It's been a bit, I know (one thing I do suck at with this blogging thing is "time to market" :-) Have been slammed - we had our EMC Technical Consultant/Solution Architect (and other various pre-sales technical roles) conference last week in Orlando, and I needed to show off some more distant future things.... Excuses, excuses.
I've gotten lots of requests for all the EMC sessions, including the keynote. I've attached them in the body of this post (video of keynote will be posted shortly)
- I think Paul Maritz did a great job on his keynote. He summed up VMware's vision (VDC-OS for the internal cloud, vCloud for a federated external cloud, and vClient for the desktop dilemma). Analysts hammered him the next day - but it was a weird bit of feedback: "right on message, what customers want, clear, and very differentiated. BUT delivering on the vision will take a couple of years, and more SG & A expenses." I don't know what to say to this. VMware is way ahead of their competition - but you always need to innovate to stay ahead of the pack. I think they were damned if they do, damned if they don't. Had they just announced VMware.Next (whatever the next VI iteration will finally be called) - they would have been slammed for being tactical, that "hypervisors are a commodity" and lack of vision. BTW - Joe Tucci got up in front of our thousands of pre-sales technical folks from around the world last week, and outlined EMC's vision of the future last week - and suffice it to say we see the world similarly, we're holding hands, and we're working together as partners to make it happen - and VMware continues to be firmly independent because we know that vision of the world requires them to be independent.
I'm no analyst, but what stood out to me was simple - every customer I talked to at the show loved VMware, loved the technology, and were investing for the future. That strikes me as a very, very good sign for VMware's long term prospects.
- The hands-on-labs were good. I did the Virtual Datacenter tech preview, the vClient tech preview along with others, but gave up my seat to customers. Heck, I've got all the betas in the basement lab anyway :-) It would have been good in the SRM hands-on to do a actual failover, and demonstrate how to do a failback. This can be done (though not automated yet) in v1.0
- The whole vClient tech preview convinced me of something... While NetApp, NEC, and EMC were each trying outdoing each other to demo VDI at scale (BTW - NEC won - with 12K clients :-), the VMware View Manager (formerly known as VDM 3.0) and VMware View Composer (formerly known as SVI) are simpler. Also, as much as there is an economic challenge with storage (solved via deduplication or writeable snapshot technologies) with VDI, the technical challenge (particularly at scale) is so much more... EMC did demonstrated (forgive the lack of a voice over, this video shows the scaling point, how the ESX clusters were configured, how many VC instances were needed, and the cluster utilization before workload applied) 10K clients, at a 100:1 storage savings (5 VMs per source LUN, 100 snapshots off every source), but the other reality (beyond "wow, look at this scale!") is that the process of update, management, pooling, even using Dan's award-winning PowerVDI script (and this doesn't take away from how cool that is) - it's just more complex, particularly in the ongoing "lifecycle" of the desktops. I think the reality is that VMware themselves are in a better position to resolve this than us as the storage vendor. The round 1 exercise was worthwhile - we learned a ton about scaling up the vClient use case (all aspects, ESX, vCenter, storage, network). We're updating the solution lab as we speak to View Manager and View Composer, and neat unannounced technology from EMC for the user data for solution testing round 2. We also want to bring Cisco as the 3rd leg from day one - there are loads of stuff in the vClient side that have to do with LAN and WAN optimization and compression.
- I won't speak for any other vendors, but I was pretty happy with the traffic at the booth - lots of customers, lots of good questions and dialog. I think these events (while exhausting) are a great opportunity for direct customer/vendor communication - trust me when I say that we're listening!
- I was very happy with our joint VMware/Cisco/EMC keynote. It was packed, standing room only - I think we would have been right around 1000 people. I attended most of the platinum sponsor keynotes, and I think we had the largest attendence, with NetApp a close second. The others (HP, Dell, IBM) were embarassingly empty. I don't know what the deal is there.... I thought the IBM one was pretty good, for example. In part II of this post, I'll post the video recording itself of the KN EMC session (VMware still hasn't gotten it to me) - but it exceeded my expectations, that's for sure. I wasn't sure originally how well the 3-party model would work (1 hour is not a lot of time for a lot of content), but I think it worked well. At the beginning, I started by asking how many people were EMC customers, then Cisco customers, then VMware customers. It was awesome - nearly 100% to every questions - which affirmed why I decided to share our Platinum spot in the first place. Our customers want to see what their trusted partners are doing TOGETHER to solve their challenges. I'll say again what I said in the session: THANK YOU for being customers. You make our world go around.
- I was very proud of the EMC team's execution to support the event. For those that wonder, it takes a gargantuan amount of work to pull something like that off - and that's just the platinum sponsor side - 9 speaking sessions, a booth with 8 stations and a constant theatre schedule, customer 1:1 etc. VMware themselves - well, hats off to the team (I can speak for EMC during EMCworld - and that's 10K people, not 14K). A special thank you to Chris Carrier and Cathy Cushman on my team - wouldn't have happened without you.
- To give you a couple of views into the behind the scenes madness:
- imagine shipping 13 CX3s, 4CX4s, 2 DMX 4-950s, and 3 NS40FCs to the event (some to Palo Alto for staging a couple months beforehand). That's measured in TONS. Of course - when things are frantic (and shipped in racks!) some arrived with significant damage from all the transit. I got some panicked calls from the VMware folks for the gear supporting a couple HOLs and the VMware booth on Friday before the show. A big thank you to the local Nevada EMC customer support team, who swapped out damaged parts in well under the 4hr MTTR. I think it's fair to say that the VMware team was amazed when an hour after discovering damaged LCC cards, the replacement parts showed up on the scene.
- Without being too unkind about it - some of you may have noticed... well... inconsistent VMware naming in some of the sessions :-) The new VMware branding and framework was being updated short days before the event. Upside? I think they really nailed it. A good framework to have broader discussions with customers and between VMware and partners like EMC. It ain't (just) about the Hypervisor. But - the downside - core content was undergoing significant changes up to minutes before the sessions.
- We got the vStorage API-enabled builds of... VMware.Next (I can't wait until I can call it something - it's a PITA).. (not the vStorage APIs for multipathing enabled build - we've had that for a while) on Wednesday before the show, and pulled off demonstrations (I think only EMC and Dell/EqualLogic were doing any vStorage API demos at VMworld - correct me if I'm wrong) days later. Great EMC effort from our platform engineering teams and also Scott Dougherty (one of our field VMware technical specialists) - thank you all!
There are something's I think we could have done better, and as the team starts planning for VMworld Europe 2009 (Feb in Cannes - my goodness, that's right around the corner!), we're working on it. What do you think we could have done better? I really want to know!
All the late night evenings before VMworld paid off, and all the late night evenings celebrating with colleagues, customers, and competitors were loads of fun.
Ok - for those of you looking for the EMC sessions read on - and if you have ANY questions on one of the sessions, don't hesitate to comment!
AD3500 (download here) - "VMware Management Essentials: ITSM, Virtual Dependency Mapping, Automated Root Cause and Compliance Analytics for the VMware-Enabled Datacenter",
Presenter: Bob Quillin (Director, RMSG) EMC
- This session discussed a view of how to deliver end-to-end model-based dependency mapping, and use that to apply to the challenges of RCA, Compliance and business app SLAs (which is related to, but seperate from AppSpeed).
- It included several demonstrations
- It showed where EMC has been investing in ensuring we did the integration work needed to be part of the VMware announcement around VMware Ready Management Solutions.
EA1961 (download here) - "Virtualization of Oracle Production Environments"
Presenter: Jeff Browning (Oracle SME), EMC
- This session discussed the results of joint testing (thanks Tushar Patel and Chris Rimer @ VMware, Jeff Browning and Shashi at EMC), of Oracle on VMware. Technical findings and business findings (how about a 10x better $/TPS!) are summarized. Comparisons with Oracle single-instance using Oracle SE on VMware and Oracle RAC are made. Oracle support positions are discussed
- Customer example: we discussed one customer scenario - a heterogenous Oracle environment, where virtualizing saved tens of millions of dollars.
- It discussed all the places VMware can be applied in addition to production (for example, integrated with array replicas for test/dev).
- It included several demonstrations
KNEMC (download here) - "Next Generation Datacenter Design: Trends, Best Practices, and Experiences"
Presenters: Chad Sakac (me!), EMC; Scott Davis (CTO Office, Chief Datacenter Architect), VMware; Ed Bugnion (VP/CTO Server Virtualization and Access Business Unit), Cisco
- This session discussed what VMware, Cisco and EMC are doing together on the topic of the VDC-OS (aka the "Next Generation Datacenter)
- Storage platforms designed for the VMware use case (demonstration of modular IO complex on CX4, demo of the iomega StorCenter <$300 for 1TB storage platform for VMware, Virtual Storage Appliances
- Unified Transport, protocol flexibility: 10GbE iSCSI/NFS/FCoE and DCE - and the work to make network and storage transparent at the VMware layer
- Joint solutioneering
- Management frameworks from VMware/EMC/Cisco and what we're doing to make them more integrated
- the vCloud effort and what we're all doing to make it real
- Customer example: we discussed a customer (Cymer) and how they were using VMware/Cisco/EMC together to build their current and next gen datacenter.
- We demonstrated vStorage APIs for offload and vStorage APIs for Multipathing (crowd response suggested that these will be big)
PDPAR102 (download here) - "The VMware/EMC Effect: how to increase partner profitability with the Alliance Affiliate Program"
Presenters: Greg Ambulous (VP EMC Channel Sales), EMC; Pete Kolipolous (VP EMC Global Channel Marketing ), EMC; Brandon Sweeney (VP Americas Channel Sales), VMware
- This session discussed how VMware and EMC are working together to make being a partner of both simpler, more profitable, and effective for the partner's customers.
- It discussed EMC's participation in the VMware Alliance Affiliate program - partners can get up to a 14% back-end rebate when VMware and EMC solutions are sold together.
- Partner Example: 3 partners discussed their experience working as both EMC and VMware partners.
- It discussed the VMware specialization training for EMC partners
- It discussed the VMware Partner Resource Center on Powerlink for EMC Partners
PO3078 (download here) - "Optimizing the Network and Management Systems to Support Your Virtual Infrastructure"
Presenters: Eugene Von Taube (CTO - Data Center Infrastructure, EMC Consulting
- This session discussed a the 10GbE transition in more detail, as well as the effects of VMware on network design best practices across the infrastructure.
- It included a demonstration of how Cisco, VMware and EMC tools (vframe, vCetner, Control Center) could be linked together for end-to-end orchestration (note that as I said in the keynote, right now, these are two-way API integrated only, the 3-way integration was a custom piece of work for a customer.
PO3824 (download here) - "Storage Solutions for Enterprise Consolidation with VMware"
Presenter: Peter C. Conway (VP - Business and Product Operations, Symmetrix, EMC)
- This session focused on LARGE scale VMware deployments (i.e. hundreds and thousands of VMs in extremely consolidated use cases). It focused on how Symmetrix customers are leveraging VMware in conjunction with their Symms, new Enginuity 5773 features like Virtual Provision, things like Enterprise Flash Drives and SRDF.
- It included a summary of our joint VMware/EMC findings from the 10K client vClient testing.
- Customer Examples: King and Spalding and Fannie Mae shared how they are doing this today, and what their experiences have been
TA3089 (download here) - "Remote Office Data Protection with Data Deduplication for VMware"
Presenters: Tom Martin EMC; Neela Jacques, VMware; Mark Jones, Corporate Express.
- This session discussed a how EMC and VMware are working together on Remote Office/Branch Office solutions.
- It discussed best practices about the application of source-based data dedupe techniques to remotely backup branches
- It included several demonstrations
- Customer Example: Corporate Express shared how they are doing this today, and what their experiences have been
BC3096 (download here) - "Site Recovery Manager in Concert with Storage Replication - Protecting your Critical Applications"
Presenters: Michael Tan (Engineering Manager), EMC; Bala Ganeshan (Chief Technologist: Server Virtualization) EMC
- This session discussed a how EMC and VMware solutions work together for DR for your most critical apps.
- It discussed best practices about the use of SRM with EMC technologies, supported functionality and restrictions
- Logging and basic troubleshooting
- It discussed how failback can be done, and how it is simple.
- It included several demonstrations - including Oracle 11i Apps and SAP with Site Recovery Manager.