Feeds

VMware's 'Calista Flockhart' hypervisor may or may not change the world

Thin, bony and mean

Boost IT visibility and business value

VMworld This piece on VMware's new ESX 3i hypervisor arrives with great sadness. How – we wonder – could our dear readers at VMware, IBM, HP, Dell, Sun Microsystems and others have kept this technology a secret? Why did we get little more than hints here and there?

We can hear it now.

"Play your violin somewhere else, hack. Type something useful instead of whining."

Such a position would be acceptable if ESX 3i wasn't a big deal.

Technically speaking, the software really isn't much to look at – in fact, it's a lot less to look at. Today's ESX Server install eats through more than 2GB because VMware includes a bulky Service Console with its hypervisor. That Service Console is really a modified version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux and handles a wide variety of management tasks.

With ESX Server 3i, announced this week, VMware throws out the Service Console in favor of just the 32MB hypervisor. The new version of ESX Server will ship later this year and work with VMware's existing management packages. In addition, it will ship pre-loaded in the flash memory of servers from the likes of Dell, IBM, HP and Fujistu-Siemens. (Tsk, tsk, readers. Tsk, tsk.)

By embedding the hypervisor into server memory, VMware and friends can eliminate much of the initial, manual configuration work. In addition, they're able – potentially – to improve security by minimizing the state of the launch system and keeping it cordoned off from writable disk.

Olivier Cremel, an engineer at VMware, characterized the construction of ESX Server 3i – in alpha since April, tsk – as "quite easy."

VMware removed its own agents from the Service Console, translated them and ported them to run as native applications on the vmkernel. It also crafted a new CIM (Common Information Model) interface for third party agents, giving them access to information on things such as fan speed or component temperatures.

In addition, VMware introduced a Direct Control User Interface (DCUI), which is a text-based interface that looks a heck of a lot like a BIOS. "This console is intended for very limited configuration of a machine in case you do not like the default settings or if you have some troubleshooting you need to do," Cremel said here at the VMworld conference, during a session.

So, really, you're meant to become more dependent on VMware's other, for profit management software.

Boost IT visibility and business value

Next page: The OEM Question

More from The Register

next story
Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything
Enter credit card details if you want that system you bought to actually be useful
HP busts out new ProLiant Gen9 servers
Think those are cool? Wait till you get a load of our racks
Shoot-em-up: Sony Online Entertainment hit by 'large scale DDoS attack'
Games disrupted as firm struggles to control network
Community chest: Storage firms need to pay open-source debts
Samba implementation? Time to get some devs on the job
Like condoms, data now comes in big and HUGE sizes
Linux Foundation lights a fire under storage devs with new conference
Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years
Did the earth move for you at VMworld – oh, OK. It just did. A lot
prev story

Whitepapers

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup
Learn why inSync received the highest overall rating from Druva and is the top choice for the mobile workforce.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.