Friday, August 26, 2011

Getting Started with VSA

If you are going to be at VMworld this year, please come to the session I'm presenting with Edward Hsu on VSA.  We are to cover some basics and some in-depth goodies.  If you thinking about using VSA, this session will help you to understand exactly what VSA is and some details to help you understand how to deploy and manage it.  It is on Monday at 12:30 in Palazzo Ballroom G - VSP3299.

Here's a very fast overview of VSA:  It stands for vSphere Storage Appliance.  It takes the local disks on two or three vSphere 5 hosts and creates a "virtual SAN".  This virtual SAN enables all the advanced featrues of vSphere - vMotion, DRS, HA - to be possible with only local storage.

I've done lots of testing with it over the past four months and now that the product is finished, I can start talking about.  This session at VMworld is the starting point and it will be followed by a whitepaper and several blog articles.


Thursday, August 25, 2011

HP TouchPad Conspiracy Theory #1

I've always wanted to be the author of a conspiracy theory and I think that HP has given me the perfect opportunity.  The whole TouchPad / WebOS apparent dismantling is just a trick.  HP has actually just pulled off one of the greatest stunts of all times.  What follows is my theory of what is really going on.

HP acquired Palm and WebOS last year and began to work on a strategy to create devices that were competitive with Apple's iPhone and iPad.  The WebOS is a technically superior OS to iOS in many ways, which is an advantage, but would not guarantee success simply due to technical superiority.  HP also had the ability to basically copy the same general tablet form factor and technical specs that all the other tablets were using.  In basic terms HP was able to create a device that was similar technically to the iPad and in some ways even better.

HP realized that they also had to compete with the Apple appstore and development community.  This is not something that can be easily solved, so a few high placed executives must of come up with the secret plan that we now see unfolding.

They planned to release the Touchpad as a high end tablet that "Worked Like Nothing Else" with celebrity spokespeople and lots of ads.  This would give consumers the impression of the high value of their new tablet.    In order to spur demand and quickly sell ALL the Touchpads they could make, they would then slash prices to $99 and announce that they were discontinuing the Touchpad.  All Touchpads would sell out in days.

This part of the secret plan has been executed already, and we have seen that it was successful.  The next steps should come in the next few days.

It is my theory that HP's secret plan next calls for HP to announce that in the wake of unprecedented demand and the need to support all of it's new cusomers - They are going to keep working on tablets and WebOS.

Maybe this is just a crazy consipiracy theory, but I thnk that it makes sense.  We'll all just have to wait and see what happens over the next couple of weeks :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

What Are You Waiting For?

I'm feeling bold today, so here it is. There are no remaining technical barriers to virtualizing your entire data-center.  The benefits are real.  What are you waiting for?

Many many customers have virtualized all the most business critical and performance intensive apps found in datacenters.  Exchange is now commonly virtualized.  SQL Server and Oracle databases are also run as VMs on vSphere in data centers all over the world.  Even bigger more complex stuff like SAP and Oracle RAC can be run virtualized with no technical issues.  There are proven examples for just about every application type out there.  It works.

The benefits are big and from what I have seen, the more that you virtualize the bigger the benefits become.  I think that everybody is aware of the clear consolidation benefit for legacy and underused servers.  Once you have completed a consolidation effort you begin to see that the operational benefits are much bigger than what you realized before starting.  In fact I would say that these benefits are much bigger than the pure consolidation gains.

The number of workloads that cannot be virtualized due to technical barriers is very small.  This leaves issues like application licensing uncertainty, organizational politics, out dated conceptions of what virtualization can do, support questions, fear of change, and others.  Some of these have simple answers and others are more difficult, but even though they are not technical reasons they are still very real reasons.

If you were to purchase a new Intel or AMD based server today with either two or four sockets, you would be hard pressed to find an application that truly needs the whole host.  The only practical way to really utilize these nice new servers is to use virtualization to be able to run multiple workloads on it at the same time.  Otherwise you are looking at a system that is probably less than 30% utilized almost all of the time.