TheSaffaGeek

My ramblings about all things technical


Leave a comment

VMworld Day 1

Tuesday is the real start of VMworld where both partners and customers of VMware come to attend sessions, do hands on labs, talk to vendors in the solutions exchange and attend the keynote/general session.

The day kicked off with the general session, I opted to not go into the general session hall but instead go into the hang space across from the hall where the keynote was being shown on big screens. This enabled me  to sit at the bloggers table to ensure my scheduled blog postings around a number of announcements could go out smoothly and in San Francisco the keynote overran into the first sessions and I had one booked at 11am. The blog postings I posted which the ones I had to make sure the scheduling worked for are:

I was planning to mention quite a bit about the keynote but it was 98% exactly the same as the VMworld US one with even the same jokes. If you missed the keynote you can watch it again here. The big announcements from the keynote for me was the announcement that there is now a vCloud Air datacentre in Germany allowing the selection of this datacentre as the location of your data. For those who aren’t from Europe, many countries in Europe have strict regulations about information leaving their countries and Germany is one of the strictest so giving the ability to have customers data in Germany makes things a lot simpler. The second big announcement for me was that HP and Hitachi Data Systems are  have joined the VMware EVO:RAIL program.

Just like in VMworld US, the keynote ran overtime so I started walking to my first session which was MGT1969 vCloud Automation Center and NSX Integration Technical Deep Dive . The session was really informative and the two speakers gave some great insight into the integration and capabilities of the two products as well as doing a live demo at the end. I always appreciate a good demo so i would highly recommend watching the session once the recordings are available.

I had a quick lunch as most of the 11am sessions were delayed due to the keynote and then went up to the solutions exchange to talk to some vendors I wanted to hear more things about. The solutions exchange certainly doesnt seem to have as many vendors as last year and it was also very interesting to see how some vendors stalls have doubled in size whereas a few others have got a lot smaller and moved to the outer edges.

I then went to the hang space to watch a few vBrownbag Techtalks which were really good and also to chat to some fellow vExperts. for me one of the best parts about VMworld is being able to chat to your peers about technology and also make good connections professionally with partners companies. whilst i was in the hang space I also attempted my paper airplane challenge for project Destination Give Back which allows you to create a paper airplane and then depending on how far you throw of if you land on one of the circles you “win” money for a charity cause of your choice. Yet again I threw mine too hard Smile but it’s a quick and easy way to give back to good causes and I applaud VMware for doing it. giveback

My next session to attend was TEX1991 vCenter Orchestrator – What’s Next? which was a good session giving insight into you guessed it, what’s new in vCO. it was a good session and there really are some great things coming out in vCO that will help both SMB and enterprise customers.

I again did a walk around the solutions exchange after this as it was then the hall crawl where drinks and snacks are supplied before making my way to the vExpert/VCDX party where I managed to chat to loads of people about my previous VCDX attempt and my plans for my next one and lastly I attended the Cisco vJamon party. Both parties were really good and I must be getting old as I quite liked that there was good food and no thumping music so that I could chat to people with ease.

If you spot me at the conference please do come say hi. I will be wearing a vBrownbag shirt with my name on the front and back.


2 Comments

#VMworld Announcement #1 VMware EVO:RAIL – What is it?

 

imageAt VMworld US this morning VMware will announce numerous new solutions and one of these will be VMware EVO: RAIL I mean MARVIN I mean VMware EVO: RAIL, but what is it and what does it do. Below is a high level overview of the solution. Make sure you also  watch the live keynote to learn more.

Introducing VMware EVO: RAIL

image

VMware EVO: RAIL™ combines compute, networking, and storage resources into a hyper-converged infrastructure appliance to create a simple, easy to deploy, all-in-one solution offered by VMware qualified partners.

Simplicity Transformed

EVO: RAIL enables power-on to VM creation in minutes, radically easy VM deployment, one-click non-disruptive patch and upgrades, simplified management…you get the idea.

Software-Defined Building Block

EVO: RAIL is a scalable Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) building block that delivers compute, networking, storage, and management to empower private/hybrid-cloud, end-user computing, test/dev, and branch office environments.

Trusted Foundation

Building on the proven technology of VMware vSphere®, vCenter Server™, and VMware Virtual SAN™, EVO: RAIL delivers the first hyper-converged infrastructure appliance 100% powered by VMware software.

Highly Resilient by Design

Resilient appliance design starting with four independent hosts and a distributed Virtual SAN datastore ensures zero application downtime during planned maintenance or during disk, network, or host failures.

Infrastructure at the Speed of Innovation

Meet accelerating business demands by simplifying infrastructure design with predictable sizing and scaling,by streamlining purchase and deployment with a single appliance SKU, and by reducing CapEx and OpEx.

Freedom of Choice

EVO: RAIL is delivered as a complete appliance solution with hardware, software, and support through leading
systems vendors; customers choose their preferred brand.

Hardware

VMware is not entering the hardware market. The EVO: RAIL software bundle is available to qualifying EVO:RAIL partners. The partner, in turn, sells the hardware with integrated EVO: RAIL software, and provides all hardware and software support to customers.

Appliance

Each EVO: RAIL appliance has four independent nodes with dedicated computer, network, and storage resources and dual, redundant power supplies.
image

Nodes

Each of the four EVO: RAIL nodes have:

  • Two Intel E5-2620v2 six-core CPUs
  • 192GB of memory
  • One SLC SATADOM or SAS HDD for the ESXi™ boot device
  • Three SAS 10K RPM 1.2TB HDD for the VMware Virtual SAN™ datastore
  • One 400GB MLC enterprise-grade SSD for read/write cache
  • One Virtual SAN-certified pass-through disk controller
  • Two 10GbE NIC ports (configured for either 10GBase-T or SFP+ connections)
  • One 1GbE IPMI port for remote (out-of-band) management

Fault Tolerance and Reliability

Each EVO: RAIL appliance has the following hardware components and reliability features:

  • Four ESXi hosts in a single appliance enables resiliency for hardware failures or maintenance
  • Two fully redundant power supplies
  • Redundant 2 x 10GbE NIC ports per node for all communication
  • ESXi boot device, HDDs, and SSD are all enterprise-grade

image

Automatic Scale-Out

EVO: RAIL Version 1.0 can scale out to four appliances – for a total of 16 ESXi hosts, 1 Virtual SAN datastore backed by a single vCenter Server and EVO: RAIL instance. EVO: RAIL handles deployment, configuration, and management, allowing the compute capacity and the Virtual SAN datastore to grow automatically. New appliances are automatically discovered and easily added to an EVO: RAIL cluster with a few mouse clicks.

Software

EVO: RAIL delivers the first hyper-converged infrastructure appliance 100% powered by VMware’s proven suite of core products. The EVO: RAIL software bundle is fully loaded onto the EVO: RAIL qualified partner’s hardware.
This software bundle is comprised of:

  • EVO: RAIL Deployment, Configuration, and Management
  • VMware vSphere® Enterprise Plus, including ESXi for compute
  • Virtual SAN for storage
  • vCenter Server™
  • vCenter Log Insight™

EVO: RAIL is optimized for the new VMware user as well as for experienced administrators. Minimal IT experience is required to deploy, configure, and manage EVO: RAIL, allowing it to be used where there is limited or no IT staff on-site. As EVO: RAIL utilizes VMware’s core products, administrators can apply existing VMware knowledge,
best practices, and processes.

EVO: RAIL leverages the same database as vCenter Server, so any changes in EVO: RAIL configuration and management are also reflected in vCenter Server and vice-versa.

Compute, Networking, Storage, and Management

EVO: RAIL Compute

Virtual Machine Density

  • EVO: RAIL is sized to run approximately 100 average-sized, general-purpose, data center VMs. Actual capacity varies by VM size and workload. There are no restrictions on application type. EVO: RAIL supports any application that a customer would run on vSphere.
    General-purpose VM profile: 2 vCPU, 4GB vMEM, 60GB of vDisk, with redundancy
  • EVO: RAIL is optimized for VMware Horizon® View with configuration options that allow up to 250 View VMs on a single EVO: RAIL appliance. Actual capacity varies by desktop size and workload.
    Horizon View virtual desktop profile: 2vCPU, 2GB vMEM, 32GB vDisk linked clones

EVO: RAIL Network

image

Connections

  • Each node in EVO: RAIL has two 10GbE network ports. Each port must be connected to a 10GbE top-of-rack switch that has IPv4 and IPv6 multicast enabled.
  • Remote/lights out management is available on each node through a 1GbE IPMI port that can connect to a management network. NOTE: In some configurations, there may be additional 1GbE ports that are covered and disabled.

Traffic

  • EVO: RAIL supports four types of traffic: Management, vSphere vMotion®, Virtual SAN, and Virtual Machine.Traffic isolation on separate VLANs is recommended for vSphere vMotion, Virtual SAN, and VMs. EVO: RAIL
    Version 1.0 does not put management traffic on a VLAN.
  • IPv4 and IPv6 multicast must be enabled on the top-of-rack switch(es). EVO: RAIL’s automated scale-out feature uses IPv6. (It is not required for your complete network to support IPv6.)
  • VLANs are not required when customizing a EVO: RAIL configuration; however, they are highly recommended.When using the Just Go! option, it is assumed VLANs are configured.

EVO: RAIL Storage

EVO: RAIL creates a single Virtual SAN datastore from all local HDDs on each ESXi host in a EVO: RAIL cluster. Virtual SAN read caching and write buffering uses SSD capacity. Total storage capacity is 16TB per EVO: RAIL appliance:

  • 14.4TB HDD capacity (approximately 13TB usable) per appliance, allocated to the Virtual SAN datastore for virtual machines
  • 1.6TB SSD capacity per appliance for read/write cache
  • Size of pre-provisioned management VM: 30GB

EVO: RAIL Management

EVO: RAIL enables deployment, configuration, and management through a new, intuitive HTML5-based user interface showcased in the next section. EVO: RAIL provides new non-disruptive updates for VMware software with zero downtime and automatic scale-out of EVO: RAIL appliances.

User Interface

image

Configuration Screenshots

Below are a few configuration screenshots showing how intuitive and easy it is to configure EVO:RAIL.

image

image

image

image

image

image

Use Cases

Below are some of the use cases for EVO:RAIL.

image

Make sure you  watch the live VMworld keynote to learn more.