My thoughts on the London VMUG Meeting June 2016

Well last week was the 3rd London VMUG meeting of the year and the last in London. I arrived to find it fairly empty due to some train issues. It was also the day of the EU referendum so we won’t forget where we were on that day. Given the train issues on the way home due to some flooding I was glad to of got up early to of gone and voted before traveling.

vmug

 The first session of the day was from the gold sponsor Simplivity.

Simplivity -­ Hyper Convergence with Data Virtualisation – A Double Win -­Stuart Gilks @StuartGilks123 simplivity

Stuart gave us a very quick corporate presentation then took us straight in to the technical heart of the product with a hands on demo. Through the demo Stuart was able to demonstrate how simple the software is to use, through the vCenter Plugin, administration is easy and configuration of policies is simple.

The heart of the product is SimpliVity’s OmniStack software which enables a powerful set of hyperconverged technologies. The OmniStack technology is composed of the Data Virtualization Platform software and the purpose-built Accelerator Card.

The key points are:

  •  Multiple layers of protection
  • VM centric management
  • Data efficiency that improves performance.
  • Accelerated data efficiency.
  • Deduplication and compression at ingest.
  • Performance acceleration and capacity saving.
  • Unified management single pane of glass.
  • Built in data protection (backup and restore)
  • All drives are RAID protected to allow for multiple disk failures.
  • Data protection with RAID and RAIN (Redundant Array of Independent Nodes)
  • On data write’s If the hash matches anywhere them all it does it update metadata therefore making capacity savings on write’s.
  • So therefore when you clone a VM it’s a complete hash match so it consumes no extra disk capacity or IOPS
  • This is the same for backups even on a different site, several GB’s simply becomes a few MB to be replicated to a remote OmniStack.
  • A nice touch was that the software has very simple policy’s to configure and they will estimate the capacity used before you commit a stupid job.
  • if you decide to bring up a VV in a remote site, when you move a VM it will deregister in the active vCenter, The destination site will check its blocks and just transfer the missing blocks so the move will be faster than conventional Vmotions and consume less bandwidth.

 For more information take a look at their web site http://www.simplivity.com/ and watch the short video below:

why simplivity

Stuart mentioned that you can Register for a free hands on test drive, these are typically 3 hours and run around the country and I may well attend a test drive in future.

  •  Get hands on time on a real system with a lab guide.
  • Join an interactive discussion about best practices for deploying hyperconverged and solve common IT problems.
  • Discuss with experts any questions you have.

You can register at simplivity-testdrive.com, The next session is the 12th of July in London.

 Next up was Chris Dearden @ChrisDearden who hosted the debate – Cloud In/Out BREXIT for Your Datacentre.

serverhugger.png

We then had a somewhat humorous look as to what was best place to host your servers either In or Out of the cloud. There was some healthy debate between the two sides covering issues over costs, workloads, applications, backups, speed of deployment and even beards at one point!

beard

Before the vote there was a bit of a wobble from a few people who wanted a hybrid option but this was a simple In or out Vote and the result was a clear victory for the in Datacanter  at 30 server huggers compared to 14 cloudlovers. I hasten to add I was one of the luddites and a server hugger.

vmwarecloud

VMware EUC Update – Howard Bliss (VMware)

Howard took us through the latest changes to the Vmware EUC (End user Computing) product set.

The purpose of which is to deliver an unmatched identity defined contextual experience to the user from Consumer to Enterprise. Delivering a full spectrum of digital workspaces across devices, or to put it simply Any platform any App.

  • Unmanaged (manage the user)
  • Managed Workspace (manage the user and apps)
  • Managed Workspace with Unified Endpoint Management (manage the user, apps and device)

Workspace one has gained elements of Airwatch including MAM (Mobile App Managmeent) containment support. Horizon 7 has a number of new features including:

  • Improvements to just in time delivery (Just in time lets you clone the base image, mount the VMDK simultaneously and then use app volumes to deploy apps)
  • Can deliver 2000 desktops in less than 20 minutes.
  • Supports more than 50000 sessions over 10 sites and 25 pods.
  • App volumes allows you to deliver apps in seconds.
  • Smart policy’s and User Environment Manager (UEM) will allow you to customize the app as the user opens it.
  • Blast extreme is a new protocol to replace PCs over ip and supports h.264 encoding to bring HD experience to end users.
  • There is a new client available as of the 16th of June V4.1

Windows 10 has the blurred the way we use Windows as it now runs on laptops, mobiles and tablets. This has changed the way that us corporates need to think about managing our windows devices it’s no longer about joining the domain and group policies.

windows10 and horizon

To help manage Windows 10 devices horizon has introduced VMware Trust point Powered by a partnership with Tanium and is the Ideal solution to combines policy and control with endpoint security and allows you to:

  • Discover unmanaged end points in seconds with a 15 second detection.
  • So then it can decide whether to push agent or quarantine the device.
  • Natural language query engine – so just ask a question in plain English “what are the computer names of the machines with critical patches missing”
  • Remediate compromised endpoints as needed by:
    • Deploying a patch
    • Killing a process
    • Uninstalling an app
    • Removing a device

lakesidesoftware

Lakeside Software -­ Using SysTrack in a Horizon Environment – Simon Salloway @simonsifi

Simon promised us a slide free demo of end user analytics for Horizon demonstrating how to objectively measure user experience and accurately plan capacity.

You can see more on their web site http://lakesidesoftware.com/ and I would recommend the short the video below.

The Agent is a Scalable lightweight client and looks at what users are doing.

  • Software monitors the time it takes to load software.
  • Is the CPU queue length high.
  • What the Service quality is (the time that users are working without any delays)
  • What the User experience % is.
  • What takes time away from users.
  • Can be used forLicense management and Capacity planning for VMs
  • Can produce reports that are accurate showing real statistics.
  • Application report can show systems and links showing latency for each link which looked very useful for RCA.

Extreme VMware Datacentres Matt Northam, Alex Galbraith and Ed Morgan

Again this was quite a humorous breakout session where 3 people presented to us on a number of situations involving extreme datacenters. Which were above and beyond what we would call normality.

Matt Northam @Twickersmatt

Matts example was one about putting VMware on to ships of the Royal Navy. So obviously apart from any required security clearances he mentioned a few points that I have had some experience of (although not all)

  •  Think about no internet connectivity so have lots of DVD media.
  • How are you going to install any software (DVD or USB)
  • Remote Support, How are you going to perform it.
  • Remote access, Will you have ILO or DRAC type access.
  • Trouble shooting logs, are you able to send logs to a supplier, probably not.
  • Can you use your phone or laptop, do you need to be escorted everywhere.
  • Always take pen and paper.
  • Always have photo ID.

Alex Galbraith @alexgalbraith

Alex’s Example was one of a rural site, something I can relate to living in a small rural Hampshire village where we have limited mobile access (mainly none) and limited broadband although I recently got an increase to around 3.5MB, his Issues included:

  • No internet access, a 1MB DSL circuit for a lot of users. With massive costs to install a dedicated circuit over 6 miles.
  • Rf broadband (line of sight) did increase this although its deterioration was found to be because Trees grow in the country!
  • DR was only on same site, still there was at least some distance between the servers.
  • A shed for office which was dirty with dust and flooded which resulted in the racks being lifted off the floor to prevent future flooding.

Ed Morgan @mo6020

Eds example was more extreme that Matts, with all the same issues but only in a submarine!

For reasons of national security I can’t repeat what Ed told us, (and it wasn’t because I was too busy laughing honestly)

Quote of the session, “How exactly do you rebuild an array when someone has pulled out two of the disks”

vBeers – sponsored by 10ZiG, Nutanix and Pernixdata

vBeers was a bit different this time, we found ourselves at FourPure brewery in Bermondsey @fourpurebrewing apparently some of our sponsors are quite well know there! food was supplied by Le Bao @LeBaoTruck and I must say I enjoyed my first couple of Baos and it was a shame I had to leave for the train. So a big thanks to the sponsors for a great night.

10ziglarge     nutanix     pernixdata

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