Category Archives: EMC

VMworld 2011: Day 1

VMWORLD 2011: Day 1

Three days of breakouts, super sessions, keynotes, meetups, tweet-ups, solution exposition, and parties.

A victim of its own success

I’ve been attending VMworld since 2004, when they were acquired by EMC. Now, VMworld has grown to have almost 20,000 attendees, 6,700 of which are Partners. It has outgrown a single venue in Las Vegas, and is spread across the Venetian and Winn hotels as well as the adjoining Sands Expo and Conference Center. Next year it will be back at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. Can you imagine a venue with  20,000 attendees each carrying at least 2 WiFi devices, sometimes 3: smartphone (mostly iPhones), laptop, and tablet (usually iPads)? It was like a ’60s telephone party line. The WiFi network was saturated early and often. It was hard to connect reliably, even before the event began.

This year all talks required pre-registration. If you didn’t register before you arrived, over half the talks were “sold out” for attendees. People “signed in” at the room of each talk with a bar code scanner. Well organized.

Cloud, cloud, cloud

VMworld evolves each year and seems to be in front of the curve of the latest wave of computing fashion. It has moved beyond its initial focus on Server Virtualization. This year it’s Cloud, as it has been at the last couple of years. Last year the motto was “Virtual Roads, Actual Clouds,” but this year the motto is “Your Cloud. Own It.” As we moved from Compute to Virtualization to Automation to Cloud, Las Vegas was the place to be. There are more network data centers there — due largely to the nearby availability of power from the hydroelectric operations of the Hoover Dam on  Lake Mead.

For VMworld 2009, they build a Private Cloud, in 2010 it was a Hybrid Cloud, for VMworld 2011 it is a Public Cloud using three different providers:

  • Switch Supernap in Las Vegas
  • Colt in Amsterdam
  • Terremark in Miami

This represents 200,000 virtual machines!

 

Thanks for coming along,

BillPetro.com

VMworld 2008: Day 2 Review – Virtually Anything is Possible

VMWORLD 2008: DAY 2 REVIEW – VIRTUALLY ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE

VMworld is not just a trade show about virtualization, it uses virtual technologies and Web 2.0 technologies in a way I’ve never seen before. Here’s an example:

Blogging:

IMG_0145Not only is blogging encouraged, but it is honored. There is a special set of tables in the keynote auditorium for bloggers to set up their laptops for blogging. Or in my case, I was Twittering about the keynote with my iPhone. Indeed, during yesterday’s keynote with with VMware CEO Paul Maritz, the announcer invited attendees to use Twitter to send in their questions. The person next to me was from Denmark and didn’t understand what I was doing. He had never heard of Twitter, so I sent him to Twitter.com. By the way, my real-time “Tweets” (noun form of Twitter) on this show can be found at this link. Note, they’ll appear in reverse chronological order, most recent at the top.

Podcasting:

IMG_0153John Troyer of VMware, blogger and podcaster extraordinaire, was doing several podcasts live from the Communities Lounge at the Solutions Exchange on the show floor. John is very involved in VMware’s blogger community and end user communities. He has lots of community management experience. Here you see John interviewing user moderators from VMware’s communities. You’ll find John at the VMTN Blog and his podcasts here.

Virtual Pavilion:

MainFloorWhile this is a show about virtualization, there is also a virtual show going on at the same time. Eric Nielsen, VMware’s Director of Web Communities showed me around the virtual, online pavilion.

You can access it directly from the VMworld.com website, or from here. It is a two dimensional virtual world that an attendee can navigate through and visit various rooms.

As an attendee navigates around the Virtual Pavilion he or she can see other attendees, participate in contests and games, gain points for answering questions on multiple choice questions, etc. This virtual navigation system is a 3rd party module for Clearspace, the social networking technology that VMworld.com uses. There are even “Expert Sessions” non-synchronous “events” — talks that you need not be present to hear — where a speaker will provide audio, video, content or a whitepaper which is then attached to a forum. The expert will visit daily for the next two weeks to answer any questions.

restroomThe Virtual Pavilion also features 15 “hidden rooms” where you can find special clues, quiz answers, and secret codes for a free t-shirt at the Communities Lounge. One of these hidden rooms is the Restroom, which itself has a portal to a hidden room.

Eric manages VMworld.com year round. It is active not just during the semi-annual shows, but throughout the year. Various Partners have “booths” here. Can you find the “hidden room” in the Dell booth?

Blogs:

And as I mentioned before, the VMworld.com website features attendee blogs as well, found here.

Thanks for coming along.

BillPetro.com

VMworld 2008: a Veritable Verdant Venture (Green)

TIGVMWORLD 2008: A VERITABLE VERDANT VENTURE

“Green, that’s what it’s all about,” Larry says as he shows me the eco bag that TIG is handing out at the VMworld 2008 show. Many of the booths say “Green IT” right on their signs. Virtualization can contribute to Energy Efficient IT in a number of ways, not the least of which is consolidation and containment of servers, thus reducing power requirements, but also the associated savings in data center cooling.

From the initial registration for the conference, there has been an emphasis on Green. During the registration process, there is a discussion of transportation options to Las Vegas and their carbon footprint implications.

Upon arrival, the notebook that attendees received comes with a pen made from recycled cardboard and a wooden clip.

Timbuk2BagIn the VMware Store on premise, there is a Timpuk2 messenger bag for sale. It’s a special limited edition of 75, made from the recycled banners from last year’s VMworld 2007 in San Francisco, available in blue, black, orange and green. The beanies are made from recycled cotton, and the polo shirts from recycled polyester. No new polyesters need give their life to make a new polo shirt.

Thanks for coming along.

BillPetro.com

VMworld 2008: Day 1 Keynote

Paul MaritzVMWORLD 2008: DAY 1 KEYNOTE

Following yesterday’s opening event, both the Technology Exchange and Partner Day, the conference started in earnest today with a keynote by Paul Maritz, VMware President and CEO.

Paul is quite an articulate speaker, sounding both like a savvy businessman and an erudite professor. For many, his accent is difficult to place, is it Australian, South African? Turns out he was born in Zimbabwe, next door to South Africa, but he went to school in Cape Town, South Africa. Someone remarked that he pronounces some words like Sean Connery. Paul did work at University of St. Andrews in Scotland. Sean Connery grew up in nearby Edinburgh, Scotland.

Back to the keynote, Paul amplified many of the concepts introduced and announced yesterday, specifically by drawing on the past to explain where VMware is going in the future. I found the history a good review of many of the events I’d witnessed in my own long career with computing, and a fascinating basis for describing where he sees the company going, as well as a foundation for the many announcements this week. How did he do this?

Two Models

He went back to the ’60s and ’70s (mainframes) and outlined the contrast between the Centralized vs. De-centralized models of computing. While he did not say so, the industry has swung between them several times over the last 30 years. He pointed out that we initially saw mainframes in the early days, and the proliferation of PCs in the ’80s. The early ’90s saw the rise of x86 Servers as well as the rise of the Client/Server model.

A Third Alternative

He quipped that it’s ironic that he is now profiting from his previous sins in promoting the Client/Server model, which got us into a world of hurt so that we now seek another path, the best of both the Centralized and the De-centralized models. The advent of the Web in the mid-’90s offered the promise of this. He paid tribute to the founders of VMware, who started the company ten years ago back in 1998.

VMware’s Initial Offerings

He described VMware’s early efforts with both VMware Workstation (on the client, or De-centralized side in 1999) as well as the early VMware Server (GSX, on the Centralized side in 2000.) He pointed out that many other companies are currently virtualizing on the Centralized (server) side, but reminded us that VMware has done both sides, but raised the bar in 2004 with the introduction of VMware Infrastructure, a higher level of abstraction than either Server or Client side virtualization.

Paul pointed out that the “Best of Both” on the Web is now more promising with a variety of new (Web 2.0) technologies like AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript And XML), Ruby on Rails, and Python. 2007 saw the launch of VMware’s Fusion, virtualization of Windows on the Macintosh and the popularity of Cloud computing.

It’s The Platform

At this point, I reflected that during my career I’d seen software engineers write to whatever the leading “platform” was at the time. In the ’80s it was Unix, and particularly SunOS (Solaris). The virtuous cycle had the platform supporting applications that led to more volume… which made the platform more viable. With the rise in popularity of Windows, it became the platform of choice. In the mid-’90s it was Java, with the promise of “Write Once, Run Anywhere” across a variety of devices. But last year, it became clear to me, especially following VMworld 2007 in San Francisco, that VMware was becoming the “platform”. Both the Press and the Analysts “got it,” and Wall Street saw a huge jump in VMware’s stock price following the ESXi announcement and others.

The New Platform

VDC-OS So, what’s the new “platform”? Paul explained the Virtual Datacenter OS, or VDC-OS. It is a way to support a variety of current popular “platforms” line .Net, Windows, Linux, Java, Software As A Service… with Application vServices that provide Availability, Security, and Scalability. This rests upon Infrastructure vServices called vCompute, vStorage, and vNetwork… as well as Cloud vServices. These in turn live on either the On-premise cloud, or an Off-premise Cloud (for additional resources.) Meanwhile, all of this can be managed by vCenter (the rebranded Virtual Center management framework) which handles both Application Management at the top end and Infrastructure Management at the backend.

To this end, many announcements fit into this new, higher level of abstraction. Once again, VMware raises the bar.

Thanks for coming along,

BillPetro.com

VMworld in Vegas

VMworldVMWORLD IN VEGAS

This year’s VMworld, at the Venetian Hotel in Las Vegas September 15-18 looks to be the place where all things virtual will occur. Last year’s event in San Francisco attracted 10,000 attendees, this year’s conference in Las Vegas expects 14,000. The VMworld.com website is using Jive Software’s Clearspace social networking platform — enabling attendees to participate in discussion threads, send and receive private messages, create their schedule online, and even blog from it.

I’ll be blogging from this website daily, as well as Twittering more frequently from the conference about what’s hot from the keynotes and sessions.

Thanks for coming along.

BillPetro.com

EMC World: Day 3 Recap

EMC WORLD: DAY 3 RECAP

Q: How can you tell a conference is a technical conference?

A: When the ratio of PDAs to attendee approaches 2 to 1.

The amount of IM, Twitter, SMS, email, and phone calls was amazing. All kinds of devices: iPhones, Qs, Nokias, and of course Blackberries. Lots of people doing the “Blackberry Prayer” with heads bowed and hands folded over the keyboard.

Get_Proven.JPGImportant to engineers is their professional certification. Not only is this important in peer review, but for career purposes as well. The industry leading, award winning EMC Proven Professional program was on hand at EMC World. As I mentioned in my Twitter stream on EMC World, certification tests were being offered for half price during the show, and within the first two days 122 tests had been taken. They were expecting 250 total by the end of the week, with many new specialty certifications conferred for the first time.

Tom_Clancy.JPGWednesday afternoon, on the main stage, the Proven Professional Awards were given. VP of EMC Education Services, Tom Clancy was on hand to launch and EMCee (pun intended) the ceremonies. Tom set the audience at ease by introducing himself humorously and presciently by saying “Hello, I’m Billy Crystal and welcome to the Academy Awards.”

Frank_Hauk.JPGTom introduced Frank Hauk, EMC Executive VP and executive sponsor of the program spoke of the importance of this program in the industry and academia. He mentioned that the program has grown from 20K to 30K certified professionals in just one year. He also mentioned that EMC would continue to invest in the program. Last year’s awards at EMC World in Orlando were presented in a rather small room… that was overflowing. This year and into the future, the awards would be presented as a main event.

Alok.JPGAlok Shrivastava, Senior Director responsible for the Proven Professional program awarded the Knowledge Sharing Awards — white papers on Best Practices in storage. He and Tom Clancy also awarded raffle prizes to the assembled Proven Professionals. They each had on their Proven Professional shirts, a light blue, not unlike the Science Division in the original Star Trek.

Web 2.0

One thing new this year is the amount of Web 2.0-style coverage of EMC World. The conference website itself uses a Flash-based “information growth ticker”, social networking opportunities, AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript And XML) based agenda builder… and links to EMC bloggers, some of whom are blogging about the show itself.

I’ve mentioned Twitter a few times. For the first time this year, Twitter has been used by attendees to “micro-blog” about EMC World in real-time. These posts, hash-tagged with “#emcworld” could be aggregated and sorted by a variety of tools, creating a virtual news stream. See my link at the bottom as an example.

On Wednesday, a special lunch gathering for those Twittering about EMC World was convened impromptu. And in a rather solipsistic manner, it was set up using Twitter. Half a dozen of us collected and spent an hour and a half discussing social media as a way to connect, enhance and improve communication with Partners and Customers.

Customers

One of the reasons customers attend is to save money, lots of money, on how they manage their information infrastructure. I spoke with one presenter who said he had spoken to a customer after his talk, and was able to show them how to consolidate in a way that would save them half a million dollars a month in energy costs.

Keynotes

Mark_Lewis.gifLewis1.jpgOn Wednesday, Mark Lewis, President of EMC’s CMA Division did a presentation on what’s coming from the Documentum division of EMC. He showed Knowledge Worker, using the Firefox browser, a powerful web-based tool for code and content development teams to create and manage custom enterprise applications The Web 2.0 integration was impressive. Also demoed were a variety of mashup, social networking and folksonomy tools. He discussed “Project Magellan”, which will be released in Q3 for free.

StephenHerrod1.jpgThursday, Dr. Stephen Herrod, Chief Technology Officer of VMware offered a fascinating tour through VMware’s product stack, and a demo of the newly announced “Site Recovery Manager” which virtualizes an entire site for the purpose of automating the work flow of a “run book” in restarting a business in a remote site.

In conclusion

Q: How can you tell a conference is a technical conference?

A: Wednesday night, the show’s entertainment was Billy Crystal, Emmy winner, Tony winner, and past host of the Academy Awards ceremonies. He began the evening by greeting the room with:

Billy_Crystal.jpg

“Good evening and hellooo nerds!

There are attendees here from 79 countries. It’s like being at Angelina Jolie’s house.

Nothing says Las Vegas like 7,000 engineers.”

A great conclusion to a great show.

By the way, I’ve reported more details via Twitter. These can be found in the news stream when you click here

Thanks for coming along,

BillPetro.com

EMC World: Day 2 Recap

lasvegas_sign.jpgEMC WORLD: DAY 2 RECAP

EMC World, in its 2nd day in Las Vegas, is by and for engineers. While there are more suits present than in previous years, nevertheless most of the presenters are usually not polished marketing presenters but often the software developer who wrote the code for the product. This provides a level of unparalleled access for attendees.

I had lunch with a SAN Administrator for a state government office and we discussed data replication at a pretty deep level. This gentleman was a heavy user of the technology and was particularly impressed with EMC’s RecoverPoint technology. I asked if he found the price-point to be prohibitive. He assured me that it was quite attractive: the price had dropped since the product was initially released, and it offered so many features and such great capabilities that it eliminated the need for spending money on lots of other technologies. He found it to be ideal in a VMware environment and was excellent in the event he needed disaster recovery.

I’m typing this article in the Cyber Cafe, a number of stands with numerous laptops set up for attendees to use between talks and strolls through the Solutions Pavilion (Exhibit Hall). The EMC sysadmins have done a great job setting them up, with easy access to web browsers. They told me, however, that some will unplug them so that they can plug in their own laptops to charge them. Bad idea. The batteries have been removed from these laptops — I’m told they tend to grow legs and walk away — and as soon as they are unplugged, they shut down.

Speaking of the Pavilion, I spent some time speaking to a variety of exhibitors today. Not only are there “the usual suspects” but as in years past, some competitors on the floor as well, showing the openness of the show. Here’s what caught my eye and ear:

  • ss4200e.jpgIntel SS4200-E

With a name that rolls off the tongue, this is the Intel version of the product I mentioned in my previous post yesterday that Dave Donatelli referenced as the perfect graduation present — a sub-$500 external Network Attached Storage (NAS) device for consumers, that leverages EMC’s LifeLine software. The demo is a device that takes 1-4 internal drives (sold separately) that can provide RAID protection as well as a variety of media services. For example the device can speak to an Xbox as a bridge, display movies to a widescreen TV… display photos to a digital picture frame… provide web-accessible photos to a remote device like an iPhone… play MP3s through an iTunes server… etc.

  • iomegacenterlogo_ec65.pngIomega

While slightly later to market, and with the intention of addressing a slightly different market than Intel, Iomega — currently being acquired by EMC — also previewed their LifeLine-based offering. It will be available in different configurations than the Intel offering, but with all the same capabilities. This is one to keep an eye out for.

  • retrospect.gifRetrospect

Acquired years ago by EMC as part of the Dantz acquisition, this well respected consumer and small business backup solution was, 20 years ago, the only 3rd party backup product for the Macintosh. This is features as part of LifeLine, and new features and capabilities are coming that will make this a compelling offering for both local and cloud-based backup

  • mozy_logo.pngMozy

Speaking of cloud-based backup, this popular technology, acquired last year by EMC, allows consumers and small businesses to have SAAS (Software As A Service) backup for pennies a day. An application on a Mac or PC backups files over the Internet in encrypted form, initially as a full backup, then block-level incrementals thereafter. Offsite backup without having to move backup media offsite.

  • 3D or Data De-Duplication

Mark Twomey, also known as Storagezilla, was in the EMC booth explaining the new data de-duplication capabilities of the EMC Disk Libraries. Mark knows everyone.

I’ve reported more details via Twitter. These can be found either at:

Thanks for coming along.

BillPetro.com

EMC World: Day 1 Recap

EMC WORLD: DAY 1 RECAP

A full and rich day in the “city by the sand” Las Vegas. I attended a variety of talks during the day, but the best was:

  • Virtualization Technology and Directions offered by David Black, PhD of EMC. He covered a discussion of a variety of virtualization techniques, but spent most of his time talking about virtualizing servers and virtualizing storage. There was much discussion of VMware technologies, but also detailed discussion of Storage Area Network (SAN) virtualization using EMC Invista and File (NAS) virtualization with EMC Rainfinity. Full marks.

JoeTucci.jpgThe keynotes were huge, the plenary talks in the huge hall at Mandalay Bay Conference Center. EMC’s President, CEO and Chairman Joe Tucci kicked it off with a fascinating set of information. This year’s EMC World has:

  • 9300 attendees
  • 56% of them are new this year
  • 556 sessions

Further, there are about 120 exhibitors here this year. And a tour of the Exhibit Floor seemed to confirm this. It was packed with Partners and people.

Joe announced right off the top EMC’s interest in helping with the China earthquake relief effort by the use of matching gifts. Head to the Cyber Cafe.

Joe’s theme was the phenomenal growth in online information, where it comes from and how it’s going to be stored, protected, managed and wrapped in intelligence.

How much information are we talking about?

  • 173 Exabytes of information, 1773 Exabytes in 5 years. 10X growth, or 60% Compounded Annual Growth Rate for storage on disk arrays.

Where will this new data come from? IDC has done research on this. By 2010:

  • 70% will come from individual creation
  • 85% will become the responsibility of organizations: YouTube, Flickr, Twitter, Google

Digital Footprint Calculator: Track “Your Star” in the digital universe.

Further, IDC has developed a Personal Digital Footprint Calculator. Using Joe as an example of how many photos he creates, music he gets, etc., they calculated he uses about 4GB of data daily. If he’s typical, multiplying his number by the number of attendees at EMC World:

  • 4GB/day x 9K attendees = 35TB/day

To this end, Joe announced a new division at EMC responsible for Cloud Computing Services and Infrastructure. All to address what he calls:

  • Information Centric Computing

HowardElias.jpgHoward Elias, EMC President of Global Services and Resource Management Software picked up this theme and talked about:

  • Liquid Computing requires Liquid IT Management

He spent time discussing how the new rules of computing require new ways of managing. He mentioned EMC Smarts “model based” management, as well as Voyance, a relatively recent EMC acquisition.

DavidDonatelli.jpgDave Donatelli, President of EMC’s Storage Division wrapped up the morning keynotes.

He reminded us that this is graduation season, and a great gift would be EMC’s:

  • $500 personal storage platform, that can be backed up via Software As A Service (SAAS) Mozy.

He also announced de-duplication in the new:

  • LAN Backup to Disk (B2d) and Disk Library

Real-time updates

I’ve reported more details via Twitter. These can be found either at:

Thanks for coming along.

BillPetro.com