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As 2015 comes to an end, we cannot help but look back to see how far we’ve come and how much we’ve accomplished: from relaunching Virtual Blocks to launching Virtual SAN 6.1, it’s been an exciting year as we continue to strive towards providing the best hyper-converged solution in the market. In the holiday spirit, we’d like to thank our customers and partners for taking this journey with us – 2015 was a great year and we couldn’t be more excited about Virtual SAN and the year ahead!

Let’s take a moment to reflect on and relive the excitement of 2015.


1. Relaunch of Virtual Blocks

We relaunched Virtual Blocks in August 2015 to provide our readers a more engaging, visually appealing, information-rich platform to learn everything about software-defined storage. From the resource library to product-specific pages, Virtual Blocks has become a hub of thought leadership content and product information. We are thrilled to see the increase in visitors this has yielded, and are now the most read VMware blog! We are always looking to promote fresh content, so if you would like to write a guest article please don’t hesitate to reach out.

 

2. VMworld San Francisco & Barcelona

VMworld 2015 was bigger than ever: not only did we set records in the number of attendees, but also introduced Partner Exchange at VMworld, announced new product launches, held over 300 storage-related sessions, and hosted hundreds of vendors. VMworld 2015’s theme was loud and clear: One Cloud, Any Application, Any Device. We are excited to see how this architecture empowers your organization to develop, deploy and consume all applications quickly and securely. One Cloud, Any Application, Any Device ensures that we are Ready For Any. The question is, are you ready for this brave new model of IT?

 

To get a sense of overall VMworld impact, here are some incredible stats:

  • 42 new products, services, tech previews and enhanced offerings launched
  • 3,400 registered partners
  • 12,000+ Hands on Labs completed
  • 1,000+ customer and partner briefings

You can relive the highlights of VMworld 2015 on our YouTube channel.

 

3. Virtual SAN 6.1 Release

The Virtual SAN 6.1 release was one of the most exciting for both our customers and us. Virtual SAN has come a long way to reach market parity with other HCI offerings and become enterprise ready. With the release of stretched clusters, vRealize Operations Integration, new SSD HW options and 2-node cluster features for Virtual SAN, customers were as excited as we were. Not to forget Site Recovery Manager (SRM) 6.1 which now offers policy-based management, integration with VMware NSX and automated availability and mobility for private cloud environments.

What was equally exciting was the pre-announcement of SRM Air, an all-new orchestration solution for vCloud Air Disaster Recovery – pretty awesome right! It’s great to see how we are all aligning towards this vision of “one cloud” with seamless integration between on-prem and off-prem clouds.

Additional excitement around launch included Third-party, software-based data services delivered through the new vSphere APIs for IO Filtering (i.e. VAIO) which enable new capabilities that are agnostic of the storage implementation and managed alongside other capabilities from VSAN or VVols through VMware Storage Policy-Based Management (SPBM) in vCenter.

 

Be sure to check out these launch-related blogs if you missed them during the year:

 

4. Q4 Virtual SAN Beta

For many of our Virtual SAN enthusiasts, we announced a Q4 beta which customers had the opportunity to participate in. The beta included deduplication, erasure coding and software checksum features which customers would get a chance to test and offer their feedback.

 

5. VSAN Assessment and TCO Calculator Tool

In July, we launched the free, SaaS-based Virtual SAN Assessment tool. This tool provides customers a comprehensive analysis of their vSphere environment and provides technical and business recommendations, such as which VMs are a suitable candidate for Virtual SAN (hybrid or all-Flash), sizing and hardware recommendations, and estimated CAPEX and OPEX savings.

Since we launched the tool, more than 350 customers have conducted an assessment! It takes about 7 days to start seeing results from the point of initiation and the results seamlessly integrate with the Virtual SAN TCO and Sizing Calculator. Moving to a hyper-converged infrastructure is a big decision for our customers, and this assessment is a good way to ease in and recognize potential savings and performance. You can learn more about the Virtual SAN Assessment here, or request a free assessment today.

 

6. Customer Testimonials

Customers are the heartbeat of our organization, and we’ve seen an increase in the number of customers choosing to purchase Virtual SAN over traditional storage offerings. Over 2,000 VSAN customers have realized the simplicity, cost savings, and agility of Virtual SAN and have shared their unique stories with us. Click here to read some of our favorite Virtual SAN customer stories of 2015.

 

7. Hyperconvergence Webinar Series

In Q2, we launched a three-part webinar series to help customers understand how hyper-convergence can save money, simplify operations, and increase IT agility. You can watch the full webcast series on-demand here.

  • Part One: Parag Patel (VP of Sales, Software-Defined Storage) provides an insider’s look at hyper-converged architectures to navigate the hyper-convergence hype and identify what really matters, what doesn’t, and how HCI is changing IT.
  • Part Two: Parag Patel and Bo Bolander (Senior Systems Engineer) discuss practical customer applications of hyper-convergence: from VDI to ROBO and general-purpose infrastructure, customers are praising the many benefits of hyper-convergence and Virtual SAN.
  • Part Three: Rawlinson Rivera (Principal Architect) shows what’s ‘under the hood’ of Virtual SAN with a live demo of new features.

 

8. The Rise of Hyper-Convergence Webcast

2015 marked a year of rethinking storage, and a noticeable shift to hyper-converged solutions. In the Rise of Hyper-Convergence Webcast, the VMware Storage Team explains how traditional storage can be complex and expensive, and with new applications forcing enterprises to stretch their limited resources, a new strategy for enterprise storage is just what you need. In this presentation, we will discuss some of our latest developments in hyperconverged storage and how it will transform IT operations forever. Click here to view this webinar on-demand.


We look forward to keeping up the momentum in 2016 and thank you for being an integral part of the VMware ecosystem. Enjoy the rest of your holidays and have a fantastic start to 2016!