October 2016 archive

Want to win a sweet kit for your home lab?

I know I do, my home lab is getting pretty dated and takes up a lot of space, well here’s your chance to win one courtesy of Turbonomic. I’ve previously written about the TurboStack which is based on the Intel NUC which is a small form factor PC packing a lot of computing muscle. Turbonomic continues to giveaway one of these sweet rigs valued at over $1300 every month so you have plenty of chances to win one. The TurboStack is a complete home lab solution and includes the Intel NUC with a dual core i5 CPU and 16GB RAM, also included are a Synology DS916+ 4-Bay NAS unit, spinning and SSD drives and a Cisco SG300 10-port Gigabit managed switch. All combined this provides you everything you need for a home lab that is quiet and will not take up a lot of room. For software the TurboStack is built on the OpenStack Juno build and also includes a full NFR License to Turbonomic 5.5.

So how do you win one, it’s simple, just watch a short video and fill out an entry form. For 3 minutes of your time you have a chance to win an awesome kit and also learn what Turbonomic is all about.


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Who were the best vendors at VMworld 2016?

Every year since 2007 TechTarget does their Best of VMworld awards which highlights the best vendors at the show within specific categories as chosen by a panel of independent judges (non-vendor). I’m always curious to see who receives the top honors at these events as it often highlights vendors I may not of head of before. As a former judge myself for several years I know the process that goes into making the selections and always felt it helped me learn more about the many innovative vendors in the VMware ecosystem.

Vendors have to nominate themselves to be eligible for consideration by filling out a form on Tech Target’s website before the show. Judges are picked from an independent pool of customers and VARs and then assigned to a specific category. Judges then review the vendors in their category before the event and often pre-judge to shrink down the number that they have to visit at the show. There is a list of rules and criteria for consideration when trying to determine which vendors are the best. During the show judges visit a select group of vendors to ask questions and find out more about a vendors product that was nominated. Judges then meet together and discuss their picks as the best vendors for each category and then also pick one vendor from the category winners to be chosen as overall Best in Show.

Before I list the winners of each category I wanted to give my perspective on these awards. If you look historically at past winners each year you typically won’t see big name vendors like IBM, EMC and Symantec, etc. winning these awards. The reason for that is these awards tend to be about uncovering those innovative smaller companies that are doing things uniquely and outside the box. I’m not saying big companies can’t innovate but startups often bring fresh ideas and perspectives to doing things in a way that nobody has ever tried before. They are not afraid about taking risks and going against the status quo and solving a problem in a whole new way.

I judged the security category each year that I did it and some of my picks for the winner of that category were companies like HyTrust and Reflex Systems. I knew right away when I talked to these vendors and saw their products that they were something special. Sometimes it’s not so easy though as there are so many vendors with great products in the VMware ecosystem and a lot of small startups all with their own ideas trying to capitalize on the opportunity that virtualization has brought about for new products. At the end of the day though the judges make their choices no matter how easy or difficult that decision is and based on their opinions the best vendors at VMworld are chosen.

So here are the winners this year, one hiccup this year, Cohesity DataProtect 3.0 was originally chosen as the winner for Data Protection but then was later found ineligible as the product release that they were being judged on was not released yet which is a requirement for being eligible. As a result the two finalists were chosen as co-winners in that category.

Category winners:

  • Data Protection – Co-Winner: StorageCraft ShadowProtect SPX  Co-Winner: Rubrik Firefly 3.0
  • Workload Management & MigrationEmbotics vCommander 5.7.2  (Finalists: Velostrata 2.0 and ExtraHop Networks)
  • SecurityShavlik Protect  (Finalists: Thycotic Secret Server and GuardiCore Centra Security Platform)
  • Virtualization & Cloud InfrastructureNVIDIA GRID with Horizon 7  (Finalists: Nutanix Xpress and Actifio Sky)
  • Desktop & Application DeliveryWorkspot VDI 2.0 Solution  (Finalists: Unidesk 4 and Citrix Secure Browser)
  • Networking & VirtualizationVeloCloud Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN  (Finalists: Paessler PRTG Network Monitor and  VMware vRealize Network Insight)
  • Agility & AutomationTufin Orchestration Suite  (Finalists: Quali CloudShell Cloud Sandbox Software)
  • Judge’s Choice Disruptive TechnologyLakeside Software Ask SysTrack
  • Judge’s Choice Startup SpotlightStacksWare

And chosen as Best in Show which is the top honor is Tufin Orchestration Suite

Congrats to all the winners this year! If you are interested in seeing past years winners you can view them here:

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Knock, knock – Who’s there – Vembu – Vembu who?

Vembu VMBackup for vSphere, that’s who.

I’ll be honest, when a data protection company called Vembu reached out to me last month I have to admit I had not heard of them before. Despite working neck deep in the virtualization world for the last 10 years and have attended every VMworld the last 9 years Vembu is a company I had never heard mentioned. A big part of the reason for that is Vembu is based out of India and initially focused on the managed service provider (MSP) market by providing their StoreGrid software for MSPs to white-label and re-brand to offer as a service to customers. Even ESG has declared Vembu as “The Biggest Little Data Protection Company You Probably Haven’t Heard Of (Yet)”.

Vembu has actually been around for over 12 years and I’m going to tell you a little bit about them. Vembu is a privately held data protection company based in India who recently opened an office in Texas and is now trying to expand their presence to the customer segment. To that end in late 2014, they shifted focus from the MSP market to developing their BDR Suite which is a collection of products meant for on-premise, offsite, cloud backup and disaster recovery across diverse IT environments including physical, virtual, applications and endpoints.

The Vembu BDR Suite caters to the backup needs of the modern data center running VMware/Hyper-V (Vembu VMBackup) as well as physical Windows IT environments (Vembu ImageBackup). They continue to provide all the features of Vembu StoreGrid under the Vembu NetworkBackup product name which is also part of Vembu BDR Suite.  They have a couple of products for VMware environments which includes VMBackup for VMware, OffsiteDR for VMware and BDR360 for VMware. VMBackup for VMware has pretty much everything you would expect a backup application to have and more such as:

  • Agentless VMware Image Backup
  • VM Replication for High Availability
  • VMware Hot-Add and SAN transport mode for LAN free data transfer
  • CBT enabled incremental data transfer using VMware VADP
  • Supports VMware vSphere v6 which includes VMware Virtual Volumes and Virtual SAN
  • Quick VM Recovery
  • Application-Aware Image Backups
  • VembuHIVE File System, a File System of File Systems for efficient backup storage
  • Flexible & Configurable Retention Policies
  • Vembu Universal Explorer for Microsoft Exchange, SQL, Active Directory and SharePoint

They also provide value added features such as automated backup verification, quick VM recovery from backup, instant file level recovery with Universal Explorer, building Virtual Labs from Storage Repositories and Cross Hypervisor Migration (V2V). Sounds like a whole lot of great stuff for a backup application to have, well wait until you see their pricing which they post right on their website.

Most everything is licensed per host CPU socket, VMBackup for VMware is only $360 per CPU socket/annum. If you want to use their OffsiteDR for VMware to your own data center it’s only $90 per CPU socket/annum or CloudDR for VMware to the Vembu Cloud is only $0.20 per GB/month. In addition to data protection they also offer BDR360 for VMware which provides centralized monitoring & management for only $60 per CPU socket/annum.

So if you’re in the market for an affordable data protection solution I’d highly recommend you give Vembu a serious look. To help you out I’ve included a few links below to get you started:

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