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Experiences in Virtualization

Live Bloggin Keynote day 2

Posted by martijnl on February 25, 2009

Welcome back for the live blog of the keynote of day two from VMworld Europe here in Cannes. The weather is not as good as yesterday but we are looking forward to another great day of speaches and sessions.

The keynote this morning is introduced by Maurizio Carli. The main speaker is Dr. Stephen Herrod who is the CTO and Senior VP of R&D and the topic is a more technical look at the announcements made yesterday combined with several demonstrations.

Check the tech

New performance figures for the vCompute are 8 vCPU, 256GB per VM, 40Gb/s of throughput.The power is now available to run a VM that needs 510 spindles to saturate the I/O.

The recently announced SPECweb world record is elaborated on. Effectively it means that the configuration could run 3 billion pages per day.

In the vStorage layer front thin provisoning is coming and there will be the possibility for hardware vendors to talk directly to the array from the virtual infrastructure. There will be a software variant of thin provisioning but doing it from the array will be much faster.

After the storage there is time for networking. Most of the information we know already from the announcements of the distributed vSwitch and the Cisco Nexus 1000V switches.

Building the giant computer

All this consolidation leads to a large pool of resources. Mr. Herrod now talks about DPM (Distributed Power Management). DPM will power off host servers when they are not needed saving more power on top of the power savings that you already have by consolidating the servers.

Application vServices
In the new version there will be improvements on the management layer with built in chargeback and poilicy settings. Application vServices also contains the availability services such as High Availability. Within vSphere there will be a new functionality called Fault Tolerance.

Fault Tolerance will enable you to get High Availability for Virtual Machines compared to hosts (which are protected by VMware HA). Fault Tolerance will shadow a virtual machine running on one host to a copy on another host and the virtual machine will fail over instantly should the host running the primary machine fail. When that occurs it will also generate another shadow on another host to maintain the level of protection.

VMware VMsafe was introduced last year and it comes back in the keynote. It seems that there are actual implementations by vendors but nothing to be demonstrated it seems.

vShield Zones (virtual firewall layer) is also discussed but only briefly.

vCenter Server Heartbeat is discussed. With this product you can finally protect protect the management server itself. The goal is to get the management server in a highly available state as this was not possible before.

The underlying goal is to get the vCenter Servers also as virtual machines because 60% of clients still run these as physicals

vCenter has its limitations and with really large datacenters and cloud operators you will get to these limitations. If you have more than 3000 VM’s you need more than one server. New in vCenter Server is Linked Mode where you can manage multiple vCenter Servers from one client. There is also a new Search function to find what you are looking for in your really big cloud/datacenter. The maximum of linked vCenters is 10 (so 30.000 VM’s).

Configuring hosts will become much easier with vCenter Host Profiles. With these profiles you can configure a master profile for you host configuration and automatically remediate hosts to the host profile.

A minor announcement is that vCenter Server is available as a Linux Server as well as a preconfigured Virtual Appliance. The crowd seem to be pleased because there is a short applause.

More on the vCloud
More information about Federation and a discussion about one challenge for these clouds and that is long distance vMotion. There is a lot of work going into this and there are a lot of challenges to be solved mostly with replication, memory states and disk cosistency.

vClient (Desktop Virtualization)
Nothing new specifically here.

Mentions of Thinapp, Offline Desktops and VMware ACE technology.

Jerry Chen comes on to talk about virtual desktops and PC over IP technology. For the WAN with 150ms to 250ms latency they are now able to support virtual desktops with video, VoIP etc. where previously that wasn’t
possible with regular RDP.

Over the LAN PCoIP is able to support HD dual monitors, rich internet applications, animation and HD Video.

3D applications have always been a challenge but now there is a demo of 3D
applications (Google Earth and 3D modeling providing blade PC capabilities over a thin client. It seems really smooth and it is mentioned that this will support heavy 3D application such as AutoCAD.

Virtualization of a mobile phone
A technology where many have asked what the use of it is. The mobile phone hypervisor has a number of use cases from software providers wanting to provide a mobile phone virtual appliance to their customers to hardware
manufacturers wanting to test on a ingle hardware platform.

Demonstration of a Nokia N800 running two mobile operating systems. Very impressive. I will try to get the video online tonight. Keep in mind though that the device is not a phone.


2 Responses to “Live Bloggin Keynote day 2”

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