Archive for August, 2016

VMworld US 2016: The Day 2 Buzz

August 31st, 2016 No comments

61-GpznI vmworld-2016-interim-splash-new-v04-q60

Day 2 General Session: Competitive Advantage in the Multi-Cloud Era – Connecting
People, Apps & Data to Propel your Business Forward. [GS-TUE]

VMware’s energetic Sanjay Poonen who is EVP & GM for End User Computer and has also taken on the role of Global Marketing head honcho kicked off the day 2 keynote. Initial talk about “digital transformation”. I still can’t believe in this day and age we need to highlight this but I’m sure its a nod to CxOs who still need to drive digital into their businesses. I suppose working in IT, I have a blinkered view of this and assume “digital” is obvious. Sanjay used this to highlight VMware’s proposition to make the data-center cloud ready and prepare end users for the mobile-cloud era.

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Any Cloud

Sanjay highlighted again the “Any Cloud, Any Device, Any Application” an obvious change from last year’s “One Cloud….” which when I heard it last year seemed daft, no-one was ever thinking of using a single cloud. He highlighted the existing partnerships with Microsoft, Apple and Google (note, not AWS).


Workplace ONE

This lead into Workplace One, VMware’s EUC focused suite of applications, the idea to bring apps and identity together, unified desktop and mobile management, security everywhere.

Sanjay went through a few demos of parts of the apps, Workday which is an HR app, Box which is a email and calendar app, showing how you can annotate docs live from file repositories like Dropbox. You can see contacts from AD.

Stephanie Buscemi, EVP from Salesforce came on stage to demo what the view from a phone would be like for a Sales Manager which uses the Workloace ONE single sign-on.

20160830_161822517_iOSFree Fusion/Workstation

Free licenses for everyone with the VMworld app for VMware Fusion / Workstation, a nice touch.


Then the keynote moved onto VMware AirWatch which is for endpoint management, mobile, VDI, PC and even IoT. He reiterated the huge number of partners they work with in this space.

Conditional Access

Next up was a demo of Conditional Access which is part of Workspace ONE. This was actually quite cool, its a native data loss prevention (DLP) capability so when something from a financial information spreadsheet was copied into the clipboard, the figure couldn’t be pasted into Twitter. You can also integrate NSX into this kind of scenario to dissalow access to some company information from external networks.



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Categories: VMware, VMworld Tags: , ,

VMworld US 2016: The Day 1 Buzz

August 30th, 2016 No comments


VMworld TV has a preview of VMworld


Day 1 General Session

imageThis is VMware’s opportunity to articulate its strategy and help us understand where it is heading. I was not expecting too much technical information but rather some announcement highlights and a sense of how relevant VMware is in a rapidly changing cloud world. The theme of this year’s show is “be_Tomorrow” rather than 2015s “Ready for Any”. So, are we moving from a sort of getting ready for something phase to actually deploying the technology our future businesses can use?

CEO Pat Gelsinger started talking about his perspective on the industry of digital business (does anyone ever talk about analogue business!?) and of course on the state of the cloud. Poor Pat was recovering from a foot injury 10 weeks ago and still had to walk around the stage for 90 minutes.

The keynote had lots of customer references starting with GE and CVS pharmacy.

Pat then went through some figures showing cloud adoption. The forecast is 50% cloud usage (public and private) by 2021 and 50% public cloud adoption by 2030. I still wonder how people work out whether they actually have a private cloud. IoT was also mentioned, there will be 18 billion devices connected by 2020. Cloud IT is permeating the business and the physical world with IoT.

So, on to the announcements. I’ll be honest, I don’t think they did a great job articulating the why of what they are announcing. VMware has two issues which it is trying to work around. It has a portfolio that is difficult and expensive to integrate, this is hampering adoption of for example vRealize and also NSX. Secondly, VMware is seen as less relevant in the public cloud space due to a very traditional operating model for vCloud Air and a ever changing technology stack for its cloud software.

I find the terms used and sometimes products delivered over the years don’t necessarily build on each other and it feels like VMware is having to change tack a little too often. I will go further to say I believe the less than hoped for uptake of actual private cloud deployment rather than just standard virtualisation is directly due to the complexity of deploying VMware’s automation and cloud management platforms. Having both vCloud Director as well as vRealize as competing yet sometimes complimentary offerings has been crazy. If I had to ask how long would it take for you to set up a private cloud using VMware technologies, what would you say? I’m rambling I see, I’ll hopefully have more time to expand later.

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So, onto the announcements.

VMware Cloud Foundation

VMware Cloud Foundation is a “VMware’s unified Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) platform for the private and public cloud”. Their words not mine obviously. This bundles together vSphere, VSAN and NSX into an integrated stack to solve the deployment pain customers currently have.


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VMworld US 2016: The Day 0 Buzz

August 29th, 2016 No comments





20160828_043310438_iOSI arrived late last night from London to hot Las Vegas just in time to join up with the VMware community at #vBeers, was great see catch up with the great community.


One of the best ways I’ve found to beat jetlag is to get active in the morning which helps to shock the body clock into submission! I thoroughly enjoyed meeting up again this year with the assembled #vFit crew for a run past the Vegas sights.

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Next up was activity reversal.  I had planned to head to the obligatory #vBreakfast to sample that great staple of Americana, the humble pancake, laced in everything that’s bad for you yet so delicious however I was a little late so went elsewhere.

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HOL-1730-USE-2 – Cloud Native Apps With Photon Platform

    I then had to time head back and take one of the Hands-On-Labs and you can get set up quicker using your own laptop with a BYOD option.

20160828_182236965_iOSThese are the opening times for the week:

07:00AM – 06:00PM  Sunday, August 28
10:30AM – 06:00PM  Monday, August 29
10:30AM – 06:00PM  Tuesday, August 30
08:00AM – 05:00PM  Wednesday, August 31
08:00AM – 03:00PM  Thursday, September 1

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Categories: VMware, VMworld Tags: , ,

Restoring DevOps to Infrastructure with Actifio

August 23rd, 2016 No comments

As Enterprises integrate DevOps into more of their development lifecycles they start to bump up against some of the practicalities of managing data. A major tenet of DevOps is being able to ship code quicker to give you that edge against your competitors. It may be fast to write code and a continuous integration pipeline and continuous deployment capability allows you to take that new code, test it and push it out to production in an automated and repeatable fashion.

DevOps and Data

Data however is often one of the speed bumps that causes all this fancy CI/CD to slow to a crawl. If your developers need to test their small change against a large chunk of data you need to somehow have access to this data. Creating copies of databases or files is usually slow and inefficient, a time consuming process that negates most of the speedy DevOps cleverness you’ve done for your code writing.

I’ve worked on numerous projects where a robocopy/rsync was run weekly over the weekend to refresh the 100s of GBs UAT and DEV environment from production data, taking in effect three copies of production. This could only run at the weekend due to the size of the transfer and the impact on the underlying storage and network. One solution had to have the database down during the copy which meant the production one couldn’t even be used for a few hours over the weekend while the copy happened. Put that in your DevOps pipeline and smoke it!

Some storage vendors are able to work around some of the speed problem by being able to mount snapshots but Actifio has a very interesting, slick and more comprehensive solution. Actifio presented at a recent Tech Field Day 11 event.

The DevOps capabilities of Actifio are part of a far bigger solution which they call Copy Data Virtualisation. I previewed the solution in my pre-event post: Tech Field Day 11 Preview: Actifio

Basically you can create multiple copies of data very quickly without creating as many physical copies of the data. These copies can be used for multiple things, backups, analytics, compliance, forensics, DR, migrations etc. as well as DevOps.

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Categories: Storage, Tech Field Day, TFD11 Tags: , ,

Crowdsourcing Community Knowledge with CloudPhysics

August 22nd, 2016 No comments

Image result for cloudphysicsCloudPhysics is a SaaS based solution for sucking up all your on-premises vSphere metadata into its own data lake and performing any number of analytics crunching on it.

The Cloud Physics offering is built upon a system of displaying cards where you can correlate configuration and/or performance information to show you for example datastore utilisation or iSCSI LUNs.

One of the interesting aspects of CloudPhysics is how they can actively monitor the bloggosphere to crowd-source knowledge to help its customers. There are a whole bunch of built in cards which customers can use to report on their environments but something I didn’t realise was that CloudPhysics can also monitor blogs for issues plaguing vSphere environments. If the investigation involves gathering data from your vSphere deployment, CloudPhysics likely has that data already.

At its recent Tech Field Day 11 presentation, CloudPhysics showed how information from fellow delegate Andreas Lesslhumer’s blog which was about tracking down whether a vSphere Changed Block Tracking (CBT) bug which breaks backups affected you. CloudPhysics was able to code the information Andreas wrote about into a new card which customers could then use to report on their own infrastructure, so much easier than writing the code to gather the information yourself.

This could be even more important if you are not even aware of the bug. CloudPhysics or even any user can scan the VMware Knowledge Base as well as many other blogs and write a card to tell you for example that with the exact version of vSphere you are running on some or all of your hosts whether an issue affects you. Of course this wouldn’t apply to you if you were continually scanning all the official and community sites for all bugs reported and able to report on them! Thought you weren’t, well CloudPhysics may have your back.

I would have loved to have had this a few years ago when I had spent ages correlating vSphere versions with HP/Broadcom/Emulex Nic card drivers and firmware to track down the too many issues that plagued the HP Virtual Connect blade chassis networking at the time. I wrote a PowerCLI script which invoked Putty and SSH to connect to each ESXi host to gather the firmware version so I could check the support matrix, it was time consuming and cumbersome. CloudPhysics would have made this so much easier. I could have used the Developer Edition to create my own cards so much quicker and then this could have been made available to others by publishing it to the Card Store.

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