VMworld first thoughts kickoff session

[Edited for readability. RLL] The drummer band was great at the start but we couldn’t tell if it was real or lipsynched. It turned out that each of the Big VMWORLD letters had a digital drum pad on them which meant it was live, in realtime.

Paul got a standing ovation as he left the stage introducing Pat the new CEO.  With Paul on the stage, there was much discussion of where VMware has come the last four years.  But IDC stats probably say it better than most in 2008 about 25% of Intel X86 apps were virtualized and in 2012 it’s about 60% and and Gartner says that VMware has about 80% of that activity.

Pat got up on stage and it was like nothing’s changed. VMware is still going down the path they believe is best for the world a virtual data center that spans private, on premises equipment and extrenal cloud service providers equipment.

There was much ink on software defined data center which is taking the vSphere world view and incorporating networking, more storage, more infrastructure to the already present virtualized management paradigm.

It’s a bit murky as to what’s changed, what’s acquired functionality and what’s new development but suffice it to say that VMware has been busy once again this year.

A single “monster vm” (has it’s own facebook page) now supports up to 64 vCPUs, 1TB of RAM, and can sustain more than a million IOPS. It seems that this should be enough for most mission critical apps out there today. No statement on latency the IOPS but with a million IOS a second and 64 vCPUs we are probably talking flash somewhere in the storage hierarchy.

Pat mentioned that the vRAM concept is now officially dead. And the pricing model is now based on physical CPUs and sockets. It no longer has a VM or vRAM component to it. Seemed like this got lots of applause.

There are now so many components to vCloud Suite that it’s almost hard to keep track of them all:  vCloud Director, vCloud Orchestrator, vFabric applications director, vCenter Operations Manager, of course vSphere and that’s not counting relatively recent acquisitions Dynamic Op’s a cloud dashboard and Nicira SDN services and I am probably missing some of them.

In addition to all that VMware has been working on Serengeti which is a layer added to vSphere to virtualize Hadoop clusters. In the demo they spun up and down a hadoop cluster with MapReduce operating to process log files.  (I want one of these for my home office environments).

Showed another demo of the vCloud suite in action spinning up a cloud data center and deploying applications to it in real time. Literally it took ~5minutes to start it up until they were deploying applications to it.  It was a bit hard to follow as it was going a lot into the WAN like networking environment configuration of load ballancing, firewalls and other edge security and workload characteristics but it all seemed pretty straightforward and took a short while but configured an actual cloud in minutes.

I missed the last part about social cast but apparently it builds a social network of around VMs?  [Need to listen better next time]

More to follow…


Technology selection and trusted information sources

iblioteca José Vasconcelos / Vasconcelos Library by * CliNKer * (from flickr) (cc)
iblioteca José Vasconcelos / Vasconcelos Library by * CliNKer * (from flickr) (cc)

A rather comprehensive selection of papers on Information Overload was compiled for the recent IEEE Engineering Management Review (EMR, vol 38, #1, March 2010).  Among the many excellent papers was one that seemed somewhat important for many of my readers: Managing Technology Information Overload; Which Sources of Knowledge are Best? by C.J. Rhoads on the faculty at Kutztown University and with ETM associates.

Rhoads surveyed top decision makers in businesses listed in the Chamber of Commerce and in newspaper directories regarding information technology (IT) use and selection decisions.  Industries surveyed included Education, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Media & Publishing, Non-Profit, Retail, and mostly Services.  584 responses were received. (More information on the research can be found in the article.)

There were many questions that were asked but the two most significant items of interest to me were:

  • Who in an organization was involved in technical decisions?
  • What source did those people most trust to help them decide?

Who decides?

It turns out that ” … the person in the technology experienced role was involved in the decision only 19% of the time.”  According to Rhoads research the CEO was most involved at  51% of the time.  Now as Rhoads explains, this could be due to the research being done across a statistically representative sample of businesses where a high percentage of businesses were “… on the smaller side.” I suppose most sales organizations would agree wholeheartedly with this result.  Nonetheless, clearly such minimization of technical insight makes the information these people use to make technical decisions even more important.

What do they trust?

Rhoads selected five information sources to discover which was most used and most trusted by IT decision makers.  The information sources chosen included “Top” consulting firms (such as Gartner, Giga, Meta, Forrest and others), Friends & Family, publication and web resources, vendors, and local consulting firms.  Rhoad’s survey results revealed, by a statistically significant margin, that people making IT decisions trusted local consulting companies more often than any of the other sources.  Once again the size of the companies surveyed may be biasing the non-use of top consultancies due to their relatively high expense. Nevertheless, even local consultants aren’t as inexpensive as some of the other sources of information. (Almost makes me glad that I represent a small, LOCAL consulting company).

In addition to the above resulst, Rhoad’s study classified IT use effectiveness of the organizations surveyed.  As a result Rhoads was also able to determine which “savvy”, “blossoming”, “base” or “unversed”  users of IT were influenced by which information source.  The survey found that savvy users were most influenced by local consultancies and that both savvy and blossoming IT users were secondly most influenced by publication and web resources.  (Makes me also glad to be a blogger.)

A lot more interesting stuff in the article and I found at least two other papers in the EMR compendium to be worth reading.