When you walk up to the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas this week, it is obvious something big is happening, and it sure as hell isn’t me winning the jackpot on those God forsaken slot machines.
When VMware Inc. announced there would be 14,000 people attending VMworld 2008 this week, they weren’t blowing smoke. Last year’s show in San Francisco held about 10,000 attendees and that seemed like a lot. Apparently, that was just the beginning.
The volume of IT administrators who are here in Vegas this week makes me wonder in a slight panic, who is manning all of the servers?
It reminds me of an episode of the cartoon American Dad, where the main character, a CIA agent named Stan Smith, storms into a Sci-Fi convention looking for someone and sees a place swarming with stereotypical techie types. “Good God, who is manning the Internet?,” he gasped.
Joking aside, the not-subtle point I am trying to make is that the huge turnout at VMworld 2008 signals how popular virtualization is today, reminiscent of the earlier days of Linux when LinuxWorld was a huge show.
Though the LinuxWorld organizers claimed there were 10,000 people at the show in San Francisco last month, it didn’t seem that way. “When Linux was an emerging technology that people were excited about, those LinuxWorld shows were like [VMworld] is today,” said AMD’s commercial products director Margaret Lewis. “But now Linux is mainstream, so the excitement is gone.”
She said AMD didn’t set up a booth at the LinuxWorld show floor this year because turnout the previous year was low. And by the way, AMD has a monster booth set up at VMworld this year.
Which means that when virtualization becomes mainstream, VMworld will no longer be “the place to be.” Maybe VMware 2015 will be held at a small conference center in a small state, like Rhode Island (which is great, by the way).
But for now, VMworld Las Vegas is it.
At VMworld 2008, VKernel announced that it will partner with Microsoft to offer several management tools for Windows Server 2008 and Hyper-V. VKernel will modify its line of management tools to better handle Microsoft-based environments.
Although VKernel already supports the majority of VMware platforms, this will be the first foray into tools that are supported for Microsoft Hyper-V. “We see this as an opportunity for VKernel to differentiate ourselves and enable our customers to best manage their environments and assure optimal performance regardless of whether they are using Microsoft or VMware,” VKernel CEO Alex Balkman said in a press release.
Initially only some of the tools that make-up VKernel’s Performance Lifecycle Management bundle will be available for use with Hyper-V. They include Chargeback, a cost analysis tool; Capacity Analyzer which monitors resources; and Modeler which tests new additions to an environment and, prior to launch, analyzes the impact they might have on the environment.
For more information on VKernel’s new initiative with Microsoft, check out the company website at www.vkernel.com.
On Tuesday, Sept. 16, Irvine, Calif.- based Integrien Corp. previewed the newest incarnation of its systems management software, Alive, at VMworld 2008. This new release is notable because it contains VMware-specific capabilities for the first time in Alive.
The newest version of Alive can monitor the behavior of VMware ESX servers, clusters and virtual machines (VMs) while providing a picture of the overall health of a VMware infrastructure. It will also contain more in-depth analysis including an overall environment “health” score regardless of whether the infrastructure comprises heterogeneous tools or VMware-only tools. In addition Alive sends an alert to the administrator prior to a problem’s manifestation, along with the root cause, because of its ability to learn the behavior of an environment.
For more information on Alive and its new VMware-specific capabilities check out the company’s website at www.integrien.com.
The collaboration will consist primarily of the integration of two products. Wyse TCX Multimedia, which works with remote desktop protocols (RDPs) and independent computing architecture (ICA) protocols that connect virtual machines (VMs) on the server to the client, provides PC-quality multimedia while organizing and balancing workloads on the client. Desktone dtFlash, the second product, acts as the interface between the Flash player and Wyse TCX to facilitate the use of multimedia applications on the client.
This post was written by SearchEnterpriseLinux.com assistant editor Caroline Hunter
At VMworld 2008, virtualization security leader Reflex Security Inc. will release Virtualization Management Center (VMC), a product that makes virtual machine (VM) activity visible to security administrators. By providing security administrators with essential VM activity data, VMC improves visibility, management and granular control of next-generation virtual data centers.
The product features a number of monitoring, reporting and regulatory functions, including the following:
- Applications and services discovery, which protects the virtual environment by inspecting traffic content and seeking out applications and protocols over a virtual network.
- Revision control and configuration monitoring, which enables administrators to monitor and analyze virtual infrastructure changes in real time and historically by tracking network revisions that generate network diagrams.
- Virtual machine lifecycle management, which monitors the health of VMs from creation to decommissioning by tracking users, configurations, applications and performance in the context of security.
- Virtual infrastructure discovery and mapping, whereby VMC utilizes extensive real-time and historical visual reporting through timeline-based, graphical topology maps.
- Network and application performance monitoring, which improves service levels for critical applications and quickly troubleshoots issues by analyzing virtual network performance and discovering virtual network bottlenecks.
- Virtual network security (FW/IDS/IPS), which helps reduce the risk of virtual machine intrusion, infection and compliance violations by detecting and preventing attacks on a virtual infrastructure and enforcing IT policies.
- Virtualization policy management, which defines and enforces IT policies throughout heterogeneous virtual environments.
As virtualization becomes more prevalent and virtual machine security risks increase, Virtual Management Center addresses the growing anxiety among data center admins and managers concerning virtual environments by providing the necessary information, analyzing risks and managing complexity.
Perfman 7.2, the newest version of Perfman’s cross-platform capacity planning and performance management software, was announced at VMworld this morning in Las Vegas.
Among the notable new features in Perfman 7.2, the VMware Sprawl Reporting tool and virtualization planning tool stand out. The VMware Sprawl Reporting tool gives users a detailed report of the growth of virtual machines (VMs) across the entire environment. In addition, it shows the rate of VM growth per each ESX Server, while also listing VMs that were once active but have become inactive.
The virtualization planning tool allows administrators to evaluate which physical servers and applications would be good candidates for virtualization while producing a model of the expected performance of the new virtual environment. In addition, the virtualization planning tool will produce hypothetical scenarios to predict the performance of the system with new workloads or how existing workloads would respond on new hardware.
For more information on Perfman7.2 visit the company’s website at www.perfman.com.
Thinking about virtualizing desktops? So are a lot of other folks, but doing so is fraught with tough decisions.
“A lot of customers are looking at virtual desktops, but they’re finding it’s not a scalable solution,” said Pete Rawlinson, vice president of marketing at AppSense, a longtime player in the Citrix Presentation Server market. On the one hand, “you reduce the price of the endpoint device,” he said. On the other, “you increase your storage and management costs.”
At VMworld, AppSense will release AppSense Environment Manager 8.0, which hopes to bridge that gap. The idea is to reduce the number and size of virtual desktops by decoupling an end user’s personalizations and storing them in a data base, then applying the personalizations at runtime to a standard virtual desktop template. That way, Rawlinson said, IT can minimize the amount of storage required by a virtual desktop while still giving end users the personalization they want.
Rawlinson noted that there are other ways to achieve this, notably login scripts and profiles, but each have their drawbacks. Login scripts can swell the time it takes to load an environment and are laborious to maintain; profiles too are subject to bloat. Environment Manager 8.0, he maintains, is the best of all words. “With us, a user’s personality is quicker to load, and you don’t have to maintain a login script.”
This post was written by Keith Kessinger, Editorial Assistant
Virtual Computer has announced its new PC virtualization platform, NxTop, geared for mobile workforces.
Essentially, NxTop will enable IT administrators to create a master image of a company’s OS and applications and distribute them to all NxTop-enabled PCs without a persistent Internet connection. Through the use of a Web console, IT administrators can install additional applications, patch various components and update specific policies without disrupting end users’ settings.
For more information on Virtual Computer and the new NxTop platform, check out the company’s website at www.virtualcomputer.com.
This post was written by SearchEnterpriseLinux.com assistant editor Caroline Hunter.
Splunk offers system monitoring products to help IT administrators keep tabs on their system data. At VMworld 2008, the company will add Splunk for VMware Management, a tool that monitors data produced by virtual machines, to its monitoring product offerings.
The product will provide relief for administrators who are eager to take advantage of the cost and space savings provided by virtual machines but are unsure whether they can collect and make use of the highly transient data created by those VMs. Splunk for VMware Management provides automated management of this data for improved debugging and troubleshooting and heightened availability.
Splunk provides a four-hour Web-based training session for administrators implementing the product. The company also offers on-site help in configuring the software according to each company’s needs.
But the company designs its products to make for “as little friction as possible,” said Splunk VP of Marketing Steve Sommer. “We don’t do a lot of hand-holding.”
Splunk’s customers typically adopt one of Splunk’s monitoring products for a particular purpose and then let Splunk know when they would like to deploy others as the company needs change.
Splunk has doubled its revenue in the past 10 months and recently hired Godfrey Sullivan as its CEO. With Sullivan’s help, Splunk hopes to mature into a major competitor in the monitoring software market.
At VMworld, Minneapolis, Minn.-based NetEx announced the release of its new Virtual HyperIP for VMware offering. The product is a software-based data transport optimizer and operates on VMware’s ESX Server and enhances the performance of storage replication applications from vendors such as Symantec, IBM and EMC.
Virtual HyperIP works to solve many common performance issues — such as bandwidth restrictions, network errors and packet loss — that arise when transferring data over wide-area network (WAN) connections. Much like its application-based predecessor HyperIP, Virtual HyperIP strives to eliminate these issues with a software-based design that accelerates traffic over IP-based networks.
For more information on NetEx’s Virtual HyperIP, you can check the NetEx website.