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Microsoft poised to enter virtual lab market: News in brief

The availability of Visual Studio 2010 will be a shot in the arm for the nascent virtual lab management market, an analyst said.

Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 to stoke virtual lab market
The upcoming introduction of Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 will rev up the fledgling virtual lab management market, according to a recent market snapshot report by voke Research.

"The market was legitimized by VMware's acquisition of Akimbi in 2006 and will now expand as Microsoft integrates virtual lab management into Visual Studio 2010," said voke analyst Theresa Lanowitz.

Despite being first to market, VMware's involvement in the virtual lab management vendor has not enough to promote growth. ""VMware is not a trusted vendor in the application lifecycle space like Microsoft," Lanowitz said. Other virtual lab management vendors include Citrix, VMLogix, Surgient and the cloud resident Skytap and CloudShare.

Today, market penetration for virtual lab management is not high, Lanowitz said, but it holds promise. A survey of 100 IT professionals using or considering virtual lab management services found that they were "largely satisfied, that most adopt a commercial solution, and that ROI was quick and real: saving head count and improving productivity."

PHD Virtual backup supports Change Block Tracking
A new version of PHD Technologies Inc.'s Virtual's esXpress virtualization backup software claims to perform backups up to 20 times faster than previous editions.

With esXpress 4.0, PHD Virtual implemented Change Block Tracking, a feature of VMware vSphere 4 that allows the backup software to read only the blocks that have changed since the last backup rather than the entire virtual disk. This speeds the backup process and reduces I/O loads on network and storage resources, the company said.

EsXpress 4.0 is available now, starting at $1,000 per host for four concurrent backup streams, with unlimited sockets and unlimited cores per host.

HyTrust manages VMware passwords
Version 2.0 of the HyTrust Appliance shipped this week with four major new features.

HyTrust Appliance 2.0 can now federate appliances between data centers to coordinate security across VMware vCenter deployments in different locations. Users can also automate HyTrust functionality with a new application programming interface (API) and Perl-based scripting.

HyTrust Appliance 2.0 indexes all its data and logs, which can then be searched and filtered to quickly identify elements of interest. Finally, HyTrust Appliance 2.0 introduces a root password vaulting service. This enables administrators to assign temporary, logged credentials for access to the ESX and ESXi console without divulging the root password.

A Standard Edition provides standard access control for $500 per protected CPU socket. Enterprise Edition adds federation, API automation and root password vaulting for $750 per protected socket.

Paragon offers cross-platform P2V tool for Windows
IT managers have a new tool at their disposal for migrating Windows systems to and from virtual environments.

Paragon Software Group's new Virtualization Manager 2010 Corporate Edition provides physical-to-virtual (P2V), physical-to-physical (P2P), virtual-to-physical (V2P), or virtual-to-virtual (V2V) migrations, with support for a variety of virtualization platforms, including Microsoft Virtual Server and Hyper-V R1/R2, VMware ESX Server, Sun VirtualBox, Microsoft Virtual PC 2007 and Virtual PC 7, VMware Player, and Workstation 4.0 and Fusion 1.0-3.0.

Virtualization Manager 2010 also features a Smart Driver Injector feature that makes it easier to add new drivers to a migrated system and allows migrations without rebooting the system, the company said. Pricing starts for $199 for a single license.

Let us know what you think about the story; email Alex Barrett, News Director at, or follow @aebarrett on twitter.

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