Feeds

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

Thin, bony and mean

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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.

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

Next page: The OEM Question

More from The Register

next story
The cloud that goes puff: Seagate Central home NAS woes
4TB of home storage is great, until you wake up to a dead device
Azure TITSUP caused by INFINITE LOOP
Fat fingered geo-block kept Aussies in the dark
You think the CLOUD's insecure? It's BETTER than UK.GOV's DATA CENTRES
We don't even know where some of them ARE – Maude
Intel offers ingenious piece of 10TB 3D NAND chippery
The race for next generation flash capacity now on
Want to STUFF Facebook with blatant ADVERTISING? Fine! But you must PAY
Pony up or push off, Zuck tells social marketeers
Oi, Europe! Tell US feds to GTFO of our servers, say Microsoft and pals
By writing a really angry letter about how it's harming our cloud business, ta
BOFH: WHERE did this 'fax-enabled' printer UPGRADE come from?
Don't worry about that cable, it's part of the config
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Managing SSL certificates with ease
The lack of operational efficiencies and compliance pitfalls associated with poor SSL certificate management, and how the right SSL certificate management tool can help.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.