June 2014 archive

vSphere beta program now open to anyone, Hello again vVols

VMware has historically been pretty controlling and secretive about their beta programs for vSphere and only allowing partners and select customers to participate in it. They’ve recently started to open up though with the VSAN beta that was publicly available 6 months before the product released. Now they have opened up even more with a public beta for the next release of vSphere that includes my favorite new storage feature, Virtual Volumes. Remember VVols? You might have forgotten about it by now with all the attention on VSAN. They have been talking about VVols for years since they first announced it but the feature has never found its way into a version of vSphere.  Remember this from VMworld 2012:


And this from VMworld 2013:


Now VVols is finally coming in this next vSphere release, but before you get excited you need to make sure you have storage that supports the feature and the new VASA provider that it relies on. Chances are you won’t find many (or any) storage arrays that support it today but talk to your storage vendor and they may have their own beta program that you could be part of which will get you the chance to play with it. VMware has a beta page dedicated to VVols and they have HP, Dell and NetApp listed as partners that have beta builds for storage that supports VVols. Read more about the VVols public beta here.

Note that they have not publicly given this next release a version number, the announcement refers to it as vSphere Beta, but I’m sure you can guess to what that might be considering that we are at vSphere 5.5 right now. Of course there are some rules to participating in the beta, pretty much the same rule as the first rule of Fight Club. So head on over to the beta site, sign-up and agree to the NDA and you’ll be enjoying the vSphere beta before you know it. I’m happy to see VVols finally getting some love from VMware and I’m pretty sure you’ll be hearing a lot about it an VMworld this year.

Sign up and join the vSphere Beta Program today at: https://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/vsphere-beta

VMware vSphere Beta Program Ground Rules

  • You agree to receive program communications (e.g. emails, webinar invitations, contest invitations etc.).
  • You agree to use the Beta community for general feedback and questions. For specific issues, log a Support Request for assistance. Requests will receive an acknowledgment within 24 hours, but there is no pre-determined SLA for issue resolution.
  • VMware will attempt to respond to feedback, comments, questions and issues posted to the Beta community, but there is no guarantee of a response.
  • Your Beta program participation may make you eligible for contests or incentives conducted by VMware to encourage Beta software testing. Details of any contests or incentives will be posted in the private Beta community.
  • Any version numbers used in this Beta are placeholders. VMware does not commit to including the features provided in this Beta in any specific released version.

VMware vSphere Beta Program Confidentiality Rules

Once you joined the private Beta Community, you are a trusted advisor, and VMware expects all the participants to treat this Beta Program as strictly confidential. This information shared within the private Beta community is covered under the VMware Master Software Beta Test Agreement that your organization has previously accepted, or that you will accept upon entry into the program.

You may:

  • Speak with other participants of the Beta Program about this program
  • Post on the protected, private discussion forums
  • Speak with your server vendor about this program, so long as you disclose that you are under an NDA and so long as they are also under an NDA with VMware

You may NOT:

  • Discuss this program publicly
  • Discuss this program privately with any other people not listed above.
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Who the top virtualization bloggers work for

When you are recognized as a top blogger you often get noticed by companies looking to hire the best people. Years ago there were many independent top bloggers but over the years many have been snatched up by companies eager to bring on good talent to their team. I was curious to see who the current top bloggers work for so I went through the list of the current top 50 bloggers and trying to identify their employers from twitter, their websites and LinkedIn. Here’s what I found out:

Note: I define independent bloggers as not working for VMware or any hardware/software vendors, independent bloggers are mainly customers or VARs.

The Top 10 bloggers

  • VMware – 6
  • Independent – 2
  • PernixData – 1
  • EMC – 1

VMware has snatched up most of the best bloggers, very few independents

The Top 25 bloggers

  • Independent – 7
  • VMware – 6
  • Nutanix – 5
  • PernixData – 1
  • EMC – 2
  • HP – 1
  • VCE – 1
  • Dell – 1
  • NetApp – 1

Nutanix went and scooped up many of the bloggers that are in the top 25, the big storage companies have few top 25 bloggers

The Top 26-50 bloggers

  • Independent – 13
  • VMware – 5
  • Pure Storage – 2
  • Nutanix – 1
  • PernixData – 1
  • HP – 1
  • Cisco – 1
  • Veeam – 1

Lots of independents here as bloggers are starting to make names for themselves and climbing up the top 50, good number of VMware bloggers as well

The Complete Top 50 bloggers

  • Independent – 20
  • VMware – 11
  • Nutanix – 6
  • Pure Storage – 2
  • PernixData – 2
  • EMC – 2
  • HP – 2
  • Cisco – 1
  • Veeam – 1
  • VCE – 1
  • Dell – 1
  • NetApp – 1

Almost half of the top 50 are Independent bloggers, most of them are in the 26-50 spots, VMware has 9 bloggers in the top 28 spots, Nutanix has the most top bloggers after that

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Did you ever wonder how things work with storage in vSphere?

I’ve always been obsessed fascinated with how everything and anything works, I have a very curious mind and it’s never enough for me to simply accept that things work, I need to know how they work as well. I’m always doing deep dive into technologies to get a very thorough understanding exactly what is going on behind the scenes. The benefit of this is twofold, first if I know all the deep details on something, I can speak to it much more effectively if I have to explain it to someone else. This can greatly help when you are doing presentations as the better you know your content, the more effective you will be presenting it. Secondly it helps immensely when troubleshooting something, if you know the inner workings of how something functions you can more easily figure out what is wrong with it or how it can be improved.

As a result I’m starting a series of posts here called Storage Demystified where I will deep dive into all sorts of storage related and vSphere related features and technologies. I’ll also be presenting on this same topic at an upcoming VMUG and for a SpiceWorks webinar so you might be able to see it live. So stay tuned as I’ll be begin posting on my new series very soon, my first topic will be on why and how SSD drives wear out, something that seems to be not very well known but I’ll do my best to explain it to you. If you have anything you’d like to know more about let me know and I’ll try and include it.

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Don’t miss Web-scale Wednesday live on 6/25


Nutanix is hosting an online event called Web-scale Wednesday on 6/25 with a great line-up of speakers. You can watch it live beginning at 9:00am PST or on-demand. Not sure what web-scale means or why it’s trending? Check out this Gartner press release which explains what it is and why it will be in 50 percent of global enterprises by 2017.

They have a good line-up of companies and speakers represented including Twitter, The Register, Veeam, Dell, Citrix and Stu Miniman from Wikibon will also be there.

So click the above image and fill out the short form to register and also snag a free “I was web-scale before it was cool” t-shirt.

Agenda (PDT)
9:00AM-9:30AM Keynote Address
9:30AM-10:00AM Analyst Session: The Coming Disruption to Datacenter Strategies
10:00AM-10:45AM Tech Expert Panel: Designing and Building Web-scale Systems
10:45AM-11:05AM Industry Perspective: Convergence and Web-scale IT
11:05AM-11:30AM Industry Perspective: Rethinking Infrastructure for Web-scale IT
11:05AM-12:00PM TweetUp: Twitter Chat on Web-scale IT, Trends and Impact
11:30AM-12:00PM Enterprise Perspective: Making the Move to Web-Scale

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