Friday, February 28, 2014

VMware Service Manager 9.1.8.

VMware announced the release VMware Service Manager 9.1.8. This releases focuses on stability, and adding a small, incremental features requested by customers.   Some of the new capabilities introduced in 9.1.8 are highlighted below:

The Search Center  – The new Search Center functionality allows users to save searches, and share them with specific groups, or the entire user base.  This helps shorten the learning curve for new users, and boosts productivity of technicians by allowing access to commonly used searches created by other users.

Additional Report File Formats – Service Manager includes its own report writer.  With 9.1.8, reports can now be exported into  new file formats like XLSX, WB1, or SVG.

Configurable Tool Tips -  As part of the metadata for configurable fields, administrators can configure tool-tips for the new fields they add to the system (as well as existing fields).  Using the screen designer, the administrator provides the text for the tool tip, and once committed, the tool tip is displayed when hovering over the field.

New Dashboard Capabilities – To enhance the capability of the dashboard monitors, 9.1.8 adds the ability for users to utilize the Advanced Search builder to build dashboards.  These new capabilities also allow new drill down capabilities.  For example, a user can now create a new dashboard monitor based on number of open incidents assigned to a specific team by priority, and then drill down to see a count of these incidents per user.

Thursday, February 27, 2014


Today, I was fortunate enough to attend a briefing by Boaz Palgi. He was the founder of ScaleIO, which was acquired by EMC in July 2013.

ScaleIO is software-defined, distributed shared storage. It is a software-only solution that enables you to create a SAN from direct-attached storage (DAS) located in your servers. ScaleIO creates a large pool of storage that can be shared among all servers. This storage pool can be tiered to supply differing performance needs. ScaleIO is infrastructure-agnostic.  It can run on any server, whether physical or virtual, and leverage any storage media, including disk drives, flash drives, or PCIe flash cards.

To start off the briefing, Boaz went into the market dynamics that helped shape ScaleIO.

The first change in the IT market was the dramatic increase in server resource capacity that started in 2006 with the dawn of the core processor architecture by AMD, current compute and storage systems are massively scalable and provide a tremendous amount of performance. This was also a driving factor for the adoption of virtualization, it increased host density ratios to the point that the infrastructure savings from server consolidation were to adventagous to ignore. Another driving factor was the push toward centralized datacenter models, distributed datacenters are the a thing of the past, companies are using immense enterprise datacenters with thousands of server resources running tens of thousands of applications. The last big change in the market place was the commoditization of infrastructure components led by companies like Google and Amazon.

As a result, today's IT leaders want to create an agile cost effective datacenter leveraging converged commodity infrastructure.

Friday, February 14, 2014

VMware vSphere Mobile Watchlist

VMware just released a vSphere mobile phone app on Apple's App Store and Google Play called vSphere Mobile Watchlist.

The app enables secure vSphere infrastructure resource monitoring and remediation. With Watchlist, vSphere administrators will be able to choose VMs from a vCenter Server inventory to create targeted updated views of those VMs and their properties, and remediate directly from the device with power operations or delegate action with linked relevant Knowledge Base (KB) articles.

Download vSphere Mobile Watchlist here:
Google Play:
iTunes App Store:

Easily create virtual machine watchlists: Search for and select a subset of VMs from your VMware vCenter Server inventory to monitor in one or multiple watchlists.

Virtual machines at a glance: Review the status of selected watchlist VMs from your device including VM state, configuration details, resource usage, health alerts, view of the VM console, and related objects.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

HP OneView with VMware vCenter

Why did HP decide to create HP OneView? And why do they have a converged system group? 

The thinking was developed after conversations with their customers. They were beginning to understand that IT was shifting away from working in traditional silos, and transforming into a business partner that provided choice of workloads and services to the business. When they looked at how other IT management tools addressed these tasks today, they were surprised to find that they did little to address these tasks at all. HP OneView is a new approach to infrastructure management.

The number one goal for HP OneView was to perform these tasks better than anyone in the industry. To do this, they looked for inspiration in consumer tools from our everyday lives.  Most modern consumer apps are purpose-built to do specific tasks with simplicity and speed.  Google Search as an example finds answers from billions of sources in seconds.  They studied 100’s of different online and mobile tools to learn from the best, and then applied those lessons to the complexity and scale of the data center.

They realized that if we could dramatically simplify the 5 tasks below, they could radically accelerate every process in the data center.

These tasks are:

  1. Identify and track what needs to get done
  2. Collect basic system and task related information
  3. Understand dependencies on connected infrastructure
  4. Collaborate across teams to do the work
  5. Communicate progress, completion or failure

Tuesday, February 4, 2014


EMC ViPR is a lightweight, software-only solution that abstracts storage from disparate arrays into a single pool of storage capacity to deliver higher-level storage services that are predicated on the 3rd platform, such as Storage-as-a-Service. Think of it like the storage equivalent of server virtualization and Infrastructure-as-a-Service.

ViPR enables you to manage heterogeneous storage environments, including third-party arrays and commodity storage. In fact, ViPR can manage any standard API–driven storage.  But what makes ViPR unique, is that unlike previous implementations of storage virtualization, ViPR decouples the control path from the data path.

By abstracting the control path, storage management operates at the virtual layer, which gives customers the ability to partition a storage pool into virtual storage arrays. Very similar to the fundamentals of the software layer abstraction of the physical server hardware that creates virtual machine instances which nurtured compute resource pools that laid the groundwork for IaaS. Now, with the addition of Storage-as-a-Service, IT professionals can build a holistic service catalog that gives IT business leaders the options necessary to meet business demand.

ViPR is a scale-out software platform, delivered as a virtual appliance that runs on VMware ESX servers. To assure high availability, it is recommend that you have a minimum of three appliances. With this foundation, ViPR is capable of executing thousands of provisioning operations per hour. 

Through the ViPR portal, the storage administrator defines the storage environment that it wants ViPR to manage, including storage arrays, SAN switches, and data protection devices. ViPR discovers and abstracts physical storage arrays with all their unique capabilities into a single virtual pool. 

Next, administrators create virtual storage arrays, which are software representations of physical storage arrays, usually associated with common attributes like location, project, or group of users or tenants, managed at the virtual layer according to automated policies.  

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