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Top 4 Things for SMBs to Do at VMworld

With hundreds of unique sessions at VMworld, plus a wealth of Hands-on Labs, networking groups, and other activities, there’s no limit to what you can learn and share at VMworld. But with so many choices, you might have a hard time choosing the activity that’s right for you and your SMB IT needs.

Fortunately, VMworld has plenty to offer organizations of all sizes, from a wide range of industries. Here is our recommendation for the top four activities for SMBs to take advantage of at VMworld:

1. Attend SMB breakout sessions—Our breakout sessions are designed to meet the technical details you are seeking, led by our VMware experts. We’ll explore BCDR topics, like data center migration, backup, and replication with vSphere. And we’ll also explore how organizations have extended the benefits of server virtualization to their desktops. Examples include:

Check out our blog “Top 5 Sessions for SMBs that You Can’t Miss at VMworld” to learn more about the sessions you can’t miss!

2. Get a demo from an expert at the VMware booth — Interact face to face with our VMware experts and experience a product demo by visiting the SMB pod located at the VMware booth. This is a great opportunity to share your own IT challenges and hear ideas for solutions from the people who understand our products and technology best. At the pod, we will show you how solutions for virtualization management, BCDR, and mobility work in a production environment.

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Top 5 Sessions for SMBs that You Can’t Miss at VMworld

VMworld is only 3 days away, and we’re excited to offer a rich array of sessions designed just for SMBs to help you get the most of virtualization. You’ll find sessions for every skill level, led by VMware technical experts.

Our wide variety of VMworld sessions are designed to align with your specific interests and unique challenges of SMB IT organizations. Be sure to check out these programs that address your IT needs:

INF 2091: Customer Panel: Going Beyond Server Virtualization Learn first hand how companies like yours have gone beyond server virtualization to deliver additional solutions and cost savings to their businesses. You’ll see how these organizations are using VMware solutions to:

  • Develop cost-effective, reliable business continuity and disaster recovery
  • Support employees on the move with secure mobile workspaces
  • Boost efficiency, performance, and scalability with advanced management

Presenters include:

  • Robert Dillard, Vice President, Technology Services, Healthcare Realty
  • Todd Haff, Vice President, Servers and Systems, Police and Fire Federal Credit Union (PFFCU)
  • Ronald Kohsman, Director of IT, NIFCO America

EUC 1723: Customer Panel: Tips and Tricks for Building a Mobile Secure Workspace with VMware Horizon Learn how VMware Horizon delivers virtualized or remote desktops and applications that can be accessed from one unified workspace anytime, anywhere, for today’s increasingly mobile businesses. VMware customers will discuss:

  • Specific Horizon use cases and benefits in their businesses.
  • Architectural components that help improve security, management and availability at lower TCO.
  • Best practices and common pitfalls in building a mobile secure workspace

Presenters include:

  • Allan Chen, CIO, Menlo College
  • Keith Vincik, Director of Network and Infrastructure, Central Community College
  • Ronald Kielty, Data Center Manager, College of Central Florida
  • Christopher Green, VP/Enterprise Solutions Architect, Washington Trust Bank

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Get Tips and Tricks for Building a Mobile Secure Workspace

Mobility is changing the way we work, making businesses more agile but equally making end-users more demanding. In addition, many businesses are concerned about data security, device management, and application availability.

These IT concerns may sound all too familiar, but mobility brings a new twist: user platforms are changing, too.  Gartner predicts Android shipments will outstrip iOS, and will be installed on more than a billion devices shipped in 2014!¹ That means IT will have to support more operating systems than ever before.

With VMware solutions, empowering your mobile workforce can be less daunting than you might think. Attend our VMworld SMB Customer Panel, Tips and Tricks for Building a Mobile Secure Workspace with VMware Horizon (EUC1723). You’ll learn how organizations like yours have turned these device management challenges into new business opportunities. For example, Washington Trust Bank is using VMware end-user computing solutions to make its customer information more secure.

“The nice thing about running VMware View is that all the data stays in the secure data center. It doesn’t leave the data center at all. From a security perspective, implementing VMware View was a very large step forward in securing our data from a mobility perspective.” — Chris Green, Vice President/Director IT Infrastructure Systems

You’ll also hear from other VMware SMB customers who have deployed Horizon, including:

These VMware customers will discuss specific Horizon use cases and benefits in their businesses. They’ll talk about key architectural components that help improve security, management and availability—at lower TCO. And they’ll explore best practices and common pitfalls in building a mobile secure workspace.

Get your mobility questions answered. Register for EUC1723 today.

To get the most up-to-date information on what’s happening for SMBs at VMworld, follow @VMwareSMB on Twitter.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Follow VMware SMB on FacebookTwitterSpiceworks and Google+ for more blog posts, conversation with your peers, and additional insights on IT issues facing small to midmarket businesses.

¹Gartner Says Worldwide Traditional PC, Tablet, Ultramobile and Mobile Phone Shipments On Pace to Grow 7.6 Percent in 2014

VMworld Customer Panel: Going Beyond Server Virtualization

As a VMware SMB customer, you know how growing businesses everywhere can benefit from server consolidation. You’re a part of the 70 percent of small and midsized businesses worldwide that are virtualized. And that number is growing every day.

But, server virtualization is just the first step. At our VMworld customer panel, “Going Beyond Server Virtualization,” you can discover how growing companies like yours have taken their business to the next level, to unleash the full power of virtualization beyond server consolidation alone. You’ll see how these organizations are using VMware technology to:

  • Build cost-effective and reliable business continuity and disaster recovery plans
  • Support employees on the move with secure mobile workspaces
  • Boost the efficiency, performance, and scalability of their virtual infrastructure using advanced management tools

Our customer panel will include:

Robert Dillard, Vice President, Technology Services, Healthcare Realty—Robert will share his company’s journey toward virtualization and how they migrated from disparate systems, no disaster recovery site, manual backup processes and multiple monitoring systems to a comprehensive, end-to-end virtualization-based solution.

Todd Haff, Vice President, Servers and Systems, Police and Fire Federal Credit Union (PFFCU)—Todd will share tips and tricks learned while implementing his company’s disaster recovery strategy and migration to his 95% virtualized environment, ultimately speeding recovery time by 90 percent.

Ronald Kohsman, Director of IT, NIFCO AmericaRonald will discuss how implementing VMware Horizon View solved his company’s design environment and collaboration challenges.

Come hear firsthand how these companies have taken virtualization to the next level, to deliver innovative solutions and more cost savings to their businesses.

To get the most up-to-date information on what’s happening for SMBs at VMworld, follow @VMwareSMB on Twitter.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Follow VMware SMB on FacebookTwitterSpiceworks and Google+ for more blog posts, conversation with your peers, and additional insights on IT issues facing small to midmarket businesses.

Virtualization 2.0: The rise of performance-enhancing IT

In its early form, virtualization represented a great leap forward for IT managers—accommodating more workloads on each machine and, consequently, a welcome means for reining in data center costs.

More than 15 years later, the evolution of virtualization marches on.

Coaxing all you can from your hardware resources is hardly out of fashion, but it’s no longer sufficient for contending with the rigors of a competitive global economy. More than just data center efficiency, businesses expect their IT investments to produce operational services such as analytics, security, and greater availability; and traditional virtualization—Virtualization 1.0—was only the beginning.

Next-generation virtualization – Virtualization 2.0 – has emerged, and it promises to advance data centers beyond hardware optimization into the realm of performance optimization. And that means IT leaders can deliver services that today are perched beyond the reach of the earlier generation of virtualized platforms.

Virtualization 2.0 layers operations management services on top of the virtualization platform, providing a range of capabilities from a single interface, including:

  • Capacity management
  • Backup and data protection
  • Converged storage
  • Predictive analytics

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Hands-on Labs – What To Expect at VMworld 2014 US

This post originally appeared on the VMworld Blog.

Friends,

We are very excited about another great Hands-on Labs at VMworld and happy to give you an inside peek at what is coming.

Why attend Hands-on Labs during VMworld?

#1. Be the first to take the latest Hands-on Labs.  Our labs are released every year at VMworld US. The labs feature the latest products, features and solutions from VMware and partners.
#2. Interact with over 225 VMware product experts under one roof. Our experts are ready to provide guidance, share best practices when using our products.  This is probably the only place in the universe where you can get access to this many product experts under one roof.
#3. Interact with your peers, and colleagues. This year we are featuring “Focus Areas” where like-minded individuals can take the same lab and share their experiences in a very casual and interactive manner.

VMworld Hands-on Labs Cloud Credits.
Attendees taking Hands-on Labs during VMworld will get points for taking labs. This is a great way to gain an upper edge on your peers and have fun taking Hands-on Labs.

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We have over 225 Product Experts under one roof to answer your product questions.
Meet Joshua, Doug and Andrew and keep us with us during VMworld on Twitter @VMwareHOL

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Journey to the SDDC – vSphere with Operations Management

This post originally appeared on the VMware vSphere Blog

Are you looking at the Software-Defined Datacenter (SDDC) and taking a dive into the vCloud Suite? As you take your journey it sometimes becomes confusing and potentially overwhelming as you look at all the possibilities and figure out what comes next.

For example, it’s fairly easy to recognize the value in these solutions, but you also do understand that implementing change takes time and resources no matter how much you desire to get them done.

Let’s start with vSphere® with Operations Management™ (VSOM). You may or may not know this is a packaged solution of vCenter Operations Manager with vSphere. The edition you purchase changes the edition of vSphere you receive. What does this package do for you?

Well, you’ve already taken the walk down the wonderful road of virtualization, which may have started out simply with consolidation. During the process, you realized the additional benefits that virtualization can bring you and the doors opened up and you started to drool when thinking about all the additional benefits and features you can add on (starting with, but far beyond the mobility, flexibility, etc).  Of course, virtualizing also opened up your schedule to accomplish much more than you thought possible during your day at the office. It either opened up the possibility to research and dive into more projects, or allowed you to add more virtual machines than you thought one person could even manage successfully.

The virtual environment grows and more and more people and departments are now involved, but you are still left figuring it all out and staying in front of the moving train without ever slowing down.

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VMware End User Computing Solutions August Event & Special Promotion Schedule

This month, join VMware SMB for learning opportunities on Horizon and other VMware end-user computing solutions. Take a technical deep dive into Horizon 6 and Mirage 5 in our live and on-demand online webcast, try Horizon for yourself (no installation required) using Hands-on Labs, and check out our 40% off promotion when you upgrade from Horizon View Standard. Want other technical training? Take a look through our offering of free, technical tutorials presented by VMware Education instructors.

Free Technical Videos from VMware Education Instructors 

Begin your learning with our instructional videos delivery by VMware-certified Education Instructors. These short instructional videos provide you with helpful product overviews and detailed step-by-step demonstrations installing, configuring, deploying and maintaining your virtual and cloud infrastructure.

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BCDR made easy? Virtualization can make you a believer

Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solutions represent a form of business insurance of your IT. Important? By all means. But traditional BCDR solutions are costly and complicated–frankly, a gold-plated policy for the privileged few. And even for those who can afford to pony up for the premiums, there is the added challenge of integrating and supporting products from multiple vendors.

It’s no wonder organizations continue to harbor doubts about the value of BCDR, even with so much–productivity, revenue, compliance and reputation–all relying on IT. But today, BCDR doubters are turning to disciples. And it’s virtualization technology that is giving them reason to believe. In fact, 68 percent of companies say upgrading existing BCDR is important.

Why the change of outlook? Because many of the same characteristics of flexibility that have made virtualization a cost-cutting revelation for IT leaders can be applied to driving a modern and accessible BCDR solution. Consider the advantages that virtualization brings to your BCDR strategy:

  • Affordability. You can embrace modern replication technology – which can now be pre-packaged with storage appliances or as stand-alone software solutions – as well as infrastructure consolidation.
  • Simplified management. You can say goodbye to manual runbooks. Virtualization means you can automate your disaster recovery plan to suit your Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO).
  • Reliable execution. You can test your recovery process without disruption, so you know your recovery plans area always prepared when disaster strikes.

With virtualization as a foundation for your BCDR strategy, the three critical components of a BCDR solution–application availability, data protection, and disaster recovery–are more accessible than ever before. It’s IT insurance that makes sense.  To learn more about how you can virtualization can make it easier to protect your business, and how VMware’s solution portfolio can provide a single, proven platform, explore our new eBook “Building Your BCDR Strategy: A Blueprint for a Safe Voyage.”

Follow VMware SMB on FacebookTwitterSpiceworks and Google+ for more blog posts, conversation with your peers, and additional insights on IT issues facing small to midmarket businesses.

Back To Basics: Managing Virtual Machine Snapshots

Post by Mike Laverick, Senior Cloud Infrastructure Evangelist, Competitive Team
This post originally appeared on Mike Laverick’s blog

Snapshots offer a way of capturing the VM memory and disk state prior to making any changes. It’s particularly useful in situations where the outcome of given action is unknown, and the administrator wants a quick and easy way to roll-back any changes made. A typical example might be some software upgrade for instance. When a snapshot is taken all the drives that make up the VM are snapped, this means data loss could occur when reverting the snapshot on data volumes. So care must be taken to stop end-users connecting and making changes.

More commonly, Snapshots are used in virtual machine backups. This is where running backup agent within the guest operating system is dispensed with, and instead backup is taken of their virtual disks. Snapshots allow release the file system locks that normally persist, and allows the backup software to back up the virtual disks. Since the advert of “Change Block Tracking” (CBT), backups this way are as efficient from speed and space perspective as any in-guest backup agent. The first backup takes a normal back up of the VM, and subsequent backups are taken merely of the blocks that have changed since that backup.

Snapshot work by creating a copy of the contents of memory, and saving this to a file – this allows a snapshot to be taken whilst the VM is running, and indeed it allows for the quiescing of the file system leveraging components within the guest operating system such as Microsoft’s Volume Shadow Copy feature. The time it takes to create a snapshot is dependent on the amount of memory allocated to the VM, and the time it takes to create this snapshot file. Whilst a snapshot is being created, at same time a “delta” virtual disk is create for each virtual disk allocated to the VM. This normally takes the format of <virtualmachinename>0000N.vmdk. This file starts its life as 16MB in size, and grows as changes accrue in the VM. When a VM snapshot is “deleted” the contents of the delta is copied (or consolidated or merged if you prefer to use those words) into the regular virtual disk, and the snapshot files discarded, along with the memory file.

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Note: The .VMSN is the memory contents of the VM. win2012R2-00001.vmdk is the delta virtual disk snaphot file. .VMSD is a small management file that keeps record of snapshot taken.

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