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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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In some previous posts I’ve described the Dell KACE product family, included the Dell KACE – K1000 and KACE – K2000 products.

As I’ve written, one of the limit of the K1000 was the lack of (official) support for mobile device. This limit will be filled soon (estimation release data is Oct 9, 2012) with a new product:

Single-step secure setup that gets you up-and-running in minutes continue reading…

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In the previous post I’ve described the challenge in the SMB segment and some possible scenarios. And how is VMware addressing this challenge?

One of the news of the last VMworld, was the attention of the SMB segment with several sessions specific for it, group discussions, business cases and so on. But it’s not limited to VMworld, the attention is growing due to the challenge of fit in the the SMB requirements (that in most cases are quite similar to the enterprise requirements!) and the constrains (where usually are limited budget and limited IT stuff) and apply at this period of financial chrysis.

VMware has also a web page dedicated for the datacenter solutions specific for SMB (and also a blog area and a specific section for ROBO), where the entry level are the vSphere Essential bundles. More interesting is a document (VMware vSphere SMB Solutions Brief) with several interesting information and suggestion, and also with this possible schema:

Suite and bundles

As you can see, most of the VMware’s virtualization solutions for SMB are around the Essential+ bundle (or the specific version designed for ROBO scenarios).

But isn’t the only option: the new Acceleration Kit Standard is now cheaper (considering that it’s only for 6 sockets, but it will include a vCenter Server Standard instance) and there is also a specific bundle of Acceleration Kit Standard with Operations Management (good for MB segment or for the main office in a ROBO scenario).

About the new features included in Essential Plus bundle, there are also (from 5.1 version):

New features specific of the Standard edition (that include also new features of Essential+):

  • vShield Zones
  • Fault Tolerance
  • Storage vMotion

VSA 5.1

As described in a previous post, VSA can provide same benefit a shared storage (VMware HA, vMotion, …) with a smaller cost.

Compared to an entry level enterprise storage (like Dell MD3xxx or HP P2000 series, with a completely redundant solutions) you can remove the storage costs (considering also that some software features may require additional fee), but of course you have to spend on more disks (considering the replication, but you have to consider that sometimes the storage’s disks cost more that servers’s disks) and on good RAID controllers.

This solution could be great on small environment and in ROBO scenarios (in this case vSphere Replication could be use to handle the VM DR) considering that one instance is already included in each vSphere bundle (except the Essential one).

For more information see: New Features of the vSphere Storage Appliance version 5.1.

VMware Go Pro

Go Pro makes simple to deploy and extend virtualization, and to manage and protect your infrastructure, and it is specifically designed to help small and midsize businesses begin or extend virtualization efforts.

It improve the protection, scalability and reliability of your IT infrastructure with VMware Go Pro, a cloud-based virtualization and IT management solution built specifically for small and midsize businesses.Seems that on Q1 2013, it may include also a VM backup solution!

There is also an active promotion: every purchase of an Essentials Kit includes Go Pro (30 VM coverage) for cloud-based patch management.

VMware vCenter Protect

This product help to get centralized patch management and asset inventory for Windows and third party applications for both virtual and physical machines with vCenter Protect Standard. Add centralized antivirus, power management, and ITScripts with vCenter Protect Advanced. Reduce cost and complexity with an integrated approach to IT security and compliance.

Good for large enviroment, it could be useful also for MB segment as described on VMworld Reflection for Small-Midsize Businesses blog post.

Zimbra

This could be a good example of a SaaS solution (for private or public cloud). Also the availability of different clients for different devices (and also a web client) can help in a migration to new device scenarios.

Pricing

There are some interesting aspects in the new price list of the vSphere 5.1 suite.

Firts, without the vSphere 5 vRAM Entitlement you can push more on a scale-in (or vertical scaling) on hosts to reduce their number. This could be interesting in the MB segment, considering also the new servers (see, for example, a Dell PowerEdge R720) that have great expandibility, both on memory, card, but also on disks (if you plan to use shared storage).

For more information see the page: Compare VMware vSphere Pricing.

Virtualization vs. Cloud?

VMware has several solutions for the virtualization approach in the SMB. Of course there is also the free Hypervisor solution or the Essential bundle that could be a really first step (I think that, for very low budget, a two nodes single socket solution without shared storage and with a replication+backup software could be a good entry point).

But what about the cloud solutions? Exept the Go Pro solution, actually VMware doesn’t have an SMB version of vCloud Director to build private or hybrid cloud, but you can use the vCloud Connector to build a simplified version of an hybrid cloud.

Also, for some specific scenarios (like the CoIT case), a “public-like” approach could be a solution, considering that the VSSP program can change the entire (software) infrastructure cost in a “pay per use” model, with the advantages of including also several enterprise products.

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The challenge!

SMB segment could be a (big) challenge due to the following reasons:

  • Requirements: in most cases are the same of the enterprise segment. For example the required availability and SLA are really close and may imply similar solutions to achieve it.
  • Constraints: are really different and in most cases very strictly. For example budget, but also the IT staff and skills.
  • Evolution: and SMB may have big trend in evolution (or involution).

Note that also in SMB, disaster recovery, business continuity, availability and security aspects have still to be considered.

This kind of market remain still interesting, considering the number of the companies and also the fact that 60% of them are still on physical environment. According to a research (Forrester Business Continuity And Disaster Recovery Are Top IT Priorities For 2010 And 2011), for the SMB the top priorities are business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR), at the first place, and consolidation of the IT, at the second place.

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