VMworld 2013 Europe – Day 2 Round Up

So there are only 2 real things worth mentioning in todays’ round up (as I said yesterday, today and tomorrow are more tailored to what I want to learn)….. The General Session and the VMworld Party…. ;oP

1. This mornings’ General Session was delivered by Carl Eschenbach and focused on the key products within the VMware portfolio. He was duly joined on stage by Kit Colbert (Chief Architect and Principal Engineer) and Joe Baguley (EMEA CTO) for a technical demonstration. Each had a part in a role-play to recreate what would happen in a real life situation. Carl was a line-of-business end-user who had an application he wished to deploy, Kit was the IT Admin in charge of the Private Cloud infrastructure, Joe was the IT Admin in charge of monitoring and managing the Private Cloud infrastructure.

It was a really great demonstration of what the VMware products could actually do!
Giving an in-depth look at how each product worked…… they covered off NSX, vCAC, vSAN, vCOPs, vCHS……

It was amazing to see how all the products fit together and what they were capable of, but I kind of left the session wondering if it was a little too perfect! In reality, what was demo’ed would take a heck of a long time to put together in order to get it functioning like the ‘well-oiled’ machine it was! Not to mention from past experience, it doesn’t always go that smoothly or as planned! =)

Anyways, if you have an hour and a half to spare….. the general session is definitely worth watching!!
http://www.vmworld.com/community/conference/europe/learn/generalsessions

2. So the VMworld party was very good…. nice to see VMware putting on a very decent spread of food and drink, plus some entertainment to help the attendees unwind and socialise! Although I do have to say it’s a bit of a shame that it ended SO early (10:50pm).

Highlights were:
High on Heels
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Mr. Doris
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Roller Disco
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And of course Mr Taio Cruz
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TBH, I think maybe 70% of the attendees who were at the party didn’t know who Taio Cruz was! =P

All in all, a pretty good day…… albeit a very long one for me (6 sessions + key note)…. And let’s not forget I still have 5 sessions tomorrow too!! >_<“

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VMworld 2013 Europe – Day 1 Round Up

So those of you who read my VMworld 2013 US round up will already have read about all the juicy bits that was announced in San Fran….. basically vSphere/vCloud 5.5…..

The keynote session by Pat Gelsinger pretty much repeated a lot of what was announced in the US, with a little bit of juicy extras (see below)…… Pat did a good job engaging the audience, the dialogue flowed and it certainly kept my attention on what was being announced!
I don’t know why, but I tend to find some of the speakers from the US more interesting than those from the UK….. Not sure if it’s the accent or the way they’re more animated, or maybe it’s the way they deliver their presentations…..? Anyways, if you’re a speaker and you find me falling asleep – it’s because you’re not interesting….. ;oP
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First up was the announcement of VMware’s acquisition of Desktone!
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I first read about Desktone after VMworld US as there were a lot of discussions regarding vCHS and possible Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) offerings… rumours were awash about Desktone being a ‘good fit’ for VMware…… guess those rumours turned out to be true!

One of the key points about the Desktone acquisition is that it brings the added advantage for on-premise VDI customers to burst out into the cloud (like a vCHS provider) if they suddenly require the need to spin up more desktops then they have resources for. From what I could gather speaking to the people at the Desktone booth, they have a piece of software, very similar to vCloud connector, that manages the connection of on-premise and off-premise VDIs, including the ability to transfer between the two….. interesting!
And obviously to bean-counters, the idea of DaaS gives them the opportunity to move all the outlay from CAPEX into a more “easy-to-budget” OPEX…. afterall, you’ll know how much it would cost to spin up and consume a desktop in the cloud. It would also save time and money because it allows remote users to spin up desktops on any device (tablet, laptop, smartphone, thin clients, etc).
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The next main announcement was that vCloud Hybrid Service was coming to Europe, with Sungard being the first vCHS provider. (No photo here because some bozo in front of me decided to stand up and block my shot).

Whilst we’re talking about Cloud, updates to some products were also announced to enhance Cloud Management: vCAC 6.0, vCOPs 5.8, vCenter Log Insight 1.5 and vITBM.

Next up was the announcement of the General Availability of VMware NSX!
Network has always been an issue with virtualisation, you spin up a VM in minutes yet always have to rely on some sort of configuration to be carried out on your physical network device….. NSX was launched to bring the Network layer into the virtualisation stack as a ‘Software Defined’ device.
Think of it as a Network Hypervisor….. what ESX did for Compute, NSX will do for Networks! NSX abstracts network operations and configurations from they underlying hardware into a distributed virtualisation layer. It will allow you to define switches, firewalls, loadbalancers, routers, plus other networking elements.
It’s vendor-agnostic…. supporting most hypervisors and physical network devices.
An interesting slide (and one I didn’t get a photo of) was the ability to define network policies that had the switch configuration, the firewall configuration and other network elements and then just simply ‘assign’ it to a VM…. bobs your uncle, your VM is now fully configured!
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The slides below were from a technical breakout session that introduced NSX and delved into it a bit more then what was presented at the keynote session…. This slide shows the various components of NSX:
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We then saw a list of partners that had already been engaged by VMware to work on integrating products with NSX.
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What’s very interesting from the partner slides we saw was that Cisco was missing as a partner!! It’s quite obvious that the relationship between Cisco and VMware have gone off the boil again…… and I’ve heard a rumour that Cisco maybe announcing something big in the SDN arena sometime soon!

The last thing I’m going to talk about was the announcement of the GA of vDP 5.5 Advanced (vDP 5.5 std was announced at VMworld US).
The key items to note about this product is that it now integrates with both EMC Data Domain and EMC Avamar!
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The integration with Data Domain allows you to use VDP as the front-end scheduler and back off to a Data Domain as the target. VDP will store all the Meta-data whilst DD stores all the backup data. This will be great as you’ll be backing off all your data onto a DD which means you will get global dedupe as your data is all in one location!
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The following slide was very interesting as it shows you what targets you can use to replicate your vDP to:
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Finally the last take-away point from the vDP advanced announcement was the fact that it will allow you to consider Backup-as-a-Service by replicating your backup from the vDP appliance to a service provider who may be running something like Avamar!IMG_0053

So hopefully that has rounded up the key points that I got out of Day 1’s general session and announcements!

To be honest, there’s probably a lot more I could waffle on about, but given it’s now 2am and I’ve had a very long day followed by a stint at the EMC party… I’m quite mentally exhausted!

I doubt there’ll be much for me to blog about for the remaining 2 days as I’ve gone over the key announcements in this post… and if I’m honest, the technical sessions I’ve booked myself onto are more for me to enhance my knowledge of existing products and solutions.

Time for bed……!

VMworld Partner Day Round up

So I’ve just got back to my hotel after the VMUG party (sponsored by Veeam)… It was nice to catch up with people from the VMware community…. even more impressive to see some top guys in VMware pop down to mingle with us lesser folks….. (recognised @CColotti, amongst others).
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Anyways, so there wasn’t anything really new that I’m allowed to mention that came out of Partner Day…. I was told it would be quite sales-y and some of the sessions would be non-technical, and it turns out that the sessions I went to didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know!

I of course picked up my VMUG t-shirt (which I’ll be wearing tomorrow!) as well as the swanky brushed aluminium VIP pass to the Partner Lounge….. And having browsed through the VMware store this morning, the only thing that caught my eye was the vCAT book (which I’m looking forward to reading).

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I guess the real bulk of the new knowledge will be coming out tomorrow, and as it’s going to be an early start (and a long day) I’m not really going to blog much!

 

So to end, I’ll leave you all with a good piece of advice:
“Don’t forget to change the time on your watch to the local time….. otherwise you may find yourself missing out on some breakout sessions!!”
(Forgot to change the time on my watch as I thought I’d remember that Barcelona is 1hr ahead of London…. turns out I didn’t remember and missed the only breakout session that I actually had a booked seat for….. DOH!!! Fortunately I attended the rest as I got in on the waiting list….)

VMworld 2013 Partner Day

First day of VMworld is dedicated to Partners and TAMs..

As a representative of MTI I’ve signed up for the Partner track in order to gain some insight on what VMware has planned for their partners.

Although that said, my first port of call will be to register at VMUG in order to pick up my VMUG t-shirt… Second port of call will be the EMC stand In order to sign up for their party tomorrow… Then it’ll be off to find the food hall! =)

So my schedule for the day looks like:

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And to round it off there’s a partner reception this evening.

Good start to the week!

VMworld Barcelona

MTI Technology has arrived in VMworld Barcelona!! =)

So having left a soggy London and swapped it for a hot and sunny Barcelona, one of the first things I wanted to do was head to the convention centre in order to register and beat the massive queue that is bound to materialise tomorrow morning when non-partners and non-TAMs arrive!
Registration was quick and simple…. although I couldn’t help noticing all the signs on display regarding the €50 charge for re-printing any lost badges! *Mental note* Best keep mine safe!

Obviously with this being my first time at VMworld (my previous company was too stingy to send people to any sort of vendor events!), one of the first things you have to do is stand around like a tourist and take snaps of the venue to post online! =)
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With that quickly out of the way, my next call of business was to go grab my goodie bag! It’s nice when you take the time (and money) to go to one of these events and you’re greeted by a pretty decent bag of freebies!
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A pretty handy laptop bag with the usual load of flyers inside, plus a VMworld t-shirt, notepad and water bottle (obviously to keep us delegates hydrated as we salivate when finding out about all the new stuff being announced!)

I’m pretty excited at my first foray to VMworld, and in my excitement I’ve packed my schedule full of breakout sessions!
To be honest, it’s only just dawned on me that I don’t think I’ll make it to every one given how big the venue is and that I actually want to visit some of the vendor/sponsor booths…. as well as hunt down and meet some of the VMware community bloggers that I respect for their insight and blogs! (@vladan, @eSloof, @esiebert, @DuncanYB, @frankdenneman, @scott_lowe…… just to name the big guys….)

Seems that there are loads of people wandering around Barcelona carrying VMworld bags….. I wonder if any are staying in the same hotel as me?
Pretty cool hotel I’ve checked into….. Space themed…… spent ages trying to think up a smart and witty comment to tweet – the best I could come up with was “Checked into a Space themed hotel…. Defying Gravity before Defying Convention!”

Anyways, if anyone’s interested…. here’s my room location (cool eh?):
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Anyways, best get a good nights sleep….. long 4 days ahead of me!

 

#VMworld, #MTI_Technology

A Non-geeky blog entry!

So it seems my life is surrounded by bloggers….. the wife blogs, all her siblings blog and my recent holiday to North Cyprus turned into a big instagram/blogging-fest!!

My wife and her siblings are all quite artistic…. and their blogs are full of colourful photos…. far better than the text heavy geek-speak on my blog! >_<“
In fact I doubt any of my in-laws have even read through my blog entries given that they have no real clue as to what I do for a living… “virtualisation… what’s that?!?”

Anyways, todays’ blog entry is just to point you all to the people in my life that made me start my blog…….. and I’ll think you’ll all agree that their blogs make far more interesting reading than a techie’s blog! =)

Wife’s baking & lifestyle blog – http://msqnt.wordpress.com/
(so now you know why I’m quite rotund! It’s hard not to drool while reading her blog!)

Kit’s Street-style fashion blog – http://www.styleslicker.com/
(I’m probably one of the rare geeks that knows his Anya Hindmarch’s from his Balenciaga’s from his Chloe’s…. I put that knowledge down to the couple of years spent doing admin and IT work at Matches – I would say that Kit’s quite famous in the UK fashion blogging scene!)

Ken’s lifestyle & travel blog of Korea – http://seoulstateofmind.com/
(my bro-in-law really likes his coffee and cafes!! Makes me want to go back to Korea on holiday again!)

May’s beauty & lifestyle blog – http://redvelvetlondon.com/
(like all her sisters, May has a penchant for nice clothes, bags and shoes! Suffice to say her beauty tips don’t work on me!)

Isabella’s jewellery blog – http://www.rockinthatgem.com/
(
Wish I knew she worked in jewellery before I bought the wife’s engagement ring……)

 

So there you have it….. I’m surrounded by exquisite bloggers who make my blog look so plain!! =)

Upgrading vCenter Operations Manager to 5.7

So….. the penultimate piece of upgrade work planned for the DR environment is the upgrade of vCenter Operations Manager from 5.6 to 5.7.

The great thing about vCOPs is the ease of upgrading the appliance. Simply navigate to the administration page (https://vcops-ip/admin) and browse to the upgrade zip bundle! =)

1. Navigate to the admin page of vCenter Operations Manager and click on the Update tab. Click Browse and locate the vCOPs zipped upgrade bundle.
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2. Wait for the file to unpack and upload.
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3. Click Update to start the update process.vcops3

4. Click OK to proceed with the update.
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5. Watch the update, or grab a cup of tea!
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6. Once complete, reboot the appliance.
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7. You may find that the registration of vCOPs to the linked vCenter Server will require updating. To do this browse to the Registration tab and click Update under vCenter Server Registration.
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8. Enter the vCenter Server details and click Test Connection. If successful, click Apply.
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9. Accept the security alert that moans about the SSL certificate not being trusted – this is the new SSL certificate that was generated when I upgraded my vCenter Server Appliance.
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10. Reboot the appliance and Bob’s your uncle….. it should be up and running the latest version!

 

Simples…… *squeak*

 

 

Updating VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager to 5.5

So after updating my vCenter Server Appliance to 5.5, the next obvious choice was to update Site Recovery Manager and the vSphere Replication Appliance.

Note: the way I’m upgrading my demo environment is not according to best practice…. it’s merely a quick way to document and try out the upgrade process!

If you’re planning an upgrade of your production environment, then there is a recommended order for the upgrades:

  1. Upgrade vCenter Server on the protected site.
  2. Upgrade SRM Server on the protected site.
  3. Upgrade the storage replication adapters (SRA) on the protected site.
  4. Upgrade the vSphere Replication appliance on the protected site.
  5. Upgrade any additional vSphere Replication server instances on the protected site.
  6. Upgrade vCenter Server on the recovery site.
  7. Upgrade SRM Server on the recovery site.
  8. Upgrade the storage replication adapters (SRA) on the recovery site.
  9. Upgrade the vSphere Replication appliance on the recovery site.
  10. Upgrade any additional vSphere Replication server instances on the recovery site.
  11. Configure the connection between the SRM sites and vSphere Replication appliances.
  12. Verify that your protection groups and recovery plans are still valid.
  13. Upgrade ESXi Server on the recovery site.
  14. Upgrade ESXi Server on the protected site.
  15. Upgrade the virtual hardware and VMware Tools on the virtual machines on the ESXi hosts.

When you upgrade Site Recovery Manager, there’s no real need to do anything to your database as the upgrade preserves all information in the current SRM DB (so basically preserving your protection groups, inventory mappings and recovery plans, plan run history, etc).
However, if you’re not running 5.1 or later then you will need to create a 64bit ODBC system DSN (SRM 5.0.x used a 32bit ODBC DSN). Any deployment of SRM earlier than 5.0 will require a two-step upgrade, first to 5.0.x then to 5.5.
(Note: Don’t upgrade vCenter Server directly from 4.1.x to 5.5, as this will cause the upgrade of SRM to fail when moving from 4.1.x to 5.0.x… this is because SRM 5.0.x cannot connect to vCenter Server 5.5)

Fortunately I’m going to step through an upgrade from SRM 5.1, so my ODBC is already in place!

1. On the SRM server, start the installer.
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2. Choose where you wish to install the new version of SRM.
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3. Choose to install vSphere Replication if you’re using it (Which I am).SRM3

4. Enter the vCenter Server credentials (the installer will notice SRM is already installed and pick up the IP address of the vCenter Server).
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5. Accept the SSL certificate warning.
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6. Once the installer connects to your vCenter Server, it will identify that you already have a registered extension for SRM. Click Yes to overwrite the old extension.
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7. Select the type of authentication to be used (in my case I’m letting SRM auto-generate a self-signed certificate).
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8. Enter the Organisation and OU in order for SRM to generate the certificate.
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9. Enter an administrator’s email address in order to obtain SRM generated alerts.
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10. The installer will pick up the ODBC connection and request you to enter the existing SRM DB user information.
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11. Select Use existing database, choosing the other option will wipe everything from your existing SRM deployment!
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12. Click Install to kick off the upgrade.
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13. Once installation is complete, you will need to upgrade the vSphere Client Plug-in for SRM. You will need to uninstall the old SRM plug-in from within Windows Control Panel->Programs.
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14. Once complete. Fire up vSphere Client and install the new plug-in via Plugins->Manage Plug-ins
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Job done…… now to upgrade the existing vSphere Replication Appliance…. You can upgrade the vRA either using vSphere Update Manager, via the online repository, or via an offline repository (like an ISO image).
Unfortunately like the VCA, I couldn’t find an 5.5 update using the online repository so had to mount the vRA 5.5 ISO image to the vRA and update via CDROM.

1. Log into the vRA management console (https://vra-IP:5480 or http://vra-IP:8080 if its vRA 5.0.x) and select the Update tab. Select Settings and then choose Use CDROM Updates and click Save Settings.
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2. Click on Status and it should display any update files it has found in the mounted ISO image. Click Install Updates.
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3. Once update is complete, you will need to reboot the vRA…. don’t forget to unmount the ISO image…..
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Voila….. it’s as easy as that!

VMworld 2013 Barcelona

Yay…. finally sorted out my schedule for VMworld 2013 Barcelona….. pretty much packed out every day and every session! It’ll be interesting whether I can find the energy to attend all the sessions!!

Most of my sessions will be based around NSX, vCloud Suite and BC/DR….. not planning to attend any Hands on Labs since I kind of have one of my own (thanks to MTI’s solution centre!).

Also planning to hit the Partner Day Party, VMUG Party and obviously the VMworld Party! (As well as any other vendor parties I can gatecrash)
^_^

 

All that I need to do now, is ensure I’ve packed enough undies and red bulls to make it through 4 intense days!

 

Although I hope my ankle holds up…. tore ankle ligaments last week and I’m still hobbling around on a crutch! >_<“