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Virtualization

VMware vSphere 5 Released 95

Posted by Soulskill
from the increment-versioncount dept.
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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VMware vSphere 5 Released

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  • 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?

    • by MattW (97290)

      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.

    • 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. :)

    • by swamp boy (151038)

      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.

    • by EXrider (756168)

      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.

      • 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 proces

  • by Necroman (61604) on Friday August 26, 2011 @11:55AM (#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.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      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.

      • by Eric Green (627)

        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 eleva

        • by Znork (31774)

          "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.

          • by Eric Green (627)

            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

        • by drsmithy (35869)

          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 eleva

          • by Eric Green (627)

            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

            • by drsmithy (35869)

              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.

    • 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.

      • by iCEBaLM (34905)

        ESXi (vSphere Hypervisor) is free.

        • by Cramer (69040)

          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])

      • by nabsltd (1313397)

        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.

        • 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

      • by Necroman (61604)

        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.

        • 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 VMW

    • 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.
      • by sarhjinian (94086)

        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.

    • 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.
    • by sarhjinian (94086)

      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.

      • by Cramer (69040)

        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.)

    • 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.
    • by ejoe_mac (560743)
      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.
    • 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..

  • 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
  • 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.
  • by AltImage (626465) on Friday August 26, 2011 @12:45PM (#37221058) Homepage
    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.
    • by Thing 1 (178996)

      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.

    • by Cramer (69040)

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

  • by diegocg (1680514) on Friday August 26, 2011 @12:47PM (#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

    • by dave562 (969951)

      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.

      • by dissy (172727)

        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 th

        • by dave562 (969951)

          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?

          • by dissy (172727)

            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

            • by dave562 (969951)

              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 (Apach

    • by Tvingo (229109)

      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.

  • Wake me up when they have a working vSphere client for Linux.
    • by jon3k (691256)
      So do what everyone else does, run a virtualized copy of Windows 7 on your workstation and install the Virtual Infrastructure Client.
      • by CoolVibe (11466)
        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...
        • by jon3k (691256)
          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.
          • by CoolVibe (11466)
            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.
            • by jon3k (691256)
              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.
  • Oddly the version I'm running is called 'KVM'. It's got lots of features and is free.. thanks, vmware!

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