A summary of VMworld 2014 announcements

VMworld is always a guarantee for many announcements. 2014 is no difference. This post will provide you with an update on the announcements made by VMware.

 

No-limits

Announced at August 27

  1. Introduction of  VMware vSphere Remote Office Branch Office Standard and Advanced editions.
  2. Announcement of release of vSphere 5.5 Update 2 in Q3 2014. The new release offers support for new chipsets, guest operating systems, business critical application and 6TB hosts.
  3. The vSphere Client (C# installed on Windows) will support virtual machine hardware version 10 on vSphere 5.5 U2! Currently in vSphere 5.5 once the VM is on hardware version 10, VM settings cannot be edit using the vSphere client. More here.

Announced at August 26

  1. Introduction of VMware Workspace Suite, a new integrated platform that combines AirWatch by VMware and VMware Horizon
  2. VMware, NVIDIA and Google Collaborate To Deliver Graphics Rich Apps To Enterprise Cloud Desktops
  3. vSphere 6.0 Fault Tolerance feature will now support 4 vCPU’s.
  4. vSphere 6.0 will support cross vCenter vMotion and long distance vMotion! More info on vSphere 6.0 features here.
  5. Project Fargo (VMFork) combined with CloudVolumes can create VDI VM’s in seconds. More details here
  6. NVIDIA is to announce  technology preview of GRID vGPU on vSphere. Join program here. Video here.
  7. performance of the vSphere Web Client will be very much improved.  
  8. Introduction of Project Meteor, a tech preview which can dynamically create personalized desktops using any available generic virtual machine. Project Meteor will then deliver the applications in seconds to any device with an HTML 5 based browser.
  9. Applications as a service in VMware Horizon DaaS
  10. Availability of VMware Horizon DaaS in European datacenters
  11. Introduction of VMware Horizon DaaS Enterprise
  12. New version of the VMware vCloud Connector allows to extend a layer 2 network in vSphere to vCloud Air.

Announced at August 25  

  1. Anouncement of EVO:RAIL. An appliance installed with software based on vSphere, VSAN with a nice HTML5 interface. Initially 6 serverhardware vendors will sell and support.
  2. vSphere 6.0 Beta. No details on features as the beta is under NDA although being a public beta.
  3. Virtual Volumes and VSAN 2.0 Beta . No details on features as the beta is under NDA although being a public beta.
  4. Rebranding of a couple of VMware products to indicate the SaaS offering.
  5. Introduction of vRealize Suite, a cloud management platform
  6. Introduction of vCloud Automation Center 6.1 (vCAC). Expected in September
  7. vRealize Air Automation Beta .   Register here
  8. Announcement of Site Recovery Manager 5.8. SRM 5.8 datasheet is here. Jason Boche has some more details in videos
  9. Announcement of vSphere Data Protection 5.8. Read here and here what is new in VDP 8.5 Advanced
  10. vCloud Suite 5.8 
  11. SaaS based cloud management platform vRealize Air Automation. Join beta here
  12. Announcement of a technical preview of EVO:RACK. The big brother of EVO:RAIL.
  13. vCloud Air OnDemand general availability in 2015. Pay as you go and creditcard payment of VMware vCloud Air. Beta program starts August 25 ! Join the beta here
  14. vCloud Air for Government  Services (FEDRAMP certified) will roll out in US in September
  15. Tech Preview: vCloud Air Object Storage based on EMC ViPR technology.
  16. vCloud Air Database as a Service. Some details here. 
  17. AirWatch mobile device and application managment  available on vCloud Air
  18. introduction of vRealize Operations Insight (“vROI”)
  19. VMware NSX for vSphere 6.1 . Info here as well
  20. VMware is  now an Open Compute Project Gold Level Member
  21. VMware Partners With Docker, Pivotal And Google To Bring Container Support To Its Platform . See also this Docker blog.
  22.  Project Fargo, for faster, more compliant, lighter-weight containers on VMware’s SDDC platform
  23. Announcement of private beta of VMware integrated OpenStack (VIO)
  24. VMworld 2015 locations and dates
  25. new Network certifications: VCP-NV, VMware Certified Implementation Expert – Network Virtualization (VCIX-NV) and VCDX-NV
  26. VMware Certified Professional – Network Virtualization (VCP-NV) is now ready for scheduling

 

A few days before VMworld started the following listed below was announced.

  1. The rebranding of vCloud Hybrid Services to vCloud Air 
  2. The acquisition of CloudVolumes by VMware
  3. Ubuntu available on vCloud Air

My co-worker Viktor van den Berg has a great more detailled overview of announcements here.

I will update this post when more news from VMworld comes in.

Recordings of 17 VMworld US 2014 are available for everyone

Just like the last couple of years VMware now makes recordings of a selected number of VMworld breakout sessions available for free viewing!

This is a great way for everyone to learn about VMware solutions!

The videos can be seen here. 

The sessions available right now are listed below. More will be added later.

  1. STO1853-S – Software-Defined Storage: The Transformation of Enterprise Storage Has Begun
  2. NET1846.1 – Introduction to NSX
  3. OPT2465.1 – VMware IT’s Transformation: An Update on How VMware IT is Moving to IT-as-a-Service as Told by the People on the Frontlines
  4. EUC1476.1 – What’s New with View and PCoIP in Horizon 6
  5. vCloud Automation Center and NSX Integration Technical Deep Dive
  6. BCO2194 – Data Protection for vSphere 101: Keys to Successful Backup and Replication in a Virtual World
  7. VAPP1340.1 – Virtualize Active Directory, the Right Way!
  8. SDDC3245-S – Software-Defined Data Center through Hyper-Converged Infrastructure
  9. INF1503 – Virtualization 101
  10. HBC1533.1 – How to Build a Hybrid Cloud – Steps to Extend Your Datacenter
  11. SEC1959-S – The “Goldilocks Zone” for Security
  12. VAPP1318.1 – Virtualizing Databases Doing IT Right – The Sequel
  13. SDDC1600 – Art of IT Infrastructure Design: The Way of the VCDX – Panel
  14. INF1522 – vSphere With Operations Management: Monitoring the Health, Performance and Efficiency of vSphere with vCenter Operations Manager
  15. SDDC3327 – The Software-defined Datacenter, VMs, and Containers: A “Better Together” Story
  16. NET1674 – Advanced Topics & Future Directions in Network Virtualization with NSX
  17. STO1965.1 – Virtual Volumes Technical Deep Dive

What is new in vSphere 6.0

At the August 26 keynote of VMworld VMware announced 3 new features of vSphere 6.0. The next version of vSphere is currently in a public beta. Everyone interested can download the bits and try. However the program is under NDA so information on features cannot be publicly shared.

So VMware gave a sneak preview on vSphere 6.0  yesterday. Immediately a couple of blogs published more information on those revealed features. Lets have a look on what is new on vSphere 6.0

  • Fault Tolerance support for 4 vCPU’s. Info here
  • long distance vMotion. More info here and here
  • vMotion across vCenters , vMotion using routed vMotion networks and vMotion across virtual switches
  • Using VMware NSX, network properties will now be vMotioned as well when using long distance vMotion.
  • better vSphere Web Client performance and added features
  • Virtual Volumes. Info here
  • Virtual Datacenters. More info here
  • The vSphere Client (the C# one installed on Windows) will remain available in vSphere 6.0.

The features below where not ann0unced during the keyote but where ann0unced by partners. While there is no confirmation these features will be part of vSphere 6.0 it is very likely they will.

  • NVIDIA GRID vGPU. More info and background here. Announced by VMware for 2015. 
  • vSphere APIs for IO Filtering (VAIO)
  • VMFork. A method to  instantly clone running virtual machines.

The VAIO feature was not revealed during the keynote but was mentioned in a session at TechField Day.  vSphere I/O Filters is a VMware supported method for third party vendors to allow interception of storage traffic flow between VM and the ESXi kernel. This allows for features like replication and host based read and write caching. The later allows VMware partners to develop solutions like PernixData does. PernixData developed a kernel module themself for host based read and write caching.

 

VMware has a course available for developers who like to learn develop vSphere I/O filters. The first two courses are scheduled for mid October and are held in Palo Alto. The program is explained in this short video.

EMC just announced a new product named ‘EMC RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines‘ which uses the VAIO.

 

VMware announcing Project Fargo: a technique for rapid cloning of running VMs, 30 x faster VDI provisioning

At the keynotes of VMworld 2014,  VMware announced a very interesting new project called Project Fargo. The other name of this seems to be Project VMFork.

Also mentioned is Project Meteor.

Fargo/VMFork is a platform currently in technology preview  which enables a rapid cloning of running VMs for application remoting purposes. Imagine a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure environment. A running VM has the base operating system. We call this the Template VM. When a new user logs in, a clean new virtual machine is cloned based on this Template VM. This clone starts in 1 second or so!

Photo below taken by my PQR co-worker Rob Beekmans during a VMworld session.

fargo-30xfargo-createpool

Kit Colbert of VMware described Fargo below (source here):

Just-in-time desktop delivery

While we’ve solved the real-time application delivery problem, we still need to address the issue of desktop delivery.  The reality is that today the delivery of virtual desktops is time consuming.  From cloning to powering on and OS boot to customization, the end-to-end process can take many minutes before the virtual desktop is ready to accept user logins.  This problem compounds itself when trying to deliver hundreds or thousands of desktops at one time.  We need a better solution.

Just like CloudVolumes leveraged hypervisor technology to optimize the delivery of applications, we can leverage hypervisor innovation to optimize the delivery of virtual desktops.  In particular, the vSphere team has been working on something we’re calling Project Fargo.  Project Fargo enables the instantaneous cloning of a running virtual machine (essentially a virtual machine “fork”).  The cloned VM is identical in every way to the original and initially shares all memory and disk with it as well.  Project Fargo is very cool for two reasons: first, it gets you a new running VM in under a second.  Second, it’s a very lightweight VM because it shares all memory and disk with the original.  (To be clear, both the memory and disk are “copy on write” so if new VMs modify bits of their memory or disk, a separate copy is made for that VM.  We thus preserve security and isolation between VMs.)

The idea is then that we can leverage Project Fargo to quickly spin up new virtual desktops for us.  Rather than the multi-minute process we had before, with Project Fargo and some optimizations in how we do customization, we can have a new virtual desktop up and running and ready for user login in just a few seconds.  Very exciting!

Also because of Fargo , storage and memory resource consumption of VMs is reduced. When a running VM is cloned, the operating system files are shared. When a shared file is written, a copy of that shared file is copied to the child VM.

Use cases:

enterprise applications

  • speed of containers-based provisiong
  • VM-level goodness (isolation, management)

virtual desktops

  • instant clone of running non-persistent desktop
  • instant availability of application for application publishing

fargo-2

The Project Fargo feature will become likely become available in vSphere 6.0 (scheduled for 2015). It will be also possible to use Fargo features using a vCenter API.

Early benchmarks show that 120 sessions can be handled on a 2 socket/8 core host with 30% less CPU consumption than same number of RDSH session.

This poster shown at VMworld explains a bit more. Thanks Ruben Spruijt of PQR for sharing the picture.

fargo

 

When the VM has been provisioned applications are assigned to this VDI workstation using the recently acquired layering solution CloudVolumes. VMware claims a 30 x faster VDI provisioning.

The combination of Project Fargo + CloudVolumes is internally called Project Meteor. The photo below on the left was taken from a Tweet by co-worker Ruben Spruijt @rspruijt . 

Project Meteor is focused on  delivering these desktops to any device with an HTML5-based browser. The photo on the right was taken by co-worker Rob Beekmans. 

project-meteorproject-meteor1

Some more info on Fargo here.

Who is partnering with who in the hyper-converged market

With the announcement of VMware EVO:RAIL the market for hyper-converged systems gets even more attention. Many companies are partnering with eachother to get more synergy.

This short blogpost provides an overview of the major players and their partners.

Nutanix

  • Hardware and software are sold as a single SKU by Nutanix
  • Dell recently announced it will ship Nutanix NOS software installed on Dell hardware

VMware 

  • VMware does not sell hardware
  • EVO:RAIL is software supplied by VMware to hardware partners. Currently EVO:RAIL appliances are offered by Supermicro, Dell, EMC, Fujitsu, Inspur and Net One. More partners to announced soon 

SimpliVity  

Atlantis Computing 

  • Atlantis does not sell hardware. Only software
  • Partners with Cisco to provide a reference architecture with UCS and Atlantis ILIO

Release: VMware NSX for vSphere (NSX-V) Network Virtualization Design Guide

Max Ardica, Senior Technical Product Manager at VMware,  wrote the  first version of the VMware NSX for Multi-Hypervisor Reference Architecture and Network Virtualization Design Guide.
This document is targeted toward virtualization and network architects interested in deploying the VMware NSX Network virtualization solution in a multi-hypervisor environment.

The PDF has 91 pages with a lot of detailed technical information on NSX. Components are explained, VXLAN is explained,  firewall, load balancing, design considerations,  and much much more.

The design guide has many illustrations to explain NSX.

Recommended download and read if you want to know more about NSX.

A final version of this Reference Guide will be posted on  the NSX Technical Resources website after VMworld 2014:

The guide can be downloaded here

nsx