I attended VMworld 2013 in San Francisco, along with 22,500 others, each leaving with unique experiences, new knowledge, and ideas. My personal focus was:
- Learn about new VMware products and features.
- Learn about new VMware classes and certifications.
- Learn about partner products and technologies
- Socially network with individuals involved in each of these areas.
Now, I would like to share with you what I learned at VMworld on each of the first three elements.
New VMware Products and Features
Although a lot of announcements were made, my interest is mostly on new technology related to vCloud, vSphere, NSX and vSAN.
vCloud Suite 5.5 is available. It includes vSphere 5.5 and vCloud Director 5.5. Depending on the edition, it may also include Site Recover Manager (SRM), vCloud Automation Center, vCenter Operations Manager, and vCloud Networking and Security Server. Primarily, my interest is on vCloud Automation Center and vSphere 5.5.
vCloud Automation Center automates common tasks typically performed by IT and provides self-provisoning of VMs and applications on demand to application owners. Details on vCenter Automation Center (vCAC).
vSphere 5.5 provides SSO improvements, support for larger VMs, improvements to the Web Client, etc. Details are enhancements to vSphere in version 5.5.
For details on the remaining components of vCloud Suite 5.5, including any recent enhancements, try these links:
- Whats New in vCloud Director 5.5
- vCenter Operations Manager ver 5.7.1 Release Notes
- vCenter Operations Manager Suite product page
- Whats New in vSphere Replication 5.5
VMware vSAN – VMware announced the beta version of VMware vSAN. It utilizes local hard disks and SSDs to produce shared storage suitable for vMotion, DRS, and HA. It enables the administrator to implement storage policies per VM. Details on VSAN.
VMware NSX – VMware announced VMware NSX, which provides network virtualization utilizing hypervisors and APIs. It allows L2 to L7 network policies to be assigned to VMs, eliminating the need to manually configure switches, routers, firewalls, and load balancers due to VM deployment, changes, and retirement. Details on VMWare NSX
The best way to get introduced to new products and features announced by VMware is to view the Tuesday Aug 27th General Session Video, which provides a high-level view, with a bit of detail and demos.
For more details on specific products and features, view the Top 10 Sessions at VMworld. These sessions focused on items such as introducing NSX, technical updates on SRM , changes in software defined storage, and introducing vCloud Hybrid Service.
VMware Courses and Certifications – Announcements
VMware announced a new certification level (VCA) and a new certification track (Virtual Networking). They announced updates to several current courses to accommodate new product versions. They also announced several brand new classes on products such as NSX and vCAC. Details on Course and Certification Announcements.
Interesting Products and Technologies
Naturally, this portion is opinionated and timely. Hundreds of vendors showcased their offerings, all of which interested at least some portion of the attendees. So here is a list of a few of the products that caught my eye and deserve a closer look from me.
- Veeam – A leading VM backup / replication product, has announced several significant product updates. My main interest is the great improvements in performance, built-in WAN acceleration, option to utilize storage based snapshots, and tape library support. This is important to me because many of my customers, many of my students, and I use Veeam. It is also important to me because I can envision ways to include Veeam into more solutions that I design. Details on What’s New in Veeam v7.
- V3 Systems – Host hardware server with SSD designed to provide virtual desktops based on VMware View that outperform native desktops. I am taking a close look at the underlying technology now. My interest is building solutions based on V3 Systems that could be easily dropped into an existing View environment, where the customer is unhappy with performance. My interest was increased when I learned about V3′s recent inclusion of Teradici hardware and their partnership with Liquidware Labs. V3 Systems website.
- Nimble Storage – Flash optimized hybrid storage that provides a lot of features . I was surprised to learn about their success in number of customers and partners. I am taking a closer look at the underlying technology now. To be honest, many vendors are now offering some Flash based storage. I intend to closely research a few of these. Nimble Storage Products Specifications.
- NVIDIA – High end graphic cards, certified to work in certain hardware servers, that promise to support several, concurrent high-end graphics users. At the show, they had a running demo of 8 concurrent VDI users accessing CAD, Google Earth, etc all served by the same host and graphics card. My main interest to determine if such servers and adapters can truly support multiple high-end graphics users, allowing engineering teams to consider an economical, viable VDI solution rather than continuing to refresh graphical workstations costing $5 K each. NVIDIA VDI Products.