Archive | May 2014

#VMworld – My expectations

Summer is approaching fast, and soon this years VMworlds in San Francisco and Barcelona will be upon us. This brings with it, a lot of speculations on what will be unveiled and what will happen with old products.

vmworld_2013_logo_black_cmyk

As stated in an earlier post, I’ve submitted a Session to VMworld about vCops, and are right now waiting on June the 2nd, to hear whether or not that session has been accepted. Regardless of the outcome, I will attend the US VMworld in San Francisco again. Hotel, Flight and VMworld ticket has already been purchased, but a short trip to Barcelona might be required if the session is accepted. This will be my 5th VMworld.

This post is about my views on VMworld and what I think will happen there, it’s not based on any facts so don’t put any bets down, based upon what I write here.

Last year nearly 23.000 VMworld fans attended the US conference. That is a huge number, but whats more amazing was the fact that, if I recall correctly, nearly 70% of the attendees were first timers. If even more people attend this year, I fear the Moscone Center will be too small 🙂

vSphere
So what can we expect from VMware in august. They have often announced the new version of vSphere, so that should suggest we would see them unveil vSphere 6.0 at the US conference. I however have heard talk that suggests otherwise. It suggests that VMware will focus more on stability when it comes to vSphere and lengthen the release cycles to 18-24 months, from the current 12. This in my eyes is great news, the base Virtualization layer must be very stable, as it is the foundation that all their other products build upon. So I don’t expect vSphere 6 till sometime early 2015.

vCops
I expect to see version 6 of vCops however. There has been a closed beta for a while now, and there are some improvements in there that are really needed. Like different licenses for different vCenters or Clusters. You might not want the biggest license for your development cluster, or a customer might not want to pay for the biggest license in your hosting center. I’m told that Custom reports has gotten a big lift.

NSX
NSX was the big talking point last VMworld, but it hasn’t really hit it off like VSAN has. I think this might be due to the lengthy beta phase of VSAN, and I’m hoping VMware will try to let people have a go at NSX before buying it. One of the features I would love to see in NSX was to switch the built-in firewall and load balancers to something else. But I’m guessing that a lot of at least financial and pharmaceutical customers would have to qualify the built-in versions. A faster adoption could be that the firewall could be a Checkpoint or Juniper. The same goes for the load balancing part an F5 or a Citrix Netscaler plug-able version would help with a lot of the customers.

Band
Last year we had Train supported by Imagine Dragon at the US conference and Taio Cruz in Barcelona. That’s two widely different styles of music. But I’m actually out of guesses on which bands will be selected this year, guess we just have to wait and see 🙂

Food, drink and Snacks
One thing I’ve always missed at VMworld, was better catering. It seems like its being kept to the bare minimum and last year in SF I only tried the lunch once, it was really bad. Barcelona 2 years ago was also bad, which kinda baffles me considering the amount of great food you can find in Barcelona. Looking at TechEd or CiscoLive my colleges who come home from these, are actually amazed at the amount of food, drink and snacks that are available to them during the day, both healthy and no-so-healthy stuff. I remember having to bring my own Coca Cola to VMworld last year. VMware please step up the effort on this part, pretty much the only bad thing I have to say about VMworld.

T-shirts
My goal this year at VMworld is to try to collect as many T-shirts I can grab, and review them during VMworld, so hopefully if you find my reviews nice you can go grab the same shirts. If it really hits off, I’m hoping people would suggest where I could find great shirts too.

Hmm writing about this makes me hope that august comes much quicker! 🙂 I’m really looking forward to VMworld and hope to see a lot of you there!.

 

 

Using vCenter Operations Manager to help in performance testing Part II

Just a quick follow-up post on how things went after the last post about this topic

So after finding that scaling the webservers up wasn’t the solution to the problems we experienced with the webservers, we started to look elsewhere, and actually found that a load balancer that was set to do round-robin load balancing instead of least used, caused all the hiccups. Once that was changed we started hitting the limits on bandwidth instead.

And may 14th the website was actually launched, and there hasn’t been any stress at all on the infrastructure since launch.

Here is a shot of how everything looks after launch.

Demand - Usage - Core Util 22 maj

The spikes around may 1st. is due to us stress testing the system before launch. And there is a tiny little spike on may 14th when the website went live. And there hasn’t even been anything that vCops found to be outside normal (no yellow boxes) after the website was launched.

Overall I’m really pleased with the fact that vCenter Operations Manager stores your performance stats for you to review at your pleasure, and the amounts of metrics you can pull out of the system is really amazing.

 

#VMworld and #vExpert applications

So… Ive gone and done it…

Applied for both a VMworld Session and vExpert.

VMworld
The VMworld Session is number 1516 (please go a vote here : http://www.vmworld.com/index.jspa). I’ve applied along with Michael Monberg from VMware Denmark, who’s VMware Denmarks leading expert on vCenter Operations Manager. The session is about using vCops in real life for performance troubleshooting, and will use some of the content of this blog. I’ll know by June 2nd. whether or not this Session have been voted in. I will attend VMworld in San Francisco anyway,  so hope to see you there.

Other Danes that have applied for VMworld sessions are:

  • Enrico Laursen, and Stefan Pahrmann from Lego will talk about how Lego moved their Datacenters. (2005)
  • Mikael Korsgaard Jensen from Herning Kommune with Robert Jensen from VMware will talk about moving from vCloud Director to vCAC (1406)
  • Mads Fog Albrechtslund from Businessmann will give his view on virtualizing Mac OS X using vSphere on Apple Hardware (2308)

Please go and vote for them as well.

vExpert
I didn’t get a vExpert last time, so I figured I might as well try again, as this time stuff from Q1 2014 will be eligible to use in the application. This blog is pretty much the only public thing I have to show for my VMware involvement,  so I have no idea if I have a chance this time around. Only time will tell, but I keep my fingers crossed! 🙂

If you want to to apply for vExpert 2014 the link is here http://www.jotformpro.com/form/40285638168967

 

 

VMware Design Workshop

I’ve just spend 3 days at Arrow ECS attending this course. It was taught by Alistair Sutherland, and I must say I was very impressed by it.

The main goal of this course, by my guess, was to make us question our design choices, and be able to defend every choice we made. This was done by teaching us a methodology, that can actually be used on other things than VMware design.

AMPRSC
In short this was AMPRSC, Availability, Manageability, Performance, Recoverability, Security and Cost. And if you rate each design choice by this its easy to do comparison.

An example could be dvSwitches. Going through AMPRSC we could rate this as

  • Availability could decrease a bit as a single error could tear down the entire dvSwitch.
  • Manageability would increase a lot due to only 1 place to manage your switch, and the more hosts you have the more this increases.
  • Performance I would rate as neutral
  • Recoverability would be positive as you’re able to back up and restore dvSwitch configurations.
  • Security I would also rate as neutral
  • Cost would be negative as this needs an E+ license.

If you then also document your assumptions all the time, in this case it could be that the costumer already had E+ licenses, then the choice becomes clear.

This also means that when someone reviews your design document 6 months from now, and asks “Why on earth did you do that!?!?”, you can easily point to your rationale for choosing something.

Exercises
One other thing that set this course apart from any other VMware course I’ve taken is the Lab Exercises. Instead of each student sitting by himself and solving labs on his or her computer, we were split up into 2 teams and given a scenario and told to do their design for example on storage. So we went through the AMPRSC cycle for each choice we made in designing the storage for that scenario. When completed 1 team presented their design to the other team, who then challenged the decisions that had been made. Through the 3 days the teams got very good at defending their choices.

Conclusion
This is a very good course to take, especially if your job includes designing solutions for costumers. Even I as an internal IT-Architect had great benefit from this course, and i would give it my recommendations.

Link: http://mylearn.vmware.com/mgrreg/courses.cfm?ui=www_edu&a=one&id_subject=25719

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