Virtualization Short Take #13

Here’s the latest installation of Virtualization Short Takes, my occasionally-weekly view on various virtualization news, reviews, and other happenings. Hopefully I can share something interesting with you!

  • Via VMblog.com, I saw that Transitive Corporation is supporting the use of QuickTransit within Hyper-V virtual machines. This is interesting because it extends the ability of Hyper-V to help customers consolidate applications. QuickTransit, in case you aren’t aware, allows applications written for Solaris/SPARC environments to run in Linux/x86 environments. It was also the technology behind Apple’s Rosetta, which allowed Mac users to run PowerPC apps on Intel Macs. Does anyone know if QuickTransit is supported within VMware VMs, or is this specific to Hyper-V?
  • This one was quite interesting to me. Question #2 is particularly applicable: why is a reboot required, anyway? (Yes, yes, I know—there is a workaround that does not require a reboot. It’s the principle of the matter.)
  • Via various sources on the Internet, I learned about the release of ESX Manager. This looks like quite an interesting tool, although I have not yet had the opportunity to install or try it yet. Anyone out there tried this and have some feedback for us?
  • Every now and then, something comes up about Citrix XenServer and Xen and it makes me wonder about the relationship between Citrix and the open source Xen community. The latest thing is what appears to be an offhand comment by Simon Crosby of Citrix where he says, “Because we own the hypervisor, we can do much more integration and development around it” (read it in context here). What does that mean? What does “ownership” of the Xen hypervisor mean? And if the Xen hypervisor is licensed under an open source license (GNU GPL v2, according to this page), how can Citrix make proprietary extensions to the hypervisor without being forced to release those extensions back to the community? I guess I just don’t understand the relationship there and how it works. This is where the murky waters of a commercial entity “owning” an open source project come into play, in my mind.
  • I ran across this very useful tip for creating a vSwitch with a specific number of ports. It looks like Dwight Hubbard, the maintainer of the site, also has some other interesting posts. Might be worth adding his feed to your RSS reader.
  • Nick Triantos discusses NetApp’s Site Recovery Adapter (SRA) and its role with VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM). Anyone have any links to similar discussions of the SRAs for other storage vendors?
  • John Howard provides a great breakdown of how Hyper-V generates dynamic MAC addresses and how Hyper-V attempts to protect against MAC collisions in some circumstances.
  • The VI3 Security Hardening Guide has been updated, which is good because some people felt it just didn’t go far enough.
  • VMware re-iterated their stance on being storage protocol agnostic, and in the article included a very useful table that summarizes the various products and technologies and which are supported with which storage protocols. While the rest of the post is helpful, that summary of supported features is probably the most helpful.
  • Interesting in trying out Hyper-V, but don’t have shared storage? Take a look at this blog post. I think you’ll find it helpful.

I’m always on the lookout for other interesting or useful virtualization news, tips, and tricks, so feel free to share with me and other readers in the comments.

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5 comments

  1. Gene’s avatar

    Transitive has a VMware Certified virtual appliance for QuickTransit:

    http://www.vmware.com/appliances/directory/1198

  2. mlambert’s avatar

    Here’s some I found interesting so far this week.

    QLogic tested 8Gbit IOPS through a hyper-v resulting in what they claimed to be a “New Standard for Server Virtualization Efficiency”

    http://ir.qlogic.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=85695&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1169854&highlight=

    This guy Chris Wolf and his friend did a deep dive on it, turning 200,000 IOPS into 9,142:

    http://www.chriswolf.com/?p=170

    ..and a guy responded with a real world bench from VMware that I somehow missed:

    http://blogs.vmware.com/performance/2008/05/100000-io-opera.html

    OnStor released some new numbers on their 3rd gen “Cougar”:

    http://www.networkworld.com/news/2008/071508-onstor-nas-gateway.html

    When I think cougar, I don’t think NAS. New naming convention please OnStor.

  3. Jason Boche’s avatar

    When specifying the number of ports with esxcfg-vswitch, you must offset (advance) the number of ports in the script by 8 to match the desired value in the pulldown box in the Virtual Infrastructure Client network configuration of a host’s vswitch. The possible values in the pulldown box are 8, 24, 56, 120, 248, 504, and 1016. So, applying this 8 port offset advancement, here’s a sample script:

    esxcfg-vswitch -a vm_switch:128 #creates a vswitch with 120 ports

    Not matching a possible value in the VIC will result in the pulldown box being blank showing no value.

    Jas

  4. Wayne’s avatar

    I downloaded ESX manager and fired it up. It wants root ssh access to the ESX servers. That ends my testing. It’s disappointing that the tools which looked quite interesting requires security to be lowered. I’m no expert but since it appears to be using ssh, why not connect as a non-privledged user and use sudo in the commands?

    Wayne

  5. Peace Quin’s avatar

    Give a look into MokaFive’s LivePCs also. MokaFive gives users the freedom to work on any hardware, any OS, and from anywhere.

    You may check the technology at their website:
    http://www.mokafive.com/

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