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What I learned Today at VMWorld – Sunday August 26, 2013

Posted by audiomatron in Uncategorized.
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Okay, so Sunday isn’t really an official “day” of learning at VMWorld, nonetheless, I promised to give a run-down of what I did/learned each day, and Sunday will be no exception.

 Nexenta

One of my goals this year was to talk to Nexenta. I am currently in the process of implementing their Nexentastor storage platform in our side-company’s datacenter. I had some questions regarding support and hardware compatibility. Before I got into all that, I asked about their new VSA for view. The way it was explained is that it sort of like a Nexentastor-lite. The way I understand it is that it runs in a VM and improves virtual desktop storage performance by providing some of the same caching features that Nexentastor does. I was also pleased to hear that is is relatively cheap (about 35 bucks per user). My view environment will only have 10 desktops, so why wouldn’t I try this. After all, performance is a big deal for users of our application.

Next, we went on to discuss Nexentastor itself. My main concern was hardware compatibility and support. A good bit of the hardware on Nexenta’s HCL is a bit difficult to find. I got as close as I could when selecting the hardware for my Nexenta box. I have the right server, controllers, and SSDs, but I could not get the hard disks exact. The fellow I spoke with (his name escapes me at the moment) said something to the effect of, “it’s just spindles, as longer as you have the right controller, it shouldn’t matter”. He also said he was the one responsible for an upcoming refresh of the HCL, and that there should be some more hardware on it soon. Additionally, he said that their support folks would still try to help regardless of my hardware.

All of this was very assuring to hear because thus far, from what little I’ve seen, I’m very impressed with Nexenta. For half the price of a traditional array, I have something that should run circles around said traditional array. Plus, we already wrote the check for Nexenta, so…

Also discussed was using Nexentastor as sort of front end for my legacy storage in my main datacenter. This should boost performance and get us into a solution that is supported with vSphere 5.x. My old Dell MD3000i is all tat has held me back from upgrading (I’m still on 4.1), and part of what killed my blog the last time around (nothing new to write about).

Dell

I like Dell. I really do, but while I was standing at EMC’s booth talking to Jase, we witnessed something truly bizarre at the Dell booth. Some guy was trying to drive a point home by putting a lady in a box and sawing her into pieces. I’m still a bit fuzzy on what point they were trying to make. “Buy our stuff, or we saw women in half”? I do find it a little troubling that they would have to result to circus acts to sell products. Strange…

 VMUnderground

This is my third VMWorld, and this year, thanks to the fine folks at Nexenta (I won a ticket by tweeting them a pic of myself with their logo), I attended my third VMUnderground. I like this party. The who’s who of the virtualization community is always in attendance. I remained mostly a fixture an the walls last night, although I did have one good conversation – or rather listened to one, but that’s the cool part about events like this. I get to listen to guys from all ends of the spectrum talking about what they do in their environments, and thus gain insight into things I can to in mine. It’s fun to stand back and watch and listen. I also had a bit of an epiphany last night…

Small Business IT

I tweeted last night that “my idea of what small business IT is is actually microscopic”. I promise I wasn’t throwing myself a pity party there. However, there does seem to be varying degrees of what constitutes “small” business. I regularly hear numbers in the hundreds of users. I have 50 or so users. I’d like to meet some folks like me in that regard. Unfortunately, knowing what I know about my IT peers back home, I’m truly blessed to be able to come to VMWorld at all. I always tell those guys they should go, but they are either insanely busy or can’t get their boss to come off of the money for it. Perhaps that’s why I don’t bump into to many guys in my boat at events like these. It’s truly a shame, because this is amazing technology, and even us little guys stand to benefit a great deal from attending VMWorld and learning about it.

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