May 6

EMC has caught onto the software defined buzzword.

In the past, deploying a new application took ten weeks and ten thousand dollars. Today with VMware you can do it in minutes with about three hundred dollars. We often forgot the total service delivery task which includes firewalls, storage, IDS, monitoring, which adds days and another $1,500. Automation can help here, virtualization it all may be even better. Define all of this in software.

Software defined data center can be defined as all infrastructure services virtualized and delivered as software. And the control of this data center is entirely driven by software. I’ll add that policy and automation are key pieces of this.

This session was sort of an overview session of the VMware vCloud Suite website content.

May 6

Infrastructure as a Service is the phase 1 focus of the Cloud I am currently building. Lets see what VMware can do with the acquisition of DynamicOps. I’m interested in integrations with converged 1.0 infrastructure like Vblock and 2.0 infrastructure like Nutanix.

Josh asks us a question, “do you have competition?”. I answered yes. Internally I always competing for my customers business. Bigger picture than public cloud here, outsourcing for instance. The question is focused on public cloud though.

Excellent point.. To those of us building internal private clouds, “have you used azure or amazon?”.

Automation center provides a way to provision VM’s into private or public clouds. This is a positive because it provides a single IT owned portal to use “cloud”. You become the broker of services.

vCAC supports hyper-v as well as physical servers. I wonder if Nutanix is included, Cisco, HP, and Dell is.

Custom catalogs based on who is accessing the portal.

Live demo time!!

In about 15 minutes, someone from the crowd was able to build a blueprint and kick off a request for a 1 vCPU 4GB memory VM.

vCloud Director is going to be absorbed into vCenter and vCenter Automation Center.

vCAC today only runs on Windows.

vCAC can send calls out to vCenter Orchestrator

Aug 30

First question was how many of us were more than 50% virtualized, I didn’t see anyone without their hand up. I applaud us.

What are the implications of being 50% or more virtualized?
Multiple Tools
Older processes
New and more abstractions, more dynamic
More stakeholders, dis-aggregation

What capacity problem areas get amplified?
Performance triage
Reactive capacity remediations
Purchase, optimize for efficiency and cost
Collaborate & Report

Tools that we use to monitor do not always agree. I’ve experienced this issue. We all have. The other issue is the tools have alerts but those alerts are usually false positives when it comes to performance. Noisy alerts cause us to miss the important alerts. Some time ago I declared alerting “broken”. We would ignore them or we would have to spend entirely too much time validating their truth.

Staying a head of the demand in our infrastructures can be challenging. I actually accomplished this for a while with an agreement with my partner for buying blades. I had a subscription plan setup so that compute resources were shipped to on a monthly schedule.

There is an awesome slide titled “Get the right metrics”. It describes capacity and demand concepts.

Contention can show up in different ways, dropped packets, CPU ready, memory contention, latency etc. Contention is the difference between what a VM gets and what a VM wants.

Humans can feel about 10% degradation in speed.

In vCenter Operations, you should investigate “health” issues immediately. Consumed memory has no bearing on what a VM actually needs. Even as consumed goes up and down demand may stay steady.

Looking for symptoms slide is another good one. Goes through examples of under, over, and proper provisioned machines. Demand is a good thing to look at. Cannot just use one symptom to solve a problem.

A see a pattern here… Another good slide is “Mapping Symptoms to Problems”.

Get the right metrics
Change your mindset
Watch for symptoms
Putting it all together
Map symptoms to problems
Remediate the virtual way

Overall a good session of VMware vCenter Operations.

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