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Posts Tagged ‘linux

BIOS-based Type 1 Client Hypervisors On The Horizon?

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Phoenix Technologies is offering a Linux-based virtualization platform called HyperSpace enabled by the HyperCore hypervisor embedded within the BIOS. HyperCore is most likely Xen-based and runs specialized core services side-by-side with Windows on Intel VT CPU’s.

Primary value

Its primary value proposition is that it is a fast boot environment. The concept is to boot the user into a VM running Linux and show him a Mozilla-based browser within the first 10 seconds, while Windows is booting up in parallel in another VM within the first minute or so. While the Windows boot in in progress, the user can connect (through Linux) with an available wireless network, browse the Internet, and switch between the two virtual machines using the F4 function key.

What do users think?

Here are some interesting reviews,

Some other fast boot environments are:

However, currently …

Phoenix was selling HyperSpace Dual (Linux only, no HyperCore) and Hybrid (Linux + HyperCore) in 2009 but they seem to have discontinued the Hybrid product line. Was the adoption poor due to limited hardware support? Or, shudder, was the product not fulfilling a customer need?

Perhaps we may see it once again in the near future, the HyperSpace front page hints that “HyperSpace 2.0 is coming soon”.

The technology is cool, but …

Fast boot alone is not a compelling need. There aren’t many times in life when users can’t wait an additional 30 or so seconds to have full access to Windows.

If you look at why Mac users have adopted VMware Fusion for running Windows, you’ll realize that there must be a compelling need for users to change their behavior and adopt something new and different. Users in corporate environments switched to Macs because they did not want a Common Operating Environment Windows desktop, which was locked down by IT. Using Fusion, they can continue to use Office, particularly, Outlook, and especially the Outlook calendar, to continue to meet the demands at work without missing a beat. Conversely, people who have always used Macs did not want to change their lifestyle when they joined a new company and using Fusion, they were able to assimilate into the corporate routine very quickly.

So the question at hand is, what is the compelling use case for a BIOS-based client hypervisor to gain adoption and market penetration?

What is the killer use case?

Perhaps the killer use case is the one that both HyperSpace and Splashtop are already fulfilling today for NetBooks and Nettops, using non-virtualized Linux to provide a Mozilla or Chrome browser as the primary interface for email, Facebook, Zynga, IM, browsing the Internet and using Microsoft Office compatible apps.

This begs the question, is there a compelling need for a Type 1 BIOS-based client hypervisor?

Gabe Knuth has an interesting twist to offer in his post

So what if Citrix, who’s already going to give XenClient away for free, were to partner with Phoenix and other BIOS manufacturers to find a way to include XenClient in the BIOS?

Dear Reader, What do you think?

Find VM’s older than N days to free up disk space

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I wrote a Python 2.6 script to find and list VM’s older than 90 days on my Windows workstation, so that I could compress them, move them to a 1TB drive attached to my machine, or to a file server, or delete them.

find_old_vms is a tool to find and list old VM’s (vmdk’s, vhd’s) on your hard drives that are older than a given number of days.

Usage: find_old_vms in_this_directory_tree older_than_days

Example: find_old_vms “c:\\” 90

Download for Windows XP, 2003, and Linux. The script uses atime (latest file access time), which is not supported on Windows Vista and Windows 7.

Code:

#
# NOTE: This script uses atime - the last access time for deciding whether a VM
# ****  file is a candidate. On Windows XP, atime is updated every hour, whereas,
#          Windows Vista and Windows 7 do not provide an atime.

import os, sys, glob, time

# dtroot is the pathname for a node in a directory tree 
# age is the number of days for which a file has not been accessed
# size in bytes is the maximum size of a file
def scan(dtroot, age, size):
	""" scan <dir> scans the <dir> on host for virtual images
	"""
	filecount = 0
	wctime = time.time(); # get current time

	for root, subdirs, files in os.walk(dtroot):
		# Build a list of filenames that have a suffix vmd* or vhd*
		vfiles = glob.glob(os.path.join(root,"*.v[mh]d*"))
		for f in vfiles:
			atime = os.path.getatime(f)
			elapsed_time = (wctime - atime)/(60*60*24)
			if elapsed_time > age:
				filecount = filecount + 1
				print f, " last accessed ", int(elapsed_time), " days ago\n",


if __name__ == "__main__":

	import sys
	
	# User asked for help
	if sys.argv[1] == '?':
		print "\nfind_old_vms in_this_directory_tree older_then_days\n",
		print "Find all files with the suffix .v[mh]d* that have not been accessed since older_than_days",
		print "through a recusrive descent starting from the root in_this_directory_tree",
		sys.exit()	

	# Validate that the first argument in_this_directory_tree is a valid path
	if not os.path.exists(sys.argv[1]):
		print sys.argv[1], " is not a valid directory. Please provide another",
		sys.exit()

	# Arbitrarily limit search to 10 years
	invalid_age = 0
	if int(sys.argv[2]) < 1:
		invalid_age = 1
	elif int(sys.argv[2]) > 3650:
		invalid_age = 1

	if invalid_age == 1:
		print sys.argv[2], " is invalid. Please provide between 1 and 3650 days",
		sys.exit()

	scan(sys.argv[1], int(sys.argv[2]), 0)

If you remove the restriction of searching for vImh]d* files, it will help you find other older files as well. I will appreciate your feedback.

Written by paule1s

November 23, 2009 at 12:35 am

Top 10 VMware Virtual Appliances for Security

with one comment

I have reviewed several appliances in the Secure Content and Threat Management and Identity, Access and Vulnerability Managament categories of the VMware Appliance Marketplace to identify the Top 20 appliances. Here are the steps I followed for selecting the appliances listed below:

  • I have relied on the Average customer Rating, expressed as a 5 star, or a 4 star, etc., rating (you may wish to review my analysis of VMware’s ratings)
  • I discarded all virtual appliances that solely package OS distributions, primarily, ubuntu, fedora, etc. My rationale is that an OS by itself provides low business value to an IT Administrator. While an IT administrator can use these just as if they were using a ghost image, these virtual appliances neither package applications in a usable form, nor simplify the task of installing and configuring the applications that provide business value. Besides, the base OS virtual appliances are available in a category by themselves
  • I also discarded several appliances rated 4 star or less, which are present in the directory but have either broken or stubbed out download links. They seem to have been retained in the directory to beef up the appliance count, however, they are not useful to the community.

S. No.

Virtual Appliance

What is it used for?

Download Link

Average Customer Rating

Number of Reviews

Pricing

1

Stonesoft

Protects Internal Networks from Malicious Traffic in Demanding Virtual Environments

Download

5

0

Free trial with registration

2

Profense Base Web Application Firewall

Web application firewall with automated adaptive learning and HTTP load balancing

Download

5

0

Free Trial, USD 2950 per subscription

Profense Web Application Firewall (ESX)

Web application firewall with automated adaptive learning, load balancing and XML support. PCI DSS and OWASP Top Ten compliant

Free Trial, USD 5950 per subscription

3

FalconStor Virtual tape Library

The only VTL solution that improves the quality and efficiency of tape backup in virtual enviroments.

Download

5

0

Registration 30 day trial

4

WiKID Strong Authentication Server 3.3.8

The WiKID Strong Authentication Enterprise Edition VMware 3.3.8. Support for Google SSO/SAML has been added

Download

5

0

USD 24 per user

5

Altor VF Virtual Firewall

1st Purpose-Built Virtual Firewall

Download

5

0

Free trial with registration

6

HyTrust Appliance Community Edition

HyTrust Appliance provides a single point of control for hypervisor configuration, compliance, and access management.

Download

5

0

Free

7

CensorNet Web Security Virtual Appliance

Total Web Security software for any organisation

Download

5

0

Free Trail, USD 5 per

8

Kinamik Secure Audit Vault v1.1

Provides data integrity protection by centralizing and preserving sensitive data,making it tamper-evident at the highest detail.

Download

5

0

Free Trial, EUR 10,000

9

AEP Netilla SSL VPN

AEP Netilla SSL VPN is a secure application access gateway that enables secure, web browser access to a range of business apps.

Download

5

0

Free trial, USD 1

10

Trend Micro InterScan Messaging Security Virtual Appliance

Comprehensive email security gateway reduces TCO with immediate protection from spam, phishing, malware and data leaks

Download

5

0

Free Trial, USD 19.67 per user

11

Trend Micro InterScan Web Security Virtual Appliance

InterScan Web Security Virtual Appliance applies real-time web reputation, flexible content scanning and powerful URL filtering.

Download

5

0

Free Trial, USD 13.45 per user

12

LinHost Backtrack 3

BackTrack is a penetration testing oriented live CD and is the result of the merger of WHAX and Auditor.

Download

4.5

0

Free

13

Symantec Brightmail™ Gateway Virtual Edition (formerly Mail Security 8300)

Inbound and outbound messaging security, antispam and antivirus protection, advanced content filtering, and data loss prevention

Download

4.5

0

Free Trail, USD 15 per user

14

JanusVM

Internet Privacy Appliance : Encrypts your Internet traffic, hides your IP address, and is easy to setup.

Download

4.5

0

Free

15

SpamTitan

*SpamTitan allows you create a Email Security Appliance for your Gateway

Download

4.5

0

Free hosted trial, USD 395 per subscription

16

gateProtect Virtual Appliance

gateProtect solutions combine state of the art security and network features such as firewalls, bridging, VLAN, single sign-on, traffic shaping, QoS, IPSec/SSL (X.509), IDS/IPS, web filters, virus filters, real-time spam detection and HTTPS proxy in one system

Download

4.5

0

Free

17

Accellion Secure File Transfer – Virtual Appliance

Secure File Transfer Virtual Appliance – secure, economical and easy to use secure file transfer for today’s global enterprises

Download

4.5

13

Free hosted trial

18

Network Security Toolkit (NST) Virtual Machine

Best-of-breed open source network security applications with supporting scripts and a web-based front-end management interface.

Download

4.0

0

Free

19

LogLogic Security Change Manager- Great for Firewall Coversions!

Streamline the design and deployment of network security rules for firewalls, routers, switches, VPN, and IPS’s.

Download

4.0

0

Free

20

Check Point VPN-1 VE (Virtual Edition)

Proven Security for Virtual Environments

Download

4.0

0

Free Trial

Which virtual appliance do you use the most and why do you like it?

Written by paule1s

September 25, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Top 10 VMware Virtual Appliances for IT Administrators

with 2 comments

I have reviewed several appliances in the IT Administration and Systems Infrastructure categories of the VMware Appliance Marketplace to identify the Top Ten and more appliances. Here are the steps I followed for selecting the appliances listed below:

  • I have relied on the Average customer Rating, expressed as a 5 star, or a 4 star, etc., rating (you may wish to review my analysis of VMware’s ratings)
  • I discarded all virtual appliances that solely package OS distributions, primarily, ubuntu, fedora, etc. My rationale is that an OS by itself provides low business value to an IT Administrator. While an IT administrator can use these just as if they were using a ghost image, these virtual appliances neither package applications in a usable form, nor simplify the task of installing and configuring the applications that provide business value. Besides, the base OS virtual appliances are available in a category by themselves
  • I also discarded several appliances rated 4.5 star or less, which are present in the directory but have either broken or stubbed out download links. They seem to have been retained in the directory to beef up the appliance count, however, they are not useful to the community.

S. No.

Virtual Appliance

What is it used for?

Download Link

Average Customer Rating

Number of Reviews

Pricing

1

WebGUI 7.4.25

WebGUI is an open source content management system built to give business users the ability to build and maintain complex web sites.

Download

5

0

Free

2

Opsview 2.12 Virtual Machine – Network and Application Monitoring

Opsview is enterprise network and application monitoring software designed for scalability, flexibility and ease of use.

Download

5

0

Free

3

ShellNet MiniVM

Web Interface for managing Nessus Vulnerability Scans and results

Download

5

0

Free

4

Pentaho BI 1.7 running on CentOS 5.2

Open Source Business Intelligence Suite

Download

5

0

Free

5

up.time

up.time allows you to monitor, measure and manage your physical and virtual IT infrastructure from a single centralized console.

Download

5

5

$695 per license

6

Profense Professional Web Application Firewall

Web application firewall with automated adaptive learning, load balancing and XML support. PCI DSS and OWASP Top Ten compliant

Download

5

0

Free Trial, $5950 per license

7

FalconStor Virtual tape Library

The only VTL solution that improves the quality and efficiency of tape backup in virtual enviroments.

Download

5

0

Registration 30 day trial

8

Replify

Virtual WAN Optimization Controller

Download

5

0

Free Trial

9

Allardsoft Secure File Transfer Virtual Appliance

The AllardSoft Secure Filetransfer Appliance allows you to send very large files securely using a standard web browser.

Download

5

5

Free trial, $79 per license

10

FOG – Computer Cloning/Imaging solution Server (0.27)

FOG is a computer imaging/cloning solution with many advanced features includes web gui and client service.

Download

5

0

Free

11

AS Communication Gateway

High-Class scalable anti spam solution from small business to enterprise. Developed in Europe/Austria

Download

5

0

Free

12

X-M0n0wall v1.235

*Most popular Firewall appliance* All-in-one firewall package upgraded with VMXnet, heartbeat and MUI-control.

Download

4.5

0

Free

13

rPath Port 25 Mail Server Appliance

Mail Server appliance

Download

4

0

Free

Which virtual appliance do you use the most and why do you like it?

Written by paule1s

September 23, 2009 at 3:16 pm

Top 10 Posts for Q1 2009

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Here are the Top 10 posts for Q1 2009, the numbers of views are in parentheses.

  1. Defragment Ubuntu, Fedora, ext3, ext4 (2247)
  2. Most popular VMWare Virtual Appliances for IT Administrators (2186)
  3. VirtualBox – setup, share, shrink, convert (842)
  4. How to convert a VMWare VMDK to a Microsoft, Xen VHD? (810)
  5. How does shrink with vmware disk manager work? (614)
  6. Most popular VMWare Virtual Appliances for Security (607)
  7. Pre-configured VHD (Virtual Appliance) available from Microsoft (593)
  8. Most popular VMWare Virtual Appliances for Web Apps (558)
  9. Virtual Machine Disk Image Compression (320)
  10. rsync vm, vhd for backup, disaster recovery, ec2 (317)

Defragmentation of virtual disk files remains the dominant theme. There is an equal amount of interest in virtual appliances, particularly those for system administrators.

Search terms:

  • ext4 defrag ubuntu
  • ext4 defrag
  • convert vdi to vhd
  • e4defrag ubuntu
  • virtualbox shrink
  • rsync vmdk
  • wubi
  • defrag ubuntu
  • defrag ext3
  • windows 7 virtual appliance
  • defragment ext3
  • vmware appliances
  • defrag ext4
  • xen vhd
  • ubuntu ext4 defrag
  • defrag ext4 ubuntu
  • vmware firewall appliance
  • vmware appliance
  • “vdi to vhd”
  • convert vhd to xen
  • ext3 defrag
  • windows 7 beta vmware virtual appliances
  • defrag fedora
  • ext3 defragmentation
  • virtual appliance windows 7
  • ubuntu defrag
  • hercules load balancer virtual appliance
  • fedora defrag
  • convert vmdk to xen
  • shrink vmware disk

Oracle releases virtual appliances (AMI’s) on Amazon’s EC2

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Oracle Corporation has delivered a set of free Amazon Machine Images (AMIs), to make it easy for customers to get started deploying Oracle solutions on Amazon EC2. The following appliances are built on Oracle Enterprise Linux Release 5 Update 2 as the base OS:

Oracle Secure Backup

For on-premise Oracle installations, AWS offers a dependable and secure off-site backup location through the Cloud Backup module, which is a part of Oracle Secure Backup – a tape backup management solution. It provides customers the flexibility to back up data to either tape or the Cloud.

Licensing

Oracle customers can now license Oracle Database 11g, Oracle Fusion Middleware, and Oracle Enterprise Manager to run in the AWS cloud computing environment. Oracle customers can also use their existing software licenses on Amazon EC2 with no additional license fees.

Written by paule1s

February 17, 2009 at 4:15 am

How To Build Virtual Appliances

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 Ubuntu JeOS

VMWare Studio

Parallels

rPath rBuilder

Rightscale

RightImages provide ready-to-go base operating systems with core cloud software.

ServerTemplates also allow you to designate any number of scripts that you want to run at boot time, upon demand, or when an event is triggered.

RightScripts allow you to specify packages that you want to install before a script is executed and even allow you to upload and attach files directly to scripts.

Amazon Machine Image (AMI)

Written by paule1s

February 16, 2009 at 8:46 am