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Well, I had an opportunity today to attend EMC inform 2010 which holds at Crown building. This Inform is hold by Vmware, EMC, Cisco. As what they like to call themselves “VCE”.

This inform is about to push vPLEX technology, vBlock and 100% Virtualisation into market. They brought along few companies including MelbourneIT with them to testimony their new technology.

Shall we push ourselves to 100% virtualisation?

Basically, Vmware still try to push 100% virtualisation to public and more companies regardless the fact most of company only virtualize 75% of their production. The reason people don’t virtualize the rest of 25% is understandable. Virtualization needs to use certain amount of overhead resource to run their virtual kernel and that’s inevitable.

Some software like SQL, Exchange, and ERP system are still using physical boxes because major advantage of virtualization, which is consolidation, is not long goal you can get when you virtualize those servers. According to one of CTO who gave the speech during the inform, the best practice for virtualizing those servers is to give them a dedicated box to run. Meaning, you are not only pay for the MS license, you also need to pay for extra Vmware license cost. So Why would you virtualize the rest of 25% production?

The answer is DR system. According to EMC CTO, EMC is ready to implement VPLEX Local and VPLEX Metro technology between 2 SAN systems. (for now). Once you can duplicate your large caches of SAN in two different geographic location, Vmware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) can kick in and make Vmware DR easy and possible. Meaning if you want your Exchange, SQL and ERP to have a good DR, you need to virtualize 100% your production although you have to pay quite a bit for extra license, SAN and datacenter rent. So it’s really up to business and how far they want to cover their bottom.

Does VPLEX actually work?

Well, I believe it does. It doesn’t matter you call it virtual storage layer or vm teleportation or  VPLEX, but it does help you to storage vmotion a VM from one SAN to another SAN (distance less than 100km) in just 7 minutes. Yes, we can do it without VPLEX, but it will take up to 1.6 hours!

I personally reckon the best speech during this inform was not from EMC nor VMWARE, it was from CTO of Melbourne IT. Melbourne IT has more than 5000 servers and half of them are virtual machines. They are Web hosting company which generates 5TB Internet traffic per day. One story CTO of MelbourneIT gave to us was the website of CFA (Victoria Country Fire Authority). Victoria had very bad bush fire in 2009. When bush fire happened at first day, only few thousands people visited this website. After few days, it became national news so visitor numbers increased from few thousands to 10 thousands. After few more days, this actually become global news. It’s like most people in this world thought the whole Australia was on fire. The website had 20 million visitors in one day! This amount of visits crashed the hosting server easily because MelbourneIT never expected this kind of traffic. So after only 11 minutes, MelbourneIT was able to migrate the whole VM to another datacenter via SAN replication link. The VM was transferred to much large datacenter which is capable to handle large traffic and be alive since them. Once the traffic backed to normal, Melbourne IT was able to transfer this VM back to low cost, slow speed tier. Awesome, isn’t it? The link they have for SAN has 50ms latency and less than 100km distance.

What is vBlock?

Accelerate the journey to private cloud with integrated packages combining best-of-breed Cisco, EMC, and VMware technologies. These packages are jointly tested and supported to deliver optimal performance and reduce operational expenses.

Vblock 2 delivers high-performance, large-scale virtualization across data centers of large enterprise customers. Vblock 1 delivers performance and virtualization for large or midsized companies and is suitable for data centers of any size, including remote-office locations. Vblock 0 is an ideal platform for companies that want an entry level configuration for small data centers, remote locations, or as a test/development platform.

In short, vBlock is a central management of “VCE” system. It uses one application to management and control multilayers. As EMC (as storage), CISCO(as back bone) and Vmware kernal tried to talk to each other, we need a system to manage all running jobs. Also, vBlock can be used for private cloud to communicate with public cloud or 3rd party cloud. To prove this case, One of guys from Optus made presentation regarding one of their client (a university) to integrate with Oputs Cloud. But he didn’t give us more details as what exactly T1 applications running on it so I don’t really buy it.


EMC Inform is really a single company show (Vmware belongs to EMC) and they try to push VPLEX and VMWARE DR to market. For VPLEX, I believe you can use it to replicate Datacenter and VMWARE SRM is possible but not cheap. For the cloud, I guess we still have to wait and see how it goes in next 5 years.

Please leave your comments if you like.

P.S: I just got new domain for my blog so you can remember it. It is



  1. Just want to say what a great blog you got here!
    I’ve been around for quite a lot of time, but finally decided to show my appreciation of your work!

    Thumbs up, and keep it going!

  2. Hey I like the blog. reads great. Do you use Twitter as well?

    • Sorry, Mark. It’s still new blog system and I am still checking around. Didn’t notice system put your reply as spam. (Did u do something naughty before? :p)
      I hope you can drop by time by time and feel free to ask questions.
      I have uploaded some new posts and I hope you can enjoy them.
      More to come, for sure.


One Trackback/Pingback

  1. By It Box @ All Around the World News on 08 Jun 2010 at 6:19 pm

    MS SQL Migrate…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

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