VMworld General session Day 2

A co-worker of mine attended the CEO round table session yesterday where the CEO of EMC mentioned that 75% of IT budget is spent on maintaining legacy applications.  Now when you sit back and let that sink in, its actually true. If, that applies to you then the urge to replace these legacy apps gets even stronger. The general session today sort of started with the same theme.

In comes Mirage from an acquisition of a company names Wanova. Steve Herrod, covered the issue with disconnected users in View at times. Mirage has the promise to keep this in sync to where the deployed desktops are always in sync with the central location. Now keep in mind, a lot of skeptics believe that running PCs on expensive servers and SAN is not not cost effective. However, its the running cost that includes supporting these PCs is really what makes VDI a vey viable option.

The demonstration for Mirage was pretty awesome. In the demo, an XP user was in the middle of a presentation and received a call from IT who were looking to upgrade him from XP to Windows 7. Yes, in the middle of the presentation, the client started to run and within seconds the user was prompted to restart which came back with windows 7. What made this really seamless was the background, the documents and all personal data stayed intact on the new OS. The user then ends up dropping the laptop, but because mirage keeps info in sync, the image was then accessible via his tablet until it was deployed to his newly purchased macbook.

Speaking of tablets and view, I have been a skeptic myself simply because of the lack of touch screen optimized interface. My prayers were answered in a sneak peak of a windows 7 connection from a tablet that lists out browsing applications in almost an iOS/Android type layout that is native to the tablet and something we all are used to. Hopefully Apple does not have a patent over that :p. Besides that, switching between applications is also how we are used to switching applications on a tablet. I think this will certainly be a more practical approach to adapting View on tablets.

Another improvement thats were discussed was Horizon, another promising approach to truly deliver IT as a service with incredible SLAs. You can now manage not only your web apps, but also your thin apps and mobile Apps. Speaking of Mobile Apps, an awesome thing came up. I have been a big fan of VMware mobile because I hate carrying two different devices. VMware mobile was really geared more towards Android based phones, but VMware has now figured out how to deliver that opportunity to  iOS as well and follow the Apple way of things.

Yep, you will not be running a VM like the approach is on the Android side of things. On the iOS side, you will have individual apps that are deployed to you by horizon that are marked with a logo that shows these are secure apps with an encrypted link. The IT department will be at ease because even if this will run on the same device as your facebook and other personal apps, the corporate apps will be completely secure. You will not be able to even copy out of these encrypted apps if that tells you anything about how secure this apps will be. At launch, it will prompt you for an additional password as an additional layer of security. Think about it, you publish an App in horizon and give a user group access to it. The users can then deploy this app on their desktops, or even on their iPhones using the Horizon App Store just like they install apps on their iPhones today. I think this step is certainly in the right direction and will gain a lot of love and support.

All this will tremendously reduce cost, again dont think about the implementation cost as a whole. Think about the cost to run and support the on demand self-healing self-serving environments. Thats the promise that have been made, a lot of what I mentioned above promises to deliver that. Great stuff, and great times to be living in.

VMworld 2012 Announcement

The general session today kicked off VMworld in style as always. To start of, one of the expected announcements were made, Pat Gelsinger was announced as the new CEO for VMware for the next few years. Paul Maritz handed the stage to the new CEO who confirmed a rumor was in fact true.

The new CEO announced the end of the four letter word they invented last year. The end of vRAM. There will be no capacity based licensing for vSphere, nor any limits on the number of cores. Simply CPU based where you would license all the CPUs on your host like good ole times. When VMware announced vRAM originally, I understood why they would have done it and obviously it was a big PR nightmare for VMware. But now its all behind us and simple CPU based licensing has come back. Obviously the announcement was followed by a big applause.

These were some of the initial notable announcements along with discussions over Project Serengeti and Hadoop.

Oh and did I mention that all the 5.1 are out now? I will try and cover some of the newenhanced cool features that have been released with it in the coming days. For now, Duncan has complied a nice list of links for all the 5.1 enhancements here.

 

The Physics of your cloud @CloudPhysics

As you may already know one of the best conferences is about to start next week. Yes, I am talking about VMworld and like always each one of us will walk away from it with more information, some confirmations and some confusion as well. These are all good things and of course, new friends.

If you are attending VMworld, I urge you to stop by and check out CloudPhysics. Look for them on the showroom floor with their partner in the Fusion-io booth. You may have heard Duncan and a few others talk about it recently as well. I had an opportunity to play around with their tool and I must say it’s pretty impressive.

In a nutshell you will deploy an appliance that collects data (don’t worry it’s really operational data and nothing to be concerned about), and sends it over to CloudPhysics where they analyze your environment and tell you if your settings are following certain universally accepted best practices. It knows the versions you are running and will make recommendations based on that information which I think is pretty awesome. Things, like VMware tool status, datastores, HA just to name a few. There are several other things that are being worked upon which I can’t share at this time, but I will say take it for a spin and see for yourself.

I was impressed by the UI which is very simple but presents very complex information. The install and setup is so simple. To be honest I don’t even know if there is a user manual, but you will NOT need one.

Moreover they also have a challenge going on where you will not only have a chance to have an impact on the product but also get an opportunity to win a Macbook Pro, MacBook Air or one of the four Nexus 7 tablets. There is no catch, it’s a win win.

Head over to CloudPhysics, no prior knowledge of calculus is required.

You can find CloudPhysics at their web site, or @CloudPhyics on Twitter. You can also follow these two rockstars (Irfan @virtualirfan and Luke @LukeCongdon) who are some of key people behind this product. They are both extreamly accessible.

SOS for PSOD

The PSOD as we all know is probably not the best way to start your day. In most cases one goes through this experience mostly due to hardware issues. I have come across a few over the years and it has been issues with MB, bad NIC, bad HBA and what not. At times this could also be due to a combination of things, that are annoying but also rewarding in hindsight.

Whatever the case might be, it’s generally not the best thing in the world and not a lot of fun. Unless it’s your first one, then I can understand the excitement and the anxiety. I came across this awesome post that I must share. It has a list of some very useful kb articles related to PSOD. Yes, this is also my way of bookmarking this awesome post. I would recommend you bookmark that link as well for a rainy day when your screen goes purple. I am hoping they will keep this post updated.

Btw, I really like how they prefer calling it the “Purple screen of diagnostics” vs the “Purple screen of death”. Pretty creative aye. 🙂

vCartoon of the Week (08/16/2012)