vExpert 2017 Award Announcement

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Today is a special day for me, I’ve been awarded vExpert 2017 from VMware and I’m so thrilled to make the list again, this being my second year as a vExpert.

To see the full list of vExperts and find out more about the program see the Announcement here.

I believe that becoming a vExpert is all about the community, and this last year I have tried to really get to know the people out there, and have now made new friends at the London VMUG as well as led the CloudCred team on the charge up the leader board. I’ve set questions for Cloudcred, Attended many events, all the UK London VMUG events, Airwatch and EUC events, VMworld 2016 Europe and the UK VMUG usercon. I used to be shy and intimidated by talking to people at these type of events but by taking the jump to get involved has been so rewarding for me, meeting people, seeing  then present and chatting over food and drink has been inspirational to me.

I’m really looking forward to continuing my journey with both VMware and the London VMUG and seeing where it takes me, only last week I was having vBeers with my good friends Chris Bradshaw and our very own London VMUG leader Dave Simpson

I’ve met a number of great people who have supported me on this journey and hopefully Ive supported them on their journey’s, far too many people to mention here (but I will try) so a big thanks to The London VMUG team, The Open Homelab project The Open Techcast team,  (hope to be a podcasting guest soon guys)

The following people for inspiring me (in no particular order)

A really special mention must go to NoellGrier @CloudCredGeek who as the Cloudcred admin must be really sick of all my emails about bugs, suggesting improvements, problems with tasks and why I can’t complete any tasks at the moment!

vmss2core – Fling from VMware

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Whilst working on a call with Microsoft this week they needed a full memory dump from a server.
The windows server wasn’t being particularly cooperative with running a program to make it blue screen and produce a complete memory dump so the support guy advised me of a rather cool way to get my memory dump.

Basically you can snapshot, or in my case suspend the server, then using a cool fling from VMware called vmss2core you can take a copy of the suspend file (VMSS) and convert this file to be a core dump file.

What’s more the vmss2core tool can produce core dump files for:

  • The Windows debugger (WinDbg)
  • Red Hat crash compatible core files
  • A physical memory view suitable for the Gnu debugger gdb
  • Solaris MDB (XXX)
  • Mac OS X formats

So to run the file you simple point vmss2core.exe at the VMSS file you have copied off your ESXi host and it will convert it for you.
To run the file you simply type vmss2core -W .vmss
There are different options depending on what format you want the dump file in.
For more information see the following PDF snapshot2core_technote

So in my case I entered vmss2core -W D:\memorydump\suspendfile.vmss
And just 6 minutes later it had taken my 16GB suspend file and created a 16GB memory dump.

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My biggest problem was finding a place where I could:

  • Copy my 16GB suspend file to.
  • Have sufficient space to create another 16GB memory dump file.

In the end I simply added a new 40GB disk to a server temporally to allow me to save my suspend file, convert it and upload it to Microsoft.

To download the Fling simply go to https://labs.vmware.com/flings/vmss2core
The instructions can be found http://www.vmware.com/pdf/snapshot2core_technote.pdf

Don’t forget as it’s a fling to go back and check for updates regularly, the current version was dated January the 13th so just three weeks ago.

UK VMUG Usercon 2016

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Well in two days’ time it will be the UK VMUG Usercon in Birmingham at the National Motorcycle Museum on Thursday November 17th. This will be my first year to attend the event having only attended the London VMUG up to now. This is a completely free event so if your in to VMware then you should come along and see what’s going on. As someone who has been lucky enough to join the VMware Community I can only say what a privilege it is to attend this kind of event and meet some of the Community Legends that are out there.

So what is there to expect on the day:

Keynote “VMware Strategy Update” by Joe Baguley, VMware VP & CTO EMEA

  • 5 breakout blocks with sessions by the community, VMware and sponsors
  • 15+ community discussion groups, topics led by peers
  • Closing keynote “Demystifying the Future of IT – An IT practitioners guide” by well-respected virtualization blogger Julian Wood (www.wooditwork.com)
  • Meet carefully selected VMware partners to discover innovative and complimentary virtualization solutions
  • vCurry Reception on Wednesday 16 November between 19:00 and 21:00.

I’m going to be there for the vCurry so come over and say hi if your there.

Want to know more, the agenda is available Here

Still interested then there is still time to register Here

VMworld 2016 Day 4

Day 4 of VMworld this year felt a little flat to me this year, there were no keynotes today so the day was for me to spend as I liked. So I started in the VMware village spending time to catch up with a few friends both new and old in the hang space and bloggers area.

Then I was off to a couple of session for the day:

VMware Chief Technology Officer Panel – Trends and Futures, this was a interesting chat on the futures of IT with 4 of VMware CTO’s Paul Strong, Shawn Bass, Joe Baguley and Ray O’Farrell.

My favourite quote of the session was from Joe Baguley “In the future talking about virtualisation will be like talking about carpet” Joe was making reference to the fact the virtualisation is now so commonplace its almost not worth talking about.

How to Manage Personal Settings with App Volumes & ThinApp with Pim van de Vis and Raymond Wiesemann this was another fast pace technical session. As someone who has to do the odd Thinapp every now and then I found this a great session especially as we move closer to upgrading to Horizon 7.

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It was about now I made a fatal mistake, I went for some lunch and was saying goodbye to a few people in the village. Then I went off to the solution exchange for a last minute run round the hall to pick up any last minute swag but to my horror it was already shutting up. Last year it finished at 4pm but this year it finished at 2.30pm so important point for next year, check the time the solution exchange closes on the last day!. However it wasn’t all bad I took the extra time to get some sightseeing in Barcelona.

Conclusions

So overall this was a great VMworld, I enjoyed my time here, the keynotes were in my mind better than last year, I think VMware are back on track with ESXi 6.5 and the core product set (ESXi, VCSA, VSAN and NSX). Best party for me was the vExpert party I met so many great people there and it was just a nice social venue to chat in. Once again it was great to take part in the CloudCred challenge and come away with the training course voucher. And then finally there is the swag that goes hand in hand with a conference of this size and I will say an extra thanks here to Cohestity and their vExpert swag.

If you want to catch my guest appearance on the Opentechcast podcast you will find it here. http://www.opentechcast.com/2016/10/24/spep01-vmworld-barcelona-2016/

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.

VMworld 2016 Day 2 – Be Tomorrow

Well day 2 started with a keynote from Pat Gelsinger, the tagline of this year’s VMworld is “be tomorrow” and he summarised this as “tomorrow is about people not customers” which I kind of get. Currently the latest buzzword is digital transformation and show me a company which is not doing some initiative which is based around digital transformation. Digital transformation is combining industry and technology together in new and exciting ways, and Pat went on to announce several key points with many demonstrations, videos and a cast of supporting presenters.

  • In 2006 Amazon web services (AWS) was launched and the term ‘Cloud Computing” was born. Today we have AWS as a new VMware cloud partner. Joining AWS and VMware together brings the best of both worlds, the leader in virtualization and the leader in cloud computing together. It’s frighteningly simple to and fast to spin up a VMware environment on AWS. For VM Migrations Simply vMotion a server from your internal private cloud to the AWS cloud. No replatforming or downtime is needed you simply use NSX to extend the network.
  • Today VMware Launched vSphere ESXi 6.5 with over 100 updates and enhancements.
  • Today VMware Launched VSAN 6.5.
  • VMware announced cross cloud services, a new SAAS offering that will allow you to migrate hosts to Multiple cloud providers. This will be with us in 2017.

If you want to go and see the whole keynote for yourself and see Pat in action you will find it here.

So after that I went to see a couple of #Brownbag sessions from a couple of the guys from the UK London VMUG that I know.

Amit Panchal “Career Disruption 101 Brand is King”, this was an interesting look at how you can promote youself to keep your skills up to date and manage your own brand in the community and world of social media.

Ather Beg “Work / Life Balance for the “Elderly” IT Professional”, again this was some very personal tips from Ather on how to claim some time back in your life for the important things like family.

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After that I naturally started the days CloudCred tasks and I found most of the team all working on labs in the Hands-on Lab area so we did our bit to keep the team at the top.

Then it was time to leave and head off to the vExpert party, I must say I found this a very enjoyable evening in a great bar and I must thank Corey Romero for all he does for us.

Whilst there I found myself with Gareth Edwards and Kev Johnson and ended up doing an interview for OpenTechCast with Noell Grier about cloudcred.