VMworld 2013 US ends…… so here’s my round up!

So VMworld 2013 has come to an end in the US….. and with no real big announcements, many people may have come away a bit disappointed.

But as I mentioned in a previous post, “VMware-the-company” has gone through quite a bit over the past year or so…. restructuring/redundancies, new CEO, new focus….. so you can kind of understand why nothing BIG was going to be announced.

However, that said, I believe they’ve still managed to excite the VMware community with the announcements made….

  • Official launch of NSX – details of the Nicira product has been floating around for months and it’s good to finally see what it can do!
    Announcement here: http://cto.vmware.com/introducing-vmware-nsx-the-platform-for-network-virtualization/
  • vSphere 5.5 – whilst no real ground-breaking announcements, the 5.5 release builds on what vSphere 5.1 achieved.
    I think some people might have hoped for a new version release (The “Tock” to 5.1s “Tick”), given how in the past it was always 1 major release before a new version, but given what 5.1 brought to the table (SSO, web-client, VDP, etc) I guess it didn’t make much sense to bash out a brand new version before the new functions had bedded in.
    But what’s great is that every time VMware announce a new release, there are a ton of new functionalities and features to go with it! =)

    • SSO – Glad to see they’ve listened to some of their customer frustrations and improved SSO to make it more streamlined and easier to deploy!
      I’ve read that it’s a complete rebuild/rewrite of the SSO architecture to enable it to scale and serve vCloud Director and Horizon View.
      SSO replication has been redesigned and it sounds like multi-SSO deployments will become easier to implement (in part due to no longer requiring an external DB which was a major PiTA to make available between multiple SSO instances!).
      It also has an improved AD authentication system which speeds up AD searches (especially if you have a super-large AD).
    • vSAN – a software based distributed storage solution built directly IN the hypervisor – so no virtual appliance required! Whist not GA with 5.5, this will probably show up at the next update (Q1 2014??).
      From what I have read, it takes all the disks on a host (at least 1 SSD and 1 magnetic HDD) and uses them to create the virtual SAN (it is very much like the vSphere Storage Appliance). It’s easy to deploy, scalable (although the beta limits to 8 hosts) and allows granular polices to be set on the VMs rather than on the LUN/datastore.
      Seems the SSD will be used as a read cache/write buffer and the HDDs as the actual storage.
      Hosts in the vSAN cluster can either be storage nodes (ie their local disks are put into the storage pool) or compute nodes (which just leech off the storage pool).
    • vFlash Cache – Much like how VMware pools CPU and RAM, this new feature does the same with local host flash devices (like SSDs). It’s a local host caching solution (using local SSD drives to offload IO), although currently it only operates as write-through caching (hmm… EMC vfcache or XtremeSW cache anyone?!?)
      VMs can be configured to use this pool of Flash resource to accelerate the read performance (so acceleration of applications) – it can’t be used as storage!
      I believe a write-back mode is in the pipelines for a future release.
    • vCenter Server Appliance – embedded Postgres DB has been re-engineered and supports up to 500 hosts or 5000 VMs. Now a GREAT alternative to deploying vCenter Server on Windows! Sounds production ready now (rather than just for PoCs and test/dev)!
    • App HA – application level HA. vSphere HA only currently recovers a VM, it isn’t application aware! vSphere App HA has the ability to monitor certain applications and can be configured to restart an application service when issues are detected. (Although it requires vFabric Hyperic to be deployed in order to gain the insight into the application)
    • Other updates:
      • vCO – new debugging mode, updated workflow schemas, integrations with vCAC
      • Web Client – faster UI, drag & drop
      • VDP – disk level granularity (backup/restore of VMDKs), replication to the cloud.
      • VUM – integrated with Web Client (although baseline creations still in vSphere client)
      • VMDK size – now up to 62TB
      • VM Hardware version 10
      • Increased maximums
  • vCloud Suite 5.5:
    • vCloud Director – improvements to the content catalog, provisioning vApps, vApp lifecycle management, importing/exporting vApps to OVFs.
    • vCloud Networking & Security – improvements to LACP (bonding uplinks together to increase bandwidth) and flow based marking & filtering (ability for granular filtering of traffic). Improvements to Firewall rule management.
    • Site Recovery Manager – Looks like it now supports Storage DRS, Storage vMotion and the new vFlash and vSAN feature (using vRA).
      • vSphere Replication – improved UI in the web client. Improved feature to allow multiple Points-in-Time snapshots (allowing you to select earlier snapshots rather than just the last known snapshot – max 24 replicas). Support for Storage DRS, Storage vMotion and vSAN. Scalability improvements allowing up to 10 vRAs per vCenter Server. Ability to replicate (vRA) to a remote site that doesn’t have a vCenter Server deployed.

And lastly, vCloud Hybrid Services (vCHS)…
Pretty well known that VMware have been looking at taking on Amazon and Azure with their own Public Cloud offering, however they’ve been taking a slightly different approach where they are engaging service providers to deploy vCloud Suite and join their ‘vCloud Hybrid Service’ (vCHS) program. So it’s announced that from Sept 2013, the vCHS will be available in 6 datacenters in the US.

The BIG difference between vCHS and the other competitors is that it’s designed to be a true extension of a clients private enterprise cloud running on vSphere and vCloud. VMs can easily be moved to and from the vCHS without any modifications – so pretty much allowing customers to burst out of their private cloud into the vCHS!

So the recent press release also mentions that they will be offering Desktop as a Service (DaaS), Platform as a Services (PaaS) and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) in addition to IaaS!
This pretty much means you can run VDI in your private cloud and then burst out to the vCHS, allowing you to run both server and desktops either on-premise or in vCHS.

Whilst not yet being rolled out in the UK, I can only assume that Saavis will be one of the first to roll it out (given they’re involved in the US roll out).


So…. that’s my summation of VMworld announcements…… there was a whole load of other stuff (like EMCs VNX2 and ViPR), but I would be here all day writing this blog if I had to digest all the sessions that occurred!

Roll on Barcelona!! =)

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