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How SMBs Can Expand & Manage Virtual Infrastructures With Limited Resources

Small and midsize businesses (SMBs) no longer debate whether virtualized infrastructures are worth the investment – it’s now the industry standard, as virtualization gives SMBs greater IT efficiency, simplified IT operations and increased uptime at a moderate cost. But there’s a problem: SMBs often lack the staff, budget and skills necessary to optimize performance in their virtual environment and reap all of the benefits possible from virtualization.

The question, then, is how can businesses to get the most out of their virtual environments without breaking the bank.

In a February 2014 Forrester Consulting thought leadership paper commissioned by VMware, Expand Your Infrastructure With Confidence And Control, Forrester evaluates how small and midsize companies manage virtualization today, to uncover where SMBs face challenges with growth in virtualization and how they can overcome these challenges and virtualize with more confidence and control.

After conducting in-depth surveys with 328 IT professionals, Forrester found that many SMBs could benefit from:

  • Higher consolidation ratios;
  • Simplified management tools;
  • And clearer insight and control over capacity and performance

 Below, we dive deeper into the survey insights and how SMBs can benefit from using advanced management tools in their IT environment..

SMBs Want More Value From Their Virtualization Investments

The survey  found that SMBs are growing more dependent on virtual environments, though adaptation is slow for some. Survey respondents said 53 percent of their applications are virtualized. Thirty-two percent of respondents, however, said they have virtualized less than 40 percent of their application workloads.

Forrester found that, on average, many companies run 16 virtual machines per physical server, but 44 percent of respondents say they run six virtual machines or fewer per server. These companies could likely increase consolidation ratios for higher density, yielding them higher returns on virtualization investments. But higher consolidation ratios can also create performance and capacity management challenges for SMBs, so each SMB must make their own value judgment based on their business SLAs.

The survey also discovered that virtualized infrastructure growth is outpacing IT staff growth. In fact, 71 percent of respondents said they are actively growing their virtual infrastructures, but only 34 percent say they expect to be able to hire more staff.

All this added up to only 45 percent of respondents saying that they were very satisfied with their return on their virtualization investment. The other 55 percent said they were more or less satisfied. To increase satisfaction, and to meet the growing demands of IT, companies need to focus on acquiring more advanced virtualization management tools so employees can better manage environments with the same head count, saving valuable IT staff time and resources.

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How to Configure Multiple Machines For vCloud Air Disaster Recovery Replication

This post originally appeared on Chris Colotti’s Blog.

There is something people have asked as I have done multiple demonstrations of the vCloud Air Disaster Recovery offering is “Can we configure multiple machines for replication?”.  Well, with the help of Akeem Jenkins and some lab testing we found out the answer is actually YES.  To be honest this was not something I was told would work when the offering went GA, but the cool thing is you can in fact select multiple machines for replication.  Like anything there is some things about it I want to point out.  This assumes you have already setup the correct vSphere Replication 5.6 Appliance for replication to vCloud Air, and you have a vCloud Air Disaster Recovery account.

  1. You need to select machines of the same OS Type.  If you select Windows and Linux for example since Windows supports Guest Quesicing with VSS then Linux machines in the group may fail to configure
  2. All machines will begin replicating at a similar time.  This means you could be trying to push A LOT of data at once if you configure 100 machines all in the same group.  They will stagger slightly based on when they finish their configuration steps, but you need to consider this for the initial sync
  3. Each machine you configure will be setup with the same RPO since you will only select that once.  You can adjust them individually by changing the settings after.
  4. You can use vSphere Tags to group machines based on RPO, OS type, or other logical groupings.  Once tagged you can then sort by the tags to configure the replication

So How do You Do It?

Well it’s surprisingly simple actually.  Just highlight the group you want and right click to select ‘Configure Replication’

vCloud Air-DR-Multi-Select

You will see a validation check

vCloud Air-DR-Multi-Select-validate

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It’s Here: Affordable, Manageable Disaster Recovery

It’s a fact of life. Disasters happen, and when they do they can sweep away your company’s data. This reality makes disaster recovery a requirement for all businesses.

But here’s where things get harder. Traditional backup and data recovery solutions, which write data to tape, tend to be expensive, slow, and complex. For these reasons, some companies have implemented disaster recovery for only their most critical applications, leaving many workloads—and a lot of data—vulnerable to disasters.

Today, all of this is changing. When you virtualize your systems, you can now choose from a menu of disaster recovery options that are affordable, easy to manage, and reliable.

That’s the story of the flexible portfolio of disaster recovery solutions from VMware. You can now look to VMware for solutions that deliver disaster recovery on your terms. Consider these options:

  • On-premises solutions that give you complete control of your disaster recovery operations
  • Cloud-based services that allow you to pay for your solution out of your operating budget—and avoid upfront capital expenditures
  • A dual approach that leverages a combination of on-premises and hosted-cloud service solutions

There are advantages to each of these approaches. The key is to identify the right solution for your organization, and then put a robust disaster recovery plan in place—a plan that covers all of your applications.

For a fuller look at your options for reliable, cost-effective disaster recovery that is easy to implement and manage, check out the new information brief Disaster Recovery: Any Way You Want It.

#VMworld 2014 US: It’s a Wrap!

This post originally appeared on the Tribal Knowledge Blog.

VMware Booth AerialThanks to everyone who came out to VMworld 2014. Here at Tribal knowledge, we have that unique feeling of being inspired and exhausted at the same time. We hope you get a chance to enjoy the long weekend on the tails of a spectacular conference. With more than 22,000 attendees, the energy and excitement in Moscone was palpable. On each day of the show, a new stream of announcements sparked more buzz and energy from attendees. Here’s a recap:

 

 DAY ONE:

  • The roll out of EVO:RAIL is a true game changer. If you’ve been questioning how to operationalize the software-defined data center, not only do you VMware EVO:RAILhave the answer now—you have the building blocks too.
  • Why did we team with Docker? Simple—to give you the freedom to build your ideal IT environment, because the best way to deliver a container is with a VM. We call this “Containers without Compromise.”
  • The age of the open, agile, secure software-defined data center is here and VMware continues to deliver new innovations for this new reality. Updates from VMworld include VMware Integrated OpenStack, VMware NSX 6.1, VMware vRealize Suite, VMware vRealize Automation and VMware vCloud Suite 5.8. Learn more about the technology here. 

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Learn How to Make the Most Important Data Center Decisions at VMware SMB September Webcasts

This September, join VMware for our free, upcoming live and on-demand webcasts to learn how to make important IT decisions for your SMB. Learn how to deliver the best IT performance with the least manual effort during our virtual infrastructure webcast. Discover why VMware Virtual SAN is the industry leader in hyper-converged, software-defined storage for virtual environments, while learning how to move through the phases of a successful Virtual SAN Proof-of-Concept (POC). Find out how to extend intelligent operations management beyond vSphere to include storage, network OS and physical servers with vRealize Operations Insight. Register today to save your spot!

The Most Important Data Center Decision – Why Build your Virtual Infrastructure with VMware

Available On-Demand. Originally recorded Tuesday, September 9, 2014, 10 AM PDT

To meet the requirements of a dynamic business, your IT organization needs to deliver the highest levels of application performance and availability, in a cost-effective manner. When it comes to implementing a reliable and efficient virtual infrastructure, VMware provides a complete solution for your compute, networking and storage environments.

Attend this webcast to learn:

  •  How virtualization management capabilities help ensure effective utilization of IT resources, delivering the best performance with the least manual effort
  • How you can leverage VMware and partner cloud services to implement a business continuity and disaster recovery solution that will deliver critical application availability

You will leave the session with a solid understanding of how you can change your IT environment for the better with VMware technology.

Conducting a Successful Proof-of-Concept (POC) with Virtual SAN

Available On-Demand. Originally recorded on Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 10 AM PDT

VMware Virtual SAN is the industry leader in hyper-converged, software-defined storage for virtual environments. Join us for this webcast and take a deep dive into the factors that will enable a successful Virtual SAN Proof-of-Concept. We will guide you through the available tools and resources to make the POC process smooth and productive.

Attend this session to learn all phases of the Virtual SAN POC process:

  • Hardware selection
  • Planning and performing tests
  • Managing road bumps

VMware vRealize Operations Insight – Intelligent Operations Management from Apps to Storage

Tuesday, September 16, 2014, 10 AM PDT

VMware vSphere with Operations Management provides intelligent operations for vSphere environments, delivering capacity optimization, increased availability and reduction in troubleshooting times.  VMware vRealize Operations Insight extends intelligent operations beyond vSphere to include storage, network OS and physical servers.

Attend this webcast to learn more about how vRealize Operations Insight delivers:

  • An integrated solution for performance management, capacity optimization, and real-time log analytics
  • 360 degree view of all IT data, with intelligent operations management from Apps to Storage, enabling faster problem resolution
  • Predictive analytics leveraging both monitoring data and log files, enabling better performance and uptime

Questions or suggestions for upcoming webcast topics? Share them with us in the comments below!

Three Keys to Fast, Affordable IT in an Always-On World

In today’s data centers, three trends drive the need for new approaches to the management of IT systems: the expectation for always-on IT services, rapidly growing infrastructure, and limited IT budgets.

While any one of these trends creates challenges for your IT team, the combination of them makes it clear that the status quo is no longer acceptable when it comes to managing your IT systems. To meet the new expectations for your IT organization, you need to think about new ways of doing things.

That’s the idea behind VMware® vSphere® with Operations Management™. It combines the capabilities of the world’s most trusted virtualization platform with new tools for managing and optimizing your IT environment.

Specifically, vSphere with Operations Management gives you three essential keys for meeting the high expectations for IT in the era of the always-on business:

  • Tools to enhance performance monitoring and accelerate troubleshooting so you can better meet your service level agreements
  • Tools to optimize use of your current capacity to increase ROI and reduce the need to buy new hardware
  • Tools to simplify backup and replication to improve system availability and business continuity

Years ago, you would have had to buy several products to gain all of these capabilities. Today, you can get them all in a single package based on a virtualization platform you know and trust.

For a closer look at this topic, and the tools you need to stay on top of today’s data center challenges, register to download our new quick guide “Three Ways to Achieve Fast and Affordable IT in an Always-On World.”

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VMware Delivers Workspace Suite

This post originally appeared on the VMware EUC Blog

By Erik Frieberg, Vice President, Product Marketing, End-User Computing, VMware

Welcome to the second day of VMworld! I hope you enjoyed yourself with all the activities tied to the conference yesterday but brace yourself since there’s still much more to come today.

I have the privilege of introducing to you the new VMware Workspace Suite, a new solution that builds on the vision we introduced over two years ago. VMware Workspace Suite represents the culmination of a great deal of hard work that has gone into a product we see as a major step toward our goal of providing end-users with simple and seamless access to all of their applications and information from any device. VMware Workspace Suite is a new integrated platform that combines AirWatch by VMware and VMware Horizon to deliver a unified end-user experience in a single, virtual workspace that unifies mobile, desktop and data.

 

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 12.18.51 PM

Workspace Suite is the ultimate platform combining some of VMware’s best end-user computing solutions – VMware’s Horizon 6, AirWatch Mobility Management Suite, AirWatch Secure Content Locker and VMware Workspace Services. We’ve combined best of breed technologies to offer customers a platform that other vendors cannot match. Industry analysts have recently recognized our solutions for being the best in the business. The Radicati Group recognized AirWatch as the “Top Player” in enterprise mobility management (EMM) and Gigaom Research recognized VMware Horizon as the leading desktop virtualization platform.

Customers have told us time and time again that they understand the benefits that enterprise mobility brings and the need to modernize their desktop and application architecture to bring it in-line with how employees work today. IT also understands users don’t want a siloed experience and the feeling that their consumer services are much better than the services they get from IT.

Here’s what IDC analyst, John Jackson had to say about this very issue:

“The cost and complexities of managing mobile users using multiple devices are challenging IT departments everywhere and IT administrators are looking for solutions that can make it simple for themselves and their users,” said John Jackson, research vice president, Mobile and Connected Platforms at IDC. “A solution that can seamlessly deliver this securely and at scale is what vendors and customers are after and VMware Workspace Suite is a compelling offering.”

VMware Workspace Suite can help customers achieve the simplicity that both users and IT administrators are looking for.

Curious? Here’s a short video that shows what VMware Workspace Suite can do.

Screen Shot 2014-08-25 at 12.15.31 PM

We’ve also made some other announcements today that propel desktop virtualization into the next phase that include new technology previews and partnerships. I’ll let Sumit Dhawan and Sanjay Poonen tell you more about these and other announcements in their blogs, and Kit Colbert provide a technical perspective so I won’t go into detail here. But after you read all of our news from the show, I hope you can see how VMware is pushing the envelope in bringing to market new technologies that will ultimately benefit end-users, IT administrators and organizations struggling under the weight of complexity.

Make sure you stop by the VMware booths to see VMware Workspace Suite in action. We also partner with some of the top technology companies in the industry to deliver added value to customers so make sure you stop by their booths as well.

VMworld US 2014_NVIDIA display

If you weren’t able to come to San Francisco and attend in-person – don’t worry, we have you covered! Go to VMware NOW and you’ll be able to watch the keynote live, watch us make the announcements on stage, and catch a glimpse of what some of our technology previews look like.

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.

Day 1 at VMworld: VMware Delivers New Innovations to Build and Manage the Open Software-Defined Data Center

Today at VMworld® 2014, we announced integrated OpenStack solutions and new cloud management solutions that dramatically advance the industry’s most complete product portfolio for implementing a software-defined data center. With new VMware Integrated OpenStack, we are providing small and midsize businesses (SMBs) the flexibility to build your software-defined data center on any technology, VMware or not, that fits your unique business needs. In addition, we announced two new VMware vRealize™ IT management offerings – a cost-effective, as-a-service automation platform and a new management bundle that builds on the capabilities of vSphere with Operations Management by providing additional management of unstructured log data and extending operations management beyond vSphere to your entire IT infrastructure, from apps to storage.

An Open Data Center with new VMware Integrated OpenStack – VMware Integrated OpenStack is a new solution that will enable IT organizations to quickly and cost-effectively deliver developer-friendly OpenStack APIs and tools on top of their existing VMware infrastructure. The VMware Integrated OpenStack distribution will leverage VMware’s proven technologies for compute, network, storage and management to reduce CAPEX and OPEX and total cost of ownership for production-grade OpenStack deployments. With the VMware Integrated OpenStack distribution, customers can quickly stand up a complete OpenStack cloud to provide API-driven infrastructure for internal developers, and to repatriate workloads from unmanageable and insecure public clouds. Even better, IT can manage and troubleshoot an OpenStack cloud with the same familiar VMware tools they already use every day, providing significant operational cost savings and faster time-to-value. Read more about the forthcoming VMware Integrated OpenStack solution here.

Greater Management Capabilities with new VMware vRealize™ products – Combining the capabilities of VMware’s existing cloud automation, cloud operations and cloud business management solutions into a single offering under the new VMware vRealize brand, VMware is delivering a complete software stack for managing a software-defined data center and public cloud infrastructure services (IaaS). Two of the new management offerings for SMBs are:

  • VMware vRealize Air Automation™: This beta of a new as a service (SaaS) cloud management offering will enable customers to automate the delivery and on-going lifecycle management of application and infrastructure services while maintaining compliance with IT policies. With vRealize Air Automation, customers will benefit from:
    • Rapid time to value – the service will be immediately available for trial eliminating setup and installation
    • Lower Total Cost of Ownership – fewer people and infrastructure will be needed to support the software, and maintenance and upgrades are included in the subscription pricing
    • More flexible and predictable pricing – customers will pay for what they need, and be able to predict monthly/yearly costs
    • Eliminating system management – customers can focus on managing their data center or cloud environments without having to manage another software stack

Organizations interested in participating in the beta of vRealize Air Automation can learn more at: http://vrealizeair.vmware.com

  • VMware vRealize™ Operations Insight™ – This is a new integrated offering for performance management, capacity optimization, and real-time log analytics. Combining VMware’s operations management and automated log management solutions, vRealize Operations Insight will offer customers predictive analytics to help them improve performance and avoid disruption by enabling them to proactively identify and remediate issues before they impact the business. A single solution, vRealize Operations Insight will allow businesses of all sizes to extend intelligent operations management beyond vSphere environments to include storage, networks, operating systems, and physical servers through a robust marketplace of extensions for third-party products. vRealize Operations Insight is an add-on offering for VMware vSphere® with Operations Management™. Read more on how vRealize Operations Insight can simplify your IT management with intelligent operations.

See the full coverage of what was announced today at VMworld on VMware NOW or read the press release to hear more about how VMware is delivering solutions to build and manage an open software-defined data center for your SMB.

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.

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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