Monthly Archive: July 2014

Jul 26 2014

Time to get your VeeamOn

Veeam started as a small privately owned company that was founded in 2006  by Ratmir Timashev back when virtualization was still a relatively new technology. If you’re a sysadmin and have been working with virtualization for a while you probably used one of Veeam’s earliest and most well-known tools, FastSCP. FastSCP was a tool for copying VM files using the SCP (secure copy) Linux command, what made FastSCP great was it had a GUI and it copied files really fast (hence the name FastSCP).

Back in those days Veeam was a very small company that had only 10 employees in 2008. As the virtualization market started heating up and adoption in the data center started growing, a few companies recognized this opportunity and developed products to support VMware’s ESX/ESXi hypervisor. One area in particular that virtualization had a big impact on was backup & recovery as virtualization really changed the way backups needed to be done to be more efficient. It also opened up many new opportunities for doing backup & recovery differently and better.

While virtualization was still relatively new, many of the big backup vendors like Symantec hadn’t really noticed and continued to support backup & recovery in the traditional manner without taking into account the virtualization layer. A handful of start-ups did take note though and if you remember back in those days you had the big 3 of virtualization backup, Veeam Backup & Replication, VizionCore vRanger and PHD Virtual Backup.

Competition was fierce between those 3 for years but eventually one company rose to the top, Veeam. Why did Veeam do so well? From my perspective as a longtime industry veteran they did many smart things:

  • They moved fast and were not afraid to take chances, they recognized opportunities and trends early on and took advantage of them. When a new vSphere feature or API was available they pounced on it right way and it and incorporated into their product quickly.
  • They were the most innovative company in the backup space by far, they recognized some cool things you could do by taking advantage of the virtualization architecture and came out with some cool and very useful features like SureBackup and Instant Recovery.
  • They embraced the community in a big way and continue to do so, they have forged great relationships with many influential bloggers and industry people. Veeam has been a long time sponsor of mine and many other blogs I appreciate their continued dedication to taking care of the blogger community.
  • They have assembled an awesome team of people. I’ve know Doug Hazelman and Rick Vanover for many years and they are really involved with the community. They along with the rest of the Veeam team are just some fantastic people to know and work with. They also have some super smart people working for them like Anton Gostev helping to make their products great.
  • They are very customer focused, despite their size they still have great customer service. I’ve seen Anton and Rick jump in to help customers on Twitter and in the Veeam community forums helping to answer questions and resolve issues very quickly.
  • They also throw some epic parties, the Veeam party at VMworld is THE party to get an invite too.

Today Veeam has more than 1200 employees and with 17 international offices worldwide, including regional headquarters for EMEA in Paris, France, the Americas in Columbus, Ohio, and Asia-Pacific in Sydney, Australia. They are recognized as a visionary in the Gartner Magic Quadrant and have won many industry awards. They even have their own Wikipedia page. Well now they have their own industry conference as well, VeeamOn.

VeeamOn is being held October 6th-8th at the Cosmopolitan hotel in Las Vegas. The conference will feature some well-known industry speakers and analysts from groups such as Gartner and ESG. The show will have general and technical sessions and an expo area to see products from vendors and solution providers. I looked at their technical sessions and they have a lot of great sessions listed, I love deep dive sessions and I always look for those at any conference that I attend. I noticed that there are several sessions in the catalog, one that caught my eye was a Backup Bottleneck Deep Dive session that covers the data flow process, considerations for CPU, Network, IOPS and WAN caching as well as a performance log deep dive.

Another interesting session I saw is The Ultimate Guide to Data Corruption which covers the data corruption basics: What is data corruption; Why and Where it happens. They will also feature business and partner sessions so you can choose from a great variety of content. No matter which sessions you choose you’ll probably have no problem soaking up a lot of great knowledge, tips, info, great advice and much more on backup and recovery. In addition they will also have training (you can get Veeam certified on-site!), hands-on labs with lab warz as well as user group meetings. And of course I would expect an EPIC party.

To find out more about VeeamOn, head on over to their conference site and check out all the details and of course sign up to attend so you don’t miss out on this great event!

veeamon

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Jul 15 2014

Infinio can solve your performance problems and help get you to VMworld

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Haven’t registered for VMworld yet? Want to go but can’t afford it? Well Infinio can help get you there. There are giving away a prize package which includes a VMworld full conference pass (a $1995 value). All you have to do is click the banner above and fill out a simple form for your chance to win. They’ll be announcing the lucky winner on 7/22.

After you register you might also spend some time on their site and check out their cool software solution for storage hardware performance problems in a VMware environment. You can get a free trial version and be up and running with their Accelerator solution in under an hour.

So what are you waiting for, go register now and you’ll be entered to win:

  • One full-conference pass to VMworld 2014 in San Francisco
  • (the conference pass includes access to the VMworld party and Hall Crawl events)
  • Access to the VMunderground party
  • Cool Infinio swag
  • Other great stuff!

Note: The prize includes the conference pass only. The winner will be responsible for their own hotel, airfare, and other expenses.

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Jul 15 2014

VMworld Schedule Builder is live, better hurry up and use it, also my picks

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If you’re already registered for VMworld you can now build your schedule and you better hurry up as sessions on popular topics are filling up fast. There was already a waiting list for the VVols Technical Overview session the same day the schedule builder opened (yesterday). It’s worth getting on the waiting list as hopefully once they see that a session fills up so quick they will change it to a larger room or offer the session again.

There are a total of 491 sessions (and 664 speakers) listed in the session catalog which can make it challenging to find and schedule sessions that you are interested in. I usually search on keywords, speaker names or use the filters on the sidebars (i.e. Advanced Technical)  to focus in on my interests. Searching on storage brings the results down to only 120 sessions. I’ll be speaking this year at an HP session, so if you want to come and see me and learn about 3PAR All-Flash arrays for VMware register for the below session:

  • STO2540 – The Perfect Stormage: How All-Flash Storage, Quality-of-Service Controls and Extreme Availability Enables Virtualizing Tier-1 Apps with Confidence

If you want to learn more about the new VVols architecture which you’ll hear a lot about at VMworld, there are at least 13 sessions on it from various storage vendors and VMware. VSAN is still very popular despite being a focal point at VMworld last year, a search on VSAN yields 30 results. Some additional sessions I recommend are below:

  • STO1965 – Virtual Volumes Technical Deep Dive (VMware session, Full – get on the waiting list!)
  • STO2554 – Zooming In: How VMware Virtual Volumes (vVols) Will Provide Shared Storage with X-ray Vision (HP/VMware session – learn about 3PAR and VVols)
  • STO1963 – Virtual Volumes Business Overview (VMware session – the more boring side of VVols but still good)
  • BCO1916 – Site Recovery Manager and Stretched Storage: Tech Preview of a New Approach to Active-Active Data Centers (VMware session – BC/DR is changing, learn how)
  • MGT1868 – Troubleshooting Storage Devices Using vCenter Operations (VMware/customer session)
  • STP3170 – Why Storage and Memory Are Reshaping IT Efficiency (Samsung – deep dive on DDR & SSDs)
  • STO2496 – vSphere Storage Best Practices: Next-Gen Storage Technologies (EMC/Pure – don’t miss the Chad & Vaughn show)
  • TEX1985 – Lessons Learnt from a Real Life VSAN POC at Trend Micro (VMware/TrendMicro – any session with Cormac is a good one)
  • INF1273 – A Technical Deep Dive on Implementing Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA) VMware 5 Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) for DoD (SAIC – I’m a security geek)
  • INF1506 – Extreme Performance Series: vCenter Performance (VMware – sounds interesting)
  • VAPP2305 – Extreme Performance Series – Understanding Applications that Require Extra TLC for Better Performance on vSphere – Deep Dive (VMware – sounds interesting)
  • TEX1505 – How to Monitor a Virtual Machine Without a Direct Network Connection (VMware – obscure topic but sounds geeky)
  • NET2733 – Rack and Roll – Networking Automation and VMware NSX (VMware – not a big networking geek but the title caught my eye)
  • INF1552 – SDDC: Buzzword to Reality. Discussions with SDDC Architects that Goes Well Beyond Markitecture (VMware – it takes a lot of people to explain what SDDC is)
  • STO2197 – Storage DRS: Deep Dive and Best Practices (VMware – no Frank or Duncan but still might be good)
  • INF1601 – Taking Reporting and Command Line Automation to the Next Level with PowerCLI (VMware/customer – you have to see the PowerCLI masters, Alan & Luc)
  • MGT1876 – Troubleshooting With vCenter Operations Manager (Live Demo) (VMware – live demos are cool but can go easily go wrong)
  • STO3098 – Virtual SAN Best Practices for Monitoring and Troubleshooting (VMware – if you’re going to use VSAN, you better know how to fix it)
  • VAPP1340 – Virtualize Active Directory, the Right Way! (VMware/EMC – I spent years supporting AD and virtualizing it)
  • VAPP1204 – Virtualizing and Tuning Application Platforms with High Transactional Volume (VMware – sounds interesting)
  • SDDC2370 – Introduction to OpenStack for VMware Administrators (VMware – Scott Lowe session, has to be good)

I’m sure there are some more good ones that I’m missing. One thing is for sure trying to schedule all the sessions you like will be a challenge as there tends to be a lot of session time conflicts and then you are forced to choose between 2 (or more) good ones. Have fun scheduling and see you at VMworld!

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Jul 14 2014

New VSAN technical paper and book!

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There has been a ton of content available on VSAN from sources like blogs, videos, KB articles, etc. but surprisingly there have been very few technical papers (none?) from VMware on VSAN unless you want to count the What’s New in VMware VSAN paper that VMware published back in February. Well VMware has just ended their VSAN technical paper drought with a new one entitled “Understanding Data Locality in VMware Virtual SAN“. What is Data Locality you might ask, according to the paper it is:

“In computer science, “data locality”, also known, as ”locality of reference” is the behavior of computer programs according to which a workload accesses a set of data entities or storage locations within some period of time with a predictable access pattern.”

With VSAN what this means is how VSAN makes effective use of it’s caching mechanism. The paper mainly explains how read caching works in VSAN and how you can also combine it with the Content-Based Read Cache that caches from RAM which works with VMware Horizon View. I always like deep dives on technology and this paper gives you a real good understanding of one of VSAN’s best features.

Once you finish reading the paper if you are thirsting for even more VSAN knowledge be sure to check out Duncan & Cormac’s new VSAN book which is available in the Kindle edition today and in paperback form in a month.

essential-vsan
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Jul 14 2014

Want to go to VMworld? Of course you do, SimpliVity can get you there!

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If you are involved with VMware technology then going to VMworld is like a kid going to Disneyland. I don’t know of anyone that wouldn’t want to go to VMworld, but unfortunately that requires money and many companies can’t afford to send people as the combination of the conference fee ($1995) and travel can almost cost as much or more than the conference fee especially with the outrageously priced hotels in San Francisco.

Well if you want to go and can’t afford to, SimpliVity might be able to get you there. SimpliVity is giving out TWO free passes to VMworld 2014, and even better each is accompanied by a travel stipend to help cover your travel expenses.  If you are one of the lucky winners, you also will have the choice to attend either VMworld 2014 venue:

San Francisco – Aug 24-28

OR

Barcelona – October 14-16

So even if you are already going to VMworld San Francisco, you could also go to VMworld in lovely Barcelona, Spain. SimpliVity will be announcing winners Friday, July 18th and Friday, July 25th on Twitter so make sure you are following them. Head on over to this page and fill out the simple form for your chance to win!

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