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Tag Archives: Virtualization

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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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?

Microsoft has placed its stamp on the virtualization phenomenon with the launch of Hyper-V, a new technology that adds to the power of the Windows Server 2008 platform.  Hyper-V represents the next era of virtualization, allowing administrators and hosting customers to get the most out of their sever investments and usage.  What sets it apart from other virtualization platforms is the ability to run a number of different operating systems in parallel on a single physical server.  It doesn’t matter if you prefer Windows, Linux or Unix, Hyper-V allows you to take full advantage of 64-bit computing.

Server Consolidation

Today’s businesses are under a lot of pressure to simplify management processes all while reducing costs and maintaining competitive benefits such as flexibility, scalability, reliability and security.  Hyper-V enables organizations to meet these goals by consolidating multiple servers within a single system while maintaining isolation.  Aside from saving money on individual servers, this type of virtualization also provides for lower processing power, cooling and management costs.  Businesses of various sizes can benefit from an asset standpoint as well as capabilities that allow them to effectively balance workloads across multiple resources.  This results in improved flexibility that allows for the integration of 32-bit and 64-bit operations in the same environment.

Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity

Business continuity refers to the ability to reduce both scheduled and unscheduled downtime.  This includes time lost due to routine operations such as backup and maintenance as well untimely events caused by failures and outages.  Hyper-V offers extensive business continuity features such as live backup and seamless migration capabilities that enable businesses to meet demanding uptime and response metrics.

Disaster recovery is an essential element of business continuity.  Emergencies, natural disasters, malicious physical attacks and even simple configuration issues such as software conflict all have the power to cripple an organization’s vital data before administrators have a chance to back it up.  Leveraging the clustering features integrated into Windows Server 2008, Hyper-V supports disaster recovery across diverse IT environments and data centers.  Fast, reliable disaster recovery and business continuity tools help to ensure minimal data loss and enhanced remote management capabilities.

Improved Testing and Development

Testing and development are usually the first functions businesses take advantage of with virtualization technology.  The use of virtual machines allows development staff to create and test a wide range of scenarios in a secure, self-contained environment that precisely approximates the operation of physical clients and servers.  Hyper-V enables the maximum utilization of test hardware, helping to reduce costs, improve test coverage and life cycle management.  With support for numerous operating systems and checkpoint features, this virtualization solution makes an excellent platform for test and development environments.

Server virtualization is a hot commodity in the IT world for the potential of benefits that can be weighed on the scales of cost and performance.  Already one of the pioneers in web technology, Microsoft can now be credited for enhancing the virtualization concept and enabling businesses all over the world to enjoy a more dynamic IT infrastructure.

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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SkyDrive what a Great tool. Here are a few things you’ll find on your shiny new SkyDrive:

25 GB of free online storage
Available in 6 more regions and 13 more languages
Download entire folders as Zip files (limited release)
Gorgeous online slide show for your photos
And much, much more!
Check it out and let us know what you think.

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.

palm-pre grid

palm-pre grid

An early Palm Pre review today suggests Palm has mostly achieved its goal with its device but that hardware may be the limitation. Using a phone that may have pre-production firmware, BGR says webOS is a “great” first start and particularly praises the web browser, which is particularly quick and stable. The examination also compliments the quality of the multi-touch screen and notes that it’s.

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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