Will VMware acquire SUSE to build a clone of Microsoft Azure?

Rumors have intensified since our post back in June suggesting VMware might acquire SUSE Linux from Novell as part of a “fire sale” of Novell’s assets. Much of the rationale we articulated has been repeated in posts on other sites.

  • VMware would get, a widely-adopted operating system with great application and tool support.
  • VMware would have a long-term strategy to compete with Microsoft at the Operating System level in case Hyper-V became the dominant hypervisor under Windows.
  • VMware would have the last major layer in its SpringSource platform, now re-named vFabric

However, nobody has picked up on another point we made:

If VMware buys Novell, it can create an entire clone of Microsoft Azure without a single piece of Microsoft software in the stack. Continue reading Will VMware acquire SUSE to build a clone of Microsoft Azure?

View 4.5 Availability and Enhancements

After a series of delays, communication failures and marketing mis-steps that left many customers frustrated and confused, VMware finally shipped View 4.5 on September 9th.

Anticipating the formal announcement was a widely leaked report that View 4.5 would ship without Virtual Profiles, the user profile management solution that VMware OEMed from RTO Software in fall 2009.  VMware finally confirmed that the leak was correct on the first day of VMworld 2010, but even then held back from announcing its interim solution until after the formal product launch. Then rather than simply offer View customers a copy of Virtual Profiles as a standalone product, VMware chose instead to partner with Liquidware Labs to enable them to offer Liquidware Labs’ ProfileUnity to View customers at a substantial discount.  While VMware’s position is that Virtual Profiles will ship with View 4.5 at some point in the future, the decision to offer ProfileUnity instead did nothing to address the concerns of potential customers, especially those who might finish up paying twice for a profile management system. The only good news for View customers is that ProfileUnity’s agent-less and database-less architecture should make the future migration to Virtual Profiles a simple matter when the time comes to move. Continue reading View 4.5 Availability and Enhancements

VMware’s 5 Businesses and the “New Stack”

At VMworld 2010 Paul Martiz presented VMware’s strategy as a new stack of software which addresses the Data Center, the Cloud, Applications Platforms, End User Access to applications and how all of this is going to managed and automated. This is a full articulation of how broadly and deeply VMware intends to change the systems software industry, and why one can now credibly argue that VMware has become (instead of Microsoft and Red Hat) the most important systems software vendor in the world. Continue reading VMware’s 5 Businesses and the “New Stack”

A Look at Stratus Technology

There used to be a FedEx commercial that had a saying “when it just has to be there overnight”. What if we did a play on words and changed the saying to work with Fault-Tolerance and or High Availability.  The saying would be something like “when it just has to remain running overnight”.

Every business environment today demands both performance and ultra-high availability.  When working with virtual environments some high availability options are included already with the ability to restart any virtual machines that were running on a host that failed and crashed.  This still has limitations in that the virtual machine would still need to be restarted and this in itself still has some downtime.  The amount of downtime can vary depending on variables with things like the number of virtual machines to be restarted and the number of hosts available to handle the virtual machines restarting.  Downtime could be as quick as five minutes or as long as thirty minutes depending on the variables. Continue reading A Look at Stratus Technology

IO Virtualization Approaches: VMworld 2010 Review

When server virtualization started to get its foothold, one of the key reasons for going virtual was the ROI that could be saved from running many servers on one physical box. It would make logical sense that this same key point can be applied to other aspects of virtualization and now we are really seeing the consolidation within the I/O area.  This is the point where virtual I/O will really start to take off.  After all, haven’t we all seen this nightmare during our career?

There seem to be three styles of IO Virtualization (IOV) taking place within the virtual environment. At VMworld, the IO Virtualization companies were out and talking to people about their wares, products, and approaches to IO Virtualization. These three methods are:

  • Converged Network Adapters used within Cisco UCS, HP Matrix, etc.
  • Attached IOV top of rack devices such as the Xsigo Device
  • PCIe Extenders

Each of these provide unique benefits to your virtual environment but which to use? First, we need to know what each of these approaches brings to the table. Continue reading IO Virtualization Approaches: VMworld 2010 Review

Running Internet Explorer 6 beyond Windows XP

Browsers are the user workspace of the future. The issue with “traditional” applications are many and complex covering topics like deployment, updates, security and management. If you can move all of that headache to a centralized service and have users access that by firing up their device’s web browser then your troubles will be over.  But an issue with web-based applications is, as with any application, the capabilities of the service grow to accommodate new functions and additional requirements. Applications may move to be hosted in “the cloud”, but there is will always be a need to ensure that the end device has an environment to run that web service in a secure, consistent and productive way. Browsers may well be the workspace of the future – but that future will still browsers to be updated, managed and maintained.

It is likely your business is moving to a post Windows XP environment. Perhaps you are updating  traditional desktops or migrating to virtual desktop environment on Windows 7, or even a presentation virtualization environment based on Windows 2008 R2. Moving operating systems, means moving browser version. Microsoft would say this is a “Good Thing” – as they consider Internet Explorer (IE) 8 to be their best browser yet although to be fair, they’re hardly likely to say IE8 is bloated and overly complex.

There are still a good number of companies who have found that they cannot standardize on one browser for all users en masse without impacting on business functions.  One application, or even a critical component of one application may not work if the browser for IE8 or IE7. At the same time, as users become more web aware, there is the demand of users to have more than just one browser available.

Can you support multiple browsers in your environment? How can you run IE6 in a Windows 7 or Windows 2008 environment? Will moving to a VDI infrastructure allow you to look back while moving forward and indeed, is the lack of support for different browsers – specifically different versions of IE – simply a temporary issue, resolved by focusing on changing the web delivery services so that they support the most recent browser? Ultimately, is one browser enough?

Continue reading Running Internet Explorer 6 beyond Windows XP