these other vendors coming on, because it's going to get more competitive and that potentially could drive down the costs of virtualization," Almy observed.

Even VMware executives said they will work with the competition on certain accounts.

"We still work with Citrix; they are going to compete in certain markets, but we've also said whatever they do, if it's a VMware customer and they prefer some Citrix technologies to be deployed together, we are going to continue to work with them," said Brian Byun, VMware's vice president of global partners and solutions.

Read on...

Security is everybody's baby; Virtualization can be confusing for admin roles

I think that is what virtualization is making us come to understand. It is bringing all those lonely admins on their lonely islands, together. It is definitely a big challenge for the management as the battle to manage you "own" environment is getting fiercer, al l admins ought to realize one thing:

"Stop making an ass of yourselves and start working together, your resume will be pumped up real good. Resisting is worthless!"

This was the Epiphany that Chris had, and he says it much better than I can:

This is when it occurred to me, that given the general roles and constituent responsibilities of the attendees, most of whom are not dedicated network or security folks, the disconnect between the "Leviathan Force" (the network and network security admins) and the "Sysadmins" (the server/VMM administrators) was little more than the mashup of a classic turf battle and differing security mindsets combined with a lack of network and information securi…

Microsoft rushes with SCVMM

Racing to catch up with VMware, Microsoft has delivered Carmine or System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM), the interface and controls for handling the logical partitions and VMs created by the currently available Virtual Server 2005 R2 and then, well, VMware ESX Server, Xensource and its own Viridian.

Carmine can be downloaded from Microsoft's web site now and goes on sale next month as a bundle called System Center Management Suite Enterprise that includes System Center stuff like Configuration Manager 2007, Operations Manager 2007 and Data Protection Manager 2007 for $860 per physical host supporting an unlimited number of VMs.

Still cross-platform fucntionality is what we are looking out for. Read it.

Virtualization makes Data Migration easy!

At the VMworld gathering in San Francisco last week, the buzz centered on the PlateSpin PowerConvert system, which took home a Gold Award for best migration tool. The system lets you stream data, applications and even operating systems between physical and virtual servers, as well as blade infrastructures and image and backup archive systems. It does this by decoupling the workload from network hardware and providing a simple drag-and-drop interface to migrate across multiple environments.

There is lot more to virtualization than you can imagine! Read on...

SaS and Virtualization: LSI,Intel and Microsoft show how its done

SAS =! SaaS. SAS= serial Attached SCSI ;)

LSI Corporation announced it is collaborating with Intel and Microsoft at Intel Developer Forum to demonstrate the scalability, availability and performance enhancements that Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) brings to virtualized environments. LSI will showcase the Windows Server virtualization capabilities of its SAS portfolio at the Independent Hardware Vendor (IHV) Community booth #119, September 18-20, 2007 at the Moscone Center West in San Francisco. In addition, LSI will be displaying its end-to-end SAS solutions and unmatched storage interface breadth at various venues throughout the show, including the LSI booth #229, the Unified Extensible Firmware Interface (UEFI) Community booth #149, and the SCSI Trade Association (STA) booth #324.

"With more and more users deploying virtualization technology to capitalize on the operational efficiencies its provides, LSI is working to make sure that our industry-leading SAS portfolio not only meets t…

VMware and NGDC

One audience member who was keen on the Storage VMotion was Kyle Meyer, a senior systems engineer at Johnson Controls, which has 350 to 400 VMware-powered virtual machines out of a collection of 2,300 total servers. Currently, when the company's EMC Clariion storage systems go off lease, the company has to shut down servers to switch to new storage systems — a task they typically schedule at 3am on Saturday in an effort to minimise disruption.

"Nondisruption is the biggest thing," Meyer said. " [Today] we lease Clariion. If we're moving it to somebody else, we've got to shut it down."

There are complications to using Storage VMotion, Rosenblum said in an interview after the speech. For one thing, moving a data store takes a long time, even with the "teeny" one and the high-speed network in the demo. For another, a database that's already running full-tilt might not have network capacity to spare for being moved to another storage system.


MS keeps drumming on its virtualization story

The release of the Windows Server Virtualisation (WSV) pre-beta code, called a community technology preview (CTP), will come at the same time Microsoft ships a new beta release of Windows Server 2008 called “Release Candidate 0.” A release candidate is a final beta before the code is considered finished. Microsoft plans to have at least one more release candidate before the server ships early next year. Microsoft made the announcement at VMWorld, the annual conference of its biggest virtualisation rival VMware. Microsoft said the CTP will not include all the features that are planned for the final version.

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Sun's Virtualization project "Virginia"

Good luck to Sun fellas!

Virginia also ties together Sun's various storage virtualization efforts, including its homegrown - please ignore, NetApp employees - ZFS file system and the recently acquired Lustre file system.

Then, there's a network virtualization element as well that comes from Sun's Crossbow technology for slicing up NICs to manage bandwidth between applications.

As far as we understand it, all of these technologies will soon be controlled in one place by a revamped version of Sun's N1 management software.

As Schwartz mentioned last week, Sun's virtualization play will now cover Windows in addition to Solaris and Linux.

If past performances are any indication, Sun will announce this broad virtualization management project soon but actually deliver it much, much later. (We're willing to be proved wrong here.)

Should Sun actually have all these pieces lined up, it stands to show off one of the most complete virtualization architectures on the market. No o…

VMware wants Intel, AMd to provide more capabilitties

Rosenblum also laid out a blueprint for some of the issues he'd like to see the AMD and Intel tackle. He said that VMware didn't always get what it wanted from the processor makers and that VMware needed more visibility into how virtual machines use the processor cache in order to provide better quality of service. In particular, he referred to the problem of a VM demanding huge amounts of processor resource that affected other processor cores. He said: "We've made great steps, but if you have a 10-gig NIC with tiny packets coming, it can consume a whole CPU just looking at each of them, so it's really difficult trying to match line rate."


SteelEye joins VMware's Technology Alliance Partner Program

SteelEye Technology , a leading provider of VMWare protection solutions including data replication and application monitoring for business continuity and disaster recovery on Linux and Windows, announced today at VMworld 2007 that it has joined the VMware Technology Alliance Partner (TAP) program. VMware (NYSE: VMW), the global leader in virtual infrastructure software for industry-standard systems, provides the Technology Alliance Partner program to enable technology vendors to support and integrate with the VMware infrastructure and deliver solutions to our joint customers.


Rice University's PhD candidate writes thesis on "Storage virtualization and performance"

He plans to defend it soon. Its actually called : Performance Virtualization and QoS in Shared Storage Systems

This dissertation targets the problem of performance virtualization in shared storage systems. This is motivated by growing trends towards storage consolidation. The goal is to provide performance guarantees to an application irrespective of the behavior of other concurrent workloads. In doing so, we propose QoS scheduling mechanisms for both centrally shared storage systems and distributed storage systems such as FAB and IceCube. QoS and efficiency are two strongly opposing forces when it comes to sharing of I/O devices, and it is a challenge to achieve both simultaneously.Link

illar Data Systems Increases Data Center Efficiency with Virtualization solutions

The Pillar Axiom platform is architected to help users consolidate their storage resources, while simplifying management to reduce the cost to acquire, administer, and maintain midrange storage systems. Aligned tightly with VMware’s ability to maximize efficiency for the server environment, Pillar integrates with VMware Infrastructure 3 to enable users to benefit from increased Quality of Service (QoS) at the storage layer. This allows for improved storage resource allocation, a highly available architecture and enhanced interoperability with the current infrastructure, which ensures that customers can drive maximum storage efficiency in a variety of application environments

“The strength of the Pillar Axiom lies in its unique ability to separate and prioritize the performance requirements for each application or database on each array, and allow the system to expand capacity or performance in line with the user’s requirements. This is a key enabling technology in making the Pillar Axi…

Managing migration hell with Virtualization

Somewhere near the top of the list of activities that storage people like doing least is data migration. Slow, time-consuming, and often scheduled at convenient times such as 3 a.m. Sunday morning, it has to rank up there with tasks like disaster recovery testing and SAN reconfiguration. To make matters worse, the process often seems to be a prime candidate for Murphy's Law, often exceeding scheduled windows or needing to be rolled back and rescheduled due to unforeseen problems.

The methods used to perform migrations can vary considerably depending on what, where and how much data is being migrated, and in recent years, the number of technology options has increased significantly. In addition to traditional approaches (for example, host-based migration tools and like-to-like storage-array-based replication), a growing trend is toward applying virtualization technologies for data-migration purposes.

Virtualization appliances than sit in the SAN or LAN are one category of the new bre…

Computer Express Mumbai: VDI to fuel thin client sales in India!

The VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solution is a result of the collaboration between vendors and VMware to make the Thin Client OS aware of key VMware VDI technologies. The end result, Thin OS-VDI Edition, is designed to enhance the user experience and functionality. Arun Rao, Business Manager – Client Virtualization, Personal Systems Group, Hewlett-Packard India says, “Delivering all the qualities associated with VMware VDI in a single ‘push the power button to work’ device, the solution incorporates the new Thin OS-VDI edition software and is delivered on the thin client appliance.” According to a NEC official the major driving factors VDI in thin clients are security, manageability, reliability, availability and, last but not the least, a reduction in overall TCO. With NEC Sigma System Centre (SSC) featuring system provisioning and deployment manager, it is easy to manage the IT infrastructure more efficiently. Enterprise Desktop Virt…

Qlogic and VMware extend partnership; demo on migration with Virtual HBA

QLogic Corp. , a leader in networking for storage and high performance computing, today announced it is first to demonstrate VMware virtual machine migration using QLogic® virtual HBA technology. Live migrations allow IT managers to take down a working server, upgrade the operating system or apply patches, and then bring it back up again while users continue to access applications on the server. The demonstration at VMworld is part of a collaboration between QLogic, VMware and its Community Source program to complement server virtualization software with hardware-assisted virtualization. The hardware-assist virtualization technology inside QLogic SANblade® HBAs eliminates the need for ESX administrators to reconfigure SAN functions after live virtual machine migrations. “Customers are now consolidating more VMs onto a single, physical server,” said Greg Schulz, founder and senior analyst, The StorageIO Group. “NPIV technology helps link worldwide port names to individual virtual machi…

Greg Ness: Key to Virtualization kingdom is security!

Just like Applications , as I mentioned in the previous post, security will also change dramatically.

Changes can be Painful for many Security Solutions
In production environments effortless movement and changes of VM states (snapshot, revert, online, offline, VMotion, etc) can generate extreme operational challenges for critical security activities like vulnerability scanning, patching and security. Vulnerability scans, a critical tool for tracking software vulnerabilities, can become obsolete in seconds. Bottom line: The constant change enabled by virtualization can place dynamic demands on the most commonly deployed static security solutions, in even small virtualized production infrastructures.

All the tricks, flips and tools that make software more nimble and powerful will not matter unless the production infrastructure can be effectively secured from attack. Yet many of the leading network security vendors have been caught flat-footed by virtualization. Some are even trying to cra…

Virtualization will push Data Center HA to new level

we never ought to forget about applications, yes, its the applications that have to be addressed, no matter which technology you use. I will be talking about the importance of applications, which amidst all the virtualization craze, may taker a bit of a back seat.

As Rosenblum shows with VMotion, the application gets a "warm HA' blanket as it moves to another server:

Rosenblum started a server on stage that was running the equivalent of 50 users pounding on Microsoft Outlook. The server's ongoing activity was being mirrored on a second server, which was receiving a live stream of events as they were entered into the log of the virtual machine on the first server. As Rosenblum unplugged the first server, VMware's management software, Virtual Infrastructure 3, detected a failure and shifted handling the users to the secondary server. Since the secondary server was already receiving a stream of log events, it could pick up at the precise point where the other had left o…