georges' blog

August 29, 2012

VMworld 2012 Takeaways, Day 3

Filed under: Technology,VMworld 2012 — kendall @ 11:47 am
Day three started off with no keynote. That is probably because there are a lot of parties Tuesday night, so a lot of reasons to sleep in. Personally, my first session of the day started at 9:30, What’s New with vSphere Automation. They were talking about new commands in esxcli and PowerCLI. The PowerCLI guy sounds a bit like Ricky Gvais, but not so funny. Takeaways:

  1. 82 new commands in esxcli.
  2. A bunch of snap-ins, over 270 commandlets in PowerCLI

I literally get to take away a PowerCLI and esxcli quick reference poster. Kinda cool since there isn’t much 5.1 documentation at vmware.com yet.

Session 2, VM Scare? Heterogeneous Virtualization’s Impact. This guy is not into heterogeneous hypervisors. He’s from Gartner, so it isn’t because he’s trying to sell us something. In fact, Gartner makes their living off complexity–if the world is simple, what do we need consultants for? He’s basically saying there aren’t good reasons for using multiple hypervisors.

  1. He says if you aren’t moving toward standardization, then you are not doing things enterprise; you aren’t doing things like a service provider; you are doing things like a small IT shop. Those are fighting words. But I think he has a point.
  2. If you are trying to avoid vendor lock-in for cost reasons, you need to understand there is a cost associated with switching for one hypervisors to another. Also, there is inherent waste in having multiple hypervisor silos.
  3. You will have to have multiple management tools, because you will need vendor specific tools to do some advanced operations.
  4. Public cloud doesn’t save you money. The vm is cheap, the management and DR is what costs you.
  5. Do not use different hypervisors for test/dev and production. It defeats the purpose and causes problems when moving from test/dev to production.
  6. Check out Gartner’s reference architecture for cloud management SaaS.

I got to ask about how far this recommendation extends to VDI, and he gave a bit of an “it depends” answer. He actually said that VDI is perhaps the only place where having a siloed approach makes sense. He had a couple of observations:

  1. CAPEX is a major consideration with VDI. You get CAPEX savings by bundling your VDI with your hypervisor.
  2. You may decouple VDI from hypervisor because in many/most shops the desktop guys are not the infrastructure guys. So, the infrastructure commitment to the VDI management is generally limited. Let the infrastructure guys choose the hypervisor; let the desktop guys choose the VDI.

I like that last observation. It may be just because choosing a VDI solution is a complex process and I’d be happy to pass the job off to our user team. My first order of business when I get back to work next week.

I went to the the session, Securing the Virtual Environment: How to Defend the Enterprise. What I learned? Our security guys need to understand virtualization. Today over 60% of servers are virtualized. There are special considerations that apply to virtualized infrastructure. The old rules and methods may not apply. It will become unacceptable to halt forward progress because the security guys don’t know current technology. Our security guys should get this book, Securing the Virtual Environment: How to Defend the Enterprise Against Attack.

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