Last Friday's post (VMware ESX Server 3i)

Last Friday's post (VMware ESX Server 3i)

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Looks like I've upset a few people.  Sorry, that wasn't my intention.

I get to talk to a lot of people about a lot of stuff.  Virtualisation is one of them, and all I ever hear is VMware this and VMware that (and next to no one knows what Microsoft currently offer - or have coming down the line).

I've posted a comment myself on last Friday's post, but thought it worthwhile posting this too:

So, in my defense (in an attempt to respond to all your comments):

Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 (shipping product), can:

  • Fail over a running VM in 2 seconds (for free) - we just use good old clustering (part of Windows) - a few caveats here (size of VM and speed of storage connectivity).
  • Take snapshots of running VMs (for backup & DR) - we just use our VSS writer (part of Windows).
  • Perform Physical to Virtual conversions (using our Virtual Server Migration Toolkit - not that I'd recommend using it now that we have something better).
  • Can run on (pretty much) any hardware (see the Windows hardware catalog).
  • Run on 64-bit systems (lots of benefits of 64-bit).
  • Support 512 VMs per physical server - we've tested on a 256GB machine (and I agree, there's not many of those around - yet).
  • I've been using Virtual Server since we launched Windows Server 2003 (admittedly in beta - Virtual Server shipped at the end of 2004, if I remember correctly).
  • Support SUSE & RedHat Linux.
  • As a reseller, I would also be selling VMware (how would you make money on something that's free).
  • And with System Center Virtual Machine Manager (shipping product), do point and click Physical to Virtual conversions, self-service provisioning, etc
  • And manage the whole lot (include the rest of System Center here as well if it helps).

As far as Windows Server Virtualisation (WSV) go, I'm not going to mention it (other than to say that it's now available as a Customer Technology Preview in the current builds of Windows Server 2008 (RC0), so you can start playing with it now)..

Hopefully this post is "FUD free"..

Dave.

Comments
  • Killer feature it is still missing; does not support x64 guests.

  • I for one can’t wait for WSV to be baked into Windows. I’ve been using WMware server products as a developer for years and it remains terribly painful. WSV is looking to be soooo much better both for users and developers.

  • WSV gives us 4-way, 64GB, 64-bit (and 32-bit on the same server) guests.

    Personal opinion - most existing servers are 32-bit, so 64-bit guests isn't such a killer feature.  If you want a server to scream along - don't virtualise it..

    Dave.

  • Hi Dave

    No matter which provider is giving us a solution, virtualisation is promising to bring us many benefits in our computer rooms as we can consolidate systems etc.  But like every other new technology or phase we go through in IT, information security is often left as an afterthought.

    For an interesting insight into information security and virtualisation I recommend looking at the following presentation http://www.packetfilter.com/ISSA-Virtualization.pdf.  

    It is from Chris Hoff, ex Chief Security Strategist for Crossbeam ( a player in the VM world).  Chris' talk is called "Virtualization & the End Of Network Security As We Know It." and was presented at the April 2007 meeting of the Charlotte ISSA chapter.

    It provides a good overview of virtualisation and also some excellent points on how to secure it.  Note that it is in PDF format and approx 11MB in size.

    Brian

  • Hi Dave

    No matter which provider is giving us a solution, virtualisation is promising to bring us many benefits in our computer rooms as we can consolidate systems etc.  But like every other new technology or phase we go through in IT, information security is often left as an afterthought.

    For an interesting insight into information security and virtualisation I recommend looking at the following presentation http://www.packetfilter.com/ISSA-Virtualization.pdf.  

    It is from Chris Hoff, ex Chief Security Strategist for Crossbeam ( a player in the VM world).  Chris' talk is called "Virtualization & the End Of Network Security As We Know It." and was presented at the April 2007 meeting of the Charlotte ISSA chapter.

    It provides a good overview of virtualisation and also some excellent points on how to secure it.  Note that it is in PDF format and approx 11MB in size.

    Brian

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