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.”

Live Migration Feature for Microsoft’s Hyper-V Two Years Out!

In news that can only make VMware grin broadly, Microsoft admitted that the upcoming “live migration” feature (which VMware’s ESX Server Converter already does) will NOT be available until 2010!

Microsoft postpones live VM migration for Hyper-V two more years

“At a virtualization product launch today, Microsoft give a long-delayed demo of Hyper-V live migration, but then went on to slate the feature’s eventual release for the next edition of Windows Server. In showing the upcoming capability to a crowd of customers in Bellevue, WA, Bob Muglia, senior VP of Microsoft’s server and tools business, suggested that in the Windows Server product which follows Windows Server 2008, users will be able to instantly migrate virtualized software deployments from one server to the next, for consolidation on the fly. But the live migration demo may actually come as bad news to some data center admins, who have been looking forward to Microsoft adopting some form of live migration since 2006. Microsoft’s first delay of this feature was announced 16 months ago, after the company had promised it for ‘Longhorn,’ which became Windows Server 2008. The feature was cut, said product managers at the time, in order that Hyper-V could meet its launch window; but then that window was later scooted to 90 days after Windows Server 2008’s own launch.”

Red Hat Invests Further in Virtualization

So, Red Hat wants to compete with VMware (ESXserver), Citrix (XenServer), and Microsoft (Hyper-V).

Red Hat buys virtualization specialist Qumranet

“The Linux vendor will now add KVM to its existing hypervisor-based approach to virtualization, an advantage the company envisions as providing as complete a portfolio as VMware, Microsoft, and Xen. In a move that gives Red Hat new ways of managing Windows and Linux desktops, the Linux vendor on Thursday acquired virtualization player Qumranet. With the buyout, Red Hat obtains Qumranet’s KVM (Kernel Virtual Machine) platform along with SolidICE, designed to enable a user’s Windows or Linux desktop to operate in a virtual machine hosted on a central server, officials said during a press conference. Now joining Red Hat are the Santa Clara, California-based start-up’s team of engineers, including the leaders of the Qumranet-sponsored open source KVM Project. That team was founded in 2006 to do development work around a new, Linux-based mechanism for splitting a single physical computer into multiple VMs. KVM got started with a patch to Linux designed to let higher-level software take advantage of hardware virtualization features built into the latest Intel and AMD processors. Competing technologies to KVM use low-level software-based hypervisors, not built into the Linux kernel. Red Hat’s operating system, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, already includes an embedded hypervisor. ‘Red Hat will be one of only two companies in the world with a comprehensive virtualization portfolio,’ contended Paul Cormier, Red Hat’s VP of tools and technologies, speaking during the press conference.”

Licensing Bug Hits VMware Users Hard!

Ouch! It seems that a licensing bug that causes a cluster to lose its VMware ESX license after August 12th hit VMware customers… VMware has released a patch.

Licensing bug brings down VMware ESX data clusters

“Could everyone’s VMware licenses really have expired on August 12? That’s the question hundreds of major data centers found themselves asking, right after midnight when they realized they weren’t rebooting or resuming. In what appears to be a fault with its license validation, virtualized data clusters worldwide running on VMware’s ESX hypervisor found themselves unable to boot yesterday. Admins received messages saying their licenses had expired, whether or not they actually had. ‘http://msg.License.product.expired This product has expired,’ reads a cut-and-paste from a message posted to VMware’s support forum. ‘Be sure that your host machine’s date and time are set correctly.’ The problem appears limited to the VMware ESX 3.5 and ESXi 3.5 Update 2 hypervisors, and that includes clusters where VMotion is installed. VMotion is a dynamic tool that performs automatic maintenance on virtual servers — which should presumably include license updates — and which moves the physical location of virtual servers to better performing systems when necessary. Not only could virtual machines not be restarted after midnight on August 12, but once suspended, they couldn’t be resumed. And though VMotion was relied upon to provide the solution in some cases, it didn’t. Late yesterday, the company released express patches for both hypervisors. And no less than VMware’s President, Paul Maritz, publicly acknowledged the bug in a blog post last night.”

Ouch! Greene is Leaving VMware…

VMware has ousted founder and CEO Diane Greene. Man. THAT must hurt! To be bounced from the company that you created! That is why I like being a sole proprietorship! Dr. Bill Bailey.NET is me, and I am Dr. Bill Bailey.NET… ain’t nobody bouncing me out! Not that anyone is interested in doing so!

VMware Ousts Chief Diane Greene, Cuts Sales Forecast

“July 8 (Bloomberg) — VMware Inc. ousted founder and Chief Executive Officer Diane Greene and said 2008 sales will trail its projections, sending the stock to the biggest drop in six months. VMware, the largest maker of software that lets computers run different operating systems, fell as much as 31 percent in New York trading. Sales will be ‘modestly below’ the previous goal of a 50 percent increase, VMware said today in a statement. Greene, 53, may have disagreed with officials at parent EMC Corp. over how much independence to give VMware, according to Stifel Nicolaus & Co. analyst Todd Weller in Baltimore. EMC sold a stake in the company last year, in the biggest initial public offering for a technology company since Google’s in 2004. ‘There were tensions between VMware and EMC,’ said Weller, who has a hold rating on the shares. ‘For VMware’s technology and products to thrive, they need strong partnerships with EMC’s competitors.’ VMware, based in Palo Alto, California, dropped $14.40, or 27 percent, to $38.79 at 2:18 p.m. in New York Stock Exchange composite trading. The decline was the largest since January. EMC fell $1.56, or 10 percent, to $13.58.”

VMware Invests in a System Management Company

VMware goes up against Microsoft! Cool!

VMware invests in an SMT provider in its battle against Microsoft

“Public perception is half the battle, especially when the prize is a virtual one. Yesterday, VMware placed a big bet that it could be perceived as a full-service provider like Microsoft, by acquiring a systems management tool company called B-hive. Last year, Microsoft officials admitted they didn’t hold any expectations for their company to suddenly become perceived as the world leader in virtualization, even if they end up outshipping VMware or Citrix XenSource quantitatively by virtue of the availability of Hyper-V for Windows Server 2008. But it did intend to leverage its existing position not only as an operating system provider but as an indisputable competitor in systems management tools, as a way to offer customers at least a complete package. This may have sent a clarion call to VMware that, if it wants to maintain its stronghold on the specialty of virtualization, it may need to expand its reach somewhat into the areas where Microsoft has leverage. Yesterday, VMware did that in an almost Microsoft-like fashion: by acquiring B-hive, the producer of an IT infrastructure performance monitoring tool called Conductor that’s geared toward virtualized server environments. B-hive Conductor is an intriguing product whose claim to fame is its capability to dynamically map all the components in an IT infrastructure — both real and virtual — by monitoring database transactions triggered by service-oriented applications, and following how servers respond. It literally appears to “ride piggy-back” along with transactions, and in so doing, making sure the way they’re distributed and processed is in compliance with binding service-level agreements (SLAs).”

Veeam Introduces Backup and Replication in One at VMworld Europe 2008

It looks like a great product. I use Veeam FastSCP (free, excellent utility for VMware.) Veeam FastSCP was a Geek Software of the Week, check out this link:

Veeam FastSCP

Here’s the video introduction of Veeam’s new Backup Product (with a neat magic trick!)

It is a virtual machine (guest system) backup both at the image level and at the file level within the guest system. It also integrates with VCP. Very nice!

“A groundbreaking disaster recovery solution for VMware Infrastructure 3 that combines backup and replication in one product.

Veeam Backup is the first solution that combines backup and replication in a single product for fast recovery of your VMware ESX Servers. Backup is easy – recovery can be hard. But with Veeam Backup, fast recovery is easier than you ever thought possible.

Features and Benefits

Backup and Replication in one – Now, with Veeam Backup, organizations can benefit from a unified solution for both backup and replication to protect mission-critical virtual machines from both hardware and software failure.

Fast file-level recovery – Veeam Backup’s fast file-level recovery feature allows ESX administrators to restore individual files in minutes without extracting the full VM image to a local drive. An administrator can extract individual files to the latest state or to a specific point in time.

Data de-duplication – Veeam Backup allows you to minimize storage costs for virtual machine backups. Veeam’s data de-duplication and compression are especially valuable when backing up multiple virtual machines created from a single template or VMs with gigs of free space on their logical drives.

Replication rollback – A replica produced with Veeam Backup can be restored to a particular point in time. This protects your infrastructure against both hardware and software corruptions.

Integration with VCB – Veeam Backup is the only backup solution that enables you to run incremental backup and replication jobs through VMware Consolidated Backup (VCB). Using its proprietary “VCB on-the-fly” technology, Veeam Backup doesn’t require extra space on the VCB proxy for VM images, allowing for faster backups. Veeam Backup operates either with or without VCB, letting the user choose whether to use VCB or not for either standard backup or replication backup.

Integration with Veeam FastSCP – To date, Veeam’s FastSCP freeware has been downloaded more than 28,000 times, and Veeam Backup shares a common interface with FastSCP, allowing users to manage backup, replication and file copying from a single screen.”

Veeam Backup

VMware Announces Virtualization Product for the Mac!

Virtualization for the Mac from VMware? Yep! Now there is a VMware alternative to Parallels!

VMware Announces Mac Product Availability

“Attempting to move in on Parallels’ turf, VMware on Tuesday announced the pre-order for a previously announced product that allows users to run any x86 operating system simultaneously. A preorder special would give consumers the opportunity to purchase VMware Fusion for $39.99, some $40 cheaper than its rival. When the general availability of Fusion arrives in August, the price will be pegged at $79.99. Beta versions of the client have been downloaded over 200,000 times, the company said. The product marks the first time VMware has produced virtualization software for the Mac platform. Since Apple’s switch to Intel, and now its support for running Windows, many have begun to consider Macs as suitable platforms for virtualization applications. Also helping this along is a generally more acceptive environment for virtualization outside the enterprise.”

HowTo: Convert your Physical Windows Box to be Virtual on Linux!

Want to leave Windows, but still have a few programs you have to run on Windoze? Here’s exactly how to do it, and for FREE!!! This HowTo gives you all the steps, complete with pictures, on each step using free VMware tools.

Convert Physical Windows Systems Into Virtual Machines To Be Run On A Linux Desktop

“This article shows how you can convert a physical Windows system (XP, 2003, 2000, NT4 SP4+) into a VMware virtual machine with the free VMware Converter Starter. The resulting virtual machine can be run in the free VMware Player and VMware Server, and also in VMware Workstation and other VMware products. Vmware Converter comes in handy if you want to switch to a Linux desktop, but feel the need to run your old Windows desktop from time to time. By converting your Windows desktop into a virtual machine, you can run it under VMware Server/Player, etc. on your Linux desktop.”

How to Install and use Virtualbox on Ubuntu

Last week’s Geek Software of the Week, Virtualbox, can be installed and configured easily on Ubuntu with this tutorial:

Create and Manage Virtual Machines Using VirtualBox

“VirtualBox is a general-purpose full virtualizer for x86 hardware. Targeted at server, desktop and embedded use, it is now the only professional-quality virtualization solution that is also Open Source Software.”

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