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Sep 27

My first VMworld 2012 – A wrap

VMworld 2012 was held in San Francisco, USA  in August this year.  This was to be my first (and hopefully not last) VMworld conference,  I have a lot of memorable moments from the whole trip – probably too many to list here but nonetheless it was a very memorable trip.  The flight over and back was full, not cool for a relatively tall fella like myself.

I met some brilliant minds in the industry, and got to go to my first NFL game ever (Thanks @vStewed!) as well as doing a podcast with a good colleague of mine Calvin Zito (@HPStorageGuy), you can listen to the podcast at this link.

 

Some of my favourite sessions:

STO1430: Tracking Down Storage Performance Issues: A Customer’s Perspective http://goo.gl/uTtH8

Speaker Keith Aasen, NetApp, Scott Elliott, Christie Digital

 

STO2980: vSphere 5 Storage Best Practices @ http://goo.gl/pbP0g

Speakers: Chad Sakac, EMC Corporation, Vaughn Stewart, NetApp

 

VSP1800: vSphere Performance Best Practices http://goo.gl/I6lPc

Speaker: Peter Boone, VMware

 

Over 300+ sessions available for download @

http://www.vmworld.com/community/sessions/2012/

 

Now, onto some of the major new announcements that are worth a mention:

 

vRam goes vByeBye

Probably the biggest announcement made at VMworld 2012 was that VMWare has decided to drop the vRAM memory model that came out last year with vSphere 5.0.

This meant each edition of the vSphere tool had a virtual memory cap for each license, and if you needed more virtual memory for your ESXi host, you had to buy enough licenses to cover the total virtual memory in use by your VMs. Personally I wasn’t a big fan of it as I liked the simpler per socket approach as did a lot of VMware customers.

 

Monster VM’s now with more monster!!

The new release of ESXi has a bigger, faster, stronger CPU virtualization method, VMware refer to this method as ” virtualized hardware virtualization” or “VHV” for short, which  offers guest operating systems running inside of the VM “near native access to the physical CPU.”

New specs offered with this release of vSphere include 64 vCPU, up to 1TB RAM, 1 million IOPs out of a single VM.  All of this whilst still keeping the efficiencies we have all come to love with vSphere.

 

Shared Storage? Doesn’t matter!

Another important announcement is the capability to perform a virtual machine live migration between two separate physical servers  without the need of those physical hosts being attached to the same storage. Traditionally this requirement has been around since vMotion came out with ESX Server, but now VMware has redesigned it so that the memory state and files with the metadata describing a powered on VM can be transferred between hosts using their DAS.

 

No more desktop client…. 

vSphere 5.1 now comes with a new Web-based client that you can use instead of the Windows-based application that or the Linux-based virtualized console . This new web console snaps into vCloud Director, the cloud orchestration tool sold by VMware. Pity for IOS users as this new web client requires Adobe flash 🙁

I am curious as to how VCP certification will change given that the questions revolve heavily around the desktop client GUI.

 

Storage vMotion goes parallel!

Storage vMotion now supports up to four parallel disk copies per VM. Nuff said.

See What’s New in VMware vSphere 5.1 – Storage for more.

 

vCenter Single-Sign-On (SSO) 

vCenter Single Sign-on is a new feature in 5.1 that means you no longer log directly into vCenter Server but with a security domain defined in your vSphere environment.

Previous versions of vSphere meant you needed to log into vCenter Server directly, you were authenticated with the provided username and password against the Active Directory configured for vCenter Server

A point to note is that vCenter SSO is an additional component in the vSphere suite, but is required before any other vSphere 5.1 component (not ESXi) is installed or upgraded to 5.1.  The idea is that it will run as an additional service on top of vCenter service so there is no need to start re-architecting or working out the impact that it may have to your virtual environment

 

In closing.

VMworld 2012 was simply outstanding, the quality of the sessions and the solutions exchange were remarkable. You can find a link ,  I look forward to the next one I have the opportunity to go to and especially to meeting more people and catching up with in the industry we have come to love.

For a quick overview on Whats new content, please visit this link,

 

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