Archive for the ‘Chinwag’ Category

Chinwag Reloaded with Chad Sakac (@sakacc)

21 Nov

It’s back! I’m pleased to announce that I’m getting back into the Disc Jockey chair – and Chingwag is back! With a bang. I’m so stoked to say my first chinwaggie is Chad Sakac of EMC. This is the first time I’ve had on the show. And its all part of my “Rolling Thunder” Chinwag Relaunch – I will be interviewing the TOP people in our world for the next couple week. In the medium term I will reaching out to folks in the community who I know online or meet at VMUGs. So this new version of the podcast will not be a vRockstar only thing. It’s good to be back!

I’ve building up a library of Chinwags with folks since mid-October – this was recorded just before VMworld EU – 2014



Chad Sakac blogs at’ve known each for a while – met first at VMworld in Las Vegas. That was back when I was getting into SRM, and EMC and NetApp both helped me out with access to storage for the SRM 4.0 book. In this chinwag Chad gives his take on

  • Converged Vs Hyper-Converged
  • EMC’s plans for EVO:RAIL
  • EMC XtremIO upgrading

Click here to listen to the Podcast on this site…. or alternatively watch the youtube video below:

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VMTN Community Roundtable Podcast: #292 – VMware Foundation & VMworld Survival

21 Aug

IMG_3916This week I’ve been working in Palo Alto, CA at Corporate Headquarter. I’m here getting up to speed with all things VMware. Compared to others I’m not uber-busy, but somehow the pre-VMworld stress levels are rubbing off even on me. I thought coming out a week before would help me recover form the jounery, but I didn’t count on a bad layover at Houston, and the pulling a muscle in my neck. So if I’m looking at bit robotic at VMworld this year, its because I’m dosed up pain killers!

Being in Palo Alto meant I was for the first time able to do the VMTN Communities Roundtable Podcast in person with Eric Neilson. I tootled round to his place in Palo Alto and we did the recording from his home office come garage.

This weeks podcast had the folks from the VMware Foundation – Nicola Acutt who is the VP over there, and Jessa Chin who is the groups Sr. Corporate Citizenship Manager. In case you don’t know the VMware Foundation is the charitable arm of VMware, and amongst the many things it does is allow employees who raise money for good causes – and donate them via the Foundation. What VMware then does is match that donation. I used the VMware Foundation to do two donations associated with the EUC book that myself and Barry Coombs wrote a couple of years ago. Anyway, Nicola and Jessa were on the show to tells us all about how for the first time the VMware Foundation will have a booth on the Solution Exchange, and that there will be a fun event on at show that will help raise money for good causes (you get to select the cause). So I implore you – if you are at the event this year – please make your way to the Solution Exchange and do your bit for charity.

The second part of the show is about a VMworld Survival Guide – promoting tips and tricks to get you though the week. There’s a hashtag on Twitter #AdviceForVMworld where folks are offering up their tips. Personally, the last 3 VMworld I’ve gone on the Wagon, and gone dry for the whole event (okay, there might have been one or two small lapses). I’m not really a big drinker myself, and found the long days combined with drink lets me completely shattered. I left my drinking until the Thursday night when the event is over, and I know I can sleep in on the Friday. One other bonus is you get more sense out of me sober, than bellowing fussy opinons in a noisy bar. Second. Protect your voice. If you are speaking or doing booth duty like I am for the first time this year – you need to protect your vocal cords. Thirdly, decompression time. Any conferrence can be a very intense couple of days. I nearly always schedule sometime in late afternoon before dinner or parties – to go back to my room. Take of my shoes. Do/Say nothing. Before showering and going back out again.

Anyway, follow the hashtag for further tips – and enjoy the show! If you like the show please add us to your iTunes or RSS Feed…

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Chinwag with Gurusimran Khalsa (@gurusimran)

15 Jul


Gurusimran Khalsa blogs at We’ve known each for a while – met first at VMworld, and then a TechField Day event – and we’ve been chatting on and off via skype for the last couple of weeks – mainly talking about VMUGs, and his ideas for a podcast. In this chinwag we talk around a number of topics including:

  • Cloud – why aren’t more people using it/”Cloud/VM” stall
  • DevOps – Phoenix Project – what does it mean for the average vSphere/vCloud admin? where do you start?
  • Certifications – Are they any value? is it worth it to get advanced certs?

We didn’t get to the topic about VMUGs because:

a.) i talked to much

b.) i kept on digressing

But hey, isn’t that the definition of a chinwag (I mean the digressions, not me talking too much!)

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Chinwag with Duncan James (@Dunc_James)

08 Jul


This is Duncan James – and he’s a winner of a competition. He won SMB EMEA Award in 2012 for “Thinking Big“. I first met Duncan at the Virtual Machine User Group in Leeds. It’s an independent, vendor-neutral group – and despite the similar acronym nothing to do with the official VMware User Group program. But hey, a user group is a user group regardless of its affiliation – right?

Duncan and I discussed a number of topics – Horizon Workspace (his Thinking Big award was based on a proposal around using Horizon Workspace Data formerly known as “Octopus”), his business use of the Lefthand VSA (of course, now owned by HP…) in Production – and we wrap up our chat with discussion about virtual user groups (recording/streaming user groups sessions) and finally whether its time for technical IT folks to learn how to “sell” concepts and solutions to the business.

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Chinwag with David Burton

14 Jun

I first met David just a couple of weeks ago at the Western PA VMUG User Conferrence in Pittsburgh, PA. We got a chatting after my session there, and that turned into a chinwag that went on for about hour. I wished I’d had my recording gear there and then to capture that first natter! Anyway, I handed David my biz card and he got in touch shortly. It’s always a danger to try and reproduce something once it’s happened but that’s what I was trying to do!

I don’t think David is yet on twitter (he’s probably too busy doing real work to tweet all day like me!) but he does have a new blog over at:

We cover a couple of topics including:

  • Best use cases for vCloud Director – is it for everyone?
  • Upgrading from vSphere 5.0 to vSphere 5.1 with the Power of PowerCLI
  • Auto-Deploy and SDRS – Notes from the Field – Lessons Learned
  • …Finally, a more personal discussion – what made David decide to take up blogging?

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Chinwag with Dan Barr (@vDanBarr)

24 May


I think I first met Dan Barr at VMworld event, apparently I even signed a copy of my book for him. Anyway, last week there was some twitter chat going on, and I was looking for my next victim chinwaggee. So there I saw Dan had responded to a couple of my tweets in a humorous and informative way – so I DM’d him.  Dan works for a big EDU in Central PA and has been working with VMware technologies for about 7 years – he’s active on twitter and you can also find him on Linkedin as well.

In our little chinwag we talk about the politics and technical challenges of virtualizing Tier1 applications such as SQL. We also discuss some of the work he’s been doing scripting/automating/orchestrating with PowerCLI – finally we round out the chat with discussion about lessons learned deploying SRM in the real world – which Dan did at his previous place of employment – there’s hope that SRM will be introduced to the new organization he’s working at…

I  notice there’s quite a bit of lips out of sync in the youtube video. Not sure why. The local versions play just fine. But after being upload to youtube it keeps on getting mangled. Nothings changed about my normal method of encoding and uploading. So I’m blaming flash and youtube. I’ve been think for a while the quality of the youtube recordings (done with Skype & Call Recorder) aren’t as good as they could be. So for future episodes I will be switching over to ScreenFlow and just grabbing the portion of the screen – takes long to do but is HD quality…

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Chinwag with Mike Brown (@VirtuallyMikeB)

17 May


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…

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Chinwag with Angelo Luciani (@AngeloLuciani)

26 Apr


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…

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Chinwag with Alastair Cooke (@DemitasseNZ)

15 Mar














Blog URL:

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 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:

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VMwareWag with David Hill (@davehill99)

01 Mar


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 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! ;-)

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