Just like previous year, thanks to VMware, I was fortunate to visit VMworld Europe this year! 🙂 My thanks for that! Now I am back home, it is time for a small recap of the event.
Since I am not allowed to enter the TAM or Partner Day, I went for the Hands On Labs (HOL) which is of course also available to you all for free if you follow this link (the sessions from VMworld are usually available after 5 to 10 days after the event). I did 2 labs, this doesn’t sound like much but one of them was the NSX advanced lab with 5 modules and each module takes about 30 to 45 minutes. The second one was the introduction to EVO:RAIL.
- NSX Advanced – Consist of 5 modules: Setting up a DHCP Relay, Scale Out L3, L2 VPN, Trend Micro integration and Riverbed Integration. Very interesting one.
- EVO:RAIL Introduction – A quick lab on how you set up the EVO:RAIL appliance. This one was a bit disappointing. There is basically very little lab “activity”. All you can do is provide some names and password, create a few VMs and that’s it.
There were a lot of session available at VMworld, too much to attend all. So here is my pick of the sessions.
- Site Recovery Manager 101: What’s New with Mauricio Barra (VMware). One of my favorites! J I blogged about this before when the VMworld U.S. was on. But here are the major new features: Self-service, policy-based protection – vCAC Integration through new vCO plugin. Software-defined storage for DR – Virtual SAN integration through vSphere Replication. 5x scale of protection – up to 5000 protected VMs per vCenter Server. 2x scale of recovery – concurrent recovery of up to 2000 VMs per vCenter Server. Performance enhancement – storage stack improvements reduce the RTO. Converged UI with vSphere – vSphere Web Client plugin. Simplified IP address management – rule based customization at the subnet level. Faster installation – embedded database (vPostgress) option.
- vSphere HA Best Practices and FT Tech Preview GS Khalsa (VMware). GS announced the availability of vSphere Resource and Availability Service (vRAS for short). It is a fling that assesses the impact of host failures and VM migration on resources using DRS dump files. Worth taking a look at but the biggest announcements in my opinion were the new features of vSphere Fault Tolerance. In the next version of vSphere FT will support up to 4 vCPUs! Any virtual disk format (not only EZT), FT will be Hot Configure, support Hardware Virtualization, Backup (Snapshots), Paravirtual Devices, and Storage Redundancy. Wow! Just think about the possibilities! We can finally protect the vCenter Server with FT which is a big advantage for the vCenter Server availability.
- vRealize Automation: Overview and Glimpse into the Future with Thomas Cortmat (VMware) & Christian Paulus (VMware). The vRealize Automation is the new name for the vCAC. The most interesting part was the vRealize Code Stream. I am not a developer but it looks like this can streamline and automate the software delivery process to rapidly and reliably push out application releases.
- Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication: What’s New Technical Deep Dive with Jeff Hunter (VMware) and (Ken Werneburg (VMware). So this is basically a extended version of the Site Recovery Manager 101: What’s New – session but with some more technical details like the integration with the vRealize Automation (vCAC).
- The vExpert Storage Game Show EMEA. Well this one is hard to describe. It basically comes to this. There a two teams: VMware and Pure Storage. There is a host who asks questions and the guys have to answer it correctly to gain points. It is a very hilarious session. I absolutely recommend this one. It is a lot of fun! J
- Virtual Volumes Technical Deep Dive with Rawlinson Rivera (VMware) & Suzy Visvanathan (VMware). A bit of a boring presentation if you ask me. Just an overview how storage is managed today and how it will be managed when VVols are released. On the other hand, the Protocol Endpoint and the Storage Container were explained well.
- Technical Deep Dive on EVO: RAIL with Dave Shanely (VMware) and Mornay van der Walt (VMware). So, basically this session is about the technology behind EVO:RAIL.
- Software Defined Storage – The VCDX Way Part II : The Empire Strikes Back with Wade Holmes (VMware). A good session about how to architect the software defined storage from a VCDX point of view. Wade gave some useful tips on the building block and also some tips if you are preparing for your VCDX defense. The Star Wars-like introduction at the beginning of the session was also very amusing. J
The Solution Exchange was a bit bigger than last year. Beside the big companies like HP, HDS, VCE etc there were a lot of small ones. I saw some Nutanix/SimpliVity clones, a lot of cloud providers and a lot of small startup companies which names I don’t remember unfortunately.
Parties are an essential part of VMworld. This is the place to network with other peers. There were a lot of parties available, just like last year but here are the ones I attended.
- vRockstar – Pre VMworld party.
- Veeam – One of the best and biggest ones.
- PernixData – small one. Mostly invite only.
- vExpert Reception – This is the place to meet other vExperts.
- VMworld Party – Big party on Wednesday. The act this year was Simple Minds.
So to recap, the VMworld 2014 Europe was a great one once again. I think last year a lot of people were a bit skeptic about SDDC but now the EVO:RAIL and NSX are generally available we will all be transitioning to a software defined datacenter in the next years.
The next VMworld Europ will also be held in Barcelona, from October 13-15 2015.
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