Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro specializing in virtualization, networking, open source, and cloud computing

Windows and OS X

There are lots of industry pundits out there proclaiming that the introduction of Boot Camp—Apple’s new beta application that simplifies and streamlines the installation of Windows XP (and presumably Windows Vista as well) on Intel-based Macs—is simply the first step in a complex scheme that will eventually culminate in something much bigger. I’m not so sure about that.

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Windows Server 2003 R2 Schema

I came across this little tidbit on the Microsoft public newsgroups for Windows Server 2003 R2. It concerns adding a Windows Server 2003 R2 domain controller to an existing Windows 2000-based Active Directory domain.

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Vista Failures

I’ll have to say, this one came as a bit of a surprise to me. Paul Thurrott, maintainer of the WinSuperSite and a longtime reporter of Microsoft and Windows (he’s the author of the WinInfo UPDATE newsletter that’s been out for years and years) has published an review of Windows Vista that outlines some of Vista’s significant failures. He speaks honestly about Vista and how it will not meet the expectations that Microsoft is setting for the product.

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File Screens in Windows Server 2003 R2

One nice feature I’ve discovered in Windows Server 2003 R2 is file screens. Now, finally, we have a way to make sure that users aren’t storing the wrong types of files on our file servers.

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Cisco Investing in File Virtualization

Virtualization isn’t just about partitioning server hardware so that multiple operating systems (or multiple instances of a single operating system) can run on a piece of hardware. Virtualization is about adding abstraction; that abstraction, in turn, offers flexibility. Case in point: Reports indicate that networking giant Cisco Systems will be investing in NeoPath Networks.

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Microsoft Virtual Server Management Tool Being Readied

According to CRN, Microsoft is readying a management tool for Microsoft Virtual Server. This tool would help fill a serious gap in Microsoft’s server virtualization lineup.

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VLANs and Port Groups

One topic that I had been very interested in exploring was the idea of VLAN tagging within ESX Server. ESX Server offers the ability to establish 802.1Q trunks with compatible switches so that 802.1Q tagged frames can be routed to appropriately configured “port groups” within ESX Server. This would allow a single physical host server to run virtual servers in multiple VLANs without requiring a separate physical connection for each VLAN.

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FreeNAS on ESX Server

As part of ongoing interoperability testing with ESX Server, I tested running FreeNAS (version 0.65) on ESX Server 2.5.3 today. Since FreeNAS is based on FreeBSD (which VMware states is a supported guest operating system for ESX Server), I didn’t really expect any major surprises. I was wrong.

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Open Virtual Disk Formats

VMware has announced that it is making its virtual machine disk (VMDK) format openly available, downloadable and free of charge. This introduction sets the stage for a battle for open virtual disk formats, with the major players being VMware and Microsoft.

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Mac OS X Virtualization Products

Finally! With the introduction of Parallels Workstation for Mac OS X (official announcement here), Intel-based Mac owners have the ability to run unmodified instances of Linux and Windows on their Mac hardware. This has been my “killer wish” ever since the introduction of the Intel-based Macs.

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