TheSaffaGeek

My ramblings about all things technical


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Dell IQT Part 2

*Disclaimer* Whilst I am a Dell EMC employee this is my own take around the announcement and technologies whilst utilizing resources available to me as an employee, this posting has not been reviewed nor requested by my employers and whilst I plan to give as factual information as possible nothing mentioned below can be deemed fully verified.

 

As I promised during my first posting about the Dell IQT announcements I am planning to cover my own perspectives around the announcements and try share information about it as I learn it myself. For this second part I am planning to cover why you would choose Dell Technologies as your IoT solutions provider/partner.

Unlock the potential of the unconnected by bridging IT and OT

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The value of IoT is at the intersection of IT (information technology) and OT (operational Technology). Most of the net new data coming from the 50 billion connected devices that analysts are predicting will be in operational environments and IT will need to work with OT to securely access this data and integrate it with existing IT data and systems to create value.

  • Working together, IT and OT organizations must join forces, using the strengths each has to offer.
  • IT must securely add computation, storage and secure connectivity closer to OT equipment and devices, including ruggedized equipment for harsher environments
  • OT must find ways to gather, analyze and move this data to where it delivers the highest business value whether that be the device, the fog or the cloud.

 

Dell has been unlocking human potential for over 30 years with their computing technologies – Their mission in IoT is to unlock potential of the unconnected by bridging IT and OT.

The idea that IT and OT will need to converge for IoT to be successful is pretty prevalent in the industry today but most companies will stop there.  Dell has 30+ years of IT heritage and they have been focused on the tenant of security and manageability, but Dell has also been customising their technologies for OT environments for companies like Honeywell, Emerson, and Johnson Controls through their OEM business for over 15 years. Finally their best-in-breed partner program delivers vertical specific OT expertise.

Dell is also 100% focused on Industrial/Commercial IoT where they believe the real progress is being made.

The challenges and risks can seem overwhelming

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Security & data governance: Exponential increase in connected devices introduces an exponential increase in security risk. This still continues to be the #1 concern for IoT deployments – that is why you want to work with a company with years of experience securing critical data on remote client devices back to the data center. 90% of all IT networks will have an IoT-based security breach

IT and OT partnership: Lack of CIO and business stakeholder alignment derails strategy development and implementation.2/3 of all IoT projects are managed outside of IT.

Data volume & analytics complexity: The volume and complexity of data generated by sensors and devices overload traditional infrastructure, and data management and analysis tools.Worldwide data will reach 44 zettabytes by 2020 growing from 4.4ZB in 2013 (EMC & IDC)

Lack of data protocol standards: Lack of protocol standards complicates cross-domain data sharing. The true benefit of the IoT is realised through the integration of the core elements. New devices, applications, networks interacting with fragmented and immature technologies and vendors, each using proprietary, non-standard technologies, make the required interoperability between the systems and applications a complicated problem to solve.  Organisations considering IoT projects are relying on vendors with proven experience engineering and integrating fragmented vendor and technology ecosystems to lead the way.

Diversity of niche providers & solutions: The diversity of start-up, niche providers with immature solutions adds complexity and risk in deploying an end-to-end solution.

Confusion on use cases, ROI: Hype obscures real opportunities, causing confusion about use cases, outcomes and ROI, what are they trying to measure and what problem data do they need to collect and how to move forward.

 

loT Practical Approach

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With the industry’s broadest IoT infrastructure portfolio together with Dell Technologies ecosystem of curated technology and services partners, they cut through the complexity and enable you to access everything you need to deploy an optimised IoT solution, and by working with these partners they provide proven use-case specific solution blueprints for a faster ROI.

 

Comprehensive standards-based portfolio:

– Provides choice and flexibility

– Speeds deployment through global scale, support and financing

Dell Technologies have successfully developed award-winning edge computing solutions to help customers securely access and analyse data in operational environments, complementing their trusted data center computing solutions. Now with the added assets from the EMC Federation, they are solidifying Dell’s IoT market leadership by providing choice and flexibility and helping you speed up your IoT deployments with a comprehensive infrastructure portfolio from the edge through the fog to the cloud.

 

Curated partner program:

– Reduces risk and complexity

– Delivers vertical expertise

– Provides implementation and support

Dell Technologies ecosystem of curated partners in their best-in-breed partner program, cuts through the complexity and enables you to access everything you need to deploy an optimised IoT solution. Their hardware and software technology partners and systems integration partners deliver the vertical expertise on top of the trusted Dell infrastructure offering.

 

Proven use-case specific solution blueprints:

– Accelerates ROI

– Optimizes implementation

A + B = C here! By leveraging their comprehensive portfolio and working with these partners they provide proven use-case specific solution blueprints for a faster ROI. Because Dell Technologies do the work to curate the best partners for your use case and validate the solution they can offer a reference architecture to work from which optimises your implementation.

 

Get to market faster with Dell’s curated partners

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Dell’s IoT Partner program cuts through the noise, providing a curated best-of-breed partner ecosystem with deep vertical knowledge

Dell Technologies have invested time and money to find these partners on your behalf.

Using Dell’s infrastructure foundation along with Dell’s partners speeds deployment by reducing risk and complexity – the Dell partner program allows enterprises to choose from the proven IoT solutions that match their needs

Dell’s best-of-breed partners include system integrators, hardware, software (including platforms), security, network and big data analytics – everything you could need to deploy an IoT solution

Case Studies

If you want to read some of Dell Technologies case studies then I would recommend the following:

For my next posting I am hoping to cover off Dell Boomi as I promised I would in my first posting. If you want to learn more about Dell IoT and IQT then have a look here.

Gregg

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VMworld Day 2 Recap

VMworld day 2 is always a good one for me personally as it’s the day you get the tech really spoken about and shown that has been announced at the show. If you missed my blog postings around some of the big announcements from day 1 then have a look below:

My day started with the keynote and again i watched it from the VMVillage in the bloggers area which I always enjoy as you can watch the keynote over the big screens but also sit with fellow vExpert bloggers. If you missed the keynote from either of the days then you can re-watch them here. One of the big announcements from the keynote was Pivotal Container Service, I was fortunate enough to be on a early access program where they went over the solution. It looks to be a really great solution and certainly has made me think I need to learn Kubernetes as I can see some amazing use cases for my customers.

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After the keynote I went and watched a bit of a vBrownbag session. The vBrownbag of which I am one of the team have been doing TechTalks all week and record the sessions as well as stream it live. I will certainly be watching these after the conference as there has been some amazing content and now that the sessions are in the content catalog we have been getting solid crowds all week with some being three people deep standing and watching due to all the seats being gone.

 

Next I attended VMware Cloud on AWS: An Architectural and Operational Deep Dive [LHC3174BU]-the session was really interesting although i was slightly disappointed that the session was more a walk through of how to build your SDDC rather than anything around architecture design which i found disappointing seeing as this was meant to be a deep dive.Also he stated he was engineer so there’s no demo it’s all screenshots. I took some notes from the session

  • Covered what AWSonVMC offers.
  • What organisations are and how these map across all VMware Cloud Services.
  • Covered the real requirement of ensuring you choose the correct CIDR block as this cannot be changed
  • vCenter permissions and the lock down required to ensure there were essentially a VMware owned Admin and a customer owned admin.

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  • Showed what the architecture is and what it uses from AWS to allow VMC
  • Hybrid linked mode explained

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  • Covered at a high level what provision management, remediation/troubleshooting, release coordination, auto-scaler, configuration management, telemetry and alerting service do

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  • Broke down the networking concepts – recommended watching/attending Ray Budavari’s session to learn much much more.
  • Walked through the flow of a failure of a host- covered all the players if what is required for VMware to fix the issues in an automated fashion.

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  • Covered how there is an SRE team to ensure the SaaS service works as it should (copy steps from picture)

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All these sessions make me feel you need to really learn AWS to a certain level so you understand what VPC’s are etc as a fair amount of people in the VMC sessions I’ve been to seem to struggle to understand the AWS side of the service.

Next I attended AWS Native Services Integration with VMware Cloud on AWS: Technical Deep Dive [LHC3376BUS]. – this sessions was really good and the live demo and technical depth was what i was hoping for from the previous session, Again I wrote down a bunch of notes from the session below and would highly recommend watching this session after the show

  • Nice to hear from the AWS side and what their side of the partnership is.
  • Integrations to things like S3, EC2, RDS, IAM,ACM,ELB, Route53, CloudFront,WAF, AWS Shield/Shield Advanced, Athena , QuickSight, Lambda, CodeDeploy
  • Covered the base topology

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  • Recommended reporting services like cloudwatch and cloudtrail, VMware are using these as well for part of their monitoring for you
  • Gave a use case and how to deliver the services for the fake company ACME distribution
  • Did a demo of building and running all the components required by ACME utilising VMC and AWS services.

After this I participated in a design studio UX session where we went through vRealize Lifecycle manager and gave feedback on what I liked and didn’t like and what i expected. I really enjoyed this as it was just me and the engineer and seeing as I’ve done vRA,vRO etc I was able to give some solid feedback from someone who knows the products and how to install them outside the usage of lifecycle manager. The engineer was very grateful which i always nice to be able to help.

Gregg


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VMworld Day 1 recap

VMworld kicked off formally today and there were whole bunch of announcements and some awesome sessions and demo’s I was able to attend and blog about but firstly I would like to recap Saturday and Sunday’s activities so if you just want to hear about today then skip the paragraphs below and go straight to the Monday/Today heading.

Saturday:

I purposely flew in on Friday fro the UK so that i could attend the VCDX workshop and then the VCDX Town hall afterwards. The VCDX workshop and town hall were hosted at the cosmopolitan hotel and the workshop started off early at 7:30 am with some breakfast/desert seeing as it was coffee and donuts. If you don;t know what the VCDX workshop is it is a workshop for those thinking of going for the VCDX soon and is aimed to give those aiming for it valuable information and advice around the whole process, what to do and not to do in your preparations and during the defence and also to clear up some possible misconceptions and ideally show that obtaining the VCDX is achievable with hard work and dedication. I’ve blogged about this achievability as well as my personal opinion of doing it for the “right” reasons here https://thesaffageek.co.uk/2017/02/17/why-do-you-want-the-vcdx-accreditation/ . It was really great to see that a very large amount of the people attending the workshop felt it was something they wanted to attempt and felt it was more of a realistic target after the workshop.

After this was the VCDX town hall which is for current VCDX to speak with the VCDX certification team, have a chance to hear from Pat Gelsigner the CEO of VMware and three of the VMware CTO’s before some food and drinks. The town hall was really good and there were some very tough questions asked of the certification team around the direction of the program, how we could get the certification known more widely and aid those looking to obtain it. Chris Colotti wrote a really pointed but accurate posting around a fair few of the topics brought up by the existing VCDX as despite what many might think current VCDX do want more people to join the ranks. We then had the honour of Pat Gelsigner speaking to us and answering some of out questions. It was greatly appreciated that Pat would take time out of his very busy schedule to spend time with us and as always you could see his passion for technology shining through. Next was the CTO panel with Chris Wolf, Guido Appenzeller and Ray O’Farrell. The panel was brilliant and again the three CTO’s were extremely interested to hear for the VCDX crowd and be open and honest with their future plans. Lastly was the drinks and food where we got to socialise which was really nice to chat and joke with fellow VCDX and learn what they are up to and doing.

Sunday:

Sunday is customarily when Partner exchange happened and this year was no different. Even though I work for a partner in Dell EMC I decided to instead attend and support the VMunderground and vBrownbag opening acts. The opening acts are a community event where a number of panels are run discussing various topics by the community for the community. I was very honoured to have been asked to be part of the second of the three panels of the day around How Failing Made Me Better. The panel was very enjoyable to be on and the advice given from all of the people on the panel seemed to be well taken by the crowd. As always the opening acts allowed me to also chat with others from the community some who i have known for years and others i have only met recently. It certainly helped that it was hosted at the beerhaus.

Media preview

After opening acts I wandered off to the solutions exchange to talk to some vendors as well as grab some food and drinks that were on offer. The solutions exchange was buzzing as you would expect and I managed to get over to the Datrium booth and collect my vExpert gift of an arbuboy. I then made my way back to the new york new york hotel for the VMunderground party which was happening at the beerhaus where I got to chat to loads of the community and meet up with some old friends. The VMUnderground party is always one of my favourites due to it always being in a location where you can chat to people without it being too dark or too loud (yes i realise i sound like an old man). After VMUnderground i made my way back to my hotel due to my need to be on a work conference call this morning.

Monday/Today

The day started off with me ensuring all my scheduled blogs had posted as the NDA for a number of the announcements was 5am this morning. I then made my way to the convention centre and decided to watch the keynote from the VMVillage bloggers tables as I had a session straight after the keynote and I wanted to make sure I made it in adequate time. There were a number of announcements in the keynote but the ones that I feel were the best coincided with the ones i blogged about which were:

After the keynote I attended a VMware Design Studio UX design session around VMware Cloud on AWS. The feedback around the UX seemed to be really helpful to the team and one portion I found really great was the number of woman that were part of the various team from VMware which is brilliant and certainly inspiring for my daughters futures if they decide to pursue technology as a career.

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Next I attended a session on VMware Cloud on AWS: Storage Deep Dive which was highly informative and gave some great overviews of not just VMC’s usage of vSAN in the current offering but also some possible future plans around Disaster Recovery, usage of various storage providers technologies, options for backup via partners like Dell EMC and growth abilities of the solution both outwards and upwards. When the recordings of the sessions come out I highly recommend watching this one. I really like the way VMC is heading and I think it will be a brilliant offering and product.

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After this I attended an invite only demo of VMware Cloud on AWS. The demo was highly informative and again I was left feeling really excited and enthused by the direction the offering is taking and the possibilities of it. When the partnership was first announced i was very unsure of how it would work and fit but I can certainly see the use cases and potential and now with VMware Cloud Services having been announced it means that you will be able to mange not just VMC but also Google Cloud Platform, Azure and your traditional vSphere environment in VMware Cloud Foundation.

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The announcements have been really good and with today’s now released GA of Pivotal Container Service there are very exciting things coming from VMworld from VMware and their eco-system of partners.

Gregg


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All Things Virtual 24

 

Just a very quick All Things Virtual as I haven’t been able to read as many blogs as I had wanted due to work commitments and the studying for my VCAP-DCA taking up a large portion of my time.

 

First is the delay to the vExpert results. The results were said to be released on the 6th of May yet were delayed by two weeks and then last week the guys from the vSoup podcasts spoke to John Troyer at the Boston Gestalt IT Tech Field Day and he explained that due to a number of the VMware employees who were selected to give their opinions on the candidates still not having replied it has been delayed for another two weeks (John said two weeks last week Friday but I have a feeling it will need another week above that). It is a shame this has been delayed so much and is a let down for the people who give so much of their spare time to the VMware community, for VMware to then take an extra month and a half to give the results of the vExpert nominations. John did however promise they would be out before VMworld Smile

Talking of VMworld the Session catalogues for VMworld US and VMworld Europe have been posted. There’s a number of very exciting sessions happening and it’s great to personally see so many people I know form the London VMUG and via twitter whose sessions have made it after the public voting. If you’ve never heard of VMworld or have never been before I blogged about each of the days happenings when i went to my first one last year if you’re interested in getting any idea of what an average day at the conference is like All Things VMworld Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.

The next London VMware User Group has been announced for the 14th of July. Unfortunately I will be away on holiday over this time but as I’ve stated many times in a number of blog postings on this blog the VMUG’s are an awesome day out and the amount you learn from the sessions and from fellow attendees is well worth your time. I was able to attend the last one on the 12th of May and wrote up a blog posting about the day if you want to get an idea of what happens during the day. If you are likely to be around the London area on the 14th of July I would highly recommend registering on the VMUG site and attending.

I’ve been trying to fill my slightly ADHD mind with all things VMware in preparation for my sitting of the VCAP-DCA exam and as mentioned in my VCAP-DCA and DCD Resources Page I’m a massive admirer of David Davis’s Trainsignal videos as they allow me to spend as long or short on each topic as I want and allow me to watch them via my iPad or laptop whenever i have a chance. David has recently released his VMware vSphere Performance Monitoring Training. I’ve only briskly looked at the video’s in the set as I’m trying to complete his VMware vSphere Troubleshooting Training set of videos first before starting the new ones but the videos look as amazing as ever and as sad as it is I’m actually excited to watch them. If you haven’t used David’s videos before I would HIGHLY recommend them especially if you are looking to do your VCP4 or your VCAP-DCA

Gregg


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Avamar Windows VMware Image backup fails with Generic 10013 error in Avamar administrator and "Unable to access file[Datastore location]" in vCentre

 

For the past day and a half I’ve been receiving the above error in my Avamar v5.0.3.29 server and in VMware vCentre every time I tried to backup certain virtual machines via the Windows VMware Image plugin. I searched all over the web and couldn’t find anything related to the problems I was experiencing and tried loads of different ideas and looked for similarities between the virtual machines that were failing but found nothing.

As is the case sometimes, once you ask for help you stumble across the solution on your own. As soon as I posted a discussion on the EMC Community Network about my problem and asked for some help/guidance on the problem and then found a posting on the ECN about a problem with the error code I was getting in Avamar Administrator (id 10013). The environment I’m running the backups in hasn’t been upgraded to version 4.1 yet so it did fit the criteria’s for the problem and fourth possible root cause and solution in the list was spot on and fixed the problem for me.

I was planning to write the exact steps I followed but while searching the internet I noticed one of the Varrow bloggers Hugh Griffin had beaten me to it and posted about the error and the same steps I followed(the second workaround).So due to my hating people who repeat my solutions to problems on their blogs with minimal credit I felt it was only fair to give him the credit so here is his blog posting of the solution “Avamar 5.0 VMware Image Backup Error” (Personally I have to put two dashes instead of one like Hugh did for it to work so it only works for me if i do –x22=8192)

Now for the upgrades to vCentre to make sure I don’t need to run the workaround  for much longer clip_image001

Gregg


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EMC Information Storage and Management(ISM) exam experience

 

Associate

For the past few weeks I have been learning and studying for the EMC Information Storage and Management(ISM) exam. I decided to set this goal for myself a few months back, as I felt that storage knowledge was lacking from my repertoire and due to it being a prerequisite for the EMC Cloud Architect certification I thought I should try obtaining it.

This morning I sat the exam and I’m very pleased to say I passed it clip_image001. The exam certainly tested me on some questions whereas on others it was quite simple and straight forward. The questions covered all the modules and technologies covered in the course/book fairly equally although there were a few things not covered in the book or course that I remember that was asked.

The resources I used for the exam were four things:

  1. The training course. Due to my working for EMC this allowed me to do the online training for the exam rather than attending the course. The online courses (I say courses as mine were split into four different modules whereas the training classes cover all four in the one course) were really good and allowed me to do it as and when I could, which is partly why it has taken me so much time to finally sit the exam after doing the online course. The course is really good and even though it does give you examples of EMC technologies/services which provide these capabilities (which some people may not like) it does give you a really good base knowledge if you’re a storage noob like me and the EMC examples are a small section of it all.
  2. The ISM Book. This in my opinion was the best resource for the exam as I read it cover to cover and used it extensively for writing notes and looking up different things. The course wasn’t enough for me personally and I’m pretty certain if I just did the online course I would have failed it. This may be due to my doing the online course rather than attending the instructor led one but I still think the book is a must read. Simon Long has done a quick write up on the book on his site if you want to know more about it and has attached a video review done by EMC vSpecialist Bas Raayman at EMC World 2009 on the book too clip_image001[1].
  3. The online practice exam. This helped me greatly with peace of mind in knowing I was prepared for the exam and was really helpful in showing me parts I needed to re-read and study more. You can take the exam as often as you like and if you get the questions wrong it will tell you where to look to learn more about the subject you got wrong.
  4. Research. Yes ok maybe a bit of a soft point but searching the internet and learning/researching more about different things I was unsure about really helped me understand some things much better (converting CHS to LBA) and helped me have more confidence in my answers in the exam. There were also a few people’s blog postings about their experiences of the exam and what they used to study that helped me greatly. The two main ones were
    1. Gina Minks’ blog posting on the exam was a really great resource and pointed me to the Proven Professional community where a large portion of the questions I had, had already been asked and answered.
    2. EMC vSpecialist Nick Weaver’s blog posting on his passing the exam was also helpful in my making sure there weren’t additional resources I needed to use before the exam.

For anyone looking to sit the exam, good luck it’s a good and fair exam. Next for me is my VCAP-DCA which unlike the gentleman writing the VCAP-DCA exam at the same testing centre as me, will require me to study more than a weekends worth of playing in my lab (he was a VMware instructor though)

Gregg