Ravello Ends its Silence

On 23 May, I attended the Oracle Blogger Day at HQ in Redwood City. Ravello, an Oracle family member, has been quiet ever since acquisition. After an excellent day spent deep-diving into the product, I think it is safe to say that Ravello will be silent no more.

If you are not familiar with Ravello, it is an overlay cloud service that allows you to take any VMware based multi-VM application and run it in the cloud. This can be done without any change to workload, storage, or the network configuration. Ravello allows you to seamlessly deploy your existing VMware or KVM based data center workloads on Oracle Public Cloud, AWS, or Google Cloud as-is.

 

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On-premises to cloud migration

Most organizations face challenges when moving an enterprise application to the cloud. This image outlines some of the considerations and difficulties.

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Challenges when moving enterprise application to the cloud

Ravello creates a software layer that abstracts the differences between on-premises and cloud infrastructure (networking, storage, virtualization).

The heart and soul of Ravello is HVX. HVX is a virtualization engine designed specifically for nesting. This is what allows vExperts to easily run ESXi hosts in their cloud service without issue. HVX is designed to run on already virtualized hardware using binary translation with direct execution. It exposes VMware or KVM virtual devices, which is why no changes to the VM are required.

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HVX technology overview

But most impressively, it allows you to run any VM in any cloud. Or so they say.

Currently in Ravello, you can add and/or remove NICs, do simple IP filtering, but not much more. One of the items that was demoed by the team was enhanced network editing. The upcoming new networking capabilities include a visual network topology that allows for the creation of switches, configuration of ports, subnets, VLANs, etc.

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Ravello network overlay

Considering how rudimentary networking has been with Ravello, this enhancement will be warmly welcomed once released.

The storage overlay abstracts underlying cloud storage, exposing block devices to the guests. Ravello uses an image caching, copy on write file system.

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Ravello storage overlay

Transparent RAID0 is used, as needed, for large disks.

At this point, you may be wondering where Oracle is going with Ravello. Imagine deep integration with Oracle Cloud — a true lift and shift to the cloud with even heavy enterprise workloads. Think:

  • Ravello on Oracle’s Bare Metal Cloud Service (BMCS)
  • Leverage virtualization with hardware assist
  • Integration of BMCS and Ravello networking

So, where does this fit for businesses?

  • If Oracle and Ravello can really deliver on a “lift and shift” type migration without need for redesign or reconfigure then this will ease transition into the cloud.
  • Creation of identical cloud resources matching that of on-premises for security or penetration testing, update testing, etc.
  • Identical but isolated environments, such as for educational purposes.

Ultimately, I am glad to see that Ravello is still around and that its use cases are growing. Being integrated with Oracle Cloud has propelled towards becoming a more evolved platform. A big issues that I’ve seen as a consulting architect is the difficult and complex migration of legacy applications from on-premises to the cloud.

All in all, as far as Oracle Cloud and Ravello have come, there is still a lot of work to be done. I’m looking forward to what future releases bring.

 

Thank you to Oracle, Ravello, and the Tech Reckoning crew (John, Kat, Amy) for inviting me out to the inaugural blogger day. 

The Importance of Mentoring: The Roles of the Mentee (Part III)

Previously discussed was the importance of mentoring and leadership, as well as the roles of a mentor. This post will cover the various responsibilities of the mentee. To view the entire series:

Studies have shown that mentors typically select their protégés based on performance and potential. Mentors will continue to invest in the relationship when mentees use their time well and are truly open to feedback.

Often when we think of a mentor/mentee relationship, it is associated with a senior/subordinate relationship. This does not need to be the case. I have learned as much from my peers as I have those in a higher position than me. Do not hesitate to reach out to a peer! It may be easier to establish a mutual mentorship relationship between peers than with a superior.

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Last week’s post covered the roles of a mentor. There are also responsibilities relegated to the mentee as well. A few include:

  • Continuous Learner: take advantage of this opportunity to learn. Be inquisitive; ask questions! But also look for ways to give back to your mento It’s not impossible to think that a mentor may also learn from the mentee. Learning can be a mutual experience and the mentor/mentee relationship can and should be symbiotic.
  • Be Timely: very few mentors have time for excessive hand-holding. Most are dealing with their own high stress jobs and long hours. A mentee that is positive and uses their precious time wisely working to solve problems (rather than complain about work) can be a bright spot in the day. Do your research before reaching out to your mentor. Do not waste their time with something that could have been easily googled.
  • Be Open: mentees have a lot more than just career advice to gain in a mentorship relationship. Mentors can also speak about education, motivation, and work-life balance. Find out from your mentor what he/she sees as the key points to long-term success and happiness.
  • Be Serious: demonstrate that you are eager for counsel by implementing the advice your mentor gave, showing the result, and then going back for more. So, if your mentor suggests you get on project X, get yourself on that project, and do a good job. Then report back to your mentor that you are grateful for the advice because you were able to learn a lot. Your mentor will be much more willing to give you their time and energy after you have proven yourself to be a quick and eager study.
  • Synergizer: a benefit of mentorship, or really any great conversation, with a trusted colleague is that new ideas are forged. Capture those ideas and capitalize on them!
  • Initiator/Relationship Driver: in the military, many times you are officially assigned a mentor, however, this is typically not the case in a corporate work environment. If you feel like you need help, it is your responsibility to reach out and get assistance! Identify the skills, knowledge, and goals that you are seeking to achieve and discuss with your mentor. Walking up and asking a stranger to be your mentor will rarely work. However, approaching a stranger will a pointed, well thought out question can yield results. Initiate with a superior in your office or someone familiar in the community or even a peer.

As mentioned earlier, mentorship is typically more reciprocal than it may appear. The mentee may receive a more direct type of assistance but the mentor benefits as well. There is a stronger sense of purpose, a sense of pride, and useful information exchanged. When mentorship is done correctly, everybody flourishes.

vBrownBag – VCAP6-DCV Objective 1.3

vBrownBag EMEA is in the midst of recording sessions that cover the VCAP6-DCV (3V0-622) exam. If you are interested in presenting one of the exam objective, see the Call for Presenters post here.

Objective 1.3 – Determine Risks, Requirements, Constraints, Assumptions

Skills and Abilities

  • Differentiate between the concepts of risks, requirements, constraints, and assumptions.
  • Given a statement, determine whether it is a risk, requirement, constraint, or an assumption.
  • Analyze impact of VMware best practices to identified risks, constraints, and assumptions.

Additional Resources

 

Without further ado, the podcast recording can be found here:

Goals for 2017

Considering we’re over halfway through January, it would now would be an appropriate time for me to write down what I want to accomplish in 2017.

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My goals for this year:

  • Blog more – Blogging as been something that I’ve never been able to maintain a steady rhythm or schedule. Historically I’ve blogged when I’ve run into something interesting or when I was paid to do (ha! but really…). I planned on doing this in 2016 but it took a backseat to my VCDX pursuit. This year, I plan to blog more frequently!
  • Be more community involved – This is another item that I’ve been wanting to do for awhile but was prioritized last while in pursuit of other things. I plan to be more proactive and involved in the virtualization community. I hope to speak at my local (Los Angeles) VMUG. I was selected as a delegate for Tech Field Day in February so I’m looking forward to that! Additionally, I’ll be co-hosting and being a more active participant in vBrownbag. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even start my own podcast.
  • Second VCDX – I achieved VCDX-DCV last year, an accomplishment for sure. However, a majority of my work for the last 18 months has been around Horizon View. Because of this, I’m looking to pursue my VCDX-DTM in 2017.
  • Learn more about the NPX program – The design that I am in the midst of writing for VCDX-DTM is Nutanix based. I would like to find out more information regarding the NPX process, perhaps even attend an NPX bootcamp.
  • Be more proficient with AHV – This goes with the point above. I’m working more and more with Nutanix therefore I would like to skill up and become more proficient with Nutanix and AHV.
  • Learn AWS – I purchased AWS training spur of the moment because of a Black Friday deal I found online. I’d like to keep studying AWS and pursue the Solutions Architect certifications.
  • Speak at a conference – I’ve applied numerous times to speak at VMworld and have been rejected. This year I’d like to branch out and apply to a few different conferences and hopefully earn a speaker spot.
  • Find better work/life balance – This is my dark horse goal. I tend to bury myself in work and am constantly on the road. Additionally I’m going back to university so that’s made having a personal life even more difficult.

There you have it, ladies and gentlemen, my goals for 2017. I’ll do a recap at the end of the year to see how much I managed to accomplish.

Welcome

All of our blog posts from the past year are about to be transferred from our old site to this new and improved one. That being said, it’s going to look like there are a ton of entries being posted today but they are truly from the past few months. 

Excuse the mess while we settle into our new site.