Monday, August 31, 2009

Microsoft released Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 in time for VMworld

Seems Microsoft wants to leverage some buzz at VMworld and released Hyper-V Server 2008 R2 which is supporting a bunch of new features. You can check out their blog to see more info, the highlights are:
Up to 8 processors per physical server
Up to 64 logical processors
Up to 1 TB of physical memory
Live migration
High availability

It is good that VMware has some competition to push it to continue to innovate and drive new and exciting things to market. Plus never, ever count Microsoft out, they still get a whole additional version number before folks consider their product "ready" to use, which means they will get lots of attention pretty soon.
- Ed

Thursday, August 27, 2009

VMworld 2009 - San Francisco next week

VMware's VMworld 2009 is next week in downtown San Francisco and I picked up an Expo pass (Solutions Exchange) to be able to drop in for a day to see all the exciting stuff happening in the virtualization world.
It looks like Cisco is going to have a huge showing at the event this year. There is a lot of buzz around UCS, Nexus 7000, 5000, 2000 and 1000v and the new Data Center 3.0 architecture. If you want to get your toes wet on some of the happenings with Cisco's involvement you should check out Colin McNamara's blog, he has been doing some great posts about all the happenings with UCS. Colin is also on twitter.
- Ed

Microsoft BranchCache - why it matters

I will be presenting at the next meeting on Microsoft's Better Together story for Windows Server 2008 R2 and Windows 7. I am going to specifically focus on a new feature in the product(s) called BranchCache. BranchCache is a very interesting approach on Microsoft's part to leverage a client/server OS to perform file caching and pre-positioning functions that traditionally has been approached in the network via appliance solutions.

While BranchCache does not address WAN acceleration and optimization, which many of the network appliance solutions target, it does take care of the file caching portion. For many smaller businesses that is the bulk of traffic in either their VPN or WAN networks. The fact that this is an included feature of the OS just shows how (IMHO) Microsoft is pushing more and more services into software and eliminating the need of special network devices.

I think this just demonstrates the fundamental difference in a company like Cisco who is pushing more services and functions into the network and "cloud" compared to a company like Microsoft who is enabling their operating system to perform and optimize on its own. To be honest, I have no idea who is going to win this one.

I think the challenge will be for Microsoft to play better in an inhomogeneous OS environment, it might mean giving away some of its designs and models and perhaps some code to erode away at positions that clearly favor intelligence in the network. Microsoft is all about software and Cisco is all about network - this I believe is the long term battle that most IT professionals are overlooking today.
- Ed