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VMware vSphere 5 Released

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the increment-versioncount dept.

Virtualization 95

Hitting the front page for the first time, earlytime writes "VMware released vSphere 5 yesterday. After much publicity about its new licensing scheme, techies worldwide get to take the new release for a spin and see if all of the new features are worth the fuss. From the article: 'VMware vSphere 5 supports virtual machines (VMs) that are up to four times more powerful than previous versions — VMs can now be configured with up to 1 terabyte of memory and 32 virtual CPUs ... VMware vSphere 5 also introduces three key new flagship features — Auto-Deploy, Profile-Driven Storage and Storage DRS — that extend the platform's unique datacenter resource management capabilities, delivering intelligent policy management to support an automated "set it and forget it" approach to managing datacenter resources, including server deployment and storage management. Customers can define policies and establish the operating parameters, and VMware vSphere 5 does the rest.'"

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Thank you Rob for everything! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37220314)

It will be hard to see CmdrTaco go. You will be missed.

Re:Thank you Rob for everything! (1)

silverglade00 (1751552) | about 3 years ago | (#37222186)

Somebody want to vMotion this back where it belongs? I can't afford the license...

I wonder how it compares (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37220350)

It sounds like it needs even more resources in overhead.

Re:I wonder how it compares (1)

Anarke_Incarnate (733529) | about 3 years ago | (#37221510)

According to our rep, it is actually even less than VS4.x

No thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37220354)

GPL it or forget about it.

Re:No thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37220390)

Pay for it or be forgotten.

Re:No thanks (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37222336)

It's been on torrent sites for several days already.

Re:No thanks (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37220620)

In a subsequent press release VMWare stated:
"After some initial feedback from our customers we have decided not to bother to release it. No, it was not thousands of our customers. Yes, it was a single party. No, it was not Google, Oracle, IBM, or Bank of America. It was an anonymous poster on a popular tech web site. We should have consulted this individual before sinking millions of dollars in R&D and should have abandoned our typical business plan by releasing the product for free to the general public. It is clear that we have been short-sighted by not considering the needs of the casual computer user who needs to 32 instances on Windows in order to process their yearly taxes or send their Yahoo! e-mail messages. We thank you for your time and will update our shareholders at the next AGM."

what happened to the mainframes? (1)

alen (225700) | about 3 years ago | (#37220364)

vmware is almost like the old mainframes, but i don't hear about them anymore. do IBM and others want to stay out of this market?

Re:what happened to the mainframes? (1)

MattW (97290) | about 3 years ago | (#37220544)

How is VMware like mainframes? They were a hardware platform that became cumbersome to maintain for legacy software when the world moved on.

VMware is a software platform that is designed to make other software platform-independent.

Re:what happened to the mainframes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37221292)

How is VMware like mainframes? They were a hardware platform that became cumbersome to maintain for legacy software when the world moved on. VMware is a software platform that is designed to make other software platform-independent.

How? Like this. [wikipedia.org]

Re:what happened to the mainframes? (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | about 3 years ago | (#37220556)

Mainframes are still around, supported, and have relatively new ones out. I work for a part of IBM that has some software that runs on mainframe.

It's not x86 though, whereas VMware is exclusively x86. Not being any sort of manager or sales person, I don't know why IBM doesn't work on more x86 stuff. :)

Re:what happened to the mainframes? (2)

swamp boy (151038) | about 3 years ago | (#37220574)

Indeed IBM was one of the pioneers (and still is) in virtualization. IBM still has VM (now called z/VM) and some shops use it to run Linux on zSeries (mainframe).

IBM also has some very impressive virtualization technology in their POWER series (combined pSeries and iSeries). Too bad they don't know how to market and compete as well as they should.

Re:what happened to the mainframes? (1)

Zeromous (668365) | about 3 years ago | (#37221690)

So you mean Watson wasn't a walking advertisement for Power7?

Re:what happened to the mainframes? (1)

EXrider (756168) | about 3 years ago | (#37220994)

do IBM and others want to stay out of this market?

IBM pretty much invented Hypervisors [wikipedia.org] with LPAR [wikipedia.org] back in the 70's. They've been doing it way longer than VMware has however, IBM's solutions aren't nearly as affordable or practical for smaller companies tied to Microsoft products.

Re:what happened to the mainframes? (1)

kmankmankman2001 (567212) | about 3 years ago | (#37221352)

Clarification - Gene Amdahl, formerly of IBM, is the one that brought LPAR to the masses - Amdahl marketed it as Multiple Domain Facility (MDF). IBM was grudgingly forced to follow suit as customers quickly embraced MDF and it gave Amdahl a competitive advantage until IBM responded. IBM's implementation didn't (and still doesn't) include all of the features that MDF had, namely "L-shaped domains (or LPARs)". L-shaped domains allowed the customer to create an LPAR with a mix of dedicated and shared processors - something most customers found quite valuable (and still ask for). IBM *did* create VM back in the 60's though, and it's most modern variant, z/VM, is still running strong. Besides running the older "traditional" workloads of native VM apps and virtualizing VSE systems it's a popular Linux consolidation play in many shops.

As to those that were commenting on the disappearance of the mainframe, IBM's 2011 second quarter shareholder report tells a different story. On the hardware side of things mainframe revenue increased 61% compared to Q2 2010 and shipped capacity increased 86%. That's a pretty healthy growth rate for anyone.

Re:what happened to the mainframes? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37224292)

As to those that were commenting on the disappearance of the mainframe, IBM's 2011 second quarter shareholder report tells a different story. On the hardware side of things mainframe revenue increased 61% compared to Q2 2010 and shipped capacity increased 86%. That's a pretty healthy growth rate for anyone.

It's pretty disingenious to compare Q1 2011 sales to Q2 2011, and hint that it shows something about a larger trend. At the time it looked like the end of a recession and plenty of companies were making investments that they had been postponing. What is the longer-term trend, say over 5 or 10 years? What is the actual volume of sales compared to the entire server market, and how consistently are they profitable?

WTF IS THIS ADVERTISEMENT ARTICLE BULLSHIT? (-1, Troll)

xee (128376) | about 3 years ago | (#37220394)

Is this a sponsored post? It's a damn ad for vmware. This is NOT news for nerds, and it is certainly NOT stuff that matters.

Rob must have been the only thing keeping slashdot from completely selling out.

Re:WTF IS THIS ADVERTISEMENT ARTICLE BULLSHIT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37220468)

Some people care about VMWare because they use it on a daily basis.

Re:WTF IS THIS ADVERTISEMENT ARTICLE BULLSHIT? (1)

3nails4aFalseProphet (248128) | about 3 years ago | (#37223214)

I'm one of those who uses VMware on a daily basis, and who is interested to see how others are receiving the release of 5.0. I'm currently running 4.1 on a group of 6 physical servers. VMs automagically migrating from one host to another based on resource requirements was pretty cool, storage vmotion was even better. With 5.0 I'm really looking forward to trying out the storage DRS, which was the logical next step.

Re:WTF IS THIS ADVERTISEMENT ARTICLE BULLSHIT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37220470)

So pricing news, especially a pricing update for those who may have begun searching for other options, doesn't count as real tech news? It helped me out, and many others I assume.

Re:WTF IS THIS ADVERTISEMENT ARTICLE BULLSHIT? (3, Insightful)

Scutter (18425) | about 3 years ago | (#37220520)

I didn't see this kind of rage when the new Linux kernel release hit the front page of Slashdot on Sunday. How about when the Fedora 16 release was announced on Tuesday? Or when KDE Frameworks 5.0 development was announced? Must be tough to be so focused on only what matters to YOU and not what might be of interest to anyone else.

Bias, not product (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 3 years ago | (#37221772)

delivering intelligent policy management to support an automated "set it and forget it" approach to managing datacenter resources, including server deployment and storage management. Customers can define policies and establish the operating parameters, and VMware vSphere 5 does the rest.'

Linux, Fedora, and KDE stories aren't littered with meaningless marketing bullshit like this. A good Slashdot submission might explain some of the tech that inspired that blather, but this isn't a good one. I'd be annoyed if we got a Fedora story with this sort of nonsense to - it's not the product, it's the bias.

Excuse me? (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | about 3 years ago | (#37220536)

Last I checked, information on the release of a newer product that lets you create and manage virtual machines is both news and very nerdy.
Please think next time you type.

Re:WTF IS THIS YELLING (1)

jeffmeden (135043) | about 3 years ago | (#37220598)

I will second what another poster said: Some people (nearly everyone who works in the medium/large datacenter space) uses VMware for many mission critical apps. That being said, anyone who cares already knew all about this weeks ago. But, it is still fun to see the /. community's perspective on licensing and new features.

Re:WTF IS THIS YELLING (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37220784)

...That being said, anyone who cares already knew all about this weeks ago...

Actually you are incorrect on the timing. VSphere5 was just released for download, apparently on the 24th. Being an active SnS customer didn't help as I didn't find out until just now.

To the point of the GP, it is definately news to me even though I was up to date on the licensing and feature changes. Also, since we use it, it does matter. GP is still yelling w/o reason about their views, so lets all flame him ;)

Re:WTF IS THIS ADVERTISEMENT ARTICLE BULLSHIT? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37220602)

Never post here, but yea, people that actually have I.T. jobs care about this stuff

As a Mac user... (2)

Necroman (61604) | about 3 years ago | (#37220510)

I've used ESXi servers for the last year or so. In the last 6 months I moved to having a Macbook as my primary development machine, and use the ESXi servers for hosting some linux VMs. My major issue has been that the vSphere client is Windows only, which meant I had to start up a Windows VM on my mac, the launch the vSphere client to manage my ESXi server.

With 5.0 they ALMOST fixed this, just now quite there. They included a nice web interface for managing just about everything on the system. But you still need a browser plugin to show the Console for your VM. This plugin requires the .Net framework, so it's windows only. So, once again, I'll still need to use windows to manage my system if I want to see the console state of my VMs.

I still don't understand why VMware, a company who's main technology is all built on Linux, chose to use a Windows only framework when building their management UI.

Re:As a Mac user... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37220572)

I still don't understand why VMware, a company who's main technology is all built on Linux, chose to use a Windows only framework when building their management UI.

Because that is what their customer's understand. If their customer's understood Linux, they'd be using something like Xen or KVM/QEMU instead of VMware.

Re:As a Mac user... (1)

Eric Green (627) | about 3 years ago | (#37221620)

Thing is, neither Xen nor KVM/QEMU are as capable as VMware for the things that VMware is good at. For example, it's typical in the VMware world to create a VMFS volume on an EMC block storage server and use this for virtual machine migration between physical hosts. This works because VMFS is a clustered file system that has some unique attributes that make it good for hosting virtual disk files (it's extent-based, for example, so it will keep the extents of a virtual disk contiguous, meaning that the elevator algorithm for disk management inside your VM actually works and you get close to real-world disk performance). Migrating a virtual machine is literally as easy as stopping it on host A and starting it on host B. I can't do anything of the sort with Xen or KVM/QEMU. Then there's VCenter, which provides a central GUI to manage an entire network's worth of virtual machines.

Don't get me wrong, I despise VSphere. I curse it every time I use it, and I've attempted a Xen or KVM/QEMU migration multiple times to get away from it. I had hoped that the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 with its fairly up-to-date KVM support, GFS cluster filesystem support, etc., could allow me to replace VSphere in our shop. Unfortunately to get adequate disk performance I ended up having to create LVM volumes to use as VM raw disks, qcow2 on top of any currently-existing Linux filesystem is a disaster. And once you're in the realm of LVM volumes, you're beyond any management tools available for managing KVM - not to mention that the way Linux volume groups currently work, you can't share the same volume group between multiple hosts because Things Go Badly, meaning you can't do the trick that VMware uses to do rapid migration via simply turning off the VM on system A and turning it back on, on system B. (There's some state storage required to do it seamlessly, but again, that's all handled by the shared storage).

So yes, I know Linux (I mean c'mon, I've been using Slashdot since before it had user ID's!) and how to use Xen and KVM/QEMU. But no, they're competitive with VSphere in the enterprise environment only in a limited set of circumstances, and stating that the only reason to use VSphere is "ignorance" is, itself, ignorance.

Re:As a Mac user... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37221634)

Tried ganeti?

Re:As a Mac user... (1)

Znork (31774) | about 3 years ago | (#37221912)

"I can't do anything of the sort with Xen or KVM/QEMU."

Ive done it for five years without any trouble. Stay away from GFS, but raw volumes, VM-attached iscsi disks or drbd offer varying levels of featurism for underlying storage (and on Xen, raw volumes give me 2-3x the performance I've gotten out of VMFS volumes). Yes, you may need to write a few scripts to manage it seamlessly but once you have it beats firing up the ESX console for every little thing.

Re:As a Mac user... (1)

Eric Green (627) | about 3 years ago | (#37222630)

A new iscsi volume for each VM is certainly one approach, and actually that's sort of what we're doing with the ESXi VM's -- they have a boot disk on VMFS on an iSCSI volume, and the VM then mounts an iSCSI volume off the SAN for their actual data. And you are certainly correct that it is *technically* feasible to do it with KVM, I have in fact done it -- for a one-off prototype. The pain I endured doing that basically told me that there was no way in BLEEP that this was a supportable solution in the field deployed at customer sites that lack dedicated IT resources.

The ESX console, BTW, isn't necessary for a lot of things if you enable the ssh on your ESXi hosts. vim-cmd is your friend. With an appropriate oem.tgz you can even set up your keys so you can script it from outside. The only time I fire up the VSphere GUI in a VirtualBox Windows VM on my Macbook Pro is when I need to see the actual console (as vs. use rdesktop to a Windows VM or vnc to a Linux VM).

Re:As a Mac user... (1)

drsmithy (35869) | about 3 years ago | (#37223230)

Thing is, neither Xen nor KVM/QEMU are as capable as VMware for the things that VMware is good at. For example, it's typical in the VMware world to create a VMFS volume on an EMC block storage server and use this for virtual machine migration between physical hosts. This works because VMFS is a clustered file system that has some unique attributes that make it good for hosting virtual disk files (it's extent-based, for example, so it will keep the extents of a virtual disk contiguous, meaning that the elevator algorithm for disk management inside your VM actually works and you get close to real-world disk performance). Migrating a virtual machine is literally as easy as stopping it on host A and starting it on host B. I can't do anything of the sort with Xen or KVM/QEMU. Then there's VCenter, which provides a central GUI to manage an entire network's worth of virtual machines.

I don't know if you're just explaining this horrendously badly, or you really don't understand, but live migrations don't require stopping a VM to move it.

Xen has supported live migration for at least the last five years, I used to do it all the time on our home-rolled Xen clusters (before we migrated to VMware). I assume KVM does too, but I've never used it.

Don't get me wrong, I despise VSphere. I curse it every time I use it, and I've attempted a Xen or KVM/QEMU migration multiple times to get away from it. I had hoped that the release of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5 with its fairly up-to-date KVM support, GFS cluster filesystem support, etc., could allow me to replace VSphere in our shop. Unfortunately to get adequate disk performance I ended up having to create LVM volumes to use as VM raw disks, qcow2 on top of any currently-existing Linux filesystem is a disaster. And once you're in the realm of LVM volumes, you're beyond any management tools available for managing KVM - not to mention that the way Linux volume groups currently work, you can't share the same volume group between multiple hosts because Things Go Badly, meaning you can't do the trick that VMware uses to do rapid migration via simply turning off the VM on system A and turning it back on, on system B. (There's some state storage required to do it seamlessly, but again, that's all handled by the shared storage).

I agree the management tools - particularly the "default" ones - are atrociously bad on Linux (and this is true pretty much across the board, not just for virtualisation). However, it is quite possible to share a VG across multiple Linux hosts (again, did it for years) using Clustered LVM. With that said, when clvm falls over, it falls over *hard* and usually requires rebooting hosts to recover (assuming it doesn't reboot them for your).

Re:As a Mac user... (1)

Eric Green (627) | about 3 years ago | (#37223700)

Do note that my development platform is Fedora 15 / Gnome 3 running KVM VM's of the various target distributions for the product, so I'm clearly familiar enough to use it every day. But I suppose yes and no, because I stopped my investigations into replacing ESXi with KVM or Xen when I ran into a couple of show-stopper issues. The first one was with KVM stability, basically there is a feature we needed that KVM supposedly supports, but KVM regularly kernel panics if we try to use it. I tried at least three different distributions -- Fedora 15, RHEL6, and the latest Ubuntu -- and ran into the same problem with each of them. The second was with distribution Xen support. The only distribution that had a version of Xen new enough to support the functionality we needed was OpenSUSE 11.3, hardly what I would call a stable distribution, and then OpenSUSE 11.4 broke Xen. Any other distribution would have required that we create a new DOM0 kernel and update the Xen runtime utilities and QEMU in DOM0 (note that Xen uses QEMU for its HVM virtualization). *PLUS* write an entirely new virtualization management infrastructure, since libvirtd doesn't support the functionality of Xen that we needed.

Meanwhile ESXi 4.1 Just Works(tm). An attribute that I appreciate more and more as I get older (thus why this is being typed from a Macbook Pro, the only laptop that doesn't annoy me with a palm-surfing trackpad, clunky keyboard, or ridiculously short battery life). So, let's see, where do I want to put several man-months of my time -- into creating actual product that can be sold, or into futzing with Xen? In the end it's a no-brainer, putting the man-months into the product results in a more functional and faster product, whereas putting the man-months into Xen in order to get away from ESXi is just a cheaper product, not a better one -- and price isn't our selling point, functionality and performance is.

Re:As a Mac user... (1)

drsmithy (35869) | about 3 years ago | (#37227056)

Oh, I'm not trying to argue anything else out there is better than ESXi, far from it. Just making the point that your original post was a bit lacking in accuracy.

Re:As a Mac user... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37220712)

They are slowly coming around...the vCenter used to require windows, now they have an virtual appliance that runs it on linux. Their claim, though, is that Windows is where the marketshare is at, but they are steadily moving towards greater linux support. That said, we haven't been too hampered by their take on linux, though P2V using LVM could use some maturity, last time I used it.

Re:As a Mac user... (1)

Cramer (69040) | about 3 years ago | (#37245772)

... but they are steadily moving towards greater linux support.

That's bull. When was the last release of the vCenter on Linux beta? 2007? There's no tools installer for Debian releases. (etc.)

Re:As a Mac user... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37220744)

It won't help you view the console on a Mac (unless you're willing to use VNC), but for many management tasks you can use the open-source Ruby vSphere Console: http://bit.ly/fIzBDW

Re:As a Mac user... (1)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | about 3 years ago | (#37220748)

You are using a Mac and do not know about the Parallels Bare Metal (from the same folks who make the Parallels Desktop for Mac)?

The thing is Linux based, has a Windows, OSX and Mac consoles and its cheaper then vSphere by a factor of 10 or so and requires no vCenter nonsense (its automation is cluster-based and distributed across hosts - the only sane approach in a VM datacenter!)

Oh and the VM format is compatible with the Mac version of Parallels.

Re:As a Mac user... (1)

iCEBaLM (34905) | about 3 years ago | (#37221578)

ESXi (vSphere Hypervisor) is free.

Re:As a Mac user... (1)

Cramer (69040) | about 3 years ago | (#37245744)

Not when connected to vCenter. As a single, standalone host, yes, it can be used for free. *BUT* most of the features of a VMware host are unavailable. (and btw, ESXi is all that's available now. The traditional linux console based ESX is gone. And yes, I bitched about that during beta... to controll it one must either install such a console or enable the "debug" TSM [tech support mode])

Re:As a Mac user... (1)

nabsltd (1313397) | about 3 years ago | (#37221584)

The thing is Linux based, has a Windows, OSX and Mac consoles and its cheaper then vSphere by a factor of 10 or so and requires no vCenter nonsense (its automation is cluster-based and distributed across hosts - the only sane approach in a VM datacenter!)

With no functional live migration, no storage migration, no support for high availability without adding Red Hat clustering, no equivalent to DRS, no distributed networking, and a bunch of other "no's", Parallels Bare Metal includes only 1/10th of the features of the full-blown vSphere, so it only makes sense that it is 1/10th the cost.

Also, the ESXi hypervisor is free, and pretty much does everything that Parallels Bare Metal does. And, once you start spending $1000, vSphere becomes the clear winner.

Re:As a Mac user... (1)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | about 3 years ago | (#37222876)

With no functional live migration, no storage migration, no support for high availability without adding Red Hat clustering, no equivalent to DRS, no distributed networking, and a bunch of other "no's", Parallels Bare Metal includes only 1/10th of the features of the full-blown vSphere, so it only makes sense that it is 1/10th the cost.

Storage migration and VM migration are supported via a number of methods, including on-disk conversion of virtual machines, guest OS agent software, etc.

As to the rest, of course, none of these things are supported by ESXi unless you get vSphere and pay through your nose.

Red had clustering and GFS in Parallels is also a no-cost option.

Also, the ESXi hypervisor is free, and pretty much does everything that Parallels Bare Metal does. And, once you start spending $1000, vSphere becomes the clear winner.

No it does not "do everything Parallels Bare Metal does" since most of its functionality is crippled without vCenter.

As to the cost ... right. A minimum 2 host HA capable system with vSphere will set you back at least $6k vs Parallels at $2k or even $1k (the small business edition that does not have fancy automation).

Also, the Parallels Bare Metal v5 (currently in beta) has most of the features of the ESX 3 series including vCenter, which is more then enough for most shops.

What Parallels does not have is all the pretty GUIs for all the features above, which I guess is your real problem.

Re:As a Mac user... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37221942)

Don't take any advice from someone who can't spell the simple 4 letter word 'than', should be 'cheaper than' not 'cheaper then'.

Re:As a Mac user... (1)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | about 3 years ago | (#37223080)

LOL. Yes, I am sure all holier-than-thou ACs like you are 100% typo-free by definition and never rush or post on Slashdot from a tablet with an auto-correct on ...

That is probably why ACs are so famous on Slashdot for being the source of reliable, sage advice! No?

Re:As a Mac user... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37228820)

Really? You managed to write the rest of your post without 'auto-correct' errors.
Are you saying that you entered 'than' and the tablet 'auto-corrected' it to 'then'?
More like you are another American who doesn't know how to spell 'than', it's quite common.

Re:As a Mac user... (1)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | about 3 years ago | (#37232322)

Ridiculous AC troll nonsense.

I have thousands of posts here and if they were all consistently having "then" instead of "than" ... then you'd have a point.

As it is you are just another attention-starved nitpicking jackass.

Be gone.

Re:As a Mac user... (1)

Necroman (61604) | about 3 years ago | (#37221990)

I'm a remote developer and my VM is running in a lab next to a NFS server. I have to do frequent re-installs of the linux VMs I run (our product is a linux distro, so to deploy new builds, I basically re-image the VMs). Doing that over the internet would eat up a lot of unneeded bandwidth and would be rather slow. This way I can do things really quickly.

Re:As a Mac user... (1)

IgnoramusMaximus (692000) | about 3 years ago | (#37222998)

If you mean my comment about the ability to run the Parallels Bare Metal VMs in the Parallels Desktop, that is just a bonus feature that would allow you to experiment on VMs locally or perform all sorts of maintenance tasks away from the main server. It does not mean that you would be forced to run them there. You can still do all the work the same way you operate now, except with Parallels Bare Metal you get a native Mac client console to remotely control the Parallels host with, very much like the one VMWare used to do for Linux in the early days before they went "mainstream" and started to piss on all non-Windows users.

Re:As a Mac user... (1)

techwrench (586424) | about 3 years ago | (#37220776)

I don't use Mac, so YMMV.... There is a way to use VM Player to access the console of Virtual Machines by logging into the ESXi web interface with VMP. I believe the command is: 'vmplayer -h ' through a CLI. Google is your friend here.

Re:As a Mac user... (1)

sarhjinian (94086) | about 3 years ago | (#37221482)

On Linux you can do this to view the ESXi guest's console, so you might be able to on the Mac as well. What you can't do is edit the VM, for which you need vSphere Client.

Re:As a Mac user... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37221216)

I think it is because the developers at vmware that architect the client solution are naive and unaware of the problem.

Noone intentionally limits a web app to only run on a specific platform, they are probably a little inexperience designing cross-platform solutions.

Now they have too much of a sunk cost invested and cannot justify the cost to correct the mistake.

It is very sad - I see it all the time.

If you plan from the start to target multiple platforms it is easy - but you have to have experienced staff to do that.

Re:As a Mac user... (1)

swalve (1980968) | about 3 years ago | (#37259960)

"Architect" is not a verb.

Re:As a Mac user... (1)

unencode200x (914144) | about 3 years ago | (#37221354)

VMware would definitely say that the vmkernel used by their current hypervisor ESXi is not built on Linux.

The management VM that loads up after the vmkernel uses BusyBox nowadays. Also, it's been a while, but if I recall their initial product was VMware workstation and ran on Windows.

Re:As a Mac user... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37221426)

I still don't understand why VMware, a company who's main technology is all built on Linux, chose to use a Windows only framework when building their management UI.

As you should know by now, mac users are second class citizens. Go buy a real computer.

And as any vmware user knows, the web interface to vmware lets you do many things. And the command line lets you do everything else.

Re:As a Mac user... (1)

sarhjinian (94086) | about 3 years ago | (#37221508)

Their main technology isn't built on Linux. ESX (not ESXi) has a Linux personality that can be used to administer the host, but it's not a Linux kernel-based like Xen or KVM.

That said, you can use vCLI instead of the vSphere Client, but the GUI really is quicker for many one-off tasks.

Re:As a Mac user... (1)

Cramer (69040) | about 3 years ago | (#37245860)

ESX was a Redhat Enterprise Linux install that bootstrapped the vmkernel (vmunix) which then migrated the console to a VM. ESXi direct boots the vmkernel. This saves the disk and memory of the esxconsole and boots the system faster. (and presumably means they don't have to pay Redhat any royalties??? also, there's no linux installation to keep patched.)

Re:As a Mac user... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37222178)

So, once again, I'll still need to use windows to manage my system if I want to see the console state of my VMs.

I still don't understand why VMware, a company who's main technology is all built on Linux, chose to use a Windows only framework when building their management UI.

The console installs just fine on Firefox on Linux (I just used it)...

Re:As a Mac user... (1)

TarpaKungs (466496) | about 3 years ago | (#37222936)

From 4.x you can run Windows as a guest VM, and deploy VCenter on this. Then do an RDP desktop share to your MAC.

Re:As a Mac user... (1)

ejoe_mac (560743) | about 3 years ago | (#37223188)

Console is a VNC session - so you just need to connect to the port in the correct way. I know some folks who do it already, so it's got to be written somewhere.

Re:As a Mac user... (1)

QuantumRiff (120817) | about 3 years ago | (#37225228)

With VSphere 4, you have to run the actual VCenter server (the software that actually controls the ESXi machines) on windows too.. which is really annoying..

Set it and forget it? Yeah right. (1)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 3 years ago | (#37220550)

I spent my last two weeks recovering two "set it and forget it" backup servers - one had the RAID controller fail (which was reported as a HDD failure so what should have been a 30 second hot swap turned into a two week RMA nightmare) and the other had the OS get corrupted from routine patches, killing our remote access and requiring a clean install from scratch.

Anything that advertises itself as "configure and ignore" should be marked with a disclaimer "Actually ignoring your software or hardware for long periods of time is asking for disaster. Check it weekly anyway."

Wheres the link? (2)

SmoothBreaker (1786522) | about 3 years ago | (#37220576)

I'm ok with Slashdot stories as advertising... I guess... but if something like this is posted, at least include a direct link to the products page.

Worth every penny! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37220790)

From the article: 'VMware vSphere 5 supports virtual machines (VMs) that are up to four times more powerful than previous versions — VMs can now be configured with up to 1 terabyte of memory and 32 virtual CPUs ...

I'm going to install this on my old desktop, can't imagine how fast it will be with 1TB RAM and 32 CPUs!!

(joke)

Re:Worth every penny! (1)

armanox (826486) | about 3 years ago | (#37221254)

Maybe it'll be able to run Vista smoothly at that point.

VMWare Licensing (2)

AltImage (626465) | about 3 years ago | (#37221058)

VMWare licensing practices are horrible. I have used Zimbra (paid version) for 6+ years. VMWare buys them from Yahoo and my bill triples. From $2500k/quarter to $2600/month.

Re:VMWare Licensing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37222366)

Even worse is that they nickle-and-dime you to death and are never really all that clear as to what licenses you need to enable which features. And let's not even get started on having to purchase a mandatory "support contract".

Re:VMWare Licensing (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37222534)

Why pay for zimbra?
The open source edition is free and works just fine.

Re:VMWare Licensing (1)

AltImage (626465) | about 3 years ago | (#37224396)

We use the paid version because of Mobile Sync and Outlook Connector. Now we're using the Zimbra open source version with Funambol to achieve the same thing. At $2500/quarter, it was worth the price for the occasional support request and not having to run and maintain Funambol along side Zimbra....triple my price and suddenly the hassle isn't that big of a deal.

Re:VMWare Licensing (1)

Thing 1 (178996) | about 3 years ago | (#37223522)

From $2500k/quarter to $2600/month.

Unless it's a typo, it sounds like you reduced your expenses by over an order of magnitude; about 31 times, to be exact.

Re:VMWare Licensing (1)

Cramer (69040) | about 3 years ago | (#37245896)

When did 2600 become 3 x 2500? (I'll assume the "k" is a typo)

Re:VMWare Licensing (1)

AltImage (626465) | about 3 years ago | (#37246044)

$2500 per QUARTER vs $2600 per MONTH

Resource usage vs RedHat/KVM (2)

diegocg (1680514) | about 3 years ago | (#37221078)

VMware vSphere 5 supports virtual machines (VMs) that are up to four times more powerful than previous versions -- VMs can now be configured with up to 1 terabyte of memory and 32 virtual CPUs.

In Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization Beta 3 [redhat.com] (yes, it's a beta, still...), based in KVM: supporting up to 128 logical CPUs and 2TB memory for hosts, and up to 64 vCPUs and 2TB memory for guests

Re:Resource usage vs RedHat/KVM (1)

dave562 (969951) | about 3 years ago | (#37222102)

Both VMware and KVM are overkill. How many hosts have enough RAM to give each guest 1TB, much less 2TB? Wake me up when the hardware catches up to the point where those capabilities matter.

Re:Resource usage vs RedHat/KVM (1)

dissy (172727) | about 3 years ago | (#37222268)

Both VMware and KVM are overkill. How many hosts have enough RAM to give each guest 1TB, much less 2TB? Wake me up when the hardware catches up to the point where those capabilities matter.

*poke*poke* It's your "hardware is ready" courtesy wake up call.

You can get some mid-range IBM blade centers [ibm.com] , or some low end HP BladeSystem [hp.com] hardware, or really any of the many many [google.com] systems that can easily handle that in a low end configuration.

If you need to get serious, you start loading rack cabinets with such gear, along with some SAN cards sprinkled throughout.

At that level of hardware, it would be extremely wasteful not to run something like VMware ESX. This is the target audience after all, not the geek with a lowly double digit count of CPUs in their spare bedroom.

Granted, it was extremely nice of them to release ESXi without vSphere for free for us lowly geeks who, like myself, might only have a couple 4 or 6 core home built systems, who don't need all those high end features (*drool* none the less), but when I'm at work running the "little big iron", I'm very thankful for vSphere and such solutions to manage my hardware with 36 GB ram per node and a 480 gb SAN.

Re:Resource usage vs RedHat/KVM (1)

dave562 (969951) | about 3 years ago | (#37222322)

I'm very thankful for vSphere and such solutions to manage my hardware with 36 GB ram per node and a 480 gb SAN.

I think you mean TB and not GB?

So vSphere sees the entire blade chassis as a single host?

Re:Resource usage vs RedHat/KVM (1)

dissy (172727) | about 3 years ago | (#37224754)

I think you mean TB and not GB?

Doh! Yea for storage I meant TB. I'll blame that one on it being Friday ;}

So vSphere sees the entire blade chassis as a single host?

Not really. Each blade is it's own server, but what vSphere does is use each blades resources and builds a pool of total available resources.
You allocate virtual machines out of that pool.

Unfortunately a VMs RAM can not exceed that of the host it runs on.
If the max you have is say 48gb in 4 of the 16 blades the other 12 only having 32gb, the largest amount of RAM you can give to a VM is actually about 47.9gb (ESXi doesn't use that much ram, but I'm not sure the exact value at the moment.)
Also you can not have more than 4 VMs with that much RAM allocated, because then you are out of those blades and your largest amount is 31.9gb.

CPU cycles can be shared over multiple cores and cpus on a single blade, but I don't believe they can use multiple different blades for that. It would be painfully slow if so.

Storage space is about all you can utilize the entire SAN for, but generally one prefers a SAN for its flexibility in carving up that storage for multiple machines in an effective way.

Internally it does do a bit of RAM sharing, but that's mainly for the hot failover to another blade/host. If one host dies, the VMs all get moved nearly instantly to other hosts/blades. When using the VM, say while typing into a terminal based IRC client, or remote desktoped into a win2k3 server, you only feel about a 200ms network burp and maybe a 30ms 'freeze' of the guest VM, but then everything is back to normal. It has to keep live copies of memory in other blades for it to switch over so fast, even if only treated as cache memory until needed for a higher priority task like a VM needing it.
You of course can flag the RAM as guaranteed, in case a malloc failure is not an option. In that case all of the guaranteed RAM shows as used on the host, and as I mentioned you can only setup 4 such VMs in the above example setup.
If you only guarantee say 12 GB of that RAM but still allocate it 48 GB, then the host will show 12 GB more used and the rest it gives if it has it the other times it's shared.
If you only guarantee enough RAM for the OS to sit idle and share the rest, you could have 16 or more VMs on one blade and rarely have problems.
Some things virtualize much better than other things.

The best part of the RAM allocating is that you can assign the VM as much RAM as you want the guest to think it has. Only non-free ram in the guest is actually used on the host, so the free ram is shared among VMs.
This is *extremely* nice for servers that sit idle for 98% of the time, but for the time they are not idle, they could possibly run a job that could use a little or a ton of RAM.
Assuming no memory leaks in your app (hah yea) then you can give a VM 48 GB RAM and know that if the kernel userland and daemon(s) only use 1 GB ram when idle, then 98% of the time the host only shows 1 GB being used and the other 47 GB is free to be used on other machines for when they spike and do the same thing.
If you are running the guest tools, then your kernel is already patched to gracefully handle requesting a block of memory that should be free but just happens not to be on the host that moment.

Those are the main upsides. You can guarantee a 100% uptime from the "hardware" side of things for your guest. The kernel will never again be unexpectedly shut down due to a normal hardware failure.
We use RAID to help protect from eventual disk failures, and using VMs like this on a blade system helps to protect against failures of the components: Hard Drive, RAM (cell or whole stick), CPU(s), motherboards, and power supplies.
As long as you feed it power, it RUNS.
(Granted, your OS has to support this feature to make best use of it *glares at a certain OS that requests reboots after user-land changes* :P )

With linux kernel hot-patching in memory (see k-splice, pray oracle doesn't break it now that they bought it) we can even strongly-suggest-almost-a-promise for close to a 100% kernel uptime! Definitely better than the infamous nine nines guarantee.

As I mentioned before, some uses virtualize better than others, and of course some uses virtualize very poorly. You have to make the call for each thing you are trying to do.

Alas, I am unfamiliar with the buzzspeek used to describe these new features in v5, so hopefully some of those downsides I mentioned above will be handled.

Re:Resource usage vs RedHat/KVM (1)

dave562 (969951) | about 3 years ago | (#37232430)

Thanks for the depth to your reply. I have been wondering about the realities of over committing RAM in production environments. With applications that use it to cache, like database servers, I would imagine that the ratio of used to unused RAM makes it one of the less optimal candidates for virtualization. Has that been your experience?

So far I've only worked with the free version of ESXi and virtualized about a dozen workloads. They're mostly web with a small amount of database, both MS and OSS (Apache / MySQL). Although it's SAN backed, I haven't had to mess with passing RDMs into the guests yet. The user counts on the guests aren't requiring enough IOPS to really optimize the disk geometries and RAID levels yet.

Threads like this are why I like /. and why I think this site will remain relevant for a while. For any given technical thread, there are experts in the field who are qualified to comment on it. Very few communities can count on participation on that level.

640k (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37226502)

2TB is enough for everyone?

Re:Resource usage vs RedHat/KVM (1)

Tvingo (229109) | about 3 years ago | (#37222870)

We're currently evaluating RHEV as a VMWare replacement due to the high cost of VMWare deployment. Just doesn't make sense to keep bleeding money for the same capabilities that RHEV can provide for about 20-30% of the price.

Linux client? Please? (1)

CoolVibe (11466) | about 3 years ago | (#37221086)

Wake me up when they have a working vSphere client for Linux.

Re:Linux client? Please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37221276)

There is. Any copy of VMWare Workstation can manage a vSphere server starting with this version.

Re:Linux client? Please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37221366)

[citation needed]

Re:Linux client? Please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37222274)

There is one. Install the web client on your vCenter server and then connect to it from Firefox on a linux box. Download the plugin and install.

Re:Linux client? Please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37223350)

They have a web browser client now, Yes they do.
Also they have a Linux Appliance for vCenter Server now.

Re:Linux client? Please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37225496)

Wake me up when they have a working vSphere client for Linux.

Wake up. VSphere 5 includes a web version of the client which is platform independent (admittedly, requires Flash).

You still have the choice of the fat client on Windows, web client works fine under Firefox / Linux.

Re:Linux client? Please? (1)

jon3k (691256) | about 3 years ago | (#37235922)

So do what everyone else does, run a virtualized copy of Windows 7 on your workstation and install the Virtual Infrastructure Client.

Re:Linux client? Please? (1)

CoolVibe (11466) | about 3 years ago | (#37257902)

That sucks. I would rather have a native client. Running a VM on your local box just to run vSphere is what I find a bit excessive. The vSphere is in .NET, it shouldn't be that hard to port that over to Mono or something...

Re:Linux client? Please? (1)

jon3k (691256) | about 3 years ago | (#37258114)

you dont have to run it locally, we run a windows 7 guest in vmware and load any windows tools we need. it also means i can access it from home when I vpn in if I need to.

Re:Linux client? Please? (1)

CoolVibe (11466) | about 3 years ago | (#37260208)

Then you move the problem remotely. It would still be more efficient to run a native client over a VPN. Now you are doing a RDP session over a slow VPN in which you are doing another remote session in vSphere. They have clients for Mac OS X. Why do they leave out Linux? Or any other *nix variant for that matter? If they have any love for the community, they would port their client over, or give us very detailed protocol specs (or an API, for that matter), so we can write our own client.

Re:Linux client? Please? (1)

jon3k (691256) | about 3 years ago | (#37281340)

It works great, I do it all the time. The only thing that sucks is using the guest console, but you're usually only in it long enough to put a network address on something and ssh/rdp into it. But to answer your question, I assume like everyone else who doesn't write linux software, it doesn't represent a large enough base of their users to justify the expenditure.

ESXi + vSphere = amazing for small business (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37221210)

Free is pretty nice for a small business, not to mention the reliability. I have been using a single esxi machine hosting a few windows and linux vm's for all our production operations and I've been using it for nearly 2 years straight without any issues whatsoever. vSphere is very convenient and fast for doing anything on the machines.

Definitely a hypervisor that deserves a look.

I upgraded my install (1)

forgottenusername (1495209) | about 3 years ago | (#37221444)

Oddly the version I'm running is called 'KVM'. It's got lots of features and is free.. thanks, vmware!

Re:I upgraded my install (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37225562)

Oddly the version I'm running is called 'KVM'. It's got lots of features and is free.. thanks, vmware!

"Lots of the features" ???

Pity people use features such as:

dvSwitches, DRS (and now storage DRS), vCloud for customer/client self service portal, VMWare view for thin clients (including ability to check out images for roaming on laptops), SRM for DR across sites, Capacity IQ for capacity planning, corporate support, vendor hardware compatibility guarantees (and support for the configurations) .. all with a UI a Windows admin can use.

I am an open source fanboi through and through, but if you can't appreciate the massive differences between the capabilities of VMWare and the current status of KVM and it's associated tools you need to hand in your geek badge. So many KVM/Xen advocates seem to think VMWare is VMWare server from 5 years ago.. a lot has happened in the VM space since then.

Once every 6 months someone in the office claims KVM can do all the same things for $0 (or not far off), we get them to put together a demo and they fiddle around with tape'n'twine while chanting "see, see.. KVM does it too". imho, RHEV is currently the closest KVM implementation to VMWare and it's at least 18 months behind (if not more).

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