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Date: Thursday, 09 Oct 2014 19:34

On Monday HP announced the decision to split into two different companies, one focused on the PCs and printers business (HP Inc. led by Dion Weisler) and another dedicated to enterprise services, technology consulting and, generally, value-added services (Hewlett-Packard Enterprise led by current CEO Meg Whitman).

This fracture let us return to the image of the “old world” that moves away from the “new world” and not necessarily to give both the best possible opportunities to “rise and shine” alone.

HP Inc. will inherit what is still considered HP’s stronger asset, even if the market is registering an increasing contraction.

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise, on the other hand, will be a more service-oriented company, a trend followed by many other vendors, where “agility” and “focus” will be the keywords to regain some ground to competitors.

OpenStack Helion, HP’s flagship Cloud Platform, is one of these focal points, subject of numerous investments and acquisitions in the last year (among which we can mention Eucalyptus closed this September) but still struggling to compete with Red Hat and IBM.

The separation is expected to be completed by the end of fiscal 2015.

Labels: HP, Leadership
Author: "Massimo Ferrari" Tags: "HP, Leadership"
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Date: Wednesday, 08 Oct 2014 19:28

VMware today released version 5.6 of its web-based management platform for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) clouds, working with virtual machines (VMs) and vApps. This version was designed exclusively for VMware vCloud Air Network service providers. These vCloud Air Network service providers VMware vCloud Air which is the new name of the vCloud Hybrid Service. VMware launced the vCloud Air network program in August this year, as an evolution of the VMware Service Provider Program.


Labels: Release, VMware
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "Release, VMware"
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Date: Tuesday, 07 Oct 2014 22:46

As the majority of virtualization.info readers already know, Steve Herrod is one of the most relevant CTOs, not only for VMware but for the entire panorama of virtualization and cloud computing.

Steve joined VMware as one of the very first engineering directors in the early days of the company and left it in February 2013, currently he is Managing Director at General Catalyst Partners, a venture capital firm focused on Early Stage and XIR (Executive In Residence)/Growt investments.

Having the opportunity to speak with a professional of his caliber isn’t something that happens every single day and, as a proper analyst as I claim to be, I came prepared with an outline and 5 precise, studied and obviously clever questions.

Eventually we ended up with a nice informal talk, touching about two million different topics and jumping from one to another ignoring any semblance of the good intentions that I had at the beginning.

What I’ve done in this article is to re-assemble our conversation ex-post in order to make it fit my original questions, (how convenient?) in the end what you will read here is more the result of an exchange of ideas than straight answers.

Labels: Cloud Computing
Author: "Massimo Ferrari" Tags: "Cloud Computing"
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Date: Monday, 06 Oct 2014 09:44

Last Wednesday, virtualization.info reported that Microsoft announced the next version of its Client OS: Windows 10, its Server OS Windows Server and its Management Suite: System Center. Later that day Microsoft released the technical previews including more documentation about what features are added and which features are being removed.

It’s important to note that Microsoft also announced that they will also use an agile method of developing this new version of Windows Server, which means that new functionality can be added, or announced functionality can be changed. As quoted from the blog:

This early access is just one small step we are taking. We are also evolving how we ship our software and service our platform products to keep the software up-to-date. For our datacenter products, there is a duality in what customers want: in some scenarios customers tell us they favor stability and predictability while in other scenarios they want access to the latest and greatest technologies as fast as possible. We’ll have more specifics in the coming months, but you can expect us to deliver the best of both worlds: options for speed and agility, plus options for stability and durability.

For Windows Server the new features are described on TechNet and can be found here: “What’s New in the Windows Server Technical Preview“. Since we cover virtualization, lets have a look at what functionality is added to Hyper-V as described in the following article: “What’s new for Hyper-V in the Technical Preview“:

  • Rolling Hyper-V Cluster Upgrade

This feature allows customers to introduce a Windows Server Technical Preview host in their existing Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V cluster allowing them to move VMs between the nodes. By introducing so called Cluster Functional Levels, the level of the cluster can be updated to the newest version after all the old nodes have been migrated.

  • Virtual Machine Configuration Version

The virtual machine configuration version represents what version of Hyper-V the virtual machine’s configuration, saved state, and snapshot files it is compatible with. Virtual machines with configuration version 5 are compatible with Windows Server 2012 R2 and can run on both Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server Technical Preview. Virtual machines with configuration version 6 are compatible with Windows Server Technical Preview and will not run on Hyper-V running on Windows Server 2012 R2.

  • New virtual machine configuration file format

Virtual machines now have a new configuration file format which is designed to increase the efficiency of reading and writing virtual machine configuration data. It is also designed to reduce the potential for data corruption in the event of a storage failure. The new configuration files use the .VMCX extension for virtual machine configuration data and the .VMRS extension for runtime state data.

  • Storage quality of service (QoS)

This allows customers to create storage QoS policies on a Scale-Out File Server and assign them to one or more virtual disks on Hyper-V virtual machines. Storage performance is automatically readjusted to meet policies as the storage load fluctuates.

  • Production checkpoints

Allows for creation of “point in time” images of a virtual machine, which can be restored later on in a way that is completely supported for all production workloads. This is achieved by using backup technology inside the guest to create the checkpoint, instead of using saved state technology.

  • Hyper-V Manager improvements
  • Alternate credentials support
  • Down-level Management
  • Updated management protocol (WS-MAN)
  • Integration Services delivered through Windows Update

Updates to integration services for Windows guests will begin being distributed through Windows Update.

  • Hot add and remove for network adapters and memory

Add or remove a Network Adapter while the virtual machine is running, without incurring downtime. This works for generation 2 virtual machines running both Windows and Linux operating systems.

  • Linux secure boot
  • Compatible with Connected Standby, for computers that use the Always On/Always Connected (AOAC) power model

The Technical Preview of Windows Server can be downloaded as either an installable ISO or by downloading a Virtual Hard Disk (VHD) which can be run on top of Hyper-V. Microsoft also made the Technical Preview of Windows Server available as a gallery item in Windows Azure. If you want to manage Windows Server Technical Preview from a Windows 10 Technical Preview machine you will need to download and install the Remote Server Administration Tools for Windows 10 Technical Preview.


For System Center Microsoft released technical previews of the following products:

  • Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM)
  • Service Manager (SCSM)
  • Operations Manager (SCOM)

Within the System Center Suite the following products and features will be removed, as described in the following article: “Features removed in System Center Technical Preview

  • System Center App Contoller will be discontinued. Replacement for its functionality will be Windows Azure Pack (WAP)
  • Support for Citrix XenServer as hypervisor to manage with SCVMM will be dropped
  • Support for VMware vCenter 4.1 and 5.1 will be dropped, but vCenter 5.5. and 5.8 will be supported.

What Microsoft means with vCenter 5.8 is unknown, perhaps they are referencing to the current beta of vSphere 6 which is expected to be released next year.

  • Server App-V will be discontinued
  • Visio based Management Pack Authoring for Opeations Manager will be discontinued

Especially the discontinuing of Server App-V is disappointing, since it was an interesting technique covered by virtualization.info numerous times. Customers who want to deploy applications on virtualized workloads will now need to use the Service Template functionality from SCVMM and/or the Gallery Item functionality in WAP.

Unfortunately the Release Notes for System Center Technical Preview do not details that much information about new functionality. So besides running the products on top of Windows Server Technical Preview and SQL Server 2014 and adding support for the new features in the Windows Server Technical Preview much more isn’t known.

Labels: Announcements, Microsoft
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "Announcements, Microsoft"
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Date: Friday, 03 Oct 2014 10:34

In June this year, Microsoft announced that Hyper-V Recovery Manager would be rebranded to Microsoft Azure Site Recovery, at that time Microsoft also made available a free technical preview of the product.

Yesterday Microsoft announced the general availability of Azure Site Recovery (ASR). ASR is a cloud based service (SaaS) which coordinates failover and failback between two Microsoft System Center 2012 managed datacenters. Site Recovery will provide the option to failover a site with Virtual Machine Manager managed VM’s based on Hyper-V to Microsoft Azure.


Labels: Disaster Recovery, Microsoft, Release, SaaS
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "Disaster Recovery, Microsoft, Release, S..."
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Date: Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 13:38

Yesterday, Microsoft announced the new name for its Client Operating System: Windows 10. What was also announced was the upcoming features to be introduced in the next version of Windows Server and System Center. Windows Server 10 will be released in a technical preview for the public today. Also a technical preview of System Center is expected, with the exception of of System Center Configuration Manager for which a technical preview is expected in H1 next year.

For Windows Server Microsoft plans to introduce:

  • Support for rolling upgrades from older Hyper-V versions to the new Hyper-V version
  • A network controller able to manage both virtual and physical networks
  • Synchronous storage replication
  • Storage Quality of Service (QoS)
  • OpenGL and OpenCL support for Remote Desktop
  • Time based access with fine-grained privileges
  • New application publishing capabilties

For System Center Configuration Manager Microsoft is planning:

  • Support for client deployment, upgrade and management of Windows 10
  • Windows Intune will be able to manage Windows 10 devices via Mobile Device Management
  • Support for the new servicing model in Windows Server

Microsoft also plans to update its current System Center versions in order to (partly) support the new Operating Systems.

Labels: announcement, Microsoft
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "announcement, Microsoft"
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Date: Wednesday, 01 Oct 2014 13:15

VMware today announced the release of its type-2 client hypervisor product Workstation (version 11) and Player Pro (version 7). VMware expects to release both products in December this year. Starting with these versions VMware will require users to run the products on 64 bit Operating Systems, abandoning the 32 bit platform

Included in the Workstation 11 update:

  • Ready for the Windows 10 Technical Preview
  • Support for the latest Intel 64-bit x86 processors, including Haswell.
  • Support for VMs with up to 16 vCPUs, 8 TB virtual disks, 64 GB memory and 2 GB video memory
  • Connection to VMware vCloud Air, allowing you to upload, run and view VMs right from the Workstation interface


Player 7 Pro will have the follwing features:

  • Ability to run on top of Windows 8.1
  • Updated hardware compatiblity
  • Ability to run VMs created by Workstation 11 and Fusion 7 pro

Labels: announcement, VMware
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "announcement, VMware"
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Date: Tuesday, 30 Sep 2014 09:31

As announced in august, Citrix has now made available version 7.6 of its Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) product XenDesktop and desktop and virtualization product XenApp.

Version 7.6 contains the following new features (among others):

  • Session prelaunch and session linger, capable of starting sessions before they are requested (session prelaunch) and keeping application sessions active after a user closes all applications (session linger).
  • Support for unauthenticated (anonymous) users
  • Connection leasing, enabling users to connect and reconnect to their most recently used applications and desktops, even when the Site database is not available.
  • Application folders
  • XenApp 6.5 migration
  • Enhanced connection throttling settings
  • Enhanced reporting in Studio
  • Support for Receiver for Chrome 1.4 and Receiver for HTML5 1.4
  • Support for HDX Real-Time Optimization Pack 1.5 for Microsoft Lync


Also additional products related to XenApp and XenDesktop are available in new versions: Director, AppDNA (version 7.6), Citrix StoreFront (version 2.6), Citrix Connector for Microsoft System Center Configuration Manager (version 7.5)

Labels: Citrix, RDS, Release, VDI
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "Citrix, RDS, Release, VDI"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 15:55

While the fact that Lenovo would take over the x86 Server Business line from IBM isn’t new, today Lenovo announced that a definitive agreement has been made effective October 1st. Lenovo is acquiring System x, BladeCenter and Flex System blade servers and switches, x86-based Flex integrated systems, NeXtScale and iDataPlex servers and associated software, blade networking and maintenance operations. IBM will retain its System z mainframes, Power Systems, Storage Systems, Power-based Flex servers, PureApplication and PureData appliances.

The acquisition will make Lenovo the third-largest player in the $42.1 billion global x86 server market.

Labels: Acquisitions, IBM, Lenovo
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "Acquisitions, IBM, Lenovo"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 13:53

The Pivotal Initiative is the organization, born in December 2012 from the merge of EMC and VMware cloud application and big data offerings and well known for Pivotal CF (Cloud Foundry), its commercially supported hybrid Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) based on Cloud Foundry, which it first launched in November 2013.

Last week Pivotal announced that version 1.3 of its Pivotal CF is now generally available, introducing the following new functionality:


Labels: Pivotal, Release
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "Pivotal, Release"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 11:14

IBM has released a paper titled: "IBM Flex System Solution for Microsoft Hyper-V (2-node) Reference Architecture". The paper which contains 50 pages describes a reference architecture for building a 2 node Hyper-V solution using the IBM Flex System Solution.

The design consists of two IBM Flex System x240 compute nodes, which are attached to the IBM System Storage DS3524 Storage controller. The networking design leverages the Flex System EN2092 Ethernet Switches. This fault-tolerant hardware configuration is clustered by using the Microsoft Windows Server 2012 operating system.


The paper contains the following sections:

  • Introduction
  • Business problem and business value
  • Architectural overview
  • Component model
  • Deployment considerations
  • Summary

Labels: IBM, Microsoft, Paper
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "IBM, Microsoft, Paper"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 11:04

VMware has released a free eBook titled: "Virtualization 2.0 for dummies". The book which contains 88 pages can be downloaded from the VMware website after registration.

The book covers the following topics:

  • How Virtualization 2.0 can deliver improved visibility, optimized planning and more predictive control through capacity management and performance monitoring
  • A deep dive into virtualization beyond the server, including operations management, virtualized backup, storage, and networking
  • How to prepare your IT environment for the next steps in your virtualization journey, with advice on storage options and security
  • Technical tips, best practices, and links to in-depth resources to help you save time setting up, managing, and troubleshooting


Thanks to Eric Sloof for providing the news.

Labels: Books, Paper, VMware
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "Books, Paper, VMware"
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Date: Monday, 29 Sep 2014 10:55

VMware has released a paper titled:"VMware Virtual SAN Performance with Microsoft SQL Server", the paper which contains 9 pages shows the result of a scalability study running Microsoft SQL Server on VMware Virtual SAN using the DVD store benchmark.

Two cases were examined: (1) The number of nodes in the Virtual SAN cluster were scaled up from 4 to 8. (2) The number of DVD Store instances (virtual machines) per node were scaled up in a Virtual SAN cluster from 1 to 3.


The paper contains the following sections:

  • Executive summary
  • Introduction
  • Experiment Setup
  • Test Methodology
  • Results and Analysis
  • Conclusion
  • Hardware Configuration
  • Virtual Machine Configuration
  • Workload Configuration
  • References

Labels: Paper, VMware
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "Paper, VMware"
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Date: Thursday, 25 Sep 2014 09:45

Oracle has released its Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux (O3L). Oracle OpenStack for Oracle Linux is a distribution of the OpenStack (Icehouse) cloud framework integrated with the Oracle Linux Operating System and the Oracle VM Server virtualisation platform.

In December last year, Oracle announced its participation in the OpenStack foundation, releasing a technology preview based on the OpenStack Havana release, later refreshing the technical preview based on OpenStack Icehouse.


Labels: IaaS, Oracle, Release
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "IaaS, Oracle, Release"
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Date: Wednesday, 24 Sep 2014 12:22

VMware has released a paper titled: "VMware Horizon 6 Reference Architecture". The paper which contains 53 pages describes a reference architecture for building a VMware Horizon 6 deployment supporting 2,000 till 10,00 users with an existing server and storage infrastructure.

The Horizon 6 reference architecture combines the technologies of standard rack-mount server hardware running on EMC VNX storage, VMware View Accelerator (to accelerate existing SAN), VMware ESXi 5.5, and Horizon 6 to produce a highly efficient, robust, and scalable next-generation virtual workspace deployment.


The paper contains the following sections:

  • Executive Summary
  • VMware Reference Architectures
  • Horizon 6 Solution
    • Hardware Components
    • Software Components
  • Horizon 6 Reference Architecture
    • Modular Pod and Block Design
    • Software-Defined Data Center
    • vCenter Operations Manager for Horizon
    • Unified Access with Workspace Portal
    • Windows Desktops and Remote Applications with View
    • Single Image Management with Mirage
    • User Experience
    • Integration
    • Availability
  • Test Results
  • Bill of Materials
  • References

Labels: Paper, VMware
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "Paper, VMware"
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Date: Wednesday, 24 Sep 2014 07:55

Microsoft has released new VM sizes for Microsoft Azure Virtual Machines and Web/Worker roles. The new VM sizes are called D-Series offering up to 112 GB in memory with compute processors that are approximately 60 percent faster than the A-Series VM sizes. D-Series have up to 800 GB of local SSD disk allowing for fast reads and writes. Microsoft has updated its Virtual Machine pricing details page to reflect the new offering.

The new sizes are defined as follows:


Labels: IaaS, Microsoft
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "IaaS, Microsoft"
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Date: Wednesday, 24 Sep 2014 07:33

Citrix has released a technical preview of a Gallery Image containing XenDesktop 7.5 to be used within Microsofts Windows Azure Pack (WAP).

WAP emulates the Windows Azure experience on-premise so that its users have a consisten experience across private and public cloud solutions provided by Microsoft. WAP supports multiple tenants providing self service capabilities for each tenant. CONTINUE READING ON CLOUDCOMPUTING.INFO…

Labels: Citrix, Microsoft
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "Citrix, Microsoft"
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Date: Tuesday, 23 Sep 2014 23:25

Oracle has caused a world wide earthquake with the latest news announcing a change in its management, Larry Ellison, one of the founders of the Oracle empire who remained the only CEO of the company for about 35 years left his position and was appointed executive chairman and CTO.

Labels: Leadership, Oracle
Author: "Paola Cornacchiola" Tags: "Leadership, Oracle"
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Date: Friday, 19 Sep 2014 23:14

We are living in a mobile world and the future will be more wireless than ever, we are working with technology all the time using our smartphones and tablets, the demand is increasing every day and this is what led open source software specialist Red Hat fill the gap in its mobile portfolio and to acquire Irish software firm FeedHenry, the company specialized in mobile enterprise application platform technologies.

Labels: acquisition, FeedHenry, Red Hat
Author: "Paola Cornacchiola" Tags: "acquisition, FeedHenry, Red Hat"
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Date: Thursday, 18 Sep 2014 10:49

Citrix yesterday announced that it has acquired Virtual. Virtual provides a virtualization platform for iOS and Android which is cloud based. Virtual provides a solution for testing applications without the need of physical devices in many combinations of devices, operating systems and networks.

Citrix plans to integrate the assets of Virtual into its mobile workspace delivery platform solutions. Citrix states:

The technology and team, including founder and CEO Chris Wade, will accelerate innovation across the Citrix mobile workspace apps and delivery infrastructure to help simplify IT security management for applications, data, endpoints and networks, and support the core Citrix vision for providing people with new ways to work.

Labels: acquisition, Citrix, Virtual
Author: "Kenneth van Surksum" Tags: "acquisition, Citrix, Virtual"
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