Virtual Desktop Security: Best Practices

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. Continue reading Virtual Desktop Security: Best Practices

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