Archive for the ‘VMworld’ Category

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!

OMG SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?!

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)

OMG OMG WIN TWO TICKETS TO VMWORLD FROM @VMTURBO!!!

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!

OMG WHEN ARE THE DRAWINGS?!

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)

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 www.xiologix.com (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! https://xiologix.store.emc.com/us/ 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)

A look at #VMworld Day 1 and what you should know!

August 26th, 2014

Let me start off by saying, WOW. I mean Mega-WOW.  If you haven’t watched the Keynote from 26AUG2014 yet you definitely ought to.   This VMworld and this keynote focused on what has been taken for granted within the community and the virtualization space for years from a corporate perspective.   This VMworld has focused all eyes and attention on the COMMUNITY.   When the executives of VMware get up and say that the community matters, that the VMware Users Group organization is not only visible but also important to the mission and the success of their business; They are finally getting it! Today as it stands the VMUG organization has over 100,000 members. If you’re not one of those members, you should be. And if you are one of those members, continue to get involved, grow, rock! 

But there have been so many other points which were hit on, discussed, leveraged.  Down below is a breakdown of the items which they mentioned and respectively discussed, including where you can sign up for the Beta programs for some items.   This is only a small portion of the products which will be unveiled, updated, released, so on and so forth!  (There will be more references in the coming days)

This as a whole breaks down just a small section of what was discussed at the Keynote (General Session), What products were mentioned, and some little ones you ought to know about which were not directly mentioned THERE but instead were referenced elsewhere and are now able to be talked about.

  • Policy as a Service (Congress – Being worked on by Tim Hinrichs and Peter Balland, Scott Lowe pointed them out to me at the CTO Booth.
  • Mentioned briefly in the KeyNote but the further integrations and validation of the Government Cloud First Program – FedRAMP (Which is huge)
  • A serious commitment to the Open Computing Project (OCP) joining as a Gold Member

There is much more which will come from this, not only announced today but the outliers and little enhancements (Which I’ll discuss in the next few blogs)

A look at some of the products featured today 26 AUG 2014!

Hybrid Cloud
Software-Define Your Data Center
SDDC Management
Rapidly Scale Your Infrastructure
  • VMware EVO: Rail
    • EVO:RAIL announced partners: Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, Inspur, Net One Systems and SuperMicro. More to follow!
Mobile!

The point is, this is just a taste of more to come.  Look forward to Video interviews with Engineers, Architects, Founders and more on some of the game changers in the industry, as well as highlighting particularly cool technologies, and doing my best to avoid the companies with crappy products. <3

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Posted in Community, Virtualization, vmware, VMworld | Comments (0)

Review of #VMworld Day’s –1 and 0! The word of the days is Community

August 25th, 2014

If we had to sum up what those days were about, it has to be community.  Break it down with me…

Saturday hit on some major items, such as vBeers, VMworld Community Kickoff, and what followed with vKaraoke!

Sunday added to that with the 5K Fun-run, v0dgeball, the vBrownBag opening acts including the VMUnderground party which started after the VMworld Welcome Reception in the Solutions Exchange.

welcome reception

If you attended one or more of these events the underlying theme across all of them has got to be put as Community, the convergence of peoples, whether getting together and sharing a drink, getting to know one another, getting to re-unite with one another, hell even SINGING with one another!

This is truly what these leading on days are all about.   Sessions are not generally available at this point, so this leaves AMPLE opportunity to get to know your fellow VMworldian attendee, whether talking with old friends or meeting entirely new friends.   This day in particular we made a number of new friends which was borne out of conversation with people which lead to friendships being forged and built.   It can be as simple as someone overhearing a conversation you’re having about something and adding their two cents or contribution.   Again, this is EXACTLY what the VMworld conference is about (Hint, it is about YOU :))

Hopefully you too got to enjoy some of that time getting to know one another before the onslaught of sessions and so much more happens this week!

As we go throughout the week (and beyond) there will be numerous plans of video recorded interviews, deep dives and general information on some new technologies which are likely to be game changers, and more!  Enjoy and keep keeping virtually on!

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