Mike Fratto

Network Computing Editor

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Where the Cloud Touches Down: Simplifying Data Center Infrastructure Management

Thursday, July 25, 2013
10:00 AM PT/1:00 PM ET

In most data centers, DCIM rests on a shaky foundation of manual record keeping and scattered documentation. OpManager replaces data center documentation with a single repository for data, QRCodes for asset tracking, accurate 3D mapping of asset locations, and a configuration management database (CMDB). In this webcast, sponsored by ManageEngine, you will see how a real-world datacenter mapping stored in racktables gets imported into OpManager, which then provides a 3D visualization of where assets actually are. You'll also see how the QR Code generator helps you make the link between real assets and the monitoring world, and how the layered CMDB provides a single point of view for all your configuration data.

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A Network Computing Webinar:
SDN First Steps

Thursday, August 8, 2013
11:00 AM PT / 2:00 PM ET

This webinar will help attendees understand the overall concept of SDN and its benefits, describe the different conceptual approaches to SDN, and examine the various technologies, both proprietary and open source, that are emerging. It will also help users decide whether SDN makes sense in their environment, and outline the first steps IT can take for testing SDN technologies.

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License Changes, Backup Software, Spin out: VMware Rumors Settled next Week

In the run up to VMworld next week in San Francisco, a few rumors and leaks have been coming out from some rather credible sources: CRN is reporting that VMware is going to embed Avamar into vSphere and that it will end the much-hated vRam Licensing model that it unveiled last year with vSphere 5. Back in July, GigaOM reported that VMware EMC was going to spin Cloud Foundry and Greenplum into a PaaS company. If those rumors are true, they indicate a big shift in VMware's direction.

Greg Knieriemen hits the nail on the head with this choice statement in a recent blog post:

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VMware is raising the stakes significantly and the once "play nice with everyone" vendor is quietly drawing battle lines with virtually every other vendor in enterprise tech.

VMware has successfully danced along the line of simultaneously nurturing its partner ecosystem, which brings extra value to its products, while expanding its own products--but that's starting to change. For example, VMware acquired Nicira, which put its relationship with Cisco at risk. In 2010, it acquired EMC Ionix, which gave it a management platform that competes directly with products from Global Alliance "fremenies" like HP and IBM. Depending on what VMware announces next week, it may start dancing away from its ecosystem partners--and that could have a big impact on the IT industry.

Outside of VMware, there will be a number of other announcements from vendors exhibiting at the show. VMware may talk about SDN, but I know that a number of networking vendors are making SDN announcements and demos in products that will be available later in the year. There's more than one way to do SDN, and networking equipment vendors are going to want your attention. That's always exciting to see, and I'm going to catch as many as I can.

New storage products and technologies are always in demand, and VMworld will have no shortage. Expect to see product launches and enhancements in server-side caching, cloud storage, storage management and inline, with the rumored Avamar features in vSphere, backup and recovery products.

There will also be a number of other product launches around cloud computing systems both at VMworld and by other vendors trying to steal the spotlight. I know a few companies will be announcing cloud platforms as well as management applications and other products that augment and compete with VMware's cloud offerings.

VMworld is shaping up to be a good show, and there's lots of speculation around what the company is going to announce. And, of course, let's not forget the sessions running all four days. I'm going to attend a few sessions on SDN and software-defined storage in between meetings and the show floor.

Mike Fratto is editor of Network Computing. You can email him, follow him on Twitter, or join the Network Computing group on LinkedIN. He's not as grumpy as he seems.

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