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Category Archives: VMworld2007

VMworld Europe 2008 – Open for registration

Link: www.run-virtual.com » Blog Archive » VMworld Europe 2008 – Open for registration.

February 26st, 2008 is the first VMworld Europe in Cannes, France.
We are very busy with all the preparations for this event, making sure
we can deliver good quality sessions, have a great representation of
the Virtualization Industry at the event, etc.

Well today is the opening of the VMworld Europe website (www.vmworld.com/europe) and the opening of the registration for the event.

We
will have seats for 3.000 actual attendees, the building will not
really allow for much more, so there is a very high change we will sell
out completely, so if you want to attend, register as soon as possible. …

VMworld
Europe will have around 90 unique sessions covering all segments of the
virtualization (x86) industry. We have chosen for a bit less sessions
then the previous VMworld event in San Francisco (250 sessions) as we
will have all sessions repeated at least 2 times. There will be no
pre-registration for the sessions you want to attend, all sessions will
work on a first-come, first-serve basis, but with the repeats of
sessions, you should easily be able to see most (if not all) of the
session you are interested in.

Besides sessions, there will
of course also be hands-on labs, where you can get hands-on experience
with some of the virtualization products/components.

VMware partnering using security APIs

Link: VMware shares secrets in security drive | CNET News.com.

VMware has traditionally restricted access to its hypervisor code and, while the vendor has made no official announcement about the API sharing program tentatively called "Vsafe," VMware founder and chief scientist Mendel Rosenblum said that the company has started sharing some APIs
(application program interfaces) with security vendors.

"We would like at a high level for (VMware’s platform) to be a better
place to run," he said. "To try and realize that vision, we have been
partnering with experts in security, like the McAfees and Symantecs,
and asking them about the security issues in a virtual world."

Rosenblum says that some of the traditional tools used to protect a hardware server work just as well in a virtualized environment, while others "break altogether."

"We’re trying to fix the things that break, to bring ourselves up to
the level of security where physical machines are," he said. "But we
are also looking to create new types of protection."

Rosenblum said the APIs released as part of the initiative
offer security vendors a way to check the memory of a processor, "so
they can look for viruses or signatures or other bad things."

Others allow a security vendor to check the calls an
application within a virtual machine is making, or at the packets the
machine is sending and receiving, he said.

"I don’t want to be reverse engineering our products to find
exploits or figure out signatures," Rosenblum said. "Fundamentally,
that means we have to partner. Fortunately, there is a bunch that are
happy to partner and I encourage that."

Even more on ESX 3i: commentary, and running in a VM

We all know you can run ESX Server in a VM (you know that, right?). Thomas Bishop already has the ESX Server 3i beta working in Fusion, and Eric Sloof has it going in Server. Thomas also has an interactive shell running at boot. See this forum thread for all the acrobatics, where pbraren and others are contributing. It’s quite a fascinating mix of technical step-by-step investigation and rumination on the significance of 3i and where the hypervisor is going.

Also, the ESX Server 3i session presentation from VMworld is available from us. (hat tip to Mike Laverick, who knew about it before I did. I can tell you that the rest of the VMworld presentation pdfs should be available on the new VMworld.com very soon, and most of the streaming sessions are already available. You must have a conference login to view them for now.)

A bit of commentary as well. J Hicks says in the comments on the last 3i post:

Don’t get me wrong, 3i is a great next step. Avoiding the RH based
service console and the associated patching is fantastic. However, what
really matters is not just the hypervisor itself, but the way its
managed. And 3i = 3, same code, different delivery, same management
(VC). …

Its very interesting to see the corner we’re turning here. Initially
VMware was touting "repurpose the hardware you have" – but now the
hardware vendors are delivering boxes that may only make sense for
virtulized hosts. (not that that’s a bad thing, just something to
ponder).

And the always-insightful Massimo Re Ferre has an essay on what he sees as the significance of ESX Server 3i — in short, it’s a step forward in the natural evolution of the product, but for now it’s still the ESX Server we know and love.

Link: What (really) VMware ESX 3i is (to me)

So what does this buy you as an end user? Yes me too I think… not so
much. Sure it has a much smaller attack surface for viruses and
security vulnerability that means less updates so less troubles for
system administrators. Also it finally allows to get rid of these
legacy 2 hard disk drives in rack servers and more importantly blades
transforming them in true stateless devices … as they should be. Yet
not really something you would go through the streets of San Francisco
screaming "oh boy what they managed to invent!?!"

In conclusion, I didn’t certainly want to diminish the value that 3i is
bringing into the industry. I am very excited about it because I think
it’s a step towards the right direction. However I think it is
important to clarify some of the rumors and misinformation that have
been circulating and that I am sure will circulate even after the
details are disclosed.

Massimo is worried that an excited sales force will be overhyping 3i as the ultimate hypervisor. I saw a lot of science fictional speculation before the announcement, but the reporting post-announcement has been pretty sober — pointing out the clear advantages in deployment and patch reduction and architectural simplicity, but not proclaiming that we’ve reached the promised land. So don’t worry, Massimo, you can be excited about 3i without overhyping it. You know VMware is not a company given to too much hype — but as kimono says in the discussion thread, 3i is "a seriously hot piece of kit."

Burton Group: past, present, future of virtualization on display at VMworld

Chris Wolf at the Burton Group with some very insightful coverage of VMworld 2007, and I don’t say that just because he says "Last week’s VMworld conference was arguably the most significant virtualization event to date."

Data Center Strategies: VMworld 2007 – What you may have missed.

To me, VMworld 2007 marked the coming out party for enterprise
virtualization. x86 virtualization’s past, present, and future were
clearly on display. For IT architects, the challenge is clear – hedge
your bets on virtualization’s future and align today’s technology
decisions based on those assumptions. My future data center has the
following traits:

  • Is managed by system administrators that focus on business value supported by applications – IT as a service
  • Utilizes standards-based management
  • Supports all virtual machines regardless of the platform which packaged them
  • Leverages embedded hypervisors or hypervisors that fully reside in
    memory (as with Virtual Iron) to ensure better security and power
    efficiency
  • Pools hardware resources (server, storage, network) and uses them
    when needed to meet workload demand and dramatically save on power and
    cooling
  • Includes a management layer capable of provisioning server,
    storage, and network resources and associated security settings on
    demand
  • Includes rollback technology that empowers users to recover from system or application failures without IT intervention

VMworld showed me the future of server virtualization and data centers. What did it show you?

More from Chris Wolf:

ESX 3i in and out of the box

Eric Sloof has some of the first notes in the wild talking about booting his ESX Server 3i that he got at VMworld. I believe many of the details are under NDA, but here’s a peek:

Also Dell has been talking about its forthcoming VESO servers:

Although this is not a hardware blog, I’m happy to pass along tidbits from other OEMs who will be shipping ESX Server 3i — and I’m talking to you, HP, IBM, Fujitsu, and NEC.

hicksj has taken a look and is already jaded in this thread at the VMTN Community.

More videos, photos from VMworld

Eric Sloof created some video impressions of VMworld as well as doing a few interviews. Check them out if you couldn’t make it this year!

Check out professional photographer and Dutch VMUG member Viktor van den Berg’s Flickr set for VMworld 2007 as well. And for the full stream of everybody’s snapshots from their San Francisco vacations, just search for VMworld 2007 on Flickr.

Don’t forget the VMworld Rocked My World video contest. The folks at TechTarget taped Diane Greene giving her take on VMworld — what about you? [hat tip: Tarry]

More on ESX Server 3i

ESX 3i

VMware’s Richard Garsthagen: VMware introduces ESX 3i

The real cool thing I like about ESX 3i is that it has support for SATA disks!! meaning it runs on your notebook :-)
Jippie!!!! I have successfully tested ESX 3i on my older Dell laptop
and it works awesome on my IBM x60. The IBM has a really good SATA
controller, that by default is not even supported by Windows XP, but
ESX 3i has no problem what so ever with it :-)  Also the notebook NICs seem no problem for ESX 3i.

Gordon Haff: Embedding Hypervisors

Expect all this activity to kick off another round of “Where does the hypervisor live?”
Microsoft, in particular, is still determined to own the entire
software stack from the VMM to the application. As a result, they’re
still promoting Viridian—however delayed.
It’s a misdirected quest. Although a VMM intermediates between the
hardware and the operating system—and usurps some low-level
functions—it hardly replaces the OS. The APIs and libraries of the OS
are still the “application contract” that underpins the software that
users actually care about. And Microsoft sells a lot of that
higher-level software as well. In other words, it’s hard to see why
Microsoft really needs to own the VMM any more than it needs to own a
server’s BIOS firmware or hardware. In fact, software that abstracts
messy hardware details from Windows would simplify Microsoft
development in a number of ways by reducing myriad complexifying
hardware dependencies. And, in any case, playing King Canute seems an
increasingly pointless exercise as the tide of embedded hypervisors
starts to wash in.

Drue Reeves: ROM-based Hypervisors: The New Data Center Operating System

Write down September 11, 2007 on your calendar as a landmark day for
virtualization.  …By shipping the hypervisor on bootable flash
within the server, it fundamentally changes the way we buy applications,
operating systems and hardware platforms. In this scenario, the hypervisor
becomes the operating system, while traditional operating systems become
application run-time environments. Thus, in the future, we won’t buy servers
with traditional OSes pre-installed on the hardware platform. Customers will
buy servers that are virtualization-ready, customizing their purchase with wide
variety of pre-configured VHDs that bundle the application and the operating
system as a solution. You may hear these bundles called "application
blades", "software blades" or "virtual appliances".
Whatever you call them, they represent a new way IHVs will deliver OSV and ISV
solutions.

Joe Hernick: Honey, I Shrunk the Hypervisor

So be on the lookout for
the new thin hypervisor from your favorite hardware vendor. Saying that
this will change the landscape in an already quickly shifting market is
an understatement. If you haven’t started a virtualization project in
your enterprise, an embedded hypervisor that requires no installation
and yields a short order infrastructure deployment should making it
that much harder to stay away.

The Inquirer quoting VMware’s Steve Jackson: VMware’s ESX Server 3i does support AMD’s nested paging tables

To clarify the situation with regards to VMware’s support for AMD’s
Barcelona chipset, I would like to say that I made an error in
describing the level of support that is present for Nested Paging
Tables, or Rapid Virtualisation Indexing as AMD is now calling this
feature, within VMware’s product line-up and particularly within VMware
ESX Server 3i. ESX Server 3i does support the new feature, and
customers will automatically benefit from support for RVI when they buy
any server with the Barcelona chipset and ESX Server 3i installed. ESX
Server 3i is shipping later in the year as part of servers from the
likes of Dell, IBM, HP and Fujitsu Siemens as well as other hardware
vendors.

 

The art was so cool

Almost my favorite part of the show — watching the artists build this enormous mural as people arrived down the escalator, stopped, and stared. And then giggling as the images were repeated throughout the show. This picture by Viktor van den Berg gives you just a glimpse — it was huge (15 x 60 ft?) and close scrutiny was very well rewarded.

Gordon Haff: Art at VMworld

But there’s one other thing that I have to mention. VMware hired a New York artist named Brian Rea
to handle the artwork for the show. His line drawings are omnipresent,
incredibly clever, and add a real sense of style and fun to the show.
Multi-core is a tree growing apple cores. Disembodied hands pat a
Labrador for the “Hands-On Lab” sign. And a huge blackboard has been
sporting an increasingly dense collection of pictorial jokes throughout
the week. Kudos to the artist and to VMware for looking beyond the
often oh-so-serious world of technology!

Some closeups of the banner images from Tony.

More VMworld reactions and commentary

The conference has ended, and everybody is traveling home. Before we get to the wrap-up commentary, here’s what’s already been posted by attendees and analysts about VMworld:

Adam Baum: My life in Day Two

My first session of the day was on the topic of VM in gov’t and
education.  The big takeway on this one is collaboration.  The panel
members’ project were very successful because they collaborated with
other gov’t (or educational) entities.  A great example is DR.  Two
counties got together to act as each other’s DR site.  Vm is a great
enabler of this since the hardware outlay is small compared to the cost
of a full data center.  There is a sessions about two univerisities
doing exactly this. One is on the East coast, the other on the West.

Each
of the panel members discussed how VM came to be used in their
organization and it’s benefits to them.  I am guessing that these
reasons and benefits are just universal truths.  What does that mean?
Think about VM selling/maerketing points: Consolidation, efficient
utilization of resources, less real estate needed, etc.  We all
listened and now we have VM.  I’m sure there are a few companies out
there who are running vm just so that they can say they are running it,
but I doubt there are very many.

Rene Vester: ESX Server 3I

From speaking to the engineers at the VMware booth it seems obvious
that is new approach is most of all an attempt to once again deliver
something that Microsoft, XenSource and the others cannot. From what i
have learned the development of the products will continue and we are
not going towards Embedded ESX only in the near future. It appears
there are several reasons for this:

- ESX 3I has no service console, so no third party solutions using the service console will work with 3I.
- ESX 3I will only be supported by a limited number of hardware vendors and few models(atleast for now).

Rene Vester: Looking back over VMworld 2007

VDI for me seems to be where the battle is going to be the next year.
There seems to be alot of VDI brokers available, most of them with
different attention and which way it is going to go is sure to be an
exciting battle. I think it is gonna be hard to have this many brokers
being mainstream, so for the benefit of bringing VDI to the customers i
hope a few good brokers will get ahead and make a product that covers
the needs to the most customers.

Tony Asaro: VMworld – It’s a Big Virtual World After All

Sung to the tune of – It’s a Small World After All

It’s a virtual world that is growing
Because the value is clear
VMware is on top
Their competition is nowhere near
VMware is ablaze
We are truly amazed
It’s a big virtual world after all

Brian Madden: VMware OnDemand streaming technology will challenge Citrix’s Ardence platform

Details are very light at this point, but during one of the keynotes at VMworld this past week, VMware presented a feature called “VMware OnDemand” streaming technology.
This technology will allow a VM player to prefetch disk blocks from a
disk image file across a network, allowing the VM to boot from that
disk image before the image is 100% copied to the player machine.

This is VERY similar—at least in concept—to Citrix’s Ardence OS streaming technology.
This can be huge in the virtualized desktop / VDI environment since it
means that a user could start using a local desktop VM without having
to wait for a multi-gigabyte disk image file to copy to their client
device.

Dave Hitz: VMware’s Founder Helped To Inspire WAFL

In the early days of NetApp, when we first started
developing our WAFL file system, we drew inspiration from three main file
systems: FFS, Episode and LFS …

The graduate student who actually designed and
implemented LFS was Mendel Rosenblum. It took me quite a few years to figure
out that this guy whose work I admired 15 years ago was the same guy who
started VMware. Imagine my surprise!

Given that a VMware founder helped inspire WAFL, it
seems there’s a sort of poetic justice that so many VMware customers use it for
their data.

Dave Hitz: Why Run VMware Over NAS?

At VMWorld
yesterday, I was surprised how excited customers are about using NFS to access
VMDKs, even for virtual machines hosting Windows. (A VMDK is a VMware Virtual
Disk, and it holds the boot image for its virtual machine.)

Since a VMDK is a
virtual disk, I had assumed that block-based protocols like iSCSI and Fibre Channel
would make more sense than NAS, so I asked several customers why they prefer
NFS.

The answer is
simple: Managing .vmdk files is much
easier than managing LUNs
. If you have 20 or 30 virtual machines, then VMFS
is great for consolidating the VMDKs into a single LUN. But NAS is much easier
and more scalable if you have hundreds or thousands of virtual machines.

Pete Lindstrom:  VMworld 2007 – Best Virtual Security Product

Here it is, fresh from the VMworld exhibit hall:

An antivirus scanner built into the hypervisor. Created by Georgia Tech student Mukil Kesavan.

Okay, this isn’t really a product yet. It was created by a VMware
intern and exhibited in the academic poster area. In any case, I
thought it best demonstrated the potential for practical security
benefits in a virtualized environment.

Pete Lindstrom: VMworld 2007 Observation

I have been at VMworld this week (because Hoff said so)
and I have a simple observation: it is really strange hearing network
companies talk about systems management and systems companies talking
about networking.

Virtualization is shuffling the deck even more than that.

Sal Capizzi: Storage Is a Key Aspect of Server Virtualization

These announcement examples illustrate the ongoing trend of tighter integration between server and storage virtualization.
Without a doubt, more of these types of announcements will follow – not
only for VMware, but for other server virtualization implementations as
well. From a technical standpoint, there are certainly differences in
implementations of virtualization for servers and for storage. However,
from an end user or IT administrator perspective, the expectations are
not set in terms of server or storage virtualization, but rather in
such terms as cost savings, simplified monitoring, management, and
automation. Virtualization is not a product per se, but actually a
means to an end. Virtualization simplifies other tasks. Rather than
speak of server, storage, and I/O virtualization, the discussion will eventually center on such areas as consolidation, data migration, security, and disaster recovery.

James Rogers: It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad VMworld!

How much virtualization can a person take? After 72 hours of
VMworld, I’m starting to unravel. The last three days have been a blur
of keynotes, press conferences, briefings, and press room sandwiches surely made out of cardboard. (The food here in the press center was "virtualized.")

Scott Lowe: (just the latest — make sure to catch all of Scott’s items)

Mike Laverick: (Check out Mike’s quite detailed notes and predictions on Storage VMotion, and again, just go and check out everything)

Thomas Bishop:

Video contest winners; new VMworld video contest announced

The Virtual Famous video contest winners were announced Wednesday. A new video contest — VMworld Rocked My World — with a grand prize of a fully-loaded Alienware laptop — is kicking off, with a submission deadline of October 14. Did VMworld rock your world?

But back to the subject at hand — our winners who are now virtually famous are Lodge McCammon, Brian Bouterse, and Sammie Carter with their winning entry "Virtual Hardware Hotel". They dontated their $15,000 prize to the Friday Institute for Educational Innovation.

And here are Lodge, Brian, and Sammie enjoying seeing their video played for the 10,000+ attendees at VMworld on Wednesday:

Thanks for everybody who entered! Did VMworld Rock Your World?