OpenDedup Virtual Appliance (based on SDFS)

OpenDedup just released a greatly enhanced Virtual Appliance based on SDFS. The OpenDedup Virtual NAS Appliance is designed for simple setup and management SDFS volumes for virtual environments. The Appliance includes capabilities to create, mount,delete, and export SDFS volumes via NFS from a Web Based interface. It also includes VMWare storage api integration that allow the quick Data Store creation and cloning of Virtual machines located on SDFS Volumes.

Interesting. Video.

All Things Virtual

I’ve been working as a Technical Support Engineer for VMware since July 2009 and my work life is virtualization, storage and solving stuff everyday. I felt the need to document information and new things that I’m learning, so instead of using a notepad, why not put it on a blog? Let’s get virtual with All Things Virtual. Cheers.

RedHat buys Qumranet (KVM)

After dropping the support of Xen for RHEL (well, not really, they will still support it, but not as passionate as it was in the past), RedHat buys Qumranet (KVM) and becomes a new player on the virtualization market, specially with Virtual Desktops (watch SPICE). As a sidenote, I’m a very big fan of KVM. And RedHat also. KVM is also part of the stock kernel since 2.6.20 (as a module). If there were some doubts about the future of KVM, well, think again.

The network is the computer (this time it’s the future, really)

Meet CherryPal:

The CherryPal™ C100 desktop is about the size of a paperback book, but has the performance you would expect from a full-size desktop computer. Freescale’s fast triple-core mobileGT processor delivers exceptional multimedia performance and feature-rich user interfaces, while only consuming as much power as a clock radio. CherryPal uses 80 percent fewer components than a traditional PC, and because it has no moving parts, it operates without making a sound and will last 10 years or more.

You pay $249 for a small black box with external VGA, 2 USB ports, 256M ram, 4G NAND, 400 Mhz processor and internal wifi card. This thing will consume about 2 watts of energy (they say). This acts as a thin client, as you run all of your application on your virtual desktop, in the cloud. And you get 50 Gb of free storage. Hope it’s not 100% based on S3 :-). And they let you run Opensource applications like OpenOffice, IM, mail, etc. But they say they have iTunes also.

Sun XVM Virtualbox for Mac

If you have a Intel Mac and you are in the need for virtualization, along with Parallels and VMware Fusion you have now a 3rd option: Sun XVM Virtualbox. And it’s free. Check it out. It looks good on the demo. From what I’ve seen, there’s no DirectX support for now (no hardcore games, sorry) and it will not work with Bootcamp. Have to try this and compare it with VMware Fusion. I would really like to see a real-world benchmark on Virtualbox vs Parallels vs Fusion.

EC2 and Persistent Storage

Coming this year, Amazon EC2 will have persistent storage. Today the ‘disk’ per instance is ephemeral. If the instance gets a reboot or is shuted down, you lost all the information you had on that disk. So, you couldn’t use things like relational databases on EC2 without using some sort of S3 hack and play with MySQL replication plus the geographical feature of EC2. Basically you make incremental backups of the database to S3 every 10m, run a full backup once per day and launch another MySQL instance on a separate datacenter for mirroring. Now, you’ll have the possibility to buy a volume from 1G to 1T, mount it on your EC2 instance and there you go. Oh, btw, you have snapshots, too. Quoting Jeff Barr: 

In the same way that your running EC2 instances, your Elastic IP addresses, your S3 buckets and your SQS queues can be thought of as items contained within the scope of your AWS account, our forthcoming persistent storage feature will give you the ability to create reliable, persistent storage volumes for use with EC2. Once created, these volumes will be part of your account and will have a lifetime independent of any particular EC2 instance.These volumes can be thought of as raw, unformatted disk drives which can be formatted and then used as desired (or even used as raw storage if you’d like). Volumes can range in size from 1 GB on up to 1 TB; you can create and attach several of them to each EC2 instance. They are designed for low latency, high throughput access from Amazon EC2. Needless to say, you can use these volumes to host a relational database.You will also be able to perform “snapshot” backups of your volumes to Amazon S3. You can use these snapshots to create new volumes or to roll back your stored data to an earlier point in time.    

For now, a few lucky bastards are on the beta tests. They expect to open it to a wider audience later this year. World domination for Amazon? How can you compete in vm hosting business or cloud computing? Let’s have a look a the pricing numbers. Can’t wait.