BOSTON — Your choice of hypervisor is a vote for the future of IT. And to choose VMware is to vote against the promise of cloud computing.
That’s been the message from Red Hat executives here at the Red Hat Summit. During yesterday afternoon’s keynote, CEO Jim Whitehurst said vendors that market full cloud solutions are trying to lock customers into their stacks, and they’re just delivering the “same old stuff under new names.” If IT chooses this model instead of the open source approach, he said, “we as an industry are deciding who is going to be the next Microsoft.”
As I wrote last week, VMware is clearly aiming to be the next Microsoft, but at an open source conference, being called “the next Microsoft” is most definitely not a compliment.
“Deep down, Maritz and his colleagues know the traditional operating system isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.”
I wrote that sentence last month, when I argued that VMware’s iPad app actually strengthens IT’s reliance on Windows, not diminishes it. Although CEO Paul Maritz and co. have been banging the “death of the traditional operating system” drum for years now, their vision of VMware as a Windows OS killer is still a pipe dream.
And honestly, if VMware execs wanted to compete head-on with Microsoft in the OS market, they could’ve gone and acquired Novell when they had the chance. The fact that they didn’t is telling. They’d rather attack the traditional OS indirectly, through the applications market, and this strategy has really come together in the past few weeks.
VMware has released PXE Manager for vCenter, a new tool that supports automatic PXE boot and patch management for ESXi hosts.
PXE Manager for vCenter also lets users automate ESXi host provisioning (both stateless and stateful), and it supports multiple vCenter instances. In addition, users can deploy directly from PXE Manager for vCenter to both vCloud Director and Cisco’s Unified Computing System.
PXE Manager for vCenter is the latest VMware Labs fling, a free, unsupported product with experimental features that VMware may or may not add to future releases. Supported server operating systems include Windows Server 2003 R2, Windows Server 2008 and Windows Server 2008 R2. On the agent side, PXE Manager for vCenter supports those Windows versions as well as Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.3 and higher, Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise 11, CentOS 5.3 and higher and openSUSE 11.
The trend toward more memory-packed VMs is now affecting hardware.
The amount of RAM installed on new servers is going through the roof, according to the preliminary results of SearchDataCenter.com’s “Data Center Decisions 2011 Purchasing Intentions Survey.” This year, 42% of respondents said their typical new server will have at least 64 GB of RAM — up from just 21% in 2010. And the percentage of respondents who said they’ll use servers with at least 128 GB also doubled, from 11% to 22%.
This data jibes with our own “Virtualization Decisions 2010 Purchasing Intentions Survey.” Those results showed that admins most commonly assigned 1.5-2 GB of memory to VMs in 2010 — up from a range of 500 MB to 1 GB in 2009. In addition, 42% of respondents said they assigned more than 2 GB of memory. (We’ll conduct the 2011 version of our survey later this quarter.)
Five mega transactions worth $10 million or more each powered VMware revenue for its first quarter, the company said Tuesday night.
Wall Street analysts closely questioned VMware CEO Paul Maritz and CFO Mark Peek about whether strong Q1 revenues resulted from “spillover” from deferred deals in the fourth quarter, as well as whether there was any common denominator to the large deals. The answer to both these questions was ‘no’.
Peek credited the big deals to customers increasingly virtualizing more mission-critical applications. “Virtualization is mainstream in data centers,” he said.
Virtualization has always posed management problems for IT departments. And as more IT shops deploy multiple hypervisors, the problems are getting worse.
In companies that deploy both VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V, 71% have difficulties managing both hypervisors from a single console, according to a recent Veeam Software survey. Also, 68% of the 253 CIOs who responded said it’s becoming more important to be able to manage both hypervisors from a single interface.
This was a vendor-driven survey, and Veeam has recently touted the importance of multiple-hypervisor management. But it’s no secret that there’s a gap between what users want and what virtualization management tools deliver — especially those tools from platform vendors and systems management providers.
VMware Fusion 4 is now in private beta.
Some VMware users received Fusion 4 beta invitations this week, and screenshots are already online. There’s no official word if the VMware Fusion 4 beta will be available to the general public at a later date, or when the final release will come down. But the site Fusion4Upgrade.com speculates the final release will coincide with Apple’s release of the Mac OS X Lion operating system this summer.
If you didn’t get invited to the VMware Fusion 4 beta, you can prepare for the public release by brushing up on your Windows-on-Mac skills with these VMware Fusion performance tips and advanced tips from expert Mike Nelson.
Some virtualization pros have been griping about how VMware awards its advanced VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) certification, saying the scoring process is not transparent enough. Last week, VMware responded to those concerns on the VMware Communities Roundtable podcast.
Brian Rice, VMware’s technical and certification architect, categorically denied several perceptions about VCDX: that the number of certifications is being kept artificially low to enhance the certification’s value, and that VMware employees and well-known bloggers are given preferential treatment.
However, there might be some overlap between the skills of a successful blogger and that of a VCDX, specifically, “the ability to explain ideas in a crisp and concise manner,” Rice said. In fact, Rice said a key misunderstanding about VCDX is that it isn’t solely about the design, but also about the ability to present the design effectively.
VMware acquired Mozy, the hosted backup service, from its parent company EMC today.
At first glance, VMware’s Mozy acquisition seems like another one of its cloud pick-ups — see: SpringSource, Zimbra, etc. — that won’t do much for virtualization customers. But Mozy may bring some new capabilities to VMware’s core business after all. From VMware CTO Stephen Herrod’s announcement:
I’m also excited about some of the core data-handling technologies developed by the Mozy team. The Mozy future roadmap is going to excite consumers and businesses alike, and we also see the opportunity to leverage Mozy’s data compression, synchronization, client integration, and analytic tools to extend several existing and not-yet-announced VMware products.
If this whole CTO-of-VMware thing doesn’t work out, Stephen Herrod just might have a future in comedy.
Fresh off the heels of his Microsoft Hyper-V joke at the VMware Partner Exchange conference, here’s Herrod’s April Fool’s Day interview with “VMware’s newest customer,” Chewbacca: