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back to article Red Hat CEO deaf to VMware's giant sucking sound

Red Hat's CEO Matt Szulik bombed us into a state of confusion today with some curious statements around the server virtualization market. First off, Szulik admitted to keeping a not so watchful eye on server virtualization leader VMware. During an interview session with reporters, we pointed out that VMware brings in more money …

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It takes a Village...

...to create virtualized systems: both a virtualizer compay like VMWare and the host/virtual OS like Red Hat. The fact that VMWare is more profitable than Red Hat is, I think, a side issue.

No one seems to complain that MS Office, or Oracle, or anything from Computer Associates is *MUCH* more costly than the OS, or that these companies (except for vertically integrated Microsoft) make far more revenue and profit than the host platforms do. That's the nature of the game: the vehicle is considered to be less valuable than the contents it transports.

Although RH may want to re-examine their pricing model in light of this revelation, I doubt that they will. As Wal*Mart demonstrates daily, low margins X large volume = big profits. As long as RH is holding or expanding market share and is making a reasonable profit, well, if Oracle and VMWare make BIG money off of their system, as long as they're the "truck" that's hauling them they're going to be just fine...

Nothing to do with the technology or the rest of the article. Just my 5p.

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Virtually Certain

Went to a virtualization demo the other day put on by a local Red Hat employee. While they have based their offering on Xen, it is a new fork being developed by them. It's based on Xen v3; we were told they waited for v3 to take advantage in improvements over Xen v2.

Pretty cool stuff, too, you could install locally or over the wire, give your child nodes min & max memory requirements, letting the child's available memory inflate on the fly.

We did run into an issue with the child nodes not wanting to grab IP for their network install (which was actually, physically a local install, just mounted the CD as a dir in Apache), but weren't sure if that was RHEL or the ThinkPad's problem. It was some sort of DHCP issue; the install machine hadn't been plugged into the LAN when it booted. A reboot with the net connected solved this, though perhaps one could just bounce the interfaces.

Due to their "sideways" model (both the primary & all guest nodes talk directly to the "hypervisor", or abstraction layer if you will), RH claims a significant performance increase on disk writes. Supposedly with VMWare, disk actually gets copied twice , once when the guest node tells it to, then again after that request has wormed its way down to their own abstraction layer. However, we did not have VMWare running side by side to verify this claim.

No specs were offered on required hardware, but of course the more the merrier. In the kind of environment these machines would be running, it wouldn't be uncommon to have 8, 16 or more gigs of memory.

Also, the master node apparently has inked a deal with Peter Parker, as its Spidey Sense tingles if a child goes down (say, the one running your web server), and it will automatically copy that one off to a different child. Down time was supposed to be in the milliseconds. Hardly slow enough to even require that second click as you wonder why your page isn't coming up.

You can also manage & copy nodes across the network.

Lastly, the RH employee indicated their cost is about 20% that of VMWare, and there are no additional modules to purchase.

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Laptop LAN Interface troubleshooting...

Quoting: "but weren't sure if that was RHEL or the ThinkPad's problem. It was some sort of DHCP issue; the install machine hadn't been plugged into the LAN when it booted. A reboot with the net connected solved this, though perhaps one could just bounce the interfaces."

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Quite often the default for laptops is if there's no active physical connection on the LAN port on boot, the interface is disabled as a power-saving feature... my Fujitsu Lifebook is that way. In that instance, a full reboot would be necessary to bring up the Ethernet interface.

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