The Virtualization Room


April 29, 2011  6:25 PM

VMware: Microsoft for the 21st century?

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

“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.

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April 25, 2011  12:13 PM

PXE Manager for vCenter: VMware’s latest fling

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

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.

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April 20, 2011  7:43 PM

Are you a memory add-ministrator?

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

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.)

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April 19, 2011  11:51 PM

VMware credits mega-deals, international sales for record Q1

Beth Pariseau Beth Pariseau Profile: Beth Pariseau

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.

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April 15, 2011  6:20 PM

Virtualization management not quite there yet

KeithKessinger Keith Kessinger Profile: KeithKessinger

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.

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April 14, 2011  12:02 PM

VMware Fusion 4 beta testing begins

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

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.


April 5, 2011  6:33 PM

VMware responds to VCDX certification concerns

Beth Pariseau Beth Pariseau Profile: Beth Pariseau

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.

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April 4, 2011  10:12 PM

VMware acquires Mozy from EMC

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

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.

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April 1, 2011  2:08 PM

VMware CTO Herrod interviews Chewbacca

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

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:


March 31, 2011  1:10 PM

OEMs plug in to vCenter, turn the volume to 11

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

By Mike Laverick, Author, Instructor and Blogger

VMware’s master plan is starting to bear fruit.

When VMware introduced Virtual Infrastructure 3 (VI3), the company started to allow third parties to introduce their own plug-ins to the client. Initially, what we saw were folks in the VMware community building their own plug-ins to extend the functionality of the VI3 Client.

Perhaps the most well known was Andrew Kutz’s plug-in that added a GUI front-end to Storage vMotion before VMware developed its own. VMware also got in on the act, using the plug-in architecture to add functionality to the base vCenter install with VMware Update Manager and VMware Site Recovery Manager.

Now VMware’s partners — especially the OEMs and the storage vendors — are getting in on the act. When VMware first unveiled this plug-in approach, it seemed clear to me that the company was trying to build a core management platform (vCenter), whilst allowing others to extend its functionality. It was my prediction that VMware wanted vCenter to become the main management tool from where most system administrators would do their work. If successful, vCenter might even usurp vendor-specific management tools — especially if you can do 90% of your daily administration tasks more efficiently with a plug-in.

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