The latest and greatest thing in the data center is apparently containers. For those of us with long enough teeth to remember the heady days of the early millennium, they look and smell a lot like Solaris Zones.
Containers in their current incarnations are garnering a great deal of attention, especially in the DevOps world, where continuous deployment is the latest word in deployment strategies.
It is said that nothing is new in the world, and with containers, this statement could not be truer. I think, therefore, that an overview of the evolution of the container may be useful.
Who would have thought it? Parallels, the developer of the Mac-based hosted virtualization product, had a service provider business. As of March 24, 2015, Parallels has split it off from its core business of selling hosted virtualization to Mac users and marketed it as “Odin.” Yes, Odin, the Norse god, king of Asgard. At first glance, this might seem slightly pretentious for a service provider.
Gray-haired desktop virtualization specialists may remember Parallels as the developer of Virtuozzo Containers, a containerized application hosting solution for Windows Server that provides a halfway house between RDSH sessions and full server virtualization. Parallels is back in the desktop virtualization news after having announced its acquisition of 2X Software. This move brings mobile device management, VDI, and RDSH to the company’s current portfolio of Linux and Windows containers, a Type 2 hypervisor for OS X, and service provider–focused web server management tools. In a prepared statement announcing the acquisition, Parallels President Jack Zubarev said, “We see huge synergies with Parallels Access and Parallels Desktop products and are excited about the potential 2X solutions brings to us.”
“Quest Software and Virtual Computer announced a technology alliance to deliver a desktop virtualization and management solution meeting the end-to-end computing needs of large enterprises. This technology provides anywhere, anytime access to both centralized and distributed end-user environments through the integration of Quest® vWorkspace client and Virtual Computer NxTop 3.0 enterprise platform. The combined solution will dramatically reduce the cost and complexity of deploying and managing corporate desktops, while improving desktop delivery options for stationary and mobile users”. So ran the Virtual Computer announcement just before the kick-off for VMworld. You can read the full announcement here, which joined a flurry of initiatives from Quest.
In considering desktop virtualization many solely focus on solutions provided by Citrix and VMware. Quest’s vWorkspace has the background in delivering server based computing solutions to optimize the desktop; it has enterprise implementations. Quest Software are arguably The Quiet Man of desktop virtualization. Can these announcements help provide Quest Software the opportunity to herald vWorkspace can match, if not best, features that Citrix, VMware and other VDI vendors provide? Does the alliance offer Virtual Computer a wider opportunity to demonstrate how their NxTop solution can be used to deliver on desktop management? How does this announcement change what options are available to you in delivering you desktop strategy?
For some time VMware Player has been a free option for people to run pre-built VMs, perhaps supplied to them by their employer, or by an ISV. To construct a VM it has been necessary to use a more functional product such as VMware Workstation.
In Texiwill’s recent vSphere post, he came to the conclusion he would have to retire his HP DL380 G3 hardware in order to upgrade to vSphere. There is an interesting question as to whether his development environment could be saved by the judicious application of some Open Source technology. I too have some hardware of that vintage (an ML350 G3) so I thought I’d have a go, and to add a little spice I thought I’d try and do it using free Open Source software. After all ESXi 3.5i is free, and that works pretty darn well on a ML350 G3. Continue reading VirtualBox OSE 3.0 – Still a viable Open Source option?→