* Posts by Snafu Two

2 posts • joined 31 Mar 2008

Sun's xVM virtualization wares run red with catch-up

Snafu Two

Ashless - sorry buddy - you messed up!

Ashlee - you don't often get it wrong - but this time you definitely messed up! :( Where?

a) virtualbox.com - Suns recent acquisition and available for immediate download and trial. Please check it out! Users have reported setting up a virtual Windoze XP in under 30 minutes. And it runs ***fast*** - much faster than QEMU. And faster than Suns implementation of Xen. Oh yes - you forgot about the qemu project under OpenSolaris too! :( Strike 2

b) vmware: Solaris and OpenSolaris already runs under vmware - except that the vmware *host* cannot be (currently) Solaris or OpenSolaris. But ... using a Windoze or Linux host, you can run Solaris and OpenSolaris guest VMs.

c) Ultimately its all going to boil down to *speed*, reliability/stability and manageability. If a user discovers (by trial/error) that they can run more vitual instances under OpenSolaris using Virtualbox than they can under vmware - then which VM environment do you think they'll run? Do you really think that the current generation of freetards has any loyalty to vmware - or any other provider of OS implementations? No - they want cheap (free), fast, reliable and easy. And they won't pay vmware a dime if they can get cheap/fast/free from anywhere else!

d) in the enterprise, management is going to be more concerned with manageability that *anything* else. They don't care about cost, care somewhat about speed and care a great deal about reliability and support. These are areas (as you know) where Sun has always succeeded. This is their playground!

Sun is ahead of the game IMHO. Its just that the "game" is currently wide open, and being an early leader like vmware has nothing to do with who/what wins out in the end. In fact, the computer landscape is littered with "early leaders" who did'nt survive in the long run.

BTW: one final point: virtualbox is damn good right now; imagine how much better it'll run with the brilliant minds of the Solaris kernel engineers - you know - people like Bryan Cantrill (DTrace) and Jeff Bonwick (ZFS and the slab memory allocator) - and a cast of dozens of talented (major) players.

Sun is correct with their policy of "no software before its time" with Xen. Everyone is totally pissed when their virtual machine goes "whoops" after investing serious man-hours into a project or task.

Sometimes the turtle wins the race.....

Snafu Two

re: Sun "pinching their work" - get real

Matt - are you serious? Sun did'nt pinch any NetApp IP; instead they rejected NetApps RAID scheme in favor of a technically superior RAID implementation and set of (on disk) consistency checks/balances that NetApp will have to play catchup on to reach parity with. They (Sun) replaced:

1) a closed source (proprietary) software stack (NetApp) with an open stack

2) a custom hardware based implementation with one that'll run on commodity hardware

3) a very good RAID implementation (from NetApp) that relies on non-volitile memory with one that'll run without without custom hardware/non-volitile memory.

4) a custom hardware platform (NetApps) with generic off-the-shelf hardware (anything that'll run Solaris/OpenSolaris).

5) A nasty sales model (NetApp - "let me talk to my manager") with one that allows the user to bring-their-own-hardware or buy anyones commodity hardware.

6) a (NetApp) sales model that says "thou shalt use our over-priced disk drives or else" with one that allows you to use any commodity disk drives - including large capacity and inexpensive SATA drives that you pickup, on sale, at Frys.

7) A reliably error checked system - in terms of data retrieved off the disk with a system that provides much more robust end-to-end error checking. You can totally rely on the data you retrieve from a ZFS based filesystem.

8) An expensive (NetApp) based proprietary hardware storage platform with one based on commodity hardware and disk drives the *kills* NetApp in terms of cost-per-gigabyte.

9) A system that runs fast (no disputing that NetApp performs) with a system that will scale well into the future - as installed processor cores per system and installed RAM per system follows the predicted scaling. A given NetApp system is a case of "what-you-see" is "what-you-get" now and forever. Unless you want to buy NetApps CEO a new yaught and replace your current NetApp platform entirely.

I could go on... But, seriously, would you buy NetApp shares today? You could - but I'd recommend you buy them "short". :) Thats the only way you'll make money on NTAP (already down from ~32 to ~20 in the last 6 months).