After a week of rumors, VMware has finally unleashed the Reaper. Yesterday morning as of 9 am GMT, VMware has announced layoffs in multiple business units across the globe. I have heard that Burlington Canada Call Center has been closed in its entirety (98), although about 50% have been given the opportunity to work remotely. I am sure that this will not include any of the call center staff. Additional layoffs are reported to include approximately 40% of VMware Israel (80), as well as losses in vCloud Air and vCloud Gateway Services in Canada, and in EMEA (numbers unknown). The most surprising of all are the layoffs of all VMware Workstation and Fusion development staff (numbers unknown)—as that department is being outsourced to China—and the rumors of the VMware View group’s being closed down.
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In the way that you stick you hand into your jeans pockets and find an unexpected high denomination bill neatly folded-up, we find that VMware has announced entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Wanova and in turn integrate their Mirage desktop management product into VMware’s End-User Computing (EUC) portfolio.
This acquisition does indeed represent a very exciting and strategic addition for VMware. The combination of VMware View and Wanova Mirage will be an an industry first pairing that could well dramatically redefine the VDI market: and first because there are no other products that operate like Mirage. It is increasingly common to find vendors acknowledging that a VDI-only solution is not enough. Citrix know it. Desktone know it. Quest know it. Virtual Bridges know it. We’ve critiqued before that by having a VDI only view, VMware doesn’t “get” desktops. With their Wanova acquisition VMware is no longer restricted to only delivering centrally hosted virtual desktops.
What is it that Wanova’s Mirage can offer, and how does Mirage differ from other solutions?
There have been several interesting posts in the blogosphere about virtualization security and how to measure it. Specifically, the discussions are really about the size of the hypervisor footprint or about the size of patches. But hypervisor footprints from a security perspective are neither of these. The concern when dealing with hypervisor security is about Risk, not about the size of the hypervisor or the size of a patch it is purely about the Risks associated with the hypervisor in terms if confidentiality, availability, and integrity. Vendors who claim that security is proportional to the size (in GBs) of the hypervisor footprint are spreading FUD.
There is quite a bit of documentation on bare metal or Type 1 hypervisors, including my own book, VMware vSphereTM and Virtual Infrastructure Security: Securing the Virtual Environment, but there is not much material on the proper security of hosted environments, or Type 2 hypervisors, such as Microsoft Virtual Server, VMware Workstation, Fusion, Player, or Server as well as Qemu, Virtuozzo, or OpenVZ.
There is an interesting discussion about this on the VMware Communities on just this subject. It is interesting given the vulnerability being discussed is CVE-2009-1244 (or VMware’s ID VMSA-2009-0006) which relate to Guest Operating System driver vulnerabilities in hosted environment. It relates specifically to paravirtualized video drivers allowing the possibility of code to run within the host from within the Guest OS. In other words, escaping the VM.