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DraaS-tic times call for DraaS-tic measures in VMware's cloud

Disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) is an obvious service to run in the cloud, as the business of operating secondary sites is costly and complex. Which is why Microsoft's offered Azure Site Recovery, including for VMware users, and why and data protection vendors such as Zerto have happily stretched to the cloud. And now …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Feb 2017
Xen project logo

Xen Project wants permission to reveal fewer vulnerabilities

Poll The Xen Project is asking if it can disclose fewer bugs. “Issuing advisories has a cost,” the project's George Dunlap writes. “It costs the security team significant amounts of time to craft and send the advisories; it costs many of our downstreams time to apply, build, and test patches; and it costs many of our users time to …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Feb 2017
Couple on phones photo via Shutterstock

It's over? Pat Gelsinger's post vSphere VMware NSX-T opportunity

Sysadmin Blog VMware has recently announced its financial results for 2016, and for a company that's not just satured but that leads the VM market, it had a very good year. Some of this is attributed to accepting that VMware can't beat AWS, so it might as well join them. But VMware's NSX Network Virtualization arguably led the way, doubling …
Trevor Pott, 14 Feb 2017
Bitdefender and Citrix's hypervisor introspection in action

Citrix, Bitdefender in Xen-only virtual security double-team

Citrix and Bitdefender have revealed a security tool that runs inside the hypervisor – in this case, Citrix's own XenServer – to detect advanced persistent threats running in guest VMs. The tool pulls off this trick by inspecting the state of memory used by guest VMs. If the “Hypervisor Introspection” (HVI) tool sees telltale …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Feb 2017
Migrating birds in the cloud

Big Switch emits next iteration of its fabric

Big Switch Networks has peeled back the veil over its Big Cloud Fabric 4.0, revealing broader VMware support, multi-container networking, and scale-up to 128 leaf switches. Support for VMware comes via plug-ins for vSAN, vCloud NFV (network function virtualization), and a vRealise Log Insight Content Pack. Product management …
QEMU Christmas Logo

Google Cloud kicked QEMU to the kerb to harden KVM

Google has revealed how it hardened the open source KVM hypervisor to run in its cloud. Removing the QEMU hardware emulation tool looks to be a big part of its efforts. Google Cloud's technical lead manager Andy Honig and senior product manager Nelly Porter write that the company decided it needed to develop its own …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Jan 2017
The Batmobile

Veeam vaunts its va-va-voom as 2016 revenues unveiled

It's news but kind of expected: Veeam has seen almost 30 per cent year-on-year growth in its final 2016 quarter, and full-year revenues of $607.4m. The stats keep on coming: 230,000 customers worldwide: Veeam added close to 50,000 total paid customers in 2016, keeping pace with the historical average of approximately 4,000 …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jan 2017

Power Systems running IBM's VIOS virtualisation need a patch and reboot

IBM on Saturday slipped out news of a nasty bug in its VIOS, its Virtual I/O Server that offers virtualisation services on Power Systems under AIX. Issue IV91339 strikes when moving virtual machines and means “there is a very small timing window where the VIOS may report to the client LPAR that some I/Os have completed before …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jan 2017
The new quick VM create tool in Windows 10

Windows 10 memory management changes to give Hyper-V more headroom

The Register's virtualization desk is back from holidays, just in time to report changes to desktop Hyper-V before they go completely stale. Desktop Hyper-V is a Windows 10 feature that offers users the chance to create and run virtual machines on the Windows desktop, a task for which plenty instead turn to Oracle's free …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jan 2017
Smart phone crowd photo via Shutterstock

Citrix buys Unidesk for massive Microsoft Windows rollouts

Citrix is updating its decades-old relationship with Microsoft, targeting Windows 10 and the cloud. The company has announced its acquisition of Unidesk – founded in 2007 and inventor of what it calls layering - to streamline corporate rollouts of virtual Windows applications at scale. Layering is a container that wraps up …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Jan 2017
Microsoft Flight

Flight simulator sets fire to airport

A flight simulator turned into a real life hazard of its own, after it caught fire and caused €16m (£13.6m) in damage at Frankfurt airport. The virtual reality machine, intended to help pilots practise their response to emergencies, burst into flames in a building owned by airline Condor on Thursday. Some 200 people were …
Kat Hall, 30 Dec 2016
Swiss army knife in cloud

Virtualisation got boring in 2016, but the fun's about to start anew

END-OF-YEAR ROUND UP 2016 was a year in which virtualisation became so mainstream, so expected, so accepted that it started to look like a moribund market. But virtualisation's really only just getting started because storage virtualisation, network virtualisation and network function virtualisation are just getting started, while other uses for …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Dec 2016
Vmware cloud logo

Seriously, VMware? Two bugs in the week before Christmas?

Bah humbug! VMware's just revealed two nasty bugs that it recommends you fix at your earliest convenience. VMSA-2016-0024 is rated critical because vSphere Data Protection (VDP) turns out to contain “a private SSH key with a known password that is configured to allow key-based authentication.” And what can an attacker do with …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Dec 2016
Xen project logo

Qualcomm joins Xen Project Advisory Board

Qualcomm has joined the Xen Project's Advisory Board, the group of companies “committed to the market and technical success of the Xen Project” and who “provide financial support, technical contributions, and set high-level policy decisions.” And it's done so “to accelerate ARM-server and hyperscale cloud development, …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Dec 2016
Facepalm from Shutterstock

Windows Server 2016's VM migration tools broken by a patch

Microsoft's had to hurry out a fix for a problem that breaks live VM migration. And it's a problem Redmond brought upon itself with an Update Rollup to System Center 2016 Virtual Machine Manager. Update Rollup 1 for that tool has the unintended side effect of making it impossible to migrate live VMs between different versions …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Dec 2016

VMware releases 'not cool, but very useful' integrated containers

VMware has released its long-touted vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC), the company's way of making vSphere a fine place to run containers. Plenty of pundits have suggested that containers stand a good chance of killing virtual machines, citing the former as lighter, faster and better-suited to building the kind of apps that …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Dec 2016
Vulnerability

AMD virty encryption not quite there, claim boffins

Updated A couple of German boffins have taken a good look at AMD's Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV), and don't like what they see. As AMD's Brijesh Singh explained to the Linux driver project mailing list in April, SEV extends the AMD-V architecture when multiple VMs are running under a hypervisor: “SEV hardware tags all code and …
Xen project logo

Xen 4.8 debuts, gives ARM servers vendors a reason to hope

A new version of the Xen Project's hypervisor has emerged blinking into the light. The Project reckons the best bit of version 4.8 is support for live patching of ARMv8-A CPUs, noting that such silicon is likely to appear in servers. And server users, of course, love anything that avoids operational disruptions. So Xen has …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Dec 2016

Work ends on Open Virtualisation Format

Work has ended on the Open Virtualisation Format (OVF), the Distributed Management Task Force's (DMTF's) packaging format for virtual machines. Version 2.0 of the standard landed in early 2013 and back in June 2016 The Register's virtualisation desk spotted plans to develop version 3.0 with a target delivery date of late 2016 …
Simon Sharwood, 08 Dec 2016

Online advent calendar offers mystery VM every day until Christmas

Here's something fun for Christmas: the folks behind the free and open-source hosted QEMU hypervisor have whipped up an online advent calendar that offers you a new virtual machine to download every day between now and Christmas. The 2016 QEMU Advent Calendar kicked off last week with a download of the 56kb MikeOS, apparently …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Dec 2016
VMware nutella

Fancy the new HTML vSphere client? Go get it: The old one has a security problem

VMware's popped out a couple of security advisories, one of which helps it in a perverse way. vAdmins have long complained that vSphere's interface is … let's spare VMware some blushes and just say “sub-optimal”. Virtzilla has therefore created a shiny new HTML 5 client that's been well-received. And now, thanks to Positive …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Nov 2016
Xen project hypervisor logo

Get patching: Xen bug blows hypervisor security to bits – literally

The Xen Project has issued eight security advisories for its open source hypervisor. XSA-195 is considered the most serious of the eight, as it could allow memory modification, resulting in arbitrary code execution, a crash of the host, or information exposure. According to the Xen Project, XSA-195 (CVE-2016-9383) is …
Thomas Claburn, 24 Nov 2016
man in suit is trapped in a box, Photo by Shutterstock

Microsoft kindly offers VMware-to-Azure backup

Microsoft has a new offer for VMware users: agentless backup for vSphere VMs – to an on-premises target or Azure - made possible through a vCenter API. Redmond's been keen on offering cloud services to VMware users for some time: it already offers a disaster recovery service that preserves vSphere VMs in Azure and even runs …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Nov 2016
Vmware cloud logo

vSphere 6.5 goes GA, gains surprise powers to predict the future

VMware's quietly revealed that vSphere 6.5 is now generally available and therefore on-sale to world+dog. VSphere 6.5's had a long gestation. The Register understands an early version of the upgrade was used to run infrastructure for VMworld Europe 2015. A beta commenced in February 2016 and the update was then formally …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Nov 2016
cloud

Is that your television? Or a zero client running a virtual desktop?

Teradici's launched a new range of zero clients powered by silicon it did not design, a departure from its usual practice the company hopes will spread its PCoIP protocol far and wide. Teradici's meat and potatoes is virtual workspaces delivered as nothing but pixels: all the compute happens in the server and zero clients do …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Nov 2016
Cloud desktop

Amazon's cloudy 'WorkSpace' desktops-as-a-service gain a GPU

Amazon Web Services' (AWS') desktop-as-a-service “WorkSpaces” just grew up. And got all muscly, too: the cloud colossus has announced a new option to add 1,536 CUDA GPU cores with 4GB of graphics memory. The new “Graphics bundle” also offers eight virtual CPUs and 15GB of RAM, plus a 100GB virtual disk for users on top of the …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Nov 2016
Junghoon Lee. Image: Darren Pauli / The Register

Pwnfest drops a nasty surprise on VMware

VMware's rushed out a patch for the serious desktop hypervisor bug turned up at the Pwnfest hacker convention. CVE-2016-7461 is a critical-rated out-of-bounds memory access vuln present in VMware Workstation and VMWare Fusion. The bug scores a critical rating because it could allow a guest to “execute code on the operating …
Xen project hypervisor logo

Xen releases updates, but also has eight patches about to drop

The Xen Project has just issued two new maintenance releases, but before you rush out and install them consider that the open-source hypervisor also has eight new patches in the works. Xen announces new patches on its advisories page, but doesn't reveal details of the problems they'll address for two weeks. The gap between …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Nov 2016

VMware cleans up after Dirty COW's droppings

VMware's received an unwelcome deposit from the Dirty COW Linux kernel local privilege escalation vulnerability. As revealed in a new security advisory, “The Linux kernel which ships with the base operating system of VMware Appliances contains a race condition in the way its memory subsystem handles copy-on-write (aka “Dirty …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Nov 2016
FACEPALM

VMware stubs its toe again: NSX has another VM-flattening bug

VMware says its NSX network virtualisation product is growing fast … perhaps too fast, because it's again been found to have a nasty bug. Virtzilla struck trouble with NSX 6.2.3, which was first declared unsuitable for implementation and then pulled from distribution entirely. VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger described that incident …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Nov 2016
You didn't say the magic word

Rogue sysadmins the target of Microsoft's new 'Shielded VM' security

Virtual machine security is suddenly a hot spot: VMware's building a new product for it and has added new bits to vSphere 6.5 to enhance it. And Microsoft thinks it has found a new way to secure VMs. Let's do Redmond first because its new “Shielded VMs” are one of the headline items in Windows Server and Hyper-V 2016. As …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Oct 2016

vSphere has been moved onto VMware's slow development train

VMware has finally shoved vSphere 6.5 out the door, more than a year after it was deemed good enough to run VMworld Europe 2016, eight months after its formal beta began and the better part of two years since vSphere 6.0's February 2014 release. Why the wait? Mark Chuang, senior director and chief of staff of VMware's software …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Oct 2016
Container-ship

VMware waves white flag: vSphere, vRealize, VSAN dock with Docker

VMworld Europe Containers are docking at this week's VMworld Europe Barcelona shindig – with VMware supporting containers in its compute, storage and management product set (vSphere, VSAN and vRealize) for production use. VMware is seemingly taking EMC's approach to disruptive technology by disrupting itself by its own hand: witness EMC …
Chris Mellor, 18 Oct 2016

AWS has made VMware the Airbnb of the cloud

Apologies if you've heard it before, but Airbnb is bigger than Hilton or Marriot, but doesn't own a single building. Uber is bigger than taxi companies but has never changed a tyre or burned a drop of gasoline. And now VMware's new alliance with Amazon Web Services makes it (virtually) the world's biggest cloud without having …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Oct 2016

AWS has a lousy hybrid cloud story. VMware may fix that soon

VMware and Amazon Web Services are reportedly about to stage a public display of affection. Fortune reckons the two have been having intimate chats about the same kind of relationship Virtzilla has with IBM. That cloudy tryst sees IBM offer VMware's service-provider-grade-vSphere-as-a-service, the better to help VMware users …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Oct 2016
Virtual servers

HPE, Samsung take clouds to carriers

HPE and Samsung are getting together to give carriers a shove towards a more cloudy future. The two companies have announced a tie-up with a focus on network function virtualisation (NFV) and virtual network functions (VNF). The two are part of a whole, but subtly different: NFV refers to taking carrier-grade applications ( …

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