VMworld 2014 U.S. – Monday August 25

Dave Welch (@OraVBCA), CTO and Chief Evangelist
Revised on September 2, 2014

For starters, I walked right out of the breakfast in disgust to grab a meal on the street. Until now, VMworld has always set the standard for what conference food ought to be. In contrast, this is what the food looked like at VMworld 2013 EMEA:

VMworld EMEA Food1

VMworld EMEA Food2

This is my 10th contiguous VMworld U.S. show. I started in 2005 when there were 3,000+ attendees. The crowd was understandably mostly VMware admins. Today I am to understand there are ~20,000 attendees.

General Session – 9:00AM

It pains me to share negativity regarding the morning’s General Session. That’s because I love VMware’s core technology and its core tooling for what it has done for the world.

When Cisco got uptight about last year’s NSX announcement, I thought it was no different than how the other x86 server vendors felt about Cisco getting into the server market five years before. Deal with it. Totally healthy. I didn’t feel that way at all about the VMware EVO announcement. My first impression – this is not healthy. Just when VCE’s Vblock is really picking up appropriate steam as the world’s leading converged concept, what’s VMware doing? The Oracle Exa sales team’s gotta be absolutely loving this. Even EVO “light” isn’t justification enough to damage the VCE consortium owner-partners’ relationship. That can and should have been an addition to or course correction to the Vblock line. Even if VMware absolutely has to do EVO, why is the world’s premier x86 server vendor, Cisco, conspicuously missing from the handful of EVO hardware providers?

In the only conversation I’ve had with anyone on the general session, my House of Brick colleague CEO Nathan Biggs mentioned VMware’s data center partners. They’re going to be feeling less than good about VMware’s announcement that it is aggressively expanding its own data center offering.

The “brave” theme is lost on me. Although I sincerely appreciated every one of the motivational statements and definitions, “brave” is the wrong reason for enterprises to invest in VMware technologies. It wouldn’t work for me coming out of Oracle marketing and it doesn’t work for me here.

Major Corporation Cancels Oracle Support

I was in horror today when a respected colleague at a scaled nameplate enterprise told me they’d cancelled Oracle Support and were relying on NSX microsegmentation moving forward for Oracle security. Wow. I’m neither a networking admin nor a security officer. What I do know is the majority of security breaches come from within enterprises’ perimeters. Given that, I’m betting it’s going to take a lot for me to come up to speed on microsegmentation firewalling sufficiently to convince me that it alone is adequate security without also security patching the workload from the inside out against known attack vectors. I asked specifically if the disclosure was NDA and wasn’t told it was. Just the same, out of caution I’m not disclosing the name of the enterprise at this time.

VAPP1507 – VMware IT Successfully Migrated 13 TB EBS Production to 5 Node 11gR2 RAC on vSphere – A Deep Dive

I thoroughly enjoyed VMware Corporation’s presentation of its own 13 TB E-Business Suite RAC on vSphere database. I paid particular attention to the fact that the VMware ops team achieved a 30 minute cut-over outage through combining array tooling (EMC TimeFinder in this case) with physical Data Guard in async mode. I also paid particular attention to the world-leading layer-2 segment simulcast software Cisco OTV in the stack. (GE Appliances & Lighting also leveraged Cisco OTV when it took its EBS RAC vSphere stack live two years ago.) The presenter said this now constitutes 100% virtualization within VMware.

During that same session, it was announced VMware will be coming out with vCAC Database as a Service (DBaaS) hopefully in three months. It will start as a single VM offering but soon graduate to multi-VM. No doubt the multi-VM comment was offered due to the fact this was a RAC virtualization session.

Must Have Books on Virtualizing Oracle Databases

They’re finally here: two must-have books on virtualizing Oracle databases. The first I should have mentioned months ago: Virtualize Oracle Business Critical Databases by lead author Viscosity’s Charles Kim and contributors Hortonworks’s George Trujillo, and VMware’s Steven Jones and Sudhir Balasubramanian. The second by VMware Corporation’s Don Sullivan and Kannan Mani is Virtualizing Oracle Databases on vSphere. Don told me yesterday the book’s due out this October. I tip my hat to these authors. Don’s accomplished a lot in his professional years. But he tells me he’s never undertaken a project with overhead like this.

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