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Scott Drummonds on Virtualization

EMC Hands-on Labs at Sydney vForum 2011

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Every VMworld attendee knows how important the hands-on labs are to the show’s success. Many attendees cite the HOLs as the most important part of the show. EMC picked up on this and in recent years has offered its own interactive demonstrations at the EMC booth on the showroom floor.  We have taken these labs on the road and I am happy to announce they will be featured at Sydney vForum 2011.

The Sydney vForum runs from 19-20 October at the Sydney Exhibition and Convention Centre.  This will be my third year attending this show, which is one of the largest VMware events in the Asia Pacific region.  VMware will offer the same hands-on labs to the Sydney vForum attendees that they offered to VMworld attendees.  So EMC decided to add a small set of our own labs at the EMC booth.

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vFabric Data Director: Database on Demand

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Just one day into VMworld 2011 VMware has already subtly announced one of the revolutionary products in years. Quietly, humbly, and with little fanfare, VMware’s CEO Paul Maritz mentioned VMware’s foray into the database market with VMware’s vFabric Data Director (vDD).

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EMC Labs at VMworld

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Tomorrow I take the last flight in a series that started in Singapore three days ago.  I arrive in Las Vegas a little before noon for VMworld 2011.  This is my first year in five with no responsibilities as a presenter or lab owner.  And I am unreasonably excited that I can participate as an attendee.

In addition to a wealth of partner and customer meetings, I will be attending a large number of sessions, taking the hands-on labs, meeting old friends and colleagues, and of course enjoying the nighttime fun.  One great point of pride I have is the wide range of labs that EMC will be offering at the EMC booth on the showroom floor.  I thought I would share some highlights of hands-on demos you can take if you stop by the EMC booth at VMworld this year.

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VMware Linked Clone IO Implications

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A month ago I was in Palo Alto seeing old friends and talking VMware. I spent some time with an old friend in performance engineering talking about vSphere’s implementation of linked clones. Conceptually I know linked clones require an additional map to translate the guest’s view of a contiguous file system into a reordered collection of blocks in multiple VMDK files. But I was not sure exactly how this technology worked and love hearing details. I want to share a few comments about this discussion.

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Storage Consolidation (or: How Many VMDKs Per Volume?)

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Part of the performance best practices talk I co-presented at VMworld in San Francisco and Copenhagen focused on answering the question, “How many virtual machines can be placed on a single VMFS volume?”  There are a lot of theories as to a best answer.  It will not surprise you to learn that no single consolidation ratio works in every environment.  Your workloads will influence the maximum consolidation.  But we know enough about how ESX virtualizes storage to provide guidance as to the right storage consolidation ratios.

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The Tipping Point

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If you missed the keynotes at the recent VMworlds you missed a sensational bit of information that marks just how far the VMware revolution has come. I have since seen a graphical summary of the research that supported Steve Herrod’s claim and want to add myself to the chorus proclaiming the incredible incredible influence VMware has acquired in the industry.

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Performance Survey from VMworld (US)

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The VMworld events in both San Francisco and Copenhagen included a new discussion forum where subject matter experts spent time interacting with a small group of similarly-minded enthusiasts.  VMware was kind enough to invite me to host a performance discussion and the interactions I had with each group were fantastic.  At the organizers’ request, I seeded the discussions with an interactive survey that touched off deep conversation and engaging debate.  The results were collected by local staff and just recently I received those from the San Francisco VMworld’s group discussion on performance.

I asked about nine questions of the forum’s attendees and four of them generated rich discussion.  There were about 25 people in attendance, which were self-selected to have both opinions and total comfort sharing them.  Here are the questions, the results, and my commentary.

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VMworld Europe 2010: Copenhagen

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The VMworld conference organizer just sent me feedback from my presentations at VMworld 2010 in San Francisco.  He also sent me my VMworld Europe schedule, which I want to share with you.  You’ll have seven opportunities to catch me talking performance at the show and many more to catch me talking trash at a local pub.  Here is my schedule and some comments on what you can expect at each appearance.

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Databases, Storage, and Solid State Disks

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A colleague of mine dropped by my desk on Friday to talk about storage best practices for virtualized databases (SQL Server in this case).  He observed a VMware deployment where the data and log files for a SQL Server virtual machine were consolidated on a single VMFS volume backed by a RAID 5 LUN.  “Is this a VMware best practice?” he asked.  “Should you not put the redo logs on a RAID 10 LUN?”  The answers are ‘no’ and ‘yes’, respectively.  And with the solid state disk (SSD) auto-tiering from EMC (FAST) the second answer is an emphatic “YES!”

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Meet Me at VMworld 2010 in San Francisco

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Those of you following me on Twitter know that I have landed in San Francisco and am prepping for next week’s big event, VMworld 2010.  In addition to the two topics I will each present twice, the conference organizers were kind enough to consider me among the technical gurus they selected for their experts program.  So, if you would like to see either of my talks or come by the for some Q&A in the knowledge experts meetings, here is my schedule:

  • Monday, 30 Aug, 3:00-4:00PM: EXPERTS – 02 – Knowledge Experts One on One (Moscone West – Level 2)
  • Tuesday, 31 Aug, 11:00AM-12:00PM: EA7726 – Virtual Machines Outperforming Physical Machines (Moscone South Room 307)
  • Tuesday, 31 Aug, 2:00-3:00PM: TA7171 – Performance Best Practices for vSphere (Moscone South Room 104)
  • Wednesday, 1 Sep, 12:00-1:00PM: EXPERTS – 08 – Knowledge Experts One on One (Moscone West – Level 2)
  • Wednesday, 1 Sep, 3:00-4:00PM: EA7726 – Virtual Machines Outperforming Physical Machines (Moscone South Room 308)
  • Thursday, 2 Sep, 12:00-1:00PM: GD 35 – Performance with Scott Drummonds (Moscone West Alcove 2)
  • Thursday, 2 Sep, 1:30-2:30PM: TA7171 – Performance Best Practices for vSphere (Moscone South Room 302)
  • Thursday, 2 Sep, 2:30PM-1:00AM: XX1234 – Post Conference Celebration (Various Bars in SF)

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