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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 23:35

On July 22 Microsoft announced its financial results for the second quarter of 2014.

Total revenue for the quarter ended June 30 was $23.38 billion. Looking at the financials details we can see that gross margin was $15.79 billion,  operating income was $6.48 billion and diluted earnings per share were $0.55 each.

Revenue of the recent acquisition of the Nokia Devices and Services completed on April 25, 2014 are disclosed to be revenue, gross margin, operating income, and diluted EPS of $1.99 billion, $54 million, $(692) million, and $(0.08), respectively.

Despite the financial growth of the big giant, Microsoft announced its decision to cut 18,000 jobs, which includes 12,500 Nokia factory and professional positions — which is about half  of the employees added in the acquisition. The resting 5,500 positions are cut at Microsoft, mainly in sales, marketing and engineering. Microsoft’s strategy is to join two business units, Smart Devices and Mobile Phones. According to Microsoft’s statement the reductions will be completed by June 30, 2015 and it will result in a pretax charge of $1.1 billion to $1.6 billion.

Satya Nadella, chief executive officer of Microsoft, who took over after Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer, wrote an email to all of Microsoft employees explaining his strategy.

Nadella commented about Q2 2014 results:

We are galvanized around our core as a productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world, and we are driving growth with disciplined decisions, bold innovation, and focused execution,“I’m proud that our aggressive move to the cloud is paying off – our commercial cloud revenue doubled again this year to a $4.4 billion annual run rate.

Labels: Microsoft, Results, Revenues
Author: "Paola Cornacchiola" Tags: "Microsoft, Results, Revenues"
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Date: Thursday, 24 Jul 2014 19:17

On July 23, Citrix announced its financial results for second quarter of fiscal year 2014, ended June 30, 2014.

Citrix announced a total revenue of $782 million, for an increase of 7% compared to Q2 2013

Net income registered a slight decrease with $53 million compared to $64 million of Q2 2013 while Non-GAAP results raised from $124 million for Q2 2013 to $142 million for Q2 2014.

An abstract of the outcome of second quarter of 2014, compared to Q2 2013:

  • Product and license revenue increased 2%;
  • Software as a service revenue increased 12%;
  • Revenue from license updates and maintenance increased 7%;
  • Professional services revenue, increased 15%;
  • Revenue increased in the EMEA and Pacific regions by 8%; and increased in the Americas region by 4%;
  • Deferred revenue $1.4 billion as of June 30, 2014, compared to $1.3 billion as of June 30, 2013, an increase of 12 %;
  • Cash flow from operations was $204 million for the second quarter of fiscal year 2014, compared with $209 million for the second quarter of fiscal year 2013.

During the second quarter of fiscal year 2014:

  • GAAP gross margin was 78%, and non-GAAP gross margin was 85%,
  • GAAP operating margin was 7%, and non-GAAP operating margin was 22%,
  • The company repurchased 20.9 million shares at an average price of $58.50.
Mark Templeton, president and CEO at Citrix, said:

I’m pleased with our performance and results for Q2, I’m really proud of how our team delivered greater operating efficiencies while driving our very significant pivot to mobility. As we move into the second half, we’ll continue to refine operations to further increase shareholder value and to stay aggressive with valuable solutions for our customers’ mobility needs. And, on a personal level, I’m excited to be back, energized, and looking forward to the future here at Citrix.

Labels: Citrix, Results
Author: "Paola Cornacchiola" Tags: "Citrix, Results"
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 20:56

VMware has released a paper titled:"Reference Architecture for Horizon with View and Virtual SAN". The paper which contains 50 pages contains a reference architecture for VMware Horizon with View virtual desktops and Virtual SAN storage is based on real-world test scenarios, user workloads, and infrastructure system configurations.

It uses Dell R720 PowerEdge rack mount servers with local storage to support a scalable and cost-effective View linked-clone desktop deployment on VMware vSphere 5.5.


Testing was done for experience and operations, including Login VSI desktop performance and VMware View Planner testing on 400 desktops.

The paper contains the following sections:

  • Executive Summary
  • Overview
  • Test Results
  • System Configurations
  • Test Methodology
  • System Sizing
  • Bill of Materials
  • Conclusion

Labels: Dell, VDI, VMware
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "Dell, VDI, VMware"
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 20:41

The Xen Project, the community which develops the Xen hypervisor under the GNU Public License (GPLv) and which is now part of the Linux foundation has released version 2.0 of its Mirage Operating System. Version 2 is the follow up of version 1.0 which was released in December last year.

The Mirage OS represents an approach where only the necessary components of the OS are included and compiled along with the application into a "unikernel", resulting in more efficient and lean "appliances" which the same or better functionality but a much smaller foodprint and attack surface. Application code is developed in a high-level functional programming language OCaml on a desktop OS such as Linux or Mac OSX, and compiled into a fully-standalone, specialized unikernel that runs under the Xen hypervisor APIs. Since Xen powers most public cloud computing infrastructure such as Amazon EC2, this lets your servers run more cheaply, securely and finer control than with a full software stack.


Labels: Mirage, Xen Project
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "Mirage, Xen Project"
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 18:25

On July 22, VMware released the results about its growth for Q2 2014.

VMware, announced a total  revenue growth of $1.46 billion, for an increase of 17 percent compared to Q2 2013.

Operating income for the first quarter was $200 million, which means a decrease of 26% from the second quarter of 2013.

The non-GAAP Operating Margin registered an increment of 3% from Q2 2013, with an income of $428 million, which is a reflection of the AirWatch acquisition.

Cash flows were $6.64 billion.

Among the recent VMware Announcements:
Pat Gelsinger, chief executive officer, VMware, said:
We continue to see strong performance across our business, further evidence that VMware is
uniquely positioned as IT transitions from client server computing to the mobile cloud era, across the board, customers are turning to VMware solutions to help chart an efficient path to the future without sacrificing the vital needs for security, availability and compliance required by all businesses.

Labels: Results, VMware
Author: "Paola Cornacchiola" Tags: "Results, VMware"
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Date: Wednesday, 23 Jul 2014 09:40

Veeam today released version 7.0 of the Management Pack for monitoring and management of VMware ESX and Microsoft Hyper-V using Microsoft System Center Operations Manager 2012.

New in this release is the addition of support for the Hyper-V hypervisor from Microsoft, for which Veeam will not charge any licenses for up to 100 sockets through 2014. Also an Enterprise-plus and Enterprise editon of the solution is introduced.


Version 7 provides the following new funtionality:

  • Real time performance metrics for Hyper-V, displaying real time memory and CPU consumption for the hosts and associated VMs
  • Analysis of on-premises virtual workloads in order to recommend the oppropriate Microsoft Azure or VMware vCloud Hybrid Service resources
  • vShpere host security profile reporting
  • Automatic deployment of collection components


Veeam Management Pack v7 is available now. In North America the Enterprise Plus edition is priced at $450 per Hyper-V or vSphere CPU socket. The Enterprise edition is $250 per socket and can be upgraded to Enterprise Plus for $200 per socket. In other regions, Veeam Management Pack v7 is available at local pricing.

Labels: Microsoft, Release, Veeam, VMware
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "Microsoft, Release, Veeam, VMware"
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Date: Tuesday, 22 Jul 2014 23:11

OpenNebula has just released the Beta version of its OpenNebula 4.8, codename “Lemon Slice”, that finally introduces the long awaited support for public clouds providers others than Amazon AWS.

Specifically we are talking about the support for Microsoft Azure, rumored for the first time in 2010 and officially announced yesterday at OSCON (O’Reilly Open Source Convention) and for IBM SoftLayer, announced in May and introduced in this release.

Labels: Azure, Hybrid Cloud, OpenNebula, SoftLayer
Author: "Massimo Ferrari" Tags: "Azure, Hybrid Cloud, OpenNebula, SoftLay..."
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Date: Monday, 21 Jul 2014 13:07

BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) is one of the hot challenges that nowadays enterprises are facing, that’s why AirWatch acquisition, made by VMware earlier this year, is extremely significative together with its integration with the newly released Horizon 6 Suite.

Click here to view the embedded video.

This video shows a quick demo of application access and interoperability in a Horizon 6 and AirWatch Enterprise environment.

Labels: AirWatch, Horizon Suite, Video, VMware
Author: "Massimo Ferrari" Tags: "AirWatch, Horizon Suite, Video, VMware"
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Date: Thursday, 17 Jul 2014 12:34

VMware has released a paper titled:"VMware Virtual SAN Design and Sizing Guide for Horizon View Virtual Desktop Infrastructures". The paper which contains 16 pages focuses on the definitions, sizing guidelines, and characteristics of the Virtual SAN distributed datastore for Horizon View virtual desktop infrastructures (VDI).


The paper contains the following sections:

  • VMware Virtual SAN
  • Horizon View
  • Virtual SAN Characteristics
  • Host Sizing Considerations
  • Virtual SAN Datastore Sizing Considerations
  • Network Sizing Considerations
  • Disk Group Sizing
  • Horizon View and Virtual SAN Node Design Example
  • Conclusion

Thanks to Eric Sloof for providing the news.

Labels: Paper, Storage, VDI, VMware
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "Paper, Storage, VDI, VMware"
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 20:15

Citrix has released a technical preview of XenServer codenamed Creedence the next major version of XenServer, which is now at version 6.2. When released this version will probably be version 6.5 or 7. Citrix XenServer is based on the XenServer code from the XenServer open source project. The technical preview is binary compatible with the Alpha 4 release of XenServer.

The Creedence version provides the following new features:

  • 64 bit dom0
  • Linux 3.10 kernel
  • Open virtual switch 2.1.1
  • Boot storm handling improvements by using read caching
  • Read caching for file based SRs
  • TRIM and UNMAP for better storage reclaim
  • 32 bit to 64 bit VM migration
  • Storage migration from XenServer 6.2 and prior
  • SLES 11 SP3 support
  • Ubuntu 14.04 LTS support


Labels: Citrix
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "Citrix"
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Date: Wednesday, 16 Jul 2014 15:46

The Indian company VMUnify, originated from MindTree’s innovation program, announced this week the general availability of version 3.0 of its homonymous solution for managing Virtual Infrastructure Enterprises, Private or Public Clouds to enable the delivering of IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) for public or in house consumption.


Labels: Release, VMunify
Author: "Massimo Ferrari" Tags: "Release, VMunify"
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Date: Tuesday, 15 Jul 2014 09:59

vCloud Hybrid Service is VMware’s owned and operated IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) offering, released in September 2013 in the US only and extended to Europe (UK) in February 2014.
This week, through its official blog, VMware announced two new partnerships with SoftBank (Japan) and China Telecom (obviously China) aimed to launch vCHS in Asia.

Labels: China Telecom, SoftBank, vCHS, vCloud Hybrid Service, VMware
Author: "Massimo Ferrari" Tags: "China Telecom, SoftBank, vCHS, vCloud Hy..."
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Date: Thursday, 10 Jul 2014 13:02

Microsoft has released a paper titled:"Virtualization Fabric Design Considerations Guide". The paper which contains 53 pages helps you to understand how to design a virtualization fabric that is able to host many virtual machines in your organization. The paper is intended for Information technology (IT) professionals within medium to large organizations who are responsible for designing a virtualization fabric that supports many virtual machines.


The paper contains the following sections:

  • Design Considerations Overview
  • Step 1 – Determine virtual machine resource requirements
  • Step 2 – Plan for virtual machine configuration
  • Step 3 – Plan for server virtualization host groups
  • Step 4 – Plan for server virtualization hosts
  • Step 5 – Plan for virtualization fabric architecture concepts
  • Step 6 – Plan for initial capability characteristics
  • Next Steps

Within the document Microsoft also makes a reference to two other very interesting documents, which provide foundational concepts that are observed across multiple virtualization fabric designs and can serve as a basis for any virtualization fabric design:

Labels: Microsoft, Paper
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "Microsoft, Paper"
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Date: Thursday, 10 Jul 2014 12:40

Gartner has released its annual Magic Quadrant for x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure, again positioning VMware and Microsoft in the leaders Quadrant. Leaders in this market have a clear strategy and road map for their offerings, understand virtualization’s role in infrastructure and operations transformation, and have a clear vision with respect to cloud computing. The Magic Quadrant has been written by Gartner Analysts: Thomas J. Bittman, Mark A. Margevicius and Philip Dawson.

Figure 1.Magic Quadrant for x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure

When comparing the Magic Quadrant to the 2013 version, which Gartner published in July last year, we now see that Citrix, which was in the leaders Quadrant in 2012, joined the Visionaries Quadrant in 2013 has now joined Parallels, Read Hat and Huawei in the Niche Players Quadrant. Gartner states that: "For server virtualization alone, Citrix’s reduction in XenServer functionality (at the same time that Microsoft and VMware are expanding) and clear strategic positioning will make XenServer an unlikely competitor."


It’s also interesting to not that a new player has entered the Magic Quadrant, Huawei with its x86 hypervisor called FusionSphere. An upcoming product in emerging markets like Brazil, Russia, India and China.

For more exact details on how the Magic Quadrant was created for this year, we recommend reading the reprint provided by Gartner.


At least 70% of x86 server workloads are virtualized, the market is mature and competitive, and enterprises have viable choices. An increasing number of enterprises are evaluating both the cost benefits of competitive migrations and the benefits of deploying multiple virtualization technologies.

Labels: Citrix, Gartner, Huawei, Microsoft, Oracle, Parallels, Red Hat, VMware
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "Citrix, Gartner, Huawei, Microsoft, Orac..."
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Date: Thursday, 10 Jul 2014 12:24

Red Hat has released its OpenStack platform version 5. The Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform is able to create, deploy, and scale a public or private OpenStack cloud. The OpenStack Platform is build on top of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) and uses the Icehouse release of the OpenStack cloud platform as its basis.


Labels: IaaS, OpenStack, Red Hat, Release
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "IaaS, OpenStack, Red Hat, Release"
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Date: Thursday, 03 Jul 2014 16:24

HP has released a paper titled: “HP Reference Architecture for OpenStack on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS“. The paper which contains 15 pages provides guidance in the deployment of an OpenStack Icehouse cloud on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS using HP servers including recommendations for setting up a medium sized functional OpenStack Cloud. CONTINUE READING ON CLOUDCOMPUTING.INFO…

Labels: HP, IaaS, OpenStack, Paper
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "HP, IaaS, OpenStack, Paper"
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Date: Thursday, 03 Jul 2014 16:14

Oracle has released version 3.3 of its enterprise virtualizatoin solution. The virtualization solution is available for both x86 and SPARC based processor architectures and uses the Xen hypervisor technology, supporting Windows, Linux and Oracle Solaris guests.

Oracle VM consists of 2 main components, the Oracle VM Manager, which is a web based console used to manage Oracle VM Servers, which is a server running a version of the Xen hypervisor containing a VM agent which communicates with VM Manager.


Version 3.3. provides the following new functionality (see release notes):

  • Web Services API (WS-API) that offers both SOAP and REST interfaces
  • Rewritten Oracle VM Manager Web Interface and Command Line Interface (CLI) to support the WS-API
  • Statistics and events model improvements
  • Support for Huge Pages
  • VM Messaging improvements
  • Reduction of number of required open network ports
  • Possibility to view the VM configuration file from the Web Interface and CLI
  • New VM console which uses JavaScript and HTML5
  • Bundled with MySQL Database Enterprise Edition
  • Migration lock functionality
  • VLAN support improvements
  • Support for additional storage types like Fibre Channel, iSCSI, ZFS volume and local disk in addtion to NFS for VM running in a SPARC server
  • Oracle VM Server Installer now handles all disk partitioning itself
  • Oracle VM Manager infrastructure changes
  • Oracle VM Server infrastructure changes

Labels: Oracle, Release
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "Oracle, Release"
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Date: Tuesday, 01 Jul 2014 15:20

Besides releasing the public beta 2 for vSphere 6.0 today, VMware also released a beta for Virtual Volumes (VVOLs).

Virtual Volumes allows a Virtual Machine and its disk to become a unit of storage management for a storage system by encapsulating virtual disks and virtual machine files. These files are stored natively on the storage system. VVOLs uses the vSphere APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA) which makes the storage system aware of the virtual volumes and how they relate to the virtual machines. This allows for certain operations like snapshots and clones to be offloaded to the storage systems for better performance. For in-band communication with Virtual Volumes storage systems, vSphere continues to use standard SCSI and NFS protocols.

Click here to view the embedded video.

Labels: Storage, VMware
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "Storage, VMware"
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Date: Tuesday, 01 Jul 2014 13:21

Microsoft has released version 9.1 of its capactiy planning tool the Assessment and Planning Toolkit (MAP). This version is the follow-up of version 9.0 which was released in December last year. Microsoft provides the Assessment and Planning Toolkit as a so called solution accelerator for free.

The MAP Toolkit uses Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI), Active Directory Domain Services (AD DS), SMS Provider, and other technologies to collect data in your environment and inventories computer hardware, software, and operating systems in small or large IT environments without installing any agent software on the target computers. The data and analysis provided by MAP streamline the planning process for software migration, help assess device driver availability, and allow you to make hardware upgrade recommendations. The MAP Toolkit also gathers performance metrics from computers you are considering for virtualization and includes a feature to model a library of potential host and storage hardware configurations


Labels: Microsoft, Release
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "Microsoft, Release"
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Date: Tuesday, 01 Jul 2014 11:21

Today VMware opened the Public Beta Program for the upcoming vSphere 6.0.
This Beta 2, that comes after a relatively small private Beta 1, gives the possibility to virtually any customer to test the next release of VMware’s flagship product, gaining some competitive advantages on its side and providing precious feedbacks to the vSphere Team.

You can join vSphere Beta2 Program using this link: https://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/vsphere-beta

After you’ve gained access to the Beta Community you’ll be able to attend to the first two scheduled webinars:

  • Introduction / Overview – Tuesday, July 8, 2014
  • Installation & Upgrade – Thursday, July 10, 2014

Labels: Beta, VMware, vSphere
Author: "Massimo Ferrari" Tags: "Beta, VMware, vSphere"
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