Archive for the ‘Virtualization’ Category

EMC Announces Unity! Something something sliced bread! #EMCWorld #vExpert #EMCElect

May 2nd, 2016


EMC Unity something something sliced bread!

OMG! Can you believe it is here! A product announcement we weren’t exactly expecting, but nonetheless it is here! I particularly love the sliced bread image, honestly that was the huge incentive for me to write this blog post. Tip for your Product Marketers out there at Vendors; If you have something ridiculous and sillie in your Pre-Briefings, there’s a MUCH greater chance I’ll write about it, oh and if your technology is great too sure, but cmon, BREAD! :)

So what’s the deal what’s the dilly, what’s up with this new Unity Platform?!?  Well, I’ll do what I can to share stuff you may find useful, and then there are some unknowns that frankly I won’t be sharing, given their unknowingness :)

Unity All-Flash and Hybrid!

Unity is listed as made available in All-Flash and Hybrid configurations! There are some other slides which talk to its affordability ‘starting at x dollars’, however I won’t go into detail on those explicitly because I cannot confirm nor deny just how valid they are.  e.g., it’s one thing to say, “Wow you can get this thing really cheap, however you’d probably never build a configuration so scaled back like that”.  So while yes, a marketing message does SAY that, it would be technical malfeasance to allow it to go into production in such a state… I reserve the right to change that stance at some point, but for the moment… Gonna roll with things as they are. :)

What’s new in Unity?!

Okay this is a fair area to discuss, because there are definitely some cool features, attributes, etc which are unique to this new platform!

  • Management is done with HTML5 and not FLASH or JAVA or TELETYPE!

Unity Management Browser Support

  • ESRS for Support is an embedded Docker instance! That’s pretty cool

Unity Operating Environment and Architecture

Yes that’s a deep dive into the architecture a bit (See the docker instance!) You can take what you like from this architecture breakdown, I thought it was interesting enough to share!

So some of the features which they tout about EMC Unity and my comments regarding it…

  • EMC Unity is Simple
    • Err… SANs haven’t been “difficult” in years, unless you compare (as many often do) to a Clariion or ancient DMX, otherwise, “Simple” is expected, not a benefit
  • EMC Unity is Modern
    • Okay, yea the inclusion of Docker is a step in the right direction of “Modern”, so I’ll give you that.  Oh and it IS available as a Virtual Edition so you can run it as a VM…
  • EMC Unity is Flexible
    • I would damn well hope so. Albeit some of the measures of flexibility aren’t all that much different than VNX’s of the past, so I’m not sure what you’re saying here…
  • EMC Unity is Affordable
    • Okay… Sure, I’ll say it is, but then again so is ANYONE using Flash Disks at this point. The affordability likely is driven by the cost of storage going down, not the SANs themselves, so we’ll have to agree to disagree to agree here. :)

Some areas I ‘question’ regarding it, take what you will from this

See this image for my first areas of questioning…

EMC Unity is "Easy to setup"

So it claims it is easy to setup, hell, it can be setup in less than two minutes and then configured in under 15 minutes!

Err… You ever use cage nuts? OMG If I could get all of the appropriate ones in place in 2 minutes that would be GREAT! This is absolutely a marketing message written by someone who doesn’t know what the hell a server is, storage is, or the fact that racking and stacking requires, oh I don’t know, RACKING AND STACKING. Hell, taking it out of the BOX might take more than two minutes.  So no, get back to the drawing board on that. Am I bitter? Sure, but I don’t want a horrible false sense of ‘speed’ to be represented because it greatly misrepresents the facts, unless it mysteriously just appears in the rack with a 120 second time clock…

Now, to the earlier point there, fewer components! No Data Movers, No Control Stations and only 6 cables! (Well, unless you have multiple shelves, then I’d HOPE you have more than 6 cables…)

Note: The smallest and the largest system only have two controllers, period. No more, no less. So absolutely there is scale-up, but no scale-out with additional controllers like you’d get from a VMAX or XtremIO.

Now onto the “15 min setup” I guess we don’t deserve the full spelling of the word “Minute” … ;)   I’m sure the system is totally up at that point. boom! But then you still need to carve stuff up, so don’t think it’ll change too much when it comes to what it takes to configure your SAN today. Volumes are still carved, LUNs still presented, yada yada.

One area I want to specifically mention (Correct me if I’m wrong but this is the impression I’ve received from others).

The EMC Unity is NOT the replacement for the VNXe or maybe it is? Maybe it is intending to replace the VNX line? That’s one we’ll need to figure out as time goes on and the dust starts to settle.


What does EMC Unity mean for the Dell / EMC Relationship

This is a great question! I’m glad you asked!  No idea. The Dell / EMC Merger hasn’t happened yet, so until that’s finalized, and marriages are formed, relationships bonded, and products ‘normalized’ we will see what happens. So who will win after 18-36 months from a product set… Only the future will tell.  We have a lot of products to normalize in that time though, VNX, VNXe, EMC Unity, VMAX, XtremeIO, DSSD, Equallogic, Compellent – and many others!

What does this mean for me, an EMC Customer?!

It probably means, if someone was quoting you a VNX or was ABOUT to quote you a VNX, they might end up quoting you an EMC Unity system.  I mean if it comes in less expensive and gives you the solution you’re looking for, definitely sounds like a solid plan!  This has been in the coming for awhile but at the same time was being kept under wraps, respectively which makes sense. 

Why is this blog post hitting pretty aggressively on all sides of this release? WHY R U NO POSITIVES!?

The reason I’m laying things out as they are, is while this is great, a new release leveraging numerous patents and new technologies and blah blah blah, it also is leaving me (and you) wondering what’s changed much from this release vs past releases.  I’m not going to whitewash a product release as evolutionary when aside from a few things which I found “cool” (Docker, Loaf of Bread), I’m not directly floored by game changing “Wow, this is solving a problem I didn’t even know I had!”

This will likely be a good product and replacement for some existing product (VNX? VNXe? Existing SANs?!) and set the tone for future generations of solutions and such.   But get out there, learn more, maybe there’s a special secret sauce that applies to you as an individual or an organization which transcends the other features of this solution I intentionally glossed over!

Enjoy EMC World and the briefings and updates and announcements! <3

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Posted in CLARiiON, DMX, Docker, emc, EMC Elect, Storage, Unity, vExpert, Virtualization | Comments (0)

OMG OMG VMware Announces VSAN 6.2! ONE VSAN to Rule Them All! (Well, Kind of)

February 10th, 2016

Wow, we’re finally here! Version 6.2 has arrived and woot is it a hoot! (That wasn’t intended to rhyme, but welcome to the party regardless!

This blog post will be filled with lots of cool things, lots of announcements, and a commentary on the ‘ONE VSAN to Rule Them All’ which is strangely more true than you can imagine!

VSAN now with 3000+ Customers! VSAN OSU Quote

So let’s get started! OMG it’s for all workloads, yada yada. You can read marketing slides. This is one of them, simply saying “Yea we can do this”, a little side note. VSAN currently has over 3000 Paying Customers! Compare that to other ‘enterprise storage vendors’ who have products in the market place. I won’t EXPLICITLY call any out, but as I see various stock prices tumbling and I look at their user bases being similar, it leads me to say, “Hey! VSAN has grown and grown and grown year over year, well done!”

I did include a quote from Oregon State University because I live in Portland now, and I wanna Represent! :) <3

VSAN 6.2 Ready for all vSphere Workloads!

So there’s lots of cool slides I can share. I won’t. I’ll share a few poignant and selective ones, but my real focus here is on what is NEW and what things can be impacted and in general things to watch out for as well!

What’s New?!

What's new in VSAN 6.2!

I’m sure most of you can read, so you’ll see some things in particular which are exciting and I’ll go into greater detail are things like DEDUPLICATION, COMPRESSION, ERASURE CODING! Yea SAP Ready is nice, and blah blah blah….

Most new features you and I care about are ALL FLASH ONLY

I think I should repeat that just in case it was lost in translation.  In the following slides I’ll be including you will be wise to notice in the top right corner the phrase “ALL FLASH ONLY” okay, it’s not in caps on the slide, but I’m putting it in caps for effect. Why? Because if you’re thinking, “Yea, I can do this with a ROBO LICENSE and two servers” No! STOP IT! NO YOU CANNOT! ALL FLASH ALL FLASH ALL FLASH! And if you cannot read caps, “Most of the features I will be discussing require an all flash solution, which requires all flash in your servers as well as an All Flash license. Plan accordingly”

VSAN Deuplication and Compression!!! VSAN RAID5 Erasure Coding!  VSAN RAID6 Erasure Coding

So the above features so heavily anticipated. Deduplication and Compression, and Erasure Coding whether RAID 5 or RAID 6 – These require All Flash in order to work.

ALSO note that RAID5 requires a MINIMUM of 4 nodes and RAID6 requires a MINIMUM of 6 nodes.

I’m sure there’ll be dozens of blog posts released today which go into even further depth on this. So note, these are some of the key differentiators and points of importance should you choose to adopt this. So don’t expect erasure coding in your ROBO instance, that’s still a ‘mirrored’ configuration (Or in your 3 node Essentials licensed system – that’ll not only require you to be in vCenter Server Standard to do more than 3 nodes, but again… you’ll need the all Flash License…)

Oh look! Other protections!

Virtual SAN Core Software Checksums!

Yea, you have other means of protecting your investment… Well, you don’t per se, it’s built in so it will be doing it on your behalf, but it’s good to know that disk scrubbing does run in the background!

What else is new?!!?

Alright, there are some other new things, it won’t all be storage centric things as much as I had hoped!

VSAN now with QOS! VSAN supports IPv6 - Not that anyone cares! <3 VSAN for ANY Application! VSAN Health! VSAN with MORE Health! VSAN Cache and Sparse!

As you can see from the list there are definitely a few other new things, like QoS (Awesome), IPv6 support (Err, who cares?) Enhanced application support (Pretty awesome), better healthchecks (They were already GREAT, and now they’re better?!?) and lastly cache and sparse enhancements, a great way to finalize up the list!

So as you can see not only is 6.2 not a “Point” release it comes with it some pretty AMAZING functionality and capabilities! 

But with any good release it comes with great responsibility…  Be sure you do your homework and research as you adopt down this path so you know what you’re getting yourself into.  You’ll be able to get the spread of economies of scale, compute and storage node calculations, and other jibber jabber differences! 

Get excited because this is one of the coolest things to hit VMware in a long time! <3

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Posted in EVO:RAIL, Oracle, vExpert, virt, Virtualization, vmware, VSAN | Comments (0)

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)

VMware Validated Designs!? What the Whaaaaat??! #VMworld #vExpert

August 30th, 2015

Oh, well hey there! OMG ITS VMWORLD! Hey guys! I bet you’re wondering WTF I’m talking about! It’s okay. Some of you were expecting this, or are saying, “Finally… I mean, Cisco has validated Designs, and they’ve been doing those technical design guides for DECADES…” But I digress… I mean because VMware hasn’t been half shabby with their NUMEROUS whitepapers on every single topic under the sun for application supportability, capability, design, you name it!


Alright, alright calm down…

The VMware Validated Designs now provide a Blue print for the whole data center instead of merely being an infinite series of reference architecture, Best Practices, and Guides based upon products in a bubble! 

How does this differ from a validated architecture like VSPEX?

How this differs from a validated architecture is that an architecture will often be presented as ‘IM A VENDOR BUY MY STUFF’ whereas a design basically sets the table that, “Here’s a design… buy whoseever stuff or whatever things you want! (obviously ensure its on the HCL :))”   I hear this come up a lot with friends, partners, colleagues, customers and the best initial comparison I can think of comes to having a house built, a design truly becomes the blueprint for your home.  You pay an architect to produce that and you can then take that deliverable anywhere and have it be built, whereas in the technical sense an validated architecture is like track housing.  You can have it look and feel any way you want, as long as its one of these THREE options.   So you can pick and choose which framework or model works best for you, they’re not mutually exclusive and you can layer the capabilities of one atop the other.   Also consider, HEY you can use this to apply the principles to your existing implementation to see what you might do to improve it!

OMG ARE YOU SAYING ITS WIN WIN?! Yes. I am. But I won’t use those words. You chose to use them. :)

Today there are a few VMware Validated Designs which have been released (with more to come)

And as an added bonus, VMware has ALSO just announced “Feature Walkthroughs

VMware Feature Walkthroughs

What’s cool about the Walkthroughs is that it breaks down various business and technical elements of the VMware portfolio AND has direct links to take you to the hands on labs, so a little for the business and a little for the technical!  It’s a nice bit of fun all packaged up together! :)

For deeper insight into VMware Validated Designs, check out Felicia Jadczak’s post on the CTO Forum,  Introducing VMware Validated Designs

Enjoy! This is just a SMALL portion of things to be announced this week at #VMworld! <3

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Posted in vExpert, Virtualization, vmware, VMworld, vSphere | Comments (1)


May 26th, 2015

VMturbo VMworld 2015 Sweepstakes!!!

Wow, scream much mr mc screamy?

Hey what can I say, I’m excited… For you, the potential win ners of this contest! And Yes, yes I did apply to this contest too, but hey I’m not some evil bastard who is going to hoard something just so I minimize my odds, you should share it too!   So what’s the deal?

Well, you know how every year various companies which are integral to virtualization tend to give away free passes to VMworld?  This year, we kick it off with VMTurbo providing not one, not two, but THREE possibilities to win, not one, but TWO passes! Wow that’s a lot of math!


The drawings are MAY 29th, JUNE 19th, and JULY 10TH!!!

This is only for VMworld San Francisco, and of course go read the rules, but click the picture above, the drawings, THIS LINK, there’s a lot of places to ensure that you are ENTERED!

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Posted in Free, vExpert, Virtualization, VMworld | Comments (0)

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