Leaving virtualization.info and cloudcomputing.info: A message from Alessandro Perilli

After running virtualization.info for seven years, I will be starting a new job next year as Research Director for Gartner, where I will be covering cloud computing, virtualization and datacenter technologies in the IT Professionals research team.

I am extremely excited about this new role, as it presents the opportunity to work closely with and learn from truly brilliant minds, including well-known industry analysts like Chris Wolf, Drue Reeves and Richard Jones. Also, joining a top firm like Gartner will allow me to focus 100 percent on the newest, most innovative technologies that the market will offer.

While this is a thrilling step forward in my career, this announcement is bittersweet because it means I will be stepping down from my role with virtualization.info, as I will no longer be able to contribute directly or indirectly to the site due to a conflict of interest.

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VMware plans to deploy security inside ESX in 2011

eWeek Magazine published an article about how VMware plans to deploy security inside the Hypervisor in 2011. Allwyn Sequeira, who is Chief Technical Officer for VMware ‘s Security and Network Solutions divisions told a group of technical writers and analysts that security for applications deployed in cloud systems needs to be built into the hypervisor itself and not reside independently in the stack.

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Paper: Configuration Examples and Troubleshooting for VMDirectPath

VMware has released a paper titled: Configuration Examples and Troubleshooting for VMDirectPath. The paper which contains 5 pages details some configuration examples on how to configure direct access to an I/O device within ESX using VMDirectPath. VMDirectPath allows you to connect up to two passthrough devices to a virtual machine improving performance for ESX systems that utilize high-speed I/O devices.

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GTK client for SPICE 0.3 released

Beginning this month, virtualization.info reported that Red Hat started developing a GIMP Toolkit (GTK) client for Linux leveraging the open source SPICE remote desktop protocol, beginning this month version 2.0 was released providing support for the 64 bit version of Fedora 14 and now version 0.3 is available which now includes RPMs for use with Fedora 14 64 bit.

This release fixes known rendering crashes triggered with the Windows QXL driver. It is also fully asynchronous using co-routines, and the API is fully documented. It supports 16-bit color, as well as display scaling.

Release: Oracle VM VirtualBox 4.0

After releasing a beta beginning this month, Oracle has now announced the general availability of version 4.0 of VirtualBox. Virtualbox is a desktop virtualization solution also known as a type-2 Virtual Machine Monitor (VMM). VirtualBox can be installed on top of Windows, Mac OS X, Solaris and Linux and it can run Windows, Linux and Solaris as guest.

The product was initially developed by innotek, which was acquired by Sun in February 2008, Sun rebranded the product to Sun VM VirtualBox. In April 2009 Sun on its turn was acquired by Oracle, which rebranded the product to Oracle VM VirtualBox.

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VMware VP joins Rapid 7 board of directors

Christopher Young, VMware Vice President and General Manager End User Computing has joined the board of directors of Rapid 7, a company which provides threat management solutions and is the 7th fastest growing security company in the U.S. Rapid 7 along other products provides the open-source based penetration testing framework Metasploit, which it acquired in October 2009.

Young joined VMware in September this year, coming from EMC where he was Senior Vice President of RSA products to lead the newly created End-User Computing business unit. VMware clearly wanted to make a statement, suggesting that security is going to become a key part of its desktop virtualization offering.

The fact that Young now joined the board of directors clearly suggests that the Vulnerability Management and Penetration testing Products of Rapid 7 will be integrated somehow in the VMware offering, either by using the products or by an acquisition of Rapid 7 by VMware in the future.

Microsoft releases Server App-V first build

Just before the end of the year, as promised, Microsoft released the first early beta of Server App-V, one of its most ambitious virtualization platforms.

App-V technology derives from SoftGrid, the application virtualization platform that Microsoft inherited with the acquisition of Softricity in May 2006.
Considered a leading solution before the acquisition, it didn’t become a mainstream platform despite Microsoft resources. This depended on several factors:

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Login Virtual Session Indexer 3.0 is now available

Since its first official release beginning 2009, the Virtual Session Indexer(VSI) has gained popularity as an independent benchmarking tool. One of the projects using the VSI tool is Project Virtual Reality Check, which entered phase3 last September. Now Login Consultants has made available the Virtual Session Indexer version 3.0. VSI is a benchmarking platform to measure remote desktop performance in a Terminal Server farm or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) environment.

The tool is developed by Login Consultants and is provided for free as an Express Edition, there is also a Pro edition which is supported by Login Consultants consulting services.

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Release: OpenVZ for Linux kernel 3.0.25

The open source OS virtualization solution OpenVZ (formerly OpenVirtuozzo), supported by Parallels, is now available in version 3.0.25. This version is an update of version OpenVZ serves as the basis of Parallels Virtuozzo Containers

OpenVZ can be installed on top of Linux distributions as a patch and is a container-based virtualization platform for Linux, meaning that it does virtualization on the OS level. It creates multiple secure isolated containers on a single physical server to ensure that applications do not conflict, one of the biggest advantages of container-based virtualization is that the VM’s running on top of it, do not have to be modified or as it is called "enlightened" in order to run.

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Tech: Oracle RAC Performance on vSphere 4.1

Todd Muirhead, performance staff engineer at VMware posted an article about Oracle Real Application Cluster (RAC) performance running on VMware vShere 4.1 over on the VMware VROOM! performance blog. Oracle RAC are used to run critical databases with stringent performance requirements.

In order to test the performance, three servers were used, two in a dual boot configuration between Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.5 and and vSphere ESXi 4.1 and one running ESXi only to host the virtual machines when the two other physical servers were booted into RHEL so that the two VMs could preserved. Also the CPU configuration of the physical machines was limited in order to enable a direct performance comparison, because of the eight vCPU limitation of ESXi.

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