Come one! Come all! Watch the spectacle that is v0dgeball at VMworld 2012!
This year, a number awesome vPeople have come together for a brief time to create an amazing team of dodgeballers to dominate the tournament: Team vGlobo
The team is comprised of:
- Bill Hill
- Arjan Timmerman
- Brandon Riley
- Gabrie van Zanten
- Chris Emery
- Josh Townsend
- Jason Shiplett
- Mike Ellis
- Dwayne Lessner
- Joseph Boryczka
If you’re interested in watching the awesomeness that is Team vGlobo, please come and check out the tournament:
SUNDAY, AUGUST 26 @ 4-6PM
SOMA REC CENTER – CORNER OF FOLSOM & 6TH ST
Links (for your clicking pleasure)
In all seriousness (if you made it this far), the v0dgeball tournament is something that I am very proud to be a part of. The proceeds for the dodgeball tournament go to the Wounded Warrior Project.
The Wounded Warrior Project provides support for US service men and women injured while serving our country. They provide a ton of services and support, which includes:
- Stress recovery
- Family support
- Career transition
- Employment placement
- Adaptive sporting events
- Assistance with government/insurance claims
- And so much more
At the time of this post, the v0dgeball 2012 project has raised $10,705.00 for the Wounded Warrior Project. How cool is that?! Really!? Just thinking about the impact that $10,000+ can have to thank and support servicemen/servicewomen for their amazing sacrifice is awe inspiring.
I cannot thank Chad Sakac, Fred Nix, and EMC enough for organizing such a fun and honorable activity for the VMworld participants… and for all of the participants of the tournament.
Team vGlobo is honored to take the floor, throw some balls in faces of opponents (there’s a joke in there somewhere), and support such an amazing organization.
Go Team vGlobo!!!
Hard to believe that VMworld 2010 is over. It seems like it was a long time coming and, now that it is over, it feels like a long time to the next one.
So, while I am sitting at the airport waiting for my flight, I thought I would take a minute to appreciate everything I have experienced this week and try to lump it all together into the all important “moral of the story”.
The conference was chalk full of amazing content. The sessions (at least the ones I was able to attend) were amazing. The labs, well you probably know how I feel about the labs by now (psst… they were AWESOME!). The blogger access and role was amazing! The people made the show.
Years ago, VMware was a hypervisor company. You want to run multiple OSes on single hardware platform, no problem. However, under the guidance of Paul Maritz, the VMware company is changing their goal. No longer is it server virtualization. Instead, it appears to be one of digital abstraction and corporate transformation. Now that corporations have adopted the core virtualization strategy of virtualizing their server environment, they can move on the path of more flexibility.
The major focus on the workstation transformation to a VDI/View based device was front and center. Users and technology are changing the way applications are setup and presented… for the good and the bad (I feel like I could soapbox on this sometime, but I will save that for another time).
While VMware is a company concerned about making money, I really feel like the products they push onto the market are truly meant for changing the paradigm of corporate computing. Other vendors are more concerned about publishing a product to make a buck.
So, the moral of the story is: The corporate environment is changing. Technologies are being developed to ensure easy and secure access to data and mission critical applications. Now is the time to acknowledge the changes and prepare to welcome them into your environment. VMware is providing the core structure for allowing this access.
I appreciate all of the opportunities I was privy to this week and the direction of the company we all depend on.
Thanks for an awesome conference VMworld!
This blog entry was brought to you by the letters: V, M, W
Alright… One perk to my awesome tour of the lab environment was that I was the lucky recipient of a Golden Ticket. For those of you that have no idea what I am talking about or was not in attendance at the final General Session this morning, let me explain.
The Golden Ticket was a surprise prize for doing all kinds of things at VMworld 2010. I received my Golden Ticket after the interview in the VMworld Lab. Some people around me received their tickets for:
- Asking a question to someone in the Information booth
- Finding John Troyer somewhere in the Moscone campus
- GeoCache style
- Being cornered by the lab architect at the VMworld party and given one
Around 200 tickets were handed out to us lucky recipients. However, no one really knew that they entitled us to… just show up for priority seating to the General Session. So, show up we did. I found myself sitting in the third row (behind one row of fellow Golden Ticket holders and the presenters themselves).
At the beginning of the session, we were told that the Golden Ticket would not be announced yet… but, just wait.
The presentations during the General Session were really neat… and had absolutely nothing to do with VMware… which was alright. Instead, we were presented with 3 differing views of how we, as humans, can/may expect to interact with out digital world.
Low and behold, at the end of the presentations, the Golden Ticket holders were informed that their prize was an Emotiv EPOC Headset (please see Emotiv’s Web Site).
Due to inventory issues, (specifically, they only brought 100 and I was #110), I will be receiving my device in the mail in 6-8 weeks.
So… get this, I got a freeking brain scanner for attending VMworld. How sweet is that?! Sadly, I did hear some people grumbling about the prize not being an iPad. Really!? Cmon folks… don’t you realize the significance of this? This device is amazing. While you may not have an immediate need, please play with it and marvel over what it can accomplish for a very reasonable price point. Plus, just be appreciative that you walked away with something cool. Show a little class, thank you very much. I, for one, am very appreciative for the chance to get a Golden Ticket and for the awesome EPOC. I cannot wait to open it up and play with it.
First off, I would like to take a moment to thank Mr. Irish Spring for the level of access provided today! You are a saint among men! I really appreciate the transparency and the conversation about everything! This was an amazing opportunity for me and I appreciate it.
Second off, I have a very sweet spot in my heart for labs like this (see PDX VMUG Performance Lab – 2010 I organized).
So… I was sitting in a session when my phone “blew up” (aka – I saw a tweet that the lab had just hit 100,000 VMs deployed). That’s a huge deal, right!? So, I thought I would write up a couple (or 8 ) questions for me to interrupt some important person’s day and ask for a response. Fate, so it seems, was on my side. When I went to the lab environment, Irish Spring was ready and willing to answer my questions. However, not only that, he offered a tour of the area, answered every single question (and more), and let me participate in the celebration of both the person that completed the 30 labs first as well as the person completing the 11,000th lab.
Instead of just answering the questions, Irish and I had some very exciting conversations. The following are the questions I had asked. However, I would not call that the end of this posting by any means. These labs go much deeper… to levels that most people do not realize.
Question and Answer
Q1) Which lab was #100,000 VM deployed on? View 4.5
Q2) What did the person win? A Golden Ticket and a coffee mug
Q3) What were you and your team thinking when #100,000 hit? Completely amazed by the speed of accomplishing such a feat. We were nervous before the labs and completely caught off-guard.
Q4) Projected lab count for VMworld now that you have hit 100,000? Around 14,000 attendees and around 140,000 VMs deployed (at this rate).
Q5) How has the lab performed compared to your expectations? Surprisingly, the East Coast based datacenters have been performing better than the SFO based datacenter.
Q6) Any failures / failover events? 2 instances
- (VirtualBill – I can confirm this as I was in the labs when it happened) There was a network issue on the first day that caused some of the sessions to hang/stall. Paul Maritz showed up at the exact time. But, he was able to witness a failover to another site until the issue resolved itself.
- We lost a rack of compute nodes in the SFO datacenter. The conference power was not consistent enough and a rack went offline. However, HA kicked in and only 2 sessions were truly lost. All others hosted on the compute rack were offloaded elsewhere and the sessions resumed! Once the rack was brought online, all of the compute nodes were restored and HA moved the operations back to the rack.
Q7) Any changes for the VMworld Europe setup? The scale of the lab setup is much smaller. So, the sheer size is dropping. The entire lab setup for Copenhagen is going to be leaving from Moscone West by this coming Sunday for arrival (via sea) on site. Additionally, a direct circuit between VMworld Europe and Ashburn, VA is going to be setup… although, it will still be accessed via Cloud methodology… just fewer hops to ensure proper connectivity for lab operation.
Q8) Any ideas, yet, for the next VMworld setup? Good model to keep? (now, I just want to make this very clear that this is not any official direction from VMware, or anything like that. This is just a “pie in the sky” commentary. Under no circumstance should you consider this an option as to what may happen in VMworld 2011) Obviously, this is a great model to keep for next year. However, I think it would be neat to host 3rd party labs in a duplicated, but similar environment.
Alright… now that the Q&A is over with, I would like to take a couple moments of your time to try and enlighten you to some aspects of the Lab environment that you may not be aware of… but that everyone needs to know. This is a massive undertaking that was done to benefit ALL OF US!
Lab Setup and Operations
The team of workers that put on the Lab environment for VMworld are amazing. Simply amazing. This entire setup (from planning months ago to execution this week) was completed in their free time. Seriously, these guys (and gals) have their usual day jobs. They got together of their own free will and in their free time to get this put together for us. That is time they spent away from wives, husbands, children, family, friends, and other personal commitments. Au Gratis.
I completely understand the time commitment for putting together a lab environment. However, to the scale of the VMworld 2010 labs, is just mind boggling.
Once everything was ready logistically, the VMworld lab team got access 72 hours in advance of VMworld. 3 days to ensure 480 clients setup properly, connectivity, connections, and services. Amazing…
Many of us know, already, that the Labs are being provided via 3 cloud locations. Moscone West, Ashburn (Virginia), and Miami (Florida). However, what most people do not realize is that the Labs are operating in a true cloud configuration.
Obviously, the Ashburn and Miami locations are remote… but what about the Moscone West location? Believe it, or not, the local datacenter is being accessed as a WAN environment. No 10Gb connectivity from the lab environment. The connections are technically being accessed via a secure VPN tunnel to the datacenter itself. So, while the lab hardware is technically a couple hundred feet away, the connectivity to the infrastructure is identical to the East Coast locations. This is truly a cloud environment!
Look all around the lab… or picture yourself looking all around the lab. Got it?! Every computer interface you have seen (projections and terminals) as well as many you have not seen are completely custom. The lab environment is so complex and custom, many developers spent their free time developing the environment you use to interact with the labs as well as monitoring and administration services. This is thanks to Clair and Curtis. I was privileged enough to get a tour of the operations center and see some of the interfaces first-hand. The interfaces look production ready. Hard to believe that this is not a member of a money making product right now.
Custom Monitoring and Administration
Via the use of common APIs in the framework products used to provide the Lab environment, developers were able to create some amazingly simple and informative monitoring and administration utilities. The view into the Lab environment from the tools allows for a fairly minimal amount of admin staff.
The client stations are using the new View 4.5 product for presentation. To think about where we have come… in 2007, the labs were comprised of a handful of laptops. This was to address the primary lab needs… the desktop products. A mere 4 years later, we are using cloud infrastructure, thin clients, and 480 simultaneous clients.
So, for all you lab workers and organizers at VMworld 2010 labs, I would like to take a moment to thank you, on behalf of the VMworld attendees, for your personal sacrifice to make the lab environment work so well. The end result was amazing. You have had an impact on the careers of so many people. You should be very proud of what you have accomplished.
Today was a monumental day… and, amazingly, I was there for 2 of the 3 big happenings!
100,000 Virtual Machine Deployed
Per Irish, the 100,000th VM was deployed to someone (I never did ask for the person’s name) running the View 4.5 Installation lab. They received a golden ticket as well as a cool mug.
All 30 Labs Completed
Randomly, while talking with Irish, Mr. Ron Davis (@ronsdavis for those Twitter fans) approached us and let us know that he had completed all of the labs. He is, officially, the first person to complete all labs this year! Ron would be returning later for a little more formal recognition, interviews, etc…
11,000 Labs Completed
On, what appeared to be the way out at the time, Irish received notice that the Lab was almost at 11,000 labs completed. I stuck around and I was able to see that monumental moment. Plus Irish introduced me over the sound system and I awarded the prize to Mr. Kirk <cough_cough_cough> (sorry, I forgot your last name) (wamp wamp wamp). Mr. Kirk won a rubber chicken, a mug, and a golden ticket! The 11,000th lab was vSphere Performance and Tuning.
I know the picture on the right may be difficult to see… but, the thermometer is over 11,000 Labs completed.
Congratulations, VMworld 2010 Lab crew, for such awesome results! All of the other targets are well on their way to being smashed!
Alright everyone. About 1 billion people have been taking sessions (or 17,000 depending on who you ask). And, many of those people are bloggers. So, I am not going to bore you with a minute by minute run down of what the class content was. Instead, I think that my time is better spent discussing the quality of the class.
The session was led by Krishna Raj Raja, a Staff Engineer with VMware. Right off of the bat, he said that any one of the specific topics he was going to discuss could be a breakout session in and of it self. He, literally, was not kidding. Not only was the information broad, it was definitely deep as well.
ESXTOP and (resxtop, for those rCLI folks) is one of the most important tools a VMware Admin could ever have in their pocket. The amount of information gleaned from such a tool is immense. However, as the detail of the lab shows, there is a learning curve to understanding what the values mean (composition and interpretation). But, once you overcome that curve, your environment profile has just become a million times more clear (your mileage may vary).
Krishna immediately established himself as an expert of the subject matter, which was great. It was evident that he was not just reading from a slide deck… but, instead, knowing intimate detail about what he was presenting.
Some of the new features of the 4.1 ESXTOP release include:
- The ability to kill a specific world (not suggested… only used in conjunction with VMware technical support.
- Power Management counters
- These are not enabled automagically as the power management functionality needs to be enabled in ESX first.
- Power management per VM (experimental)
- VAAI specific statistics (storage operation offload to SANs)
- NFS specific statistics
- Disk information now reported using vScsiStats output (minor change, but important to know)
- Memory cache/swapping statistics
This session content was spectacular. I have an immediate use for this in my environment to help establish a baseline in our existing storage environment before moving to a new SAN environment.
I would definitely suggest adding this to the essential, must attend list for every VMworld. Keeping up to date and polished up on this subject will prove to be invaluable in your future endeavors.
If you have not heard, yet, the VMware User Group (VMUG) organization has been recomposed. Previously, each local VMUG was an independent entity. However, due to many reasons, the decision was made to create an overseeing entity that helps organize and coordinate VMUG operations.
To be completely honest, I am a little confused as to the necessity for this… I hope that the true value to the new entity will become more evident sooner rather than later.
The new entity is managed by a group of volunteers… selected from VMUG leaders across the US.
On Monday, a VMUG lunch took place in which the entity was formally introduced. The president of the group, Mariano Maluf, gave an alright presentation and speech. However, I was left with gaps in what the group will actually accomplish.
Some notes from the presentation include:
- 50,000 User Group Members
- 200 leaders
- 21 full day conference events with 12,000+ attendees
- Surveys are used to help determine where more value can be provided by being a member of a VMUG. Results include:
- Training and Training Discounts
- VMware product updates
- Other benefits requested include:
- Certification discounts
- VMworld discounts
- 16,000+ people attending VMworld. Only 2,000 are VMUG members
- Looking to integrate international VMUGs with domestic VMUGs
Everything that he said is fine and good. However, I really need to see how it impacts what happens in the PDX VMUG. The November all day conference is going to be a telling event. Speaking with the VMUG leaders about the logistics of the event, the new integration with VMware / Global VMUG is going to be interesting.
I truly believe that there is value in the VMUG community. I feel like a global entity may be able to leverage the entire community to get some neat opportunities for presentations and benefits for the members. I absolutely do not want to see the entity take over or hinder the operation of the VMUGs as that will cause some major issues to contend with and potentially cause loss of leadership and membership.
Today was an awesome day. For sure.
My blogger credentials have given me access to some new areas that have enhanced the VMworld experience this year. The lines for the sessions remain an issue… and are still very frustrating. However, I am comforted in knowing that the content is made available online after the conference. So, I still get access to the information, which is great. Instead, I am enhancing my experience in other ways.
This morning, I was lucky enough to get the front and center blogger seat for the key note. Never mind the fact that Mr. Tall Dude decided to sit in front me… apparently, front and center the row in front of me was a very appealing proposition as well.
The location in the keynote was awesome as I hate great view of the action and got some great pictures. The highlight, though, was that Steve Herrold stopped by the blogger area right before the keynote. It is nice to see a fairly low-key executive working for VMware. I even got a good picture of him!
Plus, I met some really cool fellow bloggers around me. For those Spanish speakers, check out Jose Maria Gonzalez’s Blog (www.josemariagonzales.es).
After the keynote session, I was lucky enough to have access to the press briefings… typically a very restricted area. I caught the tail end of Paul Maritz’s Post Keynote QA session, which was really great. The press in attendance asked some really good and pointed questions about the direction of VMware.
The briefing I was looking forward to was the End User Computing session. While the attendance was less, the content was awesome. The presenters dove deeper into the VMware view (not View) of what the user experience is going to need to look like… which definitely involves the Project Horizon initiative. Details into security and deployment were provided and explained more into how the technology will be used. I am really looking forward to seeing where this is going to go in the future.
I spent the rest of the day in the blogger lounge and walking through the solution exchange. I was able to have some really in depth conversations with EMC, IBM, and hosting.com which was awesome. I feel good about the recent decisions we have made!
The remainder of my evening is consumed by a couple parties. Specifically, VMware West Region and VEEAM (even got my bracelet ahead of time).
Tomorrow looks to be another good day. There are a couple sessions I would like to get to. But, the labs are calling my name too. SRM and the Sandbox are calling my name. Plus, a little PowerCLI would not be a bad thing either.
Today, we (the attendees at VMworld) were introduced to the "future" of user environment.
In any Corporate environment, the IT department is tasked with ensuring that the data and environment is secure and operating as expected. This is accomplished by security and approved end point devices. However, as pointed out during the keynote, users are being inundated with new technologies that allow them to exist in the world. iPads, smartphones, laptops, netbooks, Android devices, etc… More and more of these devices exist and they are converging on the Corporate network. Any number of users are taking it upon themselves to adopt these devices and expect them to be supported and approved.
The expected reaction from an IT department is ‘Heck No… these devices are not allowed and are a security risk.’ But, I believe the paradigm is changing… and it needs to. The amount of processing power, portability, and availability of these devices is hard to ignore. Locating the data, protecting the data, and protecting the services is key to everything moving forward. Ultimately, end point selection and usage is not necessarily needed.
VMware has really identified this paradigm shift and embraced it. Enter… Project Horizon.
The End User Computing and Advanced Development groups are in the process of developing some amazing technology to abstract the user device and present the applications regardless of the device. This product, Project Horizon, is the fruit of their labor. At this point, this appears to be aggregation of View for remote sessions, ThinApp for application virtualization, and various client logic.
Conceptually, an application is virtualized and placed into the VMware equivalent of an App Store (ala Apple or Android). These applications are "entitled" to a user for usage and access. In a Windows environment, an agent runs on the machine and presents the applications via shortcuts. Depending on the application type, it is either streamed to the machine locally (ThinApp) or presented via the web browser (in the event of a SaaS application).
However, in the event that you are on a client that does not support execution, the application is still made available via other methods…
like remote control (eg: published applications). SaaS applications are becoming more and more prevalent in the ecosystem. These services are more generic and exist outside of the corporate environment. So, being able to control access to the services and the data inside is critical. Horizon addresses this issue very well.
The SaaS applications are "entitled" to users in the same way as a more standard application. However, APIs and security exists for single sign on. So, the SaaS application, while still generic, incorporates the your local security (Active Directory) for authentication, provisions and deletes remote accounts, and forces all access through the Horizon environment.
A great example of this is Google applications. It is entirely plausible to have Google email (Gmail) for your environment. By using the Horizon environment, you are able to ensure that everyone uses Horizon to access the environment. While you can pull up Gmail via the browser, you cannot log into it remotely.
Data security is another issue to contend with that Horizon addresses very well. Check out this example: When someone gets an iPad, one of the first thing they do is setup email. However, they cannot get access to their data from the device… instead they email it to themselves. What happens to that data? How can you get it back? How can you protect it? Very difficult proposition, right?
With storing the data on the network and presenting the applications to the clients, any data sent to the client is encrypted and only available via the application accessing it.
The ability for the client and the Horizon environment to logically apply determine the best distribution method for applications based on the device is massive. It really represents a change in the paradigm for computing and end user compute nodes.
Occasionally, we have a discussion in my IT department surrounding the power of the smartphones that exist. Imagine users being able to bring in their own devices, sit at their desk, and connect in. Amazing proposition. And, it looks like VMware is ready to tackle it.
Please check out the my keynote session notes as well as my Press Session Notes for some additional details. I welcome and look forward to this shift.