VMworld 2011 has finally arrived as the expected crowd of about 20,000 arrived in Las Vegas for the event. The temperature is a broiling 110* and sunny. Today is Monday August 29, and the official start of the conference, but the vExperts had the opportunity to attend a special briefing, before the show, that focused on VMware’s vision for the future. Following the briefing, there was a couple of options for the evening from the vDodgeball game to the warm-up party. I attended the vmunderground warm-up party as a service (WuPaaS.Next) at the Nine Fine Irishmen Pub. These guys have been throwing the pre-party for the last few VMworlds and what started as a tweet-up as turned into a major event in itself. So popular, in fact, that all the tickets were gone in seconds. Big thanks to Theron Conrey, Sean Clark, Rich Brambley and Brain Knudtson for making this happen. The turkey legs they served were fabulous.
Quest (vFoglight 6.6), vKernel (vOPS 4), VMTurbo, Reflex Systems, Xangati, and Cirba (Data Center Control 7.0) have all made significant product enhancements which are being demonstrated at VMworld this week. These announcements largely reflect the increasing level of sophistication in these tools, and the emergence of Hyper-V as the hypervisor upon which cross-platform management strategies are initiated.
More and more is coming out about the attack from a MacDonald’s that left an organization crippled for a bit of time. The final tally was that the recently fired employee was able to delete 15 VMs before either being caught or he gave up. On twitter, it was commented that the administrator must not have been a powershell programmer because in the time it takes to delete 15 VMs by hand, a powershell script could have removed 100s. Or perhaps the ‘Bad Actor’ was trying to not be discovered. In either case, this has prompted discussions across the twitter-sphere, blog-sphere, and within organizations about how to secure from such attacks.
On the 7/28 Virtualization Security Podcast, we were joined by Robert Martin of Mitre to discuss Mitre’s new CWE, CWSS, and CWRAF tools to aid in software and system security evaluation. We put a decidedly cloud based discussion around these tools to determine how they would be used by those that program within a PaaS environment, make use of SaaS, or other cloud services.
Business Agility ...
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So you are a loyal VMware customer. You have licenses for vSphere 4 and you are about 40% virtualized. Based upon the revised vRAM entitlements in the revised vSphere 5 licensing, you think you are going to be OK as you progress through the more demanding business critical purchased and custom developed applications that lie in front of you. But you would like a hedge and a simple way to manage the second hypervisor that is a part of that hedge. Help has arrived.
Over the last few months we have identified a trend towards “diversity” in the PaaS provider marketplace. Platform as a Service has become Platforms as a Service, the providers are offering multiple choices at each layer of the platform infrastructure, and seeing their role as automating the provisioning of properly-configured instances as required at each layer of the stack.
On Aug 2nd, there was another entrant to this “diverse” PaaS provider marketplace called Cumulogic, a startup with a PaaS cloud positioned alongside Red Hat OpenShift and VMware CloudFoundry that we identified earlier.
Trend Micro provided us a very interesting info graphic on a Journey to the Public Cloud with a list of which of their tools secure that Journey. What is interesting about this info graphic is the steps outlined in this journey to the Cloud and the threats and issues as you step along this path. These steps are well thought out and are useful to everyone as they look at their virtualization and cloud security options moving forward.
Cloud Computing ...
Impact of Latest vSphere 5 vRAM Licensing Model upon Data Center Virtualization and Virtualization Management
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VMware has updated the vRAM pricing for vSphere 5 to address certain customer issues, and deserves a great deal of credit for acting this quickly and decisively to the feedback that was generated by the initial announcement. However, even with the new vSphere 5 vRAM pricing the question is now raised as to whether competing and less expensive virtualization platforms are acceptable for some entire companies, and some use cases within what used to be 100% VMware shops. VMware has created an opening for Microsoft, Citrix, and Red Hat. As this sorts itself out, the virtualization platform landscape will change – resulting in a minimum in a new focus on tools to manage multiple virtualization platforms.
VMware has made significant changes to the recently announced vRAM based pricing. The single most significant change is that potential barriers to the virtualization of memory intensive business critical applications have been eliminated by ensuring that no application no matter how big can cause a charge of more than 96GB to be levied against the pool of available vRAM.