HP has decided that going forward it will only provide firmware updates to customers who have a valid warranty for their equipment which normally means purchasing a support agreement or HP Care Pack.
The server market is a tough one with low margins. IBM has decided they can’t be bothered and have flogged their x86 business to Lenovo. HP has been going through a tough time recently with widespread redundencies and is obviously under pressure both to get a handle on costs and increase revenue so is looking to ensure it can extract maximum extra value from its hardware sales.
This decision reinforces our goal to provide access to the latest HP firmware, which is valuable intellectual property, for our customers who have chosen to maximize and protect their IT investments. We know this is a change from how we’ve done business in the past; however, this aligns with industry best practices and is the right decision for our customers and partners.
Our customers under warranty or support coverage will not need to pay for firmware access, and we are in no way trying to force customers into purchasing extended coverage. That is, and always will be, a customer’s choice.
This is a shortsighted and misguided change which will hurt HP and is certainly not the “right decision” for their customers and partners.
Virtual Connect 4.10 add IPv6 functionality which requires HP Service Pack for Proliant (SPP) 2013.09.0 (B), Onboard Administrator firmware 4.01 and minimum iLO firmware of 1.30.
The ability to hide unused FlexNics from the OS has been added which is very helpful. FlexNics that don’t have a mapping to any server profile connections are not presented to the OS. This means even if you have a full complement of 8 FlexNics defined in your profile but only map 4, your OS will only see 4 Nics rather than 8.
There is a new auto-deployment feature which allows you to configure a Virtual Connect domain from a centralised location using DHCP and TFTP.
SR-IOV support has also been added for direct VM access bypassing the vSwitch on certain FLBs and mezz cards for Gen 8 servers as well as BL620c G7 and BL680c G7.
There are a number of bug fixes as well including some Cisco DAC cables reporting as “Linked/Uncertified” when they should work.
Make sure to read the Release Notes in case there is anything else that may trip you up.
There is a problem with Emulex firmware prior to version 4.1.450.7 that can result in SmartLink otherwise known as Device Control Channel (DCC) not working with a 10Gb physical link when you have full height blades. When you upgrade the OA, you may lose network connectivity. Update the NIC firmware and look at Customer Advisory c03600027 before upgrading the OA.
HP has announced a new product to manage HP BladeSystem and ProLiant G7/Gen 8 infrastructure called HP OneView which is due to be released in October.
HP thinks the existing way of deploying and managing servers is built on models from 20 years ago and is in need of an update. This is certainly true particularly with HP servers despite HP having a number of tools such as HP Systems Insight Manager (HP SIM), HP Virtual Connect Enterprise Manager (VCEM), HP Insight Control and HP Intelligent Provisioning.
HP OneView has been built from the ground up to simplify and speed up the server deployment and management process for servers, networking and storage. OneView runs as a self contained virtual appliance and you connect via a web browser.
HP says the user interface is a “consumer-inspired user experience” built on a “software-defined architecture” with an “open extensible platform”. HP says it has been four years in the making and has been built with the input of more than 150 of HPs biggest customers.
OneView will be a licensed product per physical server it manages starting at about £571 for a single license including three years support and updates. There will be an upgrade available from iLO Advanced, Insight Control and VCEM.
With VMware recently turning 15 and with their US and EU VMworld 2013 conferences titled Defy Convention we will be discussing technology past, present and future.
We will all be live on the Hangout and would love you to join us tomorrow, Thursday 26th September at 14:30 BST / 15:30 CEST, on VMware EMEA’s Google+ page.
To join in, visit the Google+ page at this time and click on the video to start watching. You don’t need a Google account. If you’re not able to join live, the video will be available on VMware EMEA’s YouTube channel and on the VMware EMEA blog once the Hangout is over.
If you have any questions you want me to ask around IT innovation and the future of technology, leave a comment or get in touch via Twitter and I’ll try and include them.
VMworld’s final day started a little later than the previous days to give everyone a little lie in after last night’s VMworld party at AT&T Park which was brilliant.
Today’s General Session isn’t the usual VMware announcement session but named Makers and Shakers featuring three innovators unlocking new ways to create and build.
Jay Silver was up first. Jay is a crazy innovator who is founder and director of JoyLabz and Maker Research Scientist at Intel Labs. His idea is the whole world can be made meaningfully interactive. He adds electricity to everyday objects to make fun stuff. There is absolutely no way this can be explained in text so here is Jay doing a similar talk at TED.
Next up was Keller Rinaudo who is CEO of Romotive, these are the guys that make Tomo, a cheap $150 personal robot which uses a smart phone for its processing. Romo showed some new software. Again, he’s done a TED talk so you can see what he does.
Last up was Bre Pettis, CEO of MakerBot who is a inventor, builder and open source guru. He was the guy who built MakerBot’s 3D printers and is keen on what he calls personal manufacturing. He shoed all number of home 3D printed things that can be made including amazing prosthetic robotic hands, architectural models
The Solutions Exchange wasn’t open today. I appreciate vendors and attendees are by now suffering from conference fatigue but this is also the time when people have been to their preferred sessions and labs and have some time to reflect on everything they’ve learned and can then look through the Solutions Exchange a little wiser than at the beginning of the week. I think it would be useful to still keep it open, maybe that’s something that will be looked at for future years.
VMworldTV has been out and about:
VMworld TV Exclusive Interview with VMware R&Ds Susan Gudenkauf
VMworld TV Meets VMware CTO Global Field Paul Strong
VMworldTV Checks out the Software-Defined Data Center at VMworld 2013
That’s all Folks!
Wow, what an amazing week! To attend a gathering of such interesting, passionate and engaged people is really inspiring. Sure, there are cynical people, jaded and bored by what they do. What I can see however is how IT can really be a force of change and good in the world. Sure, I appreciate that sounds wishy-washy and could easily be a quote from a politicians campaign speech but IT really is one of life’s great enablers, being able to bring real, tangible solutions to pressing problems all over the world. I’m super excited by NSX and VSAN.
Yes, we may get fed up of vendor FUD, cloud-washing, overzealous marketing people, know-it-all architects, internal company politics and rubbish procedures holding back progress but stepping back and seeing what is possible when we all get together and share is truly inspiring.
Even though we work with technology, remember, this is still very much a people business, putting together IT solutions to help people with things.
I’ve met and reconnected with an incredible bunch of people this week, too many people to mention but a whole bunch of engaging, caring, interesting and interested people so willing so share their expertise for us all to learn. Thanks to those who worked out who I was and came over to say hi. The community is truly alive!
Well, that’s the end of VMworld for me in San Francisco. Way too much to see, do and experience in way too little time but what a week!
I’m off on two weeks holiday so hopefully time to reflect and rest! See you all soon!
Christopher started by saying he doesn’t like load generation tools as they don’t represent reality. Vendors talk about IOPS with massive, seemingly impressive 1,000,000 IOPS figures but that doesn’t represent workloads in the real world.
All VDI decisions have implications for storage, using automated or manual pools, floating or dedicated user assignments, linked clones, full clones, NetApp VSC clones along with all the user profile and workloads data. All these ways to create VMs and handle user data have an impact on storage and these need to factored into sizing and performance decisions. Cloning can hurt you if you don’t understand what is happening. hypervisor clones (snapshots) are the least efficient as it is 2 reads for every request as you need to read from two files and for writes, it is three writes including the metadata. All this lands up being a lot of writes and reads, 10 guest IOPS = 28 IOPS to storage. This must be considered for linked clones, its not a 1 to 1 relationship between guest IO and storage. More efficient to not copy any data and provision with storage VAAI.
Most IOPS generated are often actually user workloads and user profiles rather than the VDI image itself.
View Storage Accelerator from VMware is a host based memory cache for all types of desktops and is works transparently to the users and applications.
Christopher then went on to talk about the NetApp Virtual Storage Tier which alleviates boot and login storms. This uses a hardware Flash Cache or Flash Pools for platforms that don’t support Flash Cache.
NetApp suggest using separate volumes or Storage Virtual Machines (SVM) to separate the storage for VMs, corporate apps and user data. Use different storage capabilities and possibly disk types for each, such as not de-duping temporary data. All these SVMs for separate IOPS, capacity and availability can be managed under Cluster ONTAP.
Assessments and sizing are important for Horizon View, PoCs may not scale linearly. An example is the unexpected “lunch storm” which is when users start doing personal things during lunch and watching YouTube videos which isn’t likely captured during a PoC or with standard load testing tools. NetApp does partner with Liquidware Labs for a sizing tool.
Chris Wells then talked about User Data in Horizon Workspace. He said NetApp is a good fit for user data as it allows more users than competitors storage due to de-dupe, non disruptive operations and backup and recovery which all fits very well with Horizon Data.
NetApp will shortly have a beta coming out for SnapCreator for Horizon Workspace. I was hoping for more information about how Horizon Data integrated with NetApp for backups, recoveries & DR so will need to do some reading to work this out. Horizon Data runs as a virtual appliance which stores its data on local VM disks so it is going to be interesting to work out how this VM disk file can be managed but in a way to recover file level data.
The VMware juggernaut continues into Day 2. The day started with another keynote. Historically this has always been delivered by the VMware CTO, Steve Herrod who has left VMware for the world of private equity. Steve was always knows for his excellent rather more technical keynotes where VMware had the opportunity to show off the techy side of things after the announcements of the first day.
Carl Eschenbach, VMware’s President and COO filled Steve’s well regarded shoes extremely well, great energy and an exciting feeling. Kit Colbert, Chief Architect and Principal Engineer with the Office of the CTO also took part. Kit and Carl (the new comedy duo!) did a great demo together looking at vCloud Automation Center for deploying applications in the private, public or hybrid cloud with full cost visibility and auto-scaling. They then went on to demo the networking virtualisation with an NSX demo and showing how you can have switching, routing, firewalls and load-balancers but all built into the hypervisor which dramatically simplifies the network path. I’ll say it again, NSX is impressive stuff. They then went on to show
with policy based Per-VM storage management with simple scalability. Next up was an EUC demo looking at Horizon Workspace and how easy it is to provision applications and VDI desktops.
VMware’s EMEA CTO, Joe Baguley then joined Carl on stage and demoed an automated policy driven proactive response using metrics from vCOPS to deploy new application instances in vCA. This allows you to remediate performance issues while seeing the health of the app in vCAC. vCOPS can give recommendations from many third party data sources and can then recommend for example that you move your storage from a Silver tier to a Gold tier. This remediation could be automatic or fire off an email for approval with cost information included.
The presentation wasn’t streamed live today but the replay can be seen at
VMware’s huge US conference kicks off in San Francisco today. 22000 attendees are expected to attend to “Defy Convention”
The day started with the General Session by VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger in his first solo performance after he was handed the reigns at VMworld 2012 from Paul Maritz.
The year’s theme of “Defy Convention” is VMware’s challenging to its customers and the industry to look at their current ways of doing things, challenge the status quo and be bold designing the next generation of IT, hopefully by buying VMware products.
The user interface within the Web Client has been beefed up. The VM and vCenter management panes have been enhanced to configure and monitor replication.
You can now deploy new vSphere Replication appliances to allow for replication between clusters and non-shared storage deployments and also to meet load balancing requirements.
There are now multiple points-in-time snapshots so if you have VM with an OS corruption that has already been replicated you can select an earlier snapshot to recover from before the corruption occurred. This isn’t the same is replicating VMs with existing snapshots which isn’t supported. Point-in-time snapshots are created at the recovery site after replication.
There is now Storage DRS Interoperability so replicated VMs can be Storage vMotioned across datastores without interrupting ongoing replication.
VSAN support has been added to protect and recover VMs running on the new VSAN datastores.
vCenter Site Recovery Manager
Storage DRS and Storage vMotion are now supported when VMs are migrated within a consistency group.
VMs running on (Virtual SAN) VSAN datastores can be protected using vSphere Replication. You can use VSAN datastores on both the protected and recovery sites. There are a few considerations when using VSAN and SRM so read the documentation.
You can now recover and preserve multiple point-in-time snapshots of VMs that were protected with vSphere Replication.
VMs that reside on Virtual Flash (VFlash) can be protected. VFlash is disabled on VMs after recovery.