vBeers – Guildford, UK (Thursday 2nd February 2017)

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of attending the first “vBeers in the Country” organised by my good friend Chris Bradshaw. I decided I should go and support this inaugural event which was being held in Guildford at The Britannia. So It was completely by accident that I bumped in to our very own London VMUG leader Dave Simpson in the nearby car park trying to work out how much off peak parking costs in Guildford.

A pleasant evening was had by all as this photo shows and we had a good chat and catch up over food and drink.

vbeers

So who knows what happens next, we may go viral or better yet get a sponsor and then you will definitely want to come to the next event if you missed this one. Better still if you know of a great location put yourself down as an organiser. If you think you would come to an event in Winchester then please let me know (add a comment or message me) and if there is interest I will find a venue.

Chris has put a great guide together on how to arrange a vBeers event on his blog at http://isjw.uk/vbeers-trying-out-a-new-gathering/ and for more info on vBeers check out their website.

Free NetApp Training

Well time for my first post of 2017, I had such good plans for Christmas, produce some blog posts, reply to some emails and get some studying done. Well you guessed it, nothing much achieved over the Christmas period. In my defence I was in the office for two of the three days so I only really had a couple of long weekends.

However some small steps were made, I did reply to all the comments made on the blog, I did spend some time going through my mailbox and I have started some studying but that’s another blog post.

In going through my mailbox I found an excellent resource on Netapp and other Storage that I don’t know why I didn’t publish its existence sooner.

flackbox

I had an email from a new blogger Neil Anderson who wanted to make me aware of his blog at www.flackbox.com where you can find lots of NetApp material and even a free course on San and NAS storage. But then his biggest achievement is he’s written a free eBook on How to Build a NetApp ONTAP 9 Lab… For Free!

Let me just put that in perspective: he’s put together a 117 page eBook that will teach you how to build a fully virtualized storage lab. It features a couple of NetApp ONTAP9 clusters, plus Windows and Linux clients, and is networked using a VyOS router. The best thing about it is you can put it together and run it on your laptop completely for free.flackbox-bookThe detailed step by step walkthrough points you to where to download all of the required software and shows you how to handle the configuration of all components. Critical (but little documented) adaptations such as adding virtual SSD drives and extra storage space are also covered.

The lab supports most of the features you’d encounter in a production setting. You’ll be prepared to implement iSCSI, NFS, CIFS, storage Thin Provisioning, Deduplication and Compression, Snapshots, and FlexClone among others, and exercise the replication technologies SnapMirror and SnapVault.

The blog is frequently updated with new NetApp training videos which teach you how to configure the features in the lab.

So I suggest that if you’re interested in all things NetApp you go and take a look sometime.

London VMUG meeting Thursday 19th January

Well the New Year is now well upon us and what better way to start January with the first meeting of the London VMUG Thursday 19th January.vmug

The event is at TechUK, the new home of the London VMUG at 10 St Bride Street, London, EC4A 4AD (just off Fleet Street) and is running from 10am to 5.15pm.

If you’re interested in all things VMware then come along and meet some of the nicest people in the VMware community, we don’t bite and everyone is welcome.

So what’s on you ask, well here is the agenda so you can pick the sessions you want to attend, Personally its great to see the community sessions presented by the members for the community. So I’m looking forward to Amazon AWS for Beginners with Alex Galbraith and Chris Porter  and then Practical PaaS with Ricky El-Qasem 

vmug-19-01-17-agenda

This event is sponsored by Rubrik, iland and StorMagic so a big thank you to them as without sponsors this event couldn’t happen.

So come along and see what it’s all about, you can pre-register here or just turn up on the day Hope to see you there.

UK VMUG Usercon 2016

vmug-usercon

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.