Toronto VMUG: November 6th Event Recap

It was another great VMUG session at the November 6th half-day Toronto VMUG at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. It turned out to be a Toronto VMUG first with a remote presenter as a result of some of the aftermath of hurricane Sandy.

I have to start by giving kudos to Angelo Luciani (@AngeloLuciani) for not only putting together a great event, but for coming up with a phenomenal recovery plan when a vendor was unable to travel to present at the event. Plus, we’ve laid the groundwork to open the doors for future remote presenters which is a great opportunity for the VMUG members to get access to more great content.

Because we had internet access in the venue this time we were able to watch the VMworld 2012 keynote speech with Steve Herrod (@Herrod on Twitter) which was a great warm up for some VMUG goodness.

First up in the day was Mike  from VMware to bring us up to speed on the vCloud Suite features, editions and changes which came to market between VMworld San Francisco and VMworld Barcelona. It was a great chance to see the overview of new features and a reminder that all VMware customers should get in touch with their reseller ASAP to take advantage of the great licensing deals available until December 15th!

Next to present was McAfee (@McAfee on Twitter – with a session on their virtualization security offerings. The presentation covered a lot of ground and once again hammered home the need for us as designers, implementers and administrators to latch onto the SDDC (Software Defined Data Center) concept as it is the inevitable future for many companies as virtualization expands and cloud computing becomes more widely accepted.

The McAfee solution covers the bases although for the audience it sparked a lot of questions about the application to smaller environments and how the solutions adapt to “less compliant” server builds. Preetham and the team who came for the presentation fielded the questions well and the impact was good in that it created conversation about design. In my opinion, the key to looking forward is knowing where we are coming from.

Pure Storage (@PureStorage on Twitter –  took the stage so to speak, with a great GoTo Meeting from California to talk about their all-flash array offering. Pure Storage is leading the way in the flash storage space by pushing past the idea of “hybrid storage” and moving right to the all-flash array deployment which is a winning design from what I’ve seen.

The challenge with the all-flash deployment as you can imagine is price. With spinning disk storage coming at around 1$ per GB and auto-tiering hybrid solutions not too much over that, the idea of moving up to 5-10$ per GB is quite a jump. The pitch for Pure Storage is that the usable space brings that price close to 5$ per GB with the implementation of de-duplication.

Again, the key thing about knowing whether Pure Storage is appropriate for your organization is to engage them and do some analysis to find where it is the right fit. An interesting product and I hope to see more from them in the future.

Lastly in the presentation was little old me! More than anything I have to thank Vision Solutions and Veeam Software for all of the help and support to bring great products to the market and some really cool giveaways for the VMUG members. My presentation was titled BCP for VMware Environments: Double-Take, Veeam and vSphere Replication.  The presentation was meant to show some real-world examples where I’ve deployed these products and to talk about how different levels of each solution are available.

While I presented 3 products (Double-Take Availability, Veeam Backup Free Edition, vSphere 5.1 Replication), it was meant as what I call an Apples to Bananas to Oranges comparison. The goal was not to pit the products against each other, but to show how each type of implementation can be used and how they can be all brought together as part of your overall BCP program.

Don’t forget to take a look at some of my BCP resources here on the site, including the 5 part BCP Primer post for those who are keen on getting involved with a BCP program at their organization: BCP/DR Primer Series

I hope that everyone there had a great time and that the content was worthwhile. I was able to have lunch with Angelo and Ryan who was another VMUG member. Plus lots of time to chat with Mike Preston (@mwpreston

Here is the slide deck I used for the presentation. Because I brought this as a real-world example of tools used for BCP, there was much more content that was spoken about than written. If you would like to see more, just let me know and I’d be happy to walk you through what I’ve done with BCP in various situations.

See you all at the next event!

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