Virtual machines versus Containers who will win?

Ah round X in the battle between who will win, which technology will prevail and when will the displacement of technology happen. Can we stop with this nonsense, with this everlasting tug-of-war mimicking the characteristics of a schoolyard battle. And I can’t wait to hear these conversations at VMworld.

In reality there aren’t that many technologies that completely displaced a prevailing technology. We all remember the birth of the CD and the message of revolutionising music carriers. And in a large way it did, yet still there are many people who prefer to listen to vinyl. Experience the subtle sounds of the medium, giving it more warmth and character. The only solution I can think of that displaced the dominant technology was video disc (DVD & Blue Ray) rendering video tape completely obsolete (VHS/Betamax). There isn’t anybody (well let’s only use the subset Sane people) that prefers a good old VHS tape above a Blue ray tape. The dialog of “Nah let’s leave the blue-ray for what it is, and pop in the VHS tape, cause I like to have that blocky grainy experience” will not happen very often I expect. So in reality most technologies coexist in life.

Fast forward to today. Dockers’ popularity put Linux Containers on the map for the majority of the IT population. A lot of people are talking about it and see the merits of leveraging a container instead of using a virtual machine. To me the choice seems to stem from the layer you present and manage your services. If your application is designed to provide high availability and scalability, then a container may be the best fit. If your application doesn’t than place it in a virtual machine and leverage the services provided by the virtual infrastructure. Sure there are many other requirements and constraints to incorporate in your decision tree, but I believe the service availability argument should be one of the first steps.

Now the next step is, where do you want to run your container environment? If you are a VMware shop, are you going to invest time and money to expand your IT services with containers or are you going to leverage an online PAAS provider? Introducing an APPS centric solution into an organization that has years of experience in managing Infrastructure centric platforms might require a shift of perspective

Just my two cents.

Platform 9 – transform your virtual infrastructure into a private cloud within seconds

Recently I had the joy of reconnecting with some of my old VMware colleagues to learn that their new startup was coming out of stealth. Today Platform 9 announced their SaaS platform.

In short, Platform 9 allows IT organisations to transform their local IT infrastructure into a self-service private cloud. The beauty of this product is that it can be implemented on existing infrastructures. No need to create a new infrastructure to introduce the private cloud within your organisation. Just install the agent on your hypervisor layer, connect with the Platform 9 cloud management platform and you are off into the world of private clouds. The ease of integration is amazing and I believe that Platform 9 will be the accelerator of private cloud adoption. No need to go to AWS, no migration to Azure. You manage your own resources while allowing the customer to provision their own virtual machines or containers. Today Platform 9 supports KVM, but they will support both VMware and docker environments soon.

I can dive into the details of Platform 9 but Eric Wright has done a tremendous job of publishing an extensive write-up and I recommend reading his article to learn more about Platform 9 private cloud offering. If you want to meet the team of Platform 9 and hear their vision, visit booth #324 at the solution exchange of VMworld 2014.

Life in the Data Center – a story of love, betrayal and virtualization

I’m excited to announce the first ever “collective novel”, in which members of the virtualization community collaborated to create a book with intrigue, mystery, romance, and a whole lot of geeky data center references.


The concept of the project is that one person writes a section and then passes it along. The writers don’t know their fellow contributors. They get an unfinished story in their mailbox and are allowed to take the story in whatever direction it needs to go. The only limitation is the author imagination.

For me it was a fun and interesting project. Writing a chapter for a novel is a whole different ballgame than writing technical focused content. As I rarely read novels it’s a challenge how to properly describe the situation the protagonist is getting himself into. On top of that I needed to figure out how to extend and expand the story line set by the previous authors but also get the story into a direction I prefer. And to make it more challenging, you do not know what the next author will be writing, therefor your intention for the direction of the storyline may be ignored. All in all a great experience and I hope we can do a second collective novel. I’m already collecting ideas ☺

I would like to thank Jeff Aaron. He came up with the idea and guided the project perfectly. Once again Jon Atterbury did a tremendous job on the formatting and artwork of the book. And of course I would like to thank the authors of taking time out of their busy schedules to contribute to the book. The authors:

Jeff Aaron (@jeffreysaaron)

Jeff Aaron (@jeffreysaaron)

Josh Atwell (@Josh_Atwell)

Josh Atwell (@Josh_Atwell)

Kendrick Coleman on twitter

Kendrick Coleman (@KendrickColeman)

Amy Lewis (@commsNinja)

Amy Lewis (@commsNinja)

Lauren Malhoit (@malhoit)

Lauren Malhoit (@malhoit)

Bob Planker (@plankers)

Bob Planker (@plankers)

Satyam Vaghani (@SatyamVaghani)

Satyam Vaghani (@SatyamVaghani)

Chris Wahl (@ChrisWahl)

Chris Wahl (@ChrisWahl)

To make it more interesting for the readers, we deliberately hid which author wrote which chapter you can have some fun guessing via a short quiz. Prizes will be given to those people with the best scores.

I’m not entirely sure that this book will be nominated for a Pulitzer, but it is worth a read to see what is in the authors’ crazy heads – and to witness how well they work together when collaborating on a project like this.

Go download the book and take the quiz

Who to vote for?

This week Eric Siebert opened up the 2014 edition of top virtualization blog contest. For the industry this is one of the highlights and applaud the effort Eric and his team of volunteers put in to make this work. I cannot wait to the watch the show in which they unveil this years top 25 winners. A big thank you to Eric and the team!

Most of the time you will see blog articles that highlight this years effort and I think they are great. As there are so many great bloggers writing and sharing their thoughts and ideas, it’s very easy to miss out on some brilliant post. A quick scan of these posts helps to (re)discover the wealth of information that is out there.

Last year I was voted number 2, however this year the frequency (hopefully not the quality) of my blog articles went down. This was due to my career change and the new responsibilities my job role encompasses. Plus creating the vSphere design book took a lot of time and effort. For this years VMworld we have planned something even better, so please stay tuned for this years VMworld book!

But this post is not about me as a blogger and my material, but to highlight some of the bloggers that help the community understand the product better, comprehend the behavior of the complex systems we work with every day and the insights they provide by spending a lot of their (spare) time writing and creating these great articles. Voting for them you will help them understand that their time and effort is well spend!

First of all, guys like Duncan Epping, Cormac Hogan, William Lam and Eric Sloof relentlessly churn out great collateral, whether it is a written article, podcast or video. It keeps the community well fed when it comes to quality information. Writing a great article is a challenge, doing this on a continuous basis is even more impressive!

But I would like to highlight some of the guys that are considered “new” guys. They are all industry veterans, but they decided to pick up blogging recently. I would like to highlight these guys, but there are many more of course.

Pete writes a lot about PernixData, but that’s not the reason I want to highlight him. His articles are quite in-depth and I love reading those articles as I learn from them every time Pete decides to post his most recent insights. For example in the article “Observations of PernixData in a Production environment” he covers the IOPS, Throughput & Latency relationship in great detail. In this exercise he discovers that applications do not use a static block size, something you don’t read that often. He correlates specific output and explains how each metric interacts which each other, educating you along the way and helping you to do a better and more effective job in your own environment.

Josh is listed both on the general blogging list as well as a newcomer and I think he deserves to be “rookie of the year” Josh’s insight are very valuable and its always a joy to read his articles. His VCDX articles are top notch and are a must read for every aspiring VCDX candidate. Just too bad he decided to join Nutanix ;).

Luca Dell’
Dropping knowledge both in English and Italian, Luca is covering new technologies as well as insight full tips and tricks on a frequent basis. Ranging from reclaiming space on a Windows 2012 installation to a complete write up on how to create a valuable I/O test virtual machine. A blog that should be visited regularly.

Willem ter
Not your average virtualization blog, Willem covers the startup world by interviewing CEO’s and CTOs of the hottest and newest startups this world currently has to offer. Willem provides insights of upcoming technology and allows its readers to place and compare different technologies. A welcome change of pace after spending a day knee-deep into the bits and bytes

Consuming those stories and articles on a daily basis, are they helpful in your daily work? Please show your appreciation and vote today on your favorite blogs! Thanks!

Please vote now!

The year 2013 in review

This weekend the mailman delivered my vExpert 2013 award and this made me think about all things that occurred in 2013. You can easily state that the move to PernixData dominated my whole year.

It was early February that I previewed FVP and from that moment on I was breaking my head on how to become a part of that story. On 29th of April I announced the news that I left VMware and to be honest I was amazed by the eruption that followed. My twitter timeline exploded and even sites like the register and reported on my move the next day. It all felt unreal.

But leaving the mothership was not an easy decision, leaving so many great memories, colleagues and friends. VMworld was interesting as I was visiting VMworld FrankDenneman-VMware-MMs as a non-employee for the first time since 2010 and that meant, no Partner day, no Meet the Experts, no Group Discussions, stuff I really enjoyed doing. It would be great if VMware opens up Group Discussions or Meet the Expert sessions for non-VMware people.

Luckily I had the opportunity to join Michael Webster, Mostafa Khalil, Andrew Mitchell and Mark Achtemichuk to participate in the panel about High performance workloads in Monster VMs. The session was a great success and I enjoyed it very much, the audience enjoyed it as well as it was voted as one of the top 10 sessions of VMworld 2013.

A great project we released during VMworld was the vSphere design pocketbook. The Pocketbook functioned as a platform for community members to display and demonstrate their knowledge. Mimicking the ever so popular “Basic Design Principles” of the vSphere clustering deepdive books, vSphere Design Pocketbook. breakfast we ask community members to submit their design considerations in a compact message following the 140 character limit of a tweet message. The response was overwhelming, more than 400 people participated and we printed over 2500 copies. Having the ability to launch and work on such cool projects are one of the benefits of working at a startup.

Working for an early startup is a great experience, although you have a specific job title your responsibilities quickly expand beyond your core job duties. FrankDenneman-VMworld-PernixDataParty-University-Ave You get to learn a lot of new things fast. The last couple of months I took on the role as an System Engineer, helped to build channel, helped to setup partnerships, did some tech support, assisted marketing and assisted in the sales cycle. All while trying to evangelize the great technology of PernixData while providing engineers input and looking at future features. So far it has been an amazing ride!

So what’s next?
Well as the organization is growing I hope to focus more on spreading the word and educating the community. Hopefully blogging more and broaden my articles to the entire vSphere platform. Besides writing I’m planning to present more at VMUGs, I’m are working on nice schedule for next year. Providing a platform for the community was such a success that we already working on a couple of successors of the vSphere design pocketbook. Stay tuned!

A quick thank you!
I would like to thank all my readers and twitter followers in visiting the site, commenting on the articles and providing me valuable feedback. I would like to thank the sponsors, VEEAM, Unitrends, Zerto, CloudPhysics, Stratogen, VMTurbo and PHD virtual for their support allowing me to operate the site.