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Virtually Speaking: Vive VMworld

By Amy Newman (Send Email)
Posted Feb 27, 2008


It was only a matter of time, though the timing couldn't be worse. VMware's European show was filled with a host of announcements from the virtualization vendor and partners that center around security, automation, and hardware support and efficiency.

As VMworld Europe was about to take flight, a hat pin circled ever closer to the virtualization balloon as a vulnerability was found in its shared folder capabilities.

Oops.

Analysts have been predicting the puncture for pretty much as long as the technology has been gaining ground, so there's no surprise that it actually happened. Fortunately for VMware, this was a not a pop heard round the world, and patches were posted swiftly.

Still, it should serve as a harbinger for organizations that aren't all that diligent about security.

We can't say we're surprised at all. What we are surprised about, however, is the traction VMworld Europe has picked up. VMworld itself went from a vendor showcase to a industry must-attend event in seemingly record time and has grown into increasingly larger venues. In September the show is headed to Vegas, leaving behind the crowded Moscone Center in San Francisco. Rather than adding an East Coast counterpart, VMware opted for Europe, a market where virtualization lags behind the United States, though not markedly so. On Tuesday, VMworld Europe kicked off in Cannes, France.

Boasting 4,500 attendees and nearly 100 sponsors, VMworld Europe is far from a little sister of the U.S. show and is more akin to a twin. As such, a host of product announcements have been made, some of which are complementary to VMware, some from the vendor itself and some that seem unrelated until you realize the timing can't help but be coincidental. The timing of the show itself even works well for VMware, giving it a chance to steal some of the attention away from Microsoft's long-awaited Windows Server 2008 launch today. Interestingly, much of the news coming out of the show focuses on hardware. I/O virtualization solution provider Neterion, for example, released its third-generation X3100 Series adapter. The adapters eliminate much the I/O bottleneck by enabling multiple guest OSes of a virtual environment to share one physical adapter via the use of physically separate I/O channels. The new release is "the first I/O virtualization solution to come to market and play a role with virtualized apps," Neterion President and CEO Dave Zabrowski told ServerWatch. The company, together with IBM and HP has developed an I/O virtualization called, simply enough IOV.

VMware was also focused on the hardware, showcasing a number of partnerships forged with OEMs. Dell, Fujitsu Siemens Computers, HP and IBM will embed the VMware ESX 3i hypervisor into their hardware. The servers are expected to begin shipping within the next 60 days. Sun is also partnering with VMware. It will sell and support the VMware Infrastructure product suite on its hardware systems.

VMware as host of the show had a host of other announcements. For starters, VMware Lifecycle Manager, VMware Stage Manager and VMware Lab Manager all got the gold seal of approval. VMware also added a new product to its mix: VMware VMsafe, technology to protect applications running in virtual machines. Using VMsafe APIs, vendors can develop advanced security products to combat the latest generation of malware. VMsafe technology integrates into the VMware hypervisor and provides the transparency to prevent threats and attacks such as viruses, Trojans and keyloggers from reaching the virtual machine. At launch, 20 security vendors were already on board.

Amy Newman is the managing editor of ServerWatch. She has been following the virtualization space since 2001.

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