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Posts Tagged ‘vmworld’

Mobile virtualization video

Posted by martijnl on February 28, 2009

This is my video of the mobile virtualization demo from VMworld Europe 2009.

This is the device that was demoed: While this is not a phone like what is mentioned in the video it is still very impressive. There are hurdles to take though because you will probably want to have different phone numbers attached to different environments and that usually means multiple SIM cards (in the case of GSM).


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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.

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vCenter Orchestrator Session

Posted by martijnl on February 24, 2009

Wireless access is a bit patchy between the different conference halls but over here in the Grand Auditorium I have access to the Press network so I can do some live blogging again. While the (live) comment is in the title the post will get updated on the fly.

In this session we get an overview of what vCenter Orchestrator does and how it can assist with automation and orchestration. There are a lot of things that can be automated in a virtual environment. Orchestrator works with workflows. It has a workflow engine to make these processes and it comes with a number of standard workflows built it.

Orchestrator is also able to integrate with third party change management systems so changes can be scheduled and automatically handled, closed and documented results. It can also communicate with multiple vCenter servers so you only have to configure it once for your whole environment.

There are three parts to orchestrator:

  • Workflow Engine, this can react to scripts, scheduling, event triggers etc.
  • User Interface
  • Workflow Client, this is where you manage your workflows

Orchestrator is built on Java and will support future software versions of virtual infrastructure. Multiple database management systems are supported (Oracle, SQL Server, MySQL) and it will come with an open API.

One thing I didn’t know is that LifeCycle Manager is a VMware Orchestrator ‘enabled’ application.

There are a lot of different use cases for Orchestrator. A lot of things that can be automated with Powershell scripting can be automated through Orchestrator so there may be a question about what the use is for Orchestrator. It could be valid for a specific organization to ask the question “should I buy this technology or build it myself?”.

That is always something to think about but all the functionality that is already in the product will make that decision easy I think. It is interesting however that Powershell integration is not available *right now*.

Projected release date is 1H09.

Update: I had a chance to ask the presenter about the status of Powershell integration and he commented there is a lot of work being done to integrate this into the product but that it necessitated a partial redesign or re-architecture of the application. According to him it is not a question of if but a question of when they will be able to get this done.

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Keynote part 2

Posted by martijnl on February 24, 2009

After Paul Maritz his keynote we are now looking at a presentation from SAP about their use of VMware in their infrastructure. The statistics here are impressive with a total of 8000 VM’s and 340TB of daily(!) backup.

Based on the internal demands SAP have been able (by using VMware solutions) to split their virtual machine provisioning into two service levels. With their internal solutions they are able to cater for both the volume business and the specials.

By building their own cloud and building out a virtualization provisioning system they are able to transparently provision a machine foruse evn by external service providers.

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Live Blogging VMworld Europe 2009 keynote

Posted by martijnl on February 24, 2009

Today we have the opening keynote of the public part of VMworld 2009.

After an introduction by Maurizio Carli, the new EMEA General Manager, we have now arrived at the keynote of Paul Maritz. His introduction was mostly the same as yesterday with emphasis on the expertise that VMware has built up over the years.

The focus for the future is on the vCloud. Cloud computing is the current direction that the IT business is going to finally enable the IT As A Service and Mr. Maritz his presentation focuses on VMware as an enabler of the cloud where one key point is that companies are always starting with a legacy set of application where encapsulation is necessary to bring these applications into the cloud.

And after this elaborate explanation of the cloud architecture and VMware’s role in the cloud system the formal announcement is made that the set of programs and tools is called VMware vSphere. vSpere is not the narrow definition of ESX4 or even the next version to VI3 but it is meant as the name of the framework that consists of compute, storage and network services on the technical side and availability, security and scalability on the application/services/management layer.

The next announcement is the introduction of vCenter Suite. Like vSphere this is not just the successor to vCenter Server but also a framework to enable additional management and for instance also chargeback options.

After a segment on cloud computing that was similar to the segment that I wrote about yesterday we are now looking at an Enterprise Cloud demo from Terremark. For those familiar witVI3.5 functionality this is known territory but the application in a cloud form is new as well as the opportunity to buy just what you need and not get cut off when you “overuse”. You just pay extra for the time that you use the extra resources and have the opportunity to scale out (if it is a permanent rise in capacity use) or just leave it (when you have a temporary usage peak).

The Terremark demo was followed by an Engineyard demo about provisioning a Ruby on Rails application in the cloud and a demo of IT Structures about providing proof of concept environments in the cloud that can be seamlessly integrated into your internal cloud infrastructure when you conclude the PoC and want to start using the particular environment.

Client Side Virtualization

Our trip into the cloud is now over and we are looking at the desktop virtualization side of things. This was an subject where an announcement was hinted on yesterday.

The concept is that the desktop can be portable to everything. The biggest challenge with this is the mobile endpoint and the fact that they have tendency to get offline.

The details have been communicated yesterday on parner day. With the highlights of the roadmap coming from December of last year with View3 and more onthe protocol side.

The announcement that was hinted on yesterday is a new partnership between VMware and Intel on a client side hypervisor. It seems to be a partial comeback of the Intel vPro initiative (which frankly I have never heard of a company using it).

Key points of the new solution will be the fact that the vPro layer is there in the hardware to enable image verification/security, remote access and management.

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VMware Appspeed Session

Posted by martijnl on February 23, 2009

Apart from a nice presentation about the changes to certification (which was labeled confidential, so I can’t publish about that now) there was a good session on VMware Appspeed this afternoon.

For those of you that may not remember: last year VMware bought a company called B-Hive and announced the Appspeed product at VMworld 2008. Appspeed is currently approaching its beta 2 phase and in the presentation was a lot of information about the way the product works within your virtual environment to monitor end-to-end application performance. For instance, it is possible to drill down to database level metrics about an application or get metrics over the entire application stack (front end webservers, application servers and back-end database servers) to pinpoint where problems exist.

Appspeed can also assist in measuring performance statistics of current physical workloads before they are virtualized to compare with performance metrics after virtualization as a means of assisting application owners with approving virtualization of their application.

Because the product is not final yet there can be changes in functionality but the functions that were shown looked pretty much done to me. You can get full graphical and tabular overviews of all the metrics that you want and there was talk of a separate front-end being introduced so the administrator can give the same insight into the application performance to the end-user or application manager.

There was no mention of a release data (other than 2009) and price point. The latter will be very interesting because there is a whole host of products that claim to do end-to-end monitoring or application performance monitoring but there are very few (maybe none) that are so tightly integrated into your virtual infrastructure as Appspeed can be. 

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Partner Day Keynotes

Posted by martijnl on February 23, 2009

Partner Day opened with two keynote speeches by Paul Maritz (VMware President and CEO) and Carl Eschenbach (Executive Vice President of Worldwide Field Operations). They were introduced by Andy Hunt of the EMEA Partner Organization.

The key points of the presentations were that VMware is still doing very good despite the economic climate (the phrase “in these troubled times” has taken on a life of its own) and that going forward into 2009 the market for server consolidation, desktop virtualization and infrastructure management will be strong again.

Some remarks that I found interesting were the following:

  • VMware now has an R&D budget that exceeds anything that
    Paul Maritz had to work with when he was back at Microsoft running the OS divisions.
  • IT as a Service is still the holy grail. VMware has now divided the portfolio into three groups of technologies to achieve that goal: VDC-OS (the virtual datacenter OS), vCloud (Cloud Computing technologies and cloud computing partner eco system) and vDesktop (all the virtual Desktop initiatives)
  • For the first time vSphere was used officially (but we were already expecting that announcement thanks to Jason Boche)
  • The Management offerings will be restructured into the vCenter Suite (hopefully more details to come on that in the coming days)
  • VMware will be actively working on standards to enhance the interoperability between the internal vCloud (the on-premise virtualized IT infrastructure) and the external vCloud (the off-premise cloud infrastructure operated by third parties. This way you will be able to transperently move workloads between the internal and external cloud and have the choice where a workload should exist based on business values rather than technical limitations
  • There will be an announcement tomorrow regarding desktop virtualization and the way VMware wants solve the issue of portability of a virtual workload between endpoints. I am very interested in this as it would enable (as was mentioned in the keynote) IT departments to have their employees to bring in their own devices without comprimising enterprise workspace security.
  • In relation to this Paul Maritz also noted the work that is being done in conjunction with Teradici to enhance to delivery protocols.

All in all two very interesting presentations and a nice way to kick off Partner Day.

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First Day in Cannes: Partner Day

Posted by martijnl on February 23, 2009

After a pretty uneventful trip to Cannes yesterday we woke up this morning to the sound of traffic. Didn’t have a particularly great nights sleep but we’re excited to be here and are looking forward to the conference.

As was mentioned in the keynote there are more partners here today then there were last year to the tune of 1500 attendees (1200 last year). Partner Day is all sold out.

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Scheduling is all done

Posted by martijnl on February 19, 2009

The scheduling for VMworld Europe is all done. As it seems now we will be able to get pretty good coverage between the two of us (heading to VMworld with a colleague).

As a VMworld novice I was very impressed with the scheduling application and the ability to get a complete vCal export for my Outlook. Synchronized to the telephone, iPod Touch and laptop there is no way I am going to miss a session (although this might be a statement that is going to haunt me).

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VMworld Underground for more VMworld news

Posted by martijnl on February 13, 2009

While I will be blogging away during the VMworld Europe 2009 conference there is another site that brings a number of bloggers together under one roof in the form of a Ning community. Several well known bloggers such as Eric Sloof ( and Rich Brambley ( are bringing their contributions to the VMworld Underground website.

Interested? Visit it at:

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