TheSaffaGeek

My ramblings about all things technical


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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 1

 

Day 1 started early for me as I wanted to get in early and make sure I got a full day out. So I arrived at the Bella Centre at 7:45 and got myself onto a hands on lab as it opened.

The lab I took was Deploying ESXi hosts via auto deploy (not the official name but it’s close). The lab was really informative and I would highly recommend it as it gives you a great overview of how the whole auto deploy feature with vSphere 5 works and all the things you will need to do in your own environment to enable this feature. The lab also gave me a whole load of things to think about and start preparing to allow me implement auto deploy in my own environments.

After the lab I made my way to the bloggers lounge to start writing up my All Things VMworld Day 0 posting and also chat to some of the vExpert bloggers. There’s nothing like sitting at the same table as Mike Laverick,Scott Lowe and Jason Boche to name but three and as I’ve said before, this for me is one of the biggest features of VMworld.

After posting up my blog posting and having talked shop with a number of the fellow bloggers I made my way to my first session of the day "#CIM2363 Building an Enterprise Hybrid Cloud for Dummies: 10 Steps (or Less)" the session was good but obviously when they said for dummies they weren’t kidding as it was the real basics of vCloud director and what it’s all made up of. If you have never used vCloud Director and want to get a great overview of all the necessary components then I would highly recommend the session.

Then it was lunch where I spotted the MonsterVM character wandering around and sat and chatted with the PowerCLI guru’s of Alan Renouf, Luc Dekens and Jonathan Medd over lunch. I then wandered back to the bloggers lounge and chatted to a few fellow bloggers about each of the sessions we’ve all been to and what we thought of them. I then went to Alan and Luc’s session "VMware vSphere PowerCLI Best Practices" The session was really good and the guys gave some really great tips on things to look out for and best practices. I hope they’ll upload their slidedeck as they had so many best practices (42 in total) that they couldn’t cover them all.

Next was the General session keynote by Stephen Herrod. The keynote was largely a repeat of the VMworld US one with even the same jokes being said. After about an hour and half of the keynote the first new announcement was announced with it being vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.0. Fellow vExpert and London based Saffa Julian Wood has done a really great posting about the suite and what it does here. The next announcement was vFabric Application Management Suite. As I’ve yet to play with it thereby be able to give you a good description of all it’s features etc. the best resource I’ve found is the VMworld TV video all about it

The last announcement of the day was the VMware IT Business Management Suite. So far there doesn’t seem to be a large amount of information out about it apart from the VMware product page about it here. All three suites look amazing and it looks like VMware is definitely aiming to take some of the management market away from people such as vKernel and Xangati to name but two. One of the topics that was covered again like Vegas was Horizon Mobile and it looks like the deals are already growing as VMware have now signed deals with Verizon in the US and Telefonica in Europe to give their users the ability to have Horizon Mobile on their phones.

After the keynote was the welcoming party with drinks and some snacks  in the Solutions Exchange to allow everyone to speak to the exhibitors. I spoke to a few exhibitors but the two that had some interesting products which I may try out in my lab are vKernel’s vOperations Suite and Embotics’ V-Commander tool which I’m hoping will be helpful for creating baselines and understanding how things were provisioned and if I can claw back some resources in certain areas.

I was then fortunate enough to attend the VMware vExpert 2011 meeting and meet loads of the European based (and a few Americans and Australians who also flew over) vExperts and talk about all the announcements and how we saw the market going and what it will mean for our roles. We then all made our ways to our respective parties and that was the end of Day 1 at 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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All Things Virtual 24

 

Just a very quick All Things Virtual as I haven’t been able to read as many blogs as I had wanted due to work commitments and the studying for my VCAP-DCA taking up a large portion of my time.

 

First is the delay to the vExpert results. The results were said to be released on the 6th of May yet were delayed by two weeks and then last week the guys from the vSoup podcasts spoke to John Troyer at the Boston Gestalt IT Tech Field Day and he explained that due to a number of the VMware employees who were selected to give their opinions on the candidates still not having replied it has been delayed for another two weeks (John said two weeks last week Friday but I have a feeling it will need another week above that). It is a shame this has been delayed so much and is a let down for the people who give so much of their spare time to the VMware community, for VMware to then take an extra month and a half to give the results of the vExpert nominations. John did however promise they would be out before VMworld Smile

Talking of VMworld the Session catalogues for VMworld US and VMworld Europe have been posted. There’s a number of very exciting sessions happening and it’s great to personally see so many people I know form the London VMUG and via twitter whose sessions have made it after the public voting. If you’ve never heard of VMworld or have never been before I blogged about each of the days happenings when i went to my first one last year if you’re interested in getting any idea of what an average day at the conference is like All Things VMworld Day 1, Day 2 and Day 3.

The next London VMware User Group has been announced for the 14th of July. Unfortunately I will be away on holiday over this time but as I’ve stated many times in a number of blog postings on this blog the VMUG’s are an awesome day out and the amount you learn from the sessions and from fellow attendees is well worth your time. I was able to attend the last one on the 12th of May and wrote up a blog posting about the day if you want to get an idea of what happens during the day. If you are likely to be around the London area on the 14th of July I would highly recommend registering on the VMUG site and attending.

I’ve been trying to fill my slightly ADHD mind with all things VMware in preparation for my sitting of the VCAP-DCA exam and as mentioned in my VCAP-DCA and DCD Resources Page I’m a massive admirer of David Davis’s Trainsignal videos as they allow me to spend as long or short on each topic as I want and allow me to watch them via my iPad or laptop whenever i have a chance. David has recently released his VMware vSphere Performance Monitoring Training. I’ve only briskly looked at the video’s in the set as I’m trying to complete his VMware vSphere Troubleshooting Training set of videos first before starting the new ones but the videos look as amazing as ever and as sad as it is I’m actually excited to watch them. If you haven’t used David’s videos before I would HIGHLY recommend them especially if you are looking to do your VCP4 or your VCAP-DCA

Gregg


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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


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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


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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