Archives for June 2012


Take a Dip in the Flash Pool: NetApp’s Auto Tiering

With NetApp DataONTAP 8.1 going GA I can finally talk about Flash Pools. Flash Pools is a part of the Virtual Storage Tier (VST). VST is NetApp ‘s automated storage tiering. It’s a combination of Flash Cache and Flash Pools. The flash pools is what I have been waiting for. Lots of NetApp’s competitors including many startups have been pushing their auto-tiering technologies for a while. NetApp’s core features, including WAFL have keep them in the game but I tend to think some sales where lost when Flash Cache wasn’t enough. Flash Pools are differently going to change the reference architecture for FlexPods with the inclusion of DataONTAP 8.1.

Flash Pools are a combination of NetApp’s regular 80GB SSDs and hard disk drives. The SSD storage is RAID protected which allows the addition of caching of random write operations as well as random reads. If your using a Flash Pool with an aggregate and you have Flash Cache on your controller, the Flash Cache will be ignored. I think I would tend to lean towards just using the Flash Pools only because any HA fail over events on the controller cause the Flash Cache to be “warmed”. Flash Pools can provide more consistency which is a good thing in my books. I haven’t had time to look at the cost of only a Flash Pool approach but hopefully it’s cheaper. They’re going to be use cases for just accelerating reads but I prefer a uniform environment even if that’s pipe dream.

I really like the fact that Flash Pools is simple to setup and it’s being offered in the smaller model of NetApp Filers. Flash and SATA seems like a winning combo and should be able to push consolidation ratios. Here is small video on the setup for Flash Pools.

I am curious to see how the drive life of the SSD’s work out with the increased load and at what point the controllers won’t be able to handle the IO on NetApp’s lower end models. I guess time will tell.


My Top 5 Sessions I Want to See at BriForum 2012

While at BriForum 2012 in Chicago the Top 5 sessions I want to see are:

1) How SAML, OAUTH, and Other Identity Federation Solutions Work in a Windows Enterprise, and Why Windows Apps Can’t be More Like Web Apps

I am doing lots with Horizon Application Manager so hopefully this will help further my understanding of SAML.

2)The Essential VDI Design Guide
The presenter, Dan Brinkmann is a straight shooter and tells it like it is. Look forward to hearing his advice.

3) VDI is Less Secure Than Physical Desktops: The Reality That Nobody Wants to Talk About
This should be a blood bath. My opinion is on the other side of the fence so it will be great to hear the presenters side of the story.

4) 10 Ways My Users Said, “FUIT”
Should be funny but yet have some good value. I think the saying “Funny because it’s true” will get applied a lot.

5)10 Things in AD That Can Hurt Your Application and Desktop Virtualization Efforts (And How to Fix Them)
It’s always the things you can’t control that bite you in the _ _ _. I hope I can get a couple steps ahead with this session.


50 VMware Tips Covering Whole Depth of End User Confusion at BriForum

The title is right! End User Confusion, it what happens when you make a mistake and then another and then another. Your end users get pretty confused. I am speaking at BriForum again my sessions is 50 VMware Tips Covering Whole Depth of End User Confusion. I Will cover VMware View tips over 6 main topic areas: Storage, Deployment, Operational Tips, Application, Network Optimization and User Persona. I will deliver a balanced count of tips and tricks over all the topic areas. I am hoping that it will be somewhat funny but I would keep your expectations low so I can beat them!

I like BriForum because off all the independent, expert speakers that you can go and talk to during and after their sessions. It’s a great feeling knowing you can get help and someone won’t be calling you in a week to sell you something. If desktop virtualization, VDI, Application Virtualization is in your wheel house, come check out my session and all the other great content waiting at BriForum 2012.

Since I want to deliver some new content not on my blog, it could be spare for VDI Tips for awhile. Come see it first at BriForum.


Setting Up Horizon Application Manager with a Internal CA

I found the online documentation a little vague since it just told you to go to the apache ssl how to page. Hopefully this will help other people out that where in the same boat as me.
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New EUC KB Articles Published for Week Ending 6/9/12 – View Manager, Socialcast, ThinApp

VMware ThinApp
Support Policy for Microsoft Office 2010 applications virtualized with VMware ThinApp (2021901)
Date Published: 6/7/2012
ThinApp build fails with the warning: whitespace found at end of line (2015054)
Date Published: 6/4/2012

VMware View Manager
Disabling default printer redirection in View Clients  (2012770)
Date Published: 6/5/2012
The Connection Server icon in the View Administration Dashboard appears red when using the default certificate (2021688)
Date Published: 6/6/2012

Socialcast SaaS
Using the Post by E-mail feature when you are a member of multiple communities on Socialcast (2019541)
Date Published: 6/6/2012


Nutanix: Drop It Like It’s Hot

Nutanix is all in one solution building block for virtualization. It allows you to virtualize your workloads without requiring a SAN. This approach allows for many benefits, such as buy what you need, when you need it and a reduction in complexity around architecture and operations. I see Nutanix as perfect fit for VDI and Cloud workloads. Where there is uncertainty in the workload and large scale is needed, Nutanix can make a great fit.

Below is how their storage works inside of their 2U building blocks that contain 4 separate nodes. The Name of operating system Nutanix runs on is called HOT(Heat Optimized Tiering). The controller VM is the magic sauce of the operation. All the I\O flows through the controller VM. As data is written to the Fusion-IO card and then is serialized. When the data is cold , it will be laid out to disk in a nice clean format.

The SATA SSD is for ESXi, the Controller VM and VM Swap, nothing else gets to live here.

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Difference between View Client VS a Zero Client with USB

There is very important difference between the View Client and the Zero Client when it comes to handleing USB.

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VMware’s Wanova Acquisition: What I Want to See

The Wanova deal has been a couple of weeks old now and has allowed myself to give it some thought. I am not excepting much too happen since the RTO deal took about two years for anything to come to light. Wanova provides a cloud-based, centralized and endpoint management recovery solution using a form of layering technology. Wanova flagship product, Mirage will give VMware a boost in the arm with :

User-installed applications

Speeding up DaaS (Desktop as a Service) enrollment\On-boarding

A Reshake up of VMware View’s Local Mode

Centralized Image management
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Software Datacenter is Here, HP StoreOnce

When I think big news coming out of HP I think servers and storage. Still along the same lines HP is HP StoreOnce Catalyst , getting launched at HP Discover in Vegas this week. A whapping 40 TB/hr of backup and restore capacity. How did they do it? Software. They have tweaked their code to achieve this new crazy amount of performance. The performance is not tied to a new generation of processors hitting the market. The software datacenter is here, VMware blazed the path and more vendors are getting on board. Exciting times. I am just trying to wrap my head around how I could use it for cheaper DR solution for VDI\EUC.

I am short on time this month with work and all of the other fun summer activities but I’ll try to keep some short post coming.