Jeremy Bowman's Blog

3 Posts tagged with the vsphere tag

Wednesday Sessions

Posted by Jeremy Bowman Sep 1, 2011

So, with yesterday being about Operations, today was about 'Cloud' as well. Sessions for today were:


  • Private Cloud Architecture Deep Dive
  • Metering and Billing with Chargeback
  • VCDX Panel Defence Preparation
  • Understanding stretched clusters (EMC sponsored)
  • Making vCenter Hightly Available
  • 10 Best Free Tools for vSphere in 2011


And, of course, Wednesday night is the VMworld party! More on that later.....


The first two sessions were all about vCloud building and operating. Several good pointers and some validation of architecture principles, but also definately some scary pointers we will need to investigate further when back in the office.


The VCDX session was very interesting, as this certification is something I will be preparing for in the next 6 months. Attending the session was the programme manager for VCDX, along with several other early VCDX-certified guys including 6 in the first 50 - including #1 and #2! The session involved some role play with the audience and some excellent pointers I will certainly take away to include in my defence session. After the morning, I went to the Solutions Exchange - swear I heard the Killers doing a sound check next door.....?


The afternoon was the Operations part of the day - stretched clusters were presented as an alternative to DR, with the EMC spin / perspective. Interesting stuff! Making vCenter Hightly available was basically the run through of options for vCenter HA, including backup, using vSphere HA, cold standby and vCenter Heartbeat. The recommendation was Heartbeat, as it integrates with other products too (not a surprise as the presenter was a VMware employee), but still interesting to see a comparison between the different options. The tools session (very well attended) was run by David Davis of TrainSignal fame and Kendrick Coleman - good presenters and adding hunour to a very useful session. As before, notes and recommendations to follow.


Another thing experienced today was the VMware Meals at Conference. If you can imagine catering for 20,000 people all eating at once - I've not seen anything like it! Probably looked a bit weird but I took photos.....


Then came the Party! Met up with some new friends for a few beers an important work-related meeting beforehand, then headed into the conference area. Warm-up band were great fun and good, but the Killers were awsome! Rocking the joint. They played for an hour, then everyone went upstairs and outside to the Palazzo / Venetian pools for the pool party. 60 bars and food set around the various pools, but nobody except the mermaid (yes - there was a girl in a bikini with a mermaid tail, this is Las Vegas) was allowed in the pool. Of course, it being 100 degrees or so at 9pm and beer / wine flowing meant people did end up in the pool. Some were kicked out(?!?!?) but most were allowed to stay. Really good party though, and not a dollar spent!


T-shirt count for today: 3 + 1 duplicate, plus a bought shirt from the VMware Company Store. (I even met a guy called DJ who met me in the bar later for a swap!)

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Tuesday Sessions

Posted by Jeremy Bowman Aug 30, 2011

So, today was day 2 of the conference. Before I go into the details of today's sessions, a word or two about last night.


First thing was the keynote by VMware CEO Paul Maritz in the General Session area in the Sands. Dazzling opening sequence followed by information about the shift of focus from infrastructure to the cloud. All together I got the impression that the audience were left a little flat but there were some die-hards stayed, wooped and applauded.


Next came the opening of the Solutions Exchange. Vendors all displaying their wares, all competing to be the best, loudest and most colourfal stands in the hall. Mixed in with the stands were free bars, more food than you can shake a stick at (including chefs carving beef from giant joints, large salvers of pasta and savories, and a range of pastries). Highlights were the superhero boys and girls at the Fusion IQ stand, and the fantastic range of giveaways and prizes on offer. My personal tally was 14 t-shirts and some other goodies.


Today's sessions were mainly focused on the Operations side of vSphere implementations. A session on SRM 5, two sessions on the new vCenter Operations product (Best Practices and Capacity Planning) confirmed in my mind the fact that we need to implement some form of Operations Management within the silo'd environments at Eduserv. Definately, something to bring up for discussion when back in the office. The third session was about the new vMotion architecture and best practices for vSphere 5 implementations.


The second part of today was discussions with Partner Network staff at VMware at The Wynn hotel about company partner status and how we as a company can further exploit the relationship we have with VMware. We discussed extending Partner Network status and competencies - something to be taken forward on my return to the office.


After this, I returned for a second (quicker) go around the Solutions Exchange, on my way back to the hotel. Just loads of free beers and more giveaways. My personal tally increased by 3 t-shirts and a fleece jumper.


Total = 17 x t-shirts (+ 1 from VMware with Registration), plus 1 x black fleece.


Tonight I plan to go outside and get some fresh air, maybe watch the Bellagio fountains. I need to sleep as tomorrow is the Killers at the Aftershow Party!

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Hands-On-Labs: First Go

Posted by Jeremy Bowman Aug 28, 2011

Right, Sunday afternoon. Registration done, goodies collected. Now, on to the other thing available to VMworld this afternoon - the Hands-On Labs.


There are a large number of labs available, and they are wide and varied in topic. The focus is on cloud technologies (as you'd expect, it being the conference focus and tagline...) What did I choose for my first lab session? ESXi Stateless Auto-Deploy. I chose this for a few reasons, the main one being it's directly related to a cloud project we are working on at the moment - the 'University Modernisation Fund' project being run by Eduserv with JISC and HEFCE funding. (For more information, see: http://www.eduserv.org.uk/hosting/cloud-computing/umf-cloud-pilot).


First impression of the labs - excellent. Based on WYSE terminals, there was almost an almost 1984 quality with the drones all sat facing the central core in the near darkness, lit only with the screen glow, and a disembodied voice instructing the 'doctors' (VMware staff tasked with helping lab rats complete the work....) It's all very well done too - plenty of 'doctors' waiting to show you to a free terminal, get you started and to answer questions. The line was quite long (I got there after 15mins of the labs opening for the first time, and apparently people were waiting much before scheduled opening), but fast moving, and I was in and seated in 10mins. The WYSE terminals and View clients provided the user experience through 2 large monitors - excellent.


Good tip: the iPhone App for VMworld is really useful and details labs, sessions, schedules and the like. If you don't have it, get it now from iTunes.


The Auto-Deploy lab itself was well paced but I did run out of time at the end to get right to the end of the lab. Essentially, the lab was about how to configure vCenter and Hopst profiles combined with Windows Server 2008 DHCP and Open-TFTP to do stateless deployments of ESXi 5.0. If this is something you are interested in, then the lab is well worth while.

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Jeremy Bowman

Jeremy Bowman

Member since: Jan 15, 2011

Thoughts and cool stuff from VMworld 2011!

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