vPivot

Scott Drummonds on Virtualization

Wireless vMotion Using Laptops

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In June of 2011 I visited China as EMC’s vSpecialists kicked off a program of technical workshops for VMware enthusiasts. We invited pre-sales teams from VMware, Cisco, and EMC to gather for presentations, discussions, and labs all focused on EMC and VMware products and how they work together. We call this group the vAmbassadors. And we are building communities like this throughout the Asia Pacific region.

To kick off the Chinese vAmbassador program, we wanted to show everyone EMC and VMware configurations on very simple hardware. I suggested that we try and demonstrate vMotion using our laptops and wireless Ethernet with the Celerra VSA as the embedded host storage. While I was sure it was technically possible, I had never seen this before. As it turns out, it was pretty straight forward. And was also damn fun to watch. 🙂

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Alternative to DRS

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Now that I am six months removed from VMware, I will admit that we executed poorly in the space of performance management.  I know that there is intense work going on right now in acquisitions, unification of performance management tools, and vCenter improvement through folding in vscsiStats and esxtop data.  But in the area of performance reporting and visualization, VMware’s success has been minimal.  VMware hopes its acquisition of AliveVM will plug part of this gap but today it is safe to say the field is wide open for VMware’s partners.

This morning one such partner, VMTurbo, gave me a demonstration of their offering in this field.  Their product provides an obvious improvement on vSphere’s performance visualization capabilities.  But given the state of VMware’s visualization capabilities virtually any graphical front-end provides an improvement.  But what really set off my imagination were two features I had not seen before:

  • A third-party alternative to DRS.
  • Cross-cluster resource optimization.

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vSphere 4.1: Performance Improvements

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Last week I took my first vacation in a year and a half.  I had not missed a single day of work in 18 months.  So last week, when I was galavanting through Spain and running terrified, screaming, and covered in sangria through the streets of Pamplona, VMware made its biggest announcement in over a year: the launch of vSphere 4.1.  My old team put out what looks to be a wonderful “What’s New in Performance” paper so I want to take a few minutes to add my thoughts to some of the great work VMware has done.

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Maximum Concurrent VMotions

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A VMware customer and attendee of a talk I gave at a performance roundtable asked me for a preview of unreleased features*.  When I talked about the amazing improvements to VMotion that would enable as many as eight concurrent VMotions the customer said, and I am paraphrasing here, “Yawn.  I can already do that.”  Really?  I had no idea customers could do this.  As it turns out, many of us at VMware did not know that customers knew how to do this.

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