New Releases of VMware’s Cloud Management Solutions

Today, is the announcement of the general availability of new and enhanced releases of the industry-leading portfolio of cloud management solutions (read the press release). The products available today include VMware vCloud Automation Center 6.0, VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.8, and VMware IT Business Management Suite. It is very gratifying to be delivering to the market the products we originally unveiled at VMworld 2013 Europe in Barcelona in October (press release).

This GA marks a major milestone in VMware’s mission to help our customers on their journey to IT as a Service (ITaaS) and their adoption of the cloud. It covers the whole of our cloud management portfolio with critical new capabilities – a user friendly self-service portal for agile service delivery, management of physical storage devices as well as business critical applications providing health and performance visibility across the service stack, automated cost comparisons of infrastructure services across private and public clouds, just to name a few.

Designed specifically for dynamic virtualized and cloud environments, VMware’s management solutions simplify and automate how IT is managed across multiple clouds and platforms. The new enhancements and product to the VMware cloud management portfolio include:

  • VMware vCloud Automation Center 6.0 offers a self-service catalog for requesting and managing all types of IT services across multiple clouds and platforms including now VMware vCloud Hybrid Service and OpenStack to provide customers with on-demand access to any service and reducing time to value.
  • VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.8 extends visibility and insight into the performance of applications running on Microsoft Hyper-V and Amazon Web Services, improved performance analytics for a broad range of storage arrays, and enhanced support for business critical applications including Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SQL Server.
  • VMware IT Business Management Suite ITBM Suite 1.0 Standard Edition is the newest member of the VMware family of management products enabling infrastructure and business stakeholders to quickly understand the cost and consumption of their virtual infrastructure across private and public cloud environments. VMware IT Business Management Suite 8.0 Advanced and Enterprise editions introduce additional persona-based dashboards tailored to the CIO, CFO of IT, IT project managers and line-of-business owners.

As customers progress to ITaaS, we believe that CIOs and IT organizations must evolve from being just builders of IT services to both builders and brokers of services. This means making strategic decisions of where to source services – whether internally on a private cloud, externally from a cloud service provider or both via the hybrid cloud. With this GA, we are further delivering on the critical capabilities required of a service broker: on-demand access to any service, cost transparency, automated operations, and the ability to deliver and manage services on any cloud and any platform.

 

New VMware vCenter Log Insight – Cool Features

I wanted to take a moment to jot down a few cool impressions on VMware’s new vCenter Log Insight.  vCenter Log Insight was recently announced, and is initially available in beta – but still providing a number of very cool features and integration with vCenter Operations Manager.

I want to first highlight the easy to use query language.  In this example we are investigating an intermittent SCSI / latency problem – using the power of logs, we were able to quickly find the common “unstructured” data thread.  I liked this simplistic approach rather than having to learn and support a complex / proprietary query language as in other tools.

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By simply entering “SCSI performance deteriorated” we start to pick-up quite a bit of data and I can see the frequency these events have hit, as well as the spike at June 20, @ 12pm– now I can start refining this query to fit my needs.

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I can even drill-down using linked “extracted fields”, as well as extract additional fields based on how you wish to refine your query making it repeatable and easy to use/learn.

Next, it would be helpful to understand things like average SCSI latency over time – refining the query even further you, can choose “average” function over a specified period of time.

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Furthermore this may be a query that you may want to run multiple times, therefore you can add it to a new, or existing dashboard.  Also adding constraints, or thresholds, gives the user the ability to monitor queries and filter out data that is not significant.

Finally, and this is the cool part, vCenter Operations Manager integration allows Log Insight data to vCOps, giving a single view into the structured and unstructured performance data allowing for a more comprehensive and accurate view of your virtualized / cloud and supporting physical infrastructure.

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For more information check out the vCenter Log Insight product web page and view the introduction video.

@benscheerer

Cloud Automation ROI – The business impact of accelerating IT service delivery

Improved operational efficiency is certainly a compelling motivation for deploying a dynamic on-demand private cloud infrastructure.

In fact, the automated service delivery capabilities of VMware’s cloud automation software have improved VMware customer’s operational efficiency by an average of 80% or more by utilizing resources on more strategic initiatives.  However, if you were to ask our customers with a year or more of deployment experience what their biggest benefit was, the response would likely be improved service delivery times that enable greater productivity or allow the business to address new opportunities quicker than the competition.

Getting compute resources into the hands of business enables companies to access new business opportunities.  For companies who rely on IT systems to differentiate their business, VMware’s cloud automation software allows companies to dramatically shorten the delivery time of initial provisioning and ongoing changes from days to hours and minutes.

Our latest blog post (Cloud Automation ROI – The business impact of accelerating  IT service delivery ) highlights how VMware’s cloud automation software can help your company improve business productivity, enable new business opportunity and help you keep up with the accelerating pace of business.Image

Need help deploying your private cloud infrastructure or developing your Cloud Automation business justification? Contact us and our experts can help your team build the business case and the solution that will maximize your IT productivity.

@bscheerer

Expectations for VMware Partner Exchange (PEX)

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Next week is the annual VMware Partner Exchange – PEX conference for VMware partners in Las Vegas (Mandalay Bay).  This is VMware’s premier partner event where partners come to learn what’s new with VMware, also to enable partners to be better equipped to position and sell/implement VMware solutions.  Not to mention that this conference also gives partners access to VMware SMEs and executives!

 

First, I must plug my own sessions!  I will be presenting in 3 sessions:

1)    CI1523 – Winning Against Microsoft System Center

2)    MGT1238 – Selling vCenter Operations Management in Competitive Environments

3)    MGT1369 – Understanding the vCenter Operations Management Technical Differentiators in Competitive Environments

 

I am looking forward to meeting with the many values VMware partners as well as all my friends I’ve made within the industry over the years (you know who you are!).  Also, to hear the stories from our partners on how their VMware partnership has (and will) drive more value for them and their customers.

 

Apart from the sessions, I will be meeting with partners and spending time on the expo floor working the VMware booth.

As for the social aspect – I will certainly be attending the “VMware PEX 2013 Unofficial Official Community Tweetup sponsored by HP Storage and Veeam” as well as enjoying Third Eye Blind on the party night.

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For those who will be attending, please be sure to stop by my sessions, the booth, the tweetup – or simply send me a tweet @benscheerer.

 

-Ben

@benscheerer

Ben Scheerer’s VMworld 2012 – Preview

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With VMworld 2012 San Francisco fast approaching, I thought I’d spend some time covering a few sessions and events that are worth mentioning (primarily because yours truly is involved one way or another).

First, other than the BIG announcements (which you can both view onsite as well as online)

Monday, August 27
8:30am – 10:00am
Join Paul Maritz as he shares how VMware is helping customers and partners thrive in the Cloud era. And Steve Herrod will discuss and demo technology at the heart of the software defined datacenter.

Can’t make it to VMworld? Watch the live stream of Monday’s General Session on VMware NOW, which will begin at 8:40am PT.

Tuesday, August 28
8:30am – 10:00am
Steve Herrod and VMware partners take the stage to demonstrate state of the art technology that is transforming IT and enabling the mobile workforce.

The live stream of Tuesday’s general session will begin at 8:30am PT.

 

Next – The Breakout Sessions: 

Of course, part of the richness of VMworld comes in the breakout sessions.  I wanted to highlight a few sessions that I am involved (either as a speaker, or reviewer).  I am extremely proud of the content, as I know it is VMworld worthy!!

OPS-CIM1775 VMware vCenter Operations Customers Come Forward to Tell Their Story

 This session is where vExpert David Davis and I participate in a panel session with Joe Filippello (Apparatus) who shares his experience with vCenter Operations Management Suite for a large pharmaceutical corporation

OPS-CIM1564 – Troubleshooting Using vCenter Operations Manager

This session will cover some of the common troubleshooting scenarios that users typically encounter when managing a VMware vSphere® environment and show what tools are available in vCenter™ operations to isolate and resolve these problems quickly, Presented by Kit Colbert and Praveen Kannan of VMware

OPS-CIM1926 – 5 Must Know Design Considerations for Planning Capacity When You are 50% or More Virtualized

 This session will discuss the key questions that must be designed for and answered in order to effectively analyze and plan capacity in a highly virtualized environment. This session will discuss the capabilities needed to address the key challenges around capacity risk, waste and improving efficiency in a virtualized environment. It will also go into how to effectively collaborate and share this data with the right stakeholders for more efficient management. It will showcase some key strategies on how to properly plan out an infrastructure in advance, how to decide when to invest in hardware, and stay ahead of demand like in a true retail model and showback.  Presented by Sam McBride and Monica Sharma of VMware

SS1020 – Simplify and Automate: How to Manage Services Across Multiple Platforms and Clouds

Cloud, if managed properly, can transform how you deliver and operate IT services. VMware cloud management solutions are tightly integrated with and purpose built for dynamic, software-defined cloud infrastructure to deliver this transformation, increasing business agility and reducing costs. However, other platforms are a reality and flexibility and choice are both benefits of the cloud and bedrocks of VMware’s approach. In this session we will demonstrate new VMware technology that simplifies cloud operations and enables policy-based, automated provisioning and management of services across VMware -, Amazon- and Microsoft-based clouds. In this session you will learn how you can ensure the health, efficiency and compliance of software-defined cloud infrastructure and also manage other platforms, clouds and even physical environments with the cloud infrastructure suite. Come hear how VMware can help transform the chaos of traditional management into a cohesive, integrated environment across clouds. Presented by Ramin Sayar, VP / GM VMware Management BU

 

Next – Spend Time on the Expo Floor

Part of my schedule includes plenty of time on the Expo floor.  Be sure to stop by the VMware booth (you can’t miss it) and say hi!

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Also, don’t forget to drop by and listen to the tech talks at the #vBrownBags held all throughout the conference in the Communities / Bloggers lounge.  Take look at the schedule, also note my talk on vCenter Infrastructure Navigator Wednesday the 29th at 3:45PM

 

Lastly, be sure to check out the social calendar on VMworld Gatherings

 

See you in San Francisco, or online!!

 

Ben Scheerer

Twitter: @benscheerer

Preparing for VMware Partner Exchange

Next week I find myself back in Las Vegas for the premiere virtualization/cloud partner event for VMware.  I am extremely excited to both meet-up with our dedicated and valued partners during the sessions, events and on the show floor, but also to present a session with colleague (and VMware veteran) Eric Horschman:

(1336) Understanding the VMware Cloud and Infrastructure Management Competitive Advantages

From vSphere to vCloud Director, elements of management have always been a key component to differentiating VMware from its competitors while providing partners with opportunities to add value to the solutions they deliver. As customers increasingly rely on integrated and automated management capabilities to ensure success in the cloud, it is more important than ever for partners to understand key VMware management differentiators. The VMware vCenter family of management tools (vCenter, vCenter Operations, vCenter Orchestrator, vCenter Configuration Manager, and others) has unique capabilities and takes the fullest advantage of tight integration with the vSphere and vCloud platforms to deliver powerful management capabilities for your customers. In this session you will learn how to best position key advantages of VMware management solutions to open up upsell opportunities for your VMware business.

This will be an enlightening session as we delve not only into our core technology and differentiators, but help our partners better decide when and how VMware management solutions best fit both their customer’s and own needs.

Please plan on attending my session and the many opportunities to better understand VMware value in and across the stack and don’t forget to visit the VMware booth on the show floor to see vCenter Operations Manager live!

2011: VMware a Winner

As I reflect on my first 6 months at VMware (and all of 2011) I see a bright future at a company that really “gets it”. A few of my observations as we enter into the new-year:

1) Management is at the forefront of VMware’s strategy: This is no surprise, as VMware customers matured with the technology so has their needs to push the envelope even further. I see VMware in-step with customer needs, in fact VMware took a fresh approach at performance management within the past year by building both a team (culminated from experience across the software management giants) and technology unique to advancing the cloud and end-user computing. By the way, VMware has been the management business from practically the beginning – DRS, vMotion, SRM, just to throw a few out there! There’s a lot to cover on this topic as well as a lot coming in 2012 that will continue to define, shape and deliver on the VMware vision.

2) The analyst’s see and get the VMware management strategy. The Virtualization Practice named VMware as a Winner in 2011: “VMware [a winner] – for combining resource utilization based performance management and capacity management with configuration management, and bubbling all of the metrics up into Health, Efficiency, and Risk scores with self-learning analytics in vCenter Operations.”  IDC ranked VMware #1 in the Cloud and Virtualization Management (June 2011, IDC #228817) markets (by revenue).

3) Lots of expertise under one roof. When I was at CA a few years back, it was no surprise to us that VMware would venture into the management realm, in fact we anticipated it – but we always defended our position as a management business with 30+ years experience where VMware was an inexperienced management newcomer. Two years later I joined the VMware Management business unit all staffed by the leading talent from HP, IBM, BMC, Quest and CA (and more) – not to mention the legacy that these individuals brought with them. Collectively we’ve been able to draw from our experiences, learn from our respective company’s past mistakes and start with a clean slate – best of all with a highly innovative and creative culture to back us up!

I am soooo looking forward to what is in store for next year. I’ve set goals to meet with as many customers as possible, attend and present where people are willing to listen and continue writing on the challenges of managing the new “converged” infrastructure. I am proud to be working for a true innovator, whose culture includes the best and brightest in our industry – which is further exemplified by a tradition of software that is iron clad and rock solid “it simply works!”

Signing off for 2011 – the future is bright for 2012!  Everyone have a safe, healthy and prosperous new year!

Ben – bscheerer@vmware.com

IDC Ranks VMware as the Worldwide Cloud Systems Management Software Market Share Leader

New research by IDC analyst Mary Johnson Turner ranked VMware as the leader in the hotly contested cloud systems management software space, as defined by IDC (IDC Report #231493, November 2011).

VMware leads this space with a 15.2 share of the $271.7 million spend in 2010, comprising of vCloud Director (vCD) licenses, the vCenter management platform as well as supporting management software components from the vCenter Operations suite of solutions.

“There is a very tight race among the top three vendors in this market; together they command nearly 44 percent of the total market,” said Mary Johnston Turner, Research Vice President, Enterprise System Management Software at IDC. “This is still a fairly nascent market that IDC expects will experience rapid growth through 2015, by which time cloud systems management software capabilities will be on the must-have list for enterprise and service provider customers alike.”

IDC’s definition of the cloud systems management software market spans a range of systems management monitoring, control, optimization and analytic functionality to the extent it is deployed into an automated, self-serve, consumption-aware public or private cloud operations environment.

Full charge ahead for VMware as it announced a new round of solutions last October (VMware Unveils Management Portfolio for the Cloud Era) designed specifically to deliver on its public, private & hybrid cloud strategy.  A strategy which has won praise from key analyst in the cloud & virtualization space “VMware is and likely will remain next year not only the most important, but the best system software vendor on the planet.” (The Virtualization Practice. Grading VMware’s 2011)

A Fresh Approach

It’s been nearly 3 months since I started with VMware.  I came over as a nearly 15-year veteran in the enterprise management software space – the past 6 focused on virtualization and cloud.  I’ve seen the transformation of the dynamic data center – and while working in the management space, helped a traditional vendor adapt and “message” to that change.  But the reality is, traditional IT management is encumbered by legacy approaches to management, models based and siloed approaches only further demonstrate the fact that the thinking behind traditional IT management does not flow into the dynamic virtualized and cloud environment.

One of the reasons I came over to VMware was that VMware, a pioneer in virtualization an cloud, had an opportunity to take a fresh approach to management without the legacy investment in outdated technology to hold it back.  I saw that in order to really keep pace with the highly virtualized and cloud environments, behavioral analytics was the answer.  Truly understanding the behavior, unique to your environment, over the course of days, weeks, months, or years sets the standard for identifying real root cause to issues with an innate understanding to all variants in your specific environment.

Effective management goes beyond “monitoring” individual metrics.  Monitoring popular metrics in vSphere such as percent ready and the balloon driver only lead to partial conclusions – VMware analytics and “super metrics” encompass a holistic understanding of thousands of metrics boiled up to key representation of health, risk and efficiency…

Gone are the days where VI admins rely on simple metrics and loose correlation and static rules to assist in managing limited and defined use cases.  Comprehensive, and proven analytics (not to mention tight integration with vSphere) is not only key, but also necessary in moving forward with any cloud journey.  Stay tuned on more insight and thoughts behind virtualization and cloud – I’m back!

-Ben