VMworld 2011 – what a busy week

I was in Las Vegas for VMworld 2011 this past week and what a busy week it was!

20,000+ people in attendance!

I met many amazing people, saw quite a few new products, I enjoyed it 100%.

I went to quite a few sessions on VMware troubleshooting, installation, and best practices, and a session on Zimbra (depending on how the new VSPP contract goes, we might offer it at ipHouse). Most of the sessions were at least not boring, though I felt that I was receiving a recap of what I already knew (except for Zimbra). Reinforcement of what I already know is a good thing.

The hands on labs would have been far more fun if the number of stations were doubled so that the line would be quicker to get through. Standing in line for 90 minutes to do a 29 minute lab (max 60 minutes) was not much fun. I did not hit nearly as many as I wanted to.

The Solutions Exchange (read: expo) was amazing though! I talked to many vendors about their storage and monitoring & measurement products, and one surprise (listed below).

My new found favorite for storage is Tintri with their affordable, vm-aware storage appliance. I Look forward to their release of the dual-head appliance and the offering of replication Q12012.

Other runner-ups were Raidundant with their customized case and Aberdeen offering 1 PB of storage in a single RACK with a list price of $495,000 with both built using Nexenta software on their hardware.

Not everything was positive in my trip through the storage vendors. One negative storage vendor (Nutanix) isn’t even a storage vendor but instead an integrated virtualization vendor with multiple blades and integrated storage all running on VMware vSphere. The concept was awesome, their delivery was not. They were so negative towards other vendors that I ended up walking away with a bad taste in my mouth. Their solution is cool but it isn’t for me even if the sales person would have kept their comments to themselves.

The most interesting and new item? Embrane’s distributed firewall, load balancing, VPN solution. The potential for this software in our environment is quite high. I loved the demo, how helpful the staff was in answering questions, and the programability for our virtual data center product would be, in a word, awesome. I look forward to their first release to customers coming soon.

I am still going through my monitoring & measurement handouts as nothing really stood out for our network. I’ll make another post if I find something that is noteworthy.