Blog - Title

April, 2009

  • MMS 2009: Application Virt for Servers

    I'm a bit behind is sharing the following demo video. On Tuesday at Microsoft Management Summit, we did a demo of application virtualization for servers. Both Mary Jo and Alessandro predicted this demo a couple weeks ago - so not a real surprised. The demo was described as a technology preview, meaning there's no plan of record for beta testing, etc. So what did Bill Morein demo? As you'll see, Bill's demo was setup by talk about administering the compute fabric and managing deployment of a tightly bound OS can create challenges. By applying application virtualization to this challenge, we can separate apps from the server. This should mean a more simplified, and accelerated, approach to deploying those virtualized apps and patching. Bill pointed out that this leads to reduce image libraries, and accelerated migration. Check out the demo - it's less than 6 minutes.
  • Guest post: "Does my enterprise need internal cloud computing?"

    As the president and COO of a datacenter-based managed server provider, I’m constantly on the hunt for leading edge technology. I peruse every new IT technology announcement for the next cost-effective solution, for both internal needs, and for hosted solutions we can use to help customers. In my previous blog, I talked about how cool Microsoft’s virtualization turned out to be, saving SBWH, and therefore our customers, time and money. I started my virtualization research with VMware, but quickly became a fan of Hyper-V, ultimately deploying it in many production systems. As a result of my experience, I get asked by industry analysts, press, and investors, “Why not VMware?” With Palo Alto’s latest announcement that I can buy an “Internal Cloud” for only $3,495 per CPU, I figured I’d share my thoughts about the real vs. perceived benefits of this new private compute cloud idea. Let me say that the private cloud concept seems to be more marketing than architecture. The private cloud has many of the same load balancing, storage management, and provisioning that virtualization already offers. Based on how the private cloud has been described so far, I have to say that the emperor, although not totally naked, seems somewhat thinly attired.
  • The vSphere Cloud Operating System: Extra Layer, Extra Cost?

    Hi, I’m David Greschler, Director of Microsoft virtualization and management. Today VMware announced their new “Cloud OS,” called vSphere. It’s an interesting announcement in that it points out more clearly than ever that VMware adds an extra layer to the computing stack. This extra layer, a virtualization “substrate” (VMware CEO Paul Maritz’s words), is inserted by VMware between hardware and the OS. But is it really necessary to add an extra layer just to do virtualization and the cloud? Do we really need another operating system to effectively just host other operating systems? I can see how initially this made sense when the industry was first experimenting with virtualization. But virtualization has now become mainstream, and as such it’s just another feature we should have as part of our computing process. As a result, Microsoft chose to take a more streamlined approach to virtualization. Instead of adding an additional layer of complexity, we’ve put the virtualization component inside the OS. We think this is a better approach as it means you have one less layer to manage, secure and pay for. (And at the cost of $3,495 per processor for vSphere Enterprise Plus, that’s a pretty expensive layer!).
  • Live Migration and Host Clustering available at no charge in Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2

    I’m Zane Adam, senior director of virtualization and System Center. It’s been a while since my last post, and wanted to update you on our standalone hypervisor, Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 Last Fall we released Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008, a standalone hypervisor-based virtualization product that is available for free. We continue to add more features and value to this product in the upcoming release, Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2. Our core strategy is to ensure that our customers can virtualize their IT environment in the most cost effective manner, and at the same time, have access to enterprise features like live migration and clustering features for high availability. So in addition to scalability and performance improvements in this version, customers can get live migration and host clustering capabilities and high availability (up to 16 nodes) at no charge. Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 will continue to be free, and now will include live migration and host clustering capabilities. Customers won’t need to pay thousands of dollars for alternate virtualization platforms to get these features. With Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, customers have a solution for both planned and unplanned downtime and can use it for scenarios like server consolidation, branch server consolidation, high availability, and VDI.
  • Kroll Factual Data: 85% virtualized, 30:1 VM density

    You may have never heard of Kroll Factual Data. But ever since personal credit became harder to acquire, lenders held tighter to their money, and interest rates went up/down like a roller coaster, Kroll has been on a wild ride of their own. In short,...
  • Register for 'Is There a Cloud in Your Future?' Webcast

    On Tuesday, April 28 at 11:00am PDT, Microsoft will continue its webcast series on 'How to Invest in the IT Infrastructure You Have While Preparing for Tomorrow' with Part 2 : "Is There a Cloud in Your Future?" Register here Join Zane Adam, Microsoft...
  • More on virtualizing SharePoint

    Since there was interest in the previous post about the UK services team's series on virtualizing SharePoint, I wanted to recommend the following video from October 2008. The interview is with Michael Noel of Convergent Computing. Michael is also a SharePoint MVP. In this video (6 minutes long), Michael talks about using System Center Virtual Machine Manager to deploy SharePoint. He also talks about disaster recovery and quickly provisioning a SharePoint farm. There's a high interest amongst our customers to adopt SharePoint, and to run it within a virtual machine. Mark at Enterprise Strategy Group [his blog] shared the following data with me [from a Dec 2008 research brief by ESG], that partially explains why: In a recent survey of 1,191 IT and business managers, ESG found that one in three (33%) North American and Western European midmarket and enterprise companies are currently using Microsoft’s SharePoint suite of collaboration and content management tools. As adoption becomes more widespread, SharePoint is quickly becoming an organization-wide, critical business resource. As shown in Figure 1, 29% of current SharePoint users rate the implementation of SharePoint as one of their top three IT initiatives over the past 12-24 months and 82% place it in their top ten initiatives. ESG’s research also reveals that SharePoint is viewed very favorably by current users, with 69% of current adopters saying they would recommend that organizations similar to their own implement SharePoint broadly.
  • Series on virtualizing SharePoint

    The Microsoft-UK services team recently posted an in-depth virtualizing SharePoint series. It is a culmination of their experiences over the last couple years helping customers successfully host SharePoint in virtualized environments. · Introduction · Optimizing the performance of a virtualized SharePoint environment · SharePoint server role recommendations in the virtualized SharePoint environment · Monitoring and managing a virtualized SharePoint environment · High availability and disaster recovery, deployment best practices, common mistakes and summary This is fantastic guidance for those organisations currently running, or thinking of running SharePoint in virtualized environments. Enjoy!
  • Top 10 VMWare myths video

    Edwin and David recently sat down in front of a video camera to talk about the top 10 myths from VMWare. Here's a quick outline of the topics discussed during the 11 minute video: Live migration clustered shared volumes Hyper-V scalability Hyper-V performance Hyper-V footprint Hardware support Memory overcommit End-to-end management Value Why pay VMWare's virtualization tax? See the video below, or the other 22 videos here.
  • Microsoft Enterprise Desktop Virtualization now available via MDOP

    It's great to learn that MED-V is now available to customers with the new version of MS Desktop Optimization Pack (MDOP) for customers with Software Assurance. See Ran's post here. Following are excerpts from Ran's post: MED-V provides deployment and management of virtual Windows desktops to enable key enterprise scenarios. MED-V 1.0 helps enterprises upgrade to the latest version of Windows even when some applications are not yet compatible. MED-V builds on top of Microsoft Virtual PC to run two operating systems on one device, adding virtual image delivery, policy-based provisioning and centralized management. A recent brief by Enterprise Management Associates (EMA) emphasized some of the customer benefits of using MED-V: "We found that MED-V really solved our application compatibility problems. It allowed us to deploy the applications that we were having difficulty with, where third party vendors were not providing a supported version. Where we used to have hundreds of images, we were able to move to one [Windows] Vista image, and use MED-V to deploy [legacy] applications on top of that," said IT Deployment Manger at Belfast Health and Social Care Trust, an organization of 22,000 staff members. "We are really happy with MED-V. We can virtualize the applications that are made only for XP, and they work fine, with all the functionality intact," said a large European telecommunications company with almost 80,000 employees.