VMworld 2015 is One Week Away!

Well, looks like its that time of year again! The biggest virtualization event of the year is one week away and this will be my 8th year at the event.

What are some of my top items on my to do list? Well, as always – there is the networking aspect of it that I find to be the most valuable. Meeting all the great social media folks that I’ve known for nearly a decade and to hear what they are up to nowadays and talk shop.

Another top item on my list is to hit the solutions exchange floor opening night and see what’s new (or what hasn’t been announced yet) from the SE’s that work the booths. There is a section off to the side every year that showcases all the new companies and they are at smaller kiosks. I encourage you to go check them out since you never know who the next big player in the market will be. I’ve witnessed first-hand the transition some of these organizations have made to one of the 10×10 booths they sit in today.

I am simply amazed at how close this community is and never thought that I would meet so many people that share the same passion for technology that I do. Just witnessing the personal career growth of these individuals has been awesome. So many that have started on the customer side and are now product evangelists for various vendors, independent consultants that are in the field every day and of course figure heads for VAR’s all over the globe.

The fun (for me) starts with VMunderground Sunday night that has experienced tremendous growth in popularity over the years. I remember going to one of the first few  events they held back in the late 2000’s where there was enough room upstairs at the Thirsty Bear to hold it. Now it has opening acts and is a monster of a party to kick off the week. Hats off to the group for organizing this every year!

I’m sure most of you have your schedules filled to the brim by this time and hope to see many of you this year!

See you there!


VMworld 2014 Day 1 Review

Great keynote this morning that “officially” kicked things off at VMworld. Pat Gelsinger took stage to announce some of the changes (many which were name changes) and I think it was well received by the mainstream media as well at the attendees there. If you haven’t had the chance to see it, there are videos posted here. (you just need to register to view them).

The information revealed this morning reiterates that VMware is covering all bases when it comes to product delivery. Their core strategic priorities that continue on are the Software Defined Data Center, Hybrid Cloud and End-User Computing.

The renaming of vCHS (vCloud Hybrid Service) to vCloud Air – that is under a new umbrella product name called the vRealize suite that basically encompasses the automation products that manages an off-premise hybrid cloud environment, shows that they are re-branding these flagship products to be very competitive to alternatives that are out there.

I thought the quote by Alan Kay of the Xerox PARC research facility hit the nail right on the head – “The best way to predict the future is to invent it”.  My dad, who worked at Xerox for 35+ years always said that they were such an innovative company and I see a lot of similarities in VMware today.

Power of the &

Fluid, Instant and Choice

I also think that the analogy of “and” vs. “or” was a key section of the keynote. Gelsinger said that they are in a unique position to be the “&” across the divides that exist today.

Product Announcements

  • VMware vCloud Suite 5.8
  • vSphere 6.0 Beta
  • VVOLs and VSAN 2.0 Beta
  • VMware vRealize Suite – Single offerings

New Family of Hyper-Converged Infrastructure – VMware EVO

  • Single Integrated Solution
  • Build and Deploy SDDC quickly
  • Bundling of hardware

Family of Products

  • EVO:RAIL – Simple, fast, price predictability, one call support, 100 vm’s
  • EVO:RACK – Data Center Scale, less than 2 hr deployment time

One final note that I thought made big splash was the “Destination Give Back”. This is what makes VMware a great company in my opinion. They are going to allow the attendees to fly paper airplanes from Monday through Wednesday and measure the distance of each one – donating money to the VMware Foundation that can total up to $250,000. Wow, what a great program.

More posts to follow as the conference progresses.


Infinio Presentation at Tech Field Day VMworld 2013

Last week the Tech Field Day group met with Infinio Systems Inc. to talk about their downloadable storage performance product.

Infinio is a VMware only – NAS offload engine. It is an in-memory software cache that is intelligent enough to figure out what data is accessed and when so that it minimizes on the read/write impact on your storage array. The product (as of this posting) is a 2 vCPU / 8GB RAM virtual appliance and acts as an accelerator that talks to your NAS directly. It uses a cache pool that the entire VMware cluster shares and it leverages to deal with service vMotions and host failures. When this occurs, the host cache will act locally and stop using the pool from neighboring ESX hosts.

When a datastore is selected to be accelerated, the Infinio product deploys a single virtual appliance. Sounds like the process is very straight forward and I am anxious to try it myself. I can see SMB’s benefiting from this acceleration for some of their high I/O workloads on file-based volumes.

During the demo part of the presentation, we were able to see the administrator UI that had an interesting “savings” display that shows how many disks you didn’t have to buy which was a nice ROI touch for upper management.

Infinio’s Core principles are: “easy to try and easy to buy”. While the presentation was commencing, I reviewed some of their marketing material on the website and found the section entitled “SSD performance without SSD’s” rather interesting, especially the graph on the chart that depicted the six fold response time improvement. Something that I have yet to test in the lab.

Since the product assumes you have NFS for your datastores, no topology discovery between nodes is necessary for the current version of their software. Not sure what would occur if you had block storage, but it is not supported nonetheless.

Also, SIOC is fully supported in this product since it dynamically adjusts the NIC policy. This keeps in line with their “no changes to your existing infrastructure” statement.

I have yet to test this product in the VMbulletin lab, but I will do a follow up to this post once those tests are complete.