VMworld 2010 First Impressions

The week that all of us virtualization junkies have been waiting for has finally arrived.  In case you are not sure what I am talking about, it is VMworld 2010 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, California.  The weather, for me, is a little cool with the wind.  But then again, I am from Florida so it does not take much for me to think it is cool.  The sun is shining and the place is packed.  All and all a great start for this event.

The event got started on Sunday night at the VMunderground WuPaaS VMworld warm up party at the Thirsty Bear, next to the Moscone Center.  It was great to see the people that share the passion for virtualization that I do and this party really got the week started right. Continue reading VMworld 2010 First Impressions

Intel buys McAfee “for security in the cloud”

In case you missed it, Intel has bought McAfee, a security company best known for virus scanning and other malware detection software, for $7.68Bn (on revenues of about $2Bn).  This is a tidy multiple in any marketplace, particularly as  McAfee is not the dominant player.  It is the largest deal Intel has ever done, and the largest pure-play security deal ever.  Plus the deal was in cash.

Add to this the Intel plan to purchase the Wireless Solution unit of Infineon (for $1.4Bn) and you now have the direction in which Intel plans to go. More Security in the hardware.

The technical rationale behind the deal seems to be that security should be going into hardware, and that in newer cloud access devices (Android, iPad etc) it wont’ be a bolt-on extra like it is at the moment, it’ll be something that OEMs could buy from Intel.  The same argument applies to the clouds themselves.  Servers would come with embedded security. We’ve been discussing this stack/hardware boundary a little at the virtualization practice – it features on our recent podcast, Virtual Thoughts: Is the Hypervisor moving into Hardware?. However, our perception had been that the stack/hardware boundary was being driven by the VCE coalition (VMware, Cisco, EMC) and potentially by HP and even Dell, but not by the semiconductor manufacturers. Continue reading Intel buys McAfee “for security in the cloud”

Virtualization Backup Round-up

With VMworld around the corner, it is interesting to note the new and old players within the Virtualization Backup space. The virtualization backup space often includes:

  • VM Backup
  • VM Replication
  • Continuous Data Protection (CDP)
  • Storage Hardware Replication

Virtualization Backup includes pretty much anything that will maintain your VMs while allowing your data to be placed elsewhere for later retrieval; such a place could even be the cloud. In this article we will avoid Storage Hardware Replication and discuss only backup software. Continue reading Virtualization Backup Round-up

VMware doesn’t have a Client Side Hypervisor solution – so what?

One announcement that is unlikely to be made at VMworld in 2010 is the release of VMware’s Client Hypervisor. While VMware may have got accustomed to dominating the world of server virtualization, its attempts to become the de-facto virtualization vendor on the desktop haven’t  gone quite as well. Despite it being nearly two years since announcing its “vClient initiative“, VMware has yet to announce a delivery date for the proposed client side hypervisor component. Citrix, on the other hand, is proudly touting XenClient. Other vendors, such as VirtualComputer are actively promoting their products.

Its likely Citrix will  have beaten VMware to delivering a Client Hypervisor. While XenClient is currently a Release Candidate version, Citrix announced that the v1.0 will be released with XenDesktop 4 Feature Pack 2 in September 2010.

Is the lack of Client Hypervisor (CHv) a problem for VMware in delivering  a complete desktop solution to customers? Indeed, is the CHv technology viable for business use now? And when (and if) it is a viable technology, where should a CHv be considered in your desktop strategy? What could a Client Hypervisor be used for?

Continue reading VMware doesn’t have a Client Side Hypervisor solution – so what?

Coming Full Circle on Scale Out vs. Scale Up

When I first started with virtualization, the only option you had at the time was single core processors in the hosts. Scale up or scale out was the hot debatable topic when designing your infrastructure.  On one side of the coin the idea was to scale up in that it was best to get a few of the biggest servers you could find and load them up with as much memory and processors that you could fit in the box.  The end result were some very expensive servers able to run a lot of virtual machines for its time.  The other side of the coin presented the idea that it was better to scale out with more, smaller servers to make up the cluster.  I have worked in both type of environments and attitudes over the years and as for me, personally, I aligned myself with the scale out philosophy.  The simple reason for aligning with the scale out group was host failure.  When you have sixty to eighty virtual machines per host and lose that host it was really a lot of eggs in one basket and took some time to recover.  When you have more, smaller servers, then the shock of losing a host was not as severe because there were not as many virtual machines running on single host and it would take less time to recover.  This was during the time before vCenter, vMotion, HA and DRS when it was just you and the VMware ESX hosts. Continue reading Coming Full Circle on Scale Out vs. Scale Up

Akorri and Xangati Raise the Infrastructure Performance Management Bar

When discussing Virtualization Performance Management, we separate the vendors that focus upon this area in to three groups:

  • Resource and Availability Management – this group of vendors focuses upon collecting the resource utilization metrics that are made available by the virtualization platform vendors for the purposes of capacity planning, capacity management, and ensuring the overall availability of the environment. Leaders in this category include Vizioncore (vFoglight), Veeam (Veeam Monitor), VMware (Hyperic), Hyper9, Netuitive, and Zenoss. Continue reading Akorri and Xangati Raise the Infrastructure Performance Management Bar