TheSaffaGeek

My ramblings about all things technical


Leave a comment

#vBrownbag #VCDX Series Follow Up

As people may or may not be aware the EMEA vBrownbag of which I am a co-host have been doing a VCDX series covering a number of topics around the VCDX and preparations for attempting it. We have done three sessions and all three recordings are below:

Next week we will have John Arrasjid and Mark Gabryjelski continuing the delivery of additional infrastructure architecture design advice and recommendations from a recent presentation John delivered at the Singapore vForum where he stated all three sessions of the presentation were full.

Also a special shout out and thanks to Rene van Den Bedem aka VCDX133 for co-hosting with me and supplying so many questions as well as answers on the VCDX Panel session. Go check out his VCDX series of postings if you want some of the best VCDX material available.

Koala can't believe it - Over VCDX 50 postings Still maintains a day job and wife?

Gregg

Advertisements


Leave a comment

VMworld Day 0 – Partner Day

photo

VMworld officially only starts tomorrow for most attendees but for those that are partners there is partner day where VMware done a number of sessions for their partners to allow them to understand the roadmap and the solutions on the roadmap.

I flew in yesterday so that I was ready for partner day and also to attend the vRockstar party which has become an annual event on the Sunday night at the hard rock cafe before VMworld and is the only party that really happens on Sunday. I have attended for the last two years and this year they got the upper section booked out which was certainly cooler on the much more humid and hot Barcelona nights (compared to the UK in my case). The vRockstar party was sponsored by Cisco , EMC , VMUG and Nutanix which enabled us to have some champagne on arrival and then beers for the remainder of the night, so a big thanks to all the sponsors and thanks to the organisers Patrick Redknap, Marco Broeken, Robert Payne and Hans De Leenheer.

photo (2)

The remainder of my day was spent chatting to fellow vExperts and bloggers at the bloggers table and providing moral support to the vBrownbag crew (Alastair had it all done before I arrived). The vBrownbag TechTalks kick off tomorrow and just like it was in San Francisco we will be streaming it live as well as recording them so please tune in and we promise to try get the audio clearer this time. If you are at the conference then come watch them as they are happening in hall 7 near the bloggers table and across from the general session hall.

My night will be spent at an exclusive VMworld drinks reception hosted by TD Azlan and then I will be attending the PernixData party held at an amazing venue on the Barcelona shorefront who are one of Xtravirt’s partners. I’m looking forward to all the announcements tomorrow and the reason i spent so much time at the bloggers table was scheduling a number of blogs around these announcements so keep an eye on my blog tomorrow.

Also don’t forget to sign up for the Xtravirt SONAR beta bit.ly/1sjutrX .


Leave a comment

VMworld US 2014 – The Calm Before the vStorm

For several years I have been very fortunate to attend VMworld Europe either via my company paying for the trip or in the case of last year, being able to attend as part of the vBrownbag crew and I’m very pleased to say that I will be attending this years VMworld US via the welcomed sponsorships of the vBrownbag sponsors (VMTurbo , Cisco , Brocade ,Infinio and Coho Data) for the TechTalks. Due to going as part of the vBrownbag crew VMware were gracious enough to give me a bloggers pass to cover my conference entrance fee and when I am not helping with the TechTalks or the VMunderground Open Acts i plan to blogging and tweeting away. But I am not only looking forward to going just for these reasons (certainly they are amazing enough reasons) but for several others and so I thought I would put out the reasons I’m looking forward to VMworld US and why if you haven’t booked to attend yet then why I would HIGHLY encourage you to register.

Social

142679-spongebob-square-pants-sponge-nerd

I know what you are thinking and yes there certainly are some amazing parties and there are people who sadly take it as a jolly rather than experiencing the conference but the social I am referring to is social media as well as actual human interaction with like minded people. I am sure a number of people are like me where we sit behind a computer for countless hours,then sit on our phone or tablet tweeting away to people about the latest virtualisation or related technology but have never actually met these people. In fact most of the people you tweet with are actually on the opposite side of the world but their blog posting/communities response/book/podcast/webinar or twitter response to a question you posted saved you countless hours of work or helped you get that new role or certification. Well VMworld is the perfect place to meet these people and thank them for their help, get your book signed by the author or throw the book at them if they were wrong (physical violence no matter how funny it may be from afar isn’t the answer…most of the time). This also allows you to talk about how cool the new features in vSphere 6.0 are and not get that placating nod your wife/girlfriend (husband/boyfriend for those super vWoman in the community) gives you when you get excited about it. For me the interaction and friendships I have had and made from VMworld conferences have sometimes been the best part as being able to chat to the person who wrote the book on VSAN/PowerCLI/VMware Networking for example is worth the conference fee in itself.

Sessions/Labs

The sessions,labs and announcements are brilliant and the only reason I chose social first is due to it being something not that many people think about. The sessions and labs are amazing and even though you can watch almost all the sessions (breakouts aren’t recorded) and do all the labs now via  labs.hol.vmware.com ,being able to attend the sessions for the week and hear about all the great new features and how people have taken the solutions provided by VMware and met their companies or customers requirements with them without being bothered by home life or work is an amazing learning experience. The same applies to the Hands on Labs where you can take the labs and skill up on the most recent technologies or even older ones that you might not have had the time to learn up until now. There are sessions for everyone as there are sessions where they are entry level for those people just getting into VMware technologies to advanced sessions where it is VMware engineers or product teams talking about the knitty gritty of the solutions. There are also loads of panel sessions ranging from meet the vExpert bloggers panel sessions to VCDX panel sessions where you can ask questions and learn from top vBloggers and or ask all those questions about the VCDX or the pre-requisites exams from those who have done it. If you are working for a VMware partner there is a partner day where as you guessed it, it is exclusively for partners and VMware will do sessions covering all the technologies and how they are working to make it better for partners or those selling their solutions.

TechTalks

Ok I’m probably very biased but the vBrownbag crew along with the help of our sponsors run the TechTalks from the community area where people who may not have had their sessions accepted to present at VMworld (this is not a reflection on the quality I can assure you) present about numerous different topics (no sales pitches) for ten minutes and they are streamed as well as recorded. The TechTalks have been a major success with loads of people watching the live stream, a very large number of views of the recordings and we also have a very good amount of live audience watching them. The schedule for the TechTalks is due out imminently and from having seen some of the amazing names on the list it will not disappoint.

Solutions Exchange

The solutions exchange is where all the vendors including sponsors have their stalls/booths where you can talk to them about their latest release, speak to some of their top people around possibly solutions you are looking to implement or need help fixing and even go to the VMware Expert bar. The Expert bar allows you to talk to the best people for each VMware technology and hear and see what all the new solutions from VMware can do for your business. As you would expect there are loads of freebies and competitions from all the vendors and this is the place where you can hear about that new technology and then be able to drop it in a conversation with your boss to show how on the ball you really are.

vmworld12-solutions exchange.png

General

There are also numerous activities that fall under the general banner like the VMworld party which last year had Train and Imagine dragons performing at the AT&T Park and three years ago were the Killers. There are also a number of vendor parties, parties exclusively for VCDX/vExperts and vendor excursions (brewery tours etc.) . The parties and meet ups in the evenings are amazing and if you have some self restraint and make sure you answer your phone when the wife calls, you can have an amazing time and still get the most out of the conference during the day. These are also a really great place to make new friends and even speak to some of the top names in the industry and realise they are 9 out of ten times really humble and friendly people.

If your significant other wishes to join you then there is spousetivities run by Crystal Lowe where vWidows/ partners of conference attendees can do day excursions.

Register Now!

If you haven’t registered for VMworld then I would highly recommend doing so here as it is well worth attending and if you need to justify it to your boss then why not use the VMworld letter for that. If you are attending then I would love to meet you and have a beverage with you or just chat tech. I will most likely be wearing one of my vExpert shirts or hanging around with the vBrownbag crew.

I am also planning to blog about a number of the announcements from VMworld so keep an eye out on my blog for those Smile

Gregg


1 Comment

VCDX Preparation Special

On Thursday the 22nd May the EMEA #vBrownbag which I co-host weekly, ran a VCDX Special with Rene Van Den Bedem (VCDX 133) , Craig KilbornBobby Stampfle and I. The special was an expansion of the London VMUG lightning talk that both Craig and I did on the 15th of May. The #vBrownbag session was recorded (after some early audio problems which meant we had to restart it) and the recording of the session is embedded below.

The session proved a major success and we may run another one as the amount of questions we received during and have been receiving post the session is really positive.

Gregg


Leave a comment

VCDX Spotlight: Hersey Cartwright

Name: Hersey Cartwright

Twitter Handle: @herseyc

Blog URL: http://www.vhersey.com/

Current Employer: ABS Technology Architects

VCDX #: 128

How did you get into using VMware?

I started using VMware back in late 2006/early 2007 when I was working for a community Credit Union. I was really impressed with HA. Prior to VMware getting the same level of availability was costly and complex, HA greatly simplified this. By the time I left the Credit Union about 85% of the environment was virtualized on VMware.

What made you decide to do the VCDX?

I saw it as a learning experience. I learned a tremendous amount about myself and my abilities through the process of designing the solution, preparing the documentation, and participating in the defense.

How long did it take you to complete the whole VCDX journey?

I completed the VCAP-DCD in December 2012. I made the commitment to pursuing my VCDX in February 2013 and set a goal for defending at PEX 2014. So a little less than a year of actually preparing.

I started the design I submitted in October 2013 and it was implemented in November. I had somewhere between 120 and 180 hours of preparation for the VCDX defense outside of the work that was done directly for the customer. This included preparing the design documentation, studying, and participating in mocks.

What advice would you give to people thinking of pursuing the VCDX accreditation?

Set a goal and work towards it. I think that setting the goal on defending at PEX 2014 helped me keep focus. Attend the VCDX boot camp if you can, or at least watch the ProfessionalVMware.com vBrownBags on it. This will give you a lot of insight into the defense. Sign up for one of the study groups and participate in as many mocks as possible.

During mocks don’t forget about the Design and Troubleshooting scenarios. Be sure to practice these also!

Another piece of advice I would give is to choose a design you find interesting. The design I submitted and defended was for a 911 call center. It was a small environment but I found the availability requirements for the solution interesting. I also really enjoyed working with the customer to meet their requirements. I was very involved through the entire project, from design to implementation, and that definitely helped me defend the design.

If you could do the whole VCDX journey again what would you do differently?

More mocks!

I did a bunch of them but they were all with the people I worked with. The “unfriendly” mock defense I participated in the day before my actual defense, with people that I did not know (other than the occasional tweet), was extremely beneficial. During the “unfriendly” mocks the participants dug much deeper into my design decisions than the folks that I worked with on a regular basis did.

There was a lot of benefit in both the “friendly” and “unfriendly” mocks, but the “unfriendly” mock really helped to prepare me for the defense panel.

Life after the VCDX?  How did your company respond?  Was it worth it?

Preparing for and successfully defending the VCDX was definitely worth it, especially for the learning experience. In a short period of time it has benefited both me and my company.

If I had to do it all over again, I definitely would!

A little more on my VCDX experience can be found here: http://www.vhersey.com/2014/02/vcdx-cxxviii-128/


Leave a comment

Presenters wanted for the EMEA #vBrownbag

The EMEA vBrownbag team are currently looking for presenters to present on the EMEA #vBrownbag which is run live every Tuesday at 7PM GMT/BST. Currently we are covering several tracks which include:

-VCP5-DT exam blueprint objectives

-VCP5-IaaS exam blueprint objectives

– VCAP5–CID exam blueprint objectives

-VCAP5-CIA exam blueprint objectives

– Anything related to VMware or would interest VMware focused IT people. These can be VMUG presentations or even prep for a conference

If you are interested in presenting then please fill in the form here: http://professionalvmware.com/brownbags/vbrownbag-presenter-sign-up/

Also please spread the word about the podcast and that we are always looking for presenters.

Gregg


5 Comments

EMEA #vBrownbag

vBrownBagLogo-150x150That’s right, after having spoken to the infamous APAC and US vBrownbag teams at VMworld and via the VMware vExpert communities Arjan Timmerman and I have thrown our hats into the ring and have asked to borrow the guys vBrownbag’s and show the world that the EMEA VMware guru’s are the some of the best in the world.

We are looking to start doing them within the next few weeks and need all the VMware talent in EMEA to put their hands up and come present and for everyone to join the calls/webinars and contribute. We are looking to possibly follow two different tracks so as to not repeat what the APAC and US guys have done and so will be looking for people to present on objectives in the VCP5-IaaS and VCP5-DT exam blueprints. You can do any of the objectives so if you want to do the last objective for the IaaS then first come first served/booked.

We are thinking of doing it every fortnight on a Tuesday starting on the 23rd of October although if there is a very good amount of interest which I trust there will be then we can make it a weekly occurrence. We are currently looking to do it at 7PM GMT to allow everyone in Europe the time to get home.Please spread the word and lets show the VMware community the talent EMEA has to offer. You can register here for the webinars

We have created a Google form for people to start putting in their interest and what they want to talk about here.

Gregg and Arjan