Mental Ward

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Cool Stuff on the Floor

LAS VEGAS, Sept. 18 -- VMware 2008's almost a wrap, as attendees are hitting their final sessions, and vendors begin to pack up displays. I've had a great time here, learned a lot, and am ready to head home. I've spent a decent amount of time on the exhibit hall floor, and thought I'd share a smattering of interesting-looking products and companies I talked with here in Las Vegas.

Reflex Security, out of Atlanta, is a company we're reviewing in an upcoming issue. I found out something very interesting from CTO and founder Hezi Moore. Reflex was the very first virtual appliance for VMware. As in the first, ever. It's a crowded marketplace now, but Reflex was there first. Anyway, its virtual security appliance has obviously been around a long time (in virtualization-industry years). One of the cool things the appliance does is "revision control." What that means is that you can see previous versions of what your virtual infrastructure looked like. It's like a snapshot. It allows you to go back in time and see what changes have happened, and may allow you to pinpoint problems based on changes made. Very slick.

San Jose-based Bay Microsystems makes a hardware device that bridges geographically remote datacenters, allowing VMs to be migrated across those datacenters in an almost live fashion. Called Wide Area Virtualization, the solution can deliver throughput of 800MB per second over distances greather than 12,000 miles, according to the company's press release. It sounds much like the cloud computing initiative VMworld execs discussed this week, only it's available right now. There are obvious uses here in disaster recovery and host providers.

One area of virtualization you probably haven't considered is printing. Maybe you should, argues ThinPrint. If you've got a highly distributed environment, with users constantly on the move and using multiple devices, it makes sense to have virtualized printers. It makes for much easier for administrators to have centralized printer management. ThinPrint, headquartered in Berlin, Germany, offers a solution to a problem that many companies have but is often not a high priority.

Hyper9, which I've mentioned briefly once before, gave me a full demo at the show. What immediately struck me was the Google-like searchability. You use the window just like Google to find information about your VMs. Since you already know how to search like that, the learning curve should be pretty shallow. I'm told that Hyper9 will be commercially available in December, and that the company will provide a free version of the product, without any restrictions. That's good news for those of us who like free.

This, of course, is a tiny sample of the vendors on the floor. I was quite impressed with the variety and volume of vendors. A high percentage of the products are cutting-edge, and show the kind of ingenuity I often find among the virtualization crowd. I've been to many of Microsoft's TechEd shows, and I liked this exhibit floor more. So many wicked cool ideas, as my colleagues in Framingham, Mass., might say.

Posted by Keith Ward on 09/18/2008 at 12:48 PM


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