TheSaffaGeek

My ramblings about all things technical


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2013 vExpert Award.

So Utterly Honoured!

I recognise this is a bit late to the news but due to being on a client site all of last week I have only managed to get this posting up now.

Last week I was humbled and honoured to have been awarded the VMware vExpert 2013 designation and my third time of being chosen as one. For those who don’t know what this means and think it is just another certification I have done (I admit I do sit a large amount of exams) below is a brief description of the award and what it is for:

The VMware vExpert Award is given to individuals who have significantly contributed to the community of VMware users over the past year. vExperts are book authors, bloggers, VMUG leaders, tool builders, and other IT professionals who share their knowledge and passion with others. These vExperts have gone above and beyond their day jobs to share their technical expertise and communicate the value of VMware and virtualization to their colleagues and community.

I’m super pleased to have been selected again and also really pleased for my fellow Xtravirt colleagues Darren Woollard, Sean Duffy, Ather Beg and Paul Davey for also being selected this year. That’s almost a fifth of the whole company that are VMware vExperts!

What did you do last year to get it?

As the vExpert designation is given for the work you did in the previous year, when people ask how they can become one or what did I do to be selected it is always around half a year behind what people should have been trying do to be in contention to be selected. For me I did some of the following:

–  VMware Communities Moderator

–  Co-hosts of the EMEA vBrownbag podcast

–  Presented at the London VMUG in January and July

–  Blog often from this blog on VMware matters and announcements. Specifically around VMware exams and study resources for the exams

–  Beta tester of numerous VMware products

–  Active member of the VMware Communities

–  Active member of the London VMUG

–  Was an active member of the vExpert community and collected and posted all the vExpert Spotlight postings

I did all these things I love doing them and I’m passionate about the technology not because I wanted to become a vExpert though and I would recommend doing it for the right reasons and not because you want to get something out of it.

Massive Thanks

A massive amount of thanks to John Troyer and his team who run the vExpert program and for feeling I was worthy of the designation. Also congratulations to all the other 2013 vExperts!! There are a number of newcomers and as many returning vExperts so it is great to share this designation with so many passionate and amazingly friendly people.

Also for those who may have missed it both Tintri and Trainsignal have already done great promotions for the 2013 vExperts which is always a nice perk of being part of the group.

Gregg


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A true honour,vExpert 2012.

After hurling myself out of a plane at 15000 feet as part of a birthday present I came down to the ground to find out I had been honoured as a VMware vExpert 2012 and as one for the second year running.

It was such an amazing honour to be selected as one last year and to retain it is as amazing and I’m looking forward to another year of being part of such a prestigious group of my peers and also with a fair number of my fellow colleagues from Xtravirt. A massive congratulations to Darren Woollard, Sean Duffy and Paul Wood for also being selected, especially Sean and Paul for their first year as one this year.It’s quite an amazing achievement for a company of less than 20 people  to have so many in my opinion.For those of you who don’t know what the vExpert award is, here is the definition from the vExpert site:

The VMware vExpert Award is given to individuals who have significantly contributed to the community of VMware users over the past year. vExperts are book authors, bloggers, VMUG leaders, tool builders, and other IT professionals who share their knowledge and passion with others. These vExperts have gone above and beyond their day jobs to share their technical expertise and communicate the value of VMware and virtualization to their colleagues and community.

A massive thanks to  Alex Maier and John Troyer for selecting me, it is an amazing honour Open-mouthed smile. Also a massive congratulations to all the other people selected especially all the ones from the London VMUG. You can see the list of the other vExpert 2012 awardees on the list here

Gregg


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All Things Virtual 27

 

Yep I’ve decided to start trying to build up my All Things Virtual postings so as to try help myself keep up to date on the latest news happening in the virtualisation arena and also help people like myself who don’t have the time during the day/work week to keep up to date on the latest blog postings,news and articles. I’ve only listed the past few week’s worth of blog postings that have caught my interest and for future All Things Virtual I’m planning on doing it fortnightly/monthly.

First on my list is a reminder to all that the “applications” for the VMware vExpert title are still open. there are now three paths for the title which I blogged about in my VMware vExpert 2012 nominations and applications are open blog posting. You can find the application form and all the information also on the vExpert communities page here

Next was the results of Eric Sieberts yearly Top Virtualisation Blog poll. I was very honoured to be included in the voting this year for the first time and came in at 103rd which I’m really pleased about Smile. A massively congratulations to all the top 10 and top 25 blogs and it’s amazing to see that 1 in 10 of the blogs in the votes were from the London VMware User Group #LonVMUG crew.

The mad rush for the VCP5 upgrade before the end of February cut off date is in full swing. Almost all my colleagues at Xtravirt have done theirs in the past week and almost every day loads and loads of the people I follow on twitter are posting about their passing of the exam. For those that have decided to bypass the cut off date due to possibly already having done the what’s new course or are happy to do the what’s new course there is a massive amount of top resources out there for you to use. I’ve tried to list them all on my VCP5 page. Cody Bunch’s VCP5 Brownbag series is now in full swing with videos of all the objectives listed by Cody in his VCP5 Brownbag Playlist posting.

Talking of certifications there were four new VCDX’s announced, so a massive and envious congratulations to Tom Arentsen @tomarentsen,Mike Brown @vmikebrown, Matthew Meyer @mattdmeyer and Hugo Phan @hugophan. Hugo did a very helpful blog posting all about his 5 simple steps to the VCDX certification . His steps do seem very manageable and are great for those people out there feeling up for the challenge. One of the people who has already thrown his hat in the ring is fellow vExpert and top blogger Christian Mohn who announced his intent in his blog posting here . Good luck Christian, maybe now that my new role with Xtravirt is gaining me some serious design exposure and experience I may join you in attempting the VCDX if i can find the time to do what I couldn’t do for VCAP4 and gain both my VCAP5-DCA and DCD. I’ll keep you all posted on my decision Smile

Next is a posting by Gabrie van Zanten all about the Auto Deploy GUI VMware fling. Gabrie does a great walkthrough of how to use the tool and how it makes your life much easier. I’m currently planning to use the tool in my testing of Auto Deploy in my home lab and hopefully it’s as good as he describes

As I’ve mentioned loads of times in my VCAP4,VCP5 and VCAP5 study resources pages, the trainsignal videos are an amazing learning resource in my opinion and are as good if not better than attending the respective courses. TrainSignal have recently released the VMware View 5 Essentials Training videos. The videos are described by Trainsignal as  “Virtualisation experts Brian Knudtson and Lane Leverett guide you from VDI basics, through app virtualization and more. Learn how to get your View environment up and running and reduce costs for your end-user desktops”. I’m currently started to use these videos in my attempt to strengthen my VDI skills and hopefully if all goes to plan try obtain my VCP5-DT.

Talking about VMware View and the VCP5-DT, the VMware View 5 Install Configure and Manage course was released in early January and Eric Sloof posted all about it in his posting here. The course looks really good and maybe if I am given the opportunity i may be able to attend it and give a good overview for anyone thinking about attending the course.

Lastly, a massive thanks to John Troyer and Alex Maier for the vExpert gift and Certificate. I’ve already started using my bag as my main bag and geekingly added my vExpert and blogger badges from the past two VMworld’s also (yep I’m sad)

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Gregg


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VMware vExpert 2012 nominations and applications are open

Wow I can’t believe it’s been a year since the last nominations and applications for the VMware vExpert designation! But it has been and the nominations and applications for vExpert 2012 are now open. If you don’t know what being a VMware vExpert means here is VMware’s description: “The annual VMware vExpert title is given to individuals who have significantly contributed to the community of VMware users over the past year. The title is awarded to individuals (not employers) for their commitment to sharing their knowledge and passion for VMware technology above and beyond their job requirements.”

I was very blessed to be selected as a VMware vExpert 2011 and loved every moment of it and was amazed how well my vExpert Spotlight series of postings went this past year. This year the paths have changed a bit with there now being three paths people can be selected from. The description of the paths are:

Evangelist Path
The Evangelist Path includes book authors, bloggers, tool builders, public speakers, and other IT professionals who share their knowledge and passion with others with the leverage of a personal public platform to reach many people. Employees of VMware can also apply via the Evangelist path.

Customer Path
The Customer Path is for internal evangelists and community leaders from VMware customer organizations. They have contributed to success stories, customer references, or public interviews and talks, or were active community contributors, such as VMUG leaders.

VPN (VMware Partner Network) Path
The VPN Path is for employees of our partner companies who lead with passion and by example, who are committed to continuous learning and to making their technical knowledge and expertise available to many. This can take shape of event participation, video, IP generation, as well as public speaking engagements.

With the program growing, our goal still remains the same: to honour individuals who go above and beyond their everyday job requirements to share their technical knowledge and expertise with others; to help enable these individuals to make an even greater impact in the world; and to keep a high standard of vExpert recipients.

If you feel yourself or someone you know would be a good candidate for the designation then go to the vExpert page here: http://communities.vmware.com/vexpert.jspa and submit your application or nomination.

Good luck to everyone who has and is applying and hopefully I’ll be fortunate enough to be a vExpert 2012 Open-mouthed smile

Gregg


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VCP5 Study Resources Page

Just a very quick posting that I have finally created my VCP5 Study Resources Page with all the resources I’m planning to use in preparation for my VCP5 exam. As mentioned on the page I decided to create the page as it seems the VCAP5 exams aren’t going to be out before the grace period for people with the VCP4 accreditation not needing to take the What’s New course expires. So like with my VCAP4 and VCAP5 pages I’m planning on listing all the resources I plan to use and the great study resources I come across that may help other people of varying degrees of expertise prepare for the exam

Good luck to anyone preparing for any of the VMware exams soon, good luck! Also tell me how you’ve done or if you think I have missed an amazing resource by either leaving a comment or sending me a tweet on @greggrobertson5 on twitter

Gregg


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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 Europe Day 0

Yet again, i have been fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to attend VMworld Europe. I really enjoyed my time last year and knowing what to expect made it even more exciting for me than last year. Monday is Partner day and they definitely made sure all the partners felt welcome with free drinks, loads of top sessions and awards at the end of the day. I only arrived around 2pm so i had already missed one or two of the sessions and felt like a number of the VMworld sessions that I can watch them off the VMworld website in my own time later on and i would rather meet up with fellow vExpert’s and some of the top bloggers and talk shop. One confirmation that I am a real nerd is that I got Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman to sign my copy of the VMware vSphere 5 Clustering technical deepdive book clip_image001. Day 0 went by very quickly and I had been invited to two of the parties. The official VMUG party hosted by the Danish VMUG and the vGeekfest run by EMC. Seeing as EMC were so nice in sending me yet again and because a number of the people I really wanted to meet and chat to were going to the vGeekfest party. After getting lost trying to find the party, I finally found it at the Apollo Brewery. A very nice location and the whole ground floor was allocated to us with home brewed beers and very nice food. The main thing I really enjoyed about the evening though was meeting loads of the top bloggers and social media experts so I’m sure I’m going to miss out a few but I was fortunate enough to meet Aaron Demp,Fred Nix (@nixfred) ,Delon Karrim (@delonk) , Travers Nicholas (@travern),Simon Rahilly (@noneonemany), Scott Lowe,Bas Raayman, Simon Long ( aka the SLOG) ,Steve Chambers, Craig Stewart and Simon Seagrave to name but a few clip_image002. The VMworld TV team have already posted a video of Day 0 although due to it not being the official first day they don’t cover very much of the technology yet but more the conference centre and what they are hoping to see and here

If you are at the conference and see some nerdy Saffa walking around stop me and say hi, as I’d love to meet as many people as possible

Gregg


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vExpert Spotlight

Just a very quick posting to alert people who may not follow me on twitter that a secret project very close to heart has started being published on the VMware Communities site. It’s been an idea I’ve had for a while and since I was blessed this year by being selected as a vExpert for 2011 it gave me the perfect opportunity to do it.

The first posting http://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2011/08/vexpert-spotlight-gregg-robertson.html has just come out and as mentioned in the posting,we are hoping to have as many of the 2011 vExpert’s instalments published as possible. So keep an eye out as some of the top people in the virtualisation industry have already sent me theirs and there’s some really great tips from all involved.

Gregg


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The leader of the pack

 

Having only got into the virtualisation community with the past year and a half I’m obviously a relative newcomer compared to the likes of Duncan Epping of Yellow Bricks Fame and Scott Lowe of ScottLowe.org fame to name but two. But the way the community has shared their knowledge and helped me to grow to a point where I’ve been selected as a vExpert I think comes down to the leadership and excellence of one man and the honorary leader of the VMware Community and the owner of the vExpert community John Troyer. I first got to know about John and his hard work via the VMware Communities Roundtable podcasts that he hosts every week. As a true leader he’s always working to make the community better and puts in a substantial amount of work every week for the podcasts, hosts the live interviews from both VMworld US and Europe,has been spreading new about virtualization at the VMTN Blog since 2005 and makes sure the vExpert community is giving back to the whole VMware community while making sure the vExpert community is a place you want to join and stay a part of.

I was very fortunate to meet John in person at VMworld Europe last year and spoke briefly to him and told him how it was my first year and my impressions of it all which he was highly interested in. From this interest he even got me to give my opinion on being a first year attender to the conference and what I enjoyed for the conference on the VMworld Europe wrap up roundtable podcast.

So on his birthday along with all the other vExperts and wider VMware community I’d like to thank John for all his hard work and dedication in making the VMware community somewhere like no other community I’ve ever been a part of and for his hard work on the roundtable’s and the vExpert community. Also a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY

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Gregg


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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