SGI on Thursday announced the immediate availability of what it claims is the world's first large-scale, on-demand cloud computing service. Called Cyclone, the service is targeted specifically for dedicated to technical applications, SGI said.
"Cyclone enables an exciting new generation of discovery," said Dr. Michael Levine, co-founder and co-scientific director of the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center (PSC). "Large supercomputing centers such as ours will benefit from the ability to scale computing capacity dynamically, on-demand, and experiment with the latest technologies."
For now, SGI has committed Cyclone to supporting a "number of leading applications partners" plus five technical domains, including computation fluid dynamics, finite element analysis, computational chemistry and materials, computations biology, and ontologies.
There are two service models available, one of which is as a Software as a Service (SaaS) and the other in the form of an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
I want to buy a new CPU, one that will support new features like hardware virtualization. Before I move to Windows 7 from Windows XP, I wish to find out if its Windows XP Mode will work for my 32-bit programs under the 64-bit version of Windows 7. Has anyone even tested this?
Read the answer to Mitch's question after the jump.
VMWare this week reported $608.2 million in revenue for the quarter ended December 31, 2009, representing an 18 percent increase the same quarter one year ago. It was also considerably higher than what most analysts were expecting, which had the company pegged at about $554 million.
Playing a big role in VMWare's strong quarter performance was services revenue, which catapulted 52 percent to $303.9 million. This was enough to offset declines in new licenses sales.
It wasn't all good news, though. Net income for the quarter took a steep backwards slide to $56 million, or $0.14 per share, compared to $111 million, or $0.29 per share in the same quarter one year ago. When looking at the full fiscal year, however, revenue was $2 billion, up 8 percent from $1.9 billion in 2008.
VMWare this week announced it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Zimbra from Yahoo. Zimbra specializes in email and collaboration software.
"Over the coming years, we expect more organizations, especially small and medium size businesses, to increasingly buy core IT solutions that deliver cloud-like simplicity in end-user and operational experience," said Brian Byun, VP and GM, Cloud Services, VMWare. "Zimbra is a great example of the type of scalable 'cloud era' solutions that can span smaller, on-premise implementations to the cloud."
In short, VMWare's interest in Zimbra stems from wanting help in selling cloud-computing services to businesses. At the same time, VMWare stated it plans to support existing Zimbra products and open-source projects.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, although it's believed VMWare paid far less than the $350 million Yahoo spent acquiring the company in September 2007.
It's been a tough year for data center managers, who have battled against a global recession for the better part of 2009 and watched as their IT budgets went in the wrong direction, particularly as demand for services ramped up. But having weathered the economic storm, the suits in charge hope 2010 brings more money to the table to devote to IT.
"They're hoping to see budgets again in 2010," said Roger Kay, an analyst with Endpoint Technologies Associates. "Some dough is what they'd like. They're all for refreshing clients now that [Microsoft's Windows 7] is here, and generally shortening the average system life, but [they] have been severely constrained this year."
Whether or not data center managers get this wish remains to be seen. According to research firm Gartner, worldwide IT spending slid 5.2 percent in 2009, while enterprise spending dropped nearly 7 percent. Sure, IT spending is expected to grow by 3.3 percent in 2010, but at the same time, more than half of all CIOs surveyed said they expect their budgets to remain flat or decline in 2010.
It's not all about money, though. According to Bob Gill, an analyst with TheInfoPro, IT professionals put virtualization and cloud computing high on their wish lists.
Virtualization has become one of the biggest buzzwords in IT during the last couple of years, and for good reason. Virtualization enables you to run more than one operating system at the same time on a single system, enabling you to run legacy applications in their preferred environment. Virtualization enables you to use a single physical system to perform the jobs of two or more systems, each performing different tasks. Virtualization also enables you to create a safe "sandbox" environment for testing applications within an existing computer, so you no longer need to tie up a separate system for testing.
It's no wonder virtualization is hot. But could it become even hotter? Maximum IT columnist Mark Edward Soper takes a closer look.
For the next three years, Microsoft and NetApp will collaborate to deliver technology solutions in virtualization, private cloud computing, and storage and data management, the two companies jointly announced on Tuesday.
"Microsoft is committed to driving highly scalable dynamic datacenter solutions with innovative partners like NetApp," said Bob Kelly, corporate vice president of infrastructure server marketing, Server and Tools Business at Microsoft. "Through the deeper integration of server, virtualization, management and storage technologies, Microsoft and NetApp customers can expect datacenter solutions that help them reduce costs, increase performance, and reach new levels of efficiency."
The companies said that as part of the alliance, they will work together to expand product collaboration and technical integration activities in areas such as virtualized infrastructure solutions based on Windows Server 2008 R2, Microsoft Hyper-V Server 2008 R2, Microsoft System Center, and NetApp storage systems; Sotrage and data management solutions for Microsoft Exchange Server, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server, and Microsoft SQL Server; and cloud computing and hosted services that provide integrated data protection.
During the Gartner Data Center Conference in Las Vegas, Extreme Networks unveiled a blueprint for migrating datacenters from the physical world to virtualization, and eventually to cloud computing. What's interesting about Extreme Network's evolution strategy is that it tries to eliminate virtual switching at the server level, which is the exact opposite approach of Cisco.
According to Gordon Stitt, Extreme chairman and co-founder, the blueprint is intended to assist in evolving datacenters to cloud computing "without forcing certain technologies or operating methodologies," which can be taken as a knock against Cisco's Data Center 3.0 strategy, Froce10 Networks' Virtualization Framework, parts of Juniper's Stratus project, and architectures pitched by Brocade, HP, and other datacenter switching competitors, Infoworld.com reports.
Piqued your interested? Download the 24-page blueprint in PDF form here.
Sun Microsystem's on Monday released what it's billing as a "significant new version" of Sun VirtualBox, version 3.1. The refreshed software includes a bunch of new features, but none more noteworthy than a live migration feature called Teleportation.
"Today's enterprises expect to deliver a 24/7, always available, computing service. The ability to teleport running virtual machines from one computer to another allows system administrators to perform essential maintenance with zero downtime of their IT systems. As a cross-platform hypervisor, VirtualBox allows customers to easily evaluate and deploy virtualized systems, using their existing x86 hardware, operating systems, and skillsets," said Jim McHugh, vice president Datacenter Software marketing at Sun.
Other new tricks up VirtualBox's sleeve include improved snapshot capabilities, 2D video acceleration, better execution speed, and optimized memory handling the company claims results in performance increases of 30 percent over previous VirtualBox releases.
VirtualBox 3.1 is available now and is free of charge for personal use. Enterprise licenses and subscriptions are also available, which start at $30 per user per year.
Wyse on Tuesday announced its new thin clients and new zero client will support VMware View 4 and its PC-over-IP (PCoIP) display protocol. Both of these devices are expected to be listed on the VMware Hardware Compatibility List (HCL), Wyse said.
"We have been relentlessly addressing the needs of end users for many years now, and with the introduction of the Wyse P class we have successfully addressed many of the challenges in rolling out a client virtualization model to high-end specialty workers," said Curt Schwebke, CTO at Wyse. "Designers, scientists, architects, engineers, and artists will be able to run their most sophisticated applications on a virtual client that uses as much energy as a small light bulb."
The company's existing devices will support PCoIP when View 4 is released later this month. Wyse also said it will offer support of View 4 in its Wyse PocketCloud software enabling users of Apple iPhones to access a View 4 environment from their smartphone.