Sunday, March 25, 2007

VMware Workstation 6.0 hits RC...

Yes that's right, build 42757 was released on the 23rd and is the first public RC of Workstation 6.0. Aside from the usual slew of bugfixes, the biggest deal for anyone using it is that debugging is finally configurable! In the betas, debugging was set to Full and there was nothing you could do about it, which is reasonable enough for a beta I guess. Now it's set to 'none' by default :-)

It's also a whopping 280MB download... the current version of Workstation 5.x is only ~90MB!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Windows Server 2003 SP2 released!

Pick your flavour, and check out the deployment guide, a useful read if you're gonna slipstream R2 with it's 2 CD's. Here's hoping Microsoft never do that again...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

The Virtual garbage just keeps coming...

First of all was VMware's dummy spit regarding Microsoft's so called 'anti-competitive' behaviour (in a product that doesn't even exist yet), now Microsoft are starting to crank up the marketing machine for their upcoming virtualisation product. Seriously, when are these companies ever going to learn that you do not win the hearts and minds of the tech community with this kind of tripe?

VMware should be thanking Microsoft for creating the market that allows VMware to exist. Microsoft created / stole the software and had the marketing nouse and questionable business practices that allowed the inexpensive x86 architecture to proliferate (inexpensive compared to the other proprietary Unix options available at the time - Linux was little more than a hobbyist OS in 95). Microsoft created the platform that was so easy to program for, allowing many companies to develop applications. That platform was so easy to code for and at the same time so forgiving, many, many, MANY crappy applications were created and installed on servers, leading to the side by side incompatibility problems that virtualisation solves. The same problem that creates the massive under-utilisation problem that virtualisation perfectly solves. So please, VMware, a little credit where credit is due.

Additionally, VMware should realise by now where their bread is buttered. Windows is the mostly widely virtualised OS, and who is driving that virtulisation? Shock horror - it's the Windows engineers and admins! So just who do you think you are winning over by whining about Microsoft? Not the majority of your customer base. The Linux guys have already forgotten about you with XEN and KVM on the move, and the Unix and big iron guys have been doing this stuff for ages anyway.

But this latest creation
from the marketing people at Microsoft just blows my mind. Do they think we are stupid? There is just something about making claims about a product that is 12 months away from RTM that really grates me. Like the line about having 8-way virtual machines, "a feature our competitor doesn't have yet". Oh, really? Well how about a *little* feature your competitor does have that you do not... A ROCK SOLID, WIDELY DEPLOYED ENTERPRISE VIRTUALISATION PLATFORM THAT YOU CAN ACTUALLY BUY RIGHT NOW!!! FFS Microsoft you idiots, what is the point in claiming a '1 up' over VMware with (1) a feature in a product that isn't even in public beta and (2) how many people do you think are going to virtualise an application that requires 8 CPU's!!! There are numerous other one liners throughout this video, like the one about interoperability. Wow, you can certifiably run SUSE on the Microsoft product! In fact you can prety much run anything... oh wait, no sorry, you can't run NT 4. Or anything 16 bit. Legacy Novell, Solaris, Red Hat, BSD... ummm, no, no, nope and no again. This video says one thing that is correct - customers want a virtualisation platform that they can standardise on. And it won't be Microsoft's, because you won't have a virtualisation platform that supports the widest range of guests. I also love the way it also glosses over the VMotion feature... "oh yeah we'll have the by the time the product ships." No demo though.

Imagine what the Microsoft product will be capable of in 3 years time. Now imagine that they shipped the Longhorn generation of virtualisation 3 years ago. That's where VMware are at this very point in time. I can't remember who said it where, but right now Microsoft have a solution for the physical server problem. But currently VMware have a solution for the virtual server problem, by way of VMotion and VirtualCenter. And who knows what they have in the pipeline. I'm sure that before Longhorn ships, VMware will have 8 way capable VM's, hot add everything, true high availability (ie underlying host goes down and guests pause for a few seconds then just keep running), and even better management options. They're already way ahead with the VirtualCenter web service - I somehow doubt Microsoft will be embracing the openness and flexibility that web services allows... someone might write a better management interface than Microsoft (and if you've seen the beta for System Center Virtual Machine Manager, you know that wouldn't be hard at this point in time).

I can't imagine what other propaganda will be crammed down our throats from both sides in the year to come. One can only hope that VMware takes the Microsoft FUD in their stride rather than trying to spread their own, and act with the maturity that their product has.

Friday, March 02, 2007

About bloody time!

With the aging of the population, and more people who were brought up with consoles and PC's in the household moving into positions of influence and amassing majority in the academic and media circles, I am sure studies like this will start showing up more and more.

Let's just hope each successive generation doesn't fall into the same traps as the last. You'd think the baby boomers who were raised in an era of moral outrage against rock music wouldn't have such short memories.