VMworld 2012 Day 1 Roundup

New VMWare Licensing, Auto Deploy and All-in-One Solutions

Our daily VMworld roundups are guest posts from vExpert Gabrie van Zanten.

As expected, VMworld proves to be a very exciting event again. Today started with the keynote where Paul Maritz, on stage, officially handed over his job as VMWare CEO to Pat Gelsinger. He introduced Pat Gelsinger as a very good friend and colleague where he has been working with in the past. He promised the audience we would soon notice the drive and speed Pat Gelsinger has.

With Pat on stage, VMWare announced the new licensing model for vSphere. No longer a vRAM limitation, no more core limitations: only CPU socket based licensing. This news was received with a big applause.

The new licensing model will be wrapped around the new VMWare vCloud Suite 5.1, which will bring vCloud Suite together with all of the components a customer needs to build, operate and manage cloud infrastructure. The key components are:

  • VMWare vSphere 5.1
  • VMWare vCloud Director 5.1
  • VMWare vCloud Networking and Security 5.1
  • VMWare vCenter Site Recovery Manager 5.1

After the keynote everybody rushed out to be on time for the first breakout sessions. I visited the session by Kyle Gleed on Auto Deploy (INF-VSP1364 Architecting Auto Deploy for Availability and Scalability). Having done some early Auto Deploy projects myself, it was interesting to learn some best practices on how to make an Auto Deploy implementation more available. Questions like what happens when your whole environment has been powered down because of an outage and how to avoid the chicken and egg situation that might occur then.

Kyle also showed some new features in vSphere 5.1 for auto deploy like “Stateless Caching” and “Stateless Installs”. With Stateless Caching you can deploy a six image to a host and have it installed on local storage, being FC, USB or local disk. In case of for example a network outage or the Auto Deploy server being unavailable, you can still boot your ESXi host from disk and it will come up with a ‘clean’ installed ESXi image. Drawback is that it cannot join your cluster unless the vCenter Server is available to supply a host profile.

Stateless Install is a way to deploy ESXi to your host ONCE and have it run from local storage (USB, FC, local disk) after installation is complete.

The Solutions Exchange was very crowded today, but maybe that is because there seems to be less room between the booths. A big trend on the Solutions Exchange are the all-in-one solutions where vendors offer a box including a single or multiple hosts and storage, usually based on   SSD or SATA, offering a complete and easy to deploy vSphere infrastructure.

Another growing group are the monitoring solutions, keeping an eye on your application, your VM, your hosts, your storage and everything you can think of. Not only showing what their performance is, but also providing a solution on how to solve any performance degradations.

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