VirtInfo: Short-Takes - June 2008

This weekly blog post offers an often irrervent oveview of the weeks virtualization news.

Taking its name from the very popular Microsoft Weekly round-up “WinInfo: Short Takes”. This weekly blog post offers an often irreverent overview of the weeks virtualization news.

Microsoft to make Dogmeat and then Steve Job’s to eat it
You would think this was Onion story. There’s been a lot of dogmeat stories on various blogs last week.

http://blogs.technet.com/virtualization/archive/2008/05/20/msdn-and-technet-powered-by-hyper-v.aspx

Microsoft have already manufactured dogmeat – after experimenting on the general public for many years with it pet food offerings. It’s out as Release Candidate, and unsuspecting SMBs will soon be able to buy it in all good supermarkets for a tasty price of $28. This has stopped other manufacturers of premium brown, meaty, moist chunks claiming that by practically giving the dogmeat away, Microsoft could be sued under various anti-competition laws. Microsoft has made the dogmeat and is now running its MSDN and TechNet animals on the substance. The new name for Microsoft DogMeat v1.0 is HyperV. Mmmmmm, tasty! You can’t give this stuff away! 

 

VMware Release ThinApp 4.0
VMware has finally released Thinstall, oh, I’m mean ThinApp. I’m hoping they will include coverage of Thinstall (Doh! I did it again. ThinApp) in their Virtual Desktop Manager course. Gee, perhaps could even bundle the two apps together into a single license and give Citrix and Microsoft a real run for there money. Heck, they could go the whole hog an have VDI per seat license that includes ESX, VirtualCenter, VDM and Thinstall. Grrrr, I mean ThinApp of course. ThinApp differs greatly from the Thinstall product. By having 3 less characters in its name. Joking apart, ThinApp is interesting to me the biggest selling point is that its agentless. Biggest downside of all these repackaging tools – suites of applications like Office have to be installed together not separately or else there loose their interoperability.

Usual press release:
http://www.vmware.com/company/news/releases/thinapp_4.html

Download and Evaluate:
http://www.vmware.com/go/thinapp

VMware Release VDM 2.1
Also on the VDI front there’s a new (sub)release of VDM. No great shake here. Increase scalability for example is touted. One day I hope to read press releases that don’t say this sort of stuff. “Now supports less users, and increased need for memory and disk space”. Heck, I know a company who does that already – don’t you? On the plus side the new release supports a multi-media redirection feature for XP desktops. This feature redirects certain multi-media codecs to the local PC for rendering of full-motion video and audio. This is something that Citrix has been doing for some time, and some might take as a tacit admission that Microsoft RDP generally sucks when it comes to anything graphically intensive. Meanwhile there is regional support for German and Japanese languages which means that your uses can learn “Incorrect Password/Username” in a foreign dialect.

Usual Download and Evaluate
http://www.vmware.com/products/vdi/

VMware Update VMmark to 1.1
VMware bench marking tool has been updated with lots of fancy features. With support for 64-bit systems, you can have even more benchmark fun with your tiles – and that doesn’t mean upgrading the shower like your partner has been nagging you about for years…

http://www.vmware.com/products/vmmark/features.html

A virtual disk to run a web-browser; a hammer to drive home a pin
Microsoft – that vanguard of cutting edge virtualization technology – the spear head leading the pack towards a blistering journey into the white heat of technology – have released a bunch of virtual disks you can download. A novel concept indeed – there are 4 of them – three are Windows XP based with either IE6, IE7 or IE8 Beta, and there’s a copy with Windows ME…. I mean Windows Vista with IE7. Seriously, the idea is developer can download them and test the awfully written code against different flavours of their web-browsers 

Redhat make a hypervisor
Well, finally those evil open-sourcers have a made a hypervisor. What’s really odd about this – is how Redhat even further behind the curve than Microsoft. Of course the appeal to those who think VMware/Microsoft/Citrix are evil capitalist plotting to tie you into their propriety code not written open-saucily by men with beards. Plus, like heck, you have to give these evil capitalist money as well – they don’t give away their stuff! Redhat seems to be positioning themselves on the “VMware is expensive” line. I learned something a few years ago – that just because it is free or nearly free – doesn’t always translate into customer confidence. As I say, there’s a reason a hypervisor is free or only $28 dollars. Its because that’s all it worth. Redhat, Xen, Microsoft would give their right-arm to charge the prices that VMware does – the trouble is they know if they did – people wouldn’t buy their products. Moral of the IT story. If you make cost your chief selling point, you moving closer and closer to not making a profit – which for many publicly listed companies – is there object of the exercise. There’s no point in cutting off your own nose to spite the competition…

Intel quad-core Xeon server virtualization score booted by VMware
This is from the Register. “AMD’s quad-core Opteron chip has silently topped Intel’s similarly endowed Xeon processor as the leader of VMware’s server virtualization performance benchmark”

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/06/16/intel_versus_amd_vmware_benchmark/

What I want to know is – does anyone really care about this stuff? Next month top dog will be Intel. And heck the week after that it will be AMD. Try to stifle that yawn will you!!!

This was first published in June 2008

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