TheSaffaGeek

My ramblings about all things technical


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A true honour,vExpert 2012.

After hurling myself out of a plane at 15000 feet as part of a birthday present I came down to the ground to find out I had been honoured as a VMware vExpert 2012 and as one for the second year running.

It was such an amazing honour to be selected as one last year and to retain it is as amazing and I’m looking forward to another year of being part of such a prestigious group of my peers and also with a fair number of my fellow colleagues from Xtravirt. A massive congratulations to Darren Woollard, Sean Duffy and Paul Wood for also being selected, especially Sean and Paul for their first year as one this year.It’s quite an amazing achievement for a company of less than 20 people  to have so many in my opinion.For those of you who don’t know what the vExpert award is, here is the definition from the vExpert site:

The VMware vExpert Award is given to individuals who have significantly contributed to the community of VMware users over the past year. vExperts are book authors, bloggers, VMUG leaders, tool builders, and other IT professionals who share their knowledge and passion with others. These vExperts have gone above and beyond their day jobs to share their technical expertise and communicate the value of VMware and virtualization to their colleagues and community.

A massive thanks to  Alex Maier and John Troyer for selecting me, it is an amazing honour Open-mouthed smile. Also a massive congratulations to all the other people selected especially all the ones from the London VMUG. You can see the list of the other vExpert 2012 awardees on the list here

Gregg


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VMware vExpert 2012 nominations and applications are open

Wow I can’t believe it’s been a year since the last nominations and applications for the VMware vExpert designation! But it has been and the nominations and applications for vExpert 2012 are now open. If you don’t know what being a VMware vExpert means here is VMware’s description: “The annual VMware vExpert title is given to individuals who have significantly contributed to the community of VMware users over the past year. The title is awarded to individuals (not employers) for their commitment to sharing their knowledge and passion for VMware technology above and beyond their job requirements.”

I was very blessed to be selected as a VMware vExpert 2011 and loved every moment of it and was amazed how well my vExpert Spotlight series of postings went this past year. This year the paths have changed a bit with there now being three paths people can be selected from. The description of the paths are:

Evangelist Path
The Evangelist Path includes book authors, bloggers, tool builders, public speakers, and other IT professionals who share their knowledge and passion with others with the leverage of a personal public platform to reach many people. Employees of VMware can also apply via the Evangelist path.

Customer Path
The Customer Path is for internal evangelists and community leaders from VMware customer organizations. They have contributed to success stories, customer references, or public interviews and talks, or were active community contributors, such as VMUG leaders.

VPN (VMware Partner Network) Path
The VPN Path is for employees of our partner companies who lead with passion and by example, who are committed to continuous learning and to making their technical knowledge and expertise available to many. This can take shape of event participation, video, IP generation, as well as public speaking engagements.

With the program growing, our goal still remains the same: to honour individuals who go above and beyond their everyday job requirements to share their technical knowledge and expertise with others; to help enable these individuals to make an even greater impact in the world; and to keep a high standard of vExpert recipients.

If you feel yourself or someone you know would be a good candidate for the designation then go to the vExpert page here: http://communities.vmware.com/vexpert.jspa and submit your application or nomination.

Good luck to everyone who has and is applying and hopefully I’ll be fortunate enough to be a vExpert 2012 Open-mouthed smile

Gregg


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vExpert Spotlight

Just a very quick posting to alert people who may not follow me on twitter that a secret project very close to heart has started being published on the VMware Communities site. It’s been an idea I’ve had for a while and since I was blessed this year by being selected as a vExpert for 2011 it gave me the perfect opportunity to do it.

The first posting http://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2011/08/vexpert-spotlight-gregg-robertson.html has just come out and as mentioned in the posting,we are hoping to have as many of the 2011 vExpert’s instalments published as possible. So keep an eye out as some of the top people in the virtualisation industry have already sent me theirs and there’s some really great tips from all involved.

Gregg


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All Things Virtual 25

 

After a much needed two week holiday I’ve come back to an overwhelming amount of news from the virtualisation arena and in particular the announcement of VMware vSphere 5. Having been on the beta for vSphere 5 and vCloud 1.5 I had a feeling the announcement was due to happen while I was away but due to only having got onto the vSphere 5 beta late and only having played with it indirectly via the vCloud 1.5 beta I felt it was better to let some of the more informed bloggers out there do a better job than I could.

  • First on my list is one that even after over two weeks of letting it set in I’m still excited about like a child on Christmas day. On the 1st if this month the VMware vExpert recipient emails went out and I was selected as one. I did a blog posting all about my honour at being selected here if you’re interested and as mentioned on that posting if you want to see all the other recipients and their blogs so as to follow them (which i would HIGHLY recommend as they are pretty much the best ones) and their twitter handles to also follow them then Arnim van Lieshout’s vExpert page is where you can find all these. If plans go ahead I’m hoping I’ll have a very exciting new feature to mention very soon off of this so keep your eyes out for it as it’s something I truly believe in and is something close to my heart.
  • Next is the release of vSphere 5. As you can imagine there is a STAGGERING amount of information about it and I was planning on doing a list of all the best resources but as is the case someone has beaten me to it and seeing as it’s the list I’m currently using to get myself up to speed on it all it only makes sense to link to it. So if you’re like me and are currently trying to catch up on it all then Eric Siebert’s vSphere 5 Links is the best place to go.
  • One of the parts off of this release is also the release of the VCP5 exam and I notice a fair amount of the vExpert’s have either already started sitting the Beat exam or are due to sit it very soon. Obviously I’m not going to mention anything about the exam but if your like me and now have loads of question about what this means for people who have their VCP4 and what the upgrade paths are and if you’re even more like me and are due to write your VCAP-DCA very soon and are now wondering if it is worth your while doing it still or if you should wait then these links will answer all your question like they have for me
    • Fist is all about the upgrading of your VCP4 to VCP5 by Scott Vessey (@vmtraining) . Thankfully VMware are following the same policy as they for the VCP3 to VCP4 path and allowing people with the previous VCP accreditation to write the test without having to attend any compulsory training until February 29th 2012
    • Next also from Scott is the upgrading of your VCAP4 to VCP5 and VCAP5-DCA. Personally this is most likely the path I’m going to follow seeing as I hope to have my VCAP4 and seeing as it will allow me to get the VCP5 at the same time as my VCAP5-DCA makes the most sense for me.
    • Then the big question “Is it worth doing vSphere 4 certifications?” . Scott gives some great things to think about and it does come down to the answer of “it depends” as obviously people are at different points of their knowledge and studies.
  • Kendrick Coleman has done a great posting all about how to set up your SQL server DB for use with vCloud Director 1.5 now that support for SQL DB instances is available. Having had to fiddle with this myself during the beta to get my test environment working I can assure you his steps are really helpful in making sure you do it correctly in the first place as i had to rebuild me whole one due to a simple mistake with the DB and making sure you select the right collation is REALLY important.
  • Next is a competition run by Greg W Stuart for the chance to win a Free Conference Pass to VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas, Air Fare and 5 Nights Hotel Accommodation. Greg won his way to VMworld last year via Jason Boche’s contest and from this he’s embraced blogging and the community so much he was awarded by becoming a VMware vExpert for 2011. So get your comment submitted as it finished THIS SUNDAY JULY 24th and good luck.
  • I did say I wouldn’t mention vSphere 5 again but seeing as it’s such great resources I have to point out the vSphere 5.0 Storage Features series of blog postings and due them being updated on the coming weeks and months it is something to keep an eye on. The first five have already been posted and are brilliant for getting yourself up to speed on the new features (of which there is a substantial amount)
  • Next is a friendly reminder for those of us going to VMworld to register for the sessions you want to attend as unlike in previous years VMware are enforcing session registration and if you don’t register and the session is full then you wont get in. Simon Gallagher has blogged all about this here.
  • Last but certainly not least is the announcement that The Brownbags WebEx’s made popular by Cody Bunch are coming to Europe and are being hosted by the illustrious Tom Howarth. So get yourself registered  http://tinyurl.com/62qmotk

Well that’s my summary. .Good luck catching up with all the vSphere 5 features and news and good luck to those writing the VCP5 beta and those of you writing your VCAP exams. Remember I’ve done a VCAP-DCA and DCD resources page if you’re interested in the resources I’m using for my studies.If you would like to follow me on twitter my handle is @greggrobertson5

Gregg


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vExpert 2011. Stunned…

Early this morning I received the mail that I have been selected as a VMware vExpert for 2011 Open-mouthed smile.

I have to be honest I really wasn’t sure if I would make it or not as the amount of top people who contribute to the VMware community as a whole is insane to say the least. But I’m overwhelmingly honoured that I’ve been selected and cannot wait to be a part of such an awesome group of my peers. For those of you who don’t know what the vExpert award is, here is the definition from the vExpert site:

The VMware vExpert Award is given to individuals who have significantly contributed to the community of VMware users over the past year. vExperts are book authors, bloggers, VMUG leaders, tool builders, and other IT professionals who share their knowledge and passion with others. These vExperts have gone above and beyond their day jobs to share their technical expertise and communicate the value of VMware and virtualization to their colleagues and community.

A massive thanks to the people that recommended me and to John Troyer and his team/panel for selecting me Open-mouthed smile. Also a massive congratulations to all the other people selected especially all the ones from the London VMUG. Also you can see the list of the other vExpert awardees on Arnim van Lieshout’s vExpert page

Gregg


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All Things Virtual 23

 

There has been a very large amount of top news and product releases in the virtualisation community in the last month since my last All Things Virtual posting. The public voting for the VMworld sessions has opened and closed in the last month and the entries for vExpert have closed with the nominees due to be released in next two weeks ( Good luck to all who submitted and hopefully loads of the people I’m friendly with in the VMware community and London VMware User Group are selected).

  • I was able to attend the latest London VMware User Group this past month and blogged about the day and the things covered in my blog posting aptly named London VMUG . As I’ve said before if you aren’t a part of your local VMware User Group I would highly recommend it and if there isn’t one near you why not start one yourself  Smile
  • Next is the release of VMware labs latest fling ,Inventory Snapshot. Due to my lack of having time to fully play around and try the tool I would recommend  (like I will be when I have some spare time) to go to the fling site ,download the tool and rate it for yourself http://labs.vmware.com/flings/inventorysnapshot .The guide for the product is here.
  • EMC World ran from the 9th to the 12th of May and just like VMworld there was a load of vLabs available to attendees to allow them to learn and experience new products and technologies . A number of the top guys in the VMware community who are EMC vSpecialists were a part of the planning,building and managing of this environment.Chris Horn has guest posted on Chad Sakac’s blog all about it and has given a great insight into building such a large environment and the technologies they used. Well worth the read if you have some spare time.
  • One of the many people who helped with the EMC World labs was Simon Seagrave of TechHead fame and as mentioned in Chris’ blog posting Simon somehow found the time to do the latest instalment of the vChat series with David Davis of Trainsignal’s VMware vSphere Video Training fame   and Eric Siebert of vSphere-Land fame. The chat covers everything from VMworld submissions,the latest virtualisation news and bits about EMC world. If you haven’t watched any of these vChat’s before I would highly recommend them as the guys cover all the latest and greatest things coming out.
  • If you enjoy the vChat’s then I would recommend Mike Lavericks Chinwag’s video’s (the latest with guest Duncan Epping of Yellow-Bricks.com fame (@DuncanYB) which I found very interesting for the Ephemeral Port Groups & vCloud Director parts) and the vSoup podcasts by Chris Dearden of JFVI fame, Christian Mohn of vninja.net fame and Ed Czerwin(@eczerwin) who guest blogs on vninja.net fame. The vSoups are always entertaining and all three of the guys are amazingly passionate about the technologies and from personal experience really great guys also.
  • Speaking of Simon Seagrave and David Davis, Simon has launched a competition on his blog to win one of David’s Trainsignal videos. I’ve already got the videos myself but if you haven’t got them as yet why not apply as you’ll stand a very good chance of winning as remarkably not many people actually apply for great competitions like this.
  • I mentioned in my last All Things Virtual the release of the VMware View App for iPad . Jason Boche has very kindly opened up a test environment for people to connect to and trial the software and app through. I’ve not yet had a chance to try his offering myself but for anyone who doesn’t have access to a VMware View environment this will be a great learning  and demo tool. Jason has also co-written with Dawn Theirl (@KokopeIIi) a great posting all about the usage of Cisco Discovery Protocol in your VMware environment and goes into great depth of how it works. This posting has been extremely helpful in my understanding of the technology for my VCAP studies. Really worth a read for anyone using or thinking of using the feature with their Cisco switches.
  • Last year at VMworld US and Europe David Davis and Kendrick Coleman did a session titled  Top 10 Free Tools for vSphere Management. I was able to attend the session at VMworld Europe and it was a real eye opener to all the software available for free that can make your daily job so much easier. Kendrick has now updated his list with new tools and software in preparation for David and himself doing the session again at this years VMworld conferences if they are selected. If you haven’t seen this list, this will save you so much time trying to find the tools you need without having to beg for financial approval
  • Lately my studying for the sitting of the VCAP-DCA exam has intensified and part of one of the main objectives is HA and DRS. Both Vladan Seget and Alan Renouf have done two great postings on these technologies recently. Alan has created an HA and DRS audit script which checks that your VMware environment meets best practices as laid out in Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman’s HA and DRS book . Vladan has posted about HA Slot Sizes and how they are calculated. This posting really helped me better understand HA and how the slot sizes impact how your HA reacts and reports. As mentioned in Vladan’s posting Duncan Epping has done a brilliant HA Deepdive posting which I would recommend reading first before reading Vladan’s posting
  • Last but not least is a warning to all VMware Administrators to make sure you read what is on your screen when you are doing certain tasks and if you aren’t sure of what your doing rather research it before doing something that may cause you to lose your job. Chris Dearden alerted a number of people on twitter to the VMware communities posting and blogged about the need to read the install screens as this poor guy obviously didn’t.

Well that’s it for another fortnight/month.I hope some of the postings will help people and or those writing their VCAP exams in the coming month good luck.

Gregg


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All Things Virtual 22

 

Yet again I’ve been a bit slack on my posting of an All Things Virtual every fortnight (a personal aim I made for myself) due to a few things namely, any blog site/twitter/nonstandard website being blocked due to heightened security at EMC after the RSA break in, my studying and sitting of the EMC Information Storage Management exam and good old work keeping me busy. Also the increase in my studying for the VCAP-DCA has meant a large portion of my spare time has been allocated to it.

A few of the below articles are a few weeks old but are still very applicable and ones I have been reading with interest and are ones I believe fellow virtualisation professionals will find interest and informative, which is the idea of these All Things Virtual postings.

As I mentioned in my reasons for the delay of this All Things Virtual, I set myself the goal of obtaining my EMC Information Storage Associate accreditation by sitting the EMCISM exam. I won’t go into detail about this as I have already done a posting all about the exam and my preparations and study resources here for anyone thinking of attempting the exam themselves. I will say though that it was something different to learn as I’ve never done a storage course or exam before and it did help me solidify a lot of knowledge I have learnt via work experience.

Early last week the applications for vExpert 2011 were opened and unlike years before VMware have now asked that everyone submit their own applications so VMware can get a better idea of your contributions to the community in 2010. I’m not going to go into depth about the process and criteria as I’ve already done a posting all about it, where you should apply and nominate someone for the award here. Good luck if you are applying.

As I’ve posted a number of times on this blog I try to attend and participate in the London VMware User Group’s whenever they are happening. I haven’t been able to attend the last few due to work commitments unfortunately but the next London VMUG has been announced and so far it looks like I’ll be able to attend. This VMUG is a bit different from the rest as it is aimed at “Your Journey to the Cloud” with live labs and differing tracks for you to do during the day. Chris Dearden of JFVI fame was the first person I noticed to have blogged about it so if you’re interested in attending or learning more then have a read of his London VMUG–May 12th 2011 “Your Journey to the Cloud” blog posting and hopefully I’ll see you there.

As mentioned in my previous All Things Virtual Duncan Epping of Yellow Bricks fame and Frank Denneman have released an HA DRS book. For those of us who are a bit geeky and would rather have a kindle version of it, the Kindle version has now been released and is available for download. Frank has detailed the release of the kindle version on his blog posting here

One of the latest announcements from VMware is the release of VMware Cloud Foundry. I was fortunate enough to attend a fair portion of the VMware Communities Roundtable call where it was announced and detailed but seeing as I have yet to play with it and that talkshoe kept crashing me out of the call, I would recommend watching Eric Sloof’s video on Getting Started with VMware Cloud Foundry just like I will be when I have an opportunity and listen to last weeks VMware Communities Roundtable Podcast.

Another of the fairly recent announcements was the release of VMware vCentre Operations, a tool you can deploy into your VMware environment via a vApp downloadable from the VMware site which is supposedly going to be “Your Future Performance Dashboard” I am yet to have a chance to play with the product but Eric Sloof has yet again done a great posting on the product in his posting vCenter Operations – Your Future Performance Dashboard and Christian Mohn of vNinja.net and most recently vNinja.com fame has done a brilliant posting all about Installing and configuring VMware vCenter Operations

Next is the leak of a number of the VMware vSphere 5 future technologies and features. I saw loads of the tweets about this as it was announced that someone had posted these but due to the location of them, I decided against trying to access the link. Beth Pariseau from SearchServerVirtualization.com was happy enough to access the site and has listed all the features mentioned by the leak and given a description of them on her blog posting here. There are some very exciting features mentioned and I hope a number of them are true as they could really help make my daily job a lot easier and the running of my virtual environments a lot smoother. vSphere 5 is as you should know by now only going to have ESXi as vSphere 4.1 was/is the last release containing ESX. To help with this transition and the learning of all the features of ESXi, VMware have released a free VMware eLearning course and ebook offer. The course is an online one which people can obviously attend in their own time and once you have completed the course and done the quick survey you can obtain the free ebook all about ESXi. I’m planning to try doing the course in the coming weeks and getting myself the free ebook clip_image001

Vladan Seget has posted all about the release of the next version of the vSphere4.1 Hardening guide. As I mentioned in my VMware vSphere: Manage and Design for Security Course Experience posting, a large portion of the course is based around this Security Hardening guide and so this new version with feedback from the community is a must read for anyone looking to do the VCAP exams. I’ve already downloaded my copy. Talking of security Eric Siebert has written a great article on five ways to maximize VMware hypervisor security . A number of them should be obvious to people but as Eric mentions I’m sure a large amount of people have made their environments less secure by making changes to allow them to access their servers more easily and then have forgotten to re-enable those security features. The article is a must read for anyone looking after a VMware environment.

Lastly are two postings asking for the participation of the VMware community. One is from Duncan Epping asking people to fill out a survey all about virtual machine storage and snapshots and the other is a posting by Scott Lowe asking for the communities input in answering a reader’s design question. The survey is really quick and will help VMware better understand people’s needs and the design question should hopefully give those of us with less experience in the designing of VMware environments a better understanding of the things to know and think about in our designs

Gregg

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