VMworld 2016 Europe – Sessions

After the past 3 years of attending VMworld in Barcelona and packing my schedule full of sessions causing me to run between sessions and grab lunch on the go, I swore to myself that this year I would be more selective with my sessions so that I’m not rushing around like a headless chicken…..

…. Unfortunately I’ve failed in my scheduling prowess….. when the Schedule Builder was released, I pretty much went through the whole content catalog and selected all the interesting sessions I wanted to attend, and basically ended up with another packed out calendar!! >_<”

Dammit… why are there sooo many interesting sessions at VMworld and sooo little time to schedule them all in! I remember watching at least a dozen video replays of sessions I couldn’t attend last year…. I’m now trying to work out whether to attend the sessions in real life or just watch a virtual replay post-VMworld!

Given my hectic schedule…. I wouldn’t be surprised if I end up in the Top 10 yet again in the VMworld attendee game (shame there aren’t any prizes).

I’ve got a packed out PEX day, including trying to fit in my VCP6-DCV Delta exam in the morning….. Best have a quiet Sunday night!

Anyways, if you’re going to VMworld then you’ll find me in these sessions!

Tuesday 18th October:

  • VMware NSX-Deep Dive [NET9152]
  • The Practical Path to NSX [NET8675]
  • What’s New with vSphere [INF8375]
  • Reference Design for SDDC with NSX and vSphere: Part 1 [NET7857R]
  • Reference Design for SDDC with NSX and vSphere: Part 2 [NET7858R]

Wednesday 19th October:

  • Monitoring and Troubleshooting NSX with vRealize Network Insight (Arkin) [NET8241]
  • vSphere Client Roadmap: Host Client, HTML5 Client, and Web Client [INF8172]
  • Operational Best Practices for VMware NSX [NET7865]
  • What’s New with vCenter Server [INF9944]
  • VMware Cloud Foundation Architecture Deep Dive [SDDC8481]

Thursday 20th October:

  • Virtual Volumes Technical Deep Dive [STO7645]
  • Enhanced Disaster Recovery with NSX and Site Recovery Manager [NET7760]
  • Simplifying Disaster Recovery in 2016 using VSAN, NSX and SRM [STO7802]
  • Introducing VMware Cloud Foundation [SDDC8618]

Sessions down for post-VMworld viewing:

  • Software-Defined Storage at VMware Primer [STO7650]
  • Virtual SAN Technical Deep Dive and What’s New [STO8246]
  • Hot Topics in VMware Research [CTO9406]
  • Tech Preview: Enhanced VM Availability Leveraging vCenter and Partner Hardware Integration [INF8020]
  • Discover What’s New in Workspace ONE and AirWatch [EUC3908-C]
  • VSAN Vision: The Future of HCI [STO9424]
  • vSphere Encryption Deep Dive: Technology Preview [INF8856]
  • VMware Cloud Foundation on Public Clouds: A Technical Deep-Dive [INF7849]

It’s strange that Chad Sakac is no longer presenting his session (The Edge is Still Bleeding: A face-melting technical smorgasbord of all things Converged, Hyper-Converged, Cloud Native & Software Defined [SDDC9462-SPO]) – he’s been replaced by Tom O’Reilly….. such a shame as he’s a great presenter! At least Vaughn Stewart is back this year (Best Practices for All-Flash Data Reduction Arrays with VMware vSphere [INF9455-SPO])!

As you can see, my sessions are heavily skewed towards NSX, and that’s because MTI are a VMware NSX Focus Partner in UK and I’m always after more material to use within my NSX presentation decks. Not to mention that NSX is a focused product from VMware this year (how many times have I said that now in my blogs?)….

Roll on VMworld 2016!

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VMworld 2016 US – Day 1 General Session Overview

So the replay of yesterdays Day 1 General Session is now online:

The biggest announcement is the tech preview of Cross-Cloud Architecture. This is obviously VMware’s next step in their “Any Cloud, Any Application, Any Device” vision.

According to VMware:
“This architecture extends VMware’s hybrid cloud strategy, enabling customers to run, manage, connect and secure their applications across clouds and devices in a common operating environment. VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture is delivered through VMware Cloud Foundation, a new set of Cross-Cloud Services VMware is developing, and VMware vRealize Cloud Management Platform.”

This new architecture gives customers a set of tools to manage their virtual estate both on-premise and off-premise across multiple clouds – a single pane of glass to manage VMs on the likes of AWS, Azure, Google, as well as vSphere clouds.

Most customers already utilise multiple clouds (unbeknownst to IT) and this new architecture will enable IT to resume control of what is out in the cloud – allowing network and security policies to be applied to workloads being deployed in the cloud. In addition to allowing migration between clouds!

Much like how vSphere ESXi was used to allow you to span multiple server hardware vendors (HP, Dell, IBM), and how NSX allows you to span multiple network hardware vendors (Cisco, Arista, Brocade), VMware Cross-Cloud Services will offer a common platform to overlay your cloud vendors to offer you the ability to deploy your applications across clouds without having to mess around with the underlying cloud services (which are inherently different depending on cloud vendor)!

VMware Cross-Cloud Services will centralize management, operations, networking, security and data management.

Cross-CloudServices

It looks like the common Network & Security piece will be handled by NSX – which will include a forthcoming feature called Distributed Network Encryption (DNE).

The Management and Visibility piece will be SaaS based (a cloud service) and allows you to connect your existing public cloud accounts to ingest those workloads into the management platform, it will then show you cost and utilisation across your clouds and allow you to deploy applications across clouds.

The other major announcement was the new VMware Cloud Foundation offering which basically bundles vSphere, VSAN and NSX into a single, fully integrated, SDDC stack that can be provisioned on premise or be run as a service in the cloud.

To quote VMware:
“VMware Cloud Foundation is a next-generation hyper-converged infrastructure for building private clouds that for the first time combines VMware’s highly scalable hyper-converged software (VMware vSphere and VMware Virtual SAN) with the world’s leading network virtualization platform, NSX. Cloud Foundation provides a consistent multi-cloud IaaS that is simple to deploy, operate, and maintain, and gives applications a consistent, scalable and highly available infrastructure services, regardless of where they run”

“The goal of Cloud Foundation is to be able to provision cloud infrastructure like you provision VMs.”

CloudFoundation

In addition to this announcement was the partnership with IBM Cloud to offer VMware Cloud Foundation as a service.

The key to the Cloud Foundation is the SDDC Manager which will be the tool for IT admins to build and maintain their cloud (making use of a lot automation policies to build the cloud and deploy workloads)

Other announcements include vCloud Availability for vCloud Director, which enables customers to leverage the vCloud Air Network ecosystem (ie VMware Partner cloud solutions) for simple, automated disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS) – much like the offering from vCloud Air DR.

VMware vCloud Air Hybrid Cloud Manager has added several major enhancements, including zero-downtime, bi-directional application migrations in and out of vCloud Air. This includes the migration of NSX security policies, providing simple migration of workloads to vCloud Air with no need for any network or security reconfiguration once the migration completes.

 

It seems that the main takeaway from yesterdays general session was that now it’s time to take back control of your cloud.

The Journey to the Secure Software-Defined Data Center

So one of the key differentiators that my company, MTI Technology, has over some of the other VMware partners in the UK is that we have quite an established Security Practice (We even hold the Royal Warrant for security work for the Royal Household!)

I’ve been asked to present a short deck on MTI’s Secure Software-Defined Data Center solution at an upcoming event (non-technical, it’s aimed at C-level or decision makers). If you haven’t already signed up, then register below!


Organisations across the public and private sectors have been steadily consolidating their IT infrastructures, as they seek improved efficiency and better performance. While this activity will undoubtedly continue, many organisations are now setting their sights on the next big thing – securing their software-defined datacentre.

In a secure software-defined datacentre, an organisation’s entire infrastructure is virtualised. This empowers the integration of compute, storage, network, and security solutions, and enables you to deliver IT as a service, and provision services securely via the cloud. In turn, this allows IT departments to keep pace with growing business and technology demands, and to achieve the speed and agility that IT users require.

The journey to the secure software-defined datacentre

Join MTI at the Institute of Directors, London, on Friday 15th April as we explore how you can advance the way you deliver IT today to meet the needs of your business tomorrow, while combatting ever-evolving security threats. During the half-day workshop, you will learn how a secure software-defined datacentre can:

  • Help you to ensure strong alignment between your IT and business objectives
  • Deliver ‘built-in’ security that evolves as your IT infrastructure grows and adapts
  • Offer the balance of performance, capacity, and availability demanded by your critical business applications
  • Deliver simple and cost-effective test & development environments with management and delivery services to reduce application overheads
  • Drive improved efficiencies and cost saving for your business
  • Turn large volumes of commodity servers into a high-performance, low cost infrastructure
  • Protect your data, infrastructure, and environment, detect and, if necessary, remediate against intrusions

To register, please visit https://www.mti.com/about-mti/events/journey-secure-software-defined-datacentre/

VMworld 2015 Update

Recently I was asked to write a comment for SearchVMware’s Advisory Council September topic, which was about VMworld 2015 US and what was announced:
http://searchvmware.techtarget.com/feature/vSphere-integrated-containers-and-other-updates-excite-at-VMworld-2015

With VMworld 2015 Europe just around the corner, I decided that such a short comment wouldn’t do the US convention much justice, as such I decided to continue and expand on all the announcements and releases made.

The theme this year is “Ready for Any” an interesting tagline which I guess tries to emphasise how VMware have positioned themselves as a company with a portfolio that can accommodate anyone and anything….. Any Application, Any Device, Any Cloud! The whole theme brought together their existing key pillars in Hybrid Cloud, EUC, SDDC and wrapped in their new BU – Cloud Native Apps.

There was a big emphasis on DevOps this year and VMware were very keen to show the tools that they are making available to help with Continuous Delivery. Project Photon (a lightweight, container-optimised linux distribution) and Lightwave (an authentication and certificate management system for containers) were announced earlier in the year alongside other tech previews such as Project Bonneville (containerising/packaging apps into vSphere). At VMworld they announced the evolution of these projects into two new product tech previews:

  • vSphere Integrated Containers – based on Project Bonneville, Project Photon (aka Photon OS) and Project Fargo (aka Instant Clone). vSphere Integrated Containers allows containerised applications to run seamlessly alongside existing VMware infrastructure – VIC isolates and starts up each container in a VM which uses the underlying resource management features of vSphere – and so can be deployed, managed and secured with a customers existing VMware tools.
  • VMware Photon Platform – Photon Platform is the evolution of Project Photon which is designed for DevOps teams planning on building a computing capacity solely for Cloud-native Apps. Two new components called Photon Controller and Photon Machine make up the Photon Platform. The former which will serve as a control plane for linux container-based deployments. The latter is a purpose-built platform optimised for container deployment, it contains a cutback ESX kernel (or ESX Microvisor) that provides common elements from ESXi and integrates Photon OS as the base OS layer for the container.

These two products now give IT more choice when considering DevOps – VIC allows IT to extend the existing infrastructure to accommodate container-based applications alongside traditional apps, and Photon Platform allows IT to build a complete computing platform solely for containers and cloud-native apps.

The other major announcement was the new name for EVO:RACK – EVO SDDC. Announced as a Tech Preview last year, it’s now ready to start shipping in early 2016 (Dell, VCE, Quanta are the initial partners). EVO SDDC is a complete software suite that simplifies the deployment of a whole datacentre (in a rack).  The goal of EVO SDDC is to simplify the time and effort it takes to architect, procure, deploy and manage the software and hardware infrastructure of an SDDC at data center scale. EVO SDDC Manager provides a highly automated process for deploying and configuring the hardware, the VMware software stack, managing the solution, and handling all updates and patches.

It sounds like a great solution for large Enterprise customers (or ISPs), but whether it will be commercially viable for T2 Enterprise or the mid-market will squarely rest on the entry price point! (Hopefully the reception will be better than it’s baby sister – EVO:RAIL).

One big announcement that seemed to excite everyone is the tech preview of Project Skyscraper – with the main features being Cross Cloud vMotion (seamlessly migrating running VMs between on-premise and vCloud Air) and Content Library sync (synchronising on-premise VM templates, vApps, ISOs with the content catalog in vCloud Air).
Imagine the possibilities this opens up! The ability to extend your datacentre seamlessly to the public cloud without any reconfiguration and even whilst the VMs are all still running! End Users no longer need to size for peak utilisation (like end of month reporting), rather they can easily burst out to the cloud and pay for what they consume! This is what the market has been waiting for – live migration to cloud (and back).

VMware Project A2 was announced as a Tech Preview to offer a mobile-centric approach to delivering and managing applications and devices for Windows 10 – using AirWatch Enterprise Mobile Management and AppVolumes application delivery. This integrated solution will enable customers to accelerate their adoption of Windows 10 with mobile-like management for their devices and applications.

Apart from those 4 announcements made during the General Sessions, the rest were minor product updates:

VSAN 6.1 included some great new features! VSAN Stretched Cluster allows the ability to create a stretched cluster between two or more geographically separated sites using the fault domain concept introduced in 6.0. End-users can now protect their VMs across sites with their VSAN 6.1 cluster. VSAN for ROBO provides end-users the ability to deploy a 2-node VSAN at ROBO sites, using your main DC as the witness site. VSAN replication with vSphere Replication has been enhanced with the RPO now lowered from 15mins to 5mins, giving you the option to create a stretched cluster providing sync replication and then using vSphere replication for async to another site. Support for SMP FT and new Flash technology has also been introduced, as well as greater vROPs integration.

It’s a shame that dedupe was not included in 6.1 (currently it’s in beta alongside Erasure coding)

NSX 6.2 was released prior to VMworld, of the new features the ones linked to Cross vCenter NSX are the most interesting – allowing network services to be deployed across multiple vCenters. Universal Logical Switch (ULS) allows the creation of logical switches that can span multiple vCenters. Firewall policies assigned to VMs can now be moved across hosts belonging to different vCenters. NSX are also expanding their partner.

There are many enhancements in SRM 6.1 like the integration with NSX and policy driven protection. However, the most interesting feature is the support for Stretched Storage – the fact that customers with EMC VPLEX/HDS VSP/IBM SVC can now use SRM to automate the failover from Site A to Site B. It’s a great feature that now includes the ability to use vMotion to move VMs from Site A to Site B.

The announcement of SRM Air brings DR automation to vCloud Air DR – something that has been missing since vCloud Air DR launched last year. SRM Air protects and recovers large groups of VMs using centralised recovery plans, and allows you to conduct non-disruptive recovery plan testing.

VMware Horizon 6.2 will deliver better scalability and availability to virtual desktops, including the support for the new generation of NVIDIA GRID cards (vGPU 2.0). Additional functionality with RDS Apps including updates to the Cloud Pod Architecture.

There were addition product updates to VMware Integrated OpenStack (v2.0), vSphere APIs for IO Filtering (VAIO) as well as Project Capstone and Project Enzo – but we could be here all day talking about new updates so I’ll leave these for now since I barely touch these products in my current role! =)

VMworld 2015 breakout sessions now on YouTube

Unknown to most out there, VMworldTV has been busy uploading recordings onto their YouTube channel.

All the General Sessions are available to watch, and currently there are around 54 breakout session videos available – sessions such as:

Definitely worth watching if you have (a lot of) free time on your hands! =)

….. and with that, it’s only 3 more weeks till VMworld 2015 Europe!! =)

MTI VMworld Update Session Recordings

As I previous blogged, I was asked by my company to present a VMworld update webinar regarding SDDC and Hybrid Cloud.

The webinars have now all taken place and recordings are available for all the sessions that took place this week:

Enjoy…. =)

MTI VMworld Webinar Series

MTI are holding a series of VMworld-related webinars taking place next week. You can find out more about these sessions and register at http://ecommunication.mti.com/acton/fs/blocks/showLandingPage/a/1192/p/p-004e/t/page/fm/0

These webinars are designed to ensure that people who were unable to attend VMworld in Barcelona are able to hear all the latest updates regarding VMware’s three key strategic initiatives – the software-defined datacentre, hybrid cloud, and end-user computing.

MTI Webinar Series – VMworld Update Session

As you all know, VMworld took place in Barcelona last month. During this event, VMware made a series of announcements regarding its three strategic initiatives – software defined datacentre (SDDC), hybrid cloud, and end-user computing (EUC).

My company is currently holding a series of webinars in November covering VMware and complementary parter offerings, and I’ve been asked to kick-start the series with a VMworld update session on SDDC and Hybrid Cloud.

The first webinar, The software-defined datacentre & hybrid cloud, will take place on Tuesday 25th November 2014 at 11am. During this session, I will be discussing what’s new in vSphere 6.0, Virtual Volumes (vVol), EVO:Rail, vRealize Suite and vCloud Air.

If you wish to attend the webinar then feel free to register here:
https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/1836954438946370306

…. I ask that if you do join not to heckle….. =P

(The other webinars this month will cover VMware’s EUC offering; discussing agentless security for the software-defined datacentre with Trend Micro; and EMC’s portfolio around data protection and availability – specifically RecoverPoint for VM and VPLEX virtual edition)

VMworld Europe 2014 – Day 1 round up

So as a partner I had the opportunity to attend VMworld a day earlier than the general public…. which means I was at VMworld on Monday for a full day of partner breakout sessions.

Apart from the Partner General Session (which was taken by Carl Eschenbach as Pat Gelsinger had transportation problems), I pretty much packed my day out with breakout sessions which discussed the vision and strategy on the key focus areas for VMware – SDDC and EUC (Unfortunately due to a scheduling clash I couldn’t attend the Hybrid Cloud session).

There really wasn’t much to report back on because it was mainly a re-iteration of what was announced at VMworld San Francisco. There was a few NDA announcements, which unfortunately I cannot write about, but safe to say there are some cool things coming out with vSphere 6.0.
I have to admit that I have been very impressed with how quickly VMware have evolved their EUC offering…. from last years acquisition of Desktone (to provide desktop-as-a-service over vCloud Air)…. to this years acquisition of AirWatch (finally giving Horizon View the MDM feature) and CloudVolumes (now known as App Volumes which allows layering of applications ontop of the OS allowing app delivery and lifecycle management).

The first General Session of VMworld basically covered similar topics from VMworld US, with the following announcements:

  1. Two new partners to the EVO: Rail solution – HP and HDS.
  2. Additional features of the vRealize Cloud Management Suite that was announced/rebadged at VMworld US – Code Stream and Air Compliance.
  3. Horizon Flex – which enables IT admins to run “containerised” and secured VDIs locally on PC or Mac laptops/desktops. Particularly useful if companies have contractors on site who bring their own devices on site – the ability for them to log onto a browser, download the flex client which allows IT admins to push out VDI sessions for them to use, yet maintain security and control over what the contractors can do, or have access to! (More info here)
  4. Horizon DR – utilising vCloud Air to provide a DR as a Service capability for cloud hosted VDI, workspace and applications.

So in a nut shell, here’s a summary of key take-aways in the sessions I attended on Day 1:

INF1349 – SDDC & vCloud Suite Roundup

  • vSphere 6.0 goodies – so multi-vCPU Fault Tolerance, long-distance vMotion and vMotion between vCenter Servers were the 3 that caught my eye…. Plus with vCenter Heartbeat going EOA, there was talk about a new native feature to provide High Availability of the vCenter server. I’m not sure if we’re still under NDA, but given it was announced at VMworld and anyone can use Google I’m guessing it’s safe to mention these points (won’t post any photos though of the slides). In addition there was a promise that the new Web Client would improve the performance and usability that everyone moaned about when the Web Client was first released.
  • We all know that vCD is being dropped for End Users, so there was a quick overview of:
    • Content Library – a way to centrally store templates, ISOs, and OVFs, including the versioning feature available in vCD when publishing content out. virtual data centre, policy-based management (familiar to those who have used vCD).
      IMG_0069
    • Virtual Data Center – a way of aggregating the resources available from the physical hardware and allowing policy based provisioning and management (just like the VDCs in vCD).
      IMG_0070
  • Platform Services Controller (PSC) – a set of common infrastructure services (eg. SSO, licensing, SSL, etc) used by components of the vCloud Suite (vCOPs, vCD, vCAC, etc). Hopefully the PSC will help do away with the horrible way of managing vSphere certificates!
    IMG_0073
  • vRealize Suite – a re-packaging of existing products into a single Cloud Management Platform. vCOPs becomes vRealize Operations, vCAC becomes vRealize Automation and ITBM becomes vRealize Business.
    It will be offered either on-premise or off-premise.
    IMG_0006
  • Finally there was a quick overview of VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO), suggesting that running OpenStack on vSphere would be the most obvious (and best) combination).
    IMG_0079

SDDC2095 – Overview of EVO:RAIL

  • New partnership with HP and HDS (in addition to Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, Inspur, Net one and SuperMicro).
  • The super quick deployment process which is really simple (15mins after plugging the hardware in)! In addition to simple management, non-disruptive upgrades and auto-discovery scale out (to max of 4 EVO:RAIL appliances)
  • I will delve into the details a bit more after Thursday’s deep-dive session.
    IMG_0085

STO1963 – VVOLs Overview

  • Virtual disks natively represented on storage arrays (doing away with LUNS/Volumes)
  • Granular data services (snapshot, replication, de-dupe)
  • Storage Policy Based Management (granular control of storage SLAs for each VM)
    IMG_0101
  • More information after Wednesdays deep dive. =)

EUC3319 – EUC for mobile-cloud era

IMG_0131

  • Horizon Air (Desktop as a service) – leading to on-premise/off-premise integration.
  • Horizon Air Desktop DR – enabling organisations to easily protect their workforce with cloud-hosted desktops and applications.
  • App Volumes (adding an abstraction layer above the OS for the applications – ease of upgrade/patching/LCM of apps).
    IMG_0119
  • Horizon Flex – local containerised desktops for BYODs.
  • Project Meteor – vastly improved performance for cloning desktops.
    IMG_0123

My only major disappointment today was the lack of an EVO: Rail appliance from EMC on display in the Solutions Exchange and the lack of a VVOLs breakout session by EMC.

… rights, I’m now totally shattered as I hardly slept Monday night (due to the Trend Micro party at Salt, W Hotel) and tonight’s awesome EMC party at La Monumental Bullring…..

Roll on Day 2…. and LOTS of coffee!!!

Exciting times ahead for VMware and SDDC?

Software Defined Data Center……

Virtualising Compute, Network and Storage……. (among other things)

VMware already did the compute side of things……. Buying Nicira gave them the network side of things……. Buying Virsto gave them the storage side of things…..

Looks like 2013 maybe a good year for VMware with lots of new shiny things coming out the pipeline…….

 

….. which basically means more things to add to my growing list of tech I need to brush up on!! >_<“