VMworld 2013 Predictions – Follow Up!

That VMworld went by way too darn quick. So fast that I didn’t get to put up a day 3 and day 4 follow up. There is a lot of cool stuff going on with VMware that many of us will be talking about for years to come. Mainly, NSX, vSAN and vCHS.

But what are we here for, we’re here to see how dead wrong I was with my annual predictions. Here we go.

  1. One Pane of Glass to rule them all Wrong! vSphere won’t be controlling others any time soon. But I did see the vCAC was able to provision to other services such as AWS, Azure, vCHS and OpenStack. Not quite what I was thinking, but its a start.

    Now, I did see OpenStack being the front end web UI for vSphere / ESX compute. So that was a nice twist and something I’ll be digging into further.

  2. vSphere Fat Client Dies I’m giving myself partial credit here. They did release a new version of it, but its limited and will definitely be the last one. One of the big limitations is, if you have a VM with hardware version 10, you can no longer manage it with the fat client. All in all, its dead, start using the web client.
  3. HTML5 web console Yes-ish. I think the VMRC plugin now works on mac and they have enabled support for Chrome. So all in all, I think we’re in a better spot here. Not sure if it is true HTML5, but good enough for now.
  4. The year of the desktop…according to VMware Wrong! I’m kind of shocked that this wasn’t the presentation on Tuesday.
  5. PuppetLabs is features in the keynote. Wrong! They got a mention, but so did opscode’s Chef. More of, you could automation X with Puppet or Chef.

1.5 right out of 5. I think that clearly shows my skills with the old crystal ball. Maybe I’ll have better luck next year.

VMworld Day 2 Recap

Day 2 flew by for me and I have to say, I’m still reeling a bit.

The day was kicked off with the general session keynote which is usually when we see Herrod take the stage, but since his departure, we got another C level (COO Carl Eschenbach). This one was probably my favorite of all of them that I’ve seen as we didn’t have to suffer through a VMware View / Horizon demo. I’m not a fan of desktop support so this has never appealed to me.

What we got instead was a real life demo of the latest and greatest tools with vSphere, NSX, vSAN, and vCAC. A lot of this just seems like the evolution of the products. The impression I got was vCloud is fading into the background and vCAC will be what VMware would like to push forward. Looks great for the Enterprise and should be multi-tenant for the xSPs of the world. They even showed on the big screen the ability for vCAC to provision on other providers. Of coarse their own vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS), but also AWS and Azure with price breakdowns readily available for you to make the informed decision. And even they admitted, sometimes another service is cheaper in certain situations. Might not perform as well, but is cheaper. For the cost conscious folks of the audience, this is a nice feature.

NSX

The rest of the day was spent getting my head around NSX. I’m not sure the small 2-3 host customer will truly benefit from this technology. But the service providers and enterprises should really see some provisioning benefits. I could try and hash out NSX is, but I think its more appropriate to just send you to the official blog post on it. It takes a bit to get your head around and I’m still surprised that VMware is recommending physical boxes for certain roles (controllers), but that soon will change as they get more performance out of the software. Read up on this one folks, its gonna be big.

VMworld Announcements

The big day for VMware admins around the world is here with the first day of VMworld 2013. Kicking off the conference (besides the pre-parties) is the keynote given by the CEO of VMware, Pat Gelsinger.

The big announcements from the keynote are:

  • VMware vSphere 5.5 As rumored, we didn’t see vSphere 6, but there were several enhancements here that caught my eye. A new VM version which now supports better vGPU and more device support (more disks per VM). vApp HA which checks for the presence of “heartbeats” from VMware Tools™ as well as I/O activity from the virtual machine. If neither of these is detected in the specified amount of time, vSphere HA resets the virtual machine. You will notice that many of the performance features have increased 2x except the vmdk which overshot and now supports 62TB-512b vmdks attached to a VM. I know several of my customers that will like that new feature. You can read more about what’s new in vSphere 5.5 here.
  • VMware vCloud Hybrid Services – General Availability Not really sure how to feel about this one yet. As a vCloud provider, they appear to be competing directly with me. And based on their 6 data center expansion planned for the next year (4 VMware DCs + 2 provided by Savvis), it makes it hard to think that they are going to throw us a bone anytime soon.

    At the same time, I do get it if you are an enterprise customer that has always trusted VMware for your infrastructure needs. Moving to the cloud is a bit scary to go with someone you don’t have that relationship with. VMware is your trusted partner here so why not go with them? What I would like to see is VMware say, hey Mr Enterprise, meet my partner here Mr vCloud who can fill this gap for you the same way that we can. Sure you lose the one throat to choke, but you keep partners happy while spreading the operational costs at VMware. Its a pipe dream at this point, but that’s the approach I would have rather seen.

  • VMware NSX – The Platform for Network Virtualization – We’re finally seeing the fruits of the Nicera purchase a year ago by VMware. Essentially, we have a new layer on top of existing physical networks that allows a true software defined network. What ESX did for compute resources, NSX hopes to do for network resources. VMware NSX brings together the best of Nicira NVPTM and VMware vCloud Network and SecurityTM into one unified platform, delivering the entire networking and security model (Layer 2 – Layer 7) in software. I don’t think that there is any avoiding the SDN. Where we used to have just VLANs separating customers, now we can have additional separation and isolation on top of existing networks as well as providing various services (Firewalls and SLB) with the click of a button. Should be exiting to see and I looking forward to turning a few wrenches on this in the lab.
  • VMware Virtual SAN (vSAN) Similar to VMware NSX, VMware Virtual SAN is built on a unique distributed architecture that will enable storage services to scale out linearly with the needs of the application. Through the seamless integration of VMware Virtual SAN with VMware vSphere, VMware has redefined the role of the hypervisor to deliver virtualized compute and storage services in an elastic, flexible fashion. The distributed architecture enables VMware Virtual SAN to deliver I/O performance comparable to mid-range storage arrays while leveraging the economics of direct-attached storage.

This list is by no means definitive of all the announcements that were made, but definitely the big ones. Many more and a lot more detail can be found in VMware’s press release.

VMworld 2013 Predictions

Another VMworld is upon us and its time for my VMworld 2013 predictions. I’m going to leave out some of the gimme predictions of NSX being released and a new vSphere / ESXi / vCloud. But I’ll go into the some of the features that I think they’ll have. It should be noted, the company I work for is not a part of any beta trials at the moment nor have I had any preview as a vExpert (though one would be nice! *hint hint*).

  1. One Pane of Glass to rule them all Yes, I made this one last year. But this year, I think we’ll actually see it. vSphere will be able to control at least OpenStack and maybe Hyper-V from the one pane of glass.
  2. vSphere Fat Client Dies This is the year that I think we’ll see the death of the fat client. Its 2013, the web seems to be catching on and I think it will be around for a while. I would throw in the death of the dedicated standalone vSphere server on windows, but I don’t think the appliance is ready for that yet. Upgrades are on the VCSA are still pretty painful.
  3. HTML5 web console Please make this one happen VMware. The VMRC that works in Firefox and certain versions of IE on windows only is annoying as hell for vCloud environments. This should be a no brainer seeing as there have been several flings from your labs group that have pretty much shown that this can be done. Let me control things from any browser on any platform.
  4. The year of the desktop…according to VMware Ok, this is a gimme I guess. We’ll see another new enhancement to View / Horizon / Whatever they rebrand it to this year and I still won’t give a crap because its desktop support and I’m not interested in that at all.
  5. PuppetLabs is features in the keynote. If you have been paying any attention at all, you’ll know that Nick Weaver and his band of merry programmers have been quickly automating the heck out of various appliances behind the scenes at vCHS using Puppet. I don’t think we’ll necessarily see Nick on stage, but we’ll see Puppet get some air time showing off the enhanced integration they will now have. I wouldn’t be surprised if a puppet agent is available within the ESXi 5.5 build. This one is probably the biggest stretch but I know I’d be really happy to see it.

Well, there you have it, my 5 predictions for VMworld 2013. Let’s see how wrong I am this year!

VMworld 2012 Predictions Follow Up

Before VMworld, I laid out a few of my predictions of what I thought we’d see at the conference. Let’s see how I did…

  • vRAM is dead. The rumors were true. This was kind of a gimme but I’ll take it. So long vRAM licensing!
  • vCloud 2.0. Got this one too though its vCloud 5.1 to line up the numbering scheme with vSphere. We have snapshots and multiple disk levels supported within the provider vDCs. At the conference, I can’t say for sure that the vConsole app was new, but it worked in Chrome which is a huge step forward.
  • Virtual Phone for iOS. Yup, but not in the same way that they are doing it for Android. But still a protected application that has some nice tricks like not allowing you to copy and paste from the protect app to another application running on the phone.
  • One pane of glass to rule them all. You could argue that the purchase of DynamicOps makes this happen, but its not fully integrated yet. I think next year will be the real integration and we’ll get that one pane of glass feel to managing our environments.

3 out of 4 isn’t too bad.