TheSaffaGeek

My ramblings about all things technical


1 Comment

All Things VMworld Europe – Day 3

 

Sadly today was the last day of VMworld. It really has been personally an amazing experience and I hope I can come back for many years to come. My day started off early again as I wanted to get in at 8am to be able to do a lab or two before it got really busy. The lab I did was the VMware vCenter vShield lab which was recommended to me to do before I did the vCloud Director Networking lab. The lab was top class and was a really great follow on from the vCloud Director: Install and Configure I did yesterday. I’ll definitely be looking through all the documentation of vCloud Director and be deploying vShield in my home lab when I get back to the UK .

While leaving the labs I spotted the infamous Duncan Epping of Yellow Bricks fame. Who else is a better person to meet and chat to about your vCloud Director oriented lab than Duncan who was more than happy to chat with me about it and gave me some nice tips of how to get my head around all the vCloud technologies and features. Duncan and I then made our way to the bloggers lounge but due to it being empty still he made his way back to the labs and I sat around for a bit to quickly complete yesterdays All Things VMworld Europe – Day 2. Within half an hour I was surrounded by some of the top people in the industry such as Frank Denneman,Nick Weaver,Maish Saidel-Keesing ,Chris Dearden ,Duncan Epping(who made his way back),Vladan Seget and Scott Lowe to name but a few. I also nabbed myself a vWife shirt for the missus in the process from Scott via his wife’s Spousetivities. If you aren’t on twitter or the VMware Communities or blog have a look at this video from VMworldTV all about the social media side of VMworld and VMware. I gained so much this past week never mind over the months I’ve been using these resources and would highly recommend getting into it if you wish to gain knowledge from the top people in the industry.

After an amazing amount of knowledge transfer from so many VCDX’s in the bloggers lounge I went and did my second lab of the day VMware vCloud Director – Networking. As I stated this was the third bit to completing my vCloud Labs plan and the lab did just that. Even though it was very in depth and technically daunting the lab gave me loads of knowledge on how everything merges together and left me with a much stronger understanding of the technology.

From here I had some lunch and then went right back into the labs as I wanted to complete two more labs before the 4PM closing time. The lines were massive and at one point the waiting list to be seated was over 65 people. Once I got in I decided to do the VMware vSphere Performance & Tuning lab. The lab was very interesting and due to my only having upgraded my home lab to ESX 4.1 I hadn’t had any experience in SIOC and Memory Compression. The new features for resource management in vSphere 4.1 look to be really great and I’m looking forward to enabling SIOC in my work environment as soon as I have it upgraded.

Seeing as I had just enough time I quickly exited the labs and went straight back in for my last lab of the conference VMware View 4.5 – Install and Configure. I really wanted to do this lab as I haven’t had the opportunity to use VMware View very much at all and with the massive demand for VDI I felt it was something i needed to gain some knowledge in. the lab was good but obviously very simple and due to the large amount of people trying to get one last lab in like myself the installations of the instances need for View 4.5 meant that a large amount of my time was sadly used up waiting for each bit to install but I did gain a good base knowledge of the product.

At the end of the day I made my way back to the bloggers lounge and a whole bunch of us gave our feedback to John Troyer about what we enjoyed and what we hoped to see next year. The main talking point of the week and one of the big conversation we had in the bloggers lounge was enabling the ability for VMworld delegates to gain access to the labs. Early this morning I noticed a promising statement by the VMWorld twitter account “@vmworld: VMware is looking at how and when we could host labs in the cloud throughout the year. We have a team investigating options. #vmworld” i really hope this is true as it would be amazing to be able to do all the labs as they are such great resources.

Gregg

Advertisements


2 Comments

All Things VMworld Europe – Day 2

Day two started off early as I decided to not hit the massive parties so that I could get into the labs as they opened at 8am. The Bella centre was empty and I was one of five people in the labs at opening time. I went to the VMware vSphere PowerCLI lab and got a really good foundation of PowerCLI commandlets and it was a great starters lab for a point and click person like myself.

I then made my way around the solutions centre and spoke to Alan Renouf about the lab and all other general things and got a great picture of him at the booth.I then hung out with a number of the top bloggers at the bloggers lounge and got to meet John Arrasjid (@vcdx001),Bas Raayman (@BasRaayman), the vNinja Christian Mohn (@hobbel) ,Steve Bruck (@vColossus) and the Chad Sakac (@sakacc).

Next on my schedule was Kendrick Coleman and David M Davis’ Ten Best Free tools for vSphere. The session was packed but I had made my way in early so ended up being in the second row due to them not allowing you to sit wherever you wanted. The session was brilliant and seemed to go down extremely well with the audience. I would highly recommend you check out Kendricks Top 10 Free vSphere ESX Tools and Utilities posting here and have a try with all the tools as I use a large amount of these tools already and they are brilliant and will make your daily role a lot easier while not costing your department anything.Also go vote for your top ten free tools of 2010 on David’s blog here.I also managed to nab myself a vNerd shirt from David Davis from his employers Trainsignal. Yes it’s sad I really wanted a shirt saying vNerd but I love it 🙂

I then attended the Project Horizon session which was really informative and the concepts covered were really exciting but obviously due to it being in development still the talk wasn’t vastly different from what was covered in the keynote yesterday morning. I’m hoping to get myself some more hands on experience of the product once it is available as the the product does look to be one that is going to become massive with all it’s features and the push of people to be able to do their work through iPads,iPhones and Android devices.

From there I made my way to a VMware vSphere Troubleshooting lab which was highly informative and the best lab I had done yet as it was great to test my own troubleshooting skills and learn a few new ones/perfect them. It was also very refreshing to work on an environment that was broken yet not mine as then the obvious pressure you normally have wasn’t there 🙂 The lab was also a great introduction to the official course being run and I’m looking forward to doing the course and learning all of it.

From here I had to catch up with some office work and then made my to the VMware Party. The party was really impressive with great food, loads of drinks, some crazy performers from circus performers to break dancers and then the bands Bjorn Again (an ABBA tribute band) and MADHEN (the house band). ABBA had broken up before I was even born so I enjoyed playing table football (foosball) against some VMware employees more than the bands but I do have to say the crowd was absolutely loving them and my wife and parents would have been front row of the performance.

Due to my wanting to get into the labs at opening time again I left around half eleven. The second day was really great as I got a good amount of time with fellow bloggers for some knowledge transfer,the sessions to learn the new products and features and the labs to be able to play around and gets some hands on experience of the new products and strengthen my knowledge on technologies I have been using for a while.

Gregg


3 Comments

All Things VMworld Europe – Day 1

 

Well I made it to my first VMworld and have already met a massive number of the people I speak to on twitter and whose blogs I follow at last nights VMUG party. The highlight of the party for me had to be David Davis of train signal fame saying that he really enjoys my All Things Virtual postings 🙂 .

The first real day of VMworld started today with the opening keynote. It took a lot for me to try drag myself out of bed for it but the efficiency of the Danish public transport system meant that I got in really quickly. I got into the keynote fairly early and made my way to the bloggers area but decided to sit on one of the more comfortable chairs beside the bloggers area as all the bloggers area seats had little tables attached which was irritating to me. The keynote then started with the very funny “what is the cloud” video and even though I had seen the video before seeing as it was shown in San Francisco also it is still a great simplistic way of explaining the cloud to people.

The keynote speeches were pretty much exactly the same as the ones from San Francisco so I won’t go over it all again as most people will have either seen or read about the keynotes so if you haven’t watched the keynote I would recommend watching it here . The main announcements that were new for VMworld Europe was the announcement that the vCentre iPad app will be available to download at the end of this month as well as the VMware View 4.5 iPad client. I’m sure not many people need a reason to get an iPad but I’m sure the releasing of these clients will be a number of peoples reasons for buying themselves one in the near future. Another of the big announcements was Project Horizon. The application looks really exciting and is going to be a firm favourite with a lot of people I am certain. I am really looking forward to learning more about the product in the coming weeks and months. Here is an excerpt form the VMware site about the product “Project Horizon: Architecting the Next Generation End-user Computing Model:At VMworld 2010 in San Francisco, VMware will preview a cloud-based management service – codenamed Project Horizon – that will securely extend enterprise identities into the cloud and provide new methods for provisioning and managing applications and data based on the user, not the device or underlying operating system. Project Horizon will establish a user’s “Cloud Identity,” securely extending on-premise directory services between private and public clouds and enabling customers to take advantage of the flexibility and new services in the public cloud while maintaining the security and control from their private clouds. “

After the keynote I made my way to my first session which was VMware vCloud Director Technical Overview which was a highly interesting and informative session especially seeing as I may need to roll it out in the coming months. The big let down as a large amount of people have also stated though is the need for an oracle database for the implementation. There are rumours and don’t hold me to this that in the next realise that there will be support for MsSQL.

Next I went to the VMware View Technical Overview session. This session is one I added as like vCloud Director there is a big push for this kind of technology and so I needed to gain a bit more knowledge of the product as I haven’t had the chance to play around or fully read up on the product. The session was good and covered a fair amount of the features I was hoping to learn. The only downside to the session personally was that the session was finished in half an hour.

Next I made my way to the bloggers lounge where I got to do some serious people spotting of more people whose blogs I read and who I follow on Twitter. The notable ones have to be John Troyer (@jtroyer), Maish Saidel Kessing (@maishsk), Gabrie van Zanten(@gabvirtualworld), Simon Long (@simolong_) and Eric Sloof(@esloof). I also got to chat to John briefly which was really great as last year I watched religiously his videos from VMworld US and now I’m attending a VMworld and chatting to him.

I then made my way around the solutions exchange and watched a couple of the presentations being run all of which were highly interesting and from the amount of questions they got asked seemed to go down very well with the crowd. From here I decided to get some lab time down and went to the lab section and did the vCloud Director Install and Configure lab. I’m really pleased with the amount of information I learnt and how much I was able to see and do. I’m hoping to do quite a few more labs before the week is done.

The day finished off for me with a relaxing free beer with a few free beers with a few Twitter friends and a few pass and present colleagues. I was nicely invited to the Veeam party but opted out as I want to do some labs early tomorrow morning.

Gregg


Leave a comment

All Things Virtual 17

 

As you can imagine the virtual community is still abuzz after all the news of VMworld US. So obviously All Things Virtual 17 is heavily weighted to this news and the additional information coming out after it.

First are number of blogs that are still coming out about VMware vCloud Director, with all the talk of everything moving to the cloud the release of the product has caught the attention of a lot of people. So because of this everyone remotely related to this field for example everyone in virtualisation are now trying to get their knowledge up to scratch on the product in preparation for their boss asking if the product can be deployed,how it all works and when will it be ready in the company. Hany Michael has done an amazing job of listing all the videos related to VCD on his blog here. it is quite staggering how many videos are already out for a product only fully released just over a week ago. Hany is also very well known for his Visio diagrams of any kind of processes in the VMware field (one of the reasons I’m sure that he was snatched up by VMware) and has done a very detailed and brilliant diagram all about The VMware vCloud Director Cell Architecture. Have a look through some of his diagrams and then you’ll understand why he’s well known for them. Aaron Delp has also done a very extensive link directory of all the links for VCD here. I’ve still got a large amount of the links and videos to get through but the lists from both Hany and Aaron are extremely helpful.

Kendick Coleman and David Davis did a session at VMworld all about Free vSphere Tools. I’m looking forward to being able to view the session once it’s published on the VMworld website and if Kendrick can organise a flight and a hotel being able to attend it at VMworld Europe(if you want to sponsor him he’d be more than happy to hear from you via his site). He did a posting all about the session on his website as well as some serious name dropping about the rest of his activities and who he met each day :). If you haven’t seen his free tools page have a look here, it’s got some amazing tools on it. David Davis also did a posting all about a survey he is doing all about the session and how he obviously wants you opinions to help him and hopefully Kendrick better their presentation and know what people like. CompuerWorld have also done a nice posting of Eight great virtual appliances for VMware, free for the downloading.

One of the big open sessions of the week at VMworld was the Storage Super Heavyweight Challenge with Adam Carter from HP, Eric Schott from Dell, Vaughn Stewart from NetApp, and Chad Sakac from EMC. If you ever read or follow either Chad or Vaughn’s blogs you would know there is a very healthy competition and debate between Chad and Vaughn which I feel can only be a good thing as long as there is no FUD throwing. So this was a great way for the general public of VMworld to put questions to the panellists in a controlled manner. Chad blogged about it and put up the video here. As to only be fair and as to not be labelled biased(even though I am referring you to the video in the blog) Vaughn also blogged about it with the same video here. It’s a really interesting video and I feel everyone gave fair and precise answers and hopefully this healthy style of questioning can happen again next year.

As of this morning VMware View 4.5 is now GA. You can download it from the VMware site here. If you are like me and haven’t been able to get your knowledge fully up to scratch on the product then as posted today by Mike Laverick(yes the same one who features in the storage heavyweights video) you can get his VMware View 4.5 Guide – Author’s Edition for a small donation to UNICEF. So get donating and downloading and as Mike says “When the full version is ready you will be welcome to contact me with your proof-of-purchase, and I will send you a private link where you can download the full PDF version at no additional charge”.

Scott Vessey has posted about the exclusive VCAP-DCA exam release date here detailing that the exam will be available from September 13th 2010. I’ve personally started to build up my home lab for my preparations for this exam but looking through the blueprint I think it will only be next year by the time I’m possibly ready to attempt the exam( which is quite exciting as I enjoy having to really push myself to gain knowledge to try pass a certification)

Scott Lowe has posted all the vSphere4.1 links he was planning to use for his latest instalment of Mastering VMware vSphere which was sadly not picked up by the publishers. A great bit of resources if you are planning to write your VCP4 exam soon or if you need to update your knowledge like myself on the new values and features of vSphere 4.1.

If you live in the south east of England like myself or are really keen to travel down to the south east then the announcement of the next London VMware user Group (VMUG) on Thursday the 28th of October will be of interest to you. Already Gabrie van Zanten of GabesVirtualWorld fame will be presenting.

Last is something I’m really proud of which is that all three of my blogs summarising the news from each of the main days of VMworld: All things Vmworld: Day 0, Day 1 and Day 2 all made it onto the main page of the VMworld 2010 Buzz page and was re-tweeted numerous times by a number of the top people in the industry. I know it’s nothing insane but I’m really proud of it especially seeing as I only started blogging properly in January this year. Mine is the third in the list below 🙂 Also the exposure has increased my number of views substantially 🙂

image

Gregg (@greggrobertson5)


1 Comment

All things VMworld: Day 2

As you would expect day 1’s announcements were the biggest ones due to the keynote speeches and it being the first real day of VMworld.But even so there was still some really interesting news coming out yesterday , some additional information about previous announcements and an exclusive video of an iPad application.

  • First just due to it being a really exciting application and another tick on my list of why I feel I need to get my hands on an iPad is the exclusive video of the vSphere Management app for the iPad. I’ve pasted the video below and don’t hold me to this but Duco Jaspars of www.vconsult.nl/ has said he has been told first hand by Srinivas Krishnamurti, (the guy in the video) that the ETA for the iPad vCenter client is VMworld Europe.I really hope he’s right but it does beg the question as many people I follow twitter have commented , when is the client for Macs coming out seeing as they can do one for the iPad. I’m not a Mac fanboy myself so it doesn’t bother me too much but if VMware want to keep all the Fanboy’s happy surely making a client is a good idea?*Update*Eric sloof pointed out that if you look carefully you can see he is using ESX 5.0. .So much for no more ESX after vSphere 4.1?
  • Next is another video from VMworld TV’s YouTube channel interviewing Eddie Dinel, who demonstrated the new vCloud Director product during the Keynote with Steve Herrod all about the announcement on Monday. There is also already a new VMware KB article on How to create External Networks in VMware vCloud Director
  • Next is the video with Steve Herrod VMware’s CTO where he explains all the new acquisitions VMware has made and are planning to make in the future. A very very interesting interview and I always like to hear where companies like VMware see a need to grow and strengthen and what new technologies they are looking at.
  • Next are two videos also from the VMworld TV’s YouTube channel (yes I really am enjoying these videos and it’s a nice rest bite from reading blog after blog) with their review of “day 3 at VMworld” and for those of us who are still puzzled as to why VMware bought Zimbra their VP (Zimbra’s that is) explains what VMware is doing with their products.
  • Next is just a reminder of the link for the keynote speeches happening today at VMworld. For all those geeks and sci-fi fans out there the keynotes are going to be extremely interesting with:
      • Pranav Mistry, a Ph.D. student in the Fluid Interfaces Group, MIT Media Lab “will show us his work on “SixthSense”, a wearable gestural interface that augments the physical world around us, using only hand gestures to interact with information.”
      • Natan Linder, Masters student in the Fluid Interfaces Group at MIT Media Lab, will provide a glimpse into his work that fuses design and engineering to create novel human experiences, such as the reinvention of traditional items, evolved into a new category of robotic, digital information devices.
      • Tan Le, co-founder and president of Emotiv Systems, will engage you with live demonstrations of a new form of remote control that uses brain waves to control digital devices and digital media.
  • Andre Leibovici has posted a very interesting article explaining all about the storage tiering for VMware View 4.5. I’ve added this to my list of VMware view resources to read up on when I get some time to do it 🙂
  • Next is a great summary of all the other announcements and ones I left out of my list seeing as they are described here by John Rath of datacenterknowledge.com from day 3(my day 2) of VMworld.
  • Last is just a geek fact posted on twitter by Duncan Epping of Yellowbricks.com fame which shows the sheer size of the VMworld labs: “112166 VMs deployed at the #vmworld labs, that is more in 3 days than Citrix managed to deploy over the last 3 years.” *I don’t know about the Citrix claim so don’t quote me on it or send me hate mail, I’m just reposting his tweet 🙂 * Also it was great to see my last posting for All Things VMworld:Day 1 getting onto the official VMworld buzz page :). Yes I got the screenshot as my tweet about being on the page was also in the VMworld 2010 on Twitter stream.

image

Gregg


2 Comments

All Things VMworld: Day 1

As you can imagine the first real day of VMworld US has been massive and there has been some really exciting news, some of it unexpected(at least for me) and others not so unexpected (view 4.5)

  • First has to be the keynote speech by VMware Chief Marketing Officer Rick Jackson,Paul Maritz CEO of VMware and Steve Herrod VMware’s CTO. I’ve only managed to watch the keynote once so far(yes i like to watch it a few times to try absorb and understand everything 🙂 ) . I think some of the top bloggers have already done a good job of covering the keynote so instead of me waffling on and giving my take rather watch it yourself right here . The two blog postings I’m making my way through for the covering of the keynote is Scott Lowe’s and Brian Madden’s
  • As I said one of the not so unexpected announcements was the announcement that the latest version of VMware View, version 4.5 is not available. Chris Wolf from Gartner has done a brilliant review of the new version on his blog here.
  • As I mentioned yesterday one of the big announcements was the release of vCloud Director (VCD). Rodney Haywood has done a great posting all about it seeing as he is part of a  major deployment of VCD in Australia and therefore already has a great working knowledge of the product. You can also now download VCD from the VMware website and  as Rodney says “build an internal or public cloud (subject to licensing programs of course)”.
  • Barry Coombs has done a great posting about the Xsigo announcements at VMworld. I’ve only read a few articles on Xsigo myself so it good to learn more from his posting and hear about the new products being launched.
  • Scott Lowe has also done a very good liveblog posting for the View Composer Technical Deep Dive and Best Practices session.From my brief read of the posting it looks like the session was very very interesting and  i plan to read through his posting a few times when I have a moment.
  • As I mentioned yesterday VMworld have created their own channel on YouTube and have posted some more really interesting videos in covering the “2nd day @ VMworld 2010 in San Francisco”,the highly debated question “Tier 1 Apps – Should you run them in virtual machines?” and  a preview if the upcoming “VMware View iPad App with PCoIP support.”
  • Lastly on my list is the three postings by Chad Sakac on:
    • DRS for storage where he shows  and explains how VMware SIOC and EMC Fast allow you to have the DRS you have in your VMware environment now for your storage,
    • His detailing of the VCD product and announcement and how he feels EMC Ionix UIM v2.0 is going to allow a vCloud “in a box”
    • Last is his posting all about the EMC VPLEX and how VMworld attendees “can try VPLEX (it’s in the EMC hands-on-lab on the show floor), and can try it for 90 days” I’m very jealous of this as a number of the vSpecialists I’m friendly with have been working and testing the product and sadly I am yet to have fiddled with it myself. Hopefully i can get some time with it at the VMworld in Europe if they are still doing it, which I would be amazed if they weren’t. Also he mentions the preview of VPLEX Geo – aka vTeleportation and has posted a video of the preview which is really awesome in my opinion (no not because I work for EMC at all, seriously). Have a look at the video on the blog and tell me you aren’t impressed and excited by what it will allow.

Well that’s my list of things that I feel I need to read up on and that have caught my attention.

Gregg


1 Comment

All Things VMworld:Day 0

 

Yes I couldn’t think of a better title so I altered my normal title for this weeks proceedings 🙂 .

Due to there being so much information coming out of VMworld and certainly a large amount more in the coming week I thought it may be helpful for myself and hopefully others to list all the interesting news and views that are coming out of VMworld each day.

  • First has to be the rap video by Chad Sakac’s EMC vSpecialist’s. Christopher Kusek (@cxi) was the first person I noticed who posted on his blog all about how the “vSpecialists get the job done! “. A hilarious video for anyone in the virtualisation field and the quality of it is remarkable. I’ve sadly watched it about ten times already today

  • As I said in my last All Things Virtual, VMworld have their own channel on YouTube and already the  first Daily Wrap of VMworld 2010 is up and a very interesting video posted on their channel is the biggest news of the day about the not so secret news that vSphere 4.1 release is the last release of VMware ESX. As well as a video preview of the VMworld Solutions Exchange
  • Another big announcement is the release of VMware vCloud Director. As to not give wrong information and because I’m only learning about it now myself i won’t attempt to try explain but leave it to the professionals and both Eric Sloof and Duncan Epping have done two brilliant posting all about the release and what the product entails. Duncan’s posting is here and Eric’s here.
  • Next has to be Microsoft’s open letter to customers attending VMworld telling them how Microsoft feels they are more/as capable to provide the best services for people wishing to utilise the cloud in the future. This is a great bit of publicity for VMware in my opinion as it shows how strong Microsoft feels VMware are in the cloud computing arena. The letter is here (*Warning* this is a link that downloads the letter in it’s pdf format). To be fair Microsoft do make a very good point in weighing up the positives and negatives of both sides(as well as other vendors) and it’s great to see they have their own stall at VMworld as everyone wants a fair competition and for the best products to be decided by the users on a level playing ground.
  • Last is the summaries of other VMWorld news by Scott Lowe here,Dan Kusnetzky on ZDNET.com here and a fairly amusing posting by Larry Chiang of “What They Don’t Teach You at Stanford Business School“ fame with his 9 Lies Told at VMworld. Most amusing to me is due to poor layouts of the page it only shows 7 🙂 I purposely left out some things due to them being covered by Scott and Dan as no one likes the same stuff being repeated numerous times.

Well that’s my day 0 of VMworld summary. I’m sure I’ve missed a few things but i think I got all the best and important stuff.

Gregg