For those who follow in RSS feeds – FYI, the vSphere 5.1 + PP/VE patch is out – and the blog post is updated with the fix details here.
AFAIK – I’m not aware of outstanding “major” blocks to upgrade for EMC customers (we strive to have everything line up with VMware launches, including baking in platform support for new features in advance – you wouldn’t believe the amount of work that goes into that). There are a few pieces to pull over the line (new VSI plugin for the web client as an example) – but they are non-critical.
Want to see what two exhausted EMCers look like after a weeklong tradeshow? Phoning it in?
Click on the below to watch Episode 12, a VMworld 2012 wrap, a VDP demo with a partner – and a VMworld 2012 Barcelona preview!
BTW – I’m doing a webcast this week (same bat time, same bat channel – every thursday is “VMware/EMC webcast thursday”). The topic this week is a VMworld SF recap with key technical updates, blog posts I think are key, some VM granular storage discussions, along with SDDC bits, and also a bit of a VMworld 2012 Barcelona – we have more coolness on it’s way.
So… I got exposed to this when we started more and more HPC work at EMC. Isilon is a fit for some workloads, Lustre/VNX is popular for others, and then we did some amazing stuff with Los Alamos Labs regarding developing use of Flash as a “burst buffer appliance” for Fast Big Data use cases (were Petabytes need to be checkpointed in seconds/minutes). You can see Los Almos National Labs (and Wade and I) talk about it at Chad’s World Live II – “the comeback tour” at EMC World in Las Vegas. It’s MIND BLOWING. Think of “million compute core” infrastructure – moving to “billion compute core” scale and Exaflop-scale… and you’re getting the idea of the scale.
Fast forward to 44:30 into the episode below:
As part of the “Big Ideas” series (there were earlier ones on Hadoop and Big Data), Patricia Florissi – Americas CTO and general awesome person at EMC did a couple of videos around the topic of High Performance Computing.
We use these videos we use internally at EMC to bring people up to speed and understanding these “Big ideas”. While it’s what we use internally here at EMC, virtualgeek readers know my view is that we should share openly and freely.
I think these two videos do an AWESOME job of making complex ideas, and BIG ideas come to life – and learning stuff is one of the things I take a great deal of pleasure out of… after all the EMC Presales Manifesto has as one of it’s principles that we are technologists, and technologists are intrinsically curious, and always independently learning….
Here’s the first HPC Big Ideas video (click): “Simplifying HPC Architectures”…
.. And here’s the second HPC Big Ideas video (click): “Demystifying Fast Data” (which looks at the Los Almos challenge which is common to many large HPC environments which are massive PB-scale checkpoints, ergo the ABBA idea)
If you dig these, check out all the “Big Ideas” videos here. Enjoy, and feedback welcome!
BTW – anytime there is a major new release of software like vSphere 5.1, in spite of the unbelievable efforts of many to catch everything, update support matrices, some things always miss the cutoff. Usually, the time gap to fill these is very short. Don’t read into my “Heads up!” posts on PP/VE, Symmetrix, and this one any more or less than that….
Just got a heads up from one of our customers (THANK YOU!) that apparently for vSphere 5.1 support on Cisco UCS, the VMEM needs a new vSphere 5.1 specific .vib.
There are boatloads of EMC labs and customers using Cisco UCS, so check the Cisco support matrix, and stay tuned. I would suspect this will get fixed ASAP (like the PP/VE topic).
There are some things that are just cool. This is (IMO) one of them. Big Data is transforming business – but has the power to change the world – as much as the Internet changed the way we all live.
EMC’s sponsoring this, and it isn’t cheap, but it has ZERO to do with products, or selling anything. This will be really interesting to watch. Imagine what we’ll discover with millions of people being “human sensors”
Step 2) Participate. Download the iPhone/Android App – and between Sept 25 and Oct 2. You can provide as much or as little data as you want.
Step 3) Share and learn. Follow @FaceOfBigData and #HFOBD. After Oct 2, the data and analysis will be published openly and in the form of a book. It will be fascinating to see more of the world looks like, what people are thinking and feeling. I think it will be incredible.
Personally – I’m IN. Are you in?
Here’s one example – just REALLY, REALLY cool if you ask me, and makes me happy to work for a company that does neat stuff like this (Sebastian – the guy in the video - is also an EMCer).
This one is less critical than the PP/VE one I just did (since the fix is already in all the GA code), but, good to know.
vSphere 5.1 changes the behavior of VAAI Hardware Accelerated Locking (aka ATS) to no longer work with transient (sometimes on/sometimes off) ATS behavior, and older (i.e. non-current) versions of Enginuity will fail to create VMFS-5.
Symptom: when you create a VMFS-5 datastore you get this error: "An error occurred during host configuration. See the error stack for details on the cause of this problem.”
Cause: on older enginuity builds, when ATS calls are issued for tracks that have “Never Written By Host”(NWBH), sometimes the ATS call fails.
Fix: Enginuity Fix 62286 addresses this issue and is available via Enginuity Pack at 5875. Fix 62286 is also available in the GA release of 5875.267.201 and is in all GA versions of Enginuity 5876. With this fix, a VMFS-5 data store can be created successfully.
The following workaround will address the issue if the fix is not on the Symmetrix and for some reason you can’t apply the fix (Symm hotfixes are non-disruptive):
Disable HardwareAcceleratedLocking on the VMware host.
Create VMFS-5 data store.
Re-enable HardwareAcceleratedLocking on the VMware host.
If you are installing ESXi 5.1 on a Symmetrix LUN in a boot-from-SAN configuration, there is no workaround without installing the fix. Once the data store has been created, subsequent removal and re-creation with Hardware Accelerated Locking enabled is successful.
This is covered in EMC ETA emc289707, available to all customers, EMC folks and EMC partners.
[UPDATE Sept 25th, 2012, 12:15am PT] – this has been fixed.
Customers, please read and follow this from EMC, and this from VMware.
Know that a lot of people work hard on your behalf – striving to get this sort of thing into the main releases – but perodically, we miss. On behalf of the people at EMC and VMware that have been working it – apologies, but also I want to give them a thank you – they’ve been working furiously to get it done as soon as possible.
Gang – one important heads up for customers using EMC PowerPath/VE who are looking to upgrade to vSphere 5.1.
In the later stages of the RC builds, a bug (and like all bugs – it’s not right to call it a “vSphere bug” or “EMC bug” – more right to call it a “solution bug”)
PowerPath 5.7 doesn’t load with vSphere 5.1, but the latest patch which was set to be released (02) can cause a PSOD.
The chances of PSOD increase with some combination of the following: a thread in the CIMOM (SFCB) holding an object open during a device close and ESXi not expecting it. For example, we could make it consistently PSOD having multiple rpowermt commands in progress during an ESXi reboot.
We also found a second issue (ESXi not saving all bytes of our persistent string) that was also root caused to ESXi and that VMware plans to fix in a vSphere hotfix.
Take away – for PowerPath/VE customers, hold off vSphere 5.1 upgrades (GA was yesterday). Hotfix P02 from EMC is in days, and so is the expected VMware fix.
What to do if you think you’re a fit? You can apply online here. If you can’t seem to work it – heck, just email the hiring manager Bertrand Lalanne. You can find him on LinkedIn (a great EMC customer – thank you!), and EMC email addresses have a standard format.
Looking for something even bigger?
Recently EMC merged our EMEA North/South territories which were separated into two into a single theatre, and selected a singular EMEA theatre sales leader (Adrian McDonald). We are about to post the EMEA-wide SE leadership role. This is a BIG, FUN, EXCITING gig for the right person… Think:
A staff of about 700 people.
An operating budget around $350M.
Aligned with our Go-To-Market that generates about $7B+ in revenues
All of the SE resources (which in EMC are called “Technical Consultants”, but “SE” is the more industry-standard term), from the folks that support direct customers, partners – people that are generalists, and people who are specialists.
It’s a career changing role for the right person – and EMC is a great place to be!
Now, I fully expect fierce internal competition for roles, and we have very strong internal candidates – but I’m a big fan of always looking at external talent whenever there is a role. Fresh perspectives and world views are very healthy. The req isn’t posted yet, but will be soon. This role reports to me, and you can find me on LinkedIn (a great EMC customer – thank you!), and EMC email addresses have a standard format.
There’s no community in IT that beats the VMware community. People are passionate about VMware. So long as VMware keeps innovating, keep providing value, and keep open and transparent – I don’t see that changing, even with VMware now being an 800lb gorilla in IT. That passion, that community comes out at VMUGs, at v0dgeball, at the vmunderground, vbeers, in the sessions, in the hang out section, in the vExpert meeting and much, much more. I don’t know if it’s just me – but VMworld has a very different vibe than other conferences – and I think it flows from that.
Classy transition from Paul to Pat. Not surprised that it was well done – but these transitions are replete with risk. While the proof is in the pudding – the timing is good, IMO. Paul reset the strategic path for VMware, and the course he set has been the right one for both today and tomorrow. Now, he will be in a position to guide the larger integrated VMware/EMC strategy in his new role. Pat is an engineer’s engineer. that doesn’t mean Pat isn’t strategic, but rather he is an execution machine – and demands the best from the team around him. With the strategic course set, I know of no other executive better to lead the next era (which will demand phenomenal execution) at VMware.
Embrace of Openstack. Between the vCenter management stack opening up, Dynamic Ops and Nicira, and of course, VMware joining the OpenStack community – it reflects a recognition that the OpenStack movement has juice, and merit – particularly in the Service Provider community. It’s not just VMware, but also EMC that is embracing OpenStack. Stay tuned for more.
Innovation in compute, storage, networking stack continues unabated. While true that vSphere 5.1 is a “tock” in the “tick/tock” major/minor release cadence for VMware – there’s a LOT in there (not quite GA yet, but very soon). For me, beyond the usual “bigger/stronger/faster” march of vm hardware version 8, the standouts are:
The new web client. This simplifies things, and also makes all the platform stuff much easier. Yup, it breaks all the vCenter plugins (see my post below), but is the right direction. I think it’s also worth pointing out that it’s no coincidence that vCenter and vCloud Director look very similar now, and are bundled. Expect these to merge in the future as vCenter continues to get re-architected.
Enhanced vMotion (which loses the shared storage dependency – I suspect this will be a big deal, particularly when VM HA also loses the dependency)
Changes in vmtools that makes future updates to vmtools non disruptive. Sounds like a nit, I suspect that others share the opinion that this could be a big deal.
VXLAN moving from “tech preview” into GA. This is the big one amongst a ton of native networking upgrades/scaling/improvements (heck, vDS backup/restore is a biggie!). Between this and Nicira – it’s no surprise to see so much startup action in this space.
When it comes to storage, there are two parts to my observations – “Today” and “Tomorrow”. “Today”: Storage DRS support for Linked Clones makes SDRS and things like vCloud Director possible; VAAI NFS assists continues the march of storage array assist… but the bigger story is about “Tomorrow”. Tech previews of vFlash (use of local SSDs/Flash as a VM accelerator), vSAN (use of local disk for shared storage at scale) and VM Granular Storage (aka vVols or Virtual Volumes) show how serious VMware is about innovating and disrupting the storage market. Like observation #4 about networking – all these disruptions, along with the disruptive wave of flash on the storage market make for exciting times, and a place where startup action is hot! I can highlight that EMC is embracing all this change – as you can see from some of the stuff I link to below.
Recognition of changing competitive landscape for VMware. VMware going back to the straight up socket based pricing model (vs. the foray into memory-gated vRAM models) was widely celebrated. I’ll be honest, I actually liked the vRAM model – but I think I was in the minority. It takes courage to listen and respond to the customers. Add to that the new model where the vCloud Suite includes vCloud Director and vCenter Operations – and free upgrades for customers who licensed vSphere Enterprise Plus – and it’s a pretty compelling package. If you ask me, this is a reflection of VMware moving into a phase where there are legitimate competitors for VMware – primarily Hyper-V. That’s not to say that VMware isn’t the best – I think it is. But like EMC ourselves, VMware operates in a competitive environment where customers have choice. Listening to your customers is always a good idea… When there is competition – it’s mandatory.
A great memory for me of VMworld 2012 San Francisco will be the “Reserved for Chad Sakac” stickers someone (I still don’t know who) were put up all over the city and Moscone. While clearly a “short gag” (which makes me laugh – after all, I was the one who joked that I got into blogging “as a massive Napoleonic ego trip” but the short thing does get tiresome) – I’m going to choose to think of it more along the lines of a fan club than a stalker :-) Of all the pictures – this one remains my favorite – Vaughn right before v0dgeball.
Onto VMworld Barcelona in Oct!
Here is an “easy link summary” of the 14 posts I put up over the last week so they are there in a nice single post.
VMworld 2012- EMC VSI.Next (Flex) (the new web client breaks all 3rd party plugins – this is a preview of the future FLEX-based EMC Virtual Storage Integrator plugin)
VMworld 2012- vCenter Operations, EMC Storage Analytics, and more… (EMC and VMware have put a ton of effort into vCenter Operations, including embedding VNX and VMAX connectors in the GA versions of vCenter Operations Enterprise Edition, and creating a version designed to be included with EMC VNX arrays called Storage Analytics – this covers this in detail)
VMworld 2012- VM Granular storage–what we’re working on… (this idea was discussed briefly at VMworld 2011, and more this year – if indeed VMware, EMC and the other storage partners can make this real – it has the potential to transform the model of storage in vSphere.future releases).
VMworld 2012- What does SDDC mean for Storage- (SDDC is the “mega trend” of value moving up into software stacks, policy control moving up from infrastructure, and a new wave of disruptive innovation at the physical layer. It hit servers. It’s now hitting networking. Storage is no exception – this post observes what I think about that)
The opinions expressed here are my personal opinions. Content published here is not read or approved in advance by Dell Technologies and does not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Dell Technologies or any part of Dell Technologies. This is my blog, it is not an Dell Technologies blog.