Archive for the ‘VMware’ Category

VMworld US 2016 Buzz: Chatting to Satyam Vaghani from PernixData/Nutanix

September 12th, 2016 No comments

Adding some more colour to the highlights from my VMworld US 2016 coverage:

I luckily managed to bump into PernixData CTO Satyam Vaghani who had just been on theCUBE talking about his companies acquisition by Nutanix.

Satyam was gracious enough to talk and hear my ramblings, so I’m not quoting him here, all my words! I think it is good tech for Nutanix to acquire, I believe Pernix was caught between two technology shifts, they solved the traditional storage speed problem but the fast rise of Flash and it being good enough meant Pernix’s tech wasn’t needed. Remember however that Pernix also does the same clever caching for memory but we’re not ready yet with applications that can take advantage of this so Pernix didn’t have the time to stand alone until its tech found it next incarnation as a super fast memory cache tier so had to sell.

I hope culturally they work out a fit as they are very different companies. I would presume they’re looking at porting Pernix FVP to run on AHV which is very heavily modified KVM and the Architect product is an immediate fit for storage analytics especially for Nutanix’s push into business critical applications. Where I see the future with Nutanix’s aim to make clouds invisible is being able to store your VM data off-prem in some cloud and being able to run the VMs on-prem using Pernix as the caching layer. You can take advantage of public cloud backups / DR / etc. at a storage layer yet have on-prem compute which can be run from anywhere.

Ex- Pernix’s Frank Denneman also announced he is “going home” back to VMware. Satyam is heading to Nutanix, they could use his deep smarts with how ESXi storage works, no idea if he’s planning on staying for the long term or has the itch to do his own thing again. I wish them both luck, they’re awesome people!

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VMworld US 2016 Buzz: Cloud Native Buzzwords (Demystified) for Dummies – CTO7964

September 12th, 2016 No comments

Adding some more colour to the highlights from my VMworld US 2016 coverage:

Quickly off to this excellently titled presentation from VMware’s Massimo Re Ferre’ who’s an Open Source PM. Massimo is one of the voices of reason in the industry with excellent perspective on the reality of global IT. He had an awesome t-shirt saying BADaaS!

20160830_213632504_iOS_thumb1He went through the transition from traditional application development and why applications are being re-architected to allow faster development time. DevOps being the enabler for this.

He explained how the infrastructure requirements are being encoded in Infrastructure as Code with the developer also being responsible for running it in production.  Monitoring, scaling, scheduling, placement are now becoming operational issues that developers need to take into account.

Massimo then went through the definition for cloud native applications, talking about pets vs. cattle.

He went through the containers vs/and VMs debate and did say you need to switch your bias/politic filter to to go through the discussions or spend a weekend watching twitter.

He dissected Docker != Containers with an explanation of what Docker does as the engine which provides a mechanism to instantiate the code in a container shipped as a Docker image, the code being written in a Dockerfile.

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VMworld US 2016 Buzz: Hot Topics in VMware Research – CTO9406

September 12th, 2016 No comments

Adding some more colour to the highlights from my VMworld US 2016 coverage:

I then heard from VMware’s Senior Director for R&D, Chris Ramming as well as Chief Research Officer, David Tennenhouse who were joined by Michael Wei and Mihai Budiu who are researches


I had heard from David last year at VMworld so was interested to see what additional things they saw as important areas of research. VMware has always been heavily research focused having been born out of Stanford University where the original VMware software was conceived. VMware has always had a strong link with the academic community.

David reported back over the past year where they had talked about consistency at scale and they have had great success for realising strong consistency & massive scale.


Then Michael Wei spoke about Corfu which is an open source distributed open scale platform. He went through how a typical application becomes  distributed which leads to a whole bunch of tools to get this working. Corfu is meant to solve this by being a distributed shared log with strong consistency for massive scale. Corfu objects are in-memory, highly available data structures and are being baked initially into NSX to provide a much more scalable and flexible control plane. They are also researching new programming models to be able to take advantage of this.

Corfu OneData is a new project using this platform for BigData. This provides a common Big Data store but still using native Hadoop/MySQL/Cassandra etc. APIs

Read more about Corfu here:

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VMworld US 2016 Buzz: VMware Internet of Things Strategy Unveiled – CTO9018

September 12th, 2016 No comments

Adding some more colour to the highlights from my VMworld US 2016 coverage:

I headed off to catch the rest of this spotlight IoT session. It was presented by Ravishankar Chamarajnagar and Mimi Spier from VMware’s IoT division

I managed to get a quick update on the beginning which was how companies are starting to invest heavily in IoT to be able to create a new market and be first movers. Companies are however facing challenges in scaling out and supporting IoT with having to manage IoT things and devices with the usual security, configuration and monitoring concerns.

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Ravishankar and Mimi then outlined VMware’s new IoT strategy which uses parts of NSX for networking as well as AirWatch for managing the endpoints with the themes of: Manage Broader, Innovate Faster, Protect Better and Operate Smarter.

They went through some of the customer use cases such as:

Retail:  Coke vending machines being managed via AirWatch

Medical: Medical devices located inside bodies with associated patient management

Connected retail: personal connections for marketing to customers and using cameras to analyse shopping patterns

Connected car: manage cars by providing new services and software upgrades, collect telemetry data from vehicles.

VMware IoT Project Ice

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VMworld US 2016 Buzz: Day 2 General Session Thoughts

September 12th, 2016 No comments

Adding some more colour to the highlights from my VMworld US 2016 coverage:

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 Workplace ONE single sign-on.

I get the feeling we’ve see the same story for a while now, I’m hoping the integration is is becoming more substantial than just skin deep.


Free Fusion/Workstation

Free licenses for everyone with the VMworld app for VMware Fusion / Workstation, a nice touch although apparently someone posted a code online so the whole world could grab it and the promo had to be halted by the end of the conference!


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. The days of enterprises relying on anti-virus and firewalls to block the leaking of sensitive information are so far gone, DLP is going to so much more important.



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VMworld US 2016 Buzz: Day 1 General Session Thoughts

September 9th, 2016 No comments

Adding some more colour to the highlights from my VMworld US 2016 coverage:

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.

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VMworld US 2016 Buzz: NSX – The Network Bridge to the Multi-cloud Future – NET9989-S

September 9th, 2016 No comments

Adding some more colour to the highlights from my VMworld US 2016 coverage:

20160829_214837526_iOSI then attended a session to expand on the Day 1 announcements around NSX connecting multiple clouds together.

The session was run by VMware Chief Technology Strategy Officer, Guido Appenzeller and customer Isao Eguchi from Nomura Research Institute.

The session went through how networking is changing to support tomorrow’s applications, multiple hypervisors, multiple clouds, multiple platform architectures. Guido mentioned the first change is the software independence from hardware. He used the analogy of the PC which had a motherboard from Dell, CPU from Intel and OS from Microsoft. This hasn’t happened in networking until now. Network virtualisation is part of this disaggregation by being able to run software in the hypervisor.

The second change is the evolution of the application, applications today run as distributed systems. He went through the sales pitch that you still need a hypervisor for containers.

The future for NSX is connecting public and private clouds and running traditional and cloud native applications.


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VMworld US 2016 Buzz: VMs, Containers, and Mega-Clouds: Connecting the Dots – MGT10599-S

September 9th, 2016 No comments

Adding some more colour to the highlights from my VMworld US 2016 coverage:

VMs, Containers, and Mega-Clouds: Connecting the Dots [MGT10599-S]

I’ve been getting more involved in containers recently and so am wanting to hear more about how to navigate the choices of where to run containers.

VMware’s Cloud Management BU Boss Ajay Singh was joined by customers Marshall Holloway from SAIC and Campbell McClean from Bharti Airtel to share some of their cloud journey decisions.

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Ajay had a picture (photoshopped obviously) showing him as a developer!

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Campbell was  particularly good customer presenter who mentioned they were in the middle of transitioning all their customer facing to apps to containers.

Marshall said SAIC train dolphins for the military! He also had a nice way to explain what they need from a container management perspective. “We need a conveyer belt that disciplines containers”. This was the message echoing what VMware is trying to be seen as, the grown up enterprise infrastructure on which you should run containers. I would have liked to see a bit more explanation as to what VMware products SAIC was using for its containers management other than NSX. NSX may be the glue but is the choice of VMware technology based on a networking decision rather than a container management decision?

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Project Admiral

We then had a tech preview of a new container management solution called Project Admiral which is a container management extension for vRealize Automation where you can automate the deployment of container hosts as well as containers. These can then be fed into blueprints to deploy any number of solutions and obviously tie into NSX etc.

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Then we also had a demo of what looks like a great visualisation tool for NSX, we saw how you can trace flows trough the virtual as well as physical networks and look at network utilisation pretty pictures!

I’ve said numerous times the term hybrid cloud is limiting when we are really talking about multi-clouds so I was happy to hear Campbell and Marshall talk about the multi-cloud, hybrid application future.

VMworld2016 has made the recording of many sessions publicly available but not this one it seems.

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VMworld US 2016 Buzz: Secure Digital Workspace of the Future: Embracing the Opportunities Presented by Enterprise Mobility in Financial Services – EUC9160

September 9th, 2016 No comments

Adding some more colour to the highlights from my VMworld US 2016 coverage:

20160829_230134828_iOSThis was a session I was interested in as it covers the financial services industry where I currently work and also had my fellow London VMUGer , Simon Gallagher, presenting who I know has been doing a fairly extensive EUC deployment.

Manasee Dash and Harry Labana from VMware hosted with Matt Casper from Prudential, Simon Gallagher from UBS and Billy Matkovich from First Data.

Any project, particularly EUC which covers a raft of VMware, Microsoft and Citrix technologies is going to be hard work and I know Simon has his work cut out for him.

The panelists talking about being on the 3rd version of their evolving VDI platform, trying to give the impression of persistent desktops but delivered by non-persistent desktops.

The session was to talk about the shift in how financial companies are operating now from not just workstations but a user device perspective with smart phones, tablets and laptops used by remote/travelling workers and even entire remote branches.

Employees want smartphone connectivity to enterprise apps and data yet enterprises need to keep it all available, secure and cost effective. Financial companies are under some fairly strict regulations which impact how they can do IT.

What was interesting was hearing how all of the companies are using VDI in some form not to just necessarily have a VDI deployment a but rather a single deployment model for local and remote workers. This may cost more than a physical desktop on a desk but gives them more flexibility.

One of the points was being able to be efficient with a deployment model by using non-persistent desktops yet providing a persistent desktop experience so you are not hampering your staff with a poor experience. App-V and App Volumes AppStacks were the tools of choice on top of VDI.

The balance is creating a VDI environment that is manageable at scale without reducing functionality to still give that usable experience.

As VMworld2016 has made the recording publicly available, you can view the session here:

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VMworld US 2016 Buzz: Ask the vCenter Server Experts Panel – INF9083

September 9th, 2016 No comments

Adding some more colour to the highlights from my VMworld US 2016 coverage:

I had the opportunity to hear more about vCenter from an expert panel.

20160829_192727252_iOSThe panel consisted of all VMware employees including vCenter R&D Director, Dilpreet Bindra, Technical Marketing’s Ryan Johnson and SDDC Integration Architect Blair Fritz as well as TMs Emad Younis and Adam Eckerle who I have met a number of times.

The session started going through the evolution of vCenter Server. They asked for a show of hands of who was running the VCSA and I would think 70% of the attendees said they were which surprised the panel (in a good way!). There was talk of further development of a migration tool for moving from 5.5 on Windows to the VCSA for vSphere 6.0 Update 2. They couldn’t say when it will be available but hinted it will be soon.

Also talking HA for vCenter, they are working on the Active/Passive HA for vCenter but did also mention that the ultimate plan is an Active/Active vCenter. That’s something I didn’t know, can’t wait!

As this was interactive, there were many questions, mainly about migrations and deployments but people generally happy with the VCSA. One of the quotes from the panel to a performance question was “We’re working on pretty awesome performance things for VCSA.”

I have to say this session came across so much better than last year’s group discussion. I don’t know if it was just a change in people presenting but I really had the feeling that customer pain points were being looked at and vCenter limitations were acknowledged rather than dismissed. I can see there has been more of a focus for vCenter and have heard separately there is work going on to fix some of the basics. We can see more rapid releases with nearly weekly updates to the beta HTML5 Web Client. I still think vCenter has a (long) way to go and needs a design rethink but at least I see a future when a year ago I had lost some faith.

I will be writing some more about the good changes I’m hearing about happening within VMware.

As VMworld2016 has made the recording publicly available, you can view the session here:

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