Dell EMC News From VMworld US 2018

I’m not at VMworld US this year, but I had the opportunity to be briefed by Sam Grocott (Dell EMC Cloud Strategy) on some of Dell EMC‘s key announcements during the event, and thought I’d share some of my rough notes and links here. You can read the press release here.

TL;DR?

It is a multi-cloud world. Multi-cloud requires workload mobility. The market requires a consistent experience between on-premises and off-premises. Dell EMC are doing some more stuff around that.

 

Cloud Platforms

Dell EMC offer a number of engineered systems to run both IaaS and cloud native applications.

VxRail

Starting with vSphere 6.7, Dell EMC are saying they’re delivering “near” synchronous software releases between VMware and VxRail. In this case that translates to a less than 30 Day delta between releases. There’s also support for:

VxRack SDDC with VMware Cloud Foundation

  • Support for latest VCF releases – VCF 2.3.2, and future proof for next generation VMware cloud technologies
  • Alignment with VxRail hardware options – P, E, V series VxRail models, now including Storage Dense S-series
  • Configuration flexibility

 

Cloud-enabled Infrastructure

Focus is on the data

  • Cloud data mobility;
  • Cloud data protection;
  • Cloud data services; and
  • Cloud control.

Cloud Data Protection

  • DD Cloud DR – keep copies of VM data from on-premises DD to public cloud and orchestrate failover of workloads to the cloud
  • Data Protection Suite – use cloud storage for backup and retention
  • Cloud Snapshot Manager – Backup and recovery for public cloud workloads (Now MS Azure)
  • Data Domain virtual edition running in the cloud

DD VE 4.0 Enhancements

  • KVM support added for DD VE on-premises
  • In-cloud capacity expanded to 96TB (was 16TB)
  • Can run in AWS, Azure and VMware Cloud

Cloud Data Services

Dell EMC have already announced services such as:

And now you can get Dell EMC UnityVSA Cloud Edition.

UnityVSA Cloud Edition

[image courtesy of Dell EMC]

  • Up to 256TB file systems
  • VMware Cloud on AWS

CloudIQ

  • No cost, SaaS offering
  • Predictive analytics – intelligently project capacity and performance
  • Anomaly detection – leverage ML to pinpoint deviations
  • Proactive health – identify risks before they impact the environment

Enhancements include:

Data Domain Cloud Tier

There are some other Data Domain related enhancements, including new AWS support (meaning you can have a single vendor for Long Term Retention).

ECS

ECS enhancements have also been announced, with a 50%+ increase in storage capacity and compute.

 

Thoughts

As would be expected from a company with a large portfolio of products, there’s quite a bit happening on the product enhancement front. Dell EMC are starting to get that they need to be on-board with those pesky cloud types, and they’re also doing a decent job of ensuring their private cloud customers have something to play with as well.

I’m always a little surprised by vendors offering “Cloud Editions” of key products, as it feels a lot like they’re bolting on something to the public cloud when the focus could perhaps be on helping customers get to a cloud-native position sooner. That said, there are good economic reasons to take this approach. By that I mean that there’s always going to be someone who thinks they can just lift and shift their workload to the public cloud, rather than re-factoring their applications. Dell EMC are providing a number of ways to make this a fairly safe undertaking, and products like Unity Cloud Edition provide some nice features such as increased resilience that would be otherwise lacking if the enterprise customer simply dumped its VMs in AWS as-is. I still have hope that we’ll stop doing this as an industry in the near future and embrace some smarter ways of working. But while enterprises are happy enough to spend their money on doing things like they always have, I can’t criticise Dell EMC for wanting a piece of the pie.

Random Short Take #7

Here are a few links to some random things that I think might be useful, to someone. Maybe.

VMware – VMworld 2017 – Wrap-up and Link-o-rama

Disclaimer: I recently attended VMworld 2017 – US.  My flights were paid for by ActualTech Media, VMware provided me with a free pass to the conference and various bits of swag, and Tech Field Day picked up my hotel costs. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

A quick post to provide some closing thoughts on VMworld 2017 and link to the posts I did during the event. Not in that order. I’ll add to this as I come across interesting posts from other people too.

 

Link-o-rama

Here’s my stuff.

 

Intro

VMware – VMworld 2017 – See you in Vegas

 

Session Notes

VMware – VMworld 2017 – Monday General Session Notes

VMware – VMworld 2017 – MGT3342BUS – Architecting Data Protection with Rubrik

VMware – VMworld 2017 – STO1179BU – Understanding the Availability Features of vSAN

VMware – VMworld 2017 – LHC3371BUC – VMware Cloud on AWS – The Painless Path to Hybrid Cloud

VMware – VMworld 2017 – STO2063BU – Architecting Site Recovery Manager to Meet Your Recovery Goals

VMware – VMworld 2017 – SER1166BU – Housekeeping Strategies for Platform Services Controller-Expert Talk

VMware – VMworld 2017 – PBO3334BUS – State of the Union: Everything multi-cloud, converged, hyper-converged and more!

VMware – VMworld 2017 – STO3331BUS – Cohesity Hyperconverged Secondary Storage: Simple Data Protection for VMware and vSAN

VMware – VMworld 2017 – STO3194BU – Protecting Virtual Machines in VMware Cloud on AWS

 

Tech Field Day Extra at VMworld US 2017

Tech Field Day – I’ll Be At TFD Extra at VMworld US 2017

The Thing About NetApp HCI Is …

Druva Is Useful, And Modern

Kingston’s NVMe Line-up Is The Life Of The Party

 

Other Posts From Tech Field Day Extra at VMworld US 2017

NetApp SolidFire HCI – Scale what you want, when you want

Highlights from My First VMworld

Tech Field Day Extra – Kingston Technologies

Netapp‘s SolidFire HCI Overview

NVMe to enable truly composable infrastructure?

Join me at VMworld with Tech Field Day Extra!

 

Disclosure

VMware – VMworld 2017 – (Fairly) Full Disclosure

 

Video

And here’s my inaugural appearance on theCUBE.

 

VMware Press Releases

VMware made a number of announcements, and you can find them here:

VMware Delivers Industry-First Unified End User Experience, Management and Security Solution for All Endpoint Platforms

VMware and Pivotal Launch Pivotal Container Service (PKS) and Collaborate with Google Cloud to Bring Kubernetes to Enterprise Customers

VMware and AWS Announce Initial Availability of VMware Cloud on AWS

VMware Advances Software to Help Customers Modernize Data Centers

VMware and Dell EMC Partner to Deliver First Data Protection Solution for VMware Cloud on AWS

VMware Helps Enterprises Succeed in the Multi-Cloud Era

 

Other Useful Sources

Here are a few event-related articles I found interesting. You should also get along to the newly launched Blog Beat for some great coverage by a range of bloggers.

 

You should also check out everything written by Chad, as well as these posts:

VMware Gets Its Mojo Back At VMworld 2017

VMworld2017’s forecast, cloudy with a high chance of containers

VMworld 2017 Thursday Keynote

 

Wrap-up

This was my third VMworld US event, and I had a lot of fun. I’d like to thank all the people who helped me out with getting there, the people who stopped and chatted to me at the event, and VMware for putting on a great show. I’m looking forward to (hopefully) getting along to it next year (August 26 – 30).

Kingston’s NVMe Line-up Is The Life Of The Party

Disclaimer: I recently attended VMworld 2017 – US.  My flights were paid for by ActualTech Media, VMware provided me with a free pass to the conference and various bits of swag, and Tech Field Day picked up my hotel costs. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

You can view the video of Kingston‘s presentation at Tech Field Day Extra VMworld US 2017 here, and download a PDF copy of my rough notes from here.

 

It’s A Protocol, Not Media

NVMe has been around for a few years now, and some people get it confused for a new kind of media that they plug into their servers. But it’s not really, it’s just a standard specification for accessing Flash media via the PCI Express bus. There’re a bunch of reasons why you might choose to use NVMe instead of SAS, including lower latency and less CPU overhead. My favourite thing about it though is the plethora of form factors available to use. Kingston touched on these in their presentation at Tech Field Day Extra recently. You can get them in half-height, half-length (HHHL) add-in cards (AIC), U.2 (2.5″) and M.2 sizes. To give you an idea of the use cases for each of these, Kingston suggested the following applications:

  • HHHL (AIC) card
    • Server / DC applications
    • High-end workstations
  • U.2 (2.5″)
    • Direct-attached, server backplane, just a bunch of flash (JBOF)
    • White box and OEM-branded
  • M.2
    • Client applications
    • Notebooks, desktops, workstations
    • Specialised systems

 

It’s Pretty Fast

NVMe has proven to be pretty fast, and a number of companies are starting to develop products that leverage the protocol in an extremely efficient manner. Coupled with the rise of NVMe/F solutions and you’ve got some pretty cool stuff coming to market. The price is also becoming a lot more reasonable, with Kingston telling us that their DCP1000 NVMe HHHL comes in at around “$0.85 – $0.90 per GB at the moment”. It’s obviously not as cheap as things that spin at 7200RPM but the speed is mighty fine. Kingston also noted that the 2.5″ form factor would be hanging around for some time yet, as customers appreciated the serviceability of the form factor.

 

[Kingston DCU1000 – Image courtesy of Kingston]

 

This Stuff’s Everywhere

Flash media has been slowly but surely taking over the world for a little while now. The cost per GB is reducing (slowly, but surely), and the range of form factors means there’s something for everyone’s needs. Protocol advancements such as NVMe make things even easier, particularly at the high end of town. It’s also been interesting to see these “high end” solutions trickle down to affordable form factors such as PCIe add-in cards. With the relative ubiquity of operating system driver support, NVMe has become super accessible. The interesting thing to watch now is how we effectively leverage these advancements in protocol technologies. Will we use them to make interesting advances in platforms and data access? Or will we keep using the same software architectures we fell in love with 15 years ago (albeit with dramatically improved performance specifications)?

 

Conclusion and Further Reading

I’ll admit it took me a little while to come up with something to write about after the Kingston presentation. Not because I don’t like them or didn’t find their content interesting. Rather, I felt like I was heading down the path of delivering another corporate backgrounder coupled with speeds and feeds and I know they have better qualified people to deliver that messaging to you (if that’s what you’re into). Kingston do a whole range of memory-related products across a variety of focus areas. That’s all well and good but you probably already knew that. Instead, I thought I could focus a little on the magic behind the magic. The Flash era of storage has been absolutely fascinating to witness, and I think it’s only going to get more interesting over the next few years. If you’re into this kind of thing but need a more comprehensive primer on NVMe, I recommend you check out J Metz’s article on the Cisco blog. It’s a cracking yarn and enlightening to boot. Data Centre Journal also provide a thorough overview here.

Druva Is Useful, And Modern

Disclaimer: I recently attended VMworld 2017 – US.  My flights were paid for by ActualTech Media, VMware provided me with a free pass to the conference and various bits of swag, and Tech Field Day picked up my hotel costs. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

You can view the video of Druva‘s presentation here, and you can download a PDF copy of my rough notes from here.

 

DMaaS

Druva have been around for a while, and I recently had the opportunity to hear from them at a Tech Field Day Extra event. They have combined their Phoenix and inSync products into a single platform, yielding Druva Cloud Platform. This is being positioned as a “Data Management-as-a-Service” offering.

 

Data Management-as-a-Service

Conceptually, it looks a little like this.

[image via Druva]

According to Druva, the solution takes into account all the good stuff, such as:

  • Protection;
  • Governance; and
  • Intelligence.

It works with both:

  • Local data sources (end points, branch offices, and DCs); and
  • Cloud data sources (such as IaaS, Cloud Applications, and PaaS).

The Druva cloud is powered by AWS, and provides, amongst other things:

  • Auto-tiering in the cloud (S3/S3IA/Glacier); and
  • Easy recovery to any location (servers or the cloud).

 

Just Because You Can Put A Cat …

With everything there’s a right way and a wrong way to do it. Sometimes you might do something and think that you’re doing it right, but you’re not. Wesley Snipes’s line in White Men Can’t Jump may not be appropriate for this post, but Druva came up with one that is: “A VCR in the cloud doesn’t give you Netflix”. When you’re looking at cloud-based data protection solutions, you need to think carefully about just what’s on offer. Druva have worked through a lot of these requirements and claim their solution:

  • Is fully managed (no need to deploy, manage, support software);
  • Offers predictable lower costs
  • Delivers linear and infinite (!) scalability
  • Provides automatic upgrades and patching; and
  • Offers seamless data services.

I’m a fan of the idea that cloud services can offer a somewhat predictable cost models to customers. One of the biggest concerns faced by the C-level folk I talk to is the variability of cost when it comes to consuming off-premises services. The platform also offers source side global deduplication, with:

  • Application-aware block-level deduplication;
  • Only unique blocks being sent; and
  • Forever incremental and efficient backups.

The advantage of this approach is that, as Druva charge based on “post-globally deduped storage consumed”, chances are you can keep your costs under control.

 

It Feels Proper Cloudy

I know a lot of people who are in the midst of the great cloud migration. A lot of them are only now (!) starting to think about how exactly they’re going to protect all of this data in the cloud. Some of them are taking their existing on-premises solutions and adapting them to deal with hybrid or public cloud workloads. Others are dabbling with various services that are primarily cloud-based. Worse still are the ones assuming that the SaaS provider is somehow magically taking care of their data protection needs. Architecting your apps for multiple geos is a step in the right direction towards availability, but you still need to think about data protection in terms of integrity, not just availability. The impression I got from Druva is that they’ve taken some of the best elements of their on-premises and cloud offerings, sprinkled some decent security in the mix, and come up with a solution that could prove remarkably effective.

VMware – VMworld 2017 – STO3194BU – Protecting Virtual Machines in VMware Cloud on AWS

Disclaimer: I recently attended VMworld 2017 – US.  My flights were paid for by ActualTech Media, VMware provided me with a free pass to the conference and various bits of swag, and Tech Field Day picked up my hotel costs. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Here are my rough notes from “STO3194BU – Protecting Virtual Machines in VMware Cloud on AWS”, presented by Brian Young and Anita Thomas. You can grab a PDF copy of my notes from here.

VMware on AWS Backup Overview

VMware Cloud on AWS

  • VMware is enabling the VADP backup partner ecosystem on VMC
  • Access to native AWS storage for backup target
  • Leverages high performance network between Virtual Private Clouds

You can read more about VMware Cloud on AWS here.

 

Backup Partner Strategy

VMware Certified – VMware provides highest level of product endorsement

  • Product certification with VMware Compatibility Guide Listing
  • Predictable Life Cycle Management
  • VMware maintains continuous testing of VAPD APIs on VMC releases

Customer Deployed – Same solution components for both on-premises and VMC deployments

  • Operational Consistency
  • Choice of backup methods – image-level, in-guest
  • Choice of backup targets – S3, EBS, EFS

Partner Supported – Partner provides primary support

  • Same support model as on-premises

 

VADP / ENI / Storage Targets

VADP

  • New VDDK supports both on-premises and VMC
  • VMware backup partners are updating existing products to use new VDDK to enable backup of VMC based VMs

Elastic Network Interface (ENI)

  • Provide access to high speed, low latency network between VMC and AWS Virtual Private Clouds
  • No ingress or egress charges within the same availability zone

Backup Storage Targets

  • EC2 based backup appliance – EBS and S3 storage
  • Direct to S3

 

Example Backup Topology

  • Some partners will support in-guest and image level backups direct to S3
  • Deduplicates, compresses and encrypts on EC2 backup appliance
  • Store or cache backups on EBS
  • Some partners will support vaulting older backups to S3

 

Summary

  • VADP based backup products for VMC are available now
  • Elastic Network Interface connection to native AWS services is available now
  • Dell EMC Data Protection Suite is the first VADP data protection product available on VMC
  • Additional VADP backup solutions will be available in the coming months

 

Dell EMC Data Protection for VMware Cloud on AWS

Data Protection Continuum – Where you need it, how you want it

Dell EMC Data Protection is a Launch Partner for VMware Cloud on AWS. Data Protection Suite protects VMs and enterprise workloads whether on-premises or in VMware Cloud

  • Same data protection policies
  • Leveraging best-in-class Data Domain Virtual Edition
  • AWS S3 integration for cost efficient data protection

 

Dell EMC Data Domain and DP Suite

Data Protection Suite

  • Protects across the continuum – replication, snapshot, backup and archive
  • Covers all consumption models
  • Broadest application and platform support
  • Tightest integration with Data Domain

Data Domain Virtual Edition

  • Deduplication ratios up to 55x
  • Supports on-premises and cloud
  • Data encryption at rest
  • Data Invulnerability Architecture – best-in-class reliability
  • Includes DD Boost, DD Replicator

 

Dell EMC Solution Highlights

Unified

  • Single solution for enterprise applications and virtual machines
  • Works across on-premises and cloud deployments

Efficient

  • Direct application backup to S3
  • Minimal compute costs in cloud
  • Storage-efficient: deduplication up to 55x to DD/VE

Scalable

  • Highly scalable solution using lightweight stateless proxies
  • Virtual synthetic full backups – lightning fast daily backups, faster restores
  • Uses CBT for faster VM-image backup and restore

 

Solution Detail

Backup of VMs and applications in VMC to a DD/VE or AWS S3. The solution supports

  • VM image backup and restore
  • In-guest backup and restore of applications using agents for consistency
  • Application direct to S3

 

ESG InstaGraphic

  • ESG Lab has confirmed that the efficiency of the Dell EMC architecture can be used to reduce monthly in-cloud data protection costs by 50% or more
  • ESG Research has confirmed that public cloud adoption is on the rise. More than 75% of IT organisations report they are using the public cloud and 41% are using it for production applications
  • There is a common misconception that an application, server, or data moved to the cloud is automatically backed up the same way it was on-premises
  • Architecture matters when choosing a public cloud data protection solution

Source – ESG White Paper – Cost-efficient Data Protection for Your Cloud – to be published.

 

Manage Backups Using a Familiar Interface

  • Consistent user experience in cloud and on-premises
  • Manage backups using familiar data protection UI
  • Extend data protection policies to cloud
  • Detailed reporting and monitoring

 

Software Defined Data Protection Policies

Dynamic Polices – Keeping up with VM data growth and smart policies

Supported Attributes

  • DS Clusters
  • Data Center
  • Tags
  • VMname
  • Data Store
  • VMfolder
  • VM resource group
  • vApp

 

Technology Preview

The Vision we are building towards (screenshot demos).

 

Further Reading

You can read more in Chad’s post on the solution. Dell EMC put out a press release that you can see here. There’s a blog post from Dell EMC that also provides some useful information. I found this to be a pretty useful overview of what’s available and what’s coming in the future. 4 stars.

The Thing About NetApp HCI Is …

Disclaimer: I recently attended VMworld 2017 – US.  My flights were paid for by ActualTech Media, VMware provided me with a free pass to the conference and various bits of swag, and Tech Field Day picked up my hotel costs. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

You can view the video of NetApp‘s presentation here, and download a copy of my rough notes from here.

 

What’s In A Name?

There’s been some amount of debate about whether NetApp’s HCI offering is really HCI or CI. I’m not going to pick sides in this argument. I appreciate that words mean things and definitions are important, but I’d like to focus more on what NetApp’s offering delivers, rather than whether someone in Tech Marketing made the right decision to call this HCI. Let’s just say they’re closer to HCI than WD is to cloud.

 

Ye Olde Architectures (The HCI Tax)

NetApp spent some time talking about the “HCI Tax” – the overhead of providing various data services with first generation HCI appliances. Gabe touched on the impact of running various iterations of controller VMs, along with the increased memory requirements for services such as deduplication, erasure coding, compression, and encryption. The model for first generation HCI is simple – grow your storage and compute in lockstep as your performance requirements increase. The great thing with this approach is that you can start small and grow your environment as required. The problem with this approach is that you may only need to grow your storage, or you may only need to grow your compute requirement, but not necessarily both. Granted, a number of HCI vendors now offer storage-only nodes to accommodate this requirement, but NetApp don’t think the approach is as polished as it could be. The requirement to add compute as you add storage can also have a financial impact in terms of the money you’ll spend in licensing for CPUs. Whilst one size fits all has its benefits for linear workloads, this approach still has some problems.

 

The New Style?

NetApp suggest that their solution offers the ability to “scale on your terms”. With this you can

  • Optimise and protect existing investments;
  • Scale storage and compute together or independently; and
  • Eliminate the “HCI Tax”.

Note that only the storage nodes have disks, the compute nodes get blanks. The disks are on the front of the unit and the nodes are stateless. You can’t have different tiers of storage nodes as it’s all one cluster. It’s also BYO switch for connectivity, supporting 10/25Gbps. In terms of scalability, from a storage perspective you can scale as much as SolidFire can nowadays (around 100 nodes), and your compute nodes are limited by vSphere’s maximum configuration.

There are “T-shirt sizes” for implementation, and you can start small with as little as two blocks (2 compute nodes and 4 storage nodes). I don’t believe you mix t-shirt sizes in the same cluster. Makes sense if you think about it for more than a second.

 

Thoughts

Converged and hyper-converged are different things, and I think this post from Nick Howell (in the context of Cohesity as HCI) sums up the differences nicely. However, what was interesting for me during this presentation wasn’t whether or not this qualifies as HCI or not. Rather, it was about NetApp building on the strengths of SolidFire’s storage offering (guaranteed performance with QoS and good scale) coupled with storage / compute independence to provide customers with a solution that seems to tick a lot of boxes for the discerning punter.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you’ll know that NetApp are quite a different beast to the company first founded 25 years ago. The great thing about them (and the other major vendors) entering the already crowded HCI market is that they offer choices that extend beyond the HCI play. For the next few years at least, there are going to be workloads that just may not go so well with HCI. If you’re already a fan of NetApp, chances are they’ll have an alternative solution that will allow you to leverage their capability and still get the outcome you need. Gabe made the excellent point that “[y]ou can’t go from traditional to cloud overnight, you need to evaluate your apps to see where they fit”. This is exactly the same with HCI. I’m looking forward to see how they go against the more established HCI vendors in the marketplace, and whether the market responds positively to some of the approaches they’ve taken with the solution.

VMware – VMworld 2017 – STO3331BUS – Cohesity Hyperconverged Secondary Storage: Simple Data Protection for VMware and vSAN

Disclaimer: I recently attended VMworld 2017 – US.  My flights were paid for by ActualTech Media, VMware provided me with a free pass to the conference and various bits of swag, and Tech Field Day picked up my hotel costs. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Here are my rough notes on “STO3331BUS – Cohesity Hyperconverged Secondary Storage: Simple Data Protection for VMware and vSAN” presented by Gaetan Castelein of Cohesity and Shawn Long, CEO of viLogics. You can grab a PDF of my notes from here.

 

Secondary Storage Problem

SDS has changed for the better.

 

Primary storage has improved dramatically

Moving from:

  • High CapEx costs
  • Device-centric silos
  • Complex processes

To:

  • Policy-based management
  • Cost-efficient performance
  • Modern storage architectures

 

But secondary storage is still problematic

Rapidly growing data

  • 6ZB in 2016
  • 93ZB in 2025
  • 80% unstructured

Too many copies

  • 45% – 60% of capacity for copy data
  • 10 – 12 copies on average
  • $50B problem

Legacy storage can’t keep up

  • Doesn’t scale
  • Fragmented silos
  • Inefficient

 

Cohesity Hyperconverged Secondary Storage

You can use this for a number of different applications, including:

  • File shares
  • Archiving
  • Test / Dev
  • Analytics
  • Backups

It also offers native integration with the public cloud and Cohesity have been clear that you shouldn’t consider it to be just another backup appliance.

 

Consolidate Secondary Storage Silos at Web-Scale

  • Data Protection with Cohesity DataProtect;
  • Third-party backup DB copies with CommVault, Oracle RMAN, Veritas, IBM and Veeam;
  • Files; and
  • Objects.

 

Deliver Data Instantly

Want to make the data useful (via SnapTree)?

 

Software defined from Edge to Cloud

You can read more about Cohesity’s cloud integration here.

Use Cases

  • Simple Data Protection
  • Distributed File Services
  • Object Services
  • Multicloud Mobility
  • Test / Dev Copies
  • Analytics

You can use Cohesity with existing backup products if required or you can use Cohesity DataProtect.

 

Always-Ready Snapshots for Instant Restores

  • Sub-5 minute RPOs
  • Fully hydrated images (linked clones)
  • Catalogue of always-ready images
  • Instant recoveries (near-zero RTOs)
  • Integration with Pure Storage

 

Tight Integration with VMware

  • vCenter Integration
  • VADP for snap-based CBT backups
  • vRA plugin for self-service, policy-based management

 

CloudArchive

  • Policy-based archival
  • Dedupe, compression, encryption
  • Everything is indexed before it goes to the cloud – search files and VMs
  • Individual file recovery
  • Recover to a different Cohesity cluster

 

CloudReplicate   

  • Replicate backup data to cloud

Deploy Cohesity to the cloud (available on Azure currently, other platforms soon).

 

Reduce TCO

You can move from “Legacy backup”, where you’re paying maintenance on backup software and deduplication appliances, to paying just for Cohesity.

 

Testimonial

Shawn Long from viLogics then took the stage to talk about their experiences with Cohesity.

  • People want to consume IT
  • “Product’s only as good as the support behind it”

 

Conclusion

This was a useful session. I do enjoy the sponsored sessions at VMworld. It’s a useful way for the vendors to get their message across in a way that needs to tie back to VMware. There’s often a bit of a sales pitch, but there’s usually also enough information in them to get you looking further into the solution. I’ve been keeping an eye on Cohesity since I first encountered them a few years ago at Storage Field Day, and their story has improved in clarity and coherence since them. If you’re looking at secondary storage solutions it’s worth checking the out. You’ll find some handy resources here. 3.5 stars.

VMware – VMworld 2017 – PBO3334BUS – State of the Union: Everything multi-cloud, converged, hyper-converged and more!

Disclaimer: I recently attended VMworld 2017 – US.  My flights were paid for by ActualTech Media, VMware provided me with a free pass to the conference and various bits of swag, and Tech Field Day picked up my hotel costs. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Here are my rough notes from “PBO3334BUS – State of the Union: Everything multi-cloud, converged, hyper-converged and more!” presented by Chad Sakac. You can grab a copy of the PDF here.

 

Confusion

“There’s a lot of confusion inside the marketplace” and people are struggling to see the pattern.

The IT universe is $2.7 trillion and it’s growing at 2% CAGR (growth has slowed to GDP). The spending on on-premises infrastructure is around $1T and this figure is shrinking. The primary movements are towards

  • SaaS (+60% CAGR); and
  • Cloud Native, AWS, Azure (+60% CAGR)

On-premises is comprised of:

  • Servers $100B
  • Network $100B
  • Storage $70B

Servers have been negative as a whole in terms of revenue. Funnily enough, blades are cold, and rack mounts are hot – SDS / SDN / SDDC is driving this. From a networking perspective, parts of Cisco are growing (wireless) and declining (switching and routing). Switch hardware is all mainly the same merchant silicon. Storage has been -9% CAGR for the last 12 (?) quarters.

This industry will consolidate. CI is growing a little bit, while HCI is on fire, with the HCI market being worth around $2.5B – $4B today.

The “Easy buttons” are growing but people still want to know “What the hell do I put where?”. If I have a cloud-first strategy – what does that actually mean? It’s also a financial decision – CapEx and OpEx.

 

CapEx vs OpEx

Where?

Should it be on or off-premises (not managed service, but multi-tenant, public cloud)? You need to consider:

  • Data gravity (stuff has to live somewhere);
  • Governance (so many people don’t understand this); and
  • What you have / don’t have (sometimes, there are constraints on what you can do).

 

Value

You running it vs Someone else running it. Does the act of doing “it” differentiate you? Remember that there’s no one right answer for this with any given customer.

We have to start from the top of the pyramid, remember that “[c]loud is an operating model, not a place”. It provides you with:

  • Single control point
  • Automation
  • Metering
  • Self-service
  • Capacity management
  • Monitoring and reporting
  • Built-in security
  • Service-level choice

 

Hybrid Cloud Platforms

Top concerns among public cloud users

  • 41% cost predictability and cost of data transfer
  • 28% latency performance
  • 41% compliance

Top concerns among private cloud users

  • 34% lack of access to value added cloud services – like databases and analytics platforms

Public and Private Cloud complement each other perfectly, and an integrated catalogue of services can serve organizations well – provided they can be managed and used in a unified manner.

Driven by workload variations – emergence of “clouds built for purpose”

  • Mission-critical applications
  • General purpose applications
  • Cloud-native applications

Complexity = Build your own = Hard. Platform, Orchestration, Virtualisation, Servers, Storage and Network <- all hard to get right. >70% of IT resources and budgets go to “snowflake” solutions.

 

Dell EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud

You can potentially achieve:

  • 67% total savings over three years vs build your own
  • 2x faster ITaaS delivery vs build your own
  • 100% savings for level 2-3 platform support vs build your own
  • 42% upgrade savings over three years vs build your own
  • 74% faster time to upgrade vs build your own

 

New: EHC on VxRack SDDC

Turnkey cloud experience at rack-scale.

*Demo – EHC 4.1.2

 

EHC on VxRail – What’s New

  • Multi-site support for increased scale
  • Application and VM-level disaster recovery
  • Improved automation-driven install and upgrade

Customers needed the same thing, but for cloud-native apps. What if you want to start at the infrastructure layer?

  • Vertical infrastructure – keyword “simple” – VxRail, VxRack SDDC, Azure Stack
  • Horizontal infrastructure – keyword “flexible” – XC Series, VxRack Flex, VxBlock

“Anyone who says something is simple and flexible is a salesperson.”

 

Dell EMC CI and HCI in Simple Terms

  • The simplest, most powerful, most integrated HCI appliance … for customers standardized on VMware – VxRail is where to start.
  • If considering VxRail – but are ready for network and SDN transformation – VxRack SDDC is for you.
  • For a scalable and flexible HCI system with hypervisor of choice or bare metal … can start small and scale out – VxRack FLEX is for you
  • A flexible HCI Appliance that can start small for customers who want hypervisor choice – we have the XC Series
  • For workloads with specific capacity, performance, or data service needs – VxBlock is for you.

 

VxRail 4.5

  • Latest VMware technology
    • vSphere 6.5 U1
    • vSAN 6.6
  • Enhanced security options
  • More enterprise capabilities

10x faster expansion, 50% better IOPS.

 

VxRack Update

  • Lastest and greatest VMware software stack including VMware Cloud Foundation 2.2
    • vSphere 6.5 U1
    • vSAN 6.6.1
    • NSX 6.3.3
  • Single Management Cluster and Management Domain for easier scaling up to 8 racks
  • Now 40 Dell EMC PowerEdge configurations for both expanded high performance and entry level options in cores, memory and CPUs

 

PowerEdge 14G Servers

The bedrock of the modern DC. Hardware is low margin, software is high margin. To succeed in the hyperconverged world – you’ll need to be a mega server vendor.

 

 

New: Cloud Flex – cloud economics for HCI and HCO

  • Cloud-like economic model – eliminate acquisition costs and move to a straightforward OpEx cost structure
  • No obligation – Customers experience the benefits of HCI without a long term commitment
  • Price drops over time – Ensures monthly rate is competitive with decreasing price of technology

 

Cost advantages over Public Cloud

  • VDI Workloads – Up to 32% 1st year savings, Up to 62% in 4th year
  • General purpose virtualized server workloads – Up to 47% 1st year savings, Up to 67% in 5th year
  • Microsoft SQL Server workloads – Up to 41% 1st year savings, Up to 63% in 5th year

 

Builders to Buyers

More and more dollars are shifting towards buy, but the majority of the world is still in the traditional “best of breed / I want to build it myself”. Have to keep innovating in the point technologies, such as Dell EMC Data Protection Suite for Applications. This is also built in to VMware Cloud on AWS.

 

At this point Chad was really running out of time, but here are a few other things to check out:

  • XtremIO X2 is now GA
  • Dell EMC Ready Solutions – Designed to reduce risk, and accelerate the rate at which people can do stuff. You can be spending your time better. These are available as:
    • Ready Nodes;
    • Ready Bundles; and
    • Ready Systems.

VMware Ready Systems and Pivotal Ready Systems.

[image via Virtual Geek]

 

The Point?

It’s time to decide who you are. Chad’s ability to move between technical and business topics is fantastic. Top session. 5 stars.

VMware – VMworld 2017 – SER1166BU – Housekeeping Strategies for Platform Services Controller-Expert Talk

Disclaimer: I recently attended VMworld 2017 – US.  My flights were paid for by ActualTech Media, VMware provided me with a free pass to the conference and various bits of swag, and Tech Field Day picked up my hotel costs. There is no requirement for me to blog about any of the content presented and I am not compensated in any way for my time at the event.  Some materials presented were discussed under NDA and don’t form part of my blog posts, but could influence future discussions.

Here are my rough notes from “SER1166BU – Housekeeping Strategies for Platform Services Controller-Expert Talk”, presented by Jishnu Surendran Thankamani and Agnes James, both of whom are GSS employees with VMware. You can grab a PDF copy of them here.

 

Know more about PSC

Infrastructure Services offered by PSC

  • VMDir – internally developed LDAP service
  • Single Sign-on (IDMD, STS, SSOAdmin, LookupService)
  • VMware Certificate Authority
  • Licensing

 

Certificates

VMware Endpoint Certificate Manager

  • Each node has one Machine Endpoint Certificate

Solution User Certificates

  • machine
  • vsphere-webclient
  • vpxd
  • vpxd-extensions

 

Right Decisions at the Right Time

Topology Based Best Practices

Embedded PSC

  • Expected to be simple topology with easy maintenance
  • Availability management is a matter of protecting a single machine (vCenter HA)

External PSC

  • Expected to be used with multiple vCenters involved
  • Availability management based on load balancer options
  • When more than one PSC is involved replication becomes a point of interest
  • Maintain same build of PSCs
  • Use sites to group PSCs in multiple HA groups – PSCs behind a load balancer
  • Latency between PSCs – as low as possible

 

Configuration Maximums

  • Maximum number of PSCs supported in replication – 8 (6.0), 10 (6.5)
  • Maximum number of PSCs behind load balancer – 4
  • Maximum vCenters in single SSO domain – 10 (6.0 and 6.5), 15 (6.5 U1)
  • Group membership per user for best performance – 1015

 

Factors for Design Decisions

Area Choices Justification Implication
Deployment Topology Embedded Reduced Resource utilisation for Management, VCHA availability needed on PSC as well VCs in Linked Mode is not a supported topology
External Multi-VC and Single Management access More VMs to manage
SSO Domain One Share authentication and license data across components and regions / “disposable” PSC
More than one Embedded PSCs / Replication requirements are not met Separate availability / management practice
Replication Topology Linear No manual intervention. Agreements made in deployment order SPoF possible in more than two PSC case
Ring Each PSC with two replication partners CLI must be used
PSC HA Standby PSC without load balancer Load balancer management overhead is a constraint / manual failover acceptable Manual re-pointing on PSC failure
Two PSC behind a load balancer High availability Administrative overhead
vSphere HA VM / Platform level failures

 

More Options

  • SSH Access – Disable / Enable
  • Certificates – Custom / VMCA / VMCA as subordinate (Hybrid recommended)
  • TLS Configurator
  • Patching – Update using updaterepo.zip bundles / Full Product and VIMpatch ISO
  • NTP – sync from ESXi / NTP server

 

References for Architectural Decisions

 

Know What To Do, What Not To Do

Dos and Don’ts

Do

  • Best practice and FAQ reviews
  • Be aware of health monitoring options
  • Backup and restore points before any change
  • Know the complexity of the implementation
  • Ensure minimum one PSC availability for vSphere domain and site

Don’t

  • Unmanaged decommission procedure – delete the appliances directly –
  • Snapshot revert and backup restore of single PSC when replication involved
  • Using same vSphere domain name and Active Directory domain name
  • Make replication agreement between PSC of different SSO domains
  • PSC PNID change

Note that changing the PNID after deployment is not supported

 

Health Check Options and Maintenance – CLI

Service List

/usr/lib/vmware-vmafd/bin/dir-cli service list

Information About Nodes

/usr/lib/vmware-vmafd/bin/dir-cli nodes list

Replication quick status

/usr/lib/vmware-vmdir/bin/vdcrepadmin -f showpartnerstatus -u Administrator -h localhost

Replication detailed status

/usr/lib/vmware-vmdir/bin/vdcrepadmin -f showfederationstatus -u Administrator -h localhost

PSC used by vCenter

/usr/lib/vmware-vmafd/bin/vmafd-cli get-dc-name —server-name localhost

 

Managing Complexity of Implementation 

  • Know the site topology
  • Service registration to Site Mapping
  • Know the Replication agreements
  • VC to PSC dependency

*Demo – Decommission

 

Safe Recovery

Backup Plan

  • Image level backup and file level backup (vSphere 6.5)
  • Snapshots before changes – temporary restore points
  • Keep a copy of lstool.py list output for reference

Special consideration of restore when replication is involved – use powered off state snapshot of PSCs created together to revert changes.

 

Quick Recovery Options 

  • Repoint VC to available PSC at the same site
  • Quick temporary PSC deployment
  • Image based restore with two methods (6.0)
    • psc_restore
    • psc_restore with -ignore-sync
  • File based backup and image based backup (6.5)
    • /usr/bin/vcenter-restore

Very useful session. 4 stars.