The Virtualization Practice

Although virtualization technologies have been a great help to data center managers looking to reclaim power in an overburdened environment, virtualization can also create problems. As IT organizations complete their server virtualization initiatives and as their virtualization management skills mature, use of the physical server power management features and dynamic workload shifting capabilities will increase. This, coupled with increased adoption of server hosted desktop virtualization, will create new opportunities for improving the efficiency of data center power and cooling systems, as well as new challenges for keeping up with increasing demand.

Last month at VMworld, VMware took a major step forward in its desktop virtualization vision with the introduction of View 4.5. On hand for the launch was Gartner Research Vice President Chris Wolf who confirmed that View 4.5’s improved scalability coupled with the addition of role-based delegated administration change auditing features and the ability to support Windows 7 meant that View 4.5 joined Citrix XenDesktop 4.0 in fulfilling Gartner’s requirements for an enterprise-class server hosted virtual desktop platform. Although, View 4.5 is more notable for a feature that is not required to obtain Gartner’s blessing.

Christofer Hoff (@Beaker) and I had a short discussion on twitter the other day about the VMware Cloud Director (vCD) security guidance. We both felt it was a bit lite and missed the point of Secure Multi Tenancy. However, I feel even more strongly that people will implement what is in the vCD Guidance, vBlock Security Guidance, and the vSphere Hardening Guidance, and in effect have a completely insecure cloud. These three guides look at the problem as if they were singular entities and not as a whole.

I can remember, in what seems like a really long time ago, about the creation of a new company, Acadia, that will support the coalition of VMware, Cisco and EMC’s vBlock product. I had really long forgotten about the new company that was going to be formed when EMC really started their hiring blitz and campaign to get all the well known talent that EMC could get their hand on. That had been the news and buzz in the industry, as well as a nonstop twitter topic speculation about who was going to be the next person to enroll in Chad’s Army as a vSpecialist. It really appeared that the EMC crew was going to be in the best position to support and sell vBlock technology.

Buying the Managed Objects assets of Novell would give VMware a credible entry into the Business Service Management realm with product assets that could compete head to head with those from CA, IBM, HP and BMC – especially on the VMware platform. However there were significant issues with BSM as implemented by all of these vendors, and acquiring a BSM product set would not in an of itself address those all of those (Integrien helps with root cause) issues. The real answer here remains a virtualization and cloud competent performance assurance capability which should be attainable without recreating the baggage of BSM.

There has been a lot of noise about a negotiations between VMware and Novell, rumors are that it regards the purchase of the SUSE division, now firstly every thing that follows is pure supposition on my part, I have no insider knowledge. now mike has put forward one argument on why a VMware purchase of Novell SUSE assets make very good corporate sense. However I put another idea into the fray.

The Virtualization Security Podcast on 9/16 was the first in a series of Virtual Desktop Security discussions we will be having. The special guest panelist was Bill McGee from Trend Micro who helped us to understand their implementation of Deep Security 7.5’s Anti-Virus and Anti-Malware (AV collectively) within the virtual desktop.

Trend Micro’s product makes use of enabling technology within vShield Endpoint to provide offloaded AV and Anti-Malware scanning of virtual machines using only one set of rules and one VM to do the actual scanning. Removing the per VM rule set and processing that currently takes place within the VM.