MSFT to Craft it's own VMsafe?

Virtualization.info has a short but interesting post, which refers to a parenthetical comment from Chris Hoff which might imply that MSFT is considering / working on a VMsafe-like framework.

Is Microsoft working on a VMsafe-like framework? | virtualization.info

So far Microsoft didn't took an official position about the topic but virtualization.info had the opportunity to speak with several representatives who clearly stated how carefully the company is evaluating the security implications of a VMsafe-like approach.

Nonetheless Microsoft may be working to build the internal know-how needed to achieve the task.

Just two months ago in fact Microsoft acquired a small security firm focused on rootkit detection called Komoku.

As Christopher Hoff, Chief Security Architect at Unisys, recently discovered, Komoku did some research in the past, presenting a solution for Xen where virtual machines can do self-diagnosis and self-healing as well as learning to protect against subsequent attacks. ...


Power Sources and OpEx Savings

Tim Oren hasn't been slowed down by a broken pin. And he's dead on when pointing out the fact that management overhead for virtualization in the data center could hinder virtualization's ability to reduce both capex and opex. We at Replicate are signing up to address the network side of the problem.

Tim Oren's Due Diligence

Aluminum smelters and data centers. Are alike in needed abundant and reliable electrical power. So the Columbia River valley is growing a crop of server farms. The Economist article notes that virtualization technology can be applied to migrate processing to where the juice is cheaper, as well as optimize the number of servers powered up to handle the given workload. Indeed, virtualization management startups are being reflagged as 'green' as fast as the PPT decks and web sites can be rewritten. Remapping the network connections, storage and other resources used by virtualized processes could sink any savings into a sea of management overhead if not optimized as well.


Hyper-V Needs a Pit Crew

One aspect of the staggered release of Hyper-V and VMM 2008 is the focus on how to manage virtualization ... any virtualization environment, but specifically Microsoft's. What this article also points out is that VMM 2008 starts out by demonstrating its capabilities to manage multi-vendor environments.

The article ends with Mitchell Ashley expressing doubt about the relative price to the customer for using VMM 2008 versus VMware's VirtualCenter. In my view, he doesn't come right out and say that the comparison is bogus, but he should. If a datacenter's use of VMware depends on ESX functionality like VMotion, DRS (an automated VMotion) or HA (high availability), the customer has to buy VirtualCenter. That makes the price of VMM 2008 an additional cost to the datacenter ... not the cost of substituting it for VirtualCenter.

Hyper-V May Cause Hyper Tension | NetworkWorld.com Community

Microsoft needs a successful Hyper-V launch out in the marketplace to begin to stave off VMware's dominance. But Hyper-V can't do it alone, that's only part of the picture. Just having Hyper-V is like having a NASCAR race car but no pit crew. Hyper-V's got to have the management tools to be successfully utilized by IT. Most agree; the hypervisor will be a commodity, it's the management capabilities enabling customers to manage virtualized environments that will win the day. ...

What's needed most to deploy software on Hyper-V at any scale is Microsoft's Virtual Machine Manager 2008 (VMM). VMM just went into beta and is expected to ship 30 to 60 days after Hyper-V's release, making the product launch likely sometime in early fall.

VMM's making some interesting claims about managing virtualization. Not only is VMM 2008 managing Hyper-V, Virtual Server, but also VMware's ESX product. Microsoft isn't claiming VMM is a full replacement for VMware's Virtual Center product, but is claiming a significant portion of what Virtual Center does can be done within VMM. ... The VMM team's blog post is claiming Microsoft does all this at one third the cost of VMware, but that's an incremental cost if you are already a VMware Virtual Center customer. And we'll have to see if Hyper-V and VMM are competitive against VMware in new accounts where VMware doesn't already have a presence.


Thousands of Patent Decisions Potentially invalidated?

As if the US (and, because of its impact, the global) patent environment wasn't already in deep yogurt ... This is going to be a mess. I can't imagine that a decision (by fiat) on the part of the Dept. of Justice will satisfy the loosers in the enormous number of patent cases that went to panels for decisions. We're talking about re-opening challenges on patent decisions and litigation on a scale of Biblical proportions.

One of the only pieces of enjoyment I'm getting is the schadenfreude of thinking about what's going on in the board rooms of the patent trolls and in the minds of the investors who have decided to make a buck out of buying up patents solely for the purpose of legalized extortion.

In One Flaw, Questions on Validity of 46 Judges - New York Times

... (John F. Duffy) has discovered a constitutional flaw in the appointment process over the last eight years for judges who decide patent appeals and disputes, and his short paper documenting the problem seems poised to undo thousands of patent decisions concerning claims worth billions of dollars.

His basic point does not appear to be in dispute. Since 2000, patent judges have been appointed by a government official without the constitutional power to do so.

But the Justice Department has already all but conceded that
Professor Duffy is right. Given the opportunity to dispute him in a
December appeals court filing, government lawyers said only that they
were at work on a legislative solution.

They did warn that the
impact of Professor Duffy’s discovery could be cataclysmic for the
patent world, casting “a cloud over many thousands of board decisions”
and “unsettling the expectations of patent holders and licensees across
the nation.” But they did not say Professor Duffy was wrong.


SPLA Application Streaming likely to make a SPLAsh

An interesting turn of events that I've missed while being "heads down" in the establishment of Replicate Technologies is the impending Microsoft Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA). This is a major breakthrough for desktop virtualization and promises to open up some very interesting business opportunities.

Microsoft Opens the Floodgates for Streaming Applications : VMblog.com

Endeavors Technologies, the pioneer in application streaming and virtualization technology, and its parent company, Tadpole Technology plc, today announced support for the Microsoft program amending the Service Provider License Agreement (SPLA). The new program allows service providers to stream Microsoft Office for delivery through a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model.

"We've anticipated this change and are pleased that Microsoft now has a date for allowing service providers to stream Microsoft Office," said Peter Bondar, CEO at Endeavors. "We have completed proof of concept programs with a number of providers and have been waiting for the amended SPLA program to roll out new services. Through our partnerships with Partner Advantage and others, we are poised to take advantage of the new business opportunities on day one. We applaud Microsoft in taking this bold step." ...