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Pixar uses Perforce P4D on VMware vSphere for Versioning Everything

JustinMurray
Posted by Justin Murray
Systems Engineer

When Pixar creates movies like Toy Story 3, the company has millions of files containing software, movie clips, audio files and many other types of asset that need to be managed, versioned and stored so that they can be retrieved very quickly. Pixar chose to use the Perforce revision control software (P4D) to handle this complex and vital task, and in doing so, they decided to place their Perforce P4D software on VMware vSphere as a standard platform.

Pixar

I spoke recently with Mike Sundy, Digital Asset Administrator at Pixar and he described his virtualized environment to me. Pixar has been virtualizing their Perforce P4D software for a number of years now with great success. Here are some interesting facts from his description. Pixar grew their Perforce code server instances from 1 to begin with to over 119 instances as of May 2012.  

In May 2012, for example, they had:

  • About 1000 users
  • 83 GB db. have on largest server
  • 12 million p4 operations per day
  • 37 VMware ESX servers
  • 20 million files in Perforce
  • 70 Terabytes of p4 storage (including a single 27 TB depot)

Given the industry that the company is in, then the type of data that Pixar stores in their versioning system is not just software files, but also the following:

  • Art – both reference and concept art – used as inspirational targets for films
  • Department Specific data – such as creative resources data with blessed marketing images
  • Company-wide reference libraries, such as animation references, config files, company photos
  • Exotics, such as patent data, casting audio, data for live action shots, story gags, theme park concepts, art shows, post production, etc.

This shows that the Perforce software is capable of versioning a lot more than just software developer artifacts, but is in use for versioning almost everything. The key issue the Pixar team faced in this business was being able to quickly scale their Perforce server infrastructure in order to handle these massive quantities of different data that they were being asked to manage. A major factor in achieving success at doing this was their use of virtualization from VMware.

Benefits Derived from Virtualizing Perforce P4D
Pixar staff was able to rapidly spin up new Perforce servers from a remote site in a virtual machine on existing hardware in order to cater for more user load (cloning a VM, installing Perforce, running customization scripts and validating/testing could all be completed within an hour from start.) Valuable datacenter space was conserved when they used virtual machines, which their costs for power, cooling and systems administration. The system is stable and fault tolerant. If a hardware server is due to be brought down, then the running VM is automatically and transparently migrated to another host and the end users never notice.

Perforce Performance on Virtual Machines on vSphere
Several benchmarking exercises were run at Pixar to prove that Perforce P4D could be virtualized safely and provide adequate responses to its users. Results of the tests at that time were that the virtualized system came within 15% of the performance of the physical servers in the worst cases and were close to 95% of native performance in many cases. These tests used the branch submit and browse benchmarks that are very familiar to Perforce administration folks who study performance. Overall, the findings were that the performance was very good and up to the job of serving the company’s needs.

Lessons Learned from Deploying on the Virtual Platform

Making sure that the load stays balanced across multiple nodes is still necessary when you are virtualized (as it is in native implementations). VMware helps by providing the vMotion feature to allow you to move a virtual machine from one ESX host to another. But in order to make sure that the highest loaded P4D servers were distributed across different servers, there was some manual administration required.

Symptoms like a disk space filling up to over 90% causing a slowdown in performance are no different on virtual than they are on native. These required action on behalf of the administrator to get the situation back to normal, whether it is in physical or virtual.

Pixar is continuing to virtualize more and more of its Perforce servers and the vSphere platform is now the installation environment of choice for future use.

Learn more about the Pixar implementation today.

What’s New on the VMware Solution Exchange?

Kristen Edwards
Posted by Kristen Edwards
Sr. Program Manager, TAP

If you haven’t already, check out the VMware Solution Exchange (VSX), VMware’s online cloud infrastructure and virtualization ecosystem marketplace. The VSX allows customers to search for and download partner and developer solutions, as well as contact partners directly for more information. Customers can also register to rate and review solutions.

This month on the VMware Solution Exchange we’ll take a look at solutions from Porticor and up.time software. 

Porticor

Porticor provides secure, easy to use, and scalable solutions for data encryption and key management in the cloud. They recently released Porticor Virtual Private Data (VPD™) for VMware – a cloud security offering that combines state of the art data encryption with patented split-key encryption to offer a secure, cost-effective solution for safeguarding data in a private or hybrid VMware cloud. Porticor VPD™ for VMware is available as a vApp that is installed and configured in minutes. Once installed, Porticor can be used to create encrypted environments over the entire data layer including virtual disks, databases, files, distributed storage and more, using the AES 256 bit encryption algorithm.

Customer Value

One of Porticor’s customers, a large insurance company, is effectively protecting the sensitive information of its customers in a VMware-based private cloud. The company replaced its existing encryption solution with Porticor, which is being used for data-at-rest encryption and key management. The Porticor solution spans both the live production cloud and an off-site disaster recovery cloud for an end-to-end data security solution. Porticor’s monthly subscription model provided immediate savings, and its virtual key management service reduced the total cost of ownership by eliminating the need for an on-site key management server. At the same time, the customer has maintained control over data security and confidentiality by using Porticor’s patented split-key encryption technologies

Visit the Porticor Virtual Private Data (VPD™) for VMware listing on the VMware Solution Exchange to download an evaluation copy, learn more, and contact Porticor.

Uptime

uptime software inc. provides powerful, easy-to-use and lower cost server monitoring and capacity planning software to the Fortune 1000 marketplace. up.time is an agentless VMware management solution that includes VMware monitoring, VMware reporting and VMware alerting, allowing you to easily monitor changes in your VMware deployment. The up.time virtual appliance allows you to drill down to the individual VM workloads to isolate performance bottlenecks and determine root causes. You can then graph combined VM and ESX Server metrics to discover resourcing issues and better plan for VM placement. The latest release of up.time 7 will fully support VMware vSphere 5.0.

Customer Value

The Bank of Montreal reports a 60% IT savings on licenses and deployment, and a 25% boost in productivity and business efficiency. A Senior Technical Lead at Bank of Montreal Financial Group explains, “up.time exceeded all our server and VMware monitoring expectations. We looked at several solutions and chose up.time based on reliability, functionality, ease of use, and the cost.”

Visit uptime software’s listing on the VMware Solution Exchange to download the up.time virtual appliance, read the whitepaper, and request more information.     

We’re interested in hearing your feedback on the VSX. Please let us know by entering a comment below.

Multi-tenant Infrastructure Enables New Cloud Services using VMware and Arista

Chris Blog Photo
Posted by Chris Carrier
Director, Alliance
Marketing

When one thinks of networks and networking within the IT infrastructure, thoughts will typically go to switches and infrastructure. This is from the time where we built IT environments starting with networks, moving to servers and storage, and then finally applications (there are a lot of other elements, but I’m simplifying.) In today’s world and with the power of vSphere, we look at building IT starting from the application and view infrastructure as cloud.

We have gone through quite a shift, but where does that leave us in terms of networks?  Networks are becoming software defined, and have become more logically defined where we place boundaries based on applications that run the business.

VMware is working with a number of Technology Partners, like Arista, on VXLAN and other integrated technologies to help us to deliver data center networking solutions optimized for virtualization and cloud environment.

Join VMware and Arista’s Chief Technology Officers on July 26th for an in-depth technical discussion and educational session on how to design and deploy a multi-tenant infrastructure that enable new cloud services, greater customer isolation, and simplifies scalable network architectures.

Arista

This session will dive into technologies such as:

  • VXLAN, NVGRE and STT (Stateless Tunnel Transport – an IETF Draft) discussing advantages and disadvantages of each and when to use them
  • Network architectures to support scalable cloud deployments
  • How to integrate network virtualization and provisioning into a common framework and service catalog

Register today.

In a Highly Competitive and Fragmented Market, Healthcare ISVs Look to Alliances for Success

Pramod m
Posted by Pramod
Mahadevan
Technical Alliance Mgr.

For healthcare Independent Software Vendors, there’s good news and bad news. The good news is that the market is growing rapidly. As an example, look at the electronic medical record (EMR) segment: a recent analyst report predicts 18% annual growth in EMR spending from 2010 through 2015 which is proving to be accurate. The outlook is similar for segments such as picture archiving and information systems (PACS), point of care systems, and health information systems (HIS) for radiology, emergency, surgery, pharmacy, laboratory, and many other specialties.

But the bad news is the highly competitive and fragmented nature of the healthcare market—the EMR segment alone has more than 1,000 players. As a result, ISVs have to achieve competitive differentiation through not just product features, but the ability to meet stringent availability, security and performance requirements that is cost effective for the customer —or risk being overlooked in major procurements. The nature of the competition is also changing. In the past, ISVs won new business with features and functionality. Now, the battleground has shifted to IT issues such as availability, security, performance, compliance and user experience— areas where many ISVs have to invest time and resources on addressing infrastructure issues rather than innovation around their products.

That’s why the most successful healthcare ISVs are building on alliances with data center vendors such as VMware to offer joint solutions for hospitals, clinics, and physician offices. VMware Technology Alliance Partners in the healthcare space include both market leaders and innovative startups. By partnering with VMware, healthcare ISVs can offer validated virtualized solutions that address their customers’ key concerns about availability, scalability, reliability, and performance. VMware technology also provides deployment options: ISVs can deliver clinical applications on-premise or via the cloud.

Healthcare partners

VMware healthcare solutions address three primary areas: Private/Public Cloud for Healthcare, point of care solutions, and compliance and automation.

HC2

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The Developer Desktop as a Service (DaaS) – with CloudOne and VMware View

JustinMurray
Posted by Justin Murray
Systems Engineer

Software Developers always take great pride in their desktop environment. They often have customized the integrated development environment (IDE) in which they build and test their programs. Their desktop is carefully set up and tuned to be a lean coding, testing and delivery machine.  Any superfluous items that are not needed, or could threaten the productivity or security of the developer have been removed.

Even when the developer is on the move, his/her desktop environment must be available for rapid, random coding and testing sessions. I have seen developers working on code in the hallways while attending a conference, oblivious to the crowds milling around them.

Most of the developer’s day is spent within that environment, so it must be comfortable and efficient for them. Developers may also have a private copy of their application runtime (such as their app server) or even their micro-cloud configured on their desktop for testing purposes. Of course the key developers will have access to the master trunk in the source code control system for rapid check-in of changes to the code. The desktop is vital to the developer, clearly.

Developers are Working Globally Today

Software developers are working in a new environment today though. They are spread out all over the world, and working around the clock. In fact, some teams are organized to work continuously that way. Parts of projects are outsourced to groups or contracting companies in many different countries. Round the clock testing of application builds is common, where the source code is enhanced by someone in California and then retrieved, built and tested by someone on the other side of the world later that same day, or night.

World

What happens when a company wants to provision a developer desktop in this dispersed situation with the right desktop tools? Do we ship them a laptop and just hope that it gets there? What happens if we want to carefully control the software installed but also what that remote developer can see with regard to test data or even with regard to other peoples’ code?

A New World

One key answer to these problems lies in the notion of Desktop-as-a-Service. An example of this is implemented using CloudOne’s Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) technology on VMware’s View product or virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). The new desktop is actually a virtual desktop or a remotely displayed virtual machine stored in a centrally controlled datacenter. It may be used from a very thin client machine at the remote site that can connect to the data center but has no real storage of its own. Or alternatively it might be used on top of an existing modern desktop, run as a “process”.

The correct development and test tools, IDE and test environment are all set up and checked carefully on the virtual machine by the provisioning team ahead of time. In fact, the virtual machine may have been cloned from a golden master copy that holds all the configurations that the developer or tester would need. It has the correct versions of compilers, libraries, debuggers, runtimes, and test data or databases – already pre-configured. This takes a tremendous load off the developers’ and testers’ shoulders. The provisioning team can try out the latest versions on separate virtual machines to make sure they work, before allowing access to them.

When the development contract (or internal project) is over, the project team does not have to hand back or clear out any hardware they have had out on loan. Any data that has privacy concerns, such as the source code for the project, is carefully managed in the data center. During the project lifetime the developer still has the capability to check in and check out that source code from the repository. Anything can be versioned in this way, from source code to web images, web pages or test data files.

What CloudOne Achieved

CloudOne adds the idea of a private collection of virtual machines that belong to one client company and is not seen by any others. This is the idea of separating one tenant from another in the cloud, even though their virtual machines might be hosted on the same physical machines. You make your own secured VPN-style connection to the datacenter and only then do you get the desktop that was designed for you. In fact, there are two ways to connect to your cloud space: one of them is a direct VPN connection from your PC or tablet to your virtual private cloud, and the other is a static link connecting the cloud to your company's internal network, so you can access it either from your office or through your company's existing VPN.

When you are done with your work, you log out and the desktop can be stored for longer term use so that you can return to continue working on it later. At the end of the project, that virtual machine that held your desktop environment may be scrubbed and re-initialized with a new OS or recycled for another user. Most of this functionality is derived from using the VMware View technology (that itself uses the base vSphere hypervisor).

CloudOne has a core competency in hosting the IBM Rational tools for productivity of a development team in their hosted cloud, made up of those virtual machines. You pay for the usage of the tools and not for the licenses as you did in the past. This allows you to sidestep the purchasing, installation, and licensing issues that can slow a development or testing team down. Tools such as IBM Rational ClearCase, ClearQuest and Team Concert have been in use for some time in this style. What is now added to that is the use of these tools by global teams in the cloud. All of these tools are supported by the IBM Software Group on a VMware vSphere environment. The new model, involving widely dispersed teams, works with virtualization as a key underlying infrastructure for the cloud and a virtualized desktop as the delivery mechanism.

 For more information, go to the www.oncloudone.com.

Pearson, a Leading Learning Company, Validates Educational Solutions with VMware View

Screen shot 2012-06-25 at 9.29.59 AM
Posted by Laurynas
Kavaliauskas
Alliance Systems Engineer

Once upon a time, schools relied only on books to support classroom learning. Today, Pearson’s SuccessMaker and Waterford Early Learning digital programs provide elementary and middle school learners with adaptive, personalized paths to master essential reading, math and science concepts. They also deliver outcome-based data—electronically—to inform educational decision-making.

Educators praise these advancements, but rapidly changing technology has made it difficult for schools to retain control and still provide access flexibility taking full advantage of Pearson’s award-winning solutions. Today’s K-12 administrators are looking for ways to keep improving how students learn while reducing costs and maintaining the highest quality educational resources. Fortunately, an ideal solution is now available.

Pearson customers now can deploy and use both SuccessMaker and Waterford Early Learning on the VMware View end user computing platform. VMware View is designed to deliver the entire desktop—operating system, applications and end-user data—using multiple types of clients (e.g., thick, thin and zero clients), reducing IT investments. The virtual desktop platform also improves application up time, decreasing system maintenance requirements.

Pearson and VMware recently completed the testing to validate both Pearson SuccessMaker and Waterford Early Learning solutions with VMware View. View the testing details, as well as the advantages, technical considerations and recommendations for using each solution. Figure 1 shows a typical architecture for deploying these Pearson programs with VMware View.

Figure 1. VMware View is Fully Compatible with Pearson’s SuccessMaker and Waterford Early Learning Programs
Pearson

Schools Benefit from Pearson-VMware Relationship

With VMware View, K-12 schools can significantly reduce the time and effort they spend on IT maintenance for desktop support. For example, when a student’s desktop malfunctions or fails, VMware View enables a designated administrator to reset the desktop to its original image, rapidly and remotely in minutes, with no direct intervention.

In addition to time and cost savings, the easy-to-deploy VMware View solution enables K-12 schools to:

  • Increase control by providing centralized and automated management of VMware View Virtual Desktop components
  • Gain freedom of choice by delivering rich, personalized virtual desktops as a managed service to many types of clients—thick, thin, and zero clients—anywhere and at any time
  • Improve performance and uptime while providing a flexible, high-performance desktop experience for end users across a variety of network conditions

For Pearson customers, it’s happily ever after with VMware View. To learn more, download the Deployment and Technical Considerations Guide.

When responding to mobile workforce IT challenges are your solutions just temporary fixes?

Lisa Wolfe - HP
Posted by Lisa Wolfe
HP, WW SMB Marketing
& Strategy Leader


There are so many challenges to address with a growing mobile workforce and small and midsize businesses with few IT staff are faced with addressing these challenges as “incoming” – one offs – one at a time requests. It’s like trying to plug the hole in the dyke to prevent a flood just as the water shifts to the next available outlet – another challenge, another leak, another temporary solution.

As a first step clarify your mobile IT strategy

Have you taken the time to think through your end-to-end mobile strategy and how to shore up your existing IT (servers, storage and networking) to support a growing mobile workforce? The sheer explosion of “human information” (audio, video, text generated by your employees) coming into the business as “unstructured data” and the wireless bandwidth support requirements for rich media and streaming video with wired speeds are issues that need to be addressed. OK … These are the easy issues to manage and HP has solutions for you here – by increasing the storage capacity of our X5000 storage solution and offering an 802.11n module for our MSR router series we have the means to help you address both the explosion of unstructured data and the wireless bandwidth requirements.

But what about having confidential company data sitting on employee devices that are neither password protected or rarely get backed up? Even as an IT manager, how often do you back up your personal mobile device – the one you also use for work? As an IT manager of a small or midsize business you are no doubt faced with the sheer volume of your growing mobile workforce and how you will ensure private company data does not end up on the various personal devices your employees are using for work?

Your company might be implementing a cloud service and these are accessible anytime, anywhere, from any device – but what about those core on-premise applications you also want to make available?

Placing the emphasis on permanent IT solutions

Ready to take eliminate the temporary fixes: HP Client Virtualization SMB with VMware View – this solution enables your mobile employees to access your business critical applications from their mobile device, securely and no company data ends up on the device. Further if your employees switch between a smart phone, tablet or notebook to access business apps running on the server in your business – they get their same profile. This solution is designed on the HP ProLiant DL380p Gen 8 server to support a range of workloads. To support your move to HP Client Virtualization SMB with VMware View HP is also offering a Client Virtualization Analysis and Modeling service so you have the data you need to determine which applications are ideal to virtualize based on modeling individual desktop application use.

For more information on HP Client Virtualization click here.

World Record Two Socket VMmark Results Just Announced – Driving More Customer Value

Paul Jones
Posted by Paul Jones
HP WW Business Partner
Manager, VMware

On May 15th, HP posted new VMmark 2.0 results based on our ProLiant DL360p Gen8 server. These results represent the best two socket performance we’ve ever seen. In fact, just 2 weeks earlier we posted two socket results for our Gen8 DL380p server which eclipsed the previous record. Now with the latest posting we have taken another step forward, providing evidence that Moore’s Law is still in play.

Everyone knows that benchmarking is a leap-frog business and the next results are probably not far away. In the race to drive virtualization performance to record highs, it is easy to overlook the real reason we continue to innovate and to wring every cycle of capability out of the server infrastructure.  Performance ultimately enables real customer value. Performance really does matter to our customers, though they may not think of it in terms of VMmark scores or tiles.

Performance matters because it is one of the key factors in driving up VM density. VM density is closely linked to efficiency in the data center and efficiency is a big deal for IT and Business.  Fewer hosts, higher consolidation ratios means better use of floor space, less power, less cooling – overall more intelligent use of facilities – very green.  While VM density is driven by many factors, including storage performance and latency – see HP’s Get Virtual program with 3PAR website for additional tools – the ability to host more virtual machines in your infrastructure starts with server performance.

You can see in the posting notices below from the VMmark website, HP ProLiant Gen8 servers are once again leading the pack in virtualization performance, but it doesn’t stop there.

Hp graphic

When we created ProLiant Gen8 we went back to the drawing board, questioning every assumption about how our servers are used in real world environments. And the result of all that work is a set of revolutionary enhancements that make IT infrastructure easier to manage, faster to deploy, and less expensive to own. Features like our Integrated Lifecycle Automation, which eliminates labor intensive tasks, to Dynamic Workload Acceleration that amps up VMware performance to Automated Energy Optimization for maximizing the efficient use of power, cooling and floor space – all contribute to a better customer experience and the ability to ‘sanely’ host more VMs.

So, we are excited about the VMmark results and how customers can realize the benefits of continuing gains in performance – and especially anxious to demonstrate some of the cool new capabilities mentioned above to make their lives easier.

VMware and Cisco Extend Collaboration in Support of ROBOs

Screen shot 2012-06-13 at 1.18.36 PM
Posted by Sean Gilbert
Sr. Alliance SE

I’m the proverbial “man on the street” at Cisco Live 2012 today, asking attendees to comment on the two exciting joint announcements from VMware and Cisco this morning. Both pieces of news highlight the joint development our companies have undertaken to transform remote-office and branch-office (ROBO) operations.

First, let me quickly recap the announcements:

The New Cisco Cloud Services Router (CSR) is supported on VMware – What this means is your business can now connect its remote branches and mobile users to your cloud with a great user experience and consistent security—a key success factor in cloud deployments. Supported on VMware, Cisco’s CSR enables enterprises and cloud providers to have consistent networking capabilities across branches, datacenters and clouds. The CSR features a virtual IOS router with enterprise capabilities deployed off-site, in a cloud. The solution is optimized for single-tenant edge-router use cases such as virtual private network (VPN) and Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) termination and is seamlessly integrated into Cisco ISR and ASR end-to-end WAN architectures. 

VMware technology is a critical component of the UCS-E Series Generation 2 – The Intel architecture blade server, based on UCS hardware design, enables a converged networking, computing and virtualization platform for hosting essential infrastructure services and mission-critical business applications in the lean branch office. The VMware platform is once again a critical component of this platform, enabling various Cisco vApps and vServices to run on a single blade for both ROBO and retail locations. While more than one-third of today’s business applications reside outside the datacenter in remote locations, the servers and desktops running these applications have traditionally been hard to manage, difficult to protect and costly to maintain. The combination of VMware and Cisco UCS-E can break down these barriers and provide an easy to deploy, secure and low-cost solution for ROBOs.

So what do attendees think? I caught up with a Director of IT for a Fortune 500 Manufacturing Company, outside of our theater session on Cisco VXI and VMware View who said, “This is an exciting integration announcement, it will increase flexibility and options for our move to the cloud while providing added security.”

Mark Douek, Solutions Architect for Strike Cloud agrees, “Cisco and VMware continue to be leaders in innovation. This solution will help accelerate customer's journey to the cloud and is just another example of their leadership in this space.”

So there you have it: A few reactions from the show floor to share the excitement of yesterday’s news. I look forward to keeping you apprised of implementation successes. If you’re here at the show, come by the VMware booth to attend one of the many theater sessions outlined by James Lomonaco in his previous blog post.

  Cisco Live execs

Also here is a photo taken at our booth yesterday with some very special guests, from left to right:

Rick Snyder, Cisco VP Global Partner Organization
Vittorio Viarengo, VMware VP for Desktop Product
John Chambers, Cisco CEO
Nitin Brahmankar, VMware Sr. Director, Global Cisco Alliance
Hatem Naguib, VMware VP Cisco, EMC, VCE Alliance

Reporting live from Cisco Live, I’m Sean Gilbert for VMware.

VMware asks IBM a Few Questions About IBM Distributed Virtual Switch (DVS) 5000V

Rakesh-bio-pic
Posted by Rakesh Saha, IBM
Director, Product Management

Q: What is the current state of the art for networking in large-scale, highly virtualized data centers?

A: With the vast majority of IT organizations now implementing virtualization, clients are seeking to dramatically reduce cost and complexity in highly virtualized data centers. In today’s data center environments, server virtualization is often managed separately from physical infrastructure, requiring the collaboration of server, network, storage, and security administrators. Data center managers are seeking a consistent networking environment across virtual and physical environments, so that virtual and physical servers can use the same configurations, policies and management tools. Network policies should migrate automatically along with mobile virtual machines to ensure that security, performance and access remains intact as virtual machines move from server to server. 

Q: What are the standards in this area?

A: To address the need for massively scalable, highly virtualized data centers, key standards have emerged for network virtualization automation. IBM System Networking has developed and delivered the new IBM Distributed Virtual Switch (DVS) 5000V™ alongside switch-resident IBM VMready®, so clients can implement standards-based network virtualization in today’s I/O-intensive virtual switch environments. Using IBM’s innovative VMready virtualization-aware networking on IBM RackSwitch™, as well as embedded Ethernet switches for IBM BladeCenter® and IBM FlexSystems®, along with IBM’s DVS 5000V as the virtual switch in VMware environments, clients can radically simplify and automate virtualization management. VMready works with all the major hypervisors and supports the IEEE 802.1Qbg standard for automating Virtual Machine mobility. VMware clients can further optimize and automate virtualization management with more advanced capabilities using the new IBM virtual switch.

Q: What is the IBM Distributed Virtual Switch 5000V?

A: The IBM System Networking Distributed Virtual Switch 5000V is an advanced, feature-rich distributed virtual switch developed by IBM in cooperation with VMware with policy-based virtual machine (VM) connectivity. The IBM Distributed Virtual Switch (DVS) 5000V enables network administrators familiar with IBM System Networking switches to manage the IBM DVS 5000V just like IBM physical switches using advanced networking, troubleshooting and management features so the virtual switch is no longer hidden and difficult to manage.

  IBM box

Q: What does support for 802.1Qbg across physical and virtual infrastructures enable?

A: Support for Edge Virtual Bridging (EVB) based on the IEEE 802.1Qbg standard enables scalable, flexible management of networking configuration and policy requirements per VM and eliminates many of the networking challenges introduced with server virtualization. The IBM DVS 5000V works with VMware vSphere 5.0 and beyond and interoperates with any 802.1Qbg-compliant physical switch to enable switching of local VM traffic in the hypervisor or in the upstream physical switch.  No fork lift of physical edge switches is required — a simple firmware upgrade enables IEEE 802.1Qbg support on IBM physical switches. Virtual Machine (VM) traffic is switched at the device — virtual or physical — nearest to the VM in the traditional vSwitch EVB mode or in the transparent or reflective relay VEPA mode. IBM System Networking DVS 5000V is highly recommended for VM switching in VMware vSphere enterprise data center solutions – it designed from the ground up to automate and scale any highly virtualized enterprise workload.

Q: How can a large-scale distributed enterprise business benefit? 

A: The standards-based network virtualization awareness, automation and “Virtual Vision” provided by IBM’s DVS 5000V and VMready provides synergy between VMware and IBM, demonstrates the healthy ecosystem in virtualization-aware networking, and ensures that clients have freedom of choice to implement a multi-vendor network infrastructure that is equipped, enabled and scalable for massive virtualization – with support for up to 4,000 Virtual Machines ports across up to 350 VMware ESX hypervisors in a standards-based approach that enables clients to implement an integrated system network across physical and virtual networks. Target VMware clients for IBM system networks equipped with VMready running on physical switches and DVS 5000V as the virtual switch are ideally those that already use or plan to deploy IBM systems.

For more information on joint IBM and VMware solutions visit the IBM Alliance page or leave a comment below.