::: Virtual Aleph ::: Virtualization Techniques: October 2012 Privacy Policy

23 October, 2012

Improve PC Performance with New Paragon Alignment Tool 4.0 Professional

Hello all,
I've got this announcement from Paragon and I'm glad in sharing with you

FREIBURG, Germany, October 23, 2012 – Paragon Software Group (PSG), a leader in data backup, disaster recovery, and data migration solutions, announced the release of Paragon Alignment Tool (PAT) 4.0 – a user-friendly software utility designed to automatically determine if a drive’s partitions are misaligned, then properly realign all partitions, including boot partitions and any data they contain. In addition to instantly solving misalignment issues on PCs, PAT 4.0 eases alignment problems within virtual machines. The new edition comes with a 20 percent faster alignment engine, Windows 8 support, new bootable WinPE-based version and efficient tools to recover volumes that were accidentally lost during the alignment! .Partition misalignment results in slow write times and inefficient disk operations, also affecting alignment in virtual machines. With a continuously increasing number of SSDs and large HDDs used with laptops, workstations and servers, PAT 4.0 becomes the must-have tool for any PC user or IT professional. It instantly improves your PC performance and SSD drive endurance. New Key Features in PAT 4.0:
  • Up to 20 percent faster alignment engine than earlier versions;
  • Windows 8 support;
  • Bootable WinPE version makes it possible to create a bootable WinPE environment and add drivers for any specific hardware;
  • Virtual partition alignment;
  • New tools to help recover partitions: recover deleted volumes with the “undelete” wizard after an unexpected alignment operation interruption caused, for example, by a sudden power shortage.
Cheers \mf

15 October, 2012

#VMworld Day 2: The Annual #VMware #Party #Videos

Hello all,
as promised here are the video of the VMworld Annual party: location Barcelona Fira Gran Vià (Europa Fira).

First video shows a round trip in the venue of the party:


then some videos of foods and people having fun:

and finally the Hot Dogs "vendors"

11 October, 2012

#VMworld day 3 part 2: Architecting and Operating a VMware vSphere Metro Storage Cluster

...after a quick round trip at Solutions Exchange, where I've spoken with Rick from Veeam, I've ran back to attend INF-BCO1159, with great speakers: Lee Dilworth and Duncan Epping.

Title of the session "Architecting and Operating a VMware vSphere Metro Storage Cluster".

Two possible architectures are feasible, but first look the VMware HCL for Metrocluster support.

The two architectures are based on Uniform or Non Uniform host based access to storage.

It's not so easy to set up a vSphere Metro cluster :

Things to keep in mind:
RTT latency must be under 10 milliseconds

- HA, DRS and SDRS are NOT site aware

- stretched VLANs are not loved by network guys

- site affinity must be taken into count ( locality matters!): site awareness could be obtained using DRS affinity

or via Storage DRS and Datastore Clusters; henve avoiding unnecessary site to site migrations.

- HA considerations:
isolation addresses must be specified at each site using advanced options.

Moreover each sites need a heartbeat Datastore defined to be feasible for both sites to update region for storage local to that site.

Permanent Device Loss (PDL) MUST be configured.

One HA master must be present on each site.


Some terminology:
APD, PDL and Split Brain

Full failure in one site could be solved with Metrocluster

SRM can be used to protect the production site: anyway additional considerations must be taken into count.



#VMworld day 3 part 1: starting with a Myth Busting Data Center security

'Morning all,
It was really difficult to wake up this morning after the yesterday's VMworld party...

Anyway I've just taken my seat at session INF-SEC2627 "Software Defined Security - Myth Busting Data Center Security with Real-life Implementations" with speakers Merritte Stidston, Justin DollyI and Dean Coza.

VMware are rethinking security, hence virtualizing it
There are a rich API that could be used by partners to develop their own security security products and integrate them into virtual infrastructure from VMware.

The session other then talking about VMware products give the scenario (anatomy) of a malware attacks and the solution to these: what you must do to respond to them? (In picture)

Then 7 lessons to protect virtual environment (in picture)

Separate the networks!

Off topic, but always on security in The Cloud, yesterday, I had a quick chat with Frederic Donnat, one of the founder and CTO
of SECLUDIT, a company that, cited from their site, has this vision on security and virtualization:

Cloud computing is moving quickly to widespread adoption, since the benefits associated with cloud technologies are creating real value across IT, mostly in terms of resources, cost optimization and architecture scalability. The challenge today is to maximize the benefits of cloud computing without compromising security and compliance.Founded by seasoned experts in network security, virtualization, and cryptography, SecludIT has developed a set of products and services specifically designed to help cloud infrastructure providers and business-critical cloud users to safely move towards cloud technologies adoption.A France fresh company to take into account. I'll try to arrange some more in depth chat with Frederic in the future.


#VMworld day 2 part 4: Solution Exchange

Hello all,
During day 2 I've been at Solution Exchange, where exhibitors show off state of the art technologies.

I've followed VCE, EMC and Cisco live presentations for now and is always a big pleasure: if you have spare time between sessions, definitely go there.

Great booth also by Veeam: you cannot miss it ( it is where people are all wearing green shirts :) )
At the end of the main corridor there is a free lab from EMC: go there too: vSpecialists from EMC will guide you into interactive demo ( let's say ... EMC Hands On Labs ).
Absolutely to visit: DellIntel, RedHat and for customers and partners involved in VDI project booths of Liquidware Labs ( that just announced "Stratusphere UX and VMware Branch Office Desktops" and F5.


#VMworld Day 2 part 3; The #Party "Be There or Be Square"

Hello all,

I've just come back from the VMworld party 2012: Hall 8 of Fira Gran Via completely full, and lot of American style Hot dogs served to the attendees along with exotic food like Chinese "pasta" and Japanese sushi.

Lot of music and a corner with karaoke where virtualization enthusiasts could show off their singers skill.
Old flipper corner and old video games, to remember the old good times :) ,
Billiards and air tennis tables to play free.
Drinks and lot of fun with the tattoos designers always at work.
All in all a great party, as always.

I will post some videos of the party in future posts: stay tuned to see if you are in :) .



10 October, 2012

#VMworld day 2 part 2: Why Virtualizing Oracle RAC?

Hello all,
Why Virtualizing Oracle RAC?
- you can leverage vMotion

- you can leverage HA
- with vSphere 5.1 performances are very high and you can scale on demand

- you can use both standard vSwithes or distributed vSwithes
- use SCSI Paravirtualized driver + KB1034165

- still much work in progress

Demo: deploy two nodes from a pre-configured template (video to come in a future post)


#VMworld Day 2 part 1: General Session with Steve Herrod

"Empowering the Workforce of Tomorrow, That’s Here Today": this is the title for the today general session.
Mr. Herrod steps on the stage doing a quick recap of what have been discussed in yesterday's General Session.

The GS starts and it's all about transforming desktop

- Transform: VDI with View 5.1 is the answer with "View Rapid Desktop Program" (available to some appliance partners as VCE, HP, Pivot,...).
Another way is the "Branch in a Box with Cisco ISGR2 with View on board

Mirage technology helps deploying and securing the desktop images pushed to every kind of devices carrying Central Management but with Local execution.

Mirage + View is the solution to transform legacy into service.

A very good presentation show Mirage migrating an old Windows XP to Windows 7 in seconds. The funny thing is that the presenter broken his

laptop and Mirage give access to everything from a Samsung tablet; then the user (presenter) change his mind and went to an Apple laptop. Mirage gives access to the data in seconds leveraging Fusion.

Second demo is about approaching problems in new ways and show how is possible to interact with a VDI desktop via voice recognition.

- Broker:

Horizon Suite, along with Octopus Project (aka Horizon Data) will be the broker to manage, secure, access and track devices, applications and data.

Third demo: Horizon managing personal smartphone (iPhone during the demo) leveraging the BYOD concept. The personal phone can be used to work and the data belonging to corporate data remains inside a sandbox that cannot be used when you're using your device with not corporate applications (I.e. you cannot copy and paste from work documents to your personal email)

Fourth demo:

The GS continues with Chad Sakac presentation on EMC.
A brief introduction on EMC VPLEX and then a description of vVols which will replace the concept of LUNs ( datastores )in the near future. With vVols you will be able to vMotion your VMs across countries in minutes.

Fifth demo from Cisco: the Routing Problem... IP = identification.

Sixth demo from NetAPP: on Data ONTAP technology to create Virtual SAN. Moreover has been shown the feasibility of a 66% avg data deduplication.

Seventh demo: HP Matrix Infrastructure orchestration

Last demo from Dell: Dell infrastructure management (vStart) integrated with VMware (plug in in vCenter). Dell vStart 1000 is optimized for usage with VMware View.
Moreover Dell Appsure integrate with VMware for restoring VMs.

Winner of the demo contest for Charity purposes is EMC: charity will go to Down Syndrome affected children.

Now, let's move to Virtualizing Oracle RAC session.



09 October, 2012

#VMworld day 1 part 1: General Session with Pat Gelsinger and Steve Herrod

Hello all,

Day 1, opened to all attendees, sees the attendance of about 8000+, that's a lot (about +13x) compared to my first VMware TSX in Paris long time ago (2006) where we were about 600.
A quick view at the week agenda of the event after the fantastic drumming

introduction and then the general session started with CEO Pat Gelsinger stepping on the stage to explain the enablement of business transformation using VMware virtualization, cloud computing: in one word SDDC (Software Defined Data Center).
Very appreciated (clapping hands from the crowd) the removal from licensing of the "memory vTAX". Licensing is now only PER SOCKET (... But we know this from San Francisco VMworld...)
ABSTRACT, POOL, AUTOMATE: those are the key words for next stage of computing and VMware gives those with its comprehensive portfolio of products.
- vCloud Automation Center
- vFabric Application Director
- vCenter Operations Management Suite
- vCloud Director
- and many others...
Multi cloud world are coming: how to address it.
- Cloud Foundry (PaaS)
- Dynamic OPS ( automated services provisioning )
- Nicira ( SW defined networking and security )
After Mr. Gelsinger it's time for Steve Herrod to step the stage and, as CTO, explains more technically and with demos what is the vision of VMware for the near future

exploring all the layers of vCloud Suite.
- Monster VM is more monstrous...
- lot of business critical application / services are now virtualized ( SAP, Exchange, Sharepoint, Oracle applications )
- enhanced vMotion ( no shared storage !!!)
- virtual volumes ( vVols) no more LUNs
- virtual flash
- virtual SAN ( distributed storage technology )
- software defined networking and security.
- VXLAN Ecosystem
- vCloud Built-in APIs to interact directly with vCloud Suite
- lot of partnership among VMware and public clouds providers ( Dell, Colt, AT&T and some new joiners)
- VMware ITBM Suite CIO Dashboard!!
- Facebook like approach to figure out what's going on in our data centers: an idea to manage and keep under control, on your own intranet social network, the VMs that are running in the enterprise and the dependencies among other VMs (dependencies = friendship among VMs ).



08 October, 2012

#VMworld day 0 part 3: general session for the #partners

Hello all,
Day 0 general session starts in the afternoon with presentation of VMware vision to partners.
As per NDA I can only say that the speakers on stage were
VMware, Inc., Chief Operating Officer and Co-President Carl Eschenbach,
VMware, Inc., VP EMEA Partners and General Business Andy Hunt and VMware, Inc., CEO Pat Gelsinger
More info tomorrow with the general session with speakers
VMware, Inc., CEO Pat Gelsinger
VMware, Inc., Sr. VP of R&D Steve Herrod
The Day 0 finishes with "Partner appreciation party"
Anyway the night life continue with "VMUG PARTY" where lot of vmware enthusiasts ( I think that #VMUGIT members were the group with more

attendees at this party)

chat and do social networking face to face, while drinking #vBeers and eating #Tapas. Thank to #Veeam for sponsorship!

Stay tuned for more exciting news


#VMworld day 0 part 2: hands on labs great success

Hi all,
Just finished the first session for partner day and I step to the Hands On Labs to see what's going on.
This year there are some HOL that leverage BYOD technology: doing this way you can come to the HOL with your tablet or laptop and attend the lab.
Unfortunately, today, HOLs are fully booked with queuing attendees waiting for their chance to enter the labs.
Solution Exchange is still closed to attendees with work in progress.



#VMworld day 0 part 1: Partner day. Better path to the event

Hello all,
I've found out a better path to the event that will speed up your trip from the hotel if you are in the centre of Barcelona.
The option is to get with Metro Blu Line to Fira stop and then take the complimentary shuttle bus that will bring you to the event.
Metro Blu line could be taken at Plaça de España: if you're near a red line Metro stop take this and get off at Plaça de España and change with Blu line.

Hope to help


07 October, 2012

Day "-1": finding the path and registering for #VMworld 2012

Hello all,
When I've tried to book an hotel for Barcelona event, all the hinted hotels were fully booked for my schedule. As I do not want to do multiple booking and move myself from one hotel to another I reserve a room in a little hotel near Plaça de la Univesitad.
Today after registering and after having a quick chat with the landlord of the Hotel I get this option to get to the VMworld Place.
Take METRO red line from Plaça de la Universitadbto Plaça de España; get off the train and take bus 65 , direction Hospitalet, for some stops (paradas in Spanish language), until you see Generali assurance building.
This path is great if the event registration and entrance is at south Entrance of Fira Gran Viá. Being at north entrance you must keep into count about 2,5 Kilometers of walking ( and today the temperature was 29 Celsius degrees...

Registration was very quick, as always on Sunday...

If someone is resting in an hotel near me and have better path to give me... All advices are welcome!

See you all tomorrow.


On my way to Barcelona #VMworld 2012

Hello all,
I'm on my way to MPX airport in Italy to take the flight to Barcelona.
This year about 7000 attendees are expected to be at VMworld 2012, the biggest virtualization European event of the year.
Stay tuned for full coverage of the event.
Meet me at the Blogger lounge (check on twitter/Facebook to see where I am via Foursquare posts).
I hope to do a good job with the coverage of various sessions: waiting for your feedbacks.