Category: Virtualization

This was by far my longest session as Naveen let the clock fly by–I guess that’s the benefit of being the last session of the day! He definitely made the mode of it, though, and crammed a ton of great information on DRS and HA, both present and future, into the session.

I feel like the notes below actually capture a substantial amount of the practical information, so please enjoy. DRS has always been the magic sauce in vSphere and it’s only getting better.

Biggest joy of DRS in vSphere 6.0: vMotion performance increase by 60%!

Technology Virtualization

Cody & Ravi from Pure Storage brought a good deep-dive of all-flash storage in a virtual (VMware) world. Major emphasis on “deep-dive” as they went into the nitty-gritty of VAAI primitives and especially SCSI UNMAP across the versions.

The only weak spot was the age-old issue of having to cram too much content into too little time. They hit the mark, just a bit rushed. Check out Cody’s blog for an opportunity to ingest it at a pace more appropriate for consumption with coffee or tea.

If you are making the transition from spinning or hybrid storage to all-flash, find the audio for this session and retrain your thinking. Offload old fears to VM-to-datastore limits and RAID considerations. Get simple. Be pure.

Storage Technology Virtualization

The VMware Validated Designs (V2D) session was much like a preface to a book, the book being VMware’s new compilations of proven designs. It lacked a specific design-implementation example (i.e. with HP hardware + Cisco networking + Foundation design), which would have helped, but I’d say that Simran and Mike were still successful.

I should have anticipated it, but all of the designs assume VSAN as the primary storage. They leave the obvious potential for external storage, but that appears to fall outside the scope of any V2Ds. I understand the complication that would come from trying to incorporate non-VMware components, but I also hope that the V2D program grows to encompass partner-assisted V2Ds, particularly on storage, but also on physical networking.

If VSAN is in your potential wheelhouse, check out the customer-facing VMware Validated Designs.

Technology Virtualization

IMG_4424I am so excited to launch this post and give two enthusiastic thumbs up to VMware on the second general session! They brought the fire with the speakers, the concrete concepts & tech, and the Pat Gelsinger finale. Way to go, VMware!

Truly, from the depths, thank you to Sanjay, Martin, and Pat for bringing the message back to the center. The core of VMware’s passion and strategy shined brightly this morning. While Horizon has come short of inspiring me in past VMworld events, the expanding device and OS support makes it finally something I can see becoming a realistic value-add in my organization. Add to that AppVolumes and NSX underpinning it all, and you have a winning presentation.

CEO Pat Gelsinger to the session and overall event out to the 30,000 foot view–or rather, the stratosphere–without becoming vague, salesy, or irrelevant. Pat laid out our history and foundation of IT and the internet, beginning in 1995, and then cast vision forward to today and beyond. His five imperatives hit the heart of business with technical excellence as only a visionary can do.

Hit up the notes below and catch the video when you can. This is what VMworld is all about.

Technology Virtualization

This session was decent and few people can complain about its lack of technical detail. Rather, the struggle here was against losing the forest for the trees. Perhaps a winning strategy could have been starting with the demo at the end and using it as the use case from which to explain each component and contrast old methods vs. new features.

The latest versions of SRM 6.1, vSphere 6, and NSX 6.2 (as well as SRM Air) bring incredible new capabilities to disaster recovery and orchestrated failover plans. It’s definitely at a point worth engaging a trusted VMware partner who can understand your specific environment and then architect one or more solution sets using the many VMware options, as well as 3rd-party products.

Technology Virtualization

I came into this session looking for exactly what the title was claiming–a practical path to NSX–which would help me to identify a practical reason for it. Using that as the bar for judgment, I would say that the speakers succeeded, with some qualifications.

The most valuable “proof” of success was the initial demo that isolated Windows Server 2003 guests by grouping them and applying a security policy, rather than the non-NSX alternative of re-IP’ing in a separate VLAN and firewalling that way. It was clean and if it was my use case, I’d vote for NSX as the way.

The next demo bridged server/rack pods and attempted to prove similar simplicity, but fell short. Sure, the engineer clicked and typed very quickly such that he accomplished his objective in <4 minutes, but that speed implied a lot of knowledge and training on implementing NSX. That’s not the same as being easy. That’s partly okay, because everything isn’t easy. They would have been better to state that.

My personal takeaway was the value of NSX as applied to forming a seamless L2 or L3 network out of multiple data centers. That’s a use case I can take to the bank. Considering the unstated cost of NSX, I think a bank may indeed be an integral step :). Anyways, this was a session worth attending, or if you’re reading this later, a session worth watching online. Enjoy.

Technology Virtualization

The VMworld opening keynote or general session has always been the hallmark and rally cry of the conference that I consider the benchmark for all other tech conferences. In fact, if you look back to my take on HP’s Discover 2015 event (and the organization as a whole), you’ll find these words used to qualify what fell short there in Vegas. It’s with that historical context that I apply these words back to VMware and VMworld 2015.

The thesis for this week simply fell flat. It lacked cohesion, passion, and tangible takeaways. I felt bad for Virtustream, which was tagged onto the end of the 1 hour 45 minute session, because a large portion of the room had already left, and the topic flip-flopped back to infrastructure again, after a long stint on DevOps.

Where was the passion of Paul Maritz or Pat Gelsinger? I know, there’s still tomorrow’s session, but this was the kick off, the inspiration, the charge. Ready For Any? Not this morning.

What follows are some polished notes made during the session. LTE was saturated to death and WiFi was non-existent, so posting and editing live wasn’t possible. That, too, was sad and felt like a missed opportunity for one of the many VMware partners who could have put their stamp on a rock-solid wireless infrastructure that for once didn’t disappoint the 23,000 attendees. It’s hard; I understand. But is it truly impossible?

Technology Virtualization

Conferences are opportunities to step away from the trenches and daily grind of the office and into a temporal new world of ideas, strangers and often stranger concepts, and considerations…

Technology Virtualization

ubuntu_stepsBefore I start filling in the gaps, I’d like to invite a free flow of feedback, correction, and tips to do all of this better/right. My native tongue is Windows with a decent second language of mainstream Linux, but these MAAS and OpenStack dialects with their assuming and sparse documentation leaves me feeling very foreign.

The reference point the steps below is:

Step 1: I see “requires” followed by “seven machines”, “two disks”, and two machines with “two NICs”, but little explanation why, nor what the two-NIC machines are for (especially the second one). Terminology for “machines” and “instances” regarding the IP ranges is also a little ambiguous.

Step 2: These four commands are simple, except that they assume you’ve installed the python packages necessary for “add-apt-repository”. I found help on this at to fill the gap with:

sudo apt-get install python-software-properties
sudo apt-get install software-properties-common

It also seems that they left out installing Juju, which is necessary for bootstrapping in Step 4:

sudo apt-get install juju

Technology Virtualization

Earlier today I was beating my head, trying to get Java Runtime Environment working with both Cisco ASDM and EMC XtremIO. The ASDM was working great, but every time I’d try to launch XtremIO’s client (XMS), Java wouldn’t run it. So I tweaked it. And broke Java.

My wise colleague had suggested a vSphere snapshot before I changed too much, so I rolled back to it. I’d already jacked Java too much and it was broken then, too.

Next up: Rubrik!


Technology Virtualization