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This Old Box - S-100 COEX RAM card

VMware finds new post-paranoia RAM-saving tricks

VMware is rejigging the way it shares memory among virtual machines, after turning off Transparent Page Sharing (TPS) because academics identified insecurities in the technology. TPS allows virtual machines to make more efficient use of RAM, so that more VMs can run on a host. But as VMware acknowledged in December 2014, “recent …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Jan 2015

XenServer takes half a step forward, none towards hybrid cloud

Citrix has released XenServer 6.5 and, as foreshadowed with the July 2014 preview named “Creedence”, has focussed on its own application delivery strengths and the needs of cloud operators rather than the wider enterprise computing market. Citrix isn't spinning it that way: it reckons the new 64-bit kernel, addition of Intel's …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Jan 2015
Clouds in blue sky

OVS to add virtual networking to code-base

The Open vSwitch (OVS) community has announced that it's adding virtual networking to its project. As explained in this post, the Open Virtual Networking (OVN) project is designed to provide a “lightweight control plane” to support familiar virtual networking abstractions – in particular, Layer 2/3 networking only, so as not to …
Docker Logo

Docker's just a bit dodgy, but ready for rollout says Gartner

Analyst outfit Gartner has assessed Docker's security – and found the containerisation tool is sound but immature. Gartner's report, Security Properties of Containers Managed by Docker, published last week, finds “Linux containers are mature enough to be used as private and public PaaS” but “disappoint when it comes to secure …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jan 2015
Lamb Stew

Cloud Backup stew in Docker container? Check – Asigra

Quick as a flash, Asigra has added Docker container support to its Cloud Backup product. Traditional virtualised servers have applications running in a virtual machine (VM or virtual server) with a guest operating system. Multiple VMs have multiple copies of guest VMs, which is wasteful of server memory and processor resources …
Chris Mellor, 7 Jan 2015
VMware's monster VM

VMware planning 'biggest launch' on Feb 2

VMware looks to be launching its long awaited sixth version of vSphere on February 2nd. The Reg is in receipt of a “hold the date” for a February 2nd event. We're also aware of chatter among the VMware faithful that those involved in the vSphere 6 beta are being asked to prepare themselves for “our biggest launch event to date“ …
News team, 5 Jan 2015
VMware VSAN

VMware says anyone - not just EMC - can play with its best bits

Ever since VMware launched the virtual storage appliance back in 2011, observers have wondered if the company’s storage efforts hurt its parent EMC’s business. Such pondering became more intense when VMware launched VSAN earlier this year, as the software-defined storage product is a direct competitor for some EMC arrays, in …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Dec 2014
IBM Power S842L server

IBM and Red Hat power up for virtualisation on Power systems

Red Hat has announced that its Enterprise Virtualization product now works on IBM's Power systems. The move's not a colossal surprise: last week Red Hat revealed a beta of Red Hat Linux 7.1 and it included a version running on IBM's recently-revealed POWER8 platform. Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization for Power is a KVM-derived …
Darren Pauli, 17 Dec 2014
Tintri

Tintri adds Hyper-V to its virtualised server support

Hybrid flash/disk array upstart Tintri has added Hyper-V to its virtualised server support, to sit alongside its existing VMware and Red Hat Enterprise Virtualisation services. Tintri's schtick, apart from a ground-up design for its hybrid array VMstore hardware and Tintri OS software, is its presentation of storage as just …
Chris Mellor, 15 Dec 2014
Containers

Parallels to adopt Docker as native app format in Cloud Server

The little virtualizer that can, Parallels, has been doing containerisation for ages: the company's Virtuozzo software has been running applications in silos that share an underlying operating system since at least 2007, when its predecessor company SWsoft decided to rename itself Parallels. SWsoft got its start in 2001. …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Dec 2014
Bang by Guian Bolisay

VMware exiting 2014 with a bang and a security whimper

The productive bits of 2014 may be ebbing away fast, but VMware's not slowing down: the company's shoved a few notables out the door in recent days. The most urgent is a fix for a bug in the on-premises version of the mobile device management suite AirWatch. As Virtzilla 'fesses up, “These issues may allow a user that manages an …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Dec 2014

Creating more harmony around end user computing

Tensions frequently arise between business units and the IT teams as users have become more informed and opinionated, and sought greater levels of freedom and flexibility around the technology they use at work. Against this background, the key to creating and maintaining harmony is to prioritise tangible business interests above …
Dale Vile, 10 Dec 2014
Woz with Apple II, photo: Gavin Clarke

Will tech titans SWALLOW upstart where Apple guru Steve Wozniak works?

Comment I spent just an hour with data centre virtualisation upstart Primary Data (set up by Fusion-io's founders) during an IT press tour, but I came away both intrigued and puzzled at the same time. While it has the best vision and ideas I’ve seen in years, at the same time the two-year-old firm's vision seems incredibly hard to …
Sign, Free Beer Here (Tomorrow Only)

VMware warns of vCenter cross-site-scripting bug

It's Friday! By later this afternoon you'll be working at half-pace and contemplating weekend fun. Unless you run VMware's vCenter control freak, because Virtzilla has just revealed a nasty cross-site scripting flaw in the product. “VMware vCenter Server Appliance (vCSA) contains a vulnerability that may allow for Cross Site …
Containers

Docker: Here, take the wheel – now YOU can run your own containers

DockerCon EU Docker is all the rage among hip startups and early adopters, but Docker the company would like to get its tech into enterprises, too – which is why it's working on adapting its hosted Docker Hub service into a product specifically targeting large business customers. The forthcoming offering, unsurprisingly named Docker Hub …
Orchestration

Docker grabs conductor's baton, jumps into cluster orchestration

DockerCon EU Linux container wrangler Docker rounded out the first day of its DockerCon EU conference on Thursday by unveiling three new services that represent the next steps in Docker's transition from toolset to full-fledged platform. "We're incubating a series of projects separately from the core runtime," Docker cofounder and CTO …
Game of Thrones Season One Blu-ray disc set

Docker part 4: Microsoft CAN'T ignore it. Aux armes, citoyens!

It's clear that Docker is here to stay, but we must temper our enthusiasm with pragmatism and a careful analysis of history. There are many pieces on the chessboard to consider, and each of them has a mind of its own. Docker is simultaneously a big fish (thanks to the hype around it) and a relative minnow compared to the tech …
Trevor Pott, 4 Dec 2014
VMware software-defined data center

The age of the hybrid cloud desktop hypervisor is upon us

VMware has sent version 11 of its Workstation desktop virtualisation product down the slipway. The new released has a slew of enhancements one would expect from a new release: there's support for newer OSes like Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012 R2, Suse Enterprise Linux 12 and Ubuntu 14.10. You can now handle higher-resolution …

Cisco and IBM team on 'VersaStack' integrated infrastructure bundle

Cisco and IBM will later today announce “VersaStack”, an integrated infrastructure reference design that blends Cisco's UCS servers and switches, plus IBM's Storwize 7000 storage arrays. The new rig looks an awful lot like other integrated stacks Cisco's helped to build, such as NetApp's FlexPods. The thinking behind VersaStack …

NetApp goes for a ride on VMware's EVO: RAILs

NetApp will offer VMWare's EVO: RAIL hyperconverged rigs but with its networked FAS arrays. NetApp says its offering will have three main components: VMware EVO: RAIL NetApp Clusetred Data ONTAP NetAppFAS arrays It's designed for enterprise remote and branch offices (ROBO), also SMBs, with limited IT staff and apps in VMware …
Chris Mellor, 4 Dec 2014
Red rocket toy

CoreOS's Docker-rival Rocket: We drill into new container contender

Analysis CoreOS CEO Alex Polvi certainly got the attention of the Docker community on Monday when he announced Rocket, his company's alternative to the Docker container file format and runtime. But just what is Rocket and what does it offer that Docker doesn't? Simply put, the answer for now is a resounding "not much." In fact, as …

Rethinking desktop delivery

Many IT professionals are weary of the relentless Windows upgrade spiral and the cost and disruption it brings. Rethinking desktop delivery, however, can both ease the pain and put the business onto a firmer footing for the future. Oh no, not again If there’s one type of project that’s guaranteed to get IT professionals riled …
Dale Vile, 3 Dec 2014

Chef and HP cook up partnership for infrastructure as code – even on Windows

HP Discover HP Technology Services has announced a partnership with Chef to include infrastructure automation as part of its Datacenter Care offering, at the HP Discover event today in Barcelona. Chef is open source software (under the Apache 2.0 license) for script-driven configuration of servers. The Seattle-based company of the same name …
Tim Anderson, 2 Dec 2014
Docker Logo

Part 3: Docker vs hypervisor in tech tussle SMACKDOWN

Comment If you're willing to start from scratch, give up high availability, the ability to run multiple operating systems on a single server and all the other tradeoffs then Docker really can't be beaten. You are going to cram more workloads into a given piece of hardware with Docker than with a hypervisor, full stop. From the …
Trevor Pott, 2 Dec 2014
Container meltdown

CONTAINER WARS: CoreOS blasts Rocket rival at Docker

CoreOS, the lightweight Linux distro based around Linux containers and Docker, will develop its own application container tech to compete against Docker. On Monday, CoreOS unveiled a prototype version of Rocket, a command-line tool for working with App Container, the company's home-brewed container image format, runtime, and …
Docker Logo

Docker, Part 2: Whoa! Spontaneous industry standard! How did they do THAT?

Sysadmin Blog Docker is slowly taking over the world. From its humble origins, which we explored on Friday, as an internal project at dotCloud, through to Microsoft's recent announcement that it will support Docker natively in Windows, Docker looks set to become a major component of modern IT infrastructure. Today, Docker is powered by …
Trevor Pott, 1 Dec 2014
A rack of Nvidia VCAs

Citrix clambers aboard GPU-powered app-delivery bandwagon

Desktop virtualisation's year has been marked by a growing number of insistences that the technology is now mature, doesn't require more storage than you first planned for and can handle even graphics-intensive, workstation-grade workloads. Hence announcements like Google and Nvidia suggesting Chromebooks can run anything if …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Nov 2014
Cloud security image

VMware secures trademark for something cloudy and secure

VMware has been awarded a mighty interesting-sounding trademark. “VMware Switch” is described as “Enterprise computing security services, namely, providing secure access, via a global computer network, featuring technology that allows access to enterprise software applications and services.” What might VMware have in mind for …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Nov 2014

User flexibility without the risk

Most organisations are seeing users and business groups starting to make their own technology decisions to some degree or another. On the one hand this provides those in the business with the freedom and flexibility they often crave, but unilateral adoption of equipment, software and services can create ambiguity over who is …
Dale Vile, 27 Nov 2014
Amazon claims 5x read performance for Aurora vs MySQL

Inside Aurora: how disruptive is Amazon’s MySQL clone?

At its recent re:Invent conference in Las Vegas, Amazon announced its new database engine Aurora, claiming it to be a commercial grade database engine at open-source cost. “It’s at least as available, durable and fault-tolerant as the enterprise editions of the proprietary commercial database engines and high-end SANs,” said …
Tim Anderson, 26 Nov 2014
cubicle_farm_computers_channel

Converge THIS: Network titan Cisco on how to VDI in 10 days

HPC Blog Thinking about virtualising your desktops? Want to run all those sessions in your data centre and simply broadcast the screen and UI out to whatever device your users desire? There are a lot of vendors out there who are looking to ease your shift into VDI (virtualized desktop infrastructure), helping to figure out how much …
Smartphones

Managing BYOD starts with asset management

The prevalence of BYOD (bring your own device) activity across the enterprise landscape has seen every IT vendor worth its salt try to offer a solution to the problem of keeping employees' mobile devices under control. There are several worthy options, such as CYOD (choose your own device) and managed virtualised desktop …

Canonical pushes LXD, its new mysterious drug for Linux containers

Analysis Canonical, the company behind the popular Ubuntu Linux distribution, says it's working on a new "virtualization experience" based on container technologies – but just how it will operate remains something of a mystery. Canonical founder and erstwhile space tourist Mark Shuttleworth announced the new effort, dubbed LXD and …
Sydney harbour bridge poking out of the clouds

VMware announces vCloud Air for Australia

VMware has announced it will launch its vCloud Air hybrid offering in Australia in the first half of 2015. Australia's dominant telco, Telstra, scored the hosting gig and will stand up VMware's kit in a Melbourne bit barn. VMware's schtick for vCloud Air is that it is designed from the ground up to hook into its vSphere control …

VMware: Yep, ESXi bug plays 'finders keepers' with data backups

Running VMware’s ESXi and diligently backing up your data in the belief it’s safe as houses? Think again. VMware has quietly ‘fessed up to the existence of a bug affecting all versions of its bare-metal hypervisor. It copped the problem in its knowledge base as users began cottoning on to the fact something was amiss in their …
Gavin Clarke, 3 Nov 2014

Desktop Linux users beware: the boss thinks you need to be managed

Desktop Linux users beware: IT has noticed you and decided it's time you were properly managed. So says VMware, which yesterday at its vForum event in China let it be know that it will deliver a desktop virtualisation (VDI) solution for Linux desktops. Virtzilla says it hasn't bothered doing so before now because so few people …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Oct 2014

ESXi is telling fibs to backup software

Redditor “tottenham12712” has pieced together a scary scenario for VMware users: ESXi might be feeding dud data to backup software. VMware knows it has a problem. Indeed, it has explained in this knowledge base article that when vAdmins expand a vmdk file past 128GB, and Change Block Tracking (CBT) is enabled, the …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Oct 2014

Xen says its security policies might be buggier than its software

The Xen project has asked for help to ensure future bugs aren't as disruptive as the XSA-108 flaw that saw major cloud operators reboot an awful lot of servers. XSA-108 emerged in late September and saw the likes of AWS, SoftLayer and Rackspace patch and reboot many servers. Such reboots are just the kind of thing that cloud …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Oct 2014
padlock

NIST to hypervisor admins: Pro-tip, secure your systems

US standards body the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has laid out the basics of hypervisor security in a draft publication released for comment on 20 October. The sysadmin guide presents 22 security recommendations, under the key headings of isolating VMs from each other and the host hypervisor; …
NBN Co Customer premises equipment

NBN Co reports fibre traction and Telstra action

NBN Co has made the slightly awkward announcement that it's more than tripled the number of premises connected to its fibre network in the past year, while maintaining its commitment to the multi-technology model for future rollouts. It's chalked up the connections surge in spite of a management bonfire, several reviews to …
VMware Monster VM

VMware gives up on dual-persona smartphone concept

VMware has walked away from the idea of dual-persona smartphones, according to John Marshall, senior veep and general manager of the company's Airwatch division. Virtzilla had the idea of dual-persona phones back in about 2011, when it floated the notion of a Mobile Virtual Platform (MVP) hypervisor. The plan was for handset- …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Oct 2014
Apple Mac Pro

vSphere meets iCylinder in new VMware update

VMware has emitted a small update to ESXi that, among other things, adds support for the Mac Pro. ESXi 5.5 patch 3 offers a collection of updates that address security and stability issues. VMware's not mentioning it on the download page, but staffer William Lam has helpfully let us know that the update also means ESXi can now …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Oct 2014