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* Posts by Mike Laverick

30 posts • joined 31 Oct 2007

Iron out the kinks and all-flash servers just might have a future

Mike Laverick
IT Angle

This 'N' That

Disclosure: I work for VMware in the EVO:RAIL Team :-)

Interesting post. Firstly, I'm not sure if an all-flash based system is requirement to make hyper-converged a true alternatively to conventional SAN storage. So long as the working set (r/w) remains in cache, and writes are de-staged to disk - its not clear to me why an all-flash array or all-flash hyper-converged system would be that compelling. Unless the customer has very deep pockets, and wants an absolute cast-iron guarantee that they would limited by a spindle. Of course, the are customers like that - otherwise these products wouldn't exist. As you rightly say, for the cost per GB, you would need a very compelling use-case...

As with all these things - whether a technology can truely upset the market depends largely on the use-case. The customers see value in both conventional server/switch/storage - which allows them to add additional disk shelves for increased capacity - without buying more compute (that they may not need) - in what would be a classic scale-up play... Where they see value in hyper-converged is in SMB, ROBO and VDI - where they want an easy deployment option with relatively low on ramp compared to other infrastructures - and where the compute and storage requirement scale out at the same rate - as is the case with VDI.

I'm not sure you analysis of the other vendors passes muster in all cases...

Cisco - have recently signed a distribution deal with Simplivity

Dell - is both an VMware EVO:RAIL Qualified Partner and also Nutanix supplier - in the main both a hybrid models of SSD/HDD

EMC - Will have an VMware EVO:RAIL system by Q1 of next year, they also offer Scale IO as server SAN (although I see you mention that...)

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VMware's growth stalls – layoffs coming, but so are new hires

Mike Laverick
WTF?

"For all of 2012, VMware had $4.61bn in revenues, up 22.2 per cent, with software license sales up 13.4 per cent to $2.09bn, and services revenues up 30.8 per cent to $2.51bn. The company exited the year with $1.61bn in cash, another $3.02bn in short-term investments, and another $2.2bn in deferred revenues..."

Yes billion dollars in revenues; terrific growth figures... it's doom and gloom. What depresses me so about these sorts of bearish pieces is how disconnected they are with with wider economy. There's plenty of businesses around the globe who give their right hand just have 2-3% growth...

[Disclaimer: One VMware's new hires...]

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Frack me! UK shale gas bonanza 'bigger than North Sea oil'

Mike Laverick
Big Brother

When Journalist become flamers...

I found this article rather disappointing. It seems angled to just in flame the "debate" and drive more traffic El Reg.

Let's deconstruct this piece of prose shall we. Let's start with "powerful renewables lobby". Mmm, you mean the mean the Oil/Gas are powerful lobby? They certainly seem to have more resources than the enviro-mentals...

"more energy for the nation than North Sea oil." Sadly, when North-sea oil was discovered the UK's manufactuering/enginnering industry was on its last legs. The lions share of the contracts were signed over to more experience US companies. Whilst the Norweigens explioted the oil reservers in a controlled way (largely isolating them from the fluctuations in the market, and making them energy self-sufficent) ours went the way of servicing our national debt. I imagine the same situation will repeat itself with this fracking exercise.

"estimated the UK has enough gas to make it self-sufficient for 15 years at current consumption rates - but this may be underestimated by a factor of four." - let hedge our betters there shall we. Incidentally, 15 years does not equal energy security give the time it take to build say a nuclear reactor and make it operational...

I'd probably more supporting of fracking if I felt our govt was doing more to create a wholistic energy policy - one that recognised the need for range of technologies to meet our energy needs. Like successive administrations since the 1940's they keep on looking for silver bullet that will solve all the problems.

Incidentally. I'm not a hippy. Don't have beard - only wear sandals in summer (sans socks.).

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VMware 'to work with just five storage companies'

Mike Laverick

Correction

It turns out HP was involved. So I think the title of the article needs to be updated. This story originally surfaced on Wikibon, and they have corrected their article...

http://wikibon.org/wiki/v/VMware_Storage_Innovation

You'll notice that "Hewlet Packard" has now been added to the list of vendors..

http://h30507.www3.hp.com/t5/Around-the-Storage-Block-Blog/The-future-of-storage-with-VMware/ba-p/98481

What I don't understand either in this article or in the wikibon - that VMware developing a new way to handle storage is seen as "stifling innovation". It strikes me that VMware using its position in the industry & relationship with the storage vendors to drive innovation...

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Three flavours of client-side virtualisation

Mike Laverick
FAIL

Wot about VMware?

Eh? an article about desktop or client virtualization - that make no mention of VMware Workstation or VMware Fusion....?

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VMware goes back for seconds on stock buybacks

Mike Laverick
FAIL

PCoIP is a display protocol

I'm not sure that the statement "PCoIP is a protocol for streaming PC images from central servers down to thin and nearly brainless clients created by Teradici"

More accurately, PCoIP is like Citrix HDX or Microsoft RDP - in that its a remote display protocol. It doesn't stream PC images... That would be more like Citrix Provisioning server, or the "Transfer Server" role which produces an "offline" copy, caches to the PC in what is now referred to as "local mode:

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BBC iPlayer iPad app out this week

Mike Laverick
Jobs Horns

Works with Safari?

Funny, when I go to the "big screen" URL what I get is - a you must install flash message, which when clicked takes me to Adobe's website that tells me to get lost because Adobe and Apple aren't friends...

I found i had to use www.bbc.co.uk/mobile/iplayer to get BBC Iplayer to work with the iphone native "quicktime" style player...

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VMware profits pinched in Q4

Mike Laverick
Jobs Horns

What's the story?

So in bad economy, VMware still reports growth. Just not enough growth to keep those idiots in Wall Street happy - who caused the problem in first place... Is the beginning of collective memory loss?

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VMare floats April date for cloud launch

Mike Laverick
Jobs Horns

Get off my cloud

Well, there was a strong rumour at Canne this year - that a big announcement was expected in April. I had hoped that the vSphere4 Beta Program would have been made publicily open. It feels too soon for this annoucement to be the GA of vSphere4 - that's been rumoured to be at the end of Q2. As the vSphere program is not public - then perhaps Paul M will be using April to announce the opening of the Beta Program and some kind of vCloud offering. Seems to be flavour of the month to have a cloud offering...

Mike Laverick

RTFM Education

http://www.rtfm-ed.co.ik

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AMD migrates live VMs from Shanghai to Istanbul

Mike Laverick
Jobs Horns

Can they do it! Yes, they can! (its just not a good idea)

"it is still not possible to migrate a VM from an Opteron server to a Xeon"

Actually, its AMD & Citrix did a couple of months.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EuhU6jJjpAQ

However, just because something is possible doesn't mean its wise to do it.

http://searchservervirtualization.techtarget.com/news/article/0,289142,sid94_gci1339374,00.html#

I do wish the Register would desist in the use of the term "fake" servers. It's just a bit silly...

Mike Laverick

RTFM Education

http://www.rtfm-ed.co.uk

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Forrester: Fake servers like recessions

Mike Laverick
Jobs Horns

Large workloads

But virtualizing the kind of mission-critical applications that tend to run on bigger boxes (application servers, database servers, and such) is much more problematic.

This keeps on being repeated by the register as QED fashion.... Have you not read case studies that show oracle, sap, exchange all run perfectly acceptable in a virtualization platforms...?

Of course the is the 1% of really high-end stuff such as 8-ways with 256GB of RAM... but they are in a very small minority - and this hardware is now regarded as low-spec compared to 16-way box built for virtualization.

Please stop using the word "fake servers". Virtual Machine are no less real than a physical server. It's just irratating. VMs are no less real to the end users who get their email and desktops from them every day...

Mike Laverick

RTFM Education

http://www.rtfm-ed.co.uk

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Fake server beats real server on Web test

Mike Laverick
Jobs Horns

Fake Server...

Well, i guess the opening title gives the game away a little bit...

"Fake Server". I have customer who run all of their windows VMs on VMware. A virtual machine is a real to them as physical machine.

However, put this gripe to one side. In the main I can see your problem. It really is impossible to compare the physical machine to a virtual machine - especially with such divergent hardware and no common bench mark process. If we can't trust the data - then we can't make any meaningful conclusions from the data - yet you proceed to do so. I'm afraid you can't have your cake and eat it at the same time. Either the benchmark is meaningful or isn't - and isn't therefore your conclusions become invalid.

By definition physical and virtual are apples and oranges - so it is difficult (impossible to compare them objectively).

As you say "It is hard to say why because the machines are not identical."

In the main people buy vmware not for the performance - but for the server consolidation and management capabilities it offers. Not for raw performance. However, virtualization skeptics have always questioned how on earth you can get good performance if there virtualization layer creates a "virtualization overhead". Quite simply these people don't really understand what virtualization does - using such technologies like TPS and Memory Overcommitment to cancel out those overheads. VMs use "direct execute" to make native calls to the CPU for advanced features - I could go on ad nausesum.

In part I think the reason VMware (especially) and others (less so) love these kind of reports is that they are desperate to counter the widely held assumption that virtualization instanaously means less good performance. If you want to see case-studies of exchange where Plymouth Uni has 25K mailboxes running in exchange on their ESX hosts. Frequently customer report improvements performance that run counter to their expectations.

The reality is that the days of running work-loads on physical is over. The modern servers being produced are being built for hypervisor - not for windows or linux - which can't address that hardware. I remember the Register saying as much a couple of months ago...

And Finally "And what is true about VMware's sophisticated server virtualization software in this regard is equally true of the XenServer stack from Citrix Systems and whatever Microsoft cooks up with partners for Hyper-V."

Er, I'd take issue with that. Not all virtualization platforms are the equal. Anyone involved in the field of virtualization for short time knows this is the case...

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Apple's latest patent brilliance: the iGlove

Mike Laverick
Jobs Horns

Apple iBrick

Surely its way to early for April's Fool?

Personally, I've been waiting for Apple to produce the iBrick. It's one brick shapped device that has the same capacity as my iPOD classic with all the wizz-bang features of the iPhone - with 3G and TomTom on it - oh, a connection to my mail a la blackberry... Then I could get rid of my other devices. Then I need a massive insurance policy if i left it on a train as it would have my whole life on it...

You heard hear first remember - the Apple iBrick...

Regards

Mike Laverick

RTFM Education

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Virtualization and HPC - Will they ever marry?

Mike Laverick
Jobs Horns

VMware EULA

VMware customers ARE able to publish the performance stats. This wasn't the case in the old ESX 2.x EULA, but was removed in the ESX 3.x. The reason for the restriction wasn't some conspiracy to protect VMware, but the fact that most end-user customer didn't understand virtualization well enough to generate and publish meaningful statistics.

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Red Hat sprints past ESX on VM running

Mike Laverick
Jobs Horns

So where's the independent bench marks?

So did these guys publish independent externally verifiable and reproducable performance data?

A couple of weeks ago - Microsoft's showed how HyperV would out perform ESX. How, by making the disk back end be solid state with no moving parts. Hardly a realistic configuration for most Windows shops.

A couple of weeks the rumour mill had VMware buying RHEL. Now, were being told that KVM out-performs ESX...

The reality is that VMware has already stiched up the top 1000 corportate accounts - who will not be moving soon to some other virtual infrastructure. More likely they will be upgrading to Vi4 sometime next year or the year after....

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Dollar surge helps software vendors soak customers

Mike Laverick
Jobs Horns

Price Change - Fact Check

Can I ask the Register the comment "The price change was the first major tactical play made by the company's new CEO, Paul Maritz". You know this to be factually true? You spoke to someone at VMware who confirmed this decision was made by Paul Martiz? Or are just saying that to make your story sound more edgy?

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Citrix goes storage light with XenDesktop

Mike Laverick
Jobs Horns

VDI is NOT VDM...

For clarity...

VDI is a concept. Not owned by VMware. The key is the i bit. It stands for initiative/infrastructure.

VDM is product bought by VMware some months ago... You can tell is a VMware product because it has the word "VMware" in it. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure/Initiative is open concept that vendor could develop.

Incidentally, Citrix bang on about the storage costs. Huh? Haven't these guys heard of snapclone and dedupe from people like EMC and NetApp... The real pain point is management and printing. Currently, VMware don't have a solution for this - whereas at least Citrix has its pants "Universal Printer Driver". Having just bought ThinInstall, perhaps we should all buy shares in ThinPrint quickly. Perhaps I should found a company with the word THIN it in somewhere, and see if I can sucker some venture-capitalist out there...

Citrix should tone down the FUD, and get on with it. I'm sure Citrix could make a much better job of client access than VMware a currently doing - after all the company was built on the concept of remote-thin access... Those of use work both in the Citrix and VMware community - have been waiting for Citrix Broker for bloody months.... Promises; Promises...

Regards

Mike Laverick

RTFM Education

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Pano Logic gives VMware case of VDS 2.0

Mike Laverick

Annoying Post

I mean why would you want to use Linux. Windows Rocks, man!

[Seriously, isn't there any moderation on Reg any more...?]

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VMware sales slowdown triggers stock meltdown

Mike Laverick

Dot-com all over again?

The current economic situation reminds me of previous "downturns". Companies like VMware are reporting extraordinary growth - and yet the market is miserable - because were only making this small(er) obscene profit, instead of his mega-huge obscense profit - lets sell, sell, sell..

We in the West are SERIOUSLY in danger of "talking" ourselves into a recession. Sure the economic values don't add-up - but we should be aiming for a slow-down rather than talking ourselves into a recession.

Stories about companies only making double-digit profits - don't help...

Regards

Mike

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Microsoft surprises itself with six-month late Hyper-V beta

Mike Laverick
Boffin

MS can't do everything

As a former Citrix guy who got tired of being lectured that "In a couple of years time Citrix will be dead - because MS offering will be as good, cheaper, free". I would treate MS virtualization offering with a large dose of salt. You see they were saying that in 1997 about Citrix - and guess what Citrix is still here - and still the superior product. I have a feeling the Microserf's will be trying to generate the same Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt (FUD) around VMware for another ten years.

VMware isn't the bleeding-edge start-up people seem to think it is. It's the fast growing software company is history - and now the 4th/5th largest software company after its recent IPO. One day soon it will be bigger than its parent EMC. It's time for Microsoft, in fact everyone to wake up and smell bacon.......

Mike Laverick

RTFM Education

http://www.rtfm-ed.co.uk

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Gibson plugs in self-tuning roboguitar

Mike Laverick
Pirate

Arrrghhhh...

The whole reason I play guitar is because it gives me a break from bloody computers... I bet i would to service pack my guitar (after appropriate change management approval) and do a full reboot once in a while...

Anyway, if you play an obscure C-based drop tuning as i do specifically for bottlenecked slides it probably won't do the job...

Also, even in standard concert tunning I personally prefer my EB strings to be slightly sharper than they should be - a doubt a fancy self-tuning guitar could deal with an individual personal players preferrences...

The solution to this problem of tunning is better strings and better instruments. Why is it that my violinist friend can drop her instrument - and its in tune still - but If I do the same with a guitar then its instantly needs a retune. Thinks: Her instrument is about 2,000 more than mine. Maybe that's it!

Second thought. I moved away from super-elastic XL strings on my gibson to practically medium guage thirteens - ribbon wound to reduce any string noise when I do jazz or blues numbers. Its the sting that does it. Any rock guitarist will know keeping the G string in tune with XL's is near impossible...

As for improving your playing - I think we will have to wait until we all have the ability of Jimi Hendrix - who managed to play "Wild Thing" at the Isle of WIght festival on guitar that was out of tune....

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Vista provokes user synaptic collapse

Mike Laverick
Jobs Horns

You must be on the ACL...

Windows NT is one of those funny OS where even Administrator must appear on the ACL (Access Control List) for a file and folder permission. If administrator doesn't appear old version of windows would give you an "Access Denied"... This error message is replacement for that message.

You'd then sit back in your chair and say "What the **** but I'm THE ADMINISTRATOR"... The admin account has always had the user rights to modify ACL. So if you accidentally removed yourself you could add yourself back again.

Its not uncommon for OSes to have this wierdness. Novell people will remember how various version of the Netware OS allowed to delete the "supervisor" account and thus lock yourself out of your system. Nice.

Of course these sorts of issues completely confuse end-users of client operating systems.... Perhaps Donald Rumsfield has been given a executive position on the Vista programme - his role is plain-english....

Regards

Mike Laverick

RTFM Education

www.rtfm-ed.co.uk

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Choice breeds complexity for Linux desktop

Mike Laverick

Politics...

Comments like

"Although being fork friendly is inbuilt by design because it allows the overthrowing of the dominant evil doers when they inevitably become evil from power. Instead of torvalds has also said the community with a power to fork keeps the project dictator honest."

Is the kind of stuff that people regard as a political. I once asked a lInux guy for some help. He made me feel like some evil stooge of Bill Gates for using Windows. He hardly knew me. But really laid in. I'm not the kind of guy to make snap decisions on personalities. But it was definitely off putting. As far as I can tell most Windows users, hate windows with a passion. But there use is not based on idelogical commitment - but a practical recognition that advantages outway the disadvantages....

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Why do we think virtualization is new?

Mike Laverick
Boffin

Another thought

I was thinking again about this again this morning. And thought. Well, we don't think its new. And secondly and more importantly does any one actually care whether its new or old - as long as it works, is reliable, and properly priced?

Is this a question that no one actually gives two hoots about?

Regards

Mike Laverick

RTFM Education

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Mike Laverick
Pirate

Nothing new under the sun

Virtualization is NEW. Real New. To Windows people. People do go on and on about how virtualization is not new. Everyone knows this. It's not new to Unix people but is new to Windows people.

About 4 years ago there was a very little marketing hype about virtualization, and I had to spend my time (I'm an instructor) actually explaining what is "virtualization" and what is a "virtual machine" - and crucially what the advantages and disadvantages were. You see Unix and Windows are two different countries, they speak different languages there.

As for the hype. I blame that on people who didn't get how important virtualization was going to be 4 years ago. These guys really missed the boat, and they are the type sure hate missing gravy trains that give them a license to print money based on other peoples ignorance. They those companies who previously were doing Windows consultancy ago-go, but woke up last week a heard about this company called VMware. Now they are calling themselves "experts".

You see in life there always people who move from field to field chasing easy money. It's these types who are being sucked into virtualization. In a few years time these people will be gone. Chasing the new gravy train. Whilst those of us who have been in virtualization sometime, will carry on virtualization the other 95% of IT that has yet to come.

Don't like things that are "new" in IT?

Seek an alternative career. IT's called change...

Regards

Mike Laverick

RTFM Education

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US downplays Gitmo manual leak

Mike Laverick
Jobs Horns

Title

Gitmo is becoming a real headache for the Bush regieme. They can't try most of these guys in the US through insufficent evidence. They can't remain indefinitely without trial in Gitmo - if they are classifiable as "unlawful combatants".

The original countries that these guys come from - don't want them back - and those that do (morocco, egypt and so on) are likely to torture them - thus making the US infinge the UN articles on not deporting people to countries were torture is likely to happen.... In fact some of these guys are so scared of going back home - that they would rather remain in Gitmo of all places!

The only place that will take these guys is Albania - and wouldn't wish that on anyone.

Perhaps Kakisztan can come to rescue, I'm sure Borat would give the terrorist from the US a warm welcome... :-D

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VMware dangles Server 2 beta

Mike Laverick
Paris Hilton

Is VMware Server dead anyway?

When Vi3.5 is released. People will be able get their hands on an embedded version of ESX (ESX3i) which will be dirt cheap. Also with the release of "Foundation" versions which offer SAN/iSCSI connectivity and cheap(er) entry in VirtualCenter. Why would people want to run VMware Server or M$ Virtual Server when they can have super-thin (32mb) hypervisor which will have remote CLI and 32-gui application to manage it. This foundation version of Vi3 is really attractive especially those people who entry-level pricing for stuff like VMware DRS, DPM and HA...

Where does that leave VMware Server. A product for white-box servers?

Regards

Mike Laverick

RTFM Education

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VMware douses open source with waterfall of nonsense

Mike Laverick
Thumb Down

Ho Hum

Come on Ashley you can't have it both ways. One article you criticise Dianne for not being a ultracaptialist like Bill Gates or Steve Balmer. The next she's being criticised for not making everything open-source. Where the completely open-source version of Windows. You said yourself

"VMware does not need to inspire interest in its products or tolerate the open source bandwagon nonsense."

Can we have some mature insights on Virtualization from El Reg, rather than this ill-formed rant-a-thon?

I get the feeling the Register doesn't like successful companies that produce great software....

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How to escape the clutches of world+dog's VMware fetish

Mike Laverick
Thumb Down

Oh by the way...

Slagging of Virtualization/VMware as hype whilst El Reg jumps on the bandwangon with Virtualization eSymposium with VMware logo and Intel logo...

Is it only me that gets the irony there?

Regards

Mike

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Mike Laverick
Thumb Up

Nothing new under the sun?

I see these kind of articles are increasing occouring. There's element of FUD involved in them Fear Uncertainty Doubt. All that stuff about Windows & Viridian. You know Dianne is right these MS guys just DON'T GET IT. It aint about the platform (ESX, Xen, Veridian). The platform war is over. ESX won. All the MS guys are going to do is play a very slow catch-up. 180 days after Win2008 - really kicks MS offering into the very long grass... Where virtualization is going is into the management, availability and performance space - its called Storage VMotion, Continious HA and real VDI solution rather than cobbled together VDI that's on offer

I'm no market expert but if VMware is over-valued or over-hyped then surely this is the problem with stock-market - not VMware's problem. After all they have no control over the share price. If the stock market cannot correctly value company after the dot-com bubble then surely that's the markets fault. But dismissing VMware Virtualization is mere hype really missing the point. A smacks of kind of "nothing new under sun" view of the world. Sure virtualization isn't "new". Its a mature technology that's been around in Unix for donkey's years. In fact Dianne and Co worked on projects at Berkeley (Disco/SimOS). I'm sure they know that what they doing is not especially earth shattering. We not saving lives here guys. But it is new and radical - to the WinTel space. The paradigm of Intel+HW Vendor+Microsoft is (finally) being decoupled. That's great news for customers and shareholders alike. Sure, VMware could do a Novell - become arrogant, and assume they have right to print money. So in away we do need Xen & MS to offer competition and focus in the virtualization space.

Lastly - comparing Dianne to Bill Gates and Steve Bullmar. That's really funny. You know Dianne comes across not as some money grabbing "Gordon Geeko" type. But some one who realise her boat on the water is more likely to lead to happiness than paracuting in Africa with your billions and having a warm, happy and vacuious philophroic feeling afterwards... She sounds like a proper Californian!

Regards

Mike Laverick

RTFM Education

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