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On last Wednesday I’ve got a meeting with some Nexenta people: Jim Ash (VP of Sales) and Jim Fitzgerald (VP of Business Development & Alliances). I’ve already meet some Nexenta guys at the last Open Storage Summit EMEA 2012 and this was the occasion to know more about their company and products.

About the company, Q3 2012 was their best quarter and the grow is more people, more customers (some also with 100 PB) and more offices also in Europe (Netherland, UK, Germany and now also in Italy, at Milan).

About the products they are an example that perfectly fit in the Software Defined Storage, because their products are just software based (you can choose which hardware you prefer, if is in HCL, or the VA approach) and the storage part is build around the ZFS.

Around the storage products they have also build a product specific for the VDI: NexentaVSA for View (or N4V). I’ve already write some posts about it (Introduction, Architecture, Deployment, Usage).

Actually this product is official, but the number of customers is actually small (but growing)

More interesting, and announced on Tuesday 9 October, is the new partnership with Cisco (started some months ago) to join the VMware Rapid Desktop Program with a scalable and high performance solution for the VDI.

This combined Nexenta and Cisco solution can scale without limits. Customers can start small with a proof of concept with as few as 50 seats, and then scale to support thousands of desktops within the same architecture and with a similar per-unit desktop cost. NexentaVSA for VMware View currently lists at $35 per concurrent desktop, which includes unlimited local storage and 16 TB of external storage for VDI workloads.

Jim Fitzgerald has describe the solution that is based on N4V and USC B230 (on the virtualization part) with UCS C240 for the NAS part (the entire solutions is completely based on Cisco servers and switches on the hardware part).

Each blade has two SSD (to increase the performance) and the NAS with also the option of two NAS to implement a persistent configuration for the storage (for more information see Storage for VDI: local or shared?). The solution can scale up to 1600 users per chassis with more than > 70 IOPS per user (75% writes)!

There is also a small solution (for less than 150 users) based con a C240, designed specifically for SMB or ROBO cases.

The entire solution is sold by Cisco with their SKU. Cost per per seat is estimated around $470 (for the persistent implementation with NAS in HA) or $429 (for non persistent) that included both the hardware part (storage and servers) and the software part.

For more information see the Solution Brief.

Nexenta has announced also another partnership, still for the VDI field, with ClearCube Technology, a company specializes in creating innovative centralized computing and desktop virtualization solutions, especially Zero client products.

Finally we have spoke about the porting to other hypervisors (like Hyper-V) or platforms (like XenDesktop). This could be possible in the future, but they are actually focused on the existing products and want to improve them before move to other solutions.

And about their thought about the VMware moves in the Software Defined Storage (SDS) area, with VSA, but also with the announce of a more scalable solution, the reply was simple: Nexenta is working on it from several years, their solution is already a SDS and they have some years of advantages on it. Also the competition could be a good thing to improve each others.

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During the last VMworld EU, on Tuesday, I met David Blackman, General Manager EMEA in Acronis and we have some talk about the company and their products.

Acronis was founded in 2002 and is headquarter is in Woburn, Massachusetts, USA, with 18 offices worldwide (included Italy). The executive management team has two recent news: the President & CEO is Alex Pinchev (joined on Jan, 2012 from RedHat) and the  Senior Vice President of Strategy & Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) is Scott Crenshaw (joined on Sep, 2012, still from Red Hat). Both have joined Acronis to strengthen leadership and focus on strategic enterprise initiatives.

Their idea is grow more also in Enterprise segment (and not only in the SMB where already are strengths enough) and provide server and workstation backup, disaster recovery and data protection for physical, virtual and cloud environments, for organizations of all sizes and home users.

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During the last VMworld EU, on Monday, there was a NDA Blogger Session from Nutanix and I was one of the attendees.

There were several people from Nutanix EMEA (Alan Campbell Regional director Sales, David Lawler Vice Presidend Marketing, Rob Tribe Regional System Engineering Manager, Jason Langore Senior corporate Account Manager, Jane Rimmer Marketing Consultant) as also other people from VMware (in the View and EUC area) and several other bloggers (include Giuseppe Guglielmetti, still from Italy).

I’ve already write a couple of posts about their solution and the innovative approach of building a scalable solution that mix both the storage and the computing part (see the introduction and the additional notes).

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Now that the VMworld EU 2012 is over, I can can summarize what I’ve liked and what not in this big event, as also done with the VMworld US 2012.

The best moments and aspects where:

  • Networking with other people is (IMHO) the main reason to attend at this kind of event. Was a pleasure and an honor know new people and see again old friends.
  • vBrownBag TechTalks: started with the VMworld US 2012, this kind of speech is interesting and the level is quite good!
  • VMware Office of the CTO event: great event with a lot of great people.
  • vExpert/VCDX/Office of the CTO Meeting: big event, lot of people! Was a pity that was only a single event and not three different like at San Francisco.
  • VMUG Party (Monday): really awsome.
  • VMUG Lunch (Wed): always interesting with the discussions and on own table there was also Steve Herrod.
  • vExpert Meeting with the two CEO and also the CTO of VMware.
  • Keynotes (especially the second one).
  • The possibly to take exams with 50% of discount, directly at the event (or to book them and take until the end of year).
  • Barcelona itself! See some pictures about it.

Not so bad, but also not so good:

  • Time-frame: I think that europe deserve a four day VMware event (excluded the partner day). Also I think that is not so good to have this event less than 2 months after the US edition. Why not bring back on February (or March), after or before the PEX? In this case the partner day could really become a small “European PEX”.
  • Information: some (but just few) information were not well provided. Especially before the event.
  • Sessions: some where very good, other maybe not so technical, or at least they do not match the declared technical level. The selection was hard in the CFP, why do not validate also the technical level?
  • Food: was better than San Francisco edition, but IMHO worst than Copenhagen. Food was always the same each day. But to be honest, the food at the VMworld Party was really good!
  • VMware Community: almost good, but IMHO something has been lost in the organization and in the coverage. For example, previous year there were also some slot on the live channel in other languages than the English (here what we have done in Italian with the VMUG IT from VMworld).

Worst moments and aspects:

  • Location: Maybe too big and too much shift between the campus. And some places were not well signed in the map (like the certification or the partner lounge). Was a pity that wasn’t in the Fira 1 area, closer to the downtown.
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As already written, there were two general session at the VMworld EU (plus another only for partners on Mon afternoon):

  • Tue 9 October, 9.00 AM

    The new VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger and the CTO Steve Herrod have present the news about VMware products, vision and solutions and what they mean as a software-defined datacenter.

  • Wed 10 October, 9.00 AM

    Steve Herrod and VMware partners take the stage on Tuesday as they demonstrate state of the art technology that is transforming IT and enabling the mobile workforce.

Honestly, apart the annonce of new products and other small parts, those keynotes where too much similar at the same from the VMworld US. Why not give something more original?

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On Thu 11 October the VMworld 2012 EU has finally been finished.

The event’s sessions are already available. In the next days my event’s report!

And what next?

Actually the first info for the US edition 2013: will be again at San Francisco. No confirmation yet of the location of the EU event.

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My speech of today vBrownbag Tech Talks is:

  • Thursday 15:00 – 15:30 with the title “New VMware Certifications, who are they for and how do you get them

To follow the talk:

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After the announcemens at the VMworld US 2012, VMware has announce new products versions for the Q4 2012:

  • vCloud Connector 5.1
    • Basic Edition (free)
    • Advanced Edition (that include also interesting feature to move VMs and keep in sync)
  • vCloud Automation Center 5.1 (formerly Dynamic Ops)
  • vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.6
  • vFabric Application Director 5.0
  • vFabric Application Performance Manager 5.0

The main thems where related to the IT innovation, where 84% of global executives believe innovation is extremely important to their growth strategies, but 94% are unsatisfied with their innovation performance!

The VMware’s approach to cloud application management is based on move towards cloud and use of modern application frameworks and methodologies according with this schema:

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After few months after the Veeam Backup & Replication v6.1 announce (one year after the v6.0 announce), today Veeam has announced the new release of their products.

Backup & Replication v6.5

New support matrix for recent virtualization products:

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My speech of today vBrownbag Tech Talks is:

  • Tuesday 11:15 – 11:30Challenges for Virtualizing Small Business

To follow the talk:

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Officially the VMworld EU 2012 starts tomorrow, but today there is the VMware partner day, so most people are alredy at Barcelona! To follow the event on Twitter just use the hashtag #VMworld.

It’s curious to see the keynotes to know the new announcement (after the other announcements at VMworld US about the vCloud Suite and the EUC products), it’s now the turn of the monitor and management suite? Or the PaaS part?

I will arrive on late morning (and leave on later afternoon of Thu) and you can find me around the show (remember also the #vBrownbag sessions). See you!

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The European edition will be in Barcelona from 17 to 19 October 2012.

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