Join the Conversation on Virtualization
Fri, 15 Sep 2006
Paravirtualization Technology Preview
If you're into kernel hacking, check out our new technology preview of transparent virtualization. From the announcement email:
A few things to note: this preview is based on our hosted platform (e.g., Workstation, Player), and not our bare-metal hypervisor (i.e., ESX Server). This brings with it certain caveats if you are doing performance evaluations. You will certainly see a speed-up for CPU-intensive workloads.
Also note we've included and open-sourced the VMI code that makes it happen. I can only hope this well help the community at large get to a single, open, transparent virtualization interface.
Finally, note that this is an example of a transparent virtualization interface. Any hypervisor implementing this VMI code can run the VMI-paravirtualized Linux distributions. The final interface that the Linux kernel folks come up with won't be exactly this particular interface, but the point remains: when we do get to a single standard, then paravirtualized OSes -- which have to be modified from vanilla OSes -- will be able to run on any standards-supporting hypervisor. And as Martha says, that's a good thing.
posted by jtroyer at: 18:22 | | | permanent link
Creating useful benchmarks in a virtual environment is harder than with a physical machine. There's a lot of screwing it up or getting meaningless numbers. That's the real reason we ask folks to email email@example.com before publishing performance tests using our software. (And if you do, you will get a response -- my understanding is that there are a few dozen ongoing projects we're helping with at the moment.) Some of the published benchmarks include:
We've been working behind the scenes to develop a standard, useful benchmark. We'll be talking more about it at VMworld this year, but for now take a look at On Benchmarking Virtual Infrastructure from our Engineering Performance Group. We plan to be handing this over to the industry as a whole, and so eventually it will have a different name, but for now we're giving it the nickname "VMmark".
posted by jtroyer at: 18:09 | | | permanent link
Wed, 13 Sep 2006
Licensing, virtualization, and partitioning
Software licensing is always a complicated subject, and virtualization has just made the whole issue even more headache inducing. The nice thing is that most of the time a virtualized server can be treated just like a physical server. The complicated part comes about because once a machine is virtual, you can start to use it in different ways. So not only are you running multiple virtual machines on single server that can have multiple processors, each with multiple cores, but you also have to consider quiescent virtual machines as templates; snapshots, clones, and linked clones; live or quiescent recovery sites; and other virtualized scenarios. People also start provisioning many more virtual machines, often very specialized, than they would if each machine lived in its own physical box.
It's complicated enough virtualizing at the hardware level. What about partitioning at the OS level, like BSD jails, Solaris containers, UML, or SWsoft's Virtuozzo? Alessandro Perilli recently asked Microsoft's Mike Neil if each virtual partition required a separate Windows license. His answer:
Ilya Baimetov strongly dissented in the comments that a separate license is not needed because when you create a new partition you don't do an OS install or run a setup program, nor do you duplicate any existing OS instance.
This may not be a meeting of the minds with Redmond, to say the least.
posted by jtroyer at: 16:57 | | | permanent link
VMware Player as laptop insurance
Thomas Kyte says now travels with a sense of security:
Thomas mentions the Browser Appliance, which VMware created last year with Ubuntu and Firefox. You may also want to check out the Web Browser Appliance and Virus Safe Email, Browsing, and Instant Messenger appliance.
posted by jtroyer at: 15:54 | | | permanent link
SMP clusters solve different problems than virtualization
From rbocchinfuso at Got IT Solutions, a wise observation on looking at a problem from a single point of view:
posted by jtroyer at: 15:39 | | | permanent link
posted by jtroyer at: 15:33 | | | permanent link
Fri, 08 Sep 2006
Virtual Vanguard Awards Nominations Open
posted by jtroyer at: 16:36 | | | permanent link
Oracle Virtual Appliance Project
Matt Topper is starting a new project: creating prebuilt Oracle Virtual Machines, I assume just of Oracle software that is freely redistributable.
The side project I've been mentioning for a while now is a new site that delivers Oracle software through prebuilt VMWare virtual machines. Many people say the hardest part of using Oracle software is getting the installation down and functioning properly. I know many people who have been turned off of some wonderful software because its just a pain to configure. My goal with this new site it to remove that pain, allow people to download the prebuilt virtual machines and just start playing with the tools and walking through the demos instead of worrying with how to get everything setup correctly.
He's looking for feedback and testers. Drop him a line if you're interested.
posted by jtroyer at: 16:21 | | | permanent link
Installing Vista RC1 on Workstation
Vista pre-RC1 (Build 5536) and RC1 (5600) have a bug that interacts poorly with Workstation 5.5.2 -- you can install the OS, but you just can't see anything! There are three known workarounds:
This will likely be resolved in the next build of Vista (and of Workstation). Vista runs fine in a virtual machine -- or as fine as it does outside a virtual machine -- although I'm not sure if all the Aero Glass UI effects are available.
posted by jtroyer at: 16:17 | | | permanent link