The Virtualization Room

May 26, 2011  4:12 PM

Citrix’s frustrating XenServer strategy

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

SAN FRANCISCO — Citrix Synergy was chock full of news on desktop virtualization and cloud computing this week. But if you were looking for server virtualization news, you had to do a little digging.

Citrix CEO Mark Templeton only mentioned XenServer a couple of times during his Wednesday-morning keynote, and he actually brought up Microsoft Hyper-V first, calling it “a great platform for XenDesktop.” And only one of the dozen or so press releases that Citrix issued at the show focused on XenServer — but that was about a new remote-management product, not XenServer 5.6 Feature Pack 2 or the XenServer 6.0 beta, which both came out last week.

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May 19, 2011  6:20 PM

Microsoft TechEd 2011 photos

Beth Pariseau Beth Pariseau Profile: Beth Pariseau

The Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, which hosted TechEd 2011.

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May 19, 2011  6:16 PM

Microsoft TechEd 2011 reporter’s notebook

Beth Pariseau Beth Pariseau Profile: Beth Pariseau


ATLANTA — Thoughts collected while going up and down seven or eight escalators to get from one TechEd session to another…

VMM 2012: The beginning of the end for Virtual Server?

According to various reports around the blog- and Twittersphere from Microsoft users and partners, System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2012 will not support Microsoft’s Virtual Server 2005 R2 as a virtual machine host. This has users wondering if the release of SCVMM 2012 will represent the beginning of the end for Microsoft’s original hypervisor technology.

More items from the Hyper-V wish list

Users at TechEd explored Dynamic Memory and storage integration for Hyper-V, but there were also some miscellaneous items on their wish lists:

  • “Bare metal provisioning will be nice to see in VMM 2012,” said Nathan Lasnoski, a Microsoft MVP who does field deployments of Hyper-V for clients as a systems integrator. “Right now we’ve developed an efficient pattern for doing deployments, but it will be much easier just to spin up a Hyper-V host through software.”
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May 17, 2011  12:45 PM

Microsoft moves beyond SMI-S with NetApp

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

By Beth Pariseau, Senior News Writer

ATLANTA — NetApp and Cisco have issued another reference architecture in partnership with a virtualization vendor. This time it’s Microsoft.

The NetApp Hyper-V Cloud Fast Track with Cisco data center architecture, announced Monday at TechEd North America, is a pre-tested reference architecture that includes Hyper-V, System Center, NetApp storage and Cisco’s Unified Computing System. A software bundle that includes the NetApp OnCommand”3.0 plug-in for Microsoft is also included.

To create that OnCommand plug-in, NetApp is using an Opalis-based workflow management system layered over several hundred custom PowerShell commandlets to communicate with System Center, rather than the Storage Management Initiative — Standard (SMI-S). Microsoft officials had said previously that SMI-S would be the basis for integration between storage partners and System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM) 2012.

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May 16, 2011  2:48 PM

VMware acquires ANOTHER management company, Shavlik

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

VMware’s acquisition spree continues today with Shavlik Technologies.

Shavlik is VMware’s partner in VMware Go, a service designed to help SMBs deploy and manage virtualization more quickly and easily. The 18-year-old company built its business around security, with a focus on patch management. (Shavlik’s technology helps power VMware Update Manager, for example.)

The Shavlik acquisition makes sense given VMware’s new focus on the applications market. After all, it wouldn’t do VMware much good to buy Zimbra and SlideRocket without having some way to easily update and patch those applications. And Shavlik was the natural choice, thanks to its existing partnerships with VMware on Go, Update Manager and other initiatives.

But it sounds like Shavlik will also play a role in VMware’s increasingly complicated infrastructure management strategy.

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May 11, 2011  10:43 PM

Long-distance vMotion inches toward reality…who will use it?

Beth Pariseau Beth Pariseau Profile: Beth Pariseau

A new product announced by VMware parent company EMC Corp. this week could lay the groundwork for live migration of virtual servers over large geographic distances. But storage is just one part of that battle and some experts question whether the cost of long-distance vMotion will be justifiable even when the technology is ready for prime time.
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May 10, 2011  3:23 PM

KVM and Hyper-V sittin’ in a tree, l-a-m-e-n-t-i-n-g

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

At last week’s Red Hat Summit, company execs painted Microsoft as their bitter rival. But the two vendors may have more in common than you’d think.

I was reading Beth Pariseau’s story on KVM’s slow go of it in the virtualization market, and I started to sense a pattern: A lot of the reasons that Red Hat Summit attendees gave for not moving to KVM were the same reasons that other IT pros have given for not deploying Microsoft Hyper-V.

To illustrate this point, here are some snippets from that story, with one change: I replaced “KVM” or “open source software” with “Hyper-V.” Check it out:
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May 9, 2011  3:47 PM

IBM addresses KVM memory overcommit with trial tool

Beth Pariseau Beth Pariseau Profile: Beth Pariseau

Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6 and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) 2.2 offer some options for memory overcommit, but these features can interfere with one another in some scenarios, according to IBM engineers.

Red Hat and IBM formally announced a partnership to develop RHEL KVM and RHEV together at last week’s Red Hat Summit in Boston. Also at the show, Joel Schopp, a Linux software engineer for IBM, presented an open-source utility, Memory Overcommit Manager (MOM), meant to reduce the interference between the memory overcommit features in RHEL and RHEV.

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May 5, 2011  10:56 AM

Red Hat to improve VM conversion tools

Alyssa Provazza Alyssa Provazza Profile: Alyssa Provazza

BOSTON — By nature, virtual machines (VMs) are movers and shakers. The tools in Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 6 perform the essential tasks of virtual-to-virtual (V2V) conversions, physical-to-virtual (P2V) conversions and live migrations, but they still have room for improvement.

Matthew Booth, a Red Hat senior software engineer, revealed a few expected improvements at the Red Hat Summit this week. RHEL’s P2V conversion tool, virt-p2v, is still fairly new, so the company is working on faster conversion times and improved fixed-storage transfer options, Booth said.

If your organization is just starting to virtualize, P2V conversion is a critical first step. Slow conversions can complicate virtualization implementations, so RHEL 6 needs to step up its game in this area.

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May 4, 2011  7:55 PM

Most Red Hat KVM customers are VMware users

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

BOSTON — Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization (RHEV) has about 500 customers worldwide, and more than half are existing VMware users.

Red Hat's Chuck Dubuque says VMware may not always be the default choice for virtualization.That’s the word from Red Hat product marketing manager Chuck Dubuque, who talked about the company’s customer base during a RHEV overview session this afternoon at the Red Hat Summit.

“We also have customers who have a lot of VMware,” he said. “That’s actually the majority of our customers right now.”

These VMware users are looking for more affordable alternatives to virtualize more of their infrastructure, he said.

“One of the major issues comes down to cost,” he added. “VMware is a fairly expensive product, and there are lots of applications in my environment that I’d like to virtualize that I can’t at $3,000 a socket.”

About two-thirds of RHEV users are existing Red Hat customers (either Red Hat Enterprise Linux or JBoss), Dubuque said. And in addition to the 500 customers, there are another “couple hundred” active proof-of-concept deployments, he said.

Dubuque also previewed RHEV 3, which will come out by the end of the year.

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