Vanguards network surpasses 450 members

The 1st of November officially launched its own community: the Vanguards network.

This community has slightly different purposes than traditional ones where members can discuss in forums all together: virtualization world is already full of these good efforts, from vendors like VMware, Xen, KVM, Microsoft, Citrix, and many others.

The Vanguards network wants to be a different tool, able to simplify one to one connections between highly skilled virtualization professionals.

Work together in international projects, share experiences about products and technologies, reach virtualization vendors in a more effective way, are all goals of this community since day one.

But something unexpected happened right after the launch: the initiative not only attracted top IT architects from popular system integrators and biggest multinationals, fully busy every day on large scale virtual infrastructures, but also key figures in the industry at management level.

So in just few days we reached and surpassed 450 members, which now surprisingly include representatives from well-known virtualization vendors, like CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, Vice Presidents, Directors, GMs, along with Venture Capitalists and Industry Analysts.

They come from US and Europe for sure, but also from India, China, Japan. All together to reach a new level of interaction with those people which use virtualization at maximum levels.

And we didn’t even start to provide benefits for our members! During 2008 Vanguards will find additional reasons to be members of this community and influence the industry.

Sign up for free and stay tuned!

VMware releases Workstation 6.5 private beta with Unity feature

From its private blog, Christian Hammond, Senior Software Engineer at VMware, reveals that the next version of popular Workstation will be 6.5 and it already reached the private beta (Friend & Family) status. But the most important information is that Workstation 6.5 will have Unity, the user interface feature that is usually called seamless window in the Terminal Services world, and that both Parallels and VMware introduced earlier this year in their virtualization products for the Apple market.

Microsoft launches Hyper-V beta 1

Completely unexpected Microsoft launches today the first beta of its upcoming hypervisor Hyper-V (formerly codename Viridian / Windows Server Virtualization).

This first beta, initially planned for the end of this year, was later postponed to February 2008, in sync with the global launch of Windows Server 2008 (formerly codename Longhorn). But Microsoft put a great effort to launch the beta ahead of time and disturb the VMware launch of VI 3.5.

The new build unlocks several critical features customers were looking for:

  • Quick Migration and support for host-level HA (up to 16 nodes)
  • Out-of-the-box integration with Windows Server 2008 Server Manager (no more separate installation)
  • Support for Windows Server Core edition (allowing a smaller hypervisor footprint)
  • Support for Volume Shadow Service (VSS) (which implies capability to perform VMs live backup at host level)
  • Support for 64GB virtual RAM per VM
  • Support for multiple virtual NICs per VM
  • Support for 4 virtual SCSI controller per VM
  • Replacement of the S3 emulated video card with a generic VESA
  • Integration of VHD manipulation tools

With this beta Microsoft is providing support for Windows Server 2003 and 2008 guest OS, as well as Novell Linux guests (thanks to the special agreement the two companies have on interoperability).

Once again Hyper-V is directly included into Windows Server 2008 code, this time inside the Release Candidate 1 (Enterprise Edition, 64bit only).

Enlightments for Linux guest OS instead are available through a separate beta program on Connect.

SWsoft changes names into Parallels

With an unexpected move SWsoft decides to change the company name in Parallels, already assigned to its subsidiary providing hardware virtualization solutions for Windows, Linux and Mac OS.

Quoting from the official announcement:

SWsoft, a worldwide leader in virtualization and automation software, announced today that early in 2008 it will adopt “Parallels” as its new corporate name.

New products expected in 2008 to help deliver on the company vision include version 4.0 of the company’s Virtuozzo container-based virtualization software, a server-based hypervisor later in 2008, and major updates to Parallels Desktop and Parallels Workstation.

Also in 2008, the company will be introducing new virtualization management software that will manage not only Virtuozzo and Parallels but also popular third-party virtualization technologies in a single, flexible solution.

Multiple SWsoft products will soon be renamed gradually as an expansion of a descriptive product naming strategy for clarity, simplicity and strength. For example, SWsoft PEM and HSPcomplete will be renamed to Parallels System Automation and Parallels Business Automation. A list of current and future product names is available at

This major change in the company strategy will have deep implications: SWsoft invested a large amount of resources to push its brand in a tech world mainly influenced by VMware, Microsoft and now Citrix, and this led to a remarkable popularity in the hosting market.

It’s hard to believe that the success obtained in the still small Apple market with the brand of its subsidiary, Parallels, is enough to transform the entire company identity.

SAP announces full support for VMware

While Oracle is doing everything (including launching its own hypervisor) but supporting its technology on VMware platform, SAP finally decided to fully embrace the virtualization vendor’s technology.

Quoting from the VMware official announcement:

VMware, Inc., the virtualization software leader, today announced that SAP AG will provide immediate full support to its solutions in 64-bit Windows- and Linux-based production environments running on VMware ESX Server. Servers from Dell, Fujitsu-Siemens, HP, IBM and Sun have achieved hardware platform certification for SAP solutions running on Windows and Linux with VMware ESX Server, a component of the VMware Infrastructure software suite. VMware Infrastructure supports SAP solutions with both Windows and Linux on industry-standard hardware. SAP and VMware will assist joint customers in cooperative support services and problem resolution, backed by a global technology partnership agreement and dedicated support staffing.

Customers also will benefit from the opening of the first Virtualization Competency Center (VCC) for SAP solutions in conjunction with AddOn Systemhaus GmbH, a leading consulting company. Situated in Walldorf, Germany, the center will be managed and run by AddOn and will provide customers in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) with a facility where knowledgeable consultants help design, migrate and then optimize simulated deployments of SAP solutions on VMware Infrastructure…

The SAP decision doesn’t surprise too much since the company’s deep involvement in virtualization:

Oracle case demonstrated how critical is supporting virtualization today to retain a once-loyal userbase, and SAP seems to learn the lesson pretty well.

SWsoft releases Virtuozzo 4.0 RC1

Three months after launching the public beta program for new Virtuozzo 4.0, which introduces some interesting features, SWsoft is now ready to announce release candidate milestone.

The development lifecycle of this product suffered several delays: last major product release for Windows, is 2 years old (while the last Linux version was launched in August 2006), and this 4.0 was initially expected somewhere in the middle of this year. Then in September, at the beta program launch, SWsoft planned to release by the end of the year, but now release candidate announcement postpones once again to Q1 2008.

These delays may reflect profund changes happening inside the company and revealed just today.

Enroll for the beta program here.

The Virtualization Industry Roadmap has been updated accordingly.

Release: Veeam Reporter 2.5

Veeam releases today a new version of its unique reporting tool for VMware infrastructures: Reporter 2.5.

This build introduces a new major feature called Storage Capacity Report, which creates Microsoft Excel 2007 pivot tables to provide informations about datastores utilization by VMs, disk space allocation and logical disk status.

Download a trial here.

The Virtualization Industry Roadmap has been updated accordingly.

Vector Networks signs OEM agreement with Endeavors Technologies

Quoting from the Endeavors official announcement:

Endeavors Technologies, the pioneer in application streaming and virtualization technology, and its parent company, Tadpole Technology plc, today announced a partner agreement with Vector Networks, a leading provider of desktop management software for the enterprise. Vector is integrating Endeavors’ application streaming and virtualization software as a key component of its IT Asset Management Solution.

“We look forward to the expanded opportunities created by incorporating the leading application streaming and virtualization technology into our solution portfolio,” said Kevin Kiley, executive vice president of sales at Vector Networks. “Replacing our previous streaming component with AppExpress significantly improves the application management and distribution capabilities of our solution, enabling us to provide enterprise customers with an enhanced platform for on-demand application delivery.”… has learned that previous application virtualization technology used by Vector Networks was AppStream.

Release: VMware Infrastructure 3.5

Under the name of VMware Infrastructure 3.5 (formerly 3.1), ESX Server 3.5 (build 64607), VirtualCenter 2.5 (build 64201), Converter 4.0 (build 62386) and Consolidated Backup 1.1 (build 64559) appear finally available.

What initially was expected to be a minor update, brought a remarkable amount of major improvements for both products, as revealed in August:

VMware Infrastructure 3.5 also introduces new editions and prices, as VMware announced in October:

VI 3.5 is available for download at the following location: ESX Server 3.5 / VirtualCenter 2.5 & Converter 4.0 / Consolidated Backup 1.1.

The Virtualization Industry Roadmap has been updated accordingly.