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Rainbow cloud

Cross? Us? Nah, we're just going hard on hybrids, says VMware

VMware's forthcoming “Cross-Cloud Architecture” will be its big effort to manage workloads and resources across any on-premises or cloudy stack. But it's not due to debut for a month or three and when it lands will embrace Virtzilla vRealize range of management and orchestration products. And as it happens that range has just …
Simon Sharwood, 07 Jun 2017
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Xen warns of nine embargo-worthy bugs

The Xen Project has announced nine – as in 3^2 – embargo-worthy bugs. Details of the problems, with fixes for all, will be revealed on June 20. Xen's security policy sees it announce the existence of bugs two weeks before it releases patches to the world. But detailed news of the bugs is revealed to big Xen users, which makes …
Simon Sharwood, 06 Jun 2017

The Linux cloud swap that spells trouble for Microsoft and VMware

Just occasionally, you get it right. Six years ago, I called containers "every sysadmin's dream," and look at them now. Even the Linux Foundation's annual bash has been renamed from "LinuxCon + CloudOpen + Embedded Linux Conference" to "LinuxCon + ContainerCon". Why? Because since virtualization has been enterprise IT's …
Liam Proven, 01 Jun 2017
Homer Simpson virtual machine superhero

SpaceX spin-out plans to put virtual machines in orbit

Virtualization admins asked to explain what they do for a living may finally have something cooler than server consolidation to tell their kids, thanks to space upstart Vector deciding it's a good idea to create software-defined satellites that lift a hypervisor into orbit. Vector is building small rockets capable of lifting …
Simon Sharwood, 02 May 2017
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No middle ground, no compromise: VMware blocks Cisco's SDN play

VMware's recent decision to block third-party virtual switches on its platform could put a serious crimp in, among others, Cisco's plans for Software-Defined Networking (SDN). What does this move mean for customers who don't buy into VMware's NSX vision, but prefer the more hardware-centric SDN exemplified by Cisco's ACI? To …
Trevor Pott, 20 Apr 2017
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Release the hounds! Xen 4.9's first RC is out and wants testing

The Xen Project's wheeled out the first release candidate of Xen 4.9 and reckons it will be ready to launch in the first week of June 2017. Release candidate 1 of the new version emerged last Thursday and the release schedule calls for successors to follow on April 21st, April 28th, May 5th and May 12th. Test days for each …
Simon Sharwood, 19 Apr 2017

vCenter's phone-home 'customer improvement' feature opened remote code execution hole

Ever worried that software phoning home application performance data so vendors can learn from real-world users might become an attack vector? If so, your nightmare just came true: VMware's vCenter has just that problem, thanks to its use of the Adobe-derived open source BlazeDS messaging tool to process messages. VMware's …
Simon Sharwood, 18 Apr 2017
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Code-sharing leads to widespread bug sharing that black-hats can track

Developers' enthusiasm for sharing code saves their colleagues' time, but also means they share security bugs they haven't noticed. And that means a smart attacker could follow who's shared what with whom to trawl the Web for vulnerabilities. That sobering idea comes from a group of German researchers with help from Trend …
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Hypervisor kid Jeff Ready: Converged to the core, and NO VMware

Profile Scale Computing CEO Jeff Ready reckons its hyperconverged HC3 software is better than anyone else's because it's integrated into the hypervisor's core and not just another VM. Ready briefed El Reg at a March meeting in London. Scale's HC3 product does not use VMware, being centred on KVM instead. Because storage access is …
Chris Mellor, 13 Apr 2017
cloud

VMware to end support for third-party virtual switches

UPDATE VMware's let vSphere users know that it will end support for third-party virtual switches. Virtual switches let you handle traffic generated by virtual machines. They've been a part of vSphere for years, because it just makes sense to have a virtual switch connect VMs rather than send traffic out of a host, into a physical …
Simon Sharwood, 31 Mar 2017
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UKFast opens trapdoor under prices, thumbs nose at AWS

Cloudy British hosting biz UKFast has dropped its prices for cloudy Openstack hosting, it says, taking a pop at AWS as it does so. The price drop is for UKFast’s eCloud Flex platform, and the company says it has cut its prices by up to 44 per cent. A variety of discounts are available for bulk purchases, including 30 per cent …
Gareth Corfield, 30 Mar 2017
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VMware, Citrix to have a crack at desktops on docked smartphones

VMware's going to have a crack at delivering desktops through smartphones. The new Samsung Galaxy S8, launched today, features new software called “DeX” that, when the phone is plugged into a dock of the same name, allows the phone to connect to mouse, keyboard and monitor. When the phone is docked, DeX can also offer what The …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Mar 2017
Quick fix - worker running while carrying a wrench

It's ESXi time for critical VMware patches

VMware's reported three bugs that probably deserve your urgent attention. The three are lumped under bulletin VMSA-2017-0006, but there's four CVE's to consider. The first bug is a heap buffer overflow and uninitialized stack memory usage in SVGA that impacts VMware's ESXi, Workstation and Fusion products. “These issues may …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Mar 2017
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Citrix reveals full Xen combo will be cheaper than Xen lite for Azure

Citrix has revealed a little more about XenApp Essentials, its replacement for the Azure Remoteapp application publishing service that Microsoft killed off last year. We wrote about this product just yesterday, because its sibling XenDesktop essentials appeared unheralded. XenApp Essentials had been promised for delivery in …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Mar 2017
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It's patchin' time for devs using Virtzilla's desktop hypervisors

Time to patch your desktop hypervisors, folks: VMware Workstation and Fusion have a pair of problems apiece. The first landed last week in the form of a merely “important” patch for Workstation that fixed a problem whereby loading a .DLL could escalate privileges. Updating to version 12.5.3 sorted that one out. But you may …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Mar 2017
Cisco_UCS_B200_ and_HX_products

Cisco brags of industry-best hyperconverged performance

Cisco's HyperFlex hyperconverged products can support more than twice the number of VMs than other HCI systems while maintaining high performance, according to tests by ESG [PDF]. ESG testing used HCIBench, using Oracle's Vdbench tool, with the HCI products running virtual machines. It tells us the extensive testing "was …
Chris Mellor, 07 Mar 2017

VMware bumps certification exam prices, one by $2700

Updated VMware's bumped up the price of its certification exams, with the price of the MBA-grade VCDX certification more than tripling. The cost of sitting for the VMware Certified Associate has risen from US$120 to $150. A VMware Certified Professional will now cost you $250, up from $225 and the VMware Certified Advanced …
Simon Sharwood, 03 Mar 2017

vSphere user? You need to care about VMware's telco plans for a bit

VMware has launched the second version of its Network Function Virtualization suite as it hopes to convince telcos to go down the same software-defined route its offered other data centres. And in so doing the company is infusing its core products with telco-grade features it thinks will be widely applicable. Like just about …
Simon Sharwood, 01 Mar 2017
Homer Simpson virtual machine superhero

Citrix releases first ever XenServer Long Term Service Release

Updates to commercial hypervisors are like buses: none for ages and then two come along at once! How else can we explain that late last week XenServer 7.1 and ESXi 6.0 Update 3 both landed late last week? Citrix first, because while XenServer 7.1 sounds like nothing notable it is in fact the company's first ever Long Term …
Simon Sharwood, 27 Feb 2017

DraaS-tic times call for DraaS-tic measures in VMware's cloud

Disaster-recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) is an obvious service to run in the cloud, as the business of operating secondary sites is costly and complex. Which is why Microsoft's offered Azure Site Recovery, including for VMware users, and why and data protection vendors such as Zerto have happily stretched to the cloud. And now …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Feb 2017
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Xen Project wants permission to reveal fewer vulnerabilities

Poll The Xen Project is asking if it can disclose fewer bugs. “Issuing advisories has a cost,” the project's George Dunlap writes. “It costs the security team significant amounts of time to craft and send the advisories; it costs many of our downstreams time to apply, build, and test patches; and it costs many of our users time to …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Feb 2017
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It's over? Pat Gelsinger's post vSphere VMware NSX-T opportunity

Sysadmin Blog VMware has recently announced its financial results for 2016, and for a company that's not just satured but that leads the VM market, it had a very good year. Some of this is attributed to accepting that VMware can't beat AWS, so it might as well join them. But VMware's NSX Network Virtualization arguably led the way, doubling …
Trevor Pott, 14 Feb 2017
Bitdefender and Citrix's hypervisor introspection in action

Citrix, Bitdefender in Xen-only virtual security double-team

Citrix and Bitdefender have revealed a security tool that runs inside the hypervisor – in this case, Citrix's own XenServer – to detect advanced persistent threats running in guest VMs. The tool pulls off this trick by inspecting the state of memory used by guest VMs. If the “Hypervisor Introspection” (HVI) tool sees telltale …
Simon Sharwood, 10 Feb 2017
Migrating birds in the cloud

Big Switch emits next iteration of its fabric

Big Switch Networks has peeled back the veil over its Big Cloud Fabric 4.0, revealing broader VMware support, multi-container networking, and scale-up to 128 leaf switches. Support for VMware comes via plug-ins for vSAN, vCloud NFV (network function virtualization), and a vRealise Log Insight Content Pack. Product management …
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Google Cloud kicked QEMU to the kerb to harden KVM

Google has revealed how it hardened the open source KVM hypervisor to run in its cloud. Removing the QEMU hardware emulation tool looks to be a big part of its efforts. Google Cloud's technical lead manager Andy Honig and senior product manager Nelly Porter write that the company decided it needed to develop its own …
Simon Sharwood, 30 Jan 2017
The Batmobile

Veeam vaunts its va-va-voom as 2016 revenues unveiled

It's news but kind of expected: Veeam has seen almost 30 per cent year-on-year growth in its final 2016 quarter, and full-year revenues of $607.4m. The stats keep on coming: 230,000 customers worldwide: Veeam added close to 50,000 total paid customers in 2016, keeping pace with the historical average of approximately 4,000 …
Chris Mellor, 17 Jan 2017

Power Systems running IBM's VIOS virtualisation need a patch and reboot

IBM on Saturday slipped out news of a nasty bug in its VIOS, its Virtual I/O Server that offers virtualisation services on Power Systems under AIX. Issue IV91339 strikes when moving virtual machines and means “there is a very small timing window where the VIOS may report to the client LPAR that some I/Os have completed before …
Simon Sharwood, 17 Jan 2017
The new quick VM create tool in Windows 10

Windows 10 memory management changes to give Hyper-V more headroom

The Register's virtualization desk is back from holidays, just in time to report changes to desktop Hyper-V before they go completely stale. Desktop Hyper-V is a Windows 10 feature that offers users the chance to create and run virtual machines on the Windows desktop, a task for which plenty instead turn to Oracle's free …
Simon Sharwood, 16 Jan 2017
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Citrix buys Unidesk for massive Microsoft Windows rollouts

Citrix is updating its decades-old relationship with Microsoft, targeting Windows 10 and the cloud. The company has announced its acquisition of Unidesk – founded in 2007 and inventor of what it calls layering - to streamline corporate rollouts of virtual Windows applications at scale. Layering is a container that wraps up …
Gavin Clarke, 10 Jan 2017
Microsoft Flight

Flight simulator sets fire to airport

A flight simulator turned into a real life hazard of its own, after it caught fire and caused €16m (£13.6m) in damage at Frankfurt airport. The virtual reality machine, intended to help pilots practise their response to emergencies, burst into flames in a building owned by airline Condor on Thursday. Some 200 people were …
Kat Hall, 30 Dec 2016
Swiss army knife in cloud

Virtualisation got boring in 2016, but the fun's about to start anew

END-OF-YEAR ROUND UP 2016 was a year in which virtualisation became so mainstream, so expected, so accepted that it started to look like a moribund market. But virtualisation's really only just getting started because storage virtualisation, network virtualisation and network function virtualisation are just getting started, while other uses for …
Simon Sharwood, 22 Dec 2016
Vmware cloud logo

Seriously, VMware? Two bugs in the week before Christmas?

Bah humbug! VMware's just revealed two nasty bugs that it recommends you fix at your earliest convenience. VMSA-2016-0024 is rated critical because vSphere Data Protection (VDP) turns out to contain “a private SSH key with a known password that is configured to allow key-based authentication.” And what can an attacker do with …
Simon Sharwood, 21 Dec 2016
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Qualcomm joins Xen Project Advisory Board

Qualcomm has joined the Xen Project's Advisory Board, the group of companies “committed to the market and technical success of the Xen Project” and who “provide financial support, technical contributions, and set high-level policy decisions.” And it's done so “to accelerate ARM-server and hyperscale cloud development, …
Simon Sharwood, 20 Dec 2016
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Windows Server 2016's VM migration tools broken by a patch

Microsoft's had to hurry out a fix for a problem that breaks live VM migration. And it's a problem Redmond brought upon itself with an Update Rollup to System Center 2016 Virtual Machine Manager. Update Rollup 1 for that tool has the unintended side effect of making it impossible to migrate live VMs between different versions …
Simon Sharwood, 15 Dec 2016

VMware releases 'not cool, but very useful' integrated containers

VMware has released its long-touted vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC), the company's way of making vSphere a fine place to run containers. Plenty of pundits have suggested that containers stand a good chance of killing virtual machines, citing the former as lighter, faster and better-suited to building the kind of apps that …
Simon Sharwood, 12 Dec 2016
Vulnerability

AMD virty encryption not quite there, claim boffins

Updated A couple of German boffins have taken a good look at AMD's Secure Encrypted Virtualization (SEV), and don't like what they see. As AMD's Brijesh Singh explained to the Linux driver project mailing list in April, SEV extends the AMD-V architecture when multiple VMs are running under a hypervisor: “SEV hardware tags all code and …

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