TheSaffaGeek

My ramblings about all things technical


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All Things VMworld Europe 2011 Day 3

 

Yet again (I’m not sure why I keep doing this) I decided to get up early and into the conference so i could get my Day 2 blog posting out and be awake enough for Paul Maritz’s keynote. A number of my fellow LonVMUG colleagues also made their way in early and we ended up watching the keynote from the food hall on the big screen. I decided against trying to cover the keynote and give my opinions as seeing as a large portion of it was customers talking about their experiences with VMware technology and then Paul’s chat was exactly what was said at VMworld US. Therefore, i would recommend watching the keynote here and if you missed Steve Herrod’s or Raghu Raghuram’s from Tuesday and Wednesday respectively then you can watch them.

After this, i made my way to my first and only session of the day (due to the time my flight left i only had enough time for the 11am slot unfortunately) which was VSP1708 VCDX Panel Defence Preparation. The session was everything i had hoped it would be and a little more. One of my future aims is to obtain my VCDX (looking like VCDX 5 due to time constraints now) and so I really wanted to attend the session to get a good idea of the process and what happens on the day and what the panelists are expecting and looking for. If you are going to watch one VMworld session video and are thinking of doing the VCDX one day then this has to be it as it scared me a little but also gave me an amazing idea of what i need to do and aim for now to be ready to build, defend and obtain my VCDX. The biggest tip I got out of it that john Arrasjid said was “start building your design now as the people who rush to build their designs are normally the people who fail and don’t fully understand their designs”

After the session, i had some lunch and hung out at the bloggers lounge and even almost got onto one of the vSoup videos but instead decided to watch from a far and was mentioned by the guys on it here. I still say if they don’t announce the band, it is only right to make wild speculations of who the band will beclip_image001.

After chatting to a number of the bloggers and vExpert’s I made my way to the airport and after my flight being delayed by two hours and the pilot having to abort our landing at the last second i made it back to the UK after a very successful and tiring VMworld Europe 2011.

Gregg


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All Things VMworld US 2011 Day 3

 

Well that’s VMworld coming to an end. It seems to have gone by so quickly but it also means that now we can start talking about VMworld in Copenhagen and I don’t have to keep hearing about the killers playing the VMworld closing party (I’m not jealous at all Winking smile ) . Day 3 is normally the day where everyone hits the solutions exchange, the sessions and the hands on labs. For me day 3 is great for all the videos that are put out as now they can show us all the new products and announcements mentioned in the keynote by Steve Herrod on VMworldTV and even an interviews with Steve himself detailing all the announcements he made.

  • First is the preview of Horizon mobile by Samsung and LG who are the two mobile phone providers working with VMware to bring out Horizon Mobile
Horizon Mobile
  • The next video is done by @the_anykey and is the interview with VMware CTO Steve Herrod. This is a must watch as it gives you a brilliant idea of the announcements he made and what they will mean for peoples daily lives (Horizon mobile for one)
Steve Herrod
  • Next is the VMworldTV video all about Project Octopus. As I said in my Day 2 posting I think this is the best announcement so far and will be changing a lot of peoples way of working in the near future.
Project Octopus
  • Next is an interview with Scott Davis, VMware’s CTO of end user computing and is all about AppBlast with a really awesome demo of it too! I’m really looking forward to this technology being released.
AppBlast
  • The next has to be my favourite, probably because of the highly amusing appearance of “PowerCLI man” and my knowing of Alan due to him being a fellow London VMUG attendee and former EMC vSpecialist. Alan gives a great overview of all the new features in PowerCLI 5 and even mentions one of my firm favourites the vCheck script. Also as said there’s even an appearance by PowerCLI man Smile
PowerCLI
  • Another twitter and Fellow vExpert friend of mine Kendrick Coleman was also interviewed by VMworldTV all about the free tools available out there for people to use. Kendrick and David M Davis of Trainsignal fame are doing their Top 10 free tools sessions again and from this Kendrick mentions a few of them in the video and even mentions a few that have been developed by people all by themselves like Ricky El Qasem’s vSphere Plugin Wizard which is mentioned by Kendrick. It’s very sad to hear that the session Kendrick and David have done in VMworld Us has been cut from VMworld Europe. Hopefully they get one of the slots for most popular session again
Kendrick Coleman Free Tools
  • Last but not least is the Day summaries of the Past three days at VMworld. As mentioned in my Day 2 posting these are a great way to find out what’s been announced and is happening if you don’t have a lot of time to read up on what’s come out.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

Well that’s everything for Day 3 of VMworld US 2011.

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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All Things Virtual 23

 

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

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

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

Gregg


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London VMUG

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to attend the London VMware User Group (VMUG). I’ve been unable to attend the past few due to work commitments but yesterdays theme of “Your Journey to the Cloud” couldn’t have come at a better time as we’re currently looking at VMware’s vCloud Director product and a number of the sessions and talk were centred around this product.

The day started at 10am due to the number of presentations they were able to get in and the labs that people were able to take. The labs were a first and ran two different paths. The two labs and layout were described on the VMUG page as:

The VMUG are providing VMware vCloud Director Labs for all UG members to get a look and feel for the product.  COLT has very kindly agreed to host the labs on their infrastructure in the Cloud.  COLT are a certified VMware vCloud Datacenter Services Provider and the first in EMEA to provide this service.  The COLT team along with VMware vCloud Architects have provided two types of labs to provide the best experience possible.

Lab A – Consuming Cloud resources from VMware vCloud Director
This lab is tailored to provide a user’s view of consuming compute resource from the cloud.  It provides an insight into the ability provide resources via a self-service portal deploying virtual machines via vApps within private virtual datacenters.

Lab B – Administrating VMware vCloud Director
This lab provides the administrators view of vCloud Director.  The lab contains a virtual center server, vCloud Director server and an ESX host to create compute resources within the cloud.  It provides the ability to define different compute services in the form of vApp’s which can then be published within the vCloud Catalogue.

I personally didn’t attend a lab due to my wanting to get a number of my questions around vCloud Director answered and due to my already having done all the vCloud related labs at VMworld Copenhagen and so having already done large portions of the steps within the labs. I did however hear raving reviews of the labs from fellow attendees and when I arrived there was a line of people waiting to register for the labs which shows the interest in the labs.

The day kicked off with the standard welcome from Alaric Davies and Martyn Storey detailing the layout of the day and announcing the UK National VMUG being planned for Warwick for November 3rd .We then got straight into the first presentation from COLT who were presenting and demoing all about their vCloud environment’s implementation and inner workings. Greg Branch, Director of Architecture for Colt and Dan Senior, Virtualisation Architect for Colt did the presentation and demo’s together and I was really impressed with their offering and how they have used the vCloud technologies and products to be the first in EMEA to be a VMware vCloud Datacenter Services Provider.

Next was Paul Martin (@vzpaul) from Quest Software talking about “Private Cloud – Build for Success by Planning for Failure”. Pauls presentation was all about thinking and planning for things before and during the build out of your Private Cloud. Paul did leave me with a number of thoughts and things I need to research prior to us rolling out our own private cloud and how many differing parts of your environment can impact the running of it. Credit to Paul for not doing a marketing pitch for Quest software but rather giving valid points to look out for.

We then had a very quick refreshment break and then Simon Rahilly of EMC (@NoneOneMany) did his presentation all about the cloud and how the varying technologies from EMC from the storage, to backups to disaster recovery and high availability can help you with your journey to the cloud. I personally enjoyed the presentation and it was nice to hear a bit about the release of EMC’s Project Lightning also.

Lunch was then served at the event which was a very nice change as it meant everyone stayed in the rooms and I got to meet loads of people I follow on twitter and got to talk about all the things we’re currently doing in our VMware environments and gain some very helpful tips and tricks.

We were then given the option of two different tracks, each with different speakers and topics. I personally chose track two as I’ve always enjoyed hearing from Stuart Radnidge ( @vinternals ) and was keen to listen to Massimon Re Ferre’s presentation on the same track also. Stuart’s presentation was all about Rethinking Infrastructure and the experiences he has had with deploying a private cloud within his organisation. For anyone that knows Stuart you knew this was going to be a straight talking honest presentation and he didn’t disappoint as he gain some great pointers on how the business will ask for certain things and will expect things from your cloud implementation even though you “aren’t a web start-up”.

Next was Massimo (@mreferre )  who is a VMware vCloud Architect talking about vCloud and giving an overview of all the products in the “vCloud Family” and how each of them work. His presentation was very helpful to me to better understand vCloud Director and most importantly allowed me to ask all the questions I have been needing to ask about vCloud Director. I’m pleased to say Massimo and Martyn answered all my questions Smile

Last in the track was Richard Zuber from VMware Global Support talking about support issues they have been receiving from customers using vCloud Director and the solutions they used to fix the problems. The presentation was a little dull as hearing about support calls and solutions isn’t the most exciting of things but it did show that making sure your networking is correctly administered and deployed for your vCloud implementation is very important in making sure you don’t experience problems and faults.

We were all then released to go to The Pavilion End pub for vBeers and I got to talk shop with fellow VMware Admins and met Julian Wood (@Julian_wood) of http://www.wooditwork.com fame, David Owen (@vMackem) of http://www.vmackem.co.uk fame, Simon Davies (@EV_Simon) of http://www.everything-virtual.com fame,Luke Munro (@mnrmunro) a fellow Saffa and Ed Grigson (@egrigson) of http://www.vExperienced.co.uk fame to name but a few.

It was an amazing day and I would highly recommend anyone thinking of attending to register for the next one on July  14th. Also a special thanks to Jane Rimmer (@Rimmergram) for her hard work on getting this all done and then not being able to attend due to being ill.

Gregg