TheSaffaGeek

My ramblings about all things technical


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All Things Virtual 21

 

I have been slacking on my All Things Virtual postings for the past few months due partly to me just being a bit lazy if I’m honest and due to my focusing a lot of my spare time after work on my EMC and VMware studies(blogs forthcoming). Due to the rate of new blogs coming out and things changing so fast, a large portion of the blogs I had on my list of things to read and thereby be in line to be included in this posting have now become obsolete/old news so my list was culled and is now a current as is possible.

First thing is a little bit of a plug of my VCAP-DCA & DCD resources page and a big thanks to a few people who have helped it gain so much traffic/views. The page has been receiving an overwhelming amount of views(at least in my eyes) and this is mainly down to many of the top people in the virtualisation industry very kindly pointing to it in their blog postings about the exams. So a big thank you to

Speaking of the VCAP exams and preparations for it, I was fortunate enough to attend the  VMware vSphere: Manage for Performance Course and wrote up my experiences of the course for anyone thinking of attending the course. One of the topics of conversation was how the impact of virus scans in your virtual environment can impact the performance of your environment drastically especially if all your virus scans kick off at the same time. Richard Garsthagen has posted a brilliant little blog posting this week all about Security designed for virtualization and how Trend Micro’s new product DeepSecurity 7.5 is using the newly available EPSEC API to save you having these performance hits and has added the performance benchmarks to prove. it

Next is the announcement of the soon to be released and much anticipated PowerCLIBook by industry experts Luc Dekens,Alan Renouf,Arnim van Lieshout, Glenn Sizemore and Jonathan Medd. For anyone remotely using PowerCLI they will know these guys are some of the best if not the best in the industry when it comes to PowerCLI and so this book is being tipped as the perfect book to use to teach yourself everything you need to know about using PowerCLI in the VCAP-DCA exam and to obviously help you build up your knowledge before the release of vSphere 5(or whatever it may be named). I’ve already pre-ordered my copy and will be using this book cover to cover before my VCAP-DCA exam and to teach myself PowerCLI.

Eric Horschman has done a brilliant posting on the VMware Blog pages all about Hypervisor Memory Management Done Right which is  brilliantly written and a perfect reference article for memory management and how it all works and what the kinds of impacts mismanagement can cause in your virtual environment. I’m still slowly reading through it myself and trying to apply some of the best practices into my own environments.This posting is a MUST read for anyone looking after a VMware environment or looking to build one.

The VMworld Europe dates and venue have now been announced and you can sign up to be notified when registrations open for it and the US event. I was very fortunate to attend last year and hopefully I’ll be approved to attend again. My aim this year (a rod for my own back comes to mind at this point) is to try have a session approved for VMworld Europe this year and to present it at VMworld Europe. I’ve decided to do this as I feel it’s a good thing to aim for seeing as the people I look up to in the industry and who I would like to be one day are obviously people who are doing these kinds of sessions and it will hopefully push me to try be a better presenter and hopefully advance my knowledge and skills. Now to just think of something to do for my session…

As I said at the start of this posting I’m busy doing some EMC studies and to not get into specifics seeing as I’m a bit superstitious and I’d like to save it for my planned blog posting one of the reasons for doing it is to hopefully prepare myself for the recently released EMC Cloud Architect certification. Chuck Hollis from EMC posted this past week an update for the certification detailing that the courses are now in full production and has linked to a few testimonials of people who have already attended some of the courses. The courses look really good and even if you feel cloud is just a buzz word at the moment I’d still encourage you to have a look at the certifications and Chucks blog postings about them before writing them off.

Scott Drummonds posted a twitter message this week asking for help finding whitepapers on the subject of VMware environments networking best practices. True to form the community responded and Scott has blogged about all the resources he was pointed to. It’s a great resource for all the VMware networking “best practices” and will prove to be a time saver for anyone needing to source this information for VMware builds. I’ve added it to my “VMware Design Best Practices” bookmarks already.

Last but not least is a blog posting by the infamous Duncan Epping of Yellow-Bricks.com fame all about managing the availability of your environment through vCentre alarms. I blogged a while back all about a document created by Horst Mundt a Technical Account Manager at VMware Germany on the VIOPS.VMware.com site detailing all the alarms and what they do in vCentre 4 and vCentre 4.1. Both are a definite must read especially if you aren’t currently using custom alarms in your environment. My favourite one at the moment is an alarm to alert you when snapshots get over a certain size which has saved me loads of headaches. There’s a great VMware KB article all about how to set this alarm up and even includes a very helpful video if you’ve never done custom alarms before. 

Well that’s my list of things that have interested me in the last week, for those people writing the VCAP exams soon good luck

 

Gregg


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All Things Virtual 20

 

There have been some brilliant blog postings since my last All Things Virtual,the release of some great news for android phones and a book written by two of the top VMware professionals in the world. If this is the first time you are reading one of my All Things Virtual then the idea of the posting is a quick post up of all the things virtual and linked to virtual that I have been doing/working with/learning/reading up on in the past few weeks.

  • Frank Denneman of frankdenneman.nl fame and Duncan Epping of Yellow-Bricks.com fame have written and released the vSphere 4.1 HA and DRS technical deepdive book. These two guys are probably the two best people in the fields of DRS and HA with Duncan having the very successful and extremely in-depth HA Deepdive and DRS Deepdive postings on his blog as well Frank having some of the best postings on DRS on his blog. I have ordered the book already and am awaiting its arrival. Both Duncan and Frank have already covered what is in the book in such detail that I feel it’s pointless to rehash what they have already said so here is Duncan and Franks postings about the book. I look forward to reading through the whole book when it arrives and strengthening my knowledge on the two technologies.
  • As I’ve said a few times before I enjoy testing myself by trying to obtain certain certifications, not to be a certification collector but to set goals to try to continually push myself and strengthen my knowledge and not sit still. So the release of the new certifications by EMC really caught my attention as I’m currently trying to strengthen my knowledge on storage technologies and practices by doing the ISM(Information Storage and Management) course. One of the perks of working for EMC is I’m able to do the course as a e-learning course for free and with the release of the new EMC Cloud Architect certifications the first step is obtaining your Information Storage and Management Associate (EMCISA) certification which fits in perfectly to my study goals for 2011. To make sure I don’t explain it incorrectly I would recommend reading Chuck Hollis’ blog where he has detailed the new certifications.
  • Speaking of certifications I’m really pleased by the amount of traffic my VCAP-DCA&DCD Study Resources Page and my VCP Study Resources Part 1 and Part 2 pages are receiving. Thanks to everyone who has linked to it/tweeted about itclip_image001. One of the main resources listed in my VCAP-DCA study resources is Sean Crookston’s VCAP-DCA Index. Sean has now written the exam and has posted a brilliant write up on his impressions of the exam here. Rynardt Spies has also recently written the exam and posted his impressions here. I’ve decided to try sit the exam by March/April next year as I’m not likely to be ready before I go on holiday next year and have learnt from experience that writing an exam just before I go on holiday isn’t a good idea.
  • Next is one of my blog postings of the year due to its depth of information and brilliant supporting links and documents to cover his claim. It’s a blog by Julian Wood (@Julian_wood) all about how he feels vCenter is letting VMware’s side down. I would highly recommend everyone read it as it is both amusingly true to anyone looking after a virtual environment and covers many of the obstacles you may hit in the future with your own virtual centre server so you can be as prepared as possible if you are implementing any of the technologies. I agree with what Julian is saying and do think VMware need to make a plan with virtual centre as there are far too many bugs and problems still with virtual centre and for something that is so integral to the smooth working of your virtual environment it really needs to be as solid and reliable as possible.
  • With the release of PowerCLi 4.1 it is now possible to manage permissions with PowerCLI. The VMware blogs have covered all the new capabilities and how to do them here. I’m busy trying to teach myself PowerCLI by trying to do as much of my daily work with PowerCLI and VMA due to a large part of the VCAP-DCA exam being based on you knowing how to do things via these tools. Seeing as I’m a point and click person these are skills I need to learn very quickly and be able to do it as second nature.
  • One of the new features of vSphere 4.1 is VAAI (vStorage API’s for Array Integration). Recently both Duncan Epping and Eric Sloof have posted brilliant information on this feature and in Eric’s case have attached a video detailing how it all works. These are great for anyone who is working with VMware technologies and is likely to be either using vSphere 4.1 or will be upgrading to vSphere 4.1.
  • One of the biggest technologies to come out in virtualisation this year is VMware’s vCloud Director. It was the lab that was taken the most at VMworld Europe and everyone is trying to learn about it seeing as it is VMware’s product to help you move your resources into the cloud. I too did all the vCloud Director labs at VMworld Europe and have been collecting as many top postings about vCloud Director as possible so I can fully understand it so when I’m asked to implement it I’ll know how. Two blog postings have been added to this list from the past few weeks; one is from David Davis of Trainsignal fame interviewing the infamous Scott Lowe and was posted on the VMware blogs page interviewing Scott on Cloud Computing and vCloud Director. This posting really got my attention as it was really interesting to me to learn more about how the technologies from EMC and the VCE are perfect to help you move as smoothly as possible to the cloud, especially seeing as I work at EMC so I really should know about all of thisclip_image001[1]. Next is an amazing demo by Duncan Epping that he created for the Dutch VMUG all about vCloud Director, creation of an Organization and its resources this demo is exactly what I love to watch and learn from as I’ve only recently been able to install vCloud Director in my home lab so it’s great to see how it’s all done and seeing as vCloud Director is such an in-depth and complex product any resources to shed some light on different things about how things are done within it are greatly appreciated by myself. I know I said two but if you missed me mentioning this in one of my previous postings and want to learn more about vCloud Director then look at the resources Scott mentioned in his interview and have a look at Hany Michael of Hypervizor.com fame’s vCloud Director page. Hany also has great video on vCloud director and his posting on VMware vCloud Director in a Box is what I used to setup my lab environment.
  • Next is the announcement of the Partnership between VMware and LG to virtualise android smartphones for usage by business users. Mobile virtualisation has been spoken about for quite a while but this next step is very exciting and as one of my colleagues Jaspal Dhalliwal posted that Virtualization is Coming of Age now and means VMware is going from servicing a few hundred thousand people to tens of millions of people via their smartphone devices. Simon Long also posted about this announcement on his page and has posted a very cool video of it. I’m not a massive phone person to be honest, I don’t have a smartphone or an iPhone but watching tat video is really making me think of getting myself one very soon.
  • Last but not least is the announcement by Veeam that they are giving away free NFR keys to VCPs, VCIs and vExperts. This is a brilliant idea and it shows that Veeam know who their dedicated followers are and who is likely to give them great press about the products and help them gain even more popularity. I’ve already downloaded mine and am due to install it into my lab environment very soon. If you’re a VCP/VCI or vExpert then get yourself a copy before they stop the deal.

Well that’s everything that has been on my to read list and all the news that has caught my interest.

Gregg


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All Things Virtual 18

 

There has been an unbelievable amount of news in the past week and a half since my last All Things Virtual. Also i came across one or two blogs in the past few days that were a bit older but have so much great information in them I’ve added them to this list also.

First is the announcement of the next London VMUG meeting. It is happening on Thursday the 28th of October with some really awesome sessions by Xsigo and Gabrie van Zanten of www.gabesvirtualworld.com/ fame. If you are near the London area I would encourage you to mail the address and book your spot and come join all the attendees for vBeers afterwards and hear how we can all talk about not just VMware stuff but all things geek 🙂

I’m very fortunate to have become a part of a very current and global company like EMC due to the company I worked for being bought by EMC. If you are like i was and always wanted to join a big international IT company at the forefront of the industry then Chad Sakacc’s posting about the more than 200 open positions at EMC,EMC partners and VCE will be of interest to you. There are some amazing roles open especially in my opinion the latest vSpecialist roles to be filled as the vSpecialists are definitely one of the “elite” teams of Virtualisation professionals which I hope one day soon I can become a part of.

Chris Dearden has done an in depth blog posting all about Kaviza VDI in a box V3. If you haven’t heard about Kaviza they won the best of VMworld 2010 Desktop Virtualisation award and has been rated very highly by a lot of top people in the virtualisation industry. Chris has done a great posting all about the features and also just posted about the latest release of it version 3.1.

If you didn’t read my last All Things Virtual then you wouldn’t know that the registration for the VCAP-DCA exams were due to be opened on September the 13th as mentioned by Scott Vessey on his blog. You can register here for the exam. A few of the guys I follow on twitter have already registered. I’m personally waiting quite a while until i feel confident enough in my knowledge and having got through and confidently ticket off all the things on the VCAP blueprint with links as created by by Kendrick Coleman. Eric Sloof posted all about test questions for the VCAP-DCA exam on his site, which will be a nice way of doing some practice before the exam even though a large part of the exam is doing labs. Cody Bunch has started registrations for the VCAP-DCA brown bags consisting of 18 sessions run on a bi-weekly basis starting next week Wednesday (30th of September). I have been through quite few of Cody’s VCP and VCDX brown bags (recorded due to the times they have been running) and they are going to be a brilliant resource in my preparations for the exam.

David M Davis of the Trainsignal vsphere training materials fame has done a very interesting video all about VMware ESXi 4.1 Lockdown and New Total Lockdown Mode. this video is great for someone like me who is having to build and strengthen their knowledge all about ESXi seeing as I’m an ESX only user so far and with the next release not having ESX included.Eric Siebert has posted a great posting all about Upgrading hosts from ESX to ESXi in seven steps. This is brilliant for the exact same reasons of learning ESXi die to ESX being discontinued.

Eric along with David M Davis and  Simon Seagrave have also covered his blog posting along with HP microserver and cool vSphere iPad apps on their latest vchat episode. If you haven’t watched any of theses vChat’s before I would highly recommend them as the guys cover all the latest and greatest things coming out and a personal bit of enjoyment is seeing how remarkably happy David is in every single vChat episode 🙂

The talk and blogging about VMware vCloud Director is still going strong since VMworld and there have been some top class blogs all about features,fixes,lab builds and hardening guides. William Lam has done a posting all about automating the installation of vCloud director and the oracle database. Duncan Epping has posted about the vCloud Director security hardening guide. From what a number of people have been saying on twitter this is a must read before using vCloud Director. I am yet to get round to it as I’m still trying to finish building my test lab of the product but as usual the guide looks like a brilliant resource.Duncan has also posted about creating a vCD lab on your Mac laptop. I’m not an Apple Mac person myself but I’m sure a substantial amount of people will find this posting very interesting.

Mark Vaughn has posted all about a challenge he has made for someone to try make a mini version of the VMware Express truck. If you haven’t heard about the VMware Express tuck then read about it here. Mark is challenging someone to create a smaller version and try put it into a Mini Club-S. I along with a large number of people judging from the talk of it on twitter would love to see this achieved so if you feel up to the challenge then check out his blog and please tell me when it being started and keep me up to date on it’s progress as this is a brilliant idea and highly interesting concept.

Frank Denneman has done another brilliant posting all about Resource pools and simultaneous vMotions. I’ve posted a few of franks previous postings on the topic and i would highly recommend reading through his latest posting on the topic as i know a large number of people and see a very large number on the VMware communities still believing setting values and limits for resource pools as well as using resource pools for organisation.

Duncan Epping has also done a posting all about the misconceptions of the amount of memory allocated to the service console and how it is actually calculated. a nice little bit of information possible for someone writing their vcp or VCAP soon as they love these arbitrary kinds of questions in the exams.

Due to vCentre 4.1 now requiring the base Os to be x64 a number of people are now needing to upgrade their vCentre to a 64bit server.Barry Coombs has blogged all about the VMware document detailing how to achieve it and some of the points of interest he feels you need to pay special attention to.Thankfully due to my vCentre needing a rebuild  a while back my vCentre is already 64bit. If you like a large number people seeing as how much traffic I get to the posting you may get an  “Active Directory Web Services encountered an error while reading the settings for the specified Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services instance. Active Directory Web Services will retry this operation periodically. In the mean time, this instance will be ignored.” error and will need to make a few registry changes to fix the error as defined in my blog posting.

Alan Renouf has posted all about the latest PowerCLI 4.1 Poster and Quick Reference Guide. This guide is very useful to me due to my trying to teach myself Powershell/PowerCLI and the learning of these commands for my usage due to the removal of the COS soon. Alan is obviously one of the top guys for PowerCLI and as I’ve mentioned loads of times before if you aren’t using his vCheck program then you need to start using it ASAP.

The next one is an amusing one for anyone working in the virtualisation field who is asked by someone what they actually do for a living and having to try explain it to someone who doesn’t work in IT. Gabrie van Zanten wrote the posting and it’s a great article especially the comments of what other people say 🙂

Next is all about the latest release of the vReference card by Forbes Guthrie. The reference card is an amazing amount of information you could even need to look up on one very easy sheet. I always have the pdf saved to my desktop so i can access it whenever i need to do a quick lookup of any information or values

Next is the availability of the schedule builder for VMworld Copenhagen for all the attendees. I’ve already started playing around with my schedule trying to get in the sessions and hands on labs I want to attend and do ,as well as leave some time for social networking as one of the big things about the conference for me is meeting all the people who I follow and chat to on twitter and whose blogs I have and still learn so much from.If you are a blogger or social media contributor and are attending or will be blogging about VMworld Copenhagen  then remember to add your information for the VMworld Europe 2010 Social Media Contributors.

  Duncan Epping of yellow-bricks fame has a contest to win yourself a free VMworld  Copenhagen ticket so if you aren’t attending and wish to attend but for whatever reason couldn’t afford it then go check out his posting on the contest here and hopefully I’ll meet you there at one of the events.

Talking of events at VMworld the Danish VMUG have taken on a crazy task and have opened up a VMUGParty for all VMworld Copenhagen attendees with free beer and cold drinks sponsored by EMC, Trend Micro, Magirus, IBM and Veeam. I have a feeling this pay get out of hand with the amount of people invited but I’m planning to make it myself and hopefully i can meet you.

Chris Dearden has come up with a very clever idea of instead of exchanging information and business cards at VMworld to exchange self created t-shirts and maybe by the end of the week you’ll have yourself a couple of very cool shirts with your fellow VMware bloggers websites on them.

Gregg


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All Things VMworld: Day 1

As you can imagine the first real day of VMworld US has been massive and there has been some really exciting news, some of it unexpected(at least for me) and others not so unexpected (view 4.5)

  • First has to be the keynote speech by VMware Chief Marketing Officer Rick Jackson,Paul Maritz CEO of VMware and Steve Herrod VMware’s CTO. I’ve only managed to watch the keynote once so far(yes i like to watch it a few times to try absorb and understand everything 🙂 ) . I think some of the top bloggers have already done a good job of covering the keynote so instead of me waffling on and giving my take rather watch it yourself right here . The two blog postings I’m making my way through for the covering of the keynote is Scott Lowe’s and Brian Madden’s
  • As I said one of the not so unexpected announcements was the announcement that the latest version of VMware View, version 4.5 is not available. Chris Wolf from Gartner has done a brilliant review of the new version on his blog here.
  • As I mentioned yesterday one of the big announcements was the release of vCloud Director (VCD). Rodney Haywood has done a great posting all about it seeing as he is part of a  major deployment of VCD in Australia and therefore already has a great working knowledge of the product. You can also now download VCD from the VMware website and  as Rodney says “build an internal or public cloud (subject to licensing programs of course)”.
  • Barry Coombs has done a great posting about the Xsigo announcements at VMworld. I’ve only read a few articles on Xsigo myself so it good to learn more from his posting and hear about the new products being launched.
  • Scott Lowe has also done a very good liveblog posting for the View Composer Technical Deep Dive and Best Practices session.From my brief read of the posting it looks like the session was very very interesting and  i plan to read through his posting a few times when I have a moment.
  • As I mentioned yesterday VMworld have created their own channel on YouTube and have posted some more really interesting videos in covering the “2nd day @ VMworld 2010 in San Francisco”,the highly debated question “Tier 1 Apps – Should you run them in virtual machines?” and  a preview if the upcoming “VMware View iPad App with PCoIP support.”
  • Lastly on my list is the three postings by Chad Sakac on:
    • DRS for storage where he shows  and explains how VMware SIOC and EMC Fast allow you to have the DRS you have in your VMware environment now for your storage,
    • His detailing of the VCD product and announcement and how he feels EMC Ionix UIM v2.0 is going to allow a vCloud “in a box”
    • Last is his posting all about the EMC VPLEX and how VMworld attendees “can try VPLEX (it’s in the EMC hands-on-lab on the show floor), and can try it for 90 days” I’m very jealous of this as a number of the vSpecialists I’m friendly with have been working and testing the product and sadly I am yet to have fiddled with it myself. Hopefully i can get some time with it at the VMworld in Europe if they are still doing it, which I would be amazed if they weren’t. Also he mentions the preview of VPLEX Geo – aka vTeleportation and has posted a video of the preview which is really awesome in my opinion (no not because I work for EMC at all, seriously). Have a look at the video on the blog and tell me you aren’t impressed and excited by what it will allow.

Well that’s my list of things that I feel I need to read up on and that have caught my attention.

Gregg


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All Things Virtual 15

It has been a crazy couple of weeks lately due to a data centre relocation I’ve been working on and due to this I haven’t had as much time to post new information and hence the delay of this next “instalment” of All Things Virtual.

  • Firstly a massive thank you to Simon Long for adding my blog posting to his “Recommended Reads” section of his blog. It’s a true honour to be mentioned on his blog for something I posted. I would highly recommend looking through his recommended reads as he’s added some really great postings from some of the top blogs. Also a thank you to Troy Clavell on the VMware forums for linking back to my posting on the Active Directory Web Services encountered an error while reading the settings for the specified Active Directory Lightweight Directory Services instance error and solution. It’s been the most read posting on my blog for the past week because of his reference.
  • Alessandro Perilli posted about VMware officially announcing the ESX end of life.  So for those of you out there like myself who are still trying to perfect your PowerCLi,VMA and vCLI skills, we now have a date that those skills need to be perfected. I still don’t fully buy into the whole reason for the removal of the COS but no point moaning over something that has already been decided.
  • Next is something Darren Woollard ,who I follow on twitter tweeted about, which is a list of all the VMware twitter accounts. There was quite a few mentioned that I wasn’t following. As I’ve said before I believe the amount of knowledge to be gained from following people and organisation related to your field is priceless and it has certainly helped me gain better knowledge of virtualisation products and practices. I’m on twitter at @greggrobertson5 or http://twitter.com/greggrobertson5 if you want to follow me.
  • Mentioning social media there is now a document on the VMworld website for anyone who is attending and plans to use social media during their visit to talk about VMworld and their experiences. I’ve already added my information to the document. *NB* Edit the document as far too many people aren’t reading the steps mentioned at the top and posting comments instead of editing the document. VMworld have also created their own channel on YouTube for all the news and videos of the events here
  • Talking of VMworld ,Gestalt IT are doing a competition in which they’ll  pay airfare, hotel, and registration for VMworld for two lucky winners. It’s a great idea as the winners aren’t just picked at random but rather have to motivate how they are going to “pay it forward” by describing how they are going to give back to the virtualisation community by them going to VMworld.Good luck if you have or are going to enter
  • Scott Drummonds posting a very interesting article on the idea of Designing VMs with Performance SLAs. The article is a very good one and is one that will encourage a very good debate on the positives and negatives of using limits which is one of the techniques Scott mentions in his posting to allow for Performance SLA’s.
  • Tom Howarth has posted all about the session himself and Cody Bunch are doing at VMworld this year and is asking for some questions in preparation for the sessions from the community. Adam Carter of HP,Vaughn Stewart of NetApp and Chad Sakac of EMC are three of his speakers so if you you can think of any I’m sure Tom will be very grateful for your help.
  • Duncan Epping of yellow bricks fame posted all about the ability now with vSphere 4 using ADAM to store the roles and permissions to have a standby vCentre Server in case of a disaster. I’m definitely going to get one of these built up having had the experience of a virtual centre server going awry and having to rebuild it all.
  • With the release of vSphere 4.1 one of the new features is memory management and compression. Gabrie van Zanten has posted all about this feature, how it all works and how it will bring benefits to your VMware environments. A must read!
  • If you are planning to upgrade any of your machines to vSphere 4.1 then I would highly recommend looking through and watching the video from the KB article all about…you guessed it vSphere 4.1 upgrade pre-installation requirements and considerations. I love finding and watching these kinds of things as it always feels as if I’ve actually been shown and taught it from a mentor or work colleague like you would in your daily jobs knowledge transfer. Vladan Seget has posted all about the Best practices KB on how-to install ESX 4.1 and vCenter which is another brilliant bit of information and reference if you are installing ESX4.1 and vCentre.
  • The Malaysia VMware communities has done a very interesting posting all about the VSI plug-in from EMC. The plug-in is a brilliant tool and is a very good example of the VAAI that ESX 4.1 is enabling storage vendors to create for people to utilise in their VMware environments. Chad Sakac has done a great YouTube video on vSphere4.1 and EMC VAAI capabilities. Richard Brambley has done a brilliant posting a while back all about what VAAI is and what it means for virtualisation here.
  • Talking of VMware and EMC Alan Renouf and Simon Seagrave of Virtu-al and Techhead respectively did a session at the last London VMUG all about Why EMC for VMware. Unfortunately even though the day was sponsored by EMC i wasn’t able to make it due to there being a mandatory quarterly results presentation on the same day, so as to not say the wrong information and because Alan covered it so well I encourage you to read his post 🙂
  • Elasticsky have posted a very helpful video on YouTube on how to reset a forgotten or lost root password on vSphere 4. I have posted these steps before but the video is a very helpful addition to this if you ever have the problem.
  • Scott Vessey has posted all about the Changes to VCP exam due to the vSphere 4.1 release.A number of people have been talking about if there are any changes to the vcp4 exams since the release of vSphere4.1 and Scott has answered it perfectly.
  • Kendrick Coleman has done a brilliant resource page for all the resources you may need in your preparations for the VCAP DCA exam. I’m hoping to start building up my own list of resources that I’ll be using in my preparations for my VCAP exam/s once I get it under way :).
  • Lastly is one for anyone going to a convention or conference this year who will get themselves one of the customary backpacks. As Kevin Houston posted, if you aren’t planning to actively use the backpack why not donate it to a local school and fill it with some basic supplies. Great idea Kevin!

Gregg Robertson


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All things virtual 14

Unless you have been under a rock ,you will know the biggest news recently in the virtualisation arena, which has filled most of the top blog posters blogs is the release of vSphere 4.1. For all the news and latest features ,I posted a blog posting last week all about the best resources to get yourself up to speed here this should cover it all for you and most of the blogs are constantly being updated. There no real point to say anything more seeing as the people i linked to have done and currently still are doing such great jobs covering it all

Duncan Epping posted a very interesting article all about the the changes to the snapshot “delete all” mechanism. I still think they should change it to Commit All but it is a very good change that should allow better and faster committing of the data to the virtual machine.

Chad Sakac aka VirtualGeek has posted all about thin provisioning and if you should do it in vsphere and or the disk array and the reasoning to his recommendations as well as a brief lesson on the differing formats of virtual disks and what theses choices will mean for you and your storage utilisation.

David Davis of Trainsignal fame posted a very interesting video all about the new feature in vSphere 4.1 ,Windows Active Directory Authentication-the ability for ESX/ESXi servers to “join” a Windows Active Directory (AD) domain. The video is really good as you would expect from David’s in depth expertise in creating technical videos. also have a look through the site as David has posted up some really good videos and has put up the first vChat with Simon Seagrave from Techead.

Chris Dearden has blogged all about the second volume of the Trainsignal vSphere Pro series. I actually have a set of these with my name on it at our main offices but haven’t been able to collect them due to work constraints, plain laziness in part and the person who has them for me being a very busy person himself. If these videos are anything like the first volume then i can’t wait to get my hands on them and better my knowledge especially as i plan to have assimilated as Chris said in his blog posting all the information into my head amongst many other resources before I attempt the vcap exam/s.

Cody Bunch has started his infamous Brown Bags for the VCAP-DCA exams and the first one is today/tonight(depending on your time zones) I’ve made a few of Cody’s brown bags before and they are brilliant for asking your fellow administrators questions about things and covering the topics you are required to know to pass. Cody also does brown bags for the VCP4 exams so i would HIGHLY recommend getting yourself registered for them and watching some of the past ones if you are writing soon or looking to sit the VCAP-DCA exam at some point like myself.

Well that’s it, I’m sure I’ve missed a few nuggets this past week but most of the news is obviously about 4.1 and I’ll leave that in the more capable hands of the people I mentioned in my blog posting.

If you’re interested in working for EMC Consulting like myself and being a part of this ever strengthening arm of EMC, then drop me a message via the blog and I’ll more than happily pass your information onto our recruitment people.

Some roles going at the moment are:

Senior Solutions Architect/Exchange

Senior Solutions Architect/VDI

DW Architect

FYI: all of EMC Counting’s hiring is done through direct contact. We don’t use recruitment consultants, so don’t waste your or my time if you are one.

Gregg Robertson


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All things virtual X

The past two weeks have brought some really great news and views in the virtualisation arena.

On the 6th of this month i was able to attend the London VMware User Group for the second time. There were some very interesting discussions and presentations. I wrote up a blog posting on the day here if you’re interested. I would firmly recommend anyone interested in this field to find out where and when your local VMUG is happening and get your spot as conversing with fellow virtualisation administrators can increase your knowledge on new things very quickly and easily. Hopefully the content from the user group will be uploaded to the normal location soon.

If you somehow haven’t heard about it yet the features due to be in vSphere 4.1 were “leaked” a few weeks back now. There are quite a few new features I’d welcome with open arms like support for up to 4 vMotion concurrent live migrations in 1GbE networks and up to 8 concurrent live migrations in 10GbE networks and Support for 8GB Fibre Channel HBAs. As the article says there is no guarantee that the features will actually be in the public release. I say “leaked” as personally i think if they didn’t want it getting out it wouldn’t have got out, i think it’s just a perfect way of judging people reactions to the features mentioned and see see how they can make some minor changes before making it available.

One of the people i got to meet in person at the London VMUG was Ricky El-Qasem of Veeam. As I’ve said numerous times before I’m hoping to better my powershell/PowerCLI skills as at the moment they are terribly basic and therefore are in dire need of bettering to enable me to script portions of my work to save me time and hopefully prepare me for the lack of the COS in possibly vSphere 4.1. Ricky has posted a few blogs all about his journey in learning PowerCLI in PowerCLI lessons and the resources he has used to grow his skills. Embarrassingly i still haven’t forced myself the time to sit down and get through all of the posts but after speed reading most it it looks like it is going to be highly beneficial to me when I stop being lazy and start working at it.

EMC world that ran from the 10th to the 13th of May brought some really interesting news.The most interesting to me was the announcement of the VPLEX which will enable “VM teleportation”. I won’t try and describe what the technology does and enables you as Chad Sakac has done a brilliant blog posting all about it and what it enables you to do. I can’t wait to be able to play with VPLEX once it’s available. There is also a very interesting KB article all about Enabling long distance vMotion with EMC VPLEX here

Last week the Call for Papers Public Voting opened up for VMworld 2010. Quite a few of the guys I’m friendly with on twitter have made the cut and their sessions have been made available to be voted on. I’m quite amazed by the massive amount of cloud sessions that have been selected. I’m really hoping that VMworld isn’t overshadowed(pun kind of intended) by all the cloud talk. I’ve cast my votes some of which were for fellow UK virtualisation friends and others obviously for ones i really want to be able to see/attend. If you’re like me and gain loads of information and help from Alan Renouf’s PowerCLI scripts then I would recommend a vote for his and Luc Dekens’ “ PowerCLI is for administrators! “ session. There are also sessions by Simon Seagrave of TechHead fame with “Building A Successful vSphere Lab” and “Network Segmentation in a Virtualized Environment ñ Best Practices and Approaches” by Nicholas Weaver of Nickapedia fame to name but a few. So go vote if you’re going to make it to either of the events and hopefully we’ll have loads of really great sessions. If you haven’t registered to attend VMworld then you can still register and get a $250 or €200 early bird discount.

Gregg Robertson

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