Friday, December 21, 2007

VMware ESX Server 3i Released:

This release introduces VMware ESX Server 3i, the industry's first ultra-thin hypervisor. With this ultra-thin architecture, ESX Server 3i provides unprecedented levels of security, reliability, and manageability.

ESX Server 3i provides all the benefits and features of VMware ESX Server hypervisor including:

  • Increases security with a small, virtualization-centric package that minimizes attack surface area and requires minimal patching
  • Provides full integration with VirtualCenter 2.5
  • Integrates with hardware to ensure compatibility, certification, and optimized configurations
  • Enables standards-based management of the underlying hardware
  • Works in conjunction with VMware Distributed Resource Scheduler (DRS) to achieve plug-and-play capacity scaling for your datacenter.
Note: Limited support: ESX Server 3i Installable is supported only on Dell 2950 (full support) and on HP DL380 G5 (experimental support).

Download here.
Comparison of Patching strategies by Virtualization Vendor:

The fist glimpse was into the frequency of patches by VMware, and their response..realizing of course patching is a necessary evil of our times. But then a new blogger decided to compare patching strategies of other virtualization vendors such as Xen, Microsoft's Hyper-V, Virtual-Iron, and Virtuosso.

Very good read.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Microsoft launches Hyper-V beta 1:

December 13th, Microsoft surprises all and sends out a first public working Hyper-V beta. Bill must of had them working day and night trying get this done.

Quoting from

The new build unlocks several critical features customers were looking for:

  • Quick Migration and support for host-level HA (up to 16 nodes)
  • Out-of-the-box integration with Windows Server 2008 Server Manager (no more separate installation)
  • Support for Windows Server Core edition (allowing a smaller hypervisor footprint)
  • Support for Volume Shadow Service (VSS) (which implies capability to perform VMs live backup at host level)
  • Support for 64GB virtual RAM per VM
  • Support for multiple virtual NICs per VM
  • Support for 4 virtual SCSI controller per VM
  • Replacement of the S3 emulated video card with a generic VESA
  • Integration of VHD manipulation tools

With this beta Microsoft is providing support for Windows Server 2003 and 2008 guest OS, as well as Novell Linux guests (thanks to the special agreement the two companies have on interoperability).

Once again Hyper-V is directly included into Windows Server 2008 code, this time inside the Release Candidate 1 (Enterprise Edition, 64bit only).

Enlightments for Linux guest OS instead are available through a separate beta program on Connect.

Six new technical papers released by VMware

Per VMware has released six new technical papers most of them dealing with new features in 3.5, check them out!

Enabling Netflow on Virtual Switches -
Configuring and Troubleshooting N-Port ID Virtualization -
Round Robin Load Balancing -
Virtual Machine Failure Monitoring -
Firewall Configurations for Backup Clients on ESX Server 3 -
Performance Characteristics of VMFS and RDM -

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Gartner Survey: Server Virtualization Needs/Trends:

Gartner has provided a report on this topic with some interesting results.

I originally came across the report from a new company: which you might want to look at.

The full report is here.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

New Guides covering Newly released ESX 3.5:

With the launch of the new VI 3.5 this week..nothing like a well written guide to get you started.

This guide is written by Mike Laverick, from RTFM Education and co-author of the soon to be released new VI3Book.

You can dowload the PDF from site 1 or site 2.

Thanks Mike again for sharing with the virtualization community!

Update: Another interesting list of new popular features in the new release.

Interview on VI 3.5 new features with Mike Laverick.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Benchmarking how well you manage virtualization

Good article on staffing and strategies for managing a virtual environment.

Read the entire article here.

Quoting some of the better parts:

Make no mistake: Now is the time to make managing your virtual infrastructure a priority, as you allocate budget and staff, IDC's Elliot said. Otherwise, you won't be able to optimize virtualization results or savings, or plan strategically for the future.

Some 15% of IT groups are creating a dedicated team, often called the virtual computing team, that brings together experts from various IT disciplines to manage the overall virtualization effort, according to IDC. Around 85% of corporations are creating a virtualization management group inside of server and/or storage teams. (This second statistic should serve as a warning bell: Security experts say you need an integrated IT team that includes network, storage and security expertise, as you manage virtualization.)

average number of virtual images per administrator, is 200.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Platespin's New Disaster Recovery Appliance!:

This looks very interesting!
More details are available at

  • Named "Forge", out-of-box solution, no skills or additional products needed
  • performs live backup of up to 25 physical or virtual servers
  • Uses VMware ESX and Platspin's PowerConvert tool
  • recovery can happen on any chosen system,
  • restore to physical or virtual hardware
  • can restore all protected systems into an isolated environment for testing
  • Failover Preparation: can ask Forge to boot and prepare stand-by servers to have the shortest downtime possible
More info at the Platespin site!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Infrastructure 3.5 Release Tenative Dates

The web site is saying it looks like the Infrastructure 3.5 product is releasing today. Diane Green keynote of the launch is set for 7:30am pst and can be watched LIVE here.

Well this didn't mature..but new tenative dates per the above site are:
  • Capacity Planner 2.6 - Dec. 7
  • ESX Server 3i - Dec. 13
  • VMware Infrastructure 3.5 (ESX Server 3.5/VirtualCenter 2.5) - Dec. 11-17

Monday, December 3, 2007

10 Virtualization Vendors to Watch in 2008:

From the Full Ariticle here:

Sure, VMware and Citrix/Xen have their own management tools. But who are the other key companies innovating in this area? We talked to CIOs and industry analysts to narrow down a list of ten virtualization management and security vendors that should be on any IT leader's radar screen in 2008.
VizonCore's new Vconverter 3.0 looks good:

The technology preview of Vizioncore's most popular product from the Invirtus purchase, vConverter 3.0, is now available for trial at this download link.

Quoting from article:

The new version is aimed at serious competition, mostly with PlateSpin which is a leader in P2V migration space, reaching impressive results in performances: a physical server with 4GB hard drive (half of which is filled) can be live migrated in less than three minutes thanks to patented features vzBoost and Hyperfill (this time includes vConverter installation inside the target server. The migration itself takes less than two minutes).

Both new features increase conversion speed, reaching up to 10x speed with data preallocation techniques (Hyperfill) and kernel level drivers (vzBoost) specific for VMware ESX Server.

Besides VMware hypervisor, vConverter 3.0 will also support Microsoft and Virtual Iron virtualization platforms.


Open stardards for virtual infrastructure management:

Quoting from


This is a major announcement for the virtualization industry.

The new standard also recognizes supported virtualization management capabilities, including the ability to:

  • discover inventory virtual computer systems
  • manage lifecycle of virtual computer systems
  • create/modify/delete virtual resources
  • monitor virtual systems for health and performance

VMware, Citrix, Novell, Sun and IBM, all involved in virtual infrastructures management, along with many other partners are supporting this effort.

We'll see if and when top players as Microsoft, Virtual Iron, SWsoft, Red Hat, and smaller companies busy in virtual lab management, like Surgient and VMLogix, and in virtual machines lifecycle management, like Embotics and ManageIQ, will adhere these new standards.

Standards are available here:

Read the full article at

Saturday, December 1, 2007

NEW VMware VDI Beta Release:

The VMWare VDM Beta 2 release was made know late Friday night. Some exciting features:

What's new in this release:

  • SecurID two-factor authentication
  • Redesign of VM pooling

Key features:

  • Enterprise-class connection brokering - What organizations need to connect (and manage) their remote clients to their centralized virtual desktops.
  • Web UI based management - Designed for a desktop administrator, Silverstone provides an easy look and feel that closely resembles VI3 and enables central administration of desktops from any location.
  • Full Microsoft Active Directory (AD) integration and policy enforcement.
  • VMware VI3 integration - Silverstone leverages VMware HA and DRS capabilities.
  • Support for manually created VMs as well as pools of VMs - Support includes persistent and non-persistent pooling which allows for the flexibility of retaining changes made to desktop virtual machines after a log off, which associates users to their own unique desktop, or reverting back to a known good configuration VM. This functionality is ideal for shared compute environments such as call centers or kiosks.
  • Flexible deployment options - This flexibility allows for deploying critical components of VDM to different parts of the network to improve security and scalability of the environment.
  • Support for limited USB client devices.
  • Ability to cluster multiple connection brokers together for high availability and redundancy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

VMware Unveils Next Generation of Free VMware Server:

Vmblog has a story staying the next release of the VMware's FREE virtualization product, Vmware Server, is now out for beta testing..

A feature list:

VMware Server 2 beta is feature-packed with the following new capabilities:

  • Intuitive web-based management interface: VMware Server 2 provides a simple, flexible, intuitive and productive management experience. Features include an embedded virtual machine console, full management functionality and the ability to create customized remote console URLs for virtual machine users.
  • Expanded operating system support: VMware Server 2 now supports more than 30 types of guest operating systems, including Windows Vista, Windows Server 2008 (beta), Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 and Ubuntu 7.10.
  • Virtual Machine Interface (VMI) support: VMware Server 2 includes support for transparent paravirtualization through VMI, enabling enhanced communication between virtualized operating systems and the virtualization layer.
  • Support for high-speed USB 2.0 devices: The USB 2.0 support provided by VMware Server 2 allows for increased flexibility for customers using peripheral devices in virtualized environments.
  • Enhanced memory and processor support: VMware Server 2 now supports up to 8 GB of RAM per virtual machine and up to 2 Virtual SMP processors. The product also features support for 64-bit guest operating systems on 64-bit compatible processors for improved performance and scalability.

See more here.
Server 2008 Licensing Changes!!!!


In terms of pricing and licensing, we made a few changes for the Windows Server 2008. The licensing remains generally the same as Windows Server 2003 R2 (eg. Enterprise comes with 4 additional virtual guest instances, Datacenter comes with unlimited virtual guest instances), but we made one change for Standard. Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition license allowed customers to run the instance either in the physical or virtual environment, but not with the same license. Windows Server 2008 Standard will now allow 1+1 licensing (1 physical and 1 virtual instance running at the same time). The requirement for having Client Access Licenses (CALs) has not changed, meaning that when Windows Server 2008 comes out, CALs will have to be upgraded to Windows Server 2008 as well. Pricing will also be very similar to Windows Server 2003, with the exception of an approximately 1% increase.


Read the full post here.
WOW..I have been busy:

Sorry folks, but I have been way to busy to keep up with my blogging after VMworld with all the annoucements. First there is Citrix buying Xensource, then exploring all that was heard at Vmworld's 11,000 attendee event, then Citrix Iforum.

I have been very involved with the VMware VDI beta program since Vmworld and really like what we are seeing there.

Anyway...will try to get back in the swing...

Friday, September 7, 2007

Convert Virtual Disks from VHD to VMDK:
Learn how here.
Arne Fokkema the Dutch ICT-Freak created a little how to and I translated his document. With the latest version of Winimage (8.10) you can convert the VDH virtual disk format to a VMDK virtual disk file.

Microsoft releases Viridian hypervisor along with Windows Server 2008 RC0

Few hours ago WinBeta broke the news Microsoft just released Windows Server 2008 RC0 to TAP customers.

Now has learned from trusted sources that this new version contains first preview version of new Microsoft hypervisor Windows Server Virtualization (WSV), codename Viridian.

As expected the hypervisor comes as a server role, but the surprising news is that virtualization role is available also for complete installations of Windows, not only Server Core one as originally stated by Microsoft.

This may change once started the beta program, but if it stays this way it may imply Microsoft is changing its plans for hypervisor integration, and may even consider embedding a specific version for desktop operating systems (e.g.: Vista).

Once activated the new role will reboot the machine in hypervisor mode, putting Windows operating system in the so called Parent Partition, as Viridian architecture implies.

If TAP customers have access to this preview it means general public will access beta 1 within the end of this year or early 2008.


Novant accepted into ESX 3.5 Beta Program:

Well this is the 2nd time we have been involved in a VI 3 related beta program and I have to say they really run a great beta program. If have some spare lab equipment I would strongly suggest participation, you can sign up here.

Friday, August 31, 2007

AMD's new Rapid Virtualization Indexing Processors:

Read the full article here.

This is what I'd like to talk about: Memory hardware assists. With the new code-named Barcelona quad-core CPU due to be available in a few weeks with volume shipments in a few months, AMD is going to provide support for what they refer to as "Nested Page Tables" (or NPT for short) which is nothing but memory virtualization support.
A year ago at VMworld 2007 Sr Director R&D Jack Lo provided an illuminating session on the matter: VMware and Hardware Assist Technology (Intel-VT and AMD-V). This session provided a very interesting inside about the mechanisms that VMware is using today in terms of memory virtualization (i.e. Shadow Page Tables) that are basically a software "fake" that allows Guest OS'es to pretend to have full control of the memory address space provided to them while in reality it is the hypervisor maintaining full control of that. In fact if you think about it, in a standard x86 world, only one OS could run on the system and it is that OS keeping control of the hardware resources. In a virtual environment this stack is "screwed up" since the OS doesn't run on real hardware (and there are many OS'es running on the system) so the hypervisor needs to create this software re-mapping of physical resources into the Guest space. Mr. Lo also touched on future hardware assist technologies that should provide a performance boost in this area and AMD NPT was in fact mentioned. The good thing is that "future" at some point becomes "present" and here we are.

The whole idea is that now the processor itself can keep track of these two levels of memory space (i.e. the one that the hypervisor sees and the one that each guest OS sees) without any sort of software remapping being done within the hypervisor as it is the CPU that is able to maintain these multiple mappings onto the registries built into the silicon. What VMware has been suggesting lately is that while their "software binary translation" has better performance than the silicon counterpart Intel-VT and AMD-V for CPU operations, these Nested Page Tables will give a performance boost comparing to their own "software shadow page tables" for memory operations. Without getting into the specifics you should rest assured that VMware is going to intercept NPT support in future releases of the hypervisor in a timely manner. And no, if you were wondering, ESX 3.0.2 (which is the current version as of today) won’t support NPT.

So when is this supposed to show big improvements? As always for performance related things it really depends on what you are doing. For the vast majority of CPU intensive and/or IO intensive workloads NPT won't make much of a difference. There are however some workloads that might gain huge performance benefits. Typically these applications are those with specific memory patterns. This does not necessarily mean virtual machines with big memory footprints but specifically virtual machines with a very high number of "context switches". A occurs whenever a thread needs to leave control to another thread; at the high-level when this occurs the OS needs to save the volatile state of the exiting thread and load the previously saved volatile state of the next thread to be executed. On a standard physical system this is a procedure that the OS handles with the support of the processor while in a virtual environment the Guest OS tries to do the same but instead of getting hardware support to achieve the context switch the hypervisor traps the request and re-works it to fit into the real system resources (well what happens is more complex but you have got the point). This generates overhead especially if you think that you normally get hundreds if not thousands of context switches per second on a Windows system. NPT is all about getting rid of this software re-mapping and allow a much streamlined path from the Guest to the physical resource without the hypervisor acting as the “man in the middle”.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Free Chapters of highly anticipated VI3 Technical Design Guide available:

VI3 Advanced Technical Design Guide authors release free sample chapter of their upcoming new book. The MOST popular book on VMware virtualization for the last two years, VMware ESX Server: Advanced Technical Design Guide, is now available for free here. There has been high demand for the release of the new book: Virtual Infrastructure 3: Advanced Technical Design Guide.

The authors: Ron Oglesby, Scott Herold, and Mike Laverick are making three chapters of the new book available NOW FOR FREE! Rush and get your download here!

  • Part 1 - Chapter 4 - VirtualCenter and Cluster Design
  • Part 1 - Chapter 10 - Recovery and Business Continuity
  • Part 2 - Chapter 1 - Installing ESX 3.x

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Intel Launches Two Xeon Processors For Virtualization

Full original article is located here.

The chips enable third-party virtualization software, such as VMware, to offload workload to the system hardware to boost performance.

Intel on Monday introduced a couple of quad-core Xeon processors with improved virtualization capabilities.

The X5365 and L5335 are for running server and workstation applications. The former is a 3.0-GHz chip that fits inside a 120-watt envelope. The L5335 has a clock speed of 2.0 GHz within a 50-watt envelope. Each chip has a 1333-MHz front-side bus.

Both processors include Intel's Virtualization Technology, which enables third-party virtualization software, such as VMware, to offload workload to the system hardware to boost performance. VT offers 64-bit guest operating system support.

The processors also include new VT extensions for better interrupt handling in virtualization of 32-bit Microsoft(MSFT) Windows. For energy efficiency, the chips have Intel's new "energy smart" technology that lower power use while the chip is idle.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


A small quote from the full article follows:

Citrix will announce its acquisition of XenSource tomorrow, The Register has learned.

In a bid to expand its software management play, Citrix will grab the developer of the open source Xen hypervisor. The deal will give XenSource heftier corporate backing needed to compete against VMware.

The full article is here.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Good summary of Vmware long term plans (for the IPO investers): has put together a very good summary of long term and upcoming plan that VMware has announced as part of the IPO stock offering this week.

Read all about it here.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Full details leaked on new ESX 3.1.0 and VC 2.1.0 features: has a scoop on the official new features that will be in the next major VI 3 release later this year.
Quoting from
  • Solid State Drive (SSD) boot support
    As initially discovered last month, VMware will make available a special version of ESX Server (mentioned with terms like ESX Lite and Embedded ESX) for OEM vendors, to be installed into bootable Solid State storage devices (flash drives, etc.). This option will allow creation of ESX Server hardware appliances for easy jumpstart, granting smaller form-factors and improved reliability.
    Dell, IBM and possibly other vendors will offer this option at announcement time in Q3 2007.
  • DMotion
    Unofficially introduced with ESX Server 3.0.1, in its first version DMotion is a special VMotion operation only capable of moving running virtual machines from an ESX Server 2.5.x host to a new ESX Server 3.x., without shared SAN LUN mandatory requirement.
    In ESX Server 3.1 this capability will be extended, allowing hot migration of running virtual machines between ESX 3.1 hosts through the Ethernet cable.
  • Patch management system for host and virtual machines (UpdateManager)
    ESX Server 3.1 will finally introduce an automated patch management system called UpdateManager. This solution will be able to update both host itself and virtual machines (both Microsoft Windows and Red Hat Enterprise Linux).
    UpdateManager will feature security backup before patching and automated rollback if something goes wrong.
  • VMware Consolidate Backup (VCB) and VMware Converter integration
    VirtualCenter 2.1 will now allow restoring VCB images with an integrated version of VMware Converter.
  • Server consolidation advisor
    VirtualCenter 2.1 will expose a server consolidation assistant able to analyze which physical machines should be converted in virtual ones, and where to move existing VMs among available hosts.
    (note that with this feature VMware is further extending competition with PlateSpin, covering both features with PowerRecon and PowerConvert)
  • Guest OS disaster recovery capability
    VirtualCenter 2.1 will be able to recognize a failure inside a virtual machine and restart it through VMware HA module.
  • Power saving capability (Distributed Power Management)
    VirtualCenter 2.1 will introduce a new resources utilization analysis feature, able to verify when a physical host can be powered off, VMotion-ing its virtual machines on other hosts without impacting performances.
  • Support for Cisco Discovery Protocol (CDP)
    VirtualCenter 2.1 will be able to recognize and use CDP to discover physical and virtual network topologies.
    It stays unconfirmed if ESX Server 3.1 will already expose new virtual network architecture, allowing 3rd party virtual switches, as it will be announced by Cisco CEO at VMworld 2007.
  • Support for 10Gbit Ethernet network cards
  • Support for TCP/IP Offload Engine (TOE) network cards
  • Support for network load balancing algorithms
  • Support for 200 hosts and 2000 virtual machines
  • Support for 128GB RAM per host and for 64GB RAM per virtual machine
  • Support for SATA storage devices
  • Support for N_Port ID Virtualization (NPIV)
  • Support for VCB over iSCSI SANs
  • Support for IPv6 in virtual networking
Very Nice KVM tool for VI 3:

This information and original info at

"An unoffical contest has sprung up to create with the VirtualCenter SDK a “MKS Client”. For those not in the know, MKS stands for a Mouse, Screen and Keyboard (you probably know it better as KVM). It’s a process that runs on an ESX host which allows for the redirection of inputs and outputs to the VM’s Remote Console - put simply it allow you interact with the VM using VMware’s client. The contests aim to produce a kind of stripped down client which only allows for this kind of interaction with the need for a full Vi Client. I blogged about Eric Sloof’s creation earlier this week. Anyway, it looks like Bouke Groenescheij and Richard Garsthagen (of VMware EMEA) have joined into this informal contest too…"




Thursday, August 2, 2007

Microsoft and Xen Team up:


Microsoft announced today it will team up with open source virtualization supplier XenSource to run Linux virtual machines under its Windows Longhorn Server.

The move is a big extension of Microsoft's previous commitment to allow Linux virtual machines to run under Windows. In April, it said it would support Linux under its base virtualization product, Virtual Server. Now it's going to support the generation and management of many Linux virtual machines on its most advanced software.


Read the full article here.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

New ESX 3.0.2 / VC 2.0.2 releases:

Get the new code here.

Bug fix releases and some new extended support.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Cisco-first 3rd party virtual switch for Vmware:

VMware will allow 3rd party vendors to develop their virtual switches for ESX Server virtual network, and Cisco is expected to be the first company announcing such product (Virtual Catalyst?).

The original info and scoop on this story is located here.
Microsoft 26min webcast explanation of Virtualization and licensing:

Read more and see the video here.

Friday, July 20, 2007

New Free ESX Manager 2.1 Tool looks very cool:

This information originally appeared on

Quoting from that site:


Virtual Center independent
Keeps track of Virtual Machine Host Registration, Migrations and Status
Manage Virtual Machine Configuration

Display and work in the Virtual Machine Console
Kill Virtual Machine Process (if the VM can't be powered off)
Rename Virtual Disks of registered Virtual Machines
Move Virtual Disks and keep the disk attached to the Virtual Machine
Virtual Machine Registration, Start , Restart , Reset, Power Off, Suspend
Extend Virtual Disks

View-Search-Filter Logfiles on the ESX Host.
Define and save custom SSH commands with Parameter handling
Publish and share custom SSH commands with other ESX Administrators

You can download ESX Manager 2.1, here.

You can also download screenshots and a feature list, here.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Per Vmware testing: 67% more VMs on Intel quad-core CPU than dual-core: has info here.

Read the full ariticle from

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

How to use Active Directory to identify / track virtual machines:

As organizations become more and more virtual, it is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate between physical and virtual servers. Some administrators append "_vm" to the host names of each virtual machine. However, many organizations do not prefer this approach, as any name change could impact how users and applications access the VM's data. Changing a server's name after it has been converted to a VM may also impact the server's locally installed applications and services. When administrators rename a server following a physical to virtual (P2V) migration, they often use CNAME records in DNS to ensure name resolution transparency. Still, this approach adds additional complexity to managing server resources. Another way to identify server objects as either physical or virtual is by making use of each computer object's Description attribute in Active Directory. Some organizations already use the Description attribute to identify a computer's location, department, or role. With that in mind, making use of the Description attribute may require you to be concise in how you identify physical or virtual objects.

Continue to the full article here.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Forrester predicts Microsoft will not impact the virtualization market until 2010:

"In the coming years, VMware will continue to dominate the market for x86 server virtualization, but it face new challenges from Microsoft's Windows Server 2008 and XenSource, according to a new report from Forrester Research.

The July 9 report finds that while Microsoft's soon-to-be-released server product and XenSource's XenEnterprise suite match some of the features found in VMware's products, it will take years for them to dislodge VMware from its spot as the premier provider of virtualization technology. "

Read the full article at

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Microsoft Server 2008 Product Launch will be in 2008:

Microsoft said it will launch the product, which it has said will be finalized before the end of the year, at an event in Los Angeles on February 27. The company will also launch Visual Studio 2008 and Microsoft SQL Server 2008 at the same event. The company made the announcement at its Worldwide Partner Conference here.

Read the full article here.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Intel Buys into VMware:

Quoting from

VMware, Inc., the global leader in software for virtualization solutions today announced that Intel Corporation, through its global investment arm, Intel Capital has agreed to become an investor in VMware. VMware's base virtualization platform virtualizes the Intel architecture. Intel microprocessors comprise the majority of the systems on which VMware's virtualization products are deployed.

Intel Capital will invest $218.5 million in VMware's Class A common stock subject to customary regulatory and other closing conditions including Hart-Scott-Rodino (HSR) review. At the completion of VMware's planned initial public offering and upon closing of the investment, Intel will own approximately 2.5 percent of VMware's total outstanding common stock (less than one percent of the combined voting power of VMware's outstanding common stock). Pursuant to the investment, an Intel executive is expected to be appointed to the VMware Board of Directors.

Read the Full Story at the source:

VMworld 2007 Sessions / Content Catalog Now Online:

The VMworld 2007 Content Catalog is now online, listing over 230 breakout sessions across 8 different tracks. This information comes direct from

There are many interesting topics (for a short list see and it appears we will learn more about Vmware Server 2.0 (perhaps the next evolution for the free Vmware server 1.x product).

Friday, July 6, 2007

DXTreme Turbo Charges Windows 32 bit VMs:

Quoting from

"InovaWave's DXtreme product has been reviewed independently by InfoWorld and has won it's highest award. For those of you that have not heard of InovaWave's DXtreme, it optimises the disk I/O subsystem for VM's running on Windows. The ESX, Virtual Iron and Xen versions of the products are under development. If the current windows version is anything to go by then they also should be awesome products."

This looks like a product to keep and eye on. Read the full review and see the amazing results here.

Visit the main site

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Citrix Evaluation Virtual Appliance:

The EVA includes all of the components needed to evaluate Presentation Server Platinum Edition. These components include:

Application Virtualization
Application Streaming
Application Performance Monitoring
SmartAccess (Access Gateway appliance not included)
Single Sign-On

The Microsoft .VHD Test Drive base image evaluation period will end 30 days from the initial startup of the operating system.

You can download it, here.

Read the original source of this information here.
Dell to feature VMware ESX lite in new VESO Servers:

As first rumored and reported on appears this has now been confirmed.

Read the original article here or more details here.

Quoting from the details site:

"VESO, according to a large Dell customer who was briefed on the product, will be available in the second half of this year, and will have extended memory and I/O capabilities, simplified iSCSI boot functionality, physical-to-virtual (P2V) migration services, and an embedded hypervisor, most likely ESX Lite."

"VESO's promise is that it would be incredibly easy to set up, the source said. "Just plug it in to the network, configure it through a Web browser and you're done," he said." launches nice Virtualization Industry Predictions site: does it again with another first for the virtualization world.

Quoting from the site: "Virtualization Industry Predictions collects all forecasts major analysis firms publicly disclosed since 2003, providing customers, system integrators and investors another effective tool to research and track virtualization market evolution."

View the new site here:

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Platespin's PowerRecon Leads new Green Efficiency Service:

London, UK , - PlateSpin Ltd. today announced that VirtualizeIT, the virtualisation consultancy specialist, has chosen PlateSpin PowerRecon 3.0 as a key part of its newly launched Virtualisation Environmental Design Initiative (VEDI). The new service will take the form of a strategic report, specifically designed to enable customers to use virtualisation technologies to help reduce their natural resource consumption and carbon footprints.

Designed to operate as a standalone alternative or addition to the other services that VirtualizeIT offers, the report covers a number of strategic assessments of a customer’s infrastructure, focusing in detail on the environmental impact caused through power consumption and its knock-on effects.

Read the entire article here.

Virtualization Podcasts:

DABCC Radio Podcasting:
Listen to DABCC Radio to learn about technologies such as VDI, server virtualization, application virtualization, application deployment, application management, performance monitoring, and server-based computing from vendors such as Citrix, VMware, Microsoft, XenSource, SWSoft, Parallels, Provision Networks, Ericom, IBM, and many more! DABCC Radio is hosted by Douglas Brown, Microsoft MVP and founder of

To learn more click here.

InfoWorld Podcasts:

See the Virtualization Report.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Windows Vista Virtualization FAQ:

James Senior, a UK-based Microsoft technical specialist, has a detailed FAQ on Windows Vista™ and licensing rights.

Read the original source for this information here.
VMware Role in the Future / Standards / Emerging Architectures:

"However, looking into my crystal ball, I see the next generation VMware virtual infrastructure architecture as once again raising the bar. VMware’s ESX hypervisor will have a smaller footprint and improved security. Features that are important in the enterprise, including dynamic VM failover and backup will see significant improvements. You should also to see the complexity of storage integration reduced as well. Technologies such as N_Port ID Virtualization (NPIV) and the proliferation of iSCSI will significantly ease VM storage integration and failover."

"Intrusion detection is becoming more of a concern for numerous organizations, and the uptake of virtualization support by many security ISVs is evidence of that. For example, Catbird’s V-Agent can be used to quickly add an IDS to existing virtual networks."

"Hypervisor security is naturally important as well. If you would like to see some of the issues out there today, take a look at Harley Stagner’s excellent article on preventing and detecting rogue VMs. The blue pill attack has also received considerable interest. For more information on blue pill, take a look at Joanna Rutkowska’s presentation “Virtualization - the other side of the coin.”

Read the full article here.
Virtualization Benefits Outside of the DataCenter:

"The benefits of integrating virtualization in to consumer electronics are similar to the benefits IT managers derive from server virtualization: better utilization of hardware equals less hardware. In consumer devices, that translates in to smaller, lighter devices with better battery life and that cost less to manufacture, and therefore, that cost less for consumers to buy."

"With TRANGO, ARM processors gain the ability to run up to 256 virtual processes, executing a “rich operating system (such as Linux or Windows CE), a real-time operating system (RTOS), or a standalone driver or application.” I have no idea how far along they are on this process, or when virtualization-enhanced mobile devices might hit the market, but it certainly sounds promising."

Read the full article here.

Monday, June 18, 2007

A brief architecture overview of VMware ESX, XEN and MS Viridian:

This appears to be a nice article worth a read.

"It is my feeling that there has been a bit of confusion lately around how hypervisors are being positioned by the various vendors. I am specifically referring to the three major technologies that seem to be the most relevant strategically going forward:"

  • VMware ESX
  • Microsoft Viridian
  • Xen
Read the full article at the source.
VMware Embedded "ESX Lite" Hypervisor breaking news: has exclusive news on the full article here, or here.

VMware Inc. is working on a reduced footprint version of its ESX hypervisor, called ESX Lite, that would run directly within a server's firmware, has learned.

According to several sources close to VMware, ESX Lite is real and currently under development. The new lightweight hypervisor would be installed directly on the motherboard, simplifying the deployment of an ESX host and ensuring 100% hardware integration.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Looking for a Virtualization Job? job board:
The only site that focuses exclusively on jobs in the virtualization industry, the hottest growing fields in technology.

-- is one of oldest Citrix, VMware, and virtualization news, support, and training sites on the web today and now we are very proud to offer our visitors the ability to post and search for jobs in the virtualization and server-based computing vertical..

Monday, June 11, 2007

ESX Advanced Technical Guide released in FULL for FREE:

THE technical guide that all worthy VMware ESX architects and Admins bought during the ESX 2.5.x days is now available completely free in PDF format here.

And info on their NEW book everyone anticipates will be of the same amazing quality as the first but this one covering the VI 3 (ESX 3.x) product is due out this summer. For more info on the new book see
New Microsoft Windows licensing whitepaper covering third Party Virtualization products released:

Microsoft already exposed its licensing strategy more clearly with the launch of Virtualization Calculator 2.0, a few weeks ago, but customers were still missing an official document to refer to.

"The most interesting part anyway is a final comparison chart between VMware ESX Server, SWsoft Virtuozzo and Microsoft Virtual Server, where appears VMware ESX Server is less expensive than competitors when using Windows Server 2003 Standard Edition, and has equal costs when you adopt Enterprise or Datacenter editions (which are preferred choice for virtualization deployments)."

Download the whitepaper or read the entire article from who broke this news.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

New Patch Management Tool for ESX Server:

Massimiliano Daneri, famous on the virtualization scene for its free high-availability script, VMBK, working with VMware ESX Server, launches today a new tool: VMTS Patch Manager.

VMTS Patch Manager addresses a critical need for VMware customers, allowing automatic (or manual) patching of ESX Servers platforms.

This looks like a really nice tool.

Read the entire article at the original source.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Guide to installing VMware ESX3 on Workstation 6 (update):

This paper illustates how to install and configure VMware ESX3 Server to run within VMware Workstation 6. From this, VirtualCenter, VMotion, HA and DRS features can be configured.

Although performance is significantly reduced from that of a physical server, this type of environment opens considerable possibilities for portable client demonstrations and is excellent for self training and small lab environments.

This paper assumes the reader has good technical knowledge of VMWare Virtual Infrastructure 3. The paper assumes that you know how to install the VirtualCenter2, License Server and Virtual Infrastructure Client.

The hardware used in this whitepaper was an IBM Thinkpad T60P laptop, Core Duo, 3GB memory, 120GB SATA Hard Disk.

Note: Intel CPU(s) on the hardware running Workstation 6 must have the VT technology or the performance of ESX will be very poor. It is believed that the same applies with AMD chips with AMD-V compatible CPU's being recommended, although it is currently untested by us on this platform.

See how to do this from the original article here.

Updated information and additional steps are on
Server 2008 LAST 32 bit Server OS:

Several news sites are discussing this issue. Bill Laing, general manager of the Windows Server division, said that after 2008 Microsoft would only produce 64 bit operating systems. This has led to speculation that Vista would be Microsoft’s last 32 desktop OS. However, this was just a jump to conclusions as clarified by the Vista blog.

Read more on this here.
Server 2008 Roadmap:

Here's how Laing outlined the Windows Server 2008 delivery roadmap up to R2:

2007: Windows Home Server gets a fall release; Windows Server 2008 is expected to have a release candidate prior to getting released to manufacturing in late November or December.

2008: Windows Server 2008 will be generally available in January. Windows Server codename "Cougar", aka Windows Small Business Server 2008, follows Windows Server 2008. Windows Server codename "Centro," the much-anticipated medium-sized version, is expected around or just after Cougar. Windows Server 2008 Storage Server, the storage and file server primarily targeted at SMBs, debuts sometime after Cougar and Centro.

Read the entire article here.
Server 2008 Server Core step-by-step Install Guide:

The Server Core step by step guide is now available
To download in Microsoft Word Document format
also the Server 2008 Technical Library is available

The step by step guide covers how to do most everything with Server Core, from initial configuration, role installation to command line and remote management. Please let me know if there is additional detail that you would like to see included.

There are also a set of scenarios posted and a survey on Server Core at:

In the left tree, select Server Core and the first item in the list “Tell us how you deploy, manage, and configure Server Core” is a survey where you can provide feedback. The other options in the list allow you to comment on the usefulness of sections of the step by step guide.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

VMware could make more hot add of virtual hardware available before Microsoft:

DHP (Dynamic Hardware Partitioning) features that are coming with Windows Server 2008 (formerly known as Longhorn) allow hot add of hardware without any downtime. It works with Processors, memory, and some PCI express cards. It does not allow removal of hardware without downtime.

An interesting point made at is that VMware could offer these features before Widnows Server 2008 hypervisor is available since it is a part of the base Server OS product.

A video presentation from WINHEC is available that discusses this feature.

And more good info is available at
VMware Workstation 6 Performance Tuning/Benchmark Whitepaper:

Just weeks after the release of VMware Workstation 6, I have learned from that a whitepaper has been repleased with benchmarking and tuning tips.

See the full article or download the whitepaper directly from VMWware.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hypervisor Harmony: paravirt_ops-first common API between the major Hypervisors:

"The bottom line: Future Linux kernels will have a common hypervisor interface called paravirt_ops that will allow Linux to run on either Xen or VMware with high performance. Through XenSource’s relationship with Microsoft, it’s reasonable to expect that these Linux kernels will have the ability to run as first-class “enlightened” guests on the future Windows Hypervisor. Of course, all of this is only relevant to the market when the next major enterprise Linux distributions take new kernels to market that include paravirt_ops, but overall it is good to see harmony emerging in this particular piece of the virtualization landscape."

Read the entire article here.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Microsoft takes on the free world: Linux violates 235 of it's patents:

Microsoft claims that free software like Linux, which runs a big chunk of corporate America, violates 235 of its patents. It wants royalties from distributors and users. Users like you, maybe.

But now there's a shadow hanging over Linux and other free software, and it's being cast by Microsoft. The Redmond behemoth asserts that one reason free software is of such high quality is that it violates more than 200 of Microsoft's patents. And as a mature company facing unfavorable market trends and fearsome competitors like Google, Microsoft is pulling no punches: It wants royalties. If the company gets its way, free software won't be free anymore.

The conflict pits Microsoft and its dogged CEO, Steve Ballmer, against the "free world" - people who believe software is pure knowledge. The leader of that faction is Richard Matthew Stallman, a computer visionary with the look and the intransigence of an Old Testament prophet.

Read the entire story at

Friday, May 11, 2007

VMware Paravirt-ops Stirs Some Controversy:

Paravirtualization is a software technique developed by XenSource and implemented so far by Novell, Red Hat, and other open-source Linux OS providers. It's designed to improve the performance of virtual environments by recompiling parts of the guest operating system to create shortcuts that eliminate otherwise complex translations between OS and underlying hardware. (See Insider Eyes Virtual Desktops.)

Paravirt-ops is an interface VMware claims enables "transparent paravirtualization" by streamlining virtualization processes specifically for the Linux kernel. XenSource, VMware, IBM, and RedHat got paravirt-ops included in the latest release of the Linux kernel, version 2.6.20, which is only just starting to become available for developers.

So far, VMware is the first of the paravirt-ops proponents to offer support for the interface in a commercial product, though XenSource is said to be close to providing one, too.

Read the full story here.
Windows Server Virtualization: some features postponed:

Microsoft is postponing some features to a future release of Windows Server Virtualization (WSV):

  • No live migration
  • No hot-add resources (storage, networking, memory, processor)
  • Support limit of 16 cores/logical CPUs

You should note that you will be able to move virtual machines between WSV hosts if those hosts are part of a Longhorn cluster. Doing so will give you a downtime depending on the configured memory of the virtual machine and the speed of the storage system. This could be several seconds.

This news makes WSV less compelling than originally thought and we will have to wait a bit more (Longhorn RTM + 0..180 days + x days) for the really interesting stuff.

The above information came from:

I find it extremely amusing reading the "Windows Server Division Weblog". They make it sound like people are not already using virtualization in the real world and that they have developed virtualization. Guess they missed the 7,000 plus that attended VMworld last year... or ignore those that have been doing virtualization with VMware for years with Vmotion and Virtual Center and the creator of this x86 technology.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Nice comparison of VMware Server 1.0 to VMware Workstation 6.0: has update a very nice comparision between the two versions of software.

Read the entire comparision here.

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

VMware Workstation 6 Offically Released!

Workstation 6 has been released today and you can find out more at the official site.

A nice list of the many new features are listed at
Another list of the many new features is here.

Read the entire article on features that may show up in ESX Server!

Monday, April 30, 2007

VMware Converter 3.0.1 update released!

Some new features include:
  • Capability to import VMware Consolidated Backup images
  • Partial capability to import StorageCraft ShadowProtect images
  • Experimental command line interface (for Enterprise Edition only)
The starter edition is available for download here.

More info and credit for this information at

Friday, April 27, 2007

VMware TSX 2007 Presentations now available!

All presentation downloads are available at the main site.

Some ones that may be of particular interest are:
Read the original source of this info at

Friday, April 20, 2007

Virtualization Redefines our Datacenters:

"For me, the takeaway from the conversation was something I've said before: take the "long view" on implementing virtualization... it may yield you quick HW savings today, but if its automated in an "IT-as-utility" context, its future savings will dwarf what the industry is seeing now."

Read the full article here.

VMware VirtualCenter gets high availability clustering:

"SteelEye Technology, in Palo Alto, Calif., has put the finishing touches on a high availability clustering solution for VirtualCenter, VMware's management console, and is is including it as part of its new SteelEye Protection Suite for VMware Infrastructure 3, announced today."

Read the full article here.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Will Microsoft sunset VMware?

Very interesting look at the future. I'm betting on VMware of course remaining king!

"Now that Microsoft is coming out with their own enterprise virtualization software who's going to buy VMware products any more?". How many times have I heard that? Let me first be very clear before you ever start reading this post: I have a Microsoft background and I have built my own career on that. On the other hand I have been working, during the last few years, with VMware and someone might think that I have a "story" with them now...

Read the entire article here.

The Amazing VM Record/Replay Feature in VMware Workstation 6

VMware Workstation 6 is coming shortly, and we’re quite excited about its many new features: support for paravirtualized Linux kernels, integration with Microsoft Visual Studio and Eclipse, high-speed USB support, multiple monitor support, and the new VIX 1.1 VM scripting API to name a few.

One other new feature that we’re extra excited about is “VM Record/Replay” (shown enabled below). The idea behind Record/Replay is relatively straightforward. When executing software within a virtual machine (VM), our virtualization layer can record the complete execution behavior. Having saved this behavioral information, the user can go back in time (from the VM’s point of view) and replay that exact and complete behavior over and over again. The keywords here are exact and complete, and that’s where both the implementation challenge and the power come from.

Read more of the original article, Virtually There: Steve Herrod's Blog

Monday, April 9, 2007

Microsoft's virtualization-friendly Vista Enterprise license

"The main feature of the VECD license is that it is instance-based, not installation-based. What that means is that with VECD, Vista is licensed per user or use, rather than per installed copy. A Vista VM, therefore, can be dynamically moved between virtualization hosts, and organizations can store VMs offline without requiring that they be fully licensed."

Read the entire article here.
Update: Read Brian Madden's comments on this here.

Microsoft Enables New Ways to Deploy Windows Vista

"New options to license desktop virtualization and diskless PCs give Windows Vista Enterprise customers more choices, says the director of Microsoft's Windows Business Group."

Read all about it here.
VMware TSX (Technical Solutions Exchange) coverage:

Some really good info from the important VMware event held in Nice, France.

Here are some links to coverage of the event:

Good summary of all VMTN Blogs
Alessandro Perilli - part 1- via
Alessandro Perilli - part 2- via
Mike Laverick interview via
Mike Laverick:
ESX Install appliance
VI 3 new features coming
ESX AD Authentification
Top support issues I,
VCB today and tommorrow
Top support issues II
Storage insights
Gerben's Blog - excellent info here
Pictures from the event - Nice, France - thanks to Victor Van Den Berg
Improvements coming in VMware Virtual Infrastructure 3:

Mike Laverick's site ( has very revealing news from the VMware TSX event held just last week in Paris, on VI 3 features that are coming!

Live data migration
Currently available to sys-admins to move data of a running VM from ESX 2.x/VMFS2 to a ESX3.x/VMFS3 volume. The natural extension of this is as a tool for data management for ESX 3.x as well
Third Party Virtual Switches
Allowing other companies to develop virtual switches in the ESX host to have properties and features you would expect to see in conventional physical switches. So rather the unmanaged switches of ESX currently (except for vLAN support, security settings and load-balancing settings). The switch would be more like a conventional Cisco Catalyst switch
Better Management of Virtual Switches
The ability to create switches across many hosts - and being able to store the vSwitch information in an XML file for portability
HA non-stop
VMware HA without the crashing of the VMs. VMs continue to run else where on another ESX host. I would expect VMware to redevelop the “replayer” feature currently in VMware Workstation 6
Improved Hardware Support
Currently we dependent on VMware writing VMware drivers for devices. This means validating any hardware purchases against a VMware HCL. It looks like VMware wish to open this out further to allow other vendors to speed up the process by having a programme to validate third party drivers

Improved VM Virtual Hardware
Asked if we will get improvements inside the VM the answer was yes - pressed further we were promised 8 virtual CPUs in a VM

Read the entire article here.
VMware Infrastructure 3 demo video

If you have not seen the VMware Infrastructure 3 software and how it WILL change your world then you need to download / watch this demonstration video! Once you see it you will then understand how virtualization must be VITAL part of your company's strategy to be competitive.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Microsoft's virtualization-friendly Vista Enterprise license

"The main feature of the VECD license is that it is instance-based, not installation-based. What that means is that with VECD, Vista is licensed per user or use, rather than per installed copy. A Vista VM, therefore, can be dynamically moved between virtualization hosts, and organizations can store VMs offline without requiring that they be fully licensed."

Read the entire article here.

Microsoft Enables New Ways to Deploy Windows Vista

"New options to license desktop virtualization and diskless PCs give Windows Vista Enterprise customers more choices, says the director of Microsoft's Windows Business Group."

Read all about it here.
ESX VI 3 Server Patching automation:

We all know patching is a real pain..but Vincent Vlieghe has come up with some nice instructions for how to automate this. I have used this and it really saves time!

Read the entire process here.
There has also been an application created here.
Blue Lane: Intrusion-prevention system for VI 3 and Physical world:

The company's VirtualShield software sits between the host server's hypervisor and its virtual machines and is designed to block malware from reaching virtual machines, which could be vulnerable to being exploited if their applications don't have the latest patches. "It puts a force field in front of server images; that was the 'a-ha' behind the product," says Blue Lane president and CEO Jeff Palmer, adding that, although VirtualShield is currently available only for VMware, there's nothing keeping Blue Lane from developing VirtualShield for other vendors' hypervisors.

I have been testing both the Virtual and Physical solutions Blue Lane provides, and I have been very impressed. We put in in place on some very "dirty" segments and now we know what is attacking our systems. Also eases some of the burden of Microsoft's patch tuesday!

Read article here.
Read article here.
Read article here.
Read article here.
Download Evaluation here.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Platespin opens brand new support forum:

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

One vision of the virtual future:

Alessandro Perilli, well known in the virtualization space and contributer to has put together a very interesting article giving a vision and history of Microsoft and virtualization.

Read the entire article here:

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