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.

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