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No Free Lunch

The party invites keep rolling in for product announcements in Cannes. Where, sadly I won't be for VMworld Europe 2008. But I have received a number of goodies, offers ,and handouts here in the States.
The party invites keep rolling in for product announcements in Cannes. Where, sadly I won't be for VMworld Europe 2008. But I have received a number of goodies, offers, and handouts here in the States.It turns out that there is some iSCSI love for Apple after all. Steve Modica from Small Tree and Don Ko from ATTO Tech reached out to me this week with Leopard-savvy iSCSI initiators for our test lab. I grumbled back in January that Apple just doesn't seem to care about enterprise solutions, and received the expected jeers from using Apple and enterprise in the same sentence. Apple has quietly killed off its own line of FC xRaid solutions this month and is now pushing Promise RAID along with its SAN software. VMware and Parallels are hoping some customers just might want Leopard server VMs. I'm thinking those customers will want to connect to iSCSI storage. Enough about Apple.

JumpBox is running a $19.99 promo on all its virtual appliances. For those unfamiliar with the company, it cranks out tidy open-source solutions wrapped for folks afraid of the command line. Sure, you could build your own box or VM and download, install, configure, and tweak your own instance of anything it sells. Need a departmental Yiki Wiki, Joomla!, or Mantis bug tracker? At $20 bucks a pop, why bother rolling your own? JumpBoxes run on MS Virt Server or Virtual PC, Virtual Iron, Parallels for Mac, and VMware Server, Player, Workstation, or Fusion. I've installed and tested a number of 'Boxes' with no issues. These folks make me smile.

LeftHand Networks has worked with VMware to market 'turn key' virt solution kits bundling LeftHand's virt SAN appliance (VSA) with ESX servers. Check out their site if you're looking for a distributor. The pitch: no physical SAN required 'cause the VSA reclaims 'unused' storage in ESX boxes as a SAN. I still think this is a novel approach for smaller shops to benefit from ESX; external storage arrays (Fibre Channel or iSCSI) can be scary to the uninitiated. Build up a couple ESX hosts, load them up with internal storage and let the SAN/IQ software magically create a virtual storage area network. I can't imagine you'd want to run the dataset for a large transactional system on the same box as your hosted VMs, but it would probably address an SMB's needs (the target market) with no fuss.

Last, but far from least, I've been buried under vendor requests and contacts for an upcoming virtualization management piece. And there have been a couple of offers for lunch in California which I've had to decline due to my East Coast-ness. I'll be painting with a pretty broad brush on the topic for our April feature, so please drop me a note if you have a product, success story, or personal opinion on managing complex VM environments.

For those that might be interested -- the best Cannes offer came from DataCore Software: tuna tartare, sea bream with olives, and local wine at lunch to announce its new SANharmony platform. I love sea bream.The party invites keep rolling in for product announcements in Cannes. Where, sadly I won't be for VMworld Europe 2008. But I have received a number of goodies, offers ,and handouts here in the States.

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