Storage Networking

Storage Networking focuses upon virtualizing the storage and the SAN while collapsing and simplifying the management and performance of storage. This includes the role of storage virtualization in the Software Defined Data Center, and the comparison of pooled local storage options with traditional network attached storage (NAS) and fiber channel attached storage. Covered vendors include VMware, EMC, IBM, Dell, HP, Cisco, Tintri, and Nutanix.

VMworld 2012: VMware Launches the vCloud Suite

VMworld2012150x27Today at VMworld 2012 inSan Francisco, VMware announced a new integrated bundle of functionality, the vCloud Suite 5.1. This new bundle represents a significant re-packaging of the VMware product line – and coupled with new pricing lays down the gauntlet for the virtualization platform industry and its supporting ecosystem.

Continue reading VMworld 2012: VMware Launches the vCloud Suite

Your VMworld 2012 Virtualization Management Sponsors and Exhibitors Short List

VMworld2012150x27VMworld 2012 is upon us and one of our tasks is to figure out which vendor’s booths to go see. With over 230 booths to choose from this is a daunting task. If you are interested in finding creative new solutions to your management, monitoring, deployment, security, data protection, and desktop management problems, this list will help you.

Virtualization Management Categories Defined

Here are the definitions of the eight virtualization management categories profiled below:

  • Application Performance Management (APM) – APM is about the end-to-end and hop-by-hop (across application tiers) measurement of response time and the diagnostics required to pinpoint degradations in response time (or flat out failed transactions) in the applications themselves or in the supporting infrastructure. APM tools come in two varieties. Developer focused tools help developers (or DevOps teams) support custom developed applications in production by quickly identifying and diagnosing application code problems in production. Operations focused tools  support every application in the environment (custom developed and purchased), and focus their diagnostics more on infrastructure issues that are impacting application performance.
  • Operations Management – Operations Management is a broad category of products that are used to support the day-to-day performance, capacity and configuration management tasks that face virtualization administrators. While all of these products support vSphere, some support other hypervisors as well.
  • Infrastructure Performance Management – IPM is APM for the infrastructure. It is all about the end-to-end and hop-by-hop latency of the infrastructure in support of the workloads running on the infrastructure. The thesis of this category is that in a virtual environment you cannot infer the performance of the infrastructure from resource utilization metrics, you have to measure it directly and continuously.
  • Automated Server and Image Management – This category has come into its own this year. The focus is upon allowing you to automatically manage what runs on your servers (physical, virtual or cloud), update them at scale, and keep them consistent. Think of this category as BladeLogic Version 2.0.
  • Cloud Management – Cloud Management is about building clouds on your vSphere infrastructure, and extending those clouds to other hypervisors, as well as to public cloud infrastructures.
  • Virtualization Security – Virtualization Security is about protecting the infrastructure, the systems software, the middleware, the applications, and all data from unauthorized use or attacks.
  • Virtualization Backup and Data Protection – Backup and Data Protection ensure that your data is always available for you (and no on else), irrespective of what failures or disasters have occurred in or to your IT environment.
  • Desktop Virtualization – Desktop Virtualization is about using virtualization as a catalyst to combine the benefits of user flexibility and centralized management.

Your VMworld 2012 Short List

Vendor Product Category What Makes Them Special New at VMworld 2012 Booth #
Application Performance Management
Aternity Frontline Performance Intelligence Platform Application Performance Management Provides a unified view of end user experience management across physical, virtual, and mobile environments Management of View end user experience through the correlation of PC-over-IP® (PCoIP®) latency with the actual business transaction response times and the VM image’s health. 329
ExtraHop Networks Application Delivery Assurance
Application Performance Management Performance Management of every application in the environment across virtual and physical tiers with no agents User application performance geo-mapping, solution bundles, and flex grids for virtualization management. Subscription pricing for virtual appliances. 2335
New Relic RPM Application Performance Management SaaS delivered APM for Java, .NET, Ruby, PHP and Python applications 529
VMware vFabric APM Application Performance Management Support for every application through a virtual appliance on a mirror port, and support for deep dive Java diagnostics via a Java agent
 Operations Management
Astute Networks ViSX Operations Management Simple to deploy network attached Flash Storage optimized for VMware and deployable by the VMWare Adminstrator ViSX G4 High-Performance VM Storage Appliance 435
Cirba Cirba Operations Management Sophisticated predictive analytics for controlling capacity, resource allocations and placements. 623
CloudPhysics CloudPhysics Operations Management The CloudPhysics platform helps you make the best decisions in the face of continual change. We make the invisible visible – revealing otherwise hidden structures and relationships in your datacenter. Launch of the CloudPhysics service. Fusion-io 2201
Hotlink SuperVISOR Operations Management Extends VMware vCenter to fully manage Hyper-V, KVM, XenServer, CouldStack and Amazon EC2 – no additional console required. Management of EC2 and CloudStack from VMware vCenter 2422
Intigua  Intigua Operations Management Virtualizes your Management Agents so that their impact is minimized and so that they are easily managed at scale 428
ManageEngine  IT360 Operations Management Agentless monitoring for applications and servers along with single pane of glass view across physical, virtual and cloud IT infrastructure. Privileged password management for VMware vSphere, capacity planning reports and automated resource optimization for virtualization software. 2340
PHD Virtual  Virtual Monitor Operations Management End to end virtual infrastructure monitoring for vSphere and XenServer & XenDesktop environments. 314
Reflex Systems Virtualization Management Center Operations Management Real-time, streaming data analysis including customizable analytics, charts and graphs that give enterprises extremely granular visibility and pure data fidelity for managing virtual infrastructure.  Reflex and ExtraHop partner to drive IT automation in virtualized datacenters and cloud infrastructure by delivering integrated infrastructure and application context to performance management. 517
Splunk Splunk App for VMware Operations Management Unlock the value of vSphere data and get granular performance management and analysis, as well as security reporting and monitoring, complete operational visibility and capacity analytics. The new Splunk App for VMware  1909
VKernel vOps Manager Operations Management Provides control over virtual environments and cloud deployments with analytics, advice and automation Performance impact modeling for environment changes, Automated environment change implementation, VM issue diagnosis screen for all problems affecting a VM, VMware vCloud Director integration 607
VMTurbo Operations Manager Operations Management Ability to guarantee resource allocations based upon workload priorities

Integrated configuration management with OpenStack


VMware vCenter Operations Operations Management Automated operations management solution with self-learning analytics, application awareness and integrated performance, capacity and configuration management for virtual and cloud infrastructure. Full transaction tracing and Closed loop integration from provisioning to monitoring to auto scaling (In Beta)  CAP1
Zenoss Service Dynamics Operations Management A single product that delivers end-to-end service assurance for real-world, hybrid IT that spans physical, virtual and cloud-based infrastructure.


 Infrastructure Performance Management
Gigamon GigaVUE Fabric Manager Infrastructure Performance Management Gigamon empowers infrastructure architects, managers and operators with visibility into the physical and virtual networks without affecting the performance or stability of the production environment. GigaVUE-FM provides the platform to manage distributed GigaVUE-VM virtual fabric nodes on virtual and physical infrastructures. 1716
Virtual Instruments VirtualWisdom  Infrastructure Performance Management
Real time, Deterministic and Comprehensive Health and Latency Metrics from the VM to the LUN  
Xangati Xangati Management Dashboard (XMD) Suite Infrastructure Performance Management Live and continuous tracking of infrastructure performance health (server+hypervisor, storage and network). Problems identified within first hour of install. StormTracker: Industry’s first solution to track and anticipate transient, performance storms that fly under the radar of conventional monitoring solutions.  2413
 IT Automation
Puppet Labs Puppet Automated Server and Image Management IT automation software that gives system administrators the power to easily automate repetitive tasks, quickly deploy critical applications, and proactively manage infrastructure changes, on-premise or in the cloud. The Puppet integration service for VMware vFabric Application Director provides customers with the productivity and agility benefits of software-defined infrastructure.  2323
Opscode Chef Automated Server and Image Management Chef is an open-source systems integration framework built specifically for automating the cloud. Integration of Opscode Chef with VMware vCloud Director as well as vCloud integrations with Terremark and Bluelock, enabling users to deploy and automate vCloud infrastructure in private/public clouds.  2431
rPath  Cloud Engine Automated Server and Image Management Automate the assembly, provisioning and change of OS platforms, middleware platforms and entire application stacks to deploy, not in weeks, but in minutes Unveiling of ECAF model removes chaos from cloud transformation & plugs IT pros into power of cloud with positive business results. Pragmatic approach embeds need for standardization & guides journey.  2441
 Cloud Management
Cloupia Unified Infrastructure Controller Cloud Management A multi-hypervisor and multi-cloud provisioning and management solution that provides physical and virtual infrastructure control, management and monitoring Unified Converged Infrastructure Orchestration Solutions – FlexPod & VSPEX 100
DynamicOps Cloud Suite Cloud Management Management of private, hybrid, and public clouds across multiple hypervisors and virtual/physical infrastructures Just got acquired by VMware 512
Embotics V-Commander Cloud Management Private Cloud In a Box – Deployed in Less than One Hour IT as a Service functionality: Request multiple virtual or physical assets from a single entry in the service catalog. 616
ManageIQ  EVM Suite Cloud Management Enterprise cloud management solutions that enable IT services to be easily provisioned and managed across physical, virtual, private and public cloud infrastructures.  Major new release announcement with support for hybrid clouds including leading public clouds like Amazon and Rackspace. 506
Virtustream XStream Cloud Management A cloud for business critical, performance critical and mission critical applications like SAP xStream software GA for enterprises, service providers and governments: private, public and hybrid cloud management for existing hardware/virtualization with security and legacy application SLAs NetApp Booth 1402
Virtualization Security
 AFORE Solutions CloudLink Virtualization Security AFORE’s CloudLink® provides encryption for active Cloud Storage and Virtual Hosted Applications. CloudLink® protects mission critical data while managing security compliance and service performance. AFORE’s announces: CloudLink® 2.0 – Secure Virtual Storage Appliance; CloudLink CX Encryption of End-User Data in VDI and Virtual Hosted Apps; CloudLink Achieved Secured by RSA® Partner Certification 2428
HyTrust HyTrust Virtualization Security HyTrust empowers organizations to virtualize more by delivering enterprise-class controls for access, accountability, and visibility to their existing virtualization infrastructure. 2129
Trend Micro Deep Security &
Secure Cloud 
Virtualization Security Trend Micro Incorporated, creates a world safe for exchanging digital information with Internet content security and threat management solutions. 1123
Symantec Critical System Protection
Virtualization Security Critical System Protection w/vSphere integration. CSP adds an multi-layer security to critical systems such as VMware vCenter as well as enforcement of security hardening of vSphere.  Deep Security 9 offers better protection, performance & ROI for virtual servers & desktops & with our new Trend Ready program you can confidently pick a Deep Security compatible cloud service provider. 909
Backup and Data Protection
Quantum  vmPro Virtualization Backup Quantum addresses data protection and big data management, providing specialized storage solutions for physical, virtual and cloud environments to maximize the value of data. 2017
Veeam Veeam Backup & Replication Virtualization Backup VM admins like Veeam because it’s fast, reliable and easy to use. Eliminates headaches of traditional backup, including agents, backup job failures and multiple backups. 100% virtualization-focused. Restore VMs from SAN snapshots. Fast: < 2 min. Flexible: Individual VMs, guest files or Microsoft Exchange items. Free: worry-free, agent-free and literally free (included in upcoming 6.5 release). 1709
Zerto Virtual Replication Virtualization Backup Zerto, VMworld Best of Show 2011 winner, provides the only hypervisor-based business continuity/disaster recovery solution for business-critical application protection in virtual & cloud environments. Zerto Virtual Replication 2.0 is Live – featuring multi-site replication and secure multi-tenancy. Plus, over 35 Cloud Providers begin offering cloud Disaster Recovery services powered by Zerto. 624
Desktop Virtualization
Appsense  User Virtualization Platform Desktop Virtualization AppSense reduces IT complexity and enables enterprise consumerization with independent management of the user experience across all mobile devices and desktops. 301
Citrix XenApp, XenDesktop, & XenClient Enterprise Desktop Virtualization With cloud, collaboration, networking and virtualization technologies, Citrix powers mobile workstyles and cloud services, making complex enterprise IT simpler and accessible for 260,000 organizations 735
Desktone Desktone Cloud Desktop Virtualization Desktone delivers the industry’s only multi-tenant desktop virtualization platform for service providers to offer Desktops as a Service (DaaS). Dell/Wyse, NaviSite, Quest Systems & NetApp will be demoing DaaS built on the Desktone platform. In addition, Desktone will discuss support for VMware View 5 user experience features including PCoIP. 2330
Liquidware Labs Stratusphere FIT, IXD, UX & ProfileUnity Desktop Virtualization Liquidware Labs™ offers an integrated set of solutions to support the complete desktop transformation lifecycle for migration to next-generation “anytime, anywhere, any device” desktops. ProfileUnity with FlexApp combines virtualized deployment of department and user applications with full-featured user virtualization for ultra-manageable desktops with best TCO. 2536


We wish you safe travels to and from VMworld 2012 and a great show. The one certainty is that the virtualization and cloud landscapes will be different after VMware and all of the vendors in the ecosystem make their announcements next week. VMware’s new Software Defined Data Center strategy is going to usher in a set of changes as profound as those precipitated by virtualization itself – and that entire journey lies in front of us.

News: Oracle Buys Xsigo Systems

Coming on the heels of VMware’s acquisition of Nicira, Oracle announced today that it is acquiring network virtualization vendor Xsigo Systems for an undisclosed amount. So now two shoes have dropped in the question of how networks will be designed and operated in the future (perhaps the entity in question is an octopus, and we have six shoes to go). Clearly the notion of software defined networks has legs and clearly VMware is not the only company who sees this.

The Oracle Announcement

Oracle Buys Xsigo

Extends Oracle’s Virtualization Capabilities with Leading Software-Defined Networking Technology for Cloud Environments

  • Oracle today announced that it has entered into an agreement to acquire Xsigo Systems, a leading provider of network virtualization technology.
  • Xsigo’s software-defined networking technology simplifies cloud infrastructure and operations by allowing customers to dynamically and flexibly connect any server to any network and storage, resulting in increased asset utilization and application performance while reducing cost.
  • The company’s products have been deployed at hundreds of enterprise customers including British Telecom, eBay, Softbank and Verizon.
  • The combination of Xsigo for network virtualization and Oracle VM for server virtualization is expected to deliver a complete set of virtualization capabilities for cloud environments.

Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. More information on this announcement can be found at

Supporting Quotes

  • “The proliferation of virtualized servers in the last few years has made the virtualization of the supporting network connections essential,” said John Fowler, Oracle Executive Vice President of Systems. “With Xsigo, customers can reduce the complexity and simplify management of their clouds by delivering compute, storage and network resources that can be dynamically reallocated on-demand.”
  • “Customers are focused on reducing costs and improving utilization of their network,” said Lloyd Carney, Xsigo CEO. “Virtualization of these resources allows customers to scale compute and storage for their public and private clouds while matching network capacity as demand dictates.”

What Does This Mean?

The most disconcerting statement in the release is the part about the “combination of Xsigo and Oracle VM”. This means that Oracle is continuing to play its “vertically integrated solution stack” game, which is in direct contrast to the horizontally layered strategies that VMware, Microsoft, Red Hat, Citrix, the CloudStack community, and the OpenStack community are all pursuing. While this might be very appealing to a customer that is 100% or nearly 100% Oracle, the notion of jamming Oracle VM down the throat of a customer in order for them to get Xsigo is just another example of the foolishness of Oracle’s closed, proprietary and arrogant approach. This could not be more at odds with VMware’s notion of the Software Defined Data Center which is completely open with respect to the hardware layers underneath it and the workloads that run on it.

Storage Hypervisors: Worth the Hype

StorageNetworkingJust what are storage hypervisors? There are several companies that claim to have storage hypervisors. Wikipedia states that  a hypervisor is “conceptually one level higher than a supervisory program”. We also know that from our normal use of hypervisors that they manage the underlying resources that a guest uses. Do these definitions work for a storage hypervisor? Continue reading Storage Hypervisors: Worth the Hype

Defense in Depth: Storage Security in a Hybrid Cloud

StorageNetworkingStorage Security is not only about Encryption, which is just one aspect of Storage Security requirements for the virtual and cloud environments. It is also about increasing defense in depth and knowledge of what is touching your storage environment. As well as providing security around those touch points and to a great extent auditing and protecting the data residing within the storage devices regardless of where the devices live: within the virtual environment or within a cloud. Traditionally we have the following storage security capabilities:

All Paths Down!

StorageNetworkingI 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. Continue reading All Paths Down!