Stories from the VMworld Solutions Exchange: PernixData FVP: The what and installation in the lab.

This year my plan is to write up some blog posts about some of the solutions of the partners at the VMworld Solutions Exchange. Next to VMworld general sessions, technical sessions, hanging space and hands on Labs, an important part of VMworld is the partner eco system at the Solutions Exchange. I have visited the solution exchange floor several times this year (not only for the hall crawl) and I wanted to make a series about some of the companies I spoke with. Some I already know and some are new to me. The series is in absolute no order of importance, but about companies that all offer cool products/solutions and present their solutions with a whole lotta love to help the businesses and technologies getting happy. I have been a bit busy these last couple of weeks so probably a bit later then I first wanted, but here goes…

This time it is about getting familiar with PernixData’s FVP. I have seen enough on the communities and concepts on the big bad Intarweb, I had a chance to see it in real action from some demo’s and the shots in the technical presentations by PernixData (thanks for those sessions guys :-) ). Time to take it for a spin in the test lab. But first a little why and what before the how.

PernixData Logo

What is PernixData FVP?

To know about PernixData FVP you first have to start at the issue that this software solution is trying to solve; IO bottlenecks in the primary storage infrastructure. These IO bottlenecks add serious latency to the application workload the virtual infrastructure is serving out to the users.  Slow responses or unusable applications are a result of these latency issues. This leads to frustrated and suffering end users (which leads to anger and the dark side), but this also creates increased work for the IT department, such as increased help desk calls, troubleshooting/analyze performance issues and extra costs to compensate these troubleshooting (cost in personnel and hardware to patch up the issues). One of the options often used to try and solve the IO puzzle is to add flash, at first mostly to the storage infrastructure as a caching layer or a flash all storage arrays. Flash has microsecond response times and delivers more performance as magnetic spinning disks with their millisecond response times. The problems with adding to the storage infrastructure are high returning costs and not really solving the problem. Sure giving the storage processors faster IO response and more flash capacity will have an improvement of some sort vs traditional storage, but this needs constant investments when the limit is reached again and IO is still far from the workload. The IO still must travel  through the busses, to the host adapter over a network and through the storage
processor to reach the flash, and back the same way for a response of the operation or the requested data. This typically adds some response times where each component adds some handling and their own response time. Not the talk about adding workload to the storage processors with all the additional processing. Flash normally does it’s responses in microseconds. That seems to be a waste.
Okay no problem we add flash to the compute layer at the host. That is close to the application workloads. Yes good, performance needs to cuddle with the workloads. We decouple storage performance and capacity to performance in the host and storage capacity in the traditional storage infrastructure. Only just putting flash in the host does not solve it as a whole. The flash still needs to be presented to the workload and handle locality issues for VM mobility requiremens (fault tolerance, HA, DRS and such). As PernixData is not the only that tries to solve this issue, but some are presenting the local acceleration resources with a VSA (Virtual Storage Appliance) architecture. This in itself introduces yet another layer of complexity and additional IO handling as those appliances act as an intermediate between workload, hypervisor and flash. Furthermore as they are part of a virtual infrastructure they can have to battle with other workloads (that are also using the VSA resources for IO) when needing host resources. We need a storage virtualization layer to solve the mobility issue, optimize IO for flash and need to talk as directly as possible, or need a protection mechanism or smart storage software of some sort for IO appliances (there are some solutions out there that are also handling these). The first is where PernixData FVP comes in play.

PernixData Overview

Architecture

The architecture of FVP is simple. All the intuition, magic and smartness is in the software it self. It uses flash and/or RAM on the host, a host extension on those hosts and a management server component. It currently works only with the VMware hypervisor (a lot of the smart people from PernixData come from previous work at VMware). It can work with backend storage in block (FC, iSCSI) or file (NFS) storage as well as direct attached storage. As long as it is on the VMware HCL.
The host extension is installed as a VMware VIB. The management server requires a Windows server and a database. The management server is installed as a extension to vCenter and uses a service account (with rights to the VMware infrastructure and the database) or a local user (can be SSO only). With the latter it uses local system as the service account.
When adding a second FVP host this host is automatically added to the default fault domain. Default local acceleration is replicated to one peer in the same fault domain (with the Write-Back policy). This works from the box, but you probably will need to match the domains (add you own) and settings to the architecture you are using. The default fault domain cannot be renamed, removed, or given explicit associations.

Installation

After installing the flash or RAM to use for acceleration at the hosts. We can install the host extension with access to the ESXi shell (local or remote with SSH). I downloaded the FVP components and place the zip with the host extension on the local datastore as I’m not installing across a lot hosts. To install a VIB the host must be in maintenance.

# esxcli system maintenanceMode set –enable on
~ # esxcli software vib install -d /vmfs/volumes/datastore1/PernixData-host-exte
nsion-vSphere5.5.0_2.0.0.2-32837.zip
Installation Result
Message: Operation finished successfully.
Reboot Required: false
VIBs Installed: PernixData_bootbank_pernixcore-vSphere5.5.0_2.0.0.2-32837
VIBs Removed:
VIBs Skipped:
~ # esxcli system maintenanceMode set –enable off

Next up is the management server. The Windows installer itself is pretty straightforward. Have a service account, database and access to the database and vCenter inventory for that service account setup beforehand, and you are ready to roll.

Install - FVP Management Server IP-port Install - SQL Express Install - vCenter

When installing with a Web Client the FVP client add on is added when registering with the vCenter. Restart any active session by logging off and logging on and FVP will show up in the object navigator.

Web client Inventory

Next up create your FVP cluster as a transparent IO acceleration tier and associate this with a vCenter cluster of the to accelerate hosts (with the host extension and local resources). The hosts in this cluster will be added to the cluster. With cluster created and the hosts visible in the FVP cluster we add the local acceleration resources (the flash and/or RAM) to use. Next we add datastores and VM’s. Add this level we can set the policies to use. Depending on your environment certain policies will be effect. In the manage advance tab we can blacklist VM’s to be excluded from the acceleration (VADP or other reasons). In the advance tab we can also define which network to use for acceleration traffic. By default FVP automatically chooses a single vMotion network. In the manage advance tab we can also put in the license information or create a support bundle if we ever need one. The manage fault domain tab is not just a clever name, here we can see the default domain and add our own when needed.

Add Flash Devices Add FVP Cluster Fault Domain
The monitoring tab is where you we have the opportunity to look at what your environment is doing. An overview of what FVP is doing is shown in the summary tab. These are great places to get some more insight on what your workloads IO are doing. My test lab is getting the acceleration for the moment it is started.

Monitor Tab Performance results writethrough and writeback two login sessions

I can also show a first write policy versus on a Login VSI workload. (Keep in mind my testlab isn’t that much) LoginVSI-Policies

But that is more something for an other blog post about FVP.

Policies

When an application issues a write IO, the data is committed to the flash device however this data must always be written to the storage infrastructure. The timing of the write operation to the storage infrastructure is controlled by the write policies in FVP. There are two policies to choose from: the write-through and write-back policy.

Write-Through. When a virtual machine application workload issues an IO operation, FVP will determine if it can serve it from flash. When it’s a write IO the write goes straight to the storage infrastructure and the data is copied to the flash device. FVP acknowledges the completion of the operation to the application after it receives the acknowledge from the storage system. In effect write IO’s are not accelerated by the flash devices when selecting this write policy, but all subsequent reads on that particular data are served from flash. The write IO will benefit from the reads acceleration as these read operations/requests are not hitting the storage infrastructure and more resources are available there to serve the write IO.

Write-Back. This policy accelerates both read and write IO. When an virtual machine application workload issues a write IO operation, FVP forwards the command to the flash device. The flash devices acknowledges the write to the application first and then handles the write operation to the storage system in the background. With these delayed write’s we have a situation that for a small time window the data is on the host and not yet written to the backend storage infrastructure. When something happens on the vSphere host, this could end up with data loss. For this replica’s of the data are used. With replica’s the data is forward to the local and one or more remote acceleration devices. This results in the application having flash-level latencies while FVP deals with fault tolerance, and latency/throughput performance levels of the storage infrastructure. 

FVP will allow to set policies on datastores or on a per VM level. You can have an environment where a great number of virtual machines run in write-through mode, while others write-back.

Simple

You notice from the installation and usage of FVP that this product is to give simplicity to it’s operators. Just add some VIB and initial configuration, and your FVP solution is running and showing improvements within a few minutes (when you have some flash/RAM else it’s installing those first). No calculating, sizing and deploying virtual appliances where IO flows through, with FVP it’s extension it is talking to the right place. Yes you will have to have a Windows server for the Management component, but this is out of band of the IO flow.
If you have some experience in the VMware product line and understand the way the PernixData product is setup, the level of entry to using FVP is super low. You just have to familiarize yourself with the way FVP handles your workload performance/IO (the policies, settings and the places to set them), next to actually knowing some of the workloads that you have in the environment and what they are doing with IO. And there FVP can be of assistance as well, next to accelerating your IO workloads it will give you lot’s of insight on what storage IO is doing in your environment by presenting several metrics in the management interface of vSphere. And that’s another big simplicity, integrating seamlessly in one management layer.

 

Sources: pernixdata.com

VMworld Barcelona from the notebook: VMware Strategic Summary

At the VMworld conferences in San Francisco and Barcelona VMware we learned that VMware is continuing the strategic priorities it started almost a year ago. Not a real surprise as the road still has a lot of opportunities but also some bumps to take. These are some of the notes that I crafted during my visit of keynotes, sessions and such at VMworld Barcelona. While there where not mind blowing new technical announcements, it does tell about the ever changing world in which we are and what VMware is bringing to help IT business with these changes and challenges.

The VMware strategic priorities are divided in to three pillars to continue to serve the liquefying IT world. Within this strategies there are no limits, and this was also the theme of VMworld this year is (maybe no limits is not that good for the VMworld parties ;-) ).

As we learned from the keynotes the current IT world is moving from a rigid, known, limited IT environment to a more liquid, unknown, unlimited, accessible from everywhere and every device IT environment. Here new business models are needed where data and applications are presented in a uniform way to the users and the devices they are using.

Strategy - Overview 1

These IT business models need more AND decisions instead of the OR decisions it currently sees. We don’t build the infrastructure for traditional application or cloud applications, on or off-premise, we build the infrastructures for traditional and cloud applications available on and off-premise depending on the users and application requirements. The power of AND. And this also includes for the mentioned VMware strategic pilars where cloud is the returning component in the SDDC, Hybrid Cloud and EUC for cloud mobility. Cloud in all it’s glory, private, hybrid, mobile, cloud applications and public cloud services.

Strategy - Power of AND

Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC)

Continuing to further virtualize the data center from the compute virtualization via flagship vSphere (now in vSphere 6.0 Beta) and continue to virtualize the network (via NSX) and storage (via Virtual SAN/VSAN and Virtual Volumes). This can be done by designing and building your own building blocks (as long those blocks are on the VMware compatibilty matrix), VMware ready partner building blocks optimized for vSphere and Horizon View. Since VMworld VMware introduced another building component, the VMware Hyperconverged Infrastructure Architecture in the form of EVO:RAIL and EVO:RACK (the big brother of EVO:RAIL for cloud scalability). These are complete OEM hardware building blocks combining compute, networking and storage, and VMware vSphere and VSAN ready to go (a somewhat simplified explanation). This reduces deployment times, complexity, optimizes resources and performance for a number of reasons. Rack, cable and create a initial configuration from defined wizards and their configuration. Deploy VM’s in 15 minutes with pre-defined VM configuration blocks. Or create your own VM configuration based on your needs, security and such. This probably takes a little more than the announced 15 minutes, but still significant less time then when using your own building blocks or VMware ready blocks.
A the partner level of news, HP is introduced as partner in EVO:RAIL, networking and enterprise mobillity, exciting what that will bring from the partner eco-sphere.

Strategy - SDDC Compute Strategy - SDDC Network Strategy - SDDC Storage

End-User Computing (EUC) in a Mobile Cloud Era

This is one of the layers needed for providing applications and data that run on VMware software products. In the last year there where several knowledge investments (or takeovers) that where needed to put the VMware EUC mobile cloud strategy in the right place on the IT world map. This started with the acquisition of Desktone for Desktop as a server (DaaS), Airwatch as leader in enterprise mobile device management and the latest Cloud Volumes acquisition for delivering virtualized applications (announced around VMworld US). Next to this VMware updated it’s own product from a VDI to a hybrid VDI published application/desktop product suite with VMware Horizon Suite updates. Additionally VMware announced Just in time Dekstops for the mobile users, Horizon Flex for offline BYOD desktops and Project Fargo for rapid duplication and sharing of resources of EUC virtual machines. 

Hybrid Cloud

Cloud is everywhere. It could be that a strategic model with the Hybrid cloud pilar positioned between SDDC and EUC pilars is a little unclear as it is not a pilar on it’s own (but that is that whole AND that was in Pat’s keynote). The cloud pilar is partly for transition and partly for allowing new cloud related functionality from and outside of the VMware product groups. You can also see this a different way, SDDC and EUC are delivered in the cloud, for the cloud which cloud definition this is. But I can see that a business model and strategy requires a little more then just a theoretical term that is everywhere.
The VMware strategy breaths and revolves about cloud. The cloud is presented in services for the private (the local on-premise data center services in SDDC) and public cloud (the public accesible services and cloud applications). Around this tools to seamlessly as possible move fast from the one cloud to the other without affecting but serving the user. Users move from on premises workspaces, to traveling workers back to the office workspaces and to home. All those places have there devices and infrastructures and all need a form of interaction with the company data and applications. In the private cloud the important products are the SDDC. To move from private to a hybrid cloud VMware earlier introduced vCloud Hybrid Services. This got more body (more services like DB as a Service) and a re-branding to vCloud Air. At VMworld a new location for vCloud Air for the EMEA market was announced, Germany will offer a new vCloud Air location.
This last year the main usage of the hybrid cloud was a Disaster Recovery endpoint and testing and developing. This needs to be expanded in other vCloud services like (but not limited to) virtual private cloud (starting piont for IaaS in the cloud for old and new workloads), DB as a Service (DBaaS MSSQL and MySQL) and further using DRaaS.

The IT business experimental phase of cloud is over, now the professional phase is starting with more and more production workloads are landing on the cloud.The growth of 2% workloads in the cloud in 2009 to 6% in 2014 does not show a lot of cloud adoption, but the exceptional growth in the last year (the 6%) is showing faster cloud adaption. Are you next?

vCloud Air is not only positioned for VMware related workloads, vCloud Air is also meant to host new cloud applications for mobile devices or for legacy applications created in the own DevOps environment. vCloud air is a central platform that allows other hypervisors then just VMware proprietary. 

vCloud connector (free) as a product or integrated with vCloud Director and vRealize Automation (the artist formely known a vCloud Automation Center or vCAC) is one of the tools to move workloads from the private to the vCloud.

vCloud Air Virtual Private on Demand beta is opened. An on demand services to offer flexibility to rapidly expand capacity and to integrate with the existing local infrastructure. A workspace in minutes and within a few easy steps. Direct access to cloud services that are the same as the onsite VMware infrastructure. Just have a credit card ready. Pay per minute for the resources you use. Support for 5000+ VMware certified applications and 90+ OS.

An overview of this and other Beta programs with these announcement can be found at my previous blogpost: https://pascalswereld.nl/2014/10/15/vmworld-barcelona-keynote-mentioned-beta-and-early-access-programs-link-list/.

Docker containers

A combined architecture of VM’s and application containers is nothing new for this VMworld. More and more organizations are rapidly adopting the Docker platform as it allows them to ship applications faster. Whether these applications are delivered to bare metal, virtualized data center, or public cloud infrastructures, it must not matter. For IT businesses seeking to efficiently build, deliver, and run enterprise applications, Docker and VMware deliver the best of both worlds for developers and IT/operations teams. Docker integration is brought to several VMware products.

Cloud management

Management of the private and public cloud, or physical environments, is delivered via the vRealize suite. vRealize is a suite of management tools for SDDC computer, network and storage virtualization, cloud and EUC (vRealize for Horizon). vRealize is a collection partly from re-branding and new features of old known components. Application and infrastructure automated provisioning is done via vRealize Automation (formally known as vCloud Automation Center or vCAC), management and monitoring is done via vRealize Operations (vCenter Operations Management) and IT billing and cost management is done via vRealize Business (ITBM, or IT Business Management). Not just a new name but also improved visualization, proactive alerting, improved capacity planning, project management with what-if scenario’s and automated resolving of found issues. Not just for the VMware products but also provisioning and management of physical or other hypervisor platforms as Hyper-V, KVN or OpenStack clouds. 

Announcement overview Strategy - SDDC Management

 

+++ Are you ready to go beyond your current limits?

Looking to find more information on VMware products, take a start here: http://www.vmware.com/products/?src=vmw_so_vex_pheld_277.

Next up I will be drafting from my VMworld notes some posts about product demo’s and technical briefings from my multiple visits to the partner ecosphere at the VMworld solutions exchange. I will be doing (or at least trying) a series about the technologies these partners and exhibitors are offering so stay tuned.

Sources: vmware.com.

 

VMworld Barcelona: Keynote mentioned Beta and early access programs link list

In the keynote sessions there are/where several Beta and early access programs mentioned for the VMware innovations.Beta’s are excellent if you have access to a lab, and some are available as a hosted beta program if you happen to miss resources or such. Get an early look, play, try and break. But do also comment, discuss and return feedback.

So where are those Beta’s? I have tried to put up a list of the mentioned Beta program URL’s for your convenience (okay started for my own reference, but I can share ;-)).

vSphere 6.0

VVOLS

VSAN 2.0

vCloud Air

vRealize Air

VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO)

Please join in the fun and participate in these beta (and off course also others) programs.

Have I misted one or more (that could be true but I call sleep deprivation as my witness), please let me know.  

Sources: vmware.com.

 

VMworld Barcelona: day of the tentacle (or my first VMworld 2014 day)

My first VMworld day, or actually pre-day, was probably the same as a lot of the VMworld visitors, travelling inbound, finding my hotel, registration and vRockstar. Plus trying some little bit of a tourist mode. 

I had a afternoon flight from the Netherlands that arrived a 30 minutes behind on schedule (something to do with the weather above France). But on the plus side, this let me arrive in time for the shuttle and the venue to start up. As Sunday registration means no lines, I had my badge in no time. Good addition is the QR express check in. Next up get the T-10 metro card (check) from the information stand. I also wanted to pick up the VMworld backpack, but I was denied apparently because I am there on a bloggers pass. To bad, now I have to figure out a way to transport my stuff around as I innocently counted on the backpack.

2014-10-13 09.14.26

After that it was time to hop on the metro shuttle and get from the Fira station to the Plaça d’Espanya where my hotel should be. Fortunately it was there, just I little walk around the placa because the first time I take a metro exit, it is always the one on the opposite site that I need to be. But hey, with the Barcelona weather I don’t mind.

After some freshening up, after-travel drinks and some diner, I went walking around town. After a few miles wandering and looking around, I found myself at my last target of the day, the vRockstar party at the Hard Rock Cafe. That was a blast.

Monday will be a day for some further walking around the venue, Partner day and such. Maybe see you around?

VMworld Barcelona 2014 – Blogger pass awarded and information and tips for a VMworld visit.

I have earlier received a notice from VMware in my mailbox: Congratulations! This email serves as an official notification that you have been awarded a blogger pass to VMworld 2014 Barcelona.

I’m pleased and honored to be awarded this blogger pass to VMworld Barcelona. Hotel and flight are already booked. And where to start, yes by blogging about VMworld Barcelona 2014 with some information and tips.

VMworld 2014

At VMworld Barcelona 2014 I will be doing session, meeting people, visit some vendors and I will be tweeting and blogging around to place (and yes also some party attending). I can say I am really looking forward to this, and I’m also looking forward to meeting the community.

You can also find me on the blogger list/page (http://www.vmworld.com/community/vmworldblogs/#feed?src=vmw_so_vex_pheld_277) and twitter (subscribe at https://twitter.com/VMworld/europe-contributors) lists.

Not registered yet, come and join the party!

VMworld Early bird (save 200 euro’s) has been over, but there are other savings. Other savings possibilities include VCP, VMUG Advantage and such.

What are you waiting for? Register here: http://www.vmworld.com/registration.jspa?src=vmw_so_vex_pheld_277.

Tips for a nice VMworld experience

  • Bring several sets comfy shoes and socks. One set on the event (for socks maybe a set extra) and one set for the parties.
  • Pack light during the day. Bags will get heavier when your tired and have collected lot’s of swag (useful or not). Maybe the first day pack even lighter as you probably receive the VMworld back pack on that day. Decide whether you need all your electrics appliances, select the ones needed. Don’t travel true the city screaming hey I’m from out of town and visiting a tech show (by letting your VMworld badge hang around your neck for example), this can increase attention from pickpockets or other sort of thievesGet some water bottles and snacks for during the day.
  • Don’t try to over schedule. Last year I scheduled a lot of session, all very nice and interesting. But this gives you almost no time to rewind and relax, talk to people (as other people also want to talk to them), eat and drink properly and write a blog post. Sessions are recorded so there is opportunity enough to watch/listen them back.
  • Use the schedule builder to plan and preregister for your sessions. Look at the content and find the sessions you really want to visit. Pro is that you don’t have to wait in line to be allowed to the session, pre-scheduled persons are allowed in first and places are filled with people waiting in line. The VMworld Europe Schedule Builder is not released until 15th August.
  • Do bring a net/notebook for blogging purposes (not too heavy). An iPad is fine for notes, but either have a proper keyboard setup with that, a proper blog app or bring your notebook.
  • Check the status of the WiFi of your hotel when blogging from your hotel. Do believe the experiences other guests left about the hotel. Last year my hotel had poor WiFi connection and poor WiFi speed (especially during the night, I wonder why…), no good to start a blog post in the evening (or night during insomnia). During the day there are a lot of locations to blog and hook to the VMworld WiFi (sometimes let’s you check in with the San Francisco settings in there ;-))
  • Exam scheduled at the event are at reduced prices (up to 75%). Great to pass some of  the roadmapped certifications you have. If this is a first time, please be aware that in all the hectic of an event, degraded body and mind condition, an exam at the event might not the best place to succeed especially when planned at the end of the event.
  • Be on time for sessions and don’t leave before QA is finished. It is not respectful to the speakers (only when you have a good reason, and nausea from a party the night before isn’t :-P).
  • It sometimes is beneficial to take a photo for a blog post or tweet. But slides of sessions are recorded and available afterwards. It can bug your fellow session participants (especially the ones right beside you) that don’t like you waiving your iPad in front of you to take a picture of every (and every) slide.
  • Use the provided Fira Metro shuttle bus service. There is a lot of walking during the day.
  • Last year I booked a hotel in the centre of Barcelona. Great for some taste of Barcelona and close to some parties, but a little far from the conference. It takes a 40-50 minutes to get from the hotel on the metro, train and bus. This is not always a problem, but when you have tired legs and feet it is not always fun to travel in busy public transport as you will not often get a seat. This year I booked a hotel half way between Fira and the city centre, cuts down on traveling and gives you the opportunity to visit Barcelona (and party). My hotel even offers a free bicycle service to use.
  • Don’t know if it going to be here this year, but previous years that was a T-10 1 zone sponsored (by Veeam) Metro card and available to be picked up at the information stand at the venue.

 Links to important information / pages (also for my own reference)

Party and gatherings

Next to a great event are parties to unwind and meet your peers in a nice social atmosphere. Via the http://www.vmworld.com/community/gatherings?src=vmw_so_vex_pheld_277 link you can view the events that are registered and setup. Currently Barcelona isn’t yet open. Of course there is the VMworld party on Wednesday 15th October from 20:00 at the VMworld Barcelona Fira venue. Other expected parties include VMUG party and several partner/companies will be having there own gatherings. Be sure to keep an eye on the social community and the gatherings link above.

 Got some information, tips and such that I’m leaving out, please leave a comment.

  • Looking forward to seeing you there!

Sources: vmworld.com

Event Report NLVMUG – Dutch mini VMworld 2014

This Thursday march the 6th was the Dutch VMUG (NLVMUG) event in Den Bosch. I visited this event and this is my NL VMUG report.

image

This years event was at the 1931 conference center in Den Bosch. It was a beautiful spring feeling day that promised a good show. The NL VMUG event was visited by 600+ paying visitors, you can call this a mini Dutch mountain VMworld for sure.

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Welcome

The day was opened by a warm welcome done by NL VMUG Leader Ferry Limpens.

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Keynote

The day started with the keynote. The keynote was brought by Brian Gammage, Chief Market Technologist at VMware. Brain talked about the End User Computing (EUC) story. Managing through change in EUC, the way businesses should be able to do successful EUC projects and close the gaps between IT and business. 

image

Mike Laverick

Mike’s sessions was all about FeedForward and thus the need for new speakers at events. He explained the way FeedForward can help these new speakers in getting some of the borders down which are stopping some want to be speakers.

I now just only have to think about a subject to speak about at a next event……..

EUC, SDDC and Ops & Management Tech Sessions

After the keynotes and Mike’s great story the technical sessions started in three separate tracks, subjects on EUC, subjects on Software Defined Data center and subjects on operations management. I visited tracks about Citrix EUC vs VMware EUC, Virtual SAN, Nutanix and Data center in a shoe box aka Flash acceleration vs traditional storage.

I kept an eye on my event agenda via the nice VMUG user conferences iPhone App where the Dutch event was included. 

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Partners

In the big hall there where partners had their own stands. Here we talked about and some showed there products with demonstrations. Partners like Atlantis, Veeam, SimpliVity, Maxta, Nutanix, PernixData and the lot were on the floor. In the afternoon there were also tech sessions by some of the partners.

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Just work and no fun?

Of course the day ended with a networking crawl with drinks and some music to enjoy and finish the day. At this time there were some price give away’s. After this there was room to watch the Virtual SAN (aka VSAN) event at 19:00.

Nutanix Meating

Finished? Well not completely as there was a informal bloggers Nutanix meating (no no typo, lot’s of meat) in the centre of Den Bosch. There was a chance to speak with “Nutanix Bible” Steven Poitras (http://stevenpoitras.com/the-nutanix-bible/) and Andre Leibovici (http://myvirtualcloud.net). Great to been invited and speaking to the guys!

Next time poffertjes are on me…

New VMworld Sessions on youtube released via VMworld TV

Video killed the radio star. But for VMworld sessions this is a great way to experience the recorded sessions when you did not go to VMworld or were not able to follow (as there are a lot of sessions). Maybe this will get you excited to go the next time around. 

VMworld TV released a couple of free video’s to watch on some of the VMworld sessions. Here is a list for your convenience to open and watch:

I actually followed some of these sessions in Barcelona; like VSVC4944, VSVC5280 and NET5521. Nice to have a flash back to those moments.

– Happy youtubing these VMworld sessions!

My Maiden VMworld Europe 2013 – Overall Experience

This blog post is about my experience or my own recap of my maiden VMworld Europe voyage that brought me to Barcelona. Like most experience it is good to start with a small lesson learned (do and don’t) part. So here goes….

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Lessons Learned

– Bring several sets comfy shoes and socks. One set on the event (for socks maybe a set extra) and one set for the parties.
– Don’t try to over schedule. I scheduled a lot of session, all very nice and interesting. But this gives you almost no time to rewind and relax, talk to people (as other people also want to talk to them), eat and drink properly and write a blog post. Sessions are recorded so there is opportunity enough to watch/listen them back. Next time I will leave some time for that.
– Do bring a notebook for blogging purposes. An iPad is fine for notes, but either have a proper keyboard setup with that, a proper blog app or bring your notebook. I had not, and with the next point, didn’t have any means to blog.
– Check the status of the WiFi of your hotel. Do believe the experiences other guest left about the hotel. My hotel had poor WiFi connection and poor WiFi speed (especially during the night, I wonder why…), no good to start a blog post in the evening (or night during insomnia).
– Exam scheduled at the event didn’t work for me that good. In all the hectic of a event, degraded body and mind condition, an exam is not the best to schedule at the event (my opinion).
– Be on time and don’t leave before QA is finished. It is not respectful to the speakers (beside when you have a good reason, and nausea from a party the night before isn’t :-P).
– It sometimes is beneficial to take a photo for a blog post or tweet. But slides of sessions are recorded and available afterwards. It can bug your fellow session participants (especially the ones right beside you) that don’t like you waiving your iPad in front of you to take a picture of every (and every) slide.
– Use the Metro shuttle bus service. There is a lot of walking during the day.
– I had a hotel in the center of Barcelona. Great for some taste of Barcelona and close to some parties, but a little far from the conference. It takes a 40-50 minutes to get from the hotel on the metro, train and bus. This is not always a problem, but when you have tired legs and feet it is not always fun to travel in busy public transport as you will not often get a seat.

Arriving

I arrived on monday with a afternoon flight from Amsterdam. At the airport I was greeted by some nice ladies that gave me directions to the shuttle service from airport to the venue at the Fira. I wanted the register, get my badge for the VMUG party, get the VMworld backpack and take a look around. I also got the T-10 zone 1 provided by Veeam (big thanks to Veeam) and available for pick up at the information stand. Enough to get you from and to the venue with public transport.

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After that I went to the Metro station and found my way to the Placa de Catalyuna where the hotel was one the Ramblas beginning. The metro station exit on the Ramblas was just a few steps till the hotel. That’s good. Checked in and prepared the room and VMworld back for the next day. I went out to get some food before the VMUG party and fortunately this is plentiful available around the hotel.

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Parties

I visited just two parties. I got invites for a little more, but I arrived on Monday and skipped the Tuesday parties because I wanted a good sleep for my Wednesday morning exam. The VMUG party on Monday evening was a good place to start, in close proximity of my hotel. The interaction of the visitors was very good and the club was good to have some drinks and talks. Got some interesting conversation about background, IT experiences, exam preparations and all.

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The VMworld party was at the Fira conference center. It was a big show with lot’s of visitors. Drinks and food were everywhere, as well entertaining.  The Foosball tables and the arcade machines where good places to meet with others. The music was nice, but main show Taio Cruz is not really for me (I don’t want to think about a hangover at a party ;-P ).

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Sessions

If you have use schedule Builder your are preregister for the sessions you put in there. You can show up a 15/10 minutes in advance and let you badge scan to be let in. There are also queues for people that didn’t register, and those will be let in a few minutes before the show (let say 10-5) to fill up the room. When you have pre registered and show up on time, you will have the opportunity to pick a nice spot.
You don’t have to go to all as session will be recorded so you can watch/listen to them later on. A lesson for the next time.
I visited sessions about NSX, VSAN, Best practices, Architecture, Metro Cluster, HA/DRS, Storage DRS etc. I will try to work trough my notes and do a recap in a blog post. That will also be part of a presentation I will give at my employer in November.

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Conclusion

VMworld is huge from dutch event perspective. It is a roller coaster of a ride, that I definitely want to be part of again. I will plan a little more resting, relaxing, and meetups next time, and a little less sessions. If I am prepared at bit better (with the lessons learned and the ones that will come to me in the next year) I think you can even have an even bigger blast. Maybe even finish a exam in time…..

For now I will leave it at this. I will add some more session recaps in an other blog, and add my exam experience later to my blogpost: https://pascalswereld.nl/post/62407836177/vcap5-dcd-experience That story is not yet finished (lesson learned and continue).

– Thanks for reading. Hope meeting you there next year!

My VMworld EU Barcelona 2013 schedule

This year I will be doing my maiden VMworld Europe (a big thanks to my employer Qwise). I can say I am really looking forward to this. At VMworld I will be doing session, meeting people, do exams, visit some vendors and I will be tweeting and blogging around to place (and yes also some party attending).
You can find me on the blogger (http://www.vmworld.com/community/vmworldblogs/#feed) and twitter (subscribe at https://twitter.com/VMworld/europe-contributors) lists.

My schedule is currently looking (and will be updated when needed) as follow.

+ Monday 14 October+
Arriving Barcelona
Finding my way to VMworld and registration
Hotel Checking
VMUG Member Party

+ Tuesday 15 October +
General Session with Pat Gelsinger
NET5521 – vSphere Distributed Switch – Design and Best Practices
BCO5047 – vSphere High Availability – What’s New and Best Practices
NET5266 – Bringing Network Virtualization to VMware environments with NSX
STO5391 – VMware Virtual SAN
BCO4872 – Operating and Architecting a vSphere Metro Storage Cluster Based Infrastructure
VMware Benelux party 2013
Veeam Annual VMworld Party 2013

+ Wednesday 16 October +
VCAP5-DCD Exam
STO5638 – Best Practices with Software Defined Storage
BCO5065 – VMware vSphere Fault Tolerance for Multiprocessor Virtual Machines – Technical Preview
VSVC7371 – Architecting the Software-Defined Data Center
VMworld Party

+ Thursday 17 October +
VSVC4944 – PowerCLI Best Practices – A Deep Dive
STO5636 – Storage DRS: Deep Dive and Best Practices to Suit Your Storage Environments
VSVC5280 – DRS: New Features, Best Practices and Future Directions
VCM5169 – How to troubleshoot VM performance issues across applications, infrastructure and storage using vCenter Operations Management(Live Demonstration!)

+ Friday 18 October +
Fly Home

If you want to meet up, find me walking around somewhere; or for a higher chance of meeting, contact me first my contacts are in the about page of my blog (or use the comments).

Links to important information / pages (also for my own reference):

Get the VMworld 2013 Europa mobile app at your device’s app store.

– Hopefully see you there!

VMworld Defy Convention – VMware Now Live Notes.

Managing multiple devices. Accessing Private cloud from behind firewalls and demands from mobile users with multiple devices (personal and corporate) is growing. Is IT ready for the mobile world? Budget has not grown, investments are in the past. Datacenters are of the past. Adapt or die, how do we do that?

The time is now! Software defined datacenter. Virtualization of the complete datacenter. Hybrid cloud moves the datacenter from behind the corporate firewalls to the public cloud. Mobility platforms are there to connect mobile users and their mobile devices to the corporate data and applications.

Software Defined datacenter, transfer workloads from private to hybrid cloud and mobile workforces. Applications for the future. We build for the applications. One size does not fit!

Introducing:

I will try to find the time to blog more about some of the above (I have some other subjects). I also want to be prepared for VMworld EU in october.

Network, Storage and Management (automation) need to be further software defined and virtualized.

We are not done yet. Awaiting an exciting future!

Early access and beta’s are available.