VMworld Day 1

October 15, 2013 — Leave a comment

[more pictures to be added when I have a decent internet connection!]

Wow that was quite a day, certainly a lot to take in and absorb! Today started with the general session hosted by VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger for his second EMEA VMworld since taking over the realm last year. VMworld EMEA is normally where VMware announce their End User Computing and Management updates and they certainly didn’t disappoint.

The major stand out announcements today for me were surrounding EUC and the Horizon Product line, announced today was Horizon View 5.3 along with Mirage 4.3, although these may represent small dot releases the functionality added to these products especially from the View side was certainly significant. We are finally seeing initial integration between Mirage any View with Mirage now able to successfully integrate with View and manage the layering, protection and patching of fixed desktop within View, this is of course is a baby step but it is clear where this is going to go, when we are able to fully utilise Mirage alongside linked clones it makes for a useable scenario were persistent desktops would make sense and ease adoption over the sometimes more complex to implement non persistent desktops that usually make more sense today.

We are now seeing full support for VDGA dedicated pass through graphics cards for high intensity graphics within View and the start of VMware reducing the overall cost of VDI with the inclusion of VSAN (tech preview) and VCOPS for VDI now included within the Horizon suite. The inclusion of the VSAN technology for View for me makes a lot of sense for VDI workloads where you can utilise servers as combined compute and storage building blocks for your VDI infrastructure offering a very clear design to build and scale VDI implementations whilst gaining the benefits from the hybrid nature of the VSAN technology for the VDI workloads. As mentioned at present VSAN is still in beta and this functionality for View is only Tech Preview but I do think this has the potential for starting a shift within VDI design particularly at the SMB / SME level. I am really looking forward to trying out these technologies in anger and will be adding to my lab as soon as possible.

I would highly recommend you take a look at the link below to fully understand today’s announcements and I will be looking to do a deeper dive over the coming weeks.

http://blogs.vmware.com/vmware/2013/10/vmworld-europe-2013-news-summary-from-barcelona.html

The compute and combined storage solutions such as those mentioned above aren’t restricted to what VMware is doing in the software defined datacentre space, we are starting to see an increasing number of vendors in this space, the first I saw a number of years ago offering an appliance like solution was Pivot 3 who are exhibiting their solution at VMworld again this year but since then we have seen Nutanix grow from strength to strength and new to VMworld EMEA this year is the year old start up Simplivity with their offering in this space. Jeremy Bowman, Micahel Poore and I spent over an hour with Mario from Simplivity watching a live demo of their combined server and compute solution that also encompasses a built in backup functionality between datacentres and its concepts are all built up around what sounds like a very intelligent and preformat inline deduplication solution. Of course solutions like this have long been possible with the likes of the Lefthand VSA but we are defiantly seeing this technology come more and more to the forefront tempting to change the way with thing of delivering storage alongside our compute and offering more intelligent ways of doing it than we have had previously.

Outside of the general of the general session I attended a focused session of end user computing visions which further expanded on the future vision of delivering the desktop, apps and data to the users how they want it, where they want it in an increasingly simple and seamless manor and in hopefully a more affordable solution. We saw a demo of potential new improvements to unity touch, the technology that adds a touch friendly interface over your windows desktop, when accessed on a tablet. VMware will be looking to take this a stage further from where they manage the overlay for the start bar, with offering an administrator definable ribbon for your applications and the still planned improvements for data input.

I spent a large amount of my time today in the Solutions Exchange catching up with the vendors, today I was mainly concentrating on getting updates from the vendors I was aware off, it was really good to finally meet Raymon Epping in person and discuss how Nutanix are growing and enhancing their solution, I really love the idea of their solution for scaling VDI workloads, one node at a time.

As per my comments in previous years Nimble also again really stood out for me as someone that is growing and making a difference within the storage industry, their hybrid arrays really make sense to me with the intelligence to manage the data and using the various components within the SAN, the SSD, NVRAM and Spinning disks to handle your data intelligently, they have recently released their 2.X stream of firmware adding a lot of very good UI improvements alongside the ability to offer scale out now alongside their traditional scale up method. This alongside the modular nature of their arrays now means you can use Nimble as you need within your environment to design the solution that works for you and even in the future where your needs may change and grow your Nimble array can transform with your workloads. If you are at VMworld be sure to see Devin, Nick or Charlie on the Nimble stand these guys have many years’ experience with many vendors in the storage industry and are great guys to talk to about the technology. I will be very shortly be releasing a blog post covering Nimble as a technology.

I was also lucky enough today to get a tour of the labs, for me whilst very familiar with the labs it was great to hear how the labs have really helped VMware define many aspects of their products and now how the lab team is growing and adapting to the technology that they have been able to create and tune over the many VMworld’s and now of course though the year round online labs.

My day finished with the vExpert / VCDX welcome reception in central Barcelona, this offered a good location to catchup with many old friends and meet some new faces, I won’t name people individually for the fear of forgetting someone but this was great catching up with everyone and huge thanks to John, Corey and team for managing an amazing community at VMware.

I am really looking forward to tomorrow, this will be my last day at the show and I hope to meet some more vendors and speak to many more people before enjoying the VMworld party in the evening. Hopefully catch some more of you tomorrow.

By the way my step count for today was down on yesterday but was still 16432 steps, 7.3 miles.

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