Wednesday, 5 December 2018

VMware vSphere 6.7 Clustering Deep Dive - Download now

This is a book I always recommend that my delegates read when they attend my VMware courses.

VMware vSphere 6.7 Clustering Deep Dive 

Don’t miss the latest release from renowned virtualisation authors Frank Denneman, Duncan Epping, and Niels Hagoort. A must-read for every administrator, architect, consultant, and aspiring VCDX, Clustering Deep Dive takes you into the trenches of how to create a winning cloud infrastructure with vSphere Technologies, including how to implement:

• HA admission control policies

• DRS resource pools

• Datastore Clusters

• Network resource pools

• Resource allocation settings

All I can therefore say, is thanks to Rubrik, VMUG, Duncan, Frank, and Niels for making this available for download.

Visit Rubrik for more details and to download

NSX Free books from VMware

I like free ebooks, mainly because they're free, but they are also something I can refer my delegates to.

With this in mind, I'm happy to say that VMware have made available four new books available in their NSX 1 day guides.

For more information and to download visit the :

VMware NSX Day 1 Guide Library


Friday, 9 November 2018

VMware Cloud on AWS – Software Defined Data Center 2019 badge

I've been at VMworld this week in Barcelona, one of the major solutions provided by VMware is their hybrid cloud vision.

As a VCI I've been looking at the VMC on AWS 3 day course and with that in mind I'm pleased that VMware have also produced the

VMware Cloud on AWS – Software Defined Data Center 2019 badge

In order to achieve the badge, all you have to do is pass the 5V0-31.19 VMware Cloud on AWS Management Exam 2018

The exam is 30 questions, non-proctored, and web-delivered.

To help prepare for the exam, perhaps you could even attend the VMware Cloud on AWS: Deploy and Manage course.

I've already added this as a must do certification for myself.

Good luck and hope all goes to plan for anyone pursuing this certification.

Tuesday, 6 November 2018

VMworld 2018 Barcelona General Session 1 Replay

This is a short blog post.

I've been fortunate this week to be at VMworld 2018.

The replay of an interesting session is now available.

VMworld General session 1 replay

Enjoy, it lasts for 1 hour and 43 minutes

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

vTPM in vSphere 6.7

Today, we've been talking about vTPM and TPM in VMware vSphere 6.7, so I thought I'd put some information up to share with my delegates.

Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chips are found in most of today's computers, from laptops, to desktops, to servers.
The TPM chip usually is part of the system board and therefore the user may not be able to change it after purchase.
It is important to select the correct TPM hardware at the time of purchase.
VMware vSphere ESXi 6.7 can use Trusted Platform Module (TPM) chips to enhance host security.
TPM protects from software-based attacks that attempt to steal sensitive information by corrupting system and BIOS code, or by modifying the platform’s configuration.
TPM is an industry-wide standard for secure crypto-processors. The Trusted Computing Group (TCG) is responsible for TPM technical specifications.
The dedicated microprocessor is designed to secure hardware by integrating cryptographic keys into devices.
VMware vSphere 6.7 introduces support for TPM 2.0. TPM 1.2 and TPM 2.0 are two vastly different implementations: • Servers are shipped with either the TPM 1.2 or the TPM 2.0 chip.
VMware vSphere 6.7 introduces support for the Virtual Trusted Platform Module (vTPM) device, which lets you add a TPM 2.0 virtual crypto-processor to a VM.
A vTPM device is a software emulation of the TPM functionality. It enables the guest operating system to create and store private keys in such a way that they are never exposed to this guest operating system.
It enables the guest operating system to use the private key for encryption or signing.
With a vTPM device, a third party can remotely attest to (validate) the identity of the firmware and the guest operating system. vTPM has the following use cases:
·         An operating system can verify that the firmware loaded was not compromised since the last run.
·         An application can verify that the operating system did not load any malicious components
vTPM depends on VM encryption to secure virtual TPM data.
When you configure vTPM, VM encryption automatically encrypts the VM’s home directory (which contains nvram, *.vmx, *.vmsn, snapshots, core files, and so on) but not the disks. You can choose to add encryption explicitly for the VM and its disks. You can back up a VM enabled with a vTPM: • The backup must include all VM data, including the nvram file.
·         If your backup does not include the nvram file, then you cannot restore a VM with a vTPM.
·         Since the VM home files are encrypted, ensure that the encryption keys are available at the time of a restore.
You can remove a vTPM from a VM. However, removing vTPM causes all encrypted information on a VM to become unrecoverable.
Before removing vTPM from a VM, disable any applications in the guest operating system that use vTPM
Component requirements
·         ESXi 6.7
·         vCenter Server 6.7
·         KMS configured in vCenter Server to encrypt a VM
Virtual machine requirements:
·         EFI firmware
·         Virtual machine hardware version 14 or later
·         Windows 10 (64-bit) or Windows Server 2016 (64-bit) guest operating system
vTPM does not require a physical TPM 2.0 chip to be present on the ESXi host. However, if you want to perform host attestation, an external entity, such as a TPM 2.0 physical chip, is required.
For an excellent quick visual overview, watch Mike from VMware's presentation.

Monday, 15 October 2018

Free eBook from VMware - Modern PC Management

VMware have very kindly made available another free ebook entitled:

Modern PC Management for Dummies

The book covers the following:

This is straight from the Intro page.

"Welcome to Modern PC Management For Dummies, your guide to effectively managing desktop, mobile, and rugged devices in the heterogeneous world of today’s  business IT.
First of all, what do we mean by “modern PC management”? In the context of this book, PC management refers to an IT department’s ability to effectively commission, support, and decommission computing devices assigned to individual users. The old methods that IT departments of the past have employed just aren’t cutting it anymore; modern solutions are needed to address today’s management issues.

Modern management brings the efficiency of mobile device management (MDM) with the full breath of capabilities of PC lifecycle management (PCLM) to enable UEM via a digital workspace platform. The digital workspace collapses the silos between mobile and desktop management and even line‐of‐business application management to enable all devices."

The book comprises of 5 chapters over 58 pages and is authored by Kevin Strohmeyer, Aditya Kunduri, and Justin Grimsley

Definitely worth a read.

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

vSAN 6.7 and what's to come

Today I've been talking about vSAN in relation to the vSAN 6.6 Deploy and Manage Course.

I was lucky enough to be at the March Newcastle upon Tyne North East VMUG meeting, and Duncan Epping was one of the key note speakers, I recalled that he gave us a session on VMware vSAN 6.7 and what was to come.

The presentation is available on YouTube and if you've got an hour spare, it's worth a watch.


Join Duncan Epping, Chief Technologist VMware EMEA to learn about the new features and functionality of vSAN 6, how this release delivers a more intuitive operating experience, a more consistent application experience, whilst offering a more holistic support experience for our customers.

Saturday, 29 September 2018

Free eBook from VMware - Data Center Modernisation for Dummies

Here's another free eBook from VMware, this one is is all about Data Center Modernisation and is called.

Data Center Modernisation for Dummies

The book covers the following, with this introduction coming straight from the book.

"So, why do you need to modernise your data center? It all
begins with the digital transformation that is sweeping the
planet — and disrupting businesses at a fundamental level. In
every industry, companies are under pressure to interact with
their customers in new ways, through new channels, and to
delight them with new personalised experiences."

The book is written by Theresa Villatore-Silva and consists of 48 pages.


Friday, 28 September 2018

VMware Security Hardening Guides

Today we've been talking about security in VMware vSphere, and as part of the class one of the things I've started looking at is the:

VMware Security Hardening Guides

Security Hardening Guides provide prescriptive guidance for customers on how to deploy and operate VMware products in a secure manner.

Guides for vSphere are provided in an easy to consume spreadsheet format, with rich metadata to allow for guideline classification and risk assessment.

They also include script examples for enabling security automation. Comparison documents are provided that list changes in guidance in successive versions of the guide.

There's various guides on the site, but today we were only concerned about vSphere 6.5.

Worth having a look to see how much of the guides you follow?

VMware vSAN 6.7 Hands on Labs

As a VMware Certified Instructor, I spend time talking about VMware products, on a couple of the courses we talk about vSAN and what it gives up from a policy based software defined storage architecture.

I'm now finding that with products such as Dell VX Rail and other HCI solutions, delegates are asking more questions, and showing more interest in these lessons.

I always recommend playing with the product, and again, thanks to those at VMware, we have two really useful Hands on Labs to look at.

The first lab is the vSAN 6.7 Getting Started, in the lab:

"vSAN delivers flash-optimized, secure shared storage with the simplicity of VMware vSphere for all of your critical virtualized workloads."

The second lab is the vSAN 6.7 Advanced, in the lab:

"In this lab, you will be challenged to scale-out a vSAN cluster and to recover from misconfiguration issues."

Both labs can be accessed via the VMware Evaluation site

Thursday, 27 September 2018

VMware vForum Online Fall 2018

Are you Free October 9th 2018? If the answer is yes, why not sign up for the VMware vForum Online Fall 2018?

vForum Online is a must-attend event for IT professionals who are driving their digital transformation and building a hyper-converged IT infrastructure that:

  • Modernises Data Centers
  • Integrates Public Clouds
  • Transforms Networks and Security
  • Secures Digital Workspaces

vForum Online provides expert insight that can help drive innovation for your organisation. Our information-packed agenda includes virtual exhibits, a keynote presentation, multiple breakout sessions, live chat with experts and hands-on labs. And with no travel required, there’s no reason not to attend!

The full agenda can be accessed as a PDF

With over 40 sessions available and Hands On Labs, I'm sure there'll be something that will spark your interest.

To register visit the registration page.

Enjoy, see you there.

Wednesday, 26 September 2018

VMworld 2018 Hands on Labs Available

Sometimes we need to play with products to better understand them. Obviously from a business point of view, playing with live production system can cause a bit of disruption.

I've been teaching courses before and a delegate decides to try what we're learning on their live kit, and a couple of times this has caused the live kit to function less well, just because I can give a virtual machine 64 vCPUs , doesn't mean I should.

VMware have now released a list of their most popular Hands On Labs, best bit is, they are free.

There's labs for:

vSphere 6.7

and much more.

Visit the VMware Top VMworld Hands On Labs site for more information, and to start playing with the products in a safe and controlled environment.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

VMware Cloud on AWS course now available

VMware have now released their VMC on AWS course

The course is 3 days in length and can be attended either in classroom, onsite, or Live on Line

This three-day course teaches you skills for deploying and managing a VMware Cloud on AWS infrastructure. Through a mix of lecture and hands-on labs, you deploy and manage the VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware vSphere® features that build a foundation for a hybrid infrastructure. You also discuss when and where these features have the greatest effect. Anyone planning to migrate, build, or hybridize with VMware Cloud on AWS can benefit from this course.


1  Course Introduction
2  Introduction to VMware Cloud on AWS
3  Deploying an SDDC
4  VMware Cloud on AWS: Storage
5  VMware Cloud on AWS: Networking
6  Working with On-Premises VMware vSphere
7  VMware Cloud on AWS Permissions and Security
8  Scaling the SDDC and Host Management
9  Virtual Machine Management
10  Working with Other AWS Services
11  Using Other VMware Products with the SDDC
12  Maintaining and Troubleshooting VMware Cloud on AWS

For more information visit VMware Education website

Monday, 17 September 2018

VMware VCAP exams coming to End of Life

Hi All

Just a quick info type article.

We have some exams coming to the end of life.

Exam number/title  3V0-622 / VCAP6-DCV Design Exam will retire 30th September 2018 , and will be replaced by 3V0-624 / VCAP6.5-DCV Design Exam

Exam number/title  3V0-632 / VCAP6-CMA Design Exam will retire 30th September 2018 , and will be replaced by 3V0-732 / VCAP7-CMA Design Exam

Exam number/title  3V0-652 / VCAP6-DTM Design Exam will retire 30th September 2018 , and will be replaced by 3V0-752 / VCAP7-DTM Design Exam.

For more information visit the Retired Certifications and Exams page

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Free eBook from VMware - Network Virtualisation for Dummies 2nd Edition

I have to say, I like free stuff, my delegates like free stuff, so thanks to VMware for more free stuff.

VMware have very kindly made available for download  a free ebook called Network Virtualisation For Dummies 2nd Generation.

The book covers the following, straight from the introduction of the book.

"Before we get to the heart of the matter of network virtualisation,
let us briefly describe some topics that we cover within these
pages. All the following requirements build the case for moving
out of the hardwired network past and into the flexible world of
network virtualization, which we describe in depth in Chapter 1:
The network needs to move as fast as the business.
Network security needs to move faster than cybercriminals do.
Applications need the flexibility to run anywhere.
So, how do you get there? The first step is to immerse yourself in
the concepts of this new approach to networking. That’s what this
book is all about."

The book contains six chapters over 79 pages and was written by Jonathan Morin and Shinie Shaw.

Definitely worth a look.

Tuesday, 4 September 2018

3 New VMware Certifications

VMware have released 3 new certifications based on their new naming format, of including the year earned, and they are:

VMware Certified Professional - Desktop and Mobility 2018 (VCP-DTM 2018)

The VCP-DTM 2018 certification validates a candidate’s skills in performing in-depth configuration and management of VMware Horizon 7.5 environments. This industry leading certification proves that VCP-DTM 2018 earners can securely deliver personalised virtual desktops, applications, and online services to end-users.

VMware Certified Advanced Professional — Data Center Virtualization Deploy 2018

The industry-recognised VCAP-DCV 2018 Deploy certification validates that you know how to deploy and optimise VMware vSphere 6.5 infrastructures. It proves that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to leverage best practices that provide a scalable and reliable virtualisation platform for your organisation.

The industry-recognized VCAP-CMA Deploy 2018 certification validates that you know how to deploy and optimise data center environments using the tools provided by vRealize Automation. It proves that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to leverage best practices to provide a scalable and reliable virtualisation platform for your organisation.

For more information on the above, click the titles to go through to the certification pages.

VMworld 2018 US Session videos

This year, I'll be heading out to VMworld 2018 in Barcelona, I missed US VMworld 2018 due to work.

Fortunately VMware have made the session available in replay, this means that I can watch the sessions of interest in my own time or as part of, "trainer dev time."

Thanks once again VMware, see you all in November.

VMware VMworld 2018 session replay

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Changes to VMware certification naming

VMware are about to change the naming of their certifications, we'll still have the VCP, VCAP, and VCDX, but now they'll have the year earned, and will allow VMware to keep pace with their rapidly expanding product lines.

For example we currently have VCP-DCV 6.5, but now we have vSphere 6.7, and then vSphere x.x, etc.

We've already seen this naming with the VCP-DW 2018.

This means that the VCP-DCV 6.5 will for example become VCP-DCV 2018

This new naming will begin now, in August 2018, starting with the certifications listed below. This will not affect the naming of any existing certifications and is not retroactive.

With the new naming, we are also able to release certifications on a predictable, annual schedule:

Jan 1: All VCP certifications
Mar 1: All VCAP Design certifications
May 1: All VCAP Deploy certifications
VCDX certification updates will follow VCAP releases

The Year Makes It Clear. We are excited to release these new certifications below with the new naming, available for new candidates and those needing to recertify or upgrade:

VMware Certified Professional – Desktop and Mobility 2018 (VCP-DTM 2018)
VMware Certified Advanced Professional – Data Center Virtualization Deployment (VCAP-DCV 2018 Deployment)
VMware Certified Advanced Professional – Cloud Management and Automation Deployment (VCAP-CMA 2018 Deployment)

For more information, visit the VMware Education Blog and also read the FAQ document

Monday, 20 August 2018

VMUG North East in September

Do you live around the North East of England? Are you free on the 20th September 2018?

If the answer is yes, then why not book your place on the VMUG North East meeting.

When :

20th September 2018
8:40AM to 10PM


Royal Station Hotel
Neville Street
Newcastle upon Tyne


Cormac Hogan (VMware)
Bryan O'Connor , yep that's me.
Adam Bohle (VMware)
Nick Luchkov (Nakivo)
Tom Illingworth (IGEL)
Dale Handley
Darren Hirons (VMware)
Matt Evans (VMware)

For more information and to book your place. Visit the VMUG site

Tuesday, 24 July 2018

Upgrading to VMware vSphere 6.5 - Free ebook

September is fast approaching and with that, VMware vSphere 5.5 is coming to an end of support.

As a VMware Certified Instructor, I am still running a lot of VMware vSphere 6.5 courses.

Even though we now have VMware vSphere 6.7, 6.5 is still proving a popular choice, and with that in mind, it may be worth having a look at the following ebook.

UPGRADING TO VMWARE VSPHERE 6.5 - Insights for vSphere administrators

The book is only 32 pages long and breaks the upgrade into 3 phases

  • Phase 1: Pre-Upgrade
  • Phase 2: Upgrade
  • Phase 3: Post-Upgrade
The book also has links off to various other useful documents.

Thanks to Emad Younis for his time in authoring this book.

Friday, 6 July 2018

How to use Horizon Module with PowerCLI

Today I've been looking at the Extensibility to Horizon View, but primarily using VMware PowerCLI with Horizon.

VMware Horizon PowerCLI provides Windows PowerShell cmdlets for administering VMware Horizon from the command line.

Windows PowerShell uses the Microsoft.NET object model and provides administrators with management and automation capabilities.

As with any console environment, you work with Windows PowerShell by running commands, which are called cmdlets. They follow the verb-noun structure for example Get-Help

View Connection Server includes more than 45 Windows PowerShell-based cmdlets. You can use these cmdlets with the VMware vSphere® PowerCLITM cmdlets. You can also use the VMware Horizon cmdlets to examine the configuration of vCenter Server systems and management of licensing, global configuration, connection brokers, pools, entitlements, and desktop-user assignment. This enhancement enables automation and scripting and provides extensibility to administration tasks.

VMware Horizon PowerCLI is installed during the View Connection Server installation.

For more information download the View Integration guide

For a quick overview watch the following video.

Thursday, 5 July 2018

VMware video - vCenter Embedded Linked Mode

We got into a talk last week regarding vCenter Embedded linked mode with vCenter, and I found this video quite useful as a reference.

vCenter Server embedded linked mode enables you to connect multiple vCenter Servers together seamlessly without the need for external Platform Services Controllers.

All explained in 4 minutes, Thanks once again to VMware for providing these useful resources

VMware Workspace ONE - Education Webcasts

A few weeks ago, I wrote a little article about the VCP-DW 2018 certification and mentioned a webcast relating to training and certification.

Upcoming VMware Webcast : What's new Digital Workspace Training and Certification

I then realised that I forgot to post about the next set of webcasts relating to the VCP-DW 2018 certification, so apologies, the first webcast has been played, but is available for on-demand viewing and the remaining webcasts are available to register.

VMware are running a set of webcasts for Workspace ONE for which you can register, and as an added bonus, you will also receive a certification exam voucher with the completion of qualifying Workspace ONE training.

The first session as mentioned is already available for On-Demand and covers Migrating to Workspace ONE


Migrating to Workspace ONE. What does it mean for AirWatch customers? Many existing AirWatch customers ask “What am I losing by migrating to Workspace ONE?” The answer is nothing! When you extend your existing AirWatch deployment to include Workspace ONE, you gain new capabilities and the ability to conquer challenges including:

  • Deliver any application from the latest mobile cloud apps to legacy enterprise apps
  • Unified app catalog transforms employee onboarding
  • Single sign-on that federates even the most complex on-premises Active Directory Topologies
  • Password-free access leveraging Device Trust and PIN/Biometric timeout settings for authentication

We’ll also provide an overview of Workspace ONE Intelligence, the new reporting capability in Workspace ONE. Workspace ONE powered by Intelligence aggregates and correlates device, application and user data together in one place to give you a complete view of your entire digital workspace environment.

The remaining sessions are:

  • Title: Session 2: Workspace ONE: Managing in Windows 10 
  • Date: Thursday, July 12, 2018
  • Time: 12:00 PM British Summer Time
  • Duration: 1 hour

  • Title: Session 3: Using Workspace ONE to Manage your Apple Device Fleet 
  • Date: Thursday, August 02, 2018
  • Time: 12:00 PM British Summer Time
  • Duration: 1 hour
To register visit VMware Education Services

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Free ebook from VMware - Accelerating Digital Transformation with Containers and Kubernetes

Even as a trainer/lecturer firmly entrenched in the sysop mould, even I have to now concern myself with the move to Devop, on the majority of systems and infrastructure courses I now deliver, we cover containers.

I see the point, I see how they can make our lives easy, I can see how system become more fluid and dynamic.

But!!!!!! I've worked in IT since 1986 and my stereotypical view of developers still exists, these are people who sit in cupboards, have no communication skills and hate the sun light.

Fortunately my views are now be challenged, and at the company I work for, we deliver award winning apprenticeship programs, and seeing the next generation of IT professionals coming through I can see that my stereotypical view of developers is outdated.

VMware have kindly produced a free eBook entitled:

Accelerating Digital Transformation with Containers and Kubernetes

The book is written by Steve Hoenisch and covers.

From the introduction in the book:

Digital transformation, the commoditization of IT, the Internet of things,
the proliferation of mobile devices, the growing popularity of public
clouds, big data, and other seismic technological changes are radically
altering the way businesses are run. Innovative software applications
are, for many businesses, a critical objective. Consumers, customers, and
keeping ahead of the competition demand it.

But one-time innovation is often not enough. The digital era calls for
continuous innovation at an accelerated pace—and the kind of modernized
data centers and software development technologies that make it

Container technology can help transform a company into a digital
enterprise focused on delivering innovations at the speed of business.
Containers package applications and their dependencies into a distributable
image that can run almost anywhere, streamlining the development
and deployment of software.

By adopting containers, organizations can take a vital step toward
remaking themselves into flexible, agile digital enterprises capable of
accelerating the delivery of innovative products, services, and customer
experiences. Enterprises can become the disrupters instead of the disrupted.
But containers create technology management problems of their own,
especially when containerized applications need to be deployed and
managed at scale, and that’s when Kubernetes comes into play. Kubernetes
automates the deployment and management of containerized
applications. More specifically, Kubernetes orchestrates containerized
applications to manage and automate resource utilization, failure handling,
availability, configuration, desired state, and scalability.

This book introduces you to containers and Kubernetes, explains their
business value, explores their use cases, and illuminates how they can
accelerate your organization’s digital transformation.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

VMware Product Walk through

One of the things that I always find hard when presenting a course is that, there needs to be a balance of the amount of information that is presented vs the amount of time that people can physically sit and adsorb that information.

Therefore I always try to provide additional resources that may be of some use, like this blog for example, which I maintain for my own selfish purposes, it's somewhere to reference with material I find useful, that may also be useful to others.

I always like to reference other products while talking about the VMware SDDC, and I have found that the VMware Product Walkthroughs site to be quite useful.

It has information relating to:

  • vRealize Suite
  • VMware vSAN
  • vRealize Network Insight
  • vSphere 6.x
  • NSX
  • VMC on AWS
  • vCenter Site Recovery Manager
  • VMware Integrated OpenStack
  • Hybrid Cloud eXtension (HCX)
  • SAP on SDDC
  • VMware Partner Edge
  • VMware Cloud Foundation 2.3
  • VMware Cloud Management

For more information go to the:

VMware Product Walkthroughs site

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

New courses available for VMware vSphere 6.7

With September fast approaching and the end of life for VMware vSphere 5.5 support also approaching fast, it may be time to look at training on the latest version of the VMware vSphere product.

As a VCI I have a vested interest in training area and as such would love to see some of you attend the courses I deliver.

The two new courses available cover two areas, we have firstly the course suitable for people new to VMware or needing a complete refresh.

VMware vSphere: Install, Configure, Manage [V6.7]


This five-day course features intensive hands-on training that focuses on installing, configuring, and managing VMware vSphere® 6.7, which includes VMware ESXi™ 6.7 and VMware vCenter Server® 6.7. This course prepares you to administer a vSphere infrastructure for an organisation of any size. It is the foundation for most other VMware technologies in the software-defined data centre.

Product Alignment

ESXi 6.7
vCenter Server 6.7

The second course is for those wishing to update their skills from vSphere 5.x to vSphere 6.x

VMware vSphere: What's New [V5.5 to V6.7]


In this three-day, hands-on training course, you explore the new features and enhancements in VMware vCenter Server® 6.7 and VMware ESXi™ 6.7. Real-world use-case deployment scenarios, hands-on lab exercises, and lectures teach you the skills that you need to effectively implement and configure VMware vSphere® 6.7. This course is recommended for customers who want to deploy vSphere 6.7 into their existing vSphere environment.

Product Alignment

ESXi 6.7
vCenter Server 6.7

Also watch out for additional courses being announced. Hope to see you one day on one of my courses.

Friday, 15 June 2018

VMware Upgrade paths across VCP tracks

As a VCI, I am often asked about certification, and for most people it's fairly straight forward.

However for people who's certification is about to expire, perhaps it's not that straight forward.

Thankfully Karl Childs of VMware has produced a couple of Blogs on the VMware Education Blog that are extremely useful.

The first one is New “Bridge” Upgrade Path for Current VCPs, which explains that, any VCP who is two versions behind the most current available version in the same solution track can upgrade to the latest by only taking one exam.

The second one is Certification Insights: Mind the Gap! Your Upgrade Paths Across Tracks, this introduces the new policy:

Crossing certification tracks rule: This policy allows active certification holders to upgrade to a different certification track, as long as the current certification is within two product versions.

Thursday, 14 June 2018

VMware vSphere 6.7 - What's New - technical paper

I've been working with vSphere 6.7 for a little while now, and in class talking about vSphere 6.7 for a while now, this had led to multiple links to multiple sites.

Thankfully VMware, to be precise, Emad Younis, Mike Foley, Eric Gray, Kyle Ruddy, and Sudhir Balasubramanian have produced a technical paper entitled:


Over 32 pages this technical paper explains the new functionality and features of VMwares latest version of their vSphere product.

                                               WHAT’S NEW IN VMWARE vSPHERE 6.7

Sunday, 10 June 2018

VMC on AWS - Just some thoughts

As an IT veteran of now more than 30 years, I have watched the cyclic nature of IT.

I started in 1986 working in a centralised datacentre, it was offsite and used an IBM mainframe, my company then moved to a LAN based network using Novell products, which gave us an onsite datacentre, then came virtualisation with VMware, still onsite, and now I’m back around in full circle, talking about offsite datacentres, and we call this the cloud.

Like many of my peers I’m happy with my on premises datacentre, I’ve invested time in training, server hardware, software and, experience of having full control of what I have, but I like the flexibility and potential cost savings that the cloud can give me, but I don’t want to throw away what I know and what I maintain.

There must be an alternative, and there is, the hybrid cloud, I get the security of my own datacentre, but if required I get the flexibility of the public cloud. I maintain my skillset, but as an IT professional, I get to also continue moving forward with new skills.

I attended VMworld in Barcelona last year, the big push point for me, was that VMware were now promoting themselves as a cloud company, my main focus was VMware and Amazon coming together to give me what I asked for, a hybrid solution called VMC (VMware on the Cloud) on AWS (Amazon Web Services). For me, hybrid is the future, we don’t have to be purely private cloud, or public cloud, let’s do both.

What is VMC on AWS?

VMware Cloud on AWS is an on-demand service that enables you to run applications across vSphere-based cloud environments, on premises or Private Cloud integrates with the VMware products running inside an AWS datacentre, with access to a broad range of AWS services. Utilising VMware Cloud Foundation, this service integrates with VMware’s Software Defined Datacentre products.

VMware vSphere provided the Compute functionality to the services than run.
VMware vSAN gives object based software defined storage, allowing per service policies for performance and redundancy.

VMware NSX gives a 7 layer software defined networking solution.

VMware vCenter management, gives a consistent view of the entire cloud, and this in turn allows traditional VMware administrators to continue to utilise the management skills already mastered.

VMC on AWS is optimized to run on dedicated, elastic, bare-metal AWS infrastructure. With VMware Hybrid Cloud Extension, customers can easily and rapidly perform large-scale bi-directional migrations between on-premises and VMware Cloud on AWS environments.

Important to remember, these are not virtualised ESXi servers in an AWS datacentre, these are bare metal servers hosted in an AWS datacentre, and yes the UK has this support.

Why VMC on AWS?

On premises solutions can be prohibitively expensive, with our modern Agile working environments this can become a major stumbling block to our business requirements, with VMware VMC on AWS, VMware have provided an environment that can scale in or out quickly. This can provide the following benefits.

  • ·         Enterprise-Grade Capabilities – Leveraging VMware’s SDDC products that are already familiar.

·     Simple and Consistent Operations – In just a few clicks a VMware environment can be provisioned in a hybrid environment.

·        Flexible Consumption to Suit Your Business Needs – Consume what is needed, when it is needed.

·        Delivered as a Service from VMware – No need to deal with multiple vendors. VMware are responsible for the ongoing support of the entire hybrid environment.

Use Cases for VMC on AWS

Although all companies can think of reasons for utilising the cloud, here are a few suggestions.

  • ·        Cloud Migration - Rapidly and easily migrate vSphere-based workloads to the cloud with VMware Cloud on AWS. Utilise familiar VMware tools and skills to accelerate cloud migrations. Once in the cloud, utilise VMware and AWS services to modernize your applications at your leisure.
  • ·         Application Migration - Extend on premises data centres and easily migrate application workloads to VMC on AWS. Allow business workload portability between on-premises and VMware Cloud on AWS. Allowing applications optimized access to native AWS services.
  • ·         System Expansion - Easily extend your systems into the cloud and get VMware-consistent, enterprise-grade environments in the AWS cloud in a fast and cost-effective way with VMware Cloud on AWS. Allowing for new projects and business locations to be provisioned quickly and easily with a trusted platform.
  • ·         Flexible and on-demand Capacity - Get VMware Software Defined Data Centre capacity in the AWS Cloud in minutes whenever there is a business need to meet temporary, seasonal, or unplanned demand. Such as an impromptu sale.  Take advantage of elastic capacity and usage-based costings of VMware Cloud on AWS by moving your live applications into an environment that is operationally consistent with your VMware data centre.
  • ·         Test and Development Quickly deploy on demand systems with VMC on AWS for test and development, these systems can be spun up and down without the reliance of having to purchase additional on premises hardware.
  • ·         Disaster Recovery as a Service with VMware Site Recovery - Easily deliver business continuity with VMware Site Recovery using your on premises and VMC on AWS

To conclude, with the dynamic environments in which work, Agile working practices and being able to be one step ahead of the competition, the hybrid cloud allows this to happen.

With VMC on AWS, all VMware professionals have an environment that is consistent with the current on premise version of VMware (must be at least version 6.5), workloads are extended into an extension of the datacentre, this gives users a robust and reliable system and allows for the continuing use of what is already a heavily invested system.

For administrators, support is provided by VMware and continues to allow IT to utilise management systems that they have used for years, rather than have to learn new management utilities such as the AWS console, all administration is done via VMware utilities.

With VMC on AWS the hybrid cloud gives the flexibility to develop systems and applications for the future, and to also allow a company the flexibility to decide were those systems will live, but also allow the dynamic environment to move those applications from on premise to the cloud and back again.




Sunday, 3 June 2018

Are you going to VMworld 2018 Las Vegas or Barcelona or both?

I've been extremely lucky over the last few years to attend VMware VMWorld in Europe and the States.

I'll be there again this year at Barcelona.

There's a number of reasons to go.

1) This is the most important for me, this is an opportunity to meet my peers and see how they ustilise VMware products, and to share real world uses of the products, this is important to me as a VMware Certified Instructor, as it allows me to tell stories in my classes about the products, rather than just teach the tech.

I also get to catch up with friends from around the world and to also make new friends.

2) The sessions, this is an opportunity to get deep dives and introductions to the newest products, you get to know what the product is, see what the product does, and also learn how to troubleshoot the products in the rare event they don't behave as expected.

3) The General sessions, this is an opportunity to learn about the present and future of VMware, it's amazing to see the passion of the senior management at VMware, as well as the passion from the staff at VMware.

4) The Sponsors Hall, have a look at the technologies that VMware runs on, and also the technologies that complement VMware, and support VMware, leave your suitcase half empty, this is where you get the freebies.

5) Hands On Labs, play with the product.

6) Education Village, come along and sit on some sessions about the products you use, sit some exams and if you see me, say hello.

7) The parties, last year we had the Kaiser Chiefs headlining the party, again, it's an opportunity to catch up with friends.

Hope to see you there.

To register, click the link.

Register for VMworld 

Thursday, 31 May 2018

Enterprise Mobility and Security

I've been looking at Mobility solutions this week along with associated security.

"Most organizations are proactive when protecting PCs from attack, but mobile devices often go unmonitored and unprotected. Mobile platforms, even with built-in protections, can remain vulnerable to sophisticated attacks. As more and more of your employees use devices for work, protecting these devices becomes critical to protecting your sensitive information. To help you keep your data secure,

Intune provides device compliance reports with detailed information on the compliance posture of devices in your organization. Your admins can quickly troubleshoot compliance-related issues and drill down into individual devices to view specific settings and policies that affect the device."

For more information have a look at the  Enterprise mobility and Security newsletter

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

VMware vSphere 6.7 - vCenter Deployment Topologies

On a number of the VMware courses that I deliver we talk about the VMware vCenter product.

I generally talk about vCenter, but I should actually talk about vCenter and the Platform Services Controller or PSC. It's historical and age that means I talk about the combined services as the vCenter.

In Summary these two bits of software do two different sets of services.

Lets start with the PSC , the PSC provides the following services.

  • vCenter Single Sign-On (SSO)
  • VMware License Server
  • Lookup Service
  • VMware Certificate Authority (CA)
  • Certificate Store
  • VMware Directory Service
The vCenter component provides the following services.
  • vCenter Server
  • vSphere Web Client (server)
  • vSphere Update Manager (VUM)
  • VMware vSphere Auto Deploy
  • VMware vSphere ESXi Dump Collector
  • VMware vSphere Syslog Collector
These two distinct bits of software can be installed on one box (embedded mode), or split between boxes (distributed mode).

Fiedhlim O'Leary of VMware has produced a lightboard talking about the ways in which vCenter can be deployed and the considerations for both.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

VMware Software Defined Data Centre Upgrade and Product Interoperability Consideration

Today I've been looking at the upgrade of  VMware vCenter to 6.7, and one of the concerns is that the VMware Software Defined Data Centre is so much more than just vSphere.

Products that also require consideration are listed below.

  • vRealize Automation
  • vRealize Orchestrator
  • vRealize Operations Manager
  • vRealize Log insight
  • NSX Manager
  • NSX Controller
  • NSX Edge
  • Platform Service Controller
  • vCenter Server
  • VUM (Windows)
  • ESXi
  • vSphere Replication
  • Site Recovery Manager 
  • VMware Tools (VM)
  • VM Hardware version
  • vSAN
As part of the upgrade the consideration is that, there has to be compatibility between all the products and components that go to build the SDDC  (Software Defined Data Centre), we IT people do love our acronyms.

With the above in mind I have found the VMware  Product Interoperability Matrices web page quite useful.

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Upcoming VMware Webcast : What's new Digital Workspace Training and Certification

With the evolution of the Cloud, and as an instructor/trainer of technical courses, I'm seeing a massive interest in End User Computing / digital workspace.

I posted a few weeks ago about the VMware VCP-DW certification.

If you're free tomorrow Thursday 24th May 2018 , why not sign up for the:

What’s New: Digital Workspace Training and Certification - webcast

Summary from the webcast page:

Join us for an exciting webcast looking at the training opportunities for VMware’s Workspace ONE powered by AirWatch technology. Andy will provide an update on new courses being released, plus an update on accreditations and the new VCP-DW certification. This session is a great opportunity to find out what your next step is and information regarding our brand-new certification. You will be in expert hands to answer all your questions about training and updating your skills for your digital workspace.

Choose Your Time:

08:00 AM – 9:00 AM PDT
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM BST
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM SGT

Also while on the webcast intro page, why not also visit some of the many On-Demand webcasts available.

VMware vSphere 6.7 vCenter Server High Availability Light Board

As mentioned in many of my posts, I am a VCI teaching VMware Data Centre Virtualisation courses, along with my presentations, I like to make as many resources available as possible to delegates.

One topic that always interests people on the VMware courses is vCenter high availability, with this in mind, it's worth a few minutes of your time to watch another light board by: 

Fiedhlim O'Leary of VMware presenting vCenter High Availability in vSphere 6.7


Tuesday, 22 May 2018

VMware vSphere 5.5 to 6.7 Upgrade lightboard

As you may be aware vSphere 5.5 is coming to end of life, in class I get asked about the upgrade process for 5.5 to 6.7.

We cover the upgrades on the VMware vSphere 5.5 to 6.7 What's New course.

However Fiedhlim O'Leary of VMware has produced a light board video on the subject of upgrading from VMware vSphere 5.5 to 6.7

Monday, 21 May 2018

VMware vSphere 6.7 What's New Overview Lightboard

VMware vSphere 6.7 has now been with us for a few weeks, and as a VCI this is now one of my areas of coverage.

Fiedhlim O'Leary of VMware has produced a nice little 5 minute presentation that's worth a look if you're interested in an overview of the new features.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

VMware vSphere 6.x Configuration Maximums

As a VMware Certified Instructor, I get asked a lot of questions about configuration maximums, and in the past I used to reference a lot of PDFs.

Thankfully now, I don't have to, all I have to do is load a handy little website from VMware, that us the.

VMware Configuration Maximums website

At time of writing. The site covers/covered all of the current 6.x products, with the exception of the 6.5 Update 2 (that may now be there, depending on when this blog is accessed).

Here's the info and disclaimer from the above site. Thanks VMware.

This Configuration Maximums tool provides the recommended configuration limits for VMware products. When you configure, deploy and operate your virtual and physical equipment, it is highly recommended you stay at or below the maximums supported by your product. The limits presented in the tool are tested, recommended limits, and are fully supported by VMware.

Disclaimer: The limits can be affected by other factors, such as hardware dependencies. For more information about the supported hardware, see the appropriate hardware compatibility guide. It might not be possible to maximise all configuration settings and expect your desired outcome. To ensure that you do not exceed supported configurations for your environment, consult individual solution limits. The recommended configuration maximums do not represent the theoretical possibilities of your product.

As I also mention, this is a configuration maximum guide, and not a target to try to hit, think about your system, your SLAs, your Business, Function and Technology requirements, and then design your system appropriately.

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

VMware vSphere 6.7 ESXi Quick Boot

In our world of ever diminishing patience, I know that waiting many minutes for things to reboot is a pain. Being in my 40s, yes I can remember the world of dial up and DOS, but I want my stuff to reboot quickly.

Thankfully with VMware vSphere 6.7 we now have  ESXi Quick Boot, and as it's name suggests, it allows ESXi hosts to boot quickly.

Quick Boot is a vSphere feature that speeds up the upgrade process of an ESXi server.

Let's start with the the features.

  • ESXi Quick Boot allows ESXi to reboot without re-initialising physical server BIOS
  • Reboots can now be performed in 1 through 2 minutes
  • ESXi Quick Boot dramatically speeds up patch and maintenance operations that require ESXi reboot.
  • ESXi Quick Boot is integrated in the VMware Update Manager workflow during remediation operations.

There are however some requirements.
  • Requires compatible hardware and device drivers. Check the VMware Compatibility Guide 
  • The instalation of ESXi 6.7 must run native drivers only, this means that no VMKLinux drivers can be in use.
  • ESXi Secure Boot must not be enabled.
If you wish to check your hosts compatibility from the command line (ESXi Shell) type the following:


As a heads up, attempting to force ESXi Quick Boot on an unsupported system or unsupported configuration will fail back to a normal reboot, and a PSOD (purple diagnostic screen) can occur.

To enable Quick Boot:

1) In the Home view of the vSphere Web Client, select the Update Manager icon.

2) From the Objects tab, select an Update Manager instance. The Objects tab also displays all the vCenter Server system to which an Update Manager instance is connected.

3) Click the Manage tab.

4) Click Settings, and select Host/Cluster Settings.

5) Click Edit. The Edit Host/Cluster Settings dialog box opens.

6) Select Enable Quick Boot check box to allow Update Manager to reduce the host reboot time during remediation.

7) Click OK.

Here's a nice little demo from VMware.

With that, I can't use, "Yep, I'm going for a coffee, the Hosts rebooting"

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

VMware Horizon Cloud Fundamentals (2018) - Free elearning from VMware

As we keep getting told, the Cloud is the future, let's embrace it then.

As a VCI I teach the VMware VDI solution, VMware Horizon.

VMware have very kindly produced a new course called:

VMware Horizon Cloud Fundamentals (2018)


This course explains the architecture, features, benefits, and functionality of the two service offerings of Horizon Cloud, VMware Horizon Cloud Service with Hosted Infrastructure and VMware Horizon Cloud on Microsoft Azure.

The course is broken down into 4 sections and takes approximately 1.5 hours of self paced learning.

1.  Overview of Horizon Cloud
2.  Introduction to Horizon Cloud with Hosted Infrastructure
3.  Administration of Horizon Cloud
4.  Introduction to Horizon Cloud on Azure


Wednesday, 25 April 2018

VMware vSAN 6.7 product videos

Along with the release of VMware vSphere 6.7, we also got a new release of VMware's Software Defined Storage product vSAN, which is now also 6.7

VMware have produced some product related videos that are worth a watch

1) What's New in vSAN 6.7

2) vSAN 6.7 - WSFC support on vSAN!

3) vSAN 6.7 What's New Technical

4) vSAN 6.7 Technical Overview