Installing VMware vSphere 5.5 – Quick Tour

So if you haven’t gone through it in your lab, what is better than getting an idea of how to install vSphere 5.5 with a few screenshots. For the beginners out there I just wanted to walk through the process really quick like.

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Boot from the media!

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Still looks very familar if you have done this before. Of course if you are so awesome why are you still reading?

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Look! It’s vSAN

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Is it VSAN, vSAN or Vsan?

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I always use password123 – just so it is easy. Just kidding. SRSLY!

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By the way a note to VMware: Hitting F11 is not awesome on a Mac. Just hold every key on the bottom left side of the keyboard and hit volume down key for those that have always been mac people and thought F11 is some kind of Air Force project. Actually just FN +F11

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Woot! Now you are a pro. Go take the VCP. Oh and study a bunch first.

Now it is time to add it to your vCenter.

Virtual Storage Integrator 5.6 – What’s New

The Virtual Storage Integrator or VSI has been around for a while. Seems every release something new and exciting gets added that customer have asked for. The VSI 5.6 plugin for EMC is the latest version (9/13/2013) of the plugin to help streamline and simplify interactions between the vSphere client and the EMC storage used to support your Virtual Data Center/Private Cloud/Software Defined Data Center.

The VSI plugin can be downloaded for no extra charge if you have a current support.emc.com account (BTW so glad it is not powerlink anymore).

VSI Support and Downloads Page

You may just want to post a question on the EMC Community about the VSI. You can do that here.

Yeah community!

Enough background already what is new in the new version 5.6?

XtremIO Support

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Awesome provisioning and visibility for the new all flash array from EMC. Ready now for the people with XtremIO and for the many waiting to get one. Coming soon!

Here is a quick demo of the XtremIO functionality. Select 720p for better viewing.

VPLEX Support

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Our data mobility team is super excited about now supporting VPLEX provisioning in the VSI plugin. So now you are able to create the VPLEX datastores straight from the vSphere client. Very cool.
Update 9/23/13 Demo of VPLEX Provisioning with VSI

VMAX Provisioning with Striped Meta

We were all very excited when VMAX provisioning was added to the VSI plugin and now it is able to use the striped meta volume, which is a big deal for some VMAX users. This is an option now and you can select either method when provisioning to the VMAX.

Update 9/19/13 -> a demo from @drewtonnesen

Did you hear there is a new VNX?

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The newest versions of the VNX are supported in VSI 5.6 and as you see in the slide the some of the coolest new features of the VNX will be available for use with the new VSI 5.6

I hope you are as excited about the newest release of the plugin. Remember that is supports vSphere 5.5 too!

If you have any questions please leave a comment of better yet start a thread on the community.

EMC Speed2lead in Milan Italy

EMC Speed2Lead Launch

Today in Milan EMC announced a whole new update to many products. So first, why did I get to go to Italy for the launch. Ok, so back up one more step. Thank you EMC Elect program. EMC Elect if you don’t know is the community advocate program for EMC. I am very honored to be picked for 2013 and as part of the press/analyst launch in Milan, Italy I was selected to attend.

On a side note, how freaking awesome is it to get a chance to go to Milan. Yes, it is just 2 days after I got home from VMworld but not sure I could say no to something so cool. Not saying that everyone will get to go on a cool 2 day whirlwind trip, but I really appreciate what EMC community teams are doing to encourage the community.

XtremSW 2.0

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First off I want to touch on the version 2.0 of the XtremSW. Most importantly is native support for vCenter features (like vMotion).. I am very excited about not needing a special “work around” for vMotion. Additionally, this read caching ability is able to integrate with the EMC arrays on the back end and help off load read caching from the array’s own cache. Of course EMC has been saying this for a while now but that was limited to VMAX but today some of that is expanding to VNX. At first that expansion will include the management of the XtremSW software from Unisphere on the VNX and selection of the LUN’s accelerated. Just so no one is confused as far as I can tell prefetching and cache coordination is still only on the VMAX.

The Next VNX

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Get used to hearing people talking about CPU cores. Taking advantage of all the cores in the Intel processors is a huge deal. When the power is in the software utilizing the CPU fully is extremely important. So while EMC VNX will have more drives and lanes and ports and all that. The software features that really make a difference like FAST, FAST Cache, VAAI will have a bunch more processor horse power to use to help you building internal cloud in the Enterprise and public cloud service offerings (for my SP friends).

but wait there is more…

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The main point is all the cool features are in software and the Software Defined craze is going to push the idle CPU we have in everyone’s storage arrays. Much like vSphere does for compute, the software features in the array are going to help abstract control for the environment. Pass operations to the places in the data center that do them best. Things like tiering, snaps, and dedupe are done at the level most efficient for your workload. Provisioning, Policy creation and management will be done in ViPR. Hope it is all starting to make sense now. Let vSphere do what it is good at, let the array do what it is good at and finally automation and policy engines like vCAC and ViPR do the repetitive work.

Look at that, Solutions

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If I was able to sit down with you this VMworld I would have told you about our efforts to help EMC become more Solution Centric. Making the solution the focus of the show was a big change but was just up my alley because as a vSpecialist I had to tie all the EMC and VMware pieces together. So I am happy to end this post with a shift from some cool products to some solutions that would actually help you the EMC customer and the EMC partners.

So you may have guessed from the picture of all the new VSPEX reference architectures. Solutions built to help EMC partners deliver proven solutions to our Customers. So make sure your EMC SE and partners share with you more than the new products but rather how they can help solve your business issues. To run the applications the customers of your IT organization use to make a difference for the business. So build-your-own, VSPEX, and Vblock are all great paths to get there and when the customer gets to choose they win.