VMworld 2015 Day 2 Recap and Announcements

Once again, big shout out to Doug Davis for compiling the data

Technology Preview: “Project A2” - Today at VMworld 2015, VMware introduced Project A2, a technology preview showcasing the ability to re-define Windows management and pioneer an approach that is unique in the industry, shifting from a focus on endpoint management to a focus on application management.

Windows 10 will drive a major industry shift due to its mobile-cloud focus. Businesses upgrading to the new operating system will need to embrace a new mobile-centric approach to delivering and managing applications, as pioneered by AirWatch by VMware. Project A2 can accelerate the adoption of Windows 10 by eliminating the costly and complex process of managing and upgrading Windows PCs and applications by using AirWatch enterprise mobile management (EMM) coupled with new VMware App Volumes application delivery technology.

Project A2 will make applications lightweight and easy to deliver, enabling IT organizations to seamlessly move existing physical Windows applications into the new Windows 10 mobile-cloud platform and apply an EMM approach across all applications (universal and classic Windows applications). This new technology will offer IT teams a uniform management experience for their entire fleet of Windows 10 desktop devices along with employee and business owned mobile devices. Moreover, it will deliver a consistent end-user mobile workspace that provides access to all of users applications including Windows, SaaS and mobile, to any device.

For more information on Project A2 and VMware’s Windows 10 strategy, visit the VMware End-User Computing product blog.

VMware Identity Manager Advanced Edition - VMware Identity Manager is the industry's first identity as a service (IDaaS) offering integrated with a leading, enterprise mobility management and security solution. Initially available as part of the AirWatch Blue and Yellow Management Suites, VMware Identity Manager™ Advanced Edition will be available as a standalone IDaaS solution through the browser on any Chrome, Mac or Windows device. For more information, click here.

VMware Horizon® 6.2 and VMware Horizon 6.2 for Linux - Continued innovation in application and desktop delivery will introduce several key advancements in VMware Horizon, including:

  • Expanded support for applications at-scale that will deliver a rich user experience to global, multi-site deployment of virtual environments;

  • An enriched user experience with support for Skype for Business and NVIDIA GRID™ vGPU™ (virtual graphics processing unit);

  • New VMware Virtual SAN storage optimizations that will include all-flash options delivering much lower costs and incredible performance;

  • Enhanced security capabilities including support for biometric fingerprint authentication;

  • Federal government readiness including FIPS 140-2 compliance.

In addition, VMware announced VMware Horizon 6.2 for Linux. Designed for customers that require specialized security or high-end workstations, the solution will offer expanded support for NVIDIA GRID™ vGPU™ and shared graphics acceleration (vSGA). Along with existing virtual dedicated graphics acceleration (vDGA) support, VMware Horizon 6.2 for Linux will offer a complete spectrum of 3D graphics delivery for any worker or any use case.

For more information on VMware Horizon enhancements and updates to VMware Project Enzo, Project Fargo and Project Meteor, click here.

“Applications play a critical role in how we do business so we focus on working with organizations and technologies that help our end-users work smarter and more effectively," said Craig Fletcher, chief technology officer, CH2M. “VMware End-User Computing solutions enable us to seamlessly deliver any application our end users need on any device, whether it’s a graphic intensive application for a high-end design engineer at a workstation or a mobile application for a knowledge worker to access information on the go. With that agility and flexibility, we’re able to better serve our customers.”

VMware Validated Designs - VMware Validated Designs are architectures created and validated by VMware experts, encompassing the entire product stack used in VMware’s Software-Defined Data Center. These designs provide standardized and streamlined architectures for each deployment scenario and broad use-case, for example: Datacenter Foundation, Single-region & Dual-region IT Automation, QE / Demo Cloud and more. These designs are being made available to you via customer facing documentation, VMware Professional Services (PSO) delivery kits and certified partner architectures.

So why spend the time and investment in this type of initiative when we already have reference architectures and whitepapers for each product release? While these assets are a great resource; they typically take into account only that product and that version. The VMware Validated Design process takes into account the entire SDDC stack ensuring product version compatibility, continued testing with product releases, upgrade testing and validation to ensure what you deploy today can be upgraded to the next version. In other words the VMware Validated Design:

Is Designed by Experts, Used by You

Each design for a specific deployment scenario has been created by a team of VMware experts. The design has been improved based on live feedback from customers like you.

Is Continuously Validated

Each design is continuously validated by VMware through automated testing. To ensure that once a design has been validated, it stays valid, every new build of any component of the design drops into an automated deployment of the design.

Is a Comprehensive Design

Each Design includes everything needed for a fully functional SDDC covering a set of use cases – yet remains hardware-agnostic. VMware Validated Designs create reference architectures, deployment walkthroughs, deployment guides, operations guides…and more.

Results in Quicker Time to Value

With a quicker deployment of your SDDC you will ensure faster fulfillment of your business needs.

Instills Confidence in your SDDC

Build your SDDC using a design validated by experts—including recommended Day 0, Day 1, and Day 2 / ongoing operations. This helps reduce the errors in deploying and operating your SDDC.

Today we are announcing a number of resources being made available to you, our customer. These include two reference architectures and two sets of deployment walkthroughs. The first reference architecture, Data Center Foundation, serves as the foundation for the SDDC, all SDDC architectures build off of the foundation architecture.

The second reference architecture, the Single-Region IT Automation Cloud, focuses on enabling IT to rapidly respond to business requirements through automating the SDDC. In addition to the reference architecture there is an accompanying deployment walkthrough for foundation and single-region IT automation detailing how to build out the reference architecture.

We have also launched an early access community under My VMware where you can get access to new documents, provide direct feedback and help influence future designs.

Get started by downloading the Data Center Foundation and Single-Region IT Automation Cloud reference architecture white papers and taking time to step through the deployment walkthroughs. We think you’re really going to like the simplified approach to the SDDC the VMware Validated Designs bring.

Other News from VMworld 2015

Project Capstone Shows Monster VM Performance - Project Capstone was put together a few weeks before VMworld 2015 with the goal of being able to show what is possible with Monster VMs today. VMware worked with HP and IBM to put together an impressive setup using vSphere 6.0, HP Superdome X and an IBM FlashSystem array that was able to support running four 120 vCPU VMs simultaneously. Putting these massive Virtual Machines under load we found that performance was excellent with great scalability and a high amount of throughput achieved.

vSphere 6 was launched earlier this year and includes support for virtual machines with up to 128 virtual CPUs which is a big increase from the 64 vCPUs supported in vSphere 5.5. “Monster” virtual machines have a new upper limit and it allows for customers to virtualize even the largest of systems with very hungry CPU needs.

The HP Superdome X used for the testing is an impressive system. It has 16 Intel Xeon E7-2890v2 2.8 GHz processors. Each processor has 15 cores and 30 logical threads when Hyper Threading is enabled. In total this is 240 cores / 480 threads.

An IBM FlashSystem array with 20TB of superfast low latency storage was used for the project Capstone configuration. It provided extremely low latency throughout all testing and provided such great performance that storage was never a concern or issue. The FlashSystem was extremely easy to setup and use. Within 24 hours of it arriving in the lab, we were actively running four 120 vCPU VMs with sub millisecond latency.

Large Oracle 12c database virtual machines running on Redhat Enterprise Linux 6.5 were created and configured with 256GB of RAM, pvSCSI virtual disk adapters, and vmxnet3 virtual NICs. The number of VMs and the number of vCPUs for each VM was varied across the tests.

The workload used for the testing was DVD Store 3 (github.com/dvdstore/ds3). DVD Store simulates a real online store with customers logging onto the site, browsing products and product reviews, rating products, and ultimately purchasing those products. The benchmark is measured in Orders Per Minute, with each order representing a complete login, browsing, and purchasing process that includes many individual SQL operations against the database.

This large system with 240 cores / 480 threads, an extremely fast and large storage system, and vSphere 6 showed that even with many monster VMs excellent performance and scalability is possible. Each configuration was first stressed by increasing the DVD Store workload until maximum throughput was achieved for a single virtual machine. In all cases this was found to be at near CPU saturation. The number of VM was then increased so that the entire system was fully committed. A whitepaper to be published soon will have the full set of test results, but here we show the results for four 120 vCPU VMs and sixteen 30 vCPU VMs:


In both cases the performance of the system when fully loaded with either 4 or 16 virtual machines achieves about 90% of perfect linear scalability when compared to the performance of a single virtual machine.

In order to be able to drive the CPU usage to such high levels all disk IO must be very fast so that the system is not waiting for a response. The IBM FlashSystem provided .3 ms average disk latency across all tests. Total disk IO was minimized for these tests to maximize CPU usage and throughput by configuring the database cache size to be equal to the database size. Total disk IO per second (IOPS) peaked at about 50k and averaged 20k while maintaining the extremely low latency during tests.

These test results show that it is possible to use vSphere 6 to successfully virtualize even the largest systems with excellent performance.

New VMware NSX SDN OEM, Nvidia Virtual Graphics Partnership - Hewlett-Packard took another step to deepen its 15-year relationship with VMware today at VMworld 2015 in San Francisco.

HP announced a plan to extend its software-defined networking capabilities through a new OEM and reseller agreement with VMware. Since HP now has the ability to sell VMware, this move could allow customers to deploy applications faster, simplify their data center network fabric and improve security.

HP plans to federate VMware’s NSX software-defined networking, or SDN, technology with HP’s FlexFabric networking technology to assist customers as they gradually migrate toward software-defined data centers.

The HP FlexFabric 5930 direct certification with VMware NSX and SDN federated certification will be available in the fourth quarter of this year.

HP also shared details about its partnership with Nvidia to combine the VMware Horizon (v6.1) virtual desktop solution, the Nvidia Grid technology for graphics-accelerated virtual desktop and HP’s OneView management software to give customers the ability to virtualize graphics processing in virtual desktop environments. This will also be available in the fourth quarter of 2015. Nvidia had earlier announced the launch of Grid 2.0, its latest offering in virtual desktop technology.

These end-user computing services can support up to 3,500 users and are tested to run desktop-virtualization applications at optimal performance, helping customers reduce provisioning time, cost, setup and installation errors, according to HP.

During this week’s VMworld conference, HP also introduced the Converged Architecture 700, which is a new program that provides reference architecture for enterprise-class workloads, including Microsoft Exchange, Lync, SharePoint and SQL, along with HP’s Helion cloud and both Citrix and VMware virtual desktop infrastructure offerings.

These new products and services are the latest in a series of recent innovations optimized for VMware vSphere, including new hyper-converged and all-flash storage systems, which were announced earlier this month.

VMware Selects Nexenta Open Software-Defined Storage Platform for VMware Virtual SAN File Services – Nexenta, in partnership with VMware, today announced that any validated VMware Virtual SAN customer could receive an exclusive promotion of NexentaConnect to achieve file services. NexentaConnect for VMware Virtual SAN provides file services for VMware Virtual SAN environments by adding NFS and SMB access on top of an existing Virtual SAN to complete the software hyper-convergence model.

Additionally during VMworld 2015 (link is external), Nexenta will showcase this combined solution within VMware’s Hands-on Lab (HOL). This much-anticipated participation in VMware’s Virtual SAN A-to-Z HOL session will provide event attendees with the opportunity to discover NexentaConnect for VMware Virtual SAN ™. This is the only file services offering for VMware Virtual SAN in the HOL. In 45 minutes, HOL guests will experience everything from initial installation and configuration to storage policy management and data recovery via snapshots. This training will also be available after VMworld here.

“Of all the solutions we evaluated, NexentaConnect for VMware Virtual SAN was the most mature, the easiest to implement and use, and delivered the best performance. If you’ve got a VMware Virtual SAN set up already, implementing NexentaConnect for VMware Virtual SAN takes about ten minutes,” said Phil Bedard, Principal Network Design Engineer for Cox Communications. “Full integration into our infrastructure was easy, too. My team and the network designers we serve, don’t want to become storage experts. Our real job is testing. While I have experience with storage, I was looking for a product that would be easy for my network experts to manage.”

“We are thrilled to select Nexenta as our file services component of VMware Virtual SAN,” said Gaetan Castelein, Sr. Director Product Management at VMware. “Nexenta’s disruptive OpenSDS solutions, combined with VMware’s SDDC vision is empowering users with agile, scalable and sustainable architectures, and the booth demos, joint promotion and HOL will provide attendees with first-hand experience of what our partnership is all about.”

“Now, more than ever, as storage requirements grow, end-users demand their data centers are built on a simplified infrastructure, reducing costs and achieving automated scalability,” said Tarkan Maner, Chairman and CEO at Nexenta. "Nexenta and VMware are changing the industry with our full featured Software-Defined Storage solutions that can deliver flexibility, simplicity and lower total cost of ownership for the SDDC.”

SanDisk® Introduces New All-Flash Reference Architectures – SanDisk unveiled three new reference architectures for VMWare Virtual SAN™ 6 utilizing solid state drives (SSD) and Fusion ioMemory™ PCIe application accelerators. When coupled with VMware Virtual SAN 6, SanDisk’s PCIe and SSD-based solutions allow customers to deploy business critical applications, databases, virtual desktops and other IT workloads with less effort, while gaining exceptional performance on VMware’s hyper-converged and cost-effective VMware Virtual SAN software-defined storage infrastructure.

The new reference architectures utilizing SanDisk SATA, SAS and PCIe application accelerator solutions with VMware Virtual SAN to be demonstrated at VMworld® 2015 include:

Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) Solution with All-Flash Virtual SAN

This new 4-node reference architecture utilizes SanDisk’s 4TB Optimus MAX™ - the industry’s highest capacity SSD that is certified for Virtual SAN 67 - on a Lenovo System x3650 M5 server platform. In a performance test conducted by SanDisk, Lenovo, VMware, and Avago, all-flash 4-node configuration delivered 3.08 million New Orders per Minute (NOPMs) and 14.1 million transactions per minute (TPMs) using eight virtual machines executing Microsoft SQL Server Standard Edition. The HammerDB performance tuning and benchmarking tool was used to run a 5000 Warehouse TPC-C like workload.

VMware Horizon® Virtual Desktop and Applications Solution with All-Flash Virtual SAN

SanDisk co-led the development of this virtual desktop infrastructure reference architecture utilizing SanDisk’s Lightning® Gen. II SSDs and Dell R730 G13 servers. This solution was tested to run 800 Horizon 6 Desktops on a starter 4-node cluster with VMware, Avago and Brocade. The solution fuels VMware Horizon® 6 virtual desktops and applications at a significantly lower TCO when compared to traditional HDD-based storage solutions. Similarly, when tested, a starter 4-node configuration deployed 24 desktops per minute in a boot storm situation, bringing up 850 desktops in 35 minutes. This is the industry’s first 800 virtual desktop solution running on an end-to-end 12G all-flash VSAN Cluster.

Horizon Virtual Desktop Solution with Hybrid VMware Virtual SAN

This is a reference architecture tested in conjunction with HP and VMware, utilizing HP ProLiant DL360 Gen9 servers and SanDisk’s high performance Fusion ioMemory PCIe application accelerators for caching in a hybrid VMware Virtual SAN cluster. In a performance test conducted using VMware Horizon 6.1, the View Planner benchmarking and workload generator with a 3-node cluster, the solution delivered fast application performance and response times to support the maximum number of virtual desktops with all responses under the recommended performance thresholds.

Atlantis USXTM 3.0 - the only SDS or hyper-converged solution that is certified for VVOL - Atlantis Computing today announced its third generation SDS platform and factory-integration of its Atlantis HyperScale appliances available on Cisco, HP, Lenovo and SuperMicro server platforms. The new Atlantis solutions deliver data mobility to make the entire data center more agile, provide all-flash performance to all users and applications and create efficiency that cuts data center costs in half.

VMware Virtual Volumes (VVOL) certified – Atlantis USX is the only SDS or hyper-converged solution that is certified for VVOL, enabling VVOL to manage all existing storage in the data center. The VVOL integration with Atlantis USX improves performance and increases the storage efficiency of provisioning, snapshots, clones, and storage vMotion.

EMC VVOL support schedule released


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