Wednesday 12th November, 2008
As founder and CTO of a London based IT consultancy ‘Full Circle Technology Limited (aka The Full Circle – www.thefullcircle.com) I often attend various trade shows and events, however these are often complimentary or supportive of our position as a Microsoft Gold partner.
Virtualisation has always been hot on our agenda, indeed it is in the business plan from when we launched our consulting business in 2003. It has continued to be a growth technology we have implemented for several clients over the years using Microsoft Virtual Server, and more recently Hyper-V (www.microsoft.com/uk/hyper-v).
I’ve also been an early user of PC based virtualisation since 2001/2, where as CTO of a technology services company I’d insisted that our support & engineering team use virtual machines (VMware workstation at the time) for testing in relation to support & development (the main reason being to minimise the impact of breaking their production machines by ‘playing’ with flakey software! ;-))
Anyway, today I went along with a keen new associate of ours, Will Darbey, to an excellent seminar event hosted by a leading UK training organisation, Global Knowledge (www.globalknowledge.co.uk).
The seminar was exclusively about a technology that could be viewed as just ever so slightly competative to Microsoft in the virtualisation space… VMware (www.vmware.com).
It must be said, that if in the market for VMware training and certfication, then Global Knowledge is well worth a serious look in… (http://www.globalknowledge.co.uk/courses__certifications/vmware_training.aspx).
The agenda for the day was split into two halfs:
AM Session: Business Briefing-Aimed at people who are considering virtualisation for their business and the benefits it can bring to an organisation.
- 10:00 – 11:30 Management Briefing
Introduction to VMware
- Virtualisation the Datacentre Initiative
- VMware Infrastructure
- Virtualisation Benefits
- Disaster Recovery
- Green IT
- Government Legislation
- Virtual Desktop
- VMware lower total cost of ownership
- 11:30 – 12:00 Q & A
- 12:00 – 13:00 Lunch
PM Session: Technical Briefing –The session is for technical people responsible for evaluating VMware ESX Server and VirtualCenter; including IT managers, system architects, and system administrators.
- 14:00 – 15:30 Technical Briefing:
- Reliable Foundation
- The Hypervisor
- The Management
- Create, Convert, Deploy, Patch, Protect, Deliver
- Guided Consolidation, Upgrade Manager, SRM Shared Services
- Resource allocation
- Live Migration
- High Availability
- Resource distribution, Power management Integration
- Hardware and Guest OS support
- Conversion and Capacity Planning
- 15:30 – 16:00 Q & A
- David Day –David comes from a 10 year Cisco and Microsoft background, and currently manages the technical delivery program for VMware Authorised Training Centres. Originally from South Africa, David is now based in the UK, and has been with VMware for four years.
- John Churchhouse –John leads the VMware Strategic Partners team which covers all OEM and System Integrator/System Outsourcer relationships in the UK and Ireland. Prior to VMware, John worked for Sun Microsystems where he managed the System Integrator partner sales team.
As usual I made a few scribbles from the day…
“Virtualization will be the highest-impact trend changing infrastructure and operations through 2012, according to Gartner, Inc. Virtualization will transform how IT is managed, what is bought, how it is deployed, how companies plan and how they are charged. As a result, virtualization is creating a new wave of competition among infrastructure vendors that will result in considerable market disruption and consolidation over the next few years.”
The day was split into two parts, the morning session with John Churchhouse on the business angle, and the afternoon a technical deep dive and demonstration with David Day.
Morning session: John Churchhouse, Manager Strategic Partners, VMware
VMware by the numbers..
2007 rev. $1.33B projected $1.8-1.9B
6100 employees (almost doubled since Jan, current hiring freeze)..
50% year on year growth for last 8 years, limited
120,000 customers, 87% deployed in production, 43% standardising on VMware Infrastructure (i.e. VMotion, HA, Backup, etc.)
3rd software company to maintain 50% revenue growth after reaching $1B (other two being Microsoft & Oracle)
reasons/uses for virtualisation (with VMware of course! ;-))
Server Consolidation & Containment – eliminate server sprawl by deploying systems into virtual machines…
Infrastructure Provisioning – reduce time to provision new infrastructure to minutes with sophisticated automation capabilities and standardised machine templates.
Business Continuity – reduce cost and complexity of BC by encapsulating entire systems into files that can be replicated and restored to any server
Test and Development– rapid provision and re-provision of test & dev environments; store libraries or pre-configured test machines
Enterprise Desktop / Virtual Desktop Infrastructure– secure unmanaged PCs. Alternatively, provide standardised enterprise desktop environments hosted on secure, reliable, centrally managed servers.
Legacy Application re-hosting – migrate legacy O/S & apps to virtual machines running on faster and newer hardware for better/improved reliability.
TCO on server consolidation typically 6 months… ?!? www.vmware.com/go/calculator
Greenness– Qualcomm – reduced 900+ servers, 11.2 tonnes of CO2 per server saved!
ESXi / VMware Virtualisation Layer – 32MB, free download – smaller, tighter, less to go wrong!
Can be specified and shipped pre-installed with servers from HP & Dell..
Trigger points for VDI… hmmm I missed that one…
2008: the year of automation!
Automation = Business Agility
Automate IT processes (Lifecycle management from machine birth through death/retirement)
Create resource pools
DR in the virtual world is orders of magnitude simpler in the virtual world.. e.g. hardware and firmware levels can be different across DR sites as the virtual layer is consistent
Turn manual recovery run books into automated
Test & Development
Developer productivity – >75% reduction in server to staff ratio, 10x reduction in system config time, 20% acceleration in system development lifecycle time
A UK ‘small’ business example..
BT consolidated 1503 servers, est 375 racks of x86 ay 5 sites replaced with 30 at 3 sites
4509 network ports down to 168!
Afternoon session: David Day, Technical Services Director, VMware
David’s session was a fast paced, technical deep dive into various aspects of VMware virtualisation, including some complimentary technologies. He also ran through some demonstrations including an unplanned, unrehearsed demo (always a brave thing to do) – everything worked like a dream! (its good stuff this VMware ;-).
I’d love to give more detail other than David clearly knows his stuff and then some!, however and unfortuantely I was against the clock getting our EBS 2008 PR submitted – had to be out of the door for a 16:00 release… see http://reubenjcook.wordpress.com/2008/11/12/windows-essential-business-server-2008-launch/
Will & I did, however, have a chance to look somewhat confused with VMware… (before the event of course!! ;-)).