Jul 05 2016

Infinio Accelerator 3.0 – now supercharged with VAIO

Infinio just released version 3.0 of their Accelerator product which uses server-side host caching to accelerate storage operations. This is a milestone release for Infinio as they are now leveraging the vSphere APIs for I/O Filtering (VAIO) which were introduced in vSphere 6. VAIO is to storage I/O much as the VMsafe APIs introduced years ago was to host networking traffic as it allows 3rd party products to reside directly inline with storage I/O via vmKernel interfaces instead of trying to intercept I/O through more bolt-on external interfaces. Infinio Accelerator 3.0 also has some other great new features but let’s first start with a deep dive on VAIO so you can better understand why this is a big deal.

The vSphere APIs for I/O Filtering were announced at VMworld in 2014 and later quietly introduced in vSphere 6 Update 1. I say quietly as you probably didn’t hear a lot of noise from VMware on this as it’s more an under the covers enabler for 3rd party vendors and not a flashy new vSphere feature. Don’t take that quiet introduction though as an indicator of how important this new feature is, it’s a big deal and a powerful enabler for any product that interacts with storage I/O in vSphere.

To give you a better understanding of what VAIO is all about I’m going to summarize a post that VMware did last year that does a good job of explaining it. As I mentioned VAIO is not really a feature, it’s an API framework built into vSphere similar to other storage APIs such as VAAI, VASA, VADP, etc. that allows 3rd party applications to interact with the storage I/O stream at the VM level in a certified and integrated manner. Prior to VAIO vendors had to get creative with how they tapped into storage I/O by doing things like sitting inline via a virtual appliance through storage I/O traffic. Because it is integrated into vSphere it can also be managed and applied via the vSphere Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM) engine that is used with VSAN and VVols.

The benefits of this are it allows for much more efficient interaction with I/O, it also simplifies and standardizes how vendors interact with I/O and it is easier to manage overall. The real advantage of VAIO is for applications that interact with I/O close to the host and it’s VM’s which includes uses cases such as host based caching and replication applications that need to work as close as possible to the source of the I/O. With applications and hardware that operate near the end of the I/O stream their is less of an advantage and not many use cases, this would essentially include SAN and NAS devices as they are much more distant from where the filtering occurs.

Some additional use cases would be to any type of security application, such as malware scanners that need to scan I/O in real time. In addition an application that needs to encrypt data would be another good use case for VAIO. Essentially think of it like this, any application that needs to stop and look at each I/O as it leaves or enters a VM and then do something with that I/O (encrypt, replicate, scan, cache) is a good use case for VAIO. It’s important to note though that with the first release of VAIO (ESXi 6.0 U1) only caching and replication use cases are officially supported. VMware will probably certify other use cases in future vSphere releases.

So let’s now take a closer look at where the I/O filtering occurs with VAIO. So normally storage I/O initiates at the VM’s virtual SCSI device (User World) and then makes it way through the VMkernel before heading onto the physical I/O adapter and to the physical storage device. With VAIO the filtering is done close to the VM in the User World with the rest of the VAIO framework residing in the VMkernel as shown in the below figure, on the left is the normal I/O path without VAIO and on the right is with VAIO:

VAIOWhen an I/O goes through the filter there are several actions that an application can take on each I/O, such as fail, pass, complete or defer it. The action taken will depend on the application’s use case, a replication application may defer I/O to another device, a caching application may already have a read request cached so it would complete the request instead of sending it on to the storage device.

There are two classes of filters right now (caching, replication) and there can be more than one VAIO filter active simultaneously. Filters are executed in class order so an I/O may hit a replication filter first before it hits a cache filter, once an I/O has made it through all the filters it continues on to it’s destination be it to the VM or to a storage device. The below diagram from VMware illustrates the overall VAIO architecture and I/O path:

VAIO Overview ArchitectureVAIO is a perfect match for applications like Infinio Accelerator that are host based and need to see every I/O to perform caching to improve performance. The important role that Infinio Accelerator plays is to prevent I/O from having to travel to a destination storage device which takes time to complete especially if it’s a remote storage device such as a SAN or NAS. A single I/O can take 5-10ms to make that journey or even longer if the device is very busy so to be able to cancel that journey and have the I/O instead take a shortcut from local cache can greatly improve performance. With VAIO the job that Infinio Accelerator performs is much easier as everything is integrated into the hypervisor and I/O can be filtered faster as the filtering occurs even closer to the VM.

The difference that VAIO makes is dramatic, Infinio has performed testing and was able to achieve 1,000,000 IOPS with 20GB/sec throughput and 80 μs response time in their test environment with Infinio Accelerator using VAIO integration. Infinio Accelerator can improve overall storage performance and has some key use cases with I/O intensive workloads such as enterprise database applications and virtual desktops (VDI).

In addition to VAIO support, Infinio Accelerator 3.0 also introduces support for SSD & Flash devices which add an additional caching tier for colder cached data. Infinio Accelerator’s strength has always been the use of lightning fast host RAM as a caching tier, support for SSD & Flash devices allows them to extend that caching even further for even greater efficiency by moving colder data to persistent storage rather than expiring it. Infinio Accelerator supports the latest vSphere release (6.0 U2), is certified through the VMware Ready program and supports any storage that is supported by vSphere including SAN, NAS, DAS, VVols & vSAN. Here’s a screenshot of Infinio Accelerator in action:

infinioIf you haven’t seen what Infinio can do for you I encourage you to give them a try, they offer a free fully functional 30-day trial that installs quickly without any disruption to your current environment.  They also have a recorded product demo that you can see the product in action. Below are some links for more information on both VAIO and Infinio Accelerator.

Infinio Accelerator links

VAIO links

Jul 05 2016

Introducing the Top vBlog 2016 virtual coin

Once again this year I commissioned a graphic designer to create a counterpart to the physical coin that the Top 50 vBlogs will receive courtesy of VMTurbo. The graphic can be used by any blogger that made the Top 50 and wants to display that accomplishment on their website. Last year I wasn’t that happy with the design, I leverage Fiverr which is a huge community of freelance designers and the one I picked last year wasn’t very creative. I was trying to replicate the look of the physical coin in a design that has a metallic look to it and the designer last year didn’t seem to be able to pull that off. This year I spent more time hunting down a better designer and the one I picked got the design spot on the first try.

So below are the finished virtual coins:

All-coinsYou can download the hi-res images here and re-size them to whatever works for your blog:

Top 10 Gold Coin

Top 25 Silver Coin

Top 50 Copper Coin

Jul 01 2016

Top vBlog 2016 Full Results

vsphere-land-top-vblog2016-logoSo the voting has ended, the results have been tabulated and here they are. There were 83 new blogs on the ballot this year, 12 new blogs made the Top 50 and and 7 new blogs made it into the Top 25. One blog fell out of the top 10 this year and the competition for the #1 spot was fierce. This year there was over 1600 votes compared to around 2200 last year. You can read more stats about this years voting here. Voters were asked to pick their top 12 favorite blogs and them rank them from 1 to 12. The votes are weighted so a #1 vote is worth 12 points, a #2 vote is worth 11 points all the way down to a #12 vote being worth 1 point. The total points for each blog were added up to determine the results.

If you missed the live results show be sure and watch the replay of the special Google Hangout results show that we recorded with John Troyer and Eric Wright from VMTurbo as we count up the Top 25 results with lots of color commentary. The vLaunchpad and Planet vSphere-land will be updated soon to reflect the new voting results. Thank you everyone who voted and congratulations to the bloggers that made the Top 25. With so many bloggers out there its a tough scene but I seriously encourage you all to keep at it, the longer you stick with it, the more people notice and will reward you with their vote. You guys are all winners, I know how hard it can be to find the time to blog but do know that your efforts are appreciated and your unselfish dedication makes a difference to a great many of people.

This year any blogger that made the Top 50 will get a special 2″ commemorative coin courtesy of VMTurbo, I’ll have a form where you can enter your shipping details up in a few days, those of you that will be at the Indy VMUG or VMworld let me know and I will deliver it to you there. Bloggers who make the Top 10 will get a gold coin, 11-25 a silver coin and 26-50 a copper coin. I’ll also be coming up with a new graphic that you can display on your website if you made the Top 50.

Next year I’m looking to change this process dramatically and make the public voting be a part of an overall bigger method of determining the top bloggers, more on that later. I will also be starting a new vBlogger Spotlight series soon that is geared towards highlighting some of the lesser known bloggers outside of the top 25, if you are interested in being one of those bloggers let me know.

Special thanks to VMTurbo for sponsoring this year and making the giveaways possible. 

Here are the overall voting results…

BlogRankPreviousChangeTotal VotesTotal Points#1 Votes
Yellow Bricks (Duncan Epping)1105444846112
Virtually Ghetto (William Lam)2205314723108
Cormac Hogan330403305417
Frank Denneman blog440320228115
Wahl Network (Chris Wahl)561350227025
ESX Virtualization (Vladan Seget)6137298224433
Scott Lowe blog75-234922269
NTPro.nl (Eric Sloof)891300194725
Virtu-al (Alan Renouf)910132419344
Derek Seaman's Blog107-3255172517
Virtual Geek (Chad Sakac)118-329516527
vSphere-land (Eric Siebert)12120248158216
Long White Virtual Clouds (Webster)1311-2214153917
My Virtual Cloud (Andre Leibovici)14140230147215
VCDX56 (Magnus Andersson)15172236143112
Punching Clouds (Rawlinson)1618221813889
CloudXC (Josh Odgers)1715-2189134224
VMGuru (Various)18257200129628
VCDX133 (Rene Van Den Bedem)193718167128424
IT Blood Pressure (Dwayne Lessner)20266157109411
Brian Madden2128716610667
Professional VMware (Cody Bunch)2229717610249
The IT Hollow (Eric Shanks)23351215798219
Pure Storage Guy (Vaughn Stewart)2419-51358864
My Virtual Vision (Kees Baggerman)2553281177695
Virtualize Tips (Brian Suhr)2661351497653
vNinja (Christian Mohn)2746191457654
2 Ninjas 1 Blog (Manley/Colyer)28NEWNEW11075912
Mike Laverick2916-131347362
vMiss (Melissa Palmer)303001187223
vInfrastructure Blog (Andrew Mauro)3121-1012871510
Virtuwise (Angelo Luciani)3271391376963
Virtual Jad (Jad El-Zein)3352191146721
Viktorious.nl (Viktor van den Berg)343621166016
vXpress (Sunny Dua)353839358614
Around the Storage Block (Calvin Zito)36415855834
Craig Waters375821755794
Notes from MWhite (Michael White)385921915764
DiscoPosse (Eric Wright)39401965749
Virten.net (Florian Grehl)4010363905737
Virtual To The Core (Luca Dell'Oca)414321015654
Justin's IT Blog4220-228055318
CloudFix (Various)434967154913
Virtualization is Life! (Anthony Spiteri)44105617754414
mwpreston dot net (Mike Preston)4531-14905021
SFlanders.net (Steve Flanders)46102566548813
Virtualb (Benjamin Troch)47139926348814
By The Bell (Steve Kaplan)487325854844
Running-System (A. Lesslhumer)4991425648312
Wojcieh.net (Wojciech Marusiak)5086366346914
Glick's Gray Matter (Neil Glick)51137864546416
The Lone Sysadmin (Bob Plankers)5250-2914531
Rays Virtual Exchange (Ray Hassan)53NEWNEW814522
Cody Hosterman545734944817
Datacenter Dude (Nick Howell)5522-33754371
Virtualization Evangelist (J. Boche)5627-29914251
NoLabNoParty (Paolo Valsecchi)576474542214
VMware Virtualization Blogs (Tayfun Deger)586795241914
TinkerTry (Paul Braren)5911556574157
VM Blog (David Marshall)6074145841215
Ray Heffer618423664091
Virtual Langer (Jason Langer)6247-15804073
Kendrick Coleman6333-30683871
The Virtual Horizon (Sean Massey)6414379573832
Perfect Cloud (Rasmus Haslund)657510603754
3PAR Dude (Richard Arnold)668317613723
Tom Fojta's Blog678215593712
Paul Meehan6856-12683650
Virtualized Geek (Keith Townsend)70237167763571
The Storage Architect (Chris Evans)719019543424
Mind The Virtualization (Jan Schwoebel)72NEWNEW3933812
Planet VM (Tom Howarth)7311845673371
Chris Colotti's Blog7444-30643291
vCOTeam (Various)7554-21513291
Virtual Red-dot (Iwan Rahabok)77299222473231
Penguinpunk.net (Dan Frith)78229151523202
vBrain.info (Manfred Hofer)79187108533182
Stephen Foskett, Pack Rat8010626553132
Rob Beekmans81NEWNEW443063
Virtual 10 (Manny Sidhu)82246164413037
Mike Tabor839613403006
I wish I could be a VM (B. Ulsamer)84111273929911
Why Is the Internet Broken (Justin Parisi)85NEWNEW432983
The SLOG (Simon Long)86893552940
Rob Steele87209122492890
Plain Virtualization (Wee Kiong Tan)88283195432873
Storage Mojo (Robin Harris)8911425512870
VMware Minds (Anjani Kumar)90207117352859
Technodrone (Maish)9139-52482822
Andy Nash92NEWNEW472782
Proudest Monkey (Grant Orchard)93985452781
vLenzker (Fabian Lenz)94NEWNEW382788
doOdzZZ's Notes (Abdullah Abdullah)9519095362777
vClouds (Marco Broeken)9616670502762
VirtAdmin (James Green)9712831552741
Orchestration.io (Chris Green)98204106522731
The Saffa Geek (Gregg Robertson)991089422701
Tim's IT Blog (Tim Smith)100253153402694
Settlersoman (Mariusz Kaczorek)10115756432697
VirtXpert (Jonathan Frappier)10278-24562680
Let's Virtualize (Kanishk Sethi)103NEWNEW352679
40 Cent Coffee (Josh De Jong)1041040452661
StorageIO (Greg Schulz)10515550452642
Tekhead (Alex Galbraith)106211105442613
vHojan (Johan van Amersfoort)107NEWNEW432613
VMwaretv (Cahit Yolacan)10814739332597
Vcdx181 (Marc Huppert)109331222432562
Steven Kang11016757412551
Adventures in a Virtual World (P. Grevink)1111198382541
IT Diversified (Bryan Krausen)112382270352531
Myles Gray113NEWNEW342535
NutzandBolts (Mark Jones)114276162412502
Ravi IT Blog (Ravi Kumar)115110-5412500
Emad Younis Blog1161204432491
WoodITWork (Julian Wood)11780-37482490
CloudManiac (Romain Decker)11818264362484
vDrone (Laurens van Duijn)119NEWNEW422461
vZilla (Michael Cade)120NEWNEW352465
50 mu (Rob Koper)12193-28392443
The Virtualist (The Virtualist team)12262-60362409
Storage Soup (Tech Target)123256133412350
All About Virtualization (Akmal Waheed)12422399442340
SOS Tech (Josh Andrews)12577-48362330
vExpertise (F. Lenz/M. Ewald)12622599402300
All Things Cloud (Steven Cortez)127NEWNEW462280
Willem ter Harmsel128NEWNEW402280
vRealize.it (Tomas Baublys)129NEWNEW352271
Jason Gaudreau's Blog130148183022111
VMware Arena (Mohammed Raffic)13197-34342212
Notes of A Scripter (Stuart Yerdon)132NEWNEW402192
Ivo Beerens13322087392180
vTagion (Brian Graf)13420167372181
VMware Tips (Rick Scherer)13514510422170
DBigCloud (Daniel Romero Sanchez)136152162521610
vGeek (Kunal Udapi)137125-12352142
Piszki Lab (Piotr Pisz)138NEWNEW342130
Virtual Patel (Manish Patel)13917738392131
RNelson0 (Rob Nelson)14016323352120
VMware Front Experience (A. Peetz)14163-78262116
Ather Beg's Useful Thoughts (Ather Beg)142326184312101
The vCenterNerd (Nigel Hickey)14381-62312101
Blog VMware (Leandro Ariel Leonhardt)144124-20272091
ITQ Blog145NEWNEW322082
VMware Guruz (Sateesh Thupakula)146NEWNEW242078
David Hill14722780302062
NerdKnobs (Chris Nickl)148NEWNEW342040
Cloud Architect Musings (Kenneth Hui)149NEWNEW312023
VMware & Veeam Blog (Karel Novak)15024191282025
Default Reasoning (Marek Zdrojewski)151113-38232018
My Cloud Revolution (Markus Kraus)152NEWNEW272005
Pragmatic IO (Brett Sinclair)15322471301994
vMBaggum (Marco van Baggum)154NEWNEW321994
MyVirtuaLife.Net (Andrea Casini)15551-104311982
SnowVM Bog (Rene Bos)15685-71361980
BK's Data Centre (Ben King)157NEWNEW261961
vDestination (Greg Stuart)15825799301952
VMTechy (Nathan Byrne)159NEWNEW281920
vTesseract (Josh Atwell)1601655401901
The Virtual Unknown (Anthony Poh)161NEWNEW291851
VDICloudn.nl (Arjan Timmerman)16224987341852
vJenner Blog (Kyle Jenner)163NEWNEW281845
VCDXpert (Luke Youngblood)164NEWNEW301830
There Be Dragons (Dee Abson)165NEWNEW311820
vHersey (Hersey Cartwright)166150-16391792
Virtual Chris (Chris Chua)167NEWNEW371790
Demitasse (Alastair Cooke)168269101271751
Scott Bollinger169NEWNEW291750
David Stamen170380210301731
vCloudnine (Patrick Terlisten)171133-38361731
yoyoclouds (Yohan Wadia)172129-43361720
Everyday Virtualization (Rick Vanover)173281108271711
VMware Training & Certification (S. Vessey)174303129311711
vTricks (Patrick Schulz)17521439331700
Poshoholic (Kirk Munro)176375199261690
TechHead (Simon Seagrave)17755-122321690
Federico Cocinalli17819113221681
ukotic.net (Mark Ukotic)179NEWNEW211664
vHorizon (Dale Scriven)180116-64351660
Rimmergram (Jane Rimmer)181NEWNEW291630
Andi Mann Ubergeek18221028291620
Virtualised Reality (Barry Coombs)183169-14261621
Virtual Allan (Allan Kjaer)184NEWNEW331600
Come Lo Feci (Pietro Aiolfi)18592-93171597
Learning to Virtualize (Gorka Izquierdo)186NEWNEW231591
Virtual Elephant (Chris Mutchler)187NEWNEW321590
VM-Ice (Larus Hjartarson)188302114251590
VM Storage Guy (Stefan Renner)189NEWNEW281572
VMpros.nl (Sander Daems)190364174271570
Marius Sandbu IT blog191NEWNEW281563
Virtual Me (Joseph Griffiths)192NEWNEW231561
This is Hyper-Awesome (G. Chapman)193NEWNEW241551
vSential (James Bowling)19429096331540
vTimD (Tim Davis)195NEWNEW311541
Messaging-Virtualization (A. Pogosyan)196NEWNEW211532
Sysadmit (Xavier Genestos)1972058281531
vExperienced (Edward Grigson)19827072261521
Todd Mace199149-50261511
Daily Hypervisor (Sid Smith)200144-56271500
GeekFluent (Dave Henry)20123130241501
Uber Tech Geek (Marc Crawford)202328126241501
Virtually Boring (Daniel Boring)203NEWNEW251503
vWud.net (Steve Wood)204NEWNEW231501
Hans De Leenheer205141-64251490
The Bitstream (Alain Geenrits)206NEWNEW241470
Educational Center (Dean Lewis)207197-10211464
ITPath (Paolo Torresani)208171-37241430
The Eager Zero (Michael Stump)209203-6251432
Blog.igics.com (David Pasek)210337127191420
VMware & Powershell (Greg Kulikowski)21126857281420
Virtual Admin Notes (Anton Zhbankov)21225442291411
Jonathan Medd's Blog213135-78261400
Musings of Rodos (Rodney Haywood)214319105201400
Amit's Technology Blog (Amit Panchal)215334119271391
Virtual Hike (Michael Wilmsen)216NEWNEW231392
My VMworld (Noham Medyouni)217NEWNEW231381
vCrooky (James Cruickshank)218NEWNEW231370
Koolaid.info (Jim Jomes)219344125211362
Port115 (Carel Maritz)220NEWNEW251350
The Virtual Way (Francesco Bonetti)2212309271350
vZare (Preetam Zare)22229472231350
Matt That IT Guy (Matt Crape)223NEWNEW241340
VMware Virtualization Blog (Hernan Paggi)224NEWNEW221340
Unix Arena (Lingeswaran)22531388221331
GestaltIT (Various)226357131211320
JBcomp (James Brown)227372145221310
Blog.bertello.org (Giuliano Bertello)228NEWNEW231290
Ray On Storage (Ray Lucchesi)22928556241270
Stretch Cloud (Prasenjit Sarkar)230168-62251270
Talking Tech With SHD (Scott Davis)23125019181270
Teimouri.net (Davoud Teimouri)232NEWNEW171264
vAddicted (Raffaello Poltronieri)233NEWNEW201260
vCrumbs (Josh Sims)234348114191240
Great White Technologies (Dave Morera)235398163161211
VCDX Blog (Will Huber)23626630201211
Virtualize Planet (Ricky El-Qasem)237180-57251211
VMware Admins (Eric Sarakaitis)238361123231210
VMFocus (Craig Kilborn)23960-179231201
Stankowic development240NEWNEW191192
V-IT.PRO (Kev Johnson)241NEWNEW181190
Virtual Brakeman (Tim Hynes)242NEWNEW201190
VirtualementVotre (Cedric Megroz)243140-103231182
Virtualization Team (Eiad Al-Aqqad)244151-93241171
Double Cloud (Steve Jin)24531671191160
UP2V (Marcel van den Berg)246121-125251160
filipv.net (Filip Verloy)247215-32191152
Homelaber Brasil (Valdecir Carvalho)248NEWNEW151156
The Lower Case W (Matt Liebowitz)249248-1201150
Virtual Potholes (AJ Kuftic)250379129251140
Vipin V.K.251134-117201131
Build Virtual (Ian Walker)2522619211110
Mind Judo (Laurens van Gunst)25326310211100
vBlog.io (Cedric Quillevere)254NEWNEW191091
Virtualization Blog (Shabbir Ahmed)255178-77181091
vPentathlon (Mordi Shushan)256NEWNEW151091
Virtually An Admin (Jonathan Stewart)257NEWNEW201080
vPirate (Abhilash HB)258200-58171080
Virtual Ramblings (J.Nicholson)259NEWNEW231070
vmby (Sergey Gorlinsky)260NEWNEW131074
IT Should Just Work (Chris Bradshaw)261NEWNEW181052
Virtual Bits & Bytes (Niels Engelen)2622675201050
Virtualisatieadvies (Eelco de Boer)263NEWNEW201051
vTerkel (Terkel Olsen)26433369151052
vSamurai (Christopher Wells)26576-189211040
Blue Gears (Edward Haletky)266370104191000
Storage Gaga (Chin-Fah Heoh)267235-32231000
DCIG Blog (Various)268NEWNEW15990
Virtual Wiki (Christian Wickham)2693498020991
Juanma's Blog (Juan Manuel)270179-9118980
vDelboy's View (Dale Carter)271NEWNEW17981
vThoughts of IT (Rob Beekmans)272NEWNEW19980
I'm Tellin' Ya Now! (Mike Foley)2733235019960
Techazine (Philip Sellers)2743123815950
Vroom Blog (Fouad El Akkad/Alban Lecorps)275185-9018930
vBrainstorm (Roger Lund)276275-117920
vRevealed (Amit Rathod)277NEWNEW15921
DefinIT (Sam McGeown/Simon Eady)278228-5018901
vAficionado (Jon Schulman)279NEWNEW14901
VirtualXpress (Prashant Rangi)280NEWNEW17900
Just Another IT Blog (Eduardo Meirelles)281183-9816893
Storagebod (Martin Glassborow)282217-6517890
Virtual Management (Marco Giuricin)283278-514880
Virtual Sketchpad (Luis Ayuso)284NEWNEW19880
Got Dedupe? (Eric Hagstrom)285245-4013870
Virtual Pharaohs (Shady El-Malatawey)286226-6015870
The HyperAdvisor (Antone Heyward)2873364914860
vPourchet (Valentin Pourchet)288264-2414860
ITuda (Lieven D'hoore)28940611715840
Michael Ryom2903607018841
Cosonok's IT Blog (David Cookson)291243-4811830
Everything Should Be Virtual (L. Smith)2923101815830
Virtual Fabric (Chris Beckett)293218-7519820
Robert Jensen294NEWNEW13790
Just My 2 Cents Worth (Dan Raymond)295NEWNEW14780
Sysblog.dk (Jonas Groth)296NEWNEW12780
Virtually Everything (Phillip Jones)2973818418780
Virtual Notions (Derek Hennessy)298NEWNEW16770
Virt ES ()299194-10514751
Everything Virtual (Simon Davies)300172-12816740
Virtually Benevolent (Michael Stanclift)3013969514740
VMexplorer (Matt Mancini)30240710510720
Digital KungFu (Vuong Pham)303NEWNEW15700
VSpecialist (Michael Poore)304271-3313700
Northtech Consulting (Yendis Lambert)305159-14613690
Virtually Speaking (Dan Kusnetzky)306306016680
Hu's Blog (HDS - Hu Yoshida)307188-11910670
M80ARM - Virt. Warrior (M. Armstrong)3084009212670
Techbrainblog (Ganesh Sekarbabu)309NEWNEW10670
VM Spot (Matt Bradford)3103403014661
Linux Coding (Herwono Wijaya)311136-17513650
vSpace (Parthasarathi)312213-9914640
vCloud Info (Carlo Costanzo)313193-12013620
Inspired By Digital Tech (S. Kaushik)314NEWNEW12610
vSkilled (Karl Nyen)315NEWNEW15600
Sundar Cloud Architect (R.S.Sundar)316NEWNEW10580
Substructure Networks (Daemon Behr)317NEWNEW11570
vTechnology Notes (S. Grugel)318NEWNEW15560
Virtual VCP (Rynardt Spies)319258-6112550
Tecnologías Aplicadas (Patricio Cerda)320284-369500
Dervirtuellewirt (Daniel Baby)321410896330

And here are the Category voting results…

Favorite Storage BlogVotes
Cormac Hogan299
CloudXC (Josh Odgers)118
Virtual Geek (Chad Sakac)107
Punching Clouds (Rawlinson)84
3PAR Dude (Richard Arnold)72
My Virtual Cloud (Andre Leibovici)68
Cody Hosterman54
Around the Storage Block (Calvin Zito)47
The Storage Architect (Chris Evans)46
Pure Storage Guy45
VM Storage Guy (Stefan Renner)35
Why Is the Internet Broken (Justin Parisi)34
Stephen Foskett, Pack Rat33
Paul Meehan26
vTricks (Patrick Schulz)26
Ruptured Monkey (Nigel Poulton)22
Vipin V.K.22
GeekFluent (Dave Henry)20
Great White Technologies (Dave Morera)17
This is Hyper-Awesome (G. Chapman)16
Pragmatic IO (Brett Sinclair)15
Hus Blog6
Favorite Scripting BlogVotes
Virtually Ghetto (William Lam)395
Virtu-al (Alan Renouf)176
Wahl Network (Chris Wahl)158
vCO Team81
Jonathan Medds Blog53
That Could Be A Problem (Kyle Ruddy)53
DBigCloud (Daniel Romero Sanchez)52
Double Cloud (Steve Jin)49
My Cloud Revolution (Markus Kraus)43
Orchestration.io (Chris Green)42
Steven Kang42
Michael Ryom39
vLenzker (Fabian Lenz)36
Favorite PodcastVotes
vBrownBag (Cody Bunch)245
Geek Whispers (Troyer/Brender/Lewis)120
Datanauts Podcast (Ethan Banks & Chris Wahl)106
Nutanix .Next Community Podcast (Angelo Luciani)101
VMware Communities Roundtable (Various)71
In Tech We Trust Podcast (Farley/Poulton/Vanover/Chapman/Malhoit)62
Veeam Community Podcast (R. Vanover)60
Virtually Speaking (J. Nicholson/P. Fletcher)58
Virtualization Security (Edward Haletky)49
GC On Demand (Eric Wright/VMTurbo)46
vChat (Siebert/Seagrave/Davis)43
vSoup (Dearden/Mohn)37
The CloudCast (A. Delp & B. Gracely)35
Tech On Tap (NetApp/Justin Parisi)31
Favorite New BlogVotes
Matt That IT Guy (Matt Crape)119
Rays Virtual Exchange (Ray Hassan)111
VM Storage Guy (Stefan Renner)111
vTimD (Tim Davis)103
VirtualXpress (Prashant Rangi)77
vMBaggum (Marco van Baggum)76
vLenzker (Fabian Lenz)75
Rob Beekmans72
Lets Virtualize (Kanishk Sethi)63
Learning to Virtualize (Gorka Izquierdo)56
VMware Guruz (Sateesh Thupakula)56
Homelaber Brasil (Valdecir Carvalho)50
vAddicted (Raffaello Poltronieri)47
vDelboys View (Dale Carter)47
Inspired By Digital Tech (S. Kaushik)36
vRevealed (Amit Rathod)31
Favorite Independent BloggerVotes
ESX Virtualization (Vladan Seget)115
VCDX133 (Rene Van Den Bedem)96
NTPro.nl (Eric Sloof)82
The IT Hollow (Eric Shanks)67
CloudFix (Various)44
vNinja (Christian Mohn)44
Virtualization is Life! (Anthony Spiteri)43
3PAR Dude (Richard Arnold)40
Come Lo Feci (Pietro Aiolfi)38
VM Blog (David Marshall)28
NoLabNoParty (Paolo Valsecchi)25
ITQ Blog24
WoodITWork (Julian Wood)22
mwpreston dot net (Mike Preston)21
Mike Tabor20
Viktorious.nl (Viktor van den Berg)20
Virtual Patel (Manish Patel)20
VMware TV (Cahit YOLACAN)19
doOdzZZs Notes (Abdullah Abdullah)18
My VMworld (Noham Medyouni)18
Running-System (Andreas Lesslhumer)18
vLenzker (Fabian Lenz)18
VMware Front Experience (A. Peetz)18
DBigCloud (Daniel Romero Sanchez)17
Myles Gray17
Settlersoman (Mariusz Kaczorek)17
Matt That IT Guy (Matt Crape)16
Rob Beekmans16
VMware & Veeam Blog (Karel Novak)16
GeekFluent (Dave Henry)15
Pragmatic IO (Brett Sinclair)15
Tims IT Blog (Tim Smith)15
The vCenterNerd (Nigel Hickey)14
Marius Sandbu IT blog13
Great White Technologies (Dave Morera)12
Lets Virtualize (Kanishk Sethi)12
ITPath (Paolo Torresani)11
vAddicted (Raffaello Poltronieri)11
Michael Ryom10
The Virtual Horizon (Sean Massey)10
vBlog.io (Cedric Quillevere)10
Vipin V.K.10
Federico Cocinalli8
ukotic.net (Mark Ukotic)8
vCloudnine (Patrick Terlisten)8
Virtualization Blog (Shabbir Ahmed)8
Homelaber Brasil (Valdecir Carvalho)7
Virtually An Admin (Jonathan Stewart)7
VMFocus (Craig Kilborn)7
RNelson0 (Rob Nelson)6
Port115 (Carel Maritz)5
vMBaggum (Marco van Baggum)5
Inspired By Digital Tech (S. Kaushik)3
Learning to Virtualize (Gorka Izquierdo)1
Virtualisatieadvies (Eelco de Boer)1
Favorite VDI BlogVotes
Brian Madden316
The Virtual Horizon (Sean Massey)171
My Virtual Vision (Kees Baggerman)156
Virtualize Tips (Brian Suhr)156
vHojan (Johan van Amersfoort)87
Rob Beekmans84
Marius Sandbu IT blog81
Come Lo Feci (Pietro Aiolfi)72
vDelboys View (Dale Carter)45
Favorite News/Information WebsiteVotes
The Register (Various)249
vSphere-land (Eric Siebert)209
CRN (Various)106
Petri IT Knowledgebase (Various)96
VM Blog (David Marshall)78
Virtualization.Info (Various)60
InfoWorld (Various)57
Tech Target53
Virtualization Admin (Various)52
Cloud Cow (Various)51
Virtualization Software (Davis/Lowe)46
Silicon Angle (Various)45
Virtualization Review (Various)38
Network World (Various)32
The Virtualization Practice (Various)32

Jun 30 2016

Announcing Top vBlog 2016 Category winners!

Below are the winners of the individual voting categories for Top vBlog 2016, see my previous post for the Top 25 announcement. Full results coming soon!

Category Winners-2016-crop

Jun 30 2016

Announcing the Top vBlog 2016 results

Congrats to all! I will be publishing the category winners later today and the full results very soon. If you haven’t watched the results show you can watch it here.

BlogRankPreviousChangeTotal VotesTotal Points#1 Votes
Yellow Bricks (Duncan Epping)1105444846112
Virtually Ghetto (William Lam)2205314723108
Cormac Hogan330403305417
Frank Denneman blog440320228115
Wahl Network (Chris Wahl)561350227025
ESX Virtualization (Vladan Seget)6137298224433
Scott Lowe blog75-234922269
NTPro.nl (Eric Sloof)891300194725
Virtu-al (Alan Renouf)910132419344
Derek Seaman's Blog107-3255172517
Virtual Geek (Chad Sakac)118-329516527
vSphere-land (Eric Siebert)12120248158216
Long White Virtual Clouds (Webster)1311-2214153917
My Virtual Cloud (Andre Leibovici)14140230147215
VCDX56 (Magnus Andersson)15172236143112
Punching Clouds (Rawlinson)1618221813889
CloudXC (Josh Odgers)1715-2189134224
VMGuru (Various)18257200129628
VCDX133 (Rene Van Den Bedem)193718167128424
IT Blood Pressure (Dwayne Lessner)20266157109411
Brian Madden2128716610667
Professional VMware (Cody Bunch)2229717610249
The IT Hollow (Eric Shanks)23351215798219
Pure Storage Guy (Vaughn Stewart)2419-51358864
My Virtual Vision (Kees Baggerman)2553281177695

Jun 27 2016

Watch the Top vBlog 2016 Results Show Live!

vsphere-land-top-vblog2016-logoJoin myself along with special guests Eric Wright from VMTurbo and John Troyer from TechReckoning as we countdown the top 25 bloggers based on the results from my annual VMware/virtualization blog survey. This event will be broadcast live via Google Hangouts at 10:30am PST on Thursday June 30th right here on vSphere-land.com so bookmark this page, get the popcorn ready and come back when it starts. If you want to tweet about this event please use the hashtag #TopvBlog2016. Alternatively you can view it direct on YouTube at this link. And in case you missed it here’s some statistics on this year’s voting to get you ready for the results.

Of course all this wouldn’t be possible without the support of our official sponsor of Top vBlog 2016:



Jun 23 2016

All VMworld 2015 session recordings now available to the general public

I was looking through the 2015 VMworld session recordings looking for a particular session on VVols and backups and discovered that I no longer had to log into my account as a VMworld attendee to view the sessions. VMware always limits the VMworld session recordings to paid attendees except for some select sessions that they release on YouTube shortly after the event. Typically at some point VMware will lift the restrictions so anyone can view the sessions right before the next year’s VMworld. Not sure when they did that this year but it looks like anyone can access last years sessions right now. So head on over to the VMworld 2015 session page and enjoy the hours and hours of great content that exists there.


Jun 23 2016

The biggest VMUG UserCon in the US is coming soon

If you were asked what the largest VMUG UserCon event in the US was and the 2nd largest in the world would you have guessed Indianapolis, IN? Probably not. I was always curious as to why that was, you would expect much bigger cities like Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas and Boston to be the biggest but the fact is Indianapolis has consistently had the highest attendance of any VMUG event in the US and the 2nd highest in the world. Indy regularly draws around 900 attendees, the next biggest cities in the US are Chicago (800), Atlanta (700), Kansas City (700) and Charlotte (700). The largest VMUG in the world is in the Netherlands with around 950 attendees.

So why is Indy so well attended? After attending several past VMUGs in Indy and talking to attendees I found out that where Indy is located pulls from several states (IL, IN, KY, OH, MI) and well populated areas including Chicago, Cincinnati and Louisville. This centralized location draws people from all over and is what drives the attendance so high at Indy. I’ve always enjoyed going to the Indy VMUG and will be back again this year. Indy is a very laid back city and the people there are very friendly, it still maintains that Midwest small town feel despite having a population of close to a million people. The airport is easy to navigate and not overly crowded, I was surprised at how early all the restaurants and shops shut down in the airport, usually around 8pm.

So if you are attending the Indy VMUG on 7/20 stop by the HPE booth and say hi, we have a cool drone that we’ll be giving away, I’ll also be doing a session on VVols at 11:00am. I expect other bloggers and community people will be there as well from the agenda I can see that Chris Wahl, Sean Massey, Gina Rosenthal, Eric Shanks, Paul Woodward will be there and I suspect you will see a few more.

Jun 22 2016

VMworld 2016 party band announced and once again I’m disappointed

Just noticed that VMware announced the band without any fanfare this year and it’s Fall Out Boy along with some indie electro band called Capital Cities.


Once again I’m disappointed in the band selection but I’ve gotten used to not expecting anything great as not getting more popular bands has seemed to be the trend the past few years. I did a post last year on this which listed all the bands across the years that have played at VMworld along with the cost to hire them along with a comparison to bands at other vendor conferences (EMC, Oracle, Cisco, etc.). Here’s the band breakdown at VMworld over the years along with the cost to hire each band:

  • 2007 – Smash Mouth – $40K – $60K
  • 2008 – DJ & Tainted Love (cover band) – probably not a heck of a lot
  • 2009 – Foreigner – $40K – $50K
  • 2010 – INXS – ? (prob under $100K)
  • 2011 – Killers – $500K
  • 2012 – Jon Bon Jovi & the Kings of Suburbia – $850K
  • 2013 – Train and Imagine Dragons – Train – $200K-$300K, Imagine Dragons – $400K – $600K
  • 2014 – The Black Keys – $975K
  • 2015 – Neon Trees and Alabama Shakes – Neon Trees – $40K – $45K, Alabama Shakes – $90K – $125K
  • 2016 – Fall Out Boy – $100K – $150K, Capital Cities – $40K – $60K

The cost of the bands this year is on par with last year and in case you were wondering here are some comparisons of who else they could of selected with a roughly $200K band budget.

  • 38 Special – $35K – $45K
  • Blues Traveler – $40K – $40K
  • Cheap Trick – $45K – $70K
  • Creed – $100K
  • Five Finger Death Punch – $50K – $75K
  • Jefferson Starship $15K – $25K
  • Paramore – $125K – $175K
  • Pharrell Williams – $125K – $175K
  • Steve Miller Band– $100K – $200K
  • Slash – $45K – $65K

Well at least I know the band early this year as I will probably leave Wed. evening and skip the party. If you’re around and not thrilled about the band choice there is always the UNParty you could go to instead, or since you’re in Vegas there is plenty of other things to do.

Jun 22 2016

Reviewing Virtual Volumes (VVols) sessions at VMworld 2016

vvols-vegas-cropThe VMworld Content Catalog has been published and I wanted to highlight the sessions on Virtual Volumes (VVols) and also the ones I found most enticing. Before I begin I wanted to highlight my own session, unfortunately the updated 2016 edition of the session I presented at VMworld last year, Top 10 Things You Must Know Before Implementing Virtual Volumes was not approved this year. It made it through the voting last year and it scored very well in the session reviews but for whatever reason it didn’t make it this year. My session was also full of technical content only not specific to any hardware vendor except for having some examples of showing the setup and config of VVols on 3PAR.

If you take a look at the vendor VVols sessions that did get approved you will notice that most of them had a VMware speaker attached to them so maybe that’s what I should have done as well this year. Oh well, what I ended up having to do is combine my session with another HPE session so at least you will get to see half of my session this year as a sponsor session. I promise you though despite being a sponsor session it will be very technical and educational.

Containers & VVols – a technical deep dive on new technologies that revolutionize storage for vSphere [9617-SPO]

  • Garth Booth, HPSD VDU, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Eric Siebert, Solutions Manager, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

I’ll note another vendor session from SolidFire/NetApp that also did not make it through the voting and used their sponsor session slot.

Making SolidFire Invisible in your VMware Environment [9726-SPO]

  • Josh Atwell, NetApp

So let’s move on to some VMware only sessions, you’ll notice Pete Flecha’s name on a lot of VVol sessions. Pete is a technical marketing architect at VMware who is focused on VVols who took over the role from Ken Werneberg who you might have remembered from last years VVols sessions. The first session I’ll highlight is a partner panel lead by Pete similar to the one last year but with a different focus area, transitioning to VVols (How not the Why). I’ve been invited to that one so I hope you can attend, I like this topic as I have done a lot of research on customer transitions to VVols and trying to learn their experiences with it. We pull a lot of metrics from our arrays via phone home capabilities so we have very good visibility into customer adoption of VVols.

Transitioning to VVols: Partner Panel [8619]

  • Pete Flecha, Sr Technical Marketing Architect, VMware

The next session has been held the last few years at VMworld and is always a good one, here’s the link to last years session. Patrick Dirks leads the VVol development team, he co-presented with us one year on VVols and of course Pete is very technical as well so this one is a must see.

Virtual Volumes Technical Deep Dive [7645]

  • Patrick Dirks, Sr Manager, VMware, Inc.
  • Pete Flecha, Sr Technical Marketing Architect, VMware

This next session focuses on snapshots, while they did suck when vSphere was managing them, they don’t with VVols, attend this session to find out why. I managed the development of a whole technical paper on that topic if you want to find out more and can’t wait for the session.

Snapshots Suck: How VSAN and VVol fix all your operational nightmares [8159]

  • Pete Flecha, Sr Technical Marketing Architect, VMware
  • John Nicholson, Technical Marketing Manager, VMware

In this session Lee & Duncan cover VVols along with VAIO and VSAN, should be a good one to cover the basics on each topic.

Software Defined Storage @ VMware Primer [7650]

  • Lee Dilworth, Principal Architect, VMware
  • Duncan Epping, Chief Technologist, VMware

Finally these last 2 VMware sessions cover deploying database solutions on VVols, haven’t really seen anybody doing that yet so it will be good to hear about running tier-1 workloads on VVols.

Deploying SAP Netweaver and HANA with vSphere 6 and Latest Solutions in the VMware SDDC [7504]

  • Bob Goldsand, Staff Partner Architect, VMware
  • Vas Mitra, SAP Solutions Architect, VMware

Achieving Agility, Flexibility , Scalability and Performance with VMware Software Defined Storage (SDS) and Virtual Volumes for Business critical databases [7549]

  • Sudhir Balasubramanian, Senior Solution Architect – Data Platforms, VMware
  • Mohan Potheri, Sr Solution Architect, VMware

There are also 2 hands-on labs focused on VVols, one is self-paced, the other expert led.

Virtual Volumes and Storage Policy Based Management [SPL-1708-SDC-2]

Virtual Volumes and Storage Policy Based Management Workshop [ELW-1708-SDC-2]

  • Ken Osborn

Here’s an interesting session that is more of a customer case study on a company that us using VVols for both server virtualization and VDI. It’s always good to hear real-world experiences instead of vendors and VMware preaching to you so be sure and check this one out.

VVol and Storage Policy-Based Management ? Is It Everything They Said It Would Be? [9054]

  • Ben Bolles, VP Product Management, Pivot3
  • Jeremiah Francis, Director, Information technology, Financial Advocates

The rest are all vendor sessions with a VMware speaker tacked on, as a vendor session your mileage may vary but hopefully they stay technical, neutral and educational. As every vendor has slightly different implementations of VVols it’s good to see what each vendor is doing.

High-Speed Heroics: Array-based Replication and Recovery for VMware Virtual Volumes [8694]

  • Julian Cates, Sr. Technical Marketing Engineer, Nimble Storage
  • Rawlinson Rivera, Principal Architect, VMware

Virtual Volumes: Why? [8422]

  • Pete Flecha, Sr Technical Marketing Architect, VMware
  • Rajib Ghosh, Consultant Product Manager, EMC

Virtual Volumes in a NetApp Environment [8144]

  • Rhett Bigler, Vmware Technical Alliance Manager, NetApp
  • Pete Flecha, Sr Technical Marketing Architect, VMware

Deploy Scalable Private Cloud with vSphere Virtual Volumes [8840]

  • Pete Flecha, Sr Technical Marketing Architect, VMware
  • Dinesh Singh, Solutions Marketing Manager, Hitachi Data Systems

The SDDC: Full Stack on vSphere 6.0 SAP Business Warehouse Powered By HANA, NSX, vRealize Operations,SDS-Virtual Volumes on Hitachi Unified Platform [8074]

  • Bob Goldsand, Staff Partner Architect, VMware
  • David Pascuzzi, Sr Solution Architect, Hitachi Data Systems

Jun 21 2016

VMworld Content Catalog is live! Here’s a breakdown by session type and VMware speakers

The VMworld Content Catalog is now live for the US event, there are a total of 609 sessions this year which is broken down into the following type of sessions:

  • 379 – Breakout sessions
  • 70 – Hands-on labs (self-paced)
  • 33 – Hands-on labs (expert-led)
  • 38 – Panel discussions
  • 5 – Spotlight sessions
  • 20 – Solutions Exchange Theater sessions
  • 24 – Quick Talks
  • 10 – PEX Boot Camp sessions
  • 2 – PEX Workshops
  • 29 – PEX Breakout sessions

Any session that has SPO in the session ID means it is a sponsor session, a quick search shows that out of the 379 Breakout sessions, 47 of them are sponsor sessions. A search on “, VMware”  and sorting through the results returns the following session breakdown (math may not be completely perfect):

  • 255 sessions with exclusive VMware speakers
  • 40 sessions with at least one VMware speaker (other is a customer/partner)
  • 47 sessions that are sponsor sessions (paid)
  • 37 sessions left over (non VMware or sponsor)

Note that while you can see all the sessions available right now, the Schedule Builder will not be live until July 19th.

Jun 17 2016

Some Top vBlog 2016 result statistics

vsphere-land-top-vblog2016-logoWhile we wait for the results announcement which should come next week via a live Google Hangout with John Troyer and VMTurbo I thought I would release some statistics on the results as an appetizer before the big meal arrives.

  • This year there were 1600+ votes, down a bit from 2200 last year.
  • There were 411 blogs in the voting last year, this year there were 321. Blogs that did not have at least 10 posts in 2015 were left off the voting ballot this year.
  • There were 83 new blogs added this year to the ballot that were not there last year.
  • There was 1 new blog (started in 2015) that made the top 50.
  • There were 12 additional blogs that made it into the top 50 that were not there last year.
  • There were 7 blogs that made it into the top 25 that were not there last year.
  • There was 1 new blog to the top 10 (and one long time top 10 blog that fell out).
  • There was 6 position changes in the top 10.
  • There was a very heated and close battle this year for the #1 spot. Do we have a new #1? Watch the live results show to find out.

Jun 16 2016

Observations and feedback on VMware VVols gathered from HPE Discover attendees

I was out at HPE Discover last week, I delivered a theater session on storage for vSphere which covered VVols and also staffed the VMware demo station which had a big focus on VVols. Throughout the event I probably spoke with at least 50 people and I wanted to share what I observed and heard from those conversations.


Observation 1: Most people still don’t know what VVols is

I’d say 80% of the people that came to my demo station had heard of VVols but really did not have a basic understanding of what it is and the benefits that it provides. While my demo had a running vSphere environment with VVols configured, it seemed that the majority of my time with people seemed to be focused on presenting slides largely based on my VVols VMworld presentation last year to educate people on what VVols is. I probably spent at least 15-20 minutes per person explaining the concepts and benefits of VVols to people. This lack of knowledge seemed to exist both at the channel level and customer level.

Observation 2: Once people understood what VVols was all about they were excited about it

Almost everyone universally liked the benefits that VVols provides, the big ones were the changes to the snapshot mechanism, automated provisioning and reclamation, no more LUNs and silo’s, better efficiency and the ability to use storage policies.

Observation 3: Storage admins seemed OK with it but had some concerns

I talked to both sides of the fence, vSphere admins and storage admins and heard perspectives from each side. vSphere admins of course loved it as it empowers them with the ability to provision and manage storage resources. Most of the storage admins seemed OK with it as well despite giving up some level of control of provisioning and common storage tasks. A few concerns that storage admins had were around limiting VVol available space on the array, suppressing some of the array capabilities to vSphere and better visibility into VVol objects from the array side. There are some workarounds to address these that can be implemented on the array side.

Observation 4: While people thought the new snapshot mechanism is great, bulk snapshot management is not so great

With VVols there are two big changes to how snapshots work. The first is that there are no more vSphere managed snapshots, you still create snapshots the same way in the vSphere client but all VVol snapshots are actually array managed snapshots. The other big change is with the snapshot operation, with VMFS the base disk of a VM becomes read only and all changes are written to separate delta files. Once you delete a snapshot those delta files all have to be merged back into the base disk which is both resource and time intensive. With VVols the base disk remains read/write when a snapshot is taken, the delta files hold the original data when a change is made. When you delete a snapshot you can simply discard the delta files as the base disk already contains all the latest data, this is very quick and efficient.

Both these changes are great, now for the not so great, for people that want to do bulk VM snapshots (more than 1 VM), with VMFS you could do an array snapshot of the entire LUN, you can’t really do that with VVols though as each VVol is essentially its own LUN. You also can’t really do it in the vSphere Client either, you would have to snapshot each VM one-by-one which can be a pain in the butt especially if you are doing it to many VMs. You could try and script something with PowerCLI but it makes management more difficult. It would be nice if VMware could build a snapshot group feature into the vSphere client natively so you could take and manage snapshots of multiple VMs simultaneously.

Observation 5: People that are using VVols today had some concerns

I did run into a few people using VVols today and it ranged from some just testing it out to a few using it more large scale. Most people were OK with it but there were a few minor concerns. I had one person that had concerns around certificate expiration of the VASA Provider, if the cert were to expire your VASA Provider would essentially be unavailable which is not a good thing. You can manage certs for the VASA Provider on either the array side or the vSphere side, what they wanted to see is an alert mechanism/alarm that would let them know ahead of time so they were not surprised by a certificate expiring. Another concern was around protocol endpoints and the efficiency of using a single protocol endpoint on the storage array. I don’t feel this is a big concern area though as we have done extensive testing and found a single protocol endpoint to be sufficient. I brought them over to our product manager that had done some of the testing to get further re-assurance. The other concerns were around the lack of maturity of the new VASA spec (VVols 1.0) and lack of replication support. I think these will go away on their own with the next release of vSphere.

Observation 6: A lot of people are still on vSphere 5.x

I discovered a lot of people are still running vSphere 5.1 & 5.5 which prevents them from using VVols which requires vSphere 6.0. This also explains the lack of VVols understanding as it simply doesn’t exist in their world. The majority of them had upgrades planned in the next 6-9 months and they seemed excited to be finally able to start using VVols in their environment.

Jun 15 2016

Top vBlog 2016 voting results coming soon

vsphere-land-top-vblog2016-logoThe voting survey closed at the end of May, we had just over 1600 votes this year. I just finished a big road trip that was half vacation, half work right after the voting closed so the results announcement has been a bit delayed. On the trip we ended up driving from Denver, CO to Roswell, NM, then to Phoenix, AZ for a few days to celebrate my 50 b-day, then on to Vegas for a week at HPE Discover (work) and then driving down the Extraterrestrial Highway for a brief stop at Rachel, NV (you’ll know what’s there if you saw Independence Day) and finally a stop in Richfield, UT before heading back to Denver.

I’ll be publishing some voting stats this week as a teaser and am checking the availability of Mr. Troyer and the VMTurbo folks so we can set a date and time for the live results show which will hopefully be next week. Until then enjoy some pics from my road trip and stay tuned for more on Top vBlog 2016:

Poolside in Phoenix, it was 116 degrees when we got there, I don’t miss living there at all:

2016-06-05 13.56.44-small

My office in Las Vegas for the week:

2016-06-06 14.19.28-smallCool items that were actually used in the new Star Trek movie, first two are the Captains command chair:

2016-06-07 16.50.51-small2016-06-07 16.51.10-small

Escape pods from the Enterprise:

2016-06-07 16.52.33-small2016-06-07 16.52.47-small2016-06-07 16.52.54-small

Cool Internet Of Things interactive exhibit:

2016-06-07 16.53.27-smallRachel, NV, close to Area 51 and featured in the Independence Day movie:

2016-06-10 12.22.46-small


May 19 2016

Going to HPE Discover 2016? Visit my demo and sign-up for my session to learn about VVols

For anyone attending HPE Discover in Vegas next month, if you want to learn more about VVols or anything related to VMware visit my VMware focused demo and sign-up for my storage for VMware session.

My session info is below, it’s a theater session so it will be out on the show floor. I’ll be doing a comparison of File & Block protocols and also cover VMware’s new Virtual Volumes (VVols) storage architecture and the impact it has on both block and file storage. You can search on my session ID or last name to find it in the Session Catalog.


My VMware demo (ID: 8773) is located in the Transform area of the Solutions Expo and is listed as “Storage Solutions for VMware”. I’ll have a live VMware environment with both 3PAR and StoreVirtual storage so you can see all of our VMware integration in action. VMware is a Gold sponsor of the event and has their own booth there as well. You can also visit some of my valued sponsors at the event as Veeam, VMTurbo and Zerto all have booth’s at the event as well.

Hope to see you there!

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