Working with VMware Update Manager Server

Have you ever considered the best way to plan, design and work with VMware Update Manager (VUM)? In the early days, using VMware 3.x when VUM was first released,  I would end up installing VUM on the vCenter server itself.  After all, that was the recommendation from VMware at the time.  I propose that this is no longer the case and I would like to present a list of best practices to follow when working with VMware Update Manager. This list came from VMware, but should only be considered as a guide.  Each environment is different and your mileage may / will vary. Continue reading Working with VMware Update Manager Server

Virtualization Security Round-up (Updated)

In the End-to-End Virtualization Security Whitepaper we review various aspects of server security with an eye to determining how the products would work together to create a secure virtual environment.  While some of these tools are cross-platform, the vast majority of them are geared specifically to VMware vSphere.

In this post we will look at Server Security, and we will follow-up with another post about Desktop Security? Are these very different? I believe so, desktops have daily, second by second user interactions. For desktops, one of the most important aspects is look and feel such as response time for actions. So things need to be as fast as possible. With Servers however, user interactions are limited and therefore have slightly different performance and security requirements. What may be acceptable for a server may not be acceptable for a desktop. So what do the tools provide for servers? Continue reading Virtualization Security Round-up (Updated)

More on OpenStack – Cloud.com, GPL, Citrix, Oracle and the DMTF standards.

If there was an annual prize in the PR industry for the best press release about a “Turkey really looking forward to Thanksgiving”, then it should be won by the PR from Cloud.com as it announced its participation in OpenStack.  Cloud.com’s only asset is an GPL-licensed Open Source IaaS Cloud platform which it sells under “Open Core” licensing (more on this below).  If OpenStack succeeds, this asset is worthless.

However, if you look a little closer, it is clear that the canny investors at Cloud.com have a plan – just before the company becomes completely worthless, sell it for ridiculous amounts of money to Citrix. Surely that won’t work? Continue reading More on OpenStack – Cloud.com, GPL, Citrix, Oracle and the DMTF standards.

Who’s Who in Virtualization Management

In The ROI for Server Virtualization with Business Critical Applications, discussed how the ROI from virtualization of business critical applications will likely not be driven by server and core consolidation, but most likely rather from the benefits of more agile and cost effective management processes enabled by virtualization.

In Virtualizing Business Critical Applications – A Reference Architecture, we identified the main categories of virtualization management solutions that should be deployed in addition to a virtualization platform like VMware vSphere, specifically Security Management, Configuration Management, Service and Capacity Management, Provisioning and Lifecycle Management, and Backup and Recovery.

This post is about the vendors that provide the solutions the fulfill the requirements articulated in the Reference Architecture post. Since this post focuses upon the management solutions required for virtualizing the servers that host these applications, the vendors involved primarily in desktop virtualization and management are not included in this comparison. Continue reading Who’s Who in Virtualization Management

Cloud Apps approved by GSA

The Wall Street Journal had an interesting article on the United States General Services Administration has approved the acquisition of some cloud services for use by the Federal Government including many of the Google Apps such as Gmail, Google Docs, etc. Since these services are for sale as well as freely available this sounds more like an admission that they can be used. Will other governments follow suit?  But should they be used? That is really the question.

There are two sides to any government, the classified and the unclassified. These are general terms that quantify how the government can use services. While all services require quite a bit of security, classified utilization requires even more, in many cases what most would consider to be “uber-security” requirements. The types of requirements that impact usability in some way. Can these tools provide adequate security? Continue reading Cloud Apps approved by GSA

vSphere 4.1 Improvements in Availability

With the release of vSphere 4.1 there have been some great enhancements that have been added with this release.  In one of my earlier post I took a look at the vSphere 4.1 release of ESXi.  This post I am going to take a look at vSphere 4.1 availability options and enhancements. So what has changed with this release?  A maximum of 320 virtual machines per host has been firmly set.  In vSphere 4.0 there were different VM/Host limitations for DRS as well as different rules for VMware HA. VMware has also raised the number of virtual machines that can be run in a single cluster from 1280 in 4.0 to 3000 in the vSphere 4.1 release. How do these improvements affect your upgrade planning? Continue reading vSphere 4.1 Improvements in Availability