VMware's Executive Blog
Mon, 14 Aug 2006
There can only be eight winners...
Posted by Srinivas Krishnamurti
In June 2005, we launched our VMware Technology Network where in addition to a subscription offering for developers and a new online resource dedicated to virtualization – www.vmtn.net, we introduced the concept of virtual appliances. Virtual appliances are pre-built, pre-configured and ready-to-run software applications packaged with the operating system within virtual machines. We believe that application vendors should choose the best operating system for their application and then deliver the software service to the end user, ready-to-run. This puts to end to the significant amount of time IT administrators spend installing and configuring software, which is really nothing but a cover charge for using software. We started with about 6 appliances from vendors such as Oracle, BEA, etc., but soon we received positive feedback from both customers and partners alike.
With the release of the royalty-free VMware Player, we saw a huge up tick in the number of virtual appliances developed. The community at large was creating appliances that they thought were useful and better yet, they were nice enough to share them with others via VMTN. We noticed the passion and thought that it would be a cool idea to host a competition to foster innovation and reward folks for their work. That’s how UVAC was born – we announced it on Feb 27, 2006. We reached out to industry leaders from different walks of life to be judges and the final list was fantastic.
Hundreds of contestants registered. Folks on Slashdot thought the contest was a cool idea. The community forums were buzzing. When all was said and done, over 170 appliances were submitted. We immediately uploaded them to VMTN so the community could vote for the Community Choice. We then uploaded all the submissions onto USB drives and sent them to the judges so they could pick the winners.
Over 75,000 downloads later, the community picked its winner:
Many email exchanges later, the judges decided on their winners:
Drum roll please…
The judges put in a lot of work to narrow down the list of appliances. Many of the appliances were discussed at great length by the judges and in the forums by the community. You could tell that contestants put in a lot of time and effort in building these appliances but we could only pick eight winners. We decided to hand out Honorable Mentions to other appliances that didn’t win but ones that were picked as finalists. Thanks to the contestants, judges and the community at large for making this an exciting challenge. Drop me a note if you have ideas on how we can do this better next time.
Next time I will write more about all the rage about virtual appliances and why VMware’s virtual appliances are the real deal.
Mon, 07 Aug 2006
"Working in the labs..."
Posted by Srinivas Krishnamurti
Ever since Apple announced that they are going to switch to Intel x86 chips, phones have been ringing off the hook. Everywhere we went - customer visits, tradeshows, seminars, VMworld, neighborhood block parties - everyone was asking, "Hey, what are your plans for supporting Macs?" Some folks went a step further to petition us to support OS X.
Traditionally we don't talk about products that are still under development for a variety of reasons. But word got out that we have something "working in the labs." And we started getting more calls along the lines of, "Hey, we know you have it so when are you going to announce it?"
So we bucked the trend! Today we announced our plans to build a new product for Macs. We have a bit more work to do -- bug fixes, installer cleanup, etc. -- before releasing the beta. We are hopeful to have something for you to try out in the next few weeks. If you are interested in getting early access to the beta, please register here.
This product will allow you to create and run virtual machines on OS X, which means that you can run Windows, Linux, Solaris, FreeBSD, Netware and a slew of other operating systems on OS X without rebooting. You can switch between OS X and your favorite operating system similar to how you can switch between two applications. You can even share files between the two operating systems with powerful drag and drop features. We firmly believe in freedom of choice when it comes to what OS you want to run. With this new initiative, we extended our already vast array of supported platforms.
So if you are like my Danish colleague, Rene, who uses his own Apple laptop at work for most applications but has to switch to a work PC to access some applications, you can now safely shelf your PC and make the Mac your primary and only desktop. Just create a virtual machine, install Windows (or whatever you run on your PC) in it and run it alongside OS X. Now you're talking!
We also agreed early on in the design process to make sure that your experience of running a virtual machine is very close to native, in terms of performance and use of hardware/devices. To that end you will notice excellent performance when running a virtual machine on OS X. Since most Macs now have Intel's Duo with two cores, we added Virtual SMP capabilities so that you can assign more than a single CPU to any virtual machine to gain additional performance. One of the cool things that I like about my Apple (albeit an older one with PowerPC chip) is the simplicity of doing any multi-media work. I can record movies or use iChat quite easily without the need to buy additional software. We wanted to make sure you have access to all those devices from your virtual machine as well so we spent a lot of time on making sure devices work well. You can use USB 2 devices like video cameras, etc.
One final note about this product: virtual machines created with this product are fully compatible with the latest release of other VMware products, including Player, Workstation, Server and VMware Infrastructure and vice versa.
Besides just the product features I described above, now Mac users are part of the VMware family. One of the cool things about being part of the family is that you can access the directory of virtual appliances at the VMware Technology Network. There you will find over 250 virtual appliances, which are pre-built, pre-configured and ready-to-run software applications, all packaged within virtual machines. No more installing and configuring software. Just download a virtual machine and run it with a VMware product. Getting a blogging server set up has never been easier!
We are very excited about bringing this product to market and look forward to your feedback during the beta process. I don't know about you but I'm going to the store now to get me a MacBook because I love my Mac and want to have a PC, too.