My thoughts on the London VMUG Meeting January 2016

Last week (21st of January) I attended my first ever VMUG meeting in London, I wasn’t sure what to expect, how many people would be there etc. I was also hoping to catch up with a few people I met at VMworld last year.

vmug

There was a big change in the leaders at this event, a changing of the guard so to speak so It felt like a good time to go, a new location and a new change for group. I will say that I was made very welcome, had a great day, caught up with some people and left looking forward to attending another event.

So what were the sessions? There were five sessions through the day, two were general sessions but three you had to choose which one to attend. For me I wasn’t familiar with the sponsors so It was quite interesting to hear about new technology.

Bitdefender Endpoint Security Challenges – Andrei Ionescu, Solutions Architect

bitdefender

The first session was from the Gold sponsor Bitdefender, Andrei took us through the Bitdefender products which provide security at the Physical, Virtual, Cloud and Mobile layers. Their security server integrates with vShield so is agentless another big plus point. Don’t forget that vShield needs a custom install of VMware tools if you don’t already deploy it.

For me as a IT Consultant I see both Backup and Antivirus products as a necessary evil, when they work all is good but when they break, boy it’s never fun. For more information take a look at their Website http://www.bitdefender.co.uk

vSphere Storage 2016 – Paudie O’Riordan

Next up was vSphere Storage 2016 with Paudie O’Riordan @oriorp from Vmware. This was a really a fast deep dive in to Core storage in vSphere 6, There were just lots of new features desigined to make our lives as administrators easier. I wont cover them all here as they are well documented and can be found on the internet but lets just say that these are all reasons to upgrade to vSphere 6 now. Given my company just experienced a vsan failure on ESXi 5.5 its needless to say this option is on the table.

Full VMware Stack Deployment Case Study – Stuart Thompson and Simon Greaves Computer center

Here Stuart @Virtual_Stu and Simon @sigreaves went through a breakdown of a recent infrastructure roll out they did for a customer, using a full set of the latest releases of VMware and highlighting all the major issues that conspired against them including:

  • VCSA it runs on SLES so just works
  • VRA 6.2.3 VRA does not support fips on your windows servers so don’t turn it on in group policy else it will break, and the quote of the day “Manuals are poor blogs brilliant”
  • VROPS – Don’t over commit your Vcpu as its will break.
  • NSX 6.2 Host profiles have a nervous breakdown and if the NSX Firewall fails make sure you have a physical route in to your environment, sounds obvious when you put it like that.
  • SRM 6.1 Keep running the failover script and eventually it will all go over, really who would of thought of that as a solution
  • VRO orchestrator Build a single separate server for editing workflows
  • Certificate replacement hell. Nuff said over that one I think.
  • TLS issues you might want TLS 1.2 but you can’t disable TLS 1.0 and 1.1 as both VRA and vcenter need TLS 1.1 to function correctly

Top 5 Reasons for Using Tegile – Andrew Lawrence, Senior PreSales Consultant

tegile

This session from silver sponsors Tegile was a nice session on the benefits of using Their storage, as I wasn’t familiar with Tegile it was a very beneficial session to me, their Tag line that Andrew drummed in to us is “One flash platform any workload” For more information take a look at their Website http://www.tegile.com/

some of the benefits included:

  • Cost and performance
  • 5x faster than traditional architecture
  • Data reduction without sacrifice performance
  • No additional license costs
  • Full protocol flexibility Fibre Channel, iSCSI, NFS,CIFS, SMB
  • Complete VMware solution integration
  • Multi-tiered storage
  • SED self-encrypting drives
  • Intelligent caching
  • Metadata acceleration
  • All metadata in ssd layer
  • 85% of reads from flash

vROPS ROX – Simon Eady

The final session of the day I chose was from Simon Eady @simoneady from Xtravirt. Simon is a great speaker, and a what this guy dosent know about vROps just isn’t worth knowing. tips including:

  •  Network latency should be less that 200ms
  • Use eager thick provisioned disks for vROps disks
  • Remote collectors are you friend
  • Can be placed in DMZ with just 2 or 3 open ports

Panel Debate – Ask the Experts

vmugpanel.jpg

My first ask the experts debate and I was pleased to see my old colleague Alex Galbraith @alexgalbraith http://www.tekhead.org in action up on the stage, alongside Julian Wood @julian_wood Mike Laverick @Mike_Laverick. The panel took a number of questions from the future of VMware to personal development and what we think we should be studying over the next year.

vBeers – sponsored by 10ZiG

10zig

Then it was off to the pub for a bit more socialising thanks to 10 Zig before I headed back to Waterloo for the train home.

So In summary I will say that I had a great time, met some old friends and made some new ones, and I am already looking forward to the next event which I belive is Thursday the 14th of April 2016.

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