The Wednesday session follows a night of partying for most with Veeam’s bond style party leaving many feeling a little worse for wear after a late night / early morning drinking. The Wednesday session has traditionally been the opportunity for the VMware CTO previously Steve Herrod to wow us with technology and demonstrations, this year without anybody in an overriding CTO position the lead fell to Carl
Eschenbach COO with Joe Bagley and Kit Colbert joining for demonstrations. During the demonstrations there were a number of technologies covered with a focus largely on automation utilising VCAC, as well as business integration with the VMware IT Business Management Suite. I really enjoyed the demos and explanation alongside them although they possibly went on for a little too long to keep me fully engaged. I did miss the demonstrations around EUC that in previous years we had seen by Vittorio Viarengo, who has since left VMware.
Most of my time today was spent in the solutions exchange engaging with various companies, I spent a long time with Fusion IO discussing the use of their cards in VDI environments and also their soon to be released ioVDI software, with the ioVDI software the FusionIO flash placed in your server is intelligently utilised to offload most of the reads and up to 80% of the writes in your VDI environments. For more information check out the link below. We can see that Fusion IO has its place in your stack whether it is delivered through one of their OEM partner agreements raw inside your servers or as part of a larger intelligent appliance like Nutanix. I think in the raw form it has its place in non-persistent desktops and it will be interesting to see if there soon released software could also offer a solution for storage of persistant desktops.
Next on my list was Dell whom I do a lot of work with in a professional capacity, I spent a long time talking to Sean Copeland Solution Manager for Desktop Virtualisation solutions, we spoke regarding the Dell VRTX shared infrastructure platform that now features ivy bridge processors and when configured as a VDI solution with Horizon View can now deliver up to an increase of 36% in user density for Windows 7 and a massive 61% for Windows 8 over previous processors. I really like the idea of using the VRTX for smaller infrastructures or branch offices and Dell are putting together references architectures to cover these scenarios. Sean heads up the team that creates the reference architectures for Dell’s VDS division, I look forward to engaging with these guys in the future particularly on the subject of SMB VDI and the many possibilities with the solutions in Dells toolkit.
I also met with a number of people from Dell’s DaaS business, it was interesting to learn Dell are one of Desktones biggest customers particularly after VMware announced the acquisition of Desktone yesterday. Dell have recently enhanced their platform with the latest features of desktones offering. For me it was interesting to learn Dell can offer a lot more than a desktop as a service but also the ability to create supporting server infrastructure with your VMs like domain controllers, file servers etc and that it is also possible to buy a desktop on standby service to act as a DR for your production VDI environment.
Whilst on the Dell stand I also took a look at the new Venue tablets and I must say I do like them a lot, I am a big fan of my Surface RT but the Venue with a Core i3 / i5 processor and Windows Pro, still in a tablet form factor this would offer amazing flexibility especially with the options for rigid keyboard and battery dock and the desktop dock. My decision maybe down to Surface Pro 2 or Venue now.
After the Dell stand I visited Nutanix and met with Steve Kaplan (@ROIdude) who is vice president of channel for Nutanix. We discussed how Nutanix are growing and attracting a lot of big virtualisation community names into their business included Steve 5 times vExpert himself. Nutanix certainly seem to have a very strong proposition that is attempting to radically change the way we think and implement our virtualisation solutions. With their Google based, software driven, intelligent block based solution you get the benefits of being able to scale your solution as you need it, whilst getting not only capacity but performance through their intelligent software based tiering and protection over the different storage mediums and compute nodes in the group.
My final notable vendor of the day was Atlantis ILIO, I met briefly with Gregg Holzrichter VP of Marketing to discuss SMB virtualisation, I had previously understood Atlantis offered a storage accelerator for VDI however it is more than that. The intelligence in Atlantis is the way it de-duplicates and optimizes the data that is written to your existing SAN, meaning that Atlantis can help companies from big to small, at the SMB level by utilizing Atlantis you may be able to host your desktops on your existing SAN whilst Atalantis is able to help you achieve the performance that is required by VDI, if you are a larger company with an all flash array for example Atlantis can de-duplicate the data written allowing you to get greater density out of your expenses flash array. I won’t pretend to fully understand this technology yet but I am determined to learn a lot more particularly the use cases and costs for SMB.
Prior to the VMworld party I attended Andre Leibovici’s session on designing enterprise class VDI environments, this was a really good session that gave lots of good pointers for what you should look for when designing your VDI solution.
The day closed with the VMworld party in the main hall which had been changed into the Super Club, the theme was pretty similar to last year to be honest but with a roller disco instead of pedal kart racing, the music was delivered by High on Heels a UK based group that delivered dance music with a DJ, Singer as well as a number of musicians, the violinist was particularly good I thought and they played music I liked. Following them was the headline act Taio Cruz who played a short 30 min set of some of his songs, I’m sure if you are a fan of his it was very impressive that he was in attendance for me it was a good opportunity to catch up with a few people prior to leaving early to miss the mass exodus.
Tomorrow I fly back, I’m unsure if I will make it to the conference for a short time tomorrow but I will follow up with a blog post over the weekend summing up my VMworld 2013 experience.
Today’s steps were 17,272, approximately 7.7 miles.