I first came across Mike Brown a couple of weeks ago when I was searching for some kind of skinny-linux distro to use both with Nested ESX (ESX running ESX) and for vCloud Connector – on his site I found a copy of Linux DSL which is only 32MB in memory and disk for that purpose. As someone who’d help me, I thought it was only right and proper for me to help him, and shining a light on his blog and is work with VMware technologies. Turns out we had plenty in common as he’s been working on VMware Site Recovery Manager/DR project for a while…
Archive for the ‘Chinwag’ Category
Chinwag is back! Yes, I know its been a while a combo of travel and finding it difficult to pin guests down for specific dates has been the source of the unexpected hiatus. In fact I think its the biggest chinwag-gap I’ve had since I started. This weeks chinwaggee is Angelo Luciani. He’s one of the VMUG Leaders in Toronto, and he also helped to found the Silicon Valley VMUG. His day job is with a large financial institution in Toronto – but in fact most of our chat remained on the topic of VMUGs – and how to encourage more user/member participation. It was sort of inspired by the recent blogpost I did on the subject.
For some reason the old 70′s Kung-Fo Movie gremlins were at play – so you’ll notice that ye old lip movements aren’t in synch with the sound. Not quite sure why that happened, as Skype & YouTube normally play ball. Anyway, so long as the audio is clear – what the hell…
Blog URL: demitasse.co.nz
This week’s chinwag is with Alastair Cooke who is based in New Zealand. Amongst his very many talents he is a Trainer, Consultant, Writer and Geek, and attained vExpert status in both 2011 & 2012. He’s very heavily involved (with others) in the vBrownbag project, as well as being the creator of the AutoLab. In case you don’t know AutoLab is a fully automated deployment of vSphere (and View, vCloud Director) which can be used with a powerful home computer (VMware Workstation and VMware Fusion) or hosted by BareMetalCloud.com. The intention is for the vCommunity to use it as a platform for learning more about vSphere technologies with the aim of certification in most cases I imagine. It fits nicely into the vBrownbag ethos – where vBrownbag is where you learn, and AutoLab provides the environment to learn. But in my own mind I see it possible being used to spin up lab suitable to testing upgrades or scripts against – if the business you work for doesn’t have dedicate test/dev kit for vSphere. In a more fantastical idea of mine I wondered also if the AutoLab could be used a deployment tool to cookie-cutter real-world deployments to production environments.
Anyway, myself and Alastair discuss all things AutoLab, vBrownbags, Training and Certification:
This weeks VMwareWag is with David Hill, and was record last week just before the PEX. Before joining VMware, David was a self-employed IT Consultant and Architect for around 15 years, working on projects for large consultancies and financial institutions. He works as Senior Solutions Architect within Services and Solutions Engineering. He tweets as @davehill99 and like many of us blogs at virtual-blog.com. David’s focus on the vCloud Suite – but I spent sometime quizing him about vCloud Director, because that’s my current focus.
Q1. What for you are the stand-out aspects of vCloud Director?
Q2. Perhaps you can begin with a quick description of a Provider vDC…. Now Provider vDC can contain more than one HA/DRS cluster – what’s the logic behind where the VM gets placed?
Q3. Do you think the changes behind the Provider vDC might ultimately lead to changes in design or best practises. For many a HA/DRS cluster represents a desecrate amount of compute/storage/networking – you could almost call it a virtual silo. Do you see that changing…?
Q4. Can I ask what are you working on currently – what’s keeping you awake at night with thoughts on vCloud Director… or is your mind else where!
Last week it was my great pleasure to be the guest of the Sydney and Melbourne VMUGs. We managed to find time in the hetic schedule for vCatchup’s Craig Waters and the Chinwag’s Mike Laverick (that’s me by the way) to have good all natter. We start of chatting about the VMUGs and why I do ‘em, and then we talk about the future of software-defined networking…
Vinay Gaonkar used to work at VMware, and since switched to Violin Memory – last year and this year VMware worked with Violin to smash through the psychological performance barrier of 1M IOPS to a VM. This year the guys at the performance team in VMware took a Violin Array and used it to do some Eric Sloof-Style “Myth Busting”, showing how there is no real performance difference between VMFS/VMDK and RDMs (Raw Device Mappings). It’s persistent myth that the “RAW” in RDM indicate some sort of “native throughput” that outperforms our VMFS/VMDK files. It’s something I’ve been saying since I was instructor in 2004/5. For me RDMs perhaps should have been called “Native Device Mappings”, because the allow the VM to natively speak to a LUN (iSCSI/FC) on the array mainly to get features or meet requirements for rather particular configurations – for example in the early days of MSCS Clustering inside a VM often you’d find either physical or virtual RDMs were a requirement to get to the shared/quorum volumes… or in technologies like EMC Recover Point you needed RDM to get some sort of “management LUN”. Both use case – really had nothing to do with performance….
This weeks chinwaggie clearly needs no introduction as the No1 Independent Blogger on the vCommunity scene – Eric Sloof. This week I was fortunate to sit in on the VMware vCloud Design Best Practises course that Eric was running in London. Although this course is still based on the older 1.5 version of vCloud Director it was still a fantasic course – because despite the obivious improvements in vCloud Director 5.1 (some of which may intail changes to those very same best practises) the principles and design challenges remain largely the same. The course is one of those which is very dependent on having a very capable instructor (that’s sorted!) and very good students (that was sorted too). There was a good mix of folks on the course including a former student of mine who taught vSphere4, as well people who had done their fair share of implementations as well. For me it was an excellent opportunity to both learn from others, as well as putting forward my own concerns about whether I had “done it the right way”. So look forward to a “debrief” post of mine in the next week as I run through the manual and my copious notes about how the course changed my views on the design. As ever with these courses you partly looking to have your own tentive ideas confirmed, or having them questioned…
After the course was over I was able to do an impromptu chinwag from the back of class with the man and legend – talking about vCloud Director, the challenges of design and the stuff that Eric would like to see VMware do next with vCloud Director.
Ed Grigson is a vExpert and based here in the UK, I know him well from the London User Group – and I’d forgotten that I’d been his instructor in the previous decade when I was VMware Certified Instructor. Of course like every vExpert he runs a blog where he shares what he learns and his views called vexperienced.co.uk and when he’s not doing real work he also tweets @egrigson . Of course, he’s too busy doing real work to be social media butterfly like yours truely…
Here’s a cut & paste job from Ed “about” page:
- Chartered IT Professional
- BSc (Hons) Brighton University
- VMware vExpert 2012
- VMware VCP3/4/5/, VCAP-DCA 4/5
- Netapp NCDA
- RedHat RHCSA (v6)
- Microsoft MCSE (NT4, Windows 2000)
- Cisco CCNA
- ITIL Foundation (v2 & v3, just to annoy @stevie_chambers)
- CIW (Certified Internet Webmaster)
In this weeks chinwag we didn’t so much have “questions” but more talking-points – so in the episode you will hear Ed give his views on the way Oracle are packaging the DB, OracleVM and hardware together in a single stack – is that a good thing? Ed’s not so sure… He also talks about his views on using vCloud Director as “lab management” system, and some of the challenges he’s faced in finding a good vCloud Service Provider… finally we talk more light-heartedly about his experience of being on Stephen Foskets Storage Field Day in Silcon Valley.
I was chatting with Chris Wahl recently, and I was racking my brains about how we first met – we both agreed it must have been on one of Stephen Foskett’s “Tech Field Days”. He blogs over on wahlnetwork.com and tweets on @ChrisWahl. Chris has a bio on his blog which I’ve redacted over here:
“I’m a virtualization-aholic living in the Chicago area. I’m a self proclaimed computer nerd, having started with BASIC programming on an Apple II back in the early 80′s using those fun example guides as a primer, co-operated a BBS on a whitebox 386 hosting VGA Planets and a few MUDs, and later moved into the field of infrastructure and systems administration.
I’m in your data center, virtualizing your servers.
Around 2006 I discovered the awesomeness of virtualization through VMware and was hooked ever since. I’ve run the gamut of their products, from servers, desktops, clouds, and much more. I like how virtualization harnesses the entire skillset range, from infrastructure, networking, compute, storage, and even some creative arts (such as fancy folder nesting!). I founded this blog in October of 2010 as a creative outlet for discussing technical topics and relaying my experiences publicly, and make it a point to provide content on a regular basis with a high standard of integrity.”
Last time we both in the same geography Chris was in Frankfurt for the HP event, and I was there speaking at VMUG. Sadly, we only found this out after the fact – if I’d been a little bit more switched on, perhaps we could have done this face to face… Anyway, me and Chris worked out a number of questions before the recording…
Ken Werneburg works as the Senior Manager in the Tech Marketing team at VMware, with a specific responsibility for the DR/BC range of products including Site Recovery Manager and vSphere Replication. Like many in the term Ken blogs pretty frequently and you can find a lot of his output on the “UpTime” blog on vmware.com. He’s also on twitter as @vmKen.
I asked Ken a number of questions and they were:
Q. vSphere Replication is pretty new (it was released just last year with vSphere5.0) so it seems fun to ask the question what’s new – but what is “new” in vSphere 5.1?
Q. A lot of people seem keen to corral VR into “SMB Only” play. What do you think of that? Are their usage cases in the Enterprize environments that people are overlooking?
Q. There’s a lot of choices out there in terms of “virtual” replication – why would customer chose vSphere Replication over the alternatives that out there…
Q. Finally, when ever people talk about backup or replication the thorny issue of “quisce” comes up. So how does VR handle the quisce of applications inside the guest operating system.