VMware CEO's Big Splash
New VMware CEO Paul Maritz stood in front of a crowd of (I'd have to guess)
thousands and, like Sarah Palin, gave
of his life. What's the difference between a former VMware CEO
and a pitbull? Lipstick. And if you put lipstick on Hyper-V, it's still Hyper-V.
No, Maritz really didn't say any of those things. In fact, that's probably
the lamest joke I've ever penned (send barbs my way at firstname.lastname@example.org).
The Maritz talk wasn't quite as well-received as Palin's convention speech.
Virtualization Review Editor Keith Ward wasn't
impressed, whereas I thought Martitz came across as thoughtful, highly technical
and one not afraid of pushing the envelope.
VMware Wants To Virtualize Everything
While Microsoft has a series of discrete tools for servers, PCs, applications
and management, VMware is now talking
about what it calls a Datacenter Operating System. If that wasn't bold enough,
this OS (well, it's not really an OS) handles computers, networks and storage
(not sure how Cisco and NetApp feel about all that).
Essentially, VMware wants you to build your own clouds. The cloud isn't just
Google et al., but the datacenter right down the hall. Under this plan, computing
becomes a utility -- carefully managed by VMware.
This works for fine Google, which invests billions in built-from-scratch server
farms to which it adds built-from-scratch applications. But how do you do that
when you don't have billions to invest in built-from-scratch server farms to
which you can add built-from-scratch applications? You have to deal with all
To me, going forward this is a fine IT goal, but while the end result sounds
simple, getting there is immensely complex. If VMware succeeds with these plans,
it will not only become the new Microsoft, but the new Cisco and EMC, as well
(oh, yeah, they already are EMC).
Is this pie in the sky or money in the bank? Answers readily accepted at email@example.com.
Just Say No to Other Hypervisors
In a Q&A session, Maritz was asked about support for non-VMware hypervisors.
He said, "At this point in time, we don't support hypervisors other than
our own," adding that VMware isn't religious about hypervisors and it would
consider it if there was enough demand.
After private conversations, it's clear that the door is open for other hypervisors.
The trouble is in doing things like VMotion with Hyper-V et al. that are so
easily accomplished with ESX.
Mailbag: Firefox vs. IE...Again, Cloudy Computing, More
Readers talk browsers -- specifically, why Firefox trumps IE, and whether Netscape
died a natural death:
I don't know what you don't like about Firefox. I find it fast, intuitive,
extensible and easy to use. Granted, I've been in on this session since 1982;
I've seen EVERY version of IE. I've seen everything that IE can possibly do
and I am not happy with IE. I only use IE because of some Web sites, like
the educational system's Web site. Otherwise, I do everything else in Firefox.
If I had to choose just one feature of Firefox that I rely on most, it's
the infinite zoom feature.
Netscape definetely died. Take a look at Firefox (well, it's free). It's
still gaining momentum over IE, and now Chrome is doing its part. If Netscape
would've offered a very compelling reason to stick with it, it would be alive.
But I'm sure it would be as freeware.
I think Microsoft did a good job (even tough, unconsciously) in making the
market for the Web browsers at no cost. I don't think paying for such a piece
of software would've improved the security and quality.
John isn't sure how, exactly, the movement toward cloud
computing is going to help him save energy:
Let see if I am getting this right: If I use the cloud instead of my
own datacenter, I can save energy? As I see it, the datacenter I use, either
Microsoft's or my own, may or may not be energy-efficient. I do not see how
the location has anything to do with how much energy it uses. Try this: If
I use my home computer, which is bloated because it is running Vista, and
buy a cloud service to handle my checkbook, correspondence and record keeping,
according to your theory I would save energy. I don't understand how that
can be true.
This reminds me of the fellow who is going to save energy by charging
his cell phone from the car. No, that isn't free energy; the car's engine
has to run a tiny bit harder to charge the phone. It isn't much, but it is
the same amount as you would draw from the wall outlet at home. Charging where
you get it is a trade, and not necessarily an improvement. It depends on all
the factors involved. Maybe if I buy one of China's $99 laptops instead of
my home desktop with 2GB et al., that might save me some energy. But it is
not because the laptop is battery-powered -- it is because it might, just
might, use less power to do its work.
Speaking of cheap
laptops, Marc thinks that no matter how inexpensive they get, Linux laptops
won't catch on in the States:
In the U.S., low-cost PCs are extremely attractive to cost-conscious
segments. But in the end, American consumers are needed to drive costs down.
In the end, no matter how much you drive down costs with low-power, Linux-based
systems, user demand is the key and consumers (at least in the USA) ask for
Windows. Why? Well, lots of Web sites are dependent upon IE (Firefox just
won't cut it). Commercial products, be they for personal productivity, multimedia
or gaming, overwhelmingly are available for Windows and, sometimes, Macintosh.
Not much commercial software is available for Linux. The fact that most Linux
software is free just doesn't help when the consumer cannot shop of those
Linux choices at their favorite retailer.
This new Chinese laptop might do well in European and Asian markets,
but without the ability to run Widows applications or view IE-centric Web
sites, don't expect it to take hold in the USA.
And Chris, who was in Las Vegas during 9/11, shares his memories of the aftermath:
A day or so after the tragedy, all gaming stopped for one minute at noon
to remember the victims. All major attractions were closed (such as the Stratosphere
rides and headliner acts), since they were considered potential targets. The
oversized electronic hotel signs had patriotic messages such as "God
bless America" instead of the usual advertising. The Fitzgerald casino
downtown changed its marquee to read, "Our thoughts and prayers go out
to the victims of this week's tragedies." It is probably the only time
they've ever had a prayer on their marquee. Every sports book was shut down;
instead, their mammoth screens displayed the news channels.
Friday, Sept. 14, the hotels minimized all exterior lighting, including
turning off marquees and decorative lighting, to memorialize Tuesday's events.
In addition, for 10 minutes, they turned off ALL exterior lighting. We were
in a cab, and it was as if the entire strip simply disappeared. It was an
unbelievable sight, or rather a lack thereof!
Tell us what you think! Leave comment below or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.