I won’t begin this post with, “Its that time of year again” as that is so cliche. But it is! With the advent of Spring and all the wonderful things it brings, the Call for VMworld 2013 Papers has landed. 2012 for me brought a wonderful experience to present at VMworld on Deploying Active/Active Datacenters with SRM5. Our attendees were great. VMware was great. My co-presenters, Mike Bailess and Greg Camp were beyond great.
This year however, after convincing myself that presenting in front of hundreds of tech starved individuals was not that scary, I decided to have at it again. This time with a twist. As we so adamantly tried to persuade you that our solution was Active/Active, Datacenters not Storage. This year we (Martin Valencia and I) will burn the path to all the great things that come with Active/Active Storage solutions. Particularly around the vMSC (vSphere Metro Storage Cluster) configuration using VPLEX that VMware supports. Having deployed several of these solutions, makes us qualified to get the word out. Our goal, is make the session dirty technical. I mean dirty. But you won’t know unless you vote, now will you? So head over to vmworld.com here, filter by Varrow (or dirty), look for our session and make it happen.
Need a little more encouragement, here’s what Mr. Sakac had to say on his “My Fav Picks” post here…
“Varrow has some of the best cross-domain experts I’ve seen at a VAR. They’ve had a lot of experiences with a lot of technology – so I would expect that this would be a very balanced and deep session.”
He’s right and we are. But how will you experience this technical dirtiness (yeah I said it) unless you vote? Do it.
Finally, unlike previous years where Varrow’s showing has been limited, we hope this year is different. The incredible technical talent at this company has been exposed. Bubbling through the round of first cuts, available for you to vote. Again filter by Varrow and make this a reality.
Thanks for the support, and here’s to 10 wonderful years of spreading the VMware way!
More info on the abstracts below…
5038 Achieving High Availability with vSphere Storage Metro Clusters and EMC VPLEX
Joe Kelly and Martin Valencia, Varrow
High Availability in todays datacenters stretch beyond a single or multi host failure. Increased visibility and mobility across datacenters is quickly becoming a must have for all workloads. With the introduction of Active/Active Storage solutions to the market, VMware has begun to support these SVD’s or Storage Virtualization Devices for qualified products. vSphere Metro Storage Cluster (vMSC) is a configuration option that allows for stretched clusters between two synchronous joined datacenters. Providing these cluster capabilities, that are distributed in nature, allow for fluid VM mobility using vMotion between datacenters. This session will focus on the benefits and challenges of such a solution based on front line field experience using VPLEX 5.X and vSphere 5.X. Multi-site vSphere cluster designs just got better.
4809 SQL Virtualization – How to bring Tier 1 SQL workloads into an optimized vSphere environment
Tony Pittman and Kyle Quinby, Varrow
Drawing from real-world experiences, Kyle Quinby and Tony Pittman will be going through some accumulated knowledge on tips and tricks to squeak out every last bit of power of your SQL VMs. They will be focusing on how to lay a solid foundation for SQL for both performance and high availability.
Tier 1 Database workloads truly have a home in modern virtual infrastructure. Consolidation ratios are finally what they should be, and bookkeeping aspects such as licensing and backup/DR have finally become relatively simple to achieve.
This session will be appreciated by,
1. SQL admins or developers that are looking for insight into how their virtual admins can help them
2. Virtual infrastructure administrators, that are unsure what steps they should be taking for their SQL workloads
3. Long-term planners (architects/CIO) looking to get some “best practice” information to create a virtual SQL strategy
4969 Understanding vSphere Physical Connectivity - Deep Dive & Recommendations
Jason Nash, Varrow
This session will provide an in-depth look at your options for physically connecting vSphere hosts to the network. The discussion will focus on common question areas that come up during knowledge workshops and customer design sessions. Throughout the session videos and animations will be used to help attendees easily see the expected result from many of these configuration options. The presentation will focus heavily on the different hashing types and traffic control, especially the more advanced options such as Load-Based Teaming and Network I/O Control. Other areas of focus include physical separation of traffic, networks of differing security requirements such as DMZs, and suggested NIC configurations for both 1Gb and 10Gb environments. Finally, recommendations for physical switch configurations will also be covered. Throughout the session best practices, recommendations, and lessons learned from many production deployments will be shared. Attendees should expect to walk away with a deep understanding of the physical connectivity options available with vSphere, how they can be utilized in their environment, and the best methods for deploying them.
5053 Cloud Continuity: How does the Cloud fit into your Business Continuity Plan?
Tom Cornwell, Varrow
Today cloud is becoming ubiquitous. However, it can be utilized in many different ways. Whether you utilize cloud for your production environments or not, cloud can play a part in your business continuity plan. This session describes different business continuity strategies utilizing cloud. Topics include: cloud as a source, cloud as a target, and cloud to cloud DR. In addition, we will discuss mixed strategies and different types of cloud implementations including Platform-as-a-Service, Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Storage-as-a-Service, and DR-as-a-Service.
5158 How High Point Regional deployed a secure, feature-rich resilient desktop to their users
Dave Lawrence, Varrow. Adam Flowers, High Point Regional Health System
Come hear how High Point Regional Health System implemented Horizon View using the latest technologies such as HTML Access, Persona Management, Imprivata OneSign, Trend Micro Deep Security and Zero and repurposed clients all on a vSphere Streched Cluster with EMC VPLEX. Come hear the lessons learned during this dynamic deployment and how to integrate all of these great solutions together.
5296 Hypervisor-Based Disaster Recovery: The Missing Link for Virtualizing Mission-Critical Applications
Jason Nash, Varrow. Shannon Snowden, Zerto.
Mission-critical, tier-1 applications such as database and transactional applications are often the last to be virtualized. Despite the many benefits of virtualizing these applications, some companies still question the ability to protect and recover these applications in virtualized environments. Most likely, each application is on a different type of storage, so having one solution across the environment is not possible – driving up complexity and costs. Traditional BC/DR technologies are built for physical environments, requiring manual and complex processes to utilize these systems for virtualized applications, and each type of hardware has its own type of replication – so there is no consistency.
New disaster recovery technologies are filling this gap for large and small enterprises alike, delivering all the flexibility customers expect from a virtualized environment, with the aggressive RPOs and RTOs that mission-critical applications require. In this session, we will show how hypervisor-based replication solves these critical DR issues, clearing all barriers to virtualize tier-1 applications.
5470 The seven things you need to look at in your environment BEFORE installing Horizon View!
Dave Lawrence, Varrow
Ready to install Horizon View? Have you checked your DHCP scope? Is your version of vSphere supported? Are you using Group Policy loopback processing mode? Should you? There are seven main components of your environment that you should review BEFORE installing Horizon View. Come to our session and find out what the seven components are and how to avoid the most common environmental pitfalls that our engineers have come across during hundreds of View deployments.
5553 Cloud Bursting: Strategies to overflow into the cloud
Tom Cornwell, Varrow
Cloud bursting is a concept that to many sounds like a pipe dream. However, by looking at IT from a service perspective rather than from an infrastructure perspective, the tools exist to adopt this radical idea. This session will discuss how tools from VMware can help you make the cloud bursting dream a reality.
VPLEX is quite a unique beast in that there are numerous failure opportunities (as I like to call them) a host can walk away from unscathed. There are also some it cannot. I have gotten this question a lot lately and sometimes to the bewilderment of the intended receiver. As magical as VPLEX is, in a lot of cases failover is not automated which implies why VMware SRM integration is in the not so distant future. Below I have gathered information from a few sources that speak on the topic so just maybe we can all get it straight in our head.
To preface that, I wanted to mention two types of volumes from a VPLEX Metro configuration, they are Distributed Virtual Device/Volumes and a Virtual Volumes with remote access. The two are very different. DVV’s as we’ll call them have two copies of the data, one leg at each site. The VV is only one copy of the data, at Site A or Site B, the remote access allows you to make visible that data to hosts at the opposite location to where the data lives. Meaning if you have a VV at Site A you can enable remote access so hosts at Site B can access that VV over the VPLEX transport. In this scenario, you could lose an entire array at Site B and still maintain host uptime because the data is being served up from Site A.
With DVV’s, hosts are actually accessing their local leg for data access, but its done at the head level for the DVV. Considering the two volumes that make up the DVV are mirrored and identical, you could lose either volume, one or the other, not both, and still maintain host connectivity. Where it gets squirrelly is at the loss of VPLEX itself. In single engine scenarios your SPoF is now that single engine. Yes there are two directors within each engine, but loss of a single engine would most likely cause data unavailability depending on what site it failed at. There are a few ways around that. As I mentioned earlier by zoning all hosts at Site A to Site B’s mirror leg and providing standby pathing access, you could survive the loss of a Site A VPLEX engine. Models like such get incredibly complex, especially from a zoning perspective, so be careful out there.
Consider the loss of each from the hosts POV, if there are other scenarios you would like clarification on let me know…
On Saturday I made my way to the first TEDx event in the Wilmington area, dub as TEDxHampstead. Hampstead is a small community north of Wilmington, to which a few of the cofounders and board members live. TEDxWilmington happened to be taken (damn you Delaware), hence the name. What has always grabbed me about the TED(x) movement is the notion of life long learning. Its part of the human makeup. Being highly social and curious creatures, we have a thirst for knowledge. This thirst has no age limit, although you’ll see below, perhaps the younger generation needs a little push…
The general flow of the event was as follows below. There are number of guidelines the charter has to adhere to to be legit. I imagine this will be the same format in your area if you attend.
The speakers themselves were very diverse which added to the appeal and interest. From a Communications Professor at UNCW to one of the cofounders of the Full Belly Project, all had a message and their experiences to bring. The audience, frankly, was sparse. Filled mostly with geriatrics, distinguished suits, a smattering of College ed’s and me (I certainly didn’t hit the crowd demographic) Maybe 30 to 40 with crew and speakers. After each speaker there was Q&A which rounded out each speech to around 20 to 25 minutes a piece.
Formality’s aside, what brought me there was the speaker David Pell. I somehow stumbled upon his communal contributions, of which he humbly calls a Taste of Guitar, a few months ago. Which in turn led me to TEDx. His vision is to create a forum for young musicians to showcase their talents. Beginning and advanced musicians must audition to perform, preferably solo, with several songs premiered. This free event brought together elder musicians in the area who provided sound equipment and mentorship. Also as part of the event was a guest artist, usually someone of stature and relevance in the music industry, who would play and teach.
So I guess at this point you are trying to make sense of the Subject of this post, “1+1 can be”. Pell’s speech was called “Being Creative” and drew upon his/this recipe for creativity. As a teacher, he explains, his students today are only interested in mimicking their musical idols. The creativity to create their own music seems..well distant, unobtainable. Its with this background that he created “1+1 can be”. The idea is simple, when you look at this (1+1) what do see? Do you see the number 2? Or do you see ||||, or 1 > 1 or 1 < 1. All at their root are 4 lines. Think about how many different patterns and variations there are with 4 lines. Its with this, he explains how every element, every song can be broken down into its core elements. Its from these elements, creativity is alive.
All in all, if you looking to have your soul stirred in this soul stew we call life, TEDx fits the bill. But if you are looking to be more creative, then focus on all the wonderful ways 1+1 can be…
If you’re like me the word DevOps may seem quite foreign, although it shouldn’t. To simplify the explanation, its nothing more than tighter collaboration and communication between Development and Operations within an organization. With this tighter collaboration, comes greater efficiencies and reduction in risk when deploying software products and services. Development/Developers are paid change agents. Their job is to respond quickly to a businesses’ needs. Counter to that is Operations. Their job is to resist change for fear of instability. And their lies the problem. These different organizational structures, goals, mindsets and tools all lead to silos of frustration between both sides.
What really put this in perspective for me is this article by Damon Edwards at dev2ops.org. The name of the post says it all, “DevOps is not a technology problem. DevOps is a business problem”. Without proper collaboration between all business entities, the process of a taking an idea from inception, to market literally becomes an up hill battle. This the very essence of DevOps, business enablement. Without the business, we’re all nothing more than glorified hobbyists.
The 3 primary principles of DevOps as defined by Gene Kim, founder of the IT Revolution Press and Tripwire fame are as follows…
Do you work in an environment where these principles are working?