Live from VMworld Europe 2008: Day 2

Posted by Staff   |   Wednesday, February 27th, 2008   |  

Second day here in Cannes, France, for the VMworld Europe 2008. Yesterday’s coverage has been seen over 8,000 times. Thank you for staying with us.

The today’s keynote will be performed by Dr. Mendel Rosenblum, VMware Founder and Chief Scientist.

Dr. Rosenblum is on stage.

He starts reviewing the history of virtualization and the phases of innovation: a phase 0, aimed at server consolidation and a phase 1, about VMs live migration (throuhgh VMotion an DRS), VI and VDI.

Before introducing the ongoing phase 2, where he expects a peek of innovation up to 2010, Mendel calls on stage Fujitsu Siemens to introduce its dynamic datacenter strategy and validate the VDI initiative.

Unfortunately the argumentations of FS don’t seem to help much the VDI cause: a comparison slide between the traditional computing approach and the VDI one clearly shows much more computing layers between the end user and the applications he’s trying to reach, and most of these layers are completely new. This basically means a raise in the overall complexity and a huge investment to sustain.

After a 20 minutes of shameless plug (even worse than the IBM/HP/Dell ones yesterday), Mendel is finally back on stage.

He’s now pushing for the 2 years old concept of virtual appliance as alternative to traditional services deployment.

Unfortunately he doesn’t spend any time trying to explain how VMware plans to solve the multiple problems that plague the today’s implementation of virtual appliances.

Now he moves on the phase 2 of virtualization progress and introduces the concept of vService.

The vService is a virtual appliance with metadata informations embedded into the VMware Open Virtualization Format (OVF), that describes how to handle the resources allocation and how to configure the application hosted at guest OS level.

A demo is showed on stage:a multi-tier application (made of two virtual appliance) is imported inside a VMware Infrastructure and the VirtualCenter looks at the metadata inside it to decide how to configure and deploy the virtual machine.

It’s not clear how VMware will get the industry cooperation to adopt the configuration approach needed for the OVF metadata.

Now Mendel briefly mentions the groundbreaking technology called continuous availability already seen at VMworld 2007 in San Francisco, and the new Site Recovery Manager (SRM) product.

At this point he moves to security and finally unveils the VMsafe interface: a set of APIs that 3rd party vendors can use to move their security checkpoints from the guest operating systems level to the hypervisor level (note that security applications still have to run inside dedicated virtual machines).

McAfee is called on stage. It’s one of the first vendors that will use this technology.

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 (by a scan of VM’s virtual memory through VMsafe APIs) the threat and stop it before it compromises the guest OS.

Mendel is back on stage and closes his presentation showing a notable number of partners that already signed for the VMsafe alliance. All major security vendors are there.

That’s all from VMworld Europe this year. During the rest of this week will start re-publishing all announcements that VMware partners and competitors released since last Monday. And after that we’ll publish a summary with the impressions about the announcements and the event.

Update: VMware published the recorded videos for both keynotes. Watch them here.

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