virtualized worlds: 2009

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Crisis? What crisis? -- Venceremos la crisis!

Crisis? What Crisis?
1975, A&M records, Supertramp

1983, EMI Int'l, Mike Oldfield

2009, VMware Inc. @ Q1 earnings call: 12.6% decline in license revenue

Venceremos la crisis!

2008, Alan GarcĂ­a @ APEC economic forum

2009, Citrix Systems, @ Q1 earnings call: 150% YOY growth in XenServer business

Storage Link explained at technical level

Peter Benoit, engineering director for StorageLink and his 57' deep dive video (45mb) with Barry.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Quo vadis?

After a huge marketing campaign, what has been announced today by Paul?

Version 4, tagged cloud OS. Truth is 'internal cloud' it's simply a new name for "Farms" (Citrix calls it "resource pool"). Yet there is no connection to 'external clouds'. -- And those would have to wear a 'VDC-OS'-shirt as well to work with the local 'internal cloud'.

OK, on to performance: There's a claim like '
30 percent increase'.
Well lets take a look at foot note #1: they are comparing quad-core intel and six-core intel. Guess who wins.

The next claim is already softer: 'an estimate increase of 30% for XenApp'. I suppose the same hardware comparison is used for this assessment.

Let's compare quad-core with quad core and compare
Xeon E5405 vs. Xeon E5570 and use a hypervisor where you can actually publish benchmarks without a huge approval process: SQL DBhammer on XenServer 5: '53 percent increase'. Citrix didn't even bother to enable Nested Page Tables (NPT)

Monday, April 20, 2009

xen to the power of two

Oracle surprises with a $7.1bn offer for Sun. The first thought might not be virtualization, but a second should be virtualization. After Citrix XenServer (11%) Sun's Hypervisor (7%) is the second Xen-based Hypervisor in production [NetIQ, Aug 08]. OracleVM will increase the percentage a bit.

What's the result?

VMware (56%) faces strong xen competitors:

- Citrix XenServer, outperforming VI3.5 41% (Tolly) to 100% (IBM/Trost); Sales up 40% in Q4 according the Q4 earnings call

- Oracle/Sun, the most prominent company denying OracleDB support on virtualization platforms except the Xen-based OracleVM; ready to distribute a JeOS-like OracleDB turnkey solution.

- XenCloud, Xen based clouds in production at Amazon, Google et all

Just one more thing

What'll happen to VirtualBox? Ready to be merged with hosted Xen? ;-)

Friday, April 17, 2009

TNG George: The next generation of XenServer

Carl Fischer posted the announcement for beta for the next release of XenServer:

Project George contains several highly-requested new features:

  • Active Directory integration. Specify the AD domain to use for authentication by the pool and use your AD credentials to connect to the pool via XenCenter and ssh. You control which AD users/groups are allowed access.
  • Workload balancing. Guest and host performance metrics are used to create star ratings for individual VM placement and balancing recommendations for resource pools to achieve optimal performance.
  • LVHD. Fast cloning and snapshots are now supported on all SR types through integration of our software VHD stack and LVM-based Storage Repositories (SRs).
  • StorageLink integration. CLI-only support for a new StorageLink Gateway SR that adds native standards-based support for HP MSA, HP EVA, EMC Clariion, and NetApp storage arrays over iSCSI and Fibre Channel with automated initiator/fabric/array management.
  • Expanded guest OS support. RHEL 5.3, Debian Lenny, and SLES 11 Linux guests.
  • Enhanced beta problem reporting system. We've deployed an enhanced problem reporting system for use with the George beta. The forums will still be used for discussion but issues with the product can now be reported via a Jira-based ticketing system that supports designating issues as public or private. No more having to FTP your Server Status Reports (aka bug-tools)!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The return of performance comparisons: 'XenServer vs. VMware'

Tolly Group just released their benchmark findings in the endless performance discussion. This time test methology and findings were approved by VMW, so it's no longer XenServer vs BrandX.

The bottom line: XenServer 5 outperforms VMware ESX 3.5 Update 3 by 41%.


Sunday, April 12, 2009

XenConvert 2 with OVF support

Citrix just released a tech preview of XenConvert.

- OVF support
- V2V Integration

Find it at
MyCitrix Downloads -> Citrix XenServer/Essentials -> Betas/Tech Previews

or here

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

XenClient or what does XCI stand for?

Don't guess - second source it:

- type I xen vmm
- xen client initiative (xci) @
- Graphics pass thru
- Direct-I/O a.k.a. Intel VT-d

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Roaring XenServer

The Porsche of hypervisors? XenServer. [...] It outperformed Hyper-V and ESX in most categories.

You'll notice that we also did a separate test with ESX, using memory overcommit to determine the effect on performance. [...] so we felt it would be valuable to show you the performance hit on your datacenter while it's in use.

Keep in mind that Rick, the author, is a confirmed VMware man, and uses ESX extensively on his production network.

[Keith Ward --]

Monday, March 02, 2009

to commoditize or not?

After a few suggestions from the virtualization community to either drop Xen VMM for Hyper-V or to build tools on top of vmkernel let's hear yet another proposal

(1) acknowledging vrc's ( performance studies showing xenserver kernel outperforming vmkernel with xenapp workload and hypervisor scalability

(2) reinforming SAP's choice for XenServer easily doubling workload compared to physical machines (SAP XenServer/XenApp case study).

(3) saluting the growing number of partners in the Xen(Server) ecosystem: Intel, HP, Dell, NetApp, DataCore, Symantec, Vizioncore, Fujitsu-Siemens ...

(4) confirming Xen-kernel to be the foundation of XenServer, XenDesktop, XenClient, Xen Cloud C3, Hosted Xen et all

(5) embracing Xen communities development efforts

isn't it time for VMware to drop vmkernel in favor of xen-kernel?

(a) there were claims that binary translation (BT) is better than paravirtualization(PV). who has adopted vmi and paravirt_ops respectively

(b) We've seen corporate proof that PV performs better than BT -- pickup up here

(c) independent consultants prove better performance of Xen(Server) kernel

(d) Paul claimed they have 2.500 people in R&D. From a business perspective wouldn't it make sense to leverage the xen hypervisor development community and focus in house development on management tools?

Saturday, February 28, 2009

type Xen VMM

Thanks Ian and Keir for showing a Xen based type II hypervisor derived from the type I.
Coming to you for OSX and Win. Less than 1000 lines of code.

Friday, February 27, 2009


Nice little catch here from one of the conference attendees

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Citrix Xen and Open

three things to consider:

(1) Citrix/XenSource delivers roughly 66% (stats since xen 3.0 release)of the Xen hypervisor code check ins and employs amongst others the project maintainer.

(2) The added value to the hypervisor or engine to stay with that analogy comes through Citrix unique management infrastructure (which is not OSS) as well Citrix partners (HP, Dell, Microsoft, NetApp, Equallogic, Marathon, VMlogix, ...) and ecosystem (Marathon, Vizioncore, Symantec, ...). The management infrastructure is received well even in the linux community (e.g. Linux-Magazin, 03/09, In case you prefer CLI instead of GUI, compare 'xm' and 'xe help -all' commands

(3) The Xen hypervisor is the key to all major products: XenServer, XenClient, XenDesktop and Citrix Computing Cloud (C3, XenServer paired w/NetScaler, WANscaler and Edgeside) - even XenApp, with XenServer being the best platform to harbour the former presentation server product. The largest production clouds are already based on Xen hypervisor. Even Terremark on stage w/ Paul Maritz utilizes xen based EC2 infrastructure (you could see the EC2 reference during their keynote demo).

Back to bullet number #1, Citrix is #1 sponsor of the xen project.

Monday, February 23, 2009

XenServer free of cost

Enterprise class virtualization with key features for free: Citrix announces free version of XenServer with Live Migration (XenMotion) capabilities:

Wednesday, January 14, 2009