VMworld Barcelona 2017 Day 3

I am challenging

Day 3 in previous years has the second keynote hosted again by Pat Gelsinger and I was all set to get to my seat when the keynote was over shadowed by the awesome announcement from the OpenTechCast team. They had missed the party last night to spend the night editing a special interview with no other than Pat Gelsinger.

I downloaded it and listened to it on the way over to the Gran Via and I have to say it’s a great interview in which Pat talks openly and honestly about his family, his life, and career and what it means to be the CEO of VMware.

There was lots of congratulating of Alex Galbraith, Amit Panchal, Kev Johnson and Ather Beg at the bloggers area on how they had not only secured the interview but kept it secret, Pretty soon it  went viral on twitter. I can only recommend you listen to this and sign up to the rest of the podcasts.

So I kind of missed the big keynote and ended up having to watch it in the bloggers area on the big screen. It started with a QA session with Pat Gelsinger, Sanjay Poonen and Ray O’Farrell and then went on to demo a number of the new announcements in more detail.

Then my day became crazy with sessions, book signings, prize gatherings and then more sessions.

What’s Next for vSphere? [SER3154SE]

VMware Cloud on AWS: A Technical Deep Dive [LHC2384BE] hosted by Frank Denneman and Ray Budavari.

There was just enough time to dash off to the Rubik Stand where Frank and Niels Hagoort were signing their new book “Host Resources Deep Dive” that is taking the community by storm. A big Thanks to Rubik for printing 1000 copies as well. If you haven’t got a copy then pop over to your local book store and get it now.

Then it was time for the Cloudcred Hands on Labs prize giving and I had been hitting the labs quite hard having completed all the badges. I was lucky enough to Win DevOps labs badge prize of a Roku 4K Streaming Device. It was also great to meet the other winners Gilad Brown and my fellow london VMUG member Amit Panchal was also a winner.

HOL expert badgeHOL overall badgeHOL DEVopsHOL home badge

For the final session of the day and in a packed room it was time for vSphere 6.5 Host Resources Deep Dive: Part 2 [SER1872BE] again with Frank and Neils. This was a fantastic insight to the brains behind the book and whilst I can admit to not understanding all the content, the more you read the book and watch the presentations it does start to sink in.

Then it was time for a well-earned rest and the VMworld europe customer appreciation party 2017 which this year featured the Kaiser Chiefs who put on a fantastic concert. Thanks again to VMware for a great night.

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VMworld Barcelona 2017 Day 2

Iam creating the future

Day 2 started as always with the ‘Big Keynote’, I was lucky enough to be seated on the front row (thanks to my bloggers pass) and was able to see all the action close up.

The keynote started with Jean-Pierre Brulard welcoming everyone to VMworld2017 and then he handed over to Pat Gelsinger who presented the main address.

There were less ‘Big’ announcements at this VMworld, more a few smaller ones:

VMWare HCX

  • VMware HCX Technologies which delivers secure hybrid cloud for seamless app mobility between vSphere versions, on-premises or in the cloud. For more information see here.

vmware dell ibm

  • A partnership between VMware, IBM and Dell in the Cloud space. Whilst VMware and IBM have collaborated before it was odd knowing that Dell were prepared to work with IBM at such a level but the truth will out as they say.

vmware cloud verified1

  • VMware Cloud Verified starts with 5 companies but will be sure to grow. The first 5 companies are CenturyLink, Fujitsu, IBM Cloud, OVH, and Rackspace and I’m sure this will drive business their way but it won’t be long before more cloud partners come forward to become VMware Cloud Verified. For more information see here.

Then the coolest demo ever done at a VMworld keynote happened! I know it was cool as after the keynote everyone in the VMTN Blogging area was talking about it. Alan Renouf (Senior Product Line Manager and one of the architects of the Hackathon) came on and proceeded to get Pat to manage a Virtual datacentre using a Virtual Reality headset. He picked up a virtual machine and by dropping it in to a trash can simply deleted it. Then for the finale took a VM and VMotioned it to an AWS cloud simply by throwing it. The software is available as an open source git hub download and was unbelievably written in just a day and a half.

But don’t take my word for it you can watch the video below, the VR demo is at 48:00 minutes  and if you watch nothing else watch this and be blown away.

Then it was time to hit my sessions for the day including:

Monster VMs (Database Virtualization) with vSphere 6.5: Doing IT Right (VIRT1309BE) with Michael Corey and David Klee. This is a great session if you use Oracle or SQL servers and I would recommend that you watch the recording if you do. It’s available as one of the top sessions from the event here

This was followed by another HOL and some networking before it was time to get off to the evening’s entertainment at the Vexpert party.

VMworld Barcelona 2017 Day 1

Iamachanger

Monday is traditionally ‘partner day’, where the partner organisations get special sessions on sales or technical subjects. The Solutions Exchange is not open so some people believe it is a slow day, but from my point of view it was far from it. I have heard that some people don’t turn up on day 1 which I believe is a waste of the valuable resource that is VMworld.

I set out early to catch up with friends, colleagues and bloggers in the VMTN Community area. Of course CloudCred features high on my list of things to do today so I paid Noell Grier (the CloudCred Admin) a visit on the stand. I also got to meet a couple of my CloudCred and VMUG friends Lino Telera, Andrea Mauro and Noell Grier

day1 cloudcred

Lino Telera, Noell Grier, Andrea Mauro and me.

It was then time to start the Expert led Hands-On Labs (HOL) that I had booked. VMworld run HOLs all the time but the Expert lead ones are something special, a combination of a clasroom like enviroment, with the guys who wrote the HOL leading you through it. I started with the VMware NSX – Getting Started Workshop and then vRealize Automation 7 – Getting Started Workshop.

I think it’s important to spend time looking at technologies that you don’t use but are curious about and VMworld is the ideal environment to do that.

After that It was time for a bit more networking in the VMTN lounge, I was keen to meet up with Elsa Mayer who is VMware’s new Blog Manager who is launching a number of Blogger programs here at VMWorld.

I finished the day off with a self-passed HOL on Horizon to keep my place on the Cloudcred leader board only 5th must try harder!

ccleaderboard day 1

I was lucky enough to get an invite to the VMUG Member party and spent the evening with colleagues from the London VMUG and was able to meet Brad Tompkins (VMUG CEO) and Lori Donaldson (Marketing Director)

VMworld 2017 Stardate -1

Well here I am at my 3rd VMworld in Barcelona, and I’m thrilled to say that I’m here this year as one of the official VExpert Bloggers. It must be true as it says it here on my badge.

badge

So I arrived early yesterday to take advantage of a few days in the sun only to find that it was raining!

rainingbarcelona

But today was more of a typical Barcelona day so we decided to spend the time at the beach, after all it was a lovely day.

Beach small

There are two highlights for coming to VMworld on the Sunday; one is registration and the other is the vRockstar Party, unfortunately demand for the tickets is unbelievable and I was unable to get a ticket this year.

The main highlight for me was getting my badge and of course this years rucksack, so what’s in the rucksack you ask? Well there are no surprises, it’s the rucksack, the water bottle (sponsored by Hewlett Packard which is different) and the customary tee-shirt and notebook. Don’t forget that if you go to the Info desk at the front right of the registration area you can get your badge scanned for a free T10 metro and bus pass.

Tomorrow is the first day and is traditionally the partner day so as I not a partner I’m looking forward to a serious amount of time in the VMvillage, attending some hands on labs, and networking at the VMTN and Blogging areas. It goes without saying that I will be hitting the Cloudcred challenges quite hard tomorrow as well and catching up with Noell Grier the Cloudcred admin.

Arcserve UDP Technical Bootcamp

Arcserve logo

I was pleasantly surprised a few weeks ago when I received an email inviting me to attend an Arcserve UDP Technical Bootcamp. What words appeal to a techie more than the words ‘Technical Bootcamp’ coupled with ‘free’. I don’t use Arcserve right now so you’re probably thinking why go? But if one wants to learn about different products that are out there and develop one’s knowledge you need to be prepared to put some personal effort in, so I decided that I should attend to see what it was all about.

Arcserve offer three locations for the bootcamp; London, Harrogate and Motherwell, so I chose London as it’s the closest. They use a room at Arrow by Canon Street and I found the venue to be very nice having never been there before, but I have had some pretty dodgy training facilities in the past.

We were shown to a room where we met our host for the day, Carl Green – Principal Consultant, Technical Sales. Carl has worked with Arcserve for over 20 years since it was purchased by CA so he is very experienced in the product which came across throughout the day.

The day was laid out with the morning dedicated to a deep dive presentation, quick demos and Carl spent quite a lot of time at the white board where things got explained in more detail. The afternoon was then spent doing a hands on lab (al la VMware style)

They keep the attendees down to 12 per session and there was a mix of about 50-50 of End-users and resellers which I think worked quite well.

Arcserve Unified Data Protection (UDP) has been around now since 2014 and is their product of choice if you want to backup to disk, let’s face it who doesn’t nowadays. There are a number of different versions and you can either spin up your own virtual appliance (great for a trial) or go down the physical appliance route.

We covered a great deal of information in the morning session covering a number of topics including:

  • Arcserve deduplication efficiency
  • Arcserve UDP architecture and the recovery point server
  • How dedupe and infinite incremental backups work
  • The effect of Block level backups and block sizes
  • VMware and Hyper-V imaged based backup to disk
  • Instant Virtual Machine and bare metal recovery
  • How to upgrade to UDP 6.5
  • The ports needed for Arcserve to work
  • Arcserve Appliances
  • Arcserve Cloud

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I won’t go through all these points, if you want to know more than you can book yourself on a Bootcamp, but I thought I would mention a few cool features that I wasn’t aware of.

  • Source based deduplication (dedupe). Apparently some other products that dedupe do it at the target but doing it at source keeps the data off the Wan therefore making it faster, Carl was able to demonstrate some impressive statistics and they believe that with a typical retention period of 30 days most people can get about 80% dedupe which is then additionally compressed. Carl was able to quote examples of up to 96% dedupe which coupled with compression makes for overall data reductions of 97%.
  • Deduplication and block size. Carl then spent several minutes explaining the affect of different block sizes against dedupe which should be obvious but you can’t change a disk block size on the fly so you really need to give it some thought. The default is 16K which Arcserve believe is a good point to start. Smaller and you will need more space for the database.
  • Instant Virtual Machines. This was a feature I wasn’t aware of in that you can effectively instantly spin up a virtual machine from backup. The virtual disk is created and you can literally start working on the server whilst the data is being restored in to the virtual disk. What’s more you can use Arcserve to backup from one hypervisor and restore to another (we covered this exact scenario in a lab in the afternoon).

The Labs were run on a web platform from Skytap, so you need to take your own laptop and I found them to be very responsive indeed. We spent about two hours running through:

  • Lab 1: Add a VMware server and backup the virtual machines running on it
  • Lab 2: Add a recovery point server and replicate the backups to it
  • Lab 3: Create a Virtual Standby of a server
  • Lab 4: Create an Instant VM of a node from VMware to Hyper-V

The next day I was pleasantly surprised when I received an email informing me that on completion of the bootcamp I had been awarded the accreditation of Arcserve Associate.

Accred_arcserve_TechnicalSalesAssoc_2017

So as you will see we achieved a lot in one day and I can honestly recommend it, especially if you’re thinking of changing your backup product, and if Arcserve is on the shortlist you have a great way to see how easy it is to use Arcserve UDP.

If you want to test out the product for yourself you can sign up for a 30 day trial of Arcserve UDP 6.5 here.

VMware Community Podcasts every Wednesday

vm community podcast

Over the last couple of months I’ve started to listen to the VMware Community Podcasts. These are every Wednesday at 12:00pm Pacific time, which currently equates to 8pm BST here in the UK (7pm in GMT). Latest topics have included vROps 6.6, vSan 6.6, code exchange and vRA 7.3. The Podcast is hosted by Eric Nielsen, one of the nicest guys I’ve had the pleasure of meeting at the last couple of VMworld’s, and he is so instrumental in all community activities from the podcast to VMTN, Cloudcred and the vExpert program.

The VMware Community Podcasts have been running for nine years now which I think is a major achievement if you think where we were with this kind of technology nine years ago!

Initially I was introduced to the VMware Community Podcasts through my addiction to Cloudcred,  but lately I have noticed a change in my behaviour, I’m becoming more interested in the podcast and finding out the next subject content and I find myself looking forward to Wednesday nights.

How to Listen

The podcast is hosted on TalkShoe and to listen to the podcast its quite straightforward. Just click the logo below and then click the link to listen live or to the last recording. Alternatively if you want to download it and listen to it say in the car there are 407 past editions to download and listen to at the same location.

Talkshoe

How to take part

Using the web client there is an interface to listen and a chat window where you can ask questions and Eric is always looking for questions for the guests, but I was intrigued how I could dial in. talkshoe

TalkShoe has a phone dial in but I think the phone charges would be prohibitive. It also has a VOIP dial in which sounded like a low cost option, but I struggled to find a way to dial in for free. TalkShoe has a classic client and the ShoePhone which I assumed was the way to go but I found it unstable. So I reached out to TalkShoe and joined a live support session and they suggested I use the X-Lite client. This allows you to dial in for free from the UK.

There is an excellent link on their website “Use X-Lite to Call Into TalkShoe on a Windows PC” https://support.talkshoe.com/customer/en/portal/articles/2596427-use-x-lite-to-call-into-talkshoe-on-a-windows-pc?b_id=14206

XLite

So if you’re interested in all things VMware why not take a listen, and if you want the opportunity to ask some of the top VMware people some questions then why not dial in on a Wednesday night, after all its all about the community.