February 2009 Archives

Citrix today announced that it will make Citrix XenServer Enterprise available at no charge to customers. How does its offering compare to that of Microsoft?

Since Microsoft Hyper-V is free and because Microsoft is making revenue from its System Center family of systems management products, this move will further align Citrix with Microsoft. Furthermore, because Citrix is going to support Hyper-V in its Citrix Essentials management package and because Microsoft is going to support Citrix XenServer in System Center Virtual Machine Manager, the virtualization offerings from both vendors are becoming increasingly symmetrical:

  • Citrix XenServer Enterprise (free) with Citrix Essentials management applications ($).
  • Microsoft Hyper-V (free) with System Center management applications ($).

Citrix EssentialsThat said, there are several areas where the offering from Citrix shines compared to the one from Microsoft:

Live Migration

  • XenMotion is included with Citrix XenServer Enterprise.
  • Microsoft is not going to have live migration capabilities until Windows Server 2008 R2 is released (in 2010 most likely).

Multi-server Management

  • Citrix is giving away XenCenter for free to allow enterprises to manage multiple hosts.
  • The equivalent Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager offering is priced at $869 USD per managed server. Alternatively, customers may purchase Virtual Machine Manager as part of the System Center Server Management Suite Enterprise at $1497 USD per managed server.

Lab Management and Stage Management

It is clear that Citrix and Microsoft will continue creating a unified front against VMware. The most recent announcement from Citrix declaring extension of its 20-year partnership with Microsoft into server virtualization underscores this.

Regardless of whether Citrix XenServer Enterprise or Microsoft Hyper-V is the target virtualization platform, planning for these environments side-by-side is becoming increasingly important. Products such as Lanamark Suite and Novell PlateSpin Recon make this possible.

Learn more about the Sever Virtualization Design Module with support for Citrix XenServer, Microsoft Hyper-V and other virtualization platforms.

Fact-Based Utilization Assessment Helps Customers Reduce Infrastructure Costs By More Than 50 Percent

VMware today announced a milestone of nearly 2.5 million systems discovered as candidates for virtualization using VMware Capacity Planner. The IT capacity planning tool is used exclusively by the VMware Professional Services Organization and VMware  partners to help customers accurately profile their physical IT environments and maximize cost savings through virtualization.

This news release underscores the importance of upfront planning for virtualized environments to avoid over- or under-provisioning virtual infrastructure. However with so many virtualization options available on the market today, it is imperative to consider multiple platforms side-by-side, even if leaning towards VMware. At the least, this would allow enterprises to increase their bargaining power when negotiating or re-negotiating commercial terms with VMware.

Click here to read the full press release

Learn about other capacity planning tools for VMware ESX

Lanamark today announced availability of the Server Virtualization Design Module for Lanamark Suite. This new module is designed to help solution providers plan optimal virtualization solutions for enterprises across leading server virtualization platforms from Citrix, Microsoft, Parallels, Virtual Iron and VMware.

 

The Server Virtualization Design Module offers advanced optimization capabilities for server configuration and workload placement, determines the number of virtualization software licenses required and facilitates planning of physical-to-virtual (P2V) and virtual-to-virtual (V2V) conversions. It allows what-if scenarios to be compared side-by-side with comprehensive TCO calculations and enables channel partners to build end-to-end solutions with server, storage, software and service components. The module supports servers, blade enclosures, storage arrays and HBAs from Brocade, Dell, EMC, Emulex, Hitachi, HP, IBM, NetApp, QLogic, Sun Microsystems and Xiotech.

Learn more about the Server Virtualization Design Module

Read the press release

VMware Capacity Planner is probably the best known tool for planning VMware Infrastructure deployments. But what about other tools and how do they differ from VMware Capacity Planner? Below is a summary of two alternative solutions compared to VMware Capacity Planner:

Lanamark Suite

Agent-less Yes
Desktop virtualization planning Yes
Server virtualization planning Yes
Size on disk 42 MB
Advanced modeling Yes
Supports multiple hypervisors Yes
Data has to go offsite for analysis No
Web-based management console Yes
Free virtualization readiness assessment Yes
Support for both physical and virtual infrastructure Yes
Space required for 500 machines with one month of data 500 MB
Additional requirements
Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0

Learn more about Lanamark Suite


Novell PlateSpin Recon (formerly PowerRecon)

Agent-less monitoring only
Desktop virtualization planning No
Server virtualization planning Yes
Size on disk 2+ GB
Advanced modeling Yes
Supports multiple hypervisors Yes
Data has to go offsite for analysis No
Web-based management console No
Free virtualization readiness assessment No
Support for both physical and virtual infrastructure Yes
Space required for 500 machines with one month of data 10+ GB
Additional requirements
PostgreSQL 8.3 or Microsoft SQL Server 2000/2005
Microsoft .NET Framework 3.5
Microsoft IIS 5.0/6.0 with ASP.NET

Learn more about Novell PlateSpin Recon


VMware Capacity Planner

Agent-less Yes
Desktop virtualization planning No
Server virtualization planning Yes
Size on disk 250 MB
Advanced modeling No
Supports multiple hypervisors No
Data has to go offsite for analysis Yes
Web-based management console Yes
Free virtualization readiness assessment No
Support for both physical and virtual infrastructure No
Space required for 500 machines with one month of data minimal (data sent offsite)

Learn more about VMware Capacity Planner

Lanamark Suite 2009 is finally here with over 140 enhancements based on feedback from customers and partners. Here are the highlights:

Virtual Platform Support

  • Citrix XenServer 4.1 and 5.0
  • VMware ESX 3.0 and 3.5
  • VMware ESXi 3.5

Monitoring for virtual machine hosts is FREE until March 31, 2009. However standard per workload (desktop or server) per assessment licensing still applies. Support for Microsoft Hyper-V and other virtualization platforms is under development.

Lanamark Central

Data collected from operating systems is often incomplete (and unreliable in some cases). This is why all data collected from systems is normalized and augmented with other valuable metrics such as:

  • Server power consumption (not just nameplate ratings)
  • Carbon footprint
  • Heat dissipation
  • Form factor (e.g. rack server, blade server, etc...)
  • Space requirements (e.g. 2U)
  • Approximate age
  • Approximate warranty coverage remaining

Reporting Enhancements

  • Ability to quicky include/exclude workloads and machines from reports using selectors
  • Report variable support in Lanamark plug-in for Microsoft Office Word 2007
  • Import/export of reports and report items for improved collaboration

Enhanced Linux Support

  • CentOS 3.x, 4.x, 5.x
  • Debian 4
  • Fedora 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
  • Novell SUSE Enterprise Linux 9.x, 10.x
  • openSUSE 10.x, 11.x
  • Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3.x, 4.x, 5.x
  • Ubuntu 8.04
  •  

    To learn more, please read the official press release or have a closer look at Lanamark Suite.

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