The Virtualization Room

March 3, 2010  10:07 PM

Win vSphere training videos!

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

St. Patrick’s Day is coming up, and to celebrate, I thought I’d take this opportunity to encourage all of our readers to dye their servers green.

No dice? How about this instead: Write a virtualization-themed limerick, and you could win a vSphere training video.

We have a copy of TrainSignal’s latest video, “VMware vSphere Pro Series Vol. 1,” and a copy of “VMware vSphere Training” as well. If you want one of them, follow these rules:

  • Write an original limerick about virtualization. If you don’t know what a limerick is, click here.
  • Make sure it’s clean, because we’re going to publish them.
  • Email it to me at, along with your full name and mailing address (in case you win), by Friday, March 12.

On St. Patrick’s Day we’ll publish the best limericks and choose two winners at random.

“VMware vSphere Pro Series Vol. 1” features 18 lessons from VMware vExperts David Davis, Rick Scherer and Hal Rottenberg. Topics covered include VMware View, the Cisco Nexus 1000V and PowerCLI. “VMware vSphere Training” offers 19 videos on all aspects of vSphere.

February 16, 2010  3:30 PM

VMware vs. Microsoft on support costs

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

When you’re trying to figure out if virtualization is right for your business, or which platform to choose, it’s crucial to understand virtualization costs.

There are the obvious costs, which include software, hardware and labor. Then there’s the hidden costs: network and storage hardware upgrades, security, management and training.

In its unending pursuit to discredit all things Microsoft, VMware has brought up another important cost to consider: support.

Continued »

February 16, 2010  2:26 PM

Oracle VM to support Solaris

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

Oracle is, as we say here in Boston, wicked fah behind in the virtualization market. Building a strong, integrated virtualization portfolio is the best way — and maybe the only way — for the company to catch up.

The Sun acquisition brought lots of hype about the future of Oracle-Sun virtualization. Now, after months of talk, we’re starting to see some actual work.

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February 12, 2010  7:12 PM

Novell KVM hypervisor in the works

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

Novell is jumping on the KVM bandwagon.

The company is developing a KVM hypervisor called AlacrityVM, as points out. The move follows in the footsteps of Red Hat, Novell’s open source rival, which moved from Xen to KVM with its latest release, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.4.

KVM is still a relatively unproven enterprise technology with a very small user base. Its biggest advantage over Xen, the leader in Linux virtualization, is that it is built into the Linux kernel. And that’s just not enough of a reason to switch for most people.

The proprietary virtualization platforms, VMware and Hyper-V, are far and away the market leaders. Behind them are the Xen platforms, led by Citrix XenServer but also including Oracle VM and others.

Red Hat and Novell are even further behind. They really have nothing to lose, so they both can afford to take a shot on KVM. If the technology catches on, they can ride the wave and prosper. If not, they won’t be much worse off.

For more on Linux virtualization trends, check out this Xen vs. KVM face-off between experts Andi Mann and Sander van Vugt.

February 5, 2010  7:37 PM

What’s Citrix’s stack attack?

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

The stack wars are coming! The stack wars are coming!

Our colleagues at have some in-depth analysis of the converged hardware/software trend that is sweeping IT. Oracle got into the fray with its Sun acquisition, and now the company’s hardware and software portfolio has the potential to really shake things up.

So what does it all mean for virtualization?

Continued »

February 1, 2010  4:09 PM

Oracle-Sun Q&A with Jack Kaiser

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

This Q&A was supposed to be part of our This Week in Virtualization podcast on Oracle’s Sun acquisition and future virtualization plans, but we ran into some technical difficulties and weren’t able to include it.

Our guest was Jack Kaiser, vice president of strategic technologies for GreenPages Technology Solutions, a virtualization solutions provider in Kittery, Maine. He’s also a member of our Server Virtualization Advisory Board.

Q: Do you see a lot of Oracle or Sun virtualization products currently in your customers’ environments?

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January 28, 2010  3:50 PM

Citrix profits skyrocket; is free XenServer strategy working?

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

Citrix profits increased by 47% in the fourth quarter of 2009, driving profits for the year up 7% compared to 2008.

Citrix attributed its record profits to an increased interest in desktop virtualization and the launch of XenDesktop 4. But its quarterly revenue grew by only 8% compared to Q4 in 2008, and revenue from product licenses and license renewals grew 4% and 6%, respectively.

The really big growth came from technical services and online services, which saw revenues increase by 18% and 20%, respectively.

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January 28, 2010  2:19 PM

Oracle vs. VMware feud simmering

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele

2009 was the year of Microsoft vs. VMware. Is 2010 shaping up to be the year of Oracle vs. VMware?

During yesterday’s five-hour Oracle-Sun press conference, Oracle’s chief corporate architect Edward Screven took aim at VMware: “VMware is integrated with nothing. It’s a point solution.”

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January 21, 2010  4:36 PM

IT manager calls on HP and Microsoft to collapse SIM, SCOM

Alex Barrett Alex Barrett Profile: Alex Barrett

Last week’s announcement by Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard that they had entered in to a $250 million partnership was light on specifics, but at least one IT manager has an opinion of how the two companies should focus their engineering efforts.

“My biggest thing is man, just get me off of two consoles,” said Matt Lavallee, director of technology at MLS Property Information Network, Inc. in Shrewsbury, Mass.

As it stands, Lavallee, who runs Microsoft Hyper-V on HP servers, relies on both HP Systems Insight Manager (SIM) for information about the physical servers themselves, and Microsoft Systems Center Operations Manager (SCOM) for OS- and application-level monitoring.

In his opinion, that’s one console too many. Take managing alerts. “We probably manage 600 alerts in Operations Manager, and another 50 or 60 in SIM. It’d be great to manage alerts in one place, especially since so many of them are related,” he said.

Not having a single pane of glass is especially annoying in a virtual environment, where “physical doesn’t really matter anymore, even though at some level it still does,” Lavallee said. “Wouldn’t it be great if you could look at both layers together?”

Of the two consoles, Lavallee prefers HP SIM because it is cross-platform and Web-based. At the same time, there are many more plug-ins from third-party application vendors for Operations Manager. Thus, Lavallee’s idea is for engineers to take “the pipeline of data from Ops Manager and send it through to [the SIM] pane of glass.”

Lavallee puts the SIM/SCOM integration “on the better side of probable,” hopefully sooner rather than later. “If we don’t start to see things in the next six months, people like me are going to start calling it vaporware.”

January 15, 2010  8:58 PM

Xen 4.0 Release Candidate available

Colin Steele Colin Steele Profile: Colin Steele posted the Xen 4.0 Release Candidate this week, and the new hypervisor code should be finalized by the end of next month.

Xen 4.0 will feature fault tolerance and the Open Virtual Switch, among other new features. Open source virtualization expert Sander van Vugt said the Open Virtual Switch “will take networking in Xen to the next level.”

“I’m convinced that this release is going to be huge,” he wrote in an email.

Continued »

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