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September 03, 2013


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Doug B

Chad, thanks for the write-up (and the gear!).

I'd like to clarify that only about 1/2 the lab infrastructure was run on 4 XtremIO bricks -- which is not to say that 4 bricks could not have handled the load. All four bricks are in our Las Vegas environment, which handled a little over half of the capacity, but those bricks were barely breaking a sweat during most of the conference -- maybe 10-25% utilized across the board. Our Washington datacenter still ran VMX 7500's and hosted the remainder of the labs. If we'd had enough bricks for both sites, I'm certain we could have run everything on XtremIO (hint, hint) ... but, seriously, that gear totally rocks.

The significance of XtremIO's difference in size, power, and cooling footprints should not be underestimated. The Las Vegas datacenter we used for the event is not one of ours: we used SwitchNAP. Anyone who has gear in a co-lo knows that space in any co-lo carries a price tag -- especially in Tier III and Tier IV datacenters -- and power beyond a certain amount per unit of area typically incurs additional cost (never mind the cost to run additional high-voltage drops and specialized connectors).

As far as the labs go, downtime might not result in loss of life or direct loss of revenue, but any downtime during the week of VMworld has significant consequences from both attendee satisfaction and PR perspectives. If attendees who want to take labs are unable to do so, trust me, they're not happy. The hands-on labs are a significant attraction at the conference and their unavailability is generally not tolerated.



There's some sample code that works (although is totally unsupported) and was running during the show at my GitHub here:


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