For this episode we preview VMworld by talking with Lee Caswell (@LeeCaswell), Vice President of Product, Storage and Availability, VMware.
This is the third time Lee’s been on our show, the previous one was back in August of last year. Lee’s been at VMware for a couple of years now and, among other things, is leading the HCI journey at VMware.
The first topic we discussed was VMware’s expanded HCI software defined data center (SDDC) solution, which now includes compute, storage, networking and enhanced operations with alerts/monitoring/automation that ties it all together.
We asked Lee to explain VMware’s SDDC:
- HCI operates at the edge – with ROBO-2-server environments, VMware’s HCI can be deployed in a closet and remotely operated by a VI from the central site.
- HCI operates in the data center – with vSphere-vSAN-NSX-vRealize and other software, VMware modernizes data centers for the pace of digital business..
- HCI operates in the public Cloud –with VMware Cloud (VMC) on AWS, IBM Cloud and over 400 service providers, VMware HCI also operates in the public cloud.
- HCI operates for containers and cloud native apps – with support for containers under vSphere, vSAN and NSX, developers are finding VMware HCI an easy option to run container apps in the data center, at the edge, and in the public cloud.
The importance of the edge will become inescapable, as 50B edge connected devices power IoT by 2020. Lee heard Pat saying compute processing is moving to the edge because of 3 laws:
- the law of physics, light/information only travels so fast;
- the law of economics, doing all processing at central sites would take too much bandwidth and cost; and
- the law(s) of the land, data sovereignty and control is ever more critical in today’s world.
VMware SDDC is a full stack option, that executes just about anywhere the data center wants to go. Howard mentioned one customer he talked with at FMS18, just wanted to take their 16 node VMware HCI rack and clone it forever, to supply infinite infrastructure.
Next, we turned our discussion to Virtual Volumes (VVols). Recently VMware added replication support for VVols. Lee said VMware has an intent to provide a SRM SRA for VVols. But the real question is why hasn’t there been higher field VVol adoption. We concluded it takes time.
VVols wasn’t available in vSphere 5.5 and nowadays, three or more years have to go by before a significant amount of the field moves to a new release. Howard also said early storage systems didn’t implement VVols right. Moreover, VMware vSphere 5.5 is just now (9/16/18) going EoGS.
Lee said 70% of all current vSAN deployments are AFA. With AFA, hand tuning storage performance is no longer something admins need to worry about. It used to be we all spent time defragging/compressing data to squeeze more effective capacity out of storage, but hand capacity optimization like this has become a lost art. Just like capacity, hand tuning AFA performance doesn’t make sense anymore.
We then talked about the coming flash SSD supply glut. Howard sees flash pricing ($/GB) dropping by 40-50%, regardless of interface. This should drive AFA shipments above 70%, as long as the glut continues.
The podcast runs ~21 minutes. Lee’s always great to talk with and is very knowledgeable about the IT industry, HCI in general, and of course, VMware HCI in particular. Listen to the podcast to learn more.
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Lee Caswell, V.P. of Product, Storage & Availability, VMware
Lee Caswell leads the VMware storage marketing team driving vSAN products, partnerships, and integrations. Lee joined VMware in 2016 and has extensive experience in executive leadership within the storage, flash and virtualization markets.
Prior to VMware, Lee was vice president of Marketing at NetApp and vice president of Solution Marketing at Fusion-IO. Lee was a founding member of Pivot3, a company widely considered to be the founder of hyper-converged systems, where he served as the CEO and CMO. Earlier in his career, Lee held marketing leadership positions at Adaptec, and SEEQ Technology, a pioneer in non-volatile memory. He started his career at General Electric in Corporate Consulting.
Lee holds a bachelor of arts degree in economics from Carleton College and a master of business administration degree from Dartmouth College. Lee is a New York native and has lived in northern California for many years. He and his wife live in Palo Alto and have two children. In his spare time Lee enjoys cycling, playing guitar, and hiking the local hills.