Big Switch Networks, the Santa Clara–based software-defined networking company, has just released a new version of the Big Cloud Fabric product. Big Cloud Fabric, a software-defined networking product that has been on the market for over four years, is heavily integrated into VMware. For the uninitiated, its core pitch is that with its product, you can cut out proprietary networking gear, and that by using its software-based controller, coupled with low-cost white-box servers and switches, networks can be provisioned, orchestrated, and configured programmatically.
Out of the box, it has many advanced features. Unlike NSX, it has a real physical presence. Unlike ACI, it has a real virtual presence. It plays nicely with both. Its data layer can be deployed on Open Networking Dell EMC Edgecore white boxes and the HPE Altoline family of equipment. Its Big Monitoring Fabric product is a Womble product; it monitors “overlay, underlay—so your packets roam free.”
Role-based access can give VM admins and storage admins the ability to push VMs directly on the network. Yes, you can do this with other products, but there are no Band-Aids™ or shoehorning of square pegs into round holes.
Previously Published on TVP Strategy (The Virtualization Practice)
A software-defined network: is it an evolution or a revolution in networking? The hype of SDN has been around for several years, but as yet it doesn’t seem to have managed to get much traction outside of the MSPs and Fortune 500 companies with regard to SDN, and telcos with regard to SD-WAN. When, if ever, will the SDN meltwater reach the fertile plains of the LME?
For this, we really need to look to history.
Previously Published on TVP Stragegy (The Virtualization Practice)
They’re changing the guard at Buckingham Palace. This is a major tourist attraction in London, and the changing of the guard happens every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday, weather permitting. “Changing the guard” is also a well-known refrain used to signify the complete change of an environment. VMware is currently undergoing such a transformation with regard to its vSphere clients and the introduction of the HTML5 client.
Originally Published on TVP Strategy (the Virtualization Practice)
Back in April, VMware announced the end of life for its vSphere Data Protection (VDP) product. This little nugget was once again hidden in a blog post, in which VMware stated that moving forward after vSphere 6.5, it would be helping to consolidate backup and recovery by realigning its focus on its Storage APIs. Now, before you go into full panic mode, you do not need to worry: the VMware Lifecycle Product Matrix gives the relevant end-of-general-support dates for each version, and 6.1, the latest, is supported until mid-March 2020. You will have to plenty of time to plan your migration if you are using VDP.
On April 12, VMware announced its intention to acquire Wavefront, an innovative startup that provides a solution for monitoring applications in the cloud at scale. Wavefront offers real-time analytics, enterprise-grade frameworks, intelligent alerting, and a comprehensive API. Among its customers are some of the darlings of the SaaS marketspace: Box, Lyft, Groupon, and Yammer, among others.
There is no indication of the costs that are involved. According to the VMware press release, the deal is expected to close in calendar Q2 2017 and will not have a material impact on its financial year 2018.
I noticed a tweet recently by a person I respect, Craig Kilborn. Craig had just written a blog post about why he was pleased that he didn’t pass the defense part of the VCDX. The arguments he made in the article were cogent, and I found myself agreeing with them. They aligned with my view of the worth of the VCDX certification to me personally.
I have not traveled down the VCDX path as far as Craig has, but I find myself pondering the value of the certification today. There is no doubt that the journey towards the certification is a valid one and, more importantly, a valuable learning experience. All those I have spoken to who have traveled the path, whether they gained their number or not, have grown as IT professionals.
In a not-too-unexpected move, VMware has announced the sale of its Public Cloud division. It is well-known that vCloud Air has been struggling. In a deal expected to close in Q2 2017 they have offloaded it to French Cloud hosting provider OVH. OVH defines itself as one of the largest cloud service providers in the world, with 1 million customers and 260,000 servers deployed, so roughly a quarter of a server per customer. I am pretty sure that Oracle, AWS, Google, and Azure are bigger, but there you go. Marketing at its best — OVH, one of the largest cloud service providers in the world.
This post on reddit appears to intimate that VMware is closing its API for virtual switches to all parties, including its long-standing networking partner Cisco. When I first read the post, I thought the move was a retrograde step by VMware and another veiled dig at its ecosystem. The post links to an official blog post on the VMware site stating that moving forward, VMware “will have a single virtual switch strategy that focuses on two sets of native virtual switch offerings – VMware vSphere® Standard Switch and vSphere Distributed Switch™ for VMware vSphere, and the Open virtual switch (OVS).”
You may or may not be aware that I have just moved house, and, me being me, I have not done it by halves. My family and I up’d sticks to the other side of the world, and we landed in Perth—not Scotland, but Australia. Call it a cross-cloud migration; this obviously was fraught with difficulties and did not go as smoothly as planned. This has got me thinking about moving home in a cloud environment, whether from site to site, region to region, or cloud provider to cloud provider. In a perfect world, this should be as simple as live migration is today between like-minded virtualization hosts: VMware to VMware, Hyper-V to Hyper-V. The unfortunate truth is that this is not the case
This week, VMware finally GAs the latest and greatest version of its flagship product, vSphere. We have now reached the lofty heights of version 6.5. It has the usual improvements. The vCSA can now handle updates natively, has high availability, and runs on PhotonOS. Virtual machines can be encrypted.
Now, I do not intend to deep dive into all the new features; you can read the What’s New document as well as I can. That said, with this release, I do not have that buzz I used to get with a new vSphere release. The reason, I feel, is that although the new features are welcome and extend the capability of the platform, they most likely will not be widely employed. On the whole, they will be utilized for niche use cases. vSphere is no longer the crowd puller it used to be. Like an aging rock star who is still trying to fill stadiums, it just seems a little sad.
The hypervisor is now passé, with regard to vSphere; it has met the vast majority of users’ needs since version 5.0. The newer features are really just sprinkles on your ice cream. With the release of Server 2016, Hyper-V is now good enough, and RHEL-V is, too. XenServer, if Citrix can get its marketing and sales teams into gear, is also a viable product. I cannot find myself getting excited about the hypervisor any more.