Will Microsoft Virtualization Spur Cloud Computing?

Will the fact that Microsoft is so huge, so powerful, and now getting into virtualization push cloud computing forward?

Will Microsoft’s virtualization spur a lot more cloud computing?

“At this week’s Interop show in New York, speakers argued that Microsoft’s recent moves could give cloud computing a substantial lift. But they also cited needs for Microsoft to streamline its virtualization products and pricing. Microsoft’s recent entrance into data center virtualization could bring big benefits to the cloud computing industry as a whole, especially if Microsoft starts to offer a simple enough product line-up and pricing model, said observers at this week’s Interop show. ‘The biggest [part of] the cloud right now is open source,’ acknowledged Michael Crandell, CEO and founder of RightScale, during a panel session. Yet by and large, panelists seemed to agree that Microsoft’s large installed Windows base could ultimately help to drive much greater industry demand for data sharing between virtualized in-house data centers and outside hosts, including third-party partners. Crandell said he wouldn’t be entirely surprised if at least one open source cloud computing maven in the ‘household name’ category eventually provides Windows-based storage as an alternative for customers.”

“The Oops, I Hit the Wrong Button… AGAIN Episode” of Dr. Bill Podcast #154

Dr. Bill Podcast – 154 – (09/20/08)
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Geek Culture: The Twitter Song, Geek Software of the Week: Synergy, a virtual Open Source KVM, and tech news about cloud computing, a new VLC Player, and more!

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Geek Software of the Week: Synergy!

So, you need a KVM (Keyboard-Video-Mouse) but you don’t want to spend any money… is that your problem, bubbie? Well, the Doctor is here with a prescription for you! I just LOVE Open Source! A FREE, Open Source project called, “Synergy” allows you to connect Windows and Linux systems over the network (TCP/IP) and share a keyboard, Video and mouse to “de-clutter” that messy desk of yours! How cool is that?

Synergy Web Site

“Synergy lets you easily share a single mouse and keyboard between multiple computers with different operating systems, each with its own display, without special hardware. It’s intended for users with multiple computers on their desk since each system uses its own monitor(s). Redirecting the mouse and keyboard is as simple as moving the mouse off the edge of your screen. Synergy also merges the clipboards of all the systems into one, allowing cut-and-paste between systems. Furthermore, it synchronizes screen savers so they all start and stop together and, if screen locking is enabled, only one screen requires a password to unlock them all. With synergy, all the computers on your desktop form a single virtual screen. You use the mouse and keyboard of only one of the computers while you use all of the monitors on all of the computers. You tell synergy how many screens you have and their positions relative to one another. Synergy then detects when the mouse moves off the edge of a screen and jumps it instantly to the neighboring screen. The keyboard works normally on each screen; input goes to whichever screen has the cursor. You can arrange screens side-by-side, above and below one another, or any combination. You can even have a screen jump to the opposite edge of itself. Synergy also understands multiple screens attached to the same computer. Running a game and don’t want synergy to jump screens? No problem. Just toggle Scroll Lock. Synergy keeps the cursor on the same screen when Scroll Lock is on. (This can be configured to another hot key.) Do you wish you could cut and paste between computers? Now you can! Just copy text, HTML, or an image as you normally would on one screen then switch to another screen and paste it. It’s as if all your computers shared a single clipboard (and separate primary selection for you X11 users). It even converts newlines to each computer’s native form so cut and paste between different operating systems works seamlessly. And it does it all in Unicode so any text can be copied. Do you use a screen saver? With synergy all your screen savers act in concert. When one starts they all start. When one stops they all stop. And, if you require a password to unlock the screen, you’ll only have to enter a password on one screen. If you regularly use multiple computers on one desk, give synergy a try. You’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.”

WMware and Citrix Trump Microsoft in “Cloud Computing”

Microsoft likes to talk about it’s commitment to “cloud computing,” but VMware and Citrix are way ahead of the game, according to an article in Betanews.

VMware, Citrix rain on Microsoft virtualization with cloud initiatives

“Microsoft may be ‘talking the talk’ of cloud computing, but VMware and Citrix are already ‘walking the walk,’ with new strategies and products launched today at the VMworld conference in Las Vegas. VMWare and Citrix handily trumped Microsoft’s recent virtualization announcements today by unveiling detailed and comprehensive ‘cloud’ strategies and product families for creating virtualized data centers in both enterprise locations and outside hosting sites. To support its vision for the Virtual DataCenter, VMware announced a new ‘OS for the data center’ called the Virtual Data Center OS (VDC-OS). It’s seen by the company as delivering three types of services: Infrastructure vServices, for aggregating servers, storage, and networks; Application vServers, for guaranteeing the right levels of availability, security, and scalabiliity to applications; and Cloud vServices; for federating computing capacity between on-premise and off-premise clouds. The virtualization vendor also rolled out management capabilities for the new OS, such as vCenter ConfgControl and vCenter Capacity IQ, along with specific slates of infrastructure and application servers. The Infrastucture vServices will include vStorage, with thin provisioning and linked clones, and a vNetwork Distributed Switch. The Application vServices will include fault tolerance and data recovery services for high availability computing, plus vApp and vStudio software for deploying and managing applications. Also at VMworld, Citrix announced C3 Solution, a new data center virtualization product family encompassing the XenServer Cloud Edition infrastructure platform; Citrix NetScaler service delivery platform; Citrix Workflow Studio, for orchestration and workflow; and Citrix WANScaler, for bridging together hosted and enterprise-based services. Citrix also released a tech preview of Citrix Workflow Studio. All of the other products in Citrix’s new data center virtualization family are now available, according to a company statement. During Microsoft’s Hyper-V Server product launch last week, Microsoft COO Kevin Turner articulated a new strategy for supporting data center clouds running in a choice — and often a mix — of three environments: the customer premise, servers hosted by Microsoft partners, and servers hosted by Microsoft itself. Yet although three new virtualization products — Microsoft Application Virtualization 4.5; a standalone edition of Microsoft Hyper-V Server; and the final release of System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2008 that supports Hyper-V — are now slated to ship within the next month — Microsoft has delayed the expected rollout of live migration for Hyper-V for another two years.”

A Great, New Version of the VLC Player is Out!

Check it out! The VLC Player is my favorite audio/video player already, but the new version rocks even more!

VLC Audio/Video Player Web Site

Also, check out the new features in this version: New Features

“The 0.9 version of VLC media player adds a new interface module for Linux, Unix and Windows, a media library and an improved playlist, many new inputs and codecs support and many new audio and video filters. For video playback, new protocols, new codecs, new demuxers and many bug-fixes have been added to support more formats. For audio playback, cover art and metadata support (and editing) have been vastly enhanced. It can play audio when the playback speed is changed. For the developers, libVLC has been simplified and improved, many bindings for many languages were added and there is a new Mac OS X Framework. Scripts written in lua can expand VLC media player’s capabilities (read Youtube, Dailymotion URLs, fetch meta-data…)”

“The I-Never-Could-Get-the-Hang-of-Thursdays Edition” of Dr. Bill Podcast #153

Dr. Bill Podcast – 153 – (09/13/08)
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Geek Culture from the Bangles and the Broad Band… Geek Software of the Week: Password Corral, info on the Large Hadron Collider… don’t cross the streams! And, the week’s other Tech News!

LHC Scientist Caught in Epic Fail! Universe Doomed!

Oh no! He confused Star Trek with Star Wars! Geeks of the world are in an outrage! Oh my!

LHC Scientist Confuses Star Wars with Star Trek, Universe Doomed

“NEW HAVEN, CONNECTICUT. (Agencies) The scientific world is shocked today as Michael Zeller—a professor of physics at Yale who has been working at the Large Hadron Collider—reportedly misquoted the Star Trek tagline “Where no man has gone before” and, further shattering the Universe time-space fabric, attributed it to Star Wars: ‘What did they say in ‘Star Wars’? We’re going where no man has ever been? Well, that’s where we’re going,’ Zeller said in declarations to the Yale Daily News about the LHC first beam test last Wednesday. Professor Zeller helped create the zero degree calorimeter used in Atlas, one of the main experiments at CERN’s multi-billion dollar Large Hadron Collider.”

Apple’s New iTunes 8.0 is Causing Vista BSOD’s

The dreaded “Blue Screen of Death!” (Wasn’t Vista never supposed to get those?) Well, it does… and iTunes 8.0 is causing it!

Latest iTunes 8 update causes Vista user headaches

“Some Windows users are getting the infamous “blue screen of death” after installing the iTunes 8 update, which some say tracks back to extra software that is being installed along with the software. Users posting on Apple’s support forums began reporting the issues almost immediately after the software’s release. “Whenever I plug in my ipod nano, I get a blue screen death,” the initial poster reported. “Before itunes 8 I never seen a blue screen with vista since it came out.” [sic] The 300-odd replies that followed reported similar troubles. The problem seemed to be triggered by any Apple iPod device being attached, and in some cases users had to restore in order to regain access to their machines. A downgrade back to iTunes 7.7 seems to be a remedy, although in order to avoid errors, users must apparently uninstall all Apple software. This could result in some data loss. The problem appears to be centered around an update to a driver known as “GEARAspiWDM.sys.” Its use in Windows is to help third-party applications write to CD and DVD drives, but it also has a history of causing trouble in the form of system crashes. Another driver being identified in crash reports is an updated USB controller driver, which appears to be in use when the iPod device is connected. Since the crash happens as the iPod is recognized via USB, this is a likely cause.”

A New Apple iTunes Update: Version 8.0

A new version of iTunes is out… and Apple is really pushing it! You may want to update to stay current!

Apple iTunes 8.0: A closer look at ‘Genius’

“While Apple is pushing a major update to its client software filled with several new features, easily the biggest new one appears to be its music recommendation engine, called Genius. This afternoon, the Cupertino company is billing its new Genius feature, premiering with iTunes 8.0 software, as a way to ‘create a playlist from songs in your library that go great together.’ Obviously, many times when companies make such claims, the reality may not match the hype. So BetaNews set out to look into the feature, find out how exactly it works, and determine whether its recommendations are genuinely qualified. According to Apple, the work begins when Genius starts scanning your library of music. As the help file for the feature reads, ‘To create Genius playlists, iTunes uses anonymous information about your library and other iTunes libraries.’ A user must go through several hoops to activate the feature — apparently a pretty solid attempt by Apple to ensure the user realizes that some data from their machines will indeed be shared with the company. Once the user accepts, iTunes gathers data from the songs in the user’s library, and then sends it to Apple. It is apparently processed there and sent back, after which, iTunes activates the Genius feature.”

So, if you want to recommend your tastes to others, here’s your chance!

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