This post comes out of a slide deck I authored last week for a partner event. I decided I was going to try and illustrate why the VCE model really is such a different approach to other datacenter and private cloud models. Normally my blog is light on vendor specific commentary. I see myself more as a virtualization geek who just happens to work for an awesome company (EMC) than a hardcore analysis/blogger. But I have seen so much messaging lately that distorts the VCE message, I really felt the need to offer my own perspective.
What a week. I’ll remember VMworld 2010 as something that went by like a blur. I still think back and think to myself: “Did that really happen?” This post is a good two weeks after the end but I wanted to write about my experiences. This was definitely a strange mixture of hard work, fear, and fun. I think my experiences at VMworld are a testament to how IT is still a pretty fun gig even in this day and age. So of all the big things that went down at VMworld 2010, the vSpecialist’s Delight rap video was probably the most visible I was involved in. Fred Nix and I had been working for months on getting this little video done. It started as a different kind of video and because of legal, PR, and logistical hurdles; it morphed into the final product. This literally started as me pitching what I thought was both a crazy and impossible idea to Fred. Fred, being the crazy guy that he is, called me back a week later and told me: “Dude, it is on…” I still can’t believe all the things that fell into place. From the great talent at PatchWerk Studios to the special roles each of the team members involved in the video shoot performed. My VMworld started off the Friday before. I had to fly in and make a mad dash for the video rental office before they closed. I told the taxi driver I would give him [...]
[printprofile] 15 EMEA based vSpecialists, too much caffeine, the smell of last night’s pizza, and a seemingly impossible list of tasks to accomplish – that was Geek Week Q2 2010. As a vSpecialist at EMC, we attend a lab construction week as part of the on-boarding and initiation ritual. The instructions are simple: take this list of applications and infrastructure configurations, and work as a team to install and configure them all with the kit we provide to you before the week ends. There are multiple objectives for Geek Week, the main ones being; get the team working together, learn about integrating EMC, VMware, and Cisco technologies, and develop a good understanding of technologies that are not yet released, so we are best able to support our customers at product launch time. To kick off the week, Scott Lowe and Chris Horn dive into the details of what they expect from us: With the equipment you have been given, please deliver the following by COB Friday: Rack, stack, cable all equipment (build a Vblock 1, and connect the non-Vblock components into their own environment) Upgrade EMC CLARiiON CX4 platform to FLARE 30 (prerelease) Upgrade EMC Celerra platform to DART 6 (prerelease) Upgrade Cisco UCS firmware, and UCS Manager to the latest release Install VMware vSphere 4.1 including vCenter Server 4.1 instances deployed as VMs (prerelease), and configure NFS, and VMFS datastores Configure hosts to use Cisco Nexus 1000V and PowerPath/VE Use Unisphere to configure storage and present the storage. Configure [...]
Ok, if you are at Cisco Live 2010 and have any interest in the new Private Cloud innovations or in Virtualization, I have a who’s who of EMC vSpecialists onsite that you must meet. 1. We have in one location two of the masters of the VCE SST team. These guys eat, sleep, and breath Vblocks all day. Chris Horn, and Eric Hollis are the busiest vSpecialists and other than maybe Chad Sakac or Wade O’Harrow, have more face time with customers looking at private clouds than anyone. I highly recommend swinging by booth 1671 and asking to meet them. Tell them Nick (@lynxbat) sent you. 2. There are people who are in the know at EMC, and then there is Stephen Spellicy. This guy is involved in helping with product development, testing, and demo building across all parts of EMC. Have a question on Redwood UIM? Where EMC is going with Cisco and VMware? No other guy at EMC that I know of (I admit, not a long list…) is working the technology in the trenches like Stephen. He is also working the booths for VCE and EMC Journey to the cloud. 3. But, I am not done. We also have my step-brother (by employment) David Robertson. Storage guru, FCoE master, Nexus 5k experienced geek and a half. Have a difficult storage/FCoE/VMware question? I bet $10 Dave will have it answered for you in a very short and intense conversation. 4. Alongside the above we have John Avery (VMware, [...]
Watching John Chambers, CEO of Cisco, give the keynote presentation today at Cisco Live 2010 I was struck by two important things: The focus on changing the way the consumer / business users utilizes technology The strong emphasis on the demand for a new model for business operations. Both of these appear on the surface to be great marketing statements. But, what makes these different is the timing with the evolution of technology today. I think the value proposition of the video on every business/consumer device is obvious. I know the Cisco Cius brings the capability to change the way interactions occur and collaberation begins. But, what affected me most was a simple statement that Mr. Chambers made: “Today, change starts from the consumer and moves to the datacenter” It just clicked for me with this statement. The drive for the private cloud, for infrastructure that is flexible, agile, and easily consumable is based on demand. It isn’t based on just the energy savings, cost efficiency, or enabling of new technology. The consumers want more. They want their milk with their cookies. They want to do things quickly with lots of choice and a multitude of interaction. This trend is obvious with devices like iPhones, iPads, Flip Video, even mobile hotspots like Sprint Overdrive. And because the consumers want more and the competition to fill that need accelerates; business development is demanding more from the way it interfaces with technology. The point being, that the acceleration of technology is imposing [...]
The greatest difference between the virtual data center and the cloud is how it is consumed. The greatest obstacle to the cloud can be a lack of synergy in how it is created. Picture the house from the movie Up. In many ways I see the true innovation that will create the cloud and enable true infrastructure as a service (IaaS) as being a bit like this house. The effort to abstract infrastructure from physical and operational dependencies is like the effort of Carl, trying to free his house from its place attached to the earth. The breaking of this boundary is the demand for a better way to provide a service to business needs; to really provide infrastructure as a consumable service that truly aligns to financial and process models more effectively. Or, in a simple word: The Cloud. The effort to break these dependencies has been from multiple sources. VMware created the robust hypervisor, breaking the physical boundaries to the server hardware and networking. VMware extended the ability of the hypervisor to enable the cloud by opening numerous APIs and facilitating integration across all layers. Cisco extended VMware’s effort on networking by creating a virtual switch that added security, alignment of roles, and abstraction-aware application of policy. They have abstracted the identity of the servers themselves with UCS and changed the way x86 hardware is managed, provisioned, and designed. With DCB and FCoE Cisco is creating a physical network which can be a medium for multiple logical connections securely [...]