The Virtualist goes to VMworld!

If Virtualism were a religion, then VMworld would be its Mecca. Being devoted Virtualists, we could not miss such a holy gathering.

Most of us flew to Barcelona in October 2014 to participate in the event. For us this VMworld is special, because it is the first one since TheVirtualist was formed.
Therefore we were all proud to represent:

TheVirtualist at VMworld

The official VMworld Europe conference starts Tuesday, but The Virtualist attended several events on Monday – VMware Partner Day, TAM day and VCI day – mainly to see in-depth roadmaps of new products, services, classes and certifications coming from VMware.
I personally chose to attend the VCI (VMware Certified Instructor) day, joining my fellow instructor and virtualist Aram Avetisyan.
There is a lot coming from VMware in terms of restructuring the certification paths and developing new courses but that is a subject of a future blog articles.

So what’s new? Let’s look at the CEO keynote.

Moving forward to Tuesday, where the morning keynote by VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger sets the tone for the entire VMworld and provides the company’s roadmap and announcements:

  • vCloud Suite 5.8
  • vSphere 6.0 Beta
    • bigger VMs and vmdks
    • long distance vMotion
    • 4CPU FT
  • VSAN 2.0 Beta
  • Federation SDDC Solution
  • vRealize Suite
  • vRealize Code Stream
  • EVO:RAIL
  • OpenStack integration
  • Open Container APIs
  • vCloud Air – vCloud Hybrid Service
  • EVO Rail and vCloud Air integration
  • Horizon View improvements
  • NSX improvements

Yep, the announcements went on and on but to be honest none of them really excited me much. Maybe I’m a bit jaded but I was really hoping for some new product or technical feature that will open new possibilities. Instead, we have beta announcements (vSphere, VSAN), marketing rebranding (vRealize, vCloud Air), relatively minor product updates (vCloud Suite, Horizon View, …), hyperconverged solution (EVO:RAIL), new APIs (OpenStack, Open Container).

NSX and VVOLs will bring you closer to a Software-defined Datacenter!

What I am personally looking forward to in the upcoming is NSX and Virtual Volumes (VVOLs) implementations. Both technologies are strategic for moving towards true Software Defined Data Center by moving the network (NSX) and storage (VVOLs) configuration up to the hypervisor.

NSX is the network virtualization platform that utilizes the VXLAN standard to create flexible and mobile networks, as well as distributed switching, routing and firewalling. NSX has been out for awhile but it has now matured to a level that it’s ready for production and there is a great customer interest in it.

With VVOLs to be released in 2015, VMware and storage vendors remove the need for LUNs as storage containers, and individual machine and its disks become a storage management unit for the storage systems. Virtual volumes encapsulate virtual disks and other virtual machine files, and natively store the files on the storage system.

Going back to the key note, one thing that did excite me is the mentioning of Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi – a VMware customer that some of us worked with.

Once the key note was over, the real VMworld kicked off – full of breakout sessions, solution exchange booths, hands-on labs, group discussions and ofcourse parties.


 

I asked my fellow virtualists where they spend most time at VMworld and here are the results:

VMworld Poll

Where we spent our time at VMworld

To me this only confirms that VMworld is all about networking.

VMworld is all about networking!

Yes, you could do some hands-on labs, but if you already have access to the VMware ProjectNee HOL or a good test environment, this is not a priority. The Breakout Sessions are recorded and you can watch later. Group Discussions are always a good thing to visit and discuss VMware features and products face to face with the experts. But if thousands of people gather in one place, the best thing to do is networking – meeting people face to face, creating new contacts and new opportunities. It is also important to see what the VMware ecosystem partners are developing and where the industry is going.


 

I asked my fellow virtualists for some more feedback and this is their collective response:

Which was your favorite session?

Q: Which was your favorite session?

A: TEX1505 – How to Monitor a Virtual Machine Without a Direct Network Connection
NSX for vSphere Logical Routing Deep Dive
vExpert storage Game Show EMEA

 

Favorite Solutions Exchange booth?

Q: Favorite Solutions Exchange booth?

A: CSC, VCE, Intel, EMC, Puredata, Supermicro, NetApp, Zerto, PernixData, Arcserver, Acronis,…

 

Which was your favorite party?

Q: Which was your favorite party?

A: PernixData

 

What is the most important announcement?

Q: What is the most important announcement?

A: EVO, vCloud Air, vRealize

 

Most interesting lab?

Q: Most interesting lab?

A: Openstack integration with vSphere and NSX
VMware NSX Introduction
VMware SDK


 

Stay tuned for our VMworld follow up articles. And remember – when it comes to virtualization, there are…

TheVirtualist team

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Stan is a co-founder of Runecast, where he works on developing a new smart management solution for VMware environments. He spent long years in IBM, where he was a technical lead of the VMware CoE. Stan has experience with large scale transformation projects, including datacenter moves, cross country migrations and massive server virtualization and consolidation for enterprise customers. Stan worked on development of global cloud offerings and reference architectures. He is IBM Redbooks author, virtualization architect and a VMware Certified Instructor delivering authorized VMware classes. Stan holds the highest VMware certification - VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX #74).

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About Stanimir Markov

Stan is a co-founder of Runecast, where he works on developing a new smart management solution for VMware environments. He spent long years in IBM, where he was a technical lead of the VMware CoE. Stan has experience with large scale transformation projects, including datacenter moves, cross country migrations and massive server virtualization and consolidation for enterprise customers. Stan worked on development of global cloud offerings and reference architectures.
He is IBM Redbooks author, virtualization architect and a VMware Certified Instructor delivering authorized VMware classes. Stan holds the highest VMware certification – VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX #74).

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