It is Offical VMware and Digital Fuel Are One

If you haven’t heard yet VMware acquired a SaaS IT financial management firm, Digital Fuel. There was a quiet announcement in June but for the most part it flew under the radar as most people were not familiar with their offerings. As of July Digital Fuel has closed and is now officially part of VMware.

Digital Fuel has been around for a while and they focus on the ability for companies to plan, manage, report etc. on the value and cost of a cloud based environment. In other words, they allow for detailed reporting on each cost of a piece of a cloud system. So for example, if HR spins up a virtual machine and hosts on the same host as AP you could actually figure out their share of the project and bill it back to the appropriate department.

I like this purchase for a few reasons. First, managing any IT project is complex, let alone a CLOUD or SaaS model and most IT departments end up carrying the budget burden of undefined expenses. Internal departments love assigning misc. and technology cost back to the IT department. Management then can’t find the difference between operations, productions, or separate capital project. It sucks if you are IT director trying to explain mysterious charges to your department.

Second, it shows the new direction the VMware is heading. It is feeling more and more that they are getting out of the traditional hypervisor business. From the new products and other acquisitions you see them evolving to more of a virtualization management company focusing on the different aspects of SaaS, application development, and cloud infrastructure.

Thirdly, it shows VMware moving up the enterprise stack. While VMware has 250,000+ customers the vast majority or in the mid market space, contrasting with Digital Fuel who focused primarily on fortune 100 companies like Cicso, Dell, GE, IBM etc.  This will allow VMware to start to play with some of previous dominant players in this space, specifically IBM software, Oracle, and SAP. There very well could be a power shift in the core enterprise accounts over the next couple years.

Some More Details:

Below is some of the quotes from the press release and related documents.

“Cloud computing represents a fundamentally new model for IT, enabling enterprises to realize unprecedented gains in operational efficiency, while also understanding, managing and optimizing IT resources based on granular business metrics,” said Boaz Chalamish, VP and General Manager, VMware. “New levels of financial visibility and control in cloud environments will enable CIOs to engage with the CFO, line of business stakeholders and others around how IT investments translate to real business value. As an authority on helping organizations navigate the business operations of IT, Digital Fuel will add a significant capability to our portfolio, broadening beyond operational management to include business-centric capabilities.”


Digital Fuel’s portfolio for IT costing, budget, chargeback, cost optimization, vendor management and SLA management integrates with a broad set of systems, applications, data sources and third-party management technologies to deliver comprehensive, unified financial analysis.  These offerings, offered both on-premise within an enterprise datacenter and delivered via Software as a Service (SaaS) models for maximum flexibility, will complement VMware’s portfolio of management solutions including vCenter Chargeback and Service Manager. The acquisition of Digital Fuel will enable VMware’s enterprise customers to:

  • Engage more effectively with business stakeholders through meaningful measurements and reports, including a Bill of IT Services, chargeback, service level reporting, and vendor scorecards.
  • Gain complete, consolidated visibility into IT costs (Capex, Opex and Service costs) across a broad range of financial data sources.
  • Manage IT agendas with deep financial discipline, leveraging fact-based decisions across the IT portfolio to make informed financial trade-offs aligned to business priorities.

From Ramin Sayar, VP, Marketing, Blog:

This is why VMware is acquiring Digital Fuel. It’s about providing our customers with the deep visibility and the right measurement tools they need to manage IT in the right way. Specifically, I’m talking about the ability to measure the costs and SLAs associated with a particular IT service whether sourced internally through your private cloud or externally from a cloud or SaaS provider. So you can stand up and have a fact-based, numbers-driven discussion with your CFO or CEO. And the combination of VMware and Digital Fuel is a perfect fit for this. The acquisition brings together our deep insight into the dynamically changing virtual infrastructure which is the very foundation for cloud computing, as well as our growing portfolio of application and end user computing solutions that are re-defining how IT is enabling your business processes. The combination of these solutions with Digital Fuel’s pioneering capabilities gives you the unprecedented ability to manage every aspect of your services from a financial – and business – perspective.

VMware View 4.5 Demo and Features

Today I got the pleasure of viewing some of VMware’s newest technology at their traveling VMware Express Truck event. It literally is a semi truck stuffed Servers, Storage and VMware demos, and so forth. The main topic was VMware View and some of the features coming out in 4.5 which should be released very soon!


  • Offline Desktop Access (View Client with Local Mode)– allows you to “check out” a desktop for instances were you wouldn’t have network access, think plane or cave. This also comes in handy for Bring Your Own PC (BYOPC) and contract workers etc… Video demo at the end of the post.
  • Better Improvements to View Administrator – Including role-based administration, monitoring features, better and simplified reporting and the ability to add 3rd party application support. Which could be used for Altiris, LANdesk and more.
  • Application Assignment-Enables ThinAPP to managed centrally while delivering to pools and/or individuals.
  • Better Optimization Over WAN – Improved PCoIP protocol for better user experience.
  • Tiered Storage– Puts high-need desktops and their storage on fast disks, puts achieved or less important desktops on cheap (relative term) SATA disk. As well, strong partner ships with all the other major players so you can take advantage of hardware efficiency in addition to the software side.
  • More Security– Improved administrator control, remote wipe etc…Integration with VMware vShield.
  • Tons of End-Points To Choose From– Thin Clients, fat clients, WYSE, HP, Samsung has a monitor with the chip built in, iPhone, iPAD (running Windows 7, which was a highlight), and a number of other devices.
  • Ability to Move- Pretty cool demo, but in short you could log in with a smart card at terminal A and run to Terminal B and have the same applications running. Example would be doctor going from room to room.

Editions and Price:

  • VMware View 4.5, Enterprise Edition: MSRP is $150 per concurrent connection and includes VMware vSphere 4.1 for desktops, VMware vCenter 4.1 and VMware View Manager 4.5, a flexible desktop management server enabling IT administrators to quickly provision and tightly control user access.
  • VMware View 4.5, Premier Edition: MSRP is $250 per concurrent connection includes VMware vSphere 4.1 for desktops, VMware vCenter 4.1, VMware View Manager 4.5, View Client with Local Mode, VMware ThinApp 4.6, VMware View Composer and VMware vShield Endpoint 1.0 to enable integration of offline capabilities, image management optimization, application virtualization and centralized anti-virus protection with virtual desktop delivery and management.

Summary of Demo:

It was pretty slick and the user experience was good. There were a few questions that came up. VOIP for one is sort of a sticky question that wasn’t really resolved. Latency thresholds were a little merky. Though there are some workarounds and adaptation that goes on. Finally, how to get from idea to production wasn’t solidify there definitely was going to be a large capital investment. However, I do think VDI is here and isn’t going away and I think there is going to be a ton of offerings over the next 1-3 years!


If you haven’t heard yet, VMware announced VMware vCloud Director (vCD) last week and it is gaining a lot of buzz around the industry.  The simplest way to think about vCD is in the terms of layers. It will sit on top of vCenter and extract all of the resources that vCenter would manage and pools them into large aggregates that can be carved up based on resource needs. A good real world example of what this could be used for would be multitenant hosting, or large use of resource pooling internally (think private cloud).  

Some basic things to keep in mind:

  • This works in conjunction with vCenter and vSphere.
  • You will want to use this with VMware vShield, vCenter Chargeback and vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) for full benefit.
  • There will be a self-service portal that will allow for micro level deployment of applications, virtual machines and other IT resources. Ultimately creating a vApp, more details below.
  • It can be clustered with the addition of multiple vCD servers. This will give an incredible amount of scalability.
  • Currently there are three types of resources that can be allocated by a tenant 
  1.                 Computing: Resource Pools
  2.                 Networking: vSwitches etc..
  3.                 Storage: VMFS and NFS shares

Value and Benefit:

High-level, this would be used to reduce the amount of time it would take to deploy VM’s, vApps, and templates. It would reduce the amount of IT tickets and most of all time for all the different groups to come to a consensus on how and what to carve out. Once the established policies are in place each department could log on to their portal for the prompts and have a working VM with the needed software in minutes vs. hours or days in some cases. They call this Self-Service for the cloud.

vCloud also fits in well with some of the primary hardware vendors. There is a documented relationship with Netapp, EMC, Cisco and HP. All have different flavors and benefits; however all have the same goal of allocating and pooling hardware resources on top of the virtual layers. Picking the right partnership could be challenging based on all the options and choices. But you should have comfort in knowing that some of your existing infrastructure will work with this technology, HP,EMC etc…

This is really an exciting announcement, not only because it adds another layer of resource pooling but because it is starting to fit right in line to the converged infrastructure conversation. Cisco was to first to market with their Unified Computing Servers, then HP with their Matrix options and now VMware. There is going to be a ton more of innovation with this concept and it will affect all areas of your IT infrastructure; ____as-a-service. More details to follow.

HP Looks to Outbid 3Par In Virtualization Strategy

Happy Monday everyone! Pretty big news today, HP decided to but in a $1.6 billion dollar bid in for 3Par, a virtualized storage vendor. This is pretty big news in the fact that Dell had offered $1.3 billion in what looked like a slam-dunk deal. Of course, the board of 3Par has to approve the offer; I find it hard to believe they won’t pick the larger price of the two. However nothing is final as of yet.

This by itself isn’t much of a story (at least from virtualization standpoint), although HP to acquire such a big company during CEO transition is an interesting side note. But what this does do is showcase the building up of the competitive unified cloud space (private and public). First you had Cisco break he mold with their UCS story. Then HP countered with their HP Matrix. Recently EMC announced the vblock (VMware, Cisco, and EMC storage) and Netapp announced a partnership with (Cisco, VMware, and Netapp Storage). In short, Dell was basically left out of the loop.

It wasn’t a surprise that Dell made the offer, they need something to add to their Equallogic line, and their partnership with EMC (reselling CLARiiON boxes) isn’t the strongest at this point. If Dell doesn’t make a move on something fast, I don’t think they will have a unified solution story, which I would think, would put them at a huge disadvantage in the near future. 3Par is a good target, and I doubt Dell will give up without a fight.

Long term there is a lot more questions than answers. I find all the recent acquisitions to be a bit unnerving, as do many of my clients. It is hard to make a large purchase knowing that your potential vendor is an acquisition target.  As well, you don’t want to miss out on the new hot thing, or worse invest in something that is obsolete in 12-18 months. Until the dust settles there could be a lot of projects on hold until people trust that there solutions will be around for a while.

VMware Pricing Model Change

There is some big news making its way around the blog community and it has some potential to impact you if you were planning to implement Site Recovery Manager (SRM) in to your VMware environment. Currently when you buy SRM it is sold as a per-cpu model. This allows for easy license counts and technically an all-you-can-eat environment (outside of hardware limitations).

The new model that will be released on September 1st 2010 will be switching to a pay-per-vm model. This will change the way to plan and purchase SRM drastically. For one, the minimum package size will be a 25 VM pack. So for example is decide to protect 2 machines but need 26 licenses, you will have to buy 2 25 packs, which could be expensive and a bit overkill. As well, some customers only need 2 licenses at a time and may have a difficult time getting budget to pay for such a large purchase. In theory, according to VMware “this new pricing model will make it easier and less expensive to take advantage of the vCenter product capabilities.”

This model will be based on a rolling average. So if you hit 250machines in December but the rest of the year you hover around 100, you would take your daily maximum total of virtual machines (average around 153) and that is what you would buy.

There are a few things to note and take in consideration, for instance, what if I already some licenses? VMware will be providing a transition plan to allow for you to exchange your per-processor licenses that are based on the new model. I don’t know what the exchange rate is, and VMware hasn’t given a lot of details on this.

What if you want to keep your current per-vm model? Again, according to VMware you will continue to use and purchase SRM licenses as normal until December 15th 2010. And even be able renew support as normal. This is still vague and we will continue to wait for further information from VMware. I am assuming there will be a time when VMware makes the customer convert over to their new model but I don’t know the exact date.

I also don’t know the conversion rate. It could be 1 for 1, it could be 1 for many. It isn’t clear. I am sure there will be a lot of questions and concerns from people as the move or decide to adopt SRM.

One huge question a customer brought up is about mixed environments. This would take place is you didn’t buy any more licenses and needed to have more SRM. You would still have per-cpu and now per-vm? Not sure how that will work.

One Final note this doesn’t just affect SRM, it also impacts: vCenter AppSpeed, vCenter CapacityIQ (early 2011), and vVenter Chargeback. If you were planning to buy these products I would make sure you did it soon and strategically.

More information to come.

VMware Page

Liquidware Signs Deal with VMware

This is pretty exciting news! Liquidware has singed an agreement with VMware for desktop assessment. This will help with the assessment lead approach of architecting a VMware View environment.

“The true benefits of this agreement with VMware, and other organizations using Stratusphere, are the results seen by shortening the sales cycle for next generation desktops, an increase in user adoption and productivity, and an increase in service levels for end-users.”

This takes effect immediately for any customer and can help with all aspects of the VMware View. Ultimatley, this help with a higher adoption rate of VMware View. The rest of the press release is below.

Beginning immediately any customer who is in the exploratory, deployment, comparative, or optimization phase of a virtual desktop project can benefit from the visibility Stratusphere provides backed by the expertise and experience of VMware Professional Services. VMware Desktop Virtualization Assessments are aided tremendously when customers have relevant information on the real-time use of their infrastructure, networks, user activity, storage, applications, and application servers. Customers are encouraged to reach out to their VMware account team or VMware Professional Services to learn more about VMware Desktop Virtualization Assessment Services and for program details and implementation.

The proper planning, design, and implementation of a virtual desktop and application strategy requires true visibility. “Liquidware Labs gives VMware Professional Services additional solutions to complete comprehensive Desktop Virtualization Assessments for our customers, which are critical in the early phases of VMware View™ implementations,” said Andy Knosp, Senior Director,VMware Professional Services.

Stratusphere collects performance metrics in order to evaluate how well the infrastructure will perform when moving to a next generation desktop such as VMware View, and/or Windows 7. In addition, questions of sizing and scaling, infrastructure needs, and TCO/ROI can be more easily quantified as design decisions are rooted in contextual measurement vs. theory.

Liquidware Labs Stratusphere is available for a trial download at


News Update: VMware Announces Hyperic 4.4

This is kind of cool, Springsource (a division of VMware) announced the release of Hyperic 4.4 which is a tool used for virtual java and other web applications. I honestly do not know too much about the application, however there is a big push with integration with vCenter. Below is taking from their offical press release:

Rapid Diagnosis of Virtualized Application Performance Problems:
IT operations teams can now use Hyperic to rapidly pinpoint the cause of performance issues of applications running on virtualized infrastructure, by providing them with visibility into all application infrastructure layers, enabling them to determine whether the root cause of issues lies within an application, its guest operating system, or its ESX host. System administrators can easily compare performance data between an application and its corresponding virtual machine and ESX host via a new Hyperic user interface. This UI enables system administrators to reduce mean time to resolution (MTTR) and increase mean time between failures (MTBF).

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