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Virtualisation Field Day 4 Preview: CommVault

January 8th, 2015 No comments

Virtualisation Field Day 4 is happening in Austin, Texas from 14th-16th January and I’m very lucky to be invited as a delegate.

I’ve been previewing the companies attending, have a look at my introductory post: Virtualisation Field Day 4 Preview.

CommVault

Commvault is a data company (what backup companies also now call themselves) and has previously presented at Virtualization Field Day 3 and Tech Field Day 9.

Calling Commvault just a backup company isn’t a little disparaging as their software aims to do a lot more and rather like to think of themselves as providing information management. Sure, backing up and restoring data is important but there are a lot more reasons why you need to keep a copy of your data. You may need to keep an email archive for compliance reasons, journal instant messages from your traders for legal reasons so your lawyers have evidence to sift through or securely store x-rays for a long period of time. Archives, journaling, backups, reporting, legal discovery all rolled into one. It can suck in a whole bunch of stuff from end point laptops to mobile devices across physical, virtual, cloud, database, file, email, unix, Mac and windows. It has broad reach without the dreary and clunky legacy of TSM and NetBackup and although not as sexy, simple or targeted as Veeam, can do a lot more.

Their product is called Simpana and their trick is to have a single code base for integrating the backup and information management so you only need to store one deduplicated copy to be able to do a whole lot with it. This data repository is called the Content Store. Obviously backups need multiple copies to be spread around for protection and you can do that.

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Virtualisation Field Day 4 Preview: StorMagic

January 8th, 2015 No comments

Virtualisation Field Day 4 is happening in Austin, Texas from 14th-16th January and I’m very lucky to be invited as a delegate.

I’ve been previewing the companies attending, have a look at my introductory post: Virtualisation Field Day 4 Preview.

 

StorMagic_Monogram_Black_CMYK

StorMagic has an interesting product called SvSAN which is a SAN specifically designed for remote offices which require local IT infrastructure that can’t be delivered remotely. StorMagic has previously presented at Storage Field Day 6.

Many companies need to run critical applications at what StorMagic call edge sites yet still require high availability. Think retail with PoS everywhere, manufacturing with numerous distributed sites, oil rigs, ships, manufacturing, in fact any company with a distributed geographic footprint. SvSAN can be managed centrally at scale with typically 10-10000 edge sites.

Their software runs as a VSA on vSphere or Hyper-V using local disks and can be clustered with synchronous mirroring using as little as two hosts to provide shared storage to VMs giving them HA/vMotion. You can also use it with stretched clusters. It presents an iSCSI LUN to the hypervisor and can use SSD for cache and target it to particular workloads.

Centralised management is at the cornerstone of StorMagic which you would need for the scale they support. You can deploy SvSAN across multiple sites fairly easily and quickly. The nodes can then continue to be easily managed centrally so you don’t need any local IT staff.

StorMagic doesn’t look like its going to take over the world but it has a solid use case along with a market opportunity and is price competitive. I think it needs some sort of snapshotting and could benefit from a way to replicate data back to head office for backup with some clever deduping. Interested to hear what they have to say.

Gestalt IT is paying for travel, accommodation and things to eat to attend Virtualisation Field Day but aren’t paying a penny for me to write anything good or bad about anyone.

Virtualisation Field Day 4 Preview: VMTurbo

January 8th, 2015 No comments

Virtualisation Field Day 4 is happening in Austin, Texas from 14th-16th January and I’m very lucky to be invited as a delegate.

I’ve been previewing the companies attending, have a look at my introductory post: Virtualisation Field Day 4 Preview.

VMTurboLogoSm[4]

VMTurbo presented at the last Virtualisation Field Day 3 with an update at the VMworld SFO compact edition so the Tech Field Day community know what they are about.

VMTurbo has an application called Operations Manager (bland name IMO). VM management is a very crowded market even harder to penetrate when vendors have their own offerings (VMware with vRealize Ops previously VCOPS and Microsoft with SCOM).

VMTurbo differentiates itself with an interesting take by modelling your data center as an economic market. VMs need resources and can be thought of as buyers of what they need be it CPU, RAM, IO, latency etc. Your infrastructure is the seller offering up goods to satisfy the sellers. This means everything can be associated with a price and can use the economic laws of supply and demand to set prices. As resources are more utilised and become scarce, their price goes up for the VMs so they should shop around for a better price where there is more supply capacity and therefore lower prices. This economic model allows VMTurbo to solve the problem of where to run VMs. This also translates directly into reporting on cost/benefits and an opportunity cost framework that seems very interesting.

Now economics are incredibly complex, just ask the financial wizards to despite thinking they knew everything let the market crash beneath them.

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vFactor, the BIG prize London VMUG 10 minute presentation competition on 22 Jan 15

December 12th, 2014 No comments

As a regular London VMUG attendee and sometime presenter I am more than aware of the value of having community presentations. Sure, the VMware and vendor presentations are very useful but its the in the field, real-world, warts and all, non-marketing,nothing to sell, tell it like it is presentations that are often the most interesting.

In fact casting my mind back over many years of VMUGs, there are some outstanding vendor presentations I remember but to be honest most of the memorable ones have been from community members sharing their stories.

You may think, I’ve got nothing to say, my project isn’t big/important/valuable enough.

This is where you are misguided my dear VMUG friend. Sharing your stories, of that botched migration, bug in a PowerShell script, faulty unreliable firmware, vendor promises that aren’t kept as well as the awesome little trick you found, hardware hack you performed, cable splicing, .vib hacking, batch file busting success story is what we really really want to hear because if you don’t let us know, there’s no one else who will.

A full presentation of 45-50 minutes is daunting, I know, I’ve done a few and it is a lot of preparation work but how about 10 minutes?

You probably spent way more time than 10 minutes explaining your project to your colleagues/wife/kids  so why not do it at a VMUG?

You don’t need to be an expert, guru or superman, just have a story to share and a little bit of help to give.

You may be nervous standing up in front of a crowd, well do it sitting down ;-) Seriously, you will not be judged or have tomotoes thrown at you and will be supported and encouraged through whatever nervousness you may have.

If I’ve managed to encourage you to get over your apprehension, the London VMUG has put its hands in its pocket and is enticing you with some pretty amazing prizes if you take part in vFactor which is a competition for 5 x 1st time VMUG presenters who are end users and can doll out 10 minutes of their wisdom on a virtual cloudy related topic on 22nd January at the next VMUG meeting.

The prizes are pretty incredible:

  • 1st Prize: MacBook Air
  • 2nd Prize: iPad Air
  • 3rd Prize: iPad Mini
  • 4th Prize: Amazon voucher
  • 5th Prize: Amazon voucher

Head on over to http://tinyurl.com/vFACTORLONDON to submit your idea before 19 December.

 

 

 

Categories: VMUG, VMware Tags: ,

UKVMUG: The unofficial lowdown on everything announced at VMworld

November 18th, 2014 No comments

vmug-logoI have had the pleasure today of presenting at the 4th annual UK VMware User Group conference at the National Motorcycle Museum in Solihull near Birmingham.

I did a whirlwind tour of everything that was announced at VMworld and believe me, there was a huge amount. OK, so no major release which is the norm (but plenty of teasers) but enough other things going on in the VMware space to fill more than a UKVMUG! I know, I’ve done the research! Even though I was at VMworld US, so much was going on that I didn’t appreciate all the new shiny things being announced and once you start getting down to the nitty gritty of everything, you will be amazed at how much is going on.

I really didn’t have time to go through everything in detail so the presentation acts as an independently curated jumping off point for you to find out more information about the announcements that matter to you. You may not care particularly about hyper-converged or OpenStack so you can flick through the slides and then head off to continue your explorations.

Thanks for having me UKVMUG!

Here’s the presentation:

Nominate a Non-Profit for Nutanix’s $500k Web-scale Wish Datacenter Makeover

November 13th, 2014 No comments

Nutanix has initiated a rather big, bold and generous program to donate to a non-profit organisation $500,000 in data center infrastructure.

The program is called Web-scale Wish and the community will get to choose the non-profit who wins the Grand Prize makeover which is made up of:

  • three Nutanix NX-3050 nodes
  • three Ultimate Software Licenses
  • three years of Nutanix Platinum Plus support
  • two-day on-site installation service by Nutanix

Anyone can nominate an organisation they feel would benefit and nominations are open until Friday November 21st. There are so many non-profit organisations doing such amazing work but often the benefits of a modern IT infrastructure are just a dream and certainly way out of reach financially for organisations committing their finances to helping others.

There are some requirements to be met from the non-profit to be considered:

  • Be a non-profit, non-partisan organisation based in the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand or the United Kingdom
  • Have a currently working data center that could benefit from web-scale converged infrastructure
  • Be able to complete and meet Environment Assessment criteria

All the submissions will be initially judge and I’m honoured to be one of the community judges along with Stu Miniman,Douglas Brown,Michael Webster and Steve Greenberg.

The final three organisations we select will then be featured in a virtual event on Wednesday, December 10 where the entire community will have the opportunity to vote to determine the Grand Prize recipient.

This is a fantastic initiative where you can help Nutanix make a real IT difference to a non-profit you care about that needs an IT makeover and I am very proud they’ve asked me to help with the judging.

Head over to http://www.webscalewish.com/ to nominate your non-profit.

Categories: VMware Tags: ,

UK VMUG 2014, VMworld enhanced!

November 7th, 2014 No comments

The fantastic National UK VMUG is being held at the National Motorcycle Museum near Birmingham on Tuesday 18th November (note it’s a Tuesday, not the normal Thursday).

This isn’t just your run of the mill, normal VMUG (if there is such a thing!) and has been seriously enhanced over the already phenomenal 2013 version. What takes it to another level is the content that you can’t even get at VMworld…and remember, it’s free!

See the full agenda here. Sign up NOW!

The opening keynote is by VMware EMEA CTO, Joe Baguley who always delivers and as his talk is titled “CTO Rant-as-a-Service”, you can expect an inside look into what Joe sees out in the world and what gets under his skin! Of course he will be punting the VMware SDDC vision but as he talks to people day in and day out, he has a very good idea how the real world of IT works with invaluable insight into how your own company and its competitors actually do IT.

In addition, never before seen at a VMUG as far as I know, is a round table discussion with Joe called “Ask the CTO Anything”.  Seriously can you imagine having direct access to one of VMware’s most senior strategists and being able to ask him anything. Joe isn’t just your strategy marketer with a good stage presence, he’s seriously technical himself so make sure you take advantage of the opportunity.

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Categories: VMUG, VMware, VMworld Tags: , ,

VMworld US 2014: The Day 4 Buzz

August 28th, 2014 No comments

image

 

image Was excellent to have the final Run VMworld this morning although it didn’t feel like it until we started. Thanks to everyone who joined over the week, it was great to meet everyone and chat.

General Session

Today’s General Session isn’t the usual VMware announcement session but named People + Machines: Redefining The Possible featuring three innovators exploring new ways of connecting people and machines.

Jane McGonigal - http://janemcgonigal.com/ who is a designer of alternate reality games and is also an author talked about creating games that bring everyday people together as teammates.

Jane has done a TED talk previously on this topic.

 

Next up was James Patton  – http://www.jamespatten.com/index.php who is an inventor, visual artist & designer and also TED fellow. James basically takes the computer interface off the screen and puts it into your hands.

Here’s James TED Talk.

 

Sean Gourley who is a physicist and Collective Intelligence Researcher and another TED Fellow and Rhodes Scholar. Sean’s work is a collaboration between people and machines, as a way to understanding very complex information. http://seangourley.com/

Here’s Sean’s TED Talk.

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Categories: VMware, VMworld Tags: ,

VMworld US 2014: The Day 3 Buzz

August 28th, 2014 1 comment

image

 

IMG_4906Another Run VMworld with a smaller group of us today. Last night’s parties must have been good!

Meet the Virtual Volumes Product Team

There was no general session today so I started with a group discussion with the Virtual Volumes Product team of Patrick Dirks and Suzy Visvanathan. Groups discussions are smaller groups rather than presentations so there are plenty of audience participation. VMware has been discussing VVols publicly since VMworld 2011. The discussion revolved around the things that VVols is trying to solve and ultimately provide true VM centric storage where you can manage each virtual disk independently rather than lumping them all together in a big LUN where the storage system doesn’t have any visibility. VVols also push more storage processing down to the array with VASA 2. Policy is very central to VVols. Policies are built from capabilities that the array can provide such as replication, encryption and performance guarantees. As with VSAN you don’t provision VMs to a datastore but rat her against a policy. The storage array then decides where physically to place the VM based on the policy rather that you picking a physical datastore yourself.

IMG_4908Some other things that I picked up were:

VADP APIs are fully supported with VVols.

There were concerns about the queue depth for PEs and where performance bottlenecks could be. Array’s won’t necessarily have a single PE, in fact it could dynamically create them on the fly to spread out load and increase performance.

Many partners in the session asking questions to help them with their additional products like backup etc..

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Categories: VMware, VMworld Tags:

VMworld 2014 US: vCloud Automation Center Overview and Glimpse into the Future #MGT2175

August 28th, 2014 No comments

Notes from a VM world session from VMware product managers Nikunj Nemani, Rich Bourdeau and Long Wang.

The session highlighted how the world now very much revolves around applications which are not easy things to manage and deliver in a fast moving cloud world. Apps are often delivered in very siloed manually processes that take forever to commission holding back the business from being able to deliver what they need. The session looked at how IT efficiency is being driven by cloud automation and management with vCAC.

Automation is the catalyst that empowers the SDDC and is the next major efficiency drive within IT.

2013 saw a product consolidation with vCAC 6.0 with a common self-service interface based on policy based governance with automated delivery (their words to play buzz word bingo!)

vCloud Automation Center is now called vRealize Automation which has been built to automate across multi-vendor and multi-cloud infrastructure.

There will be a vRealize Suite available in September consisting of:

  • vCenter Operations Management Suite
  • vCloud Automation Center
  • IT Business Management Suite Standasrd
  • vCenter Log Insight

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Categories: vCenter, vCOPS, VMworld Tags: , , ,