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Citrix dodges death, returns with bigger XenServer and NetScaler

Citrix has unified its networking products and made big additions to its virtualisation stack. Last things first: XenServer is now in version 7, which means it gains support for Intel's Iris Pro graphics technology. In theory that makes XenServer a better platform for graphics-intensive desktop virtualisation (VDI) chores. …
Simon Sharwood, 25 May 2016
Xen logos

Xen says new patch is 'simple and crude' and warns against using it

The Xen project has revealed a new bug, XSA-180, but warns its patch for the problem is itself problematic. The bug means that “When the libxl toolstack launches qemu for HVM guests, it pipes the output of stderr to a file in /var/log/xen.” “This output is not rate-limited in any way. The guest can easily cause qemu to print …
Simon Sharwood, 24 May 2016
the new HTML 5 vSphere client

VMware flushes Windows vSphere client and Adobe Flash

vAdmins will soon have just one graphical option with which to operate vCenter, after VMware decided to can its Windows client and replace it and other current tools with a single HTML 5 client. VMware's blog announcing the move points out that it's already adopted HTML 5 for several other products, but has held back on …
Simon Sharwood, 19 May 2016
Google Cloud logo

Google reveals the Chromium OS it uses to run its own containers

Google's decided the Chromium OS is its preferred operating system for running containers in its own cloud. And why wouldn't it – the company says it uses it for its own services. The Alphabet subsidiary offers a thing called “Container-VM” that it is at pains to point out is not a garden variety operating system you'd ever …
Simon Sharwood, 16 May 2016
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger quashes departure rumours

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger has quashed rumours he will depart the company once the EMC/Dell merger concludes. The rumour was aired in a channel publication earlier this week, citing anonymous sources. Now Gelsinger has quashed the rumours himself. Speaking at the Jefferies Technology Conference this week, an event recorded in …
Simon Sharwood, 13 May 2016
Containers

Virtuozzo to build full container stack, target the data centre

Virtuozzo is going to build a comprehensive stack of tech for containerised computing. The company is the server virtualisation bits of the now-devolved Parallels, which kept its name for a spin-out devoted to desktop hypervisors. The company's cloud automation assets were sold to Ingram Micro and the Plesk service desk …
Simon Sharwood, 12 May 2016
Logs and an axe

'Dirty Page Logs' coming to future vSphere release

VMware will add support for Intel's Page Modification Logging (PML, aka Dirty Page Logs) in a future version of vSphere, according to the product's chief platform architect Richard Brunner. Speaking to The Register, Brunner said VMware “worked closely with Intel on the definition of PML back in 2012.” The problem both were …
Simon Sharwood, 11 May 2016

Gartner waves for everyone to join its hyper-converged bandwagon

Comment Gartner is telling its enterprise IT followers that hyper-converged systems are okay to use, and set to develop into composable micro-services infrastructures by 2020. The report, entitled, "Prepare for the Next Phase of Hyperconvergence," defines a hyper-converhed infrastructure system (HCIS) as a platform offering shared …
Chris Mellor, 10 May 2016

IBM in OpenStack interoperability push

IBM wants to make OpenStack implementations more interoperable and hopes it can add security and networking features to the RefStack project in time for the Newton OpenStack release due in October. RefStack is a tool that tests compatibility of OpenStack distributions and implementations by making sure expected APIs are …

Keep an eye on your lunch, integrated systems. Hyper-convergers are hungry

The hyper-converged integrated systems (HCIS) market is set to engulf the integrated systems market by 2019, according to Gartner. HCIS are racing ahead of integrated systems. They are predicted to grow by 79 per cent this year, and will reach almost $5bn in sales, taking up 24 per cent of the market by 2019, the analyst …
Man with head in the cloud

VMware hikes NSX price, adds cheaper versions

VMware has taken the scissors to its NSX product's feature list to offer versions that won't set back customers quite as much as the full product, at the same time hiking the price of the top version of the product. Pitched at companies that want to create software defined data centres, NSX slips networking and security into …

VMware cloud gros fromage packs his bags and takes a hike

At some point you have to say this is starting to look like a rout. VMware EVP Bill Fathers is taking a hike, no longer content to be general manager of the cloud services business unit. Father's responsibilities will be shared between two cloud co-general managers, Allwyn Sequeira and Laura Ortman, who will report to VMware …
Chris Mellor, 28 Apr 2016
Xen project logo

Xen hypervisor to gain non-disruptive patching in June

The Xen Project will bring non-disruptive patching to its hypervisor, version 4.7 of which is set to debut onJune 3rd, 2016. That date may wobble a little, because the feature freeze scheduled for April 1st was put back a week in order to let contributors sort themselves out over Easter. But it's known that a sub-project …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Apr 2016
Monster virtual machine

Is VMware the power it once was?

Sysadmin Blog It is commonly held that if an article asks a question in the title or lede, you can safely answer no and avoid reading the body of the article itself. While not always true, the aphorism is accurate enough to be considered reliable. With that in mind, I have been asking myself, "is VMware the focal point of power in IT that …
Trevor Pott, 27 Apr 2016
VMware Photon

VMware's Photon Machine 'microvisor' may not be so small

VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger yesterday hinted that the company is close to revealing its complete cloud-native applications stack, but The Register's virtualisation desk today learned that the yet-to-be-revealed part - the “microvisor” dubbed “Photon Machine” - probably won't be all that micro. VMware's cloud-native applications …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Apr 2016
Michael Dell, photo: Dell

Dell gives up on vWorkspace virtual desktops

Dell has decided to cease further development of its vWorkspace product, a desktop virtualisation (VDI) tool it acquired along with Quest back in 2012. In a statement sent to The Register's virtualisation desk, Dell said it is “transitioning vWorkspace to maintenance and support of its existing product.” “Current customers …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2016

VMware says users run away screaming after trying OpenStack

VMware has reported a cracking first quarter for 2016, with year-on-year revenue growth of five per cent making for a US$1.59bn revenue haul for the three months to March 31st. Not everything is rosy down VMware way: compute virtualisation sales were off ten percent and revenue down one point, as expected. Licence sales ticked …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Apr 2016
VMware nutella

VMware signals new open source and developer push with FOSS-meister gig

VMware's signalled a new push into open source by advertising for a Director, Open Source Programs. The ad for the gig says it will live in a “newly-formed Chief Development Officer (CDO) organization” and “shape how VMware views, contributes to, and relates to F/OSS communities.” That's "F/OSS" as in Free-slash-open-source. …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Apr 2016
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Critical VMware bug needs patching ASAP

Patch now, vAdmins: that's the message from VMware after it revealed a "critical security issue in the VMware Client Integration Plugin." Said plugin, VMware says, "does not handle session content in a safe way." "This may allow for a Man-in-the-Middle attack or Web session hijacking in case the user of the vSphere Web Client …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Apr 2016
retro cartoon featuring two men fighting against cloud backdrop

Intel bins ESXi in in-house private cloud revamp

Intel's decided it can do without VMware's ESXi hypervisor as part of a big upgrade of its private cloud. Chipzilla's a Platinum Member of the OpenStack Foundation and therefore has a seat on the project's board. The company's also been building an OpenStack private cloud since around 2011, but built a customised …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Apr 2016
The Tardis seen against the curvature of the Earth

VMware and SoftLayer teleport workloads across oceans

The Register's virtualisation desk has sometimes heard talk of a concept called “follow-the-moon” computing that aims to reduce the cost of running apps by placing them in spots where electricity is cheap. Follow-the-moon assumes that once the sun sets and people go to sleep prudent cloud users will shut down some of their …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Apr 2016
Wheel of a sunken ship,  covered in barnacles

Cracks show in VMware exec ranks

Comment The onrushing Dell acquisition of EMC seems to have prompted two senior VMware exec departures. Is Pat Gelsinger's position at the helm secure? VMware is 80 per cent owned by EMC, and Dell will become its new overlord when the acquisition closes later this year. The two high-profile exec departures from VMware signal that, …
Chris Mellor, 11 Apr 2016
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Citrix asks you, yes you, to write its certification exams and courseware

POLL Citrix has decided to crowdsource some training courses and exam questions. The company says that its customers have clamoured for the chance to contribute want this and that its education programs will be strengthened by their contributions. “Citrix recognizes the value of including the very latest experience and knowledge …
Simon Sharwood, 11 Apr 2016
Hannibal Lector wearing mask

If only hackers could stop slurping test and dev databases. Wait, our phone is ringing ...

Exposure and loss of sensitive data is happening everywhere these days. One attack surface, as the jargon has it, is sensitive production data used in internal testing and development systems. Delphix reckons it can secure this surface, and in the process remove time-consuming layers of security-checking bureaucracy that slows …
Chris Mellor, 8 Apr 2016
Penguin wedding cake, image via Shutterstock

Linux is so grown up, it's ready for marriage with containers

Linux is all grown up. It has nothing left to prove. There's never been a year of the Linux desktop and there probably never will be, but it runs on the majority of the world's servers. It never took over the desktop, it did an end-run around it: there are more Linux-based client devices accessing those servers than there are …
Liam Proven, 7 Apr 2016
Terry Jones and John Cleese perform the Monty Python Whicker Island sketch

SimpliVity slips Hyper-V into its hyper-converged party

The “V” in SimpliVity now stands for Hyper-V as well as virtualisation, with the startup adding Microsoft hypervisor support to its existing vSphere and KVM use. Its OmniStack is a hyper-converged product, combining and integrating compute, network and storage with ASIC-accelerated X86 server base hardware, and, up to now, the …
Chris Mellor, 6 Apr 2016
retro cartoon featuring two men fighting against cloud backdrop

VMware dumps vCloud Air from user group and home lab code bundle

UPDATE VMware's written to members of its user group (VMUG) and subscribers to its EVALExperience program to advise they're being booted out of its cloud. VMUGs offer a program called VMUG Advantage, a US$200/year affair that offers discounted licences and certification exams. EVALExperience offers trial software licences for nine of …
Parachutists and cloud image via Shutterstock

SoftLayer reveals per-CPU VMware pricing

SoftLayer's pricing for VMware-as-a-service has emerged and the IBM outfit has scored a deal for per-CPU licences. VMware and SoftLayer teamed up earlier this year in a deal that looked good for Virtzilla which, having more-or-less abandoned ambitions to build its own globe-spanning cloud, recognised that SoftLayer could get …
ScaleIO_Node_bezel

The kid is not VSAN: EMC buffs up ScaleIO for high-end types

EMC has buffed up its ScaleIO virtual SAN software. Hopkinton positions ScaleIO as virtual SAN software for higher-end data centres than subsidiary VMware’s VSAN virtual SAN software, and also for customers using Hyper-V server virtualisation, which VSAN does not support. ScaleIO scales out to more nodes than VSAN, we’re told …
Chris Mellor, 4 Apr 2016
the new HTML 5 vSphere client

VMware flushes Adobe Flash in new HTML 5 web client for vSphere

vAdmins are having a great March: first VMware released vSphere 6.o update 2, with a new HTML 5 host management interface. And now it's released an HTML 5 interface for vCenter. The new client is a “Fling”, VMware's name for unsupported and don't-run-this-in-production-grade code it thinks vAdmins will appreciate. Flings are …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Mar 2016

Load DynamiX ties knot with Virtual Instruments

Load DynamiX, a storage workload monitoring and simulating company, and Virtual Instruments, a Fibre Channel/Ethernet tapper and monitoring business, are merging after the tapper ran out of meaningful growth room. The merged entity will be called Virtual Instruments (VI), and Load DynamiX (LDX) CEO Philippe Vincent will be its …
Chris Mellor, 29 Mar 2016

Thin client market gets even thinner, down seven per cent in a year

Thin client sales have dipped 6.9 per cent in a year, to just 5.08 million, according to the abacus-shufflers at analyst firm IDC, which says 5.454m devices shipped in 2014. The firm thinks the dip is attributable to economic factors, rather than a loss of interest in thin clients or desktop virtualisation (VDI). Lower public …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Mar 2016

Oracle plays virtual catch-up with new VM release

Oracle's released a new version of its virtualisation stack that catches up to its rivals, but also shows that Big Red's off the pace in this market. Oracle VM 3.4, emitted in the shadow of Easter, finally brings storage live migration into Big Red's virtual world, thereby making it possible to change the storage device on …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Mar 2016
Docker logo

Docker goes native with Windows, Mac beta

Docker has decided the time is right for native desktop versions of its eponymous wares. The idea is to simplify what Docker's developer relations director Mano Marks says (video below) is a “dependency hell” created by the multi-layer installation currently required – installing Docker Toolbox, then installing Docker Machine …
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Disaggregated hyper-convergence thinks storage outside the box

If you thought hyper-convergence is all about putting everything in one box, think again: some users are now asking for disaggregated hyper-convergence that sees the storage put back out on the network. So says Michael Hay, Hitachi Data Systems' (HDS') veep and chief engineer, who tells The Register he's seeing customers who …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Mar 2016
data centre

Lenovo gets friendly with hyper-converged vendors, and not just one or two...

Whomever it needs to partner with to sell a server inside a hyper-converged appliance, Lenovo seems eager to partner with them, dancing with virtually every hyper-converged body. In the UK we’ve been reminded by a Lenovo staffer of the following hyper-converged and software-defined storage alliances: Nutanix as a Lenovo part …
Chris Mellor, 18 Mar 2016
VMware's new host interface

vAdmins vJoice! vSphere finally gets a modern web client

VMware's popped out its second update to vSphere 6.0 and addressed a long-time vAdmin gripe by adding a new web interface that doesn't rely on old-school plugins. The new VMware Host Client is an all HTML-5 affair. The new code is derived from a “Fling” VMware posted a few weeks back (Flings are useful-but-unsupported code …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Mar 2016
band_aid_patching_648

VMware vRealizes that vRealize has XSS bugs on Linux

A tricky Tuesday for VMware's vRealize products, which have received the first maintenance release for version 7 and also become the subject of a security alert. Let's do the alert first, as it explains that several vRealize products have a pair of cross-site-scripting bugs that could compromise a user's workstation. The mess …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Mar 2016
Lenovo_Think_Server_RD_Series

Lenovo pulls back duvet – oh em gee, it's Maxta

China's Lenovo has picked Maxta software to build a hybrid flash/disk hyper-converged infrastructure appliance (HCIA) for the Chinese market. Maxta and Lenovo have a strategic partnership and have developed the appliance over "many months of joint development and customization to meet the needs of [Chinese] customers." The …
Chris Mellor, 15 Mar 2016

Domo arigato, Mr ROBO: HPE hyper-converge box lunges at mid-size biz

As expected, HPE has announced a ProLiant DL380-based hyper-converged system; one that is for remote and branch offices (ROBO) and mid-sized businesses. The HC 380 converges DL380 compute and DAS, StoreVirtual storage software, vSphere hypervisor, GUI, and networking to provide an all-in-one scale-out system. It has five " …
Chris Mellor, 15 Mar 2016
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VMware VSAN to gain Nimble-style analytics and cloud-native APIs

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then VMware has just told the world that Nimble Storage is a really great company. Virtzilla has signalled an intention to give its VSAN software-defined storage code the backing of an analytics service that Nimble Storage has had since day dot. Nimble's secret sauce is called “ …
Simon Sharwood, 13 Mar 2016
A Cisco ASIC

Cisco plans routers that are servers, or vice-versa, with KVM aboard

Cisco will shortly announce enhancements to its integrated service routers that will make it hard to know if they're a networking appliance or a server. Or a hybrid of both. Cisco already offers the UCS E-series servers, small form factor machines that can plug into devices like the 4000-series integrated service routers. …