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New Xen bug uses security feature to destroy security

Xen has revealed details of bug CVE-2015-6654, which it warned about a couple of weeks back. The good news is that this one is rather less nasty than the string of guest/host escapes it's reported lately thanks largely to leaks in QEMU. Another nice piece of news is that this time around the problem's also only on ARM- …

AMD rattles Nvidia's cage with hardware-based GPU virtualization

VMworld 2015 AMD has used the VMworld conference in San Francisco this week to take wraps off a new, hardware-based GPU virtualization tech for virtualized workstations. Known as the AMD Multiuser GPU, the chipmaker claims it can allow up to 15 virtualized desktops to share a single graphics processor without any loss of performance. The …
OpenBSD 5.7 logo

Native hypervisor coming to OpenBSD

OpenBSD kernel developer Mike Larkin has let it be known he's working on a native hypervisor for the operating system, with the OpenBSD Foundation's support. Larkin's posted news of the effort, writing that it's needed because “choosing to port an existing vmm just didn't make a whole lot of sense.” “For example, I've been …

VMware eyes hyperconverged model for private clouds

VMworld 2015 With VMware planting its flag in the burgeoning hyperconverged market in a four-way deal with Cumulus Networks, Dell, and Quanta Cloud Technology, The Register speaks to Cumulus. The integration, announced today at VMworld 2015, marks a “validation” for Cumulus, according to VP of business Reza Malekzadeh, as well as opening …

Hypervisors are sooo 2005. For hip containers, you need a 'Microvisor'

VMworld 2015 VMware has created a new hypervisor and a new variant of its flagship vSphere product, both aimed at containerised computing and “cloud-native apps.” “Photon Machine” is the name for a new, stripped-back version of ESX that's being cast as a “microvisor”. The Machine is designed to host virtual machines running Photon OS, the …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Aug 2015
Container images merge application files with the base OS

Hands on with Windows Server 2016 Containers

First Look Microsoft has released Technical Preview 3 of Windows Server 2016, including the first public release of Windows Server Containers, perhaps the most interesting new feature. A container is a type of virtual machine (VM) that shares more resources than a traditional VM. “For efficiency, many of the OS files, directories and …
Tim Anderson, 31 Aug 2015
NVIDIA GRID old kepler models

NVIDIA reveals GPUs for blade servers, Linux desktop support

VMworld 2015 NVIDIA has announced the second version of its Grid desktop virtualisation software, complete with a pair of GPUs for blade servers. NVIDIA is pitching GRID as a hardware offering tuned to the needs of graphically-demanding desktop virtualisation (VDI) workloads. If that sounds a bit exotic, consider environments like the …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Aug 2015
Ray O'Farrell VMWARE CTO and CDO

VMware appoints development chief as new CTO

Imagine for a moment that you're a top-tier enterprise vendor and a week before your big annual conference, the one at which you try to impress the pants off the world, your chief technology officer (CTO) departs. They guy had about a zillion meetings lined up, with all sorts of important folks you were counting on impressing …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Aug 2015

Deja vMware: 'Virty biz to buy its parent EMC' rumor just won't die

Rumors that VMware will buy EMC – which owns 80 per cent of VMware – are back from the dead. And just in time for VMworld 2015, to be held next week in San Francisco. The last time around this particular block, we heard that EMC could buy up the 20 per cent of VMware it didn't own – or VMware could buy EMC in a so-called …
Chris Mellor, 26 Aug 2015
VMware Fusion and Workstation

VMware refreshes its Fusion and Workstation desktop hypervisors

As predicted by El Reg, VMware will have new desktop hypervisors to show off at VMworld next week (although we did get our guess about new names wrong). The headline items in both Fusion 8 and Workstation 12 is support for Windows 10, DirectX 10 and OpenGL 3.3. Supporting the former is a no-brainer so VMware's gone and got it …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Aug 2015
Xen project hypervisor logo

Xen urges another upgrade to get OpenStack humming

Xen 4.4.3 is upon us and the Xen Project recommends “that all users of the 4.4 stable series update to this latest maintenance release.” Users of the open source hypervisor could be excused for having upgrade fatigue of late, as the effort asked them to upgrade the 4.5 version of the code in late June and the project has also …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Aug 2015

NetApp dissolves global centre of virtualisation excellence

NetApp has dissolved the “global centre of virtualisation excellence” it created in 2010 and ran from its Melbourne, Australia, office. The centre was established after the vendor won some colossal deals in Australia, believed to be at the nation's dominant telco Telstra and financial services outfit Suncorp. Both bet big on …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Aug 2015

VMware quietly sneaks out NSX 6.2 update and/or bug-blast

VMware has quietly let NSX 6.2 out the door, so those of you hoping for a big software-defined networking (SDN) announcement at VMworld next week can probably resign yourself to a dull keynote. The biggest change is that you'll need more memory and CPU cycles to get NSX working. VMware says you'll now need at least 16GB of …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Aug 2015
ESXi Embedded Host Client

VMware flings out preview of new web management interface

VMware admins are generally pretty happy with their lot, although the dire web interface for vSphere 5.x got plenty of backs up. Virtzilla therefore gave vSphere 6.0 a shiny new web interface, but did so by relying on the NPAPI browser plugin format that's about to go to the big Trash folder in the sky thanks to Chrome deciding …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Aug 2015

NSA: Here’s $300,000, people. Go build us a safer Internet of Things

The NSA is funding development of an architecture for a "safer" Internet of Things (IoT), in the hope of incorporating better security at a product's design phase. The controversial US intelligence agency is bestowing a $299,000, one-year grant to the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) for a project that aims to build a …
John Leyden, 13 Aug 2015

Citrix mounts Acropolis, offers support for Nutanix citizenry

Nutanix is getting welcome support from Citrix for its brand-new KVM-based hypervisor effort. Citrix, whose CEO Mark Templeton is on the way out, is under pressure from activist investor Elliott Management as it supports the whole Acropolis product set – which has now become "Citrix Ready", in Citrix-speak. Acropolis can be …
Chris Mellor, 13 Aug 2015
Parallels access 3

Wrist-top virtualisation comes to Apple Watch

Parallels has issued version 3.0 of its Access app, software that lets you access PCs or Macs from Android or iOS devices. Why do we care about a junior remote access player making an update? Because this time around there's also a companion app for Apple Watch that Parallels delivers the ability to connect to remote computers …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Aug 2015
management cloud2

vCenter gains power to manage multiple clouds

Server virtualization management tool maker HotLink has enhanced the cloudy capabilities of VMware's vCenter by giving it the power to manage multiple public clouds. The company's new Cloud Management Express imbues vCenter with the power to manage VMs in Microsoft Azure, vCloud Air, OpenStack and Amazon EC2, and also to …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Aug 2015
Citrix Receiver in Microsoft Edge

Citrix warns that Windows 10's Edge browser borks Receiver

“When you point your finger cos your plan fell through”, sang rock dinosaurs Dire Straits in their 1980 tune Solid Rock, “you got three more fingers pointing back at you.” Perhaps folks down Citrix way are listening to that tune today after posting a piece about how Edge, Microsoft's new browser, makes it hard to run its …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Aug 2015

Net config too SLOW for clouds, says Fujitsu

When tens of seconds is too slow: Fujitsu is getting ready to launch a technology it says can create virtual networks for Linux containers in a second. Being readied for the Asia-Pacific Network Operations and Management Symposium in South Korea later this month, the technology is designed to address the mis-match between how …

Vision? Execution? Sadly, omission and confusion rule Gartner's virty quadrant

Comment Gartner has released its Magic Quadrant for x86 Server Virtualisation Infrastructure. It annoys me. Normally, I can write of it as simply being Gartner, and move on ... normally. But storage and virtualisation specifically – and anyone who thinks these two markets are separate doesn't understand them – are on my list, of late …
Trevor Pott, 5 Aug 2015
Xen project hypervisor logo

Xen hardens up with zero-footprint guest introspection code

The Xen Project's had a nasty run with security of late, thanks to a run of five bad bugs, but has revealed plans to improve matters in the forthcoming version 4.6 of its open-source hypervisor. The Project's new weapon is called libbdvmi and addresses the fact that running security software on a guest virtual machine can be …

QEMU may be fro-Xen out after two new bugs emerge

The Xen project has revealed another two bugs in the QEMU hypervisor and is now wondering the extent to which it should support the buggy code. The first of the flaws, CVE-2015-5165, means “A guest may be able to read sensitive host-level data relating to itself which resides in the QEMU process” and impacts “All Xen systems …

VMware doubling down on OpenStack

The content catalog for late August's VMworld San Francisco has yielded up another nuggetoid of vNews: a new version of VMware Integrated OpenStack. Virtzilla debuted its own OpenStack distribution last year, billing it as an exceptionally fine distribution for those who want to run an OpenStack cloud on top of vSphere. …
The All Apps menu in Windows 10

Windows 10 clients come to Microsoft Virtual Machine Manager

Looking forward to a nice, relaxing Sysadmin Day? If you run Microsoft's Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2012, your dat may just have been complicated by the release of two update rollups. The biggie is the Update Rollup 7 for System Center 2012 R2 Virtual Machine Manager, which adds the ability to “provision and customize …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Jul 2015

Beyond virty boxen and hyperconvergence: Regard the mighty data centres of the future

SANs and filers are facing decline because of the sudden rise of hyper-converged systems and enterprises seeking IT silo simplification. This isn’t because of a wish to get rid of networked storage per se. Rather, it’s a manifestation of enterprises recoiling from the burdensome complexity of being IT system component …
Chris Mellor, 30 Jul 2015
Angry-looking cat. Pic by  Guyon Morée from Beverwijk, Netherlands. licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

Now listen, Gartner – virtualisation and containers ARE different

Comment Gartner recently released its Magic Quadrant for x86 Server Virtualisation Infrastructure. In it, the mega analyst lumps together hypervisor-based virtualisation and containers. This is wrong, and as I've discussed before virtualisation and containerisation are different. Even if you consider all the differentiators in the …
Trevor Pott, 29 Jul 2015

A hybrid upstart trying to sink its fangs into Docker: Apcera

Interview With Apcera's new chief architect for security Jim Reno, formerly of CA Technologies, bedded down in his role, the company's taking aim at one of Docker's in-room elephants. The Register talks to CEO Derek Collison about how IT shops can trust what's in Docker containers. Collison told The Register's networking desk that while …
the EVO:RAIL value prop

HP goes off VMware's EVO:RAIL, stops selling sole appliance

Hewlett Packard has stopped selling its ConvergedSystem 200-HC, the hyperconverged rig based on VMware's EVO:RAIL system architecture. VMware launched EVO:RAIL at VMworld 2014, pitching its combination of compute, storage, core VMware server virtualisation products and a simplified GUI as ideal for smaller businesses or branch …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Jul 2015
 Can't See You... by  cc 2.0 attribution sharealike generic

Xen reports new guest-host escape, this time through CD-ROMs

The Xen Project has reported another guest/host escape bug, its third for the year including the VENOM vuln and the XSA-135 SNAFU. The new vuln glories in the name XSA-138, aka CVE-2015-5154 and means “An HVM guest which has access to an emulated IDE CDROM device (e.g. with a device with "devtype=cdrom", or the "cdrom" …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Jul 2015

AT&T: Sorry vendors, SDN is eating your lunch

In news that will chill purveyors of big networking iron, AT&T last week told its earnings call it reckons its software-defined network (SDN) rollout will cut its capital expenditure. While reports last week focussed on the company's revenue (US$33 billion for the second quarter), margins (36.3 per cent), and operating income …
Telstra phone booth by Ed Dunens from Flickr

Telstra eats its own VMware-flavoured hybrid cloud dog food

Telstra's not only hosting the Australian incarnation of VMware's vCloud Air public cloud, it's also using it. So says no less a figure than VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, who in the company's quarterly earnings call on Tuesday said “Telstra, will be leveraging VMware software defined datacenter architecture to deliver …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Jul 2015

Tin eraser to storage glue: Virtualisation's past, present and future

Virtualisation was once seen as little more than a hardware reduction method. It was fundamentally viewed as a tool, albeit an extremely clever and complex one, for reducing the amount of tin in a data hall. What felt like game-changers when they were first introduced – remarkable technical achievements like snapshots, live …
Tom Baines, 23 Jul 2015

Cloudy VMs leak ID details that could allow attacks, says researcher

Research published by a US masters student reaches the somewhat unsettling conclusion that current cloud technologies don't separate virtual machines (VMs) as well as they could. By spying on shared resources at a low level, the research suggests, an attacker's VM can retrieve data written by another (like crypto keys), and …
Godzilla vs Kitten by

VMware sprawls across the data centre to post 'solid' Q2 results

VMware has posted what CEO Pat Gelsinger described as “solid” second quarter results that exceeded analysts expectations on earnings-per-share and fell over the line on the revenue growth front. The former metric was 93 cents a share, two cents higher than expected. The latter was $1.6bn, a four per cent improvement that …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jul 2015

VC cash, growing market propels SimpliVity into hyperconverged orbit

Comment SimpliVity's hyperconverged system sales grew almost 250 per cent in the first half of 2015 – pretty impressive for sure, but how’s it doing compared with everyone else in this hot storage sector? Wikibon's Server SAN 2012-2026 research report includes hyperconverged system vendors, and below we picked out a chart showing …
Chris Mellor, 21 Jul 2015
Monster virtual machine

Magic quadrant of four squares, who's the virtualisation Mayor?

The analyo-mages at Gartner have emitted their Magic Quadrant for x86 Server Virtualization Infrastructure for 2015 and found a race in two between Microsoft and VMware, the only companies rated “leaders” in the field. The latter company's retained the prize position at top right in the Quadrant despite Gartner's mages not …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Jul 2015

Hyperconverged upstart Scale slurps $18m from cash-happy VCs

ABS Capital has led an $18m funding round for hyperconverged system startup Scale Computing, so it can (try) to spread its business around the globe. Hyperconverged systems in Scale's case combine server, storage and virtualisation software elements in an appliance-like system for mid-market customers. Scale says its …
Chris Mellor, 15 Jul 2015
VirtualBox 5

Number 5 is alive! VirtualBox the fifth debuts

After a swift beta process, Oracle's VirtualBox desktop hypervisor has reached its fifth edition. VirtualBox's fourth iteration emerged in 2010, so in April Oracle decided it was due for some proper attention. That decision resulted in four betas and three release candidates emerging in short order, before Thursday saw the new …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jul 2015
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Host privilege escalation vuln bites VMware in the desktop

VMware's security SNAFU email list has delivered news of a new issue in VMware Workstation, Player and Horizon View Client. The missive says “VMware Workstation, Player and Horizon View Client for Windows do not set a discretionary access control list (DACL) for one of their processes. This may allow a local attacker to …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Jul 2015

It's 2015 and VMware tools break VMs if you open two browser tabs

VMware has revealed a couple of nasty bugs in its vRealize Automation products. One causes hard disks to disappear. Detailed here, the flaw impacts vRealize Automation 6.x and means “hard disks are removed unexpectedly when reconfiguring a virtual machine that has RDM disks.” That's obviously a bad idea seeing as hard disks …
Linux apps running inside citrix receiver

Linux on the desktop is so hot there's now a fight over it

Citrix has made good on its April promise to deliver virtual Linux desktops, today announcing it's ready to roll out penguin-powered pretend PCs. The company snuck the penguin-powered desktops into Feature Pack 2 for XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6. For now, Citrix says says you can choose from Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.6 …