Feeds

Microsoft counters VMware insanity with optimistic frown

Our time will come

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications

I'm pretty sure that this is part of the reason VMware has pushed so hard with ESX Server 3i - a 32MB version of its flagship product that can and will be embedded into the flash memory of servers. Dell, IBM, HP, Fujitsu and others have lined up to include ESX 3i in the memory of at least one system each. So, you can boot right into VMware without touching an operating system, and VMware's hypervisor starts to look like a standard server component.

Of course, VMware would be in better shape with this play if every server from these vendors included ESX 3i or at least presented it as an option at sales time. That may happen one day. In the meantime, Microsoft is content to downplay VMware's actions.

"It is important to understand that Viridian will ship as part of Windows Server 2008," Microsoft's virtualization chief Mike Neil told us. "VMware is in a situation where they are not an OS vendor. They need a distribution mechansim through the OEMs. This is the approach they have taken."

But would Microsoft consider shipping a separate hypervisor that could slot into memory as well? Viridian is less than 1MB, according to Neil.

"I don't know that (an embedded hypervisor) has substantantial value today," Neil said.

Neil scoffed at the power-saving and performance-boosting claims made by the likes of Dell around a type of diskless virtualization appliance based on the embedded hypervisor. Customers will "have to store their virtual machines somewhere" in the end. And, if they really want to boot from the network, Microsoft can do that as well via Windows.

Beyond all that, Dell, VMware and others threaten to foist "complex" vendor-specific flash update tools on customers with this latest attack. Meanwhile, "serving Windows is a well understood technology," Neil said.

Rather than just dishing out the hypervisor, Microsoft "wants to provide the best experience for customers with virtualization and that includes things such as management tools and an optimized operating system."

Greene Field

Greene has heard and digested Microsoft's virtualization arguments and come away with little more than a mild case of heartburn.

She maintains that VMware has by far the most complete line of complementary management software surrounding its core hypervisor. In addition, she mocked Microsoft for pulling a VMotion-like tool for shifting virtual machines across physical servers from the initial Windows Server virtualization release.

"When (Viridian) ships, it will not even have VMotion," Greene said. "Our customers regard that as a critical feature."

Meanwhile, Microsoft continues to say that despite its lacking product and VMware's blockbuster IPO, it's primed to capture a big chunk of the rising virtualization tide.

"I don't believe we are in any way late to that growth," Neil said.

Which reminds me that I actually rather enjoy covering VMware after all. The Microsoft vs. Linux battle has grown so tired. ®

The Power of One eBook: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Apple fanbois SCREAM as update BRICKS their Macbook Airs
Ragegasm spills over as firmware upgrade kills machines
Attack of the clones: Oracle's latest Red Hat Linux lookalike arrives
Oracle's Linux boss says Larry's Linux isn't just for Oracle apps anymore
THUD! WD plonks down SIX TERABYTE 'consumer NAS' fatboy
Now that's a LOT of porn or pirated movies. Or, you know, other consumer stuff
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
Manic malware Mayhem spreads through Linux, FreeBSD web servers
And how Google could cripple infection rate in a second
FLAPE – the next BIG THING in storage
Find cold data with flash, transmit it from tape
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Reducing security risks from open source software
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.