Saturday, 30 September 2017

The New VMware Hands On Labs from VMworld 2017

Interesting article on the VMware blogs.

I attended VMworld 2017 and looked at the VMware HOL booth. Too many labs to try in the time I was there.

VMware are now releasing the labs on the VMware HOL website, new labs to appear daily until all 81 are available.

For more information visit the VMware blog


Friday, 29 September 2017

VMworld 2017 - EDU4263U - Understand and Avoid Common Issues with Virtual Machine Encryption

In the various VMware courses that I deliver, one of the scariest topics potentially for my delegates is around VMware VM encryption.

This is briefly what VM Encryption does.

VM encryption was released with Hardware version 13 in ESXi 6.5

We get protection of virtual machine files, virtual disk files, and core dump files. This is provided via multi-layer key protection.

With the encryption we provide.

Key management provided by key servers.
Use of the Key Management Interoperability Protocol (KMIP), an industry standard for the management of security keys.
Nonpersistence of keys for added security.

The scariest part for most people is:

"I never like encryption, in case I can't encrypt."

James Doyle of VMware did the following session at VMworld 2017.

Understand and Avoid Common Issues with Virtual Machine Encryption 

It's definitely worth a watch and I'll be pointing my delegates towards this session, hopefully James can put their minds at ease.

Another free ebook from VMware - Cloud Management for Dummies

VMware have very kindly made available another free eBook, it's title is:

Cloud Management for Dummies written by Jad El-Zein and Shobhana Viswanathan and is 77 pages in length.

IT environments are shackled by complexity. This complexity, combined with operational bottlenecks and time-consuming manual processes, can require tedious, error-prone workflows and distract from more strategic projects. To keep up with the demands of the business, IT needs a modern data center with a unified platform for managing private, public and hybrid cloud environments. Download Cloud Management For Dummies to learn about:

  • Lifecycle management – from deployment to maintenance
  • Hybrid landscape – manage local and remote services
  • Quality of service – improve uptime and performance
  • Cost containment – capture and communicate usage
To download your copy of the book visit the link

Thursday, 28 September 2017

VMworld 2017 - LHC3371BUC - The Painless Path to Hybrid Cloud

As an instructor in various technologies, I stand in front of delegates and talk about Private clouds, and public clouds, but for the path for businesses I deal with, inevitability ends up at, we'll use a hybrid cloud.

People want to keep some services locally, whether that be they don't trust the cloud, or they may have a large investment in their on-premises private cloud, or in reality if thy're like me, they just think that VMware does it really well.

One of the solutions that interests me is the VMC on AWS, probably because I work for a training company that delivers VMware, Microsoft, AWS, and Google technologies, so I like to see what we can provide as a business, as well as a technology solution.

One of the sessions at VMworld that interested me was the LHC3371BUC session, titled "The Painless Path to Hybrid Cloud"

The session is presented by Eric Hanselman and Andy Reedy

Just follow the link in order to watch the session at your leisure.

LHC3371BUC - The Painless Path to Hybrid Cloud

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

VMworld Session - STO7645 - Virtual Volumes Deep Dive

One of the topics that we cover on quite a few of the VMware courses that I deliver is VVOLs or Virtual Volumes.

VMware vSphere Virtual Volumes introduces a storage abstraction layer that provides a common storage platform that is independent of the underlying hardware.

The services that are provided by the abstraction layer are the same regardless of the underlying resources.

Virtual volumes provide a common storage platform, independent of the underlying storage hardware.
Thanks to VMware for the image

The advantages this gives us as administrators is as follows:

  • Native representation of VMDKs on SAN/NAS: 
  • No LUNs or volume management.
  • Works with existing SAN/NAS systems.
  • A new control path for data operations at the VM/VMDK level.
  • Snapshots, replications, and other operations at the VM level on external storage.
  • Automates control of per-VM service levels.
  • VMware vSphere® API for Storage Awareness™ protocol endpoint provides standard protocol access to storage.
  • Storage containers can span an entire array.
However, I always find I don't get time to cover the VVOLs to the level I would like (VCIs do like to talk about VMware).

I attended VMworld and the VVOL deep dive session was one of the sessions on my list.

The session is hosted by Patrick Dirks and Pete Flecha. Worth a watch

Tuesday, 26 September 2017


As an IT professional of many years, one of the things I've found is that time is becoming more heavily utilised with tasks that I should really automate, this will in turn make me more efficient but also allow me to get some time back for other things.

VMware have produced a document called A PRACTICAL GUIDE FOR AUTOMATING IT

"In this practical guide, learn to embrace an approach that fully automates the delivery and management of infrastructure and application components, including network and security services. With automation, you’ll be better positioned to respond faster to the dynamic needs of a digital business."

It's a short document, only 8 pages. to download just follow the link

Monday, 25 September 2017

Free elearning from VMware - Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals [V6.5]

As a VMware Certified Instructor, I'll be honest, I like when people come on courses, however sometimes a little taster of a product before attending a course may be useful.

VMware have released a new free elearning course which is definitely worth a look.

That course is the Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals [V6.5]

The course covers the following objectives.

This course provides a fundamental understanding of VMware’s Data Center Virtualization products. The course also takes you through the components and features of vSphere 6.5, and shows how the vSphere 6.5 product line helps resolve business and IT challenges commonly faced by organizations.

The course is self-paced and lasts for 2.5 hours.

The course contains 4 modules and these are:

  1. Course Introduction
  2. Introduction to Data Center Virtualization with VMware vSphere
  3. Components of VMware vSphere
  4. vSphere Solutions to Data Center Challenges
The course is available via the VMware Education website


Sunday, 24 September 2017

Another free eBook from VMware - Secure Digital Workspace for Dummies

VMware have very kindly made available another free eBook, it's title is:

Secure Digital Workspace for Dummies and is written by by Pam Takahama, Josue Fontanez, and Tricia Stream

"The ways employees work, where they work, and from where they work have been changing and creating increasing demands on IT. The ability to support a mobile workforce with apps and virtual desktop environments is key. Learn how to deliver, secure, real-time access to data and apps across devices and locations by building a digital workspace platform."

The book focuses on ensuring that users and IT departments get the most out of the technologies available to provide an enterprise mobility solution.

Across 53 pages and 7 chapters, the book provides considerations and solutions in order to deliver a reliable, secure and usable experience to end users.

For more information and to download a copy of this eBook visit the following link.

Secure Digital Workspace for Dummies

Free stuff from VMware, a new ebook, Next-Gen Virtualization For Dummies

One of the things I found out last week at VMwworld, is that, technology changes at an alarming rate.

VMware have very kindly made available for download  a free ebook called Next-Gen Virtualization For Dummies.

The book covers the following:

This is straight from the Intro page.

Next-Gen Virtualization For Dummies is your guide to taking the virtualized data center to an all-new level. So, how do you get there? The first step is to get intimately acquainted with the concepts
explored in this book. We provide tips, insights, and advice for building a robust, agile virtualization platform to drive your digital transformation forward and create a clear route to the hybrid cloud.

The book comprises of 6 chapters over 60 pages and is authored by Himanshu Singh and Martin Yip

Definitely worth a read.

Next-Gen Virtualization for Dummies

Saturday, 23 September 2017

VMware Horizon 7.3 webcast

One of the courses I teach is the VMware Horizon View Install, Configure, and manage, and I've been working with VMware Virtual desktop technologies for quite a while now.

As such the announcement that Horizon 7.3 is here, is something I'll be interested to examine further.

VMware are running a webcast for EMEA on Thursday 28th September 2017 at 12:00PM, follow the link below to register for this event, or if you're based elsewhere in the world, VMware are running three events covering all regions

The event will be presented by Johnathan Perrott and John Hathaway, both of VMware and will last approx an hour.

Join us for a walk through of the new features including App Shortcuts and Dedicated Instant Clone Support. We’ll help you understand how Horizon 7.3 can enhance and build on your current Horizon feature set.

See you there (virtually), I'll be watching during my lunch hour.

Friday, 22 September 2017

VMware Research Site

As an instructor of VMware products, one of the things I like to do, is ensure that I am aware of the things that VMware are working on.

One of the sites I check on a regular basis is the VMware Labs Flings.

"Flings are apps and tools built by our engineers and community that are intended to be played with and explored."

The above is straight off the Flings Website , I find some of the utilities extremely useful.

The other site I check on a regular basis is the VMware research website.

"We bring development to the VeRGe of research, and research to the VeRGe of production"

Again the description is lifted directly from the research site 

I like this site to get an insight to the things that VMware are working on.

Just a little bit on a couple of VMware sites you may find useful.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

VMC on AWS Demo session from VMworld 2017

VMware Cloud on AWS #LHC1547BU

As an on-premises and Cloud lecturer, I’ve always thought that most companies would leverage both sets of technologies and produce a Hybrid Cloud.

As a VMware specialist, I’ve always thought that one of the strong selling points of VMware was the rich set of management utilities.

I like the thought of cloud services, especially the scalability of services and the thought of not having to worry about my hardware.

I was therefore interested in the VMware VMC on AWS.

With that in mind I attended the #LHC1547BU VMC on AWS fundamentals presented by Oren Root and Matt Dreyer (basically the people that wrote it) session at VMworld 2017.

The session started with an overview and introducing the two companies.

VMware – Leading Compute, Storage and networking capabilities.

AWS – Broadest set of management utilities offering massive flexibility.

The way that the VMC on AWS is sold is as VMware as a Service, the product we already know runs on bare metal and integrates into the AWS services, this allows the use of all the familiar management utilities, the VMware virtual centre software manages on-premises and cloud services in a single HTML5 console.

The VMware product is sold as a suite of products and includes Virtual Centre Server, vSphere, VSAN, and NSX, with communication initially secured with IPSEC all that is needed is a connection (ENI, Elastic Network interface) between VMware and AWS.

Like I’ve mentioned VMware Cloud on AWS is a service and will be provisioned, operated, and maintained directly by VMware, this means a single point of contact for all support.

The above gives the customer Automated account creation and environment provisioning, and automated interconnection between VMware and AWS accounts.

From an operational point of view, the customer benefits from support from VMware directly and this includes ongoing infrastructure monitoring.

If you paid for 4 hosts and you get a tin failure, the host is replaced automatically. Also all patching and software updates are handled automatically.

Flexible consumption models

The pricing is based on hosts and is charged per hour, or the customer can elect a reserved model with discounts for a 1 or 3 year period. The customer also has the option of buying add-on services as and when they are made available.

How does the customer pay? With VMware Subscription Purchasing Program or with VMware Hybrid Publishing Credits, Purchase Orders, or credit card.

VMware also offer a Hybrid Loyalty Program, the advantage of this, is that existing customers get automatic discounts on the licenses.

After the product information we were then treated to the demo.

I’ve also now included the link to the VMworld Session, it is approximately 40 minutes.

I hope this is a great success for both VMware and AWS.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

The Virtual, virtual datacentre demo

Virtual, Virtual Datacentre – Future of Cloud Management?????

At VMworld last week, we had a demo of the Virtual, Virtual Datacentre during the General Session on day 1.

The demo was presented by Alan Renouf and Pat Gelsinger.

The introduction was pitched as a possible future of cloud management and may mean that IT people will never have to interact with a real person ever again.

Bear in mind that this was created as a concept in a Hackathon (lots of people working together to produce a software project), and was completed in a day and a half.

With the VR headset in place Pat entered the Virtual Datacentre and was presented with a virtual representation of a VMware datacentre.

He could approach the four hosts and see the hardware running the VMs, also he could pick up the VMs and was presented with information relating to the operating system, CPU, Memory, disk, and network information of the VM, also the resources were colour related, Green equals good, red equals bad.

With the VM in hand it could be migrated by simply placing onto a different host, or deleted by simply placing them into the bin.

The best part of the demo for me was the VMware Cloud on AWS (VMC on AWS), I this part of the demo, Pat picked up a VM and threw it at the cloud, and the VM migrated with no operating or VM downtime.

Pat then entered the cloud and was asked to look at the cluster, the cluster had some red, and this was due to lack of resources on the cluster.

Brian the virtual support chap popped up and gave some suggestions.

Pat enable a new host using AWS elastic DRS, this has the functionality to spin up a new ESXi host and migrate VMs to it, in order to alleviate the overloaded cluster.

Alan then said that the code would be available via their GitHub site

To watch the demo, scroll through to 48 minutes of the VMware General session, youtube video.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Free webcasts from VMware Education

Everybody loves free stuff?

VMware Education services have provided a nice site, with free webcasts.

One of the notable ones for me is the:

Learn Tips and Tricks On How You Can Earn A VMware Certification

Earning a VMware certification is a notable accomplishment that requires hard work and serious study. Taking the right approach in your preparation will help you increase your chances to pass the exam on the first try. Join, Paul Sorensen for tips, tricks and resources that will save you time and effort as you study, practice and prepare, including several steps that you should never miss as you get ready to take your next exam.

However follow the link to the VMware Education site and have a look, you may find something of some use.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Some interesting stats for VMware VCAP certification

As I've mentioned, I'm a VCI or VMware Certified Instructor, and for me VMware is my prime technology area, I've worked with the product and with VMware now since approx 2001,

I then started on my certification path in 2005 with the VCP.

Since then VMware have released a numcer of certifications and one of those is the VMware Certified Advanced Professional.

I sometimes get asked "How many VCAPs are there?" So as of 2007 here's a nice link to a document created by Jill Liles of VMware Education services, thanks to her for this.

Around the world with VCAPs

Hope this is of some use and may inspire you to pursue some additional VMware education, if so, hope to see you in Newcastle upon Tyne on a VMware course.

Friday, 15 September 2017

VMware Education Paths

As I've mentioned in a few of the posts over the last few days, and got to spend a great deal of time with the superb VMware Education Team.

Here they are.

Now down to the reason for this post, the team have produced a fantastic road map for VMware Education.

To get a copy of the road map visit the VMware Education Site 

The roadmap covers the 4 main education paths. Datacenter, Networking, Desktop and Mobility, and Cloud Automation.

Finally for anyone embarking or already on their certification journey. Good Luck.

I also got to take part. I really don't like having my photo taken😀

Thursday, 14 September 2017

VMworld over for another year

That's it for another year, VMworld 2017 Barcelona was an excellent forum for not only VMware products, but also showcased a number of vendors, the obvious one being Dell/EMC.

It was great catching up with old friends and ex-colleagues , but also making new friends.

If you get the chance next year, go, go to the VMware Education booth as well, they are an extremely friendly bunch.

I'm currently sat in the airport at Barcelona, my flights delayed, home tomorrow by the looks of it.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

General Session 2 VMworld Barcelona 2017

VMworld 2017 Day 2 General Session

The presentation started with a Q&A session with Pat, Sanjay and Ray.

The first question was related to VMware and the Cloud. The answer came back with VMware’s vision of cross cloud mobility, we saw over the day a seamless vMotion from a Private Cloud running VMware Cloud Foundation to AWS and back again, zero downtime to the VM.

There was also mentions of the VMware VDI Horizon on Azure.
VMware on IBM , VMware on OVF and VMware containers with Google Cloud. 

VMware’s goal is to allow seamless hybrid cloud on any or multiple cloud providers.
The next question was on Licensing, the answer was that with Dell/EMC and VMware that this is an ongoing quest and to watch out for future developments.

For the doers, the next question was about the HTMLv5 Client and the answer was that in the very near future a fully functional HTML5 client will be available.

The next question was about Pivotal container services, the answer being that the goal is to have a truly containerised app, that will run anywhere and on any cloud and to allow these apps to be created and maintained in an agile manner.

Pat described the pendulum effect of centralised and decentralised IT, and they are now seeing a distributed cloud with IoT, we now have edge devices such as traffic signals collecting data and needing to be secure, with devices collecting data and then reporting back to a virtual representation of that device, for troubleshooting and improving the device, one of the booths was showing how GE are collecting data from jet engines.

With Dell/EMC/VMware now under one umbrella, the advent of VXRail allows a single box to run all the services, with VMware Cloud Foundation a private/public cloud can be built quickly.

Second part of General Session

This section was really a sales pitch, even as a VMware VCI and VCPx4, I didn’t realize that VMware now have over 200 apps.

The video showed something I’m used to, someone comes along and says “would you do x?” I say yep, they then say “Great we need it next week and really you should have been working on it months ago”

The point is VMware via VMware Clound Foundation and VMware Cloud services it allows for a truly Agile environment.

Pulse IOT allows management of Edge and IoT devices.

Wavefront allows SaaS based self service analysis.

Appsense learns about what is good and then profiles what is good and then reports on what is bad.

VMware’s vision of security is stop trying to capture what is good, but instead capture what is good, analyse and then fix what is bad.


What I’ve learned so far is that VMware are no longer just an Infrastructure company, they are fast becoming a cloud company, an Enterprise mobility company, with Dell/EMC a hyper-converged company.

Their cloud services are allowing companies to leverage multiple public cloud providers and allowing companies to have a seamless automated hybrid cloud.

The future is hybrid, not all cloud, just look at cars.