VMworld 2017 - Taking you to the Solutions Exchange
A fun part of VMworld is the solutions exchange. This large hall is full of all kinds of vendors that have something to do or contribute to the VMware infrastructures. They showcase their latest and greatest in their field and provide a lot of swag as well. For anyone who does not know this term, it is basically all kinds of fun giveaways like t-shirts, spinners, coffee mugs, pens, bouncing balls, etc. The most important thing however is that almost every booth has a working demo of their products and are there to tell you more about them. At the conference, you are also expected to wear your badge at all times. The badge has an rfid chip, so can be scanned to either get your data, or allow you to enter a scheduled session. Walking over the solutions exchange and talking with all these vendors about their solutions can be quite timeconsuming if you're into that kind'of thing. I spent some time there, so I'd like to share some information about a few of them:
The VMware booth. This booth is, as you would expect, quite huge. They have live demonstrations of almost all the products in their huge portfolio, with a technical specialist from every part of the portfolio to show you around. There's also some presentations given about a great number of subjects which you can attend there and then. Because of my own focus on EUC, my interest was centered around Workspace One, which is becoming the center component from the user's perspective. This portal, including all sorts of Single Sign On capabilities, or SSO for short, can deliver anything to the user, on any device. The user needs to log on only once, and from there can access anything and everything he or she needs. The interface scales to whatever device your coming from, always granting you the same experience and security levels. It has a really easygoing look and feel and is very user friendly. Since this can also be used in combination with Airwatch, Identity Manager and Horizon View for your desktops, it is really a complete solution. There are also almost constantly live presentations on many of the subjects that make up the giant portfolio of VMware these days. I also had the pleasure of meeting someone who helped us during one of my first VDI implementations, which I had not seen since then. Here's to you Bruce!
Trend Micro has one of the cooler stands! It looks like the bridge of the starship Enterprise, with the matching outfits for the specialists walking around the booth. I went to them to get a heads up about what's new the new Trend Micro Deep Security 10. To begin with, the interface has had quite a facelift. It feels more crisp and fresh than the previous interface and is more responsive than the old versions. New features in the release now are improvements on Application Control and a better layout and retrievability of the events from the database. As it is still one of the few security products that can leverage NSX to its full extent with not only antimalware, but also URL filtering, IPS and inter-VM firewall as well as automated VM isolation in case of threat detection, this is certainly a product to keep an eye on. It is ofcourse dependant on an NSX license, the free version of NSX only allows agentless antimalware, while all other capabilities are managed by an agent.
LoginVSI had a very nice action going at the booth. You got a shirt from the stand, reading clearly, with a big heart, that you love a good performance. LoginVSI is most well known for its benchmark product for VDI and SBC environments, actually simulating user logons and reporting back what happens during the process. This takes quite a huge chunk of guess work out of the equation when sizing environments, while also stress testing them and even going for a maximum load to see how much user load will actually fit until it breaks. This is now so well recognized that they have become the industry standard benchmark for any EUC environment. Sporty as I was and already very much loving the LoginVSI product as well, I managed to wear the t-shirt on the VMTN vExpert Daily at the VMTN booth that morning:
This, and the fact the guys from LoginVSI spotted me on the solution exchange floor wearing the tshirt actually got me a prize! Thanks again guys, we'll be in touch :)
Nvidia has been doing great things for a while now with VMware and Citrix alike, making it possible to virtualize graphics in such a way that this is scalable and providing a way for applications that had otherwise been unable to be hosted in either VDI or SBC. I have been using the solutions from GRID for quite some time now and seen many applications being used in VDI that you would not have thought possible. Large CAD drawings are no longer an issue, processing landscaping materials and overlaying large architectural drawings, you can now do this remotely, with both your data and your desktop running side by side in a datacenter. Be it on premise or in the cloud, this no longer has to be impossible. Even a radiologists desktop is no problem, as we have shown through Client ICT Groep quite some time ago now. I will be doing a short presentation about it at the Nvidia Global Tech Conference 2017 in Munich and showing off why in which ways this has been beneficial to the radiology department. Lookup the schedule builder to find my presentation and attend if you can!
A fact that drew me to the Rubrik booth was that there was also a book signing by Frank Denneman and Niels Hagoort, scribbling all sorts of stuff in a free copy of their Host Resources Deep Dive paperback. Some people just got autographs, some people got something different :) The book is a very interesting read for anyone wanting to get a better understanding of what happens within a vSphere 6.5 host in terms of CPU, Memory, Storage and Networking. If you weren't there, you can just order it online, even in Kindle format for your e-reader of choice. Rubrik itself is a company that presents themselves as an appliance based backup solution boasting Near-zero RTO, hands-off backup management and Instant Search Results. The format is also unavailable to all sorts of nasty stuff like ransomware, since there is no NFS, iSCSI or SMB share to access. Allthough a very comprehensive solution, this would fit the larger companies better due to a hefty pricetag, but for that money you get this, as stated on the Rubrik website: A software-defined platform that unifies backup, instant recovery, replication, search, analytics, archival, compliance, and copy data management in one secure fabric across the data center and cloud.
There was so much to see at the exchange that it is simply impossible to show you everything. If you ever get the change to go to VMworld and you make it to the solutions exchange, be ready to get some swag... You won't make it out without at least a pair of socks!