Virtual and distributed computing technology and applications
Monday, September 13, 2004
GSX Server review:
Short note, interesting comment: "There are no hard limits to the number of concurrent virtual servers outside of available RAM and disk space, and I had no trouble running four to five concurrent virtual servers on a dual 2.8GHz Xeon server with 4GB of RAM. Individual server performance can definitely suffer when other virtual servers are heavily engaged, but at no time did any virtual server suffer systemic problems. For host servers running multiple processors however, there is a caveat; if Intel processors are used with hyperthreading, a guest OS can only use a single CPU thread rather than the entire CPU. On a four-CPU system, this limits each guest OS to 12.5 percent of the host OS CPU resources. Therefore, it is generally best to disable hyperthreading on VMware host servers." 11:58:24 PM
Microsoft Virtual Server Migration Toolkit (VSMT): Microsoft "announce the release candidate of the Virtual Server 2005 Migration Toolkit (VSMT). You can download the release candidate from the VSMT beta site. The release candidate includes support for migrating VMWare GSX virtual machines to Microsoft Virtual Server as well as fixes to bugs encountered with the beta build. Sign up for Microsoft Virtual Server 2005 Migration Toolkit Beta.
Details: "VSMT automates the migration of an operating system and installed applications from a physical server to a server running within a virtual machine that is provided and managed by Virtual Server 2005." Primary usage scenarios involve general server consolodation, esp for legacy Windows NT systems.
Microsoft releases virtual server, sets low price: "VMware may have gotten a three-year head start on Microsoft with its server virtualization software. But Microsoft is aiming to make a splash based on price. .. Eric Berg, a Microsoft group product manager .. said Microsoft evaluates customers' needs based on workloads, focusing on three areas: software testing and development, legacy application rehosting and targeted production workloads, such as Active Directory domain controllers, networking and departmental applications.
Berg said Microsoft has a Component Object Model application programming interface that can be used to create scripts to automatically deploy new server builds and "great integration" with its server management tools, so customers don't have to buy a specific tool to manage both virtual machines and physical servers.
Tom Bittman, an analyst at Gartner Inc., predicted that VMware will keep 80% market share for the consolidation of servers to run production-ready applications. But he added that Gartner expects Virtual Server to command at least 50% of the market for test and development workloads by the end of 2005. "The price differential is going to kill [VMware] unless they change it," Bittman said. ..
Dan Kusnetzky, an analyst at Framingham, Mass.-based IDC, said the underpinnings of what Microsoft is doing are different than what VMware is doing. He said Microsoft is using its Virtual Server technology to help customers running older stacks of applications on Windows NT 4 migrate to new hardware rather than continue to run them on separate machines. Kusnetzky said VMware's focus is to help users move to a highly virtualized environment "so they can tune what they do to their business needs" and assign IT resources as needed. " 10:58:30 AM
Microsoft Announces General Availability of Virtual Server 2005
: "Sept. 13, 2004 -- Microsoft Corp. today announced the general availability and pricing of Microsoft Virtual Server 2005. .. Virtual Server 2005 Standard Edition supports up to four processors, with an estimated retail price of $499 (U.S.). Virtual Server 2005 Enterprise Edition supports up to 32 processors, with an estimated retail price of $999 (U.S.). Both versions will be available within 30 days through retail and volume licensing and will be licensed on a per-physical server basis." System images are compatible between the two editions, and with a small change to virtual PC 2004 images. Enterprise edition is available for 180-day downloadable evauation. FAQ is helpful
. 10:55:58 AM
Hardware: IBM, Intel Open Blade Server: " IBM and Intel jointly announced that the design specifications for the eServer BladeCenter platform would be made widely available to other vendors to encourage hardware support [and] more third-party hardware and software. The companies said they will both provide technical support to assist product development, including design guidelines and fee-based support. ..
IDC analyst Jean Bozman told TechNewsWorld that the lower-end blade server market has typically had high numbers of shipments and lower revenue figures in the overall server market, where blades accounted for an estimated 8 % of server sales in 2004. By 2006, that market share is expected to be at 18 %, with wider adoption, more solutions from more vendors and announcements such as the one from IBM and Intel, according to Bozman." 8:49:59 AM
SAVVIS offers Egenera/VMware virtual computing service:
from WSJ: IBM, EDS and others "typically employ a team of consultants to evaluate and manage a client's infrastructure. While most clients still find that less expensive than running an in-house information-technology department, the consultants don't come cheap. ..
Savvis doesn't send a team of consultants to evaluate a company's infrastructure, although it does have staff on call to help clients with questions. "I can have a new server up for you in a minute, not a month," Savvis Chairman and Chief Executive Rob McCormick says. "Now it's just a simple software command to bring someone online. We give you a slice of a big carrier-class" machine. ..
Gartner's Mr. Chamberlin [says] the cost reduction from Savvis's service could reach 70%. The consulting-heavy model used by IBM and others saves only 15% to 30%, the analyst estimates. IBM and EDS declined to comment. Savvis's low-cost model lets it consider contracts too small for IBM to bother with, contends IDC analyst Melanie Posey. "There's a certain contract level where it's not worth IBM getting out of bed." ..
The new Savvis service, unveiled earlier this month, runs tasks for all clients on the same set of powerful computers. Running everything on Savvis's own hardware and doling out resources as needed — as opposed to clients having their own dedicated machines — eliminates waste.. Savvis can activate programs that run a wide variety of applications, including e-mail, Web sites and billing software. Savvis can also activate a large-scale network, complete with software defenses against security breaches. The company guarantees that data from different clients will remain separate and secure. ..
Savvis has built a platform whose core, the processors that drive the system, doesn't care what software it is running. These so-called blade servers are made by Egenera Inc. The brains that tell the blade servers what to do reside elsewhere on the Savvis network. ..
Getting potential customers to trust Savvis to handle their critical technology infrastructure may be a tricky proposition, given its financial history. Savvis, which was split off from Bridge Information Systems Inc. in February 2000, has had $534 million in losses on $918 million in sales from that year through 2003." 8:43:15 AM