Archive for the ‘Cloud’ Category

Set Phasers to STUN, VMware announces open sourcing of Photon Controller!

November 16th, 2015

Some of you may remember the whole, Whoa! When the Photon Platform was announced at VMworld, in addition to PhotonOS and Lightwave open sourced earlier this year?!

Well, in carrying that fashion even further as of TODAY OMG TODAY!!! Photon Controller has joined the ranks of being Open Sourced!

So what does this mean?! Well, if you’re doing some mad hardcore Kubernetes, Cloud Foundry, Docker or Mesos work in your environment you can exploit and expand upon that with the whole Photon Suite, now further exploiting the Photon Controller!

To steal some of the mad slides on this for some architectural vision, feel free to have a lookie loo here! (Oh and lets ignore for a moment where it says CONFIDENTIAL… Hopefully that doesn’t apply anymore since this is officially out of Embargo… :))

image imageimage

For those of you who are VMware centric but are like ‘wtf does this mean?!’ we were initially discussing what each of these things mean and trying to convert it into VMware Data Center type terminology, so hopefully this is accurate, feel free to correct if you disagree!

Think of Photon Machine being kind of like ESXi – So the Hypervisor Element.

Think of Photon OS being like your Operating System which is where your “vm” or Code will operate. e.g., Your Windows or Linux server, except it will be where your code basis runs.

Think of Photon Controller being your VMware vCenter server.

With all that said… Head on over to the Getting Started Guide link to actually get started! It will take you to an annoying document which will require lots of ‘steps’ for you to follow to get it working. They don’t advise you ‘roll your own’ and instead follow the ‘instructions’ because those guide you to where it will work. But hey, I can hope they’ll package this up as an OVA or something sooner than later, because cmon, AUTOMATION CALLED AND WAS LIKE WTF. :)


Nonetheless, get out there, get your Photon on, it’s getting easier and easier to do every day!


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Posted in Cloud, DevOps, Docker, Photon, vExpert, Virtualization, vmware | Comments (0)

I won Best of IT Transformation at EMC World for “Ten ways to reduce cost while modernizing your IT” #EMCElect

July 10th, 2015

I’ll tell you, easily one of my LONGEST subject lines ever! But subject length aside, this is actually pretty awesome!

For those of you who missed this, here’s the low down from a blog post I published last October.  EMC Proven Knowledge Sharing Competition – Join Now! Abstracts Due 12NOV #EMCElect

And for what its worth, my marketing director has done an AWESOME coverage of events here Christopher Kusek earns EMC 2015 Knowledge Sharing Award!

So that got it all started… OMG A CONTEST! Well, not even so much as a contest, as it was a raw and heated COMPETITION! What it’d entail initially was submitting an abstract.   And from the Abstract alone you’d be informed whether you’d even be entitled to be ALLOWED to enter the competition.   In my case, my abstract was accepted, awesome.  But then it came down to, “Hey, it’s time to submit your paper!” Well, so there I was… writing my paper, and write it I did!   One thing in particular which was *very* cool, is the fact that the “Judges” of the papers have no idea who the authors are.  No, it’s not like they’re secluded and don’t stay in touch with industry, quite the opposite… They’re SHIELDED from who the submitters are, any type of information is shielded from them, and instead they’re judging the papers based upon the content and not the character of the authors!

Which ultimately is what brought me to this years 2015 EMC World!   I had been informed that I was a “finalist” which means, I’d be 1st, 2nd, 3rd or one of the Best of Tracks… All very secretive, all I knew was, “I WAS IN” I just didn’t know what position or place!

CK EMC Award

That is when it all fell into place! My name called, giving me the absolute honor of “Best of IT Transformation” it was an absolute blast to all happen at once!   Due to the power of… VideoLinkFail you can skip ahead to 16:45 and get to my part of the video :)  Otherwise watch it all the way through, it gives an interesting take and shares information on the EMC Proven Education Ecosystem!

That wasn’t even the half of it though! When I wasn’t on stage wearing horribly uncomfortably shoes (which looked great mind you!) and receiving an award… LOOK AT THAT THING! ITS 8LBS OF CRYSTAL!

Best of IT Transformation

I was spending the bulk of my time ON CAMERA giving individual interviews or group interviews or this and that!

Christopher Kusek - Best of IT Transformation EMC World 2015

But some of you are saying, “You know what? I don’t give a damn about any of that! Show me the money! err, Paper, I MEAN THE PAPER!”

That’s cool, totally respect that… :) Well, here are some links and copies of the paper!

Because I’m obviously a marketing whore (go me, right! :)) There’s also the Xiologix branded version which I actually like how it is formatted better… (Primarily because… I formatted it to make sure data presents on pages the way I prefer from having written a thing or two here and there!) so here are some links to BOTH versions! <3

Read Xiologix Version: Ten ways to reduce cost while modernizing your IT

Ten Ways to Reduce Cost While Modernizing your IT - Xiologix Version

Read EMC Version: Ten ways to reduce cost while modernizing your IT

To follow-up on updates to this presentation and other information around be sure to check out the updated page at our Xiologix site where we’re keeping it updated and current! Christopher Kusek earns EMC 2015 Knowledge Sharing Award!

Also there is a Presentation version of this paper which has been delivered to standing room only audiences across the Pacific Northwest (also regular sitting rooms of folks :)) So if you’re interested definitely reach out <3 :)

Keep on keeping on!

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Posted in Author, Careers, Christopher Kusek, Cloud, emc, EMC Elect, Evangelist, Free, Storage, Technology, vExpert | Comments (0)

Why does the “Industry” predict what happens when it’s the Community who Adopts?

March 19th, 2015

This is a particularly pressing question that has come up recently.  I even put out a post about it in the SolarWinds Thwack community because they’re such a diverse and engaging community I love the feedback they tend to present!

I’ve seen a lot of predictions over the years, whether it is “This is the year of VDI!” (Currently we are on the 7th “year of VDI”)  Or “Big Data is here!” we all know the infinite number of predictions we constantly hear about, I’ve even included one of my own for the coming 2015 from from? ?SingleHop who hit me up at the end of 2014 saying, “Hey, do you have any IT Predictions for 2015?”

Single Hop 2015 IT Predictions

So I get it. You get it.  But are these really predictions intended to become self-fulfilling prophecies or are they mere posturing while YOU the Community. You the CUSTOMERS of the world are the ones determining whether these predictions actually come to fruition.   Now not all Predictions are within our control, like saying the cost of a particular product or solution will be reduced, that is really up to the industry that bears it, that we constantly fight for pricing on and against. 

But let’s talk about some general purpose predictions and it’s really up to you to decide what YOUR adoption is, I’ll provide some color in some places if you’re not familiar with it so as to give you a baseline to discuss.

Software Defined Storage (SDS)

Everybody and their brother is talking about SDS. “Check out our SDS Solution! It’s awesome!” blah blah blah.  So for the moment, let’s take a sober look at what the SDS space looks like.   VSAN is now available as 2.0 in vSphere 6.0.  However prior to it going GA last week, VSAN alone has ~1200 customers.   That’s pretty significant considering their solution has only existed for LESS than a year. (Compared to other similar solutions, the numbers are in the HUNDREDS not Thousands) so the possibilities look potentially bright, albeit at a cost.  

Now what about vVOLs you say. Yea you can say that, is it too early to tell? Yes. Yes it is FAR too early to tell, because vVols have gone GA LAST WEEK and not every vendor has their support integrated for it.  For what it is worth, vSphere 6.0 having just come out still isn’t fully baked and supported by all of your third-party applications, so if you run a pure-play VMware environment only without Veeam, Zerto and every other billion vendor solution out there and at the same moment your SAN also supports vVols, then sure, but for most of you… You’re going to be waiting a little while (At least 60-90 days for full support and adoption)   So for the meantime you’re still looking at vSphere 5.5 and the respective solutions present there, that’s not a BAD thing, it’s just a factual thing you need to be aware of.

Now to play the devils eggvocate on this a moment, If VMware has Let’s say a million customers, and ~1200 of them are running VSAN today. There’s nothing but room for growth, lots and lots and lots and lots and LOTS of growth.   So it’s not like the tides have been turned, the tipping point as it were (I’m sure that’s somehow relevant :)).   It really comes down to you to decide, “Of the Software Defined Storage strategies available in the market place which ones am *I* liking and seeing value to leverage in my organization” You know or blah blah blah. :)

Software Defined Networking (SDN)

Why yes, let us talk about the SDN space for a moment… The number of solutions available aren’t exactly bursting at the seams.  I mean sure, –14- hours ago, Juniper and Mirantis have expanded their partnership to pursue SDN type joint development, but for the whole of the market-place, that doesn’t mean they have a go to market solution we can adopt.   That said, let’s discuss what we CAN adopt.   VMware NSX, Cisco ACI and OpenFlow.   VMware’s NSX is the best player in town, it has the greatest feature-set and capabilities and will give us visibility and insight into East-West traffic which has essentially been masked as a result of the adoption of Virtualization.  Pretty awesome, right? NSX has been around for ~5 years+ now? And they had 400 customers when VMware acquired Nicira back in 2012, and today they have 400 customers.   I don’t see this puppy jumping off the shelf, when something like VSAN which has been 1.0 has 3x as many customers.   Now, I’ve found that VMware sales people will disagree with me, “We see it everywhere, everyone is interested, stop saying that no one is buying NSX”  Okay, show me the money, stop telling me the rhetoric that YOU are being told.  Like I said, it is the BEST player in town, yet when I talk to guys who run some of the large NSX shops… Well, let’s just say I wish that it worked as well as HA, DRS, or vMotion.   So should you adopt an SDN strategy or should you look at one? I’m sure you’ll be the first to tell me that YOU are indeed looking at one, because we can predict all the hell we want, it’s up to you to decide and enact.

Hybrid Cloud

The Cloud the Cloud the Cloud! This is surprisingly one area where I keep hearing about it from YOU and not in reverse.  Customers and friends who have made such claims as, “Yea, I moved ‘x’ services from On-Premises into Azure” or one who said they’ve moved 100% of their server workload into Azure. Yea, Seriously, Wow!  I’m with you, the proof is in the pudding, and want to see how it tastes 3, 6, 9 months and a year out, but the fact that others are doing it is quite a positive testament to the capabilities.   Oh and people are starting to adopt the same in a vCloud Air type of scenario (Yes, I hate it when they keep changing product names on us, I mean give a brother vCloud Air with Retina at least! :))   So while even *I* have predicted that people will start adopting Disaster Recovery as a Service leveraging capabilities like vCloud Air, I’ll let you know how I see that start to play out vs just saying, “Yea I think people will start to do something like that”.   The year is still early and I’ll actually have some interesting Hybrid Cloud stories to share as the year progresses, but for now, you tell me if you’re seeing adoption of YOURSELVES increase :)

Monitoring and Management

This is often the most overlooked, undervalued and most necessary part of every organization.   Companies who produce tools that allow you to manage your environment, watch over your infrastructure and then start to provide intelligence and guidance as opposed to merely sharing information with you can be few and far between.  Some players in this space like Solarwinds have done more than just simply take a temperature of what people are doing and have started to integrate what matters most to you into a single pane (drink!) to allow for better management.   I’m not saying, Hey stop proceeding down your road of deploying Orion, NPM, SRM, Virtualization Manager, and an infinite number of items that provide insight, however Solarwinds themselves have seen a need for integration, thus their release of AppStack to provide that unified point of management.   The Microsoft Fanboys may say, “I can do everything I ever could want with System Center” and it’s cute that you believe that, but the moment you need to do something non-microsoft centric or provide deeper insight into a Virtual, Storage or Network layer… I’m not saying you won’t see anything, I’m just saying… you’ll have blinders on. :)   The monitoring and management landscape is filled with lots of players, many of whom are one-off and many of whom are trying to be the ‘everything for everyone’ ala HP OpenStack (ouch!) so be wary and be aware.  Though how important is correlation engine analytics and deep inspection visibility and insight into your infrastructure into 2015? Is that something you desire or do you feel it merely a myth?

These are just a handful of items which are often predicted about and in particular have predictions for this year.   What are you seeing be the players in this space that you’re looking into? What do you see yourself straight-up adopting?   You’re the trendsetters, we’re just a bunch of random people touting our thoughts. :)

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Posted in Big Data, Cloud, Community, Evangelist, Microsoft, Storage, Virtualization | Comments (1)

EMC announces Sapphire on Rails! Err… I mean VSPEX BLUE a VMware EVO:RAILS Solution!

February 3rd, 2015

For those of you who haven’t gotten the news… OMG EMC IS NOW A HARDWARE MANUFACTURER. Whoa, wait a minute, didn’t they produce storage? Sure, sure they did and sure they do!  However by officially entering the realms of the VMware EVO:RAILS Family with other legitimate server vendors like Dell, and such (not to be confused with the VERY confusing NetApp EVO:RAILS Solution ;))   Well, let’s just say this could be a game changer! Especially as we peel back the layers a bit!   So that said… Let’s get started! :)

EMC VSPEX BLUE Redefined Simplicity

So, what exactly is VSPEX BLUE you might be asking?   I mean you may have a sense of what an EVO:RAIL solution typically is, but let’s get a sense of what we’re getting in this little 2U Appliance…

VMware’s EVO:RAIL solution of VPSEX BLUE contains the following:

  • Software:
    • vSphere Enterprise Plus
    • VMware vCenter Server
    • VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN)
    • vCenter Log Insight
    • EVO:RAIL Intuitive user interface (Dashboard)
  • Hardware:
    • Four ESXi Hosts per appliance
    • Two fully redundant power supplies
    • Redundant 2 x 10 GbE NICs (per node)
    • Enterprise grade boot device
    • HDDs and SSDs (will go into more details on that in a bit!)

I know what you’re thinking … “That sounds a lot like every other EVO:RAILS Solution” Why thank you for recognizing! I like how we’re in-sync on this!

EMC’s Value Add on top of EVO:RAIL

  • Unlimited cloud storage and file services via EMC Cloud Array gateway
  • Operational and Disaster Recovery, Replication and Continuous Data Protection with EMC RecoverPoint for VMs.
  • Centralized Backup and Recovery with VMware Data Protection Advanced that is built on EMC Avamar, with Data Domain as a target.
  • EMC Secure Remote Services (ESRS)—enabling 24×7 secure, remote monitoring, diagnostics and repair.
  • EMC Proven server hardware reliability.
  • EMC award winning Global Support and Logistics, single point of support from EMC, including VMware software.

Wait a minute, that all sounds like marketecture? Why yes, you’re damn straight that it is! Alright let me peel back the REAL covers of this onion for you, so you can see what’s really going on! :)

  • Yes there are benefits with EMC Cloud Array gateway, that itself is actually kind of cool. (Albeit, I’m reading it as 1TB Local Cache and 10TB Cloud Storage, so correct me if THAT is wrong…)
  • Why yes… EMC did recently make RecoverPoint for VMs FREE! But you have to pay for support… In VSPEX BLUE you get 15 VMs for free per appliance! (That’s a benefit, right?)
  • EMC’s VSPEX BLUE has a separate manager over the top of the EVO:RAILS manager which actually provides some really cool benefits above and beyond (Check out manager demos to get the inside scoop on that..)

VSPEX BLUE Manager integration

This should give you a sense of the connection points which VSPEX BLUE Manager has!

VSPEX BLUE is Available ONLY Through Channel Partners!

Yep! You heard it here first (or possibly.. not sure if this is the FIRST Place you’ve heard it! But still… :))

At least that is what we as channel partners are being told as well, That said… Oh, you want to buy VSPEX BLUE? It has to be bought through a channel partner.  In our case, in concert with EMC they’ve provided an interesting ‘storefront’ so to speak which won’t go live until February 16th so I encourage you to keep your eye on (We’re one of the 10 US Based Partners who are part of the VSPEX BLUE Pilot Program!) and once the site is officially published and available (read: 16FEB2015) the link will be made public there!)

!!!UPDATE!!! The Store is now LIVE! So go check it out! :)

I don’t want VSPEX BLUE because Converged Infrastructure is a stupid-head!

This comes up at times, it’s common objections and concerns which are raised. So hopefully I can address a few of those points here with very common objections and challenges which are raised when looking at new technologies.

“I’ve heard Converged Infrastructure is complex, I don’t need more complexity!”

Interestingly, EMC’s VSPLEX BLUE is a hyper-converged infrastructure appliance which incorporates virtualization, compute, storage, networking and data protection into a single box. Additionally it automates the deployment which can help accelerate your ability to function while also reducing risk in your virtual environment.

Hyper-Converged Infrastructure is too risky.

EMC VSPEX BLUE dramatically lowers risk and speeds time to production. As an all-inclusive appliance, EMC VSPEX BLUE eliminates the need for complex integration and streamlines operations with automated deployment, upgrades and patches. EMC VSPEX BLUE integrates both software and hardware resiliency to ensure near zero downtime. Leveraging proven capabilities of vSphere® HA, vMotion, DRS and VMware® Virtual SANTM to ensure high availability at both the compute and storage layers. (A direct EMC Quote :))

Want to scale Storage separately from Compute.

With the EMC Cloud Array gateway, you can scale on-demand to cloud storage as needed for backup, expansion, archive.

Can I re-use existing infrastructure investments?

No, VSPEX BLUE is an all-inclusive hyper-converged appliance. However, it can augment your investments for the purpose of Test/Dev, new departmental requirements or ROBO opportunities. (That’s quoted verbatim from EMC :))

Okay, but what about VALID Objections?

So true. There are a few areas I’ve identified which you ought to know, because I’m not here to pull the wool over your eyes.

  • When you buy an appliance you’re paying for all of the licensing as a single SKU. When you buy a second appliance, even if adding to your EXISTING appliance environment it is still a single SKU. (What this means is even if you’re not using your second vCenter license, or Log Insight instance, VSAN, so on and so forth, you’re paying for it.)  
  • Can you get a discount on licenses you’re not using? Not that I’m aware of.   I asked that question EXPLICITLY because I knew YOU would ask.  So the appliances will end up duplicative with licensing as you scale beyond your first appliance. Don’t shoot the messenger! <3
  • If you want to go direct with this, as far as what EMC is saying, “No you can’t, you must go through a partner” Albeit for what it is worth. *I* (Xiologix) am an EMC Partner who can sell this solution to you ;) But seriously, it’s important to find a trusted partner you can work with on this.   In theory I’m sure some back-alley deals can be done to go direct with EMC on this, but as far as posturing and positioning here for launch… this is “Channel Partner only”
  • Is this a fit for every organization? Absolutely. And no, absolutely not.  That’s one of the values of having this be Channel driven is working with a partner to understand your needs vs having someone pitch something shiny and blue!

I knew you wanted this… so here’s the hardware specs! I did it in an image just to complicate things! :)

VSPEX BLUE Hardware specs

Also it is worth pointing out that one of the added differentiators is visibility into the hardware which may not always be available depending upon EVO:RAIL provider

EMC VSPEX BLUE Hardware Awareness

Other awesome posts about VSPEX BLUE can be found here!

Hopefully you find this information useful.  I’ll eventually be doing a full deep breakdown of ALL of the EVO:RAIL Solutions available on the market, but I was waiting for this announcement first. :)

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Posted in Cloud, emc, vExpert, Virtualization, VMworld | Comments (1)

OMG! EMC has over 20 Free Fundamentals Training Courses! #EMCElect

October 23rd, 2014

Hey! Why do you keep tagging these posts about EMC with #EMCElect? I just want you to know that I like to party.

But seriously, after my past (and even very recent) posts about Free EMC Education, I love to share the love, the word and the FREE!

Thanks to the awesome team at EMC Education Services there’s a whole boatload of training available to get yourself started!

What kind of topics?

Where can I find out more?

More details can be found at the Free Fundamentals e-Learning Index! So get out there and continue being awesome. :)

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Posted in ATMOS, Big Data, Cloud, emc, EMC Elect, Free, Technology, Virtualization, vmware | Comments (0)

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