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This posting is provided "AS IS" with no warranties, and confers no rights. The opinions expressed within are my own and should not be attributed to any other Individual, Company or the one I work for. I just happen to be a classic techie who is passionate about getting things to work as they should do (and are sometimes advertised and marketed as being able to?) and when I can I drop notes here to help others falling in to the same traps that I have fallen in to. If this has helped then please pass it on - if you feel that I have commented in error or disagree then please feel free to discuss with me either publically or privately? Cheers, Dave
Thin Clients, VDI and Linux integration from the front lines.... Raw and sometimes unedited notes based on my experiences with VMware, Thin Clients, Linux etc.

I was checking some other news over at ChannelRegister and found this interesting little snippet.

I'm sure the Microsoft marketing will make a lot more of this than it's worth?  ;-)

Microsoft counters VMware insanity with optimistic frown

I'm pretty sure that this is part of the reason VMware has pushed so hard with ESX Server 3i - a 32MB version of its flagship product that can and will be embedded into the flash memory of servers. Dell, IBM, HP, Fujitsu and others have lined up to include ESX 3i in the memory of at least one system each. So, you can boot right into VMware without touching an operating system, and VMware's hypervisor starts to look like a standard server component.

Of course, VMware would be in better shape with this play if every server from these vendors included ESX 3i or at least presented it as an option at sales time. That may happen one day. In the meantime, Microsoft is content to downplay VMware's actions.

"It is important to understand that Viridian will ship as part of Windows Server 2008," Microsoft's virtualization chief Mike Neil told us. "VMware is in a situation where they are not an OS vendor. They need a distribution mechanism through the OEMs. This is the approach they have taken."

But would Microsoft consider shipping a separate hypervisor that could slot into memory as well? Viridian is less than 1MB, according to Neil.

"I don't know that (an embedded hypervisor) has substantial value today," Neil said.

Posted on Friday, September 21, 2007 11:17 AM Citrix , Microsoft Tips , VMware and other Virtualization tools | Back to top

Comments on this post: Microsoft's Viridian at 1Mb to be significantly smaller than VMware's ESX 3i hypervisor at 32Mb?

# re: Microsoft's Viridian at 1Mb to be significantly smaller than VMware's ESX 3i hypervisor at 32Mb?
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The difference, of course, being that Microsoft's Viridian requires a full instance of Windows Server 2008 running on the same host machine as Viridian.

So, yes, the actual code may be only 1MB in size, but it requires a full install of a full, thick OS in order to actually function as a hypervisor, based on publications to date.

Comparing this 1MB slice of code, that only functions when combined with a full running instance of Windows Server 2008, to VMware ESX3i, and pretending that they provide the same functionality is fatuous at best. Nei's statement is sadly not an apples to apples comparison, though it attempt to masquerade as one.

32MB of ESX3i, alone on a physical server, allows that server to run multiple VMs of mixed operating system (any Windows OS besides Vista, more than sixty flavors of Linux, Solaris x86, etc.).

1MB of Viridian on a server doesn't do anything, until you add a full running VM instance of Windows Server 2008.

As for "I don't know if an embedded hypervisor has substantial value today," I assume that Neil has spoken with corporate IT architects who have a primary concern with keeping the management overhead and required level of skill to a minimum at branch offices and offsite datacenters?

A piece of hardware that shows up on a truck, ready to rack, and once racked and turned on, is ready to start running virtual machines, with little to no configuration, is of immense value to datacenter architects.
Left by Peter Kazanjy on Sep 23, 2007 2:10 AM

# re: Microsoft's Viridian at 1Mb to be significantly smaller than VMware's ESX 3i hypervisor at 32Mb?
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Its just shows that MS has no clue whatsoever when it comes to virtualization.
One more nail in the coffin...
Left by anon ymous on Oct 04, 2007 5:53 AM

# re: Microsoft's Viridian at 1Mb to be significantly smaller than VMware's ESX 3i hypervisor at 32Mb?
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Good comment. Not many writers have picked up on this subtle but important point that Viridian is a heavy kernel compared to ESX, and will not compare in performance.
It certainly highlights yet another shortcoming of Viridian, but also demonstrates the clever and cynical marketing might of Microsoft. I wish this fact were a "nail in the coffin", but having read many articles and comments I believe Microsoft will gain increasing market share in the corporate virtualisation market, despite the impending not-so-good first release of Viridian.
Left by Ian on Oct 25, 2007 10:38 PM

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