SRM 4.0 is here!

October 5 is the day that you can now use the new version of SRM to protect vSphere hosts as well as the 3.0.3 and 3.5 that it protects today. In particular, I love using the vSphere Linked Mode support with SRM as it is a little easier to use one client for both the protected and recovery sides instead of the two clients we require now. This article is not about the new features however, but about how to upgrade. But some things to touch on first. It is actually 4.0 since our marketing people decided it would be easier for customers to see SRM and vSphere version numbers to be in sync. This also means in the future you will not have to wait long for SRM to work with the next major releases of vSphere like you did this time. It has something else for you to be aware of, in that SRM 4.0 requires you to use vSphere Virtual Center 4.0. You can still protect VM’s hosted on 3.0.3, 3.5 and now 4.0 but you must use VC 4.0 and not VC 2.5. From now on SRM will require the current version of VC to work with. As well, SRM 1.0 licenses are not compatible with SRM 4.0. We do not use Flex LM with SRM any longer so you will need to log into the Customer license portal to download your new SRM licenses.

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Who delivers the first Desktop-as-a-Service cloud

Just a couple of days ago wrote about the upcoming launch of Smart Business Desktop, the IBM Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) cloud computing infrastructure powered by VMware, Citrix, Wyse Technology and Desktone products.

We can’t wait October to try what IBM claimed to be an industry first, even if we just spotted a company that seems to have a DaaS offering well before the Big Blue: tuCloud.
The startup promises to deliver on-demand Windows Vista or Windows 7 (with Aero) hosted desktops with up to 4GB RAM within 24 hours maximum (so it’s not in real-time through a self-service provisioning portal as we expect the IBM DaaS to work).

tuCloud offers pay-per-use and pre-pay pricing models, starting at $120 (or 100 Euros) for the first desktop (1GB RAM) plus $65 (or 50 Euros) for additional ones.
A customer can ask up to 100 virtual desktops and, paying an extra, it can have its environment preconfigured with popular commercial products.
There’s even an option to have offshore virtual desktops, where the customers access the cloud through a SSL channel, save everything in a ciphered online storage, surf the web through a transparent proxy, don’t live any trace in the system logs, and have their IP scrubbed from outbound communications.
Of course tuClouds accepts anonymous payments for this service and, granted, they are going to have a lot of problems with it.

The company website doesn’t reveal which virtualization platform serves the virtual desktops states that it supports Microsoft RDP and that power users can have PCoIP, the protocol that Teradici is co-developing with VMware.
Now, because the software-only version of PCoIP is not ready yet, it’s easy to guess that tuCloud is only supporting PCoIP if the customer can have the proper hardware on its client.

A closer look at the footnotes in fact seems to imply that Windows 7 virtual desktops with Aero are only possible when connecting with PCoIP.
tuCloud supports thin clients from Cranberry, HP, Thinspace and Wyse Technology. It seems that the company can deliver any of these at the customers site.

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Why Is InfiniBand (and other interconnects) So Fast?

The above title is misleading because “fast” can mean many different things. In the case of HPC, “fast” means whatever it takes to keep the cores busy! In a previous post, I mentioned four parameters that are used to define an interconnect (throughput, latency, N/2, and messaging rate). Of course, applications are the best way to evaluate an interconnect.

The most popular interconnects for HPC are Ethernet (GigE and 10-GigE), InfiniBand, and Myrinet. (At this point, many people lump Myrinet into the 10 GigE category as it supports the standard protocol as well as the Myricom protocols.) Each of these interconnects are used in both mainstream and HPC applications, but one usage mode sets HPC applications apart from almost all others.

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vmguru: VMware View advanced networking

The last few months I have been busy designing, building and testing a new VMware View solution for our own Support Center. In this Support Center we do support and system administration for some of our biggest clients. One of the challenges is the use of desktop hardware and the limited space of a call agent’s or administrator’s desk. Many of my colleagues support  multiple client sites and need different PCs for each client. So in 2008 one of my respected colleagues thought of a great solution and advised to implement a VMware VDI solution.

The idea was to create a pool of virtual desktops for each client site and supply the call agents and system administrators with a standard physical desktop with which they can access one or more virtual desktops and do the standard office work (Word, Outlook, etc) at the same time. Saving space needed for all those desktops and minimizing heat, power, etc and improving the working conditions in the process.

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VMware’s “No OS” Application Platform Strategy

During his technical keynote at VMworld, Stephen Herrod added a fourth leg to the now familiar previous three legs of the VMware strategy. The previous three were View (Desktop), vSphere (the data center), and vCloud (the internal and external clouds). The new addition was the elevation of vApps to a fourth leg in the stool which describes the VMware strategy. This fourth leg of the stool is all about VMware as an application platform, and VMware adding value directly to how applications run. This new fourth leg ultimately results in a new strategy from VMware allowing applications platforms (and therefore applications) to be run directly in a VMware Guest without the need for an underlying Windows or Linux operating system.

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