Suncorp scopes Windows Server 2012, Hyper-V

Suncorp, the Australian Second-tier general insurance, banking, life insurance and wealth management giant, has stated that it has already evaluated deploying the new Windows Server 2012 server OS and the Hyper-V 3.0 virtualization platform by Microsoft. At the same time, they will be reducing the usage of the rival technology of VMware.

Suncorp scopes Windows Server 2012, Hyper-V

In an wide-ranging case study done by Microsoft, shows that the company, one of the largest banks in Australia, with more than 16,000 staff members, is using software developed by both VMware and Citrix (XenApp).

Recently, when Windows Server 2012 along with Hyper-V 3.0 came into play, the technology use of the bank started setting up a virtual environment in order to analyze the replication of its VDI (virtual desktop infrastructure).

It seems that Microsoft has started to stick the new Hyper-V knife into VMware within Australia. Many big organizations such as the NSW Department of Education, Coles and ING Direct have already decided to make the switch to Hyper-V.

However, VMware has been able to stay as the leading player in Australian virtualization market for a long time and is still strongly holding its place. Recently they also abandoned the licensing model which was memory-based, as the local customers were criticizing it.

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Dell acquires Boomi

November 20th, 2012    Posted in cloud hosting, Internet, web server news

Dell has obtained the SaaS (Software as a Service) integration company Boomi.

The Boomi AtomSphere allows the users to connect any combination of Cloud, SaaS, or On-Premise applications with no software, no appliances, and no coding.

Dell acquires Boomi

Neither parties disclosed the terms and conditions of the acquisition. However, Dell, the technology solutions, services and support provider, stated that the deal is expected to help the businesses employ and enjoy the total value of the cloud computing technology.

The SaaS (Software as a Service) application integration platform of Boomi can transfer data between on-premises and cloud-based applications without software or appliances.

The CEO of Boomi, Bob Moul, stated that the acquisition will make it possible to scale the products of Boomi on a global platform.

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Server virtualization vendors are trying to push the application defined data center

November 19th, 2012    Posted in virtualization, Virtualized Data Centers, web server news

It seems that, as gaps in features are closing between the rivals in the server virtualization industry, the vendors are looking to pull apart of the server infrastructure and go beyond server memory and CPU in their control. And the IT community seems to use the “wait and see” technique about how this will all come together.

Server virtualization vendors are trying to push the application defined data center

The VMware Inc., a global leader in cloud infrastructure, who delivers customer-proven virtualization solutions, has started to use the term “land-grab” to refer to this infrastructure of data centers where the software or the applications will be defining the data center. This concept took the center stage at the last VMworld conference by VMware in San Francisco.

According to the VMware executives who delivered the keynote speeches at VMworld conference, in a data center infrastructure which is software defined, “all of the infrastructure will be virtualized and will be delivered like a service, while the automation will be completely controlled by the software”.

Microsoft, which uses the Hyper-V virtualization technology, is also going to introduce its very own protocol to be used for network virtualization. The protocol is dubbed NVGRE (Network Virtualization using Generic Routing Encapsulation), which, similar to VXLAN by VMware, could be used in order to overcome the limitations in VLAN scalability.

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Windows Server 2012, receives the first patches

November 16th, 2012    Posted in Internet, web server news, Windows Server

Two of the Patch Tuesday’s passed without any mentions about the Windows Server 2012, and Microsoft has decided end that trend in November.

Microsoft released 3 critical bulletins in this week, according to the part of the monthly updates on Patch Tuesday, promises patches for Windows Server 2012.

Windows Server 2012, receives the first patches

The Bulletin MS-075 will fix 3 vulnerabilities within the kernel-mode drivers of Windows, which might also direct to the remote code executions. The patches will deal with the issues regarding the documents, which are embedded in a malevolent TrueType font that enables an attacker to take control of the system. And the patches will also address the security issues in Windows 8.

The security expert say that it is not a surprise that patches like MS-075 are designed to address the vulnerabilities in both Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012.

In addition, the MS Office suite also received an important update.

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Windows Server 2008 trying to catch up with Linux

November 15th, 2012    Posted in Internet, Microsoft Hyper-V, Windows Server

Windows Server 2008 can never become Linux. And it is not likely that Windows could persuade the loyal users of Linux away from the open source OS anytime soon.

Windows Server 2008 trying to catch up with Linux

However, the Server Core and PowerShell, 2 of the most “talked about” features in Windows Server 2008, have solved the long-lamenting shortcomings of Windows in a Linux-like fashion. And this is expected to ease the concerns of restless Unix administrators to migrate to Linux, stated Al Gillen, analyst of IDC (International Data Corporation).

He also stated that as Microsoft keeps working on erasing the objections (by adding features like Server Core and PowerShell), the harder it would become for the admins in the “Unixland” to claim that Microsoft’s Windows Server does not meet their requirements.

The Windows Server 2008 offers a list of improvements that makes it a much better and much more competitive product in the market, but the above 2 features are specifically introduced to fill the gaps between the functionality of Unix or Linux and Windows.

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Stage set for the virtualization showdown

November 14th, 2012    Posted in Hyper-V, Microsoft Hyper-V, virtualization, Virtualized Data Centers

The Hyper-V 3.0, which is included as part of Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012, is now in competition with its main opponent, the vSphere 5 by VMware Inc.

Hyper-V 3.0 vs vSphere 5

Many IT professionals do not see the licensing changes of Windows Server 2012 would have a huge impact on the VMware vs. Hyper-V prizefight.
Chris Steffen, the principal technical architect of Kroll Factual Data, the leading provider of independent verification services, also pointed out to the fact that VMware Inc. has always been recommending Windows Datacenter edition.

However, experts say that Microsoft is going to keep the feet of VMware to the fire as it is continually bundling up many new advancing hypervisor features to its Windows operating system.

Nevertheless, If Microsoft does succeed with its new Windows Server 2012 and Hyper-V3.0, VMware Inc. might have to seriously think about changing its approach.

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Licensing feature for Hyper-V Removed from Windows Server 2012

November 12th, 2012    Posted in Hyper-V, Microsoft Hyper-V, virtualization, Windows Server

Microsoft has eliminated the Enterprise edition along with the general availability of Windows Server 2012. However, the customers of Hyper-V are stating that the SKU is giving more nuisances than it was worth in the virtual environments.

IT professionals would have 2 options with the new licensing of Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012: Standard or Datacenter.

Licensing feature for Hyper-V Removed from Windows Server 2012

Standard is priced at $882 / host with 2 virtual OS instances and the Datacenter edition is priced at $4,809 per 2 processors plus unlimited virtual OS instances.

However, the elimination of the Enterprise edition is a long time upcoming. Microsoft has tried to simplify the licensing process for Windows server several times in the past and had failed every single time. It seems that this time they are trying to put together an attempt to make things easier to the point that an average mortal could understand what is going on.

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Analysts Say that Upgrading to Windows Server 2012 Ultimately Provides Low Cost

November 8th, 2012    Posted in Hyper-V, Internet, Microsoft Hyper-V, virtualization

Some of the datacenter analysts state that moving existing applications and from the older versions of the Windows Server, could cost a smaller amount than trying to port those applications to the earlier versions of the Windows Server, as the new version has many improved abilities. The Program vice president, system software for International Data Corporation (IDC), Al Gillen, says that Windows Server 2012 is a non-disruptive and sequential when taken from an installed application perspective.

Analysts Say that Upgrade to Windows Server 2012 Provides Ultimately Low Cost

Gillian also believes that the best technique to get on top of Windows Server 2012 would be to deploy it in the role of the hypervisor. According to him, by that way you can benefit from the new storage management, new hypervisor and the capability of rolling your existing Windows Server 2003 applications onto the latest infrastructure. So you won’t have to struggle with typical time and costs of moving the applications from the older version of Windows Server.

Gillen also added that the fact that Microsoft is planning to put an end to extended technical support for Windows Server 2003, and also planning to discontinue mainstream technical support for Windows Server 2008 in 2015, could be one of the most intimidating factors for some users to shift to Windows Server 2012 earlier rather than later.

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Microsoft attempts ‘kitchen sink’ approach for Windows Server 2012 update

IT professionals say that Microsoft could have printed “includes the kitchen sink” in the product packaging of Windows Server 2012.

According to them, Microsoft has packed much more important core abilities straight into this particular edition of their flagship OS, by a broad margin, when compared to almost any prior incarnation. A number of these abilities strengthen not just fundamental operating system features but also are developed to serve as foundations for Microsoft’s virtualization, storage and cloud techniques. And Microsoft also has a number of rapacious rivals in each one of those markets.

Microsoft attempts 'kitchen sink' approach for Windows Server 2012 update

However, it is yet to be seen if this raft of brand new technologies and features (more than 300 in number) could persuade Microsoft corporate clients to maneuver out from the cozy limits associated with Windows Server 2008 R2 and into Windows Server 2012 anytime soon. While some are all ready to upgrade their servers to Windows Server 2012, some others are stating that they are still in the process of upgrading their servers into Windows Server 2008 R2.

Eugene Lee, the senior systems administrator of a big bank in the Charlotte, North Carolina, stated that, although upgrading to Windows Server 2012 looks like a pretty exciting proposition, it is necessary to think about not only what his next server Operating System requirements are, but also the requirements of the virtualization and cloud strategies. He also stated that he would stay with the Windows Server 2008 until he investigates how the new version (Windows Server 2012) would operate with non-Windows applications and environments.

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Microsoft and VMware to offer big discounts in order to gain virtualization market share

According to the channel partners and IT shops of Microsoft and VMware, when they compare the publicly available prices of the IT giants, the figures of both should be taken together with a pinch of salt, due to the fact that both these vendors are negotiating prices in order to capture territory in the virtualization market.

In theory, comparison between the published price lists for Microsoft and VMware virtualization tools differentiate according to many factors like the scale of the virtual environment, the kind of operating system that’s been virtualized, and also on the management tools that a particular customer buys.

However, there are many theoretical nitpicks, which surround operational efficiency, VM density and also the ever-elusive notion of TCO (Total Cost of Ownership).

Microsoft and VMware to offer big discounts in order to gain virtualization market share

In reality, however, the actual negotiations that takes place renders the list pricing controversial.

As of now, for the customers of Microsoft, the best thing to do if they want to negotiate for a better price is to enter into an EA (Enterprise Agreement) with Microsoft. And the users of virtualization can also get a hold of the ECI (Enrollment for Core Infrastructure) that delivers Microsoft System Center 2012 and Windows Server OS together, which is cheaper than licensing those two products separately.

Although the ECI prices are different from organization to organization, the prices almost always drop well underneath the list prices.

In addition, Microsoft also offers generous discounts for the organizations that are in the field of education. Some educational organizations, such as the Olin Business School in Washington University (St. Louis), have reported that they are only paying $150 for a processor, which is actually priced at $2,357. That’s more than a 93% discount. And although VMware also offers academic discounts, they never even get close to that scale.

However, VMware is up for negotiations as well. VMware will offer discounts up to 50% Large VMware shops via the ELAs (Enterprise License Agreements). And according to VMware experts, almost no one pays the list price for anything.

In reality, however, the actual negotiations that takes place renders the list pricing controversial.

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