Blog - Title

February, 2008

  • Hyper-V Extensibility and APIs...

    Virtualization Nation, It's been a while since my last post (sorry about that), but ever since we released the Hyper-V Beta a few months ago, the feedback over Hyper-V is off the charts. We're glad that folks are able to easily evaluate Hyper-V and...
  • VMworld Europe 2008 - will cost be a factor?

    We'll be a gold sponsor at VMworld Europe next week. I'm part of the crew headed to Cannes (along with Jeff Woolsey and Mike Neil and others) to meet with customers, partners, bloggers. We'll demo Hyper-V beta, SCVMM 2007, Terminal Services (Windows Server 2008 has RTM'd after all) and SoftGrid app virtualization. If you're attending the show, stop by booth #57. And if you're attending from the U.S., I'm sure you're well aware of the exchange rate and prices in Cannes. The dollar is worth 0.67 Euros and Cannes (I'm told) is high rent district.But that's not the only cost discussion that will be echoing through the halls of Palais de Festivals. It's interesting timing that The Yankee Group decided today was the time to publish a new report titled, "Virtualization Price War: VMware's Little Big Horn?" On the eve of VMworld Europe, Laura DiDio's 20-page report goes into detail about the pricing benefits customers will accrue from greater competition around virtualization software. Below is a summary of the report, and an excerpt from the report: Rapid commoditization and intensified competition in virtualization technology has precipitated a price war, which is a key element of emerging Anywhere Applications environment. This war is a boon for corporate enterprises who can pick and choose from a wide array of products at discounted prices. No one feels the pressure more than market leader VMware, which has approximately 70% of the installed base, a best-of-breed product and a 2-year lead on its rivals. VMware’s position is similar to General George Custer. One minute he and the 7th Cavalry had the vast Montana plains all to themselves; the next they were surrounded and vastly outnumbered by the Sioux. In VMware’s case, it’s surrounded by rival vendors lusting for its business. Just as Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, Gall and their warriors besieged Custer and the 7th Cavalry at the Little Big Horn, VMware’s competitors led by Microsoft, Citrix (which purchased virtualization vendor XenSource in August 2007), Novell and Red Hat are on the war path. They are ready to count coups and lure VMware customers, touting the fact that their products are significantly less expensive. For example, Microsoft Virtual Server offerings are from 40% to 75% less than comparable VMware offerings, depending on specific configuration, volume and licensing factors. Similarly, Citrix’s retail pricing is 66% lower than VMware solutions. Or to use another more specific metric, in the past year, all the virtualization vendors charged between $700 and $800 per socket for their commercial server products while VMware’s product retailed for a whopping $3,000 per socket, a 75% premium. Yankee Group believes that server operating system vendors such as Microsoft and Novell have a distinct feature and performance edge in their respective management offerings because they have been in this end of the business far longer than VMware. By contrast, operating system vendors such as Microsoft, Novell and Red Hat provide full management of the baseline OS, virtual machines and hypervisor. Microsoft’s Configuration Manager can patch and deploy software to virtual and physical instances of the Windows OS and hypervisor. VMware still requires a separate infrastructure product to patch its ESX Server.
  • VMworld Europe 2008 - Virtual and Physical Management

    This is the 4th VMworld conference that I'm attending representing Microsoft. And it's the first time I've heard/seen the slighest acknowledgment from VMware that if virtualization isn't everywhere (which it's not) then management of the non-VM layer is important. This acknowledgement came via HP and their participation in the keynote. Clearly VMware realizes that a highly instrumented and automated VM layer (only) isn't the path to the evolving datacenter (or even server room). There will be apps that need to be monitored, configured, deployed and backed-up. There will be operating systems to run those apps and ISVs are going to keep coding their apps for operating systems for some time now. There will be power supplies, fans, etc., that require monitoring - even in an IT shop that's 100% virtualized (Diane's dream). And so HP talked about HP Insight Manager working in parallel to Virtual Center. Interestingly enough, the topic of physical and virtual management came up in the booth today, too. A couple gentlemen from a systems integrator asked me about plans to work with VMware and they asked about our product roadmap. Much of our work with VMware has been to define and develop specs for industry standards, primarily in the DMTF. This is important work to ensure interop and portability. But we're also an ISV partner of VMware, in that we've licensed VI3/Virtual Center APIs in order to manage ESX Server in the next version of System Center Virtual Machine Manager. And by manage, I also do mean Vmotion. A customer with Virtual Center and Vmotion will be able to consolidate their management tools (and views) into System Center so they have a single pane of glass. Customers feel a pain (financial, admin, etc) having many different management consoles. Rakesh blogged about our plans for managing ESX Server here. I'm looking forward to Mendel's day 2 keynote. Patrick
  • VMworld Europe 2008 - stay safe today

    Day 2 began with Dr. Mendel Rosenblum's keynote, which Alessandro outlined here. And the security pat-down to get through the door foreshadowed the latter portion of Mendel's keynote, which focused on a new security initiative by VMware. Called VMsafe, this initiative allows security software vendors (like McAfee - maybe even Microsoft Forefront) to write their anti-malware and other security software to ESX Server hypervisor API. So how is this different? Well, it's not really from a functional point of view. It is different in that it's for VI3 and assumes all end users will ditch operating systems and run virtual appliances (OS with apps) on VMware's virtual infrastructure. But to be fair, Mendel spoke of this initiative within the context of the future of virtualization ... he called it virtualization 2.0. The demo was less than futuristic, however. Alessandro described it in his post: After another shameless plug about the availability of McAfee products as virtual appliance, a demo of VMsafe interoperability is finally shown. A Windows XP virtual machine gets attacked with a malicious code that copies away corporate documents but another virtual machine with security engine is able to transparently recognize (a virtual memory scan through VMsafe APis access) the threat and stop it before it compromises the guest OS.