Virtualization


Watts Water Technologies needed to replace 1000 old shop-floor terminals with more flexible desktops. They ended up choosing SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop on Neoware thin client hardwares along with ZENworks to help manage the environment. You can also check out the Open PR blog entry for some info.  From the customer success story…

After evaluating several desktop and thin-client solutions, Watts Water Technologies selected SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop for use in a thin-client deployment, as well as Novell ZENworks to manage more than 1,000 desktops.

“Linux really shines and Novell has a great Linux strategy,” said Ty Muscat, Data Center Manager for Watts Water Technologies. “We have almost every platform imaginable and are moving more and more to SUSE Linux Enterprise desktops and servers. We like having an open platform with a lot of flexibility.”

The results:

“Without Novell, we would have had to invest far more to get anything similar to what we have with SUSE Linux Enterprise Desktop,” said Muscat. “The ongoing management and maintenance costs of other options would have been overwhelming for us.”

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It’s been a whole year since the ground-breaking Novell-Microsoft Collaboration Agreement was signed and announced. The one-stop shop for official info is here: http://www.moreinterop.com So far, despite the noise in the press, MANY customers have decided to take advantage of the many benefits that the agreement brings to the table. Here’s a list of all 46 of the customers who are allowing us to mention them publicly. They include some of the largest and most recognizable organizations in the world – Wal-Mart, BMW, Costco, HSBC, Nationwide, Siemens and Southwest Airlines just to name a few…

  • 1blu
  • Abraxas Informatik AG
  • ADIF
  • AFG IT Consulting
  • Arsys
  • Arsys Internet S.L.
  • Baker Hughes
  • BATS Trading Inc.
  • BMW AG
  • State of California, Department of Fish and Game
  • State of California Department of Technology Services
  • Cash Converters International Ltd.
  • CHRISTUS Health
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
  • City of Los Angeles
  • CompuCom Systems Inc.
  • Conductor Tecnologia S.A.
  • Costco Wholesale Corp.
  • Flagstar Bank
  • Fujitsu Services Oy
  • Gordon Food Service
  • Gulfstream Aerospace Corp.
  • hi5 Networks Inc.
  • Host Europe
  • HSBC
  • iLoop Mobile Inc.
  • Leicester City Council
  • Kent County, Mich.
  • Mercury Insurance
  • Nationwide
  • Pioneer Corp.
  • PRISACOM SA
  • Reed Elsevier
  • Riverside County, Calif.
  • Save Mart Supermarkets
  • Siemens Corp.
  • South Carolina Department of Probation, Pardon and Parole Services
  • Southwest Airlines Co.
  • Swiss Post
  • Synovus Financial Corp.
  • TDC Hosting
  • T-Systems Enterprise Services GmbH
  • Wal-Mart
  • Washington State Department of Information Services
  • Westmont College
  • Zabka Polska S.A.
  • Links here, here and here

On top of all these customers, several other developments in the relationship have occurred during the first year. Novell and Microsoft have completed building out and are now doing real engineering work and interoperability testing in the Microsoft and Novell Interoperability Lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts. More info on the lab is in the recent press release. Dell signed on as a partner for the agreement as well, working to help Linux customers with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

And most recently, Novell and Microsoft extended the agreement by agreeing to work together to make it easier for all software developers to develop applications for users with disabilities, such as blindness. From the press release:

Microsoft will make available its User Interface Automation (UIA) specification, an advanced accessibility framework that simplifies the development of assistive technology products for people with one or more disabilities, and pledge not to assert any Microsoft patents necessary to implement the specification against anyone, regardless of platform, in the open source and proprietary software communities. In concert, to promote interoperability between leading accessibility frameworks in the market, Novell will develop and deliver an adapter that allows the UIA framework to work well with existing Linux accessibility projects and complement the investments made by IBM Corp. and others. Novell’s work will be open source and will make the UIA framework cross-platform while enabling UIA to interoperate with the Linux Accessibility Toolkit (ATK), which ships with SUSE Linux Enterprise, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Ubuntu Linux. The UIA solution will ensure interoperability of nonvisual access to the next generation of software applications.

“Microsoft’s commitment to make the specification for UIA freely available to others to implement, coupled with Novell’s plans to develop and deliver an adapter that allows Linux accessibility projects to work well with the UIA framework, are tremendous examples of how industry can come together to tackle interoperability problems for blind persons,” said Dr. Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind. “The NFB challenges the entire IT industry to continue to look for creative opportunities such as this to solve longstanding interoperability challenges and reduce development barriers to accessibility.”

Interesting:

Virtual Machine Additions for Linux are designed to improve the usability and interoperability of running qualified Linux operating systems as guests or virtual machines of Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1.

Now with support for SuSE Linux Enterprise Server 10
Microsoft is committed to testing and supporting many third-party operating systems for use as guest operating systems on Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1 virtual machines. To help make sure that you have a favorable experience when you run third-party guest operating systems in Virtual Server 2005, Microsoft Product Support Services (PSS) has created a product support model for these third-party guest operating systems. This support model is consistent with the support model that is used for Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1. Product support for the Virtual Machine Additions will be provided through the normal support channels available for Virtual Server 2005 R2 SP1.

More here.

From the article:

CHICAGO — At the Data Center Decisions conference in Chicago on Monday, Oct. 22, controversial comments from Jon Toigo, CEO and managing principal of Dunedin, Fla.-based Toigo Partners International LLC, had attendees shaking their heads in bewilderment.

For one, Toigo advised attendees against using VMware in favor of mainframe systems, calling the virtualization software “shoddy” in comparison. But nearly all conference attendees were assembled to learn about implementing virtualization in their data center.

Toigo is knowledgeable about disaster recovery (DR) planning, which was the topic of his keynote session, but he warned users against ever feeling completely secure with their disaster recovery plans.

More here.

From the “About” page for VirtualBox:

innotek VirtualBox is a general-purpose full virtualizer for x86 hardware. Targeted at server, desktop and embedded use, it is now the only professional-quality virtualization solution that is also Open Source Software.

Some of the features of VirtualBox are:

  • Modularity. VirtualBox has an extremely modular design with well-defined internal programming interfaces and a client/server design. This makes it easy to control it from several interfaces at once: for example, you can start a virtual machine in a typical virtual machine GUI and then control that machine from the command line, or possibly remotely. VirtualBox also comes with a full Software Development Kit: even though it is Open Source Software, you don’t have to hack the source to write a new interface for VirtualBox.
  • Virtual machine descriptions in XML. The configuration settings of virtual machines are stored entirely in XML and are independent of the local machines. Virtual machine definitions can therefore easily be ported to other computers.
  • Guest Additions for Windows and Linux. VirtualBox has special software that can be installed inside Windows and Linux virtual machines to improve performance and make integration much more seamless. Among the features provided by these Guest Additions are mouse pointer integration and arbitrary screen solutions (e.g. by resizing the guest window).
  • Shared folders. Like many other virtualization solutions, for easy data exchange between hosts and guests, VirtualBox allows for declaring certain host directories as “shared folders”, which can then be accessed from within virtual machines.

VirtualBox is now included as a virtualization option in the openSUSE 10.3 release, available here. If you’re on another version of Linux, you can get more information about VirtualBox here, and download the binary and source versions here.

Enjoy,

RossB

Will Virtualization Doom Server Sales?

From the article:

The promise behind virtualization has long been that one well-equipped server could do the work of several. So what happens once customers begin following that idea — and buying fewer servers?

That scenario is cause for concern, according to industry analyst Infiniti Research. This week, the firm published a study indicating that server sales will trail off in coming years, and even decline, as virtualization reduces the need for physical hardware.

The company’s TechNavio online research unit released the findings to coincide with the upcoming Storage Expo conference in London next week.

The study suggests that sales will slow to two percent in 2008 — representing a marked decline from the 5.9 percent annual growth rates that fellow market researcher IDC saw in 2006, and the 8.9 percent from a recent Gartner study.

Read the rest of the article.

Yes!  NetWare can be virtualized using Xen on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10 SP1.  It’s part of the feature set of Open Enterprise Server 2 — more info:  product home page, audio podcast, Novell CTO blog, press release, workgroup blog

A couple of related news articles

One great thing about the way that OES 2 was designed is that it is simply an add-on to SLES 10.  That means, all the hardware that is officially certified for SLES 10, is now officially certified to run virtualized NetWare (OES 2).  Get a list of the certified hardware on the Novell site here, and don’t forget to check your favorite hardware vendor’s own website for the latest info.

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