TheSaffaGeek

My ramblings about all things technical


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VMware vSphere 5 Released

 

After three days of waiting from the rumoured release date of vSphere 5, VMware have finally released the binaries for the vSphere 5 suite of products. Having been on a few beta’s that incorporated the new vSphere suite of products I’ve been dying to finally get a hold of the GA version so that I could finally start using it. The binaries are available to download now via the VMware download page  as long as you have a valid account to download it with. I’m already downloading all the binaries and really looking forward to trying it all out and utilising all the new features.

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There are a number of documents that have been released for the suite which should provide a substantial amount of reading for all us who are now looking to implement it and know how it all works. The VMware site has all the documents for vSphere5 here and as Simon Seagrave pointed out in his blog posting there are even kindle formats of them now.Also remember to purchase Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman’s new book vSphere 5 Clustering Technical Deepdive

So get downloading and hopefully I’ll be posting a load more resources on the new suite especially with VMworld US happening next week.

Gregg


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All Things Virtual 26

 

As you would expect there has been loads of news about the release of vSphere 5 and all the new features. A large amount of it early on and all over the VMware communities and the vExpert community has been about the vRAM licencing model.

  • Last week Wednesday the rumours that VMware were going to make changes to the licencing model came true. A massive amount of people blogged about it and VMware also posted a blog posting about it. So seeing as they did such a great job of it and to save me repeating what has already been covered, here is the official VMware blog posting about the changes as well as a brilliant posting from fellow vExpert Eric Siebert all about how VMware has a change of heart on licensing. From these two postings I think I’ve finally got my head around the new licencing model and how it will impact my environments.
  • William Lam the master of vMA and ESXCLI posted about the new features and enhancements in vSphere 5 for ESXCLI and some awesome tips and tricks for vMA 5. For my VCAP-DCA study preparations I’ve been forcing myself to try do as much of my daily job via the vMA and it really is an amazing tool and with the tricks William has listed you can do pretty much anything you want in your VMware environment with ease and on mass.
  • Scott Drummonds has written up a really great posting all about what he feels are the Top 10 Reasons to Upgrade to vSphere 5. This is a great list for anyone who needs to explain to their boss on management why they need to upgrade to vSphere 5 apart from the obvious eventual expiration of vSphere 4. There really are some amazing new features and enhancements that are going to make daily tasks so much easier and faster.
  • When you’ve convinced your boss and management that the upgrade to vSphere 5 is well worth their while and you’re planning on using auto deploy to create your ESXi hosts then Paul Richards’ (@eprich) posting all about 3 Design Considerations for Your vSphere 5 Auto Deploy Environment. These are really great tips and things that may seem obvious but are also easily forgotten or missed in your design planning.
  • Eric Sloof has done a brilliant list of all  the videos he has done for vSphere 5 from migrating to vSphere 5 to Storage DRS. Eric’s videos are always really great especially for someone like me who likes to see the actual steps and features before trying them out for myself. Duncan Epping has also done a list of all the vSphere 5 Coverage he has done since the announcement. These two are some of the best in the industry and their blogs are rightfully in the top ten VMware blogs in the world so the articles and videos they have created are some of the best you’ll find out there.
  • For those who are fortunate enough to have been approved to go to VMworld 2011 in Vegas this year or if you’re like me and will be tweeting and blogging about it all from the comfort of your desk then add your twitter handle to the VMworld 2011 Vegas twitter list and the bloggers list . I’ve already added my information and it makes sure your tweets and blog postings about VMworld are shown on the VMworld page and streams to make sure people can find and read your postings easily.
  • If you are going to VMworld for the first time this year then these tips for first time attendees and possibly anyone who hasn’t been for a while will be very helpful. The tips came about from a discussion on the vExpert community from a fellow vExpert asking for tips seeing as he was attending for the first time. Christopher Kusek listed all the responses that were given to Bilal Hashmi into his posting VMworld Tips, Tricks and Prize winning. Bilal also listed them and more in his  VMworld Tips by vExperts (title edited due to my not wanting four billion spam messages)
  • Just a very quick plug that I’ve now created a VCAP5-DCA & DCD Resources page to start listing all the resources that I’ll be using in my preparations once the exams are released. If you know of any materials I haven’t listed on it please leave a comment on the page and I’ll make sure it’s added.
  • Lastly is a posting by Tom Howarth on How to Report an Issue to a VMTN Moderator. This is sometimes a necessary step on the VMware communities due to people either publishing NDA information about new releases or exams. Or the occasional spam message that is unfortunately posted.

Well that’s all the things that have caught my interest in the past few weeks and the things I need to finish reading to try keep up to date. If you want to follow me on twitter my handle is @greggrobertson5.

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


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All Things Virtual 22

 

Yet again I’ve been a bit slack on my posting of an All Things Virtual every fortnight (a personal aim I made for myself) due to a few things namely, any blog site/twitter/nonstandard website being blocked due to heightened security at EMC after the RSA break in, my studying and sitting of the EMC Information Storage Management exam and good old work keeping me busy. Also the increase in my studying for the VCAP-DCA has meant a large portion of my spare time has been allocated to it.

A few of the below articles are a few weeks old but are still very applicable and ones I have been reading with interest and are ones I believe fellow virtualisation professionals will find interest and informative, which is the idea of these All Things Virtual postings.

As I mentioned in my reasons for the delay of this All Things Virtual, I set myself the goal of obtaining my EMC Information Storage Associate accreditation by sitting the EMCISM exam. I won’t go into detail about this as I have already done a posting all about the exam and my preparations and study resources here for anyone thinking of attempting the exam themselves. I will say though that it was something different to learn as I’ve never done a storage course or exam before and it did help me solidify a lot of knowledge I have learnt via work experience.

Early last week the applications for vExpert 2011 were opened and unlike years before VMware have now asked that everyone submit their own applications so VMware can get a better idea of your contributions to the community in 2010. I’m not going to go into depth about the process and criteria as I’ve already done a posting all about it, where you should apply and nominate someone for the award here. Good luck if you are applying.

As I’ve posted a number of times on this blog I try to attend and participate in the London VMware User Group’s whenever they are happening. I haven’t been able to attend the last few due to work commitments unfortunately but the next London VMUG has been announced and so far it looks like I’ll be able to attend. This VMUG is a bit different from the rest as it is aimed at “Your Journey to the Cloud” with live labs and differing tracks for you to do during the day. Chris Dearden of JFVI fame was the first person I noticed to have blogged about it so if you’re interested in attending or learning more then have a read of his London VMUG–May 12th 2011 “Your Journey to the Cloud” blog posting and hopefully I’ll see you there.

As mentioned in my previous All Things Virtual Duncan Epping of Yellow Bricks fame and Frank Denneman have released an HA DRS book. For those of us who are a bit geeky and would rather have a kindle version of it, the Kindle version has now been released and is available for download. Frank has detailed the release of the kindle version on his blog posting here

One of the latest announcements from VMware is the release of VMware Cloud Foundry. I was fortunate enough to attend a fair portion of the VMware Communities Roundtable call where it was announced and detailed but seeing as I have yet to play with it and that talkshoe kept crashing me out of the call, I would recommend watching Eric Sloof’s video on Getting Started with VMware Cloud Foundry just like I will be when I have an opportunity and listen to last weeks VMware Communities Roundtable Podcast.

Another of the fairly recent announcements was the release of VMware vCentre Operations, a tool you can deploy into your VMware environment via a vApp downloadable from the VMware site which is supposedly going to be “Your Future Performance Dashboard” I am yet to have a chance to play with the product but Eric Sloof has yet again done a great posting on the product in his posting vCenter Operations – Your Future Performance Dashboard and Christian Mohn of vNinja.net and most recently vNinja.com fame has done a brilliant posting all about Installing and configuring VMware vCenter Operations

Next is the leak of a number of the VMware vSphere 5 future technologies and features. I saw loads of the tweets about this as it was announced that someone had posted these but due to the location of them, I decided against trying to access the link. Beth Pariseau from SearchServerVirtualization.com was happy enough to access the site and has listed all the features mentioned by the leak and given a description of them on her blog posting here. There are some very exciting features mentioned and I hope a number of them are true as they could really help make my daily job a lot easier and the running of my virtual environments a lot smoother. vSphere 5 is as you should know by now only going to have ESXi as vSphere 4.1 was/is the last release containing ESX. To help with this transition and the learning of all the features of ESXi, VMware have released a free VMware eLearning course and ebook offer. The course is an online one which people can obviously attend in their own time and once you have completed the course and done the quick survey you can obtain the free ebook all about ESXi. I’m planning to try doing the course in the coming weeks and getting myself the free ebook clip_image001

Vladan Seget has posted all about the release of the next version of the vSphere4.1 Hardening guide. As I mentioned in my VMware vSphere: Manage and Design for Security Course Experience posting, a large portion of the course is based around this Security Hardening guide and so this new version with feedback from the community is a must read for anyone looking to do the VCAP exams. I’ve already downloaded my copy. Talking of security Eric Siebert has written a great article on five ways to maximize VMware hypervisor security . A number of them should be obvious to people but as Eric mentions I’m sure a large amount of people have made their environments less secure by making changes to allow them to access their servers more easily and then have forgotten to re-enable those security features. The article is a must read for anyone looking after a VMware environment.

Lastly are two postings asking for the participation of the VMware community. One is from Duncan Epping asking people to fill out a survey all about virtual machine storage and snapshots and the other is a posting by Scott Lowe asking for the communities input in answering a reader’s design question. The survey is really quick and will help VMware better understand people’s needs and the design question should hopefully give those of us with less experience in the designing of VMware environments a better understanding of the things to know and think about in our designs

Gregg