Now that VMword 2012 San Francisco is over and I have some time to reflect on my virtualization thoughts in general before getting ready for VMworld Barcelona. One thing I took noticed with the recent announcements about vSphere 5.1 and Hyper-V 2012. Microsoft and VMware both released a specific new feature to each platform respectfully at basically the same time. Is this a sign that Microsoft is really closing the gap on VMware? I think we are getting there but I have also made some other personal observations on how I think both see virtualization in the future and I foresee a completely different method and mindset for the future between these two companies.
Now that VMworld 2012 is well underway I wanted to share some of my first thoughts and observations about the conference. At the start of the conference, during the first General Session, the virtual passing of the torch from the outgoing CEO, Paul Maritz to the new incoming CEO, Pat Gelsinger took place with Mr. Gelsinger getting his opportunity to say hello to a crowd of around twenty thousand people that are present at the show.
The start of VMworld 2012 and the biggest Virtualization conference of the year is less than two weeks away and the surge of marketing emails have started to arrive about all the new and exciting offerings that the venders and 3rd party companies are planning on showing off at VMworld. This is one of the things I enjoy the most about attending these conferences, seeing what’s new and to see the direction of the trends in virtualization. At last year’s show, VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas, the trend that I saw was the advancements in storage and storage virtualization. My prediction at the end of VMworld 2011 was that 2012 would be the year for the network virtualization and or software defined networking.
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VMworld 2012 is right around the corner and the time leading up to the conference is usually the time major announcements are made about new technology and/or new products to strike interest in different technologies that will be presented at the conference. Today a different kind of announcement has been made, in that Paul Maritz is no longer VMware CEO, and he is being replaced by Pat Gelsinger, President and COO of EMC’s Information Infrastructure Product division. Mr. Maritz will become a Vice Chairman at EMC, although I am still up in the air on whether that means Paul is on his way out of EMC or looking to lead somewhere else? Maybe one could speculate Cloud Foundry? What do you make of VMware’s Executive Shuffle?
In my humble opinion, 2011 was the year for storage inside the virtualization space with a lot of new storage related technologies presented at VMworld 2011. There were different technologies ranging from Tier 1 SSD storage in a box that can plug right into VMware vSphere as its own datastore, to all the software storage venders that are now virtualizing their Storage Processers. Yes, for me, 2011 was the year for storage in virtualization.
I have spent a great deal of time lately working with the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS). This computing platform is really quite impressive with its power and flexibility, but my expectations about the platform have really changed since I completed the UCS training. During the training classes that I attended, both the design and install courses emphasized that the Cisco UCS platform would be a collaborative platform that would bring the different groups like Storage, Network, and Server each working their own functional area of responsibility within UCS based on role permissions. That sounded great. The network team can create and trunk the VLANS and the storage team could add the boot targets as well as assign the LUNS. This platform is a true collective effort by all teams right?
I recently had the joys of helping deal with an All Paths Down (APD) situation which presented itself when removing a LUN from all the hosts in a cluster. If you do not detach the device first, which will also initiate an unmount operation before you physically unpresent the LUN from the ESX, it causes an APD situation to happen. ADP is when ESXi server no longer has any active paths to a device. When the device is no longer present and you rescan the adapters ESXi server will still retain the information on the removed devices and hostd will continue to try to open a connection to the disk device by issuing different commands like read capacity and read requests to validate the partitions tables are set. If SCSI Sense codes are not returned from a device (you are unable to contact the storage array, or the storage array that does not return the supported “SCSI codes”), then the device is in an All-Paths-Down (APD) state, and the ESXi host continues to send I/O requests until it times out.
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