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DataCore Software is an independent software vendor, founded on February 4, 1998 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, specializing in storage virtualization, storage management, and storage networking.

Its main product, SANsymphony-V (now at the V9.0) forms a transparent, scalable virtualization layer across your storage infrastructure in order to enhance its capabilities and centralize its management. The many nuances that distinguish one model or brand of storage from another and render them mutually incompatible no longer stand in the way of using them together.

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Storage is an important part of a virtual infrastructure, but compared with the server part (that provide computational “power”) the different storage vendor’s solutions are not so homogeneous and easy to compare or understand. Of course because there are different positioning but also a lot of different aspects, but in most cases, the most important aspects are also the “hidden” or the less described.

What is probably clear is the difference between local storage (DAS) and shared storage (SAN or NAS, but sometimes also some kind of DAS) and why shared storage is so important: not necessary for the performance aspect, but mainly because it is required by design! In a virtual infrastructure for system virtualization (VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V, Citrix XenServer, KVM, …) a shared storage is required to provide some core features (like HA and VM hot-migration)… This could change in the future (for example let’s consider Marathon everRun VM without a shared storage), but actually is just a requirement. And of course also a plus, because it can provide different other improvements.

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In a previous post I’ve described how ignore the warning in a View 5.x environment. But the right way so solve this “issue” remain replace the self generated and signed certificates with new one signed from a trusted CA (a public on, but also an internal one could be fine, if you can push its certificate on all the clients). This may become a mandatory requirement for future version of View (although it is not yet confirmed).

For how generate and replace the certificates see:

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Some weeks after the announce of the DynamicOps acquisition intent, VMware has announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Nicira, a pioneer in software-defined networking (SDN) and a leader in network virtualization for Open Source initiatives.

VMware will acquire Nicira for approximately $1.05 billion in cash plus approximately $210 million of assumed unvested equity awards. The acquisition is subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. The parties expect the acquisition to close during the second half of 2012. The acquisition has been approved by the boards of directors of both VMware and Nicira and the stockholders of Nicira.

But what is the Software-Defined Datacenter? Basically could be the foundation of Cloud Computing. Cloud computing is about agile, elastic, efficient, and reliable services, and it is achieved through sophisticated software that abstracts hardware resources, pools it into aggregate capacity, enabling automation to safely and efficiently dole it out as needed for applications. Tenants or customers utilizing the software-defined datacenter can have their own virtual datacenter with an isolated collection of all the compute, storage, networking, and security resources that they are used to. Furthermore, this virtual datacenter can grow and shrink to efficiently utilize physical resources. This is what the software-defined datacenter is all about, and it is the architecture for the cloud. Managing networks and network services to support cloud architectures is complex, time consuming and limits the achievement of full application mobility across clouds. Nicira is at the forefront of software-defined networking, which enables the dynamic creation of virtual network infrastructure and services that are completely decoupled and independent from the physical network hardware. Many industry leaders, including AT&T, DreamHost, eBay, Fidelity Investments, NTT and Rackspace are using the Nicira Network Virtualization Platform (NVP) to accelerate service delivery from weeks to minutes and dramatically reduce complexity and cost.

For more information see also:

VMware has also announced financial results for the second quarter of 2012:

  • Revenues for the second quarter were $1.12 billion, an increase of 22% from the second quarter of 2011, and 23% measured in constant currency.
  • Operating income for the second quarter was $212 million, an increase of 13% from the second quarter of 2011. Non-GAAP operating income for the second quarter was $358 million, an increase of 23% from the second quarter of 2011.
  • Net income for the second quarter was $192 million, or $0.44 per diluted share,compared to $220 million, or $0.51 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2011. Non-GAAP net income for the quarter was $296 million, or $0.68 per diluted share, compared to $235 million, or $0.55 per diluted share, for the second quarter of 2011.
  • Trailing twelve months operating cash flows were $2.05 billion, an increase of 33%. Trailing twelve months free cash flows were $2.01 billion, an increase of 29%.
  • Cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments were $5.3 billion and unearned revenue was $2.9 billion as of June 30, 2012.
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Just one year ago this blog has started its life (see the first official post: Blog goes live).

Was a really intense year and a big challenge (more than 300 posts, with different length, but in most cases both in English and Italian), with several satisfactions. For example, I’ve tried to participate at the top virtualization blogs contents and the results where really interesting: I’ve received some votes and vInfrastructure site is 54 in the entire rank and 3rd in the Favorite New Blog list (and some mentions, included one from the Number 1)!

Also the first sponsors has arrived: I’ve choose to accept (to cover some expensive), but I still tried to keep more independence and objectivity as possible.

For the stats side, here some interesting data:

Period Access Number of visits Monthly visitors Download PDF VCP5 IT Download PDF VCP5 EN
2011 (dal 24 lug) 1.353.314 47.262 circa 6000 271 2212
2012 (fino al 24 lug) 3.459.369 163.655 > 10.000 815 5462

I have to be really grateful with all the people that follow my blog and hope to make better for the next year.

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Veeam One FreeVeeam ONE is an integrated monitoring and reporting tool for virtual enviroment based on VMware vSphere and/or Microsoft Hyper-V. Also a free edition is available.

In this video, Doug Hazelman, Vice President of Product Strategy at Veeam Software, talks about the new Veeam ONE v6:

For more information:

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With the new version of System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) 2012, the features gap is slowly reduced from the vSphere vCenter Server.

But the positioning and the comparison remain not so simple due to different license (and different cost), different set of features, and different integration with other products.

Note also that some features in Microsoft environment are not depending from VMM but are features of the Hyper-V or the FailOver Cluster part (so are basically included in the free Hyper-V Server), for this reason some features will change when VMM 2012 will be used with the new Hyper-V3 (for more info see Hyper-V 3.0 vs vSphere 5.0).

Another aspect is that VMM partially cover also the vCloud Director features, for example in the Self Provisioning feature or in the Cloud concept (that is similar to the virtual datacenter concept of vCloud).

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One of the new features of System Center VMM 2012 is the ability of manage a supported storage. In a previous post, I’ve described, for example, how manage a Dell storage.

One interesting aspect that I’ve found in a recent event, is that also a Virtual Storage Appliance (VSA) could be managed in the same way. Of course it must export the required interfaces to System Center, and also be supported on Hyper-V (if it runs on this kind of hypervisor).

One the first products that has introduced this functionality was StarWind (that realized basically an iSCSI software target, as introduced in the previous post: Windows Target iSCSI for free). This intent was announced at the beginning of this year.

For more information: StarWind SMI-S and integrations with SCVMM 2012.

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Recently Microsoft has changed their beta exam policy (see the new official FAQ on beta tests) and now they are public and open to everyone who wished to take a beta exam: you must only look on the Prometric site for exam 71-XXX (instead of the usual 70-XXX). Previously beta test vouchers were handed out to SMEs, posted on industry blogs, or distributed at conferences. But this was usually a pain due to limited number of voucher and/or available seats.

Actually there are some beta exams related to the new products and/or technologies:

Now are open but also a fee is needed (this was a great advantages of beta exams). Other consideration may be similar to VMware beta exams:

  • More questions (this IMHO could be a pro instead of a cons)
  • Several time to have the results (but is more detailed than the one from VMware)
  • No retake during the beta period (but this is obvious and also correct)
  • More difficult?! (this really depend)

For more info see also:

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I’ve already written a post about the reintroduction of the MCSA and MCSE certifications. Now that some of them are live (MCSA on Windows Server 2008 was the first, now also the MCSE on Private Cloud is available) the new certification schema has become more clear.

Seems that there on new products only this model will be adopted (so probably no new version of MCTS or MCITP certification) and those MCSE certifications are already be announced:

  • MCSE Private Cloud: already available… Is the new version of the MCITP on virtualization and management.
  • MCSE Server Infrastructure: will be the equivalent of MCITP SA or EA on Windows Server 2012. Exams are actually in beta.
  • MCSE Desktop Infrastructure: little more than the previous MCITP Enterprise Desktop Administrator, now ported on Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012. Exams are actually in beta.
  • MCSE SQL Server 2012: a new certification specific on SQL Server 2012.

Also those MCSA certifications has been announced:

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