Join the Conversation on Virtualization
Sun, 26 Feb 2006
The mind-blowing and crazy delicious Ultimate Virtual Appliance Challenge
Today we are very excited to launch VMware's
Ultimate Virtual Appliance
Challenge. In the Challenge, we will award $200,000 in prizes to the innovators who create the most interesting and useful virtual appliances -- pre-built applications wrapped up inside a downloadable virtual machine.
This is going to be an amazing, amazing contest.
Sure, the dollars are crazy delicious, and a lot of eyes popped internally at VMware when we told them how much money we were giving away. But when we explained that we wanted to give awards to world-class innovators rather than just spend the money promoting an ordinary contest, they always began to smile. And if
you're like me, you're also starting to smile now as well, as those crazy ideas you've always had about
cool virtual machines are starting to bounce around in your head.
The real fascinating thing
about this contest is going to be the entries. I don't know what you are going to submit, but I know when the smartest people from all over the world -- who have been solving real-world problems with virtualization every day -- all put their minds to the same goal, amazing things can happen. Once
the entries come in, you'll be able to download and test them out here at VMTN, and then rate them for a separate community award.
The very concepts of virtualization are mind-blowing and fundamentally change the way we think about computing. I certainly had that strange buzzing in the back of my skull when I was first introduced to VMware's products. Every time I talk to VMware's super-smart engineers or see a talk by Mendel it starts to happen again. I fully expect this contest will introduce to the world new concepts and possibilities for virtual computing infrastructure. We've just begun to scratch the surface of what is possible.
So if you haven't already, start thinking about the question, "If I
could make the coolest, most mind-blowing virtual appliance, what would it be?" Register
for the challenge, and then,
ladies and gentlemen, start you virtualization engines. Good luck!
posted by jtroyer at: 21:10 |
| permanent link
Wed, 22 Feb 2006
Remaindered Links II
Lots of good work on VMTN interfering with blogging. Let me clean out some
of the bookmarks I've been saving up.
Software Development and other use cases
- Using VMware Server as our new server platform
(small software company wants to virtualizing)
- better living through virtual machines
(real examples of using virtualization for development)
Machining, Freely and Virtually (developer uses VMware Server
and VPN to have anytime-anywhere development, like at the local
- "The VMs consist of W2K3 Server, with SQL Server 2000/2005, Oracle 9i/10G, Raptor, Crystal, Subversion/Clearcase, Eclipse and a bunch of developer utilities."
- Testing/Trialing new
- Virtual PC vs VMware
- "For our last trip to India, we didn't want to lug two laptops around." (puts Player + image onto
first laptop, then
uses terminal services to connect when both of them are at an Internet cafe)
Cool VMware Hacks
"In fact, virtualization has real benefits right down to the little guy with one lonely laptop. Virtual machines are the future, and I'll eat my hat and a fried buffalo patty if I'm wrong about this: within a very few years, running virtual machines will be very common in business of all sizes and won't be particularly unusual even on home desktops."
- "How does this apply to web development? It's the hosting. The developer tool, and the availability of virtual machines on the Internet that are going to see some real changes in how we deliver our sites and systems to our users."
- Tarry Singh also has lots to
say about a virtualized web.
- Tarry also has some good talking points for systems engineers
about virtualization, although I don't recommend Tarry quit his day job to
become a cartoonist.
posted by jtroyer at: 19:26 |
| permanent link
Trade Press Clippings
A recent survey found 19 out of 50 IT managers had an "average" knowledge of
virtualization, while 24 thought they were up to snuff. From
Emma Woollacott at Techworld:
"The improved business flexibility they gain was key," he said. "You can test and deploy new applications much more efficiently without affecting existing applications."
How to deal with server sprawl: virtualization. (Of course, you still
need to manage those virtual servers!) From
Patrick Thibodeau at Computerworld:
"I can hardly imagine buying another server," said Baer, crediting the virtualization software from EMC Corp.'s VMware subsidiary. "Once you build your virtual infrastructure, you are definitely slowing down your server proliferation."
Virtualization vs emulation, from Tom Yager at InfoWorld. (One is more
away by virtualization than by emulation.)
Now let's consider technologies that are not virtualization. If misleading terminology were a crime, Microsoft's Virtual PC for Mac would deserve the death penalty. The product had the misapplied moniker when Microsoft acquired its maker, but the fact that it looks and acts exactly like the proper desktop virtualization software Microsoft sells as Virtual PC gives virtualization a black eye it doesn't deserve. Virtual PC for Mac is actually an emulator: It creates a very slow x86 CPU in software on a PowerPC-based system, then emulates a very slow x86-based personal computer.
Virtualization four ways from Jack
Loftus at SearchOpenSource.com. (I don't agree with all his
conclusions, by the way. Many VMware customers are all-Windows shops.):
By all reports -- from tea leaves to star charts -- server virtualization on x86 architecture will become one of the most disruptive technologies to storm the data center this year.
However, any user entertaining the idea of moving servers into a virtual world are best served by avoiding the urge to get caught up in the hype that will inevitably arrive throughout 2006. Instead, analysts advise that a critical evaluation of resources and an ironclad grip on understanding the behavior of the server workloads and styles is necessary before they even utter the word virtualization.
and vmwarez.com, Google, IceRocket,
PubSub, and Bloglines.
posted by jtroyer at: 14:49 |
| permanent link
Fri, 10 Feb 2006
The blogosophere on VMware Server
As you probably know, VMware
Server, our new free virtualization software for x86 servers, had a beta
release this Monday. The response has been overwhelming. Thank you for your
interest and your kind words. Here are a few comments from the rest of the
blogosphere. For questions or comments on VMware Server, please visit the VMware
Server Beta Discussion Forum. I hope you have fun with the new software.
This is, frankly, a market-changing move, and one that I expect a lot of
people will take advantage of. Server virtualization is a wonderful technology.
I have always been a huge fan of VMWare Workstation. ... I've dreamed of
the day when I could use something similar for servers. ... This is great
stuff, and it's not half baked.
We're now considering this as how we distribute our software products, especially
for development and evaluation purposes. Since we have a number of third-party
products we work with, getting all the right pieces to play nice together
in a simple manner is always a challenge - even with a solid installation
process and quality documentation. VMWare can change the entire equation
Fantastic! VMware has now announced it's new VMware Server, and it's free!
I've recently been testing the product it replaces, VMware GSX, and it's
great stuff. ... If you haven't tried virtualisation before, there has never
been a better time to give it a try. Once you try it, you won't go back!
If you are a software developer like I am and you are not using VMware to
test your application across platforms you should be. Jump on over and check
This is good news for small businesses and home users. Now I can load up
virtual OSs to hold my old copies of Oracle 7, 8, 8i and 9i.
Rad & Dot
Net - Digital Warrior
Good news, good news. Those of us who want to test software, esp betas without
touching the sanctity of our rock solid OS and do not wish to pay for Virtual
PC can take a look at VMWare's new VMWare server.
For a small business, this is great news, as now you can setup a test server,
running Linux as the host OS, with Windows as guests, and create a test lab
environment for the cost of hardware (and any Windows OS licenses, of course).
Personally I LOVE VMWare and it's my virtual tool of choice.
Sick of juggling multiple servers for development, or have some really outdated
equipment running still needed applications, check this out.
The Original Magnetic
If you're someone who has always wanted to try out Linux, but have been afraid
of the commitment, this is the perfect way to try it out. This will allow
you to run Linux without ever stopping Windows.
VMware Server is apparently coming, and I, for one, welcome our virtualization
We've been thinking of setting up Xen or a similar virtualizer on this box,
but the prospect of being able to use something like GSX Server instead is
a lot more appealing (largely since it implies far less tinkering).
Now that would be cool. VMWare, for its reliability, features, and simplicity,
is one of my favorite sofware products of all time. I just can't say enough
about VMWare and their products, they just make some of the best software
I've ever seen.
Wow, this is huge. VMware is one of my favorite tools ever made. I have done
two sever consolidation projects in my past that included using VMware to
consolidate hardware. The fact that this will be made free is a huge boon
to managed service providers, medium sized companies, and anyone who wants
to make a massive honeynet on a small project.
I don't know about you, but I find this pretty exciting, even considering
that I get VirtualPC for free from my MSDN subscription.
This is awesome news for those of us who are interested being able to run
multiple servers/OSs on a single box. I've been wanting to do this for a
If this is true, this could mean very big things for people like me who maintain
a large number of servers. I actually have an immediate need for a solution
like this as I just had a server at work smoke out on Monday morning.
This impresses me. I have always wanted to play with one of VMWare's server
offerings and never had enough reason to authorize a purchase for the office.
Now VMWare has released their GSX server free for everyone to use.
Taking a page from their own playbook, it looks like VMware will be releasing
a free version of their server-class virtualization software. It is exciting
to watch VMware compete with Microsoft in the virtualization space and
do it well by leveraging what some would argue are tactics that Microsoft
used when it started - product innovations, price competitiveness and pervasive
Giving people GSX server would keep the virtual machines in VMWare format
throughout the development cycle and make the final move to ESX that bit
In any case, a free virtualization server from VMWare is excellent news and
coupled with the free VMWare Player it looks like a really hot combination.
You can now create virtual machines and bring them with you nearly wherever
It's like handing out dope outside a schoolyard. They'll get people hooked
on GSX, then switch them to the more flexible and expensive ESX Server.
Good move for VMware. GSX being free will save customers up to $2800 per
server if that is the level of service they want. Good move. Like drugs..if
you use, you want more..then you move up to ESX for more function and pay.
I like it.
I would never compare virtualization software to drugs. Virtualization
software, for one thing, is good for you. Law enforcement will never
come after you for running virtualization software -- in fact it makes it much
easier if your business has regulatory compliance requirements. I can't promise
it will build strong bones or make you more attractive to members of the appropriate
sex, but I do think that virtualization software will improve your chances
of getting a raise and a promotion. Wouldn't you like a taste?
posted by jtroyer at: 18:45 |
| permanent link
Mon, 06 Feb 2006
I present to you, VMware Server
I can't do any better than Christian, so here it is,
straight from his blog:
I present to you, VMware Server 1.0 beta 1
Wow, what a ride. We just put out this morning (or late last night, depending on time zone) beta 1 of our new VMware Server product. Now you know why I’ve been saying “I’m really busy, can we discuss this later?”
Yes, this is the one that you may have heard rumors about on CNET, Slashdot, etc., but those sites didn’t all have the facts right.
What VMware Server Is:
- Free virtualization for servers.
- A way to give people free virtualization with the hope that they’ll consider eventually moving up to ESX for the enterprise.
- Based on VMware GSX.
- The successor to GSX.
- Capable of 64-bit guests, Virtual SMP, new guests like Ubuntu, auto-detect devices, etc.
- Capable of opening Workstation 5.5 VMs.
- Available for Linux and Windows hosts. It should be the same set that Workstation 5.5 works on.
- Ported to GTK2 (using a slightly more evolved Workstation 5.5-based UI).
What VMware Server Is Not:
- A stripped down or crippled version of VMware GSX. Server has even more capabilities than GSX did.
- A replacement for Workstation. VMware Server has no support for multiple snapshots or team functionality, and while Server is a server product, Workstation is a good desktop and development product.
- A replacement for Player. Player is still high on our priority list, and we useful for the average person who just wants to run VMs.
- A response to an apparent Xen or QEMU threat. While Xen has potential, it’s primarily just a hypervisor, and we’ve had one of those for ages. The interesting work is built on top of that (as XenSource, another proprietary software company, is doing).
- A sign that VMware is doomed. I’ve heard this one a lot, and it just makes me chuckle. This should be taken as a sign that we’re doing pretty good. How many companies have the insight and abilities to give away their products for free and still make money?
- A dead product before it begins. I don’t think there’s a worry about that. We’ve put a lot of effort into it so far, and are already hard at work on beta 2.
- A money sink for us. We’ll be making money through optional support contracts.
I’m especially proud of this product. I’ve invested a lot of time into it, and so has everybody else involved. I’d like to thank everybody who has had to put up with me telling them I’m too busy for this or that lately :) We’ll be working hard on getting this to a mature 1.0 state.
posted by jtroyer at: 21:54 |
| permanent link
Installing IBM WebSphere and DB2 in 2 minutes
Installing IBM WebSphere and DB2 in 2 minutes -- that's a nice quote from the Logemann Blog. I'll try to use it
in my presentation at the Evans Data
Developer Relations Conference this week. I'm talking about how using
downloadable virtual machines can remove obstacles to getting external
developers up and running quickly. Case in point.
Lately IBM announced the availability of IBM DB2 Express-C, a free version of their commercial database. IMO they responded to Microsofts SQL Server Express product. So i thought its worth a try. And now the fun part. IBM is providing the database not only as standard installer package but also as VMWare virtual disk image. Together with a Suse Linux Image its only a matter of minutes to have a running installation.
posted by jtroyer at: 06:57 |
| permanent link
VMware VP's new blog: Virtually There
Steve Herrod, VP of R&D, has started a new blog here at VMTN, "Virtually
There." Check out
his first entry, where he lays out the different engineering groups that
contribute to ESX Server. Welcome to the VMTN blogosphere, Steve!
posted by jtroyer at: 06:49 |
| permanent link
Thu, 02 Feb 2006
GSX scripting and tips from Geert Baeke
Since I have not yet expanded the VMTN Blogroll over on the right, you
may be missing some recent items from Geert Baeke at baeke.info.
- Using the VMWare COM API from .NET
When you start writing your own programs to interact with GSX or ESX server, you might want to do so from a .NET application. ...
In this example, I will build a simple application that illustrates how to perform the basic tasks. The application just retrieves a list of registered virtual machines and displays them in a listbox. When you double click the virtual machine, some details about that virtual machine are shown.
- More issues with the shared folders feature in VMWare
When you copy a large file between a VMWare guest and the host, you might get the following error in the guest ...
In essence, it happens because of a security feature in Windows 2003. Windows 2003 thinks a denial of service attack is happening because the transfer rate is higher than possible.
- Problems creating a trust in a VMWare environment
In a test environment running in VMWare GSX 3.1 on a Windows 2003 host, we had problems creating a trust between two domains. The Windows 2003 domain controllers are SP1 running as VMs. I will tell you up front that the problem was caused by the fact that the domain controllers run as virtual machines with the VMWare Tools installed! ... I have not yet checked if GSX 3.2 solves these issues.
- Simple perl script to disconnect all floppies and cd-roms from virtual machines on GSX
VMWare GSX comes with a VmCom and VmPerl scripting API to script actions you need to perform on GSX. You can use the scripting API to get a list of all registered VMs, get their execution state, get configuration parameters and so on.
I needed a script to disconnect all floppies and cd-roms from all virtual machines on a server. The scripting API makes this simple.
- Create new VMWare virtual machines with a batch file
When I need to create new virtual machines (for a test lab for instance), I do not want to spend a lot of time on deployment. For customers who use VMWare GSX without VirtualCenter, I use a simple batch file to roll out virtual machines automatically.
posted by jtroyer at: 17:38 |
| permanent link
Quick tip: Non-standard guest resolution
From Mark Roxberry:
I'm running a laptop with a 15.4" screen - which means different resolutions for the video card. Using VMWare, I'm stuck with a typical 4:3 aspect ratio selection of resolutions. In order to go full screen (and have it look like the host resolution), you need to change the registry of the guest system to include the resolution that your host is running.
posted by jtroyer at: 17:19 |
| permanent link