vExpert 2017

Yesterday evening the vExperts of 2017 were announced.

The vExpert program is designed to aid in your success and help amplify your internal and or external personal brands and channels. So whether you are a external evangelist or a internal champion we want to be sure you have the resources needed for the program so you can be more successful. The reward is given to those who in previous 12 months have shown themselves to be active in that advocacy. That doesn’t always mean that you need to be an active blogger or present at events, but it does mean that in your day to day role within the IT Industry you should be championing VMware as a company and break that down to champion VMware products that you use or sell.

 

I’m very proud to be a fourth year consecutive vExpert. Within KPN I’m trying to keep everyone up to date on all VMware is doing from an architectural perspective within our KPN SDDC and Cloud team, which combines a passion for teaching, laughter and a thirst for knowledge. It’s a confirmation, that combining blogging about my daily life and work and sharing my knowledge has proven to work. I’m very honored to have been selected as one of the few vExperts this year.

Thanks to Cory Romero and congrats to all the 2017 vExperts! Read the complete list here

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VMware on AWS

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VMware and AWS had announced their cloud partnership on Thursday 13th Oct 2016. This is interesting because of a couple of reasons.

The following statement made by VMware in 2013 about Amazon.

“I find it really hard to believe that we cannot collectively beat a company that sells books,” said Carl Eschenbach about Amazon.

But now VMware and Amazon are becoming partners and offering a hybrid cloud using their own technologies. So what made VMware switch teams?

This collaboration will definitely add competition towards other cloud players like Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. Amazon Web Services had a clear advantage over anyone from this collaboration including VMware since AWS has datacenters in 38 Availability Zones across 14 different locations around the world.

I’m particularly looking forward to the response Microsoft will give to this offering, as it is a clear competitor for Azure Stack & Public. AWS, being the no.1 Cloud vendor in the world (bigger then Google and Microsoft together, according to Gartner) and VMware being the no.1 hypervisor in the datacenters (again Gartner) joining teams is a huge setback for Microsoft who offers similar solution.


VMware Cloud on Amazon AWS: 

VMware Cloud on Amazon AWS is a vSphere-based cloud service, based on the new offering VMware Cloud Foundation. This new service will bring enterprise-class Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) software to the AWS cloud world. The enterprise customers will be able to run any application across vSphere-based private, public and hybrid cloud environments. It will be delivered, sold and supported by VMware as an on-demand, elastically scalable service and customers will be able to leverage the global footprint and breadth of services from Amazon AWS.

So far, not many details are available (since it’s a tech preview that hasn’t even entered the beta stage yet), but we know this:

The service will integrate the capabilities compute, storage and network virtualization products (vSphere, Virtual SAN and NSX) along with vCenter, and optimize it to run on next-generation elastic, bare-metal, Amazon AWS infrastructure. This will enable customers to rapidly deploy secure, enterprise-grade AWS cloud-based resources that are operationally consistent with vSphere-based clouds. The result in a turnkey service that works with both on-premises private clouds and advanced AWS services seamlessly.

Key things to point out:

  • It’s not a nested environment, it’s VMware SDDC running on physical hardware hosted in Amazon data centers.
  • Your “old” management tools will be supported. Use VDP or Veeam for backup, or PowerCLI to manage your environment? You can continue to do so, even if the workloads run in AWS.
  • vMotion will be supported, making it possible to migrate workloads directly.
  • AWS provides the hardware, VMware provides the stack and supports it all.

 

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This new offering is a native, fully managed VMware environment on the AWS Cloud that can be accessed on an hourly, on-demand basis or in subscription form. It includes the same core VMware technologies that customers run in their data Centers today including vSphere Hypervisor (ESX), Virtual SAN (vSAN), and the NSX network virtualization platform and is designed to provide a clean, seamless experience.


How does it work

  1. Create a VMware AWS account3
  2. Choose a region near to your On-premise datacenter, or for geo-redundancies, far away4
  3. Choose a size based on your requirement5
  4. Choose your payment method6please note it is possible to use a credit card, or VMware Credits
  5. Review and check-out7
  1. AWS VMware Cloud is beeing deployed8

Once the datacenter is ready, you will get option to launch vCenter by clicking “open vCenter”.

All you have to do is to link VMware and AWS, the on-premise vCenter with Amazon AWS vCenter (both network and vCenters), so that you can leverage of VMware features like vMotion and Storage vMotion. This can be done over a IP-SEC VPN in public internet or Direct Connect directly between on-premise and Amazon.

  1. How doest VMware Cloud on AWS look like

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  1. On-premise VMware vSphere Datacenter11
  2. Assuming that On-premise datacenter is running out resources and you would like to migrate some of the workload to AWS VMware cloud.  Select the On-premise VM and migrate to VMware Cloud – AWS datacenter12
  1. Choose both compute and storage to migrate to AWS VMware Cloud13
  1. Select cluster from AWS VMware Cloud for compute14

 

12.select the AWS VMware Cloud datastore (Based on VSAN)

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  1. select the VMware Cloud network

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  1. Click Finish to initiate the VM migration from on premise datacenter to AWS VMware Cloud

 

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  1. And the Virtual Machine VMotions to the Cloud

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And that’s all to it.


DRS vs Elastic DRS: 

Another cool thing is that VMware offers distributed resource scheduler (DRS) to balance loads across the cluster.

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VMware vSphere DRS will automatically move the VM’s within the ESX cluster to balance the load. If you do not have enough ESX hypervisors, VMware Cloud can leverage the Elastic Distributed Resource Scheduler to provision the additional bare-metal ESX hypervisor in AWS to balance the workloads.


AWS Services on VMware Cloud:

Due to this collaboration, there is an extra option to leverage the AWS services on VMware environment

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For example: you will be able to use S3 storage, or an RDS database along your private cloud based on VMware as the product evolves.


My thoughts

What has been announced now is basically a private cloud operating in a public cloud, enabling you to create a hybrid cloud.

The thing which creates doubt in my mind is the price. The bare metal feature of AWS will be standardized in the beginning and because VMware’s vSAN only scales up, if you add an extra host (for example because of a lack of memory), you also get extra storage as well. That is also in the price, possibly making it very pricy. There is to my knowledge no pricing available for this particular bare metal service of AWS, but I’ve seen pricing up to $6,000 per host per month. That is some serious money.

Of course a custom price will be made especially for this VMWonAWS offering, this will probably done on AWS event Re:Invent, end November. Will they price it like S3, with low cost availability of resources that costs (a lot) more if used? It’s a move from CAPEX to OPEX, and might make larger scale infrastructures easier to consume for the people in accounting.

I have no inside information about what is going on here, but Elastic Scaling (or Elastic DRS) sounds like it might be really interesting. The ability to move workloads to AWS on demand, if you exhaust your local resources? It is possible.

Another question mark is about the usage of NSX in the VMware Cloud on AWS. Not all customers use NSX in their on-premise environment, but if you migrate from a dVS to a NSX enabled cloud-network, you can. The downside is that there is no live migration back from NSX to a non NSX cluster/dVS. So if you don’t have NSX on premise there is no way of live vMotion back at the moment (however you could do a cold vMotion)

However: the combination of these two, as the service offering will evolve, is going to be interesting.

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VMworld 2016 – Day 2

After the “DJ on Coffee” yesterday morning, Sanjay Poonen, General manager End User Computing, started his keynote as part of his Bluesband covering modern classics welcoming everyone to day 2 of VMworld. To my believe there where less people in the General Session, compared to yesterday (perhaps to much partying for some?)

Sanjay spoke about the digital transformation, and what it means to people arround us.

Every changes in our lives are going to be digital

As the world transforms more and more to a digital world, many of us have to adopt these new technologies. This will happen to us, generation XYZ, but more so to our childern.

 

Children will be using tablets and PC’s before they learn how to write.

I see it in my own environment at home, where my nephew of 4 is going at the tablet, as if he is born with it in his hands. These also means that more and more will the cloud become the new normal, where apps and content are available for any device, at any time or place. Simply because you are used to have it.

Sanjay spoke about Boxer, amongst several other apps. Boxer is VMware’s awnser to the overwhelming amount of content delivered by email these days. Using a clever algoritm, they devide the email into different sections and allows you to quick respond (by the press of a button).

After Sanjay, Ray O’Farrell, CTO VMware, took the stage, talking about the Challenges of the Digital Transformation, giving us a quick recap of the things Pat Gelsinger spoke about yesterday.

He introduced the new HTML5 client based on the VMware Fling. It looks incredible and is real fast

After Ray, Yanbing Li, senior vice president storage and availability, came on stage and explained more about the vSAN solution. It’s now fully integrated and embedded with in vSphere 6.5, offering intelligent automation, from day 0 to day 2 deployments.
It also fully supports Business critical applications and containers, with vSphere Intergrated Containers.

New in this version is de Direct node: 2-node deployment. This was allready possible with use of a thrid party witness-node, but is now fully supported by VMware. Another feature added is iSCSI support, making it possible to extend vSAN to external storage aswell.

She even spoke about applying storage policies to migrate data cross cloud and gave a little demo.

Rajiv Ramaswami, enterprise vice president networking and security, spoke about the implementation of NSX, inboth greenfield and brownfield environments and the new feature called Network Insight. This allows you to view traffic flows in real-time and quickly converting current flows to NSX-rules.

Last, Kit Colbert, senior vice president cloud native applications, spoke about Photon and VMware’s Cloud native app strategy. We briefly spoke latest year as he gave a session at KPN regarding this topic and again he shared some great insights.

With the latest version it will be possible to use Kubernetes-as-a-service, delivering a fully supported stack for containerdeployment by VMware. If you would like to learn more about the containerized part of VMware, please the blog of Jurgen Allewijn, over at www.mindmelt.nl

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VMworld 2016 – Day 1

Be_tomorrow starts now…

Jean-Pierre Brulard (vice president EMEA) took the stand at the first keynote of the day, welcoming everyone to VMworld 2016. Over 10k attendees, from 96 countries covering more then 300 sessions, this VMworld is yet another big one.

The day officially started with the General Session of Pat Gelsinger (CEO VMware). He spoke about the road covered and how we, together, face forward. That is the true essence of VMworld.
Digital transformation is the top tech buzz word in 2016, because of the way companies are transforming their traditional way of working towards a digital way.

Or, is all business now not digital?

What is your strategy to win in a digital world?

He spoke about the way it has transformed business is the last 10 years from on-prem to cloud (both private and public). Analysts predict that 50% of all business will adopt cloud add the way to go by 2021 (30% SaaS, 16% IaaS) in a private (30%) or public (20%) matter. By 2030 50% of the it will be delivered by public cloud vendors.

He spoke about IoT and the future, which will drive current business more towards it as it expands from 4 billion devices now to 18 billion in 2021.

It’s not freedom versus control, but freedom and control. This is why we can it a hybrid cloud.

Pat also announced the new versions of vSphere and vSAN: 6.5. over a hundred new features have been added, as well as a modernized API, a simplified user interface, usable for bother scale up and out.

During VMworld US Pat spoke about VMware Cloud Foundation and VMware Cross Cloud Services and he elaborated a bit on both.

VMware Cloud Foundation is a complete-stack of compute (vSphere), network(NSX) and storage(vSAN) with automated lifecycle manager, delivering a on-prem cloud experience right out of your own datacenter.

Add vRealize and extend this to your public cloud of choice(including AWS, azure, GCP or IBM Cloud) and you have VMware Cross Cloud Services. Aft this point Pat introduced Guido Appenzeller (chief technology strategy officer).

This cross cloud services will include features as NSX as a service, deployment and migration of workloads and network insight delivering a single pane of glass on both network and services across all public cloud platforms.

The last announcement which was made was about the pre-VMworld announcement regarding AWS. VMware will fully deliver and support an Cloud Foundation on AWS. But more on that in a separate post.

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VMworld 2016 – Partner & TAM day

Today VMworld kicked off with Partner and TAM day. Like every year VMworld is hosted in the Fira Conference Center in the beautiful city of Barcelona. Unlike last year I’m not visiting VMworld as a Blogger, but as part of the KPN team. This means I can attend VMworld as a Partner and visit Partnerday.

During the Partner General Session Pat Gelsinger took the stage to thank all partners for their efforts in the past year.

There where some pre-announcements, actually during the day there where a lot of sessions arround to-be announced info, so i’ll be careful what to post here, but I’ll give it a go (all will become clear in the coming posts). The sessions where divided into Technical and Business sessions. As my current role is a mix of both, i’ve attended some of both.

Building & Enabling a Hybrid Cloud with vCloud Director was all about vCloud Director, how it will function in your environment (and how it should function). Speaking from own experience, vCD can be quite a hassle implementing but should be much better now.

Route to Market vCloud network was a typical commercial session, surrounding the perspective of network in a hybrid environment, offering similar network solutions both on-prem as off-prem.

During lunch I caught up with some of my colleagues, as well ex-colleagues and other bloggers. The VMworld-crowd is more and more a  party of familiar faces. It was great to see some of them, and I will spot the others all during the rest of the week, I’m sure.

After the lunch there where 2 sessions regarding NSX: NSX Operations with vRealize Suite and The practical Path to NSX for partners. As KPN is a VCAN-partner these sessions are more of less a must follow for me. They had some great insights into how other partners and customers are working with NSX (did I mention KPN is hosting a session this week regarding our CloudNL solution, including these products?).

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