Save the date for VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas and Partner Exchange 2011

Sure the seal is not even broken on VMworld 2010 but the date and location for VMworld 2011 is leaking out now. It looks like our beloved conference is heading back to Las Vegas for 2011. So mark your calendar for VMworld 2011 on August 29th through September 1st 2011.

Along with the above announcement I am hearing that Partner Exchange 2011 by VMware will be heading to Orlando Florida. What a great location and my fellow Virtualization nuts are sure to have a good time in the sun. The VMware Partner Exchange 2011 will take place on February 8-11, 2011. Link to Partner Exchange site.

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About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Solutions Architect for a VMware partner and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status for 2014, 2013, 2012 & 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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VMworld 2010 self pace Labs are a thing of Beauty

The VMware self paced labs for VMworld 2010 are taking things to a new level. This setup and the amount of computing power on display here is second to nothing. Something different from the 2009 VMworld labs is that any Lab Topic cab be presented at any set of terminals. In last years labs there was different sections for each topic which led to lines and delays for popular topics. There is in the neighborhood of 480 seats for the VMworld labs. When checking in and selecting your topic it will be assigned to your badge. You can see from the image below that the setup is very impressive.

Each VMworld lab topic is based on a Pod. The lab pod’s are heavily customized installs that are based on vSphere, Lab manager wither their own Active Directory and vCenter server. To break it down they are creating nested or virtualized copies of vSphere ESX and ESXi server within VMware Lab Manager and associated products. This allows them to deploy them in just a few minutes and also have around 30 different topics stored in Lab Manager configurations waiting to be deployed for the next lab. It was discussed today that each hour they expect about 5000 virtual machines will be created and destroyed.

Your probably wondering what it takes to run all of this virtualize goodness and where is it at. Well the VMworld labs are being sources from 2 off site Data centers and 1 on site facility. The entire VMworld lab setup is going to be monitored and supported by over 100 VMware employees from the Services and Engineering groups. They will be there to make sure things are going smoothly and answer any questions that attendees might have.

Some estimated stats that VMware is throwing out what will be served up during the 4 day even.

  • Over 100,000 virtual machine will be provisioned this week.
  • Total memory for the vSphere hosts supporting the VMworld labs is 36TB
  • Each data center has 4 racks of servers and 2 racks of storage
  • 20,000 Lab set hours for the week
  • HP, Dell, EMC, Xsigo, Netapp and Cisco are providing the hardware
  • Each lab seat has a Wyse thin client

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Solutions Architect for a VMware partner and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status for 2014, 2013, 2012 & 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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Some companies have the wrong sales pitch on Blade servers

This is not the first time that I have heard someone take a strange approach to pitching the use of blade servers to a application owner within their own organization. The other day I was in a design meeting that I was brought into the project mid-stream. The project was for a application that was getting new servers through Life Cycle. The engineer was recommending that they use several blade servers to virtualize all of the requested servers that are currently physical. So at this everything sounds fine and the Project Manager is on the same page.

This is where things drove off the rails. The engineer was suggesting that this app owner was going to have to purchase his 3 blades that would be needed to virtualize his servers and also pay for the entire cost of the C7000 blade enclosure and necessary networking modules. He was saying this guy is going to have to buy the bus so that other can ride on it late. This confuse the project manager to no end on how she was going to explain all this added cost to the app owner. Now I have heard this phrase and tactic before and it’s always confused me to the thinking behind it. Sure some one has to pay for the chassis but there are other ways to spread the cost out.

The first thing came to mind was there are certainly other chassis in the Enterprise that might have slots available for these blades. Have you looked into that option. Also what about speaking with others in Life cycle to see what other Blade server might need to be purchase soon and plan out a method of splitting the cost of the chassis evenly over the blades in the server. Sure if you don’t fill it up soon you have spent some extra money up front but your going to recover it back once you have filled all the slots in the Blades Chassis.

To make it even worse once presented with this crazy idea the project manager said I can not try and sell all of this additional cost to this person. I might as well just get him pricing on 3 standard rack mount servers. Well this was kind of the tipping point for me after about 10 minutes of this call that I had to step in and get some more background on how they got to this point.

I know there are various arguments for and against the use of Blade Servers but the direction for this organization is use Blades for everything possible. Only use a standard rack mount server when there is valid reasoning for it. And since they are moving all of the VMware hosts over to new blade servers there has to be a pretty good reason for not virtualizing a server in the first place. The data center is also very space constrained so Blades are the smart option at this point.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Solutions Architect for a VMware partner and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status for 2014, 2013, 2012 & 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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Vkernel briefing on new Vkernel Capacity Management Suite

I was invited to a one on one product briefing last week with the Marketing Team at Vkernel. They were giving some pre VMworld briefings on their new product suite called Vkernel Capacity Management Suite. They will formally announce it on Wednesday August 25th but asked me to wait until today before releasing any details.

By creating the Vkernel CMS package they will be releasing 3 updated existing products along with one new product in a single virtual appliance. This allows for a easier and faster deployment and greater integration between the products. That was not previously available. You would still license the 3 products separately at $299 each per socket. Which if you have a large environment could be costly. I was impressed by several of the new features and the flexibility the new reporting is able to provide.

Below you can see some of the new reporting and data mining features from Vkernel. These are important in Capacity Management. I liked the ability to report on changes made within a selected time frame and then the HA reporting function. Getting notified of a cluster that will have an HA issue if a host should fail would be nice, this could be caused by someone dropping in a monster virtual machine that messes up your vSphere slot sizes.

This slide covers the automation of right sizing VM’s or reclaiming over provisioned virtual machines. This would probably scare the crap out of any Virtual admin that I have ever worked with. But if you have a lab or development environment it could be very handy to have this run nightly or weekly and pull back resources that users have gotten too greedy with.

Below you can see a slide that shows some details about the Inventory app included in the CMS package from Vkernel. It seems to offer some flexibility for pulling details out of your Virtual Infrastructure. For example you could quickly pull a list of powered off virtual machines.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Solutions Architect for a VMware partner and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status for 2014, 2013, 2012 & 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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VMware ThinApp 4.6 is ready to virtualize your applications

It’s been kind of hard to keep up with all the releases from VMware lately. They have been on an absolute terror dropping updated products like crazy since vSphere 4.1 hit the streets. The latest to put smiles on the faces of VMware admins is ThinApp 4.6. One of the biggest new features in the new version is the ability to harvest IE6 from a clean Windows XP machine.

ThinApp 4.6 adds the ability to “Harvest” Internet Explorer 6 from an existing Windows XP instance.
In the past, the process for creating an IE6 package with ThinApp was complex. It required capturing the IE6 install using a clean instance of Windows 2000 with its pre-IE6 native browser IE5 and performing an upgrade.    If you captured on Windows 2000 using the IE6 download from Microsoft’s download page odds are you would not get all the latest security fixes and updates provided by Microsoft. Capturing using a Windows 2000 base also made capturing IE6 applications plug-ins a bit trickier, especially if the plug-ins only installs on XP+. With so many companies migrating to Windows 7 we knew this is a popular use case, so we’ve turned the process of capturing IE6 into a few clicks.  ThinApp can now automatically “harvest” IE6 from of any Windows XP instance.   This means you can use an XP instance that has the latest security fixes applied, and also capture any plug-ins you want in the same go!

There is also the ability to redirect URL’s from a native browser window to a Virtual browser, read the full article here.

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Solutions Architect for a VMware partner and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status for 2014, 2013, 2012 & 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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