One of the biggest things I took away from the VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas was the all advancements within the storage part of virtualization. For me, this was the year for storage. One product that really got my attention was the new NAS appliance, VMstore from Tintri. This 3U appliance, well 5U if you count the UPC, is a single datastore with 8.5TB of usable storage. This appliance was a collaboration of some very smart individuals from different companies like VMware, Datadomain, NetApp and Sun. They put their minds together and built this NFS appliance from the ground up with specially engineered file system to work with virtualization. What makes this VM-aware appliance different from other typical storage designs is VMstore uses VM’s and virtual disks as the abstractions instead of the conventional storage abstractions, volumes, LUN’s and files that we have all been accustomed to. Each I/O request will map directly to a virtual disk all while VMstore monitors, controls the I/O and presents disk performance statistics per VM or per VMDK.
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Given the complexity of modern web sites, tools such as New Relic RPM are incredible assets and a valuable tool to determine what is happening within your environment. While your data does go into their SaaS offering, all SQL and other statements are scrubbed. The results of using this tool are incredible.
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Citrix had a busy day last week, announcing both a five-year agreement with Cisco and the acquisition of six-year-old enterprise filesharing specialist ShareFile (great name by the way).
Last week AppSense CTO Harry Labana introduced AppSense Strata a free utility to give users the freedom to install their own applications in a secure sandbox without requiring admin rights. When a user attempts to install an application, Strata can intercept the installation process capturing all changes performed during the application installation and writing them into a separate application configuration database.
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There have been a large number of Announcements that have been made for VMworld Copenhagen with respect to virtualization and cloud security. This shows quite an interesting growth in the market, and that even 1 month apart there is still more to be announced within the virtual and cloud security spaces. There are three very interesting announcements that show further integration between vendors.
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In an effort to relieve the discomfort for customers and partners VMware have introduced a Rapid Desktop Program. This program looks to validate View Proof of Concept appliances to ensure that they meet criteria for performance and reliability. By removing the complexity of the “I”, an organisation can focus better on the assessment of virtual desktops and in turn deliver faster .
Business Agility ...
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With vFabric APM VMware has announced a compelling entry into the APM space, joining the current set of APM innovators – New Relic, AppDynamics, BlueStripe, dynaTrace and ExtraHop. The innovations that VMware is bringing to the table will usher in a redefinition of what APM is, from a performance and availability tool for the development team, to a strategic applications management platform that enables price/performance comparison shopping by application owners. Once the price/performance features are fully implemented, this may do more to enable performance sensitive applications to move to public clouds than any other thing that VMware has done.
Nimbula is an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) software stack analogous in its target market and its business model to commercial software like vCloud. It sits alongside a number of open source software products like Eucalyptus, Cloud.com (Citrix) and OpenStac k(Rackspace et al.) as well as the Amazon Web Service, and other hosted services.
I have had the opportunity to perform a few VMware Capacity Planner assessments over the years and I have been, more the most part, pretty happy with the process and the results of the reports. The assessment is really pretty straight forward. We had physical servers to the project, making sure we have proper permissions to perform all the tasks and then let the process run over an extended period of time. For the most part, this way of sampling over an extended time frame will give you a very good idea what can be virtualized and the number of hosts that will be needed.