The Virtualization Room

June 30, 2010  6:32 PM

VMware: The Papa Tomato of virtualization

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

You know that old joke about the family of tomatoes and the baby that falls behind?

You don’t? OK then, I’ll let Uma Thurman tell it:

Sometimes IT customers can feel like Baby Tomato, lagging behind all the innovation and hype that vendors are throwing out there and eventually getting squished. It’s a big issue for SAP now, as my colleague Courtney Bjorlin at just blogged about. But it’s an equally big concern in the server virtualization market — particularly for VMware, thanks to its focus on cloud computing.

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June 29, 2010  4:18 PM

Oracle VM machine targets Cisco, HP

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

Appliances like Cisco’s Unified Computing System are designed to help you kick-start a virtualization deployment.

Now, Oracle is banking on an appliance to do the same for its lagging virtualization market share.

Our sister site reports that a so-called “Oracle VM machine” (perhaps developed by Oracle’s Department of Redundancy Department?) is in the works. Oracle President Charles Phillips disclosed the news during the company’s quarterly earnings call last week.

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June 24, 2010  1:17 PM

Red Hat KVM: A bold vision

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

BOSTON — Is Red Hat’s move to KVM bold and forward-thinking, or does it show a lack of strategic vision?

That’s the question our virtualization columnist Mark Vaughn asked me on Twitter yesterday as I covered the Red Hat Summit here. My 140-characters-or-less response was, “It’s definitely bold, and they clearly have a vision. The real question is, has Red Hat bet on the right horse?”

That’s a pretty good summary of Red Hat’s virtualization efforts and its shift from Xen to KVM, but let’s break it down in more detail: Continued »

June 23, 2010  5:28 PM

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2.2 includes Xen converter

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

BOSTON — Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2.2 is out today, and it includes a couple of enhancements for server virtualization.

Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2.2 guest OSes will support up to 256 GB of RAM and 16 virtual CPUs. (The previous limit was 64 GB of RAM and 16 virtual CPUs.) The platform will also be able to import and export VMs in the Open Virtualization Format (OVF), which VMware and Oracle VirtualBox already support.

But perhaps the most important enhancement is a new V2V converter that will let you migrate VMs from VMware and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) Xen to OVF, so you can run those VMs in Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization 2.2.

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June 21, 2010  6:50 PM

That’s stall, folks: When bureaucracy impedes virtualization

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

My recent article on ISV stall struck a chord with some readers — mostly because they’d never heard the term “ISV stall” before.

Basically, ISV stall is a roadblock to virtualization that occurs when software vendors won’t support their applications on virtual servers. It’s part of a larger problem that CA’s Andi Mann recently termed “VM stall” — when a virtualization roll-out hits a wall after the initial consolidation phase.

This afternoon I spoke with David Lynch, vice president of marketing for Embotics, about VM stall. He said the problem affects most of Embotics’ customers, and it’s a tough one to solve because technology alone won’t cut it.

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June 17, 2010  8:24 PM

Is Red Hat’s virtualization strategy backfiring?

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

VMware and Novell made big news last week with their announcement that VMware will distribute SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) and push all its virtual appliances onto that OS.

One of the big questions around the announcement: Why Novell? As News Director Alex Barrett wrote in her story, “Red Hat still leads Novell in terms of Linux market share by a wide margin, leading some to wonder why VMware didn’t partner with that company instead.”

VMware isn’t the only virtualization vendor to spurn Red Hat lately. In fact, this latest news makes you wonder if Red Hat’s virtualization strategy is backfiring.

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June 10, 2010  5:27 PM

Vizioncore, Veeam get vicious

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

When it comes to virtualization feuds, VMware vs. Microsoft grabs all the headlines. But that doesn’t mean it’s the only game in town.

Two leading third-party management vendors — Veeam and Vizioncore — are now going at it as well. Vizioncore kicked off the fracas last week with an attack on Veeam, saying its “poorly designed architecture for data backup will undermine a virtual environment.”  In a 1,900-word blog post, Vizioncore took Veeam Backup and Replication 4.1.1 to task for several of its technical features (or lack thereof). The post also included some more, um, provocative statements.

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June 10, 2010  5:14 PM

Best of VMworld Awards: Now accepting nominations!

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

VMworld 2010 will be here before you know it, and so will one of our biggest events of the year: the Best of VMworld Awards.

For those of you who don’t know, sponsors the Best of VMworld Awards, which recognize the many outstanding products on display at the show. This year our panel of expert judges will be giving away awards in nine categories.

Seven of this year’s Best of VMworld Awards categories will be the same as last year’s: business continuity and disaster recovery, security, management, hardware, desktop virtualization, new technology and best of show. We’ve also split the cloud computing category from last year into two categories for 2010: private cloud technologies and public/hybrid cloud technologies. (As you may have heard, there’s going to be a lot of talk about cloud at VMworld this year.)

We’re now accepting nominations for the 2010 Best of VMworld Awards. Visit our nomination form to check out the full details and to submit a product. And if you have any questions, feel free to email us at But to answer your first question, the deadline is Aug. 6!

June 10, 2010  1:15 PM

Microsoft patch prevents vSphere Client logins

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

Several VMware users reported yesterday that Microsoft’s latest .NET patch was locking them out of the vSphere Client.

Users on the VMware Communities forum and other message boards said the patch prevented them from logging into the vSphere Client — both on Windows 7 and XP. (The patch addresses a vulnerability that leaves signed XML data open to tampering.)

Some users overcame this problem by uninstalling the patch (identified as KB980773, part of update KB982168), which obviously isn’t ideal. But the better solution is to install the latest version of vSphere Client 4.0 Update 1.

Did you run into this problem yesterday? Did that solution work for you? Let us know in the comments below.

June 7, 2010  1:46 PM

Top 4 virtualization security gotchas

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

Not surprisingly, cloud computing was the big theme at last week’s VMware Virtualization Forum in Boston.

For the most part, VMware and the other vendors there focused on the nuts and bolts of the cloud; Bogomil Balkansky, vice president of product marketing, admitted, “We have really outdone ourselves in terms of the hype and marketing.”

(But occasionally they did revert to the kind of sales pitches and hyperbole that have led to so much cloud skepticism in the first place; Balkansky later compared cloud computing to the Industrial Revolution.)

One session I attended, in particular, offered some great real-world advice about a serious issue: security for virtual infrastructures and private clouds.

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