Oct 02 2014

What to know more about VMware VVols?

Of course you do, well I started a VVols link collection on them so you can find out more about them in preparation for their upcoming release in the next version of vSphere. There is not a lot of content out there right now but bookmark the link collection page as the links will continue to grow as more information is published. Just click on the image below or the VVols links in the right sidebar to go there.

 

VVols-new2

 

Sep 29 2014

How to move your WordPress site from one hosting provider to another – Part 2

In part 1 we covered everything you need to do to prepare and backup your WordPress site before migrating it to another hosting provider. Now we’ll continue with setting up the site on the new hosting provider and copying all your data from your old hosting provider over.

1. Setup your new hosting account

I moved my site from GoDaddy to HostGator which had decent pricing and features. I went with the “Baby”  plan which is their middle plan and features unlimited bandwidth, disk space and domains for around $8/month. Below is a basic comparison of their plans, you can see a full comparison here. Move8 Shortly after you sign-up you should receive any email with the details to set it up.

2. Setup FTP and copy your files to the new web server

Next I logged in to the website control panel. FTP is automatically setup to the default account name that you choose when you setup the initial website, you can modify your FTP settings in the control panel though. There are also FTP client config files that you can use to easily setup a FTP client entry so you can connect to your website. Move9 Once I connected with FileZilla, my home directory on the web server shows several different sub-directories, you want to go to the public_html directory which is the default directory for website content. Note on other hosting providers this may be different and you might only see your default web directory and not other sub-directories.

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Next you need to copy all of the files and directories (wp-admin, wp-content, wp-includes, etc.) that you backed up from your website on your old hosting provider into the public_html directory. Now that all your WordPress files are there we need to copy the database.

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3. Creating the database and importing the tables

Now we have to create a MySQL database and import the tables that we backed up into it. The first step for me was to add my PC IP address to the Remote MySQL administration white list so I can run phpMyAdmin and perform database operations. With HostGator the default is to block everyone except IP addresses that are added, you may not have to do this with your hosting provider. To find out your external facing IP address just Google “What is my IP address”. To set this up I for go into Remote MySQL in the hosting control panel.

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And then add my IP address to the access list.

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Now we want to setup a database user for WordPress to use, you can use the original username/password that is specified in your wpconfig.php file or specify a different one. If you do use something different you must update your wpconfig.php on the web server with the new credentials. To configure a MySQL user with HostGator you click on MySQL Databases in the hosting control panel and then go to the Add New User section and put in a username/password.

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Next I’m going to manually create the database, there is a Create Database statement in the SQL script that is used to import your old database but I’d have to edit that to fit HostGator’s naming convention, so I’ll just manually create it and give it a more descriptive name. To do this go to MySQL Databases in the hosting control panel and then go to the Create New Database section and put in a database name.

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Next you want to give the user you created access to the new database you created, to do this go to the Add User to Database section and click Add

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At the next screen give the user All Privileges to the database.

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Now we have our user and database setup, time to go to phpMyAdmin and import the .SQL file that we created when we exported our database from our original hosting provider. Before we do that we have to comment out the CREATE statement at the top of the .SQL file as we have already created our database. Edit the .SQL file on your PC using a good text editor that understands SQL like Notepad++. I changed this section:

Important!


— Database: `pla1002002410429`

CREATE DATABASE `pla1002002410429` DEFAULT CHARACTER SET utf8 COLLATE utf8_general_ci;
USE `pla1002002410429`;

to this:

Important!

– Database: `pla1002002410429`

— CREATE DATABASE `pla1002002410429` DEFAULT CHARACTER SET utf8 COLLATE utf8_general_ci;
USE `esiebert_thevpad`;

I put a — (2 dashes) in front of the CREATE statement to comment it out so it will not execute and then changed the database name in the USE statement to match the database I created. Note that HostGator puts the hosting account username “esiebert” in front of the database name so I couldn’t use just the database short name “thevpad”.

Now it’s time to import the .SQL and create our tables and fill them with data. Go into phpMyAmin and click on the Import tab and then select the .SQL file on your local PC and then click Go.

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It should execute and start importing, depending on how big your website is it could take a few seconds or a few minutes. Once it is done you should see a confirmation message.

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You can verify that your WordPress tables have been imported by clicking on the Database tab and the clicking on your database.

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4. Final steps

Now that we have copied our WordPress files via FTP and our database via phpMyAdmin we have everything in place and there are just a few final steps left. The first is to update our wpconfig.php on the webserver to reflect our new database name and username/password. To do this open FileZilla, connect to the webserver, find your wpconfig.php and select View/Edit. Here is the section we need to edit:

Important!

// ** MySQL settings – You can get this info from your web host ** //
/** The name of the database for WordPress */
define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘pla1002002410429′);

/** MySQL database username */
define(‘DB_USER’, ‘pla1002002410429′);

/** MySQL database password */
define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘Admin1234′);

/** MySQL hostname */
define(‘DB_HOST’, ‘pla1002002410429.db.5029023.hostedresource.com’);

We want to change the database name, username, password and hostname like so, remember with HostGator you need the account name in front of everything :

Important!

// ** MySQL settings – You can get this info from your web host ** //
/** The name of the database for WordPress */
define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘esiebert_thevpad’);

/** MySQL database username */
define(‘DB_USER’, ‘esiebert_dbadmin’);

/** MySQL database password */
define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘Admin5678′);

/** MySQL hostname */
define(‘DB_HOST’, ‘localhost’);

Next it’s time to fire up WordPress and see if it works, we haven’t cutover DNS yet to the IP address of the new hosting server. Before doing that I like to do a quick test to make sure the basic site works. You usually can’t just enter the IP address in a web browser to get to your site as shared hosting usually runs many websites on a single web server and requires a DNS name to direct incoming traffic to your specific website on the web server. I created a new A record in my DNS zone file something like thevpad.vsphere-land.com and pointed it to the IP address of the new hosting web server. Then I use that to test opening up files on the web server in a browser and then going to the WordPress admin page. Note doing this you will not be able to fully access your website on the new web server as anything you click on will re-direct to the old web server as the original DNS entry is hard coded in WordPress, but this will at least allow you to verify that WordPress is running OK.

Hooray it works:

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Now that I know WordPress is up and running on the new web server and my data is all there it’s a simple matter of updating my main A records for my DNS domain to point to the new server. At this point you’re done, what I like to do after I make the DNS cutover is upgrade my WordPress version if its not up-to-date and plug-ins and make any other site changes (i.e. themes, settings, etc.). That way if something breaks from doing all that I can simply update DNS to go back to my old server if needed for an easy failback.

And that’s all there is to it. One of the reasons I documented all this is that I have 5 websites to move and I wanted to make sure I had all the steps documented. I got stuck a few times and had to research some things but once I fully understood the process it was fairly straight-forward. I hope this helped anyone else wanting to move their WordPress site to a new hosting provider.

Sep 27 2014

How to move your WordPress site from one hosting provider to another – Part 1

So you have a virtualization blog and for whatever reason you want to move it to a new hosting provider, where do you begin? I recently moved this site from GoDaddy to HostGator as I was fed up with GoDaddy for a number of reasons. I was initially a bit intimidated by the move as it didn’t seem all the straightforward and I didn’t want anything to break. My main concerns were preserving the version of WordPress I was on and all my plug-ins and successfully moving the database. After doing a bunch of research and finding out all I could about how to move everything correctly I found the whole process to be fairly easy and pain-free. I thought I would document what was involved to make the move and the necessary steps in case anyone else has to go through it.

There are 3 main things that need to be moved when migrating a WordPress instance from one hosting provider to another:

  1. DNS records
  2. WordPress files
  3. WordPress database

1. Prepare your DNS entry for a quicker cutover

Updating DNS to the IP address of your new hosting server is probably the simplest part and also the last step in the process. However because DNS can take a while to propagate out across the internet, you’ll want to change the Time To Live (TTL) value for your website’s DNS entry at least a day before starting the migration. Doing this ensures that your cutover will be quicker as DNS records will be cached for a shorter amount of time and will be forced to lookup sooner and recognize the IP address change, also if you need to fail back to your old server for any reason that will go quicker as well. Go to your DNS control panel and modify your A record and any applicable CNAME records (i.e. www) to 1 hour or less.

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2. Backup all your WordPress files

When you install WordPress on your website there are hundreds of files that get copied to specific directories that contain the complete WordPress web application. A new install of WordPress is only about 16MB in size with around 1,100 files but as you add content that will grow. Since we will be moving WordPress from one server to another we will need to copy the appropriate files and directories from the old server to the new server. If you for some reason want to ever install a fresh copy of WordPress you can find all of the versions in the WordPress release archive. Below are the files and directories that are come with a new install of WordPress.

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The easiest way to move the files is to use an FTP application to copy them from your old server to your local PC and then to your new server. It’s also a good idea to periodically do this to backup WordPress. If you need a FTP client, check out FileZilla which is a free open source application. You may need to setup a FTP username/password on your hosting site before you can connect to it. Create a new site in FileZilla and give it a name (i.e. mywebsite-old), use the IP address instead of a DNS name to avoid confusion during the cutover and then enter in your login credentials. Once you connect to your web server you’ll see the directory listing of the contents, what you see will usually vary by hosting providers, some providers partition you off so you don’t see much of the web server files. After connecting to my website on GoDaddy here is the content listing:

Move3

At this point it’s important to not make any changes to your old website, otherwise they will not be copied to your new websitesite. You may not need all the files you see but its best to copy everything to a subdirectory on your PC so you do have a full backup in case you miss anything that you might need later. In the figure above you can see the 3 WordPress directories that you need to copy for sure along with all the files that start with “wp” in the root directory. I’ve manually copied things to my site in the past (i.e. images) which is why you see some extra files and directories which I’ll copy also. Other files that are part of the hosting platform like “cgi”, “stats”, “webformmailer.php” and “_db_backups” I don’t need to bring over. Once you’ve copied everything to your PC it’s time to move on to the next step, copying your database.

3. Backup your database

Your WordPress database is typically hosted on a MySQL database that is installed and managed by your hosting provider. The WordPress database has many tables that store configuration and content for your WordPress website. You can see what a typical WordPress database structure looks like below, you can find a complete description of the database tables here:

WP3.8-ERD

Most hosting providers provide database management tools so you can manage and perform database operations. Don’t be intimidated by this as what we are doing to back it up is fairly simple and you don’t need to be a DBA to do it. Log into your hosting provider control panel for your website and you should see a link for database management via phpMyAdmin which is a free software tool that is written in PHP that is used to administer MySQL over the Web. Here’s how you launch it on GoDaddy in your website control panel:

Move4Note the database name which is usually a mix of letter and numbers, launch phpMyAdmin and you should be prompted for a username and password to connect to your database.

Move5

 

You probably won’t know it or remember it but no worries as you can easily look it up by opening the wpconfig.php file that you copied to your PC as part of the backup in a text editor like Notepad and look for the MySQL section like below:

Important!

// ** MySQL settings – You can get this info from your web host ** //
/** The name of the database for WordPress */
define(‘DB_NAME’, ‘pla1002002410429′);

/** MySQL database username */
define(‘DB_USER’, ‘pla1002002410429′);

/** MySQL database password */
define(‘DB_PASSWORD’, ‘Admin1234′);

/** MySQL hostname */
define(‘DB_HOST’, ‘pla1002002410429.db.5029023.hostedresource.com’);

Note my username was the same as the database name, now that you have the username and password you can login to phpMyAdmin with it. Note some hosting providers may require you to whitelist your IP address to do remote MySQL administration, if they do there should be a section in your hosting control panel to put in your IP address. Once you are logged into phpMyAdmin you want to Export your database, click the Export link as shown below:

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On the Export options screen do the following (note your options may be slightly different):

Export section

  • Select your database, you should only be selecting one, do not select all as you do not need others like information_schema
  • Make sure SQL format is selected

Options – Structure section

  • Make sure Structure is selected
  • Select Add DROP TABLE / VIEW / PROCEDURE / FUNCTION
  • Select Add IF NOT EXISTS
  • Select Add AUTO_INCREMENT value
  • Select Enclose table and field names with backquotes

Options – Data section

  • Make sure Data is selected
  • Complete inserts
  • Use hexadecimal for BLOB

Save as file section

  • Select Save as file
  • Select Compression to None

When you have done as this it should look similar to below, hit Go and it will ask you for a location for the file on your PC and then begin the Export. It shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.

Move7-smaller

Once you have completed this you have everything you need to move your WordPress site to a new hosting provider. Part 2 will cover how to copy your WordPress files to your new web server and import your database and get it all up and running.

Sep 24 2014

VMworld 2014 – The Review

Another year, another VMworld, this would be #7 for me and I wanted pass along my thoughts of this one.

Getting there

I arrived on Sunday afternoon, I just missed the earthquake which happened about 7 hours before my flight was leaving from Phoenix. When I read about the earthquake that morning I was a bit concerned thinking, a) did it damage anything that might impact the conference and b) I have to live in that recently seismically active area for 4 days where more aftershocks or “the big one” could occur. Thankfully the only damage around Moscone was limited to disrupting the sleep of hung over attendees who got in early. After arriving I checked into the hotel, went to Moscone to register and then down to the Solutions Exchange to help setup our booth and check in on things.

The hotel situation

Let’s take a moment and talk about hotels, the availability and rates are ridiculous in SF. You’re typically looking at $300-$500/night if you want to be fairly close to the Moscone and of course who wouldn’t want to be. I hate walking and especially in SF when you have to deal with all the buses, cable cars, crazy taxi drivers and street people that are everywhere, so being as close to Moscone is a priority for me. My usual little known hotel which is only a block away from Moscone and very cheap was sold out this year though. So I had to go to plan B which was the Hilton where we had a block of rooms but it was about 5 blocks away. When it comes to hotels at VMworld I don’t care about amenities or how nice things look, if it has a bed, bathroom and wifi that’s all I need as I’m usually only there about 7 hours just to sleep. In comparison this is one thing that is ideal about having conferences in Las Vegas, mega-hotels. I usually never have to leave the hotel as the conference is in the same building.

Sunday

Anyway Sunday was the opening of the Solutions Exchange, it was a real good crowd and I enjoyed talking to people and walking around checking out the many vendors. The Solutions Exchange area was well executed and probably the star of the show this year. I saw a lot of new vendors and it seemed a lot of the smaller vendors had a pretty big presence to take full advantage of the event as a place to shine and engage attendees. After the event shutdown I headed over to the VMunderground party which was in the Metreon this year which was a much more suitable venue for it given the large amount of people that attend it. It was very well planned and a great event so hats off to the group that makes it possible each year.

Monday

Monday was the general keynote session with Robin Matlock, Pat Gelsinger and Carl Eschenbach. The day 1 session is typically focused on strategy, vision and marketing but they also typically announce anything new as well. This year I found the keynote rather flat and boring, if it was on my DVR I probably would of fast-forwarded through the whole first half-hour. At the keynote they announced EVO, vCloud Suite 5.8, the vSphere 6.0 beta featuring VVols and VSAN 2.0 beta and vRealize. Let’s talk about those some more.

What’s new and exciting (or not)

The rumors of a VMware hyper-converged platform have been floating around for a while with the program name MARVIN. EVO is the official launch name now and it comes in 2 flavors, EVO:Rail which is a single hyper-converged appliance and EVO:Rack which is a super-sized version which as the name implies is a bunch of EVO:Rail’s filling a whole rack. VMware stressed they were not going to get into the hardware business (not yet at least) and they would work closely with their partners to develop EVO solutions. We’ll have to wait and see how well that plays out and customer interest in EVO.

In product renaming news we have vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) transforming into vCloud Air <insert Apple/Mac joke here> and various automation and management products transforming into the vRealize Suite which consists of:

  • VMware vCloud Automation Center Advanced or Enterprise
  • VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite Advanced or Enterprise
  • VMware vCenter Log Insight
  • VMware IT Business Management Suite Standard Edition

VMware must have a whole department devoted to how they can continually rename their products to keep their customers confused. I kind of like the new vCloud Air name but it definitely sounds like an Apple product. The vRealize suite name is another story, to put it bluntly, it’s a pretty stupid sounding name. I get the definition of realize is “become fully aware of (something) as a fact; understand clearly” but to use it as a product suite name is dumb. If they are going to go that route why not vUnderstand or vComprehend instead. I’m sure they could of come up with a much cooler sounding name for it.

The vSphere 6.0 beta wasn’t really talked about much as it is still quite a ways out before it becomes available sometime in 2015. Pat did apologize for neglecting Virtual Volumes (VVols) which was first announced 2 years ago and not really heard about since then. If you read between the lines VMware put the majority of their development effort into VSAN and put VVols on the back-burner. You can probably understand the reason for that as VSAN is a revenue generating product for VMware and a vital piece of their SDDC vision where VVols is just a new external storage architecture to replace VMFS.

More Monday

After the keynote I attended the HP session on VVols and then headed of to Chris Wolf’s session on hyper-converged infrastructure (EVO). Chris is a great speaker and it was good to find out more about what EVO was and how it would impact the partner ecosystem. They detailed the hardware configs for EVO and did some live demos of the installer process. After that it was on to the HP Blogger briefing which was a no PPT informal chat with some super techy guys and afterwards a performance by magician Andrew Mayne which was very fun to watch. In the evening I went to a dinner hosted by Infinio at Oola, it was great to see and talk with Carrie Rebar, Scott Lowe (Other), Scott Davis and a few customers. Infinio had a real nice presence at the show with a big booth and it was good to see a new start-up make a big splash. After dinner I headed over to Xangati’s party at Bourbon & Branch, a hidden Speakeasy from the old days of prohibition. I met up with Todd Scalzott there and hung out, had a few drinks and then off to the sidewalk to smoke stogies. B&B is kind of a neat place as their are no signs advertising it, passwords to get in and hidden rooms behind bookcases.

Tuesday

Tuesday was the day 2 general keynote session with Ben Fathi which is traditionally the fun one as it is more about the technology. I ended up watching it live-streamed from the hotel room which was a good quality stream. Much of the focus was on VDI (Horizion) and overall it wasn’t all that exciting like previous years as again there wasn’t a whole lot new to talk about, as a result I ended up tuning it out and not really paying attention to it. After the keynote I had to head to my speaking session which was a HP session that I was co-speaking in to highlight our VMware integration. From there I went to an EMC VVol  to see what they were doing with it, hung out in the Solutions Exchange, another blogger briefing and then off to the vExpert party with Calvin Zito. The vExpert party was fun as usual, VMware invites many of their executives and technical experts to mingle with the attendees. I appreciate the effort they put into this annual event. I ran across Pat Gelsinger at the event and got my photo with him for the 2nd year in a row. After that it was off to the Veeam party which is always epic, they outdid themselves this year with a much bigger venue with a nice outdoors space and it was crowded and a lot of fun. Thank you Veeam for not just doing it but doing it big.

Wednesday

Wednesday was a much more slow-paced and leisurely day, I hung out in the Solutions Exchange area a bit and then had to head to the airport for a flight later that evening. The official VMware parties are not all that great, I always look forward to big name entertainment at those kinds of events but VMware keeps it more low-key. As a result I usually end up heading back early instead of on Thursday morning.

Wrap-up

Overall another great event, attendance was down this year, in a previous post gave my opinion why that might be. Special thanks to Tegile for the nice vExpert swag bags and Simplivity for the coffee press. I’ll leave you with a summary of what I thought was the Good, the Bad and the Ugly at VMworld this year along with a few pics.

The Good

  • Solutions Exchange area had a lot of great things to showcase
  • Lots of great sessions
  • Awesome vendor parties
  • Great networking with people
  • Logistically it was very well executed
  • Hands-on Labs give a lot of great experience

The Bad

  • The keynotes were rather boring and didn’t have a lot of meat
  • Not many surprises, VMware didn’t really have much new to unveil
  • Things are getting a bit too spread out across Moscone and nearby hotels
  • Attendance was down this year which is bad for VMware but not necessarily for attendees

And the Ugly

  • The box lunches were truly awful this year
  • San Francisco, the costs, the walking all over and the street people, I’m tired of it
  • Product re-naming, vRealize, seriously?

And some photos

About to land at SFO…small-20140824_130148

View from the VMunderground party…

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Day 1 keynote about to start…

small-20140825_085929

What No Limits is all about…

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Big (more like medium) announcements summed up in the day 1 keynote…

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A new family is born during the day 1 keynote and is named EVO…

small-20140825_093154

What’s a gooey egg have to do with VMware?…

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It describes most data center security implementations, hard & crusty on the outside, soft & gooey on the inside…

small-20140825_094104

Chris Wolf, VMware’s CTO of the Americas talking up EVO…

small-20140825_143257

Great slide from Chris’s deck about embracing innovation even if it wasn’t your idea…

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Magician Andrew Mayne performing at the HP Blogger Briefing, one of the bloggers twists his hand 360 degrees…

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Another shot of Andrew Mayne performing…

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Andrew Mayne pulling physical objects out of a virtual rack…

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Myself with Pat Gelsinger at the vExpert party along with half of Calvin Zito and Tony Dunn photo-bombing in the back…

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What happens when an EMC’er walks into a bar, 50 shots of Jager suddenly appear…

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Trolley car performing a manual vMotion at Union Square…

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Myself with the gang from Infinio…

Image 1

Heading home…

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Sep 21 2014

Has VMworld jumped the shark?

Jumping the shark” is a term coined by Jon Hein (from Howard Stern show fame) that describes a moment when something that was once great has reached a point where it will now decline in quality and popularity. The origin of the phrase comes from a particular Happy Days episode where the Fonz jumped a shark on waterskis which was thus was labeled the lowest point of the show.

fonzie

I’ve been attending VMworld each year since 2008, almost every year with one exception (2009) VMworld has steadily grown in size with increased attendance each year. Last year (2013) attendance was 22500, up from 21000 in 2012. This year however attendance appears to be about the same or lower than 2013. VMware hasn’t released any official attendance numbers from what I’ve seen, in previous years they have mentioned attendance in their VMworld announcement news releases. In 2013 it was mentioned in the keynote as “22,500”.

VMworld2014-attendance

From what I’ve read in VMware blog posts before VMworld 2014 it looks like they were expecting around 25,000 people this year but ended up with “more than 22,000“. That’s a pretty sizable difference, I’m not sure how they calculated the 25,000 number beforehand, many people register late or on-site so I’m guessing they probably just based the 25,000 estimate on the increases from previous years which has been around 2,000 each year.

With attendance increasing each year that leads to the question, why didn’t attendance increase this year?

I see a number of reasons why:

  • As VMworld’s go this one was fairly boring. In previous years their have been major product launches aligned with VMworld, this year there wasn’t as the next release of vSphere is no longer on the quick 1-year cycle that it has been on lately. As a result their wasn’t too much new to talk about. The EVO launch was probably the biggest thing and it’s basically just VSAN bundled with more VMware software and a new installer. I found the keynotes pretty un-exciting this year as it seemed like VMware had to try hard to make up for the lack of new things to talk about.
  • I’m getting pretty tired of San Francisco and I’m sure others are as well. It’s a nice enough city but all the street people that are in your face and the walking all over the place gets old fast. The hotels in SF also get booked up very fast and are very expensive ($300-$600) and you usually end up far away from Moscone. I preferred it back in Vegas that is much better equipped to handle large numbers of people at conferences, I usually never had to even leave the hotel in Vegas. It may be convenient for VMware to have it in SF as it is nearby their HQ in Palo Alto, but maybe its time to quit being selfish and think of your attendees instead.
  • Nobody is really new to virtualization any more. Many people attended VMworld when they were just getting started with virtualization to soak up as much knowledge as they could to help them deploy virtualization. Most of those people are experienced now and trying to justify attending VMworld becomes more difficult. VMworld has also started to focus more on EUC & Cloud and not everyone is interested in those areas.
  • The food sucks. Sorry couldn’t resist including this one, the lunches at VMworld were terrible this year. I threw my first one away and bought lunch at a local restaurant instead.

Regardless of VMworld not really growing this year it is still one of the biggest tech conferences next to Oracle OpenWorld.

VMworld-conferences

Maybe VMworld doesn’t need to grow anymore, there are still plenty of people attending and VMware does a good job of engaging customers and partners year round with events like vForums, VMUG’s, Partner Exchange and a lot of online activity. I do hope that they consider moving it around the US in future years once their contract with Moscone is up. Having it in San Francisco once every few years is OK but I could see Vegas, Chicago and Orlando as being other suitable venues for it. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see if this year was a fluke like in 2009 or if VMworld has plateaued in attendance. Either way I’ll still be going next year and I hope to see you there as well.

Sep 20 2014

Great deep dive technical white paper series on SSD technology

I was updating my Storage Links page today trying to file away a lot of new info that I’ve been digging around for on SSD technology and I came across this great 12-part series from Samsung. It’s a series of 12 technical papers that covers all sorts of different technical areas around SSD technology and is a great read if you want to learn more about SSDs. I also have a ton of other SSD related links in my Storage Links page so head on over there if you want even more great technical info.

PCF282.feat1.samsung_nand_wafer-580-90

01: Why SSDs Are Awesome: An SSD Primer (Samsung)
02: Understanding SSD System Requirements: SATA Interface Basics (Samsung)
03: NAND Basics: Understanding the Technology Behind Your SSD (Samsung)
04: Understanding SSDs: A Peek Behind the Curtain (Samsung)
05: Maximize SSD Lifetime and Performance With Over-Provisioning (Samsung)
06: Protect Your Privacy: Security & Encryption Basics (Samsung)
07: Communicating With Your SSD: Understanding SMART Attributes (Samsung)
08: Benchmarking Utilities: What You Should Know (Samsung)
09: Why Integration Matters: What Samsung’s Vertical Integration Means to You (Samsung)
10: The Samsung Advantage: Why You Should Choose a Samsung SSD (Samsung)
11: Samsung Data Migration Software: The simplest way to get your new SSD up and running (Samsung)
12: Samsung Magician Software: OS Optimization Feature Overview (Samsung)

 

Sep 10 2014

Select VMworld 2014 session recordings are now available for anyone to watch

Even if you didn’t attend VMworld you can still virtually attend some of the best sessions as VMware has released 29 of the top sessions that were recorded at VMworld. Some of the sessions are just audio and slides only but there were some that were recorded on video as well. All of the sessions look pretty good but I wanted to highlight a few in red that you should definitely check out. Also note that despite VMware saying there are 29 sessions there are actually only 28 as they have one of them listed twice. Also if you missed the General Sessions the links are below as well as some links to some VMworld TV highlight videos featuring Mr. Eric Sloof. Be sure to check out the over total 200 videos from VMworld 2014 that are available here.

General sessions:

VMworld 2014 US – General Session – Monday (Robin Matlock, Pat Gelsinger, Carl Eschenbach)

VMworld 2014 US – General Session – Tuesday (Ben Fathi)

VMworld TV highlights:

VMworld 2014 US – Welcome to VMworld USA!

VMworld 2014 US – VMworld TV: Day 1 Highlights

VMworld 2014 US – VMworld TV: Day 2 Highlights

VMworld 2014 US – VMworld TV: Day 3 Highlights

VMworld 2014 US – VMworld TV: Day 4 Highlights

Application sessions:

VAPP2305.1Extreme Performance Series – Understanding Applications that Require Extra TLC for Better Performance on vSphere – Deep Dive (Vishnu Mohan, VMware  Reza Taheri, VMware)

VAPP2979.1 – Advanced SQL Server on vSphere Techniques and Best Practices (Scott Salyer, VMware  Jeff Szastak, VMware)

VAPP1318.1 – Virtualizing Databases Doing IT Right – The Sequel (Michael Corey, Ntirety – A Division of Hosting  Jeff Szastak, VMware)

VAPP1340.1 – Virtualize Active Directory, the Right Way! (Matt Liebowitz, EMC Corporation  Deji Akomolafe, VMware)

Business Continuity sessions:

BCO2629.1 – Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication: What’s New Technical Deep Dive (Jeff Hunter, VMware Ken Werneburg, VMware)

BCO1916.1Site Recovery Manager and Stretched Storage: Tech Preview of a New Approach to Active-Active Data Centers (Shobhan Lakkapragada, VMware  Aleksey Pershin, VMware)

BCO2701.1 – vSphere HA Best Practices and FT Tech Preview (Gurusimran Khalsa, VMware  Manoj Krishnan, VMware)

BCO2194 – Data Protection for vSphere 101: Keys to Successful Backup and Replication in a Virtual World (Daniel Miller, VMware  Pooja Virkud, VMware)

End-User Computing:

EUC1476.1 – What’s New with View and PCoIP in Horizon 6 (Tony Huynh, VMware  Simon Long, VMware)

Hybrid Cloud:

HBC1533.1 – How to Build a Hybrid Cloud – Steps to Extend Your Datacenter (Chris Colotti, VMware  David Hill, VMware)

Infrastructure sessions:

INF1502.1 – What’s New in vSphere? (Michael Adams, VMware)

INF1503 – Virtualization 101 (Michael Adams, VMware)

INF2311.1vCenter Server Architecture and Deployment Deep Dive (Justin King, VMware  Harish Niddagatta, VMware  Robert Perugini, VMware)

INF1522 – vSphere With Operations Management: Monitoring the Health, Performance and Efficiency of vSphere with vCenter Operations Manager (Kyle Gleed, VMware  Ryan Johnson, VMware)

Management:

MGMT1969 – vCloud Automation Center and NSX Integration Technical Deep Dive (Ray Budavari, VMware  Zackary Kielich, VMware)

Networking sessions:

NET1846.1 – Introduction to NSX (Milin Desai, VMware)

NET2745 – vSphere Distributed Switch: Technical Deep Dive (Jason Nash, Varrow  Chris Wahl, AHEAD)

NET1674Advanced Topics & Future Directions in Network Virtualization with NSX (Bruce Davie, VMware)

Operations Transformation:

OPT2465.1 – VMware IT’s Transformation: An Update on How VMware IT is Moving to IT-as-a-Service as Told by the People on the Frontlines (Venkat Gopalakrishnan, VMware  Anees Iqbal, VMware  Job Simon, VMware  Brian Smith, VMware)

Security:

SEC1959-S – The “Goldilocks Zone” for Security (Martin Casado, VMware  Tom Corn, VMware)

Software-defined Data Center sessions:

SDDC2198VMware OpenStack End-to-End Demo (Scott Lowe, VMware  Michael West, VMware)

SDDC3327The Software-defined Datacenter, VMs, and Containers: A “Better Together” Story (Kit Colbert, VMware)

SDDC3245-SSoftware-Defined Data Center through Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (Mornay Van Der Walt, VMware  Chris Wolf, VMware)

SDDC1600 – Art of IT Infrastructure Design: The Way of the VCDX – Panel (Mark Gabryjelski, Worldcom Exchange, Inc.  Mostafa Khalil, VMware  Chris Mccain, VMware  Michael Webster, Nutanix, Inc.)

Storage sessions:

STO1279.1Virtual SAN Architecture Deep Dive (Christian Dickmann, VMware  Christos Karamanolis, VMware)

STO1965.1Virtual Volumes Technical Deep Dive (Rawlinson Rivera, VMware  Suzy Visvanathan, VMware)

STO2554-SPOZooming In: How VMware Virtual Volumes (vVols) Will Provide Shared Storage with X-ray Vision (Patrick Dirks, VMware
Ivan Iannaccone, HP)

STO1853-S – Software-Defined Storage: The Transformation of Enterprise Storage Has Begun (Alberto Farronato, VMware  Vijay Ramachandran, VMware)

Sep 02 2014

Infinio now supports block storage

While at VMworld I had the opportunity to meet the folks from Infinio and have dinner with them. One of their big announcements at VMworld was around something that I had always thought was really holding them back from growing their business. Their original Infinio Accelerator 1.0 product which was released last year only supported NFS storage. Since external storage in VMware environments is around 75% block storage they were missing out a big opportunity to sell into the block storage market. Well that has all changed with the release of their new Infinio Accelerator version 2.0 which now has SAN and Unified Storage support. This means in addition to NFS support they now support Fibre Channel, iSCSI, FCoE, and environments with multiple protocols. So essentially their product will work with any external storage in a VMware environment. New features in version 2.0 include:

  • SAN and Unified Storage support: In addition to support for the NFS storage protocol, v2.0 will also include full support for Fibre Channel, iSCSI, FCoE, and environments with multiple protocols.
  • Application-level reporting: Infinio v2.0 adds the ability to start with a weekly datastore performance view and drill all the way down to a minute-by-minute per-application view of storage performance.
  • Cache Advisor for smart sizing of memory: This new feature is designed to help administrators determine how much RAM to dedicate to Infinio’s cache.
  • Continued innovation for VDI: More than one third of current Infinio customers have found the product especially valuable for VDI, and with v2.0, Infinio has tuned the cache with heuristics and algorithms that better support VDI workloads.

Infinio Accelerator v2.0 will be in public beta later this year, with general availability to follow. Find out more about it here: http://www.infinio.com/news/introducing-infinio-accelerator-20

Sep 02 2014

Introducing vSphere-land 2.0!

I’ve been wanting to upgrade both my WordPress version and theme for a long time now but have been hesitant because I have a lot of plug-ins, custom css and theme hacking that I’ve done and I didn’t want to break anything.

Well this weekend GoDaddy gave me a reason to. I’ve hosted my sites on GoDaddy for over 5 years. For months now I’ve been occasionally getting blocked from my own site as I set off their security filters for various reasons and they temporarily blacklist my IP address. Their reasoning behind this was either when I save a post with too many links in it or I get trackback spam which I can’t control. Whatever their reason they never notify me, I’ll just get an error message that says the connection was reset and not be able to get to my site. I’d call up their tech support each time who was less than helpful, I had googled around and I pretty much knew what the issue was specific to GoDaddy.

The blacklist was usually temporary lasting from 15 min to an hour but it was very inconvenient and caused me to lose some content when I try and save a post. I knew what the fix was all they had to do was white list my IP address in their mod_security file but explaining that and getting them to do it was nearly impossible. Finally after many weeks of calling and complaining about the same issue I was finally able to get them to white list my IP address. That fixed my issue for a few months until last week when I tried to post something and ran into the same problem again, I was blacklisted and could not access my website. I called them really ticked off, talked to supervisors and yelled a bit but their answer was, will forward this to an admin which could take up to 72 hours.

Fed up with their BS and not being able to access my site for days I decided enough is enough, just bite the bullet and move to a new hosting provider. I asked and googled around at alternatives and ultimately went with Host Gator which had decent pricing and good hosting packages. I was a bit nervous trying to move everything over and making sure it went smoothly but my anger at GoDaddy overcame my nervousness and strengthened my resolve to do it. So I signed up for a Host Gator account, I have 6 sites with GoDaddy but wanted to start moving one of my small sandbox sites were I was testing a new theme and WordPress version before moving my main site.

Moving the files is pretty straightforward it was the database stuff that I expected to be difficult. It went fairly smoothly moving my small site, I did a lot of research to understand all the steps and what was involved to make sure I was doing it right and didn’t miss anything. I had one hiccup where I had to call Host Gator support, I was a bit frustrated with the person that I was speaking with and he wasn’t understanding my issue related to DNS. However unlike my experiences with GoDaddy support, Host Gator was quick to step in and escalate and quickly resolve my issue so hats off to them. I learned a lot on moving sites especially around php, DNS and MySQL and will be doing a post documenting the whole process.

So having successfully moved my small site and cutting over DNS I decided to tackle my main vsphere-land.com site. Again the process went fairly smooth except for one issue with PHP, I had to downgrade my PHP version on the new site for compatibility reasons. I cut over DNS and everything worked perfectly so feeling adventurous and being a long weekend I decided to pull the trigger on the WordPress upgrade. I’ve been running a very old version of WordPress (2.7.1) for years now and the latest is version 3.9.2, so I was a bit nervous that things might break. Having my old site still intact at GoDaddy though which enabled me to fall back if needed gave me the courage to press that “Upgrade WordPress” button.

So I did it, it went quickly and everything still looked like it worked OK, I went and upgraded all my aging plug-ins as well. Again there was no hiccups and everything went very smooth which left me in good spirits. So finally I decided why not apply that spiffy new theme that I have been playing with in my sandbox environment for almost a year. So I installed it, did some css customization to get things just the way I wanted and what you are seeing here is the end result. Between the new WordPress version and theme it was a huge upgrade in capabilities and functionality. This theme has so many options letting you tweak things I had to do much less css customization this time.

So long story short, hope you enjoy the new site and look for lots of upcoming posts that I’ve been backed up on. Here’s a summary of what changed with my site this weekend:

  • Hosting provider: GoDaddy -> Host Gator
  • WordPress version: 2.7.1 -> 3.9.2
  • Theme: iNove -> Graphene

Before:

Old vSphere-land

After:

New vSphere-land

 

Aug 20 2014

Show your VMs that you care by protecting them with Bitdefender

I’d like to welcome Bitdefender as a sponsor of vSphere-land and tell you a little about them.

With the rise and growth of the internet the world has become a very dangerous place where hackers and bad guys are constantly on the look out for vulnerabilities to exploit so they can steal data and cause problems for end users. Just about every electronic device these days connects to a network and the internet which exposes it to the hostile cyber-world that we live in. Protecting the data center and our end users and keeping them safe from threats is absolutely critical as data theft and malicious software can cost businesses big bucks. You don’t have to look too hard to find evidence of it, this recent news story and Data Breach report paint a grim picture.

Inside the data center server virtualization adds more potential attack vectors for hackers to exploit which makes it even more critical to properly secure the entire environment. When you implement VDI you open another can of worms as you have even more endpoints including tablets, phones and BYOD to secure. Despite your best efforts to secure your environment hackers always seem to find a way in as many vulnerabilities exist undiscovered and end users always tend to do stupid things with their devices.

What’s the answer to properly securing and protecting your virtual environment? It’s a combination of properly securing your virtual environment and client endpoints and using a security product that adds another layer of protection to your servers, VMs and all your end user computing devices. I’ve written about the importance of securing your virtual world, well now I’d like to tell you a little bit about how Bitdefender Gravity Zone can provide platform-neutral protection from malware that is specifically designed for virtualized servers and desktops. Some of the features of Bitdefender Gravity Zone include:

  • Multi-Platform Coverage – Supports just about every hypervisor available including vSphere 4.1 – 5.5, Citrix Xen, Hyper-V, Oracle VM and KVM. With vSphere it integrates “agentless” through integration with the latest VMware vShield APIs
  • Unified web console for all security services – Control Center web console manages virtual machines, physical endpoints, and mobile devices. It integrates with vCenter, XenServer, and Active Directory to synchronize inventories and manage machines and devices
  • Streamlined deployment tools – vApp like virtual appliances and self-configuring security agent optimized for inclusion in VM templates
  • Hypervisor-agnostic security – Protects Windows and Linux virtual machines on all existing hypervisors
  • De-duplicating scanning processes through multi-level caching – To minimize resources usage, known objects are not rescanned across an environment
  • Innovative modular design – Functional modules built as hardened Linux-based virtual appliances provide high protection, performance and resilience through centralized scanning and load balancing
  • Environment aware security agent – One security agent recognizes the endpoint type and self-configures with optimal features that recognize virtual and physical endpoints

bitdefender

So if you want to provide your virtual environment with the best protection possible, I encourage you to check out Bitdefender Gravity Zone. They have a free trial available so you can try it out in your own environment and see  first hand how it can protect your VMs and keep them safe.

Aug 09 2014

Tips and tricks for surviving and enjoying VMworld 2014

Another year, another VMworld, this will be the 11th anniversary of VMworld since the first one held in San Diego in 2004. The first VMworld only had 1,400 attendees, last year over 22,500 people attended VMworld. If you look at the graph below you can see every year is a record attendance for VMworld except for 2009 when it briefly dipped by 1500 attendees.  Will VMworld attendance climb again this year? I’m betting it will, virtualization hasn’t cooled off especially with the trend shifting to storage and network virtualization.

vmw-2013-attendance1

For me this VMworld will be number 7, my first one was in 2008 in Las Vegas. I remember that experience fondly as it was more intimate back then when it was a lot smaller. Over the years I learned many lessons about attending VMworld so I thought I’d pass that on to you:

  • Set your priorities and expectations ahead of time, VMworld has plenty to offer and you’ll get as much out of it as you put into it. Sessions are at the bottom of the priority list for me, things like networking and going through the Solutions Exchange are at the top. If you make a schedule it will be challenging to keep it as there are plenty of distractions at VMworld. Be realistic and don’t try and cram your schedule so full that you stress yourself out and are rushing to get to everything. Relax, enjoy yourself and have fun.
  • The sessions, so many to choose from, so little time, you’ll be lucky if you can attend more than a dozen of them. They’re just so much other stuff to do there its hard to find time to go to sessions. I recommend you pick a few that you really want to see and don’t sweat it if you miss some, remember they’re all recorded and you have plenty of time to see them after VMworld. I usually choose based on certain people that I want to hear speak and meet after the session. After all you can always hear the session later but you can’t meet the speaker after VMworld is over.
  • The labs, always pretty hectic to get into them but they keep getting bigger and better each year. Gone for a while now are the instructor-led labs using on-site data centers, VMware has migrated everything to the cloud and it is all self-paced. Many of the labs are available 24×7 now thanks to VMware’s Project Nee, so you don’t need to feel the urgency to take them at VMworld. Still it’s always good to get some hands on so if you have some free time be sure and take a few.
  • The parties, there are no shortage of them, my inbox always fills up with party invitations each year and trying to pick and choose which ones you want to attend can be even more challenging than picking which sessions to see. There is a pretty comprehensive list of them here. With VMworld starting a day on Sunday it opens up one more day for parties. The Welcome Reception in the Solutions Exchange is from 4-7pm on Sunday this year. There is lots of food, beer & vendors so its a good way to start the evening. Afterwards on Sunday is the annual big VMunderground warm-up party, this years it’s at City View at Metreon (4th & Mission) from 8-11pm, you have to register to get in (its a hard to get ticket) but they provide some different methods for trying to score one. This party grows every year and I think they had almost 2,000 tickets for it this year.  The official (or unofficial) VMworld tweetup and flipcup tournament is in on Monday from 7:00pm – 11:00pm at Folsom Street Foundry, more info and sign-up is available here. Tuesday seems to be the day every vendor throws a party, so pick the ones you want to go to and hop between them. Personally I’m going to try and make it to 2-3 of them including the Veeam party which is always great. Contact your vendors if you don’t have invites and they should be able to get you one. Wednesday is the big official VMworld party with The Black Keys playing this year, the party is back at Moscone/Yerna Buena Gardens this year. Finally on Wednesday evening if you are into stogies, a group of people are going to smoke them after 10:30pm at a local cigar bar, RSVP here. You can’t smoke anywhere in San Fran so if you like cigars come along.
  • The networking, that’s what VMworld is all about, don’t be a hermit and don’t be afraid to talk to people. People like Mike LaverickJason BocheScott Lowe and Duncan Epping aren’t surrounded by security guards and are down to earth guys who will talk to anyone. So go say high, introduce yourself and have a conversation, you’ll be very glad you did so afterwards. Don’t know where to find people? Well parties are a good place to start, everyone seems to gravitate there. Do yourself a favor and get on twitter if you’re not already and you’ll know in real time whats going on. You can find out more about tweeting here and blogging here, the official VMworld hashtag is #vmworld. There is also the VMworld Hang Space which is a good place to socialize and meet the bloggers. Be sure and check out VMware’s social media & community guide which has a lot of good info in it, also bookmark this page.
  • Plan your trip appropriately, you’re going to be on your feet a lot at VMworld, you better have comfortable shoes or you’re going to have real sore feet. Don’t by a pair of new spiffy shoes right before VMworld without breaking them in, you’ll regret it! Pack light if you can, you might want to being an extra bag, there are lots of prize giveaways and free swag all over the place so I can almost guarantee you’re going to go home with more than you came with. If you’re going to walk around with a back pack don’t stuff it too much, its going to get awfully heavy after wearing it a few hours. I travel light and don’t want a full laptop to lug around, I bring a netbook, iPad and smartphone and choose the one I want to carry for what I need to do at the time. Don’t forget power, especially for your phone, I carry a few battery packs so I can charge it as needed without an outlet. Jackery makes some cool ones in a few different sizes, the largest will charge tablets and multiple devices at once. Wi-fi coverage at Moscone is so-so and cell phone data in San Fran tends to be pretty bad and will probably be even worse at VMworld due to an additional 20,000 or so devices all fighting for service.
  • VMware makes a point to show off their talent at VMworld, this means those geeky developers that are normally locked up all day making the next version of vSphere are there and usually available to talk to. What better person to ask your HA question than someone who actually developed the feature. VMware has lots of other smart people there so be sure and check out the VMware booths in the Solutions Exchange to meet them. It’s not just VMware that has their smartest and brightest at the show though, most of the vendors have their best people there also so go by your favorite vendors and talk them up and get your questions answered.
  • The Solutions Exchange is like a Super Walmart, everything you can possibly need for VMware products all under one roof, take your time, stroll around and I guarantee you’ll see many cool products that you probably never knew existed. VMware has an incredibly rich ecosystem of vendors that can help solve your pain points and enhance your environment. Do make a point of spending plenty of time there, besides learning a lot you’ll leave with pockets stuffed with vendor swag. Besides the Welcome Reception on Sunday there is the Hall Crawl on Tuesday from 4-6pm where you can get free booze from certain vendors that offer it.
  • If this is your first time at VMworld or San Fran it can be a bit intimidating, especially when it comes to finding your way around. If you get there on Sunday try and pick up your badge then rather than fight the crowds on Monday. Walking around and trying to get your bearings can help, be sure and use the maps of the Moscone that are published on VMworld.com and in the docs you are given when you check in to see where everything is. If you need information don’t hesitate to ask someone, or even better trying tweeting it and you might get a quick answer. The more social you can be at VMworld especially if its your first time will really help you out as us virtualization folks are a friendly lot that don’t bite and are glad to help out a vComrade. Also be sure and download the VMworld mobile app for your phone or tablet.
  • See San Francisco if you can, there is lots to see in the city, know how to get around ahead of time, BART and the public transportation are great for this. Go see the sea lions at Pier 39 (watch out for the Bush Man), take a boat trip to Alcatraz, see the Muir Woods, Golden Gate or go climb Coit Tower. I have a big list of things to do in San Francisco here.
  • Know where to go after the action is over, once VMworld closes each day there are plenty of parties, after the parties are over many gather at popular spots. One such spot is the lobby bar of the Marriott Marquis hotel which is 2 blocks from the Moscone. I had many great late night conversations with others there each night after all the parties ended.

VMworld is four short days and will fly by before you know it, so be sure and make the most of it and soak up the incredible amount of knowledge that will be available both formally through labs and sessions and informally through talking to others. More than anything, enjoy the show, I hope to meet many of you there!

Aug 05 2014

An easy way to simulate a storage failure, just add thermite

I ran into Howard Marks from Deep Storage in the blogger lounge at HP Discover and while I was chatting with him he mentioned an interesting upcoming project that he was involved in that involved storage and pyrotechnics. Naturally I was intrigued, wouldn’t you be. The premise for this was to simulate a storage node failure in dramatic fashion in a clustered storage node environment and to demonstrate that despite a storage node failure the VMs running on the storage stay up and running and don’t miss a beat. To do this he setup an outdoor lab with storage nodes and hosts with one of the storage nodes being setup apart from the others with a big bucket of thermite set on top of it.

thermite_mix

The thermite of course is the catalyst for initiating the storage node failure. If you’re not familiar with thermite it’s basically a pyrotechnic mixture of metal powder fuel and metal oxide. When thermite is ignited by heat it undergoes an exothermic oxidation-reduction reaction, this is fancy chemistry talk for a reaction that releases extreme outside heat (combustion). Unlike tannerite and other explosive components most thermite varieties are not explosive but instead burns at a extremely high temperature. When thermite burns it reaches temperatures close to 4000 degrees, which is pretty damn hot and can easily melt metals like steel which has a melting point of around 2750 degrees. Just imagine what this could do to a storage array.

So without giving too much away check out this video in the style of Mythbusters which demonstrates what happens when thermite meets storage and remember don’t try this in your data center:

Jul 26 2014

Time to get your VeeamOn

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

veeamon

Jul 15 2014

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

vmw14_260x130_140627

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

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

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

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

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

Jul 15 2014

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

vmworld2014-nolimits

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

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

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

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

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

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

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