Join the Conversation on Virtualization
Mon, 31 Oct 2005
Rebooting is so passť!
Sun's John Clingan is all virtual:
What makes this test environment a bit different for me is that *none* of the OS instances nor hardware are under my control. They belong to someone else. They have yet to fully realize the impact of their decision, but I'll take it as far as I can before they resource control my derriere. :) So far, all is going extremely well. Virtualization is saving time, money and effort.
Which makes Sun's Eric Boutilier sigh:
Heh. So here I'm all proud of myself because I finally got my laptop triple-booting properly, only to find that now-a-days halting/rebooting one's laptop just to get a temporary XP instance is simply passť!
posted by jtroyer at: 15:23 | permanent link to this entry
Sun, 30 Oct 2005
One of the drivers of server consolidation is power and heat savings: your HVAC system always thanks you after going virtual. The always provocative Nicholas Carr talks about a coming crisis of electrical shock with increased power consumption multiplied by increased electric rates that will drive the "box huggers" to utility computing:
Corporate data centers are power hogs, and their gluttony gets worse every year. Earlier this week, TechTarget reported on a new survey by AFCOM, one of the leading IT professional societies, that showed the amount of electricity used by the average data center is increasing at an 8% annual clip, and for some centers the growth rate is as high as 20%.
It's easy to conflate virtual infrastructure, external utility computing, and general IT outsourcing. Each of these operates at different levels of your business process and has a different risk/reward profile, and so discussing them all in the same breath can be confusing.
The cost and service level benefits of virtualizating internal infrastructure have few of the risks associated with outsourced utility computing. However, internal virtualization is increasingly leading to similar utility models for chargebacks inside the enterprise. Moving from charging based on physical servers to charging based on utilization of a shared pool of resources can be challenging for many companies, since the fully loaded costs of the physical servers of the past were often unknown, even if they were all racked inside a machine room instead of spread out in closets across the building.
posted by jtroyer at: 14:23 | permanent link to this entry
Fri, 28 Oct 2005
Add VMware Player to Your Security Toolkit
Mark Joseph Edwards at Windows IT Pro talks about security applications for VMware Player:
If you've run a honeypot or a honeymonkey or had to test various software and tools, you probably know (or can imagine) how using a VM can be of great benefit. For example, you can build your honeypot on any supported OS and run it inside a VM. Then if the honeypot is compromised, it's not a problem--just shut down the VM and restart it again, and any changes made by an intruder are gone. The same goes for running a honeymonkey or testing spyware and other forms of malware. Plus, you can run Linux-based security tools on a Windows desktop by loading them into a Linux-based VM. With VMware Player, you can extend your use to other systems quickly and easily--and that's what makes VMware Player a great addition for your security toolkit. Check it out.
If you are interested in security, you should also check out Richard Bejtlich's TaoSecurity Blog. A few recent VMware mentions include:
posted by jtroyer at: 15:55 | permanent link to this entry
Virtualization : Why should a company pick VMWare?
Since I'm printing raves today, here's another one. The Dutch TarryBlog gives you a rundown of reasons to look at VMware, but the best part is this choice bit of dialog that will result when you present this to your clients:
posted by jtroyer at: 15:47 | permanent link to this entry
Why you should try VMWare's free virtual machine runtime
ZDNet's David Berlind likes the new free VMware Player
Virtual machine (VM) technology has been around for PCs for a long time. For me, it's been one of those technologies that I've heard about, wrote about, and even seen in demonstrations for almost as long as I can remember. But it wasn't until I recently started acquainting myself with VMWare's Workstation 5 (in the course of trying to simplify my testing of Windows Vista) that I've become so sold on VM technology that I can't imagine being without it. Now that VMWare has announced that it's virtual machine "player" can be freely distributed to any system, I'm even more convinced that this is a technology that no system should be without.
He likes it for safe browsing and computing, but he also sees the potential for distribution to business desktops:
In this context, virtual machines give new meaning to the word "image." Whereas before, you had separate images for your different Thinkpads, Dell notebooks, Sony notebooks, and whatever desktops, now, you have a single image and all you needed on all of those Intel-based system was a copy of VMWare Workstation. Prior to making it's player available for free, a full-blown copy of VMWare Workstation cost $180. But now, with it's player available for free, organizations are clear to create their standard clone(a.k.a. "image") with one copy of VMWare Workstation and deploy it to as many workstations as need be.
posted by jtroyer at: 15:43 | permanent link to this entry
Gunderloy: Developers, It's Time To Virtualize
Mike Gunderloy, well-known developer and author, gives out some good advice to developers:
By now, most developers know about virtualization software. The most prominent applications in this class are VMware and Microsoft Virtual PC, though there are some others. What surprises me, though, is how few developers (VB or otherwise) actually use virtualization software to make their lives easier. Setting up an effective virtualization strategy is one of the best ways to make better use of your limited resources, and to avoid wasting your own precious time on endless reformats and reinstalls.
On his own site, he also gives his first impression of ESX Server 3.0:
Taken together, these two features mean that you can pretty well stop considering your data center as a batch of servers and start considering it as a big pool of computing horsepower that you throw virtual machines at. When you run low on horsepower, plug in another machine, install ESX Server, hook it up to the SAN, tell Virtual Center it exists, and watch the load redistribute.
posted by jtroyer at: 15:26 | permanent link to this entry
Tue, 25 Oct 2005
Virtual Punditry Roundup
Many people are thinking about what happens next with virtualization. There will be a lot of "paradigm shifting" over the next few years. Here are a few recent virtual pundits:
From EDS's Next Big Thing Blog, Charlie Bess extrapolates: trends in hardware virtualization:
This replacement of atoms with bits has proven to be a cost effective approach of reducing capital spend. As we move into an age with utility computing capabilities and service oriented architectures, the whole concept of hardware related bits, as we know them, drifts into the background.
UK journalist Simon Bisson looks to a hypervisor-driven world:
It's easy to envision a world where the OS is layered and partitioned across a number of virtual machine spaces. In some there'll be hypervisor-managed JVMs, in some security monitors, in some there'll be task-specific OSes (perhaps a web server, perhaps a file store manager, perhaps a desktop OS), all communicating through shared memory using TCP/IP and XML.
For HP's Rich Marcello, it is going to be all about management:
With that said, there is a need to take existing solutions to the next level and have management software fully embrace virtualization. And it's not really enough to do this for servers only - we need to make it happen from both a server and storage perspective so that any change is fully coordinated across the datacenter. In fact, if we don't do this, it's pretty clear to me that we will never realize the full benefits of the technology.
And CIO Magazine's Fred Hapgood goes a bit over the top (Chief Virtualization Officer?), but for the most part stays grounded as he sees incredible resource and cost savings:
Everything that was once embodied in cards, disks and physical equipment of any kind, will be organized around a single point of control. If virtualization vendor promises materialize, changes that once were out of the question, or that at least would have required considerable man-hours and operational risk, will be done in minutes, routinely. [...] There will be huge opportunities for automation. Infrastructure may be able to reconfigure itself in response to changes in demand, spinning out new servers and routers as necessary, the way load balancing is done today.
Although I work for a "virtualization vendor," I can tell you that many of the promises Fred mentions have already materialized. At VMworld, I heard story after story of machine deployment times going from days to minutes. That's the problem with virtual punditry; you've got to move fast or the future catches up with you!
posted by jtroyer at: 17:17 | permanent link to this entry
Madden on Citrix, VMware, and IBM
You may have seen IBM's announcement last week about hosted desktop joint solutions with Citrix and VMware. Brian Madden gives us his short take:
IBM Servers [Blades or xSeries] + VMware Workstation + Citrix Application Delivery = Virtual "desktops" for users that are cheaper than regular desktops
And then dives down into a quite detailed discussion of the pros and cons of using virtual machines in your hosted desktop deployment. He discusses all of the following:
posted by jtroyer at: 14:59 | permanent link to this entry
VMware Player -- Where's the catch?
Christian asks "VMware Player — Where's the catch?":
posted by jtroyer at: 13:21 | permanent link to this entry
Mon, 24 Oct 2005
VMworld 2005 is over. Packed house, lots of great sessions, and lots of information transfer even in the hallways. Within two weeks, we'll have presentations and audio from the sessions on the VMTN Forums. In the meantime, if you weren't there, you can get a taste of what you missed from several VMworld bloggers:
VMwhirl2005 (Just start at the top and keep scrolling for notes on many of the sessions.)
Managing Data Center Resources using DRS
From Bowulf (again, just start at the top and read all the entries):
The chief scientist and founder of VMware really attacked where Virtualization was going. Having achieved being the same as running in a physical environment, VMware now is forward thinking to how to do it better. It really is apparent that they are trying to get out of "we just virtualize the hardware" mindset or what will become the commoditized virtual market with Xen rapidly maturing to a 1.0 product. VMware replete with cash and technical experience could indeed rethink the marketplace again . It was somewhat evident yesterday in the Storage course as they redefine or group rethink what exactly VMFS is and what is its role. The technical engineer is more relating it to a Virtual SAN (perhaps a stretch, perhaps not) infrastructure or Logical Disk Manager than simply a file system the VMKernel understands.
From Unhandled Exception:
Customer Experiences Implementing Virtual Infrastructure
I found a few other personal blogs from VMworld, but they were mostly attendees admitting to drinking too much at the party, so I'll refrain from linking to protect the hungover.
posted by jtroyer at: 16:11 | permanent link to this entry
VMware Player has arrived
From VMware's own Philip Langdale:
Today, as part of our VMworld 2005 festivities, we announced our VMware Player. This is a freely downloadable tool that, as you might guess, plays virtual machines. People who've been participating in the Workstation 5.5 beta programme will have already seen it in its bundled form, but now you can get it as a stand-alone product. We've also released a special Browser Appliance virtual machine that's based on Ubuntu Hoary featuring Firefox, so if you've been waiting for an excuse to checkout our virtualisation technology, grab the player and the VM and try it out.
VMware's Christian Hammond has some screenshots of virtual machines in Player.
From the comments at OSNews:
This should make the testing of new OSes (or OS features) more accessible. Currently Live CDs tend to be full blown as they are competing OS to OS. With a click-to-try approach such as this, a particular featureset can be demonstrated, or a very minimal trial environment. And not only do you not need to burn a CD, you don't even need to reboot, or suffer the sloth of a CD-ROM drive. All in all this should help people try out other OSes and OS features. I like it.
And finally, a sampling of comments from the good folks at Slashdot:
posted by jtroyer at: 16:10 | permanent link to this entry
Thu, 20 Oct 2005
Welcome to the VMTN Blog
Hello, and welcome to the new VMTN Blog.
The VMTN Blog is the "back porch" of the VMware Technology Network. We will be talking about virtualization technology in general: how people are using it, what is happening in the industry, and what is coming next as the virtualization revolution continues to change fundamentally how we use computers. Of course, we will also be covering VMware, its products, and the ecosystem that surrounds VMware's virtual infrastructure solutions.
With the increased legroom out here on the back porch, we will also have the space to go on at greater length, and I hope we will be able to start a two-way conversation with you. We want to hear from you about how you are using virtualization to manage data centers, optimize development, and secure desktops. We want to hear what you like and don't like about our products. We also want to hear as you push the envelope of what's possible using virtualization in areas like mobility, security, and usability.
I'm John Troyer, and I'm the Senior Product Manager of VMTN Online. I'll be the main contributor here to start, but you can expect others from around VMTN and the company to drop by and tell a story or two. As always with a blog, the views expressed on this blog are the views of each individual poster and do not reflect official statements, policies, or strategies of VMware.
Feel free to email me with questions, complaints, comments, or compliments at email@example.com. More targeted ways of contacting VMware include:
posted by jtroyer at: 20:00 | permanent link to this entry