TheSaffaGeek

My ramblings about all things technical


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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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vSphere 4.1 released

Well after the not so quiet news about vSphere 4.1 being due for release, shock and horror it’s been released. As there are a multitude of people that have had the the opportunity to play and use the RC for a while and therefore have a better understanding of all the new technologies and features I thought I would just summarise all the postings that explained all the new features to me and interested me as there’s sadly a very large number of the RC-enabled bloggers that have almost just cut and pasted the same information from a What’s New news release/PowerPoint slide deck into their blog posts.

  • Eric Siebert has posted I think the best resource and posting of all the features and all the changes since the last release/s. It has all the detail you could need and it is being constantly updated by him on the new features. This is what I hoped many more of the top RC-bloggers to have done.
  • Eric Sloof has posted all about the KB articles pertaining to this release. These links are always a great way of learning the best practices for installing and or upgrading your environment to the latest level and warning of possible problems. This is a page I have set a bookmark to for future reference.
  • Eric has also posted a load of amazing postings all about the Emergence of 10 GigE ,improved vMotion speeds , Memory Enhancements – Compression. I would highly recommend reading these as he’s given some really great details all about these features.
  • Gabrie van Zanten has done a brilliant posting with all of the features and comparisons of the varying versions you can choose and the features they contain. As well as all the new features in the new release.
  • One of the big changes in vSphere 4.1 is licensing has changed for a number of the management tools/products that come with the suite. Erik Scholten has detailed this in his blog posting here
  • Luc Dekens has posted all about the new PowerCLI cmdlets with PowerCLI 4.1 and what the cmdlets can do for you. The open source software for vSphere PowerCLI 4.1 is available from here and here
  • Maish Saidel-Keesing has posted up screenshots of the PowerPoint presentation a lot of people are reposting the information of the new release from but has done the New features and enhancements for ESXi 4.1 side of it so it is an interesting read to see how VMware believe ESXi is good enough to push all their current full ESX customers to ESXi. I still can’t see it happening and no matter what anyone says I think they’ll make plans to accommodate people who don’t want to change as not everyone can change over their whole environments in a short space of time and I know a few people who are still to upgrade to vSphere and they are all very large corporations.
  • On the training side Scott Vessey has posted that there will be a new Install Configure Manage course for vSphere 4.1. I asked if the new VCAP and the VCP4 exams will now be related to 4 Update 2 and 4.1 on twitter and Scott replied with loads of information as per usual.
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  • Keep an eye on Scott’s blog for all the latest information about all the training courses and exams here

Well that’s all the best bits and information I’ve come across, I’m sure there will loads of postings in the coming weeks and months about it all. I’m already downloading it to test out in my lab. Hopefully they don’t bring out 4.1 Update 1 too quickly as it feels as soon as I’ve patched and upgraded all my hosts a new update or version comes out.

Gregg

*UPDATE* Eric Siebert has done an INSANE list off all the links and news for 4.1 on his site here. 🙂 Killed my list by miles.