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Category Archives: Virtualization

News and up to the minute news on virtualization, VM ware, hyper-V, Xen and more.

As companies search for ways to cut costs in the recession, information technology departments are coming under more scrutiny than ever. But slashing technology operations is not the way to make a firm more productive.
Instead, IT executives need to analyze how their businesses are actually using technology. They are often surprised how a few key changes — and IT purchases — can boost their companies’ efficiency.

Here some the tips Grant Thornton gives IT departments, which could give tech company executives valuable insights into how they could best serve all kinds of businesses during the current recession.

Look at your hardware and software maintenance spending. Are you sure that all the software and hardware you’re paying maintenance on is actually in use? What about hardware and software that is outside IT’s control?
Use an existing tool — Read More

The Free download of Hyper-V is now available. Microsoft® Hyper-V™ Server 2008 is a stand-alone product that provides a simplified, reliable, cost-effective and optimized virtualization solution enabling organizations to improve server utilization and reduce costs. It allows organizations to consolidate workloads onto a single physical server and is a good solution for organizations who want a basic and simplified virtualization solution for consolidating servers .
Download it Free!!

Today Bob Muglia, president of Microsoft’s key server and tools division, and a member of the inner circle that includes Steve Ballmer and Bill Gates, told Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts during a technology conference that, in contrast to previous economic recoveries, “we’re not expecting to see massive growth coming out of this [recession].”

I’ve said previously that Microsoft may be hiding poor management decisions behind the economy’s skirts, but Muglia’s comments made me realize that Microsoft is actually pinning its hopes for growth on tough times. As Muglia responded to questions from BoA-ML analysts, the overarching theme that emerged was, “we’re less expensive than the other guy,” whether the other guy in question is VMware, Salesforce, IBM, or Oracle.

  • Muglia said improvements Microsoft is making to its virtualization technology (to be released in October) will force server virtualization market leader VMware to “move to higher and higher end features to differentiate [itself].” Muglia noted that while virtualization software helps customers lower the cost of running servers, Microsoft is “now three to five times less expensive than VMware” running the same kind of technology. “The cost differential between Microsoft and VMware is so dramatic that every CIO” will have to take that into consideration.
  • because Microsoft is the underdog in this market, it offers system tools that manage both VMware and Microsoft virtualization technology, further lowering the cost of working with Microsoft software. “Microsoft is the cross-platform vendor here. [VMware] doesn’t manage [Microsoft’s] Hyper-V” virtualization tools. As a result, he said, “Now, every single day that goes by, we are gaining share against VMware.”

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Red Hat , the world’s leading provider of open source solutions, today announced that its leading operating platform, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, is driving further enterprise adoption of cloud computing .
Building on the strong, long-term technology collaboration between Red Hat and Verizon Business, today Red Hat Enterprise Linux is offered as one of the first two operating system platforms available for Verizon Business’ new Computing as a Service solution .
Verizon CaaS is a new on-demand solution that enables business and government agencies to take advantage of cloud computing to control IT costs and improve operational flexibility .
CaaS enables customers to manage IT resources, including server, network and storage, efficiently and securely, meeting today’s business demands .
Red Hat Enterprise Linux provides a reliable, high-performance, secure open source platform on which to base cloud deployments .

”Verizon Business is now delivering to customers what we believe to be the most comprehensive and secure cloud-based computing solution on the market, said Michael Marcellin, vice president of global managed solutions, Verizon .
”Verizon CaaS was engineered to meet the challenging security needs and performance requirements faced by enterprises and the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system is playing a big part as we bring this unique offering to customers around the world .

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Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) unveiled on Wednesday a service that allows large companies to outsource their technology infrastructure to the telecommunications provider.

The New York company is tapping into the “cloud computing” trend, where corporate IT services are managed over the Web. Large companies looking to cut costs can hand over their IT equipment, which include storage, server and network gear, for Verizon to manage through its own network and data centers.

“Clearly, there’s a huge savings opportunity for companies to deploy cloud services,” said Michael Marcellin, who is vice president of Verizon’s global product marketing.

Rather than buy their own data centers and servers, companies can utilize Verizon’s infrastructure. Customers only have to pay for what they use, which is a more efficient model than buying banks of data center and servers to serve current needs and have enough capacity for future growth.

“It really changes how enterprises and government agencies purchase resources and manage them,” Marcellin said. “You can scale up for a busy season, or scale down for dead times.”

Customers pay a subscription fee of $250 a month, and then get billed on daily usage. Because of the variability of the pricing, Marcellin wasn’t more specific with costs. He added, however, that companies can expect to save between 30% and 60% in IT costs through Verizon’s offering.

Verizon, however, enters a crowded field. International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) and Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) – often partners with the telco – offer traditional data center and computing services. Cisco Systems Inc. (CSCO) recently unveiled a virtualized data center for businesses. The increased competition has each company securing their grip on their customers. AT&T Inc. (T), meanwhile, has a cloud storage service, and plans to offer its own computing service as well.

In addition, large companies that have… Read more

Virtualization in plain english. We look forward to bringing you insightful information on virtualization, cloud computer and a few cool gadgets that makes our day to day a bit easier – (the GeeekQ way!!!) What do you think? Do you hate it or love it?

Cloud computing biggest losers
Cloud computing biggest losers

Roman Stanek, during his opening keynote at the Cloud Computing Conference & Expo Europe in Prague today, said “Big server vendors such as HP, Sun, Dell, Microsoft, as well as monolithic app providers will be among the losers of the Cloud Computing revolution, while innovation, SMBs, and the little guys will be the winners of the Cloud.”
VIEW STANEK’S KEYNOTE HERE

In his presentation, titled: “Building Great Companies in the Cloud,” Stanek – a technology visionary who has spent the past fifteen years building world-class technology companies – talked about what it means to be ‘born on the cloud.’ Specifically he shared with delegates his thoughts on how to use cloud computing as a technical design center; how to take advantage of the economics of cloud computing in building and operating cloud services; how to dramatically change customer adoption; and how to plan for the technical and operational scale that cloud computing makes possible.

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Whitehurst anticipates the market splitting up roughly along the following lines: small and medium-sized companies subscribing to public clouds and large companies building their own. He says large companies (say, those with 1,000-plus servers) get close to the same economies of scale as public cloud service providers when it comes to purchasing gear, so the cost benefits of moving to the public cloud aren’t as compelling. “There’s going to be some difference in costs, but not much because the margins aren’t that big,” he said in an interview following his keynote.

The other rationale for do-it-yourself clouds versus services like Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud is the lower risk, or perceived lower risk, around data security. A few Red Hat customers have begun to investigate the feasibility of creating semi-private clouds where they would share IT infrastructure for cloud bursting or other demand peaks with partners that have been vetted in advance. Red Hat is helping its customers identify potential partners for these semi-private clouds.

One issue to be resolved with semi-private clouds is whether partners should be in the industry, say financial services, or different industries. On the one hand, financial firms might find it easier to set up a cloud with companies they already know and do business with. On the other hand, their IT usage patterns might be too similar to warrant a shared environment, with the risk of simultaneous demand spikes. “This is one of the big debates,” Whitehurst says.

Red Hat has no plans to offer cloud services itself. “We’re not getting in the cloud business. We’re not competing with our customers,” says Whitehurst.

The impact of cloud computing is most often analyzed through its expected disruption of IT vendors, or the media, or as an economic balm for developers and Web 2.0 start-ups.

Yet cloud computing is much more than a just newcomer on the Internet hype curve. The heritage of what cloud computing represents dates back to the dawn of information technology (IT), to the very beginnings of how government agencies and large commercial enterprises first accessed powerful computers to solve complex problems.

We’ve certainly heard a lot about the latest vision for cloud computing and what it can do for the delivery of applications, services and infrastructure, and for application development and deployment efficiencies. So how does cloud computing fit into the whole journey of the last 35 years of IT? What is the context of cloud computing in the real-world enterprise? How do we take the vision and apply it to today’s enterprise concerns and requirements?

To answer these questions, we need to look at the more mundane IT requirements of security, reliability, management, and the need for integration across multiple instances of cloud services. To help understand the difference between the reality and the vision for cloud computing, I recently interviewed Frank Gillett, vice president and principal analyst for general cloud computing topics and issues at Forrester Research.

Gardner: You know, Frank, the whole notion of cloud computing isn’t terribly new. I think it’s more of a progression.

Gillett: When I talk to folks in the industry, the old timers look at me and say, “Oh, time-sharing!” For some folks this idea, just like virtualization, harkens back to the dawn of the computer industry and things they’ve seen before. … We didn’t think of them as cloud, per se, because cloud was just this funny sketch on a white board that people used to say, “Well, things go into the network, magic happens, and something cool comes from somewhere.”

So broadly speaking, software as a service (SaaS) is a finished service that end users take in. Platform as a service (PaaS) is not for end users, but for developers. … Some developers want more control at a lower level, right? They do want to get into the operating system. They want to understand the relationship among the different operating systems instances and some of the storage architecture.

At that layer, you’re talking about infrastructure as a service (IaaS), where I’m dealing with virtual servers, virtualized storage, and virtual networks. I’m still sharing infrastructure, but at a lower level in the infrastructure. But, I’m still not nailed to this specific hardware the way you are in say a hosting or outsourcing setup.

Gardner: We’re in the opening innings of cloud computing?

Gillett: A lot of the noisy early adopters are start-ups that are very present on the Web, social media, blogs, and stuff like that. Interestingly, the bigger the company the more likely they are to be doing it, despite the hype that the small companies will go first.

… It doesn’t necessarily mean that your typical enterprise is doing it, and, if they are, it’s probably the developers, and it’s probably Web-oriented stuff. … In the infrastructure layer, it’s really workloads like test and development, special computation, and things like that, where people are experimenting with it. But, you have to look at your developers, because often it’s not the infrastructure guys who are doing this. It’s the developers.

It’s the people writing code that say, “It takes too long to get infrastructure guys to set up a server, configure the network, apportion the storage, and all that stuff. I’ll just go do it over here at the service provider.”

… There is no one thing called “cloud,” and therefore, there is no one owner in the enterprise. What we find is that, if you are talking about SaaS, business owners are the ones who are often specing this.

Gardner: Who is the “one throat to choke” if something goes wrong?

Gillett: Bottom line, there isn’t one, because there is no one thing. … They are on their own within the company. They have to manage the service providers, but there is this thing called the network that’s between them and the service providers.

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On the eve of its annual JavaOne conference, Sun has announced a pair of updates for two of its other products.

The company said that it would be launching a new consulting and planning service for cloud computing migration to help enterprises adopt new cloud systems.
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Additionally, the company unveiled the newest version of its OpenSolaris operating system.

The new cloud programme, known as the Sun Cloud Strategic Planning Service, will utilize Sun’s consultancy and cloud computing systems to provide companies with custom plans for migrating to cloud systems.

Sun hopes that the programme will allow for faster and more efficient adoption of cloud services amongst enterprises of all sizes.

“Cloud Computing has been billed by the industry as the answer to today’s IT woes, without much clarity on how to get there,” said Sun vice president of services marketing Amy O’Connor.

“We are applying our industry specific consulting and technology expertise to offer secure, practical guidance to companies looking to drive new levels of efficiency by leveraging this emerging computing model.”

Meanwhile, the company said that it would be releasing the newest version of its OpenSolaris operating system.

The open-source implementation of Solaris has been updated with improved support for iSCSI and Fiberchannel connections as well as Microsoft’s CIFS and Sun ZFS file systems.

Other improvements included improved virtualisation tools and the addition of the ‘Project Crossbow’ networking component.

“This preview of the next generation of Solaris demonstrates Sun has the leading platform designed for the latest hardware technologies that power scalable and secure multi-threaded applications in a virtualized and networked world,” said John Fowler, Sun’s executive vice president of systems.