Tuesday’s general session was focused on giving a little more of a deep-dive on a few big items – VMware NSX, VMware vCloud Automation Center (vCAC, pronounced vee-cake), VMware VSAN, and VMware vCloud Hybrid Service. Since we covered the high points on these yesterday, I’ll spare you the repetition. Here is what I thought were the highlights of the keynote:
- Self-service deployment of Horizon View virtual desktops via the vCAC interface - The demo was a little light on details, but depending on how deep the integration goes, this is a very exciting proposition.
- The WestJet customer video showing a real-world case where network virtualization is currently being used to overcome what have typically been real issues with east-west (typically server-to-server) traffic via firewalling and segmentation of their network traffic. The other big takeaway was that they were able to drive progress and add features to their virtual network while leveraging physical network infrastructure that was already in place.
- VSAN data availability – VSAN’s ability to use policy to add an additional layer of availability (albeit at a seemingly substantial cost vis-à-vis disk space and network) by mirroring VMDKs to multiple nodes within the VSAN cluster. In my opinion, this will go a long way toward convincing weary customers that placing business-critical workloads on VSAN is a safe alternative to the traditional server-SAN deployment model.
- vCenter Operations Manager and vCenter Chargeback Manager integration with vCAC – The ability to nail down and actually resolve issues related to improper configuration via vCenter Operations Manager is a huge improvement over current code. With regard to the vCenter Chargeback Manager integration, it was really neat to see the ability to go into a tab in vCAC and show just how much it would cost to run the application, with identical configuration, in a number of different places, be it local vSphere, Amazon EC2 (which was comically not mentioned by name).
- vCHS vSphere Web Client integration – This integration was done very well. The ability to view VMs across both vCHS and your local vSphere infrastructure within a single, and most importantly, consistent, interface is killer for ease of management.