Wow- what a difference a year
This year at EMCworld, EMC is using a new system for their hands-on labs. They are using the same front end system for check-in and tracking of lab environments that VMware uses for their VMworld lab environment, and what a difference it makes! Already by halfway through just the second day they have deployed over 15000 virtual machines, comprising over 1600 lab environments! Here is a picture I took earlier of the dashboard on the big screen:
The entire environment is backed by 90 dual-socket, 10-core Cisco UCS blades (yes, 20-core systems, the new B200 M2 blades with the E series procs), configured with 16TB or RAM, and EMC VNX 5500F & 7500 storage arrays ( the 5500F is the all-flash system). All the storage is provisioned to a large vSphere 5 environment as NFS mounts through a Cisco Nexus network running 10GbE.
Lab management is performed by a collection of software- VMware vCloud Director functions as the primary provisioning engine, while EMC
ITOI and Prosphere offer configuration and visibility into the entire environment.
Finally, VMware vCenter Operations is providing real-time monitoring of the performance of all the equipment, including VMware vSphere, Cisco UCS and Nexus hardware, and the EMC VNX storage arrays.
Probably the coolest thing about the labs is that the vast majority of the labs offered are leveraging virtualized hardware- that means that when you “check out” a lab environment, the entire environment is provisioned o the fly using virtual machines. This is true for the VNX and VNXe labs, the Isilon, Avamar and VPLEX labs, and yes, even the VMAX labs (no, the mainframe labs are not virtualized for obvious reasons)!
Really, it’s all very cool… If you are attending EMCworld this week, be sure to stop by the hands-on labs to check it out and try your hand at some of the demos and labs.
Also, be sure to watch Chad’s Blog for an update later this week with post-event stats for the Full Monty on what we were able to accomplish this week.
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