Gerben’s Blog on Virtualization

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April 1st joke about SUN buying Parallels

Posted by Gerben on 04/4/2008

Last Tuesday I read about this announcement and while reading I got this feeling there could be something wrong about this message. What was I right.

Thanks guys for the pratical joke.

I had a good laugh…

Here is the link at virtualization.com again:
Permanent Link to Sun Microsystems To Acquire Parallels For $ 205 Million (Updated)

Make sure you get the updated part.

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Release: VMware Workstation 6.5 & ACE 2.5 Public Beta

Posted by Gerben on 03/4/2008

This week VMware announced their public beta program for VMware Workstation version 6.5 and VMware ACE 2.5. With the release of these BETA products VMware also introduced a new Beta Portal for these two products (click on the picture for the link to the Beta Portal):

public beta portal_new

What’s New in VMware Workstation 6.5:

  • Use Unity to integrate your guest apps with your host
  • More Powerful VM Record and Replay
  • Support for Smart Cards & Smart Card Readers
  • Enhanced ACE Authoring
  • Link State Propagation Networking
  • Improved 3D graphics Support
  • and more… click here for the release notes

After the introduction of “Unity” in the Apple world – Unity is part of VMware’s Fusion product – the concept is now also available in VMware’s Workstation product. So what is Unity? With Unity you can:
Integrate your favorite guest applications with your host. Open the application window, enter unity mode, and then minimize the Workstation window. The guest application windows look just like host application windows. You can access the virtual machine’s Start menu (for Windows virtual machines) or Applications menu (for Linux virtual machines) by placing the mouse pointer over the host’s Start or Applications menu.

Link state propagation is especially useful for mobile users running virtual machines. When changing from wired to wireless the ip-addresses are automatically renewed when using the bridged networking for your VM’s.

VMware ACE authoring features are now fully integrated with Workstation, and no special ACE Edition is required.

This new version also has support for additional host and guest operating systems such as CentOS, Oracle Enterprise Linux, Asianux, and newer editions of operating systems already supported. Windows Server 2008 is experimentally supported as a guest.

The new version of virtual hardware now supports adding or removing some virtual devices while the virtual machine is powered on (“hot-plug”). E.g. hot-add virtual cpu’s and memory to a Windows 2008 guest.

What’s New in VMware ACE 2.5:

  • Seamless Applications
  • Network Mobility
  • Smart Card Authentication support
  • Enhanced Pocket ACE Performance
  • Usability Improvements

Previously, ACE-specific user interface controls were available only in Workstation ACE Edition. In VMware ACE 2.5, these controls are available to all VMware Workstation customers. The ability to use ACE instances on computers where Workstation is not installed still requires an ACE license, as does the ability to manage ACE instances with the ACE Management Server.

  • Usability improvements — The process of creating virtual machines for end users is now simpler and more intuitive. The required tasks are clearly ordered and made available on the summary view for an ACE-enabled virtual machine. The concept of an ACE master has been removed in favor of simply enabling ACE features for a virtual machine.
  • New Pocket ACE cache and exit behavior settings — You can now configure runtime settings so that Pocket ACE files are always kept on the USB device and never cached on the host computer. This feature is convenient if disk space on the host is very limited or if the files must remain only on the USB device for security reasons. You can also configure exit behavior so that when users power off a virtual machine, changes are automatically synchronized with the host.
  • Improved Pocket ACE performance — The time it takes to synchronize a Pocket ACE with the host during power off has been greatly reduced.

In addition to these ACE-specific features, VMware ACE includes all the new features of Workstation 6.5, including unity mode, link state propagation, smart card support, and full screen switching in VMware Player.

Check the VMware ACE 2.5 release notes for more information.

 

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Release VMware Lifecycle Manager 1.0

Posted by Gerben on 31/3/2008

lcm 
Today I was noticed that VMware Lifecycle Manager (LCM) 1.0 (build 360) is available for evaluation download (60 days evaluation).

VMware Lifecycle Manager is the rebranded Dunes VSO/Lifecycle product which was acquired through the acquisition of Dunes by VMware at the end of 2007.

VMware Lifecycle Manager enables the VI administrators to track and control virtual machines through a consistent approval and deployment process across the entire virtual machine lifecycle. From provisioning to operation to ultimate decommissioning of the virtual machine, VMware Lifecycle Manager addresses the need for compliance with existing IT and business procedures. Responding to one-off requests in addition to using manual procedures to deploy virtual machines can be eliminated and replaced by a consistent process that can be followed across the entire business. Lifecycle Manager can also be customized to work with existing IT operational tools such ticketing or change management systems.

LCM_Process

The trial includes:

  • VMware Lifecycle Manager 1.0
  • Note: VMware ESX 3.5 and VMware VirtualCenter software must be running in order to evaluate Lifecycle Manager. Neither VMware ESX 3.5 or VMware VirtualCenter software is included in this trial. If you want an evaluation version of either of these products, please evaluate VMware Infrastructure 3 separately to obtain those products.

VMware Lifecycle Manager comes in two different delivery options standard and customized (names may differ in the future).

Standard (boxed) vs Customized:

As you can see in the image below the Standard product will be a packaged product with the platform locked down (customization is NOT enabled). In this edition the workflows are standardized, if you want to fully customize your workflows to meet the workflows of your enterprise you will need to switch to the Customized product. However some limited (presentation) customization is possible, the web front-end can be customized to include your company logo and you can even customize the css-file for it.

lcm_deliveries

Pricing will be per 2 -sockets (ESX hosts) for the standard edition.
For the customized version you will have the same pricing as Standard plus a fixed fee for the customization option (and probably some consultancy fees).

When registered for evaluation, on the the download page you will see three different downloads available.

  1. Windows installable
  2. Linux installable
  3. Virtual Appliance (OVF + three (vmdk) disk-files) (vService compatible?)

LCM_downloads

Go and Try Lifecycle Manager (http://www.vmware.com/go/trylifecyclemanager)

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VMware to acquire Thinstall

Posted by Gerben on 15/1/2008

Today VMware announced the acquisition of Thinstall.
Thinstall is an Application Virtualization Platform that enables complex software to be delivered as self-contained EXE files which can run instantly with zero installation from any data source. The core of Thinstall VS is the Virtual Operating System, a small light-weight component which is embedded with each “Thinstalled” application.
thinstall
With the acquisition VMware strenghten’s its position in the application virtualization market. Combining it with products like VMware ACE will bring new opportunities.
Thinstall significantly decreases the time to value of a software application and reduces the overhead of costly integrations. Software management on the desktop can be simplified by using thinstalls application virtualization. Applications no longer interfere with each other so the configuration of the host becomes less important and it can boost your app deployment by reducing application testing.
Click on the following link for to view a 58 minutes video with a demo of the capabilities of Thinstall.

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VMware prepares to launch new products

Posted by Gerben on 14/1/2008

Virtualization.info wrote about a couple of new products VMware is preparing to launch.
1. VMware Stage Manager
Stage Manager is another solution in the IT service delivery life cycle (dev/test/prod), to date not much information is available. Features like IP-fencing and snapshot technology known from Lab Manager will most likely appear in this product. In a way it looks like Lab Manager, I am curious if it is running next to Virtual Center or (better) on top of Virtual Center.
2. VMware Lifecycle Management
Lifecycle Management is the rebranded VS-O lifcycle formerly delivered by Dunes
3. VMware (Fusion) Importer
Aimed at Apple users, Importer makes it possible to import third-party Mac-based virtual machines into VMware Fusion. Vm’s created in Parallels Desktop for Mac 2.5 and 3.0 and Virtual PC 7.0 for Mac are now ready to convert (only windows versions BTW)
At least the first two are showcased at VMworld Europe 2008 the last one will probable also getting some attention there.

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Vmware released ROI calculator for VMware Lab Manager

Posted by Gerben on 12/7/2007

With the recent release of VMware Lab Manager 2.5, VMware also launched a new Lab Manager ROI calculator, which details in graphical format the savings you can realize through lab system consolidation, improved provisioning, and much more.

VMware Lab Manager ROI Calculator – START NOW [http://www.vmware.com/products/labmanager/calculator.html?id=LabManagerAnnouncement] Why virtualize the test lab with VMware Lab Manager? A virtual lab automation system improves IT operational and infrastructure efficiency by:

  • Reducing server sprawl across development and test teams
  • Shortening the time spent provisioning by 50% or more
  • Enabling reliable reproduction of software defects discovered during testing

For more information about what’s new in Lab Manager 2.5, read the VMware Lab Manager 2.5 datasheet. [http://www.vmware.com/pdf/labmanager_datasheet.pdf]

Source: VMware

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VMware ACE 2.0 Released

Posted by Gerben on 11/5/2007

Yesterday VMware announced the release of VMware ACE 2.0:
VMware ACE 2.0 is now generally available, offering the ability to deploy and manage secure, portable client PC environments across the enterprise and beyond. With ACE, your organization can combine the power and versatility of virtual machines with the security and control of centrally managed PCs, making it easier to:

  • Manage virtual desktops from a single point of control
  • Increase security and flexibility for mobile and remote workers
  • Safely extend corporate resources to 3rd party unmanaged PCs
  • Deliver fully configured virtual desktops for demos and training
Click here to download (evaluate or purchase)
You can now create, package, deploy and manage portable vm’s. VMware Workstation 6 which was released a day earlier together with the ACE Option Pack can be used to create the VM’s you want to deploy. The nice thing about it is that you can apply your company (security) policies to them.
ACE 2 comes in three tastes: starter, standard and enterprise
1. Starter comes with 10 ACE licenses, offers pay-per-request support and includes VMware Workstation 6 together with the ACE Option pack, but ACE Management Server is NOT included and volume licensing is not possible.
2. Standard comes with 50 ACE licenses and offers platinum and gold support, ACE Management Server is included as is VMware Workstation 6 together with the ACE Option pack
3. Enterprise differs from Standard in a way that it comes with more ACE 2 licenses (200) and two licenses instead of one for VMware Workstation 6 together with the ACE Option pack

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Windows Server Viirtualization Features postponed

Posted by Gerben on 11/5/2007

Just before the launch of WINHEC Mike Neil (GM, virtualization strategy) posted an article on the Windows Server Division Weblog.
Key issues covered:

  • The beta of Microsoft Windows Virtualization (aka Viridian) will be available with the RTM of Longhorn (H2 2007)
  • And the corresponding version of System Center Virtual Machine Manager will be available 60-90 days afterward.

Mike continues to explain what features will be part of the ‘viridian’-release and ends with the following striking paragraph:

"But with all this progress comes the occasional tradeoff. Earlier this week we had to come to grips with some universal truths about product development:
·         Shipping is a feature, too.
·         The quality bar, the time you have, and the feature set are directly correlated.
·         The mythical man-month – resources are not infinite and even if you could add more it does not help get more done faster.
So we had some really tough decisions to make
[…]
So we are making the following changes, and postponing these features to a future release of Windows Server virtualization:
·         No Live migration
·         No hot-add resources (storage, networking, memory, processor)
·         Support limit of 16 cores/logical processors (e.g., 2 processor, quad-core systems is 8 cores; or 4 processor, quad-core system is 16 cores)"
Striking enough these are some of the key features Microsoft showcases with when presenting and demo-ing Windows Server Virtualization.

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VMware Workstation 6.0 released

Posted by Gerben on 10/5/2007

VMware relaesed it’s 6th generation of Desktop Virtualization:

New features in VMware Workstation include:

  • Windows Vista support: Users can deploy Windows Vista as a guest or host operating system, facilitating re-hosting of legacy systems, enabling upgrade and migration projects with minimal end-user disruption and simplifying Windows Vista evaluations.
  • Multiple monitor display: Users can configure one virtual machine to span multiple monitors or multiple virtual machines to each display on separate monitors with this industry-first capability, enhancing desktop productivity.
  • USB 2.0 support: Users can take advantage of high-performance peripherals such as Apple iPods and fast storage devices.
  • ACE authoring capabilities: As a companion to VMware Workstation 6, VMware now offers a VMware ACE Option Pack, which enables VMware Workstation 6 users to create secure, centrally manageable virtual machines. Mobility is one of the primary benefits of this Option Pack, as it allows users to securely transport virtual machines on portable media devices such as USB memory sticks.
  • Integrated Physical-to-Virtual (P2V) functionality: Users can create a virtual machine in minutes by “cloning” an existing physical computer.
  • Integrated virtual debugger: Users can deploy, run and debug programs inside a virtual machine directly from their preferred integrated development environments (IDEs), accelerating debugging with this industry-first integration with Eclipse and Microsoft Visual Studio.
  • Background virtual machine execution: Users can run virtual machines in the background without the VMware Workstation user interface for an uncluttered user experience.
  • Automation APIs: Users can write scripts and programs that automate and help quicken virtual machine testing with support for VIX API 2.0.

In addition, VMware Workstation 6 advances the state of the art in virtualization technology with groundbreaking new capabilities including:

  • Continuous virtual machine record and replay (experimental): Users can record the execution of a virtual machine, including all inputs, outputs and decisions made along the way. On demand, the user can go “back in time” to the start of the recording and replay execution, guaranteeing that the virtual machine will perform exactly the same operations every time and ensuring bugs can be reproduced and resolved.
  • Virtual Machine Interface (VMI) support (experimental): VMware Workstation 6 is the first virtualization platform to allow execution of paravirtualized guest operating systems that implement the VMI interface.

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Registration VMworld 2007 is open

Posted by Gerben on 09/5/2007

Now is the time to reserve your spot at the premier event for the virtualization industry—VMworld 2007. Join thousands of IT professionals, software developers and industry experts from around the world on September 11-13  at the Moscone Center in scenic San Francisco to experience the latest and greatest in virtualization technology and business solutions.
register at: http://www.vmware.com/vmworld/

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