TheSaffaGeek

My ramblings about all things technical


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#AWS #ReInvent Day 2 & 3

I miscalculated the time the AWS keynote started (8am) yesterday so ran out of time posting my day 2 blog posting and with my laptop screen disliking me vie had to leave it in a perfect position in my hotel room so that I could at least write a blog posting so here is both day 2 and 3 recaps of AWS re:Invent.

Day 2

My day 2 started with the inaugural AWS vBreakfast. I wrote about my plans and idea to get a whole bunch of people who are part of the VMware community who are also attending re:Invent to meet up and ideally get a bit of the same kind of strong community we have around VMware now around people who did VMware bits that now do both. The breakfast was a lot of fun and the discussions both technical and on-technical were amazing and it’s one of my favourite parts about conferences as being able to hear what others are doing at work and then possibly if it’s something you have or need to do can collaborate and learn with/from that person and you both benefit. The meal was great fun and I hope it can happen every year now and grow even bigger

 

Next was the Partner keynote, unlike with other conference keynotes I’ve been to, customers are actually allowed to attend the keynote as there aren’t any partner only NDA roadmap discussions during the AWS Partner keynote but it is more about what the AWS Partner Network is doing, the growth and successes it has made. There was the announcement of a number of new competencies partners could do as well as a number of partners who had achieved certain elite competencies and what them having these meant for customers.

After the keynote I went around the expo hall and spoke to a number of vendors and bumped into fellow vBrownbag team members and VMware Cloud on AWS guru’s Emad Younis and Kyle Ruddy. We spoke about already released features of VMConAWS and credit to the guys they did not let slip one bit of day 3’s announcements. Make sure to look up their sessions at re:Invent especially after the announcements around VMConAWS.

I attended a session all about Infrastructure is Code with the AWS Cloud Development Kit which was very interesting. I did appreciate that they did the demo’s live although personally I felt some of the time the text they had to write to create the commands and scripts could have been pre-written in a text file that they could have copied across rather than us watching them typing it out word by word.

I met up with other VMware guru’s such as William Lam and Brian Graf and spoke to them about what they were doing (again no NDA’s were broken) as well as what I have been up to at Dell EMC as a Cloud Solutions Lead.

I ended the day fairly early as I knew I had to be up for the keynote on Wednesday and my tiredness from jetlag had really started to set in.

Day 3

Day 3 started with the keynote by Andy Jassy and wow what a keynote, lasting 3 hours and with people lining up several hours beforehand to get in it was amazing announcement after amazing announcement and to Andy’s credit he kept the audience’s attention for the whole three hours.

I’m not going to mention every single announcement but the ones that I was really impressed by and really need to go watch more about and learn (every day is a school day) are:

Glacier Deep Archive

https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/whats-new/2018/11/s3-glacier-deep-archive/

Amazon FSx for Windows File Server

https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/whats-new/2018/11/amazon-fsx-windows/

 

Amazon Timestream

https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/whats-new/2018/11/announcing-amazon-timestream/

Amazon QLDB

https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/whats-new/2018/11/introducing-amazon-qldb/

 

Amazon Managed Blockchain

https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/whats-new/2018/11/introducing-amazon-managed-blockchain/

 

 

Amazon DeepRacer and League

https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/whats-new/2018/11/introducing-aws-deepracer/

 

 

AWS Outposts

(this is the big one I REALLY need to understand for my customers)

https://aws.amazon.com/about-aws/whats-new/2018/11/announcing-aws-outposts/

 

https://cloud.vmware.com/community/2018/11/28/vmware-cloud-aws-outposts-cloud-managed-sddc-data-center/

 

 

After the keynote I went and had some lunch and met up with Adam Post and chatted about his VCDX journey and some of my advice and lessons I learnt and then proceeded to attend a leadership session “ Cloud Adoption and the future of Financial Services” as this sits right with the projects I am working on at present and a number in the pipeline. It was a really good session and one I need to absorb a second time.

I made my way to the Expo hall again and spoke to the Dell Boomi team. It really is an awesome product and one I hope I can possibly even use with my current customer who is doing a DC migration as well as a move to HCI and PaaS.

In the evening I attended the Dell EMC, VMware and AWS party where a number of the vCommunity came along and had a good amount of chats and discussions about the days announcements.

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#AWS #ReInvent Day 1

The first official day of AWS ReInvent kicked off yesterday with the number of people arriving for registration and the Expo hall and sessions open and in full swing. If you missed my Day 0 recap then have a look here.

 

My Day 1 started with me getting up early due to my body clock still being on UK time and going for a run whilst the streets were quiet, its something I like doing and getting some “fresh” air rather than recycled casino or hotel air is really helpful I find. I managed to hit a fair number of steps by the end of the day after my run and the amount of walking around the conference to different sessions and I was careful too book as many as close as possible to each other

 

For a number of these conferences I enjoy meeting up with people in the community who are doing the same kinds of things and through my work and time within the VMware community I am very fortunate to have built a good amount of friends and being able to speak to people doing different projects with the same technology or knowing that person who is doing the same thing you are for a customer helps you reach other and learn from each other. I met up with a few London VMUG, VCDX and vBrownbag crew for breakfast at the non politically correct named – eggslut

 

Next I went to a session all around Amazon Aurora and it’s now GA offering and some lessons learnt from a customer Pagerly who has already used it as well as a preview of what the offering does and enables you to do. It amazed me how many people kept taking pictures of each and every slide when the sessions are recorded where you can see the slides as much and for as long as you want. The offering looks amazing and it certainly has it’s place but I was saddened to hear they weren’t supporting the latest version of PostgreSQL which most of my customer use and would require it to support

 

The next session I went to was unfortunately full by the time I got there as they open up the waiting line ten minutes before the start and my reserved seat got taken so I met up with and chatted to a company who are working with me on my current customer and discussed my thoughts of using them for some customers I have not just doing DC migrations but also to help them move workloads to the cloud and track them efficiently.

 

After lunch I went to a session all around the AWS Well Architected Framework which was a whiteboard session and was very interesting. If you haven’t heard of or used the framework for your deployments then I would highly recommend it as it reminds me of VMware vCAT solution that helps you with a large amount of broad best practices but is pen enough for you to utilise it to your customer/companies requirements.

 

The expo hall was then opened and I walked around numerous times talking to people at the VMware booth all about VMware Wavefront, the AWS booth around security and compliancy and the Dell EMC booth as I had a few friends working on there.

 

I had some dinner with some friends and then was an old man and went to my hotel as my lack of sleep and number of steps had caught up with me and I anted to get a good sleep before the vBreakfast running this morning of around 30 VMware community people attending eh conference all meeting up for breakfast and hopefully starting something we can do annually

 

Gregg


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#AWS #ReInvent Day 0

Yesterday was Day 0 of AWS ReInvent for me, I have always wanted to attend ReInvent due to my deep interestes in AWS and being the Solution Lead for AWS in EMEA for Dell EMC.

 

The day started out almost midnight time Vegas time as I flew in from the UK early to try do a day flight to make the ~10 hour flight more bearable. It certainly did make it easier to stay awake on the plane as by the time I landed it was only 8pm UK time. I proceeded to drops my bags off at my hotel and then met up with a number of the London VMUG crew who I have known for a number of years for some drinks and chatting and also to register and collect my badge and hoodie for the conference. I did like that they let you try on the hoodies beforehand so get an idea of sizing’s as American sizing’s can be huge for us from Europe

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I had signed up for the AWS Tatonka challenge which is a chicken wing eating competition but was also going for the Guinness world record for the number of people participating in a chicken eating competition in one sitting. We had around 340 people and myself, Julian Woof, Chris Porter and George Short all managed to get ourselves into the competition and participating. They gave us numbers, explained the rules to not void the world record attempt and then we got our plates of chicken wings (which were fairly spicy)

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The LonVMUG Crew ready to eat some chicken wings

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Meeting the AWSCloud Ninja

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The Tatonka challenge also allowed us into the Midnight Madness party and first announcement’s session early which was highly beneficial as they supposedly only let in around 6000 people although i don;t thin that many in the end attended. I’m actually unsure if we broke the record as by the time they had done all the calculations the announcements on stage had started with the first one being the launch of Hiber Global and their partnership with AWS and their IoT nework. Next was the announcement of AWS RoboMaker and their opening of the code so anyone can use the code to program robots. Certainly an interesting announcement and one I need to read up more on. There are a number of sessions for RoboMaker although none were showing in the ReInvent planner last night when i looked to register for one.

I for one welcome our Robot overlords Smile

I then made my way home as it was by that time 9am UK time and I had essentially done an all nighter albeit a very nerdy all nighter. Today I hope to do a number of sessions largely around data migrations and financial services opportunities and capabilities within AWS linked largely to my daily work and the work Dell Technologies customers are coming to us to ask for help on.

Gregg


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#VMwAWS #vExpert #vCommunity Meetup at #AWS ReInvent

itproawsvmware-logo2

Later this month I will be attending my first AWS ReInvent due to me being the AWS Solution Lead for the UK&I for Dell EMC. As part of my attending I am planning to try kick start a community within the AWS ecosystem that matches the awesome one that the vCommunity has around VMware and supporting technologies. Due to me being a VMware vExpert for the last 9 years and a newly appointed vExpertPro I am looking to call on this community whom are also attending the conference to get together and ideally we can build a crossover AWS and VMware community seeing as most people who have done VMware now also know AWS or are currently using it more and more due to offerings like VMConAWS.

The vBrownbag crew will be attending ReInvent for the first time so please make sure to sign up for a TechTalk and also come watch and meet some like minded people as the community around the vBrownbag is always strong and well worth knowing

So initially and the point of this posting is to find out how many of my followers/readers are attending ReInvent and to then hopefully organise a few meetups and spread the supporting nature of the VMware community into the AWS community and vice versa. So if you are attending then please put your name in the form below and your twitter handle and I will create a way for all of us to start building the VMwAWS community.


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VMware Cloud Foundation 3.5

This morning during the VMworld EU keynote the next iteration of VMware Cloud Foundation (VCF) was announced and it is packed with new features as well as a number of exciting changes. I will touch on some of them from a high level below:

vSphere 6.7 Update 1 based Bill of Materials

VCF is now based on and compatible with the latest version of vSphere 6.7 update 1 as well as the latest version of the vRealize suite. The bill of materials and versions are:

vSphere 6.7 Update 1

vSAN 6.7 Update 1

vSAN Content Pack 2.0 (for log Insight)

NSX for vSphere 6.4.3

NSX-T 2.3 (WHAT!!!?? More below on this)

SDDC Manager 3.5 (Includes Integrated VIA)

vRealize Suite Lifecycle Manager 2.0

vRealize Automation 7.5

vRealize Operations 7.0 (and management packs)

vRealize Log Insight 4.7 (and contents packs)

NSX-T Workload Domain

  • NSX-T Data Center is the premium networking and security platform, supporting developer cloud use cases such as:
    Single or multi-tenant IaaS (Infrastructure as- Service) and with NSX-T 2.3 expanding support to New App Frameworks (Containers)
    Public Cloud and some Security Use cases

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NFS Workload Domain

Ability to create workload domains using only NFS storage
Benefits:

  • Automated deployment of NFS based workloads
  • Flexibility to consume existing storage

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Composable Infrastructure Support

What is Composable Infrastructure?

Converged:

  • Preconfigured package of software and hardware in a single unit
  • Enables simplified procurement and easier operation
  • Designed for a specific application or workload
  • Management of those discrete resources often remains siloed

Hyperconverged:

  • Adds deeper levels of abstraction and greater levels of automation for easy-to consume infrastructure capacity
  • Software-defined elements are implemented virtually, with integration into the hypervisor environment.
  • Scaling is done by deploying additional nodes

Composable:

  • Fluid pools of compute, storage and network
  • Simplified platform management
  • Resources can be provisioned & reconfigured on demand
  • Reduce under-utilization and over-provisioning while creating a more agile data center

Brand new composability service developed against Redfish framework

HPE Synergy is the first certified partner.

 

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Next Generation Use Cases for Cloud Foundation

 

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Resources

Product Page vmware.com/go/cloudfoundation
Documentation vmware.com/go/cloudfoundation-docs
Poster (like the one shown below) vmware.com/go/cloudfoundation-poster
Blog blogs.vmware.com/cloud-foundation
HOL labs.hol.vmware.com/HOL/catalogs/lab/3787
Community vmware.com/go/cloudfoundation-community
FAQ vmware.com/go/cloudfoundation-faq
Twitter @VMWvCF
YouTube youtube.com/c/VMwareCloudFoundation

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Attending VMworld?

If you want to learn more and you are attending VMworld EU then there a large number of sessions and Hands On Labs:

Wednesday Keynote HCI3728KE – Innovating Beyond HCI: How VMware is Driving the Next Data Center Revolution. Presented by Yanbing Li, John Gilmartin and Duncan Epping

Tuesday 6th November:

11:00 AM -12:00 PM PRV1101BE VxRack SDDC Technical Deep Dive
2:00PM – 3:00PM PRV1766BE Workload Automation in your VMware Cloud Foundation Based Private Cloud
2:00PM – 3:00 PM PRV1933BER VMware Cloud Foundation Architecture Deep Dive
3:30PM -4:30 PM PRV2121BE Composable Infrastructure Innovations: Cloud Foundation and HPE Synergy
5:00PM – 6:00PM PRV1765BE Advanced Operations for your VMware Cloud Foundation Based Private Cloud

Wednesday 7th November:

11:00 AM -12:00 PM PRV1101BE VxRack SDDC Technical Deep Dive
2:00PM – 3:00PM PRV1766BE Workload Automation in your VMware Cloud Foundation Based Private Cloud
2:00PM – 3:00 PM PRV1933BER VMware Cloud Foundation Architecture Deep Dive
3:30PM -4:30 PM PRV2121BE Composable Infrastructure Innovations: Cloud Foundation and HPE Synergy
5:00PM – 6:00PM PRV1765BE Advanced Operations for your VMware Cloud Foundation Based Private Cloud

Thursday 8th November:

9:00AM – 10:00AM PRV1459BE Strategies for Workload Mobility with VMware Cloud Foundation
10:30AM – 11:30AM PRV1429BE VMware Cloud Foundation Simplifies Disaster Protection
12:00PM – 1:00PM PRV1463BE Building the Ultimate Hybrid Cloud with VMware Cloud Foundation
3:00PM – 4:00PM PRV1669BE VMware Cloud Foundation Real-World Success with Professional Services
3:00PM – 4:00PM PRV1933BER VMware Cloud Foundation Architecture Deep Dive

Hands On Labs:

HOL-1946-01-SLN Modernize Infrastructure – Getting Started with VMware Cloud Foundation 3.0
SPL-1944-01-SLN_E Modernize Infrastructure – Getting started with VCF 3.0 (iSIM based)

Meet the Experts:

 

MONDAY, NOV 5
2:15 – 3:00 Table 5 PRV-5040 VMware SDDC architecture with expert Tom Harrington
3:15 – 4:00 Table 5 PRV-5036 Building a hybrid cloud with expert Heath Johnson
TUESDAY, NOV 6
1:15 – 2:00 Table 3 PRV-5037 NSX-T and PKS in VCF and VVD with expert Ryan Johnson
4:15 – 5:00 Table 5 PRV-5036 Building a hybrid cloud with expert Heath Johnson
4:15 – 5:00 Table 8 PRV-5039 VMware Cloud Foundation with expert Josh Townsend

 

 

WEDNESDAY, NOV 7
1:15 – 2:00 Table 3 PRV-5037 NSX-T and PKS in VCF and VVD with expert Ryan Johnson
5:15 – 6:00 Table 3 PRV-5040 VMware SDDC architecture with expert Tom Harrington
THURSDAY, NOV 8
9:15 – 10:00 Table 9 PRV-5037 NSX-T and PKS in VCF and VVD with expert Ryan Johnson
10:15 – 11:00 Table 8 PRV-5039 VMware Cloud Foundation with expert Josh Townsend


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Why you should attend VMworld 2018

VMworld has something for everyone from those just learning about virtualisation to those who have been part of the industry for a number of years and are looking to those in depth sessions and discussions with the evangelists and guru’s of VMware plethora of offerings and solutions. If you haven’t yet booked your place then let me list some of the reasons I think you should attend as they are the reasons I try to attend every year:

  • On the Sunday of VMworld US the vBrownbag crew along with the VMUnderground crew are again running opening acts and then the VMUnderground party in the Evening (keep an eye out for tickets as these sell out very fast). The opening acts are always well attended and if you are a vExpert then it is a brilliant way to meet many others and if you are not then you can come and get motivated to submit by Ariel Sanchez. I blogged about my attending and being on a panel last year in my day 1 recap posting here (I’m the nerd in the blue VCDX shirt in the picture).

vbrownbag

  • My next reason is about the community again but this time the ability to network with like minded individuals at the bloggers tables, fellow vExperts, fellow VCDX at the VCDX townhall on the Saturday before VMworld and all those I hope to meet over lunch and at the vBrownbag TechTalks who are working in collaboration with the VMTN team to run the infamous TechTalks. If you have never heard of the TechTalks then a brief overview is below:
    • Tech Talks originated at VMworld 2012 where they provided an opportunity for community members, whose presentation submissions were not accepted into the main catalogue, to present the core of  a topic.  #TechTalks are a ten minute presentation by a community member for the benefit of the community. Since almost everyone working in technology has solved problems and learned something almost everyone could present a #TechTalk.  The format can be a slide deck or simply talking, they are usually about how to solve a problem or get the most out of a product. The TechTalk is captured on video and published on the vBrownBag YouTube channel.
    • If the conference Internet connection allows, the talk is also live streamed from the show.
    • #TechTalks are for community members to reach other community members, any topic that will help other people is good.  The one thing that TechTalks are not is an opportunity to present the corporate slide deck about a great product you would like us to buy.  #TechTalks are about up skilling and education, the only marketing should be from the TechTalk sponsors who help make the whole thing happen.
  • Next are the breakout sessions, group discussions and expert panels. The content catalog is packed with amazing sessions by some of the biggest names in the industry and those up and coming in the industry. I’m personally really looking forward to all of the VMware Cloud on AWS sessions as it bridges my existing knowledge and interest in VMware with my exponentially growing interest in AWS. The sessions are also recorded so if you can’t make it to a sessions due to a conflict then by registering for VMworld you get access to all the recorded sessions after the conference for you to watch in your own time.
  • My next reason are the VMware Hands-On Labs which cover all VMware technologies and allow you to play with the latest releases and offerings not just from VMware but also VMware partners. Alike to the sessions the hands on labs are available after the conference but I would recommend going to a few that really interest you (again I’ve allocated some walk trough’s of the VMConAWS solution) and then you can do the remaining ones after the conference. If however you really want to hit the labs hard then I know they normally give a free pass to next years VMworld to the top few people who have completed the most labs.
  • The solution exchange is my next reason as this is the perfect opportunity to speak to those vendors who are offering the latest solution that might save your business and team loads of money and or time and this is the perfect opportunity to speak to that vendor who might be offering the solution that will fix the issues your company is experiencing and take that knowledge back to your company and impress your management with how you’ve found a great solution and to prove that your going to VMworld was worth it and that they should send you again next year. I would be remise if I didn’t encourage you to go speak to Dell EMC and hear about their amazing offerings all the way through the stack as well as pre-packaged and validated solutions for SMB’s all the way to large enterprises.
  • If you are looking to obtain that next VMware certification or want to speak to the certification team about the performance of your latest VCAP-Deploy exam then there are loads of  VMware Certification opportunities. You can also book reduce cost exams at VMworld which I have personally never decided to do but loads of the community swear by it and due to the reduced cost it means if you unfortunately don’t make it then it isn’t that much of a dent to your pocket and lets you scope out the exam to better prepare for next time.
  • Last is the parties and due to the conferences being in Vegas and Barcelona you can imagine the amount of them there are and the amount of meet ups after the parties that happen.  There are parties for everyone so if you are looking for a chilled drinks evening then there are loads of opportunities for that and if you want to party all night (save some sleep to be able to attend the conference) then there are plenty of those as well. If you haven;t got a ticket to VMUnderground on Sunday then the Welcome Reception kicks off the conference experience with food, drinks, and networking in the Solutions Exchange. There are normally loads of announcements about the parties closer to the time so keep an eye out on social media as the parties fill up fast and remember the strip is big so unless you plan to uber it then getting to three parties in a night might not be possible. The VMworld party finishes off the conference on Wednesday night.

If you are looking to attend then sign up here  and make sure to come find me and say hi as well as I encourage you to attend the TechTalks which are due to be added to the content catalog very soon.

 

Gregg


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Infrastructure as Code

 

Recently a number of customers have been coming to Dell EMC asking for us to help them with Infrastructure as Code solutions that will allow them to use DevOps methodologies such as CI/CD to provision to multi-cloud environments such as Azure,AWS,Google Cloud and on-premises solutions. These kinds of solutions are becoming more and more prevalent in my experience and although they don’t fit for all companies the capabilities of IaC are undeniable and will allow many companies to stay relevant and allow them to go to market much quicker and in a much more automated manner.

So alike to a lot of resources I post on this blog I started collating all the learning resources I could so that I could learn all about the possibilities of IaC and the various methods it could be accomplished. I have built the below list and will be adding to it over time. Also do keep an eye out on the vBrownbag as we plan to do many more IaC sessions very soon

If you know of any more resources, then please do let me know.

Gregg