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virtual appliance

VMware Studio 2.0 and OVF Exports: Blurred Products or Outside The Box Thinking?

VMware has recently announced the public availability of the VMware Studio 2.0 Beta, a tool to create virtual appliances and distribute them in OVF format, and today’s VMTN Roundtable Podcast provided a lot of discussion about the possible scenarios for using this new version. I’m still struggling to get my mind around the potential of Studio 2.0, but I did come away from today’s podcast with a few ideas that make me think I have either blurred the functions of several existing products or I have suddenly realized there may be some great “outside the box” use case scenarios for this new VMware software.

Before continuing, it is most clear that VMware Studio’s designed intent is for ISVs and developers to package their applications as preconfigured, ready to import virtual appliances. Now with version 2.0 even multi tiered applications can be wrapped up as a vApp in vSphere and exported as an OVF containing several VMs and then imported by any VMware virtualization host (free, hosted, or bare metal). If you are not already familiar with VMware Studio check out the Studio 2.0 Beta Overview web page for a complete listing of features, but the primary topic of interest (to me and the others on today’s podcast) seems to be centered around how enterprises can leverage VMware Studio, vApps, and OVF templates.

This is where the lines get blurry to me, and I’ll outline potential Studio / OVF usage that may be “outside of the box” from the VMware software’s intended purpose. Or is it? You tell me. Continue reading

Cloud computing is like a taxi with a virtualization engine

Cloud Computing in Plain English is a 4:51 long video from rPath that gives a great overview of Cloud Computing and how virtualization plays a  key role enabling all size businesses to take advantage of utility computing and software as a service (SaaS). The video is lite and humorous, and does a good job comparing traditional software to a luxury car, SaaS as a leased vehicle, and then Cloud Computing as a taxi.

Watch the video to hear how virtualization is the engine of the Cloud Computing taxi, and virtual appliances are the fuel for that engine.

I first heard about the video from Benard Golden’s CIO.com article titled after the video.

rPath is self described on their web site as

“the company that is pioneering the virtual appliance approach for application distribution and management.”


rPath also provides more information about their product offerings that help enable the Cloud Computing strategy.

“rBuilder and the rPath Lifecycle Management Platform automate the creation, configuration, management and maintenance of application images for virtualized and cloud computing environments. By producing application images that are optimized for any hypervisor, rPath frees the application from the underlying hardware, and enables a better model for development, deployment and support.”

Managing ESX in a COS-less World #TA2659

This post is a summary of notes from the 1:30 pm VMworld 2008 session titled Managing ESX in a COS-less World. The discussion was about various options for managing ESXi without the Service Console OS (COS). The session was hosted by members of the ESXi team and contained forward looking statements about possible future directions. As always, the disclaimer was discussed with the audience before the presentation began. (Do I need to keep explaining this? Probably the safe thing to do.)

Scott Lowe apparently was in the same session so check his
TA2659: Managing ESX in a COS-less World post for a lot of additional information besides what I have recorded here.  Scott, my 3 finger “peck typing” doesn’t compare to your keyboard skills!

One of the first things mentioned was that the next major release of ESX/ESXi would be the last release of the two products together. I guess this means that ESXi kernel development will be independent of the ESX versions that provide the VDC-OS. We were told ESXi will continue without the COS and that ESX would include a stripped down COS.

There are several reasons VMware needed to remove the COS from ESX. Continue reading

Oracle VM templates announced – includes Oracle Database 11g

Earlier this week at LinuxWorld in San Francisco Oracle announced 4 new template virtual machines for it’s own Oracle VM virtualization platform. This initial set of VM appliances includes:

  • Oracle Enterprise Linux
  • Oracle Database 11g
  • Oracle Enterprise Manager
  • Siebel CRM version 8

In a Betanews.com article titled Oracle boosts its own Linux with ‘templates’ to aid virtualization
the following additional information was reported:

‘These templates will save time and money for customers in deploying a full software stack by providing pre-configured images of enterprise software, said Monica Kumar, Oracle’s senior director of Linux and open source product marketing, in an interview with BetaNews.”

[omitted]

Oracle also plans additional VM templates, but the company hasn’t decided yet whether VM will use any OS other than Oracle Linux as the underlying virtualization platform, or whether templates will be offered for other OS, Kumar said. “Right now, we’re just focusing on Oracle Enterprise Linux,” BetaNews was told.”

I do find the existence of pre-installed, pre-configured and vendor certified virtual appliances / templates appealing as both Continue reading

veeDee-Eyes provides pre-built Linux VMs for Virtualbox

Download pre-built, complete Linux virtual machines for Sun xVM Virtualbox from veeDee-Eyes.com. More from the web site:

“About:
veeDee-Eyes.com was created to provide users with complete, functional Open Source Virtual Computers.
We download the distribution ISOs. Try and follow the installation instructions. We attempt to install the VirtualBox Guest Additions. VirtualBox VDIs that have the Guest Additions installed are noted on the VDI page.

Build Notes:
Unless noted in the “Build Notes” there are

  • No additional packages added.
  • No update performed.
  • Only default options are used when ever possible

The goal is to create a CLEAN virtual computer. You get exactly what the creators of the “Operating System” designed in a STANDARD installation. From there you can make it your own.”

To use these VDI files you just need to do the following: Continue reading

VKernel explains How to Chargeback for Virtualization

I posted a while back about VKernel’s Alex Bakman and his whitepaper on preventing performance bottlenecks on your ESX hosts. This time I am posting about another topic inspired by Alex dealing with how to chargeback for virtualization. More and more companies are beginning to talk about chargeback in virtual data centers, but many struggle with coming up with a formula for actually implementing such a model. VKernel has a great solution for this and provides for download both a free Excel calculator and a complete virtual appliance. I provide a little more information on both of these Vkernel solutions in the rest of this post.
Continue reading

Virtualization Roundtable Podcast from VMTN

John Troyer from VMTN has hosted the first podcast episode of VMware Communities Roundtable and has posted a summary of the call notes at VMware Communities Roundtable podcast #1 | VMTN Blog. I am honored to have one of my “things that make you go hmmmm” (on the Quick Migration vs VMotion discussion) posts listed as a reference for one of the topics of the episode.

John announces the new series and the objective of the Roundtable podcasts with the following summary:

“Each week, we’ll bring together experts and leaders from the VMware Communities and virtualization blogs to discuss the interesting topics in virtualization. Think of this as if it were a group meeting up at VMworld over a pint to chat about the latest news.”

The episode lasts somewhere between 50 minutes to an hour and is a recorded call between John and an attendee list consisting of some of the virtualization community’s top minds from all over the world. VMware Community profiles of the individuals contributing to episode 1 are:

Go to John’s VMTN post to listen or download the podcast, but the following is my quick summary and take-aways from the call. Continue reading

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