News from VMworld 2011 and Beyond

Once again, it's time for VMworld and time for vendors to roll out all sorts of announcements. Since Linux plays such a big part in the world of virtualization and cloud computing, let's take a look at some of the news around VMworld that relates to Linux.

One of the most interesting announcements for the open source community has to be the announcement that CloudStack is going 100% open source. A quick refresher, Citrix bought (which owned CloudStack) just a little over a month ago. While there's always been a CloudStack community release, there were features (mostly to bridge to proprietary tools & software) exclusive to the commercial release.

Now Citrix is all in when it comes to CloudStack. There's a preview release out now that rolls in features from the proprietary release. Come the next stable release, it will all be one big happy codebase — under the GPLv3.

Oracle VM 3

Technically, this was announced prior to VMworld but you know Oracle wanted to make a splash ahead of the big event. Oracle announced its Oracle VM 3 last week with a number of improvements.

Most notable? Oracle has beefed up its management software for Oracle VM, and has standardized on the Xen 4.0 hypervisor for Oracle VM 3. Oracle claims that VM 3 can scale up to 160 CPUs and 2TB on one machine, and can host guests with up to 128 virtual CPUs.

The company has also released more than 90 templates for Oracle VM, so Oracle shops can launch applications for Oracle application stacks with a few clicks.

VMware's Big Announcements

Naturally, VMware had a few big announcements at VMworld. (It's almost as if they planned it that way...)

While not Linux-specific, a lot of Linux shops are going to be interested in the announcements around their vCloud Datacenter Services program. The program features third-party providers that offer VMware cloud infrastructure. When it was initially unveiled it was in beta and had five partners. Now the program is covering 25 data centers in 13 countries.

The idea behind the program is not just that you can have VMware cloud infrastructure provided by a hosting partner, but that you can move between providers for scalability and performance reasons. (Also if you just don't like a provider.) The company has also launched a site to help customers locate providers so they don't have to waste time on Google finding shops that offer the services.

Of more interest to the open source community, especially the PostgreSQL community, was the VMware vFabric Data Director. This is a database provisioning and operations tool for companies to use to, essentially, virtualize their databases.

In a nutshell, it makes it easier to provision and move databases through their lifecycle. From conception to testing to production. VMware offers cloning, management, and monitoring tools that are meant to make data management much easier.

Why's this of interest to PostgreSQL fans? The initial release features a customized version of PostgreSQL 9. The company has said other databases will be supported, but PgSQL is the first out of the gate.

Red Hat Aeolus

Red Hat is also in the game with its Aeolus project. What's Aeolus? It's a bit higher up the stack than the OS. Aeolus is software to manage your private and public cloud services. Remember those nasty Amazon EC2 outages in early August and in April this year? The idea is that Aeolus would allow you to have images running or ready to run on several cloud services at any time.

One service fails? Spin up on another provider. No lock in, no problem. Naturally, Aeolus is open source and runs on Linux. (Some of it also works on Mac OS X). It supports Red Hat RHEV, Eucalyptus, vSphere, and Amazon EC2 and Rackspace Cloud.

Though much of the news in and around VMworld is not Linux-specific, it's worth remembering that much of the technology being touted at VMworld is there because of Linux. As we noted in our wrapup from LinuxCon, it's what Linux enables that's really important.

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