VMworld 2014 – Tuesday, August 26, 2014

It was great to see a deeper dive into the technology announcements from the previous day with VMware CTO Ben Fathi leading a team of EVP’s from VMware’s various focus areas on-stage.

First up was EUC with Sanjay Poonen and eventually Kit Colbert discussing new developments.  This is a technology area that I am not as active in, but I was still impressed and excited by the use cases and technologies discussed on stage.  VMware introduced the tagline “Work at the Speed of Life”, and it aims to help professionals to be productive no matter which end-user device they own.  The NVIDIA partnership aims to enable advanced graphics work from low-powered devices using Horizon desktops.  Project Fargo, including CloudVolumes technology aims to

Next, it was time to hear the advances in the Software-Defined Data Center technologies Raghu Raghuram.  Ben Fathi and Raghu engaged in some back-and-forth banter with pictures depicting them as famous dynamic duos (Batman and Robin, Kirk and Spock, etc.) interspersed their presentation slides.  EVO: RAIL enables server vendor partners to build their own hyperconvered infrastructure appliances that deploy within 15 minutes.  The interface looks pretty slick and built from the ground up to be dead simple.  EVO: RACK is in Beta right now and builds on the simplicity theme to help larger customers deploy data center-scale infrastructure within 2 hours.  An impressive claim, and I look forward to learning more about this technology as it approaches GA.  VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) was also highlighted.  Building on VMware’s code contributions to the OpenStack Foundation, and significant interest in its VOVA OpenStack appliance, VIO aims to simplify OpenStack deployments that use VMware technologies for Nova, Cinder, Glance, and Neutron.

Finally, we got to hear more about vCloud Air (the artist formerly known as vCHS).  The announcement of vCloud Air on-demand got an excited response from the crowd.  Other new features announced included an offering aimed at the DevOps crowd with Continuous Integration-as-a-Service

Remember the Keynote recordings can be seen at VMware Now.  Also, you can follow along with the great vBrownBag Tech Talks happening all day, every day in the VMworld Hang Space.

The breakout sessions are high quality as well.  I attended the following talks today:

NET1468: A Tale of Two Perspectives: IT Operations with NSX – It was interesting to hear Scott Lowe and Brad Hedlund talk about clearly defining roles and responsibilities for VMware Administrators and Network Administrators in the management and maintenance of the virtual infrastructure.  The talk took the form of a progressive case study that focused more on general virtual networking administrative actions rather than a deep dive into NSX Administration.  The point was to demonstrate how VMware might encourage division of responsibilities as it rolls out the NSX SDN strategy to customers and as it asks Network Administrators to be more cognizant of how to perform administrative functions in the VMware Web Client.

SDDC1600: Art of IT Infrastructure Design – This talk featured a distinguished panel of VCDX’s moderated by John Arrasjid.  The panel covered practical items to keep in mind when preparing a design for a VCDX defense including: don’t include every VMware product just because it’s a VMware certification, some VCDX concentrations (like Network Virtualization) may include competitive alternative technologies to vSphere like KVM, etc.  If you are planning for a VCDX defense, I highly recommend attending this session at VMware Barcelona or attending one of the many VCDX Bootcamps that VMware conducts during the year.

STO1965: Virtual Volumes Technical Deep Dive – Rawlinson Rivera and Suzy Visvanathan covered the details of Virtual Volumes (VVOLs), and it was great to get a clearer understanding of how the feature works.  VMware Administrators should appreciate not having to deal with management of multiple LUNs.  Instead, one or more containers are defined on the Storage Array, and the files that compose the VM (ex: vmdk, vmx, swp, etc.) are created within these containers.  Less management overhead for VMware Administrators, but it will be interesting to see what tools Storage Vendors provide to enforce limits so that arrays do not run out of space.

How can I keep up with all the VMworld happenings if I’m not at the show?

The good folks at VMware, vBrownBag, and VMTrooper.com have got you covered:

  • VMware Now is broadcasting and replaying the Keynotes from Monday and Tuesday.
  • vBrownBag Tech Talks are happening again this year.  There is a lot of great content including Lauren Malhoit sharing details about ACI.
  • Follow the #vmworld hashtag on your favorite Twitter application.
  • Last, I’m experimenting with Storify to keep a running archive of each day’s Tweets that I post or retweet from others.

What have been your favorite VMworld moments so far?  Let me know in the comments section below.

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