Archive for May, 2009

Rethinking the Guest

May 24, 2009

With the arrival of vSphere 4.0, it’s a good time to revisit your guest standards. Not just what virtual hardware and resource allocations you use by default, but also what standard software you deploy into the guest. Virtualisation has been labelled a game changing technology, but when most people talk of this, they refer to it on levels outside of the guest. There is however just as much potential for changing the game within the guest. It’s time to start thinking about how you might externalise some of the stuff you would normally run within the guest, because doing so will allow you to have a much more dynamic infrastructure as well as better prepare for the inevitable day when “your” (and I use that term very loosely) infrastructure is hosted in someone else’s cloud.


Yeehhh Iii, Oohhh, I'm Still Alive…

May 23, 2009

And so is my PC, after suffering a fatal power supply failure a few days ago. Hence I couldn’t put up the obligatory “vSphere 4 GA” post on the 21st :(. Oh well. I’ll try and make up for the lack of content of late with a return to the Sunday Afternoon Architecture and Philosophy (SAAAP!) series tomorrow.

Lookout London – ILIO is in Town, May 20th

May 18, 2009

Anyone who has joined the VMware communities roundtable over the past few weeks has probably heard me mention ILIO a few times, not to mention ppl like Brian Madden calling it out as a potential ‘game changer’. If Atlantis deliver, it most certainly will be (and I have no reason to doubt they will deliver).

If you’re in London this Wednesday (May 20th) you can come see why for yourself – Atlantis Computing will be holding a half day ‘Lunch n Learn’ at the Marriott Regents Park. Agenda is as follows:

12-1pm Lunch
1-1:30pm Virtualization Landscape and ILIO
1:30-2:30pm Demo
2:30-3:00pm Q&A
3:00-4:00pm Networking & Follow-up

If you can make it, let Rajiv Pimplaskar (VP of Sales) know by emailing him on rajiv [at]

See y’all there!

FUD Me??? No, FUD You!!!

May 12, 2009

I hereby declare this will be the very last time I _ever_ post about the virtualisation FUD wars that are going on right now. What humours me the most is that Microsoft are acting as if they are equal to VMware both in product maturity and feature set, while declaring to be orders of magnitudes cheaper.

The simple fact is that the 2 platforms cannot be compared on a class level – at best they can only be compared as objects of the same class. The same way a Fiat 500 and a Ferrari F430 Spider are both cars, yet no one would be stupid enough to compare the 2 and argue that one was “better” than the other. Which one you may choose is entirely dependent on the use case and the budget. If you live in Inglewood and need a car to get to work in Compton and have to park on the street at both places, would you buy a Ferrari? No. If you live in Portofino and need something to get you to the office in Milan quickly a couple of times a month, will you buy the Fiat? Not if you had an office in Milan could afford to live in Portofino…

But moreso, if Fiat did take a swipe at Ferrari do you think Ferrari would actually respond? Of course not. The relationship of Microsoft and VMware should be somewhat like this. Hyper-V will surely be good enough for some use cases, even if it is merely to point out to your boss how much better ESX is, which is probably what 749 999 of the 750 000 downloads were used for (ooo, burn! But that would also explain why they hardly got any support calls, no?). ESX will clearly be more suitable for others, such as running production applications in enterprise datacenters. OK Hyper-V could do that too, but only if your app had massive redundancy built into it in the application layer, like does. How many enterprise applications have the same kind of architecture?

When it comes down to it, our job is to determine what the use cases for any given piece of infrastructure are, and make an objective technical recommendation as to what to use where. Our employers pay us, our allegiances are to them – not software companies. There is no unfounded bias to one vendor or another, we make our choices based on sound research and higher intelligence. FUD me if anyone is going to make decisions like that based on marketing.

Next London VMUG – Thursday May 14th (next week!)

May 6, 2009

I should’ve posted this earlier, but the next exciting installment of the London VMUG is on May 14th.

Alan “Fetchez la vache!” Renouf will be holding a 1 hour PowerCLI workshop before the event. And after the event, I hope to be schooling Alan in how to drink beer like an Australian. Various other luminaries from the community will be in attendance, notably Tom “I hate those fookin soothern fairies” Howarth and hopefully Mike “what Tom said” Laverick. Simon Long should also be back in the country by now, and there’s no excuses for him not to attend.

Aside from that, not many concrete details are to hand yet, you can check out Alaric’s announcement here.

Hope to see you all there, just look for the guy with the loud mouth and shaved head 🙂

Another Reason To Look Forward to vSphere 4 – .NET Plugins!

May 6, 2009

It was mentioned on the VMware Coffee Talk webinar today that .NET plugins will _finally_ be legitimised in the vSphere 4 client! Of course, there have been many .NET based plugins written for VI3, mostly on the back of Andrew Kutz‘s fantastic reverse engineering efforts.

One thing that has always bothered me about VMware’s whole “cross platform client” initiative has been the fact that .NET plugins were faced with extinction before they had even seen the light of day outside of VMware. If VMware officially sanction .NET plugins, then at least they can actually see what the adoption levels are like. If it’s massive, then VMware will know that whatever pretense the whole non-Windows client initiative was based on is pretty flaky. And of course, if there’s little adoption then maybe the cross platform client argument did have some merit after all. Judging by the success of PowerCLI, I know which scenario I’m betting on :-).

Unfortunately no more information can be disclosed until vSphere is released, but if the rumours about May 21 are true we don’t have long to wait now!

VMware Coffee Talk Webinars – A Must Attend Event!

May 6, 2009

The first VMware Coffee Talk webinar kicked off today, and was a good one. There was a surprisingly large number of attendees… more than there are on the weekly Vmware Communities Roundtable (although of course the number of downloads that the communities roundtable has after the event is much much greater than the number of live participants).

Even if you’re not a developer (and believe me, I’m not – I’m just insanely curious and not-too-slow-of-mind), it’s well worth keeping an eye on the agenda’s for the event, which you can do by subscribing to the VMware Developer Center Blog. Next month will be none other than Carter Shanklin presenting on what’s new in PowerCLI!