One of the biggest IT costs for a small and midsize business is shared storage, like a NAS or a SAN. Even the most entry-level of SAN’s can cost $10K and up to purchase, plus usually another couple thousand dollars to get it deployed and learn how to use it. For a lot of small businesses, that’s their entire yearly IT budget.
The problem is that shared storage is absolutely needed to get the most out of a modern virtualized environment. Key vSphere features like vMotion, High Availability (HA), and Fault Tolerance (FT) all require some sort of shared storage. So what do you do if you don’t have that $10K or more to buy a shared storage device? You get a VMware vSphere Storage Appliance (VSA) instead! The VSA is software that turns your vSphere Hosts’ (servers) internal hard drives into a highly available (99.9%) redundant shared storage device.
I’m pleased to present this blog from one of our customers, Joshua Bauer, Sr. Manager of Network Operations, Acorda Therapeutics. Joshua is a returning customer to VMworld and not only is he benefitting from IT simplicity and efficiency for his IT operations using VMware solutions, he continues to grow his knowledge and business, through the information, networking, learning and labs he experiences at our annual event. For instance, you’ll be able to check out small and mid-size sessions including, but not limited to:
Take a moment to read these exclusive tips from Joshua and how to make the most of your VMworld experience. For those of you attending VMworld, I look forward to an opportunity to meet you there.
Until next time,
VMworld: A (Golden) Gateway for SMBs to the year’s biggest virtualization and cloud event.
A Blog Post by Joshua Bauer, Senior Manager of Network Operations, Acorda Therapeutics
So you booked your flight and hotel, packed your bags, turned on auto-reply for email (you’re welcome) and are officially ready to conquer the VMworld 2012 Event. But what will you do when you get there?
Whether you are new to virtualization or already very familiar and growing your cloud IT infrastructure, VMware has free and useful tools to help address challenges you may be facing as a small and mid-size business… such as limited budget, time, or resources. I’d like to share a few of our popular FREE tools that I provide during my customer calls, and that I think you’ll find useful and can enable you to experience real benefits in a short period of time.
Our vSphere Hypervisor The vSphere Hypervisor is available at no cost to help anyone experience the benefits of virtualization. Granting free access to vSphere’s hypervisor functionality enables IT professionals to become familiar with the technology and prove its value in their organization.
VMware Go Maybe you are interested in virtualization, but new to it and concerned you don’t have the time or expertise. VMware Go provides a browser interface and an intuitive wizard to guide new users through the installation and setup of a virtualized environment. What I find useful for customers is showing how easy it is to:
Do initial setup of the vSphere Hypervisor
Create virtual machines
Manage VMware vSphere Hypervisor hosts and virtual machines
Throughout the internet age, security and Antivirus (AV)/Malware protection has been a topic of conversation. Every major AV provider has their own solution for managing antivirus with a client/server model. In a physical environment this has been the preferred method of protection for as long as I can remember. Once we started virtualizing our servers, this was the only option available, so administrators continued to install AV clients on each VM (desktop or server) connecting back to an AV server.
While mixing the old (client/server model) with the new (virtualization) has been the standard, VMware took the opportunity to address the following and make things better:
AV Footprint- every virtual machine has a footprint of the Antivirus software installed on it. Multiply that by every virtual machine you have and it comes up to quite a bit of drive space. And where do the virtual machines sit? On the network storage which usually has very expensive hard drives.
Memory Consumption- every virtual machine has Antivirus software running in its memory. Again, multiply that by every virtual machine on the host and you are using valuable memory resources.
Virus Remediation- once your Antivirus client recognizes a virus, it has already made it to your virtual machine. Now you have to count on your antivirus software to quarantine the virus or scan and clean the whole virtual machine.
AV Storms- the most over-looked part of AV clients installed on virtual machines are the IOPs that are consumed for passive scanning, scheduled scanning, and worse, in the event of a virus outbreak, all the virtual machines doing an active scan at the same time across the same set of logical drives during business hours. Commonly known as an antivirus storm and essentially crippling your hardware infrastructure from the resources being used.
Name: Jeremy Hall Title: Associate Systems Engineer Years at VMware: 5 Months Years in IT: 13 Certifications:CVE, vCops, various Telco certs (Fuji FLM through Nortel optical) Cisco ONS, A+, MCP, etc.. way to many to list. Aliases:jkhall (Spiceworks)
Get to know Jeremy:
1) What have you done in your career at VMware and what do you do now?
I started IT doing desktop support for Netscape Navigator/Communicator in 1998. I have worked at WorldCom (in Network Operations Control), a hospital, a bank, and an insurance company.
2) Why do you love working at VMware?
VMware has made my jobs so much easier to manage. I wanted to work for VMware because I believe VMware has a great vision for the future.
I think I want to virtualize - But how do I consolidate from 10 servers to 3 and still maintain the performance I need?
If you're like a lot of small-midsize businesses I talk to, you're probably sick of adding a new server every time you need to deploy a new application. The wiring closet you have 10 boxes stuffed in to is getting way too hot, and you don't want to have to rent a larger office, or God forbid, put the latest server under your desk.
The most obvious thing to do then is to virtualize some (or all) of those existing servers, free up that space in your wiring closet, gain higher levels of availability, and best of all – make your life easier. But now the question comes up – HOW do I size my new servers so that I can provide the same (or better) performance when moving from 10 servers to 2 or 3? The answer is the VMware Capacity Planner (CP) Assessment. It is a service provided by VMware and our partners that can help you gain insight into your IT resource utilization and help you develop a roadmap for server containment and consolidation!
I’m always impressed when I see IT organizations that are strapped for resources and operating in firefighting mode take the initiative to turn around and successfully create a positive impact on the business as a whole. I’ll admit that when I was in IT, I had a few moments of brilliance, but it was so hard to break away from the daily tasks of simply maintaining the investments we had on hand. Virtualization and cloud computing are certainly poised to enable amazing success for IT organizations that are ready to learn and embrace a better way of computing and delivering IT services.
ESG recently spoke with a few SMB IT organizations and published a white paper on the current and planned success of virtualization and cloud initiatives, the success they are having with transforming desktop and application delivery, and how cloud is becoming a preferred consumption model. The information we captured was fascinating and ranged from efficiencies in blocking and tackling:
“Having one view is very important—when administrators have to switch over to different management consoles to access systems, that is really hard. Now we can do faster deployments and day-to-day tasks.”
Virtualized availability: Small is beautiful and perfectly formed
I’ve worked with a lot of “enterprise” products in my time, which may make it sound like I work mostly with big multi-nationals. But the truth is in my business I hold the roles of CEO, CTO, CIO, CFO and tea-boy. That’s right — a company of one! I’ve had the SMB in mind throughout my career because I’ve shared the same constraints as my SMB customers: time, skills, and of course, resources.
Most of my time in IT has been spent as a consultant and trainer. I’ve seen an awful lot of different businesses over the past 20 years, and I can feel for those who have to wear half-a-dozen different admin hats — I do too. In my collocation I have eight servers and a couple of storage boxes, and if anything goes wrong it’s up to me to fix it. This means I’ve got a long drive to the office ahead of me should something go so terribly awry that I need to be physically present. Increasingly, making sure the lights are on is critical, but at the same time I can’t spend all of my time doing that. If I did, I’d never get any other work done.
Since 2003, when I first got into virtualization, everything I do is virtual (including Active Directory, Databases and even vCenter itself). For me, virtualization is more than just server consolidation — it has the power to transform everything we do in the IT environment. If we restrict virtualization to only enabling server consolidation, we miss out on the other big benefits it brings. Namely, virtualization can transform how we prevent and recover from disasters, offering a simple way to protect our businesses from acts of God or acts of great stupidity (i.e., human error).