Login VSI 4.0

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If you're on the market for a proper VDI benchmarking tool, there's some really good news: Login VSI just got a major new release!

Login VSI 4.0 brings improvement to the following areas:

  • Installation – new test footprint is much smaller and smarter deployment makes it easier than ever to quickly deploy and run massive scale benchmarking
  • Test creation – new interface and improvements to testcase wizard and workload editor have all been updated to support the most recent industry standards (both brokers and languages)
  • Test realism – workloads have been fine-tuned and tailored to reflect a typical user behaviour more realistically. Phasing allows strategic delays when it comes to both data load and user action simulation.
  • Test reporting – progress is reported in real time with even more granularity, showing you vital stats about the number of tests passed and the estimated time of the completion.

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ThinPoint Desktop Virtualization Review


Desktop Virtualization has become an industry of its own in the past year, and as demand for desktop virtualization technologies grows, so does the flexibility of available solutions.

ThinPoint by NetLeverage is one of the leading desktop virtualization solutions, actively gaining momentum in the past few years. I've spent a few days testing ThinPoint and truly believe it deserves your attention if you're looking for a Windows-oriented desktop virtualization solution.

There are typically two challenges for any desktop virtualization solution: how to effectively virtualize desktops while achieving the highest virtual-to-physical ratio and how to provide the best remote access experience possible. Ideally, your users shouldn't even notice the virtual nature of their desktop environments. When it comes to ThinPoint desktop virtualization, it gains advantage by providing a number of innovative solutions in the remote access space.

Desktop Virtualization with ThinPoint

ThinPoint offers a Windows-oriented desktop virtualization – it needs a Windows host and it supports only Windows-based virtual desktops at this stage. The really nice thing about ThinPoint approach is that you don’t need an enterprise infrastructure to start using it: neither server-grade hardware nor server editions of Windows OS are required. In addition to this, you can access your virtual desktops from Linux clients, so if you are a Linux-based software development company, ThinPoint can help you by providing easy and fast access to centralized Windows virtual desktops.

[Read more…]

tuCloud: Hosted Virtual Desktop Review



Hosted Virtual Desktop is one of the latest directions in desktop virtualization. Instead of more traditional approaches when you create virtual environments on your physical desktop or within virtual infrastructure deployed in your datacentre, Hosted Virtual Desktop offers you a refreshing alternative: host your virtual desktops in a secure cloud of a trusted provider. Today I'm going to review one of hosted virtual desktop solutions, the one provided by tuCloud.com.

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VMware Solutions Drastically Lower Operational Costs

PALO ALTO, Calif., December 21, 2009 — VMware, Inc. (NYSE: VMW), the global leader in virtualization solutions from the desktop through the datacenter and to the cloud, today announced independent research convincingly proves that VMware customers are drastically lowering operational expenditures (OpEx) with VMware solutions. VMware vSphere™ and the VMware vCenter™ Product Family lower the day-to-day costs of running IT, enabling IT resources and budgets to be shifted from tactical maintenance to strategic projects that can better create value for the business. “Reducing OpEx with Virtualization and Virtual Systems Management,” a whitepaper prepared by ENTERPRISE MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATES® (EMA™) for VMware, quantifies how customers have been able to reduce service failures, improve staff efficiency, speed up service deployment and reduce facility operation costs using VMware solutions.
The whitepaper (available from this page), which includes EMA research and VMware customer case studies, documents how VMware virtualization enables:

  • Reduction of Service Failures – fixing problems up to 24 times faster, eliminating up to 43 hours of downtime a year, improving uptime to as high as 99.999 percent, to reduce the impact, frequency, duration, and cost of service issues, troubleshooting, out-of-hours support, and productivity loss
  • Improved Staff Efficiency – increasing administrator efficiency by an average of 10 percent, and as much as 270 percent, by allowing a single administrator to manage up to 1,800 servers, reducing annual management costs by up to $1,000 per server
  • Faster Service Deployment – allowing new systems to be deployed up to 240 times faster, and new applications up to 96 times faster, saving almost $2,000 in wage costs alone per deployment, while reducing downtime, and improving time-to-market for new products and services
  • Reduced Facility Operation Costs – allowing approximately half of all organizations studied to reduce both floor space/rent costs, and power consumption, the latter by an average of 16 percent, or around $700,000 per year for a 5 megawatt datacenter

Full press release: VMware Lowers Operational Costs

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VirtualBox 3.1

Just getting around to have a look at VirtualBox 3.1, which is yet another major update to the great free desktop virtualization from Sun Microsystems.

Top 3 things to try in VirtualBox 3.1

Here are the top 3 things I personally think VirtualBox 3.1 will be popular for:

Teleportation – a new term coined by VirtualBox team for live migration. This allows you to migrate a live VM environment from one host to another. Traditionally being a feature of only the most advanced server-grade virtualization solutions, live migration is surely a welcome feature in VirtualBox.  For those who haven't tried it yet, live VM means it's up and running and live migration implies your VM keeps functioning and is fully accessible throughout the migration – an obvious improvement from previous "shut down VM on host1, start it up on host2".

Improved management of VM states on the snapshot level – apparently, you can now restore your VM state from any snapshot and not just the latest one. Starting with VirtualBox 3.1, it is also possible to branch snapshots out – take snapshots of a any given snapshots.

Paravirtualized network adapters (virtio) support – this is a great feature which allows you to use the well-known virtio network adapter by KVM instead of a standard driver software emulating the hardware of a network card. In short, this allows your VMs to use a highly optimized software solution for virtual network cards.

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VirtualBox 3.0 Released!

Sun xVM VirtualBox

Sun xVM VirtualBox

Right on time, the next major VirtualBox version is released – VirtualBox 3.0.0!

Major changes in VirtualBox 3.0

The two major improvements in VirtualBox 3.0 can be summed up like this:

  • multi-processor VMs – guest SMP with up to 32 virtual CPUs (VT-x and AMD-V only)
  • graphics improvements: Direct3D 8/9 (Windows guests only) and OpenGL 2.0 (Windows, Linux and Solaris guests)

[Read more…]

VirtualBox 2.2: OpenGL for Linux and Solaris guests

Sun xVM VirtualBox

Sun xVM VirtualBox

Another update for VirtualBox was released yesterday: VirtualBox 2.2.

OpenGL for Linux and Solaris guests

If you remember, 3D acceleration was introduced for Windows XP guests in VirtualBox 2.1, and now similar functionality had been ported for Linux and Solaris VMs. A quick experiment shows almost 4x performance improvement for 3D between VirtualBox 2.1.2 and VirtualBox 2.2 – I've simply booted Ubuntu live cd and used glxgears to get some idea about the efficiency of new 3D acceleration support. [Read more…]

Use Infrastructure Client to manage VMware Server

I'm not sure if it's part of the official documentation to VMware Server, but seeing as a few people failed to connect to their VMware Server 2.x using Infrastructure Client, I thought I'd explain how exactly this can be done.

Why use Infrastructure Client to manage VMware Server

There are three reasons I can think of:

  1. Web-based administration on VMware Server is awfully slow. I must admit it got better in 2.x betas of the server, but web-based management is still far from anything really comfortable. Infrastructure Client seems visibly faster.
  2. Common management interface – Infrastructure Client provides a common interface to manage all your virtual environments, regardless of the VMware virtualization platform supporting them – can be ESX/ESXi or VMware Server.
  3. Access to a full range of configuration parameters – last time I checked, web interface only covered the most used options of managing your VMware Server and VMs. Infrastructure Client is bound to give you access to all the features available, not just the basic ones.

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Annoying VM confirmations in VMware Infrastructure 2.5

I really like managing VMware ESX servers through VMware Infrastructure Client (using 2.5 version at the moment), but there's one little thing which really annoys me: most of VM-specific confirmations are asked with dialogue windows which don't mention the name of the VM they apply to.

For example, if I right-click the VM and decide to reset it, instead of getting something like "You're about to reset the HOSTNAME.DOMAINNAME.COM virtual machine. Are you sure?", I only see this:

Annoying Reset Confirmation

Annoying Reset Confirmation

I wonder if it's really hard to make these dialogs to be VM specific?

VirtualBox 2.1.2 adds support for Windows 7


Windows 7 in xVM VirtualBox

January 21st saw the release of 2.1.2 update of a popular desktop virtualization solutionxVM VirtualBox.

As usual, there had been numerous bugfixes and performance improvements, and among the new features came one of the most anticipated features – support for Windows 7 VMs.

Frankly, I am surprised as how well Win7 performed in a VM with just 512Mb!

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