Join the Conversation on Virtualization
Wed, 30 Nov 2005
Building a virtual laptop with SUSEAnthony Coates details his trials building a virtual setup on his laptop while upgrading to SuSE 10.. He goes over his partitioning decisions, and as you often see for , the tricky parts for the virtual machine creation are setting up a decent resolution and circumventing the graphical installer.
The 32-bit and 64-bit versions of SUSE Linux 10 are supported guest OSes in Workstation 5.5. See the guest OS installation notes for SUSE Linux 10 for more information.
posted by jtroyer at: 13:38 | | | permanent link
Solaris 10 as a guest OS in Workstation
Alessandro Perilli has released nice step-by-step instructions on installing Solaris 10 as a guest operating system inside VMware Workstation. Current builds of Solaris 10 and Workstation 5.5 have removed some of the previous configuration hoops you had to jump through. Pay attention to the kdmconfig step to run at better than 640x480x256 display resolution.
VMware's Andy Tucker has more notes on VMware and Solaris, including workarounds for some incompatible kernel patches and Solaris Express's graphical installer.
The 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Solaris 10 are supported guest operating systems. See the Solaris 10 guest OS installation notes for more information. VMware Tools for Solaris are unfortunately not available at this time.
posted by jtroyer at: 13:14 | | | permanent link
Tue, 29 Nov 2005
Workstation 5.5 Released
As many of you had noticed, Workstation 5.5 is available for download and is now officially released. It is a free upgrade for Workstation 5.0 users.
Some nice quotes from OSNews.com on the release.
Jim at the new "vmwarez blog" has a few screenshots of the included utilities, such as VMware Player, VMware DiskMount Utility, and Process Check Utility for 64-Bit Compatibility. Alessandro details the others in his post from last week. More information on the utilities is available from the Documentation Overview.
Update: More features of interest to Linux users from Christian Hammond.
posted by jtroyer at: 17:29 | | | permanent link
RTFM Education: Beyond the Manuals
Mike Laverick is a trainer who has a great site called RTFM Education.
As you may know RTFM stands for "Read The Flippin' Manual" - a frequent cry when we discover that problems documented, and solutions are well known - and IF we had only read the instructions first... However, sometimes the manual isn't enough - that's where I come in.
His "Beyond the Manuals" and "How To" white papers are quite detailed and frequently updated. He also has a useful weekly mailing list that covers new KB articles and the like. I'm hoping he'll start a blog to make it easier to link to him.
Recent white papers from Mike:
posted by jtroyer at: 15:55 | | | permanent link
Improving disk performance with Workstation
Alessandro Perilli writes on improving disk performance with Workstation:
The Workstation 5.5 performance guide is another useful read.
posted by jtroyer at: 14:48 | | | permanent link
Tue, 22 Nov 2005
Two podcasts on virtualization
Two recent podcasts focused on virtualization. Elemental Gear is a general IT-oriented podcast with a good introduction and overview of virtualization, the VMware and Microsoft product lines, and why you'd want to use them. I'll give Jim from Elemental Gear some slack, since he's more familiar with Microsoft's solution than VMware's, and since Workstation 5.5 is still in beta, but Workstation now has support for both 64-bit operating systems and virtual SMP. Tech Rag Tear Out is a sampling of articles that Jim has ripped out of the tech trade rags this week.
Elemental-Gear Episode 5 from Jim Graczyk and Serhan Saral. (50MB; 62min)
Tech Rag Tear Outs (TRTO) Podcast #038 from Steve Holden. (14MB; 31min)
posted by jtroyer at: 18:34 | | | permanent link
Fri, 18 Nov 2005
Building an Oracle cluster on Windows 2003
Tarry Singh has published part 3 of his series on DBAsupport.com, "RACing ahead with Oracle on VMware." The title is fairly self-explanatory: Installing Oracle 10g Release 2 Clusterware on a 2-node Windows 2003 Enterprise Edition Server. He'll be covering installation on Red Hat in a later article.
Previously on VMTN Blog: Building a database cluster on your laptop.
posted by jtroyer at: 15:28 | | | permanent link
The price of power in the data center, part 4
Part 4 of this series on the price of power in the data center is up at TechTarget, entitled Power-saving technologies in the data center.
Previously on VMTN Blog: we covered the first three parts in Rising Power Costs and You.
posted by jtroyer at: 15:22 | | | permanent link
Wed, 16 Nov 2005
Setting up a test environment for videoconferencing with VMware
Justin Fielding needed to set up an environment to test some problems he was having with videoconferencing over his VPN. He is still having trouble with his NetMeeting proxy, but in his TechRepublic blog he generously provides us with a detailed, 4-part tutorial in setting up a virtual test VPN with two Windows XP virtual machines talking through two OpenBSD firewall virtual machines, all on the same physical machine. To do this, he uses the cloning and team features of Workstation.
posted by jtroyer at: 11:32 | | | permanent link
Tue, 15 Nov 2005
Godel and virtualization
The Paradox of Host-Based Security Measures from nCircle's VERT Daily Post.
posted by jtroyer at: 17:07 | | | permanent link
Mon, 14 Nov 2005
VMware's no singing dog
Keith Adams gives his perspective on the newly-launched Intel VT chips:
What does this all mean for VMware? Opinions vary, of course. When VT and Pacifica were first announced, there was a lot of knee-jerk slashdot triumphalism of the form, "Ha! We don't need VMware anymore because it will all be in hardware!!!" Of course, there's a lot more to VMware's software than just multiplexing CPUs. There's memory, a chipset, peripherals, undoable disks, virtual networks hooked up in complicated topologies with configurable bitrates and lossiness, and all sorts of other stuff that's hard to imagine doing in hardware.
Read the whole thing, as they say. He takes the singing dog thing way past its breaking point. Enjoy.
posted by jtroyer at: 18:50 | | | permanent link
Boot ESX Server from SAN?
Definitely take a look at Virtual Strategy Magazine if you haven't already. They check in with a number of different people in the virtualization industry, and they often go beyond the press release talking points of the day to talk about actual technical issues.
This month, they have a conversation with the Expert Server Group focused on a single issue, A VMware ESX question: Boot from SAN?
Boot from SAN is a viable option, because it helps remove you even further from being dependent on any piece of hardware. You could have additional hardware sitting around, and if you lost a server, you could recover very quickly. In a disaster-recovery situation, you could recover rapidly if everything was SAN-enabled and SAN-managed.
posted by jtroyer at: 12:54 | | | permanent link
Intel Virtualization Technology ships
From today's press release:
Desktop PCs based on the Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 processor 672 and 662 processors with Intel Virtualization Technology are available today on systems being offered by Acer, Founder, Lenovo and TongFang. The Intel Pentium 4 processor 672 and 662 are priced at $605 and $401 respectively, in 1,000-unit quantities.
From CRN lays out the details:
In the United States, Lenovo is the only top-tier vendor immediately supporting the new chips in desktop systems. Taggard said many other PC makers are waiting until Intel ships the technology in its dual-core desktop CPUs with virtualization, slated for early next year.
Although Macworld notes availability is limited for now:
Lenovo is only offering evaluation systems at this time, a company spokeswoman said. Shipments of ThinkCentre M52 desktops with the new Pentium 4 662 and 672 chips won't begin until early next year, she said.
What do you do with a virtualized system? Well, most VMware users could go on for hours, but PC World sells the IT control angle:
For example, users could access corporate applications in one operating environment, while using a different environment for personal applications. IT managers could exercise tight control over the corporate application environment and prevent viruses or malware from moving from the personal environment to the rest of the company's network.
InformationWeek gives some go-to-market context:
It is not unusual for Intel to use PC processors as a proving ground for new technology. Although most believe that the dual-core processors will find their greatest application within server environments, Intel earlier this year introduced its first dual-core processors within its Pentium family for desktop platforms.
And this is all the small rumble before the big quake next year. From eWeek, what to expect:
Thus Intel believes Presler, a forthcoming update to its dual-core Pentium D desktop processor line, will do the most to usher in Virtualization Technology on the desktop. The first Presler chips, which are all based on a new 65-nanometer manufacturing process, are due in the first quarter, Intel has said. Many expect them in January. ... Over the course of 2006, Intel's Virtualization Technology will also find its way into servers based on its Xeon and Itanium server chips, as well as its notebook platforms. Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Intel's main competitor, will also roll out chips equipped with built-in virtualization capabilities in 2006. The two company's technologies--AMD's is dubbed Pacifica--are similar, they have admitted. Pacifica equipped AMD Opteron server chips and Athlon 64 chips, which it offers for desktops and notebooks, will come out in the first half of 2006, AMD has said.
These technologies from Intel and AMD are highly anticipated. They have been extensively covered in the tech press for months, and so I wouldn't expect much analyst coverage on this announcement. If you do want to see what's being written out there, Google News is a good place to start.
posted by jtroyer at: 10:46 | | | permanent link
Issues to consider when planning virtualization
eWeek has a nice page collecting its virtualization coverage. Last week they published a short intro to virtualization covering jails/containers as well as virtual machines. It does skimp on the real benefits and why you'd want to virtualize, but it has a nice list of issues to pay attention to as you plan your infrastructure virtualization:
posted by jtroyer at: 08:02 | | | permanent link
Sun, 13 Nov 2005
Cannavino on safety through encapsulation
From PC Magazine's "20 Years of Windows" retrospective, Jim Cannavino, who was drove IBM's PC business, had this to say about encapsulation as a fix for Windows architecture:
Q: What's your opinion of the current Windows platform?
Sounds to me like a job for a virtual machine!
posted by jtroyer at: 18:22 | | | permanent link
One OS for each application?
Thie Advogato article assumes way too much about Apple OS X on Intel x86 chips and your ability to run Windows at the same time. However, one of the commenters had a vision of an interesting future where each application comes packaged with its own Virtual Machine. This is just on the edgs of practicality today, and it would create its own set of problems, but the advantages make it an intriguing future indeed. Check out VMware's Virtual Machine Center if you haven't already.
It's nice that starting next year, regardless of what (modern) chip people buy, they will be able to run other OSes at the same time without messing up what they have. (I don't doubt Apple and MS will both come up with ways to sabotage other OSes and make it look like the other OS's fault, so it will take a while to work around them.) Probably the best-case scenario is that all the proprietary vendors -- the Adobes, the Autocads, the Electronic Artses -- will each ship with their own virtualized kernel, and bypass both MS and Apple's kernels; and people will get used to running the vendors' OS choices, even where it's Plan 9. Then, each of us will be able to package each program we deliver with an OS distro and kernel tuned just for it, too. Will that be good? (For RAM and disk vendors, sure.)
posted by jtroyer at: 13:34 | | | permanent link
Tue, 08 Nov 2005
v12n == virtualization
The computer industry has been using i18n as a shorthand for "internationalization" for years (evidently going back to 1985 at DEC). Over at the Mainframe blog, sirsanta now has raised the flag for v12n == virtualization.
I'm all for it. Not only do I have to (mis)type "virutalizaiton" 100 times a day, but based on my internet searches and watchlists, use of this "numeronym" would save billions of innocent electrons from being used in press releases going over the newswire. v12n is the new black of enterprise computing.
posted by jtroyer at: 17:12 | | | permanent link
Analysts: Virtualization is growing, sky is blue
Analyst firm IDC predicts the virtualization market will reach $15 billion by 2009. From the InfoWorld article:
Virtualization is also #1 in Gartner's Ten Technologies to Watch in 2006, along with grid computing and service oriented applications.
posted by jtroyer at: 09:45 | | | permanent link
Mon, 07 Nov 2005
Rising Power Costs and You
via Bryan at adminfoo.net who gives his takeaway:
Update: VMTN Blog entry on Part 4.
posted by jtroyer at: 17:30 | | | permanent link
Virtualization: a fairy tale
While I'm not sure if it adds much insight, you've got to admit that this virtualization fairy tale from BEA's Guy Churchward is not nearly as boring as the 100 other articles explaining virtualization to your CIO:
The king once again returned to the wizard and asked for his wisdom, the wizard thought and pondered, pondered and thought and in a puff of smoke, came up with an idea to centralize the abacuses in a specially designed abacus building to "pool resources". and create the ability to further partition each abacus, so instead of using three rows of beads you can actually allow three people to work on one row each at the same time as many of the abacus workers traditionally used only one row. The partitioning was called isolation and the special stool to accommodate three different people at the same time was called a hyper-visitor which was latterly shortened to hypervisor.
posted by jtroyer at: 14:56 | | | permanent link
Fri, 04 Nov 2005
Build a database cluster on your laptopHoward Rogers tells you how and why you'd want to build an Oracle Real Application Cluster on your laptop using VMware:
So, fair enough: RACing on a single PC is silly, and no-one in their right minds would ever do it in a production environment. But the fact that you can technically do precisely that is good news for people such as yourself you are looking to create a realistic facsimile of a RAC environment without parting with the bazillion dollars in hardware expenditure it would normally take to do so. And to that extent, a RAC running (slowly!) on a single PC is an entirely valid and totally realistic exercise.
And Michael K Campbell is clear why he's building clustered SQL Servers using VMware: because it's fun.
Clustering is just plain fun. Being able walk around with a clustered system on my laptop (and trusty, portable, external USB HD sidekick) is a total hoot.
More instructions on Building an Oracle 10g two-node cluster using VMware from Gavi Narra
And when you research something like this, never forget to search the VMTN forums, because you'll come up all sorts of good stuff like this:
Update: Oracle RAC on Windows 2003 Server
Part two of a series from Tarry Singh at Database Journal, RACing ahead with Oracle on VMware Series, covering Oracle RAC and RAW disk setup on Windows 2003 Enterprise Server. ( Part one: Setting up VMWare) There are lots of resources for Oracle on Linux, but Tarry has produced very nice step-by-step screenshots setting up a cluster for Windows 2003 Enterprise Server. Part three expected in a week or two.
The RAC architecture has changed a lot since its inception so we will quickly check all the features from 9i up. In addition, as we go ahead with our series we will try to dissect the RAC understanding and move further into Administration, troubleshooting, management, performance, migration of single instance to Oracle RAC. I want to make sure that you really get on to playing on RAC.
posted by jtroyer at: 14:23 | | | permanent link
Use Player to protect against sneaky software installs
VMware Player is a great way to protect against record companies using music CDs to secretly install hidden, dangerous software on your PC. Not only is Autorun off by default in a virtual machine, if your machine is compromised, you can simply start over with a clean version. You can also use another operating system inside your virtual machine, such as Linux, to avoid Windows-based malware.
This week, it was discovered that some Sony music CDs are silently installing a rootkit on your PC as they attempt to prevent you from ripping the CD. Rootkits are tools often used to hide viruses and other malware on a PC, are very hard to remove, and are a security risk.
Ed Felten lays out the security risks of hidden rootkits, even if Sony's software isn't doing any explicit harm right now:
Once the driver is installed, there's no security mechanism in place to ensure that only the XCP2 software can use it. That means any application can make itself virtually invisible to standard Windows administration tools just by renaming its files so that they begin with the string .$sys$.. In some circumstances, real malicious software could leverage this functionality to conceal its own existence.
posted by jtroyer at: 12:10 | | | permanent link
Thu, 03 Nov 2005
And it works, of course
... and it works, of course. But will it also run my 64-bit VM inside a 32-bit host? Point, click, launch. Believe it or not, it is working!
posted by jtroyer at: 17:48 | | | permanent link
Tue, 01 Nov 2005
VMware Blogger Roundup
If you haven't been checking out the VMware bloggers over on the right column of this page, you're missing out. Some highlights:
posted by jtroyer at: 17:42 | | | permanent link