Great things have humble beginnings. Many, many moons ago, three efforts started – the VMworld Hands-on-Labs, the EMC World Hands-on-Labs, and the EMC University self-service labs.
Each was an environment built for rapid hands-on learning, where people could roll up their sleeves, play with the tech. They were such a hit, that every year at the big events they ramp their capability, and now serve as a critical learning tool year-round.
They started at moderate scale, and have since exploded in scale and capability. Behind the scenes the Dell EMC vLab and VMware Hands-on-Labs are now thousands of hosts, petabytes of storage, and service many, MANY thousands of labs every month. The Dell EMC vLab has even introduced a capability to “build your own lab” – with a lot more flexibility. We now have some “crowdsourced” labs that have been built and shared. Both the Dell EMC vLab and VMware Hands-on-Lab are forms of a scaled IaaS with a specific mission: making playing and learning with some of the coolest tech toys in the IT world SIMPLE AND EASY.
As an IT executive who takes pride in actually keeping my hands dirty, and loves technology inherently – these are both key tools for me, along with AWS/Azure/CGE and the Pivotal Cloud Foundry public instance (and dear reader – would love to know what tools YOU use!!!)
With Dell Technologies coming together, I’m glad that we continue to double down on all these great online tools for sharing and learning.
- If you’re a Dell EMC employee, a partner, or a customer - you can find the Dell EMC vLab here: https://portal.demoemc.com
- If you’re a VMware employee, a partner, or a customer – you can find the VMware Hands on lab here:http://labs.hol.vmware.com/
So, what’s new? In the Dell EMC vLab – there are 4 new labs this week (many new ones every month): VCE Vision 3.4; Recoverpoint for Virtual Machines 5.0 (huge new release!!); Elastic Cloud Storage 3.2; Isilon 8.0.1 SyncIQ Failover.
Read on past the break for more details on each one!
First: Software Defined VM Protection with RecoverPoint for VMs 5.0
Recoverpoint for VMs is, IMO – one of the best-kept secrets at Dell EMC. Software Defined VM Protection with RecoverPoint for VMs introduces the ability to protect data continually at a Virtual Machine level – no hardware needed.
Recoverpoint for VMs is powerful – with deep consistency group capabilities, a rich REST API, replication that ranges from async to sync to continuous.
Relative to the 4.3 release train, 5.0 is a huge leap. I would HIGHLY recommend stopping for a second, and reading Itzik Reich’s great post on the release here: https://itzikr.wordpress.com/2016/10/10/recoverpoint-for-vms-rp4vms-5-0-is-here/
Back? Skipped Itzik? Well – here’s a nutshell: 1) Much, MUCH larger scaling maximums; 2) Much, MUCH easier to use – better vCenter plugin for the vSphere Web client + easier setup + easier reconfiguration (used to be that if you messed up IPs, you needed to pull out a CLI); 3) Much, MUCH easier to deploy/expand RPA clusters.
Frankly – we found that too many customers struggled on RP4VM setup with 4.3 and pulled down the freely and frictionless access. With Recoverpoint 5.0 – it’s back up. If you want to play with RP4VMs on your own – you can get the bits all here.
Of course, if you want to play on Dell EMC vLab before playing on your own stuff – go for it!
Second: VCE Vision Intelligent Operations 3.4
VCE Vision Intelligent Operations has Health and Life Cycle Management software embedded in VCE converged infrastructure systems. Its intelligence and visualization facilitate standardized, repeatable IT operations center and systems administration processes. This makes it easier to keep your data center/hybrid-cloud environment healthy, stable, optimized, and secure. The unique capabilities of VCE Vision software helps IT staff spend less time “keeping the lights on” and more time adding business value.
We have a LOT of plans for what we intend to do for this layer of the M&O stack (which is way, way below things like vRealize or Microsoft Operations Manager). It’s a critical part of CI and HCI (and the things that come after HCI) and you should expect to see a lot from Dell EMC in this domain in 2017 :-)
- System health monitoring and workload fingerprinting (Operational Status; Key performance indicators; Reports and logs)
- RCM compliance management (Assessment; Reports; Release downloads for upgrades)
- Security compliance management (Assessment; Reports; Patch downloads and prescribed actions)
- Security/technical alert management (Assessment; Reports; Patch downloads and prescribed actions)
The new lab lets you troubleshoot messed up conditions, see how to resolve, how to manage resource pools, and keep Converged Infrastructure compliant with standards and security best practices. It even lets you troubleshoot a serious outage!
Third: Experience Smart Multipurpose Shared Global Storage with ECS
Elastic Cloud Storage is a third generation hyper scale geo-distribute object platform. ECS is designed for next-gen applications and traditional workloads with awesome storage efficiency, resiliency and simplicity. It can be deployed as a turnkey storage appliance or software-only solution designed to run on industry-standard hardware.
ECS is a modern, multi-purpose, shared global storage that scales into Exabytes to store both small and large objects and files. Built from the ground up to support multiple protocols, ECS simplifies storage for traditional as well as next-gen apps with global access and protection.
Elastic Cloud Storage supports all major Object protocols as well as NFS and HDFS, powering a variety of traditional and modern application workloads. ECS simplifies data governance and management with instant meta-data search, analytics enabled by HDFS and built-in optimizations for speed and storage efficiency.
This updated ECS vLab, Experience Smart Multipurpose Shared Global Storage with ECS, based on Elastic Cloud Storage v3.0 provides several use cases such as the following:
- Configuring A New Tenant In ECS.
- Ingesting Data Using An S3 Application.
- Performing Metadata Search Using an S3 Client Application.
- Querying Object Metadata with Apache Spark SQL.
- Using NFS and Object protocols to access a common data set.
Fourth: Isilon OneFS 8.0.1 SyncIQ Fail Over Fail Back in Compliance Mode
SyncIQ enables you to replicate data from one Isilon cluster to another. This allows for OneFS backup and recovery to happen through the failover and failback process. Failover enables you to access data on the cluster it was backed up to. After you fail over, you can fail back to resume accessing your data on the cluster it was originally backed up from. A SyncIQ license is required on both clusters before you can replicate data between them.
This capability is now available for Compliance Mode Clusters. This will enable a business to maintain regulatory and compliance needs in support of the SEC-17a4 compliance code.
Lab Module lets you play with SyncIQ, setting up, and then testing SyncIQ, including with the new Compliance mode capability.
Enjoy – and to the teams that maintain this incredible capability – THANK YOU!! As always – feedback welcome… what can we do better?