News: Stratus Technologies Acquires Marathon Technologies

DataCenterVirtualizationStratus Technologies, one of the leaders in hardware fault-tolerant platforms, has acquired its main competitor, Marathon Technologies, in a move that consolidates the best of hardware and software fault-tolerant computing systems into a single entity.  Stratus’ claim to fame came from its hardware fault-tolerant servers that were built in pairs, with duplicate hardware, to ensure that no single component failure would cause any system downtime. Stratus built very solid and reliable systems but on its own proprietary hardware; this acquisition now expands Stratus’ ability to provide software fault tolerance to any industry-standard physical or virtual server. This opens opportunities for new customers no matter what physical hardware the customer uses and prefers.  Continue reading News: Stratus Technologies Acquires Marathon Technologies

Public Cloud Computing – Economics and Throats to Choke

CloudComputingWhen enterprises consider putting business-critical workloads in public clouds, many of them overlook, at least in part, critical issues of economics and over what portion of their cloud software stack the cloud vendor has full control. This leads to a situation where sometimes relatively inexpensive offerings where the vendor has full control of their software stack (like Amazon EC2) are improperly compared to an offering from a vendor like Savvis or Terramark who is building a cloud out of either VMware-provided components or OpenStack components. This gives rise to important issues that drive both the cost of the respective offerings and the degree to which the cloud vendor can both enhance the offerings with rapid agility and quickly address service level issues. Continue reading Public Cloud Computing – Economics and Throats to Choke

Oracle and VMware Update Desktop Virtualization Platforms

DesktopVirtualizationOracle and VMware have both been busy with their respective desktop-focused type II hypervisors, with each vendor releasing updates in the last month.  Focus on Microsoft’s upcoming Windows 8 and Windows server 2012 is inevitable, but that aside both vendors continue to drive their respective products in clearly defined directions with no real regard for competition. Oracle’s updates to VirtualBox have added significantly to its appeal, but leave it trailing behind VMware Workstation in both its finish and feature count. While VMware has done much to optimize Workstation to work with the forthcoming Windows 8, many of the other updates that VMware has released could be thought of as gilding the lily, offering features such as Thumbnail Actions that allow virtual machine power state to be controlled from the taskbar. Continue reading Oracle and VMware Update Desktop Virtualization Platforms

Defense in Depth: Bromium vSentry for End User Computing

VirtualizationSecurityOn the 8/9 Virtualization Security podcast, we continued our discussions on defense in depth with a look at end-user computing devices, specifically laptops and endpoint desktops, with Simon Crosby, CTO of Bromium. While we also discussed phones and tablets, we were focused more on the technology preview that now is Bromium vSentry. Bromium vSentry looks to protect laptops (and other machines) from unknown and zero-day attacks in a unique hardware-assisted way. There is now a new tool in our defense in depth toolbox that meets an ever-growing need. But what is the need, and what is the tool?  Continue reading Defense in Depth: Bromium vSentry for End User Computing

Microsoft and VMware: Two Different Paths to the Future

DataCenterVirtualizationVMworld 2012 San Francisco is over, and I have some time to reflect on my virtualization thoughts in general before getting ready for VMworld Barcelona. One thing I noticed is recent announcements about VMware vSphere 5.1 and Microsoft Hyper-V 2012. Microsoft and VMware both released a specific new feature to each respective platform at basically the same time. Is this a sign that Microsoft is really closing the gap on VMware? I think we are getting there, but I have also made some other personal observations on how I see virtualization in the future, and I foresee a completely different method and mindset for the future between these two companies. Continue reading Microsoft and VMware: Two Different Paths to the Future