The Virtualization Room

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 Provazza Alyssa Provazza Profile: Alyssa Provazza

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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February 2, 2011  7:57 PM

VMware names co-presidents, Maritz still CEO

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

Paul Maritz is no longer VMware’s president.

The company has named four other executives as co-presidents: Carl Eschenbach, Richard McAniff, Tod Nielsen and Mark Peek. They will all report to Maritz, who remains CEO.

VMware has not issued a press release about the news, but the company disclosed the reorganization in a Jan. 27 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Maritz became president and CEO in 2008 after the firing of VMware co-founder Diane Greene. Since then he has led VMware’s push to move beyond virtualization and become a major software and infrastructure player, along the lines of Microsoft and Oracle.

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February 1, 2011  2:20 PM

Contest: How much do you love virtualization?

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

Today’s the first day of February, and that means Valentine’s Day is right around the corner.

Valentine’s Day is a time to express your love for the things that matter most in your life. And really, what matters more than server virtualization? If you answered “nothing,” our next contest is for you.

Write a love poem about virtualization, send it in, and you could win a virtualization-related book. We’ll also publish the best entries to share your love of virtualization with the world.

Email me your poems by Friday, Feb. 11. If you work for a vendor, please avoid promoting your own products in the poem. Other than that, be as creative as possible!

January 25, 2011  8:44 PM

Why tech workers can’t get no satisfaction

Alyssa Provazza Alyssa Provazza Profile: Alyssa Provazza

For the second straight year, technology professionals are feeling the effects of nearly flat wages. According to the 2011-2010 Annual Salary Survey from Dice, the average tech worker’s salary increased by less than 1% in 2010.

The survey reveals a core set of skills employers look for: Oracle experience, J2EE/Java proficiency, project management, C language and SQL skills. But it’s not necessarily the core stuff that will help IT pros earn more competitive wages, said Tom Silver, a senior vice president with Dice.

There’s an increasing demand for virtualization and mobile experience. In fact, virtualization salaries are above average — about $81,600, compared with $79,384 for positions overall. Despite this, virtualization salaries have been trending down in the past few years, likely because more workers have gained virtualization expertise, making it easier for employers to hire those with expertise.

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