Live from VMware TSX 2007 – part 2

As told in 1st day report, I used today to attend a couple of special sessions which provided an idea of VMware R&D directions:

  • Virtualization-optimized Architectures (formerly Architectural Directions for Virtual Infrastructure)
    This probably is the most insightful session to attend, detailing VMware current and future efforts on CPU, memory and OS optimization.
    In particular Yu-Shen Ng, ESX Server’s Group Product Manager focused on memory partitioning which AMD and Intel will provide with future CPUs: AMD Nested Page Tables (NTP) and Intel Enhanced Page Tables (EPT) will allow a broader range of workloads to be virtualized (and not only ones which perform memory intensive tasks), improving efficiency and reducing demand inside virtual machines, while hardware will mitigate new overhead introduced.
    He also stressed on VMware VMI benefits over para-virtualization, which is currently facing tough challenges in enterprises because or required guest OSes modifications.
    The most interesting part anyway has been made by Yu-Shen comments at the end of the session, directly attacking both XenSource and Microsoft: the first one with an unclear future because of current Linux community factualization around new KVM virtualization module, the second one with an unclear and untrustable involvement in open source because of company openness to standards.
  • VMware Consolidated Backup: Today and Tomorrow
    In this session Andy Tucker, Principal Engineer, performs a comprensive overview of VMware VCB, clarifying also current technologies limitations (catalog, scheduling, restore capabilities are missing), and providing a fair insight of what’s coming: possible integration with VMware Converter to provide a full data recovery solution (which would put even more overlapping and competition between VMware and its partners PlateSpin and vizioncore), a programmatic API, new capabilities to correctly recognize LUNs (through unique signatures in VMFS metadata), and capability to run VCB proxy in a virtual machine.

But these are not the only news from VMware:

  • As a precious reported in 1st day report’s comments, codename Fusion, the desktop solution VMware will launch for Apple market, to counter Parallels success: it will hit beta 3 before the end of this week, and a beta 4 will follow as well. Final release will be available in summer (possibly for Apple WWDC conference) featuring few secret features.
  • Capacity Planner will reach 2.6 version in Q3 2007, featuring reports on power consumption and suggestions on best virtual machines configuration.

Today closes with a fun trivia: what ESX acronym really means? Some attendees tried to discover the secret behind the name talking with some VMware representatives but didn’t get a final answer…What’s your take?

Update: Scott has been the first answering and unveiled the mistery behind it.

ESX stands for Elastic Sky X (while the old GSX, now just Server, was the acronym for Ground Storm X)!

Second update: Karl Rumelhart, Senior Product Manager at VMware, reported on VMTN blog about the most interesting (and most hilarious) session of the entire event: The Next Big Thing.

During it a lot has been discovered about european VMware customers, and even some of research direction VMware is considering (one for all: extending to physical layer management capabilities).

But most of all emerged how customers are looking for less expensive solutions with a-la-carte options, better suited for SMBs needs.