Virtual Machines

Virtual Computer in Your Pocket

And by in your pocket, I mean your handy dandy USB drive. VMware has released a public beta test of their ACE 2 Enterprise Edition which includes the VMware Pocket ACE, which allows you to create and distribute virtual machines that can run from your USB drive.

This tool, dubbed VMware Pocket ACE, allows users to store any number of virtual machine images on USB drives then run the images directly from the drive simply by plugging it into a free port on any available computer. The virtual machine images include a free version of VMware Workstation 6.0, which is automatically installed and started when the machine image (which is distributed in the form of standard Windows installer files) is run.

The Windows version comes in at a hefty 273MB download. Preconfigured VMware ACE appliances for Windows 2003, Red Hat Linux, and SUSE Linux are also available to download, the latter two in .rpm binary formats. Also available is a 39MB download for the VMware ACE Management Server application. With this package, administrators can tightly control how the ACE virtual machine images are used. Images can be managed from central server, and configured to be available only to certain users, limit the use of virtual ports and devices, encrypt the entire image for security, and even specify expiry dates for the images. Source: VMware puts a virtual machine in your pocket

This looks pretty cool, I may have to sign up and try this puppy out, I can see many uses for something like this if you work and take care of a large department of employees. Then I could create a virtual machine which I could carry with me to login anywhere, without having to use roaming profiles, which could include all of the programs I need to do my job. Where is the signup button?

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - March 6, 2007 at 10:15 pm

Categories: Virtual Machines   Tags:

Microsoft Virtualization Technologies

Here is a good use for a new technology, virtual machines. Using virtual machines you can quickly evaluate software in minutes by downloading the virtual hard disks that are preconfigured and be setup in no time because there is no need for specialized servers or complex installations. The Microsoft VHD format is a common virtualization format that provides uniform product support systems, and provides more seamless manageability, security, reliability and cost-efficiency for customers.

Microsoft is among the leaders in developing a new generation of IT infrastructure technology and tools, such as server virtualization, application virtualization and virtualization management tools, to help customers increase agility while lowering costs.

At VMworld 2006, Microsoft is making available their new virtual hard disk (VHD) Test Drive Program, which allows customers to confidently evaluate enterprise software from Microsoft and its software partners in a fraction of the time. In addition, Microsoft will have booth demonstrations of its application virtualization, server virtualization and virtualization management tools.

This program enables Microsoft and its partners to distribute their enterprise software and applications within a virtual machine so that IT professionals can confidently and quickly evaluate Windows Server-based software. A similar program for Windows Vista will be available in the first quarter of 2007.

These virtual machines, which are provided in Microsoft’s virtual hard disk image format, are pre-built and pre-configured so that they can be downloaded or distributed for easy setup and evaluation. This allows customers to evaluate software in a fraction of the time it usually takes, such as setting up SQL Server 2005 in minutes instead of hours. Source: Microsoft

Microsoft expects more than 20 partners to distribute their software via the VHD Test Drive Program later this quarter, including Altiris, BEA Systems, Check Point, Citrix, CommVault, Dell, FullArmor, HP, Network Appliance, Platespin, Portlock, Quest Software, SourceCode Technology Holdings, Symantec and UGS.

Virtualization is an important part of the Dynamic Systems Initiative (DSI) commitment from Microsoft. The goal of DSI is to deliver self-managing dynamic systems to help IT teams capture and use knowledge to design more manageable systems and automate ongoing operations, resulting in reduced costs and more time to proactively focus on what is most important to the organization. Sounds good in theory and should definitely make software testing and deployment much easier.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - November 7, 2006 at 4:43 am

Categories: Microsoft News, Virtual Machines   Tags: , , , , , ,

Microsoft and Novell Sitting in a Tree….

Looks like Microsoft is starting to get the idea, work with companies and maybe you can make more money than trying to put them out of business. Microsoft and Novell have signed an agreement that will allow open source Linux, in this case Suse, to work with Microsoft software. They plan on developing a joint research facility to test and develop interoperable solutions, such as virtualization, where they can run virtualized Windows on Suse Linux and vice versa, they will work together to make it easier to manage mixed environments, and Novell will support the development of translators to help OpenOffice users benefit from Microsoft’s Open XML file format.

Microsoft will distribute coupons for SUSE Linux Enterprise Server maintenance and support, so that customers can benefit from the use of an interoperable version of Linux with patent coverage, as well as the collaborative work between the two companies. Although, I saw it mentioned on some blogs that they will still try to kill each other in the market place, but they will listen more when their customers tell them they want both.

Under the technical collaboration agreement, the companies will create a joint research facility and pursue new software solutions for virtualization, management and document format compatibility. These are potentially huge markets IDC projects the overall market for virtual machine software revenue to be more than $1.8 billion by 2009, and the overall market for distributed system management software to be $10.2 billion by 2010 and the companies believe their investment in interoperability will make their respective products more attractive to customers.

Under the patent cooperation agreement, both companies will make upfront payments in exchange for a release from any potential liability for use of each other’s patented intellectual property, with a net balancing payment from Microsoft to Novell reflecting the larger applicable volume of Microsoft’s product shipments. Novell will also make running royalty payments based on a percentage of its revenues from open source products.

Under the business collaboration agreement, the companies will pursue a variety of joint marketing activities to promote the adoption of the technologies they are collaborating on. In addition, Microsoft will purchase a quantity of coupons from Novell that entitle the recipient to a one-year subscription for maintenance and updates to SUSE Linux Enterprise Server. Microsoft will annually make available approximately 70,000 of these coupons to customers, with a mix of priority and standard support services. By providing its customers with these coupons, Microsoft is enabling companies to benefit from the use of the new software solutions developed through the collaborative research effort, as well as a version of Linux that is covered with respect to Microsoft?s intellectual property rights. Source: Microsoft

Todd Bishop at his Microsoft Blog noticed in the agreement that Novell will be making running royalty payments to Microsoft based on a percentage of its revenues from open source projects. In return, Microsoft will promote Novell’s Suse Linux to customers who decide to got he open source route.

A web cast will be available here.

The Wall Street Journal had this to say,

Microsoft has at times spooked the Linux community with statements that stressed it indemnifies Windows customers against claims of patent infringement. Some people in the open-source community regarded those statements as thinly veiled threats that it would eventually file patent-infringement suits against Linux users.

Microsoft’s move to embrace only Novell’s software could be seen by skeptics as a move to divide the Linux community. “There is bound to be some animus, just because of who Microsoft is,” said Daniel Ravicher, legal director of the Software Freedom Law Center, a public-service law firm that represents open-source developers. Source: WSJ

You can bet whatever the deal is, it will benefit Microsoft more than Novell.

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - November 3, 2006 at 12:17 pm

Categories: Microsoft News, Novell, Virtual Machines   Tags: , , ,

Virtual PC 2007 Now Available for Download

Microsoft announced Wednesday that Virtual PC beta 2007 is now available for download from connect.microsoft.com, it is free and is optimized to run Windows Vista as both host and guest in the Virtual PC environment. They said it has improved performance and support for hardware virtualization technologies from Intel and AMD. If you were afraid to try out Windows Vista, because it’s a beta and you don’t want to trash your machine, then this is the perfect opportunity to give it a test drive. Running Windows Vista in a virtual environment leaves your PC exactly the way it was, it just allows you to run another operating system inside of it, a window in a window, so to speak.

  • Support for hardware virtualization (Intel and AMD)
  • Support for Windows Vista as a host operating system
  • Support for Windows Vista as a guest operating system
  • Note: No support for Aero Glass though – just Aero Basic
  • Support for 64-bit host operating systems Note: Virtual machines are 32-bit only
  • Improved performance

There are also a plethora of bug fixes. Some notable ones include:

  • Lots of work to allow Virtual PC to play better with laptop power management
  • Fix for IntelPPM issue (http://blogs.msdn.com/virtual_pc_guy/archive/2005/10/24/484461.aspx)
  • Virtual PC now supports greater than 2.2GB ISO images

Source: Virtual PC Guy’s WebLog

You can also run Virtual PC 2007 under Windows Vista and run Windows XP or an older operating system inside of it, if you have that one program that won’t run under Windows Vista or has a problem. They posted instructions on how to install Windows Vista or Windows XP in a virtual machine here. They did note that you should not judge Windows Vista on how it runs in Virtual PC,

Note: VPC is a great way to experiment with some of the functionality of Windows Vista. But it should not be used to judge the full experience of Windows Vista as some features virtualize better than others. For example, performance of any operating system will typically not be as high in a virtual environment as it would be when running natively. Also note that while you can try out many of the great new features such as user account control, integrated search, the sidebar etc. virtualization technology is not yet suitable for use with 3D graphics so Aero Glass is not available and save the DirectX 10 gaming to your physical PC.

I’m downloading it now, see how it compares to VMWare, whenever I get time….

Be the first to comment - What do you think?  Posted by Jimmy Daniels - October 13, 2006 at 11:44 am

Categories: Virtual Machines, Windows Vista   Tags: , , ,