VMworld 2018 T-1

Just a quick post to say #VMworld 2018 starts tomorrow, Barcelona is filling up with VMware shirts from all over the globe, I arrived earlier today and decided to stop by the Fira and register. There is a new type of badge this year, with no pocket for a map or raffle tickets!  So there better be lots of maps around the venue.


This year I managed to get a ticket to the famous pre event party the #vRockstar party. This was my first year to attend however I missed out on a legendary tshirt, better luck next year then. A huge thanks to @PatrickRedknap for arranging this event. As you can see it’s a very popular event and it’s the ideal way to start the networking off.

Tomorrow it’s a slow start for me as its traditionally the partner day so I’m going to be spending some time attending Hands on Labs (Hopefully an expert lead one or two) as well as hanging out at the #cloudcred booth with my now good friend @NoellGrier, and the #VMTN and bloggers area, so please come by and say Hi (We Don’t Bite)


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.


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


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.

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.


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.


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.


VMworld 2016 Day 1

Well today was the first day of VMworld and what a great day it was. I spent the morning learning to orientate myself around the Fira as it’s such a vast place, and had a couple of meetings with people. Hi to Anna, Ross and Noell and anyone else I met from VMware.


Then I spent the afternoon hitting the Hands-on Labs as that’s the place to earn CloudCred points. Managed to meet up with most of the London VMUG team and we spent some time racking up the points. Here we are all together with Noell from CloudCred.


Rob Bishop, Chris Bradshaw, Andy Nash, Amit Panchal, Gareth Edwards, Noell Grier, Dave Simpson


Between us we managed to get the team to the top of the VMworld Leaderboard and a big congratulation’s to Amit Panchal for winning today CloudCred prize, not sure who photobombed you there!amit-and-noell

Ok time to go to the Nutanix Barcelona Nights Party and looking forward to a busy day tomorrow.

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).

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 2015 My Session Choices

I haven’t been to VMworld before all thought many years ago I was lucky enough to attend the Novell conference Brainshare a couple of times, once in the USA and once at Barcelona. Rather ironically I have won this ticket as part of the VMware EVO Rail challenge, one of my Novell Brainshare tickets was also won as part of the CNE Challenge.vmworld-2015-banner

I thought like other bloggers out there I would make a list of what sessions I have registered for at this year’s VMworld at Barcelona.

First of all I was surprised at how fewer sessions there were at Barcelona compared to San Francisco Now I know that San Francisco is going to be the Home event and weighs in at 5 days and 879 sessions. But Barcelona is just 1 day less at 4 days and yet only has just 379 sessions, Some 500 less. But at least that makes the choosing of sessions slightly easier with less to choose from.

From my point of view I was interested in the hands on labs expert led workshops (ELW) as VMware is not my primary or even my secondary job function in my current role so some course like labs to update my skills is just what I’m looking for. I believe the ELW are usually one of the first sessions to fill up so got in quick on the first day however Barcelona had just 10 compared to 27 in San Francisco. So I’ve managed to get 5 of the workshops in my schedule.

Apart from workshops I’ve tried to focus on sessions I will find useful for work, so as I’m about to roll out AirWatch to my environment that’s a must. I’m also a VDI environment so tried to find a good number of Horizon sessions. I also picked a few NSX sessions as that is currently a hot topic that I’m personally interested in.

Here is the complete listing of my 18 registered sessions.

Expert Led Workshops

  • ELW-MBL-1657 — AirWatch – Explore and Deploy Workshop
  • ELW-SDC-1603 — VMware NSX Introduction Workshop
  • ELW-SDC-1628 — VMware EVO:RAIL Introduction Workshop
  • ELW-SDC-1610 — Virtualization 101: vSphere with Operations Management 6 Workshop
  • ELW-MBL-1652 — Securely Manage and Deliver Horizon 6 Workshop


  • EUC5617 — Take Advantage of AirWatch 8.1: Preview the Latest Release
  • EUC5762 — End-to-end Security with AirWatch, NSX and Intelligent Networking
  • EUC5791 — Advanced EMM: Your Top 10 Problems Solved
  • EUC6105 — What’s New in VMware Identity Manager


  • EUC5404 — Deliver High Performance Desktops with VMware Horizon and NVIDIA GRID vGPU
  • EUC4437 — Horizon View Troubleshooting – Looking Under the Hood
  • EUC4509 — Architecting Horizon for VSAN, the VCDX way – VMware on VMware.


  • NET5541 — Introduction to VMware NSX
  • NET5560 — VMware NSX – Deep Dive
  • NET5612 — NSX for vSphere Logical Load Balacing Deep Dive


  • STO5906 — Virtual SAN Technical Deep Dive and What’s New
  • STO6228 — Monitoring and Troubleshooting Virtual SAN, Current and Future

VCE (I’m a VCE customer)

  • SDDC6569-SPO — VCE Converged Solutions for the Software Defined Enterprise