Citrix makes its effort for the iPhone official

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The virtualization community has different opinions on the value of running a remote desktop inside a tiny screen like the one that the Apple iPhone offers.

Nonetheless when Citrix presented the idea for the first time at the Application Delivery Conference 2008, even if it was just a trick, it raised a lot of attention.

On stage the company hinted at a new ICA client delivered as a native iPhone application, but never made an official statement or suggested a release date.

Now the project Braeburn, this is how it’s called internally, becomes official: Citrix is developing a Receiver for the iPhone.
More than that Citrix teamed up with Apple to use the unique hardware capabilities of this mobile device.

The company set up an entire community website around this project, but stays vague about the release date, suggesting a generic H1 2009 but here a hint for you.

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The unlocked ESXi? Just a bug, sorry, wait for Update 4.

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Last week the news of a fully unlocked ESXi 3.5 Update 3 turned many heads in the virtualization community.

Many were surprised that VMware didn’t make a major announcement for such a big change in its strategy. Now we know the reason: the Update 3 unlocked ESXi 3.5 by mistake.

Mike DiPetrillo, Principal Systems Engineer at VMware, clarifies:

Turns out that while fixing an API bug the API set got partially unlocked. Yes, you read that right, VMware didn’t mean to unlock the API set – at least not wholly and not yet.

So, if you went out and started madly coding some killer VirtualCenter Client replacement then hold off because I’m told the U4 update will lock things back down again.

Now, for those that can’t wait, some analysis of the differences between the unlocked ESXi image and the locked one, plus some serious hacking, could make the (unsupported) trick.

Microsoft has no plans to implement fault tolerance for Hyper-V

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While IDC is basically saying that Microsoft will rule the hypervisor segment during 2009, an interesting bit of information emerge from a article.

Covering the competition between VMware and Citrix on hypervisors fault tolerance, the author also mentions Microsoft and reports a quote from Zane Adam, Senior Director of Virtualization Product Management and Marketing, that said:

We don’t see this [fault-tolerance software for Hyper-V] as an area of high demand right now, but we are watching this closely.

This may mean that Microsoft has no plan to implement any form of fault tolerance for Hyper-V 2.0, expected somewhere in 2010.

IDC makes the boldest prediction: Microsoft to turn the hypervisor market upside down in 2009

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After the Yankee Group another major analysis firm releases its forecasts for 2009: IDC.
IDC is always brave in its predictions about virtualization, but this year surpassed all expectations.

In its latest report, Worldwide System Infrastructure Software 2009 – Top 10 Predictions, the company says that The Hypervisor Market Will Be Turned Upside Down by Microsoft in 2009:

…Microsoft is working diligently on the version 2 product and will likely address the most critical shortcomings, and with the next release (targeted for 2010) should get the product to the classic Microsoft design point: that being good enough for the vast majority of the market needs.

In the interim, we can still expect that the number of footprints that Hyper-V makes (despite the product’s current maturity level) will be staggering and will turn the volume metrics of the market upside down.

These footprints are likely to penetrate all size class customers. Within the largest customers, many of which have already committed a substantial amount of their infrastructure to VMware solutions, expect use of Hyper-V to be within test, development, and noncritical and lower priority workloads at first…

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Yankee Group predicts that VDI will go mainstream in 2009

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Towards the end of the year most analysis firms release their forecasts for the upcoming years.
Unfortunately, most of time the predictions are for the very near term (it’s easy to predict what will happen in Q1 2009) or for the very long term (giving all the time to adjust the communication over time).

This year the Yankee Group takes a hazard and predicts that 2009 will be the year of VDI:

Desktop virtualization will replace PC replacement. Mass workforce consolidations as a result of the economic downturn, especially in the financial services market, will force enterprises to look for ways to provision vast amounts of desktops to absorbed workforces in a fast, cheap and secure manner. These workforce turnover demands—along with improvements in network optimization, VDI protocol efficiency, and the evolution of mobile VDI and offline virtual desktops—mean that 2009 will be the year that enterprises move away from the pilot and evaluation stages and finally take the desktop virtualization plunge. Desktop operating environments will become just another enterprise service, delivered and optimized by the network. This signals a move away from the traditional “fleet maintenance” mentality of desktop/end-user IT support and maintenance, and has the potential to significantly reduce large PC support staffs.

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Release: Catbird Compliance Enforcer 1.0

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After the overwhelming success of Tripwire, a number of other companies are entering the “security compliance for virtual infrastructures” market: Configuresoft, Third Brigade, and now Catbird.

Catbird is a security startup that targets the virtualization market since day one. Their V-Agent is an intrusion detection/prevention system (IDS/IPS) plus network admission control (NAC) system running inside a virtual appliance for VMware Infrastructure.

Like many of its competitors, Catbird has to wait for VMware and its VMsafe APIs to really differentiate itself from traditional security vendors moving their products inside a virtual machine. 
Meanwhile the company decided to extend their product portfolio and launched a service called Compliance Enforcer.

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Release: VKernel Capacity Analyzer 3.0

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VKernel continues its arguable policy of releasing major updates for its products in short amount of time, so this week we passed from Capacity Analyzer 2.1 to 3.0 after just one month and a half.

At least this time the new feature is consistent: the new Capacity Analyzer is able to recognize a performance bottleneck no more just at the host level but also inside any given virtual machine.

Of course the VKernel predictive engine works at this level as well, telling which VMs are going to perform bad and when.

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Release: Sun xVM VirtualBox 2.1

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Sun releases today a new version of its desktop virtualization product: VirtualBox.

Despite the numbering this minor update introduces a couple of interesting improvements:

  • Support for OpenGL
  • Built-in iSCSI initiator

The product continues to stay free of charge and open source, a couple of things that grant Sun no less than 25,000 downloads / day. Get it here.

The Virtualization Industry Roadmap has been updated accordingly.

CohesiveFT now offers Virtual Iron support

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CohesiveFT is a company offering an online solution to assemble virtual machines and deploy them on cloud computing infrastructures like Amazon EC2. Additionally, it offers a web management console to administer them.

CohesiveFT competes with another well-known company in this space, rPath, and now both can offer support for Virtual Iron virtual machines.

The virtualization vendor partners with rPath since January 2007, and now do the same with CohesiveFT.

Egenera signs OEM agreement with Dell

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More than one year ago Egenera announced a major change in its go-to-market strategy, finally allowing some partners to OEM its cloud-computing-in-a-box software: Pan Manager.

The first and only company answering the call so far has been Fujitsu Siemens. But yesterday Egenera finally announced its second partner, and it is a really desirable one: Dell.

The two signed an OEM agreement for the North America (to be extended in EMEA and APAC during 2009) that rules the distribution of Pan Manager with a massive Dell rack featuring 192 CPU cores and 1536 GB RAM.
And this is just the beginning. Dell and Egenera are jointly developing a new solution platform that will launched in Q1 2009.

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