TheSaffaGeek

My ramblings about all things technical


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All Things Virtual 25

 

After a much needed two week holiday I’ve come back to an overwhelming amount of news from the virtualisation arena and in particular the announcement of VMware vSphere 5. Having been on the beta for vSphere 5 and vCloud 1.5 I had a feeling the announcement was due to happen while I was away but due to only having got onto the vSphere 5 beta late and only having played with it indirectly via the vCloud 1.5 beta I felt it was better to let some of the more informed bloggers out there do a better job than I could.

  • First on my list is one that even after over two weeks of letting it set in I’m still excited about like a child on Christmas day. On the 1st if this month the VMware vExpert recipient emails went out and I was selected as one. I did a blog posting all about my honour at being selected here if you’re interested and as mentioned on that posting if you want to see all the other recipients and their blogs so as to follow them (which i would HIGHLY recommend as they are pretty much the best ones) and their twitter handles to also follow them then Arnim van Lieshout’s vExpert page is where you can find all these. If plans go ahead I’m hoping I’ll have a very exciting new feature to mention very soon off of this so keep your eyes out for it as it’s something I truly believe in and is something close to my heart.
  • Next is the release of vSphere 5. As you can imagine there is a STAGGERING amount of information about it and I was planning on doing a list of all the best resources but as is the case someone has beaten me to it and seeing as it’s the list I’m currently using to get myself up to speed on it all it only makes sense to link to it. So if you’re like me and are currently trying to catch up on it all then Eric Siebert’s vSphere 5 Links is the best place to go.
  • One of the parts off of this release is also the release of the VCP5 exam and I notice a fair amount of the vExpert’s have either already started sitting the Beat exam or are due to sit it very soon. Obviously I’m not going to mention anything about the exam but if your like me and now have loads of question about what this means for people who have their VCP4 and what the upgrade paths are and if you’re even more like me and are due to write your VCAP-DCA very soon and are now wondering if it is worth your while doing it still or if you should wait then these links will answer all your question like they have for me
    • Fist is all about the upgrading of your VCP4 to VCP5 by Scott Vessey (@vmtraining) . Thankfully VMware are following the same policy as they for the VCP3 to VCP4 path and allowing people with the previous VCP accreditation to write the test without having to attend any compulsory training until February 29th 2012
    • Next also from Scott is the upgrading of your VCAP4 to VCP5 and VCAP5-DCA. Personally this is most likely the path I’m going to follow seeing as I hope to have my VCAP4 and seeing as it will allow me to get the VCP5 at the same time as my VCAP5-DCA makes the most sense for me.
    • Then the big question “Is it worth doing vSphere 4 certifications?” . Scott gives some great things to think about and it does come down to the answer of “it depends” as obviously people are at different points of their knowledge and studies.
  • Kendrick Coleman has done a great posting all about how to set up your SQL server DB for use with vCloud Director 1.5 now that support for SQL DB instances is available. Having had to fiddle with this myself during the beta to get my test environment working I can assure you his steps are really helpful in making sure you do it correctly in the first place as i had to rebuild me whole one due to a simple mistake with the DB and making sure you select the right collation is REALLY important.
  • Next is a competition run by Greg W Stuart for the chance to win a Free Conference Pass to VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas, Air Fare and 5 Nights Hotel Accommodation. Greg won his way to VMworld last year via Jason Boche’s contest and from this he’s embraced blogging and the community so much he was awarded by becoming a VMware vExpert for 2011. So get your comment submitted as it finished THIS SUNDAY JULY 24th and good luck.
  • I did say I wouldn’t mention vSphere 5 again but seeing as it’s such great resources I have to point out the vSphere 5.0 Storage Features series of blog postings and due them being updated on the coming weeks and months it is something to keep an eye on. The first five have already been posted and are brilliant for getting yourself up to speed on the new features (of which there is a substantial amount)
  • Next is a friendly reminder for those of us going to VMworld to register for the sessions you want to attend as unlike in previous years VMware are enforcing session registration and if you don’t register and the session is full then you wont get in. Simon Gallagher has blogged all about this here.
  • Last but certainly not least is the announcement that The Brownbags WebEx’s made popular by Cody Bunch are coming to Europe and are being hosted by the illustrious Tom Howarth. So get yourself registered  http://tinyurl.com/62qmotk

Well that’s my summary. .Good luck catching up with all the vSphere 5 features and news and good luck to those writing the VCP5 beta and those of you writing your VCAP exams. Remember I’ve done a VCAP-DCA and DCD resources page if you’re interested in the resources I’m using for my studies.If you would like to follow me on twitter my handle is @greggrobertson5

Gregg


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VMware vSphere: Manage for Performance Course Experience

Last week I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the VMware vSphere: Manage For Performance course. I did the lab related to this course at VMworld Europe last year and in my now increasing preparations for the VCAP-DCA exam I knew I needed to strengthen my troubleshooting skills and more importantly fine tuning my ESXTOP/RESXTOP skills. Quite a few people commented that they really liked my VMware vSphere: Manage and Design for Security Course Experience posting so I thought i would try do the same for this one for anyone interested or thinking about booking the course.

  1. Day one covered the first three and a half modules Course Introduction, Performance in a Virtualized Environment, Virtual Machine Monitor and part of CPU Performance. It introduced you to all the monitoring tools you can use with an introduction to the performance graphs in Virtual Centre and ESXTOP,how to utilise these tools to work out possible problems and what to look for that may be good indicators of problems. Probably the thing I enjoyed the most about this course was that there was loads of labs for you to learn how to do it all yourself rather than learning it off a PowerPoint sheet or your course guide. If you are a regular reader of this blog then you’ll know I’ve been trying to perfect my knowledge of ESXTOP/RESXTOP and wrote a blog about it too “Understanding and using ESXTOP/RESXTOP”. This learning of it was a great stepping stone for the skills they covered in the course and for a few parts the links and resources in my blog gave me an even deeper knowledge of ESXTOP. For the virtual machine monitor module it covered Software and hardware virtualisation techniques which i knew fairly well from my studying for my VCP exams and the labs for it were really great in covering how the usage of these varying techniques can really help with the performance of your virtual machines/environment. Next we got into a bit of the CPU Performance module which introduced the CPU scheduler, CPU Cache contention and the NUMA. As with the hardware/software virtualisation techniques i had a good bit of knowledge about the CPU scheduler and NUMA from my VCP studies but it was a great refresher on the NUMA particularly and allowed me to better understand how it works and how the misallocation of resources can impact your virtual machines due to NUMA. Frank Denneman has done two brilliant postings all about the sizing of VM’s and NUMA Nodes and ESX 4.1 NUMA Scheduling which covers pretty much everything you need to know about this feature and how to use it correctly in your environment.
  2. Day 2 we finished off CPU Performance by learning how to use ESXTOP and the performance metrics in vCentre to find and recognise possible cpu problems and how to fix them. Next we covered Memory Performance which was fairly straight forward in my opinion but did give great recommendations on how to utilise your memory effectively and how ballooning and memory swapping works and what the increase of these values means to the performance of your environment. Yet again Frank Denneman has covered these topics brilliantly in two blog postings Memory reclamation, when and how? and Disable ballooning? which I’ll personally be rereading through myself so as to better my understanding of how it can help/impact my virtual machines. Next we did the Network Performance module which covered all the varying network card options you can select,what each allows you to do,what additional features each one gives and how these features work. This was also a refresher for me due to my VCP studies but it did seem to alert a lot of the people on the course with me to the benefits of upgrading all your virtual machines to hardware version 7 and changing their network cards to VMXNET3. VMware have a great KB article on this Choosing a network adapter for your virtual machine. For the rest of the module it was yet again teaching you how to find and troubleshoot possible network problems using the performance charts and ESXTOP.
  3. Day 3 finished off the last three modules Storage Performance,Virtual Machine Performance and Application Performance. Storage performance was good and was very interesting to hear how many people don’t use thin provisioning due to their belief that it impacts performance in certain ways. I’m not going to get into it on here and I agree it does in certain instances but like I said to the people on the course with me I would recommend reading  the VMware white paper on it first and make your own decisions from there. There are also loads of top blog postings on the subject so I would also recommend reading a few of those (Duncan Epping’s and Eric Gray’s in particular). For the last two modules of Virtual Machine Performance and Application performance these were essentially just applying what you learn for cpu,memory and network to your virtual machines and what to consider for the virtualising of differing applications.

Funnily enough whilst on the course the latest release of the vSphere performance troubleshooting guide for 4.1 came out which is perfect post course reading material for me. Duncan Epping’s posting alerted me to the release so only right to point to his posting here.

Well that’s a high level review of what I learnt/was covered in the course. As with any course though what you get out of the course is very dependant on your knowledge of the product/s and even though I have a fairly good amount of knowledge on the product and features I did still learn a fair amount and it was a really great refresher on certain features in preparation for my VCAP: DCA exam sitting.

Gregg


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2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads This blog is on fire!.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A helper monkey made this abstract painting, inspired by your stats.

The average container ship can carry about 4,500 containers. This blog was viewed about 15,000 times in 2010. If each view were a shipping container, your blog would have filled about 3 fully loaded ships.

 

In 2010, there were 56 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 65 posts. There were 64 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 3mb. That’s about 1 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was October 26th with 150 views. The most popular post that day was VCAP-DCA & DCD.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were communities.vmware.com, twitter.com, consultingblogs.emc.com, simonlong.co.uk, and jasonnash.wordpress.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for this computer is now hosting the specified directory instance, but active directory web services could not service it. active directory web services will retry this operation periodically. and vcap dcd.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.

1

VCAP-DCA & DCD September 2010
6 comments

2

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. July 2010
18 comments

3

Host cannot download files from VMware vCenter Update Manager patch store. Check the network connectivity and firewall setup, and check esxupdate logs for details. April 2010
1 comment

4

VM’s can’t ping while on Distributed Virtual Switches VLAN’s March 2010
4 comments

5

VCP4 Learning resources December 2009
7 comments


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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 16

As you would expect the virtualisation communities are abuzz with talk of VMworld US starting next week in San Francisco. I’m going to be watching with a very keen eye to all the news and tweets from fellow virtualisation experts(not that I am an expert) about the event as most of the information that will be coming out of the US event will most likely be repeated and re-covered at the one in Copenhagen(of which i am attending 🙂 ). Hopefully I can learn what the best sessions were and make time to try get to as many of them as possible if they are replicated at VMworld Europe.Ed Grigson of vexperienced.co.uk posted a very interesting article about how VMworld Europe is shorter,costs more and has a staggering amount less unique sessions. Thankfully as Ed mentions the sessions from VMworld San Francisco should be online by mid September so if you have registered to attend either of them you will be able to see all the sessions online at VMworld.com.Also the VMworld 2009 sessions and labs are now open for public viewing. I have heard that if sessions go well at VMworld US then they will be asked to present at VMworld Europe. Don’t hold me to this as it is just what i heard but it does make sense and will hopefully bring some of the top unique sessions.

Whilst most of the news is about VMworld there has been a large amount of news not directly related to VMworld.

  • As mentioned by Eric Sloof on his blog,the VCAP4-DCD Exam Blueprint Guide has become available for those who are keen to get the ball rolling on their studies for the certification. I’ve personally started building up my home lab for my preparations and learning for the VCAP-DCA exam. A friend of mine asked me if i knew what exams VMware recommend for the VCAP examinations and funnily enough i had received an email from VMware telling me exactly this. Here is what they recommend:VCAP-DCA Preparation Courses

    VCAP-DCD Preparation Course

  • Also a big congratulations to Eric Sloof(@esloof) on being awarded as the best freelance VCI of the quarter.  Eric’s blog is always a great source for any kind of VMware related course or news and is a blog i would recommend adding to your RSS feeds.
  • Talking of the courses to prepare you for the VCAP exams i asked the same question on twitter to see what people recommended and Jonathon Medd(@jonathanmedd ) pointed out his belief that there would be no need for the PowerCLI course due to himself,Alan Renouf, Arnim van Lieshout and Glenn Sizemore currently writing a PowerCLI book that should teach you everything you should need to know to be able to utilise PowerCLI in the environment. As Alan says in his blog posting the book will be be written by “4 vExperts and a MVP” so you know it is going to be a brilliant resource. Jonathon has told me to stay tuned for news of it’s release.
  • Talking of books the much anticipated HA and DRS Deepdive by Frank Denneman( @frankdenneman)  and Duncan Epping ( @DuncanYB ) is due to be released very soon. These guys are two of the top guys in the industry and for anyone that has tried to read through the whole of Duncan HA deepdive posting will know he is the perfect person to write about the topic. This book is on my list already to buy and I will be keeping a keen eye on it’s release.
  • As you would expect there have already been a few videos and a page dedicated to all the new about VMworld. Due to lack of time I haven’t had the time to look through them yet so here they are as they are on my “to do” list:
  • Greg Stuart (@gregwstuart) has posted all about a competition where you can win the “Ultimate vSphere Library”, with titles from Scott Lowe (@scott_lowe), Eric Siebert (@ericsiebert) and David Davis of trainsignal fame ( @davidmdavis) to name but a few of the things you will win if you are the winner. So get following and good luck 🙂
  • Mike Laverick (@Mike_Laverick) at RTFM-ED.co.uk is also running a competition to win the trainsignal (@TrainSignal) VMware vSphere Pro Volume 2 video series.- find out the details at www.rtfm-ed.co.uk.
  • Eric Sloof has also posted a nice little posting with two slide decks by Iwan Rahabok who works as a Senior Systems Consultant at VMware all about the differences between vSphere 4.1 and 4.0. I always love finding these kinds of things especially when you have to try provide reasons why “upgrading to the latest version of x is a good idea because of these advantages…”
  • A big congratulations and thank you to Stefan Jagger for the passing of his VCP4 exam and for mentioning and linking to my VCP4 resources pages. always nice to get a bit of traffic from different blogs 🙂
  • Frank Denneman has posted all about the VCDX application form and how it should be filled out correctly so that your application is accepted and has the correct amount of information in it. I’ve added this one to my VCDX list for future reference when I am ready to put in my application
  • While on the VMware communities this morning seeing if i could help answer any questions I came across an unusual thread where someone asked for the 10 most common issues in VMware with the steps to fix these problems. True to form a few people replied and i thought their answers were actually quite interesting.  Especially  the one by Petri all about the ten best ways to increase performance for your VMware environment. Also the top ten KB articles at the time is a great page I’ve added to my favourites to frequent to try keep up to date on the latest problems and solutions happening with VMware products.
  • Last but not least is a posting by Maish Saidel-Keesing all about him creating a VERY useful Google spreadsheet of all the VMworld sessions and the information about them. This is going to come in handy for sure especially when I’m sure I’ll arrive at a session at VMworld Copenhagen and it’s full already and i have to find another sessions to attend.

Well that’s everything that has caught my attention for the past few weeks since the last All Things Virtual. As I’ve said numerous times I’m on twitter at @greggrobertson5 if you want to follow me/ask me questions/give feedback/abuse me 🙂

Also any comments are welcome

Gregg


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VMware Certified Advanced Professional Datacentre Administration –Blueprint Released

Just a very fast posting to notify that the blueprint for the VMware Certified Advanced Professional Datacentre Administration blueprint has been released. As I’ve said I’m really looking forward to this exam as hopefully it will enable me to differentiate myself from the multitude of vcp’s that qualified recently and hopefully also teach me and hone my skills for preparation for my VCDX someday in the future.

The Blueprint is here and it looks like a very good exam and loads of really interesting and testing things in it. I look forward to learning more about it in the coming weeks and months.

Gregg Robertson


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vExperts 2010

Firstly a massive congratulations to all who were bestowed with this accolade. In particular a massive congratulations to Barry Coombs (@VirtualisedReal) ,Gabrie van Zanten (@gabvirtualworld) ,Alan Renouf (@alanrenouf) ,Tom Howarth (@tom_howarth) ,Nick Weaver (@lynxbat) ,Eric Sloof (@esloof)  and Simon Long (@SimonLong_). Who have always been more than happy to answer any questions I have had via twitter, mail or even as recent as last night willing to power up their laptop to help with a problem we were having (Thanks again Gabrie, you’re a legend)

As I said in my last posting I didn’t have a massive amount of confidence in my being selected as a vExpert. This due to what I feel are very fair and understandable reasons and how I feel my continued efforts will hopefully help me have a much stronger case for next years. John Troyer who is the leader of the vExpert community has posted a brilliant article on the reasons some people didn’t receive it and has also given some really great pointers on how to better yourself for next years. Off of this here is some of the reasons I feel I understandably missed out and why I think I’m on the right track for next years:

  1. I only started this blog at the end of November last year so due to the award being given for the activities you did in 2009 means I did extremely little and therefore rightly so was no where near being in contention. Since then though I have made a concerted effort to post more and try bring new ideas to the community. With this blog having had almost 3000 individual views so far , 2435 of that being between January to May this year and by the views increasing by at least 200 views every month it gives me hope that I’ll be a much stronger contender for next years if I keep it up.
  2. I only started interacting with the virtualisation community late last year via twitter and was only able to attend my first VMUG end of November last year so I still need to make a name for myself and surpassing 300 followers on twitter last week of which over 98% are technical people gives me confidence that I am building a good reputation for myself among my peers and that the opinions and information I post is of interest to people in the IT field.
  3. I need to strengthen my blog postings. I’m the first to admit that my blog postings aren’t the best for a few reasons but after having read through my postings even from a few months back I can see that with each posting I feel I’ve become a lot better at it and have learnt from each one.The increased readership I feel is partly due to this refining of my skills.
  4. Plain and simple I’m either too busy or just lazy some times and due to this I haven’t been able to give back as much to the VMware communities pages and been able to join the live roundtables as much as I would like to. I plan to change this and hopefully via this be inspired to write more postings ,as one of the reasons I only post every week or so is due to the lack of good material/ideas and therefore I would rather not post up anything rather than some drivel for the sake of posting.
  5. My lack of knowledge on the many things VMware does and the technologies that are available and how they work. I only became a VCP in VI3 in September last year due to only being able to attend the pre-requisite course a few weeks before and since then I have also obtained the VCP4 accreditation within a month of it becoming available late last year and with a very nice score if i do say so myself. With this ,my knowledge on all the subjects is increasing each day and thereby my blogs can be more knowledgeable and I will have the confidence in my knowledge to write up more postings on certain subjects as the worry of any blogger is that your information is wrong and you have made a fool of yourself by giving out the wrong facts.

So if you enjoyed any of my blog postings please link the information to your friends and colleagues and even better if you link to my blog postings via your own blogs if they have helped you this is obviously a brilliant way of getting more traffic to my site and more so bringing my solutions higher in search results so that more people can be helped by them.

Congratulations to all the vExperts again and hopefully I’ll be one of you next year.

Gregg Robertson


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New VMware Exams Released

 

Just a very quick posting as so many of the top bloggers out there have covered it so well that VMware have released their new Exam set the VMware Certified Advanced Professional – VCAP.

Simon Long has posted a blog all about the VCAP side and what will be required for the administrator and design exams here

Duncan Epping has posted all about the VCDX 4 (VCDX4-DCD) side of things here and details the steps now to become a VCDX4-DCD. Quite disappointed they had to add the DCD part personally as all it’s doing is adding to the long winded acronyms some of us carry at the end of our mail signatures/business cards.

Eric Sloof also posted all about the VCDX4-DCD here and gives a brilliantly detailed break down of the VCAP here. I’ve already signed up to receive an email alert when registration opens (yes I’m seemingly that sad)

I plan to update this blog in the coming days/weeks as more information becomes available. Hopefully to the person who came across my blog a week back by searching “I’m a vcp4. Now what” has an answer 🙂

Gregg Robertson

VMW_09Q3_LGO_VMwareCertifiedProfessional_K

MCSES(rgb)MCTS(rgb)_1079_1080_1078image


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The names of the new VMware exams have been released

Just a quick posting about the recent news detailing the now released names of the new VMware exams to bridge the gap between the VCP and the VCDX as well as the VCDX4 official announcement.

Scott Vessey’s (@vmtraining) blog details the names of the exams and the criteria for them and what he feels are good courses to prepare you for the exams. I won’t take anything away from his blog posting about it so read it here.

I’m keeping a very keen eye on these as the gap between the VCP and the VCDX is a very large one and for someone like me who hasn’t gained the experience and expertise required to be able to defend my designs just yet it will enable me to grow my knowledge and also hopefully set me apart from the other 53,000 VCPs, of which over 15,000 are VCP4s and this was a figure from early February.

Gregg Robertson


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All things virtual VIII

 

It’s been a very busy but also a very rewarding productive few weeks for me. Even though it came down to a relatively simple solution the working of my VMware Update Manager was a massive weight off my shoulders and a lot of lessons learnt from it which is always something valuable.

On the virtualisation news side it’s been a very interesting couple of weeks with some brilliantly written blogs and articles.

  • Vladan Seget (@vladan) did a very good posting on setting a static MAC address in VMware. This is something you learn when you’re studying for your VCP but is something that personally I’ve forgotten really easily but is a very helpful feature especially if you have a vm with software on it that requires a licence to be attached to the vm’s MAC address but you still want to be able to migrate the vm around for either HA or DRS capabilities.
  • Next is the VMware Support Toolbar by Rick Blythe (@rickblythe) aka VMwareWolf. The toolbar is a very clever idea and the only reason I’ve linked Vladan’s posting on it is that he details all the features it has and how to set it up etc and seeing as Rick linked to it at the top of his posting about the toolbar it seems he’s happy with the posting being used for his toolbar. I’ve only partly played around with the toolbar but it’s a great example of how professionals are thinking of new ways for a VMware administrator to be able to keep up to date and easily search for VMware knowledge base items.
  • Cody Bunch (@cody_bunch) of http://professionalvmware.com has been doing some really great VCDX brown bag sessions on all the things you should know for you VCDX and obviously as the name alludes to they are discussions amongst fellow professionals about the topics you will need to know to do your defence. A “study group” is another way of describing it. Cody was nice enough to reply to me on twitter when I enquired about the ability to watch/listen to the previous brown bag sessions and I was pleased to find out they have been recorded and the second brown bag session is already up. I’ve always found discussions amongst fellow professionals about a common technology highly beneficial as sometimes i really need someone to explain something in laymen’s terms to me for me to understand it. I’d recommend registering for the next one and to keep an eye out for the future sessions. He’s also done a few VCP brown bag sessions and theses have also been recorded so if you’re looking to write your VCP soon or even like me keep your knowledge fresh then these are perfect for this.
  • Duncan Epping of Yellow Bricks fame did a very informative posting all about aligning your VMs virtual hard disks. I spoke partly of this in one of my blog postings a few weeks back and Duncan has added some great information to this discussion and is one i learnt quite a few things from so is well worth the read. Duncan also did a very helpful posting on where to find pre-windows 2008 sysprep packages for those who are battling to find them.
  • Eric Sloof (@esloof) posted two great articles these past few weeks. The first one was a very interesting interview with one of the attendee’s of his VMware vSphere Design Workshop course and his opinions of how the course went and how good it was. After watching it it’s made me even more keen to attend the course and gain the knowledge they you can gain from it especially from fellow VMware professionals. The other is his announcing of the upcoming vSphere 4 Automation course. It shows the growing need and trend of VMware professionals to have the knowledge and ability to automate some of the tasks performed in their VMware environment as well as a great course for gaining the knowledge you will require for managing your environment in ESXi.
  • Talking of ESXi and the push by VMware for people to migrate from ESX to ESXi, Eric Siebert (@ericsiebert) of http://vmware-land.com/ posted a very very good blog posting all about how VMware’s desire for people to adopt ESXi isn’t going as well as they may have hoped and how VMware are going to need to fix a number of issues that ESXi has that ESX doesn’t before the change over and how their motivators for the switch aren’t as strong as they make out. The article is brilliant and is especially so to me as I agree wholeheartedly with many of the points in it and myself don’t see nor agree with the whole idea of them moving over to ESXi and scrapping ESX.
  • There has always been the discussion of scale up versus scale out when you are creating a Virtual environment and over the past few weeks there have been a few great postings from some of the top virtualisations bloggers about this discussion. It seems the whole thing kicked off from a blog posting Duncan Epping did about scaling up due to the release of the new Intel 5600 series that has six cores. Which set off a blog posting by Ian Koenig at http://itsjustanotherlayer.com/ titled scale up or scale out in which he brings up some brilliant check points every VMware administrator should ask when determining whether to scale up or scale out. Scott Lowe then commented on Ian’s posting  in his Virtualization Short Take #37 and gave his opinion on the discussion which in turn made Steve Chambers (@Stevie_chambers) write an article about how he feels UCS is the solution to the worry about having “all your eggs in one basket”. His blog posting is also very informative about the features UCS has and how it allows you to have all your machines on one big server. This in turn brought Scott to write a posting describing his opinions in full and how he feels as is always said for anything in IT “it depends”  on a number of factors and one model or decision is never the same for every company/environment/situation. Lastly a great blog posting by a twitter friend of mine and top VMware professional Daniel Eason(@Daniel_Eason) about High Density Virtual Hosts gives a great insight into more of the factors you need to consider when building a “Super ESX Host(my own words)”. All of these articles are brilliantly informative and as with any great article they encourage discussion. You make your own decisions and I encourage you to read all the comments below each of the articles as these are as good if not maybe a little bit better than the articles.
  • This past week the applications for the VMware vExpert award have been opened. The vExpert for anyone that doesn’t know it is “a way for VMware to acknowledge and help those who ‘go the extra mile’ and give back to the VMware user community by sharing their expertise and time. vExperts are bloggers, book authors, VMUG leaders, event organizers, speakers, tool builders, forum leaders, and others who share their virtualization expertise.” As you can imagine there has been a very large amount of chat in twitterverse about the applications and who may be honoured by the awarding of it. Personally I’d love to become one and hope that with my continued efforts to give back to the community and grow my contributions to the field I’ll one day soon be awarded the title. If you know of anyone that deserves this award then get an application in for them. But be warned that multiple nominations don’t count extra so applying for yourself 100 times and asking loads of people to apply for you won’t help you to win this.
  • In my Distributed Virtual Switches blog posting i detailed the process of upgrading your virtual machines hardware version to version 7 but Sander Daems (@sanderdaems) posted a very helpful posting on how to downgrade your vm hardware level from 7 to 4 if it is needed to fix an issue you may be having. It always makes me smile when a blog posting like this is posted as I’m always so focused on the newest things and the latest versions of software that i forget that sometimes the need for rolling back to an older possibly more stable version is the option.
  • Even though this next posting is old it’s one I feel is very important and useful in the growth of anyone’s scripting knowledge. Alan Renouf created a very helpful Quick Reference Guide for the VI toolkit which you can print off and obviously reference whenever you need it.
  • VMware have recently posted a new white paper detailing performance results of tests conducted of a vSphere 4.0 environment using Microsoft SQL Server 2008. The white paper can be downloaded here.
  • Rich Brambley (@rbrambley) posted all about the reasoning and some fixes/solutions you can make as to why cloning a vm from a template can take such a long time. Rick’s posting has some great links for IOPS and gives some very in depth solutions and reasons as to why the problem might happen. The posting is very helpful and sheds light on points some people may miss in their aim of making their virtual environment run as quickly and smoothly as possible.
  • Arnim van Lieshout (@avlieshout) did a great blog posting about how to setup and get running The VESI (Virtualization EcoShell Initiative). If you’ve never heard of The VESI before then i would recommend reading the FAQ before reading and then implementing the solution into your environment. Arnim has detailed every step and installation needed in getting it working and is a massive help for someone trying to get it setup.
  • Last by definitely not least was a posting by Devang Panchigar (@storagenerve) with the video of the VBlocks presentation at the GestaltIT Tech Field Day 2010 in Boston Massachusetts this past week. The presentation was highly informative and a great insight into the solution and is well worth the watch.

As I’ve said before I’m always happy for people to leave a comment below or add me on twitter at @greggrobertson5. If you feel I’ve missed something or not given credit or wrongly described yours or someone else’s posting as this is the last thing i mean to do, please tell me an I’ll change it.

Gregg Robertson

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