Welcome to VMworld

Yesterday I got up early, kissed the family goodbye and made the monstrous multi-stop airplane journey to Las Vegas. You might think the author of a prestigious newsletter such as Redmond Report would travel in style, but like many of you I'm purely a coach potato. Traveling in that crowed stockade they call a fuselage makes me appreciate where I'm going.

And that is VMworld, where I was instantly joined by 10,000 to 14,000 other virtualization freaks. Today and the rest of the week I'll give you hands-on reports from the show, along with a smattering of what's going on in the rest of the computing universe.

Sun Puts Its Best Hypervisor Foot Forward
Sun may not get the same attention in the virtualization space as, say, a Microsoft or a VMware, but like IBM on the mainframe, Sun is no stranger to virtualization. Sneaking its message in just before VMworld, Sun announced that its new hypervisor, xVM Server, and its management platform for virtualization, Ops Center 2.0, are both now ready.

Sun already added the Xen hypervisor to Solaris. xVM Server is actually the exact opposite; it adds chunks of Solaris to Xen, which Sun claims makes the hypervisor more secure and full featured.

Sun's virtualization strategy is rich and complex -- that's what happens when you've been doing something for 20-plus years. I spent a solid month trying to figure it all out. Here's what I came up with. Let me know if I got it right by writing dbarney@redmondmag.com.

You Gotta Love Microsoft
I like things feisty. Lance Armstrong, Bill Parcells and Vince K. McMahon are all well-known jerks, but I love 'em anyway. That self-centeredness, that will to succeed, is what makes them great. Microsoft is that kind of company. On the eve of VMworld (actually, the week before) Microsoft had a massive product launch for Hyper-V where they lowered the price to...free!

Today, on the morning of VMware CEO (and former Microsoft powerbroker) Paul Maritz's keynote, Microsoft sent out an e-mail about a Q&A with Mike Neil on virtualization. Minutes after reading this on my BlackBerry, an attractive woman dressed in black slipped me a poker chip.

The joke? When it comes to virtualization, Microsoft is the best bet.

Once inside The Venetian hotel in Las Vegas, site of VMworld, another attractive woman dressed in black slipped me a poker chip. Thanks to Microsoft, I'm already up two bucks, and haven't even fed the slots.

Jerry: Take 2
Redmond Report reader Michael P. (you know who you are) told me the second Seinfeld-Microsoft commercial is out, and pointed me to the four-plus-minute version online. After the first outing -- which most of you agree is horrible -- I feared the worst.

In the second commercial, Bill Gates and Jerry Seinfeld move in with an average American family so they can reconnect with normal people. I watched it and thought it was OK. Then as I thought about it more and more, clever scenes came back to me -- and I liked 'em. Fact is, I can actually imagine this as a sitcom. And once again, Gates did a great job playing Gates.

So as much as I blasted the first commercial, I really like this new one -- very unusual, very different and very good. Tell me where I'm wrong at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Mailbag: Seinfeld's Second Shot, More
Based on the aforementioned Michael's reaction, the second Seinfeld-Gates commercial is already more successful than the first:

In case you haven't seen it yet, here is the next installment. It's on YouTube. I was crying about 30 seconds in. That grandmother is hilarious.
-Michael

But that might not make a difference for Darren from the U.K., who has just one question:

Sorry, who is Seinfeld?
-Darren

And Raymond shares his thoughts on the naysayers who think the Large Hadron Collider will only spell disaster:

I do not understand why the fear mongers want to stop the LHC. I may not be a particle physics major, but I would love to see what we will learn from their experiments and, like the article stated, we have higher energy collisions that are being caused by cosmic rays all around us and they have not destroyed the earth.

There are always doom-and-gloom people out there and we never seem to learn to ignore them. When they tested the first atomic bomb, there were people that were worried that the chain reaction would not stop and the earth would be destroyed. I can remember when all the planets aligned on the same side of our sun and it was not torn apart like some apocalypse doomsayers said it would. By the way, if I recall, we were supposed to go back to the Stone Age when the year 2000 hit because of the Y2K computer bug...so I guess I am not really writing this message to you after all.
-Raymond

Tell us what you think! Leave a comment below or send an e-mail to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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