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Monthly Archives: December 2006

Blogs to watch: Blade Watch

Blade Watch is a good blog to watch. Martin MacLeod covers topics of interest to the data center, such as virtualization, and, of course, blades. His links are mostly to the same trade journals as the rest of us but he has managed to catch some articles that slipped through the cracks, and he also adds his own commentary.

Recent posts:

More Application Agnosticism from Scott Lowe

Scott Lowe identifies an important point about virtualization on the desktop — it’s much more about host-guest interactions than server virtualization. Very true. Scott also makes the point that the Mac, by virtue of its architecture, is the best suited to take advantage of that kind of componentized interaction. Maybe, although if the integration happens at the UI level, it probably doesn’t matter what’s going on underneath.

Link: blog.scottlowe.org » Blog Archive » Application Agnosticism.

Virtualization:  Virtualization is a key enabling technology
for application agnosticism.  As vendors such as VMware, Parallels, and
Microsoft move to provide greater integration between the host and
guest environments, this role becomes more evident.  Excellent examples
of this type of host-guest interaction are the drag-and-drop file
sharing of VMware’s Fusion beta, the Coherence feature in Parallels
Desktop for Mac, and the ability of the now-defunct Microsoft Virtual
PC for Mac to launch the PC guest environment when a user
double-clicked on a PC file type in the host environment.

In the datacenter, these kinds of host-guest interactions
are not only unnecessary, but actually undesired—very few would
actually want the ability to drag and drop files between a
host server (assuming there’s actually a host OS present) and a guest
server, especially if that guest server is running in a “headless”-type
scenario in the background.  On the desktop side, however, these kinds
of interactions are quite useful, and help extend the desire and
ability of users to actually make use of these kinds of technologies.
It’s these kind of forces that I believe will drive virtualization on
the desktop in a different direction than virtualization on the server,
and what will bring about application agnosticism.

Scott is also still thinking about virtualization as necessarily being on top of a host OS, but that’s a discussion for another day.

virtualization.info: Improve software development department efficiency with VMware

Link: virtualization.info: Improve software development department efficiency with VMware.

The most popular and oldest product from VMware is also the most important in the whole solution chain: Workstation.

Workstation offers a wide range of features able to address the largest part of mentioned problems in software development.
The probability a software engineer tries it and still sticks with traditional tools is near zero.

CompFusion: Buckle up!

Fusion developer Régis Duchesne on our new Mac virtualization beta response and how to run headless virtual machines on the Mac (without any UI). Link: CompFusion: Buckle up!.

The corollary feature is that if you
want to start a virtual machine headless in Fusion, all you have to do
is open it up in the user interface, then go to the Apple menu and
select the "Force Quit…" item.

This is the design philosophy we have adopted everywhere for Fusion:

  • Keep the user interface dead simple and easy to use for users who use a Mac because they just want their computer to work.
  • Expose the power of the VMware platform for technical users and developers.

Fusion Feedback and Fixes – Infusion: The Fruit of Eris

Fusion developer Ben Gertzfield gathers together some of today’s links to the new Fusion beta and goes over some FAQs. Remember, all the cool kids are hanging out at the VMTN Fusion beta forum.

Link: Fusion Feedback and Fixes – Infusion: The Fruit of Eris

I just wanted to point out a few of the more common issues folks have run into, and do a quick link rundown.

  1. I can’t use the mouse in my virtual machine!
  2. I can’t find my serial number!
  3. I get a gray screen telling me to restart my Mac!
  4. If I switch my virtual machine to Bridged mode, I can’t access the virtual machine over the network from my host!

Unwrap these presents from VMware

Happy Holidays! Here’s what’s under the tree this year from VMware:

Good Day

From CompFusion, the new blog of VMware’s Régis Duchesne (HPReg): Good Day.

Exactly 1 year ago, after having spent 7 years at VMware, I wanted to do something new. My manager was nice enough to let me be the technical lead of the Advanced Project I submitted: porting our hosted virtualization engine to Mac OS.
I cherry picked a surgical team of VMware engineers, some of them
experts with the VMware code base, some of them expert Mac users.

months later, we had our first VMware virtual machine running on Mac
OS, with a GTK+ user interface (borrowed from the Workstation product
for Linux) running on top of X window. Management and marketing liked
what they saw, and asked us to productize this. I came up with a
codename for the project: Fusion.

The excitement is building…

From Infusion, the new blog of VMware’s Ben Gertzfield: The excitement is building…

Everyone’s got a joy in life.  Some folks build exquisite models of ships and shove ’em in a bottle.  Others whip up imaginative, fresh cuisine and share it with the world.  Me, I write code.  My personal joie de vivre
is forging that easy, effortless bond between people and the electronic
stuff they use every day to make their lives go—computers, cars, cell
phones, you name it.

Over the past year, I’ve been crafting VMware Fusion for Mac, a killer piece of software that lets Apple-heads do the unthinkable: run Windows, Linux, or any other operating system right alongside their Mac applications.  This isn’t your average Boot Camp,
where you have to restart your computer every time you need to switch
between Windows and Mac OS.  VMware is way cooler, and totally changes
the way you use a computer.

MOM Management Pack for VMWare Server 1.x

Link: Pete’s Management BLOG….: Day 7 – VMWare Server 1.x Monitoring with MOM 2005.

So, on this 7th day of Christmas, here is version 1.0 of a VMWare Server 1.x Management Pack. Although  homegrown and fresh off the line, this MP includes about 140 event rules and a number of features you’d see in a standard MP.

Climbing The Mountain: Storage challenges with virtual infrastructure

EMC VP Chuck Hollis details his thoughts on the challenges facing the enterprise with their storage infrastructure and virtualization using VMware. I’ve excerpted a bit, but read the whole thing.

Link: Chuck’s Blog: VMware Virtual Infrastructure 3 – Climbing The Mountain.

The Core Infrastructure Challenge

Simply put, the central infrastructure challenge is that server
virtualization adds another layer in the stack.  As an example, instead
of server / network / storage, it’s now virtual server / physical
server / network / storage.  …

Challenge #1 – Flat Name Space for VMotion

One of the most powerful and sexy features in VMware ESX 3.0 is the
advanced capabilities of VMotion, managed by DRS. … But this presents a new challenge to the storage infrastructure.
You’re going to want the ability for every virtual server image to be
able to see every storage object from every server. …

Challenge #2 – Storage Resource Management

The starting point for enterprise-class SRM is discovery and
visualization.  What do I have, how does it connect, and how is it all
related? … Now, insert server virtualization into this stack. … What happens?  It breaks the connection.  Maybe I can see the
virtual machines.  Or maybe I can see the VMware ESX servers.  But,
unless some heavy lifting is done, I won’t be able to see that
stem-to-stern view that makes enterprise SRM useful.  And you can’t
manage what you can’t see. …

Challenge #3 – Backup and Recovery

Backup and recovery – never a pleasant topic in the physical server
world – gets even more thorny and problematic in a virtual server world. …

Challenge #4 – Managing End-To-End Service Delivery

I’ve made the case before
that we don’t live in a world anymore where one user uses one
application.  What the user sees is a logical combination of
application services that run on an increasingly complex IT
infrastructure stack.  And IT finds it harder and harder to drive back
to a root cause when there’s a performance or outage that users are
noticing. …