virtualized worlds: 2007

Thursday, November 22, 2007

a question of support

Nov 10 brought the 3rd revision of MSFT support statements for virtual environments.

This part (though commonly unknown) seems unchanged:

For Microsoft Premier-level support customers running non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software from vendors with which Microsoft does not have an established support relationship that covers virtualization solutions, Microsoft will use commercially reasonable efforts to investigate potential issues with Microsoft software running together with non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software. As part of that investigation, Microsoft may require the issue to be reproduced independently from the non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software. Where issues are confirmed to be unrelated to the non-Microsoft hardware
virtualization software, Microsoft will support its software in a manner that is consistent with support provided when that software is not running together with non-Microsoft hardware irtualization software.

While this reflects the MSFT/Novell collaboration:
Microsoft will jointly support certain non-Microsoft hardware virtualization software from vendors with which Microsoft has established a support relationship that covers virtualization solutions. This joint support will include coordinating with the vendor to investigate support issues.

[Microsoft Knowledge Base: 944987]

Friday, November 16, 2007

Performance binary translations vs. paravirtualization

Richard McDougall (former DE at Sun, now Chief Performance Architect @VMware) published a detailed article on performance in VMware's corporate blogs.

Interesting to find: "In a recent study, the performance of Oracle 10g R2 using the Swingbench online transaction processing workload on a paravirtualized Linux guest shows a moderate gain of 10% when using paravirtualized CPU interfaces."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Previewing next home server virtualization

VMware Server Version 2 (Build 63231)

preliminary notes:

- linux: easy (after a small complain that Server Version 1 .0x is newer)
- win: IIS is no longer needed, the webUI looks like tomcat/AJAX
- win: drivers not signed (again)

- now VI3-ish
- 14 MB plugin for Firefox

- Virtual hardware version is 6

- File Browser currently only allows default locations. E.g. if ISOs are stored in /iso you're unable to browse to that location (this reminds me of ESX Version 1.x)

- Server takes notice of moved configurations and reacts with a requester: did you copy or move your VM (instead of UUID behaviour earlier)

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Oracle goes XEN

With Oracle ignoring virtualization for a long time and technology advancing I always considered a dementi of a dementi a question of time. Well folks, here we go, here goes Oracle to XEN. What a success for the XEN project, which was started in 2003.

What a giant step for mankind virtualization. This is the anticipated step towards application stacks and Mendel's Just enough OS. OS vendors time to wake up, now it's you looking for deals with app vendors.

What's next and who, SAP? :-)

Here's a quick glance at the management capabilities (called OVS Oracle Virtualization Suite). Looks ergonomic and intuitive. Let me spend a bit more time with the real thing.

Yet another question remaining: how does Oracle manage to triple performanceefficiency of Xen (Oracle uses Xen 3.1.1 bits)? Parts of it can be explained via the JeOS concept, yet ...

Friday, October 19, 2007

beyond one's own nose

MS Distinguished Engineer Eric Traut demonstrated MinWin (version 7 windows spinoff) recently:

numbers are impressive:

- 25 megs on disk
- 40 megs in RAM
- only 100 files
- including http server

Friday, October 12, 2007

Virtualization wonderland ;)

Speaking of various virtualization solutions please find the released product:

Get the ISO download for free at

or buy the box for a small charge ($60).

Friday, October 05, 2007

Virtualization Status 3Q/07

openSUSE has gone gold and ships various virtualization options including Xen, KVM, VirtualBox, lguest and VMware's VMI interface. On this account I agreed to answer a few questions for the openSUSE community:

discussion en francais

original interview

Thursday, October 04, 2007

vmi - technology preview

This year's VMworld in San Francisco brought us press releases in a quantity making it difficult to distinguish between real technical and innovative news and primarily marketing news.

Mostly overlooked is the partnership of VMware and SUSE with a great technical demonstration of next generation interoperability: Both partners adapted their enterprise products, VMware ESX and SUSE Linux Enterprise Linux 10, to the virtual machine interface (VMI) layer. That standard, proposed by Zach Amsden, provides better interaction between hypervisor and VM kernel offering better performance and portability as well as a time interface.

The demo consists of a vmi enabled esx host, a virtual machine running SUSE Linux Enterprise 10 SP1 with a modified vmi enabled 2.6.16 kernel plus middleware and - due to the lack of a feature rich VirtualCenter client for linux - a windows thinkpad. So we're talking enterprise products for datacenters. Yes, that demo pulled a crowd, wow.

And it's out there available for testing to customers in both beta programs.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Oracle still reluctant regarding virtualization

Speaking yesterday, Oracle president Charles Phillips said that customers remained happy with Oracle's current licensing model, which is predominantly based on physical machines running the software.

"We license by the physical partition as there is no way we can know what [customers] are doing with [the machine]," Phillips said. "It is too complicated to do it any other way."

Phillips insisted the current model remained valid regardless of the growing popularity of virtual machines and suggested it would prove all but impossible to develop a system that accounted for the flexibility delivered by virtualised systems. "If there are 4 CPUs that is what we license for," he explained.


Sunday, April 15, 2007

VMware Server Error

this is what I'd expect from a Microsoft product: