a) CISCO UCS visit: We took a field trip to Moses Cone Hospital (Greensboro, NC) to see their new CISCO UCS implementation. They were so open and friendly in sharing why they selected this for their next platform for vSphere and I was really impressed in what we heard and saw. The blade chassis themselves are very basic which makes them fast to install. Four plugs and 4 wires for the Data/Storage paths and your done! Then all management and firmware is sent from one place (instead of at each chassis like in a traditional blade setup). I highly suggest you look into this more.
b) Chinwag with Mike Laverick: A "Chingwag" is his term for an informal discussion about virtualization...and I had a ton of topics! It was really fun and I hope we can do more in the future. It was my first use of Skype for video conferencing and I found it worked really nice. You can listen or view the chinwag here: http://www.rtfm-ed.co.uk/2010/02/11/chinwag-with-mike%E2%80%A6-and-jay-rogers-episode-02/ or all chinwags here: http://www.rtfm-ed.co.uk/category/chinwag/
The Chinwag was also mentioned on the famous ntpro.nil site here: http://www.ntpro.nl/blog/archives/1451-My-Chinwag-With-Mike-Laverick.html
c) xSigo POC is on track. We got in the equipment and some loaner test hardware from HP (Thanks HP). More to come on this as we get in the POC more.Some interesting new we got directly from xSigo...it appears VMware has selected then for their own internal VDI deployment!
d) Suddenly on the radar pops up VDI as a major interest this year. I was originally involved in this in the original VMware View beta and presented on it and local VMUG events and the NC/SC Summit in 2008. After winning a PCoIP display last year and VMworld 2009, it was nice to see interest in this again for a corporate solution, since now they have PCoIP support built in.
d) vBlock: I had a meeting with EMC to discuss some strategies and then this came up again in our discussion around VDI. I have to say this appears very impressive to. Basically, you get CISCO UCS, MDS, and Storage guaranteed to handle workload you are intending to use it for with it all racked and ready to go. Even better you have one place to call for support with no finger pointing! You can see a 3D design of a vBlock here: http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral/ns340/ns517/ns224/ns836/ns976/ns1027/vce_vblock_kaon.html
e) Turn-key, repeatable VMware Data Center footprint: I was charged with finding a good solution for a repeatable small VMware footprint we could put into remote data centers that join Novant. We have been doing a ton of research with solutions like: vBlock, HP Storage Works P2000, Lefthand P2000 solution, and Netapp to mention a few. If YOU have any suggestions for this type of solution I would love to hear from you. We are looking for maybe a 2 server vSphere setup with 2-5GB of storage.
Another item of interest to me from http://www.ntpro.nl/blog/archives/1453-VMware-VCP-Plus.html is it appears some new certifications with VMware will be announced soon (VCP Plus) being one of them!
Until next time...