Archive for October, 2006

High Availability for a small price :-)

Virtual Machines are great, mainly because of the hardware independence. This really allows you to create high availability solutions that are not possible with physical machines. VMware offers of course their VMware Infrastructure 3 Entrerprise product suite for this, which included VMware HA, but one thing is clear the market for and around virtualization is growing. There are today already many different options available at all kinds of price levels.

VM6 has created an ‘VMware HA’ (a high availability) like product based around the free VMware Server product called Virtual Machine Ex. The product sets you back $329.99 with an additional $79.99 support and mantenance package. Virtual Machine Ex monitors the physical servers and virtual machines and in case of a failure will power on the lost Virtual Machines somewhere else. Besides protecting against failures it also provides a form of ‘vmotion’, well not completely the same, but is can automate the suspendsion of a virtual machine on one physical host and resume the same virtual machine on an other host, allowing you to do live migration with just a few seconds ‘freeze’ time. Of course you do need for both solutions a form of shared storage.

If you do want to run with a hypervisor based virtualization product like ESX there are also alternative options. Massimiliano from is developing a free HA product based on ESX and the Linux-HA cluster software. So you can get VMware Infrastructure 3 starter at a $1000 and use this free product, which right now is still in beta and not yet ready for production 🙂

What ever route you choose, it is nice to have some options for all sizes of wallets.

Read more on Virtual Machine EX here
Read more on VMCL (the free HA software) here

Virtualization and Serial Devices? Can this work?

So you might still have some old server around that use serial devices. You would love to virtualize them, but what about the serial devices. Sure you could try to do COM port redirection to the actual Serial ports, but that will disable cool functionality like VMware’s DRS and VMotion.

But there is an solution! Avocent (formely Equinox) created small simple boxes that allows you to connect serial devices to and then access those devices over IP from any Virtual Machine (Using a special COM port driver in the VM). This allows you to run all your serial apps virtual and still even be able to VMotion these virtual machines around. How cool is that 🙂

Find more information about these boxes on the Avocent Website

Webinars: vizioncore billing and backup

Vizioncore is organizing some nice webinars, so if you want to know more about billing or doing backups for your virtual machine, you might want to join in 🙂

Upcoming Webinars

October 18 at 10am  (USA
CST or 17:00pm Central European Time)

Monitor, Alert and Bill Back Using esxCharter

October 18 at 7pm (USA CST or 02:00am Central
European Time)

Monitor, Alert and Bill Back Using esxCharter

October 25 at 10am (USA CST or 17:00pm Central European Time)
1-2 Punch Backups with esxRanger & VCB

October 25 at 7pm (USA CST or 02:00am Central
European Time)

1-2 Punch Backups with esxRanger Professional & VCB

BBC is using Virtual Honey Pots to check Windows Leaks

A really nice article from the BBC about how ‘safe’ Windows XP is. They used a Virtual Machine as Honeypot on the internet and found out how ‘safe’ it is to run Windows XP.

The BBC Article

(Thanks rob for the tip).

Webinar: VMware Open Source Perl Libary

VMware will deliver an online webinar about the new VI perl toolkit on October 11th. So if you want to write some cool apps yourself, but do not want all the hassle of .NET, SOAP or XML, it would be wise to join this webinar and learn more about the Perl Library as it really allows you to very easily write short working code 🙂

The event is on October 11th
Time: 11:00am (Pacific Daylight Time)

Click here to enroll for the webinar

Microsoft releases their first ‘Virtual Appliance’!

Yep, you are reading it right! Of course we can not freely distibute the Microsoft Windows operating system in a virtual machine, but if you are Microsoft yourself you can do what ever you want 🙂 So Microsoft has decided to release their Visual Studio Orcas as technology preview in a Virtual Machine. Of course you need to run it on Microsoft Virtual PC or Virtual Server according to Microsoft, but if you really want to, you can just convert it with the free VMware Virtual Machine Importer and run it on any of the VMware products. (Make sure you point the VMware importer to the base1 disk image)

The Microsoft Virtual Appliances is not small, you need to download 2 big files in total of 5GB. The Virtual Machine runs Windows 2003 Enterprise edition and has a virtual disk of 90gb. It has the new Visual Studio codename Orcas installed and comes the the MSDN library. So every thing you need to start developing your own apps.

Click here to download the virtual machine

VMware job opportunities up 68%

Ok, I am not even close to be a proffesional analist, but it is fun to see how the market is demanding for VMware specialists. I did a search 10 months ago and thought is would be cool to see what has happend in those 10 months. I just used a very simple mechanism to search on monsterboard for VMware related jobs. In 10 months time there is an 68% avarage increase in job opportunities related to VMware specialists. The Netherlands being exeptional, with an 345% increase.

Country Dec 2005 October 2006
UK 17 28
Netherlands 11 49
Belgium 25 22
France 12 15
Norway 8 4
USA 358 632
Canada 33 42

Source: MonsterBoard

VMware will not increase licensing cost with Quad Cores

As Intel is expecting to launch it’s quad-core Xeon servers (code-name Clovertown) in Novermber, VMware had made the wise decision not to increase licensing cost. Effective November 1st VMware will update their licensing policy to define a ‘processor’ as up to four cores. Meaning if you buy a 2 way Quad Core server, you will only need a 2 processor license from VMware.

Now hoping we soon will also have notebooks with quad core.. wow… what a time to live in 🙂