Acronis Targets SMBs with vmProtect7

Acronis knows that no admin ever got fired for buying software that beefs up backup and recovery capabilities for vSphere, so the company unveiled Acronis vmProtect 7, which improves on v6 by offering new management options, VM replication and support for Exchange. V7 also integrates with vCenter, another wise move that gives admins the proverbial one pane of glass from which to conduct business.

Acronis vmProtect 7 -- which is a free upgrade for v6 users who bought the product with maintenance -- offers advanced replication capability with failover and failback, along with the ability to run a VM directly from its backup, significantly improving recovery times.

According to Acronis, "Even in the event of total failure, bare metal recovery allows an entire machine to be recovered to dissimilar hardware, significantly reducing downtime. With support for Microsoft Exchange objects, Acronis vmProtect7 eliminates the need to create a separate Microsoft Exchange backup when searching for a specific e-mail or lost contact."

Acronis vmProtect 7 also includes an SMB-centric capability that protects smaller companies from losing access to their DR plans if the one person who is responsible for them is unavailable. This capability enables these smaller companies to print the necessary documentation and run the DR process.

Saying that Acronis is now protecting some 200,000 servers worldwide and has migrated over a million servers from P2V, Seth Goodling, Acronis Virtualization Practice Manager, cites the growth of SMB users who are currently on v6, and likely to avail themselves of v7. "Enterprise virtualization has been rolling downhill pretty fast toward SMBs," he notes, adding, "SMBs are really accelerating virtualization."

Acronis vmProtect 7 retains its v6 price tag of $499 per CPU.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 03/06/2012 at 12:48 PM5 comments

Hyper-V Meets Veeam One

Things just seem to keep getting better and better for Hyper-V, which is basking in the glow of the Windows 8 Beta release, while it continues to find support in more and more products. A good example of this growing acceptance is the recent announcement from Veeam that it is extending support for Windows Server Hyper-V and Microsoft Hyper-V Server to include Veeam One, its SMB virtualization management offering.

Veeam One is targeted at IT pros in SMBs who are forced to deal with tight budgets and limited personnel resources. Veeam One with Hyper-V provides real-time monitoring, efficient resource allocation, virtual infrastructure documentation, and management reporting for performance, utilization and workload.

Mark Bowker, senior analyst, Enterprise Strategy Group, has lent his name and comment to the Veeam-Microsoft offering, saying "Veeam One extends its value across a heterogeneous IT environment by leveraging existing skillsets, enabling IT to rapidly change or expand hypervisor platforms with a high degree of confidence."

The company says Veeam One v6 brings technology proven in 10,000 customer sites to Hyper-V, in a single solution based on Veeam Monitor, Veeam Reporter and Veeam Business View.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 03/05/2012 at 12:48 PM0 comments

Wyse Tees Up SaaS Offering

Wyse is a savvy and increasingly ambitious technology company that is looking to continue growing by staying on top of the rapidly changing virtualization and cloud market via partnerships with leading vendors such as Citrix, Cisco and IBM, while offering a host of management-related products that position the company as a major player.

Wyse announced this week that it has upped its ante with a major commitment to the consumerization of IT by unveiling its entry into the SaaS market via Project Stratus, which is expected to debut during the middle part of this year. In a nutshell , Project Stratus -- which was in part empowered by Wyse's purchase of mobile device management vendor Trellia late in 2011 -- will reportedly enable IT to manage all of the devices within an enterprise, whether they were purchased by the company, by employees, or in any other fashion.

Referring to Project Stratus as a "holistic cloud-based device management service," Wyse says "Project Stratus is a secure, highly available and scalable cloud-based service, allowing customers to have a fully deployed and configured environment in less than an hour, and even scale from tens to thousands of devices overnight, all without any complex on-premise servers to maintain and upgrade."

The company goes on to say that the unified console portion of Project Stratus exceeds traditional device management solutions because it offers a complete view of IT infrastructures serving end users, providing visibility into their devices and all the IT assets these devices access.

According to Wyse, "This added visibility into the relationship between users, devices and the IT ecosystem -- combined with a world-class analytics engine -- provides invaluable insight into usage models and trends, and helps to identify areas of investment to more securely and effectively provide corporate services to end users."

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 02/29/2012 at 12:48 PM3 comments

Shape-Changing, Paradigmatic Shifts on the IT Horizon?

Enterprises are increasingly leveraging innovations external to their traditional comfort zones, which is leading them to reduce their internal infrastructure investments, cut back on internal operations and slash their ownership of assets.

In fact, according to a survey by Forrester Research conducted for IronKey, lowering IT operations costs and increasing resources to drive business innovations are the top two enterprise IT initiatives for 2012. Forrester backs that up by claiming 72 percent of IT decision-makers are planning to lower their IT operations budgets in 2012, and 69 percent say they will increase IT capacity or resources to support business innovations.

Those ambitious goals seem like near-incredulous contradictions, given the never-ending drumbeat of IT execs who claim that zero budgets, callous CEOs and complexity complaints have become a way of life for them.

"Aha!," Forrester seems to say. "So glad you said that, because those near-incredulous contradictions point to a fundamental shift that we have identified: the transformation of information technology into business technology."

How will this sea change, this paradigmatic transformation work? Easy. IT will just modernize technology delivery using mobility, "as-a-service" capabilities and bring-your-own-device programs.

Forrester says that the custom study it performed for IronKey -- which was supplemented by other recent survey data -- reveals that enterprises are already making this shape-changing shift. To wit, "an astounding 94%" of the survey enterprises plan on adopting at least a moderate level of enterprise mobility in the next two years, in the form of either employee-provisioned devices or company-issued smart phones and tablets.

That is the kind of bodacious claim you would expect from a research company being paid by a vendor to survey the ever-changing IT landscape, but it will no doubt come true in some sizeable proportion of wealthy, innovative companies that are probably also extremely green. But 94 percent? At a time when many IT departments are still viewed as cost centers? Free tablets seem a little ahead of the curve to me.

In its additional research, Forrester found several factors that will have significant impacts on IT services spending in 2012, including the need to innovate and grow the business, the increasing proliferation of end-user devices, and the increased use of as-a-service offerings.

The as-a-service phenomenon is a legitimate contender for significant growth, and in support of that notion, Forrester says "Of the 361 organizations from the Forrsights Services survey that are using SaaS, 60% told us that their firm has reduced spending on IT services, 12% of those organizations have realized savings of more than 10%, while a smaller percentage -- 3%--reported significant savings of more than 20%." That is sweet music for both under-budgeted companies looking to cut their up-front and premises-based costs, and the burgeoning population of as-a-service providers following in the golden footsteps of

Security, of course, remains the 900-pound bummer in the room, and Forrester -- along with everybody else in the IT world -- can tick off a list of negative stats that all basically boil down to the great and looming fear that precious data will just go poof in the night.

In research speak, that translates into "IT decision-makers still view the security capabilities of cloud and mobile technologies as immature and believe that adopting such technologies will present a challenge -- at least in the near term -- to the enterprise’s security and compliance posture."

In other words, you still have to take the bad with the good.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 02/27/2012 at 12:48 PM1 comments

The Relationship Between Virtualization, Cloud Computing: A LinkedIn Discussion

I have been following a Linkedin conversation based on the questions, "When choosing a cloud platform, is the virtualization platform a major decision point? Statistically, how many folks would love to be on the cloud with or without virtualization?" The responses to these questions help to clarify the relationship between virtualization and the cloud, which has been discussed a lot without any absolute conclusions. Following are some of the comments from members of the Linkedin Cloud Computing, SaaS and Virtualization Group:

"What is the benefit of having a cloud without virtualization? Virtualization reduces costs and makes cloud more affordable, although it is not a technical necessity. As far as I understand cloud computing: Cloud = virtualization plus automation."

"No, that would be a silo approach. The decision must be based on a multidimensional approach. Virtualization is certainly an important aspect, but not a major decision point. A unified computing platform (network, storage, computing) should be the target."

"Bottom line is I don't care what technologies (hypervisor) you use to meet my application and business needs. If the output meets my requirements, then do whatever you like to optimize your business practices. Do we really care what hypervisor Amazon Web Services uses? Unless I had a requirement that their cloud platform/hypervisor be somehow integrated into my platform, I could care less."

"When choosing a cloud platform, the reliability and security of it is the key criteria, and virtualization can play a big part in that. Virtualization is fundamental technology for true cloud platforms, but even the best technology is not enough if the provider lacks experience."

"Virtualization does help reduce the costs and provide for effective utilization of resources. If a cloud system provides all the aspects necessary, like security, cost-effectiveness, reliability, etc., then virtualization technology becomes secondary. The whole appeal of the cloud platform is the isolation of the underlying platform from the user. If you go down the path of IaaS or PaaS, then virtualization technology would be a factor."

Readers, what do you think of these opinions? How do you view the relationship between virtualization and cloud computing?

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 02/22/2012 at 12:48 PM2 comments

Gartner's Chris Wolf Talks About Citrix

As they always do, Chris Wolf's cutting-room-floor comments from our recent interview about VDI went over big with readers, so I am offering more of his views and opinions below.

Today's topic is Citrix, and he begins by responding to my question about the company being well placed with both their hosted server desktop and VDI strategies.

“Yes, I mean they're number one right now in terms of market share by our numbers. They're making all the right moves. I do think that when you look at features specifically like IntelliCache, they're really important to customers and IntelliCache has been one of the drivers behind their really big upswing in terms of XenServer getting in the data center behind XenDesktop workloads. So IntelliCache is one reason, and cost is the other. If you look at the vSphere 5 licensing, for example, it's a subscription license that's $60 per user per year for vSphere to sit behind XenDesktop.

"But if we get back to IntelliCache, this has been one of the real big capex challenges of storage for virtual desktops. I've seen this literally play out well over 100 times in inquiries with different end-user organizations, and that is they deploy virtual desktops on persistent network storage, they start to scale the environment, they start running into some boot storm problems, and then the first thing that happens is the storage vendor gives them some SSD storage at the front of the array to cache some of the I/Os and hopefully solve that challenge.

"That typically is not enough, and then they wind up looking at other third-party offerings like Fusion-io or Atlantis Computing to give them even more local caching. Now, the thing you run into here--and what folks figure out along the way--is they're taking this shared virtual desktop boot image that's effectively a read-only file, putting it on network storage, and then at the end, winding up having to install local storage on their servers so they can locally cache the thing.

"What a lot of customers say is, 'Well, why don't I just store it locally in the first place? Why do I need all this extra, expensive, third-party storage hardware overhead?' A lot of times, the answer is, 'Well technically you don't.' In the case of Citrix with the IntelliCache feature, that's specifically the problem they solve, and it's something that's included with the hypervisor.

"In the case of VMware environments, you kind of have to go with some of these third-party solutions because while ideally I would like to have that boot image stored locally for performance's sake, it's not always that practical because I can't manage the consistency of that image file across all of my physical server nodes.

"Citrix has been at this a very long time--15 years or even longer of building out an infrastructure platform. When it gets down to bells and whistles, Citrix is going to win every time just because of the maturity of their solution."

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 02/17/2012 at 12:48 PM2 comments

VMware Partner Exchange: Motivating the Troops

The day one general session keynote at VMware Partner Exchange 2012 started out sounding like a presentation to partners given by VMware senior VP of global channels and alliances Scott Aronson, but ended up sounding like the keynote at a VMworld show with heavy hitters CEO Paul Maritz and CTO Stephen Herrod laying down serious discussions of upcoming technology and strategy.

Aronson switched back and forth between praising his partner audience for their copious contributions to VMware's ever-expanding bottom line and ominously suggesting that they do more. Referring to the company's 2011 revenues of $3.77 billion, he said, "You guys are eighty-five percent of this revenue," adding "This is a great jumping off point for the future."

Overall, some 4,000 attendees, 90 sponsors and exhibitors heard Aronson introduce new solution competencies, programs and rewards intended to bolster everybody's bottom line while leading customers to new heights of success in the cloud era envisioned by VMware. For example, Aronson noted that partners with at least one solution competency sell on average two to four times more than their counterparts with no competencies, while adding that premier- and enterprise-level partners are being asked to achieve "additional solution competencies in order to increase their revenue, strengthen their strategic value to their customers and increase their competitive differentiation for delivering complete cloud computing solutions."

Despite hinting at a "What have you done for us, lately?" theme, VMware also held out lots of carrots for overachievers. That could be seen in the addition of three new solution competencies. The first of those was Virtualization of Business Critical Applications, which was created to make it possible for partners to provide guidance and solutions for virtualizing business-critical apps such as exchange, SQL, Oracle and SAP. The second new solution competency was IaaS, which VMware believes will expedite partner sales and extend their expertise in VMware hybrid cloud solutions and services. The third addition was Management, and VMware sees this competency enabling and rewarding partners that help customers simplify and automate the operations of virtual and cloud environments via vCenter Operations Management Suite.

Revamped Incentive rewards, including enhancements to the company's advantage+ and Solution Rewards incentive programs, make it possible for partners to double their 2012 incentives. Partners that register deals through advantage+ for net-new VMware customers will become eligible for a new back-end bonus rebate, and partners with Solution Competencies will be eligible for a first-time sales bonus rebate when they sell a new solution outside the infrastructure Virtualization solution competency to an existing customer for the first time.

VMware also announced new programs for consulting partners, partners focusing on SMB sales, partner recognition for OEM sales involving partners such as Cisco, Dell, Fujitsu Technology Solutions, HP and IBM, and the recently introduced VMware Solution Exchange. The company also announced a Partner Rewards Incentive Management Platform, which provides partners "easy-to-use dashboards and reports for tracking and managing their financial awards achieved through the new advantage+ and Solution Rewards incentive enhancements."

Overall, Aronson cited a wide range of positive results from VMware Partner University, many successful Solution Competencies, along with good news linked to sales accreditations, technical certifications, vmLIVE and the company's Solution Track and TechExpress.

Taking the stage, Maritz told his audience, "We have a fault because every four years, we say things are changing as never before, but we are in the midst of the most profound change I will see during my business career."

The CEO went on to say that both customer and employee experiences are changing, citing the arrival of the "millennial generation" that feels, because it has become so connected to technology, that it is entitled to nothing less than the most advanced tools and IT resources on the job. "If you cannot deliver this, you will not be successful in the future," he declared. On the customer side, Maritz mentioned a supermarket whose management told him that they need to touch their customers before they reach the checkout counter through such technology as inferred links that measure how long customers stop in any given area and what products they evaluate while they are there. The goal seems to be pushing products without any overt actions.

Maritz said VMware is dedicating itself to products and services that will revolutionize front-end and back-end environments so that customers can optimize their computing lifestyles without worrying about underlying technologies.

Buzzwords of the day: Software-defined data centers.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 02/14/2012 at 12:48 PM2 comments

Gartner's Wolf on VDI's Challenges

Invariably, when I interview Gartner guru Chris Wolf, as I did recently for my upcoming VDI cover story, I end up with reams of great material that ends up on the cutting room floor, as it were. Chris's comments are just too good not to be used, so I am going to periodically pull out passages from his comments and post them in this blog.

This first one below is about the management challenges facing VDI users and how some innovative companies are overcoming those challenges--while some large storage vendors are doing their best to stand in the way, to the detriment of users.

BH: You talk about companies like Unidesk, MokaFive and AppSense. What is the value-add with these companies?

Chris Wolf: CIOs are very concerned about how they're connecting users to applications and data. They understand that we're bringing in mobile applications, and there are new devices, and there are higher expectations from users. When IT is not meeting those expectations, users are more than willing to circumvent IT. Dropbox is a great example of that, where people are not getting adequate file sharing from the IT department, so they're going out and finding a service and just doing it on their own.

CIOs really understand the problem. They know that the status quo of this monolithic architecture where users are sitting at a physical device, and they're basically tethered to that device for productivity, which is not the way forward. Even with the influx of Web and mobile applications, there are still all of these traditional Windows applications that need to be supported for a very long time. VDI or server-based computing are both key ways to connect users to those applications.

Now when you get into the ancillary area, when you get into more complex management, this is where vendors like Unidesk can really shine. When I talk about the TCO piece, it's easy to take physical desktops, just convert them into virtual desktops and stick them in the data center. That's kind of how people did things with virtual servers in the early days. That certainly works, but you're basically taking the same legacy management approach that you had with physical desktops, and you're reproducing it in the virtual world. In reality, if you really want to start to drive down those TCO savings, you have to rethink the way you're managing desktops, users and applications -- period.

That means going back to the drawing board, and saying, "OK. Now what is the most efficient way to deploy and centrally manage applications, application updates, and the entire desktop lifecycle?" The answer is to really look at some of these layered approaches that these innovative vendors can provide--approaches which are way outside of the traditional mainstream management vendors.

The challenge that vendors like Unidesk have is that they're up against some industry heavyweights that really don't want to see that model succeed. If I'm a storage vendor, I don't want organizations with thousands of users all sharing this common desktop image and just using some technology up in the software stack to segment users and give them the customizations that they need. I would rather give every user a dedicated image just like I did in the physical desktop world, and simply sell you terabytes upon terabytes of storage to keep all of that together.

[More excerpts from my conversation with Chris Wolf, coming soon...]

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 02/08/2012 at 12:48 PM1 comments

vCloud Integration Manager Targets VMware Service Provider Base

VMware has made cloud service providers a mainstay of its cloud commitment since day one, and the introduction of VMware vCloud Integration Manager represents a further solidification of that target group by making it easier and less expensive for them to automate the delivery of private clouds based on VMware vCloud Director.

The company also said it has now nearly tripled to nearly 90 its base of global service provider partners that comply with the criteria that qualifies them as "VMware vCloud Powered." That program requires VMware Service Provider Program partners to offer services based on vSphere and vCloud Director while "exposing the vCloud API and supporting the Open Virtualization Format (OVF)."

Accelerating time to revenue and simplifying operations to increase efficiency and reduce costs are the cornerstones of vCIM. Accelerating time to revenue comes from tightly integrating the new product with a range of VMware's heavy cloud hitters, including vSphere, vShield Edge and vCenter Chargeback Manager, toward the goal of automating and expediting the provisioning and delivery of infrastructure and associated services.

Simplifying operations to increase efficiency and reduce costs is based on vCIM's inclusion of Web-based portals to streamline and automate service plan, customer lifecycle and reseller management. According to VMware, "With the click of a button, service providers will be able to standardize product configuration and delivery, manage customer lifecycles from sign-up to decommission, and reduce the time and overhead involved in transaction with resellers."

vCIM offers a product catalog that defines the available packages of cloud services on offer to customers, and features a reseller hierarchy that defines the resellers who are allowed to auto-provision their own customers. In this environment, service providers can set optional capacity limits by reseller, and allow resellers to define sub-resellers via n-tier distribution.

Service providers or resellers are able to provision customer orders by instantiating a set of products for them. This step is often driven by CRM or other front-end order systems via the vCIM API. vCIM automatically provisions everything to complete the order across vCloud Director and other VMware products such as vShield and vSphere.

Participating service providers are located in such countries as the U.S., Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Finland, France, Germany, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Phillipines, Russia, South Africa, and the United Kingdom.

VMware vCloud Integration Manager is expected to be available in Q1 of 2012 and will be priced on a usage-based subscription model that the company says is familiar to vCloud Service Providers.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 02/03/2012 at 12:48 PM2 comments

VDI's Holy Grail?

Via its ILIO product, Atlantis Computing initially made a name for itself by slashing I/Ops ten-fold--dramatically decreasing the need for expensive SAN storage--reducing client boot times from an average of 126 seconds to 24 seconds, and de-duplicating storage, enabling the creation of persistent clients that used no more storage than their non-persistent counterparts.

Now, with the recent introduction of Atlantis ILIO Diskless VDI, the company seems within reach of the Holy Grail of VDI: the elimination of all storage-related CAPEX and OPEX, and a further decrease in desktop boot times to 12 seconds. The new product is also said to be the first solution to eliminate storage for Citrix and VMware virtual desktop images.

As the company is quick to note, with existing VDI solutions, virtual desktop images are stored on either shared SAN/NAS storage or local SAS/SSD disks, which are bogged down by limited I/Ops for VDI workloads, and tend to have brief lifespans and warranties--all of which can be deal-breakers for less affluent users.

Atlantis ILIO Diskless VDI software comes to the rescue by performing NTFS traffic processing and inline deduplication of images to run all desktops from local server memory, meaning the days of crippling disk failures are gone along with exorbitant storage requirements for rack space, power and cooling. The company claims that diskless VDI produces response times that exceed even those of the most expensive local SSD drives (MLC or SLC), while slashing VDI CAPEX to less than $200 per desktop.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 02/01/2012 at 12:48 PM9 comments

Salary Study Measures Cloud, Virtualization Impact

According to the 2012-2011 Annual Salary Survey by, on average, if you are skilled in Azure, you can make the big bucks--$102,510 per annum, to be exact. Given Microsoft's claims that there are tens of thousands of Azure installations around the world, and in light of recent rumblings about the increasingly powerful position of PaaS, this doesn't come as a huge surprise. What does come as a bit of a surprise is the finding that Azure's reportedly red-hot cousin Hyper-V is at the bottom of the barrel, paying a paltry $81,701 to its technical practitioners.

Following Azure in respective order are Amazon S-3 ($94,843), Cloud Computing ($92,830), VMware vCloud ($88,854), Virtualization (86,669), Xen ($85,591), and VMware (82,688), and Xen ($85,591).

Only three of the categories--Virtualization, VMware, and Xen--go back to Dice's 2009-2008 survey, and among them, only Xen pays less now ($85,591) than it did in the 2009-2008 survey ($87,195). Cloud Computing goes back to 2010-2009, when it paid a relatively robust $92,663 compared to its nearly unchanged current level of $92,830. Amazon S-3, Azure, and Hyper-V, VMare vCloud are all first-timers.

What's it all mean? From what we can see, salaries are largely holding their own. What we can't see is what percentage of respondents work full-time in the categories they checked off, i.e. do these people consider themselves to be dedicated virtualization admins or cloud architects, or are they spreading their skills across multiple categories? This is especially interesting considering the movement toward making IT pros jacks of all trades as their jobs are reshaped by technologies like cloud and virtualization.

You could make the argument that Hyper-V salaries are lower because the salaries of IT pros in Microsoft shops are lower, and Microsoft IT pros are administering Hyper-V, since it comes gratis with Windows Server 2008 R2.

The Dice Salary Survey was administered online with 18,325 employed technology professionals responding between September 19 and November 21, 2011. Respondents were invited to participate in the survey through a notification on the Dice home page, and registered technology professionals were sent an email invitation. A cookie methodology was used to ensure that there was no duplication of responses between or within the various sample groups, and duplicate responses from a single email address were removed.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 01/30/2012 at 12:48 PM1 comments

Nasuni's Cloud Storage Focused On Enterprise

I've been wondering how things were going for cloud storage company Nasuni and its CEO Andres Rodriguez, so it was nice to see they had good financial fortune in 2011 even if they have joined Veeam among the dubious ranks of quasi-public companies that produce ersatz financial statements that substitute "bookings" for revenues.

For what it's worth, Nasuni says it increased bookings more than tenfold and doubled its number of enterprise customers. Beyond that, the company tripled the number of upgrades from existing customers and grew its international business tenfold--honest.

What went so right? Nasuni says during 2011 it changed its focus from SMBs to enterprises, and sold their enterprise storage services entirely through the IT channel, which the company says will "radically change" the traditional channel model.

Here's how it works: "Instead of making a big pop on an initial storage sale, and then making just a paltry five percent on maintenance the next year, Nasuni's partners continue to get 20-30 percent on the annual fee every year--and as their customers' storage needs grow, so do the fees and money they make."

Congrats, Andre--you're walking the walk.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 01/25/2012 at 12:48 PM3 comments

Virsto Unveils vSphere, Hyper-V Products

Like most storage makers, Virsto denounces the pernicious effects of storage, which is sort of like the president of the United States saying he hates the Federal government. Of course, the demonizing part is cathartic because once the air is cleared on this matter, smart people like Virsto CEO Mark Davis can step up and offer their storage products that are designed to simplify and optimize virtual environments.

Virsto says it is the first storage software company to offer storage hypervisors, and what they have to say about them is very similar to what competitors like DataCore have to say, which is that storage hypervisors improve the utilization of hardware capacity and drive down the costs of application deployment while providing greater business agility.

Since its humble beginnings in 2007, when the company initially supported the as-yet unproven Windows Server 2008 R2 Hyper-V over VMware, the venture-backed Virsto has persevered while it carved out market share, and has now introduced Virsto for vSphere and Virsto for Virtual Servers, Hyper-V 2.0, which the company claims "allows users to improve both the efficiency and the performance of physical storage by up to 90 percent, and reduce the cost of storage in virtual environments by up to 70 percent."

Citing the over-provisioning of storage and its LUN-based -- as opposed to VM-optimized -- approach, Davis says users are frustrated and CIOs outraged that they are spending so much of their IT budgets on storage, and that is dampening enthusiasm for VDI rollouts.

Virsto claims it delivers "dramatic" performance and space savings via its new virtual storage object, the Virsto vDisk. The vDisk appears to vSphere as an "eager-zero" thick VMDK, which is the highest performance virtual storage object in the VMware environment. According to Virsto, "It delivers higher performance than native VMDKs, while only consuming storage capacity as data is actually committed, avoiding the need to pre-allocate storage capacity that often is never consumed. This approach allows IT organizations to drive storage capacity utilization up by up to 90 percent on the existing storage already in use."

The vDisk is said to deliver the benefits of thin-provisioned clones, with the production-level performance of an eager-zero thick VDMK. Virsto presents this new virtual storage object directly into the existing VM provisioning workflow in vCenter, which is transparent and fully supported by all vSphere operations.

Virsto for VSI creates a virtual storage layer that presents VHDs to virtual machines running in Hyper-V. Virsto vDisks look like native Hyper-V fixed disks, but they are thin-provisioned, high performance, cluster-aware, and support extremely scalable snapshot/clone technology -- all at the same time. "When deployed with Virsto, Hyper-V delivers higher, more predictable storage performance, and uses up to 90% less storage capacity," Virsto claims.

Other product highlights for Virsto for vSphere include seamless integration into existing VM management and provisioning workflows via VMware vCenter and VMware View, as well as native support for vSphere 4.1, and Storage quality of service tiering for optimized flexibility and cost management.

Product highlights for Virsto for Virtual Servers, Hyper-V 2.0 include native support for Hyper-V and Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager in addition to seamless integration with Microsoft DPM and VSS for backup and recovery.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 01/23/2012 at 12:48 PM2 comments

Go to the Source and Ask the DBA

Unidesk CEO Don Bulens offers an interesting perspective on the roles of CIOs and IT pros such as DBAs and application developers, when it comes to who are the real IT movers and shakers.

His logical assessment is that because DBAs and application developers are in the day-to-day trenches, they are the power wielders. One of the things that frustrates Bulens is the focus on what CIOs say, because he believes the truth about what causes IT problems can often be found by talking to the operators of infrastructure and applications. It's why many technologies have their breakthroughs with the people who manage that particular function.

Bulens says that DBAs have driven the market adoption of products many times over, and when it comes to application developers, "Worlds have gotten turned upside down many times over by application developers embracing some new tool set, some new platform."

Who wields the power in your IT shop?

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 01/18/2012 at 12:48 PM1 comments

LG, Red Bend Showcase Mobile Virtualization at CES

There are a couple of mobile virtualization developments to report. First, LG is using CES 2012 as a soapbox to demonstrate VMware virtual Android machines running on a Verizon Revolution, thus creating a personal phone that individual users manage, plus a work phone that their employers control. The word from CES is that Verizon and Telefonica will be introducing this bifurcated mobile phone sometime in the “coming months,” but at this point it is still in proof of concept stage.

The less noticed announcement comes from Red Bend Software, which is a major force in the mobile software management market. Red Bend unveiled vLogix Mobile, which it calls “the first mobile virtualization solution ready for mass-market deployment to consumer and enterprise smartphones, tablets, modems and wirelessly connected devices.”

Red Bend goes on to say vLogix Mobile is the first mobile virtualization solution that can be integrated in weeks, as opposed to months (it looks like LG and Red Bend are moving at a similar pace). The new product enables two operating systems to run simultaneously, separately and securely on the same hardware. Also, like the LG phone, vLogix Mobile plays the BYOD game by combining separate profiles for business and personal use on the same smartphone and extending support for legacy software on new platforms.

Red Bend is not yet widely known in the consumer market, but these guys have been busy pumping out more than a billion Red Bend-enabled devices, and their customers include more than 80 device manufacturers, mobile operators, semiconductor vendors and automotive companies worldwide.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 01/10/2012 at 12:48 PM1 comments