Esiebert7625

Author's details

Name: Eric Siebert
Date registered: April 27, 2009

Latest posts

  1. vSphere 7.0 Link-O-Rama — March 10, 2020
  2. VMware announces vSphere 7.0: Here’s what you need to know — March 10, 2020
  3. Top vBlog 2020 starting soon, make sure your site is included — March 4, 2020
  4. Will there be a VMworld event this year? — February 28, 2020
  5. Sign up now for VMware’s big launch announcement on 3/10 — February 14, 2020

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Sep 11 2019

My thoughts and observations on VMworld 2019

Another year, another VMworld, this one being #12 for me, wow has it really been 12 years of going to VMworld. I’ve never in my professional career gone to any conference that many times. I think that is a largely a testament to how relevant VMware has managed to stay in the ever changing IT landscape that they have made all the right moves to stay fresh and competitive. This VMworld might have been called Containerworld instead with all the announcements and focus that VMworld has put into their container strategy, but more on that in a bit. As usual the event goes by all too fast but I have to admit overall this was probably one of the most enjoyable VMworld’s that I’ve been too in a long while. Seeing old friends and hanging out with them is always a highlight for me and making new friends always is great as well. So let’s get on with my thoughts and observations from VMworld 2019:

Before I dive in I first wanted to highlight this cool VMworld infographic made by my good buddy David Marshall.

The Location

After a 3 year run in Las Vegas, VMworld has finally and inevitably moved back to San Francisco having mainly moved because of construction and renovations being doing at Moscone Center the past few years. Now San Francisco has some cool things to see and do but the area around Moscone isn’t all that great. The big issues with it are the very expensive hotel rooms ($350+/night), less centrally located (caters to the western crowd) and the big one dealing with all the crap on the street and the homeless crowd. Also everything in SF shuts down way early, by 10pm everything around Moscone is super quiet which is a sharp contrast to Vegas where you can go all night every night. Everyone I talked to did not like VMworld being back in SF one bit and would prefer it being in Vegas which is much better equipped to handle large conferences. I know it is more convenient for VMware being in the bay area but is it far less convenient for the people that matter the most, the attendees. I really hope VMware shifts it back to Vegas at some point as VMworld 2020 is back in San Francisco.

How many people attended VMworld?

According to VMware around 20,000 which puts it about the same or a bit less than last year. However it felt like there was less people there, again it may have been the whole back in SF thing which is a turn off for many. VMworld attendance peaked in 2014 at 26,000, it was at 23,000 in 2015 and 2016 and then dropped off from there. While this number is a good general indicator of how popular an event is the number that matters is how many of that 20,000 are VMware staff, vendors, press, analysts, partners and customers. Unfortunately only VMware knows that percentage mix. Suffice it to say VMworld still draws a good number of people, for comparison sake Cisco Live draws 30,000, Amazon re:Invent draws 50,000, Oracle OpenWorld draws 60,000 and SalesForce DreamForce draws 170,000. I have no idea how you fit 170,000 people in San Fransisco when 20,000 seems rather crowded.

What was announced at VMworld?

If you were hoping to tune in hearing about the next version of vSphere, this wasn’t the conference for you. Instead VMware focused all of their announcement around their latest acquisitions and container strategy with Kubernetes. Right off the bat on Day 1 Pat announced Project Tanzu in the keynote, Project Tanzu by itself isn’t really a product, it is basically a new brand name for VMware’s container app portfolio that is categorized into the typical container buckets of Build, Run and Manage. Within those buckets reside much of VMware’s new products and acquisitions.

The Build bucket of Tanzu consists of VMware PKS, Pivotal, Bitnami and Heptio. These are all mostly acquisitions VMware has made with the Pivotal one still pending. This will provide VMware with a huge existing install base of Kubernetes apps and services that they can further integrate into their portfolio.

The Run bucket consists mainly of another new announcement, Project Pacific which basically embeds support for Kubernetes directly into vSphere. This is a big announcement as this time around VMware isn’t taking the spin-off or bolt on approach to containers like they did with Photon or vSphere Integrated Containers. This is full blown embedded directly into the core vSphere products much like they did with vSAN. Essentially it introduces the concept of Kubernetes Namespaces as an object in vSphere that can be managed right alongside traditional VMs, see below:

There is a good demo of this in the day 2 keynote. VMware also is claiming their is not performance tax for running Kubernetes inside of vSphere and that it is actually 8% faster then running it on bare metal. This support is currently a tech preview so it’s unknown which version of vSphere it will appear in but I’m guessing VMware wants to deliver this as soon as possible.

The Manage bucket consists of another new announcement, Tanzu Mission Control which a SaaS offering that will enable a single point of control to manage any Kubernetes cluster no matter where it is running. There is more to the Manage strategy then that as vRealize, CloudHealth and some other tools are also in that bucket.

In addition VMware showed off Project Magna which is yet another SaaS solution that use AI/ML to collect data in a vast VMware data lake, learn from it and allow it to self-optimize and self-tune your environment for you. This will be integrated into vROPs and the first iteration of it appears to only support vSAN although I assume it will support any storage at some point.

Combined this is a lot of new stuff that VMware is implementing and integrating into their portfolio, it makes sense from a strategic direction but you have to wonder how much more complexity and inter-dependency that this introduces into their product portfolio. Being a vSphere admin is way more complicated these days with clouds and containers in the mix when contrasted to the early days when you only had to worry about ESX & Virtual Center.

VMware also quietly announced new versions of their vRealize Suite (8.0) as well.

VMware Tanzu:

Project Pacific:

Project Tanzu Mission Control:

Project Magna:

How were the General Sessions?

I stopped attending the General Sessions live years ago and just watch it from my hotel via the live stream. Historically for me VMworld has had some good years and some bland years with their General Sessions. They definitely are different now compared to many years ago back in the Stephen Herrod days. That said I thought this years were about in the middle between good and bland. Day 1 with Pat Gelsinger largely featured all the Tanzu announcements and then followed up with cloud and networking announcements and customer interviews. It may just be me but I find customer interviews in keynotes extremely boring. You can watch the day 1 keynote here.

The Day 2 keynote mostly featured Ray O’Farrell who talked through a made up company, Tanzu Tees that had IT challenges but have no fear, VMware to the rescue. It was a decent demonstration of everything they announced on Day 1 including Project Pacific, Tanzu Mission Control, Magna and more. Near the end they brought out Greg Lavender who talked about Bitfusion and ARM stuff. At the end Pat Gelsinger announced Ray O’Farrell is the new leader of the Cloud Native NU and that Greg Lavender is the new CTO. I really like Ray, he reminds me of a kind, patient grandpa who is a great storyteller, we’ll have to see how Greg does in that prominent position.

How were the Breakout Sessions?

I actually didn’t sign up for many this year knowing that there was a 99% chance that I wouldn’t attend them at the event. I did attend (and present) a few key ones. I went to the vVols technical deep dive session by Jason Massae that has run for the last 5 years. The were a good amount of people there but attendance seemed about half of last year. As this session is largely similar content each year I imagine some people don’t repeat this session year after year.

I also went to the vVols & SRM tech preview session that featured Velina Krestava who is the product manager for SRM and a presentitive from both Pure and HPE who are the only partners that support vVols replication to this day. This was a great session that was mostly full, Velina did a great job presenting and Cody & Bharath brought the vVols energy. There seemed to be a lot of interest in SRM support for vVols as expected because failover without SRM is a bit complicated.

I also was in the vVols industry tech panel which featured myself representing HPE, Andy Banta representing NetApp, Cody Hosterman representing Pure and Karl Owen representing Dell/EMC. The session was mostly Q&A and we had plenty of questions and comments in the room, also present was Bryan Young, the PM for vVols and Howard Marks, professional vVols heckler which made it interesting and fun.

I’ll watch everything I missed via the VMworld On-Demand Library, unfortunately VMware has not made any sessions public this year, so you need a login to watch the sessions. They appear to be gated pretty well with authentication required for direct links to the videos although I was able to use Curl to download them to my PC once I authenticated with the site.

What was going on in the Solutions Exchange?

The usual stuff, being back in Moscone the layout was good and it was very roomy. The VMware booth was positioned in the middle towards the back. Overall it seemed pretty busy in there every time I was in there, the welcome reception was pretty busy but the food this year wasn’t all that great. Speaking of food as usual the lunches provided during the event were those dreadful box lunches with processed lunch meat (below), I couldn’t eat them so I just ate out every day.

As far as booths go, overall it seemed like less bling and flashy then last year. Rubrik went big and flashy as usual with a 2nd booth again as a basketball court. Cohesity went big as well, Google Cloud had a prominent presence this year and a cool looking booth. The HPE booth which I helped with planning really popped this year. We had a cool military Polaris vehicle from SAIC in there and also a football theme going which culminated with Joe Montana appearing in the booth during the Hall Crawl. I was able to spend some time with Joe in the green room before he came out and he was very laid back and easy to talk to. Here’s a few pics from the Solutions Exchange.

vExpert Activities

VMware of course does a great job of coordinating activities for vExperts at VMworld, the marquis one being the vExpert party that Pat Gelsinger traditionally attends. The party was held at SPIN which is a ping pong bar close to Moscone and it was a great time as usual. Whenever Pat shows up he always get swarmed for pics but he’s a great sport and very easy to talk to. VMware also had a swag bag giveaway for vExperts which included a Raspberry Pi. There was also a few vendors still supporting the vExpert program, both Cohesity and Datrium had vExpert giveaways so thank you very much for that.

How about the parties?

There was definitely a lot less parties it seemed like, I think being in SF makes it harder to find party venues as well as more costly to throw parties. But there were still some parties that you could always find somewhere to go to each evening. On Sunday there was the annual VMunderground party which I attended, it was good to see a lot of old friends there. I went pretty light on parties this year, using a lot of the time to hang out with old friends, the only others parties I attended were the HyTrust party at the Press Club, the vExpert party and the VMworld Fest party.

The VMworld Fest shot up on my priority list once I found out Billy Idol was performing before One Republic. I love 80’s bands so that one was a must see for me. The VMworld Fest was a few blocks away at a a big auditorium, there was initially a huge line to get in as they has metal detectors and badge scanners at the front entrance. The line moved fairly fast though, the party was partly outside and inside where the band played. The auditorium had a large area in front of the stage where people can stand and seating all around that and up. I got there just in time to see Billy Idol and he was totally awesome, he’s very high energy and quite a showman and played all of his hits. After he played I went outside for beers and stogies with friends.

After the party Bob Plankers, Jason Boche and I went back around the Marriott and smoked some stogies around back. We ran across Keith Norbie who was on a mission to make a beer run, on his way back I tagged along with him back to Andy Banta’s room where a lively Cards Against Humanity party was in progress. It was great hanging out there with old friends such as Howards Marks, Josh Atwell, Tim Antonowicz and Damian Karlson.

Final Thoughts

As I stated earlier I thought this was one of the more enjoyable VMworld’s for a variety of reasons. I had some great times with old friends, overall the event was well executed despite being in SF, the networking was great and we did a lot around vVols (separate post on that coming). VMware had a lot to talk about on the container side which is really going to take vSphere in a new direction and it will be interesting to see how all that pans out. One thing is for sure, I better start brushing up on my Kubernetes knowledge, vSphere admins should as well as at some point they may become container admins as well. vSphere is getting a lot more complicated bringing more products and integrations into the mix which could have some potential downsides but as usual we’ll have to roll with the changes and adapt to it. Now that I’m back home and mostly caught up with the impact of being out a week it’s time to start watching the session replays and absorbing all that content. Overall it was a great event as usual and I look forward to the next one.

And here are some more pics:

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Aug 02 2019

Here we go again: the correct case for VVols is now vVols

VMware loves their acronyms and through the years has constantly changed the format for them from upper to lower case. vSAN has gone from VSAN to vSAN and now according to VMware the correct case for abbreviating VVols is vVols. It’s always frustrating when VMware does this, especially if you are a vendor and have to update a lot of different things when this happens. It’s especially frustrating this time because VMware originally had it as VVols and then they switched to vVols and then they switched back to VVols which it has been since 2016 and now they are going back to vVols. So if you want to be politically correct go search and replace as from this day forward it’s now vVols (until they change it again).

Wanted to highlight a comment and tweet from Lee Caswell as context around this:

Important!

Author: Lee L Caswell
Comment:
You’re right. confusing.  But now that we’re finally doubling down on Virtual Volumes marketing we’re going to standardize.
FWIW – vSAN was renamed because naming was all over the map.  Here are the simple reasons we changed it:
– VMware vSAN could be and is now trademarked
– vSAN with a small indicates alignment with vSphere and vCenter
– vSAN replaced “Virtual SAN” which was retired forever as it is not trademarked and is used by others
Since that decision, we’ve crushed search engine optimization with consistent application of a name and marketing backed by $$$ and determination.
We’re coming at Virtual Volumes with the same enthusiasm so strap in.  For fun there’s a twitter poll here which will be one input:
Lee

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Jul 23 2019

Happy SysAdmin Day – Reflections of a former SysAdmin

The annual SysAdmin day is on July 26nd so I thought I would do a quick post reflecting on my time as a SysAdmin. I spent over 20 years as a SysAdmin, 18 of those years was with one medium sized company. Over the years of being a SysAdmin I have worked in my different areas including Windows Server, OS/2, Novell Netware, Lotus Domino, WebSphere, SQL, Oracle, IIS, Apache, Weblogic and more. Being a SysAdmin is what also introduced me to virtualization back in the early days of ESX 2.5.

Being a SysAdmin is a tough and thankless job, you are always in the hot seat if anything fails or doesn’t work properly and you are frequently on-call and have to be willing to work at a moments notice on weekends and at nights. It can also be a rewarding job as you are also largely responsible for the infrastructure that allows a business to function properly, especially in today’s world where tech is everywhere and any failure can have big impacts on a business’s operations.

As I reflect on the transition from SysAdmin to working for a vendor it’s something I never thought about doing as a SysAdmin, it took some convincing to enable me to say yes to go work for a vendor. Looking back it was the best decision I ever made though as working for a vendor has it’s own rewards and gives you a different perspective being on the other side working directly with the technologies that you were previously installing and administering.

Probably my only regret is not having considered doing it sooner, I certainly don’t miss being on call one bit. I know others who have made the transition as well. It’s not an easy choice as it’s a whole different role typically at a big company and leaving your comfort zone can be very difficult. However the end result is advancing your career, many times being a SysAdmin can be a dead end job with no potential for advancement. Don’t get me wrong though as being a SysAdmin is very valuable career experience, you just need to know when to make an exit when the time is right.

Making the jump to working for a vendor can open up endless new possibilities for your career. So if you are a SysAdmin right now consider what’s next, everyone I know has been extremely thankful that they did it and don’t worry if you don’t have the right experience. I went into a Solutions Marketing role despite not having any marketing experience at all. You’ll learn and grow the right skill sets as you go. Many people start off in tech marketing which is a good transition point from being a SysAdmin as it’s still a very technical hands on role. From there you can look at evolving into other roles such as product management.

I’ve personally been through the transition and also a good buddy of mine Bob Plankers was at that same decision point not too long ago. Like me he spent well over 20 years working in IT at a university, he took some convincing as well to make the jump to go work for VMware and I’ve confident to say he’s probably very happy with that decision.

So to all the SysAdmin’s out there, keep up the great work keeping critical infrastructure running smoothly, but also look to the future and decide what path your career will take down the road. If you are a SysAdmin, one of my sponsors, Vembu is doing a quick survey in celebration of SysAdmin day where you can win Amazon gift vouchers for sharing your opinion with them.

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Jul 22 2019

VVols at VMworld

Last week I wrote about the numbers around the sessions at VMworld, outlining how many sessions were specific to certain keywords. This year again the content catalog is dominated by vSAN sessions. Every year I’m hopeful we’ll see more VVols related content at VMworld as VVols usually gets lost in the noise that VMware makes around vSAN. As far as VVols content goes this year at VMworld, there is slightly more than last year year with VMware doing a few VVols sessions and then it’s up to the partners to do their own session to promote their VVols solutions. It’s a shame that only 2 partners (HPE & Pure) are doing just that, we need more partners talking about VVols to drive greater awareness.

Here’s what’s in the content catalog right now that you can sign up for:

I’ll start with the one that I am doing, it’s a sponsor session as all my VVols submissions were not accepted this year. Being a sponsor session doesn’t mean it will be a marketing session, if I’m presenting I always keep it technical and educational. The session does cover a combination of topics though, VVols will be 1/3 of it, it will also cover the new HPE Primera array and Nimble dHCI from a technical perspective.


This one is the traditional VVols technical deep dive session that VMware has done every year at VMworld. Patrick Dirks and Pete Flecha have retired from it though and are replaced by Jason Massae and one of the VVols engineers. It will definitely be a good technical overview on VVols, I’ve seen some of Jason’s slides and they do a great job describing the VVols architecture so if you’re new to VVols you’ll want to attend this session. If you are experienced with VVols you may not get a lot from this session as not much has changed from last year but you’ll still probably benefit from this session.


This next one is also a sponsor session from Pure Storage, but it’s being presented by Cody Hosterman so I think I can confidently say it will definitely be a good technical and educational session. In this session Cody will answer the burning question, why should you use VVols? I think this is one of the biggest barriers to VVols adoption, the general lack of understanding of what VVols will get you over VMFS. There are many reasons that you should use VVols and from my experience once users learn about the benefits they get excited to try it out. So if you don’t understand the benefits of VVols attend this session!


Everyone hates using RDMs but you pretty much have to if you have an application that requires multiple VMs using a shared disk like MSCS. Starting with vSphere 6.7 VVols can replace the need to use RDMs as VVols now support persistent SCSI reservations. For customers with existing RDMs that want to migrate them to VVols it is possible but takes a few steps to complete the migration. This short (15 min) VMTN session will wlak you through the process of doing that.


This session from Bryan Young, VMware’s Product Manager for core storage covers an overview of external storage options for vSphere which includes VVols. Since it also covers VMFS/NFS I’m hoping Bryan will make the distinction between VVols & VMFS/NFS to inspire customers to get out of their comfort zone and give VVols serious consideration.


Next up is an exciting one, SRM support for VVols is here! Well almost here, it’s close enough that VMware is confident to show it off as a tech preview. I’ve been working with VMware on this one and I think I’ll be participating in this session. Don’t miss this one as you’ll get to see how SRM will work with SPBM to orchestrate VVols replication, that means no more SRAs!


This next VVols session is from VMware’s Global Support Services (GSS) and if you needed further convincing why you should migrate to VVols this session will provide it with real world example comparisons to VMFS/NFS. I’m guessing VVols wins hands down here but attend for your self to hear why and see why the future is right now.


Next we have a VVols partner panel session led by Jason Massae from VMware that I’ll be participating in where we’ll talk about customer success stories with VVols, deployment strategies and best practices. Come out and meet the VVols evangelists!


Finally there are some expert led and self paced labs on VVols, the expert led you have to schedule at a specific time but the self paced ones you can take anytime. Go give VVols a test drive!

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Jul 17 2019

VMworld 2019 sessions by the numbers

While looking through the content catalog I thought I would do some searches to see the number of sessions focused on specific products/solutions based on keywords. My observations on the numbers below are the # of sponsor sessions are very small, of the remaining sessions it’s unknown how many came through the public CFP but that’s typically a very small amount.

Technical sessions are the most popular by far making up almost 90% of the session types at VMworld, business level sessions tend to not do to well at VMworld as the audience tends to be made of of mostly technical job roles. vSAN dominates the storage sessions, Kubernetes dominates the container sessions and AWS dominates the cloud sessions. About 20% of the sessions are deep dive type sessions which tend to be very popular.

If you are registered for VMworld, the Schedule Builder opened up yesterday so you can now start scheduling sessions. I’ll be posting my list of interesting sessions soon.

General stats:

  • Total Breakout Sessions – 523
    • Total Sponsor Sessions – 36
    • Total Sessions with VMware Only Speaker(s) – 378
    • Total Sessions with VMware and non-VMware Speaker(s) – 90
    • Total Technical 100 Sessions – 119
    • Total Technical 200 Sessions – 206
    • Total Technical 300 Sessions – 141
    • Total Business 100 Sessions – 32
    • Total Business 200 Sessions – 25
  • Total HOLs (Expert led) – 52
  • Total HOLs (Self paced) – 78
  • Total Panel Discussions – 36

Searches based on keywords:

  • Total “Storage” sessions – 50
  • Total “vSAN” sessions – 105
  • Total “VVols” sessions – 6
  • Total “Hyperconverged” sessions – 68
  • Total “vxRail” sessions – 22
  • Total “Cloud” sessions – 200
  • Total “AWS” sessions – 112
  • Total “Google” sessions – 7
  • Total “Container” sessions – 41
  • Total “Kubernetes” sessions – 41
  • Total “Database” sessions – 17
  • Total “Oracle” sessions – 14
  • Total “SQL” sessions – 10
  • Total “SAP” sessions – 12
  • Total “Networking” sessions – 111
  • Total “NSX” sessions – 116
  • Total “Backup” sessions – 18
  • Total “Data Protection” sessions – 9
  • Total “Deep Dive” sessions – 98
  • Total “VDI” sessions – 14
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Jun 26 2019

Finally! A VVols customer case study

I wrote an update on VVols adoption a few months ago and predicted 2019 would be the year that VVols adoption would accelerate due to a number of reasons. One key thing I called out that is critical to any new technology going mainstream is the need for customer case studies as most customers (non-early adopters) always look to their peers to see what they are doing before migrating to new technologies. To this date I have not seen ANY case studies that features VVols either from VMware or it’s storage partners despite VVols being around for over 4 years.

Well I’m happy to announce the very first that I know of case study on VVols featuring a major electric company in Turkey, this one just kind of fell in my lap out of the blue and I was involved in the customer interview and review process. It would be great to see more of these from other partners and from VMware as the more of these that are out there will help instill confidence in customers looking to try VVols that it is a mature and proven architecture.

I did talk to many customers about VVols at HPE Discover, I had a demo station and 2 sessions that covered VVols. Every customer I talked to once they understood the benefits they were definitely going to try it out. I had one partner tell me about a customer of his that bought 2 arrays for VVols only to learn that sync replication isn’t currently support with VVols (roadmap). The customer was dismayed at that but they loved VVols so much that rather then switch back to VMFS they implemented an alternate resiliency solution instead.

Promoting VVols is something I am always trying to do both internally, here on this blog and trying to get VMware to help as well. You never really hear VVols mentioned at events at the executive level such as in keynotes. I was thrilled to see that in our CEO Antonio Neri’s keynote at HPE Discover with our VP of Hybrid IT Phil Davis they were talking about relationship with VMware and specifically called VVols as a key integration for us (recording link here at 1:08m time). I had an analyst come up to me later when he heard that wanting to know all about our VVols integration.

Hopefully we start to see more of these case studies and more executives talking about VVols as I believe VVols adoption is building momentum right now and anything we can do to help speed it up will help it get to be mainstream faster.

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Jun 06 2019

Going to HPE Discover? Come see my session on VMware & VVols and stop by our VMware demo

I’ve had a dry spell of going to HPE Discover largely because we haven’t had a VMware demo the last few years. Well that all changed this year as we have a dedicated VMware & VVols demo and also a breakout session. So if you are attending HPE Discover sign up for my session on Wed. from 3:00-4:00pm and we’ll give you the latest update on VVols and what we are doing with all of our VMware integration. Also feel free to stop by the VMware demo anytime for some one on one VMware discussions.

In addition to the breakout session and demo I’ll also be doing an Ask the Expert session on VVols at 11:30 on Thursday in the theater in the Cloud Zone  (demo 1803).

Hope to see you there!

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Jun 03 2019

VMware releases new Photon OS based SRM appliance

Last year I wrote about the Photon OS based SRM appliance that was coming in the next big SRM release to replace the traditional Windows based model and now it’s finally here as part of SRM 8.2 that was released last month. My post from last year was based on the tech preview that VMware did at VMworld of the new appliance in the SRM session. I’ve been working closely with VMware on the SRM 8.2 release as the Product Manager for our 3PAR SRA so I’ve been pretty close to the engineering work that we had to do to transition from a Windows based SRA to a Linux based SRA that is deployed within a docker container.

Beginning with SRM 8.2 you can now deploy SRM a lot easier as a virtual appliance that is based on VMware’s Photon OS, so no more Windows. There are several benefits to this including cost savings (not licensing Windows), simplicity (easier install/manageability), security (less attack vectors) and consistency (pre-built appliance). The appliance uses Photon OS which runs the SRM server application and then a Docker instance for vendor specific SRA’s as you can see in the below figure.

The specifications for SRA’s basically remains the same as their is no real functionality difference here with the only difference being mainly the packaging of the SRA. There is some new metadata requirements and entry point locations specific to commands, locations and permissions within the Docker container. The Docker images contain the vendor SRA application and all the libraries and dependencies that it needs to run on Linux.

SRM 8.2 supports both the new Photon OS based virtual appliance and the existing Windows deployment models however I’ve heard that VMware is going to be pretty aggressive about deprecating the Windows version. For Windows SRA’s in 8.2 nothing really changes, storage array vendors should have SRA’s for both models with 8.2 but the same Windows SRA’s you previously used will work with 8.2. The process to install SRA’s is basically the same, download it from either the vendor or VMware site and then upload it inside the SRM interface.

The big question for existing SRM customers is how you will migrate from an existing Windows based SRM environment to the new Photon OS. To do an in place migration your Windows based SRM environment must be upgraded to the Windows based SRM 8.2 version. The only supported SRM versions to directly upgrade to SRM 8.2 are 6.5, 6.5.1, 8.1.1 and 8.1.2. If you are running SRM 6.1.2 you must first upgrade to SRM 8.1.1 and then to SRM 8.2. If you are running an a version older then 6.1.2 you must first upgrade to 6.1.2 before going to 8.1.1. This can result in a lot of upgrades to get to 8.2, you can see the supported upgrade paths by version at the VMware Product Interoperability Matrices which is also shown below.

When you’re ready to upgrade read through the SRM 8.2 Installation and Configuration documentation which shows the steps once you have upgraded your Windows SRM to version 8.2. You will need to first deploy the Photon OS SRM virtual appliance and then you run some command line scripts to export your existing configuration data from Windows and then import it into the Photon OS appliance. Finally you need to install the new SRA’s and then reconnect it to the second site. You can optionally migrate back to the Windows SRM if something doesn’t work out by simply powering off the Photon OS appliance, powering back on the Windows SRM and then reconnecting to the second site.

Before you upgrade though its very important you make sure your storage vendor support the Photon OS SRA, as of right now not many vendors do. You can check this at the SRM Compatibility Guide by selecting version 8.2 and it will then show an OS type in the listings (Windows/Photon) as show below. I know HPE 3PAR & Nimble both had day 0 support for Photon and taking a quick look right now it appears only 3 other vendors support it (Dell/EMC, Pivot3 & Pure). Also remember that 8.2 support doesn’t mean Photon support unless specifically indicated.

SRM 8.2 contains some additional enhancements as well which are shown below and I know VMware has worked very hard on this release as they prepare to take on VVols support next.

Below are some additional links to help get you started with the new SRM 8.2 Photon OS based virtual appliance.

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