Category Archives: VMworld

Rapid Fire Summary of Carl Eschenbach’s General Session at VMworld 2013

By Chris Ward, CTO, LogicsOne

I wrote a blog on Monday summarizing the opening keynote at VMworld 2013. Checking in again quickly to summarize Tuesday’s General Session. VMware’s COO Carl Eschenbach took the stage and informed the audience that there are 22,500 people in attendance, which is a new record for VMware. This makes it the single largest IT infrastructure event of the year. 33 of these attendees have been to all 10 VMworlds, and Carl is one of them.

Carl started the session by providing a recap of Monday’s announcements around vSphere/vCloud Suite 5.5, NSX, vSAN, vCHS, Cloud Foundry, and vCHS. The overall mantra of the session revolved around IT as a Service. The following points were key:

  • Virtualization extends to ALL of IT
  • IT management gives way to automation
  • Compatible hybrid cloud will be ubiquitous
  • Foundation is SDDC

After this, came a plethora of product demos. If you would like to watch the presentation to be able to check out the demos you can watch them here:

vCAC Demo

  • Started with showing the service catalogue & showing options to deploy an app to a private or public cloud. Also showed costs of each option as well
    • I’m assuming this is showing integration between vCAC & ITBM, although that was not directly mentioned
    • Next they displayed the database options as part of the app – assuming this is vFabric Data Director (DB as a Service)
    • Showed the auto-scale option
    • Showed the health of the application after deployment…this appears to be integration with vCOPS (again, not mentioned)
    • The demo showed how the product provided self-service, transparent pricing, governance, and automation

NSX Demo

  • Started with a networking conversation around why there are challenges with networking being the ball and chain of the VM. After that, Carl discussed the features and functions that NSX can provide. Some key ones were:
    • Route, switch, load balance, VPN, firewall, etc.
  • Displayed the vSphere web client & looked at the automated actions that happened via vCAC and NSX  during the app provisioning
  • What was needed to deploy this demo you may ask? L2 switch, L3 router, firewall, & load balancer. All of this was automated and deployed with no human intervention
  • Carl then went through the difference in physical provisioning vs. logical provisioning with NSX & abstracting the network off the physical devices.
  • West Jet has deployed NSX, got to hear a little about their experiences
  • There was also a demo to show you how you can take an existing VMware infrastructure and convert/migrate to an NSX virtual network. In addition, it showed how vMotion can make the network switch with zero downtime

The conversation then turned to storage. They covered the following:

  • Requirements of SLAs, policies, management, etc. for mission critical apps in the storage realm
  • vSAN discussion and demo
  • Storage policy can be attached at the VM layer so it is mobile with the VM
  • Showcased adding another host to the cluster and the local storage is auto-added to the vSAN instance
  • Resiliency – can choose how many copies of the data are required

IT Operations:

  • Traditional management silos have to change
  • Workloads are going to scale to massive numbers and be spread across numerous environments (public and private)
  • Conventional approach is scripting and rules which tend to be rigid and complex –> Answer is policy based automation via vCAC
  • Showed example in vCOPS of a performance issue and drilled into the problem…then showed performance improve automatically due to automated proactive response to detected issues.  (autoscaling in this case)
  • Discussing hybrid and seamless movement of workloads to/from private/public cloud
  • Displayed vCHS plugin to the vSphere web client
  • Showed template synchronization between private on prem vSphere environment up to vCHS
  • Provisioned an app from vCAC to public cloud (vCHS)  (it shows up inside of vSphere Web client)


Let me know if there are questions on any of these demos.

Rapid Fire Summary of Opening Keynote at VMworld 2013

By Chris Ward, CTO, LogicsOne

For those of you who aren’t out in San Francisco at the 10th annual VMworld event, here is a quick overview of what was covered in the opening keynote delivered by CEO Pat Gelsinger’s opening:

  • Social, Mobile, Cloud & Big Data are the 4 largest forces shaping IT today
  • Transitioned from Mainframe –>Client Server –>Mobile Cloud
  • Pat sets the stage that the theme of this year’s event is networking – basically setting the stage for a ton of Nicira/NSX information. I think VMware sees the core of the software defined datacenter as networking-based, and they are in a very fast race to beat out the competition in that space
  • Pat also mentioned that his passion is to get every x86 application/workload 100% virtualized. He drew parallels to Bill Gates saying his dream was a PC on every desk in every home that runs Microsoft software.
  • Next came announcements around vSphere 5.5 & vCloud Suite 5.5…here are some of the highlights:
    • 2x CPU and Memory limits and 32x storage capacity per volume to support mission critical and big applications
    • Application Aware high availability
    • Big Data Extensions – multi-tenant Hadoop capability via Serengeti
    • vSAN officially announced as public beta and will be GA by 1st half of 2014
    • vVOL is now in tech preview
    • vSphere Flash Read Cache included in vSphere 5.5

Next, we heard from Martin Casado. Martin is the CTO – Networking at VMware and came over from the Nicira acquisition and was speaking about VMware NSX. NSX is a combination of vCloud Network and Security (vCNS) and Nicira. Essentially, NSX is a network hypervisor that abstracts the underlying networking hardware just like ESX abstracts underlying server hardware.

Other topics to note:

  • IDC names VMware #1 in Cloud Management
  • VMware hypervisor fully supported as part of OpenStack
  • Growing focus on hybrid cloud. VMware will have 4 datacenters soon (Las Vegas, Santa Clara, Sterling, & Dallas). Also announcing partnerships with Savvis in NYC & Chicago to provide vCHS services out of Savvis datacenters.
  • End User Computing
    • Desktop as a Service on vCHS is being announced (I have an EUC Summit Dinner later on tonight so I will be able to go into more detail afterward that).

So, all-in-all a good start to the event. Network virtualization/NSX is clearly the focus of this conference and vCHS is a not too distant 2nd. Something that was omitted from the keynote was the rewritten SSO engine for vCenter 5.5. The piece was weak for 5.1 and has been vastly improved with 5.5…this could be addressed tomorrow as most of the tech staff is in Tuesday’s general session.

If you’re at the event…I’ll actually be speaking on a panel tomorrow at 2:30 about balancing agility with service standardization. I’ll be joining Khalid Hakim and Kurt Milne of VMware, along with Dave Bartoletti of Forrester Research and Ian Clayton of Service Management 101. I will also be co-presenting on Wednesday with my colleague John Dixon at 2:30-3:30 in the Moscone West Room 2011 about deploying a private cloud service catalogue. Hopefully you can swing by.

More to come soon!


VMworld Recap: Day One

Day 1 at VMworld 2012 has been pretty action packed.  The first order of business was the official handing over of the reins from Paul Maritz to Pat Gelsinger as CEO of VMware.  Paul will remain involved as he is taking the Chief Strategist role at EMC which owns 80% of VMware so I would not expect his influence to go away anytime soon.  From conversations I’ve had with others both inside and outside of VMware, the primary reason for this move seems to be purely operational.  Paul is an absolute visionary and has taken VMware to some fantastic heights over his four-year tenure, however there have been some challenges on the operational side in executing on the great visions.  This is where Pat comes into the picture as he’s historically been a pure operations guy so I envision the team of Paul and Pat to do some great things for VMware going forward.

Some other key highlights from the Keynote are as follows:

  1. It is estimated that 60% of all x86 server workloads in the world are now virtualized and 80% of that 60% are virtualized on ESX/vSphere.
  2. There are now 125,000 VCP certified engineers worldwide, almost a 5-fold increase from 4 years ago
  3. The dreaded vRAM allocation licensing model for vSphere 5 is now officially dead with the release of vSphere 5.1.  VMware is going back to per socket licensing and neither RAM nor cores matter.  Personally, I am not sure this was a great move as I think most people were over the headache of vRAM and in reality I never saw a single customer who was adversely affected by it.  When Pat announced this, I think he thought the entire auditorium would roar in appreciation but that was not the case.  Yes, there was some cheering, but even Pat made mention of the fact that it wasn’t the full on reaction he expected.
  4. There are a lot of new certifications and certification tracks that were announced to better align with VMware’s definition of the new “stack.”  These tracks include the pre-existing datacenter infrastructure certs plus new ones around Cloud (think vCloud Director here), Desktop (View and Wanova/Mirage), and Apps (SpringSource).  I’ll be taking the new VCP-IaaS exam tomorrow so wish me luck!
  5. There was a light touch on both the Dynamic Ops and Nicira acquisitions.  Both of these have huge implications for VMware but really not much was announced at the show.  Both of these are very recent acquisitions so it will take some time for VMware to get them integrated but I am very excited about the possibilities of each.
  6. There was an announcement of the vCloud Suite, which essentially is a bundling of existing VMware products under a singular license model.  There are the typical Standard, Enterprise, and Enterprise Plus editions of the suite which include different pieces and parts, but the Enterprise Plus edition throws in about everything and the kitchen sink including….
    1. vSphere 5.1 Enterprise Plus
    2. vCenter Operations Enterprise
    3. vCloud Director
    4. vCloud networking/security (I assume this will eventually include Nicira networking virtualization and the vShield product family)
    5. Site Recovery Manager
    6. vFabric Application Director
    7. Lots of focus on virtualization of business critical applications and not just the usual suspects of SQL, Oracle, Exchange, etc.  There was a cool demo of Hadoop via Project Serengeti which automates the spinning up/down of various Hadoop VMs and this is delivered as a single virtual appliance.  GreenPages has done a lot in the business critical app virtualization space over the past couple of years and we remain excited about the possibilities that virtualization brings to these beefy apps.
    8. One of the big geeky announcements is around the concept of shared nothing vMotion.  This means that you can now move a live running VM between two host servers but without any requirement for shared storage, basically vMotion without a SAN.  This has massive implications in the SMB and branch office spaces where the cost of shared storage was very prohibitive.  Now you can get some of the cool benefits of virtualization using only very cheap direct attached storage!
    9. The final piece of the keynote showed VMware’s vision for virtualization of “everything” including compute, storage, and networking.  Look for some very cool stuff coming over the next 6 months or so in relation to new ways of thinking about networking and storage within a virtual environment.  These are two elements that really have not fundamentally changed how they work since the advent of x86 virtualization and we are now running into limitations due to this.  VMware is leading the charge in changing the way we think about these two critical elements and looking at very interesting ways to attack design and in the end making it much simpler to work with networking and storage technologies within virtualized environments.

Have to jump back over for Day 2 activities now, but be on the lookout for some upcoming GreenPages events where we’ll dive deeper into the announcements from the show!