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What’s new in Hyper-V in Windows Server 2016?

Microsoft is busy reshaping Windows server for the cloud era, and the Hyper-V hypervisor is changing accordingly. The first release of Hyper-V was with Windows Server 2008. It was a solid and reliable product from the beginning, but with limited features compared to its competition, especially VMware. The technology is …
Tim Anderson, 29 Jan 2016
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New Xen maintenance release ends active version 4.4 development

Can it really be time to update Xen again? Yes it can, because the Xen Project has announced a new maintenance release, version 4.4.4, that ticks off a list of 70 fixes and improvements, plus another five qemu quirks. Xen's had a rough time of it lately, with several severe bugs demanding attention. A few security-related …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Jan 2016
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Reg readers speak out on Thin Client technology

Survey Results Managing PC estates is a time-consuming, expensive and thankless task. Better provisioning and management tools can obviously help, but implementing one or more of the various forms of desktop virtualisation available nowadays may also be beneficial. The virtualisation option, and particularly the use of hardware-based thin …
Dale Vile, 28 Jan 2016

Puppet master investors tug on Citrix as 'wind turns'

Puppet master-cum activist investor Elliot Management appears to be pulling virtualisation vendor Citrix's strings in the right direction… for shareholders if not for some staff. Elliott Management upped its stake in Citrix last summer and made it known it wasn’t happy about the state of the business or share price, and …
Paul Kunert, 28 Jan 2016
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EMC Federation to reveal new hyper-hyper converged appliances

EMC, VMware and VCE will soon announce a new range of hyper-converged appliances that EMC II CEO David Goulden says are game-changers. “For the last several months EMC and VMware partnered very closely to develop a new next-generation hyper-converged appliance family that uniquely leverages technology from EMC, VMware and VCE …
Simon Sharwood, 28 Jan 2016

This EMC is bereft of expansion, it is formerly increasing ... it is ex-growth

Analysis EMC is now an ex-growth stock. It pulled out its traditional hard-selling fourth quarter, but it achieved 0.7 per cent less than the year-ago quarter. Full-year results, published on Wednesday, were ahead in the annual compare by just 1 per cent. It's been a hard year for the world's number one storage supplier. Fourth …
Chris Mellor, 28 Jan 2016

VMware axes Fusion and Workstation US devs

VMware has fired the US-based development teams that worked on its Fusion and Workstation desktop hypervisors, the products that gave the company its start. News of the layoffs made it onto Twitter, of course, and has also reached a blog by former VMware team member Christian Hammond. Thelayoff.com also features former and …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Jan 2016
VMware nutella

VMware says vSphere in decline, new multi-cloud plan will ensure growth

VMware is setting itself up for life after vSphere, outlining a new multi-cloud strategy and insisting its newer products are all growing nicely. It also said it will scale back its vCloud Air cloud service, and fire about 800 staff as it moves people into areas likely to fuel growth. VMware execs used today's Q4 2015 and FY …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Jan 2016
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Citrix kills Sydney research lab, vows to focus on 'core products'

Citrix has closed its research lab in Sydney, Australia. News of the closure appeared on Twitter, where missives like those below from lab staffers Jeff Muir and Donovan Hackett were spotted by virtualization whisperer Brian Madden. El Reg asked Citrix why it closed the facility. A Citrix spokesperson said: "We made the …
Simon Sharwood, 26 Jan 2016
VMware nutella

VMware's Tech Day Online: A conference you can attend from your desk

Promo Need an infrastructure refresher but stuck at your desk ploughing through New Year projects? VMware has the answer. Tech Day Online is a conference you can attend from your desk. We're kicking off at 11:30am AEDT, 16 February, with a look at VMware's approach to bringing applications to the cloud and any device. Next, your …
David Gordon, 26 Jan 2016
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Move vSphere VMs to XenServer? Citrix thinks someone wants it

Would anyone move VMs from VMware to Citrix? XenServer's made it easier with a w technical preview of XenServer, probably for version 7.0. This is the second such release since version 6.5 gave the world so much joy last January. In line with Citrix's plan to make XenServer a terrific environment for its own wares, and mostly …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Jan 2016
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OpenStack abandons AWS challenge dreams, makes eyes at telcos

OpenStack, once seen as the open alternative to Amazon’s AWS, is positioning itself as virtualized telecoms middleware. The open-source project has rolled out a white paper championing Network Function Virtualisation (NFV) with backing from the big dogs of telecoms. The report calls on developers to get involved with and help …
Gavin Clarke, 21 Jan 2016

Docker bags unikernel gurus – now you can be just like Linus Torvalds

Analysis Linux container biz Docker has bought Unikernel Systems, a startup in Cambridge, UK, that's doing interesting things with roll-your-own operating systems. Rather than build an application on top of an OS, with the unikernel approach, you build your own tiny operating system customized for your application. It's quite a coup …
Chris Williams, 21 Jan 2016
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While you pretended to work, Cloud operators fixed two Xen bugs

While lots of the world was easing in to a new year of work in the week of January 4th, big cloud concerns running customer-facing Xen rigs were probably patching two new bugs in the hypervisor. The Xen Project's policy is to let big cloud operators and others on a pre-disclosure list know about bugs two weeks before the rest …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jan 2016
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Citrix names former Microsoft exec Kirill Tatarinov prez and CEO

Citrix has appointed former Microsoft exec Kirill Tatarinov President and chief executive officer. Tatarinov spent over eight years as President, Executive Vice President, Corporate Vice President Microsoft Business Solutions Division, overseeing Microsoft's Dynamics CRM and ERP businesses. His LinkedIn profile also records …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Jan 2016
Acropolis at Athens

CommVault creeps into Nutanix’s hallowed Acropolis citadel

CommVault has added Nutanix Acropolis hypervisor support to its existing vSphere and Hyper-V support on Nutanix's products. Nutanix makes a family of HCIAs. These are hyper-converged infrastructure appliances, combining compute, storage and networking hardware and software in a single product. It builds its own products and …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jan 2016
Cat 5 cable

Bridgeworks reveals VMware-like tech for TCP/IP cable virty'ing

Feature Bridgeworks has found way to improve wide area TCP/IP transmission of large, streamed files that compensates for packet loss, radically improving the performance of NetApp SnapMirror and SnapVault which are hobbled by packet loss. It’s been working on the technology to virtualise a TCP/IP connection for several years. Here’s …
Chris Mellor, 20 Jan 2016
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Photon taster: Flirting with VMware's CoreOS gambit

There's growing interest in VMware’s Photon. Essentially, Photon lets highly optimised Docker containers into VMware Land. One of the great things about deploying Docker is that it can take mere seconds to spin up a new instance. Photon can be thought of as a competitor to CoreOS and similar offerings. What is different about …
Stuart Burns, 15 Jan 2016
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VMware UK and Ireland lands SAP industries chief

Virtualization giant VMware’s UK and Ireland operation has bagged a new managing director – from SAP. The German giant’s director of industries and UK and Ireland executive board member David Phull has emerged as VMware UK&I vice president and general manager. Phull had been with SAP since December 2010 but left the head-of- …
Gavin Clarke, 15 Jan 2016

Er, what sort of Docker experience were you expecting?

Docker has cited an explosion in job postings looking for Docker experience as a reason for techies to get hands-on with its containerization platform. In a blog post, the containerization vendor’s Mano Marks cited a chart from job-listings site Indeed that shows a sharp increase in Docker-focused job postings worldwide. …
Joe Fay, 13 Jan 2016
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As easy as 'Citrix123' – hacker claims he popped Citrix's CMS

A Russian hacker claims he broke into systems run by Citrix, and gained access to potentially a huge number of customers. The binary buster known as "W0rm" exploited weak credentials – the username press@citrix.com and the password Citrix123 – to get into the content management system that powers Citrix's websites. W0rm …
Team Register, 13 Jan 2016
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Microsoft kicks VMware right in its weakest, cloudiest spot

Microsoft has flicked the switch on an enhanced version of its Azure Site Recovery (ASR) for VMware customers. ASR is pretty simple in concept: the service allows you to replicate virtual machines into Azure, update them and then run the VMs in Azure as a disaster recovery option. You pay US$54 a month per instance stored in …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jan 2016

Citrix buys System Center control freak, sells CloudPlatform

Citrix has offloaded its CloudPlatform products to Accelerite, bought Comtrade's System Center Operations Manager management packs and tweaked some of its software. The sale first: Accelerite is a subsidiary of India's Persistent Systems, a software-developer-for-hire that created Accelerite to sell products instead of …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Jan 2016

Patch now: VMware Tools for Windows root holes fixed in update

VMware sysadmins, get patching: the virtualisation outfit has released updates to its ESXi, Fusion, Player and Workstation software to block out a privilege-escalation vulnerability. The patch applies to VMware Windows Workstation versions before 11.1.2, Player and Fusion versions prior to 7.1.2, and various ESXi versions …
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You want to migrate how much data?

Sooner or later, you’re going to have to move some of your data. Perhaps you’re moving to a hybrid cloud model, and need to move some offsite. Maybe it’s already out there in a third-party’s infrastructure, and the contract isn’t working out as you’d planned. Or perchance you’re being smart and replicating between two …
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2015 was VMware's Year of Living Dangerously

Server virtualisation just works, so most IT shops do it. And in the decade since it rose to prominence VMware has ruled the roost. But 2015 was VMware's year of living dangerously. At first glance, things look fine for Virtzilla: vSphere 6.0 emerged to applause and swift adoption. Dollars rolled in through the door. A …
Simon Sharwood, 25 Dec 2015
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Xen Project blunder blows own embargo with premature bug report

The Xen Project has reported a new bug, XSA-169, that means “A malicious guest could cause repeated logging to the hypervisor console, leading to a Denial of Service attack.” The fix is simple – running only paravirtualised guests – but the bug is a big blunder for another reason. Xen is very widely used by big cloud …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Dec 2015

The week before Xmas ... not a creature was stirring – except Nutanix finally filing for its IPO

Some big news in the hyper-converged storage world today amid the pre-Christmas lull. How can we say this? Nutanix? Noo-tanix? Nutan-icks? Either way, the hyper-converged storage upstart has finally filed the necessary paperwork to get its stock-market debut underway. The San Jose-based biz today gave US financial watchdog …
Chris Williams, 23 Dec 2015

VMware, Xen issue urgent patches

VMware has let it be known that its vRealize Orchestrator, vRealize Operations, vCenter Operations and vCenter Application Discovery Manager products all need fixing to harden them against “a critical deserialization vulnerability”. The flaw involves “Apache Commons-collections and a specially constructed chain of classes” and …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Dec 2015
Man with head in the cloud

Walking away from VirtuStream is the right thing for VMware to do

News that VMware has bailed from VirtuStream, the hybrid cloud joint venture it struck with EMC, should come as a relief to VMware users and those contemplating its cloudy offerings. VMware knows it won't ever reach the scale of Amazon Web Services, Azure or Google's cloud. It instead positioned itself as hybrid cloud provider …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Dec 2015

VMware backs out of Virtustream business

In a curt statement to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) 8K filing today, VMware killed the Virtustream venture it had proposed with parent EMC. The statement, by VMware CFO, COO, and EVP Jonathan Chadwick, said "VMware announced that it will not be participating in the formation of the Virtustream Cloud Services …
Chris Mellor, 14 Dec 2015
Raspberry Pi Official Case

VDI comes to the Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi is now a threat to thin clients. Citrix has been fooling around with the Pi as a desktop virtualisation (VDI) target for a while, even releasing a prototype Citrix Receiver for the little computers. That effort was in early 2014. Citrix has since decided it was inefficient to put a lot of effort into creating …
Simon Sharwood, 14 Dec 2015
Knife block

HPE has stabbed VMware in the front with converged Azure boxen

Comment Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) today beamed Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in for a video chat at its Discover conference, and in so doing basically stabbed VMware in the front. Nadella appeared at the conference to talk up the cloudy collaboration between the two, which over a week has grown from a pledge that Azure would …
Keep Calm and reset VM-created time

Hyper-V sets VM created date to 1601, in the reign of Good Queen Bess

Virtualisation mavens have been reminded that Microsoft’s Hyper-V has a bug that occasionally resets the “created” date of virtual machines to the year 1601. That's 1601 as in during the reign of Queen Elizabeth the first. Which we feel compelled to point out was quite a few years before the server was invented. The bug's …
Darren Pauli, 29 Nov 2015
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ESXi's been borking VM backup and there's no fix yet

Update VMware has reported a nasty bug that means virtual machine backups may not work. The problem hits virtual machine backups that use Changed Block Tracking (CBT)in ESXi. “The CBT API call QueryDiskChangedAreas() … can sometimes return incorrect changed sectors, which results in inconsistent incremental virtual machine backups,” …
Simon Sharwood, 24 Nov 2015
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OpenBSD's native hypervisor emerges

The native OpenBSD hypervisor promised in September has emerged. Kernel dev Mike Larking has posted news of the hypervisor, but hosed down expectations along the way. “An early rough cut of the vmm subsystem is now in the tree,” he wrote. “This includes both the kernel parts and userland parts.” “I'm not going to explain all …
Simon Sharwood, 23 Nov 2015

VMware warns of info leaks flowing from Apache-Adobe mess

VMware has warned users of its vCenter, vCloud Director and Horizon products that they need to patch a flaw in Flex BlazeDS. The flaw, CVE-2015-3269, means Apache Flex BlazeDS “allows remote attackers to read arbitrary files via an AMF message containing an XML external entity declaration in conjunction with an entity …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Nov 2015
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VMware open sources its Photon container control freak

VMware's pursuit of the container caper has taken another turn, with the open-sourcing of its Photon Controller. Back at VMworld in August, Virtzilla announced “Photon Platform”, a containerisation effort comprising a stripped back Linux called “Photon OS”, a lightweight version of the ESX hypervisor called “Photon Machine” …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Nov 2015
Bug

Hypervisor headaches: Hosts hosed by x86 exception bugs

Various hypervisors and operating systems are scrambling to patch around an x86 bug that lets an admin-level guest crash the underlying CPU, causing a denial-of-service to anyone else on the same machine. The issue, described here, is that with some x86 CPUs, an attacker with kernel-mode code execution privileges on a guest …

How much do containers thrash VMs in power usage? Thiiiis much

Ericsson researcher Roberto Morabito has compared the power consumption requirements of virtual machines and containers, and found the latter more economical. Power Consumption of Virtualization Technologies: an Empirical Investigation put Xen, KVM, Docker and LXC through their paces on a series of tasks and measured how many …
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How can it possibly be time to patch Xen again?

Hot on the heels of dumping a hot, steaming pile of patches on its users, the Xen project has squeezed out a maintenance release. Xen 4.5.2 hit the intertubes on Thursday, bringing with it 74 fixes and improvements, plus another five QEMU repairs. Xen folk say “We recommend that all users of the 4.5 stable series update to …
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No, we're not sorry for Xen security SNAFUs says Ian Jackson

Open source luminary Ian Jackson has hit back at criticism of the Xen Project's security. The project last week nixed nine nasties, including a seven-year-old guest-host escape, and has patched a string of bugs this year including some that threatened to disrupt cloud services. The many bug squashed of late has seen some …