VMworld 2014 San Francisco – Live Blogging

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Here we are, VMworld 2014. No Limits is the theme, and already new products (VMware EVO), new names (vRealize, vCloud Air) and ton’s of other awesome things have been announced. And we’re not even into the first General Session yet! As I sit in anticipation for Gelsinger to get on stage, this page will serve as the home to all things VMworld 2014.

This aggregated page will serve as a central repository for some live updates (mainly around keynotes, and sessions) as well as a live feed from my Twitter profile as well as my Instagram profile (for pictures). For my up to the minute VMworld 2014 Schedule please visit this post.

This is going to be an amazing week! I can’t wait for the fun to start and ingest all of the great information that will be delivered. I also hope to see all of you throughout the week and especially at my Ask the Experts session and my EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud session.

So that’s it for now… let’s switch on the live blogging, Have a Great Week!

Live Blogging Feed…

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 at 8:49:30 am

VMworld 2014 San Francisco Tuesday General Session

What’s that smell in the air? It’s the anticipation of 20,000+ people waiting for the Tuesday morning General Session. It’s also the alcohol still on some peoples breath from last night, remember people “moderation is the game”… don’t over do it, it’s still only Tuesday!

Ben Fathi joins us on stage, he reminded all attendees about the VMware Foundation operation running in the Hang Space. Simply go in, build a paper airplane and fly it, the distance it goes will determine the amount of money donated to the charity (1 of 5) of your choice. He then recapped the announcements of yesterday, and how VMware is delivering the power of AND, a theme we’ll hear all week.

Our first guest speaker is Sanjay Poonen, GM of End-User Computing. His extremely high energy is refreshing as he discussed EUC Innovations at VMware. Their overall vision is to enable everyone to work at the speed of life, this includes being able to access any application and all of your data from any device, including desktop and mobile devices. Desktop, Mobile and Content are the three pillars of EUC at VMware. There is a strong push that a strong EUC architecture needs to be solidly based on a software-defined data center. EUC should also include workspace services, such as Social, Identity, Gateway and Catalog services. In April, Horizon 6.0 brought one unified platform for Virtualized Desktops and Application Publishing. The acquisition of Desktone allowed this technology to be delivered As A Service on top of vCloud Air, this includes not only VDI but now Application as a Service. Next they covered how they are changing how applications are going to be delivered, the acquisition of CloudVolumes gives them the power to deliver applications in real-time…. this actually is a real awesome technology and you should check it out. Finally, VMware is going to work in conjunction with Nvidia and Google to deliver end-users with a rich experience regardless of the end-point device they are using. They showed a video where a user was working on a movie, using 3D Graphics tools on top of a Chromebook… very cool.

Next pillar, enterprise mobility. VMware is leading the march in enterprise mobility with their AirWatch acquisition, providing mobility management on a secure platform. This is a single platform for device management, app management, content management and e-mail management which is all secure, multi tenant capable, scalable and private while providing full access-control, self-service capabilities and deep telecom analytics. As part of the mobility movement, Sanjay welcomed Kevin Ichhpurani from SAP to discuss a partnership to accelerate the mobile enterprise. This will provide seamless integration with SAP Mobile Secure EMM and AirWatch MDM.

The third pillar is content management. VMware is leading innovation in content-collaboration, this includes anywhere anytime access, a hybrid deployment model, enterprise-grade security and unified access to all content regardless of the application used to create it.

So, how do businesses consume and purchase all of this great EUC madness? Introducing the VMware Workspace Suite, which will include the Workspace Portal, Horizon Desktop, AirWatch Mobile and the Secure Content Locker.

Next Kit Colbert, CTO of EUC, came on stage providing a demo of this new end-user computing experience. This included one common experience regardless of what device, he showed application and content management across laptop, tablet and mobile devices. And he even shared data with an external user, securely, over the content locker. He next provided an awesome demo on CloudVolumes, which included near instantaneous deployment of any application to a VDI environment. He also talked about the VMFork project (now Project Fargo) which allows for 1-second deployment of a running virtual machine, which shares disk and memory. This will make VDI deployments extremely fast!

Now we have Raghu Raghuran, EVP of SDDC, now on stage to discuss SDDC innovations which include previously announced products in the EVO Family, EVO:Rails and EVO:Rack. EVO:Rails offers quick 15 minute deployment of virtualization and EVO:Rack will provide full data center deployment in 2 Hours. Next is the VMware Integrated OpenStack offering, which ties all of the OpenStack projects back to VMware offerings, extremely tight integration based on the foundation you’ve loved from VMware…secure, managed by IT but powering DevOps to use programmatic OpenStack APIS. Next up are vSphere Innovations, including SMP Fault Tolerance which now supports 4 vCPU and Cross vCenter vMotion which includes Long Distance vMotion. It’s important to note that a network transport overlay is required to ensure IP addresses can work when vMotioning long distance, and luckily for us we have technology like NSX to help with that. Also noted that vMotion limits are I believe going to be around 100ms RTT latency. All of these enhancements can be found in the vSphere 6.0 beta.

What about new Cloud Built applications? Those are built fundamentally different so they don’t really care about vMotion or SMP-FT. They like things like Containers/Docker… Well, VMware believes in Containers without Compromise, meaning that they’ve partnered up with companies like Google and Docker to provide a common management layer to support not only virtual machines but also containers. This includes a new Open Container API so now DevOps has the option of using Containers, native Virtual Machines or even OpenStack in a programmatic way…a way that DevOps is accustomed to, and luckily for IT they still get to control/manage it all with enterprise grade tools and security.

Next was an awesome demo showing full policy based management in work, demoing automation through vRealize Automation that is tied to the policy based management within VSAN/VVOLs for Storage and NSX for Networking. Imagine a method for deploying multiple virtual machines, completely tied with network/security policies as well as being bound to a specific storage policy and then if you decide to migrate that workload to another data center, or even vCloud Air, those policies follow. Well, the technology is here and the time is now! Next as part of the same demo was on how NSX could provide secure micro-segmentation in the data center. Network security typically protects the perimeter, NSX’s policy driven SDN allows for complex network configurations for extremely secure landscapes.

And wrapping up this mornings General Session Simone Brunozzi, VP of Hybrid Cloud, came on stage talking about vCloud Air enhancements, including new SaaS offerings like vRealize Operations Air. He showed a cool demo on how you can now extend L2 networks between your private datacenter and vCloud Air, then copy a virtual machine into vCloud Air along with all of the network policies provided by NSX. Next he demonstrates the DR as a Service offering, which leverages vSphere Replication and makes it extremely simple to protect your virtual machines. In closing he offered everyone to try the beta of the vCloud Air OnDemand service, which allows you to pay by the drip for public cloud virtual machines.

That’s pretty much it. Tuesday’s General Session has always been my favorite, and this one did not let me down. Tons of great innovation, awesome demos and the boost I needed to re-energize my excitement for VMware. Boy I love this stuff!

Monday, August 25th, 2014 at 9:07:43 am

VMworld 2014 San Francisco Monday General Session

Here we go. Robin Matlock, VMware CMO, is on stage and welcomes all of the attendees to VMworld 2014. Starts with interesting story of how the Golden Gate bridge came to be in San Francisco, and how innovators and movers/changers made it happen. IT needs to be the movers/changes of our era, and the VMware strategic vision is how to do it. The vision goes unchanged through 2014, including SDDC, EUC and CMP. She also mentions the VMware Users Group (VMUG), which allows the community to extend events like VMworld well beyond this single week. I also invite you to check out your local VMUG, they’re great groups that providing networking and education to the community for free! Finally, Robin mentions that in the Hang Space the VMware Foundation will be donating 250,000 dollars and all it takes is you visiting the Hang Space and creating and flying a paper airplane.

With a good show of a theatrical performance Pat Gelsinger busts through the wall on to the VMworld 2014 General Session stage. The theme of his presentation was that we’re living in a liquid world and old ways are giving way to new ways. Brave is the name of the game and change in IT is required. We the users need to push for change and luckily for us, VMware has the vision and technology to help us break through. The strategy hasn’t really changed the past year, the foundation is the Software-Defined Data Center where we virtualize everything. vSphere for Compute, NSX for Networking and VSAN/VVOLS for Storage. All of this is managed by a solid Cloud Management Platform, which was rebranded to vRealize.

Now into some announcements.  First us a brief announcement of the vCloud Suite 5.8, the still running vSphere 6.0 Beta which includes Virtual Volumes and VSAN 2.0. The other minor announcement was the rebranding of vCloud Operations Management Suite to vRealize. The next announcement was the introduction of VMware EVO, the official VMware Hyper-Converged Infrastructure platform. It is a single integrated solution that bundles hardware and software, it is delivered through OEM partners which means VMware is NOT going into the Hardware business.  The first member of the family is EVO:Rail, it provides simple deployment in 15 minutes, it offers design and price predictability and allows for single support provided by VMware. The first partners to be listed for support are Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, Inspur, Net One and Supermicro. The other member of the EVO family is EVO:Rack, which provides the power of EVO at data center scale. Scale out a DC in less than 2 hours, and will be based on the Open Compute Project.

In wrapping up Pat’s portion he then got into a discussion on Containers versus Virtual Machines.  His argument is that we’ve worked so hard at getting away from Hardware Silos, why would we want to go back? In the VMware vision the SDDC is the foundation for the entire datacenter and APIs make it possible to integrate. So with this, VMware announced tight partnership with companies like Docker and Google to accelerate the adoption of the right technology (ie: Containers) on top of the SDDC.  These APIs also include the existing APIs they’ve had such as the vSphere APIs, Pivotal CF APIs and also the OpenStack APIs which include the VMware Integrated OpenStack offering. And finally, NSX, there is a strong momentum behind NSX and some very strong partnerships with major players. The focus of this general session is on how that tight integration is providing tighter security and more functionality into the NSX platform. These major players are bringing their expertise and products into the NSX Software-Defined Networking landscape.

Next up, Pat Gelsinger introduces Bill Fathers, EVP of Hybrid Cloud at VMware to discuss everything around the vCloud Air (previously vCloud Hybrid Service) offering. Over the past year vCloud Air has had tremendous growth and is a huge focus of VMware as a company. Over the past year vCloud Air has grown to 11 Data Centers across North America, Europe and Asia, this is in addition to the over 3900 Partners Worldwide that make up the vCloud Air Network (previously known as VSPP). Some other exciting announcements include the addition of a few new services being offered by vCloud Air, including an OnDemand service (pay by the drip). In addition to the existing DRaaS, PaaS and Desktop as a Service offerings they will be adding advanced DevOps Services, Database as a Service (MySQL, MSSQL), Object Storage (provided by EMC ViPR), Mobility Services (based on AirWatch and Pivotal technologies) and even Cloud Management as a Service (vRealize Automation Air).

In wrapping up of the first general session of VMworld 2014, Pat came back on stage to review the topics we covered he then introduced Carl Eschenbach to the stage to interview a handful of customers who are living and breathing the challenges of IT. Medtronics, MIT and Ford were on stage (separately) to discuss what their doing in their environments to bravely go where not many other IT professionals have gone before. In closing he showed a video of customers enthusiastically discussing their early access into the EVO:Rails program and how awesome of a HCIA solution it is (it really is awesome).

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