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Finally VMware vSphere 5.1 is available (after the product announce during the VMworld). Note that now there is also a virtual appliance also for Orchestrator (when one for VUM?). Also vShield is now called VMware vCloud Networking and Security.

Note that also those other products are now available:

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DataCore Software, specialized in offering Storage Virtualization software and provider of premier storage hypervisor, has announced the availability of SANsymphony™-V Disk Migration Suite.

This product permit a non disruptive data continuity services during the time of data center relocations, VM moves, System Refreshes and Storage migrations. These are the periods, when the data centers are prone to downtime related to storage. SANSymphony offers non-stop business operations in order to keep the critical users and applications running undisturbed.

The license, with duration of 30 days, is designed to handle LUN to ma maximum size of 16TB.

For more information see also:

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Everybody that has attend at least at one VMworld, or at a VMware Partner Exchange, event probably know what is a Hands on Labs (HoL) and probably has run at least a lab.

HoL are probably one of the best reason to attend at this kind of event (and also this year were really good) because you can make practice on VMware technologies, and also (in the recent years) are well designed to be scenario oriented (and usually scenarios could be really close to the real world).

The HoL infrastructure is really cool (and a good example of a cloud approach) and this year I’ve got also opportunity to ear more detail about it during a backstage (one of the best moment).

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Here some useful resources:

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

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.
  • VMware Office of the CTO event: great event with a lot of great people.
  • HoL Backstage: amazing and really interesting know how are made the HoL and also find how products are fit together (nice see that the monitoring part is mainly based on vCenter Operation Manager).
  • VCDX Appreciation Cocktail Party: lot of VCDX that I’ve never met before and a cool place.
  • VMUG Lunch: with an award to our Italian VMUG Leader! (see the picture)
  • VMTN Moderators Breakfast
  • vExpert Meeting with the two CEO and also the CTO of VMware
  • Keynotes (especially the second one) and follow them as press, with also a Press Kit!
  • San Francisco itself!

Not so bad, but also not so good:

  • Jon Bon Jovi performance: too much cover and too few historical songs.
  • 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)
  • Information: as written before, some (but just few) were not well described
  • Sessions: some where very good, other maybe not so technical as the usual level in the European edition

Worst moments and aspects:

  • Hotels where quite expensive at San Francisco!
  • The food wasn’t not comparable with the European editions: always cold food, few options (more limited for vegetarian/vegan/…)
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During the first day of the VMworld US, VMware has updated (and changed) its certifications page by adding more certifications (some available soon) and by defining two new certification paths.

For the new certifications there isn’t too much to say, some where expected from several months (like the VCAP-DT), other are quite new and related with the new certifications paths (see Certification Roadmap) that will be basically four:

  • Datacenter Virtualization (DV) that already exist and it’s completed
  • Cloud
  • End Using Computing (previous know at DT path)
  • Cloud Application Platform

Except the last path that is for programmers (and the PaaS part), the other paths are quite similar with three different layers:

  • Professional: with at least one VCP exam (and note that the existing VCP5 certification will be renamed in VCP5-DV, that VCP5-DT and VCP5-IaaS are also available, and that there is another VCP certification in the Cloud path).
  • Advanced: with at least two VCAP exam (one for the Administration and one for the Design part; note that the EUC path will have also two VCAP-DT exam, and that there is a third exam for the Cloud path).
  • Expert: with the VCDX level (and existing VCDX certification will probably become VCDX-DV).

Maybe the number of paths and the number of exams sound crazy (and maybe it is!), considering also the upgrade process, but there are some consideration to do:

  • Not all the exams are required: there will be some form of vertical propagation like that one for the VCAP-DV (if you get a VCAP5-DV and you are VCP4 than you become VCP5, for a limited time window). There will be also a horizontal one, like the one explained form VCP5-Cloud (if you are VCP5-DV and also VCP5-IaaS you become VCP5-Cloud).
  • There could be (but I cannot give more details) some cross-paths solutions (especially for the VCDX level).
  • The entry level is the Profession one and no more the Associated (in fact the VCA5-DT does not exist). The reason is that there was not enough demand on it. But could be reintroduced in the future.

So what are you waiting? Find your path and plan you level!

IMHO, I think that the DV and Cloud path may someday become a single path, and maybe a specific path for Business Continuity may be added (or at least a VCAP exam). For the EUC path actually is only about View, but I think that may, in the future, include also the entire suite (Horizon and also Mirage).

Also I think that the “silo approach” may not be best idea… why not a simple one like using a specialization approach? But again… those siloes may have some cross-paths… so could be better see the final schema.

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During the VMworld US 2012 several new VMware products has been announced, starting from the VMware Cloud Suite 5.1 announce (from the first keynote) and the End User Computing vision (from the second keynote).

The new Cloud Suite will introduce several improvements and new features (for a complete list see: Technical Whitepaper: What’s New in VMware vSphere 5.1 – Platform), some already discussed:

For the vRAM there are already several comments, and I only confirm that this is good move, that finally make product license simple and give a right reply to all customers requests.

For the different editions (see the comparison) the Advanced edition has been dropped (and customers can upgrade it to the Enterprise edition without additional costs, but note that the SnS fee will change and grow!) and some featues have been moved in the Standard edition:

The Essential Plus will become more cheaper (similar at the price before the last increase), but more interesting it will include:

For the Accelerator kits (see the comparison) there are some changes:

  • Standard Acceleration kit: now is (again) for 6 sockets
  • A new VMware vSphere 5 Standard with Operations Management Acceleration Kit for 6 processors has been addedd and contains 6 CPUs of vSphere 5 Standard with Operations Management, vCenter Protect Standard, 1 instance of vCenter Server Standard, and 1 instance of VSA.
  • All kits (exept the Essential bundle), now include also the vSphere Storage Appliance!
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VMworld keynotes where three this edition:

  • Monday, August 27: Paul Maritz has shared how VMware is helping customers and partners thrive in the Cloud era and has also introduced Pat Gelsinger. New release products has been announced has also the dead of the vSphere 5 vRAM Entitlement.
    Then Steve Herrod has discuss and introduced the technology at the heart of the software defined datacenter.
    Watch Mondays General Session
  • Tuesday, August 28: Steve Herrod introduce the End User Computing vision of VMware with also a great demo with Vittorio Viarengo. Then VMware partners take the stage to demonstrate state of the art technology that is transforming IT and enabling the mobile workforce.
    Watch Tuesdays General Session
  • Thursday, August 30: three extraordinary researchers — Kevin Slavin, Co-Founder, Area/Code; Dr. Dennis Hong, Director, RoMeLa (Robotics and Mechanisms Lab), Virginia Tech University; and Chris Urmson, Lead, Self-Driving Car Project, Google — show how they are working at the frontier of machine technology.
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Interesting European IT events:

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On Thu 30 August the  VMworld 2012 US has finally been finished.

In the next days  the detail of the event!

Actually the first info for the edition 2013: will be again at San Francisco.

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In the new vCloud suite 5.1 there are several improvements and new features in the networking and secuirity part.

For vSphere 5.1 are mainly in the distribuited virtual switch (VDS) part with several news:

  • Network Health Check support: helps detect misconfigurations across physical and virtual switches.
  • Configuration Backup Restore: allows vSphere admins to store the VDS configuration as well as recover the network from the old configurations.
  • Rollback and recovery: addresses the challenges that customer faced when management network failure caused the Hosts to disconnect from the vCenter Server.
  • Port Mirroring enhancements: new troubleshooting capabilities are introduced by supporting RSPAN and ERSPAN.
  • Netdump: provides the ESXi hosts without disk (stateless or with Autodeploy) the ability to core dump over network.
  • Improved Scaling numbers.
  • Other enhancements focused on simplifying the operation of the VDS.

But in the vCloud Director 5.1 the number of enhancements and new functions is quite high and relevant and the concept of Software Defined Networking (SDN) is widely applied. The components are:

  • VXLAN: is the foundation for creating elastic portable virtual datacenters. VXLAN technology allows compute resources to be pooled across non-contiguous clusters or pods and then segment this pool into logical networks attached to applications.
    VXLAN works by creating Layer 2 logical networks that are encapsulated in standard Layer 3 IP packets. A “Segment ID” in every frame differentiates the VXLAN logical networks from each other without any need for VLAN tags. This allows very large numbers of isolated Layer 2 VXLAN networks to co-exist on a common Layer 3 infrastructure.
    For more information see the posts of Scott Lowe and Duncan Epping.
  • App: is used to isolate and protect workloads based on trust levels, so that customers can protect critical applications in the virtual datacenter.
  • Data Security: adds to App functionality and provides Sensitive Data Discovery across virtualized resources, enabling IT organizations to quickly assess the state of compliance with regulations from across the world.
  • Edge: delivers an operationally efficient, simple and cost-effective security services gateway to secure the perimeter of virtual datacenters and provide integrated services such as load balancing, VPN, NAT etc.
  • vShield Manager: integrates with vCenter and vCloud Director for seamless management of all virtual datacenter resources.
  • vCloud Network Automation Framework: enables partners to add both hardware and software network and security services.

Of course VXLAN and new vShield suite features are quite interesting, but I want to discuss the “Extensible Platform” aspect. There are four points of possible integration for services:

  • Inside a virtual machine
  • Network access edge for a virtual machine
  • Network edge of a virtual datacenter
  • Management plane
Application programming interface shifting to Netsec API:
  • Load Balancing, IPS, WAN Optimization are some 3rd Party services solutions developing on the Netsec API
  • 3rd party vendors using the VMSafe API are transitioning over to the NetSec API
  • This kind of integration will be similar to the one provided already by Microsoft System Center 2012, but actually limited (for the networking part) only to load balancers.
Endpoint, such as antivirus scanning, is still part of the vSphere platform. This is because it uses the endpoint security API and not the NetSec API.
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In the new vSphere 5.1, there is a missing component replaced by a new one: VMware Data Recovery (VDR) has been replaced by the new VMware vSphere Data Protection (VDP).

VDR was a backup solution introduced with vSphere 4.0 and based on the VMware vSphere API for Data Protection (VADP) which includes the Changed Block Tracking (CBT) technology (to have incremental backup). But was a limited product (especially not suitable to scale to with several VMs) and also the 2.0 version introduced in vSphere 5.0 was not so changed too much (except in a little better stability).

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