Although I've had plans to go to the last 3 or 4 Toronto VMUG events something has always came up which has put the 2 hour drive on the back burner. The only one that I have made it out to was the regional VMUG which I thought was more like a mini-vmworld in a sense. I did however make it out to the latest half day event at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre on September 27th and I'm glad I did. The half day events seem to be more topic oriented, with all vendors and speakers focusing more on one functionality or product of the the VMware Cloud Infrastructure Suite. The smaller crowds give you more of a chance to talk and network with your peers in a little more intimate of a setting. With that said, heres what went down.
Next up was one of the sponsors, Xsigo. I can't remember the gentleman's name that was presenting but it was a very good presentation nonetheless. Xsigo talked about how the can streamline I/O management issues with their product called I/O Director. Basically by virtualizing the network and storage I/O with there appliances you can, in essence, provide up to 80GB worth of bandwidth to EACH of your servers. Will you ever need that? Who knows, I know I don't…right now, but hey, we've all seen the old computer advertisements stating you would never need more than 64K of ram, so anything is possible. Xsigo looks like they have an interesting product line, but I'm not sure if it is something you would consider just adding to your datacentre. I would definitely consider it upon building a new datacentre, but the investment in the HBA's, Brocades, and Network switches on the back of our blade chassis now is a little too much to just rip out and throw away.
Cisco closed the day talking about their UCS platforms and vSphere 5. They explained very briefly on how they became a member of the top 3 blade computing companies within a very short time in the market. The items that caught my attention from there presentation the most was how between using Cisco UCS Service Profiles, VMware Auto Deploy, and vCenter Host Profiles, you can essentially spin up hosts with little to and sometimes no manual interaction aside from pushing a power button. And this is done in a very short period of time as well, perfect for the dynamic workloads a cloud environment require. They also spoke briefly about VXLAN and the advantages that we will see once it is certified, as well as about their solution to migrate workloads between datacenters using the Nexus 1000V. It was yet again another great discussion which spawned up many questions around the networking end of things and how to get your network guys involved with your virtualization initiatives.