What a great week last week at VMworld 2016. I had many good meetings with customers, participated in 3 breakout sessions, met up with some old friends and met some new ones. If you missed VMworld, well, then you missed a bunch of great sessions. There’s no way you could have seen them all, so, VMware has made them available here: http://www.vmworld.com/en/sessions/2016.html.

I participated in two sessions:

The first one was a customer panel discussion on Tuesday afternoon. I need to thank Glenn Brown from Stanley Black & Decker, Mike Caruso from Synergent, Tom Cronin from M&T Bank, and Andrew Schilling from Baystate Health who all did a fantastic job representing themselves, their companies, and their use of Virtual SAN. We had great interaction from the audience with lots of good questions. For a replay of the session check this out:

Four Unique Enterprise Customers Deployment of VMware Virtual SAN [STO7560]
Glen Brown
, System Engineer, Stanley Black and Decker
Michael Caruso, AVP Corporate Information Systems, Synergent
Tom Cronin, Sr. Staff Specialist – Platforms Engineering Group, M&T Bank
Frank Gesino, Senior Technical Account Manager, VMware
Andrew Schilling, Team Leader – IT Infrastructure, Baystate Health Inc.
Tuesday, Aug 30, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

The other session I was involved in was on Wednesday and repeated on Thursday. I had the good fortune to present with two VSAN Product Managers who are responsible for making VSAN great. Vahid Fereydounkolahi is responsible for driving new features into the VSAN product and Rakesh Radhakrishnan is responsible for making sure all the vendor hardware components are properly qualified for VSAN and for looking out into the future of new technologies like NVMe and RDMA to adopt into VSAN. For a replay of the two sessions check these out:

Peter Keilty, Office of the CTO, Americas Field – Storage and Availability, VMware, Inc.
Rakesh Radhakrishnan, Product Management & Strategy Leader, VMware
Wednesday, Aug 31, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Vahid Fereydounkolahi kicked this one off discussion VSAN features, capabilities, and how it works, I took over in the middle to discuss Day 2 operations, and Rakesh Radhakrishnan finished it off discussing the Ready Node program as well as current and future flash and IO technology that VSAN incorporates or will incorporate.
Virtual SAN Technical Deep Dive and What’s New [STO8246R]

Thursday, Sep 01, 10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
Vahid wasn’t able to make this time so I kicked things off talking about VSAN features, capabilities, how it works, and Day 2 operations, and Rakesh Radhakrishnan finished it off discussing the Ready Node program as well as current and future flash and IO technology that VSAN incorporates or will incorporate.
Virtual SAN Technical Deep Dive and What’s New [STO8246R]

In my previous blog post I highlighted the sessions you wouldn’t want to miss. So here, I’ll provide the links to those sessions. A few either haven’t been uploaded yet or won’t because of legal or future looking reasons:

Christos Karamanolis is literally the brains behind VSAN since its inception and our chief visionary for Storage. If you want the whole picture wrapped up in a 1 hour session, this is it.
An Industry Roadmap: From storage to data management [STO7903]
Christos Karamanolis, VMware Fellow – CTO of Storage and Availability, VMware
Wednesday, Aug 31, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Christos + Punching Clouds (Captain VSAN), need I say more! Rawlinson is always entertaining and Christos has an incredible vision for where VMware is going with storage.
VMware Virtual SAN: Enterprise-Grade Storage For Hyper-Converged Infrastructures [STO7902]
Christos Karamanolis, VMware Fellow – CTO of Storage and Availability, VMware
Rawlinson Rivera, Principal Architect Office of CTO – SABU, VMware, Inc
Monday, Aug 29, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Christian Dickman is one of the lead VSAN developers, pretty much knows everything there is to know about VSAN, and is responsible for creating many of the great features of Virtual SAN. He pioneered a new way to manage and monitor VSAN with a vision toward large scale environments.
Virtual SAN Management Current & Future [STO7904]
Christian Dickmann, VSAN Architect, VMware
Wednesday, Aug 31, 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.

These guys wrote the book on running VSAN POC’s, VSAN Operations, and many more. I share their guides with every customer that wants to try VSAN. They are also always the first to test new versions of VSAN so they know what’s coming.
Conducting a Successful Virtual SAN 6.2 Proof of Concept [STO7535]
Cormac Hogan, Senior Staff Engineer, VMware
Paudie ORiordan, Staff Engineer, VMware
Wednesday, Aug 31, 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

Standing up a VSAN enabled vSphere cluster is one thing, but what happens after that is more important. You’ll want to know how to get the most out of your environment and keep things simple. This is the session to help you do that.
Virtual SAN – Day 2 Operations [STO7534]
Cormac Hogan, Senior Staff Engineer, VMware
Paudie ORiordan, Staff Engineer, VMware
Tuesday, Aug 30, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

VSAN is a distributed object storage system, thus, the hosts in a VSAN enabled vSphere cluster much communicate with one another efficiently and seamlessly. VSAN works with standard switches, distributed switches, across Layer 2 or 3, and there are several multi-pathing choices. Jon Nicholson is not only smart, but entertaining too https://soundcloud.com/virtuallyspeakingpodcast.
VSAN Networking Deep Dive and Best Practices [STO8165R]
John Nicholson, Senior Technical Marketing Manager, VMware
Ankur Pai, Sr Manager VSAN R&D, VMware
Monday, Aug 29, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug 30, 5:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

This session sounds really cool. It won’t be for the weak. You should know what VSAN is and in general how it works. Then this session will help those interested in getting into the weeds to understand how VSAN puts data on disk.
A Day in the Life of a VSAN I/O [STO7875]
Duncan Epping, Chief Technologist, VMware
John Nicholson, Senior Technical Marketing Manager, VMware
Monday, Aug 29, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.

This session is near and dear to my heart as I’ve been working with Baystate Health on this project since day 1. Justin is the ultimate systems engineer who has deployed the coolest VSAN architecture and dug deeper than anyone into how VSAN works.
Justin Bias, Senior Infrastructure Engineer, Baystate Health
Scott Carpenter, Staff Systems Engineer & Member of CTO Ambassador program,VMware
Wednesday, Aug 31, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Achieving Unprecedented Availability, Security, & Cost Savings with VMware Virtual SAN and NSX [STO9157R]

Wednesday, Aug 31, 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Achieving Unprecedented Availability, Security, & Cost Savings with VMware Virtual SAN and NSX [STO9157R]

Not sure what all the fuss is about Software Defined Storage?… these guys will set you straight.
Software-Defined Storage at VMware Primer [STO7650]
Lee Dilworth, Principal Systems Engineer, vmware
Duncan Epping, Chief Technologist, VMware
Tuesday, Aug 30, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Not sure what Hyper Converged Infrastructure is in relation to Software Defined Storage, Virtual SAN, VxRail, etc. then check out this session.
Taking HCI Mainstream [STO9424-S]
Lee Caswell, VP Products, Storage & Availability, VMware
Christos Karamanolis, VMware Fellow – CTO of Storage and Availability, VMware
Monday, Aug 29, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

VSAN can achieve some fantastic performance numbers. Rakesh works closely with our partners to make sure their flash devices are compatible with VSAN and run optimally.
The Future is Here: Turbocharge All Flash Virtual SAN with Next Generation Hardware [STO7953]
Bhumik Patel, Partner Architect, VMware
Rakesh Radhakrishnan, Product Management & Strategy Leader, VMware
Tuesday, Aug 30, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Hardware Choices in the Software Defined World – Tips on Choosing Hardware for Virtual SAN Deployment [STO8904]
Sumit Lahiri, Sr. Product Manager, VMware
Srinath Premachandran, Staff Engineer, VMware
Monday, Aug 29, 5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. | Islander D, Level 0, Mandalay Bay Convention Center

Everyone wants to know how to use VSAN for file services. Many of my customers simply run Windows VM’s for that purpose. There are other 3rd party solutions that can leverage the VSAN capacity for file services and this session will cover the options.
File Services on Virtual SAN [STO9423]
Bryan Young, Sr. Product Line Manager, VMware
Wednesday, Aug 31, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Storing data is one thing, but, making sure data is available when things like disk drives or host fail is more important. VSAN has built in protection and self-healing repair. vSphere has built in backup and replication to DR sites. This session will explore the options.
Understanding the Availability Features of Virtual SAN [STO8179R]
Jeff Hunter, Staff Technical Marketing Architect – Storage and Availability, VMware
Gurusimran Khalsa, Sr. Technical Marketing Manager, VMware
Tuesday, Aug 30, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Tuesday, Aug 30, 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Greg and John are both great presenters and even though this topic specifies service providers, the discussion would apply to just about any IT organization.

Virtual SAN for VMware Service Providers [STO9079]
Greg Mulholland, Staff Systems Engineer, VMware
John Nicholson, Senior Technical Marketing Manager, VMware
Wednesday, Aug 31, 8:30 a.m. – 9:30 a.m.

ROBO is a very popular use case for VSAN. This is typically achieved using a 2-Node VSAN design. Jase has written the white papers on that topic and Christian is an expert that tells it like it is. There are some interesting networking considerations in this design so this session will go into some technical depth.
Successful ROBO Design with vSphere & Virtual SAN [STO8880]
Jase McCarty, Staff Technical Marketing Architect, VMware
Christian Rauber, Solutions Architect, VMware
Wednesday, Aug 31, 2:30 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

These two crazy technical guys in the same session, talking about VSAN’s role in Containers and Cloud-Native Applications will be a huge hit.
Virtual SAN: Introducing the Best HCI Platform for Containers and Cloud-Native Applications [STO8256]
Christian Dickmann, VSAN Architect, VMware
Rawlinson Rivera, Principal Architect Office of CTO – SABU, VMware, Inc
Monday, Aug 29, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

VSAN is the storage component in the VxRail HCI solution. Great for simplicity and overall lifecycle management and support as well as some great add-on features like CloudArray for file and object storage and RecoverPoint for VM’s for Disaster Recovery.

VxRail Introduction Workshop [ELW-1728-SDC-1]
Aleksey Lib, Integration Architect, VMWARE
Judy Snow, Staff Technical Program Manager, VMware
Monday, Aug 29, 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Aug 31, 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Protecting VSAN

As I mentioned previously, storing data is one thing, but, making sure data is available is another. Stuff happens, like database corruption, malware, accidental deletions, etc. vSphere has built in backup and replication solutions that work with data stored on VSAN. These sessions are key to a successful software defined storage solution.

Group Discussion: Data Protection for Virtual SAN with Shobhan Lakkapragada and Jeff Hunter [STO10725-GD]
Jeff Hunter, Staff Technical Marketing Architect – Storage and Availability, VMware
Shobhan Lakkapragada, Group Product Manager, VMware
Wednesday, Aug 31, 11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Simplifying Disaster Recovery in 2016 using VSAN, NSX and SRM [STO7802]
Rawlinson Rivera, Principal Architect Office of CTO – SABU, VMware, Inc
John Whitman, Sr. Systems Engineer, VMware
Tuesday, Aug 30, 3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.

If you don’t follow Virtually Speaking podcasts, you should. https://soundcloud.com/virtuallyspeakingpodcast These two guys are the stars of the show, very entertaining and deep tech.
Snapshots Suck: How VSAN and VVol fix all your operational nightmares [STO8159]
Pete Flecha, Sr Technical Marketing Architect, VMware
John Nicholson, Senior Technical Marketing Manager, VMware
Wednesday, Aug 31, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Successful Virtual SAN 6 Stretched Clusters [STO7557]
Jase McCarty, Staff Technical Marketing Architect, VMware
Nabil Quadri, Sr. Product Manager, VMware
Tuesday, Aug 30, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Group Discussion

These Group Discussions look like a great idea, especially to get closer interaction between VMworld guests and our VSAN experts. Below are some interesting conversations to join.

Group Discussion: Meet the Virtual SAN Engineering Team Led by Christian Dickman & Ankur Pai [STO10722-GD]
Christian Dickmann, VSAN Architect, VMware
Ankur Pai, Sr Manager VSAN R&D, VMware
Tuesday, Aug 30, 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Group Discussion: Virtual SAN Stretched Clusters and 2-Node Deployments with Vahid Fereydouny [STO10721-GD]
Vahid Fereydounkolahi, Sr Product Line Manager, VMware
mansi shah, Staff Engineer, VMWare
Tuesday, Aug 30, 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Hyperconvergence Panel Discussion: Exploring the Reality of Hyper-Converged Infrastructure and Virtual SAN [STO8488]
Skip Bacon, VP, Partner Development – Storage & Availability, VMware Inc.
Monday, Aug 29, 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.