The Virtualization Room

February 24, 2011  8:53 PM

VMware manages Hyper-V with new XVP ‘fling’

Beth Pariseau Beth Pariseau Profile: Beth Pariseau

Speculation that VMware will support Hyper-V has become reality.

A so-called “fling” that lets vCenter manage Hyper-V hosts and virtual machines (VMs) is now available for download on the VMware Labs website.

The tool, dubbed XVP Manager, installs as a vCenter management plugin, according to demo videos on the VMware website. The IP addresses and authentication of Hyper-V hosts can be directly input into the vCenter/XVP system using the Add Host wizard within vCenter.

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February 24, 2011  7:30 PM

Virtualization certs valuable, others not so much

Alyssa Wood Alyssa Wood Profile: Alyssa Wood

Virtualization skills are in high demand, and their value is only going to increase.

Foote Partners’ IT Skills and Certifications Hot Lists Forecast report indicates that only 29 out of 225 certified skills will increase in value over the next six months — but four of the top 11 are virtualization certifications.

The VMware Certified Professional certification holds the top spot, followed by the Microsoft Certified IT Professional (virtualization version) at No. 3. The VMware Certified Design Expert and Microsoft Certified Technology Specialist (which includes a virtualization specialization) also made the top 11.

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February 21, 2011  6:37 PM

Antivirus for virtualization: Coming out of the Dark Ages?

KeithKessinger Keith Kessinger Profile: KeithKessinger

Even though server virtualization continues to evolve, it seems like antivirus software for virtual infrastructures is stuck in the past.

Traditionally, to protect against malware and viruses, antivirus agents must be placed in each virtual machine (VM). It’s no secret that this model is plagued with problems. Antivirus scans are resource-intensive, and they can cripple host performance if multiple VMs perform scans at the same time. But don’t blame antivirus vendors for this archaic protection method.

“It’s primarily the fault of VMware,” said Eric Siebert, senior systems administrator for Boston Market and regular TechTarget contributor. “It took awhile for VMware to develop a framework that looks inside the VM.”

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February 18, 2011  12:59 AM

VMware realizes cloud talk is cheap

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

VMware is making the switch from a virtualization company to a cloud company, and they want customers to come along for the ride. New products and services are finally making that a possibility.

For most organizations, unfortunately, building a private cloud is easier said than done. For several years, VMware pushed its “move to the cloud” message, but with many changing details (remember the Virtual Data Center Operating System?) and no actual products, users were often confused.

Over the past few months, however, VMware’s messaging to its virtualization faithful has become more concrete. The release of vCloud Director at VMworld 2010 got people talking, because it was an actual product that they could buy and use. Last week VMware released vCloud Connector, a free vCenter plug-in aimed directly at server virtualization admins. And just this week the company said it will replace one of its virtualization products, Lab Manager, with vCloud Director.

Now that these vCloud products are available, everyone can start building a private cloud, right? Not so fast.

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February 17, 2011  6:48 PM

Virtualization grows despite management hurdles

Alyssa Wood Alyssa Wood Profile: Alyssa Wood

Organizations are virtualizing more mission-critical applications and using more tools to manage their infrastructures.

That’s according to the results of Gabriel Consulting Group (GCG)’s 2010 x86 Server Vendor Preference survey, which came out this week. In the past, many administrators have been wary of virtualizing mission-critical applications, but that’s changing. In the survey, more than 60% of enterprise customers said more than half of their x86 workloads are mission-critical. That means people are starting to trust their mission-critical workloads on virtual servers, said Dan Olds, principal analyst at GCG.

“It ups the ante,” he said.

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February 14, 2011  1:46 PM

Sharing the love for virtualization

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

Congratulations to Dave Claussen, winner of our Valentine’s Day virtualization poetry contest. Here’s his winning entry:

Roses are red
I like iced tea
How long before
They virtualize me?

We also received this submission from Microsoft’s David Greschler:

Ode to Virtualization

Software is drawing up a
Declaration of Independence.
It has had enough of living in the dark,
sealed inside a glass CD
No longer fooled by its regal setting, the plastic jewel box.

It is tired of watching the stylish music bits and flashy video bytes
streaming by like bar-hoppers, in and out of desktops and servers
while it sits, bound by installation to the hard drive
thinking, “I’m no different than you,
I’m made up of 0s and 1s too.”

Virtualized, free at last, it begins to swim up and down the networks
like a fish or shark or whale
swirling inside the LANs
jumping across the WANs
and exploring the deep oceans of the Internet

To be anywhere it needs to be
with a clean shaven smile
and the tip of a hat
Software, sir, at your Service!

February 11, 2011  6:09 PM

VMware killing Lab Manager

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

As many users have predicted, VMware is indeed phasing out its Lab Manager product.

VMware has not officially announced Lab Manager’s end of life, but sources within the company said this week that it is in the works. In the meantime, VMware’s official line is, “We are encouraging people to move to vCloud Director,” the sources said.

With the vCloud Director release at VMworld 2010, users started asking questions about the future of Lab Manager. Lab Manager and vCloud Director have similar features, and VMware hasn’t issued a major Lab Manager update since July 2009.

The transition from Lab Manager to vCloud Director could be a tricky one for users. For example, vCloud Director requires an Oracle database on the back end, and it involves a lot of moving parts. (One VMware partner told me at Partner Exchange this week, “It took a while for even our smartest guys to get their heads around it.”)

For the time being, vCloud Director also lacks some of Lab Manager’s features, such as Record/Replay capability and support for linked clones.

UPDATE (Feb. 14, 9:42 a.m.): VMware officially announced today that it is discontinuing Lab Manager. The company will continue to support the product through May 1, 2013.

February 9, 2011  3:40 PM

What do Hyper-V and the VMware CTO’s dog have in common?

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

ORLANDO — VMware CTO Steve Herrod was just on stage at Partner Exchange 2011, showing a demo of a pet clinic application running on VMware’s Spring platform. Herrod ended the demo by showing a picture of his dog, then he fired off this zinger:

“He’s not pretty, and he yips a lot, but there’s not much bite to him. I named him Hyper-V.”

February 8, 2011  1:57 PM

More on VMware vCloud Connector

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

This morning we got the official announcement of VMware vCloud Connector, a new, free vSphere plug-in that I wrote about last week on

VCloud Connector lets users view VMs in their private and public cloud infrastructures and move them back and forth between the two. I asked Mathew Lodge, VMware’s senior director of cloud services, to explain how vCloud Connector is different from vCloud Director, the long-awaited cloud product that VMware unveiled at VMworld 2010.

“There’s two differences,” he said. “One is this: (VCloud Connector is) very simple. It’s based, it’s designed for folks so that they don’t have to learn anything new. It’s the existing interface they know and love. They can access all their clouds through this right away. I think the other big difference … is that vCloud Director is designed to give an interface to non-vSphere administrators, so an organization, for example, can delegate administration out to the business unit.”

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February 4, 2011  3:15 PM

NIST issues virtualization security guidelines

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

Sure, server virtualization has been around for a while and is very popular in IT. But you know a technology has really hit the big time when it gets its own national standards.

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) this week released its virtualization security guidelines. The document emphasizes that virtualization involves many moving parts, from the host down to the VM, applications and associated technologies such as storage.

“The security of a full virtualization solution is heavily dependent on the individual security of each of its
components,” the report says.

The NIST virtualization security guidelines focus on these four main areas:

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