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Showing posts from September, 2008

VMware's share plunge 15% on a downgrade by RBC Capital

Market conditions are harsh and we are all low on cash, or atleast want to hold on to our wallets. VMware has been immune to in back in 2007, but this is too hard to withstand for any firm.

RBC Capital this morning got religion on the slowdown in IT spending, cutting ratings on four stocks and slashing estimates and price targets on a host of others. The multiple moves boil down to this statement, which is repeated in most of the individual reports this morning: “We are taking a more conservative stance across our coverage universe to reflect a degrading environment for global IT spending.”

The downgrades:

* VMware (VMW): To Sector Perform from Outperform. Target to $29 from $50.
* Xyratex (XRTX): To Sector Perform from Outperform. Target to $13 from $23.
* Voltaire (VOLT): To Sector Perform from Outperform. Target to $5 from $8.
* QLogic (QLGC): To Sector Perform from Outperform. Target to $17 from $18


Lanamark Unleashes Flagship Virtualization and IT Assessment Suite in Professional and Team Editions

When I met Mark at VMworld Cannes, he was still a Director at VMlogix. I also met his wife, Lana. Anyways here's the release:

TORONTO – September 30, 2008 – Lanamark Inc., a global provider of capacity planning software solutions for virtualization and IT assessments, today announced general availability and product packaging for its flagship software solution, Lanamark Suite. The company also launched its global solution provider program that will help value-added resellers, system integrators and consultants accelerate delivery of virtualization services across desktops and servers.
“Lanamark Suite gives us visibility and insight into heterogeneous IT environments and allows us to deliver virtualization assessments across a multitude of target virtualization platforms,” said Murali Raju, CEO of Virtuize LLC, a virtualization consulting firm based in Atlanta, GA. “As a Lanamark Solution Provider, we are able to competitively differentiate our virtualization practice, increase our s…

Moonwalk Teams with Plasmon to Extend Capabilities of Hierarchical Storage Management Systems

Australia – DATE, 2008 –Moonwalk Inc. today announced that it has partnered with Plasmon on a joint solution that provides companies using traditional Hierarchical Storage Management solutions greater control of their datasets and optimal use of their storage infrastructure without the technology’s associated management headaches, extra costs and risks.

Extending the capabilities of HSM solutions, Moonwalk 6.0 advanced data migration software can intelligently move, copy or archive files from various platforms and file systems to the Plasmon Archive Appliance based on the business value of the unstructured data under storage. This singular approach enables companies to proactively manage data throughout the enterprise while allowing them to find data, allocate destinations, set rules and policies and run tasks from a single administrator interface that lets them drill down to the details easily and swiftly.

“Plasmon’s UDO Archive Appliance complements the Moonwalk environment by provid…

Microsoft SQL Server 2008 in the Clouds

No great shakes as loads of open source stuff is there on the net, but still you might want to take a look at the SQL Server 2008 CloudApp.

Test it yourself!

VMware's ESX 3.5 wins hand down against Hyper-V!

VMware’s Virtual Center management platform is also mature and straightforward in how an administrator can use it to control resident VMs on a VMware host. VMware’s Virtual Infrastructure Client (VIC) is the administrative user interface to the VMware Virtual Center platform. Microsoft’s System Center-Virtual Machine Manager (SC-VMM) 2008 (we tested a very late beta version which Microsoft guaranteed was feature complete) works with very strong ties to the underlying Active Directory and has an interface that fits right into Microsoft’s System Center scheme, so administrators won’t have to work hard to understand how it works. That said, things from standard management tasks such as viewing simple settings for a VM host to much touted advances features like the ability to migrate ESX VMs to Hyper-V caused SC-VMM to crash repeatedly during testing. Click to see: Microsoft, with its System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 software, provides a centralized console for viewing…

VMware's Cloud VDC-OS a "groping in the dark" stint?

Timothy really wrote a cool post. Since Ashlee has left The Register, you just don't come across a well written post. I am by no means saying that Ashlee wrote any meaningful stuff (Its a joke, Ashlee) but he did make us all smile.

Heck its really cloudy out there, it doesn't make any sense and a lot of vaporware might float. Amazon is probably the only one that is seriously building a business around it. Google is beginning to work hard with Gear, AppEngine and a lot of other smaller vendors like 3Tera, ParaScale, FlexiScale are doing a great job there.

Update: Larry Ellison also state pretty honestly that "Hey. I'll do it if my marketeer's want it but I still don't get it!' Obviously the industry does not want to have some little start-yp like VMware steal the thunder under our very noses. Many have suggested that it will, gradually and stealthily, be 3Tera (my favorite firm as well, given that I really understand what they mean when they say that they wi…

Mendel Rosenblum talks about Cloud Computing, praises IBM

Wearing his Stanford University associate professor of computer science hat, and flanked by peers from cloud-computing pioneers, Google Inc. and, Rosenblum defined cloud computing simply as an environment where "your software is running software somewhere else than your data center."
At the same time, virtualization is a "building block" of cloud computing, Rosenblum said, and also "a natural evolution," stemming from the way the technology decouples software from the underlying hardware, and enables workloads, or virtual machines, to move around between systems.

"You just have to feel comfortable with someone else running your software," he added. But, if enterprises' continued use of mainframes is any indication, that's a big caveat, Rosenblum suggested.
"It still stuns me that the IBM mainframe that everyone said is dead is still kicking," Rosenblum said. Even today, enterprises continue to buy mainfra…

Microsoft's Craig Mundie: Clouds need killer apps!

No, Craig. Clouds need kewler apps!

Still, Mundie acknowledged that most people "don't choose Windows...they choose applications. It's the killer apps people are choosing and that will be true in the next generation" of computing.

"I think that will be true as we go forward with this new composite platform. People won't really care what the iron is, or the underlying OS."

Mundie's comments underscore a primary concern for Microsoft, as cloud computing becomes more widespread: How does the company keep Windows relevant?

That's a larger concern that Mundie, along with Chief Software Architect Ray Ozzie, will need to tackle with Microsoft's evolving "client/cloud" strategy that posits operating systems will perform a vital role in local processing. Adobe Systems--which only recently launched a Web-based services--agrees. But Google and other competitors clearly see Web-based applications as driving future development.

Despite the far-reach…

Gartner: VMware's security is immature

First, I want to highlight some tidbits in the keynote that Gartner's John Enck gave at the opening of the IBTA Tech Forum. Initially he challenged the assumption that VMware is a secure platform that is immune to attacks and viruses. He mentioned that security is still a point of immaturity in VMware and that VMware issued a fix for known vulnerabilities in its product just a week prior to VMworld. While I believe that VMware is more secure than Windows was in its early days, more vulnerabilities are likely to be discovered as it is more widely deployed.

Another interesting tidbit that Enck shared had to do with some of the new management functions that server virtualization makes possible. Enck specifically mentioned that because the images of each individual VMware virtual machine (VM) is stored in what is called a VMDK (Virtual Machine Disk Format) file, it opens the door for companies to assign metadata to these files including service oriented metadata. In so doing, companies…

Cloud workshop: Gigaspaces XAP with Joyent Accelerators

Joyent blogger writes:

Cloud Computing is the act of deploying, elastically scaling, managing, and running Cloud Computing Applications on Cloud Computers. Cloud Computing Applications are those applications that are well designed to run on Cloud Computers. In this case, Joyent provided infrastructure as a service (IaaS). Gigaspaces provided the Gigaspaces XAP Platform as a Service (PaaS). A savvy developer, Owen, created a cloud computing software application, the Monte Carlo simulation. We definitely did some Cloud Computing in this test!

In emerging from the Joyent Labs program we now know that Gigaspaces XAP is proven to run and scale on Joyent Accelerators. We also showed during the tests that the sun Java stack is particularly powerful because JVM’s can scale vertically well beyond the 2 GiB limitations some other platforms may encounter. For memory hungry applications this can be very useful. In our tests we hit the limits of the 4 GiB accelerators. But, we could have easily scal…

Cloud Computing reality check

John spoke to some folks and despite concerns there see to be growing interest in Cloud Computing. Obviously it is very clear that we were focusing on the wrong layer a bit too long (Virtualization, I mean) and its rapid commoditization with the increasingly (aspirational) consumerization of IT.

Following is a recap of some of what was discussed during those two sessions:

• One big question people had was how to go about integrating cloud-based applications and data with on-premises applications and data. This will be an issue for virtually any company moving into the cloud. As just one example of how that might be done, SnapLogic offers integration packs designed to work with some software as a service applications. InformationWeek will take a deeper dive into this subject in the next few weeks.

• A related issue is data quality. As companies move e-mail and other applications into the cloud, the integration points (Active Directory, for example) will become weak links and IT problems i…

Cloud Computing: ParaScale one of top 20 vendors

Venture-funded ParaScale, founded in 2004, has just begun beta testing software, called ParaScale Cloud Server, for creating clustered storage using Linux servers. ParaScale's software can be used by other vendors to offer cloud services, similar to Amazon's Simple Storage Service (S3), or by IT departments to create S3-like clouds inside their own data centers.

ParaScale specializes in bulky, unstructured data that's served up on request--video, virtual machine images, and medical images, for example--rather than structured or transactional data. In a typical configuration, ParaScale offers throughput of 100 MBps, which is roughly 10 times the performance of Amazon's S3 service, says CEO Sajai Krishnan.

ParaScale hasn't announced pricing, but Krishnan estimates its software will cost between $1 and $1.50 per gigabyte, including hardware. Compared with a monthly rate of 15 cents per gigabyte for cloud storage services, ParaScale would pay for itself in 10 months in a…

Cloud Computing Centers: IBM opens 4 globally

IBM today opened four new cloud computing centers in emerging markets. They are in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Bangalore, India; Seoul, Korea; and Hanoi, Vietnam, where there is an increasing demand for Internet-based computing models and skills to help companies compete in highly competitive environments. With previously opened centers in both emerging and mature markets, IBM now has 13 cloud computing centers, the world's largest network of expertise on cloud computing.
At a time when organizations of all sizes are facing extreme data overload, skyrocketing energy costs, increasingly complex regulatory requirements and competition from more nimble economies, cloud computing is emerging as a significant shift across all industries. This computing model allows businesses and consumers alike to remotely access a vast computing resource that can be tapped on-demand to deliver next-generation services that consumers demand, like online medical records or mobile stock portfolio management. It a…

Oracle and Intel tag-team Cloud Computing

Oracle is teaming with Intel to accelerate enterprise adoption of cloud computing.

News of the partnership came at the Oracle OpenWorld 2008 conference in San Francisco. The idea is to make enterprise cloud computing more secure and efficient and to drive the development of standards that enable flexible deployment across public and private clouds.

In particular, Oracle and Intel pledged to collaborate with each other as well as other vendors to expand standards that enable portability of virtual machine images, such as the Open Virtual Machine Format. They also plan to help create Web services standards for provisioning and management of cloud-based services.

Cloud computing has become a reoccurring theme at the conference. On Monday, Oracle announced it will allow customers to license Oracle Database 11g, Oracle Enterprise Manager and Oracle Fusion Middleware to run on Amazon Web Services' Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).

According to both companies, enterprises are already running ap…

MuseWrox: Cloud Marketing Operating System

I'll be talking to the CEO soon. And we may publish an interview if we feel that the talk was fun ;-)

Oracle enters Appliance market with Exadata!

SAN FRANCISCO -- X has arrived and it's an appliance.

Hyped and kept under wraps for months and promoted here with banners proclaiming, "The X is coming," Oracle CEO Larry Ellison unveiled his company's foray into hardware during a keynote at Oracle OpenWorld.

The result of three years of development with HP, Oracle revealed the Exadata product line, which includes the HP Oracle Database machine and HP Oracle Exadata Storage Servers.

"We really need much more performance out of our databases than we currently get," Ellison said. "Information is proliferating at an astonishingly high rate. The disk storage system available today simply cannot cope with data that has to move. Large databases are tripling in size every two to three years. That creates a fundamental problem. They can't move that data off the disks fast enough."

The result is a "data bandwidth problem" moving data between the storage arrays and database servers. The answer, a…

Barclay pays $330 Million for 2 Lehman Data Centers

Barclays will pay $330 million for two Lehman Brothers data centers it is acquiring as part of a larger deal to purchase assets of the bankrupt investment bank. The two data centers are both located in New Jersey, in Piscataway and Cranford.

The valuation emerged from a bankruptcy court hearing in which the purchase price for the real estate components of the deal were adjusted to $1.29 billion, including $960 million for Lehman’s New York headquarters and $330 million for the data centers. Lehman’s original estimate valued its headquarters at $1.02 billion but an appraisal this week valued it at $900 million.


Is the internet ready for Cloud Computing?

I just watched a 12 minute “bloxTV” video interview with Cricket Liu, one of the world’s leading experts on DNS. Blogger John Furrier asks him about the recent DNS vulnerability and why it received so much fanfare. Cricket answered that it was “the biggest vulnerability” we have ever seen; and that it impacted close to 11 million servers responsible for directing Internet and TCP/IP network traffic. That’s a lot of traffic between lots of destinations.

According to some pundits, we’ve heard enough about the DNS vulnerability and exploit issue and its time to put it behind us. I beg to differ. The DNS exploit meme explosion will be a mere poster child for many new exploits and challenges to come; and many of them will directly threaten the core integrity of the Internet.

At about 7 minutes into the interview Cricket responds to a pointed question from Furrier about the core (DNS) stresses and strains on the Internet by tactfully noting that it recently celebrated a 25 year anniversar…

Nova Navigator Cloud Computer with Intel Atom

TechNovus' Nova Navigator aims to bring cloud computing to the masses, with a cheap Intel Atom PC designed to run apps over the Web.
With the Asus Eee Box and Dell Studio Hybrid already whetting our appetites for cheap, mini desktops, it was only a matter of time before someone took the concept to the next level.

TechNovus Corp is touting its Nova Navigator as a “cloud computer” – there’s no hard drive inside, an Intel Atom 1.6Ghz, and a browser running on a Linux desktop.

Unlike the Eee Box or Studio Hybrid, the Nova Navigator runs just about everything bar the browser via the Web. Apps sit on a remote server – you pay a monthly subscription (around $20), which gives you 50GB of online storage and access to the Nova App Store for things like Office and Windows.

While the concept isn’t new, the demo certainly had us wondering about the possibilities – the Nova runs Windows (Server) and Suse Linux side by side fairly smoothly (though we didn't see any intensive apps running), whic…

Cloud Computing rather use Cloud DBs than RDBMS

All the fat cash cows that have bee fetching billions of dollars annually such as Oracle RDBMS, Office apps etc will have to make way to the light-weight apps and dbs. Small footprint VMs, all containarized and secured. Transactional VMs, maybe that's what we'll call them someday inthe clouds.

One thing you won't find underlying a cloud computing initiative is a relational database. And this is no accident: Relational databases are ill-suited for use within cloud computing environments, argued Geir Magnusson, vice president of engineering at 10Gen, an on-demand platform servicer provider.

Magnusson, who also helped write the Apache Geronimo application server software, spoke at the O'Reilly Web 2.0 conference, being held this week in New York.

"Cloud computing is different kind of technology,” he said. “It is different enough it will change how we do things as developers. We will have to re-examine how we build things.”

During his talk, Magnusson listed a number of ne…