Simplify Lifecycle Management with Dell EMC PowerEdge & VMware

Co-author: Damon Earley

IT Admins can realize significant time savings with up to 98% less hands-on time to update hypervisor and firmware¹

We’ve often heard that the most precious resource is time. What if we told you that Dell EMC PowerEdge and VMware have teamed up to help your IT staff get a little more time back in their day? No, it’s not magic, although you may feel compelled to work on your next virtual party trick with all of the time savings that your IT staff will reap from using Dell EMC OpenManage Integration for VMware vCenter (OMIVV) and vSphere Lifecycle Manager (vLCM). Better yet, use the time saved to access more exciting content from the first-ever virtual VMworld 2020, including the PowerEdge and VMware on-demand technical session.

Dell EMC PowerEdge and VMware have jointly innovated to give your IT staff the virtualization mathematics that really add up to true time savings. Earlier this year, VMware launched VMware vSphere 7 as vSphere Lifecycle Manager (vLCM), which enables IT to deploy, manage and update both software and drivers in conjunction with a hardware support manager for hardware firmware using a desired state model. Dell EMC PowerEdge was one of the first server manufacturers to implement this epic new feature with our own hardware support manager, Dell EMC OpenManage Integration for VMware vCenter (OMIVV). The results include some pretty impressive time savings for your IT staff, who like the rest of the world, are strapped for time. We’ll dive into those time savings but first, let’s talk about OMIVV.

OMIVV is the systems management plug-in from Dell for vCenter, providing a unified view of physical and virtual servers for PowerEdge hosts running vSphere. With it, monitoring and lifecycle management of the physical server can be brought into the native vCenter user interface, helping provide a holistic view of your server resources. With vLCM and OMIVV, you can see a significant decrease in the total time it takes to run these updates. Benefits include:

  • Reduced manual steps by setting up templates
  • Repositories that can be used repeatedly across many servers
  • Communication with vCenter to work with its software policies, like ProActive HA, DRS, and vSAN
  • Capability to leverage live migration policies, including for VMware vSAN

Customers have maximum flexibility and control when patches and updates are deployed, with unified software and firmware lifecycle management. And they can do it simply within vCenter, a familiar and comfortable tool. With Cluster Profiles, both for legacy vSphere and with vLCM, monitor for compliance and drift automatically, and schedule updates from within vCenter.

Based on this report by Principled Technologies, with vLCM and OMIVV, it took 98% fewer steps to update the hypervisor and firmware on an 8-node PowerEdge cluster.

Number of steps to update both hypervisor and firmware across a cluster. Fewer steps are better. Source: Principled Technologies

A lot of the steps to this process – defining the software image, what drivers are needed, what firmware needs to be applied – are generally done only a handful of times based on the specific servers are in the cluster. Leveraging vLCM’s new functions for setting the ESXi baseline and driver add-ons, along with hardware templates for server firmware, lets you set these things once, then use them across the environment. The overall time, as well as hands-on time, was also significantly reduced, per the chart below. Essentially, the admin time was reduced to under 4 minutes versus 3.5 hours manually.

Time (h::mm:ss) to update both the hypervisor and firmware across a cluster. Less time is better. Source: Principled Technologies

While we cannot jointly innovate or engineer more hours in the day, our commitment to our PowerEdge server customers using VMware vSphere, vSAN and Cloud Foundation is to help simplify and accelerate your hybrid cloud with new features such as vLCM. Learn more about our approach to lifecycle management with this on-demand PowerEdge and VMware breakout session at VMworld 2020, or visit our PowerEdge and VMware website.

¹Principled Technologies report commissioned by Dell EMC, “New VMware vSphere 7.0 features reduced the time and complexity of routine update and hardware compliance tasks,” August 2020.

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Dell Technologies Named a Leader in the Gartner 2020 Data Center Backup & Recovery Solutions Magic Quadrant

A Constant in a Sea of Change

Heraclitus, an ancient Greek philosopher once said, “The only thing that is constant is change.” These words ring truer now perhaps more than any other time in our lives. The recent health, economic and social watershed events of 2020 bring into stark reality how the fabric of our lives can change in an instant.

Despite these dizzying changes, one thing has not changed – the criticality of data. In fact, data has never been more critical than it is right now. That’s why we are humbled to be recognized by Gartner as a Leader in the 2020 Data Center Backup & Recovery Solutions Magic Quadrant – a distinction we have earned in every Gartner Magic Quadrant for data center backup and recovery solutions since 1999.¹

Our 21-year position as a Leader in the Magic Quadrant is, we believe, a continuing affirmation of the trust our customers place in us, not merely as just a provider of leading data protection solutions, but as a partner committed to their long-term success.

That commitment begins with taking a customer-first approach in everything we do – from investing in our people, to investing in our communities, to investing in innovation.

And it all begins with data. Unlocking the next great discovery begins with creating, curating, protecting and securing the vast amounts of data being born across core, edge and multi-cloud computing environments.

Therefore, safeguarding data to ensure it is highly available, efficiently protected and secure from cyber threats wherever it lives, is a mission we are deeply committed to.

For example, three key areas where we are helping our customers today are:

  1. Cloud Data Protection – delivering solutions to protect any workload across any cloud while providing the lowest cost to protect in the cloud. Today, we have over 1,000 customers protecting over 2.7 Exabytes of data in the cloud.²
  2. VMware data protection – delivering deep integration with VMware to simplify and automate data protection for virtual and containerized workloads for increased agility.
  3. Cyber Recovery – secure infrastructure that optimizes cyber resiliency to ensure rapid recovery from destructive cyberattacks.

And going forward, we have even more ambitious plans to continue to drive innovation across our entire data protection portfolio. With our PowerProtect Data Manager platform, we plan to increase IT simplicity, increase data protection efficiencies and increase automation of data protection and recovery operations, so that our customers can focus on delivering the innovation and change needed to help them transform, modernize and compete more effectively in the data era.

¹ As Dell EMC, 2017-2019; As EMC, 2005 – 2016; As Legato, 2004; As Legato Systems and EMC, 2003; As Legato Networker and EMC Data Manager (EDM), 2001; As Legato and EMC, 1999-2000

² Based on information provided by public cloud providers, Feb 2020

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Disrupting the Network Together: Dell EMC and VMware

This post is co-authored by Tom Gillis, SVP and GM, VMware Networking & Security. Many years ago, Dell upended the PC industry with its direct-to-consumer model, before extending its disruption into enterprise IT. VMware revolutionized the industry with the introduction of the virtual machine, and soon after, hypervisors. Along our parallel timelines of innovation, we took that disruption to the network—VMware with NSX, Dell EMC with Open Networking. Dell EMC and VMware continue to disrupt, only now, we’re doing it together. Earlier this year at Dell Technologies World we announced close collaboration between Dell EMC and … READ MORE

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Dell EMC and VMware® – A Perfect Combination

There are some things that just go together; fire and smoke, hugs and kisses, peanut butter and jelly (or bananas, if you’re Elvis Presley), and finally Dell EMC and VMware. You may not have thought of that last one right away, but when it comes to your data center transformation, you should.

You know Dell EMC as the foundation to transform your data center with industry-leading servers, storage, data protection, networking and converged infrastructure. You also know VMware as the most trusted virtualization platform for the data center, applications and clients. Together, we have successfully transformed data centers for the better part of two decades.

But what you may not know is just how simple and easy it is to get an exceptional support experience when you are running VMware applications on Dell EMC systems.

We develop and maintain an incredibly high level of VMware expertise here at Dell EMC, through training, certifications and tools (such as our technical support lab). Dell EMC currently has 10 of only <300 VCDX professionals globally (including VMware employees), and our team holds a combined 1,900+ VMware certifications worldwide.

Because of this extraordinary level of expertise, we can do things most vendors cannot when it comes to supporting VMware. For example, during a period between February 1 to October 31, 2018, our support staff handled over 180,000 VMware-related support issues. Of those, 97% were handled in-house. In other words, our customers only had to call Dell EMC because our team was able to determine the issue and resolve it.

Now with ProSupport Plus for Enterprise, we support eligible VMware software installed on your Dell EMC systems whether you purchased the software from us or not. Not only will we diagnose the issue, we will own the issue through resolution.

At Dell EMC, we continue to listen and work hard to make your support experience even more proactive, predictive, personalized and most of all… simple.

To learn more about ProSupport Plus for Enterprise, visit DellEMC.com/ProSupport-Plus.

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PowerEdge & VMware: Better Together at VMworld 2019

This year, there are tons of new and exciting things to look forward to at VMworld US – and not just the new location. While we’re all excited to take a selfie with the Golden Gate bridge and see the home from Full House (oh that’s just me?) the real excitement of the week lies in the latest technology and innovation, networking, and learning that will permeate the Moscone Center in San Francisco August 25-29th.

Dell EMC and VMware have partnered for over 17 years, and today we’re doing more exciting work together than ever before. VMworld is always a highlight for us, because we get to see so many of our customers and partners face-to-face. We love to interact directly, hear feedback, answer questions, showcase our joint solutions and preview the new products and solutions that are coming soon.

As industry leaders in servers[1], virtualization[2], and HCI software[3], Dell EMC and VMware continuously work together to develop new joint solutions that enable our customers to efficiently reach their business objectives. There is always something new and exciting to highlight, and VMworld 2019 is no exception.

From a PowerEdge perspective, we have plenty of cool things up our sleeve that we’re excited to share with you. I don’t want to spoil the fun, but here’s a preview of what’s happening with PowerEdge at VMworld:

Breakout Sessions

PowerEdge will be represented in the following breakout sessions:

Power Composable Hybrid Cloud with VMware Cloud Foundation on PowerEdge MX

Speakers: Shanthala Gorur Ashwath, Senior Product Manager – Cloud Foundation VMware and Roger Foreman, Sr. Product Manager, Dell EMC

Monday, August 26, 02:30 PM – 03:30 PM

In this talk, we will detail how VMware Cloud Foundation made it possible to take advantage of the PowerEdge MX composable platform to provide on-demand allocations of physical resources for workload domains. Composable infrastructure is an exciting new area where customers have the flexibility to create their own purpose-built infrastructure on the fly, leading to greater fluidity in resource allocation and usage. In this session, you will learn how to reduce CapEx and OpEx through quicker deployments and application provisioning through automation, and how to utilize the flexibility and agility provided by the PowerEdge MX platform’s kinetic infrastructure to run virtualized workloads in a hybrid cloud environment. We will also go on a technical deep dive of this joint solution between VMware Cloud Foundation and the Dell MX platform.

Take IT to the track!! Self-Driving Datacenter, seatbelts required!

Speakers: Aaron Chaisson, Vice President Portfolio Messaging, Dell Technologies & Brian Lewis, Director VMware Portfolio Messaging, Dell Technologies

Tuesday, Aug. 27, 11:00 AM –12:00 PM

With a demo intensive experience, come see an insider’s look at the product innovations from Dell Technologies expansive portfolio of hardware, software and solutions that make the self-driving, software defined datacenter a reality. See our latest innovations and learn how we dramatically simplify and power more VMware deployments than anyone else through deeply integrated servers, storage, networking, data protection, converged and hyper-converged systems and vertically integrated cloud platforms built to deliver you the automated IT experience you desire, from the edge to the cloud, and anywhere in between.

Dell Technologies Booth # 1027

If you’re here in San Francisco, come see us in the Dell Technologies booth! We’ll have experts ready to talk and answer questions, in-booth theater presentations and a PowerEdge MX on display. Yes, we know this is a software show, but we like to throw in a subtle reminder that all this cool software runs on hardware. Plus, everyone seems to love the chance to see and touch a real live server – and the PowerEdge MX740C doesn’t disappoint.

We’ll also have demos of the latest cloud solutions on PowerEdge infrastructure and management system advances with OpenManage. This is fantastic opportunity to learn more about our joint PowerEdge and VMware solutions and align on your workload strategy. Highlights include:

VMware Cloud Foundation for PowerEdge MX – Wondering how to make hybrid cloud work for you? Leverage the industry’s most advanced hybrid cloud platform, VMware® Cloud Foundation™, to drive a consistent, simple experience with a single operating environment across multiple clouds. Based on VMware technologies including vSphere (compute), vSAN (storage), NSX (networking and security), and vRealize® Suite (cloud management), Cloud Foundation delivers enterprise-ready services for both traditional and containerized apps – in private or hybrid cloud environments.

PowerEdge and VMware vSphere – We’re introducing an easy button for PowerEdge and vSphere! Soon the entire PowerEdge server portfolio will be available with vSphere Standard preinstalled and the license pre-activated straight from the factory. This new offer is unique to Dell EMC and saves customers up to 40 minutes per server for deployment and up to 67% fewer steps for activation and installation of vSphere[4].

OpenManage Integration for VMware vCenter (OMIVV) – OMIVV allows you to configure, deploy, update and monitor Dell PowerEdge servers — all within your vCenter console. Swing by the booth to see a demo and find out what new features will be available in OMIVV v5.

vSAN Ready Nodes – Dell EMC vSAN Ready Nodes built on Dell EMC PowerEdge servers have been pre-configured, tested, and certified to run VMware vSAN. Each Ready Node includes just the right amount of CPU, memory, network I/O controllers, HDDs, and SSDs that are best suited for vSAN. We’ll have demos and presentations and experts on hand to answer questions.

Booth Presentations

There will also be several presentations at the booth to highlight PowerEdge & VMware joint solutions:

Monday @ 5:30 pm – Managing VMware VCenter Environments with OpenManage

Tuesday @ 11:30 am – vSAN Ready Nodes

Wednesday @ 3:45 – Dynamic Storage Provisioning with VMware VCF and PowerEdge MX

Exclusive Technology Preview

PowerEdge & AMD will host a Technology Exclusive Preview event at 6:30 pm Tuesday evening. This event requires an invitation, VMworld event badge and signed NDA to attend. If you have a signed NDA and would like to join, please stop by our booth #1027 for more details and an invitation. You won’t be disappointed.

Customer Appreciation Celebration

We love our customers and the chance to celebrate with them! We’re hosting a customer appreciation event following the Exclusive Technology Preview at Waterbar Tuesday evening from 8-10 pm. Stop by our booth #1027 for an invitation and join us for good food, drinks and conversation (VMware badge and invitation are required for this event, but NDA is not).

PowerEdge and VMware work together to help you simplify your IT and prepare you to meet changing workload demands – both for today and the future. With over 1800 VMware-certified Dell EMC support professionals, one call can handle almost all your support issues.

To learn more about PowerEdge and VMware Solutions, visit our new solutions page.

Hope everyone has a great and productive week at VMworld! Rest up, and we’ll see you again at VMworld Europe in November!

To learn more about PowerEdge, visit dellemc.com/servers, or join the conversation on Twitter @DellEMCservers.

[1] IDC WW Quarterly x86 Server Tracker, 2018Q4, Mar. 6, 2019 – Units & Vendor Revenue

[2] Network World, Feb. 20, 2019

[3] IDC WW Quarterly Converged Systems Tracker, 2018, Q4, April 4, 2019 – Vendor Revenue

[4] Only applicable to new customers and based on internal VMware comparison of the typical vSphere installation and activation process as compared to the situation when vSphere is preinstalled and pre-activated at the factory. Typical installation and activation requires 9 steps, while the preinstalled and pre-activated process requires 3 steps.

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Dell EMC Doubles Down on VxBlock at Cisco Live: Introducing NVMe Innovations, VxBlock Central 2.0

Earlier this Spring, Dell EMC reaffirmed its decade-long commitment to converged infrastructure (CI) through the multi-year extension of its longstanding systems integrator agreement with Cisco. At the heart of our CI strategy is the VxBlock 1000, a system that delivers a true mission critical-foundation for the hybrid cloud and helps customers achieve greater simplicity and efficiency. This year at Cisco Live, Dell EMC is excited to make several announcements that deepen VxBlock 1000 integration across servers, networking, storage and data protection. Together, these announcements represent the next key milestone in our commitment to CI innovation and … READ MORE

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Integrated Data Protection for VMware Environments: Storage and Data Protection for Today, a Cloud-Ready Foundation for Tomorrow

Digital Transformation has changed the landscape of what data is to organizations. As a result, the essential functions of modern-day data protection products and their relationship to users must be addressed. As more users adopt virtualization, Dell EMC’s deep integration with VMware’s products and technologies have never been more important. The Dell EMC portfolio of data protection products provides the best experience for VMware users, with automation and orchestration across the entire VMware stack – on-premises and in the cloud. Integrated Data Protection Appliances, or IDPAs, provide a converged platform that combines compute, storage, and networking … READ MORE

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Modernizing Converged Infrastructure for the Cloud Era with New Updates to Dell EMC VxBlock and Ready Stack

It’s been 10 years since the first VCE Vblock debuted, the result of innovative collaboration between VMware, Cisco and EMC Corporation that launched the world’s first fully integrated converged infrastructure system. In the world of IT infrastructure, it was a groundbreaking first, and it quickly evolved to become one of easiest ways for organizations to deploy a mission-critical cloud within a hybrid cloud strategy. After more than 4,500 installations, which if stacked up would nearly reach Mt. Everest’s peak, the steady beat of innovation continues for the best-selling Certified Reference Systems & Integrated Infrastruture portfolio in … READ MORE

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Data Domain OS 6.2: Faster Data Protection, with Expanded Cloud Ecosystem, and Greater Flexibility – Part II

This is blog #2 in our series and will focus on enhancements to Dell EMC Data Domain, a leader in Purpose Built Backup Appliances (PBBA). What a start to the year 2019! Dell EMC Data Domain delivers another feature packed software release (Data Domain OS 6.2) with hardware component enablement. The key themes for this release are: Dell EMC Data Domain DD3300 Enhancements: We acted on the feedback from our customers related to DD3300, and are proud to announce faster networking, support for VTL use case over Fiber Channel, and more flexibility from a capacity upgrade … READ MORE

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Avoid These 3 Sticking Points on Your Journey to Cloud Applications

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On their path towards modernizing their applications for the cloud, many CIOs and IT executives are ‘getting stuck.’ Their teams may have made decisions around what Container-as-a-Service (CaaS) or Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) path to go down and even modernized their first application or two. But after the initial excitement, progress has stalled; adoption of new cloud application platforms has slowed to a crawl.

Why are customers stalling out and what can they do to get ‘unstuck’? Dell EMC Consulting is seeing three major patterns with our customers.

Failing to Re-Architect for the Cloud

The overall goal of cloud application modernization is to accelerate the delivery of business value through the adoption of new cloud architectures that drive greater innovation through increased agility and velocity around application release cycles. Organizations often struggle with properly identifying, prioritizing and, when needed, re-architecting their applications to take advantage of these new cloud platforms.

To drive effective Application Transformation programs, organizations must first identify and prioritize the right candidates for cloud modernization, understand how to best leverage their chosen cloud application architectures and patterns, and develop applicable modernization pipelines. Too often customers focus on initial ‘lift and shift’ of applications to cloud platforms, but fail to drive the re-architecture and modernization efforts required to truly enable increased velocity and innovation.

At a leading global investment firm Dell EMC Consulting helped assess their market leading Digital Banking platform. The platform was based on an early generation container-based application and accumulated technical debt. Over the course of the engagement, we evaluated architecture and operational decisions as well as development and deployment practices. Our work culminated in a prioritized backlog of improvement opportunities recommending tactical changes and enhancements that will reduce the technical debt accrued with respect to container platform scalability, test automation, and continuous delivery.

Undefined Application Onboarding Process

Many organizations we see have no defined, repeatable process for onboarding applications to the cloud, which greatly reduces the ROI potential for their newly adopted cloud platform. To gain the biggest bang for your buck, you must focus on the following key constructs around application onboarding:

  1. Define your application modernization and replatforming strategy, including your intended cloud architecture and/or platform.
  2. Quickly identify your ‘cloud-capable’ candidate application backlog via close adherence to 12-factor principles.
  3. Adopt a Cloud Native First mentality and remediate any application-specific patterns that will prevent cloud readiness.
  4. Apply DevOps best practices to your development lifecycle and instantiate repeatability and automation via CD pipelines.
  5. Apply modern development practices such as Agile and TDD.

At a global telecommunications company with a dominant position in Australia, we partnered with their application development organization to accelerate the migration of their application portfolio into both their PCF and AWS platforms. Realizing early on that their challenge was not technical in nature, but rather was more specific to the extreme security requirements of their organization and industry, Dell EMC Consulting worked side-by-side with the customer leadership to define and create a highly efficient and repeatable tool-based application review process which helped to accelerate the cloud suitability assessment. Assuming a strategic enabler role, with local support through our India-based COE, Dell EMC Consulting has enabled the customer to push over 400 legacy applications into the cloud over the past 5 months and is currently averaging at least 10 applications migrated per week. The customer’s continued maturity and ownership of the process has enabled them to drastically reduce their reliance on globally-sourced SIs for this work.

Underestimating Organization Change

Without a doubt the biggest challenge to accelerating Cloud Application transformation at scale is organizational and cultural.

Top-down, executive sponsorship and support is critical to any organizational transformation effort. This includes defining and evangelizing a vision, providing resources and support, and recognizing successes along the journey.

But for organizational transformation to be scalable and durable, driving bottom-up change in frontline behaviors and culture is in many ways even more important. If developers and IT ops team members don’t see how transformation can tactically improve their productivity and efficiency on a daily basis, it will fail.

To support our customers on this journey, Dell EMC Consulting has created a POD (team-based) delivery model focused on delivering an ‘insourced’ model and ensuring our customers own their transformation. By employing our POD model, Dell EMC both helps define, build and prove the solution while simultaneously introducing new skills, processes, tools, and measures that complement the transformation within the customer’s own staff.

We start the enterprise-wide organizational transformation with a single team focused on a specific challenge, jointly identified as the focal goal and/or outcome. This joint team is comprised of members of both our customer and consulting team, with Dell EMC consultants bringing focused process and technical skills. Typically, we will start with a single application or two, intending to deliver together the most impactful MVP (Minimum Viable Product) as defined within the confines of the engagement. Once complete, the customer team members go off to seed their own new teams, supported by Dell EMC Consulting Services coaching and mentoring. These team members go on to seed a next set of teams, and so on and so on.

Customers win because they get the needed platform, application, algorithm, or service as well as a team of internal practitioners capable of supporting and extending the solutions. The “DO WITH” approach is a long proven best practice for introducing new behaviors and building scalable, sustainable transformations.

After years of underinvestment, a leading Commercial Insurance Provider needed to develop an approach to rapidly modernize their application portfolio. Teamed with Dell EMC Consulting and our POD-based delivery model and ‘DO WITH’ approach, our initial engagement led to a 50% improvement in test coverage, 90+% improve in release success rate, and a 30% reduction in technical debt. After our client’s initial successes, they are now scaling their new DevOps model across nearly 1,000 applications globally.

Summary

The adoption of new Cloud Platforms and Architectures (i.e. Platform-as-a-Service, Container-as-a-Service, etc.) has helped to greatly simplify the management and operations responsibilities of the traditional datacenter and has enabled organizations to once again focus on core innovation through their applications. Cloud Application Modernization has the potential to dramatically accelerate innovation and agility around application delivery cycles and allow your organization to focus on what differentiates it from the competition. Such Modernization is not without its challenges as many organizations are finding and ensuring you too don’t find yourself ‘stuck’ is critical.

Dell EMC Consulting is focused on helping our customers address the critical people and process challenges they face when driving Cloud Application Transformation. Please click here for more information on our services, capabilities and customer case studies, and check back soon for more posts that will dive deeper on this and other Digital Transformation topics.

The post Avoid These 3 Sticking Points on Your Journey to Cloud Applications appeared first on InFocus Blog | Dell EMC Services.


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