VMworld 2016 Day 3

Well day 3 started like day 2 with a keynote from Sanjay Poonen on the digital transformation of mobility. Workspace One and AirWatch naturally feature quite strongly in this strategy, as a user of both Horizon and AirWatch I am quite excited about how these two worlds join together. Sanjay’s key points were:

  • He repeated the demo of Workspace One, the Boxer mobile email client and Content locker that I have seen before but I have to say Boxer is a great mobile client.
  • He also went on to demo a technology preview of Microsoft Skype for Business optimised for Horizon.
  • We are seeing a key difference in how we manage the mobile device previously it was all about the device but now it’s about the user.
  • He then showed a really cool demo of conditional access on an iPad and Airwatch using nsx to disable access and enable access to applications simply with a click.

Then there were a couple of extra speakers in the form of:

  • Ray O’Farrell who gave a closer look at the new features in ESXi 6.5 including the new HTML5 vSphere Client.
  • Yanbing Li, who went through the latest features of vSAN 6.5, the 5th version of vSAN.
  • Kit Colbert, who gave us an exciting look at developments with VMware Photon Platform.

I won’t go through all the details but you can find the Keynote below if you want to watch it and hear all the news.

After that I had a couple of sessions to go to:

Monster VMs (Database Virtualization) Doing IT Right with Michael Corey and David Klee.

This was a very fast technical session and if you are running any databases on VMware I would recommend that you watch the session online as they covered a number of gotcha’s some as simple as checking your bios settings.

Virtualize Active Directory, the Right Way! With Deji Akomolafe and Matt Liebowitz

I missed this session last year so I was determined to see it this year, again this was a great session that I would urge any Active Directory admin who is either Running AD on Virtual machines or has been put off doing so to watch.

I then managed to catch a #Brownbag sessions from Chris Bradshaw from the London VMUG Chris Bradshaw  “The Amazing World of IT in Higher Education”

This was a really interesting look in to Chris’s world I had no idea how challenging IT was for him and other university administrators. You can catch the Video online below

After that I headed to the hang space, managed to complete a VMware expert led lab on VMware vCloud Air – Jump Start for vSphere Admins which gave me some more points for the Cloudcred challenge. In fact I was sat in the Lab when the announcement came out that I had won the Cloudcred Overall badge prize of the VMware EDU Training Class Voucher. I was especially thrilled to win as it was the prize that everyone wanted to win. Congratulations to the other winners Gareth Edwards for Winning the GoPro that I know he wanted, and Andy Hardy for winning the Bose Bluetooth speaker.


I’m off to my second VMworld in Barcelona

vmworld 2016.PNG

Well it’s now just four days to VMworld 2016 in Barcelona, I won a ticket last year and had a great time and was hoping to go again this year. I had literally got to the point when I thought I wasn’t going to go and then a ticket came my way, so I must thank my VMware UK account team.

As it’s my second time I have some experience to draw upon and as it’s my first as a Vexpert I’m now really looking forward to some serious networking with colleagues and peers, both new and old.

So as with all things, to get the most out of the experience you need to get planning. So my plan started like this:

  • Book the VMworld Event.
  • Book your flights (the cost only go up).
  • Book your accommodation. I like to get mine closer to the Fira, some like to be in the centre of town.
  • Plan how you’re going to get to your departing airport, I’m driving to Birmingham so I’ve booked some discount parking online.
  • Plan how you’re going to get out of Barcelona airport. Last time I arrived earlier and booked a taxi to collect me, this year I’m arriving later and going to use the free VMworld airport shuttle bus to take me to the Fira so I can register and then get to my accommodation. I also have a backup plan of the L9 Sud Metro to the newly opened Fira metro station.
  • Book your Sessions. Using the web site or App book your sessions early to avoid disappointment, I was rather late this year and several had already become full.
  • Find my passport and European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) although not sure how useful this will be post Brexit!
  • Euros. OMG almost forgot to get some Euros, the exchange rate is terrible at the moment almost 1:1, thank god I’m near a post office.

So Sessions

I must admit that I find it quite daunting to be presented with a list of 542 sessions, knowing that you can only attend around a dozen or so and to be honest that’s pushing it. But I managed to get a place on several sessions I wanted to, including the following:

Monster VMs (Database Virtualization) Doing IT Right [VIRT8290] by Michael Corey. This was one of the top sessions in the US so I decided it was worth seeing in person.

Databases by their very nature are Monster VMs. If Monster VMs are not virtualized properly, they will never perform well and can negatively impact the performance of other VMs on the hosts. In this presentation, we teach you how to properly virtualize Monster VM Databases. We will discuss why you virtualize, installation issues, how to architect for performance, the storage layer, the processor, memory considerations, and the network layer. Topics include NUMA, memory reservations, and how to avoid common mistakes. Lesson learned here help you optimize any workload you are virtualizing, with special emphasis on Monster VMs.

VMware Chief Technology Officer Panel – Trends and Futures [CTO9943] Managed to get a place on this as one of the presenters is Joe Baguley and I hear he is a pretty good speaker.

The role of the Chief Technology Officer is to understand broad technology and business trends, to have deep knowledge of specific technical areas, and through communication, influence and drive the technology direction of specific products, the company and the industry at large. In this panel session the audience will get an opportunity to hear some of the thoughts and opinions, as well as ask questions of VMware’s technology leadership.

vSphere 6.x Host Resource Deep Dive [INF8430] presented by Frank Denneman, Senior Staff Architect, VMware need I say more.

Today’s focus is on upper levels/overlays (Software-Defined Data Center stack, VMware NSX, and cloud), but proper host design and management still remains the foundation of success. With the introduction of these new “overlay” services, we are presented with a new consumer of host resources. Ironically, it’s the attention to these abstraction layers that returns us to focusing on individual host components. Correct selection and configuration of these physical components lead to creating a stable high-performing platform, which lays the foundation for the higher services and increased consolidating ratios. This talk goes into details of physical host resource components, such as CPU (NUMA), memory configuration, and next-gen storage components. It also zooms in on how virtual networking and storage services influence virtual machine configuration and physical host design. Info provided in this talk allows you to get better grips on sizing your virtual data center for today’s high-demand workloads, network overlays, and next-gen storage services.


I will also be taking part in CloudCred and the special competitions so look for me on the leaderboards, hopefully I will be near the top. I’m sure I will be found near the CloudCred stand with Noell Grier @CloudCredGeek at some point most days so come and say “Hi”.

Don’t forget meeting me qualifies you for 100 points!

  • Task 907: Meet a fellow CloudCred Member at VMworld 2016.
  • Task 274: Get a photo with a vExpert.

My Top Tip

I’m sure you have read several of these: wear good comfortable shoes is a common one I can agree with but my tip is make sure you have a jumper or fleece. Yes Barcelona is hot, but the Fira has some fierce air conditioning to help cope with the heat and sometimes it can be positively cold if you’re not in a packed place.

And Finally

Don’t take my word for it, if you need more reasons to go then take a look at this one minute video (you may get a surprise).

CloudCred and what’s next + VMworld 2016


Just over three weeks ago I hit the Maximum score in CloudCred or more correctly the Maximum level 15 and 20000 points. So this means in the 16 months or so since I joined I’ve amassed the total of 300,000 points. As far as I can tell there is just one other player at this level Ravi Venkatasubbaiah @ravi_venk

So what next?

Well the good news is that I’ve been speaking to Noell Grier @CloudCredGeek  at CloudCred HQ and she tells me that there is a new set of upgrades coming soon, in fact it may be here before VMworld. This release is going to include:

  • Extra levels apparently there maybe 30 levels now so that’s good news for me and Ravi at least for the next year or so!
  • Bug fixes including the dysfunctional leaderboard.
  • Hopefully many more fixes and improvements.

Now I’ve been emailing  Noell for a bit and have mentioned a few irksome things from time to time, so I’m personally hoping for a little more speed as it’s not the fastest site out there.


One of the other things I’ve mentioned is the rewards and how they have changed since I started playing, back then there was at least one reward or more for each level and currently that’s not always the case. I have also thought that for higher level rewards some sort of higher level of reward could be offered such as training credits. Well my dreams have come true, at least if you’re lucky enough to be attending VMworld in Vegas. Noell has just blown the budget sky high and there are new badges, new worlds and chances to win big. The prizes include:

  •  Moscow Mule Sets
  • GoPro Hero 4 Camera
  • A Roku 4K Streaming Device
  • Dre Powerbeats2 Wireless In-Ear Headphones
  • BOSE Soundlink Bluetooth Speaker
  • Fitbit FLEX
  • VMware EDU Training Class Voucher (Yes a Free Course!)

clouccred VMworld Rewards

So whether you have joined CloudCred before or not I would urge you to get to the CloudCred stand say Hi to Noell and sign up and take part, as they say in the lottery you have to be in it to win it!

For more information on Joining CloudCred and getting your head around the prizes go to https://www.cloudcredibility.com

Top vBlog Thanks for Voting


I would just like to say a big thank you to all of those people who took a few seconds out of their day to vote for my blog in the recent Top 100 vBlog nominations. Last week I was stunned to find out that I had made 92 on the list!

I only put myself forward hoping to get a few extra hits and followers I didn’t believe that my personal blog about Cloudcred, certifications and event reviews would every receive that many votes.vblogresults

I will say now I have no idea who the 47 people were who voted for me, no one told me if they did, but there may be one or two cloudcred players who took advantage of task 3297: “Vote! Top vBlog for 2016” and voted for me so again a big thanks to all of you.


To see the full list of bloggers and their pages check out the results here and again a big thanks to Eric Siebert @ericsiebert of vSphere Land for organising the Top vBlog and the sponsors VM Turbo.


CloudCred and the vForum

VMware have announced the vForum which is next week on Tuesday April the 19th so what is the vForum all about I hear you cry?

Well it’s a half-day online virtual conference, there will be a keynote like any conference including Pat Gelsinger on “5 CIO Priorities to Drive Digital Business” Then you can explore new VMware solutions and engage with experts in technical chat sessions:

  •  Test-drive a variety of VMware solutions with 8 hands-on labs (HOL)
  • Attend up to 15 breakout sessions, including the software-defined data center, end-user computing, and the hybrid cloud
  • See how VMware NSX unifies platforms across clouds for a new level of virtualization
  • View unique product demos led by VMware system engineers
  • Get unlimited access to eBooks, tech tips, and other product-related resources
  • Win a variety of awesome prizes!

Re the HOL there is a new one being launched at the vforum “What’s New in vRealize Automation 7 HOL-SDC-1633 Hands-On Lab for more information see here.

Obviously being online it running 9am to 2pm PST so here in the UK that equates to 5pm to 10pm . That’s either a blessing or a curse depending on how you feel about working late, I’m at least going to need to get home from work at some point.

But even if you can’t make all 5 hours it’s well worth taking a look, but you need to at least register so I recommend you do that sooner than later here

vforum and cloudcred 2016

Cloudcred has a new badge for the vForum with a load of new tasks on the day, and there is a chance to get ahead of the game by completing some pre event tasks these are:

  • Task 3230: vForum Online – Register your Interest (100 points)
  • Task 3229: Register for the April 19 VMware vForum Online (200 points)
  • Task 3228: Invite a friend to join the VMware vForum Online (3 x 50 points)
  • Task 3227: vForum Online, April 19 – Spread the Word (5 x 25 points)
  • Task 3226: vForum Online – Blog about the event (100 points)

So that’s a total of 575 points for a badge that need 1500 points so get playing now. As a bonus each successful completed vForum Online CloudCred task will earn an entry into the prize drawing for an Amazon Fire TV, a Bose Soundlink Colour Bluetooth Speaker, and a Fitbit Charge.

Or you can just not bother and let me win the Amazon Fire TV box.

Review of the last year!

I Thought I should do a review of my last year, now I know most of you reading this will think why now April the 6th it’s not the typical time to review your last 12 months but let me explain.

It was this time last year when I was browsing around the VMware community looking for any study resources for the VCA in NSX when I stumbled on to Cloudcred I joined on April the 6th and from then on I’m almost a daily visitor. So a year on to the day what’s happen to me to warrant a review of the year.

  •  Cloudcred: Well in terms of Cloudcred I’ve now reached level 13 so that currently 240,000 points and achieved 24 badges. My highest personal ranking has been 8th in the world. I created a team the same day I joined and that team has now 29672 points and is currently ranked 13th in the world out of 1945 teams. ccstats1ccstats
  • Blog: Cloudcred ignited my interest in VMware and it wasn’t long before it got me going in the Community, by July I had discovered WordPress and created this Blog and despite having only 18 posts my best hits have been on my post on the Stanly University distance learning VCP course. That has received almost 200 hits in one day and has currently over 500 hits in the 3 months since I posted it. I know these wont set any records but it’s not bad for a Trainee blogger in my first 9 months.
  • Twitter : Since some Cloudcred tasks requires the use of social media and especially Twitter I’ve now posted almost 500 tweets and have 200 followers.
  • VMworld: I won a ticket to VMworld via the EVO: RAIL Challenge and went to VMworld Europe 2015 in Barcelona.
  • AirWatch Connect: My Company sent me to the AirWatch Connect 2 day Conference in London.
  • VMUG: I’ve joined VMUG attended my First London VMUG and am about to attend my second meeting.
  • VMW-ICM5.5 I Completed the Stanly University online distance learning course, VMware 5.5 Install, Config and Manage course. This makes me now eligible to take my 5.5 VCP.
  • vEXPERT: The biggest highlight of all was being awarded vExpert status for my years hard work.
  • Exams: I’ve passed several exams this year.
    • VMware Certified Associate 6 – (VCA6-DCV)
    • VMware Certified Associate – Network Virtualization (VCA-NV)
    • VMware Certified Associate 6 – Network Virtualization (VCA6-NV)
    • AirWatch Enterprise Mobility Associate
    • AirWatch Enterprise Mobility Professional
    • Nutanix Platform Professional (NPP)
  • SWAG: well we all like a bit of free Swag don’t we and after a year like above there was plenty of swag and prizes up for grabs.

My wining’s included an IPAD, a drone and ticket to VMware as well as plenty of vendor swag.

So what are my plans for the next 12 months?

  • VCP: Well I need to get studying for my VCP 5.5 or 6
  • VCA: There are three more VCA6 I want to complete the set (4 x VCA5 and 5 x VCA6)
  • Cloudcred: well I want to complete more levels and there are still 11 more badges to earn. I also want to compile some questions for Cloudcred. Having recently merged my team with the LonVMUG team I’m keen to get the team up to single figures and who knows we might even make top 3 in another year or so.

So as you can see it’s been a busy year and who knows what another year will bring, hopefully I can be active enough in the community by blogging, tweeting and attending events to carry on my vExpert status through another year.

vExpert 2016 Award Announcement


Well today is a big day for me, I’ve just become a vExpert, and I’m thrilled and honoured to be on the list. This is a big career achievement for me and ranks up there with when I got my Novell CNE back in 1995

This journey in VMware started a few years ago but really took off for me last year, when I discovered Cloudcred I joined on April the 6th and since then I have been addicted, I now tweet and blog about Cloudcred and my VMware studies. I was lucky enough to win a ticket to VMworld last year thanks to Evo:Rail and recently attend my first VMUG meeting in London.

I’ve met a number of great people who have supported me on this journey in particular Ryan Harris @vRyanH and Alex Galbraith @alexgalbraith

A special mention must go to NoellGrier @CloudCredGeek who as the Cloudcred admin must be sick of all my emails about bugs, suggesting improvements, or problems with tasks.

For more information on this award and the other winners then take a look here.

my thoughts and experiences of VMware Europe 2015

I thought I should blog my thoughts and experiences of VMware Europe 2015 (Barcelona)

This was my first VMware and as I had blogged previously I had won my Ticket through the Generosity of VMware by winning one of the EVO:Rail Challenges. Although not my first conference I attended a Novell Brainshare in Barcelona many years ago.

So what was it like, well I had done my research on previous people blogs, taken all the advice, picked all my sessions in advance, downloaded the app, worn what I thought were good comfortable shoes, but nothing quite prepared me for the vastness of the Fira Gran Via and the sheer time it took to get between halls . This really took a toll on my feet through the week and I did get a couple of blisters despite wearing casual shoes that were worn in. so lesson for next time if there is one.

So what were the highlights?

Pre event (Sunday – registration and Monday October 12th – the partner day so not a real day for attendees.)

I arrived on the Sunday before the event started so I could check in, pre-register and be fresh for the next day, From my apartment I could see the Fira Gran Via so it was an easy start in the morning, I prefer to be close as possible rather than be in the centre of town and have to travel out in the morning. so Monday arrives and I have 3 Expert lead workshops (ELW) and an exam booked, I did fail the VCP 5.5 exam however I always thought it would be tough but I booked the exam as it was so cheap (see previous post) so I could use the experience as a learning exercise should I really get the chance to take it again.

Well as a keen player of CloudCred I had to stop by the CloudCred stand and say Hi to Noell Grier @CloudCredGeek, she was very welcoming and like me likes to meet the people she emails and put a face to them.Andy and Noell

At VMworld CloudCred has a special Hands on Lab (HOL) competition so as I was doing 3 ELW’s on the first day I was confident that that would give me a chance at the top spots on the leader board, as there were some cool prizes up for grabs and it did. However someone else had the same idea so in the end I had to settle for second place. It was great to meet the winner Martin Ausillo @MrQbit by the way and I met a few other players as well while I was there. (more later)

I completed my 3 ELW’s AirWatch – Explore and Deploy Workshop, VMware NSX Introduction Workshop and VMware EVO:RAIL Introduction Workshop and gained the points for the HOL competition even managing to pick up my CloudCred Lab Badge along the way so another bouns:

lab badge

The solution exchange wasn’t open on the Monday in fact a great deal of the venue was not available which mean I could focus on the labs in hall 7. Weather it was because there were less people there or the air con was set to maximum chill I did find the Venue quite cold so the the rest of the week I did take a fleece to keep the air con at bay. Also as it was a partner day there wasn’t a lot of food or tea and coffee for the attendees in fact I was turned away from the hot food lounge which meant by the time I finished my last ELW I was famished and left promptly to find a café.

VMworld and VMware Certified Professional 5 Exam

I’ve decided as I’m off to VMworld that I will give the VCP5-DCV exam a go. Given that there is a massive discount of 50% available and this can be combined with a VMUG discount it’s a no brainer, I was able to get the exam for £46.46 as opposed to a UK retail cost of £162.00.

I’ve brought the VMpress VCP5-DCV Official Certification Guide by Bill Furguson to help me prepare and I have all the CloudCred DCV tasks to help me through the blueprint.vcp book

So the exam is booked at Barcelona and the book has arrived so I now have three weeks to study so I better get on and pull my finger out if I’m to stand a chance of passing.

VMworld Barcelona Here I Come

evorail-challengeA while ago I posted that one of my colleagues at work won a ticket to VMworld by completing the EVO:Rail Challenge, well not to be outdone I too have managed to complete the challenge in an equally fast time and have won a ticket to VMworld which I am absolutely thrilled about. So thanks to VMware, Barcelona here I come!

Who knows I hope to see my first EVO:rail in the flesh so to speak very soon.

The EVO:Rail Challenge was brought to my attention by a task on Cloudcred Task 2237: EVO: RAIL Challenge Lab although I have to say I’ve probably attempted it over a dozen times now to tune the process!

The EVO:Rail Challenge ends on August 20, 2015 so there is still time to enter and secure yourself a ticket to VMworld so give it a go!