CloudSwitch's Rubin: 'Enterprise Cloud is a Reality'

Today, we have a success story to report. Verizon, which previously bought global services provider Terremark for $1.4 billion, acquired CloudSwitch, a venture-backed start-up  that enables companies to securely move applications or workloads between company datacenters and the cloud without changing the application or the infrastructure layer.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, so CloudSwitch co-founder and VP of Products Ellen Rubin wouldn't tell me how much she was making, other to say with an enigmatic smile, "I'm happy."

And deservedly so.  Rubin, who was most previously VP of Marketing at database appliance maker Netezza, was joined together with John Considine, former director of Platform Products at Sun, by David Skok, a brilliant entrepreneur at Matrix Partners. Skok provided the two with brainstorm space at Matrix, where they sat together for several months, incubating their ideas and eventually securing funding through Skok.

CloudSwitch came out of the box in a hurry, debuting version 2 of its CloudSwitch  Enterprise just six months after taking the wraps off v1. Seizing the moment in a dynamic and competitive marketplace, the new company made a name for itself by working successfully with very large pharmas and banks that were happy to provide glowing references--complimentary comments  that no doubt became part of Verizon's due diligence.

Not that Verizon was the only suitor. According to Rubin, "We had multiple offers, but Verizon was good because they believed in staying open, and they wanted us to be the software development hub for Terremark." The deal was extra sweet for CloudSwitch because it had been working with Terremark for nearly two years, during which time the two had developed "great chemistry," as Rubin puts it.  Another plus:  Cloudswitch could remain in Burlington, Mass.

It's still too soon to declare victory, but Rubin is confident enough to declare, "This acquisition validates that enterprise cloud is a reality."

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 08/31/2011 at 12:48 PM0 comments

VMware Updates VMware View, VMware Horizon

I'm running around at VMware with a meeting calendar for which I can only blame myself for the overbookings. In my haste, here are a few notes on what has gone down here at VMworld on the first day:

* VMware CEO Paul Maritz in his Tuesday keynote cited an IDC report that saw virtualized servers outnumber physical ones. It's research that seems a bit to obvious, since virtual server installations have topped physical deployments as of IDC's 2010 research on the matter.

* Maritz laid out the company's cloud-heavy vision, emphasizing that the post-PC era is taking shape much quicker than the company imagined as serious business computing takes place on a growing number of non-PC type devices.

* VMware View 5 is introduced with a boost in performance, which the company said will be key to seeing wider adoption of VDI, especially of VMware's version. VMware claims 75 percent performance improvement over LAN/WAN connections, better graphics handling and "integrated persona management," a fancy way of saying that users will be able to take advantage of virtual desktop personalization.

* VMware Horizon has authentication and identity management improvements galore, starting with an improved VMware Horizon Application Manager that taps VMware ThinApp technology to centralize secure virtual application management. Something new is the mobile management component, VMware Horizon Mobile, which currently works with Android-based devices only.

* VMware said the cloud will be all about users getting better access, and that'll happen via two new and upcoming technologies under development. With Project AppBlast, the dream is that VMware's cloud will be able to support and deliver any application to any device that supports HTML5, and with Project Octopus, applications that rely on data sharing or collaboration will be able to continue to do so in the cloud and do it securely.

In the days and weeks to come, I'll have more detailed analysis of most of this. For now, I have to run and catch up with a few folks running right by me.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 08/30/2011 at 12:48 PM5 comments

VMware Shifts to the Enterprise Hybrid Cloud

By combining new and existing products in a package designed to facilitate customers using 5,600 VMware service providers in 62 countries, VMware is emphasizing its drive to the enterprise hybrid cloud. In so doing, The company is offering its vCloud customers a myriad of cloud services based on VMware cloud infrastructures that are compatible with any virtualized VMware data center.

The first component of the new package is Global Connect, which provides a single global cloud built on VMware vCloud Datacenter Services introduced in August 2010. vCloud Datacenter Services are enterprise-class public clouds based on VMware cloud infrastructure, including vSphere, vShield and vCloud Director. VMware says a network of service providers is slated to span 25 datacenters in 13 countries by year-end 2011. Bluelock, Colt, SingTel and Softbank have been announced as the first partners to offer Global Connect services.

According to VMware, "Customers will work directly with their local vCloud Datacenter service provider, who orchestrates services from connected providers with a single contact and 'single pane of glass' management across clouds using vCloud Connector."

First introduced in February, 2011, vCloud Connector was created to offer fast, reliable transfer between private and public clouds. Since that debut, VMware says over 1,300 of its customers have adopted the product. The newly introduced vCloud Connector 1.5 features a faster, more reliable data architecture that reduces the time required to transfer workloads, as it automatically resumes transfers that are interrupted by network glitches. It is also accessible via any compatible Web browser, or as a plug-in for vCenter Console.

The availability of signals VMware's growing emphasis on the enterprise hybrid cloud. It is an "online destination where enterprises can find vCloud service providers, learn about their capabilities and coverage, and quickly test drive new cloud services." Customers can then transfer workloads and data into those cloud services via the integrated vCloud Connector 1.5 Web client.

Turning its attention to disaster recovery, the VMware announcement says four VMware service providers will unveil new cloud-based DR recovery services based on vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5, which was initially introduced this July. The four are FusionStorm,, iland and VeriStor, and their goal is to make it easy and inexpensive to organizations of all sizes to protect their apps by enabling them to fail over to a service provider's site in the case of a disaster. These cloud-based services will be sold on a pay-as-you-go model.

VMware also took the wraps off an updated version of the VMware vCloud Architecture Toolkit, which features design guidelines and examples to aid customers in their efforts to build hybrid cloud environments. As a further aid, VMware offers its vCloud Consulting Services, which include a "complete portfolio of professional services offerings to provide a common blueprint for next-generation infrastructure."

"Many customers want a choice of providers on a consistent, technical platform," says Joe Andrews, VMware director of Cloud Services. "CIOs have a worldwide interest and mandate to move to the cloud, but their biggest question is, 'What does the cloud mean, and how do I get their in an evolutionary way?'"

VMware vCloud Connector 1.5 is currently available as a free beta download, and is expected to be generally available in Q4 of this year.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 08/29/2011 at 12:48 PM2 comments

vSphere 5 Hits the Streets

The suspense, such as it was, is over. VMware announced GA of vSphere 5.

VMware was also kind enough to modestly remind us that vSphere 5 offers some 200 new and improved capabilities to help customers "transform IT by driving greater efficiency from existing investments and improving operational ability."

In recognition of the solution’s debut, Virtualization Review has ramped up its vSphere 5 coverage through two of our ace vSphere experts, Eli Khnaser and David Davis, and is developing a regular home dedicated to what VMware calls "the most trusted virtualization platform for building cloud infrastructures."

Now all you have to do is get comfortable with the pricing, which starts at $83 per processor.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 08/26/2011 at 12:48 PM1 comments

Oracle Hypes Server, Management Intro

A year after claiming that its "integrated and expansive virtualization portfolio is far superior to the 'point' solution offered by VMware," Oracle teed up the market leader for another shot, saying that its newly introduced Oracle VM 3.0 delivers four times better scalability that VMware "at a fraction of the cost." Oracle 3.0 is the latest release of the company's server virtualization and management product.

Oracle claims to provide full stack support for virtualization from application to disk, and for cloud computing needs.

Oracle's assertions came as part of a product announcement for not only Oracle VM 3.0, but also Oracle VM Storage Connect plug-ins for Oracle VM 3.0.

Version 3.0--which is available via a free download and has no license cost--is targeted at datacenter workloads and includes new, policy-based management capabilities, advanced storage management via the VM Storage Connect plug-in API, centralized network configuration management, improved ease-of-use and Open Virtualization Format (OVF) support.

Oracle expanded on its claim of 4x better scalability than VMware by saying the 3.0 product supports "up to 128 virtual CPUs per VM at a fraction of the cost." It did not, however, release any pricing information to substantiate that claim. Nor did it substantiate its assertion that when compared to VMware vSphere 5 running Red Hat Enterprise Linux guest VMs, Oracle VM 3.0 running Oracle Linux guest VMs is four times less expensive.

Oracle VM Storage Connect Plug-ins for Oracle VM 3.0 is a framework enabling storage vendors to make their advanced storage features "a natural part" of Oracle VM. It reportedly allows customers to transparently manage storage and virtualization together via the newly announced Oracle VM Manager, which is a component of VM 3.0.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 08/25/2011 at 12:48 PM3 comments

Virtualization, Cloud, Users Report "Disappointment"

In my "Automation as Manna" blog post in June, I criticized the "scare tactics" used in a survey sponsored by automation software vendor UC4, which claimed in so many words that unless IT shops automate their operations, they will not be able to initiate their cloud plans.

Now CA Technologies has sponsored another pro IT automation survey casting aspersions on virtualization and cloud computing for their failure to meet user expectations due to their lack of automation. The survey, conducted among 460 mid- and senior-level IT decision-makers by UBM TechWeb, reports that "although most organizations have implemented virtualization and are prepping for cloud computing, many of them have yet to realize the benefits that drew them to the technologies in the first place."

Specifically, the survey notes, "85% of respondents have deployed, or say they are planning, or planning to deploy virtualization to reduce costs. But when asked whether virtualization has delivered significant cost savings, almost 65% have been disappointed."

Disappointed? Inquiring minds want to know just how disappointed in terms of what they expected in the way of reduced costs, and what they actually realized.

The survey goes on to quote Ian Watts, senior technical manager at BT Americas Inc., who says "Virtualization is a bean counter's dream, but can be an operational nightmare...Change management is a huge overhead, as any changes need to be accepted by all applications and users sharing the same virtualization kit."

Maybe that's why the call them disruptive technologies.

As summed up by Roger Pilc, GM of Virtualization and Automation at CA, the promised benefits of virtualization and cloud will be hard to realize without first automating routine IT processes.

Sounds bad--if somewhat vague. CA tells us disappointment is rampant, some organizations have added--rather than reduced--costs in the wake of virtualization, and making matters worse, that old stalwart, server sprawl persists. A regular tale of woe.

This negative tone, however, is far from being the dominant voice of the CA report, which devotes most of its space to lauding the future directions of virtualization and cloud, citing runaway market growth, and noting that 87 percent of respondents are currently either deploying or piloting virtualization in their organizations. Cloud? Cloud is going to take off, too, according to the survey, which says that 59 percent of respondents are planning to use cloud computing services in 2011.

So why all the worry over the lack of automation? It's not like people are abandoning their virtualization plans, or they have lost all hope in these technologies while they wait, abandoned, for IT tools that can automate provisioning, monitor servers, delete files, create and enforce access and security. After all, we have the technology. Having the budget may be another issue, but no organization that is serious about virtualization and cloud computing can reasonably expect to sit back and spend nothing as these cutting-edge technologies evolve.

Even though they are still nascent technologies, virtualization and cloud are already proving themselves every day in the eyes of IT pros who don't need to be told by CA Technologies how to manage their infrastructures.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 08/23/2011 at 12:48 PM4 comments

VMware Has Living Proof: Cloud Users Do Exist

VMware is understandably anxious to prove that cloud users actually exist and are not, as VMware Senior Director of Cloud Services Mathew Lodge blogs, “a figment of a fevered imagination.” Toward that end, Lodge has posted the details on six VMworld Cloud Infrastructure and Management sessions where the reclusive and elusive cloud user can be found and observed.

Session CIM4813 (Wed 2pm) Real World Cloud Experiences: Featured topics include Database-as-a-Service (Dr. Stewart Lee, Head of IT for Oxford, University), the future of the customer experience (Paul McNamara, Entrepreneur in Residence at Adobe), how a non-partisan NGO brings democracy to five continents (Chris Spence, CTO of the National Democratic Institute), blend of on-premises infrastructure, hosting and cloud scales to serve over 12,000 customers and rapidly integrate new acquisitions like Tripit (Drew Garner, Director of Architecture Delivery at travel and expense expert Concur)

Other user sessions within the Cloud Infrastructure and Management track include:

CIM 2520 (Mon 11am): Link Alander and Cory Bradfield from Lone Star College on leveraging public, private and hybrid clouds in higher education

CIM 2343 (Wed 9.30am): Building a real-life high-performance financial services cloud, with Feargal O'Sullivan from NYSE Euronext. As he notes, offering basic VM provisioning is, to a degree, the easy part. This is a chance to learn what makes a vertical cloud special with details of NYSE's capital markets community cloud.

CIM 2750 (Mon & Wed 11am): Are all clouds commoditized? Answers will be provided by Andrew Phillips of open source API specialists, and Pat O'Day from Bluelock.

CIM 3177 (Mon 2pm): Cloud architectures deliver healthcare as a service. Speakers include Christopher Reed, INX, Stephen Henson, Concentra, Steven Kaplan, INX and Mariano Maluf of vCloud-powered provider GNAX. CIM 2628 (Tue 5.30pm): How Equinix implemented a smart development cloud, as described by Brian Lillie, Equinix and Martin van Ryswyk, Electric Cloud.

CIM 2865 (Wed 12.30pm): Escaping the Chaos Monkey—Enterprise vs. Commodity Public Cloud. Speaker Mathew Lodge discusses how and why enterprise clouds are different, with the help of "chaos monkeys" and other metaphorical animals.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 08/18/2011 at 12:48 PM1 comments

Hotlink Turns the Cloud Inside Out by Crossing Interoperability Boundaries

At a time when Microsoft and VMware are in the early stages of providing cross-platform manageability, the newly debuted HotLink, via its SuperVISOR technology is enabling vCenter to natively manage Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V and Red Hat Enterprise Linux. The secret sauce for HotLink is its ability to "decouple management consoles from the underlying virtual infrastructure and enable native interoperability of hypervisors."

According to HotLink CEO Lynn LeBlanc, who refers to herself as a "serial entrepreneur"--she was previously CEO and founder of FastScale Technology--HotLink is solving the problems of incompatible software platforms and products faced by users as they move up the infrastructure stack, which is a relief to IT staffs who have previously found themselves bogged down by incompatibility issues. As LeBlanc puts it, "Hypervisors are very similar and they all do similar things, so they should be able to have data models that are also similar."

Her goal is simple: provide a data center solution that uses unique platform transformation technology that "abstracts virtual infrastructure so enterprises can mix and match hypervisors using their existing management consoles."

HotLink attacks heterogeneity from the "bottom up," creating hypervisor interoperability using a native management console capability from within vCenter. LeBlanc says this approach is superior to single-vendor silos and management overlays employed by vCenter and Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager.

Although HotLink, which emerged from stealth along with the SuperVISOR announcement, has only 18 employees and seven customers to date, it received $10 million in series A venture funding in January, and according to LeBlanc, the market is open to what she has to offer. "It's been a pretty short selling cycle for us, because the dollars are so significant in a large enterprise," she says.

The base price for the SuperVISOR platform is $25,000, which includes support for an additional hypervisor and five concurrent hosts.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 08/16/2011 at 12:48 PM7 comments

Analyst Mark Bowker on VMware and Its Competitors

In keeping with this week's theme of posting interview outtakes that would have otherwise ended up on the proverbial cutting room floor, I offer the following quotes from Mark Bowker, senior analyst with the Enterprise Strategy Group:

"There's no doubt that VMware's making significant efforts to help customers move beyond cost and containment investment."

"In the long run, it shouldn't matter whether a service provider is running VMware, Microsoft Hyper-V, KVM, XenServer or some other Xen product. An IT organization is essentially paying for an SLA. They just want to know that their application's running there, is available at this point and has this type of security around it. What hypervisor it's running in the long term shouldn't matter."

"Even if VMware is much more expensive than their competitors, people are still thrilled with them. They feel they're getting what they paid for. Even in scenarios where people believe it's a wash if they deploy something on physical versus virtual, they're getting other benefits around either management, mobility, or being able to perform online maintenance, and they're seeing higher application availability. People are always going to struggle through the licensing model a bit, but there would have to be a significant--and by that I mean 30 percent-plus--difference in pricing for most of the people I talk to before they would make a change."

"The most interesting thing I've seen VMware do this year is announce Horizon Application Manager. Today, its aim is to broker Software-as-a-Service types of applications to centralize identity and access management. Over time, the goal is to also bring in desktops, be the broker of desktops from both a VMware perspective and a Citrix perspective."

"I hear very few, if any complaints about VMware."

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 08/11/2011 at 12:48 PM6 comments

VMware Addressing Ecosystem Shortcomings

In the course of researching and writing my upcoming Aug-Sept. VMware cover story for our print magazine, I ran into the usual problem of not being able to use all of the good information I gathered. That being the case, today I am focusing on comments made to me by Raghu Raghuram, VMware vice president and general manager of Virtualization and Cloud Platforms.

The thing I like about Raghuram is that he is willing, however occasionally, to admit that VMware could have done better in certain situations. For instance, when I asked him what kind of requests, complaints and feedback the company has received from its large ecosystem of third-party technology and channel partners, he starts by citing three areas where VM had not done its best work with technology partners.

The first area is communication. "Previously, we have been, I would say, not very proactive in sharing our roadmaps and directions with our partners," he says. "That was as much a process of maturity as anything else, and we have put in a lot of effort around that."

The second area is making it easy for partners to do self-service--what he refers to as "Make it easy for us to get what we need from you. That's a matter of having scalable, self-service mechanisms."

The third area is being able to draw out and advertise solutions, or as Raghuram puts it, "Help us market solutions."

Turning to channel partners, he again notes three instances where there is room for improvement, with the first being providing more training and solution enablement. "We are rapidly moving into a lot of areas, and they want to be experts in all those areas, just as they became experts in the real core virtualization area," he says.

The second instance is what he calls the demand for competency programs. "We want partners to be able to say 'OK, I'm competent in the desktop solution from VMware or the business continuity solution from VMware.'"

Finally, he notes, "The third thing is helping the channel go to market, and that's been something that we've been aggressively ramping up as well."

VMware's shortcomings with its business partners are well known, and just as it did by listening to customers and revamping its initial vSphere 5 pricing policy, the company is again admitting to its relative weaknesses and striving to make it right for all parties.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 08/09/2011 at 12:48 PM7 comments

vSphere 5 Pricing Altered Due to Popular Demand

Saying "Our primary objective is to do right by our customers," VMware announced three major changes to its controversial new vSphere 5 pricing scheme, which was based on the amount of vRAM configured to VMs.

In his blog, Bogomil Balkansky, VP of Product Marketing for Virtualization and Cloud Platforms, recounted how the initial licensing changes were created in order to "align costs with the benefits of virtualization rather than with the physical attributes of each individual customer," adding that the changes generated a great deal of conversation in the blogosphere, and led to a "ton of feedback."

As a result of that feedback, VMware decided to tweak the plan. The first change involves increasing vRAM entitlements for all vSphere editions, including "the doubling of entitlements for vSphere Enterprise and Enterprise Plus." The second change caps the amount of vRAM VMware can count in any VM at 96 GB, "so that no VM, not even the 'monster' 1TB vRAM VM would cost more than one vSphere Enterprise Plus license." In the third change, Balkansky says the company has adjusted its model "so it is much more flexible around transient workloads, and short-term spikes that are typical in test and dev environments for example."

Following are comparisons between the previously announced and revamped current vSphere 5 vRAM entitlements per vSphere editions:

  • vSphere Enterprise+: Previously 48 GB, revamped to 96 GB
  • vSphere Enterprise: Previously 32 GB, revamped to 64 GB
  • vSphere Standard: Previously 24 GB, revamped to 32 GB
  • vSphere Essentials Plus+: Previously 24 GB, revamped to 32 GB
  • vSphere Essentials: Previously 24 GB, revamped to 32 GB
  • Free vSphere Hypervisor: Previously 8 GB, revamped to 32 GB
  • vSphere Desktop: Previously unlimited, remains unlimited

Balkansky says that in this new pricing environment, "hardly any customer" will be impacted by higher licensing costs when they upgrade to vSphere 5, and while short-lived spikes will slightly increase the one-year average, customers will not have to pay for them in perpetuity.

When it comes to licensing, everyone is never pleased, but judging by the tenor of comments following Balkansky's blog, a lot of formerly disgruntled users are now onboard with the new plan, and VMware deserves credit for being at least pragmatic at a time when the company wants to accelerate adoption of its cloud computing vision, rather than bogging it down in further controversy.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 08/04/2011 at 12:48 PM2 comments

Bramfitt Says VMware View, Citrix XenDesktop Both Winners

Simon Bramfitt, founder and principal analyst for Entelechy Associates LLC, has a restless mind, so he spent a few months talking to engineers and architects from some 194 different companies--in 16 countries, no less--who are responsible for a grand total of 1.4 million endpoints. Wisely, before he forgets any of the high points, he is gathering up all that data with the goal of putting it into a report he expects to release in August.

So what did he find? Without spilling too many beans, he reveals that VMware View outsells Citrix XenDesktop in VDI environments with fewer than 500 seats. (Note: this was before Citrix acquired Kaviza.) Conversely, XenDesktop is "a clear winner" in large environments.

"In the sub-500 category, respondents indicated that lower cost, familiarity with vSphere and View's relative ease of setup were the primary factors in the decision to go with View," Simon states, adding "Organizations that chose XenDesktop offered platform flexibility, performance and experience with XenApp as leading factors in their decisions."

When it comes to turnoffs, he reports that the strongest negative factors reported by sub-500-seat respondents regardless of platform choice were "the high cost of storage and overall complexity of VDI solutions."

Bramfitt also addressed the issue of why respondents chose a server-hosted desktop virtualization solution over a distributed desktop virtualization package. What he found was that data security, lack of guidance and general lack of awareness of options were the primary reasons.

A couple more data nuggets: During the past nine months, there has been a flip-flop in the number of respondents (27 percent) saying they would consider "widespread use" of distributed desktop virtualization, or not consider it at all (42 percent). Now, more than 50 percent said yes, they expect to employ distributed desktop virtualization "as their primary desktop management solution by 2013," while under 10 percent ruled out that possibility.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 08/02/2011 at 12:48 PM1 comments

Auto-Tiering Optimizes Storage Infrastructures

Datacore wants to save you money and make your life less complex, and they want to do it with auto-tiering, which, when added to Datacore's SANsymphony-V storage virtualization software, allows enterprises to make sure their most critical data is stored in high-performing resources such as SSDs, while less important data is kept on less expensive disks.

The money-saving part comes into play when users go shopping for vendors and systems, because even if disparate systems don't support auto-tiering, and even if their data hasn't been stored previously, they can be integrated into intelligent storage infrastructures, eliminating vendor lockin.

There is more money to be saved through the use of advanced caching technology, which enhances low-end device performance, minimizing the use of costly SSDs in many high-performance environments.

As DataCore puts it, "The new option for DataCore's comprehensive SANsymphony-V product relocates disk blocks among pools of different storage devices, keeping the most demanding workloads operating at peak speeds. Less critical and infrequently accessed disk blocks naturally gravitate towards lower-cost disks."

Auto-tiering is included free for SANsymphony-V node licenses supporting over 100TB, or can be optionally added for the midrange of SANsymphony's product line for $2,000 per DataCore node.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 07/28/2011 at 12:48 PM2 comments

Veeam Takes Virtualization Pulse with V-Index

The ever-helpful Veeam loves a good survey and it recently took the wraps off V-Index, which will consist of quarterly reports on the virtualization penetration rate in the U.K., France, Germany and the U.S. The first V-Index offering reports that the current average V-Index Penetration Rate is 39.4 percent, which means that 39.4 percent of all servers within the 544 large enterprises surveyed were virtual. Of the 544 companies, 500--91.9 percent--were using virtualization.

The current rates by country: U.K.: 35.7 percent, France: 45.5 percent, Germany: 45.1 percent, and the U.S.:37.2 percent.

V-index is an online virtualization industry study performed by Vanson Bourne, an independent market research company. It is designed to measure three parameters: virtualization rate, consolidation ratio and primary hypervisor in use. The virtualization consolidation ratio is based on the virtual server to physical server consolidation ratio. The current average among all countries is 6.3.

Specifically, 91.9 percent of all enterprises said they are using virtualization "to some degree," which would be interesting to break down by application. Among the virtualization users, 84 percent are using VMware, 61 percent are using Hyper-V, and 55.4 percent are using Citrix Xen, while 12 percent use another hypervisor. Again, it would be interesting to see that 12 percent broken out as well.

Regarding primary hypervisor usage, Veeam further notes that 58 percent of all enterprises use VMware as their primary hypervisor, 20.2 percent use Citrix Xen, 18.6 percent user Hyper-V and 3 percent use another hypervisor. As an aside, Veeam says it is possible that virtual desktop infrastructures were included, due to the server-based nature of the technology, "which in turn may have affected the reported statistics for primary hypervisor usage."

The site also has data on "barriers preventing increased virtualization penetration."

This is an interesting survey, but it would be nice if it was more granular. For more information, go to

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 07/26/2011 at 12:48 PM6 comments

Happy First Birthday, OpenStack

OpenStack turns one today, and some 350 supporters from all over Europe--including Hungary, Norway, France, Switzerland, Germany, Spain, and more--recently celebrated the occasion at EMEA OpenStack Day in London.

According to Lauren Sell, who runs PR for OpenStack, the meeting was something of a voyage of discovery. "Since it's an open source project, we never know who exactly is deploying the code, unless they are also Rackspace customers, or have been vocal in the community," she says. "At the event, we were able to meet organizations like Eduserv, a non-profit that is using OpenStack to deliver cloud infrastructure to universities in the UK."

One of the panel discussions at the event covered emerging OpenStack distributions, and included participation by Citrix--which announced its OpenStack-compatible Project Olympus in May--Canonical, which announced they would support OpenStack in the October UEC release, and Stackops, a startup from Madrid, who Sell says has already has 3,000 installations of their OpenStack distro product. Another session at the gathering discussed the OpenStack ecosystem, and featured representatives from Dell, Equinix, Citrix and RightScale.

With more than 50 companies signed up during its first year, OpenStack is only going to gain more popularity and power across the cloud community. Rackspace is clearly dedicated to making the technology as user-friendly as possible, and has indicated that it will do whatever is possible to make this project a big success.

As long as all the members leave their egos and marketing plans at the door, OpenStack is on its way to great things.

Posted by Bruce Hoard on 07/19/2011 at 12:48 PM1 comments