VMworld General Session (Pictures)

The day has been awesome so far met a few people I wanted to meet and still on the look out or the people I haven’t met yet. But I am sure that will also happen shortly. We still have 3 more days left. As of now we are in the bloggers area at VMworld 2011 and the atmosphere is simply amazing. A lot of people everywhere and it shows a lot of planning must have gone into this in order for it to turn out the way it has. In the mean time I figured I will share a few pictures I took with my phone for those who couldn’t make it. I apologize for the quality of the pics, my wife thought she has a better reason to have the good camera. My personal favorite is John Troyer with his signature pose 😀

The keynote kicked off with mazing intro graphics and when Paul Maurtiz took the stage, it was a moment we have long been waiting for. Though he does not have the chrisma of Steve Jobs, he still did a pretty good job. Specially when he eased off a little and informed the world about his initial job hunts and how IBM turned him down. More importantly, once he got the crowd engaged, he let out the vision VMware has for the cloud era that is set to take over the world. More than 50% of the server work load is virtual today. He went over how VM management wil soon become less relevant and service management will really be the point of concern in the near future. And vSphere 5 is the promises to help you deliver that. Some facts here about vSphere 5:

More than 1 million engineering hoours

More than 2 million QA hours

200 new features

According to Paul Maurtiz, VMware agrees with Steve Job’s assessment that we are entering a post PC area. However, there is still a need for PCs in the current world and View5 .0 will enhance and solve a lot of issues faced today. Specially with the enhanced bandwidth(60% enhancement in PCoIP)  and VOIP support in View5.0. Other than that there was not a whole lot besides what most already know. I couldn’t stay there for too long as the floor exhibition also opened a few minutes ago. Have to run over there and see all the magic. Oh and my phone also died.. so no more tweets until I am back at the hotel.

 

 

 

 

Changes in the Cloud World

Along with the already existing Cloud service providers (SP) that are labelled as the vCloud Datacenter by VMworld. Dell has also been added to the race and will be going up against the likes of companies Verizon, SlingTel, BlueLock etc. Now they maybe going against one another for the business but they will really be working in conjunction with one another in order to provide you a true cloud experience. Yes you heard it right. Global connect is the business arrangement that will make this happen for you. So let’s say you have are a SlingTel customer and want to deploy a VM in Hong Kong, if SlingTel does not have a datacenter in the location of your choice, it will reach out to the other vCloud Datacenters and fullfill your needs. Of course you will only interface with SlingTel and choke them if something doesn’t go as you like. With Dell joining the alliance and Verizon’s acquisition of Terremark, you as a customer will have more choices.

Another cool thing that has happened is the consolidation of the cloud SPs in one location by VMware. Go to vcloud.vmware.com . If the link does not work when you try, please try later. This announcement has just been made and VMware might still be in the process of bringing it up. So here you get to pick your location and test drive the SP of your choice. I think this consolidation isn’t only great for customers but also for SPs who can now reach out to more customers.

Lastly, Verizon bought Cloudswitch last week as we all know. Cloudswitch produces a very innovative tool that helps you play taxi between your private and public cloud. Will this tool be further enhanced to play taxi between all the SPs and fit within VMware’s vision of the cloud where you app can be anywhere you want? At this point Cloudswitch‘s future road-map isn’t very clear, but we know Verizon’s acquisition of CloudswitchTerremark and their own cloud offering makes Verizon an extremely strong candidate for all your cloud needs.

These are interesting times to be in the world of clouds. If you are not in it, hurry up. You are falling behind. Remember when you needed a CR to vMotion a server? Times have changed and soon no CR will be needed for moving your server to a different continent (only time will tell). Thanks to the cloud!

First Day at VMworld 2011

So after all the hype, my first day at VMworld was awesome, and the even hasn’t really completely started yet. I was one of the lucky people who decided to show up at the Venetian ahead of time, 9 AM to be exact. After looking around and checking out the area I figured I should try and at least get registered before my vExpert meeting at 3 PM. So around noon I went ahead and registered for VMworld 2011. I gladly accepted my goodies (backpack, t-shirt a bunch of vendor advertising etc etc). I didn’t realize what I have accomplished. Soon the lines very over half a mile long. So I went ahead to a get a feel for the floor plan to get an idea where I will be spending the rest of the week.

A little after 3 the vExpert meeting started and John Troyer got everybody’s attention with an extremely high pitched whistle. He is a true Rockstar! The meeting was great and really set to the tone for what to expect in the coming days along with some insight on the future roadmap for virtualization and cloud. I was requested to not discuss it in detail, so I will save that for when it becomes official. But I will absolutely point out that it is awesome. Christoper K. was also present in the meeting and he was very easy to spot with his cat ears. He pointed out that tomorrow he will be showing up with his official cat ears. So for those of you who will be in Vegas, be on the look out. Christoper K. raised some very interesting and valid questions. Some of the discussions that went on during the meeting are really a very good reason why everyone must try to be a part of the vExpert program. You learn so much just by being around smart people. Eric Siebert had some very valuable pointers for bloggers and folks in the social media. As always, his top 10 list was very entertaining. Stephen Foskett is an awesome person who also provided a very good reason why I adore the vExpert community as much as I do. I also met Mike Tellinghuisen  who is based in MN not too far from where I live. Can’t believe I had to fly this far to meet him. Another reason to stay active in the local VMug activities.

Lastly, after sending a few tweets back and forth to Duncan Epping, I finally saw him walk into the meeting area. Once the meeting ended, he was busy talking with everyone who wanted to have a word. Why not right? After all he is Awesome! Even though he was running late for a meeting, he had a quick conversation with me and the picture below just made my day (the quality sort of sucks because of my stupid iPhone). VMworld 2011 has officially kicked off. Don’t forget business cards!

Oh by the way, my VMworld badge printing quality sort of sucks. My name has already started to rub off. Kinda disappointing 🙁

 

vSphere 5 Available for download

Yes, you heard it right. You can now download vSphere 5 (ESXi 5, vCenter 5 etc etc). I know a lot of people have been waiting for it for sometime now. Now that GA version is out, feel free to take it for a spin in your labs and test out all the cool features it has to offer. Plus with VMworld coming next week, it will be great to familiarize yourself with the new features to gain more from the conference. Have fun and remember if you are a VCP 4 already, you can take the VCP 5 exam until the end of February 2012 without registering for a class. Download ESXi 5 at VMware’s site here. I am sure you can figure out the other links on your own. Good luck!

Here is a list of new features that vSphere 5 has to offer.

Why aren't my VMs free?

 

I am sure we have all been on that road. And now with a huge number of private clouds popping up by the day, it becomes even more important for the business units to understand why their VMs aren’t free. Historically IT is looked upon as an expense by most organizations. As much as I hate to admit that, I can understand why they would think so. After all, it’s really all the servers doing their magic in the background in order for the business units to do their jobs and make profits for the organizations. But still IT is an expense.

Traditionally I have seen IT buys all the equipment within the budget that’s allocated to them and the business units drive the need for equipment to be purchased. In most small business that is the end of story and there is no concept of chargeback or even showback. However, in larger enterprises I have seen at least the equipment cost being covered by the project that has demanded the need. Now with the cloud, it has become more important for IT to try and implement some kind of chargeback or at least a show back mechanism.

 With the business users being able to provision servers on their own in the cloud, it is important that they understand how the provisioning impacts capacity and adds cost for future hardware purchases. Now I am not a genius but I would think implementing a chargeback/showback mechanism will probably be a better long term solution than taking away the ability to provision from the business users in order to avoid a chargeback/showback implementation. Would you rather have your IT staff engage in efforts to better your network or sit down and click through the provisioning wizards? Why doesn’t the accounting/HR department fill my time sheet? Because it will be stupid if they do. Likewise, it will be stupid for IT to engage in provisioning servers when it can be easily handed over other departments. Obviously, I call my accounting department when I have questions about accounting and if someone from another department has questions about provisioning servers, I will definitely answer their questions.

Implementing a chargeback/showback solution is usually an emotional subject when users know they are provisioning VMs and no additional hardware was purchased to fulfill their needs. This is why I think it’s best to introduce showback where you provide dummy invoices that are paid with monopoly money at first until the concept is digested by the business units. This in itself will result in more responsible behavior. The fact is, once the business users realize the cost of what they are trying to do, they are more mindful of what they end up doing. They are not idiots, after all, what they do helps us get our paychecks right?

Once showback (a monthly dummy bill of computing usage) becomes the norm, chargeback discussions can follow. Of course to introduce any kind of showback, one must be able to come up with the unit cost based on the value of storage/cpu/memory/network etc etc. Will the cost be based on allocation or usage? How many tiers of storage? Should thin provisioning cost less than thick? These are the types of questions that one must try to answer before introducing a showback solution to an organization. Also, your chargeback cost allocation for computing units should echo what was shown in the showback. Or else you might end up looking like the evil force that no one likes. Keep in mind, you are doing this to help your business. There are multiple tools out there like VMware Charge Back, vKernel Chargeback, Solarwinds Chargeback Automation, vFoglight etc that will assist you in automating a chargeback solution for your virtual side. Just keep in mind, start off with showback and wait before you start sending out real invoices to the business units you are serving.