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Monthly Archives: January 2016

Use Your Shelf Space for Industry Awards…Not Unused Software

Why the VMware America’s TAM organization is rated higher than the Apple iPhone

By Martha Bellens-Martin

Martha BellensMartinAfter being in this business for more than 25 years, I have worked with hundreds of customers—most of them from a pre-sales perspective. That means I have spent a lot of time working with organizations to help them envision how a proposed solution will lower risk and address their pain points.

But one of my personal pain points was walking away after the sale and watching the software gather dust on a shelf. Sometimes it was because the customer lacked the internal capabilities to successfully implement the solution. Sometimes it was because they were not able to fully leverage all of the features that would allow them to realize the power of the whole solution. And sometimes it was because the goals of the business simply changed direction. Whatever the reason, it still bothered me to see those well-thought-out solutions turning into shelf ware.

Now that I have joined the VMware America’s TAM organization, I have the opportunity to make sure those software boxes never hit the shelves. That’s because the TAM organization is completely focused on making sure you realize all the benefits of the software you have purchased from VMware. If you have never worked with a TAM, it might be difficult to envision what the TAM will do for your organization. Of course everything your TAM does would be hard to capture in a single blog post, but the main objectives of your TAM can be summed up with the following points.

1. Ensure you are getting the most value from your solution

Pre-sales is focused on helping you identify a solution to your problems. After the sale, your TAM continues to work with you to make sure the licenses you purchased are delivering the value you envisioned before the sale. We start the process by helping you plan implementation and training as well as working with you to ensure the project aligns to your original goals. And over the course of our engagement, we help make sure the alignment stays in place.

2. Find new ways that your VMware solution can impact the whole business

While you may have purchased a VMware solution for one reason, your TAM can show you ways that your purchase can help the business in other ways. In fact, one of your TAM’s main objectives is to look at how VMware can benefit your business as a whole. TAMs often have a unique perspective on your business due to the fact that they are approaching it with fresh eyes, from a perspective that sees other businesses and other industries.

3. Turn you into an enthusiastic VMware ambassador

Ensuring you are satisfied and receiving the maximum value for your solution helps you, but it also helps us, too. We work hard to ensure your solution exceeds your expectations so you will be thrilled to recommend VMware and VMware TAMs to your network.

VMware TAMs work hard to accomplish all of this, and it pays off for our customers. The way we know it is working is by looking at our Net Promoter Scores (NPS). If you’re not familiar with the NPS benchmark, it is calculated using the answer to a single question: “How likely is it you would recommend a VMware America TAM to a friend or colleague?” (You can visit www.netpromoter.com/know for more details.)

We are very proud of the fact that our TAMs have received an NPS of 67.5 percent. To put that in perspective, one of the most popular and beloved tech gadgets in recent history—the Apple iPhone—has an NPS of 64 percent.*

Find out for yourself why our customers love us more than the Apple iPhone. Contact VMware to learn about how you can tap the expertise of your own VMware TAM.

*www.npsbenchmarks.com/apple_iphone



Martha manages and leads a team of Technical Account Managers for VMware. Martha believes, “too often we see companies make a significant purchase of a solution yet stumble in the implementation or even the full realization of the power of the whole solution.” Martha Bellens-Martin has worked in the Software Solutions industry since 1990, primarily focused on demonstrating Software Solutions to help businesses run more efficiently, and effectively and to drive value to the bottom line. Her specialties include Effective Technical Presentations and Coaching of Technical Resources. Connect with her on
LinkedIn.

Platform Services Controller (PSC) and vCenter Server 6 Maximums

Petr McAllisterBy Petr McAllister

One of my customers successfully completed the VMware vSphere: Fast Track [V6] class. The customer provided a lot of positive feedback in regards to the class, and also about new functionality in vSphere 6. However, one thing was unclear: The instructor stated there is a maximum of 10 VMware solutions per vCenter. So the question was, “When we run a complex environment with multiple vCenter servers, vRealize Operations servers, vRealize Automation, vRealize Orchestrator, Site Recovery Manager and backup appliances, how can we fit all those solutions under the 10-solution limit?”

Finding the correct answer was pretty straight forward; VMware has published a document called “Configuration Maximums vSphere 6.0,” and the information is right there. The document has very specific content on exactly what my customer was asking:

A VMware Solution is defined as a product that creates a Machine Account and one or more Solution Users (a collection of vSphere services) … At this time, only vCenter Server is defined as a fully integrated solution and counts against these maximums. Partially integrated solutions, such as vCenter Site Recovery Manager, vCloud Director, vRealize Orchestrator, vRealize Automation Center, and vRealize Operations, do not count against these defined maximums.”

It would be easy to conclude my blog post here, but the nature of my topic is a little bit different. Looking through the PSC section of the “Configuration Maximums vSphere 6.0” document can be somewhat confusing. You’ll notice different unit maximums, some of which are specified as “per vSphere Domain,” “per site,” or “per Single PSC.”

Thermometer

 

The best way to understand PSC maximums is via a diagram found in the VMware Knowledge Base (KB) article, “List of recommended topologies for VMware vSphere 6.0.x,” which is a brilliant source of information on its own.

PMcAllister PSC

Assume User A has access to all four vCenter servers. When User A is authenticated in the Single Sign-on domain (also known as vSphere domain), the user can:

  • Log in to Site A or Site B using the same credentials
  • See all four vCenter servers in the environment (because these vCenter servers are members of the same SSO domain)
  • Accomplish any task on any of the vCenter servers the user has permissions on, and perform operations that involve multiple vCenter servers as inter-vCenter vMotions

Just to be clear, here is another example: If User B has access to only one vCenter server, he/she will still be able to log in—with the same credentials—to any site that is in the same SSO domain and do any operation that User B has permissions for – but only in the permitted vCenter.

Now let’s move on to the “per single PSC” definition. The PSC can be installed as embedded on the same server with other vCenter components, but in this case, the embedded PSC serves only one vCenter server. For any multi-vCenter server and/or multi-site configuration, PSC has to be installed as an external module on a separate machine in order to serve multiple vCenter servers. But the external PSC has maximums that are specified in the “vSphere 6 Configuration Maximums” document. These limits were introduced to ensure your infrastructure functions at a good performance level.

The final term to explain here is “vSphere Site,” which is partially self-explanatory, but it would help to be a little bit more specific. The KB article “VMware Platform Services Controller 6.0 FAQs” has the best definition of a vSphere 6 site:

A site in the VMware Directory Service is a logical container in which we group Platform Services controllers within a vSphere Domain. You can name them in an intuitive way for easier implementation. Currently, the use of sites is for configuring PSC High Availability groups behind a load balancer.”

So in other words we expect the best possible connection between sites (in terms of latency and bandwidth); however, in case of connectivity issues, every site can be autonomous—for a while—serving with full functionality – with the exception of operations that require connection to another site. PSC will get synchronized when the connection is restored. You might have more questions on PSC in vSphere 6, and if you do, the KB article noted above will answer most of those questions, and reading it is certainly a good investment of your time.


Petr McAllister is a VMware Technical Account Manager based out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.