The Virtualization Practice

In a slightly strange “didn’t they already have Xen in the kernel” kind of way, Novell has certified Suse Linux Enterprise Server as a “perfect guest” running on Citrix XenServer, allowing joint support of the combined solution. The deal is asymmetric (it wouldn’t really make sense to run XenServer on SLES) but it reflects an open approach characteristic of the way Novell operates, in embracing the reality that customers will want to use one of a number of possible hypervisors, and that Novell has to get along with everyone. In return Novell is starting to push it’s PlateSpin Recon product through the Citrix channel.

The grid approach to desktop virtualization, offered by vendors like Kaviza and Synchron offers several advantages in terms of cost and flexible use of hardware resources. The cost savings come from not requiring a SAN. The implications of no SAN are no VMotion, no HA and no DRS. However Citrix XenApp has proven that user and application centralization can be effectively managed without these features.

Project Virtual Reality Check have released their Phase 2 white paper on Terminal Server/RDS workloads running on the latest generation Intel processor: the Xeon 5500 series (Nehalem). Besides providing some great figures to support the adoption of Intel’s Nehalem to drive high demand virtualized workloads, this is an interesting and important comparison document for those considering centralised desktop virtualisation.

Aimed for those who use medium sized storage for virtualization loads, Virsto will add quite a bit of needed functionality to Hyper-V to reduce disk space requirements, improve general disk IO performance, as well as provide faster high availability failover. The disk space saving Linked Clone technology available for VMware ESX and ESXi has been missing from Hyper-V, Virsto provides this.

Rethinking vNetwork Security

Brad Hedlund of Cisco asked the question, should the physical network security policy be different than the virtual network security policy? The answer is obviously no, but why are they treated separately? I and other have pushed the concept that to gain performance, redundancy, and security that you should use multiple network links to your virtualization host to separate traffic. However, does this really give you security?

Let’s start this analysis with a basic question. Is there any rational reason for VMware and Citrix to make peace with each other, and develop the desktop virtualization market in concert with one another instead of in competition with each other? In other words if Citrix were to add its value to the core pieces of VMware View, would this be a good thing or a bad thing?

The End of ESX is Near – Is ESXi Ready for the Enterprise?

Well the worse kept secret in virtualisation is now finally out in the open, have a read of VMware ESX to ESXi Upgrade Center:Planning your Upgrade to the next-generation hypervisor architecture where they state that “In the future, the superior architecture of ESXi will be the exclusive focus of VMware’s development efforts. This means that not only will the ESXi hypervisor superceed the classic ESX hypervisor in a new version of vSphere; what the time scale is, is currently unknown however it is most likely to be vSphere 5 or whatever they decide to call the next major release. What is more interesting in statement is that VMware expects their customers to upgrade their existing installations of vSphere based on the ESX hypervisor to the new ESXi hypervisor.