I recently read a great and thorough Vblock Review from Gareth Lloyd at IT Central Station. My blog is by no means an official VCE Social Media outlet. However, in case any VCE customers are interested, I discuss some of the points that I disagreed with below.
DISCLAIMER: I am a VCE Employee…
The AMP as a design flaw?
It should be stressed that the AMP is not meant to be in the data path at all. While it’s OK to use vCenter to import the occasional one-off VM OVF\OVA, the standard vCenter import functionality is not advisable for large-scale migrations (the 1000 VMs mentioned).
Tools such as RecoverPoint (possibly in conjunction with SRM) should be utilized. Even if vCenter had a 10 Gb pipe, I don’t think you would want to migrate that many VMs with a vCenter import. For a free alternative, vSphere Replication may be appropriate. I haven’t used it before, but I’m pretty sure it does not have vCenter in the data path either.
VCE as just a wrapper?
The VMware 5.1 and PowerPath incompatibility problem was avoided by our customers, provided that they were following our Release Compatibility Matrix (RCM) :-). If customers upgraded to vSphere 5.1 before VCE published the RCM that includes it, that is out of our control.
That being said, VCE makes significant investments in R&D to test all the components of the Vblock in an integrated fashion so that we can eliminate the majority of interoperability issues that customers face when they follow individual matrices from VCE’s Investor Companies.
True, upgrades are non-trivial (it’s the same for any stack), but we eliminate some of that pain by:
a. publishing which combination of firmware\software levels you should go to next
b. publishing an upgrade guide that lists the steps in which components should be updated
c. the Customer Advocates being available to advise the customer on how to proceed.
Gareth mentioned these advantages, but I cannot underscore enough how critical these capabilities are in time and OpEx savings for our customers.
Monitoring and Reporting Concerns?
VCE understands that a single view of the entire platform, regardless of whether it is running virtual workloads or bare metal, is necessary. That is why we developed VCE Vision Intelligent Operations to provide a single view of the entire infrastructure regardless of the management platform.
So, for example, you can see your Vblock components correlated with your virtual infrastructure within the vSphere Web Client via our new plugin. UIM and other management tools will soon be leveraging VCE Vision to improve their Vblock reporting capabilities.
If you’d like more info, I wrote about VCE Vision in an earlier blog post.
…and we have even more functionality on the horizon. Stay tuned and keep giving us this kind of feedback!