VMworld wrap-up: the EVO-Family

The Announcements

It’s hard for #vExperts, bloggers, industry experts, … to be surprised at these events. We are so close to it all the other 51 weeks of the year that most announcements are either already known through some chatter on the Social Media platforms or we may already have been briefed. Another reason is that most announcements are just evolutionairy and fall in the category of ‘this was what we expected at some point‘.

EVO Rail


We have been ‘warned’ that VMware was going to announce a hyperconverged platform at VMworld 2014. Under the working title Marvin we had a fair share of guessing going on. First of all I must applaud VMware for NOT going into hardware selling. VMware is and remains to the day a pure software company that simply does not have the internal structure for sales, distribution and support of hardware appliances.

This brings us to the why of EVO-family. If you simplify it, EVO (both Rail & Rack) is nothing more than VMware software, distrubuted by the OEMs. This is not new as those vendors have been selling it that way for years. Then it was only ESX(i) because that was all that was available. So why the big buzz then? In my opinion EVO is not an intent to sell more VMware. But it is a product that gives the OEM vendors an answer to the node-based datacenter architecture where Nutanix, SimpliVity and ScaleComputing have led the way.

Mike Laverick 2014 Aug 29

The value of node-based architectures is NOT in the distributed storage as such. The storage layer is just the enabler of node-based architectures. The common value is in the simplification of installation and the flexibility/agility of datacenter growth. The differentiation between the products is the quality of the distributed storage layer and the infrastructure management once it is installed. All of the aforementioned products have cracked the burden of datacenter installation. When we look at the storage layer, Nutanix and SimpliViy clearly have the upperhand in maturity of the product. There is hardly a chance that Virtual SAN will be able to catch up with either one. This will boil down to the what is good-enough debate when facing the customer. All-in-all if an EVO-Rail has the same price as a Nutanix/SimpliVity node, I wouldn’t hesitate for a second to buy from the leaders in this segment. I like Virtual SAN a lot but as a customer I would prefer to use a 3rd generation storage OS over a 1st generation any day.

The daily management and maintenance of the systems will barely be a differentiator as they are all playing on the same battlefield here. This is where ScaleComputing (disclaimer: customer of mine) has the upper hand. If you are a small/medium company that just cannot care about managing infrastructure at all, Scale is your partner. This not caring is mostly because you are on a way too small team and do not have time as a resource.

Note that I only spoke about RAIL here. EVO-RACK is a totally different beast which is based on OpenCompute platform. As I have no experience into that part of the market I will refrain myself for now to comment in this.

I have done my share of servers + network + storage + … installations in the past. Secondly I have always felt myself limited by the classic 5-years buying cycles and the node-based architecures finally bring that to the stop. I would love to do an in depth review of all these systems in the market. At the very least the 4 products mentioned here but I know there is more (to come). I’ll see if I can get their support for this project.


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VMworld wrap-up: this is Sparta!

This is my thank you to the community at large. Not only has VMware built the biggest eco-system there is today in the datacenter industry, it also has by far the biggest and best community. Every VMworld I make new friends for life! Not just business connections, not just people to talk to over the common denominator being technology but true personal friends.

  • The type of friends you invite for a birthday dinner or even a wedding for that matter.
  • The type of friends that set up huge fund-raising campaigns when one of us faces the toughest periods in life.
  • The type of friends I will take PTO for to show them my country (call me!!!).
  • The type of friends that stand up for one another with no questions asked. We will bully the bullies, we will escort you to your room if you had one too many, we will respect you for who you are and take on anyone that would challenge that.
  • The type of friends that help me being a better person in life, whether that is through praise or preach.

THIS my friends is our SPARTA!

I hope to see you all real soon again and in the mean time, enjoy my set of #VMworld pictures. Feel free to download them at full size, re-use them wherever you need (yes dear vendor, you too) or tag yourself in my facebook album. While you are there, hit that friend request button if you haven’t done so before.

COMMENTS: tell me your best personal moment of VMworld 2014 in the comments section please! Share your Sparta.


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VMWorld vendor update: Infinio 2.0

Infinio is just one of those small startups you just cannot love enough. Most of that is actually due to their great choice of people. From CEO down to localised sales engineers or one of my personal best friends in this industry Matthew Brender (@mjbrender

Infinio 2.0

Infinio launched last year with a storage accelerator product. The short elevator pitch is basically that you’d deploy one small appliance per VMware host that uses 8GB of your RAM to offload NFS-read requests, through a distributed caching pool.

Today Infinio is announcing Infinio Accelerator v2.0. You can follow a deepdive about the updates on Wednesday through their presentation for TechFieldDay. But I had a brief chat with Matthew yesterday and thought I’d share some more information to go with the press release.

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VMworld – Feel Good – Do Good

Almost ready to leave again for the single most exciting week a year for our technical (niche) community. It is both physically and mentally the most exhausting week as well. Whether you have 10 speaking sessions, running around from Moscone West to South or you have 20 interviews a day, all that is only the first half of the day before the dinners and parties go on till the early morning hours. 

Last year I covered a few tips (work hard – party hard) to take care of that physical part. Socks and shoes, taking showers and a crash break and most importantly WATER. This time I would love to have a go at the mental part.

Feel Good Do Good

Feel Good

I’ll admit it, I have crashed mentally after heavy conference weeks like VMworld. If you’ve seen me there, you’ll probably know why. I live it for 200%! A healthy body is nothing without a healthy mind. These are two moments I found that can help with that.

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My FREE email address is also MY free email address

Yes, I am using GMAIL as provider for my professional conversations. I also have a hansdeleenheer.com account which I only use for really really important stuff like bank, leasing, social security, … communication. This means that my primary inbox is gmail. This both for communication with people or application/account registration. And here is the topic of the day with that:

Screenshot 2014 08 09 01 13 54

Lead, leads, leads …

I know, I know. I’ve had this discussion dozens of times and it always comes down to these two major reasons:

  • We don’t want anonymous competitors downloading our software
  • We need your personal information to SPAM you as a new lead

I’ll leave the first reason to you for judgement. Personally if I trust my software, I wouldn’t mind my competitors using a public trial (not beta!). That second reason is where I’d like to focus our attention on for a moment.

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Making ADHD work – Getting Stuff Done!

This is ridiculous. About 6 weeks ago I wrote a series on making ADHD work (landing page) and the one with the title getting sh*t done ends up staying in draft till now (can’t tell you what ‘now’ will be yet).


Procrastinators Unite … tomorrow!

It’s the single most annoying thing about ADHD. Putting off stuff to do in five minutes – later – tomorrow. There are multiple reasons for procrastination:

  • It’s is so hard to concentrate on something that when we have focus, it’s impossible to allow something/someone to interrupt that. Once interrupted it’s gone. This is why I can signal you ‘the hand’ when I am typing that important email.
  • Since we fail / have failed at every big project, every next project feels overwhelming so you just don’t feel like getting started.
  • Gotham needed me

Design for success

That being overwhelmed is a very big deal. I am behind on my expense reports and taxes all the time. And not just a few days or weeks. I filed 6 quarters in february. I entered my last expense report for Veeam 6 months after I already left the company. Just because I don’t see the end in the pile of paperwork.

Somehow I have this idea my accountant won t really like my procrastination issues

This also goes for tasks like cleaning the kitchen. If I don’t see the end of it straight away, the overwhelming part of not being able to succeed will be the reason for being triggered by other stuff that gets my attention priority. The trick I have found is a classic trick in project management: break down the tasks in as small as possible pieces. This gives two positive results:

  • every small task achieved gives a positive vibe in going for the next part
  • if one or two small parts of the entire task are not finished, you still accomplished quite a lot. If you don’t break the bigger task down in smaller ones, it will always be a complete failure.

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TechFieldDay Extra at VMworld US

Oh yes, I’m honoured to be included in the TFD crew yet again. I previously was included in Storage Field Day 1 and Storage Field Day 5 but also at several of the smaller RoundTable events at VMworld, Cisco Live and Interop New York. TechFieldDay is by far the most interesting event for an independent blogger like myself. This for two major reasons:

  1. You get to see the newest of new technology (or newest iterations) explained by the smartest brains of the respective companies
  2. The team of likeminded delegates brings the best out of yourself and each other. This is way more than just an old boys club ;-)

Those IT convention roundtables are also a very good way to actually get a few of the bloggers onsite that would otherwise never make it on their own dime. Therefor I am very grateful to all the sponsors that make it possible for me to cross the Atlantic and have a nice bed on site!!! (this was a disclaimer, peeps!). And before I forget it: Thank you VMware for the bloggers pass! All together this type of sponsorship saves me at least $4000 !!!

TFD Extra Logo 150

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The IT Hulk thoughts

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