What is Erasure Coding?!

So a couple things have happened recently that have peaked my interest in Erasure Coding.

Firstly, I have started working on a new project where I am now working with a new Dell EMC hyper-converged infrastructure system know as VxRail.   VxRail was developed by VMware and Dell EMC and utilizes the VMware Hyper-Converged Software (vSAN, vSphere and vCenter).

vxrail

One of its best-known storage features when using an all-flash configuration for VxRail is Erasure Coding, which can protect data while using less storage space than RAID 1 mirroring.

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There is also a VxRail Capacity Calculator you can play with to see the varying results of using all-flash compared to a hybrid configuration which cannot leverage Erasure Coding.

vxrail-ERC

Secondly today, I noticed a vBrownbag colleague of mine Rebecca Fitzhugh wrote on her blog Technicloud, “Understanding Erasure Coding with Rubrik“.

rebecca

I read the blog and watched the Rubrik video, and I highly recommend you please do check out Rebecca’s blog as she does a great job explaining the subject, and how it is used by the data management company Rubrik.

So in a nutshell what is Erasure Coding?

Erasure coding (EC) is a method of data protection in which data is broken into fragments, expanded and encoded with redundant data pieces and stored across a set of different locations or storage media.  — TechTarget.com

ErasureCodingTech

In summary:

  1. Data protection technologies are evolving
  2. Erasure Coding seems to be a good alternative for some use cases.
    • Especially when considering using large capacity drives (8TB+), and where a rebuild can take days or even weeks.
  3. Just remember, one-size does not fit all and there are no silver bullets.

As in all things IT, it depends, use the appropriate data protection technology that best makes sense for your particular business requirements.

 

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I am excited and honor to say I have been selected to be part of the VMware vExpert Cloud Program, this is a specialty program within the vExpert Community.  First I want to thank VMware for creating the program and providing me the opportunity to participate.

I actually started playing with cloud stuff back in 2003 before it was called the cloud.  My cloud computing journey in those days started at Sun Microsystems, and that cloud was the precursor to what is known today as the Oracle Cloud.   These are exciting times at VMware and it is exciting to see all the cloud enablement and innovation going on at VMware.

On Friday, Oct 27th, VMware made the vExpert Cloud 2017 Award Announcement and published the list of all those selected into the program.  This is what VMware had to say about those vExperts that were selected into the program.

Each of these vExperts has demonstrated significant contributions to the community and a willingness to share their expertise with others. Contributing is not always blogging or Twitter as there are many public speakers, book authors, scriptwriters, VMUG leaders, VMTN community moderators and internal champions among this group.

vExpert-Cloud-2017-badge

This is a global program and I congratulate all my colleagues selected across the globe into this elite vExpert Cloud Program.

Click here for the complete list and below are some shout outs after a quick glance of some colleagues on the list.

As always, deeply inspired by the VMware Community god’s starting with the mythic VCDX’s:

The outstanding and world famous vBrownbag crew members Jonathan Frappier, and vBrownbag LATAM members from Brazil RicardoConzatti and Valdecir Carvalho.

Texas members Ed Haletky the security cloud guru in Austin,  Emad Younis who use to run the Houston VMUG years back and today part of the Cloud Platform Business Unit at VMware.

DFW members closer to home vExpert Cloud  members  Tim Davis the NSX King and Brandon Bolen the PS Automation Guru!

Congratulations to all the vExpert Cloud 2017 members!

 

 

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Participate In The DFW VMUG Hackathon — Come Learn And Have Fun!

As we plan for our first DFW VMUG Hackathon, we need your help and input.  We are expecting to kick off our first event this year in mid-November and in order to get things rolling, we are requesting that participants please contribute to the brainstorming process and in the spirit of brainstorming please dream about what you would like to do and what you would like to get out of participating.  As my son would say, sharing is caring, so please share.

“Calling for Hackathon Ideas!”

So please share your thoughts and add your ideas to the”DFW Hackathon Ideas“, google doc. To lead by example and to help get things kicked off and get those wheels turning for ideas brainstorming, here is our first entry idea from @ryandotclair:

Hack Idea: IFTTT-like Platform for the Data Center

  • Elevator Pitch: An Event & Action based framework that’s chainable and pluggable. Think “vRO for the simple person”. The event could be like a high CPU/Memory utilization, filesystem running out of capacity, a new VM has been provisioned, an API call, or someone moving a VM from a PCI network to a non-PCI network. Actions could be adding resources (CPU/Memory/Storage), removing old snapshots, texting/emailing someone, deleting/suspending/deploying a VM, creating a slack notification, etc. Idea is to allow someone to mix and match Events with Action(s). A stretched goal is making it pluggable (anyone can make an Event or Action).
  • Idea Lead: Ryan Clair

Also to better understand which day works best for you in November?
Please only fill out this “Hackathon Meetup Scheduling Survey” so we can better plan for the:

  • Best time to meet up for a few hours (3-4)
  • Hackathon Location & Logistics
  • Sponsor(s) for Refreshments and Snacks

In my previous post “VMware {code} and VMware Cloud Services Inspires DFW VMUG Hackathon!“,  I also mentioned on how to join our #DFW-Hackathon slack channel, here is a quick summary:

  1. Join the VMware {code} program for free: https://code.VMware.com/join
  2. Receive personal Slack invite immediately upon registration
  3. Follow the instructions (accept invite, create account etc.)
  4. Boom, you’re in! Now head on over to the channels, and find DFW-hackathon.

If for whatever reason you have any issues, please DM @ryandotclair or @wmichel on the twitters for help.

Thanks to everyone for contributing and participating, we are looking forward to an exciting and fun DFW VMUG Hackathon!

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VMware {code} and VMware Cloud Services Inspires DFW VMUG Hackathon!

 

As an enterprise architect and data center infrastructure consultant, I am more of a big picture guy wanting to understand DevOps and core hacking concepts in order to deep dive into cloud services.  So I want to share my excitement and inspiration so you too can start your own journey down the “Hackathon” spirit path.

VMworld US 2017 Hackathon

Special thanks to @vmwarecode program and to our illustrious lab captains/champions William Lam and Alan Renouf for all their hard work in making the VMworld Hackathons a premier world-class event.

I really liked this year’s two new concepts introduced:

  1. The pre-hackathon sessions called “VMworld Hackathon Training Session Prerequisites”, helped prepare, educate and enlighten participants. Please see the following slide decks:
  2. Open invitation to participate in the Hackathon event as an observer, even though I was not officially on a team

Everyone-vmword-hackathon

I had a fantastic time and it was a great experience just watching and learning.  For more details checkout William Lam’s  GitHub VMworld-hackathon repository.

Blogs to check out

DFW VMUG Hackathon

The DFW VMUG Hackathon birth has come about from the seeds planted at VMworld US by the VMware {code} program.  The DFW VMUG Hackathon events will start soon as we are currently in the planning stages. Please feel free to DM me @wmichel if you have any questions or would like to sponsor an event for the DFW VMUG.

hackathon-dfw

Call to Action/Next Steps

Please join our slack channel to contribute to the discussions, as we start to finalize our inaugural start date and topics for the agenda for our first Hackathon event. My initial thinking is we tentatively shoot for the first event maybe sometime in mid-November 2017 before Thanksgiving.   So first please join the VMware {code} slack team and then join the DFW-hackathon channel.  Here are the instructions to join:

  1. Join the VMware {code} program for free: https://code.VMware.com/join
  2. Receive personal Slack invite immediately upon registration
  3. Follow the instructions (accept invite, create account etc.)
  4. Boom, you’re in! Now head on over to the channels, and find DFW-hackathon.

If for whatever reason you can’t figure it out, or have any issues DM me or @ryandotclair on the twitters for help.  From there we will start planning our first hackathon and get a head count for venue and logistics.

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VMware Communities Roundtable (10/11) Podcast Features Richard Munro on VMware Cloud Strategy and Cory Romero discusses vExpert Cloud

I wrote this blog post to introduce some new friends (@dfwvmug, @vbrownbaglatam and @vbrownbagbrasil) to the VMware Communities Podcast, it is an oldie but goodie for sure.  So if you have never listened to it, you can check it out here and please subscribe if you like.  This podcast is one of my all-time favorite Podcast’s and is alive weekly Podcast on Talkshoe.   You can log in and participate if you want to every Wednesday at noon PST.  It provides a wealth of varying related VMware and the VMware Community topics that change weekly.

talkshoe-rikmunro

I actually started listening to it a few years back during the John Troyer (@jtroyer) days, during my weekly long 3-4 hour commute between Dallas and Houston. So I started to listen to these recordings on my iPhone plugged into my rental car sound system via Apple iTunes to help sharpen my skills and broaden my VMware Community knowledge and experiences.  The Podcast is very entertaining at times and again discusses events and things going on in the various VMware Communities and ecosystem.  Normally a 1-hour show that features interesting topics with talented VMware guest(s).  The PodCast is now hosted by Eric Nielsen (@ericnipro).

Today’s episode is “#407 – Cloud.VMware.com featuring Richard Munro” (it was recorded earlier today 11/17/2017).  Richard Munro (@RikMunro) is the director of Global Cloud Strategy and head evangelist and started at working at VMware 2012.

The following quote is a VMware CIO Vantage Article called Introducing VMware Cloud:

“VMware’s cloud strategy is to enable our customers to run, manage, connect, and secure their entire application portfolio on any cloud to any device.”

vmw-cloud strategy

Reflecting on the quote above and after participating in today Podcast with Richard, we can see that VMware has several cloud offerings in its portfolio and strategy.  The Key Focus is on cloud services with a “consistent infrastructure” for providing both service provider and enterprise-ready cloud foundations with multi-cloud capabilities and ease of management.

People care about services and they require cloud service models that support a cloud platform for private, public and hybrid clouds.  NIST definitions of the cloud are a good start, and the expectation for a cloud to provide and empower DevOps automagically.  The users do not care about the underlying infrastructure, they want to focus on their business and just want to consume services and need cloud technology platforms that provide a self-service cloud delivery model regardless of cloud model (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, XaaS)

So, why buy VMware Cloud on AWS?  Why not just buy EC2 directly for public cloud and use VMware for private cloud?  People want to have their cake and to eat it too!   VMware Cloud on AWS exists because of customer demand.   Customers spoke, they said, I need cloud and wished VMware and AWS would just work together.  Given this mandate, both VMware and AWS listened to their customers and this is why we have VMware Cloud on AWS.

vmware_aws_wide_slide_2

My opinion on the subject is as most consultants, the well-known answer to any cloud question is, it depends.  Yes as Richard says everything can move to the cloud given the proper use case(s).  The question then becomes which is the best cloud? VMware, AWS, VMware Cloud on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud Platform?  The answer is based your uses cases, it depends.    So to me, it is like ordering a pizza, it depends, what are you in the mood for, what do the kids want, who is coming over, you want stuff crust, hand-tossed, a meat lovers pizza or cheese pizza, with anchovies or not?  Then there are a plethora of pizza and pizza places, national chains like Pizza Hut, Domino’s, Papa John’s or do we get from local hometown pizza from Mimi’s, Piggy Pie or Lover’s Pizza.  So like the pizza scenario, based on your requirements and use cases, you choose your kind of pizza and where you want to buy your pizza.  Back to Richard and Cloud Strategy, the reality is we are in a multi-cloud world, and this is the “new normal” and can include a combination of virtual machines and containers.

Richard asks us to think back to when VMware started virtualization and going back to the basics and to do the same for core cloud basics.  So we can reflect on VMware cloud services and see that VMware has a very good foundation with infrastructure lifecycle management and abstracting the physical layer.  VMware uses this to provide unified service offerings that enable a consistent infrastructure.  These foundational services provide the bases for an on-premise cloud, public cloud, and network peering relationships globally to ensure low latency between multiple clouds enabling new stretch services running across multi-clouds.

Also, VMware vRealize Suite and Wavefront enable real-time monitoring, metrics and analytics services for a comprehensive cloud management platform (CMP) solutions. VMware Cloud Technology manages and optimizes a cloud that spins up and one that spins down.   Customers want to just consume cloud services and don’t care if it is VMware or AWS or VMware on AWS that delivering the consistent infrastructure and manageable services.

consistent-cloud

Customer’s do not want to have to think about the infrastructure, they want whatever advantages they can get from all vendors and at the same time they do not want to be constrained by vendors.  They want Consistent Infrastructure as Code. Cloud native micro-services, containerized code, well-defined relationships between services and layers.  For example using NSX to enable micro-segmentation and attaching firewall rules via a kernel level policy that allows the VM to take it’s firewall rules wherever it moves.  Consumers want the same experience on-premise as they get in the Cloud from AWS.  They want standard platform services that are mobile.

VMware Cloud Foundations (VCF) also is a platform that provides a consistent infrastructure.

vmw-cf

VCF is Beyond VMware on AWS, Beyond VMware Cloud Services, it allows and enables multi-cloud workload mobility.  Also for service providers and multitenancy requirements, there is vCloud Director, this is the VMware Cloud Provider Platform of Choice for Service Providers.

So how do we avoid Vendor Lock-in for the cloud?    How do you manage your data in the cloud? What is Too Much Data?  How does Data Mobility work?  Cloud providers want to capture data.  Your data and data requirements in the cloud need to be something that you address and understand.  Again it depends. What does all this mean for moving large workloads?  The simple fact is if you have PB of data you need to move, as in the physical world, large data sources do not easily move around and getting PB data out of the cloud can be a real issue.

Also one needs to understand workload cloud compatibility and where and how high availability (HA) works for a cloud service.  HA and apps distributed over multiple clouds need to be a well-defined requirement and with low latency to avoid latency service issues.

So do we close down our datacenter and move everything to the cloud?  Again, it depends.  In most cases to optimize your apps may require a hybrid approach as new apps in the cloud was designed to live in the cloud whereas legacy apps can be challenging. A Latency assessment is a key to understanding cloud network requirements and bandwidth to support.

Leverage cloud flexibility to do what makes sense based on your business requirements, there is no silver bullet.  Traditionally built apps and legacy apps, apps that have huge data stores may not be good candidates for moving to the cloud.  Some workloads just won’t work in the cloud.  Take the approach of doing the simple things first to get into the cloud quickly and start learning, manage and operate workloads in the cloud.  Leave the difficult stuff for last.  So use the 80/20 rule when moving to the cloud, do the simple 80% first and leave the heavy lifting and difficult stuff for the last 20%.

Now to close out the Podcast with the last 15 mins we changed gears to discuss the new vExpert Cloud Program.   Cory Romero (@vCommunityGuy), describes that the vCloud vExpert subgroup is designed for VMware cloud community contributors who are actively evangelizing cloud and including VMware, AWS, Azure and/or Google Cloud community work.   It was noted that the application period is now closed that they are evaluating 248 applications.  There was a comment if this was a lot of people and that if a smaller group might be more effective.  Corey commented that a study has shown that 100-150 is a good number and based on what people are doing and the quality of the candidates he said if for example if there are 170 good candidates that are actively contributing to the community he would do the 170.   The program is rewards based on contribution and  Corey said he would announce the newly selected candidates to new vExpert Cloud Program on Oct 27th.  There was also the question regarding candidate program enablement including software, licenses and how would the program work, this is all TBD for now.

Guidance regarding Cloud Strategy Futures for 2018, was to stay tuned as a number of service changes are coming. Nothing on the table at this time to discuss and hope is for projects to be lined up and to be communicated in the near future including what happens to apps with a new paradigm and stretching across multi-clouds.

As for cloud training, it was noted that there is some Hands-on Labs free training that is currently available for VMware on AWS, VMware on HCX,  Cloud Services, and WaveFront.

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VMworld 2017 Hands-on Labs Available Check out VMware on AWS!

VMware just announced on Sept. 27, 2017, the availability of VMworld 2017 Hands-on Labs  (HOL).   There are 81 new HOL to be released daily, starting with the most popular rated labs coming out first.   Here is a good website with some tips for the “Upcoming Changes to the Catalogs and Tips on How to Find Things”.  Also please continue to check HOL for your favorite VMworld 2017 HOL until it posts over the next few days, and you can find the docs for HOL here.

I am especially excited to hear about and looking forward to doing all the VMware on AWS HOL.

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Below is the listing of 3 VMware on AWS HOL with descriptions provided by VMware.

HOL-1887-01-EMTVMware Cloud on AWS – Getting Started (Available Now!)

Be among the first to see the new VMware on AWS solution. You will interact with the VMware Cloud interface to perform basic tasks and manage your public cloud capacity.

ID Title Duration (mins) Level Type
1 Deploying an SDDC Through the User Interface 30 Beginning Use Case

Enjoy and here is an example screenshot of HOL-1887-01-EMTVMware Cloud on AWS – Getting Started:

AWS-HOL-1887

HOL-1822-01-NETVMware NSX Cloud – Secure Native Workloads in AWS

(Not Available Yet – Check Back Soon – I will update link when available)

VMWare NSX Cloud provides you the ability to manage Networking and Security policies in Public Cloud environments such as AWS. You will explore how NSX Cloud provides micro-segmentation to native instances running in AWS.

ID Title Duration (mins) Level Type
1 Introduction to the AWS Console 15 Beginning Feature
2 Verify Application Functionality 15 Beginning Feature
3 Introduction to NSX Management Components 30 Beginning Feature
4 Securing Applications with NSX 60 Advanced Feature

HOL-1884-01-HBDVMware Cloud Services – Getting Started

(Not Available Yet – Check Back Soon – I will update link when available)

VMware Cloud Services delivers a unified approach with end-to-end visibility into public and private cloud usage, costs, networks and security rules. Use the Discovery Service, Cost Insight Service, and Network Insight Service across AWS, Azure and VMware Private Clouds.

ID Title Duration (mins) Level Type
1 Cross-Cloud Discovery Service 15 Beginning Feature
2 Cost Insight Service 45 Beginning Feature
3 Network Insight Service 45 Beginning Feature
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VMware Cloud on AWS is Available Now

The VMware and AWS partnership was announced last year in October and here is my first blog about it.  During VMworld 2017 in Las Vegas in late August came the much anticipated big keynote announcement made by VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger and AWS CEO Andy Jassy of the general availability of VMware Cloud on AWS, and more details of the service can be found at VMware Cloud.

This new offering is a manage VMware Service hosted on AWS global infrastructure and is the result of a yearlong collaboration between the top leaders of cloud computing, public cloud leader AWS and private cloud leader VMware to develop a true hybrid cloud based on VMware Cloud Foundations.

VMware Cloud Foundation is an integrated cloud infrastructure platform for the hybrid cloud that provides the building blocks for the VMware Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) in the cloud.   Composed of VMware VSAN, NSX and vSphere ESXi managed through vCenter on AWS Global Data Centers and allows for enterprise applications to run in both private and public environments.

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Here are some popular recorded sessions of VMworld 2017 which includes several sessions regarding VMware Cloud on AWS.  The following video is a particularly good starting overview for VMware Cloud on AWS.  Enjoy and Explorer!

aws-vm2017

//players.brightcove.net/1534342432001/Byh3doRJx_default/index.html?videoId=5556616369001

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