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VMware User Group & The Next VMworld

I attended the second VMware User Group meeting here in the Bay Area last week.

The VMware User Group meets quarterly with monthly "Chalk Talk" sessions that include a much smaller (about 20) and more interactive audience. Check out the Forums as well.

Mehrdad Amir, Sr. Systems engineer for VMware, kicked things off with a quick overview of the VMware DRS, VMware HA, and VMware Lab Manager products:

  • This stuff, when combined with VMotion, is IT candy. So sweet.

  • Certainly makes me wonder why the vast majority of organizations are still running their data center on non-virtualized infrastructures.

  • So, the good news here is that this will all change in the next 5 years, as the underlying virtualization infrastructure becomes commoditized, and even starts coming "in the box".

  • I especially appreciated hearing about the success of the VMware Lab Manager product. I was/am an advisor and an investor in Akimbi, the company that was acquired by VMware, and it is their Slingshot application that is now branded as VMware Lab Manager.

  • Finally, the VMware Consolidated Backup product was discussed, which allows for server-less backups to be done, directly within the SAN, and without the need for SAN-based snapshots. Very cool.

It was also announced that the next VMworld conference will be in September 2007 and will be held somewhere in San Francisco, likely at the Moscone Center.

Faan DeSwardt, Director of Enterprise Architecture for Wyse Technology, talked about their success with server consolidation using these VMware products:

  • Getting a 15:1 ratio: 15 physical servers consolidate down to 1 physical server

  • The server reduction allowed for fewer network switches, reduced cooling, fewer UPS, reduced power consumption

  • Also achieved greater reliability, availability, and load balancing using VMotion

  • Reduced complexity achieved by using just 3 standard VM images instead of 30+ Ghost images, which greatly reduced the amount of time it takes to keep these reference builds up-to-date with Microsoft security patches

  • Estimated a direct $265K reduction in CAPEX and $20K/year saving in OPEX

Frank Arroyo, Account Services Account Manager for PG&E, presented an overview of the PG&E Virtualization Incentive Program:

  • Basically, if you can show a reduction in servers through the use of virtualization technologies, PG&E will give you a one-time CASH incentive to put the virtualization in-place within your data center

  • You will need to decommission the old servers (this is about power reduction, after all)

  • Example cited: One customer consolidated 92 server down to 8 and received a $22,586 check as their incentive

  • Based on typical power use of servers, incentives can range from $150 to $300 per server removed through a virtualization project. Incentives are capped at 50% of the total project cost, or $4.0M, whichever is less.

  • Not really appropriate for startups, as the incentives only work if you are removing servers.

  • This is unfortunate, as startups should receive an incentive to put a virtualized infrastructure in-place before they get big! Is VMware (or their competitors) listening?

I hope to see you all at the next VMware User Group meeting!

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