TheDropIt has been almost a decade since I started working at VMware. I can’t believe how fast the time has passed. In my time at VMware I’ve been presented with many incredible opportunities in different areas of the company and have been given the ability to work with and for some incredibly smart, dedicated, and passionate people.

I started at VMware in the education organization developing and delivering external and internal training around the world. While in that role I also worked on the development of VMware certification programs ranging from VCP all the way to VCDX.

A few year’s later, I was asked to join the professional services organization during the beginning of the internal cloud era and become part of a team leading those efforts. As an enterprise architect, I got the opportunity to work with some of the largest VMware customers and learn about their business challenges and how to address them with VMware technical solutions. Those were some great, fun, long and proud working days.

For the past few years, I have been working in different roles as a member of the Cloud Infrastructure and Storage & Availability technical marketing team. In my time in technical marketing, I have been responsible for multiple storage related products and solutions, and for the past two years, I’ve been the primarily responsible for VMware Virtual SAN and vSphere Virtual Volumes.

These past few years have been amazing with everything that has been going on in the storage world and all the new technologies VMware has brought forward. One notable achievement for me was a project I called “ProjectMagic,” a programmatic solution designed to abstract the knowledge storage infrastructures driven by the utilization of policies through a centralized service catalog.

The solution was demonstrated in a VMworld keynote by Raghu Raghuram, VMware EVP and GM, Software Defined Datacenter Division, and Ben Fathi, VMware Chief Technology Officer. It was a great honor and privilege to see that happen. I have to thank the people who enabled and supported my creative ideas and allowed me to take the time to do such projects. Thank you, Charu and Kaushik.

With all of that being said, the time has come to move onto something new and step away from my previous technical marketing responsibilities and take my passion and creativity to the next level. I’m excited to announce that as of this week I will be taking my talents to the bay area and joining the Office of the CTO in the Storage and Availability Business Unit. I feel privileged, and I’m extremely excited to be working with and reporting to a person whom I have a great deal of admiration and respect, and that is Christos Karamanolis. I can’t wait to get started.

I want to thank both Christos and Charles Fan for the consideration and incredible opportunity. I look forward to the great new challenges ahead. I will continue being one of Virtual SAN’s biggest advocates as well as a supporter of our other storage and availability products and solutions. And don’t worry, mics will continue to get dropped…

See you all at VMworld 2015 US and Barcelona.

For future updates on Software-Defined Storage, and Storage and Availability technologies be sure to follow me on Twitter: @PunchingClouds

VSAN-Horizon-ViewThis new reference architecture is base on the latest versions of VMware Horizon View 6.0.2 and VMware Virtual SAN 6.0. Virtual SAN’s 6.0 hybrid storage architecture is the focus of the storage design and configuration with real-world test scenarios, user workloads, and infrastructure system configurations.

The hardware utilized in this reference architecture is based on Extreme Ethernet switches and SuperMicro rack mount servers with locally attached storage devices designed to support a scalable architecture and a cost-effective linked-clone desktop deployment model on VMware vSphere 6.0.

This technical paper highlights the results collected from the extensive user experience and operations testing performed, including Login VSI and desktop performance testing of up-to 1,600 desktops, and desktop provisioning operations of up-to 2,400 desktops.

The performed tests reveal the world-class performance and value of the solution at low cost. Virtual SAN’s technology allows easy scalability while maintaining superior performance at a competitive price point. The official document will be publicly available soon from the VMware technical resources page.

In the meantime, you can get early access to the final draft of the white paper directly from the link below.

– Enjoy

For future updates on Virtual SAN (VSAN), vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVol) and other Software-defined Storage technologies, as well as vSphere + OpenStack, be sure to follow me on Twitter: @PunchingClouds

VSAN-BCAVMware Virtual SAN 6.0 enables customers and partners to host Microsoft business critical applications such as Exchange Server, SQL Server, and SharePoint with consistent performance levels and constant availability. As part of the effort to extend the awareness of VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 ability to host business critical applications we have put together a solution white paper which covers the design, and configuration of Microsoft Exchange Server 2013, SQL Server 2014, and SharePoint 2013 and tested the solution’s capabilities and supported features of these Microsoft business critical applications on Virtual SAN 6.0 as Proof of Concept.

In this technical white paper we describe how concurrent Microsoft Exchange and Microsoft SQL Server workloads are configured to deliver the performance levels they demand as a Tier 1 application on VMware Virtual SAN. In the paper we cover the configuration procedure for Exchange Server 2013 with Database Availability Groups (DAG), SQL Server 2014 with AlwaysOn Availability Groups (AAG) and Microsoft SharePoint 2013 on an eight-node VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 cluster.

This proof of concept and test consists on the deployment and configuration has all three applications deployed in the same VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 cluster, along with other management components such as Active Directory and DNS servers. We used industry-standard test tools for both Exchange Server and SQL Server to generate simultaneous application load on the storage subsystem. During our testing and analysis, we discovered that performance for Exchange Server 2013 and SQL Server 2014 running on VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 was comparable to that of enterprise-class network-attached storage (NAS) and storage-area network (SAN) storage.

The design, deployment, and configuration of the environment, was considerably easier and faster to deploy since there no additional host utilities needed for the storage systems and components. The figure below illustrates some of the performance results we were able to collect with the design and hardware utilized for this project.


The main purpose of this project was to mainly to validate application and solution functionality, and to also validate that VMware Virtual SAN 6.0 provides support non-shared Microsoft Cluster Solutions (MSCS), specifically with Exchange DAG and SQL AAG and also include the  performance, resiliency, and availability results are mixed with an out of the box approach.

With this information customers and partners can see proof of some of the testing we have been working on around running business critical applications on VMware Virtual SAN 6.0. As a follow up we’re working on a full and detailed solutions reference architecture on Exchange Server 2013 with DAG, and SQL Server 2014 with AAG which will including the documentation of all aspects of the solution including performance, backup/recovery, DR, etc.

In the mean time you can get early access to this initial effort and download an early draft of this white paper directly from the link below. The document will be available later from the VMware technical resources page.

– Enjoy

For future updates on Virtual SAN (VSAN), vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVol) and other Software-defined Storage technologies, as well as vSphere + OpenStack, be sure to follow me on Twitter: @PunchingClouds


coho-logoIt has been a while since I had blogged about anything outside of VMware and today’s announcement by Coho Data seemed like a good time to venture outside.

Coho Data, has been chugging along quietly (to learn more about them, and seemed to have racked up quite a impressive funding.

They recently announced their Series C funding link in Coho Data series C funding article and it seems not just that.

Coho Data is now entering the All-flash vendor foray with this announcement: Coho Data All-Flash. It is always interesting to see such young vendors like Coho Data make such promising progress. Can’t wait to see what else they have to offer in the future.

 – Enjoy
For future updates on Virtual SAN (VSAN), vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVol) and other Software-defined Storage technologies, as well as vSphere + OpenStack, be sure to follow me on Twitter: @PunchingClouds

VSAN Health Check LogoIntroducing the Virtual SAN Health Check Plugin, a tool designed to deliver a simplified troubleshooting and monitoring experience of all things Virtual SAN for vSphere Administrators. This plugin delivers over thirty different health checks specifically for Virtual SAN ranging from hardware compatibility, networking configuration, operations, advanced configuration options, storage device, and virtual machines.

The plugin enhances the Virtual SAN customer support and user experience by providing the ability for customers to join VMware’s Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP). CEIP is a program design to improve the quality, reliability, and functionality of Virtual SAN and its services. The membership to the CEIP is an optional feature that can be enabled or disabled at any point in time through the Virtual SAN Health check plugin user interface.

The plugin also introduces a new feature called the Virtual SAN Support Assistant. This feature allows vSphere Administrators to upload Virtual SAN log bundles directly to their respective support request opened with VMware Global Support Services (GSS).

The health check plugin tool is simple and easy to use and its installed in two very phases:

  • Phase 1: Deploy and install the vCenter Server extension and back services
  • Phase 2: Deploy the ESXi extensions onto all host that are members of a Virtual SAN cluster

Once installed, the plugin can be used to verify and validate the health of a Virtual SAN cluster by performing a series of individual checks to examined and identify if there are any issues with the Virtual SAN cluster in any of the category listed below:

  • Virtual SAN HCL health
  • Cluster health
  • Network health
  • Data health
  • Limits health
  • Physical disk health

VSAN-Health Check

Each health check category is composed of a series of individual checkpoints that can be run directly from the vSphere Web Client at any time by clicking on the Retest button. The plugin remains true to the design principals of Virtual SAN by keeping everything very simple and easy to manage.

The Virtual SAN Health Check Plugin is available for both versions of the vCenter Server (Windows and Linux). The plugin can be downloaded from the Virtual SAN product download page under the drivers and tool section.

For a quick demonstration of the plugin installation procedure take a look at the demo below. For more detailed information please visit the VMware Virtual SAN Health Check release note page. You can also download the Virtual SAN Health Plugin manual directly from this Virtual SAN Health Check Plugin.

– Enjoy

For future updates on Virtual SAN (VSAN), vSphere Virtual Volumes (VVol) and other Software-defined Storage technologies, as well as vSphere + OpenStack, be sure to follow me on Twitter: @PunchingClouds