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The following is a guest post from VMware partner, Hitachi Data Systems.


As your IT department evolves into a services business, the alliance between Hitachi Data Systems and VMware adapts to bring IT Efficiency, Control, Agility and Choice.

VMware did a great job of virtualizing the server and now it is doing the same for network. What if you could programmatically provision any network to allow you to place any workload anywhere? And that workload could be moved anywhere and is independent of any physical hardware? This would allow you to deploy any of your complex applications within minutes, providing tremendous operational efficiencies. That is the goal of network virtualization, and what the latest VMware and Hitachi Data Systems collaboration is all about.

Hitachi Unified Compute Platform Pro for VMware vSphere is a converged infrastructure built with the IT administrator in mind. It features Hitachi Data Systems servers, storage, and network integrated into a pre-validated, pre-configured platform with VMware vSphere and an orchestration layer—UCP Director software that is embedded into VMware vCenter. In the software-defined data center, all infrastructure is virtualized and delivered as a service. Compute, storage, networking, security, and availability are pooled, aggregated, and automated by UCP Director software.

And you manage everything—from anywhere and at any time—through your familiar VMware vCenter interface.

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We're excited to bring something new and valuable to attendees and the VMworld community. Inside the Community Lounge within the Hang Space, we are offering a VMware Community Bar, staffed by team leaders and social media managers from the VMware programs listed below.  Meet and network with subject experts to discover a variety of programs and social media channels for engaging with their communities. Don't miss this great opportunity all week during VMworld and for a chance at great giveaways & prizes!

Global Support Services:
Learn about VMware Support social media resources available at any time: YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and the Knowledge Base at

Education and Certification Services:
Meet Linus Bourque and Joshua Andrews, two of the active VMware education and certification community members. Both are active on answering questions and providing guidance. Be sure to connect with or

TAM Services:
TAMs advocates your needs inside VMware. Drop by to meet VMware TAMs and learn more about the benefits of the TAM Service. Connect with our channels:

Beta Program:
Members of the VMware Beta Program will be on hand to talk with you about product betas and how they are structured today.  We ca share the recent changes in the beta program and additional enhancements that are being investigated to build better products. Not part of the Beta Program? We can help you to get involved.  Visitors will also have a chance to learn about the customer team behind the Onsite and Hosted Betas.  They will be on hand to talk with you about how we've built the environment that supports these portals. 

The VMware User Group is an independent, global, customer-led organization, which maximizes it’s members’ use of VMware and partner solutions through knowledge sharing, training, collaboration, and events. Join our 80,000+ members world-wide taking advantage of the training and networking opportunities available through the VMUG community. Drop by to learn about exclusive member benefits or visit

Are you inspired by working on innovations that imagine, define and deliver what’s next? Have you thought about what’s next for you? See how our talented and diverse teams work together to radically simplify IT through software virtualization. For a limited time during VMworld, when you follow @vmwarecareers and tweet #whatsnext for you, you’ll be entered into a raffle to win a free Fitbit. Don’t delay; we have several of the latest versions to give away!

CloudCred is the hub for all things cloud related, and it is your gateway to building your cloud expertise, broadening your professional network and earning rewards and certifications. Through CloudCred, you can improve your knowledge, get recognized, build your network and much more, and tere are opportunities to compete both as an individual and as a team.  At VMworld, we will be running multiple contests with over $10,000 worth of prizes to give away, including Xboxes, iPads, Roku Boxes, and more. We will have a contest for each of the main threads of VMworld 2013: Software-Defined Data Center, Hybrid Cloud, and Mobility, as well as as a team contest. Visit
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VMworld 2013 in VMware in Law

Posted by James Gunnarson Aug 16, 2013
It is almost time for VMworld 2013.  I will be there all week and probably hanging around the FusionIO and iGEL booths.  If anyone would like to meet up and discuss anything about our experiences and environment feel free to contact me.        
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I'm really excited about VMworld this year.  VMware has a [good] habit of disrupting the status quo - they did it with ESX/vSphere, vCloud, and now vCHS.  This year, I'm keeping my eyes out on three major fronts:  networking, storage, and vCloud Hybrid Service.

Last year, VMware announced the acquisition of Nicira, which almost immediately broadened their breadth and depth in the virtualized networking space.  I think we'll more announcements this year - VMware is now very, very well positioned to "be" a networking company too.  And why not?    They've been doing some aspects of software-based networking for a long time, starting with the classic vSwitch, then introduced the vSphere Distributed Switch, and developed vShield for comprehensive set of flexible and secure tools for securing a virtualized network.  They somewhat quietly launched VMware NSX earlier this year, which is like ESX but for networks.  VMware NSX.  Here's a good explanation of what/how/why on NSX:  Definitely something to keep an eye on - most customer's network design and overall architecture hasn't really changed since the late 90's...

Then comes storage...  First of all, VMware is an independent company, with EMC as its majority shareholder.  There has been an incredible amount of information exchange between VMware and EMC.  EMC has some of the most robust, intelligent, and reliable storage on the planet.  Storage performance and availability is so critical to virtualization, which VMware really had to learn the ins and outs of storage to make vSphere as highly performing and reliable as it is.  Earlier this year, VMware acquired Virsto (again somewhat quietly).  Virsto is essentially a hypervisor for storage.  It's purpose built for "VM-centric workloads" and promises "to deliver superior performance, space efficiency, and agility.  [all] At the same time".  Similar to NSX, VMware now has the [true] capability of virtualizing storage.

vCloud Hybrid Service is VMware's public cloud.  Kelser participated in the Early Access Program and worked with the vCHS team to get DCE (Datacenter Extension) working properly.  The infrastructure was architected and designed by the company that essentially invented virtualization, as we know it today.  It employs vSphere, vCNS, (I'm assuming) NSX, and vCloud to deliver a cost-effective hybrid cloud offering, which lets customers consume cloud at their own pace without having to go all in if they aren't ready.  DCE also lets customers move existing workload from their virtual environment to the cloud, preserving IP addresses and network functionality, with a vCNS Edge VPN that has layer 2 capabilities.

So what now?  Does VMware hold THE trifecta of core infrastructure virtualization capabilities:  compute (vSphere), networking (Nicira / NSX), and storage (Virsto).  It's clear VMware knows how to "glue" it all together too, as evident with products like vCloud and Operations Management Suite(s).  They can also clearly roll it up into their own offering:  vCHS.

Stay tuned!  VMworld should be interesting this year!

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10 years of Defying Convention

To celebrate our 10th annual VMworld, each week we'll be looking at a different facet of our event, from the evolution in VMware technology to our place as one of the world's largest IT conferences. For updates on VMworld 2013, please follow @VMworld on Twitter.


The rapidly changing pace of IT industry has made IT certifications invaluable for validation of technical knowledge and career advancement.

In light of technology and product advancements, VMware’s Education and Certification Team implements updates to corresponding certifications to keep skills current. Check out ten “Did You Know?” facts below regarding VMware certifications and their history since training and testing have been introduced at VMworld. As long as IT continues to transform and innovate, VMware will continue to evolve and defy convention:


1.    VMware Certification exams have been made available since June 2003.


2.    The first VMware Certified Professional (VCP) exam was based on ESX 1.5. It was a written test consisting of multiple choice and write-in answers.


3.    Susan Gudenkauf, currently a Senior Program Manager in the Office of the CTO at VMware, is VCP #1 (the first person to ever be awarded the VCP status in the world).


4.    The VCP and VCDX titles have gone through a breadth of renaming changes to better highlight specialization, complement evolution of VMware virtualization platforms and to adhere to industry standards.




5.    The most popular certification is VCP5-DCV, and there are currently over 100,000 VCPs worldwide.




6.    Onsite testing services were first made available at VMworld US 2009 due to high customer demand. The VCP, VCDX Enterprise Administration and Design exams were offered at the Certification Lounge.


7.    VMware Certified Advanced Professional (VCAP) certification was introduced on May 24, 2010 to differentiate and acknowledge professionals that develop more cognitively complex skill sets beyond the VCP certification, while also serving as a stepping stone to the VCDX level. VCAP exams debuted at VMworld US 2010.


8.    At VMworld 2012, VMware Education and Certifications Team debuted a major shift in the program: to help test takers decide which exams will best help them in their careers, product-based certifications have shifted to more role-based certifications.  “We have become more focused to help test takers in the world that they’re in, whether they are designers or administrators or engineers.” – Jon Hall


9.    VMware’s first cloud certification, VCP-IaaS (VCP-Infrastructure as a Service) launched last year in 2012 and the exam was made available at VMWorld San Francisco 2012.


10. VCDX5-DCV (VMware Certified Design Expert) is the highest level of VMware certification, requiring an in-person panel defense.  John Arrasjid is VCDX #001 and has continued his involvement with the program. As of now, there are 116 VCDX holders worldwide.

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It's almost that time again, as VMworld 2013 approaches for it's 10 year anniversary in the U.S. and 6th year in Europe.  There are several ways attendees can participate in social media and community, both onsite and online.

Onsite social media and community activity will be centered at the Community Lounge located within the VMworld Hang Space.  Be sure to stop by and say hello to our team and the rest of your industry peers.  The Community Lounge will bring the VMworld Community together for networking, blogging, community programs, video/podcast creation and social media collaboration .  The Lounge will offer a VMware Community Bar, staffed with Community Managers for VMTN, Support, Education, Consulting, Careers, VMUG and Cloud Cred. The Lounge will also offer Blogger tables, a video/podcast "bring-your-own-gear" studio and digital big screens for streaming social media and conference highlights.  There will also be community gatherings throughout the week to continue networking each evening.

Online, VMworld will be active on Blogs, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, YouTube, Vine, Instagram, Flickr and other social networks.  We encourage use of hashtags for Twitter as well as Facebook and Instagram. Tag your posts with #vmworld or tweet your most creative 3-word tweet using #vmworld3word.  Sessions & Labs will have their own designated hashtags to filter through the noise and create conversations around specific topics and tracks that others everyone can follow.  On, our team will be aggregating blog coverage and Twitter streams so you can follow along from any location online.

For a summary of all offerings, please visit

Or download our VMworld 2013 Social Media & Community Guide
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Just in time for VMworld 2013

Link to deal page --


Limited Time Promotion - Expires September 30th!

The IBM System x3950 X5 workload-optimized enterprise featured solutions are customizable systems optimized for your database or virtualization environments. For a limited time promotion, save up to a $9,500.00 discount on the IBM Enhanced server and Elite server Featured Virtualization Models shown below. Please contact your IBM representative to customize your configuration and receive your promotional price for this IBM special offer.

Choose among models configured with the right balance of processing power, memory, high performance storage, networking and software. IBM x3950 X5 Featured Solutions are customizable, flexible, and scalable for the growing demands of your virtualized server and database server environments.

Featured Solutions Models

Click below to see systems optimized for your workloads and customizable for your needs.

x3950 X5 Featured Virtualization Models with Special Offer

x3950 X5 Featured Database Models

Buy Today, Before This Special Offer Goes Away

The x3950 X5 workload-optimized featured solutions are customizable systems optimized for your database or virtualization environments. To buy IBM featured solutions pre-configured with Essential server, Enhanced server or Elite server bundles, select the "customize" links to buy direct from IBM, and customize the IBM server based on your business needs. To buy IBM Servers from chassis models, please click on the "Build your own" link here or above to configure your new System x3950 X5 IBM servers.

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10 years of Defying Convention

To celebrate our 10th annual VMworld, each week we'll be looking at a different facet of our event, from the evolution in VMware technology to our place as one of the world's largest IT conferences. For updates on VMworld 2013, please follow @VMworld on Twitter.

Has it really been 15 years since VMware was founded?

Has it really been 15 years since VMware was founded and started up in the 500 square foot space above the Village Cheese House Deli in Palo Alto with just 5 employees? Has it really been 15 years since the team successfully booted up Windows 95 for the first time ever in a virtual machine? Has it really been 14 years since VMware released their first product, Workstation 1.0 for Linux and Windows?


Taking a look back in time at the evolution of VMware products, here are three of the game-changing products that had a big place at VMworld keynotes:

VMware Infrastructure 3 in 2006


VMware Infrastructure 3 manuals

June 2006: Virtual Infrastructure 3 (VI3), released with VMware ESX 3.0 and VirtualCenter 2.0

  • “…We also introduced virtual infrastructure. And with that now, has moved us to a whole new level in how we think about, how we manage our hardware, how we deploy our services. You can now pull your CPUs, pull your memory, that many gigahertz aggregated, that many gigabytes aggregated, your storage and your networking.” – CEO Diane Greene, VMworld 2006
  • Industry’s first full Infrastructure virtualization suite that empower enterprises and small businesses alike to transform, manage and optimize their IT systems infrastructure through virtualization
  • Throwback Tchotchke: VI3 videos launch videos   

ESX Server 3i in 2007

  • Described as the “next generation hypervisor architecture, driving virtualization enabled hardware”  - CEO Diane Greene, VMworld 2007
  • Industry’s first generation of a ultra-thin hypervisor integrated into server hardware. Everybody at the show got a cardboard box with their very own ESX Server 3i on a USB stick.


vSphere 4.0 in 2009

  • “This year we took a very big step forward with the introduction of vSphere.” – CEO Paul Maritz, VMworld 2009. “This was a major release for us, over 1,500 engineers worked on vSphere for about two years.”
  • Industry’s first operating system for building the internal cloud, enabling the delivery of efficient, flexible and reliable IT as a service.
  • vSphere 4.0 ran the VMworld labs in part from this data center built at the bottom of the Moscone escalators:3887431291_d6fed96be0_b.jpg
    (photo: Cisco)

More from the wayback machine...


1999: VMware Workstation 1.0 released for Windows and Linux

  • First to virtualize the x86 architecture
  • First to deliver a hosted virtual machine monitor (the hosted architecture integrates a virtual monitor with an existing operation system)


2001: VMware ESX 1.0

  • First bare metal hypervisor in the industry
  • First OS to support 64-bit extensions on an x86-based system
  • First to handle a modern I/O subsystem in a virtualized x86 system
  • First to enable transparent memory sharing of virtual machines on a commoditized platform
  • First to enable a single virtual machine to span multiple physical processors on an x86-based system
  • Throwback Tchotchke: Screenshot of ESX Server 1.0:


2003: vMotion

  • First to enable a running VM to move across physical boundaries


2003: P2V Assistant

  • First to enable automatic conversation of a physical x86-based environment, including OS and applications, into a virtual environment


“To be a pathbreaking systems software company whose software will become pervasive by the year 2000.”  -VMware's Mission Statement from 2008

It looks like VMware shows no signs of slowing down innovation in IT and will continue to defy convention. Do you remember these products or the first time running these products? Share with us your stories in the comments below.

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Twitter takes center stage once again at VMworld 2013.  With global audiences tuning into VMworld, Twitter can provide realtime information for announcements, show highlights, trending conversations and insights.  Be aware of how to connect with VMworld information on Twitter for quick access to knowledge, resources and networking with other Twitter users.
Conference Hashtags
#vmworld > add to your tweets for max reach
#vmworld3word > add to creative 3-word tweets
Session & Lab Hashtags
This year, you can tweet about specific VMworld Sessions & Labs, using individual hashtags.  Just add a # in from of any SessionID or LabID and add it to your tweets.  Or search Twitter for these same hashtags.  These hashtags will also be listed within Sessions & Labs abstracts in the Content Catalog and Schedule Builder.  View Session & Lab hashtags by track/topic.
Signup to be a Twitter Contributor
If you plan to provide VMworld 2013 coverage on Twitter, you can signup for the San Francisco Contributors List or the Barcelona Contributors List.
Live Twitter Streams
You can watch live VMworld Twitter streams online or visit the Hang Space at VMworld and watch live streams on the Digital Big Screens.  We are pulling VMworld hashtags into all of our streams, so you can tweet content and see it displayed (usually realtime, depending on traffic load and activity at that time).
Twitter Name on Attendee Badges
If you want your Twitter name printed on your badge, be sure you have added this in your registration w/ opt-in checked.  If you missed this, you can go back into registration to edit.

To view realtime VMworld Twitter activity and all details above, visit:
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10 years of Defying Convention

To celebrate our 10th annual VMworld, each week we'll be looking at a different facet of our event, from the evolution in VMware technology to our place as one of the world's largest IT conferences. For updates on VMworld 2013, please follow @VMworld on Twitter.

The Solutions Exchange is undoubtedly the most action-packed part of VMworld.


The industry’s most forward-thinking IT solution providers convene in the expo space every year to showcase their products and meet their customers and partners. The Solution Exchange is the place to check in with your current vendors and check out the hottest technologies to add to your IT toolbox. It's also not a bad place to get schwag.


vmworld12-solutions exchange.png


Booths range from the small pods to entire palazzos on the show floor. This year, over 300 exhibitors will be there for you to visit. The VMware booth will include technology demos, and expert bar, and theater presentations.

Do You Remember?


Do You Remember… when VMworld US 2004 had 30 sponsors in the Solutions Expo? Last year, VMworld US 2012 boasted over 250 sponsors in Solutions Exchange.

solutions exchange - technodrone.png
photo: Maish Saidel-Kensing at Technodrone


Do You Remember … when the Expert Bar had a different name? It's a part of the VMware booth for attendees to have one-on-one face time with a VMware technology expert.




Do You Remember ... the BattleBots competition at the first VMworld in 2004?


Do You Remember ... the Tiki-themed booth from Foedus at VMworld 2006 in Los Angeles, complete with conga line and steel drum band?

Photo: Glen Cochran


Do You Remember… the gigantic (16 x 60 feet) chalk mural by New York artist Brian Rea outside Solutions Exchange at VMworld 2007?  Bonus fun fact: There are pieces of the mural framed and hung around VMware’s HQ in Palo Alto.


Do You Remember… when VMware first brought white boards to the Expert Bar, drawing in a crowd? Since VMworld US 2007, white boards have either cover the surface of the bar or on a swivel for effective learning.


Do You Remember… when the first Refueling Lounge was introduced at VMworld 2012, stocked with coffee carts and a smoothie bar for a quick recharge of mind, body, and device?


Do You Remember… the first Solutions Exchange “Hall Crawl” at VMworld 2010? Beverages and food were sponsored by six vendors. Last year, the Hall Crawl was sponsored by 21 vendors.



Do you remember your favorite booth at VMworld Solutions Exchange? Share with us in the comments below:

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Blogging at VMworld has become an exceptional way to amplify announcements, deep-dive into technology, provide key insights & editorial or just follow show highlights and share the VMworld experience.  But blogs are just the tools... 'Bloggers' are the heart of our VMworld community.  We really appreciate our community of bloggers who contribute year after year, including vExperts, alumni, new attendees and many followers who are unable make it onsite.

If you will be contributing to blog coverage of VMworld 2013 for either venue (San Francisco or Barcelona), please visit VMworld 2013 Bloggers and signup to be a contributor.  This page offers a feed of blog posts from our VMworld 2013 contributors as well as links to our official VMworld Blog and VMware & Industry Blog Rollup.

We will have dedicated blogger tables within our Community area of the VMworld Hang Space, adjacent to the Solutions Exchange.  If you are a blogger onsite at the conference, please plan time to meetup with fellow bloggers and other social media peers at this location to blog, charge devices, record video or podcasts, or just to relax & network.  Aside from being where the "cool kids hangout", the Hang Space will feature many perks such as a VMware Social Media & Communities Bar (support, certification, consulting, careers, etc.), self-service community video space, social media jumbo screens, recreational games, charging stations, lounge seating and drinks & snacks.  Reserved blogger tables will also be setup at the front of General Sessions.

Be sure to bookmark: VMworld 2013 Bloggers

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10 years of Defying Convention


To celebrate our 10th annual VMworld, each week we'll be looking at a different facet of our event, from the evolution in VMware technology to our place as one of the world's largest IT conferences. For updates on VMworld 2013, please follow @VMworld on Twitter.


The Breakout Sessions are at the heart of VMworld.

Breakout Sessions have dynamic speakers, provide rich content, and spark constructive discussions. To wring every ounce out of the VMworld experience, attendees pore over the Content Catalog for the more valuable and interesting Breakout Sessions, sketch out alternate plans of attack in the Schedule Builder, and carefully fill their calendars – all the while making sure there’s enough time to travel between rooms, hit the Solutions Exchange, and take a break every now and then for some food and some socializing.



Back in 2004, VMworld was positioned to be a user conference with more than 60 sessions.

Now going into its 10th year, it has grown to be one of the largest virtualization-specific conferences, offering more than 350 sessions. Although the purpose of VMworld has remained relatively consistent, the development of sessions is far from static. To put its growth into perspective, consider the number of sessions that were offered each year. Starting in 2010 we began to repeat popular sessions more often (so stay alert for openings in your schedule on Wednesday and Thursday!); those repeats aren’t even counted in the table below, which makes the growth of the conference even more impressive.


YearUS SessionsEurope Sessions
2004> 60
2005> 110
2006> 290
2007> 210
2008> 300> 120
2009> 300> 140
2010> 170> 115
2011> 175> 200
2012> 330> 200



The topics of the sessions have evolved with the industry and the technology.

Tracks ranged from virtual infrastructure solutions to managing enterprise desktop to architecting the data center. The wide variety of high-impact Breakout Sessions throughout the past 9 years makes it almost unfair to ask attendees to choose a single favorite. While there is much to share, here are some comments past attendees made about sessions that left a lasting impression:


Petri Rantanen: “The best session was End User Computing Summit, there where all those are working also in the EUC side and talk and share ideas with them (also with the VMware).”


Todd Lewey: “I will go with the Scott Lowe and Forbes Guthrie session on vSphere design, the content was amazing, the flow of the presentations and discussions was very fluid, and both speakers were very informative. Mostly the take away from this session was the speakers, Scott and Forbes are very energetic and passionate about what they do, seeing techs like this doing what they do, is very infectious and carries over after the entire conference.”


Benny Hauk: “Two sessions in 2006 with Mendel Rosenblum. One was one he led, the other was a panel discussion he was on (the panel was incredible A-listers, even the moderator was a tech writer everyone knew). I remembered thinking, 'this shouldn’t be crammed into this tiny room, it should be in the keynote room!'”


Daunce: “Best session: Ask the experts. While waiting for the session to start, most of the experts were talking amongst themselves, but Scott Lowe was walking through the crowd asking them how their day had been. Scott Lowe is awesome.”


Andrew Mauro: I remember a session in 2009 at VMworld EU, it was about the virtualization of the mobile OS… was funny and strange… because so futuristic.



But it's not just about the Breakout Sessions.

However, sessions are not the only time to gain new knowledge; year after year attendees have reported incidental educational opportunities while interacting with fellow peers between sessions. This is no surprise, considering growing thousands of VMware customers, partners, engineers, product experts and IT professionals converge in single conference campus in US and in Europe for three to four days.



YearUS AttendeesEurope Attendees
2004> 1,600
2005> 3,500
2006> 6,000
2007> 10,800
2008> 14,000> 4,500
2009> 12,500> 4,700
2010> 17,000> 6,000
2011> 19,000> 6,500
2012> 21,000> 7,000


Anticipating over 21,000 attendees for VMworld US 2013 and over 8,000 attendees for VMworld Europe 2013, we expect the Breakout Sessions will be once again one of the highlights of the conference, but networking opportunities will also surface in the Hang Space, at the VMworld Party, at meals, and between Breakouts. We're glad to have you back again in 2013!


What was your favorite VMworld Breakout Session? 

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Make the most of your time at VMworld San Francisco, and take advantage of all of the educational options available. Advance your knowledge with pre-conference training courses and prove your skills with certification exams at discounted rates.


Plan to arrive early to VMworld 2013 and take advantage of a 20% discount off regular course pricing. Hone your skills with VMware solutions, meet the experts behind VMware products, and exchange ideas and best practices with IT professionals from around the world.  Check out the entire list of special discounted pre-conference courses now. All VMware Certification exams, including advanced professional certifications, will be 75% off the regular price, when taken on-site at VMworld San Francisco. Validate your cloud and virtualization skills today.


Check out the list and take advantage of discounted promotion codes.


Space is limited, so reserve your seat soon!

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VMworld is coming soon, this year for the 10th anniversary in the U.S. and 6th in Europe. VMworld is loaded with valuable knowledge, instruction & experiences.  But as many of the returning attendees can confirm, a big part of the conference is the official/un-official gatherings that happen during the week of the show.

Back for another exciting year, here is the infamous VMworld 2013 Gatherings list for community gatherings, tweetups, parties and all other activities. This list includes both the official VMworld Conference events as well as all other unofficial VMworld Community organized events.  And this includes separate lists for both VMworld 2013 San Francisco and Barcelona.  If you are organizing or managing any gatherings during either conference, please submit your details for consideration to add to the listings.  Please check back often for updates.

VMworld 2013 Gatherings

Looking forward to seeing everyone at the conference, and hopefully, at many of these gatherings!

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10 years of Defying Convention


To celebrate our 10th annual VMworld, each week we'll be looking at a different facet of our event, from the evolution in VMware technology to our place as one of the world's largest IT conferences. For updates on VMworld 2013, please follow @VMworld on Twitter.


Blog1_HOL_2004 resized.jpeg
Hands-On Labs at the first VMworld
in 2004.

Since 2004, Hands-On Labs (HOLs) at VMworld have been a key part of VMworld’s experiential learning.

HOLs give attendees access to the latest VMware technologies. “It’s a benefit for users; they can try all VMware products without assembling software. Users don’t have to change licenses or buy equipment—and trying to do that yourself could take days,” says Pablo Roesch, Group Manager of Technical Marketing.


Blog1_HOL_2011 resized.jpeg
Product experts are available to answer
questions and listen to feedback.

What happens during HOLs is all in the name: get your hands on a VMware-provided keyboard or your own device, and experiment with a product in the lab for approximately 60 minutes. Product experts are also on deck to provide immediate guidance. After a successful run of the lab, the environment is reset to a fresh state for the next participant.


Instructor-Led Labs kicked off in 2004 with resounding success.

Building the HOLs environment has been a labor of love years in the making. Labs were held in a room as its own encapsulated environment (datacenter, isolated network, user access points) equipped with Lab Captains to lead a guided tour to 40 to 120 users. Its popularity left attendees wanting a greater Labs presence and experience.


We introduced Self-Paced Labs in 2005.

To combat concerns in reserving seats, Self-Paced Labs (SPLs) were introduced in 2005 providing users with the convenience of accessing HOLs without pre-registration. While this resolved the issue by giving attendees the option to take a lab at their own time, Self-Paced Labs could not provide a complete user experience given the inherent limitations on a laptop.


Blog1_HOL_2009 resized.jpeg
SPLs in session during VMworld 2009.

Between VMworld 2008 and 2009, lab teams experimented with the concept of nesting ESX within itself. Running ESX on top of ESX within a virtual machine enabled HOLs to be built once and deployed in a clean state over and over again. By VMworld 2009, the lab teams combined nested ESX, Lab Manager and a custom portal in a private cloud supported by on-site datacenters. This created an enhanced self-paced experience, one that parallels the instructor-led one.


The success of the on-demand SPLs in VMworld 2009 proved to be a pivotal turning point in the creation of a HOL infrastructure.


All labs at the 2010 VMworld US were 100% self-paced.

Each workstation had a VMware View virtualized desktop running Lab Manager software, powered by VMware hybrid cloud technology. The vSphere virtualized infrastructure integrated onsite and offsite datacenters (in San Francisco, Ashburn, and Miami) to enable 4,000 virtual machines to be deployed and un-deployed every hour.


In 2011, all HOLs ran on vSphere 5.0 and vCloud Director 1.5 in a geo-distributed public cloud powered by three data centers (Amsterdam, Miami and Las Vegas). In this year, there was significant focus on the delivery of lab content. Instead of showcasing features of a product, sessions were more scenario-based to give the user a practical perspective on how a VMware product can improve business IT operations.


Blog1_HOL_2012 resized.jpeg
Attendees running labs on their own
devices during VMworld 2012.


In 2012, VMworld introduced the BYOD model, making HOLs even easier to experience.

Support for BYOD (bring your own device), the introduction of Lightning Labs (quick 15 or 30 minute modules) and the reduction of lab time to less than 60 minutes are just three ways HOLs have grown to be as scalable as possible.


To top that this year, VMworld 2013 will have hot spots around the conference so HOLs can be accessed outside the lab. This further reinforces Pablo Roesch’s stance on HOLs: “Our goal is to make our labs as accessible as possible to everyone on the planet. People should be able to do labs on the fly, on airplanes, anywhere, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.”


Please leave any feedback on HOLs in the comments below, so VMworld can continue to grow and defy convention.

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As pressures mount to maximize IT agility and increase profitability, small and midsized organizations like yours face unique challenges. Limited budgets, minimal resources, increased service demands and reliability are top of mind for IT professionals like you.


At VMworld 2013, you’ll gain the tools you need to transform conventional legacy IT into seamless, agile solutions that can dramatically simplify your operations.


Check out VMworld’s 2013 Content Catalog today. The Content Catalog is your guide to VMworld 2013 information. Find detailed descriptions of designated tracks, sessions, speaker information and Hands-on Labs, and customize your own event experience.


Register now and learn how to Defy Convention by extending the benefits of virtualization to all data center services.


Together, we can evolve from the ordinary and leave the pitfalls of legacy computing behind.  This is VMworld 2013 – 10 years of Defying Convention.


We look forward to seeing you there!

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Save $500 Off Onsite Registration - Early Bird Rate Ends 6/10

Time is running out to register for VMworld 2013 at an early bird discount rate! Join us in San Francisco on August 25–29 for the 10th annual VMworld and learn how to extend the benefits of virtualization to all data center services.



At VMworld 2013, you’ll gain the tools you need to transform conventional remedies into seamless, agile solutions that dramatically simplify your operations by taking advantage of:

    • More than 350 in-depth sessions
    • 26 Hands-On Labs
    • 275 sponsors and exhibitors in the Solutions Exchange
    • Networking opportunities with industry experts and other IT professionals



Still on the fence? VMworld’s content catalog will launch June 7th so you can learn more about the unique education opportunities. The content catalog is your guide to sessions and speaker information, giving you the ability to customize your calendar and plan out each conference day.



Register before June 10th and save $500 off onsite registration pricing. Together, we can evolve from the ordinary and leave the pitfalls of legacy computing behind. This is VMworld 2013 – 10 years of Defying Convention.

We look forward to seeing you there!

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Well  we were warned that "Le Vblock" was only part one and was to be  continued...and sure enough here is the sequel and concluding part to  the CIO story. Of course the ViB were courteous enough to send me the  lyrics:

Yeah VCE, Vblock...Saving U Money
Go Tweet, Go Blog!

We  got 1000 strong, Vblocks are Kong -- King of the infrastructure,  perfect little architecture, sexy black box, where an application rocks,  &#$%, ^#$%@ can ya -- virtualise &^#$? ignore their #$%@, you  can save a bundle, from their licenses, enticing this, exciting this,  would you like some tips, on how we optimise, well we standardise, on a  single product, that's called the Vblock, We got 100s, 200s, 320s,  720's, any workload baby, from SMB to the enterprise, we got 'em  mesmerized, with our saving size, lower OPEX costs, firefighting stops  -- you know what... yeah - we're really hot.

We Save U Money

Verse  2, Now here's what we do, 4 our customers, and why they loving us, it's  a single support, a single throat 2 choke, resolutions done before u  even know, we take away the patches, take away the pain, take away the  risk and let you breathe again, with a single matrix, a pretested fix,  done inside our labs, so u upgrade fast,

Customers say " we're  saving money" -- Cuz there's no more P1s, and there's no more reasons,  to be petrified , at firmware time, because we've verified all the  things inside, now concentrate, on applications, and gravitate 2 biz  solutions, infrastructure's boring, now u can ignore it, while u might  own it, VCE's honed it

We Save U Money

Press: "Is a Reference architecture like VCE?" -- er no
Analyst: "Is a @#$#^& company like VCE?" -- er no

There's  nothing #$%@, when u market manure, if u wanna know for sure, then open  up your doors, cuz the VCE crew will tell u what we do, we 'll deliver  in days, what others only claim, production ready systems, pumping like  pistons, VMs, Apps, Clouds u list em, everything u need with accelerated  speed, with a service portfolio that'll make u dream, enabling your  business, u can't resist this, accelerating projects, de-risked  quickness, plug in datacenter, IT innovator, SLAs on, incidents gone,  now your IT's hot, with all the savings u got....

So how does a 60% OPEX saving sound to you?
Yeah that's what I thought....

We Save U Money
Watch it online now at :
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I do not want to portray myself as a storage expert by any means, but I do like to share my struggles and experiences as an end user. I think all of us have struggled with storage issues in the past. If you look at where storage was 10 years ago and where it is today, there really hasn’t been much change in storage architecture. With the advent of SSD/Flash, storage vendors have been scrambling to integrate these technologies into their outdated storage arrays. Today there are dozens of vendors selling SSD / Flash arrays but what is the right choice? In my honest opinion it all depends on your data and how it will be used. The need to add racks of disks to increase performance is quickly becoming the past. Disks will still play a huge role in storage, however the shift to SSD /Flash seem to be better suited for the ingress and egress of data. Storage is really just storage. The key is how fast can your storage perform? From what I have found there really is no need to purchase a full SSD/Flash solution in most mid-sized business cases. I would also say there is no need to purchase dozens of SSD drives to add to your current array to increase performance. That is unless your storage vendor has some magic software/hardware patch that can fully utilize the SSD drives with the old hardware. Your budget would be much better spent on a system that was designed for SSD/Flash. When you are looking at different vendors you should ask yourself the following questions.


1. What are your current issues or concerns?


Application latency, not enough storage, future growth, etc.


2. Do you need capacity and/or performance?


You can never have enough capacity so plan big. My rule of thumb has always been to calculate how much I think I need and then double it twice. Performance is the nail in the coffin. I still would be a little conservative but don’t fool yourself. It is always better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.


3. What tasks do you want your storage to perform?

This is critical as you should look at most storage vendors as software vendors. Do you want snapshots, replication, deduplication, or QOS capabilities? Don’t get too caught up in their bells and whistles as there are usually better options. Research third party tools like Veeam, StorageCraft, and AppAssure, to see if they would better suit your needs. You can usually get more for your money if you use third party tools to do your daily tasks.

4. Budget?


If you have a huge budget then everything I am saying is probably useless. That is unless you want to save money. With hybrid systems (usually a combination of flash/spinning disks) you no longer need to spend $5-10 per GB. I would look at not spending more than $1-2 per GB and this includes the performance side. The additional money can then be spent on the bells and whistles.



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Getting started is easy – If you have your VMworld 2013 full-conference registration email, you can use the embedded link at the bottom of your p to initiate the Refer-a-Friend tool and follow the steps provided.

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Refer-a-Friend now – All entries must be received by October 4, 2013.

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Read the full Terms and Conditions.


So this link to the below video was waiting in my inbox this morning with the following lyrics and a note that this was Part 1.


Welcome to the ViB:


It's time for Change....

Are you ready to get your's 30 days baby and it's on - it's VCE (x2)

Have you heard about the C.I. craze?
Transformation that will amaze
OPEX savings that's second to none
CIOs we can show you how it's done

Infrastructure that's rolled out in days
As a product that simplifies the ways
IT delivers to your business
Private Cloud? We can get you to this!

Ahhhhh VBlock - it's VCE- VBlock

All that pressure got you down
Trouble tickets spinning u round and round
Late night calls when patches don't go right
Finger pointing with no end in sight

With VCE it's a single number to call
A single product that's preinstalled,
Pre-integrated, pre-tested and what's more
A single matrix to upgrade it all

Ahhhhh VBlock- it's VCE- VBlock

Now feel the emergence of convergence

Now shake your body right down to your datacenter

All that pressure that made you cry
Is now replaced with an ROI
That can't be beat with an "always on" design
Technology that makes your business thrive

Accelerated & standardized
Consolidated & optimised
New Applications rolled out on time
A De-risked DC that's virtualised

Ahhhhh VBlock - it's VCE- VBlock

Shake it for me, shake it for me a reference architecture never did it 4 me

Gotta plug in 2 your core of your network baby & power it up now someone help me

Now shake your body right down to your datacenter



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Register now and save €400 off onsite pricing.

Learn how to Defy Convention by extending the benefits of virtualization to all data center services and exceed your business expectations.

Join us in Barcelona on October 15-17 at VMworld 2013 and gain the tools you need to transform conventional remedies into seamless, agile solutions that dramatically simplify your operations and provide unmatched business advantages.

Register now and benefit from:

  • In-depth training and hands-on experience – VMworld offers more than 200 technical and content-rich sessions and labs covering the latest virtualization innovations in the data center for storage, networking, security, management, workforce mobility and hybrid cloud services.
  • Product research and analysis – Review the latest competitive solutions from more than 150 sponsors and exhibitors side-by-side in the Solutions Exchange.
  • Networking with industry experts – Compare notes with other IT professionals while making contacts you can leverage for advice and best practices for months to come.

Together, we can evolve from the ordinary and leave the pitfalls of legacy computing behind. It’s time to Defy Convention.

This is VMworld 2013.


Hi guys.... does anyone know where to get discount coupons to VMworld 2013 Europe? At least can someone tell me where we can get the VCP promo code? Thanks

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I've recently been inundated with a number of sporadic emails from a certain account named ViB. While I initially thought it was some kind of hoax I started to realise that this was a serious account as I was being sent exclusive information and industry tidbits specifically around how VCE's Vblock was enabling significant OPEX savings for customers as well as empowering CIOs to rapidly enable business transformation.

Amongst these interesting insights I was also sent a number of photos of cars with rather interesting number plates - see below:

ViB - vehicle 1
ViB - vehicle 2
ViB - vehicle 3

While none of this was really making any sense, it was this morning when I received a link to a new 40 second clip (see below) from the ViB where I was assured things would become clearer.


If anything what does seem to be clearer is that the ViB is most likely an acronym for "vArchitect in Black". Apart from this the 40 second teaser trailer seems to throw up more questions than answers!


- Are the ViB a new specialist team within VCE?
- Is this teaser trailer a precursor to a new documentary or feature film from VCE?
- Is this just a marketing stunt or hoax?
- Is this the precursor to another new product launch from VCE?
- Does this in fact have anything to do with VCE?
- Why are CIOs looking to VCE's Vblock as a solution to their problems and more specifically the ViB?


I'll leave you to decide by watching the clip yourself below and of course update you if and when I receive further information and clarification.

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VMworld is turning 10 and we invite you to the celebration!

Register today and save $500 off the on-site price.

Celebrating 10 years as the premier conference for IT professionals, VMworld has grown from 1,600 attendees in 2004 to more than 20,000 expected in 2013. Since our first VMworld, we’ve seen three Mars landings, submarines sent to the depths of the Mariana Trench, and Facebook grow from 650 users to 680 million.

Through the last 10 years VMware has extended the benefits of our market-leading technology across the entire data center—from compute, storage, networking, security and availability services to the mobile workspace. Year over year, VMworld remains the place to learn about VMware solutions for your business and network with those at the forefront of the virtualization revolution. Register today for your full-access pass to:

  • General Sessions – Hear from VMware’s leaders on our future roadmap
  • Breakout Sessions – Choose from 350 + technical, content-rich sessions delivered by speakers who understand how to leverage virtualization to make your business more agile, responsive and profitable
  • Hands-on Labs – Experience firsthand the latest VMware solutions with experts across VMware’s portfolio

Visit for latest news and updates on VMworld 2013.

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If you were to ask EMC or VMware whom they consider their major threat and competition you’d be easily forgiven for being mistaken to think it was NetApp, HP or offerings such as Hyper-V. With many terming us to now be in the third era of corporate computing, with mainframe and the client/server being the first two, the current cloud era has undoubtedly been spearheaded by the likes of Google, Amazon and Facebook. It is here where EMC and VMware face their biggest challenge of remaining relevant and cutting edge in a market that demands automation, simplicity and speed of deployment. Despite major marketing campaigns of “Big Data” and “Clouds” that have seen airports littered with exorbitant amounts of posters and adverts, as well as numerous acquisitions of various companies that have extended already huge product portfolios, both EMC and VMware have struggled to release themselves from the shackles of being deemed just a Storage and Hypervisor company. So in light of this it’s no surprise to see both companies spin off a new and independent venture that will address this very challenge, namely the Pivotal Initiative.



With a promise of $400 million in investments and a 69 / 31 % split in ownership between EMC and VMware respectively, the Pivotal Initiative will be headed by none other than VMware’s ex-CEO Paul Maritz. At the time his stepping down from that position raised a few eyebrows and questions as to whether he was being demoted, prepped for early retirement or was just being pushed to make way for VMware’s current CEO, Pat Gelsinger. In hindsight one could easily see this now as a move that maybe Maritz himself initiated from his own recognition that VMware as a company was failing to transition yet alone be recognized as a PaaS organisation.



Maritz like most in the industry would have recognised that with ever increasing data sets and ever increasing scale, the need for automation, rapid application development and deployment is quickly breaking beyond the capabilities of traditional man managed infrastructures that have previously been offered by EMC and VMware.  Moreover both VMware and EMC know it’s all about applications and specifically big data applications. For VMware and EMC to succeed in having the de facto platform of the IT industry, it’s key they win the war to host these new and integral applications. To address this EMC and VMware went about acquiring just about every relevant start up or product that could possibly address this challenge from GemStone, GreenPlum to SpringSource. Despite this huge purchasing spree and VMware’s push to develop vFabric and create the PaaS initiative Cloud Foundry both EMC and VMware have struggled to gain market recognition as true Cloud and PaaS players.



One of the key aspects challenging EMC and VMware’s recognition as a Cloud and PaaS offering has ironically been the very thing they drove to try and solve it i.e. the incredible rate of acquisitions and consequent increase in product portfolios. With sales and presales teams that had been accustomed for years to successfully pitching and selling storage arrays and hypervisor licenses, the demand on them was now to understand new and alien concepts of Big Data analytics, PaaS, application development, SaaS etc and also address a customer base they were not accustomed to. Now by having Maritz head up a brand new and independent company that can essentially take the appropriate products from those portfolios, the opportunity is to establish brand new and focused sales, technical and post sales teams that understand applications, big data etc. as well as have the right level of existing relations within their potential client base.



So what is the Pivotal Initiative actually bringing new to the table in terms of products? Well not much actually. In fact what it does bring is a much needed cohesion between what have now been a multitude of disparate acquisitions and products that have failed to gain the market share their technical and business benefits certainly deserve.



Firstly there’s the platform that will be based on EMC’s Greenplum appliance integrated with Pivotal HD, the data querying system that works with Hadoop. The Greenplum appliance is based on the open source PostgreSQL, which is a full ANSI-standard relational database system and has performance benchmarks with Hadoop’s parallel system that are already impressive. With the soon to be released Pivotal HD product from the Pivotal Labs group, the aim is to conduct even more queries against even larger data sets.


From a VMware perspective, there’s the inclusion of Gemfire to serve as the caching layer with its capability of quickly ingesting events via its in-memory data management system. Then there’s Cetas that provides rapid analytics atop the Hadoop platform and is designed for the elasticity of virtual resources with specific focus on not only vSphere but also Amazon Web Services. Additionally and most interestingly is the addition of the Cloud Foundry PaaS, which was initially built to run on VMware’s proprietary system. This time it comes with the promise that it will be an abstraction layer with application automation for cross clouds enabling Pivotal to be hosted on the likes of Amazon Web Services' EC2. Coupling this with SpringSource’s Java application development framework to enable integration with legacy data sources and applications and the Pivotal Labs’ ability for facilitating rapid coding, the objective is a focused approach and aim at the jugular of online and enterprise analytics.



The Pivotal Initiative will aim to deliver the market a data analysis platform capable of capturing large volumes of data, quickly addressing and querying it and then producing near real time answers that can be stored in a large scale-out storage system. It would be naïve to think this is an initiative aimed just at existing VMware customers. This is an attempt to not only enter but also become relevant in the software led infrastructure arena that competes with the likes of Amazon.



In essence the Pivotal Initiative is a brave yet necessary move from both EMC and VMware to embrace the challenge of change as the legacy of traditional infrastructure faces the daunting prospect of new software paradigms. Whether the Pivotal Initiative can be successful and achieve it’s $1bn rate in its projected five years depends on a number of factors. One thing is certain is that the first challenge to remaining relevant in the IT industry is to acknowledge and adapt to change. The masters behind the Pivotal Initiative have already achieved that.

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Well my verdict is out.  I have come to the conclusion that NexGen Storage has succeeded in providing a well designed high performance storage system.  I have yet to crack 5% IOP utilization on our n5 -150.   With an average IOP utilization of around 2% what am I to do with the other 147,000 IOPS?   For those that think I am not throwing enough at it you are quite mistaken.  The workload is almost double of what we had on our previous system that was tanking and cost more than NexGen with a quarter of the storage capacity.  It will definitely be interesting to see what it will look like once we start to roll out a VDI pilot later this summer.
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VMware DATA Recovery:
Virtual machines are important resources that change on a daily basis. You should create backups for all
virtual machines – or VMs – in your environment. The information normally backed up for VMs includes
the operating system, applications, and data. All of this information for each VM resides in one or more
virtual machine disk files, which have the vmdk extension. In addition to virtual machine disk files, a
VMware virtual machine has a configuration file, which has the vmx extension. These configuration files
contain information about the VM configuration such as how many CPUs the VM has, how much
memory the VM can use, and which vmdk files belong to the VM. As with physical machines, virtual
machines need to be backed up periodically to recover from loss of data due to human error, technical
malfunction, etc.
INTRODUCTION:-vSphere Data Protection (VDP) is VMware’s backup and recovery solution designed for small- to
medium-sized organizations.
VDP offers several key features to make virtual machine backup and recovery rapid, reliable,
manageable, and affordable. It provides a simple interface to quickly create, configure, and schedule
backup jobs. It is an agent-less, pure disk-based solution, allowing for faster restores over solutions that
write directly to tape.
A VM that utilizes an agent for backup and recovery requires the VM to be powered on to perform a
restore using that agent. With VDP, this is not the case - backups and recoveries can be performed
regardless of the VM’s power state.
VDP provides a centralized management interface through VMware vCenter Server so scheduling of
backup and recovery jobs are performed using the VMware vSphere Web Client. The vSphere Web
Client allows an administrator to create, configure, schedule and execute backup and restore jobs
through an intuitive wizard.
Additionally, VDP enables the recovery of an entire virtual machine image for virtual machines running
any operating system. It also enables the recovery of individual files and directories for virtual machines
running Microsoft Windows or Linux operating systems. Multiple restore points for each virtual machine
are displayed to easily select a specific restore point.
VDP utilizes built-in data deduplication technology to help minimize disk space consumption.
Deduplication eliminates duplicate storage blocks as backup data written to disk. Therefore, vSphere
administrators can maintain multiple point-in-time copies of VMs using only a fraction of the storage
that would normally be required versus storing multiple full copies of a VM.
The built-in data deduplication works in conjunction with Changed Block Tracking in vSphere to
minimize the amount of data to process. On vSphere hosts running 4.0 and later, a record of each virtual
machine’s changed blocks is maintained. This is called Changed Block Tracking. VDP utilizes this
information and backs up only the blocks that have changed since the last backup of the VM. This helps
reduce the amount of data to be transferred from the virtual machines to the VDP appliance for backup.
COMPONENTS:-Now, you will look at components that are part of VDP solution and understand their functions.
VDP is a virtual machine appliance deployed from an .ova or open virtual appliance file.
The VMware vStorage API for Data Protection (VADP) is utilized by VDP. This includes the Changed Block
Tracking (CBT) mechanism. CBT tracks the changes made to a VM at the block level and provides this
information to VDP so that only changed blocks are backed up. This significantly reduces storage
consumption and speeds up backup and recovery times with VDP.
VMware Tools on Windows contains Microsoft Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) components to assist
with guest OS and application quiescing when backing up Windows VMs.
The VDP appliances have three backup data destination storage capacities: .5 TB, 1 TB, 2 TB.  Note that
the actual amount of storage capacity consumed by the appliance will likely be greater than the backup
data destination storage capacity. Please see the VDP Administration Guide for more information.
VDP is managed using the vSphere Web Client. Please note that the traditional vSphere Client cannot be
used to manage VDP – you must use the vSphere Web Client.
The VDP appliance is deployed by default with four vCPUs and 4 GB of RAM.
For the capacities of 0.5, one, or two terabytes, the amount of disk space (thick-provisioned) actually
consumed by each appliance is 850 GB, 1.6TB and 3.1TB respectively. Thin provisioning can be used, but
if it is, the administrator should actively monitor disk consumption.
It is important to note that once the VDP appliance is deployed, additional storage cannot be added.
The VDP appliance guest OS is SuSE Linux 11.
vCenter Server 5.1 or higher is required to use VDP.
VDP can backup VMs running on vSphere hosts 4.0 and higher. The VDP appliance connects to the hosts
using port 902. If there is a firewall between the VDP appliance and the vSphere host, then port 902
must be opened.
VDP management must done via the vSphere Web Client.
Before installing the VDP appliance, it is recommended that you review the VMware Data Protection
Administration Guide for a complete list of prerequisites.
CONSIDERATION:-When establishing VDP in your environment, there are special considerations to be aware of. Here are a
few of them:
VDP does not support tape integration. It is a disk-based backup and recovery tool. It utilizes disk-based
storage to enable speedy recovery of your virtual machines.
VDP cannot backup virtual machine protected by VMware Fault Tolerance – or FT. This is because there
is no way to snapshot FT-protected virtual machines.
Each instance of vCenter Server can support a maximum of 10 VDP backup appliances per vCenter. Each
VDP appliance supports backing up a maximum of 8 VMs concurrently.
VMware supports protecting a maximum of up to 100 VMs per appliance.
VDP appliances do not share information with each other. For example, if two VDP appliances are
configured to protect the same VM, this could cause errors if both appliances try to back up the VM at
the same time.
The VMware Data Protection Administration Guide lists VDP prerequisites in detail, but you will take a
brief look at them now.The VDP appliance is installed on a vSphere host version 4.x or 5.x.The host that
runs the backup appliance must be managed by vCenter Server 5.1.The virtual machines to be backed
up and the backup appliance must both connect to a vSphere host using port 902. If there is a firewall
between the appliance and the vSphere host, port 902 must be open.The VMware Client Integration
Plug-in needs to be installed in your browser. Before installing VDP, it is recommended that you review
the VMware Data Protection Administration Guide for a complete list of prerequisites.
PRE-INSTALLATION Steps:-Before deploying VDP, it is important to properly size the appliance, as additional storage cannot be
added after deployment. Sizing requirements are based on the number and types of virtual machines,
the amount of data and retention periods, and data change rates. You can find general sizing guidelines
in the Administration Guide.
DNS should be properly configured for vCenter Server and all vSphere hosts. A DNS host record for each
VDP appliance should be added prior to deployment. Also, NTP must be configured for all vSphere hosts
and vCenter Server.
A user account with administrative permissions in vCenter and the SSO server is required to deploy
VDP.With all these ready, you can proceed to deploy the VDP ova file.
Installation Procedure:
1 Select vCenter Home > vCenter > VMs and Templates. Expand the vCenter tree and select the vSphere
Data Protection appliance. Right-click the appliance and select Power On.
2 Right-click the appliance and select Open Console.
3 After the installation files load, the Welcome screen for the vSphere Data Protection menu appears. Open
a web browser and type:
https://<ip address of VDP appliance>:8543/vdp-configure/
4 From the VMware Login screen, enter the following:
a User: root
b Password: changeme
c Click Login
5 The Welcome screen appears. Click Next.
6 The Network settings dialog box appears. Specify (or confirm) the following:
a IPv4 Static address
b Netmask
c Gateway
d Primary DNS
e Secondary DNS
f Host name
g Domain
7 Click Next.
8 The Time Zone dialog box appears. Select the appropriate time zone and click Next.
9 The vSphere Data Protection credentials dialog box appears. For vSphere Data Protection credentials type
in the appliance password. This will be the universal configuration password. Specify a password that
contains the following:
? Nine characters
? At least one uppercase letter
? At least one lowercase letter
? At least one number
? No special characters
10 Click Next.
11 The vCenter registration dialog box appears. Specify the following:
a vCenter user name (If the user belongs to a domain account then it should be entered in the format
b vCenter password
c vCenter host name (IP address or FQDN)
d vCenter port
e SSO host name (IP address or FQDN)
VDP 5.1 Procedure:-
1 Log in to the vSphere Web Client and select vCenter > Datacenters.
2 On the Objects tab, click Actions > Deploy OVF Template.
3 Select the source where the vSphere Data Protection appliance is located.
4 By default the select source dialog is set to OVF Packages. Change it to OVA Packages.
5 Select the appliance and click Open.
6 After the appliance .ova file is selected, click Next.
7 Review the template details and click Next.
8 On the Accept EULAs screen, read the license agreement, click Accept, and then click Next.
9 On the Select name and folder screen, enter the name for the appliance and click on folder or datacenter
you want it deployed in. Click Next.
10 Select the host for the appliance and click Next.
11 Select the virtual disk format (“Impact of Selecting Thin or Thick Provisioned Disks” on page 47 provides
additional information) and the location of the storage for the appliance. Click Next.
12 Select the Destination Network for the appliance and click Next.
13 In the Customize template, specify the Default Gateway, DNS, Network 1 IP Address, and Network 1
Netmask. Confirm that the IP addresses are correct. Setting incorrect IP addresses in this dialog box will
require the .ova to be redeployed. Click Next.
NOTE:- The vSphere Data Protection appliance does not support DHCP. The appliance requires a static IP
14 On the Ready to complete screen, confirm that all of the deployment options are correct and click Finish.
vCenter deploys the vSphere Data Protection appliance. Monitor Recent Tasks to determine when the
deployment is complete.
DATA Deduplication and Changed Block Tracking
Data deduplication works in conjunction with the Changed Block Tracking functionality on vSphere hosts
to minimize the amount of data to process. The blocks that have changed since the last backup are
tracked, so that at the time of backup only those blocks are presented for backup. VDP leverages this
functionality reducing the amount of data to check and transfer.
Note that Changed Block Tracking is only available for virtual machines running with hardware version 7
or later. If you are backing up virtual machines created with older versions of VM hardware, they will
take longer to back up because they do not use Changed Block Tracking during backup.
Changed Block Tracking comes into play only after the initial full backup of a virtual machine has been
performed. The second time a backup is performed, VDP backs up only those blocks that have changed
since the last backup. This helps reduce the amount of space consumed by full backups and the storage
I/O is also reduced as only the changed blocks are backed up.
If all the virtual machines that are being backed up are running the same version of the operating
system, this will maximize the efficiency of the de-duplication algorithm. Deduplication is evaluated for
all virtual machines protected by the same VDP appliance. To maximize the benefit of de-duplication,
you should back up similar virtual machines using the same VDP appliance.
How Vsphere Protects DATA
This diagram shows what happens when you back up a virtual machine with vSphere Data Protection
First, the VDP application creates a quiesced snapshot of the virtual machine. Different versions of
Windows may use different quiescing methods such as Microsoft's Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS)
or the File Sync Driver that comes with VMware Tools.
Second, VDP opens the deduplication store and backs up the virtual machine files. When the backup
starts, VDP checks to see if the virtual disk has been previously backed up to the VDP appliance. If it has
been backed up, then VDP uses the Changed Block Tracking information to backup only the blocks that
have changed since the last backup. If the Changed Block Tracking information has become invalid, then
a full backup is performed.
Third, the incremental changes are applied to the previous backup to create a synthetic full backup in
the de-duplication store.
Network-Based Copy Versus SCSI HOT-Add
In the previous screen, you saw that vSphere Data Protection (VDP) can perform a backup utilizing SCSI
HotAdd (pronounced skuzzy hot add) or a network-based backup. SCSI HotAdd is the process of
attaching the virtual disk file being backed up directly to the VDP appliance. This helps reduce the
amount of time required for the backup and keeps backup traffic off of the network.
VDP tries to use the SCSI hot-add method first. If that method fails, then VDP automatically falls back to
a network-based copy.
There are several conditions under which SCSI hot-add is known to fail:
The first is if SCSI HotAdd feature is not licensed on the vSphere host.
Hot-Add will fail if the datastore hosting one or more of the virtual machine’s disks is not accessible to
the vSphere host running the backup appliance.
Another reason Hot-Add will fail is if there are no free virtual SCSI slots left on the backup appliance. The
backup appliance supports up to 4 SCSI controllers. Each controller can support 15 SCSI devices. This
allows for 60 SCSI disks being attached. The backup appliance uses one of those slots for its boot disk
and one for each VMDK deduplication store.
Restoring VMs and File-Level Restore (FLR)
vSphere Data Protection creates backups of entire virtual machines. These backups can be restored in
their entirety using the vSphere Web Client for vSphere Data Protection.
However, if you only want to restore specific files from these virtual machines, then you use the vSphere
Data Protection Restore Client.
The Restore Client allows you to mount specific virtual machine backups as file systems and then browse
the file system to find the files you want to restore. The Restore Client operates in one of two modes:
Basic—allows you to only mount backups that were made from the machine you are logging in with, and
any files that you restore will be restored to this client. For example, if you were logging in to the
Restore Client in Basic mode from a Windows host named “WS44” then you would only be able to
mount and browse backups of “WS44.”
Advanced—allows you to mount and browse any backups that are contained in vSphere Data
To restore a virtual machine, the first step is to select the source from which to restore the failed virtual
machine. You can choose to restore a single virtual machine or more than one virtual machine. You can
specify collections of virtual machines, such as all virtual machines in a datacenter, or select individual
virtual machines. You can use filters to view only selected virtual machines and then restore them. If
multiple restore points are selected for a single virtual machine, VDP restores the virtual machine to the
most recent restore point selected. Note that a restore point is a point in time for which a backup was
VDP also features File Level Restore for Windows and Linux guests as long as the volumes backed up
were one of the following formats: Windows NTFS and Linux LVM, Ext 2, Ext 3 supported - basic disks
The VDP Restore Client makes it convenient and easy for end-users to perform self-service restores.
Using the URL shown on the screen, a user can log in (administrative permissions required) and browse
the restore points available. All restore points can be viewed or you can filter by date.
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When you think Cloud, whether Private or Public, one of the key advantages that comes to mind is speed of deployment. All businesses crave the ability to simply go to a service portal, define their infrastructure requirements and immediately have a platform ready for their new application. Coupled with that you instantly have service level agreements that generally centre on uptime and availability. So for example, instead of being a law firm that spends most of its budget on an in house IT department and datacenter, the Cloud provides an unavoidable opportunity for businesses to instead procure infrastructure as a service and consequently focus on delivering their key applications. But while the understanding of Cloud Computing and its benefits have matured within the industry, so too has the understanding that maybe what’s currently being offered still isn’t good enough for their mission critical applications. The reality is that there is still a need for a more focused and refined understanding of what the service level agreements should be and ultimately a more concerted approach towards the applications. So while neologisms such as speed, agility and flexibility remain synonymous with Cloud Computing, its success and maturity ultimately depend upon a new focal point, namely velocity.

Velocity bears a distinction from speed in that it's not just a measure of how fast an object travels but also in what direction that object moves. For example in a Public Cloud whether that be Amazon, Azure or Google no one can dispute the speed. Through only the clicks of a button you have a ready-made server that can immediately be used for testing and development purposes. But while it may be quick to deploy, how optimised is it for your particular environment, business or application requirements? With only generic forms the specific customization to a particular workload or business requirement fails to be achieved as optimization is sacrificed for the sake of speed. Service levels based on uptime and availability are not an adequate measure or guarantee for the successful deployment of an application. For example it would be considered ludicrous to purchase a laptop from a service provider that merely stipulates a guarantee that it will remain powered on even though it performs atrociously.



In the Private Cloud or traditional IT example, while the speed to deployment is not as quick as that of a public cloud, there are other scenarios where speed is being witnessed yet failing to produce the results required for a maturingCloud market. Multiple infrastructure silos will constantly be seen to be hurrying around, busily firefighting and maintaining “the keeping the lights on culture” all at rapid speed. Yet while the focus should be on the applications that need to be delivered, being caught in the quagmire of the underlying infrastructure persistently takes precedent with IT admin having to constantly deal with interoperability issues, firmware upgrades, patches and multi-management panes of numerous components. Moreover service offerings such as Gold, Silver, Bronze or Platinum are more often than not centered around infrastructure metrics such as number of vCPUs, Storage RAID type, Memory etc. instead of application response times that are predictable and scalable to the end user's stipulated demands.



For Cloud to embrace the concept of velocity the consequence would be a focused and rigorous approach that has a direction aimed solely at the successful deployment of applications that in turn enable the business to quickly generate revenue. All the pieces of the jigsaw that go into attaining that quick and focused approach would require a mentality of velocity being adopted comprehensively from each silo of the infrastructure team while concurrently working in cohesion with the application team to deliver value to the business. This approach would also entail a focused methodology to application optimization and consequently a service level that measured and targeted its success based on application performance as opposed to just uptime and availability.



While some Cloud and service providers may claim that they already work in unison with a focus on applications, it is rarely the case behind the scenes as they too are caught in the challenge of traditional build it yourself IT. Indeed it’s well known that some Cloud hosting providers are duping their end users with pseudo service portals where only the impression of an automated procedure for deploying their infrastructure is actually provided. Instead service portals that actually only populate a PDF of the requirements which are then printed out and sent to an offshore admin who in turn provisions the VM as quickly as possible are much closer to the truth. Additionally it’s more than likely that your Private Cloud or service provider has a multi-tenant infrastructure with mixed workloads that sits behind the scenes as logical pools ready to be carved up for your future requirements. While this works for the majority of workloads and SMB applications, with more businesses looking to place more critical and demanding applications into their Private Cloud to attain the benefits of chargeback etc. they need an assurance of an application response time that is almost impossible to guarantee on a mixed workload infrastructure. As the Cloud market matures and the expectations that come with it with regards to application delivery and performance, such procedures and practices will only be suitable for certain markets and workloads.



So for velocity to take precedent within the Private Cloud, Cloud or even Infrastructure as a Service model and to fill this Cloud maturity void, infrastructure needs to be delivered with applications as their focal point. That consequently means a pre-integrated, pre-validated, pre-installed and application certified appliance that is standardized as a product and optimised to meet scalable demands and performance requirements. This is why the industry will soon start to see a new emergence of specialized systems specifically designed and built from inception for performance optimization of specific application workloads. By having applications pre-installed, certified and configured with both the application and infrastructure vendors working in cohesion, the ability for Private Cloud or service providers to predict, meet and propose application performance based service levels becomes a lot more feasible. Additionally such an approach would also be ideal for end users who just need a critical application rolled out immediately in house with minimum fuss and risk.



While there may be a number of such appliances or specialized systems that will emerge in the market for applications such as SAP HANA or Cisco Unified Communications the key is to ensure that they’re standardized as well as optimised. This entails a converged infrastructure that rolls out as a single product and consequently has a single matrix upgrade for all of its component patches and firmware upgrades that subsequently also correspond with the application. Additionally it encompasses a single support model that includes not only the infrastructure but also the application. This in turn not only eliminates vendor finger pointing and prolonged troubleshooting but also acts as an assurance that responsibility of the application’s performance is paramount regardless of the potential cause of the problem.

The demand for key applications to be monitored, optimised and rolled out with speed and velocity will be faced by not only Service providers and Private Cloud deployments but also internal IT departments who are struggling with their day to day firefighting exercises. To ensure success, IT admin will need a new breed of infrastructure or specialized systems that enables them to focus on delivering, optimizing and managing the application and consequently not needing to worry about the infrastructure that supports them. This is where the new Vblock specialized systems being offered by VCE come into play. Unlike other companies with huge portfolios of products, VCE have a single focal point, namely Vblocks. By now adopting that same approach of velocity that was instilled for the production of standardized Vblock models, end users can now reap the same rewards with new specialized systems that are application specific. Herein lies the key to Cloud maturity and ultimately the successful deployment of mission critical applications.

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We are headed down the final stretch of data migration to our NexGen N5 storage.  NexGen recently came out and upgraded us to the latest release which functionally isn't different so nothing new to add there.  I have also moved a majority of our systems to NexGen.  I have yet to reach the 5000 IOP mark, but I have seen it reach 3500 during peak times.  I still cannot believe how fast the system is even with the amount of data we have moved.  At this point I have consumed 13TB of space with another 10TB to add.  Most of this data will be file storage for Ringtail.  I am still a little confused on the IOPS, as we were bottlenecking on the NetApp side around 2000 IOPS.  I expect that the way NetApp manages data created more of a load than what really was occurring.    At this point we are extremely happy with NexGen and its performance.  I am looking forward to the next release so we can start using some of the new reporting features.
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