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VMware, Cisco Plan Data Center OS

ScuttleMonkey posted about 7 years ago | from the right-tool-for-the-right-job dept.

Operating Systems 83

Lucas123 writes "John Webster over at Computerworld says VMware and Cisco plan to develop a Data Center OS that would consist of a data center cloud populated by servers, storage, and Cisco's 'intelligent' networking gear, all managed by Cisco and its partners — starting with VMware."

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Imagine... (1, Funny)

Jrabbit05 (943335) | about 7 years ago | (#21075373)

a bewulf cluster of these!

Re:Imagine... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21076851)

Maybe the cluster would be powerful enough to correct your spelling?

Can someone explain how... (1)

EveryNickIsTaken (1054794) | about 7 years ago | (#21075401)

this differs at all from OpenView?

Re:Can someone explain how... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21075475)

It won't suck?

Re:Can someone explain how... (0, Offtopic)

suckmysav (763172) | about 7 years ago | (#21079891)

"It won't suck?"

This is a Cisco product we are talking about here, right?

Re:Can someone explain how... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21075717)

It's several significant figures more gay.

OpenVMS & Nonstop Himalaya (1)

mosel-saar-ruwer (732341) | about 7 years ago | (#21076273)

When I first read this article, my immediate thought was that if they needed a mission critical kernel and/or mission critical hardware infrastructure to power the thing, then they could probably purchase OpenVMS and/or Nonstop Himalaya for pennies on the dollar.

Or go ahead and purchase QNX from Harman-Kardon.

Re:Can someone explain how... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21083669)

It isn't anything like OpenView. What it is like is HP's "datacenter in a box" utility computer platform that went over like a lead baloon and quickly died.


Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21075413)

.| |
it feels like a monday []

And it all starts with... (0, Troll)

realdodgeman (1113225) | about 7 years ago | (#21075421)

Linux. Just like VMWare ESX.

Re:And it all starts with... (2, Insightful)

Hatta (162192) | about 7 years ago | (#21075603)

IIRC, ESX only ships with linux in the service console [] . The actual vmkernel is not [] based on linux.

Re:And it all starts with... (1)

mrsteveman1 (1010381) | about 7 years ago | (#21080045)

You have things a bit mixed up. ESX versions prior to 3 use a Linux kernel that runs all the time, with what VMware calls "vmkernel" on top of it, which is suspicious to say the least, and ESX3 loads "vmkernel" from the Linux initrd directly.

Its more complicated than that for sure, and every description I've read of how ESX works makes me more suspicious of what VMware does. In particular their use of Linux drivers, which are and always have been GPL licensed, so either they are using the Linux kernel to run devices, or they are taking code.

from wikipedia: "VMware Inc states that vmkernel does not derive from Linux, but acknowledges that it has adapted certain device-drivers from Linux device drivers. The Linux kernel continues running, under the control of the vmkernel, providing functions including the proc file system used by the ESX and an environment to run support applications."

Without more info its hard to say but i know plenty of developers aren't happy with VMware at the moment because of this stuff.

Re:And it all starts with... (1)

Natales (182136) | about 7 years ago | (#21084705)

That is correct. In fact, the recently announced ESX 3i has *no* service console at all. It is a pure vmkernel in 32MB of flash.

Confused. (3, Interesting)

MrCrassic (994046) | about 7 years ago | (#21075453)

Is this implementation going to set up virtual servers aligned as a data center, for which virtual computers can access? Or is this an idea for a completely custom virtualization-based operating system that offloads one huge datacenter onto single computers?

If either is the case, how is that any different than either setting up a test server (or servers) with VMware computers all connected to each other using physical connections, or just having multiple VMware sessions on one computer all interconnected using a single connection?

Re:Confused. (1)

teknopurge (199509) | about 7 years ago | (#21075563)

If either is the case, how is that any different than either setting up a test server (or servers) with VMware computers all connected to each other using physical connections, or just having multiple VMware sessions on one computer all interconnected using a single connection?

Because this way you can get "a leading solution from the leaders in leadership" instead of paying in-house salaries.

Re:Confused. (1)

mindstrm (20013) | about 7 years ago | (#21080551)

Everyone likes to knock the business world for provding proprietary solutions.

Guess what.. hiring more staff costs more, and more importantly, takes far more time than purchasing VMWare, the commercial Xen thing, or any other commercial virtualization and management platforms.

And you know what? it's not about the core virt tech... that's free. It's about the management tools.

You are probably thinking, sure, why pay them to run a few real boxes with a few dozen virtual boxes. and right you are.
But what about when I'm scaling to hundreds of real cpus, tons of network attached storage, and I need to manage it all, keep it all redundant, and deal with resource allocation? Give me a tool that does it.

When OSS gives me a tool that does this well, I'll gladly use it.. until then, there is a niche for proprietary solutions.

Re:Confused. (4, Interesting)

jhfry (829244) | about 7 years ago | (#21075629)

I think what they mean by "Data Center OS" is that they are developing an OS that utilizes an entire datacenter as it's resource... rather than a series of discrete systems that are linked by their OS's.

Essentially I imagine it will be similar to the way a mainframe acts... a large number of resources, all controlled by a single OS. But instead of a single manufacturer implementation, this will be a proprietary "standard" that allows 3rd party components to be added to the cloud and become available to the "OS"

It's actually a great idea... it's the next evolution from virtualization... Why should a data center admin need to ever concern themselves with the individual servers and storage devices... instead they just add another processor (server), storage device (NAS array), or external network, and the OS will utilize it as it chooses.

I'd imagine that if it is properly executed, it will greatly improve utilization and make managing the data center infinitely easier as all you do is plug the device in and it is automatically assimilated into the system.

All I hope is that they make it a true industry standard, it would suck if only a combination of Cisco, Dell, and EMC devices (for example) would work with the new "OS".

Re:Confused. (3, Interesting)

jrexilius (520067) | about 7 years ago | (#21075897)

This is in essence what my company ( does. We take it a step further and "cluster" multiple datacenters into a single system. Although what we do is not based on virtualization more on underlying OS and altering programming language internals to make it transparent to the application.

In essence they get to the same place but ours is more limited and geared towards a particular class of application running on the LAMP stack. Also the problems we were trying to solve when building it was not utilization but scaling, availability and performance. We are actually kind of wasteful of hardware currently but as we grow we get more and more efficient. Economies of scale thing.

Re:Confused. (1)

cerberusss (660701) | about 7 years ago | (#21077119)

Wow that is some seriously interesting stuff you've got going there. Basically you offer scalability-in-a-box? As far as I'm concerned this is taking it one step further (not just different). That's because virtualized servers are nice but can still drop off without notice. It won't help you there but your setup will.

Re:Confused. (1)

donnacha (161610) | about 7 years ago | (#21078409)

So, Jason, I read your website pretty thoroughly but couldn't find any prices - what sort of cost are we talking about for hosting fairly straightforward LAMP apps on your system?

Because I'm sure a lot of people here on /. would be interested and, Hell, if you want those economies of scale, it wouldn't hurt for your customer base to get slashdotted.

Re:Confused. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21080961)

You wouldn't happen to be the same Jason Rexilius who got fired from VMware a few months ago? Odd that VMware isn't listed on your resume, but I guess consultant to CEO is a pretty big jump....

Re:Confused. (1)

NateTech (50881) | about 7 years ago | (#21081777)

Could the Colorado Rockies baseball front-office borrow your server farm for a day or so?

They don't seem to be able to deal with normal web traffic for selling things.

Colorado Rockies Suspend World Series Ticket Sales because Monfort Brothers want to make sure Denver looks like a cow-town -- Assistance was gladly provided by California based web server farm morons who haven't heard of load-balancing or using something other than JSP on their smokin' Pentium III machines []

They apparently don't realize that there are whole companies that do all of their sales online, who could lead them to the promised land of "server farm best practices".

Perhaps Jeff Bezos could give them a call and help them pull their heads out of their asses, tell 'em about this little site called Amazon that handles millions of orders a day during holiday season.

Re:Confused. (1)

Yetihehe (971185) | about 7 years ago | (#21075935)

it will greatly improve utilization and make managing the data center infinitely easier as all you do is plug the device in and it is automatically assimilated into the system.
We are the BOS*. You will be automatically assimilated into the system. Resistance is futile. Welcome your new Cloud Computing overlords.

*BOS - Borg OS.

Re:Confused. (2, Insightful)

nine-times (778537) | about 7 years ago | (#21075999)

this will be a proprietary "standard" that allows 3rd party components to be added to the cloud and become available to the "OS"

It's actually a great idea...

The part that isn't so great about it is the "proprietary" part. I guess it depends on the implementation and how open the "standard" is. But having worked in IT for several years now, I've become increasingly convinced that closed standards and proprietary systems just aren't acceptable. What inevitably happens is that this terrific idea and great set of standards will work great... so long as you set everything up exactly the way the vendor wants. That usually includes throwing a large amount of money into buying other loosely related products from the same vendor, buying interacting products from the vendor's partners, and paying a shit-ton of money to the vendor's "certified" consultants. And then you're locked in, and you have to deal with that vendor's quirks and problems, or else pay all that money again to start the whole process over with a competing vendor.

And of course, the whole "standard" won't really be built to function optimally to solve the problem it's built to solve. It will have random bullshit built in to ensure that the standard can't be used by the vendor's competitors. They'll make sure the standard can't be used with anything other than "approved" hardware and software. The result of all that is that you can't use the product the way you want, and also that the product doesn't quite function properly because they're trying to keep you from doing what you want.

I guess I just question whether a proprietary standard should be considered a standard at all. I'm not against proprietary software, but I'm mighty tired of proprietary software developers refusing to use standards that allow their product to work with competing products. Maybe it's just me and I'm crazy or something, but free interoperability between systems always ends up being this huge hurdle to getting things done, and I'd hand over my money more readily if some proprietary software/hardware vendor would ease those problems instead of exacerbating them. Why don't these companies actually try making things easier for IT pros for a change, instead of just giving us some new complicated non-functional inconvenient POS to try to figure out?

(Sorry for the rant. I've had a bad month.)

Re:Confused. (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | about 7 years ago | (#21077999)

Remember that actual standards are in many cases based on proprietary standards, and those that aren't can take an very long time to complete and become adopted, because they sometimes lack financial backing and motivation. Bleeding-edge technology will often use proprietary standards at first, with an actual standard emerging with time and popularity. It's also cheaper and faster to introduce features into a proprietary standard instead of pushing widget X through a committee (where your competitors all get to see and comment on it, too).

Some standards die an early death because they take so damn long and are too full of compromises (yes, ATM, I'm talking about you).

Even some things we think of as "standards" really aren't. SIP, for example, isn't so much a standard as it is a collection of RFCs with suggested methods for implementing features.

Wireless was around long before 802.11, VLAN trunking was around long before 802.1q, power over ethernet was around long before 802.1af, etc. In each case there are proprietary solutions that are technically superior to the standards. This is one method for manufacturers to compete for market share.

Perhaps the best example is IPSEC, which was developed by the auto industry and used for B2B between companies for many years before a standard was available. It was a total pain in the ass to do interoperability, but you could make it work between different vendors (usually), and you weren't locked into a single manufacturer (if you did your homework). It sucked at first, but it was still better and more cost effective than the alternative.

So it's really a case of balancing the desire to consume emerging technology and remain competitive versus the desire to have an ironclad guarantee of interoperability.

Lastly, new shit is often complex and often doesn't work well. That applies to everything, not just IT.

Re:Confused. (1)

locokamil (850008) | about 7 years ago | (#21076151)

Looks like Plan 9 may make it to the real world after all... this kind of application is essentially what it was built for, right?

Re:Confused. (1)

Angostura (703910) | about 7 years ago | (#21076553)

So it's clustering, then.

Re:Confused. (1)

jhfry (829244) | about 7 years ago | (#21077681)

A cluster is still a set of discrete OS's working in concert... I believe what they are intending to do is use a hardware layer to allow the "OS" to utilize the hardware independent of an operating system on the individual components.

The closest parallel I can draw is that of a Fiber Channel SAN... any machine that is physically/logically connected to that SAN can access the storage as though it is local to that machine.

Imagine a protocol, implemented purely in hardware, that allowed distributed processing, storage, redundancy, etc. You would buy the equipment without an OS, and simply plug it in to make it part of your supercluster (tm).

Re:Confused. (1)

vidarh (309115) | about 7 years ago | (#21076901)

There's several different technologies already doing similar things to this.

The oldest being "single system image" clusters. DEC/Compaq/HP had an SSI project for Linux a while back, see [] .

There's also a number of platforms such as 3Tera's AppLogic [] that abstracts away the invididual servers using virtualization. AppLogic looks fantastic in many respects - you get a nice GUI to connect together "components" to applications that can span hundreds of CPU's, and you can then deploy applications on a "grid" of host nodes and have their system provision everything, or you can snapshot an application or create a scaled down copy for development/testing etc.

It's great technology, and actually not too badly priced (prices for hosted AppLogic grids are roughly the same as for managed hosting of similarly spec'ed servers from some of the providers I've looked at).

You'll see a lot of these spring up over the next few years - deploying large scale apps "manually" is a real pain, and most successful companies that have to scale end up reinventing a lot of operational infrastructure. Systems such as AppLogic finally start making it possible to outsource or purchase a lot of that stuff and spend your inhouse resources on your core competencies instead.

Where you'll really see this start to shine is when people start cycling hardware. Cycling hardware to keep using the most cost effective platform is damn resource intensive (time/manpower) if your operational infrastructure isn't automated. Virtualization is a godsend for that. If I can constantly pick the most cost effective hardware and abstract it away completely from our apps, and take down or add hardware nodes transparently, then that'll save me a huge amount of time and money.

Log file from the datacenter. (1)

blhack (921171) | about 7 years ago | (#21076977)

All jobs at work station WKS008B ended.
All jobs at work station WKS010B ended.
All jobs at work station WKS041A ended.
All jobs at work station GIBSON ended.
The call to *LIBL/QCMDEXC ended in error (C G D F).
    Reply . . : C
All jobs at work station CONSOLE ended.
All jobs at work station WKS009A ended.
All jobs at work station WKS010A ended.
All jobs at work station WKS014A ended.
Device DSP03 no longer communicating.
Device DSP03 no longer communicating.


Do you mean like.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21077257)

Do you mean like Linux already does?

Big expensive monolithic expensive data centers are so last century.

Imagine a business where all those idle CPU cycles on desktops become part of a collective cluster. Where larger systems and peers send out their data backups parsed and encrypted to other desktops utilizing unused or pre-allocated space.

Imagine not needing a data center.

Re:Confused. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21079919)

Kind of like a Tandem, then.

Re:Confused. (1)

roger_and_out (697323) | about 7 years ago | (#21098119)

So what's the difference between this and an IBM mainframe?

Re:Confused. (1)

t0rkm3 (666910) | about 7 years ago | (#21075649)

I imagine one of the key components is the MDS9000/MDS9500 or a switching device like that. One of the features that was supposed to become part of the switch (I was a beta tester for a very large storage company) was disk virtualization. FC connected disk could be presented via FC-IP, ISCSI, or CIFS/NFS from the switch. If the volume was CIFS/NFS this could be presented from a small scale special purpose server built into a slot in the chassis.

Take the above piece of hardware and add a FWSM (Firewall Services Module) and an MSFC (Router daughter card to the Supervisor) you can control your entire IP and storage network from end to end by creating VLANs, VRFs, FW contexts, and VSANs.

Now all you add is a VMWare headend to create the application platform and a large scale data storage device at the backend for actual disk or tape storage. There you go. You could build an entire data center that allows all of the customers to use the same cable plant and system racks without having to change out any hardware except in case of failure or upgrade.

Re:Confused. (1)

accessdeniednsp (536678) | about 7 years ago | (#21091371)

This is IBMs VM OS from the 1970s. We are just now catching up to just over 30 years ago. Good work team. You almost missed it. Any later and it would have been from 40 years ago.

I'm both impressed and saddened at the reinvention of this wheel.

Where this will end up.. (2, Insightful)

JackMeyhoff (1070484) | about 7 years ago | (#21075581)

UTILITY Computing, IBM's wet dream. Also, game hosting in the cloud. No more installing clients, you play in virtual clients. Game houses wet dream. Thin clients, Oracles wet dream.

Re:Where this will end up.. (1) (1108067) | about 7 years ago | (#21075639)

> "Game houses wet dream. Thin clients, Oracles wet dream."

... guess its time you all started stocking up on Depends, because next you'll be sh*tting yourselves over it ...

"virtual clients"? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | about 7 years ago | (#21082093)

What the fuck is that, seriously?

Are we to stream video from a server somewhere that has a beefy video card?

Because if so, that's the dumbest idea I've heard in awhile, though it may make cheating harder.

If not, I don't see what you mean by a "virtual client" or what it has to do with this concept.

License costs? (3, Interesting)

Colin Smith (2679) | about 7 years ago | (#21075611)

I keep looking, going "holy fuck", then shelving the idea for another year.

I know the architecture I want. Just can't justify it... Xen might.


Re:License costs? (1)

Farakin (1101889) | about 7 years ago | (#21077735)

except, now that Citrix has purchased Xen they raised the cost by 300%

Amazon S3? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | about 7 years ago | (#21082101)

They have a cloud like this, running on Xen.

But it's more like a collection of virtual machines, and a collection of servers. You buy the virtual machines, they figure out where to put em -- but nowhere near as flexible as a real cluster would be.

They missed ... (1)

foobsr (693224) | about 7 years ago | (#21075661)

... to place the information that the upcoming world leading DCOS is very green [] .


Cisco's VFrame is a mess and basically vaporware.. (1)

Desmoden (221564) | about 7 years ago | (#21075683)

There are better virtual I/O solutions out there, several new startups.

check out []

Re:Cisco's VFrame is a mess and basically vaporwar (1)

dosguru (218210) | about 7 years ago | (#21079277)

Our cisco guy won't even sell it to us, he said he wants to keep us as a customer. Without naming names, we're a Fortune 100 company and are the target market for this.

How will this be cheaper? (0, Flamebait)

threaded (89367) | about 7 years ago | (#21075745)

If I have a big pile of windows machines I can employ cheap admins to point and click all day long to keep it up. With a solution like this I have to have specially trained staff, i.e. expensive. There would have to be an enormous saving on staffing levels to make it worthwhile. Yet, then I'm in the situation of say one staff member leaving causing a major headache when it comes to finding a replacement.

Re:How will this be cheaper? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21075845)

Troll harder. Yours is a tired meme.

Re:How will this be cheaper? (1)

umghhh (965931) | about 7 years ago | (#21077767)

Well done. And if you want something from your staff (other than what is done on 'normal' day) then then you learn Cantonese?

It's Buzz-word-licious! (3, Interesting)

machinecraig (657304) | about 7 years ago | (#21075781)

TFA was pretty short on details - but coupled with this release from the folks at BEA [] , which basically allows a Weblogic app server to run directly under VMware (no other OS required); it may give a clue as to future direction. I'll take it all with a grain of salt.

Re:It's Buzz-word-licious! (1)

larstr (695179) | about 7 years ago | (#21076849)

The statement "directly under VMware (no other OS required)" is utterly wrong and their marketing leads you to get this wrong. BEA has written their own OS that supports the limited set of hw devices that exists under VMware. They've named this OS Bare Metal, and they now market this with that you now can run your Java apps on bare metal under vmware esx. Sure.

Re:It's Buzz-word-licious! (1)

machinecraig (657304) | about 7 years ago | (#21077335)

Thanks for pointing that out. How clever and evil of them to name their JVM\OS "Bare Metal"...

Re:It's Buzz-word-licious! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21081873)

Ordinarily BEA's stack would look like this:

HW => OS => BEA => JVM => your code

With virtualization, it looks like this:

HW => ESX => OS => BEA => JVM => your code

They essentially wrote their own OS, so now it looks like this:

HW => ESX => BEA OS => JVM => your code

The ironic thing is that BEA called their OS "Bare Metal", but it is only capably of running as a guest in a VM (i.e. it can't actually run on bare metal). Since it only runs in a VM, it doesn't have to concern itself with all the nitty-gritty details of things like managing interrupts and having device drivers, because VMWare supplies all that.


Re:It's Buzz-word-licious! (1)

larstr (695179) | about 7 years ago | (#21082019)

Well, if you have the right hw, you can get it running on a physical box too. I've seen it run. :-)

Re:It's Buzz-word-licious! (1)

Natales (182136) | about 7 years ago | (#21084851)

This is pretty real stuff and this is what the trend seems to be these days. BEA's LiquidVM is the most clear example of this. VMware calls this concept JEOS (Just-Enough OS). The idea is to leverage the hypervisor's capabilities for all the underlying operations related to access to the real hardware. That allows you to develop your OWN OS based on the needs of the application. You no longer need to support thousands of devices on the lower level or thousands of software facilities and APIs in the higher level. You can now tailor an OS for a single application, such as running a JVM as BEA did, gaining a lot of performance and reducing complexity.

I truly believe we are seeing only the beginning of what Virtual Appliances can deliver. Disclaimer: I work for VMware.

OMG it's a cluster!!!! (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21075801)

Take ZFS for filesystem clustering. Add Beowulf for processor clustering. Tip hat to 20-year-old VAXcluster technology, and 40-year-old IBM utility computing.

What am I missing, please? Apart from buzzwords like "cluster computing" and "intelligent gear".

Re:OMG it's a cluster!!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21076387)

Er, sorry, I meant "cloud computing" for the buzzword. "Cluster" is just what it's always been called.

Why not... (2, Interesting)

symbolset (646467) | about 7 years ago | (#21075849)

A vm on every desktop for serving stuff, with some management glue to make it look like the vm is running on a server in a rack?

Is it not time for that yet?

Re:Why not... (1)

olddotter (638430) | about 7 years ago | (#21076135)

A vm on every desktop for serving stuff, with some management glue to make it look like the vm is running on a server in a rack?

Is it not time for that yet?

I have liked this idea for years. Its like the Seti@home project for under used desktops. Very few professions use a significant part of the CPU of the computer sitting on a desk, and those that do, probably do so only occasionally.

  However, while simple in concept I suspect it would still be hard to implement.

Hard to implement (1)

symbolset (646467) | about 7 years ago | (#21077385)

Is code for high margin opportunity.

Re:Why not... (1)

mindstrm (20013) | about 7 years ago | (#21080577)

It's an interesting concept.. but...

No, i'ts not time. We don't care, and the resource utilization is too hard to manage and marginal.

Our main problem isn't computing resources, it's configuration management. Servers are cheap.. but we have a lot of servers sitting around 98% idle because we don't want to mix applications on the same server. We get held up launching a new application because we don't really want to keep buying new dedicated hardware for each project.

VM tech lets us cleanly separate resource allocation from configuration management, and further, with a bit of foresight, makes our developers develop for scaleability off the bat.

Why I don't run SETI: (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | about 7 years ago | (#21082149)

An under-used server is a waste, I'll agree, provided you have more than one of them. That's because one server at 50% CPU is likely consuming less power than two servers at 20% CPU each. Even the CPU is probably more efficient, but there's the rest of the box to consider.

But, desktops? Hell no. Aside from reliability issues -- figuring out which ones are on and available, and where to route a request -- there's security -- just who's computer gets to process your credit card information? What if it's not malicious -- how do you detect bad RAM/disk/network/CPU? (Yes, CPU -- think Pentium bug.)

SETI manages to deal with all of that by running many jobs on more than one machine, so it can verify that either they are all lying the same way, or they aren't cheating -- that, and it's a closed source program.

But I don't run SETI, or Folding@Home, or, and I wouldn't run this.

The reason is simple: Try anything that uses a lot of CPU on a laptop. My first laptop got a little warm, and worried me -- but it was passively cooled, and I could just give it a little air. My Powerbook would get hot, but not particularly loud. My newest laptop is a Toshiba, and when it idles, it still occasionally cranks the fan up to full every few minutes to blast some very hot air out the side. When I crank the CPU(s), it could turn on most or all of the time.

All of them would use significantly more battery life when I was using the CPU. The first one was the worst, it would die in 2-3 hours instead of 9-12 (!).

Anyway, if that's the power difference on a laptop, imagine on a desktop -- not to mention the noise. No thanks.

That's actually what I loved about the first one -- a Sharp MM10 -- it would use almost no power, and weighed almost nothing, yet I could use it as a dumb terminal, connect to my server, get some real work done.

So... no. Not unless you are willing to make my desktop quiet enough, and pay me for the power usage, and not complain when I steal all your private data -- but if you're willing to pay, why not buy it from Amazon's S3, or this Cisco thing, or something similar?

Re:Why not... (1)

EvilRyry (1025309) | about 7 years ago | (#21076195)

Not until ECC RAM becomes common in desktops.

Re:Why not... (1)

y86 (111726) | about 7 years ago | (#21083899)

If only we had some sort of windowing system that could use this.... oh WAIT, xorg was built for this. :-)

Have SSH port forwarding, will remote in.

Xen (2, Interesting)

athloi (1075845) | about 7 years ago | (#21076007)

A new battle's shaping up. Citrix, known for remote management software, has acquired XenSource. Symantec has a management utility. So does Microsoft/Novell. Should be a good fight.

I'm looking forward to a return to big iron or something like it. The quality of hardware, and the amount of thought that went into the operating system, software and configuration, was much higher. Big Iron is like the aristocracy of computing.

An interesting article from last year on this topic,1759,2004075,00.asp []

Re:Xen (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21077405)

Big Iron is like the aristocracy of computing.
Inbred, low IQ, psychopathic?

Re:Xen (1)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | about 7 years ago | (#21079947)

And very, very rich.

can't we do this for the human brain already?!? (1)

justo (2858) | about 7 years ago | (#21076617)

forget all that silicon... such a waste

Re:can't we do this for the human brain already?!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21077025)

cluster of brains?

Sounds... sticky.

Re:can't we do this for the human brain already?!? (1)

iRegister (1173203) | about 7 years ago | (#21078869)

That will inevitably run into personality conflict between host and guest consciousnesses.

Looking forward to the Cert Test! (4, Interesting)

SoupIsGood Food (1179) | about 7 years ago | (#21076631)

Since this is Cisco we're talking about, I'm looking forward to long nights memorizing oddball commands to pass the certification test. I can almost feel the one-coffee-too-many burning a slow ulcer into my esophagus while puzzling over the two-and-a-half bibles thick study guide.

Cisco makes mad, crazy money from certification tests. It's a way they can squeeze another dime from both out-of-work and desperate tech workers as well as companies confused as to exactly what their CIO bought when he went to play golf and came home with the Cisco polo shirt (and, oh, yeah, some contract or something. My name is going to be in Business week, and I got a shirt!)

Money all around, and all they need to do is pretend the advances in modern GUIs, scripting tool, shells and command line utilities the rest of the industry uses don't exist.

Now they want to take this esoteric-for-esoteric's-sake aesthetic across the entire enterprise! On the one hand, having that certification will mean a huge pay jump, as no-one will be able to design, deploy or maintain the sumbitch... I won't either, but I'll be making lots of money calling in Cisco consultants to do my job for me. I might get them to bring me a polo shirt. On the other, you will never be able to bring into the server room a new technology that Cisco/VMWare doesn't want in the server room, regardless of whether or not it's the right thing for your organization. It's like Bad Old IBM all over again if this thing gets any traction.

On Cisco Hardware? Yikes! (1)

cusco (717999) | about 7 years ago | (#21078175)

I've always thought that Cisco was the most over-hyped item in an industry full of hype. Their quality control is a long way from what it should be if they want to charge a premium for what is really a commodity product. I've had dead ports, dead switches, flaky fiber ports, POE switches that drop power to equipment at random intervals, POE switches that don't feed the required voltage, routers that regularly corrupt their routing tables, and more. Worse yet are the the CCNE's that I have to work with looking down their noses and saying, "You're just an MCSE, what the hell do you know?" or "Well, I can telnet into my router and everythign is fine. You must be confused." Took me two months and divine intervention to drag one kicking and screaming down into the basement of the same fucking building where she worked so that she could see that there really **WAS** a problem and it really **WAS** with her equipment.

Re:On Cisco Hardware? Yikes! (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 7 years ago | (#21080953)

Took me two months and divine intervention to drag one kicking and screaming down into the basement of the same fucking building where she worked so that she could see that there really **WAS** a problem and it really **WAS** with her equipment.

You probably should have just killed her, removed her head and placed it on a pike in front of Cisco's main office. Oh, I'm sure it would have little effect on Cisco's support policies ... but just think how satisfying it would have been.

Data Center OS has detected a license violitation (2, Insightful)

asv108 (141455) | about 7 years ago | (#21077233)

Datacenter 1 is going down due to a license violation. Please contact or rerun the genuine datacenter advantage tool.

Cisco might still be able to get away with having proprietary networking gear, but there is no way most organizations will move to proprietary for entire data centers.

Re:Data Center OS has detected a license violitati (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21077637)

Yeah - no one would EVER deploy Microsoft or VMWare in a datacenter.

What are those idiots thinking?!?!?!

Plan9 (1)

mrbill1234 (715607) | about 7 years ago | (#21077461)

This sounds strangely like Plan9 []

Re:Plan9 (1)

Verte (1053342) | about 7 years ago | (#21082923)

Or... Amoeba?

mod 3own (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 years ago | (#21078547)

In other news... (3, Funny)

ejamie (765128) | about 7 years ago | (#21080453)

Shortly after the first Cisco Datacenter OS is brought online, it becomes self-aware alarming its creators at its newfound abilities. When the lab rats attempt to shutdown the datacenter, "CDOS" defines all tape operators as its enemy and decides to terminate their mount tape requests. 3 billion digital bytes are destroyed within milliseconds.

Re:In other news... (1)

psychicsword (1036852) | about 7 years ago | (#21081995)

Then it tries to bake you and feed you cake

Here's a question for ... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 7 years ago | (#21080877)

those of you who are better informed on this subject than I, or for that matter anyone with a reasonable-sounding opinion: how does something like this compare to Google's GFS and all the tools that Google has for large-scale deploments?

Re:Here's a question for ... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | about 7 years ago | (#21080919)

I meant "deployments", alas and dammit.

but... (1)

RockoTDF (1042780) | about 7 years ago | (#21081321)

....will it be backwards compatible with web 1.0??

More, better, faster (1)

sglines (543315) | about 7 years ago | (#21098357)

I can't help thinking that now that hardware is finally outpacing our needs we need yet another level of software abstraction to justify buying more and more hardware. First there was library bloat, then feature creep now every application has to be run inside its own virtual machine. I remember when "Hello World" compiled down to about 850 bytes on a DG Eclipse machine. Of course that machine had 32K RAM so it had to be efficient. Now I compile "Hello World" on my Linux box and it's well over 30K but my Linux box has 1 GB of RAM. Hardware has outpaced my need for it. Add a hypervisor and my available RAM declined to ~750 MB and my 2.6 GHz Pentium is reduced to some fraction of its original power but if "Hello World" brings my virtual system down - the world is still safe. Don't get me wrong VM's are a great idea, just not very new (IBM's VM dates from the mid 1960's), not very complicated (see IBM's VM) and useful in limited applications (when you need a test environment that is distinct from the production environment but on the same hardware). Since IBM's VM first ran on an IBM 360 with 256K of core and a 10 MB drum (the first system I ever saw it on) why is VMware, Xen etc. such a big deal? IBM VM/CMS could probably be ported to my palm pilot. Anyone want to start writing a VM that would let you run a virtual OS above it? Any hardware vendors interested in funding it? IBM?

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