Archive for October, 2015

VMworld EU 2015 Buzz: The VMworld Parties

October 30th, 2015 No comments

Adding some more colour to the highlights from my VMworld Europe 2015 coverage:


vRockstar kiked off VMworld Europe with a community gathering at the Hard Rock Cafe. This is a now yearly event organised by Marco Broeken, Patrick Redknap & team who put on a fantastic party.

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vExpert Party
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Categories: VMware, VMworld Tags: ,

VMworld EU 2015 Buzz: Office of the CTO Stand: vRDMA & Unifying Virtual and Physical Desktops with Synthetic Block Devices

October 30th, 2015 No comments

Adding some more colour to the highlights from my VMworld Europe 2015 coverage:

2015-10-13 14.42.28vRDMA

I made a point as I always do at VMworld to head to the VMware Office of the CTO booth to have a glimpse into the future. I spoke to Jorgen Hansen about vRDMA.

This is an interesting research project within VMware to create a new class of distributed application in a virtual environment by allowing very fast transport by bypassing much of the VMware kernel and accessing memory on another host. This will allow applications to reserve VM memory via the hypervisor but be extremely scalable and fast, think HPC and financial trading. Expand the pic to look into the project:

Unifying Virtual and Physical Desktops with Synthetic Block Devices

2015-10-13 18.03.58Later on they also had a new research project to talk about: Unifying Virtual and Physical Desktops with Synthetic Block Devices. Rami Stern talked me through it which is all about having a single instance storage across the physical and virtual world so a single store of Mirage data as well as VMDK. Users would be able to move OS data from physical to virtual with very little data transfer, very much linking the different technologies VMware has acquired. Again VSAN is being looked at to do this, image deduped storage for OS + File + VM + Mirage + Cloud Volumes Data, again very interesting.

Max the pic for more details:


VMworld EU 2015 Buzz: Hot Topics in VMware Research – CTO6660

October 30th, 2015 No comments

Adding some more colour to the highlights from my VMworld Europe 2015 coverage:

Presented by David Tennenhouse – Chief Research Officer (cool title), VMware

VMware has always been very academic research focused likely due to it being founding and having its head office in Palo Alto, home of Stanford University. Founders Mendel Rosenbaum and Diane Green were academics. VMware still maintains a serious academic programme partnering with researchers in systems and networks and invests significantly to maintain its innovation pipeline. David started the session talking about the challenges of being an industry leader where being a fast-follower is no longer an option. David went on to talk about some recent research trends and how he sees them shaping the industry.

More and more things are being virtualised including what he called heterogeneous computing such as GPUs and FPGAs.

There are new ways to build scalable and consistent distributed systems (he says this is having your cake and eating it)

David talked about the previous predictability for Moore’s law which allowed so many companies to plan their future on ever increasing compute resources. The increase of transistors is running out of room as the silicon space of the atoms is just getting too small. The only way to surpass this is to change how transistors are made. We will need to get improvements in other ways, in coordination across the industry. He said not to worry, it’s OK, there will be innovation beyond this with new materials.

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Categories: VMware, VMworld Tags: , ,

VMworld EU 2015 Buzz: VMware Video Game Container System

October 30th, 2015 No comments

Adding some more colour to the highlights from my VMworld Europe 2015 coverage:

VMware Video Game Container System

I then spent some time at the fascinating VMware Video Game Container System. This is basically a demo of running MS-DOS in a linux container and then launching the awesome DOS Prince of Persia game within that container. Seriously impressive technology.

You can see the demo:

I spent time with Ben Corrie (the guy in the demo) who was the guy to worked it all out and put the demo together. He developed Project Bonneville which is running containers as VMs which is something I’ve spent a fare amount of time exploring at VMworld. Ben gave me a great overview of Bonneville and explained how docker and the container host and ESXi interact. I discovered that the stripped down VM appliance which is the base of the system is extremely light weight without even the docker client installed. As it is not on Linux but rather ESXi means you can run any VM that ESXi can run, hence being able to run Windows MS-DOS!

Why MS-DOS?:

We chose MS-DOS 6.22 partly for nostalgia, and partly because it neatly encapsulates a simple legacy OS. In 48 hours, we were able to use a vanilla Docker client to pull a Lemmings image from a Docker repository and run it natively in a 32MB VM via a Docker run command. The image was built using a Dockerfile, layered on top of FAT16 scratch and DOS 6.22 OS images with TTY and graphics exported back to the client

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VMworld EU 2015 Buzz: Group Discussion: DevOps and Continuous Delivery – MGT6401-GD

October 29th, 2015 No comments

Adding some more colour to the highlights from my VMworld Europe 2015 coverage:

This was held by Thomas Corfmat from VMware who currently works with vRealize CodeStream although the discussion wasn’t product specific.

Group discussions by nature aren’t presentations but rely on everyone giving input.

The session started with introductions from everyone to get an idea of what kinds of companies are in the session, as the introductions started quite a few people left immediately! Must be the pressure of a group discussion or wanting to stay anonymous!

2015-10-14 15.45.40Went through what was Continuous Integration / Continuous Delivery.

A poll was done as to where people were on the DevOps journey. 6% said they can release code into production within the hour, 60% were split between having no DevOps and starting to look at it and the rest were somewhere further along on the journey.

Some people shared stories about how they started, from changing from waterfall to agile approach, others being forced by the business.

The consensus was to start with continuous integration to get started, establishing toolsets like TFS or Jenkins for example and work on the people and process.

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Categories: DevOps, VMware, VMworld Tags: , ,

VMworld EU 2015 Buzz: Running Cloud Native Apps on your Existing Infrastructure – CNA5479

October 29th, 2015 No comments

Adding some more colour to the highlights from my VMworld Europe 2015 coverage:

2015-10-14 14.04.32This session was delivered by Martijn Baecke and Robbie Jerrom, both from VMware, who were on the earlier panel. The session started talking about the transition from the client/server era into mobile/cloud. There have been huge changes in how software is being engineered, witness VMworld having a DevOps day today. There still needs to be a way to host both the apps of what they call yesterday (in reality 99% of apps running anywhere!) and the new generation of cloud native apps. VMware wants to ensure it can provide the platform to support both these worlds. The term used was future proofing so the idea is to build an infrastructure for your current workloads that can also be extended to deliver the new cloud native apps. The work needs to be done to transform current infrastructure but keeping one management later.

They looked at various strategies such as starting with a new cloud and rebuilding apps but this is a good choice for cloud native only, something not feasible for many companies. Greenfield can be done, starting again, but yet this is another environment to manage with upfront investment. Unsurprisingly they suggest using vSphere as the cornerstone of your infrastructure. Use software defined storage with hyperconverged/VVOLs and NSX for networking. Having a single platform makes it much easier to automate and orchestrate.

A great quote was given “Automation=Speed, Orchestration=Control”.

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VMworld EU 2015 Buzz: VMware CTO Panel – CTO6630

October 29th, 2015 No comments

Adding some more colour to the highlights from my VMworld Europe 2015 coverage:

Guido Appenzeller – Chief Technology Strategy Officer of Networking & Security, VMware, Inc.
Joe Baguley – CTO EMEA, VMware
Paul Strong – VP & CTO Global field, VMware

Ray O’Farrell was sick so couldn’t make it, hope he gets well!

My notes, hard to encapsulate as it was a pretty broad discussion!

Paul Strong led the panel and went through each CTO and asked about their role

Guido: NSX.

Joe: EVO:Rail, IoT and unikernels

Paul: Connecting R&D to partners and customers. integration back into R&D

Guido: Networking previously virtually integrated (same stack) unlike servers. Networking sales model changing to be like servers.

Local switching is easy, future is all about global connectivity with security built in.

Joe: talking about second effect, for example having virtualised networking, what will that mean, like cars being the enabler for Walmart which couldn’t exist without people being able to drive to out of town Walmarts yet the invention of the car couldn’t have predicted Walmart.

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VMworld EU 2015 Buzz: Panel: Enterprise Architecture for Cloud Native Applications – CNA5379

October 29th, 2015 No comments

Adding some more colour to the highlights from my VMworld Europe 2015 coverage:

2015-10-14 11.01.25EMEA CTO Joe Baguley led the discussions with Martijn Baecke, Aaron Sweemer, Chris Sexsmith and Robbie Jerrom all from VMware which was to highlight VMware’s vision for next generation application development and hosting. The chat went through micro-services, 12 factor apps and how they could be deployed using PaaS and/or containers.

HA & FT are no longer needed. No resilience in infrastructure is required but pushed to the developers to create. This then becomes everyone’s responsibility to coordinate which isn’t an easy thing to do, I see more passing the buck!

There was some background on how agile makes things faster.

There was an interesting discussion for a typical use case for enterprise applications in that there’s no way you can make the entire application cloud native. There may be backend databases for example or even customer records on a mainframe which will never reach the cloud native world. Joe mentioned he is seeing a lot of traction for changing the middle of a 3 tier app so not messing with the back-end or the front end but breaking apart all the middleware into microservices to make them more efficient. Going cloud native for an application doesn’t have to mean going all in.

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VMworld EU 2015 Buzz: The VMworld Store

October 28th, 2015 No comments

Adding some more colour to the highlights from my VMworld Europe 2015 coverage:

VMworld Store

I had a look at what was for sale in the VMworld Store.

There were also numerous book signings during the week so attendees could get their favourite tech tomes signed by the celebrity authors! 😉

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Categories: VMware, VMworld Tags: , ,

VMworld EU 2015 Buzz: Day 2 General Session Thoughts

October 28th, 2015 No comments

Adding some more colour to the highlights from my VMworld Europe 2015 coverage:

Day 2 kicked off after breakfast with again sort of a repeat of the VMworld US keynote kicked off by the engaging Sanjay Poonam, the EUC boss.

Sanjay has really lit a fire under VMware’s EUC, started talking about the amazing effect of smartphones, AirWatch is the tech company VMware bought which now manages mobile devices (and future IoT) but Windows 10 support is the big news as announced at VMworld US. This will bring together mobile and PC management which could be very attractive for enterprises.

Announced Boxer acquisition which is simple, secure access to email, content and apps.

The Boxer team, which will join the AirWatch team, has developed a mature personal information management (PIM) solution for enterprises that offers a container approach to mobile application management and security. Boxer has partnered with industry leaders and supports market leading productivity, enterprise and social networking solutions including Box, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Gmail, iCloud, Salesforce, Twitter, Outlook and Yahoo, just to name a few.

Rory Clements, Solutions Engineering Director for EUC then went through the same demo that Microsoft came on stage for in the US version and demoed AirWatch managing Windows 10 as well as using App Volumes on physical as part of Project A2

Single sign-on across multiple devices and applications (over 40) with AirWatch.

Sanjay and Rory then showed a windows application remoted on a Tesla and then the mixing of AirWatch and NSX network security.

Sanjay then tried to get the crowd chanting “EUC will Rock You” with the backing of some drummers!

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Categories: Cloud, EUC, VDI, VMware, VMworld Tags: , ,