Nov 11 2018

History of VMware vQuiz results and winners

Over 200 people took the vQuiz to test their knowledge on how well they know the history of VMware through a series of 20 timed questions. I made the questions fairly challenging and I didn’t expect to see any person get all 20 questions correct and that was mostly the case. In fact I may have made it a bit too challenging as more than half the people who took the quiz got 10 or less answers correct. There was one very obscure question in particular that I was confident almost nobody would get correct. Below are the results and answers of the quiz to help educate everyone on history of VMware. Scroll down to the end to see the people who scored the highest and won the Amazon gift cards.

All future quiz’s will have sponsors and better prizes, if you are interested in sponsoring a themed vQuiz (i.e. storage, performance, VVols, cloud, backups, etc…) reach out to me and let me know. Sponsored quiz’s will feature a mix of general questions specific to the topic and some related to the sponsor.

QuestionAnswer% CorrectComments
What year was VMware founded in?

199871%Remember the 20 year anniversary this year!
What release was the High Availability feature introduced in? Virtual Center 2.545%#2 answer was vCenter Server 4.0 (28%)
What was the original marketing name for the hypervisor that was abbreviated to ESX? Elastic Sky X79%The question most people got correct
What year was the first VMworld held? 200449%In San Diego, CA at the Hyatt Convention Center, was the size of a VMUG UserCon back then (1,400)
Who was VMware's co-founder and chief scientist? Mendel Rosenblum49%Thought more people would get this correct, #2 answer was Stephen Herrod (16%)
The vSphere product name was introduced in what new release? ESX 4.0 & vCenter 4.053%I remember this well as it was a big shock to everyone, was the successor to VI3
What year did EMC announce their intent to acquire VMware?200312%Has it really been that long, #1 answer was 2007 (36%)
The very first VMworld was held in what US city?San Diego, CA36%I didn't think many would know this as the 1st VMworld only had 1,400 attendees, #2 answer was San Fran (34%)
Before joining EMC and eventually becoming VMware's CEO, which company did Pat Gelsinger work at for 30 years?Intel70%#2 answer was IBM (15%)
What was the very first virtualization product that VMware released in 1999?Workstation56%Remember GSX (Server) that was the #2 answer (31%), GSX & ESX were released the same year (2001)
Who was VMware's Chief Marketing Officer before Robin Matlock filled the position in 2013Rick Jackson34%CMO is usually not that visible and it shows, #2 answer was Carl Eschenbach (32%), Rick Vanover (Veeam) was chosen 12%
VMware has had 3 CEO's over the years, who took over as CEO in 2008 succeeding Diane GreenePaul Maritz66%Thought more would know this but it was a decade ago, #2 answer was Pat Gelsinger (19%) (huh?)
What was the original code name for the company before it was officially called VMware? Disco16%I didn't know this either, I stumbled upon it in an obscure Stephen Herrod interview: "Our original code name for the company was Disco, because it was a cool idea from the 1970s that we wanted to bring back", most people answered Merlin (45%)
Who succeeded Stephen Herrod as VMware's CTO in 2014?Ben Fathi 23%His tenure as CTO was short 2014-2015 so not alot of people remembered him, Ray O'Farrell was the #1 answer (39%) who succeeded him in 2016
What year did VMware debut on the New York Stock Exchange with a first day closing value of $19.1 billion200723%Answers were pretty evenly split between all 5 choices
What aquatic creature is a feature attraction in the VMware Promontory pond at their Palo Alto campus?Turtle71%If you read my blog you would know this:
The first VMworld Europe was held in February 2008 in which city?Cannes, France30%It was in Cannes the first 2 years before moving to Copenhagen, #1 answer was Barcelona (40%)
VMware announced the general availability of Virtual SAN in what year?201440%And hyper-converged madness ensued...
VMware acquired what software defined networking company in 2012?Nicira 74%#2 answer was AirWatch (12%)
VMware is celebrating this company anniversary milestone this year?20th82%If you knew the first answer or paid attention at VMworld you should have known this and it seems most people did

Winners of the vQuiz:

  • 1st: 20 answers correct in 2:07 – David Marshal
  • 2nd: 17 answers correct in 1:42 – Anthony Poh
  • 3rd: 16 answers correct in 3:17 – Dan Raymond
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Oct 04 2018

Take the vQuiz and test your vKnowledge on the history of VMware

I’m starting a new feature called the vQuiz which is designed to test your knowledge on virtualization and VMware. This is a timed quiz that you have 6 minutes to complete 20 questions, each quiz has a specific theme and a sponsor and the top 3 responses that get the most questions correct in the least amount of time will win prizes from our sponsor. The questions for this quiz will be specific to the theme with a few questions specific to the sponsor.

For this inaugural quiz the theme is the History of VMware, I don’t have a sponsor for it however you can still win prizes that I am supplying in the form of Amazon gift cards. I am looking for sponsors for future quiz’s so if you are interesting please contact me and we can build a quiz to whatever theme you choose (i.e. backups, storage, cloud, etc.)  To take the quiz simply click the logo below, the quiz will be open for 2 weeks after which I will publish the correct answers and notify the top 3 winners.

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Oct 03 2018

Upcoming Webinar: A Farewell to LUNs – Discover how VVols forever changes storage in vSphere

I’m hosting a webinar on Tuesday October 23rd at 8:00am PST with Pete Flecha from VMware  to discuss the many benefits of VVols and the fundamental change it will have on storage in vSphere. This webinar is basically the same as an abstract that I submitted for VMworld that wasn’t accepted and it won’t have any sales or marketing pitch in it, it’s geared to promote VVols in general terms. I’d love to see you there, we will try and make it as interesting as possible and show current adoption trends, discuss ecosystem support and highlight the pain points that VVols helps solve. You can go register for it here.

Webinar title: A Farewell to LUNs – Discover how VVols forever changes storage in vSphere
Presented by: Eric Siebert – WW Product Manager, HPE & Pete Flecha – Sr. Technical Marketing Architect, VMware


To borrow a phrase from a popular song from REM, “It’s the end of the LUN as we know it and I feel fine”. VMware VVols changes everything we know about storage for vSphere in a good way, with VVols LUN management is a thing of the past. VMware VVols represents the future of external storage for vSphere and that future is here right now. VVols also represents many years of engineering work by both VMware and its storage partners. The result of that work is a new storage architecture for vSphere that solves many of the hidden complexities inherent in VMFS and levels the playing field between file and block protocols. Learn from experts at HPE & VMware how VVols transforms external storage in vSphere, eliminates complexities and provides very real benefits to customers.

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Oct 02 2018

Upcoming webinar this week: Towards near-zero data loss. What you need to get right

Data loss is a key concern for every business, especially in today’s hostile world where malware and ransomware run rampant. Vembu can help you avoid data loss and keep your critical data safe. Join the experts from Vembu on Wed. October 3rd and Thurs. October 4th for a webinar entitled “Towards near-zero data loss. What you need to get right” where you will learn:

  • How to leverage the maximum benefits from a near-zero data loss strategy
  • A virtual walk-through into the ways to achieve near-zero data loss
  • How to achieve near-zero data loss with Vembu
  • And a lot more…

By registering for the webinar you will also have a chance to win Amazon gift vouchers worth $100. Don’t wait, go sign up now!

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Sep 28 2018

The legendary turtles at VMware HQ

If you have ever been to VMware’s campus in Palo Alto you have probably seen or heard of the legendary turtles that rule the little pond between the Promontory A & D buildings. I accidentally stumbled across an old blog post by VMware the other day that explained the origin of how the turtles came to be the caretakers of the pond. The story was told by VMware’s Workplace Supervisor, that when the pond was originally built they intended to put koi fish in it but they couldn’t keep them alive unless they let algae grow. They didn’t want to do that however as they wanted to keep the pond water clear so the pond sat empty for a long time.

One day while at lunch he stumbled across a turtle in a tank that the restaurant was trying to get rid of, they asked him if he wanted it and after checking to make sure there was no chemicals in the pond that might harm wildlife he stuck the turtle in a small cooler and took it back with him. He brought it to the pond and set it free and it promptly sunk to the bottom but eventually started to move around. That turtle was named Rosie and eventually they brought it a few companion turtles, from there the population started to grow and today they are up to 13 turtles enjoying the pond.

You can read the full tale here, they also have their own Facebook page and if you are ever at VMware HQ be sure and give them a visit.

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Sep 19 2018

Happy Endday vSphere 5.5!

vSphere 5.5 was released almost 5 years ago to the day, Sept. 22nd 2013. Today VMware officially ended support for it and they recommend you upgrade to vSphere 6.5 or 6.7. Despite this I know there is still a large number of customers still running 5.5 for various reasons regardless of the EOS for it. End of support doesn’t mean those customers will be jumping to 6.x anytime soon, VMware does provide the option for customers to purchase extended support in one year increments for up to two years for those that really want to hang on to vSphere 5.5 for as long as possible.

In addition VMware is still offering Technical Guidance for 5.5 for another 2 years, this allows customers to open online support requests, no phone support is provided though. VMware doesn’t recommend Technical Guidance for critical applications and you must be on a supported configuration. VMware will not provide support for new hardware, updates, patches or bug fixes, they only recommend it for customers with stable environments and workloads.

So in reality the clock hasn’t completely stopped on 5.5, it will be ticking still for 2 years before it is completely dead. I know there are various reasons why customers are staying on 5.5, the whole if it ain’t broke leave it alone, more favorable Oracle licensing, big environments that will take a long time to upgrade and other reasons. I have heard that 6 months ago more than half of VMware customers were still running vSphere 5.5, that is a significant user base and is a bit worrisome that so many are camped out on pretty old release. There is a lot of great stuff in vSphere 6,0/6.5/6.7 that make for compelling reasons to upgrade, in particular you can start using VVols in vSphere 6.0 although 6.5 or 6.7 is recommended.

So happy Endday vSphere 5.5, well kinda, it’s more at retirement age right now instead of being ready to be buried quite yet.

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Sep 15 2018

Why VMware VVols are Simpler, Smarter and Faster then traditional storage

Recently at VMworld in Vegas, Pete Flecha from VMware did a presentation on VVols at the HPE booth which highlights the benefits of VVols being simpler, smarter and faster than traditional storage with vSphere. The link to the presentation is below but I thought I would also summarize why VVols are simpler, smarter and faster.

VVols are Simpler

The reason VVols are simpler is because of storage policy based management which automates the provisioning and reclamation of storage for VMs. VVols completely eliminates LUN management on the storage array as vSphere can natively write VMs to a storage array, VVols are provisioned as needed when VMs are created and automatically reclaimed when VMs are deleted or moved.

VVols are Smarter

The reason VVols are smarter is again because of storage policy based management and also by the dynamic real time nature of storage operations between vSphere and the storage array. With VVols a storage array stays as efficient and thin as possible as space is always reclaimed immediately for VMs and snapshots and even when data is deleted within the guest OS it can be reclaimed on the storage array. In addition the array manages all snapshots and clones and array capabilities can be assigned at the VM level with SPBM.

VVols are Faster

The reason VVols are faster is not what you might think, data is still written from vSphere to a storage array using the same storage queues and paths, there is no performance difference between VVols & VMFS for normal read/write operations. Where VVols is much faster than VMFS is when it comes to snapshots, because all vSphere snapshots are array snapshots they are much more efficient and they take the burden off the host, In addition because there is no need to merge any data that has changed while a snapshot is active, deleting snapshots is always an instant process which can have a very positive impact on backups.


Go watch the whole video to learn more about why VVols are so great , it’s only about 15 minutes long.

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Sep 08 2018

Nominations for the 2018 Top vBlog voting categories are now open!

Just like prior years in addition to the traditional voting I’m opening it up to allow voting in specific categories as well to help distinguish certain types of blogs. To do this I have created a form to allow you to nominate your blog or website for one of the categories that I have defined if your blog fits one or more of the categories, if it does not then don’t nominate it as all blogs on the vLaunchPad will automatically be included in the general top blog voting.

This form is not the general voting poll for the top VMware/virtualization blogs, this form is only to nominate your blog for certain categories if it fits. Once the nominations are collected I will open the polls for voting for the top blogs where voters will be able to rate their top 10 blogs and also vote in each of the categories.

You should only nominate your own blog/website, these nominations will be used to populate the category choices when voting opens. If your blog doesn’t fit one of these categories then do not nominate it, all blogs on the vLaunchPad will automatically be included in the general top blog voting. If your blog is not currently listed on the vLaunchPad use this form to let me know.

The criteria for the categories to see if your blog qualifies for them are as follows:

  • Favorite New Blog – Blog must have been started in 2017
  • Favorite Storage Blog – Must have greater than 50% posts as storage related
  • Favorite Independent Blogger – Must not work for VMware or a Technology Partner (i.e. EMC, Dell, IBM, Unitrends, etc.), basically this means customers, resellers and integrators only.
  • Favorite Scripting/Automation Blog – Must have greater than 50% posts as scripting/automation related
  • Favorite Non-English Blog – Must be primarily published in a non-English language
  • Favorite Podcast – Easy one, you must have a podcast
  • Favorite Female Blogger – Special recognition for women in tech, must be a female blogger
  • Favorite News/Information Site – Any site that primarily publishes news and information and is not really a blog

Again, only nominate your own blog/website!

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