TheSaffaGeek

My ramblings about all things technical


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VCDX Prep Advice Series – The design scenario

For every VCDX round, I normally run unofficial face to face mock as the last hurdle and prep for all those defending the VCDX that round in the UK and for anyone wanting to come to assist with the mocks and learn from them. I have run these for a number of years and have got really great feedback from them but last year alike to so many things I was unable to run any due to Covid and who knows if I can this year. So I thought I would do an updated series of postings around the advice I normally give in these mocks, advice I give in the VCDXPrepGroup slack channel I founded and run and link to postings where I summarised previous advice. I will break the series into distinct areas along the path to VCDX to try help people wherever they are along the path *NOTE* All advice here is keeping within NDA’s and despite me now being a VCDX panellist it is the same as when I wasn’t one.

The design scenario is the portion of the defence after you have defended your design. This is where the panellists now become your customer and is where you show how you can get the information from the scenario slides and the panellists to get a logical design laid out.

From my experience doing mocks for the last number of years, it is the part that most people either run out of time to prepare for or underestimate the importance of this piece of the defence. The design scenario shows your panellists that if they, for example, couldn’t attend a customer design meeting, they could confidently send you, and you will get the information required from the customer and have a logical diagram/design that you can send to them post the meeting.

When I was preparing for my defence for my second attempt, I spent countless hours planning out how I wanted to ask my questions and how I wanted to layout my whiteboard to show my skills and ensure I showed a journey to my “customers”. The method I used (Note: I practiced loads by myself to see what worked for me, so certainly try out what works for you best) is one that Rene van den Bedem and Larus Hjartarson and I had done together when we were part of each others study groups. They were two of my mentors for my second attempt.

  • I had a list of questions I wanted to ask for each pillar of the blueprint (my list is old for some things as it was for vSphere 5.x), as this allowed me to get the information I wanted. I always did that gave me confidence as if I was doing another mock scenario.
  • I made a list of conceptual questions that I would go through again like a “script” as I wanted to drum into my mind all the pieces I wanted to ask so that I could go into that automatic mode when under pressure. It is in the second part of this posting.
  • The best method IMO is one blogged about by Rene van den Bedem. Rene created this when preparing for his second VCDX attempt, and I was preparing for my first. The questions and whiteboard layout are great ideas and allow you to collect and record information whilst allowing the panellists to see your thinking and your essential whiteboarding skills.
  • Stemming off of Rene’s method above Larus Hjartarson, who had Rene as his mentor, took the technique one step further and blogged about it here. I used Larus’ method in my second defence preparations and recommend it highly as it allows you to show your skills and get your diagrams logically drawn up on the whiteboard by the end.
  • Get yourself a whiteboard and practise it again and again and again. There are several example design scenarios out there that you can use and adapt. I would use some as a starting point but would change the answers I was expecting the panellists were giving me or changing the answer they gave me halfway through to practice how I could look at what I had written down and drawn and change it due to that requirement change. Indeed, practice talking about what you are doing on the board and continually ask questions to try to gleam out information. Make sure you have good reasons to ask those questions, as sometimes the panellists who are role-playing as customers might have to email someone to get the answer to your question.
  • The design scenario is the place where you want to try to score points in places you felt you didn’t in the previous phase of the defence, so when I’ve done loads of mocks in the past, I see far too often people trying to recreate the design they submitted. Now I’m not saying don’t use some skills you learnt from your design, and if, for example, you had HCI in your design and the precise method for the scenario is taking you down that route, then not to do that but try show you know things outside your “comfort zone”.
  • As I said in my The X in VCDX posting, try to show that eXpert level of knowledge by maybe showing that something needs to follow a particular route, but if that isn’t possible, then there are alternate routes, but you didn’t recommend that because of x, y and z.
  • KEEP IT LOGICAL
  • KEEP IT LOGICAL. Yes, I’ve done it twice, as again, far too many times in mocks, I have seen people go from getting a few requirements to custom network configurations in a matter of seconds. A good architect will keep it in the conceptual and logical, and whilst the answer is VMware, it doesn’t mean you need to go into deep technical configurations as that is what a VCAP level person does. A senior consultant would do on a project, not the lead architect you are trying to prove you are.
  • Listen to what the panellists are saying; this is true in both phases of the defence, but despite what people believe, 99,9% of panellist want to see you pass (I don’t know the 0.1 ). They aren’t giving you answers to trip you up, and it’s possible and probable they are trying to get you to show skills in an area so they can score you on it ideally at a good level.
  • I would recommend reading Rene and Larus’ postings above to read Josh Odgers VCDX Defence Essentials – Part 2- Preparing for the Design Scenario posting.

The design scenario shouldn’t be a nerve-wracking experience, and I believe from my experience in my defences that the more I practiced, the less nervous I was and the more it felt like I was doing another mock. There is a reason in so many professions people practice drills so that when an event comes, despite them being nervous or full of adrenaline, their training and practice comes through.

Gregg


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VCDX Prep Advice Series – The Mentor/s

For every VCDX round, I normally run unofficial face to face mock as the last hurdle and prep for all those defending the VCDX that round in the UK and for anyone wanting to come to assist with the mocks and learn from them. I have run these for a number of years and have got really great feedback from them but last year alike to so many things I was unable to run any due to Covid and who knows if I can this year. So I thought I would do an updated series of postings around the advice I normally give in these mocks, advice I give in the VCDXPrepGroup slack channel I founded and run and link to postings where I summarised previous advice. I will break the series into distinct areas along the path to VCDX to try help people wherever they are along the path *NOTE* All advice here is keeping within NDA’s and despite me now being a VCDX panellist it is the same as when I wasn’t one.

I want/need a mentor but how do I find one?

VCDX mentorship splits opinions as I know of several VCDX who did the track without a mentor and there are people like myself who had a few mentors to help me with advice and mock with me once I had my design submitted and I was getting ready to defend.

The first and official place to look for a VCDX mentor is at VCDX.VMware.Com and select the mentorship flag. I would recommend not limiting it just to people within your geography and time zone as I personally had one mentor in Australia another in Saudi Arabia and another in the USA. I personally believe having a few gives you different perspectives, naturally each will have skills in different areas and it allows you to have catchups possibly in your morning but their evening when they have time outside of work to chat with you.

Another great place is to ask on Twitter and add the VCDX hashtag to your message as not all people who are willing to mentor have the flag on the VCDX page as many don’t want to let someone down by saying they can mentor and then feel they can’t allocate the time to assist.

One of the main reasons I created the unofficial VCDX Prep/Study Group slack channel is to allow people to be in contact with many people who are mentors both officially and unofficially as well as people who are also aiming to obtain the certification so that ideally their questions are answered. Also akin to myself, there is VCDX panellist in the group who can give generic NDA permitting advice.

The role of a mentor

Mentors are naturally VCDX who have chosen to set the flag for being a mentor and are not panelists as panelists are not allowed to be mentors due to them knowing the scoring rubric used for the scoring of the designs for invites to defence and scoring of the defences.

There is no official guide for being a mentor and therefore each mentor will give the best advice and guidance they can give whilst base it on what worked for them personally and if they have been a mentor for a while then what advice they gave previous mentees who have succeeded. This again is another reason I created the study slack group so that different perspectives could be shared as there are many ways to pass and you have to work out what works for you.

Below to ideally clarify some views I’ve seen over the years of people being upset that they emailed a mentor and they didn’t respond or they did but the person felt the mentor didn’t give them the level of guidance they had hoped for I have listed some points around mentorship in no particular order:

  • Mentors are not there to walk you through every single piece of your submission and handhold you, you have to own your design/submission and the best mentors, in my opinion, direct you in the right direction and let you learn or else you’ll get to the defence and fail as you don’t understand half of the design because you didn’t learn it on your own.
  • Mentors have a day job and are very likely to have a very busy and demanding job never-mind they also want to have time with family etc so if a mentor can only do a few hours a week with you then you as the mentee need to utilise that time to the best of your ability to get the most out of it. Again, this is why having multiple mentors is beneficial IMO and why the prep/study slack group is helpful as you can ask a question and a whole host of mentors based in all time zones can give you advice.
  • If you don’t use Twitter then I would recommend getting yourself an account just to maybe tweet out asking for a mentor and seeing who might be available to assist you. Sometimes people don’t set themselves as mentors but are willing to privately do a review for you or a few mocks.
  • The design and submission are yours and all VCDX and those who have defended have signed an NDA so they can tell you their experience but can’t tell you about the design scenarios etc. There are ample blog postings out there from myself and numerous others that give generic advice that should help you prepare more than enough to pass but this is your journey no one else’s and like someone training for a marathon people can give you advice of how they trained and prepared but it is your race. 
  • I have had people ask to join my slack group and normally what I ask is if the person is really aiming to defend within the next twelve months as the group will be what you make it, no one is going to run after you to ask you to do mocks or send out your design for review before submission. 
  • Linked to the above if you want a mentor to review your design don’t send it for review a few days before submission as I have done far too many reviews where I have had to review the submission in a very short space of time and it’s heartbreaking for me and I’m sure other reviewers to find issues and then feed that back which stresses the person due to submit even more to try to fix it.

All the above is my perspective and from my experience, I know people who never had a mentor and passed and I commend those people but I believe if you can practice and prepare yourself before submission and before defence then why wouldn’t you take that opportunity. I know how stressful it was to send out my design for review as you worry people will look at your design, find an error and think less of you (this is how I felt at least) but rather you find those issues now than your design not being invited to defend or you are found out in the defence. I see sadly far too many people only defend once as they have burnt themselves out and can’t bring themselves to submit again.

Gregg


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VCDX Prep Advice Series – The Supporting Documents

For every VCDX round, I normally run unofficial face to face mock as the last hurdle and prep for all those defending the VCDX that round in the UK and for anyone wanting to come to assist with the mocks and learn from them. I have run these for a number of years and have got really great feedback from them but last year alike to so many things I was unable to run any due to Covid and who knows if I can this year. So I thought I would do an updated series of postings around the advice I normally give in these mocks, advice I give in the VCDXPrepGroup slack channel I founded and run and link to postings where I summarised previous advice. I will break the series into distinct areas along the path to VCDX to try help people wherever they are along the path *NOTE* All advice here is keeping within NDA’s and despite me now training to become a VCDX panellist it is the same as when I hadn’t gone through the training.

I’ve built the design but what are all these other documents needed?

Naturally, most people focus on their design as this is what you are defending but the VCDX requires you to also submit at a minimum:

  • An installation guide
  • An implementation plan
  • A testing plan
  • A Standard Operating Procedures document

I will break down what each of these is if you’ve never come across them or if you think some of them are the same thing.

  • Installation Guide

The installation guide is a document that shows for someone that is of VCP level skillset how to install the solution. This can have links to VMware documentation but it has to be personalised to your environment/solution as just a plethora of links will not suffice. I always tell people to do this document like you are providing it to a paying customer as they will want it at a level that their staff can follow it if they have to, for example, build the environment from scratch without you. I get asked sometimes if screenshots are needed and whilst it isn’t likely a hard rule, naturally if the person using the document can see a screenshot that looks exactly like the one they are on it will make it easier for them to follow

  • Implementation Plan

This is your project plan where you have to set out all the roles, responsibilities and the timeframes for each portion of the design. Again this has to be specific to your project so even if you have a generic timeline from your vendor or company you need to amend it to your design and trust me the panellists review all the documentation so don’t put your design being accepted to defend at risk by not doing this or any of the supporting documentation properly.

  • Testing Plan

This is where you now prove your design and components by running it through tests to prove it works. I personally like to number all of my tests as even though it isn’t a requirement for your VCDX submission I find using a Requirements Traceability Matrix and showing how you have taken all the requirements from the conceptual design all the way to the testing and validation phase and proven the design you have created meets these helps you ensure you’ve not missed something. Alike to what I mentioned in the implementation plan section you have to provide a testing plan specific to your environment as generic tests of just pulling some cables etc will not suffice.

  • Standard Operating Procedures

The SOP is all the steps and procedures needed to keep the environment running whilst you are away as well as steps your end customer must follow in the event of certain failures. A good design is one where at the end of the project when you leave the end customer can run it with as little effort as possible. If your design is so complex and requires so much continual manual monitoring and tweaking to keep it running then you have very possibly over-engineered it and the project is at risk of failing. This document should be covering places where the end-user can do checks on all the dashboards, automated reports, configured alarms and how to troubleshoot and build out the environment once you have left.


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VCDX Prep Advice Series – Building your submission

For every VCDX round, I normally run unofficial face to face mock as the last hurdle and prep for all those defending the VCDX that round in the UK and for anyone wanting to come to assist with the mocks and learn from them. I have run these for a number of years and have got really great feedback from them but last year alike to so many things I was unable to run any due to Covid and who knows if I can this year. So I thought I would do an updated series of postings around the advice I normally give in these mocks, advice I give in the VCDXPrepGroup slack channel I founded and run and link to postings where I summarised previous advice. I will break the series into distinct areas along the path to VCDX to try help people wherever they are along the path *NOTE* All advice here is keeping within NDA’s and despite me now training to become a VCDX panellist it is the same as when I hadn’t gone through the training.

The mysterious VCDX Design

I hear from a lot of people about various challenges and hurdles in building their design and below are the main ones:

  • Ive Never seen a “VCDX Design”

When I defended my first VCDX I received a fair few messages from people asking if they could see my design as they too wanted to submit but said they have never seen a design that got invited to a VCDX defence. What I shared instead was the table of contents so people can possibly understand the flow (in my personal opinion) a good design should have. I have posted screenshots below of my table of contents from my actual VCDX-DCV submission and there is also the blog posting Derek Seaman posted a while ago around this exact topic. Every person and design is different but outlines like Derek and I’s are relatively the outlines most DCV designs follow that have a good flow from conceptual to logical to physical and cover all the pillars.

  • I’m waiting for the right project before starting my design.

This partly refers to my first posting and how I always tell people to just get started. It is highly unlikely you will find the right project and for most people, I’ve spoken to and including my own, your design will normally be a merger of two or more designs where maybe for the main design the customer didn’t ask you at that point to add certain features until later phases or not at all but you added them to your design to show you design skills and the lessons you learnt from another project which had those features are now in this design.

Basing it on real-world projects helps you refer to those real challenges you had that will come to light when you have to defend your design and I can’t even remember what was and wasn’t in the main project that I based my design on as after a while it became its own sole project.

  • I haven’t passed my VCIX yet

Whilst you need the VCIX in your chosen track before submitting there is no reason you can’t start building your design whilst getting the certification as it takes a fair amount of time and effort to build your submission and you don’t want to wait until you have your VCIX and then realise it might take you much longer than you planned to build the design and submit. I have seen far too many people sadly lose the motivation at this point.

  • My customer/company won’t want me to use my current design.

This one is a tough one sometimes and I want to say that for high-security customers you should get approval before submitting as my normal advice to people for this is that you can sanitise the design and change all the name to something generic which is actually fairly common for people to do but if it is military or government this is normally not enough so do get it checked. 

Sanitising your design is fairly easy and most companies outside the edge cases I mention above are fine as long as you remove their names and their information from the design and normally if they review it to ensure they feel it has been done sufficiently. The designs are only shared with those scoring the designs as well as your panellists if these are different people and once your defence is completed these are removed so no one has them.


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VCDX Prep Advice – Building your submission

For every VCDX round, I normally run unofficial face to face mock as the last hurdle and prep for all those defending the VCDX that round in the UK and for anyone wanting to come to assist with the mocks and learn from them. I have run these for a number of years and have got really great feedback from them but this year alike to so many things I was unable to run any due to Covid. So I thought now I have a chance to catch my breath after my first year as a VMware employee I would do an updated series of postings around the advice I normally give in these mocks, advice I give in the VCDXPrepGroup slack channel I founded and run and link to postings where I summarised previous advice. I will break the series into distinct areas along the path to VCDX to try help people wherever they are along the path *NOTE* All advice here is keeping within NDA’s and despite me now training to become a VCDX panellist it is the same as when I hadn’t gone through the training.

I don’t know where to start

Building your VCDX submission can seem a massively daunting task and the more you work on it the larger it seems to get but my first piece of advice I always give people is to just get started as soon as possible. 

  • Start with the conceptual design and ensure your requirements are clear and concise and verified. Far too often I have done reviews for people and sadly they haven’t recorded the requirements very well and have built their design around these but because they aren’t clear it can make their design fall apart fairly quickly with very simple questions. One example I see often is people not recording availability and recoverability correctly where they have a requirement of 99.99% availability but it isn’t clear what this applies to and when. You need to ensure of you have SLA’s, RPO’s, RTO’s and MTD defined that it is very clear where this does and does not apply.
  • Once you have completed the conceptual design get it reviewed before moving onto logical. Like above I see it far too often where people don’t have their requirements clearly defined and to then change it at a review a week before submission deadline is nigh on impossible. Getting someone to have a quick review of them will then help you ensure you have them defined well and is something I see far too often in real life where requirements are defined clearly and then the customer isn’t possibly happy as you misunderstood their requirement. For this, I did a Requirements Traceability Matrix for my defence and I use one on all major projects I work on to ensure that the requirements I have recorded and got approval for can be tracked all the way to the verification tests at the end of the project. This RTM is one part I changed about my design after my first VCDX failure as blogged about here: What Changed Between My Two VCDX Design Submissions
  • Get yourself a mentor and into a good group of people also aiming for the VCDX. When I did my first VCDX I didn’t have a mentor and I built the whole design “alone”. By chance when I had to pay for my VCDX design review the link to pay didn’t work and when they sent a new link they included the other people also submitting and even though I knew Bobby Stampfle was submitting I didn’t know Rene Van Den Bedem (Quadruple VCDX) was going for his first. Out of this, we three built a study group that became the basis of my now pretty successful VCDXPrepGroup slack channel. The amount I learnt from those two in that first defence is why I made the channel and the number of people who have benefited from all the help those in the channel provides from NDA permitting advice to mocks to design reviews I personally feel is invaluable. I know there are people who have passed without a prep group but why not use a good group of people who have gone through the process already to soundboard off of and who understand the grind and can show you the journey you are on is worth it (in our opinions). If you are really looking to defend within the next twelve months then please contact me and I will add you to the Slack channel. (realistically is if you at least have your VCP and one VCAP in your planned track and are planning to do the second VCAP and start your design very soon if not already)

In the next posting, I will cover off something I hear often and have heard from numerous people over the years of “I am waiting for the right project”. If you want me to cover something then please do leave a comment or message me on Twitter @greggrobertson5 and I will try to incorporate it into this series.

Gregg

 


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Hello VMware

I have been meaning to post this for a few weeks but between pieces needing to be done around the news, AWS re:Invent and just the holiday period I haven’t managed to until now.

Image result for one of us meme

As of last week Monday (8th of December) I now work for VMware PSO as a Staff Consulting Architect after having been transitioned across along with a handful of others whose skillsets fitted better in VMware than Dell EMC. The move is bitter sweet as I have really enjoyed and grown with Dell EMC and have done some cutting edge projects but with my skillset being pretty heavy in VMware technologies,my being a 9 time vExpert ,a VMware fanboy for so long and having so many really good friends working for VMware I am really excited to join.

I am really looking forward to making my mark within VMware and I love the company ethos and especially the way the company is moving. A massive thanks to all those I worked with at Dell EMC, I would highly recommend the company and special thanks to Tim Gleed who headhunted me just over three years ago to be a global cloud architect.

Gregg


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VCP7-CMA 2019 Obtained

Yesterday after a few weeks of studying during my spare time (which is limited due to work and family) I sat the VCP7-CMA and am pleased to say I passed Smile I do have to give a disclaimer though that I was white labelled VMware PSO for a number of years and delivered enterprise level vRA deliveries and attempted but sadly failed my VCDX6-CMA two years ago so I didn’t start with zero knowledge.

Resources used

Due to having worked with and used vRealize Automation in my past my studying focused around reminding myself of pieces seeing as I haven’t touched vRA in almost three years and also updating my knowledge on some of the recent changes. I largely used the study resources listed on my blog here: https://thesaffageek.co.uk/vsphere-6-x-cma-study-resources/vcp6-cma/ but read and watched the “what’s new in vRA7” videos and blog postings out there as well.

The exam I found didn’t really require you to have any real world hands on experience and if someone read all the recommended resources I think you could pass it.

 

The exam

The exam consists of 85 multiple choice questions and you have 90 minutes to do the exam. I got a 355 out of 500 and I know I got ones wrong where it asked you console questions where unless by chance you’ve used it recently you’d have to have an educated guess like I did. The questions aren’t very long and only one or two were worded a bit strangely. I took my time and reviewed a few questions at the end where I had marked them if it took me more than a minute to decide an answer.

Good luck if you are looking to take the exam, I think it’s more than achievable and the recommended resources will give you a good idea what to learn and also set you up in the event you want to start using vRA.

Gregg


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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


2 Comments

#VMwAWS #vExpert #vCommunity Meetup at #AWS ReInvent

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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.