The impact of digital revolution on software licensing – Or is that the other way around?

I happened to come across the below post which, after reading got me thinking about few things which I thought would be a good idea to write a quick post about and get everyone else’s thoughts too.

http://diginomica.com/2017/02/20/sap-v-diageo-important-ruling-customers-indirect-access-issues/

The article was effectively about a court battle between SAP (an enterprise SW vendor, that in their own admission is “The market leader in enterprise application software”) & Diageo (the drinks manufacturing giant) where SAP was suing Diageo to secure additional licensing revenue for indirect use of the data produced by SAP system software. If you didn’t read the full abstract via the above link, what that essentially meant was that when the data SAP generates (for the legal, fee paying customers that is Diageo) is accessed by a 3rd party, presumably for proving Diageo with a service, that SAP needs to be paid additional licensing revenue for that indirect usage which is the responsibility of Diageo.

In this case, this ability for SAP to claim additional licensing revenue from Diageo was in its contract which was why it was ruled in SAP’s favour by the judge (according to the article). While admitting that I am NOT a legal eagle, this brings the question to my mind that, if this in fact is the final verdict on this case (which I’m sure would be challenged in appeals court…etc.), is this approach fair, especially in a world faced with a massive digital revolution where everything, starting from a small electronic device, to a large multi-node machine, to a piece of software are all connected through digital technologies  to relay data from one to another with the intention of processing and re-processing data as it’s being parsed through each piece of software (disparate consumption)?

In my line of work (IT), almost all IT systems are interconnected and that interconnection is typically there for one system to consume the data produced by another system and the number of hops involved in this inter-connection chain can go up from a couple of systems to few dozen on how digital each customer’s environment is. In a pre “Digital Enterprise” world, typically all these connection hops (i.e. IT Systems) belong to one department, one business unit, or worst case, one organisation and therefore typically licensed to be used by that department / Business unit / Organisation (which covers all the users of that department / business unit / organisation).

But the digital revolution currently sweeping across all forms of industries will increase such inter-connectivity of Software systems to go beyond one organisation as multiple organisations will collaborate through data sharing, often real time across various platforms in order to create a truly digital enterprise. Some of these type of digital integration is already common place, especially amongst finance sector customers…etc. Such digital connectivity of software platforms across organisations will now likely be relevant to many other organisations which previously would have thought that they are mutually exclusive when it comes to their business operations.  So I guess my questions is if the software that underpins those key digital connectivities happened to have such attitude to licensing like SAP did in the instance above, what would be the implications on true digital connectivity, across multiple software platforms? Are we fully aware of the exact small print of each and every software we ever use within our business to fully understand how each one of them define its permitted usage, who’s classed as its users are and where we can connect it to other systems vs where we cannot? How do we know precisely that we are not violating such draconian licensing laws during this multi-platform, API driven, digital inter-connectivity?

What do you think? Just curious on getting people’s views as I’m sure there’s no right or wrong answer. Do you think such draconian licensing rules are wrong or would you argue given a dwindling market for Independent Software Vendors (courtesy of public cloud), they should be allowed to benefit from not just direct but also indirect (2nd and 3rd level) interaction with data initially produced by their software systems? If you would, do you then have the sufficient licensing expertise in house to ensure that you are not violating software licensing agreements that you often sign up to without reading them? If you don’t have in house knowledge, do you have a trusted partner who can advise on such licensing matters in an increasing complex, digitally inter-connected world including Cloud platforms (PaaS, SaaS) and help you achieve a true digitally connected enterprise without paying over the odds for software licenses?

Keen to see what others think!

Cheers

Chan

#DigitalEnterprise #Connected #IoT #DigitalRevolution #Licensing

HPE Ambassador Summit 2017 – A Quick Review

A quick post to summarise the HPE Ambassador summit 2017 that I’ve attended last week as a HPE partner Ambassador from the UK.

Introduction

According to HPE, the World Wide Ambassador Summit, known as WWAS, is the HPE’s Enterprise Group’s (‘EG’ as referred to internally) highest rated conference for sharing technology experience. It is an exclusive event for HPE champions from within HPE organisation globally, as well as from global partner organisations such as those in the channel.  During the event, HPE ambassadors are given a chance to be in front of the HPE senior executives and most importantly, core product engineers from various different business units that are responsible for current and future product developments. The event is a predominantly technical event and idea is supposed to be to discuss current and future strategy of HPE, share deep dive product and technology information as well as sharing product roadmap information (typically subject to Non Disclosure Agreements) with HPE ambassadors from around the world. HPE Ambassador summit is not something similar to HPE Discover (which is more of a public exhibition type of event to discuss some technical as well as commercial information) or even HPE TSS (Technology and Solutions Summit is an event for typical HPE solutions architects and Presales consultants, both from HPE and partners to discuss technical details of HPE products and services). It is supposed to be lot more technical than the TSS event itself, only open to a handful of HPE advocates within HPE itself as well as the partner community and the content is supposed to include road map information far in to the future of HPE.

For the 2nd consecutive year, it was held at Hilton Anatole conference center in Dallas, Texas which is where its earmarked to be hosted for one more year in 2018 before moving to a different location in Houston in 2019.

As for the attendees, there were supposed to be around 1000 total attendees from around the world covering all the geos including around 400 HPE Ambassadors as well as about 100 partner ambassadors globally. From the UK in particular, there were the following partner HPE ambassadors  representing the UK HPE channel partners (list doesn’t include HPE employees) that attended this year.

2017 Ambassador Summit

The ambassador summit was eventful. There were various sessions covering all if not most of HPE technologies such as ProLiant, Synergy & Apollo servers, 3Par storage, HPE networking, Aruba networking…etc.. as well as software solutions such as CloudSystems, OneView…etc. There were also sessions fron HPE partner technologies and their integration with HPE such as Arista, Docker, Kubernetes, Mesos…etc as well as then partner, now part of HPE, Simplivity (However Simplivity sessions were limited to current technology information about their current products rather than roadmap info together with HPE due to the formal acquisition being yet to complete).

In total, apart from the opening key note speeches delivered by HPE executives every day, I’ve attended the following sessions during the day and the evening. I’ve only listed the session title as I am not at liberty to discuss specific details mentioned in the session due to NDA being in place.

  • Composable Strategy & Futures
    • Presentation about HPE Synergy converged compute, server & networking platform and its current & future strategy
  • OCA Rollout, Roadmap & Hands-On Workshop 
    • Presentation of a potential new presales tool. Somewhat similar (but more advanced) to OCS that is publicly accessible right now.
  • HPE Container Strategy & Roadmap
    • Clue is in the name
  • HPE Servers Gen10 Primer
    • Information about upcoming HPE ProLiant gen 10 hardware
  • Converged Edge Systems & Use Cases
    • Edge analytics and how HPE’s portfolio help. Great session!
  • Deep Dive: CloudSystem Architecture
  • Composable Strategy & Futures
    • An interactive session about the digital disruption and its impact on organisations and their IT and how HPE’s composable infrastructure based on Synergy platform will be shaped in its future to keep up with demand.
  • Reference Architecture Strategy & Roadmap
    • All information available here
  • Accelerate your Docker Deployment with HPE
    • Clue is in the name
  • Docker Containers Demystified
    • Back to basics
  • Clouds, Containers, DevOps, Kubernetes, Docker, Mesosphere & Stackato
    • Complete, up to date guide on cloud native infrastructure and how HPE plays a vital role in it. Great session!
  • Virtualize your Data Center with Arista (Integration with NSX, OpenStack & Docker)
    • Delivered by Arista SE. Great session!
  • Arista CloudVision Hands-On Lab
    • Delivered by Arista SE team. Great session!
  • Enabling Hybrid Cloud with HPE ProLiant for Microsoft Azure Stack Solution
    • Azure stack HW information from HPE though more details will be available after the Azure Stack Airlift event in March.

It was a good event from an organisation perspective, very similar to the last years event. There were some valuable sessions with deep technical details as well as some mediocre sessions where the content was either poor or not relevant to the title itself but this is somewhat to be expected in any event, that consist of various presentations from various sources. All in all, it was becoming obvious that HPE is in the midst of a massive, mostly necessitated transformation, from a legacy hardware vendor to something that has to be relevant in the current world of IT that is massively impacted by Software Defined Everything (SDx) including the Public Cloud (which is also SDx). From my perspective, its too early to say whether HPE is on the right track but their messaging is good.

I personally would prefer HPE to spend more focus on its software stack and last years’ ambassador event was full of sessions on how the HPE software will transform and complement their hardware stack. I loved most of those software as they were full of potential (CSA, Helion Stackato, Helion Eucalyptus…etc.). However it was public knowledge that  since then, HPE has spun-off of its non core software to a new entity formed with Micro Focus and while HPE shareholders still retains majority rights in the new company, I’m unsure whether HPe would have direct control over Micro Focus’s future direction which is a little worrying. So at present, it appears that HPE is somewhat in a transiotionary period where its role in a world dominated by SDx is not yet fully defined which is understandable. Having said that, HPE is focusing more and more on partnering up with disruptive cloud native software vendor technologies that are currently shaping the way how applications are developed and how data centers are run in a cloud like manner and these new partnerships include the likes of Docker for container integration (with HPE’s Synergy HW platform), Google Kubernetes, Mesosphere for container orchestration and their integration with HPE composable infrastructure as well as Arista & Nokia DCN integration with HPE product ecosystem. This approach could well pay off for HPE in the short to medium term as these technologies are very popular right now and most organisations looking at Public Cloud as a final destination of a strategic IT roadmap are exploring things like containerisation & cloud native app development as potential phases of that journey and will benefit from HPE’s closer integration of their own HW platform with these technologies which will simplify the adoption of such technologies in the DC.

In addition to these, HPE is also developing on existing partnerships with legacy datacenter and cloud vendors such as VMware (for VMware Cloud Foundation) & Microsoft (for Azure Stack) as well as increasing co-development with Suse & RedHat as technology partners which is good news as some customers would always would want to retain their on-premise datacenter and the legacy application stack on it. Therefore, the continued integration of HPE datacenter infrastructure with these vendors will only help future customers.

I am not at liberty to disclose anything specific about the information released to us during the event due to the governing NDA, however it should be permissible for me to state that it was damningly obvious that unlike the previous HP that was focused mainly on x86 computing, the new HPE is looking at various different markets and various different partnerships with SW manufacturers to stay relevant to every different IT use case in the data center, be that typical X86 computing (DC),  Cloud native app development or consumption (cloud), Networking including wireless networking as well as computing at the edge (IoT)…etc. which is good to see however whether the strategy would work in somewhat of a diminishing market due to public cloud will remain to be seen.

A word must also be mentioned about the level of Hardware centric knowledge and the continued innovation on the HW front by HPE engineering, which seems ever so impressive. Some of these next generation hardware solutions were on display during an engineering night that was held on one of the evenings and other hardware vendors would likely have looked at these in awe, no doubt. As a techie at heart that came from hardware background, this was really pleasing for me to see. However in an increasingly software defined world of IT, I sincerely wish & hope HPE will put an equal (if not a stronger) emphasis on accompanying software to complement the geniuses of  their hardware going forward. Without this dual approach, survival is likely going to be difficult for legacy hardware vendors such as the  likes of HPE / Cisco…etc. and the same thought process likely played a part in Dell (HW) merger with EMC & VMware (SW) not long ago.

Final Thoughts

HPE WWAS is somewhat of a unique event that brings together global HPE champions from around all geos and core HPE business leaders and product engineers for discussions around products and strategy. No other vendor (that I know of) host similar events in person as similar programs such as VMware vExpert programme, NetApp A-Team programme, Cisco Champion program are more focused around granting similar advocates of their respective technologies a title and access to some restricted information through online events (i.e. Webex events) amongst other things but unlike HPE, no other vendor go all the way to host a  dedicated event annually to bring them all together. I believe this is an expensive event to host logistically for HPE and for those attendees to attend, however the idea behind it is a good one and HPE should be applauded for their effort in continuing this format of the event.

The event overall was a good one for me and I’ve picked up number of existing areas to follow up on as well as couple of new HPE solutions I never knew existed to follow up on. Above all else, I’ve managed to network with some key people (technical & executive) at HPE which is often worth the attendance on its own as well as discuss and provide feedback to HPE on their current and future strategy which as a partner and an ambassador, is an important job for me to do.

Massive thanks to HPE for the invitation and various HPE UK channel team for hosting us including @idoneus_brown, @Eugatwork & @AndyDSawyer. It was also great to have caught up with my friends from all other HPE channel partners in the UK. Our respective employers might be competitors out in the field, but its refreshing to see that us techies are still friends 🙂

Cheers

Chan

 

Storage Field Day (#SFD12) – A quick intro!

I’ve been very fortunate enough to be invited to attend the popular Tech Field Day (#SFD12) to be held in March 2017 in Silicon Valey so a quick post to share my initial thoughts & about the event itself.

Tech Field Day is a popular, invitees only, an independant IT influencer event organised and hosted by  Gestalt IT (GestaltIT.com). The idea behind the event is to bring together innovative technology product vendors and independant thought leaders from around the globe with an active community contribution to share information and opinions interactively.  There are various different field day events such as Tech / Storage / Cloud / Mobility / Networking / Virtualisation / Unified Communications / Wirelesss Field Day events that take place throughout the year with respective technology vendors. It’s organised by the long time leader Stephen Foskett (@SFoskett) and has always been an extremely popular event amongst the vendors as it provides an ideal opportunity to present their new products and solutions to a number of thought leaders and community influencers from around the world and get their valueable thoughts & feedback.

I’ve been wanting to attend as a delegate for a while now but as the event was an invitee only event for the delegates, I wasn’t able to just sign up and attend. However this time around, I was extremely lucky to have been invited attend the next event Storage Field Day (#SFD12) in San Jose on March 7th-10th which I’m now looking forward to.

The details around the SFD12 event that I will be attending, including the rest of the invited delegates as well as the presenting vendor details are all available here. I will aim to provide a summary outlining my thoughts on various technologies & solutions we are going to be discussing about focusing on not just their technical value but also the business value to potential customers so stay tuned…!

In the meantime, if you would like to attend a fiuture Tech Field Day Event, all the information you need and how to apply are listed here. If you would like to see what the typical event sessions look like, have a look at their youtube feed here for past event recordings.

Thanks

Chan

 

VMware vExperts 2017 Annouced!

The latest batch of VMware vExperts in 2017 was announced last week on the 8th of February and I’m glad to say I’ve made the cut for the 3rd year which was fantastic news personally. The vExpert programme is VMware’s global evangelism and advocacy programme and is held in high regards within the community due to the expertise of the selected vExperts and their contribution towards enabling and empowering customers around the world with their virtualisation and software defined datacentre projects through knowledge sharing. The candidates are judged on their contribution to the community through activities such as community blogs, personal blogs, participation of events, producing tools…etc.. and in general, maintaining their expertise in related subject matters. vExperts typically get access to private betas, free licenses, early access product briefings, exclusive events, free access to VMworld conference materials, and other opportunities to directly interact with VMware product teams which is totally awesome and in return, help us to feed the information back to our customers…

Its been a great honour to have been recognised by VMware again for this prestigious title and I’d like to thank VMware as well as congratulate the other fellow vExperts who have also made it this year. Lets keep up the good work…!!

The full list of VMware vExperts 2017 can be found below

https://communities.vmware.com/vexpert.jspa

My vExpert profile link is below

https://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-31313

Cheers

Chan

 

New Dedicated VSAN Management Plugin For vROps Released

Some of you may have seen the tweets and the article from legendary Duncan Epping here about the release of the new VMware VSAN plugin for vROPS (vRealize Operations Management Pack for vSAN version 1.0)

If you’ve ever had the previous VSAN plugin for vROps deployed, you might know that it was not a dedicated plugin for VSAN alone, but was a vRealize Operations Management Pack for Storage Devices as a whole which included not just the visibility in to VSAN but also legacy storage stats such as FC, iSCSI and NFS for legacy storage units (that used to connect to Cisco DCNM or Brocade Fabric switches).

This vROps plugin for vSAN  however is the first dedicated plugin for VSAN (hence the version 1.0) on vROps. According to the documentation it has the following features

  • Discovers vSAN disk groups in a vSAN datastore.
  • Identifies the vSAN-enabled cluster compute resource, host system, and datastore objects in a vCenter Server system.
  • Automatically adds related vCenter Server components that are in the monitoring state.

How to Install / Upgrade from the previous MPSD plugin

  1. Download the management pack (.pak file)
    1. https://solutionexchange.vmware.com/store/products/vmware-vrealize-operations-management-pack-for-vsan
  2. Login to the vROps instance as the administrator / with administrative privileges and go to Administration -> Solutions
  3. Click add (plus sign) and select the .Pak file and select the 2 check boxes to replace if already installed and reset default content. Accept any warnings and click upload.
  4. Once the upload is complete and staged, verify the signature validity and click next to proceed               
  5. Click next and accept the EULA and proceed. The management plugin will start to install.
  6. Now select the newly installed management plugin for VSAN and click configure. Within this window, connect to the vCenter server (cannot use previously configured credentials for MPSD). When creating the credentials, you need to specify an admin account for the vCenter instance. Connection can be verified using the test button.  
  7. Once connected, wait for the data collection from VSAN cluster to complete and verify collection is showing
  8. Go to Home and verify that the VSAN dedicated dashboard items are now available on vROps               
  9. By Default there will be 3 VSAN specific dashboard available now as follows under default dashboards
    1. vSAN Environment Overview – This section provide some vital high level information on the vSAN cluster including its type, total capacity, used, any congestion if available, and average latency figures along with any active alerts on the VSAN cluster. As you can see I have a number of alerts due to using non-compliant hardware in my VSAN cluster.   
    2. vSAN Performance
      1. This default dashboard provide various performance related information / stats for the vSAN cluster rand datastores as well as the VM’s residing on it. You can also check performance such as VM latency and IOPS levels based on the VM’s you select on the tile view and the trend forecast which is think is going to be real handy.    
      2. Similarly, you can see performance at vSAN disk group level also which shows information such as Write buffer performance or Reach cache performance levels, current as well as future forecasted levels which are new and were not previously accessible easily.
      3. You can also view the performance at ESXi host level which shows the basic information such as current CPU utilisation as well as RAM including current and future (forecast) trend lines in true vROps style which are going to be really well received. Expect the content available on this ppage to be significantly extended in the future iterations of this mgmt. pack.  
    3. Optimize vSAN Deployments – This page provide a high level comparison of vSAN and non vSAN enviorments which would be especially handy if you have vSAN datastores alongside traditional iSCSI or NFS data stores to see how for example, IOPS and latency compares between VM’s on VSAN and an NFS datastore presented to the same ESXi server (I have both)    
  10. Under Environment -> vSAN and Storage Devices, additional vSAN hierarchy information such as vSAN enabled clusters, Fault domains (if relevant), Disk groups and Witness hosts (if applicable) are now visible for monitoring which is real handy.                                                                        
  11. In the inventory explorer, you can see the list of vSAN inventory items that the data are being collected for.   

All in all, this is a welcome addition and will only continue to be improved and new monitoring features added as we go up the versions. I realy like the dedicated plugin factor as well as the nice default dashboards included with this version which no doubt will help customers truly use vROps as a single pane of glass for all things monitoring on the SDDC including VSAN.

Cheers

Chan

VMware vROPS 6.4 – Upgrade Process From 6.3

Most people know by now that the VMware vRealize Operations Management version 6.4 was released by VMware on the 15th of November 2016, amongst a number of other new products.

Since then, I’ve been meaning to upgrade my vROPS appliance from the previous 6.3 version to 6.4 and finally tonight managed to get around to doing it. I’ve documented below (briefly though) the easiest migrations steps to follow.

  1. Backup any customised contents (such as custom views, definitions…etc.)
    1. This is required so that that during the vROps product update you can select “Reset default content, overwriting to a newer version provided by this update” option.
  2. Login to the vRops appliance’s admin page
    1. https://<fqdn of the vROps appliance>/admin
  3. Offline the vROps cluster
    1. Click on the “Take offline” button to offline the vROps cluster                                   
    2. Note that obviously this means downtime and this may take some time to complete
    3. You need to repeat if for each node in the cluster if you have a HA cluster of vROps nodes
    4. Verify its offline properly                                                                                      
  4. Take a snapshot backup
    1. Once offline, go to vSphere web client and take a snapshot of the vROps 6.3 appliance VM’s (precautionary best practise)
  5. Download the appropriate update files from My VMware for vROps 6.4 – I have the vROps appliance deployed rather than a Windows install and you need 2 update files here as follows
    1. Virtual Appliance OS system update PAK file: You need the file titled “vRealize_Operations_Manager-VA-OS-6.4.0.4635873.pak”
    2. vROps product update PAK file: I’m using “vRealize_Operations_Manager-VA-6.4.0.4635873.pak” file as I don’t have windows remote collectors configured (if you do, make sure you download the “vRealize_Operations_Manager-VA-WIN-6.4.0.4635873.pak ” file instead)
  6. Appliance OS update
    1. Go to Software Update and click on Install a software update and locate the .Pak file for the OS update (“vRealize_Operations_Manager-VA-OS-6.4.0.4635873.pak“)
    2. Click Upload. Once complete, read the warning messages (about the appliance restart) and click next
    3. Accept EULA and click next twice & finally click install. The vROps virtual appliance OS upgrade install with begin.  
    4. Once the OS install is complete, the appliance will restart and would prompt you to login back to the admin page.
    5. Login back to the Admin page and wait for the vRops services to become online.
    6. Go to the Software Update section and ensure that the OS update is successfully complete.          
  7. vROps product update
    1. Go to Software Update and click on Install a software update and locate the .Pak file for the OS update (“vRealize_Operations_Manager-VA-6.4.0.4635873.pak“)  
    2. Click Reset default content checkbox and click upload
    3. Once uploaded and staged on the appliance, ensure that the new version (to be upgraded to) is appearing correctly and click next
    4. Accept EULA and click next twice and then click install                                                                          
    5. During the install stage, you will be automatically logged out of the admin interface and will be prompted to log back in.
    6. Log back in to the admin interface and wait until the software update completes. This stage can be time consuming somewhat
    7. Once complete, go to System Status section and verify that the vROps version 6.4 is not showing successfully.  
  8. That’s it. vROps upgrade has successfully completed now for my cluster / node. If you have multiple nodes in your vROps cluster, you may need to repeat this process for each node.
  9. Also do remember to remove the snapshot if all operations are normal, after a while and that you can see all your views, dashboards…etc.

 

Cheers

Chan

 

 

VMware Storage and Availability Technical Documents Hub

homepage

This was something I came across accidentally so thought it may be worth a very brief post about as I found some useful content there.

VMware Storage and Availability Technical Documents Hub, is an online repository of technical documents and “how to” guides including video documents for all storage and availability products within VMware. Namely, it has some very useful contents for 4 VMware product categories (as of now)

  • VSAN
  • SRM
  • Virtual Volumes
  • vSphere Replication

For example, under the VSAN section, there are a whole heap of VSAN 6.5 contents such as technical information on what’s new with VSAN 6.5, how to design and deploy VSAN 6.5…etc as well as some handy video’s on how to configure some of those too. There also seem to be some advanced technical documentation around VSAN caching algorithms…etc & some deployment guides which I though was quite handy.

vsan

Similarly there are some good technical documentation around vVols including overview, how to set up and implement VVols…etc.. However in comparison, the content is a little light for the others compared to VSAN, but I’m sure more content will be added as the portal gets developed further.

All the information are presented in HTML5 interface which is easy to navigate with handy option to print to PDF option on all pages if you wanna download the content as a PDF for offline reading which is cool.

I’d recommend you to check this documentation hub, especially if you use any storage solution from VMware like VSAN and would like to see most of the relevant technical documentation all in a single place.

Cheers

Chan

VMware vSphere 6.5 Announced – What’s New?

Cover

VMware has just officially announced the launch of the newest version of vSphere 6.5 today at VMworld 2016 in Barcelona. I’ve been beta testing it for a while and, with the release of this new vSphere version 6.5, there are a number of new enhancements and features that customers would benefit from. I’ve attempted to summarize the key ones below. However note that there may also be many more little tweaks and enhancements that aren’t necessarily been made public by VMware as of yet, that we all will only come to know once its in production use

Out of these, I’ve listed what I think would be the most important ones in blue, below.

vSphere Lifecycle Management

  • Enhanced vCenter Install, Upgrade, Patch: 
    • Streamlined user experience while deploying, upgrading and patching for vCenter Server.              vCSA deploy options
      • Reduced clicks.
      • Client integration plugin NOT required!
      • No browser dependency
      • vCSA ovf deploy target can be ESXi or another vCenter
    • Upgrade option available from Windows version 5.5 & 6.0 to vCSA 6.5
      • vCenter 5.5 and above
      • Deployment type and config preserved
      • Embedded and external SQL and Oracle DB to move to embedded Postgres SQL db within the vCSA appliance
      • Built-in extensions migrated automatically.
      • Migration assistant (windows console application) guides the user with migration process (VMware-Migration-Assistant.exe)
    • Support for CLI template-based vCenter Server lifecycle management.
      • vCSA install via CLI supports install, upgrade form 5.5 or 6.0 to 6.5 and migration from
        • Number of .jason templates are provided and simply edit the templates                                                                                                    Templates
          • ./vcsa-deploy install <template.json>
  • vSphere Update Manager for vCenter Server Appliance:
    • Fully embedded and an integrated vSphere Update Manager experience for vCenter Server Appliance – with no Windows dependencies! (finally)
      • Migrating from Windows vCenter to vCSA 6.5 also enables migration of VUM to vCSA embedded VUM
        • Export baseline from Windows VUm to appliance
        • Support VUM running on the same appliance as vCenter Server Service or external appliance
        • VUM client fully integrated to web-client
  • Enhanced Auto Deploy:
    • New capabilities such as UI support, improved performance and scale, backup and restore of rules for Auto Deploy.
  • Improvements in Host Profiles:
    • Streamlined user experience and host profile management with several new capabilities including DRS integration, parallel host remediation, and improved audit quality compliance results.
  • VMware Tools Lifecycle Management:
    • Simplified and Scalable approach for install and upgrade of VMware Tools, Reboot less upgrade for Linux Tools, OSP upgrades, enhanced version and status reporting via API and UI.
  • Web Client improvements
    • Performance & Usability
    • HTML 5 enablement (Embedded HTML 5 host client as well as the HTML5 Web Client)
  • vCenter Appliance
    • Native HA solution for VCSA (out of the box)                                                                                 HA1            HA2                                     
    • Out of the box backup and restore (file based rather than snapshot based)
    • Enhanced scale and performance (without adding to the underlying host hardware)
    • VUM is now embedded in the VCSA – Yes finally…!!
      • Web client UI for VUM & Auto deploy capability (Auto deploy caching proxies available)
    • Host Profile enhancements
  • Simplified deployment
    • Migration tool from Windows to VCSA (Including VC and VUM migration as a single step migration to achieve upgrade and migrate)
    • CLI interface for VC install, upgrade and migrate – Scripted install and update capability for VC
    • Enhanced UI experience
  • Availability
    • Proactive HA
      • Detect catastrophic health conditions in hosts and notify VI admin, along with remediation steps…etc
      • Ability to vMotion VMs from partially degraded hosts
    • Predictive DRS
      • Evolve DRS to use prediction data from vROPS – Yes..!! Was just a matter of time….!!
      • Perform pre-emptive actions to prepare for CPU/Memory changes
      • Re-balancing of cluster proactively after maintenance events
    • Orchestrated VM Restart using HA:
      • Orchestrated restart allows admins to create dependency chains on VMs or VM groups, allowing for a restart order of these dependencies and multi-tiered applications should an HA restart occur.
      • Not only will Orchestrated restart do this in the order specified by the admin, it can also wait until the previous VM is running and ready before beginning the HA restart of a dependent VM.
    • Fault Tolerance
      • Scalability limits stay the same (4 vCPUs, /64GB vRAM & 8vCPU / 64GB vRAM support still the same)
      •  Improvements in vSphere 6.5
        • Performance improvements and maximum and average response times
          • Reduced max latency from 100ms to 12ms, average of 1ms through FT algo optimisations (i.e. avg ping response down to 1.1ms from 6.6ms in vSphere 6.0, increased TCP request / response throughput, Increased bandwidth)
        • Inter-operate with VSAN (already on 6.0 u1)
          • Persevere storage policies on VM’s in a vsan cluster
        • Interoperate with DRS
          • DRS considers FT requirements in determining optimal initial host placement
        • Multiple NIC aggregation for improved FT network performance
      • Future roadmap discussion topics for FT (no guarantee)
        • Restart FT VM in a different geographical site

vSphere Compute

  • Expanded Support for New Hardware, Architectures and Guest Operating Systems:
    • Expanded support for the latest x86 chipsets, devices and drivers.
    • NVMe enhancements, and several new performance and scale improvements due to the introduction of native driver stack.
  • Guest OS and Customization Support:
    • Continue to offer broad support for guest OS’s, including recent Windows 10 builds, the latest from RHEL 7.x, Ubuntu 16.xx, SUSE 12 SPx and CoreOS 899.x. and Tech Preview of Windows Server 2016.
  • VMware Host Client:
    • HTML5-based UI to manage individual ESX hosts.
    • Supported tasks include creating and updating of VM, host, networking and storage resources, VM console access, and performance graphs and logs to aid in ESX troubleshooting.
    • Negligible host requirements
    • Console access to VM through the WebMKS
    • HTML5 redirection for the vSphere client (C#)
  • Virtual Hardware 13:
    • VMs up to 6TB of memory, and provide UEFI secure boot for guest OS.
  • Increased Scalability and Performance for ESXi and vCenter Server:
    • Continued increases in scale and performance beyond vSphere 6
      • Cluster maximums increased to support up to 64 nodes and 8K VMs.
      • Virtual Machines supported up to 128 vCPUs and 6TB vRAM 
      • Hosts supported up to 480 physical CPUs , 12 TB RAM,
      • 64 TB data stores
      • 1000+ VMs.

vSphere Storage

  • Enhancements to Storage I/O Control:
    • Support for I/O limits, shares and reservations is now fully integrated with Storage Policy-Based Management. SIOC
    • Delivers comprehensive I/O prioritization for virtual machines accessing a shared storage pool.
  • Storage Policy-Based Management Components:
    • Easily create and reuse Storage Policy Components in policies to effectively manage a multitude of data services including encryption, caching, replication, and I/O control. (via SPBM – As yo can see in the screenshot below)     SIOC SPBM
  • Enhancements in NFS 4.1 client:
    • Support for stronger cryptographic algorithms with Kerberos (AES), support for IPV6 with Kerberos and also support for Kerberos integrity check (SEC_KRB5i).
    • PowerCLI support for NFS 4.1 as well in this release.
  • Increased Datastore & Path limit:
    • Number of LUNs supported per host increased to 1024 and number of Paths increased to 4096.
  • Native support for 4k native drives in 512e mode
    • Also means VSAN 6.5 now supports large 4k drives

Management

  • vSphere Web Client enhancements:
    • New Web Client UI features like Custom Attributes, Object Tabs, and Live Refresh are presented alongside other performance and usability improvements.
  • Content Library Improvements:
    • Enhancements to Content Library including ISO mount to a VM directly from Content Library, VM Guest OS customization, simplified library item update capabilities and optimizations in streaming content between vCenter Server.
  • Enhanced DRS:
    • Enhancements to DRS settings with addition of DRS Policies that provides easier way to set advanced options including capabilities like even distribution of virtual machines, consumed vs. active memory, CPU over-commitment.

Security

  • Secure Boot Support for ESXi Host and Guest VM:
    • UEFI secure boot for ESXi and VMs – Protection against image tampering during boot
      • At boot time, we have assurance that ESXi and Guest VM’s are booting the right set of vibs.
      • If the trust is violated, ESXi and the VM’s will not boot and customers can capture the outcome.
  • Enhanced vCenter Events, Alarms and vSphere Logging:
    • Enhancements to vSphere Logging and events to provide granular visibility into current state, changes made, who made the changes and when.
    • Deliver audit-quality logging – Easier auditing and troubleshooting and forensic analysis using logs
  • Other security enhancements
    • VM encryption (Disk + Data) – Can be used to lock down critical VMs
    • Provide file integrity monitoring to meet PCI DSS requirements
    • Encrypted vMotion – Yes finally..!! (provide secure vMotion)

 

There you have it. Some really cool and really innovative features and improvements being delivered by VMware as always. Also note that this is not a major product platform release but only a minor (step) release so the new feature set is relatively minor. Expect bigger and better changes in the next version of vSphere when due out (perhaps next year??)

Slide credit goes to VMware…!!

Cheers

Chan

VSAN, NSX on Cisco Nexus, vSphere Containers, NSX Future & a chat with VMware CEO – Highlights Of My Day 2 at VMworld 2016 US

In this post,  I will aim to highlight the various breakout sessions I’ve attended during the day 2 at VMworld 2016 US, key items / notes / points learnt and few other interesting things I was privy to  during the day that is worth mentioning, along with my thoughts on them…!!

Day 2 – Breakout Session 1 – Understanding the availability features of VSAN

vsan-net-deploy-support

  • Session ID: STO8179R
  • Presenters:
    • GS Khalsa – Sr. Technical Marketing manager – VMware (@gurusimran)
    • Jeff Hunter – Staff Technical Marketing Architect – VMware (@Jhuntervmware)

In all honesty, I wasn’t quite sure why I signed up to this breakout session as I know VSAN fairly well, including its various availability features as I’ve been working with testing & analysing its architecture and performance when VSAN was first launched to then designing and deploying VSAN solutions on behalf of my customers for a while. However, having attended the session it reminded me of a key fact that I normally try to never forget which is “you always learn something new” even when you think you know most of it.

Anyways, about the session itself, it was good and was mainly aimed at the beginners to VSAN but I did manage to learn few new things as well as refresh my memory on few other facts, regarding VSAN architecture. The key new ones I learnt are as follows

  • VSAN component statuses (as shown within vSphere Web Client) and their meanings
    • Absent
      • This means VSAN things the said component will probably return. Examples are,
        • Host rebooted
        • Disk pulled
        • NW partition
        • Rebuild starts after 60 mins
      • When an item is detected / marked as absent, VSNA typically wait for 60 minutes before a rebuild is started in order to allow temporary failure to rectify itself
        • This means for example, pulling disks out of VSAN will NOT trigger an instant rebuild / secondary copy…etc. so it wont be an accurate test of VSAN
    • Degraded
      • This typically means the device / component is unlikely to return. Examples include,
        • A permeant Device Loss (PDL) or a failed disk
      • When a degraded item is noted, a rebuild started immediately
    • Active-Stale
      • This means the device is back online from a failure (i.e. was absent) but the data residing on it are NOT up to date.
  • VSAN drive degradation monitoring is proactively logged in the following log files
    • vmkernel.log indicating LSOM errors
  • Dedupe and Compression during drive failures
    • During a drive failure, de-duplication and compression (al flash only) is automatically disabled – I didn’t know this before

 

Day 2 – Breakout Session 2 – How to deploy VMware NSX with Cisco Nexus / UCS Infrastructure

  • Session ID: NET8364R
  • Presenters:
    • Paul Mancuso – Technical Product Manager (VMware)
    • Ron Fuller – Staff System Engineer (VMware)

This session was about a deployment architecture for NSX which is becoming increasingly popular, which is about how to design & deploy NSX on top of Cisco Nexus switches with ACI as the underlay network and Cisco UCS hardware. Pretty awesome session and a really popular combination too. (FYI – I’ve been touting that both these solutions are better together since about 2 years back and its really good to see both companies recognising this and now working together on providing guidance stuff like these). Outside of this session I also found out that the Nexus 9k switches will soon have the OVS DB support so that they can be used as TOR switches too with NSX (hardware VTEP to bridge VXLANs to VLANs to communication with physical world), much like the Arista switches with NSX – great great news for the customers indeed.

ACI&NSX-2

I’m not going to summarise the content of this session but wold instead like to point people at the following 2 documentation sets from VMware which covers everything that this session was based on, its content and pretty simply, everything you need to know when designing NSX solutions together with Cisco ACI using Nexus 9K switches and Cisco UCS server hardware (blades & rack mounts)

One important thing to keep in mind for all Cisco folks though: Cisco N1K is NOT supported for NSX. All NSX prepped clusters must use vDS. I’m guessing this is very much expected and probably only a commercial decision rather than a technical one.

Personally I am super excited to see VMware ands Cisco are working together again (at least on the outset) when it comes to networking and both companies finally have realised the use cases of ACI and NSX are somewhat complementary to each other (i.e. ACI cannot do most of the clever features NSX is able to deliver in the virtual world, including public clouds and NSX cannot do any of the clever features ACI can offer to a physical fabric). So watch this space for more key joint announcements from both companies…!!

Day 2 – Breakout Session 3 – Containers for the vSphere admin

Capture

  • Session ID: CNA7522
  • Presenters:
    • Ryan Kelly – Staff System Engineer (VMware)

A session about how VMware approaches the massive buzz around containerisation through their own vSphere integrated solution (VIC) as well as a brand new hypervisor system designed from ground up with containerisation in mind (Photon platform). This was more of a refresher session for than anything else and I’m not going to summarise all of it but instead, will point you to the dedicated post I’ve written about VMware’s container approach here.

Day 2 – Breakout Session 4 – The architectural future of Network Virtualisation

the-vision-for-the-future-of-network-virtualization-with-vmware-nsx-27-638

  • Session ID: NET8193R
    Presenters: Bruce Davie – CTO, Networking (VMware)

Probably the most inspiring session of the day 2 as Bruce went through the architectural future of NSX where he described what the NSX team within VMware are focusing on as key improvements & advancements of the NSX platform. The summary of the session is as follows

  • NSX is the bridge from solving today’s requirement to solving tomorrow’s IT requirements
    • Brings remote networking closer easily (i.e. Stretched L2)
    • Programtically (read automatically) provisoned on application demand
    • Security ingrained at a kernel level and every hop outwards from the applications
  • Challenges NSX is trying address (future)
    • Developers – Need to rapidly provision and destroy complex networks as a pre-reqs for applications demanded by developers
    • Micro services – Container networking ands security
    • Containers
    • Unseen future requirements
  • Current NSX Architecture
    • Cloud consumption plane
    • Management plane
    • Control plane
    • Data plane
  • Future Architecture – This is what the NSX team is currently looking at for NSX’s future.
    • Management plane scale out
      • Management plane now needs to be highly available in order to constantly keep taking large number of API calls for action from cloud consumption systems such as OpenStack, vRA..etc – Developer and agile development driven workflows….etc.
      • Using & scaling persistent memory for the NSX management layer is also being considered – This is to keep API requests in persistent memory in a scalable way providing write and read scalability & Durability
      • Being able to take consistent NSX snapshots – Point in time backups
      • Distributed log capability is going to be key in providing this management plane scale out whereby distributed logs that store all the API requests coming from Cloud Consumption Systems will be synchronously stored across multiple nodes providing up to date visibility of the complete state across to all nodes, while also increasing performance due to management node scale out
    • Control plane evolution
      • Heterogeneity
        • Currently vSphere & KVM
        • Hyper-V support coming
        • Control plane will be split in to 2 layers
          • Central control plane
          • Local control plane
            • Data plane (Hyper-V, vSphere, KVM) specific intelligence
    • High performance data plane
      • Use the Intel DPDK – A technology that optimize packet processing in Intel CPU
        • Packet switching using x86 chips will be the main focus going forward and new technologies such as DPDK will only make this better and better
        • DPDK capacities are best placed to optimise iterative processing rather than too many context switching
        • NSX has these optimisation code built in to its components
          • Use DPDK CPUs in the NSX Edge rack ESXi servers is  a potentially good design decision?
  • Possible additional NSX use cases being considered
    • NSX for public clouds
      • NSX OVS and an agent is deployed to in guest – a technical preview of this solution was demoed by Pat Gelsinger during the opening key note on day 1 of VMworld.
    • NSX for containers
      • 2 vSwitches
        • 1 in guest
        • 1 in Hypervisor

 

My thoughts

I like what I heard from the Bruce about the key development focus areas for NSX and looks like all of us, partners & customers of VMware NSX alike, are in for some really cool, business enabling treats from NSX going forward, which kind of reminds me of when vSphere first came out about 20 years ago :-). I am extremely excited about the opportunities NSX present to remove what is often the biggest bottleneck enterprise or corporate IT teams have to overcome to simply get things done quickly and that is the legacy network they have. Networks in most organisations  are still very much managed by an old school minded, networking team that do not necessarily understand the convergence of networking with other silos in the data center such as storage and compute, and most importantly when it comes to convergence with modern day applications. It is a fact that software defined networking will bring the efficiency to the networking the way vSphere brought efficiency to compute (want examples how this SDN efficiency is playing today? Look at AWS and Azure as the 2 biggest use cases) where the ability to spin up infrastructure, along with a “virtual” networking layer significantly increases the convenience for the businesses to consume IT (no waiting around for weeks for your networking team to set up new switches with some new VLANs…etc.) as well as significantly decreasing the go to market time for those businesses when it comes to launching new products / money making opportunities. All in all, NSX will act as a key enabler for any business, regardless of the size to have an agile approach to IT and even embrace cloud platforms.

From my perspective, NSX will provide the same, public cloud inspired advantages to customers own data center and not only that but it will go a step further by effectively converting your WAN to an extended LAN by bridging your LAN with a remote network / data center / Public cloud platform to create something like a LAN/WAN (Read LAN over WAN – Trade mark belongs to me :-))which can automatically get deployed, secured (encryption) while also being very application centric (read “App developers can request networking configuration through an API as a part of the app provisioning stage which can automatically apply all the networking settings including creating various networking segments, routing in between & the firewall requirements…etc. Such networking can be provisioned all the way from a container instance where part of the app is running (i.e. DB server instance as a container service) to a public cloud platform which host the other parts (i.e. Web servers).

I’ve always believed that the NSX solution offering is going to be hugely powerful given its various applications and use cases and natural evolution of the NSX platform through the focus areas like those mentioned above will only make it an absolute must have for all customers, in my humble view.

 

Day 2 – Meeting with Pat Gelsinger and Q&A’s during the exclusive vExpert gathering

vExpert IMG_5750

As interesting as the breakout sessions during the day have been, this was by far the most significant couple of hours for me on the day. As a #vExpert, I was invited to an off site, vExpert only gathering held at Vegas Mob Museum which happened to include VMware CEO, Pat Gelsinger as the guest of honour. Big thanks to the VMware community team lead by Corey Romero (@vCommunityGuy) for organising this event.

This was an intimate gathering for about 80-100 VMware vExperts who were present at VMworld to meet up at an off site venue and discuss things and also to give everyone a chance to meet with VMware CEO and ask him direct questions, which is something you wouldn’t normally get as an ordinary person so it was pretty good. Pat was pretty awesome as he gave a quick speech about the importance of vExpert community to VMware followed up by a Q&A session where we all had a chance to ask him questions on various fronts. I myself started the Q&A session by asking him the obvious question, “What would be the real impact on VMware once the Dell-EMC merger completes” and Pats answer was pretty straight forward. As Michael Dell (who happened to come on stage during the opening day key note speech said it himself), Dell is pretty impressed with the large ecosystem of VMware partners (most of whom are Dell competitors) and will keep that ecosystem intact going forward and Pat echoed the same  message, while also hinting that Dell hardware will play a key role in all VMware product integrations, including using Dell HW by default in most pre-validated and hyper-converged solution offerings going forward, such as using Dell rack mount servers in VCE solutions….etc. (in Pat’s view, Cisco will still play a big role in blade based VCE solution offerings and they are unlikely to walk away from it all just because of Dell integration given the substantial size of revenue that business brings to Cisco).

If I read in between the lines correctly (may be incorrect interpretations from my end here),  he also alluded that the real catch of the EMC acquisition as far as Dell was concerned was VMware. Pat explained that most of the financing charges behind the capital raised by Dell will need to be paid through EMC business’s annual run rate revenue (which by the way is roughly the same as the financing interest) so in a way, Dell received VMware for free and given their large ecosystem of partners all contributing towards VMware’s revenue, it is very likely Dell will continue to let VMware run as an independent entity.

There were other interesting questions from the audience and some of the key points made by Pat in answering those questions were,

  • VMware are fully committed to increasing NSX adoption by customers and sees NSX as a key revenue generator due to what it brings to the table – I agree 100%
  • VMware are working on the ability to provide networking customers through NSX, a capability similar to VMotion for compute as one of their (NSX business units) key goals. Pat mentioned that engineering in fact have this figured out already and testing internally but not quite production ready.
  • In relation to VMware’s Cross Cloud Services as a service offering (announced by Pat during the event opening keynote speech), VMware are also working on offering NSX as a service – Though the detail were not discussed, I’m guessing this would be through the IBM and vCAN partners
  • Hinted that a major announcement on the VMware Photon platform  (One of the VMware vSphere container solutions) will be taking place during VMworld Barcelona – I’ve heard the same from the BU’s engineers too and look forward to Barcelona announcements
  • VMware’s own cloud platform, vCloud air WILL continue to stay focused on targeted use cases while the future scale of VMware’s cloud business will be expected to come from the vCAN partners (hosting providers that use VMware technologies and as a result are part of the VMware vCloud Air Network…i.e IBM)
  • Pat also mentioned about the focus VMware will have on IOT and to this effect, he mentioned about the custom IOT solution VMware have already built or working on (I cannot quite remember which was it) for monitoring health devices through the Android platform – I’m guessing this is through their project ICE and LIOTA (Little IOT Agent) platform which already had similar device monitoring solutions being demoed in the solutions exchange during VMworld 2016. I mentioned about that during my previous post here

It was really good to have had the chance to listen to Pat up close and be able to ask direct questions and get frank answers which was a fine way to end a productive and an education day for me at VMworld 2016 US

Image credit goes to VMware..!!

Cheers

Chan

 

 

VMworld 2016 US – Key Announcements From Day 2

A quick summary of this morning’s key note speech at VMworld 2’016 US and few annoucements.

Opening Keynote Speech

The morning keynote speech was hosted by Sunjay Poonan (@Spoonan), who heads up the EUC BU within VMware. Sunjay’s speech was pretty much in line with the general VMware focus areas, mentioned yesterdays key note by Pat Gelsinger which is a complete solution that enable customers of todays enterprises & corporates the ability to use any device, any app & any cloud platform as they see fit without having to worry about workload mobility, cross platform management and monitoring.

While yesterdays session was more focused on the server side of things, Sunjay’s message today was focused on the End User Computing side of things, predictably to a bigger degree. The initial messaging was around the VMware Workspace One suite.

Workspace One suite with VMware identity manager appears to be focusing more and more on the following 3 key areas which are key to todays enterprise IT.

  • Apps and identity
  • Desktop & Mobile
  • Management & Security

Workspace one integration with mobile devices to push out corporate apps on mobile devices similar to Apple app store like interface was demoed which emphasize the slick capabilities of the solution which really appears to be ready for primetime now. He also demoed the conditional access capabilities wihtin the Horizon Workspace suite that prevents data sharing between managed and unmanaged apps. The conditional access can also be extended out to NSX to utilise micro segmentation hand in hand to provide even tighter security which is quite handy.

Stephanie Buscemi – EVP of Salesforce came on stage to talk about how they use VMware Wotrkspace suite to empower their sales people to work on the go which was pretty cool I thought, though there was a little marketing undertone to the whole pitch.

  • My take: Personally I dont cover EUC offerings that much myself though I have a good awareness of their Digital Workspace strategy and have also had hands on design and experience with the Horizon View from back in the days. However I can see the EUC offering from VMware getting better and better every day over the last 5 odd years and dare I say, right now, its one of the best solutions out there for most customers if not the best, given its feature set and the integration to other VMware and non VMware compoenents in the back end data center and Cloud. If you are looking at any EUC solutions, this should be on top of your list to investigate / evaluate.

Endpoint Security

VMware TrustPoint powered by Tanium was showcased and its integration with AirWatch to provide a mobile device management solution togewther with a comprehensive security solution that can track devices and their activities real time (no database-full of old device activity info) and apply security controls real time too. This looked a very attractive proposition given the security concerns of the todays enterprise and I can see where this would add value, provided that the costs stack up.

Free VMware Fusion and Workstation license annouicement

VMware also annouced today thye availability of VMware Fusion and Workstation free liceses to all VMworld attendees through the VMworld 2016 app (already claimed mine) – pretty cool huh?

Cloud Native Applications

Kit Colbert, Cloud Native CTO at VMware spoke about the challenges of using the containerised apps in the enterprise environments which currently lacks a comprehensive management solution. Having been looking at containerisation myself and its practical use for majority of ordinary customers, I can relate to that too myself, especially when you compare managing applications based on containers like Docker to legacy appications that run on a dedicated OSE (Windows, Linux…etc) which can be managed, tracked and monitored with session & data persistence that is lacking in a container instance to a level withouth 3rd party components.

Today, couple of new additional features have been annouced on VIC as folows (If you are new to VIC, refer to my intro blog post here)

  • New: Container registry
  • New: Container management portal

1

vSphere Integrated Containers beta programme is also now available if you want to have a look at http://learn.vmware.com/vicbeta

 

VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO)

Also, VIO 3.0 was oifficially annouced today by Kit. I was privy to this information beforehand due to a vExpert only briefing for the same but was not able to disclose anything due to embargo until now.

VIO is a VMware customised distro of OpenStack and the below slide should give you an intro for those of you who aren’t familer with VIO all that well.

VIO1

Running native OpenStack is a bit of a nightmare as it requires lots of skills and resources which restricts its proper production use to large scale organisations with plenty of technical expertise and resources. Based on my experience, lots of customers that I know who’ve initially started out with ambitious (vanila) OpenStack projects have decided to abandon half way through due to complexity…etc. to switch back to vSphere. VIO attempts to solve this somewhat to help customers run OpenStack with a VMware flavour to make things easier for mass customer adoptoin.

The annoucements for VIO was the release of the VIO 3.0 which has the following key features / improvements

  • Mitaka Based
    • VIO 3.0 distribution is now based on the latest OpenStack release (Mitaka)
    • Leverage the latest features and enhancement of the Mitaka Release
      • Improved day-to-day experience for cloud admins and administrators.
      • Simplified configuration for Nova compute service.
      • Streamlined Keystone identity service is now a one-step process for setting up the identity management features of a cloud network.
      • Keystone now supports multi-backend allowing local authentication and AD accounts simultaneously.
      • Heat’s convergence engine optimized to handle larger loads and more complex actions for horizontal scaling for improved performance for stateless mode.
      • Enhanced OpenStack Client provides a consistent set of calls for creating resources no longer requiring the need to learn the intricacies of each service API.
      • Support for software development kits (SDKs) in various languages.
        –New “give me a network,” feature capable of creating a network, attaching a server to it, assigning an IP to that server, and making the network accessible, in a single action
  • Compact VIO control pane
    • VIO management control plane has been optimized and architected to run in a compact architecture   VIO
      • Reduces infrastructure and costs required to run an OpenStack Cloud
      • Ideal for multiple small deployments
      • Attractive in relaxed SLA scenarios
      • Database backed up in real time: No data loss
    • Slimmer HA architecture
      • VIO0
      • educed footprint on management cluster
      • Full HA: No service downtime
      • Database replication: No data loss
      • 6000+ VMs
      • 200+ Hypervisors
  • Import existing vSphere workloads
    • Existing vSphere VMs can be imported and managed via VIO OpenStack APIs
      • Quickly import vSphere VMs into VIO
      • Start managing vSphere VMs through standard OpenStack APIs
    • Quickly start consuming existing VMs through OpenStack

 

Nike CTO who’s a VIo customer came on stage to discuss how Nike deployed a large greenfield OpenStack deployment using VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) and an EUC solution at all Nike outlets / shops using Airwatch which was a good testement for customer confidence though it did have a little markletting undertone to it all.

 

NSX

the head of the NSX business unit within VMware highlighted the key advancements NSX have made and the 400% YoY growth of adoption from fee paying customers deploying NSX to benefit from Micro segmentation (through the distributed firewall capability) and automation and orchestration. NSX roadmap extends far beyond what you can imagine as its current usecases and its sufficient to say that NSX will play a being part as an enabler for customers to freely move their workloads from onbe place (i.e. On premise) to a Public cloud (i.e. AWS) through the dynamic extension of L2 adjacency and other LAN services, transforming the WAN in to an extended LAN.

To this effect, VMware also announced the availability of a free NSX Pre-Assessment which is now intended to enable customers to employ the Assess -> Plan -> Enforce -> Monitor approcah to NSX adoption.

 

VSAN

Yanbing Li, whos the VSAN business unit head came on stage and discussed the hugh demand from customers in VSAN which currently stands over 5000 fee paying customers using VSAN in production as the preferred storage for vSphere. The following roadmap items were also mentioned for VSAN

  • VSAN is the default supported storage platform for VIO and Photon.
  • Intelligent performance analytics & policies in VSAN for proactive management
  • Fully integreated software defined encryption for VSAN

There are couple of other new features coming out soon which I am fully aware of but were not annouced during VMworld 2016 US so im guressing they’ll be annouced during the Barcelona event? (I cannot disclose until then of course :-))

All in all, not a large number of new product or feature accouncements on day 2. But the key message is NSX & VSAN are key focius areads (we already knew this) and VIC & VIO will continue to be improved which is good to see.

 

Slide credit goes to VMware

 

Cheers

Chan