Evolving EMC’s Vision – Transforming IT and Business

At VMworld 2012 (San Francisco), EMC’s Jeremy Burton (@jburton), EVP Product Operations and Marketing, laid out EMC’s evolving vision for Transforming IT and Business. There were several key themes that were highlighted, with the focus on how EMC sees the evolution of technology within the Data Center, as well as how EMC has been investing to align with the VMware vision of Software-Defined Data Center.

VMworld 2012 – Watch the Top 10 Most Popular Sessions!

Did you miss VMworld San Francisco 2012 and feel that you’ve missed out on some great VMware and Partner sessions?  Well, the bad news is that you did miss out on some really informative and well presented sessions, though the good news is that you can now access the “Top 10 Most Popular Sessions" online! 

Topics covered in these Top 10 sessions include, the vSphere Distributed Switch, vSphere 5 Best Practices, Performance Best Practices and Architecting a Cloud Infrastructure to name a few.  Click on the link here to access the VMworld page from which you can access these popular sessions.

VMware VMworld Top 10 Most Popular Sessions

VMware Horizon Mobile iOS Video Demo

VMware Horizon Mobile iOS Video Demo – During one of the keynotes at the recent VMworld San Francisco 2012 event there was a demonstration of VMware’s Horizon Mobile iOS which showed how corporate and personal applications and content can coexist on a single device, in this case an iPhone.  This is something that VMware have been talking about for a few years now, and from the looks of this demonstration (assuming it wasn’t a clever exercise in using Adobe Flash) it finally appears to almost be ready for prime-time.

If you haven’t heard of VMware Horizon before, it is across-platform way of centralizing the management of applications in the “post-PC” era.  What this means in plain-speak is that SaaS, Web or Windows based applications can be managed centrally and delivered securely on-demand via an application catalogue to end user devices, such as iPhones, Android based phones, laptops, tablets, etc.  This provides an opportunity for employees/users to BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), which for many is a welcome option considering the amount of time most of us spend on a PC/Laptop/Smart Phone, etc on a daily basis – we may as well be using a device that we actually like using.

Applications are provided on these “post-PC” devices in a securely encapsulated manner, meaning that they aren’t impacted and run independently of any other applications or utility’s also running on the device.  This also extends to provide a level of security which controls the data which is allowed to be copied from the Horizon deployed and managed applications.

I look forward to getting some hands-on time with Horizon in the future as I find the prospect of using my own devices for both work and personal use an attractive one, as it will save me from having to carry around multiple personal and work devices.

Below: VMware’s Horizon Mobile iOS Demostration – this shows a user accessing a business (ie: non-personal) application and “workspace”, and then being prevented from copying sensitive business data out of this “workspace”.


For more information on VMware Horizon, click here.

Attending VMworld from the comfort of your own armchair

Unable to make it to VMworld this year?  Not to worry as there are other ways of making yourself feel like you’re actually there,  of course it’s not quite the same as actually attending in person, though it is the next best thing.  The following is a summary of the ways to immerse yourself in the VMworld experience and to keep yourself up to date with all the latest announcements and buzz.

Firstly, Brian and myself will be posting VMworld related content throughout the course of the week on DataCenterInsiders.com, along with video interviews with vCelebrities, product engineers and VMworld speakers.  These should prove to be informative and great fun so keep checking back throughout the week for our updates.

You can watch the VMware Keynote live on Monday (27th August) – no more fighting the crowds to get a seat with a decent view.   To sign up to watch the keynote live simply click here. There will no doubt be a number of exciting announcements so this is definitely one not to miss

VMworld - VMware Go Now[5]

EMC have an EMC Community page called ”vPass” which pulls together a number of different EMC sources relating to VMworld into a single page.  From the vPass page you can find out more around the EMC Sessions, you can start discussions with your peers in the EMC “Everything VMware” community, be informed of all the latest VMworld updates, and finally there is a link to the vSpecialists scavenger #vHunt competition (the only catch being that you need to be at the conference to enter).

There are also a couple of links to Twitter and Facebook (EMC Corp Page) that will help you follow the VMworld action via these popular social media channels.

EMC VMworld vPass

The VMware “Experience Live” page is a great resource which outlines VMworld events of note throughout the week, and any of the available methods to follow that particular event, eg: Twitter stream, VMworld photos, You Tube, etc.  Click here for more information.

VMworld - Experience Live

During the week there will also be interviews and tech talks going on – they can both be reached via the VMware Video page – below is a summary:

VMworld - The CubeThe CUBE, is back!  Presented by SiliconAngle and Wikibon, John, Dave and Stu will be streaming live video interviews with executives, thought-leaders, technologists, community experts and industry analysts.  If you haven’t watched any of The Cube’s interviews before I definitely recommend you take a look as they are very insightful into what is happening in this, and other, segments of the IT industry.

VMworld - Brown BagFinally, here’s one for all you hardcore techies…  VMTN and #vBrownBag Tech Talks will be streamed live and will cover VMware related technical sessions, the type of which you would usually see in one of the usual VMworld sessions.  Expect an informative laid back style from John Troyer, Cody Bunch and the gang.

*Note: This is a Brown Bag – similar, but different than the #vBrownBag Tech Talks.  Not as educational, but great for carrying your groceries in.

VMware Socialcast – An Effective Way to Communicate at Conferences?

This year at VMworld VMware are putting their 2011 acquisition of Socialcast to good use.  Attendees have been sent an email asking them to sign-up to use the VMworld Socialcast platform, from here they can link up and communicate with friends, colleagues and other attendees, along with signing up to the various interest groups that have been created for the event.

Along with the Socialcast web interface there are clients available for most smart phone and tablet devices which makes using it even easier to stay in touch and see what’s happening at VMworld, especially when out and about or on the show floor.

This is the first time I have used Socialcast and I have to say it is much better than I was expecting.  Logging on to the web based interface couldn’t be simpler by simply entering my email address and chosen VMworld portal password.

VMworld Socialcast

Once logged in you are presented with a clean, well laid out design with a centrally located “Home Stream” containing all the communications from people you are following or groups you have signed up for.

VMworld Socialcast Interface

Managing these contacts and groups is handled by the menu bar down the left hand side of the screen, you can see from the screen-grab below how straight forward it is to use; simply follow people, add yourself to groups that interest you and then jump on in and join in the conversations.  This is particularly useful for people wanting to sync-up with friends or colleagues or for first time attendees who want to network with others or ask questions on what to do and where to go, etc.

VMware VMworld Socialcast Menu

The Home Stream is proving to be exactly that, a “stream” of constant questions and interesting chatter amongst VMworld attendees.  By increasing the level of communication amongst attendees is definitely helping create a “buzz” around the event.  As you can see below, polls can also be created by your peers which is a very useful method of striking up topic conversation or gaining feedback on a topic.

VMworld VMware Socialcast - Home Stream

In summary, I am definitely enjoying using Socialcast here at VMworld.  I must admit that I was a little skeptical as to its usability and value, though the rapid adoption of it by attendees as being one of the primary ways to communicate has ensured its success.  By getting people actively using and becoming familiar Socialcast, VMware will no doubt have a number of enquiries and potential sales from companies seeing it’s value as an effective communications tool in their organization.

So if you are at VMworld 2012, why not follow myself (Simon Seagrave) and Brian (Brian Gracely), and send us a message, we’d love to know what you think of Socialcast as a communication tool.

VMworld 2012 – EMC Hands on Labs. Check it out!

At this year’s VMworld conference in both San Francisco and Barcelona EMC are making available a dedicated Hands on Labs area where you can come and get some real-world hands on time with a vast range of EMC products.  This is a great opportunity to come and get some quality hands on time with many of EMC’s products by following a self paced lab guide.   As well as this EMC are also part of the larger 400 seat VMware led VMworld Hands on Lab area, the EMC lab to look out for here is titled;  “Manage VMware vSphere and EMC VMworld EMCUnified Storage Integration”: (HOL-PRT-02).  I have had the opportunity to already run through this lab and can definitely recommend it to existing and non EMC customers alike.  It is a engaging fun lab which takes you through the steps and utilities, such as the EMC Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI) plugin, which demonstrates how well the EMC storage and VMware vSphere products are integrated.  Tommy Trogden over at vTexan.com has written a good post which outlines in more detail the VMware VMworld Hands on Labs and what you can expect this year.  Definitely take a look as they, like the EMC Hands on Lab area, have a great line up of labs which also cover the majority of their product portfolio.

Below: A photo from the EMC Hands on Labs during VMworld 2010 – a very popular place to invest some time and get to play with some Uber-Cool EMC products.

VMworld EMC Hands on Labs - a popular place

Now back to the EMC Hands on Lab booth area… This purpose built area inside the VMworld Solutions Exchange uses Cisco thin clients (which look rather nice indeed in a striking white colour) which connect, via PCoIP, back to the EMC Hands on Labs Cloud which is based in Durham, North Carolina.  The backend infrastructure of the EMC Hands on Labs Cloud is based on Cisco UCS blade servers, Cisco networking equipment and EMC VNX storage with VMware vCloud Director & vSphere 5 providing the ‘Cloud Magic’. 

VMworld EMC Hands on Labs - VNX VNXe VMAXFrom the EMC Hands on Labs you can choose from one of nineteen self paced labs which cover the majority of EMC’s product range.  From sitting the labs you can get valuable hands on time with EMC products such as the VMAX,VNX, VNXe, Isilon and RecoverPoint to name a few, with the labs being specifically designed to be engaging, enjoyable and importantly, educational. 

Many of these labs have an emphasis on EMC and VMware products, with EMC product experts being on hand to answer any questions attendees may have.

So if you’re coming along to one of the VMworld San Francisco or Barcelona this year, why not come along and sit an EMC Hands on Lab or two?

Here is a list of the labs that are on offer along with a description of each so as to give you a better idea on what each lab covers:

Lab Title


VMware vSphere Integration with Unified Storage

The EMC Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI) brings storage management capabilities to the vSphere administrator through the standard VMware vSphere Client interface. In this lab you will configure VSI and provision storage and view EMC storage array details from within vCenter.

VPLEX Navigation and Provisioning

A simulated environment with two VPLEX clusters configured into a Metro-Plex provides the opportunity to use the VPLEX Management Console to: create Virtual Volumes and provision them to hosts, use Dynamic Mobility between local storage volumes, mirror volumes across more than one array (Availability), create Distributed (RAID-1) VPLEX Metro Virtual Volumes, and create consistency groups and VPLEX Geo distributed volumes.

Protecting VMware vCloud Director with EMC Avamar

In this lab users will follow an IT shop which has just implemented a new vCloud Director environment, and look to extend the EMC Avamar technology including VADP Image backup & restores along with extensive database backup plugins to provide full vCloud Director backup and recovery. Configuration of EMC Avamar for individual VM Image backups as well as integration with VCD for full backup and recovery of vApps will be highlighted.

Unisphere Analyzer Evaluating FAST Cache and FAST-VP on VNX

See how Unisphere’s native performance measurement tool will allow you to measure baseline performance, and then quantify the improvements gained through the use of FAST Cache and FAST VP.

Introduction to VMAX, Unisphere, VMware Integration, VP and FAST VP, and Federated Tiered Storage

Work your way through a combination of exercises exploring new features of Enginuity 5876. Use the new Unisphere for VMAX: explore the new interface, configure VP and FAST VP, use FTS to present external LUNs, and capture cache metrics.  Explore EMC’s Virtual Storage Integrator with VMware.

VPLEX Data Mobility and High Availability Zero RTO with vMotion

The user will explore VPLEX’s ability to dissolve distance within a VMware ESX cluster environment. The user will create a VPLEX distributed device using the new Unisphere for VPLEX interface. Then, using a VMware ESX cluster, the user will move a virtual machine, via vMotion, to a remote datacenter without the overhead of Storage vMotion.

VNXe Unisphere Administration

Simplifying storage management can be very difficult, because many storage-management operating environments assume an in-depth knowledge of storage concepts.  In this lab we will show how Unisphere for VNXe simplifies the entire process of storage management.  Participants will launch Unisphere for VNXe and see its graphical, application-oriented model with a “web-familiar” look and feel.  They will see first-hand how the management of VNXe systems is simplified, allowing the utilization of advanced features without requiring an in-depth understanding of these technologies.

Remote Monitoring of Multiple VNXe Systems

Administrators need information quickly, especially when it relates to critical systems in their environment.  In this lab we will show how Unisphere Remote allows administrators to remotely monitor the status, activity, and resources on multiple VNXe systems residing on a common network.  Participants will launch Unisphere Remote and browse the interface.  They will add a VNXe system to the Unisphere Remote Dashboard, and they will see first-hand how easy it is to centrally monitor multiple VNXe systems.

Protect Sensitive Data with VMware vShield Data Security and RSA

VMware vShield App with Data Security scans within virtualized workloads for sensitive data such as PCI (Payment Card Industry), PII (Personally Identifiable Information) and PHI (Personal Health Information) and reports on the violations of the regulations. In this lab, you will Implement PCI and Credit Card policies that are available out of the box with vShield Manager 5.0.1, scan for PCI and credit card data on the virtual machines, review the violations and files that created the violation on the virtual machines and understand how the RSA DLP technology works within vShield.

RecoverPoint – Protect Your Data and Recover to Any Point in Time

Get to know RecoverPoint using the RecoverPoint simulator. The user will be guided through the RecoverPoint GUI and gain an understanding of key RecoverPoint features including: protecting applications that reside on Symmetrix VMAX or VPLEX, consistency groups for application recoverability, distributed consistency groups for application performance, bandwidth reduction, any point-in-time recovery, and local and remote replication with separate policies.

Isilon Setup, Scaling, and Management Simplicity

Today’s storage complexity demands simplicity, yet with power. EMC-Isilon NAS clustered storage offer this simplicity in an elegant package. Today’s lab will show you this ease of storage configuration, the effortlessness of joining an Active Directory domain, the straightforwardness of client connectivity with the power of SmartConnect and SmartQuotas. This lab will show you just how straightforward and elegant storage can be managed by your existing IT administrators while reducing your costs.

Collaborative Big Data Analysis with the Greenplum Unified Analytics Platform

This lab will give participants the opportunity to explore the Greenplum Unified Analytics Platform and solve a “Big Data” analytics challenge. Use Greenplum Chorus – a web-based analytics collaboration tool to access structured data in the Greenplum Database and semi-structured data in Greenplum Hadoop. Run a MapReduce program to process the log files, join data from both systems to answer questions about our customers, and visualize those answers in Tableau Desktop.

ProSphere Storage Resource Management

The EMC cloud storage management family provides you with an end-to-end view across all of the abstraction layers introduced by server virtualization and virtual storage technologies. It is easy to deploy and manage. The lab demonstrates ProSphere’s abilities to discover and display end-to-end SAN topology and show end-to-end performance between Host, SAN and Storage array, quickly determine and display the affect of the increase host I/O on a switch port, corresponding FA or SP and its impact on hosts, and use of dynamically updated “smart groups” for performance collection based on a service level.

Leveraging Industry Leading EMC Storage, and Backup Solutions in a Virtualized Environment

This Lab will walk the Participant through some common challenges faced by IT organizations today, as they rush to get new products to market and do more with less in an ever changing technology landscape. In this lab the Participant will integrate EMC products with VMware to solve these challenges. Lab includes Isilon, EMC Avamar DT/LT, EMC Avamar VMware Image Backup and Recovery

Next Generation Database backup with vFabric Data Director and EMC Data Domain Boost for Oracle Recovery Manager

This lab walks through how a cutting-edge enterprise IT group worked to assure that the Database-as-a-Service they were providing to their business lines met the same data retention and availability requirements asked for by the business in other IT operations. Included in this lab, customers can choose between detailed scenarios involving setting up and configuring backup of individual databases deployed using vFabric Data Director and Data Domain Boost for Oracle RMAN.

Leveraging EMC Networker and EMC Data Domain for Business Critical Applications

This lab will leverage the standard EMC NetWorker administration tools, demonstrate the unified environment in a single-pane-of-glass GUI view.   The user will experience the ease of configuration by using wizards with auto-discovery capability for Data Domain, Oracle with DD Boost and VADP.  The user will start a backup and then view the backup details by leveraging the standard NMC reporting capabilities.

VPLEX and RecoverPoint Transforming the virtual Data Center

The user will explore the newly added RecoverPoint splitter functionality within VPLEX. A VPLEX virtual volume will be created, then replicated both locally and remotely using RecoverPoint CDP and CRR. The user will simulate data corruption on a production volume and then recover the data to a point in time using RecoverPoint.

Speed 2 Service – Cloud Delivery with the Combined EMC and VMware Cloud Service Delivery Platform

Reducing time to market to efficiently deliver a new service or provide a foundation for cloud computing has become a necessity in today’s fast-paced business environment, but quickly delivering a converged infrastructure to support virtual applications can be challenging.  If you are looking to automate the critical functions necessary for your IT staff to efficiently and rapidly deliver a foundation for cloud computing, then dive into this hands-on lab to learn how the solution from EMC and VMware can help you speed service delivery in virtual and cloud environments via automation/orchestration with user-driven, self-service portals for service ordering and delivery information, administrative views for creating service offerings, and an overview of the automation of service delivery.

Meet SLAs with the Combined EMC and VMware Service Assurance Solution

Maintaining customer satisfaction by monitoring the availability and performance of both a physical and virtual infrastructure, extending into cloud, can be challenging when you try to use too many point tools.  Drive this hands-on lab to learn how the EMC and VMware solution can help you quickly and efficiently find issues in the physical and virtual environments that would impact your customer’s ability to do business.