Friday, 11 November 2016

Away at MidCon #vDM30in30

@bfd_diplomacy is an unusual twitter handle for an IT geek, but then again, when you understand that the diplomacy bit is the boardgame Diplomacy (and a lot of the people who still play this are in IT it seems) then you might get it. Anyway, in an attempt to step away from the recent IT frenzy, both at work and in the #vDM30in30 challenge, I'm away for the weekend as a member of the organising committee of MidCon a "Boardgame Convention in a Posh Hotel" in the middle of the UK.

Thursday, 10 November 2016

UK VMUG UserCon - Community Focus - #vDM30in30

We're now a mere week away from the VMUG UK UserCon on 17th November, but there is still time to register ahead the day itself. You should also remember that you can simply turn up on the day, as always. We'll be happy to see you either way. If you want to come to the vCurry the night before (7PM - 9PM, in the Premier Suite at the Motorcycle Museum) then it's best to pre-register for that so we know how many people want feeding. There's over 100 in for the vCurry so far and as an added bonus, you also get to pick up your badge here, avoiding the line the following morning.


As an addendum to my post last week around the UK UserCon as a whole, I want to focus a little more on the Community angle in this post.

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Fun with CloudCred! #vDM30in30

It's a triple point Tuesday (well, it was when I wrote this and it's OK, they are all triple point Tuesdays) so what better day to take a look at CloudCred and see what it's all about? This is another post as part of the vDM30in30 series that I am trying to keep up with.

CloudCred was launched by VMware early in 2013 as a learning site, with a pretty solid gamification angle to it, which is what a lot of people were doing at the time. Foursquare being another, earlier, example of that approach. You can almost avoid the gaming aspect if you want. CloudCred is a single place to go where new VMware related content is spoon fed to you on a regular basis.

Want to know more? Read on!

A little about me - #vDM30in30

Maybe this is a bit of a #vDM30in30 cheat, but I updated the "About Me" part of my blog to include a whole lot more stuff, as I have not had a lot of time recently to do more with the whole  #vDM30in30 thing. Sometimes they make me do stuff at work and sometimes that stuff goes on for a while. This is Tuesdays post, I have another in the can for tomorrow.

As an aside, here's some pictures of some dogs.



This is why it's impossible to work in the house and why the man cave is a must:-)


Monday, 7 November 2016

The Podcasts in my Feed - #vDM30in30

Every so often, the question gets asked - what are the good tech podcasts that I should be listening to on my commute? (or while dog walking, on the plane back from Barcelona, whilst downhill skiing etc.) OK, I couldn't help it, we're talking about podcasts so bonus points for knowing what podcast that kind of journey related stuff comes from. When thinking of 30 posts to do in a month for #vDM30in30, this was one of the first ideas I jotted down and started work on. What follows is my own list of favourite podcasts, what they are all about and why I like them.


Sunday, 6 November 2016

Site Outage - #vDM30in30


I've just had to recover virtualmachinery.co.uk from an outage. Fortunately, this was my first experience of my blog being unavailable since I added the custom domain on to the front of it a couple of years ago, but non the less, it's left a sour taste in my mouth. Repairing it has also bitten into my blogging time somewhat, but has also given me fuel for a blog post.

I'm right in the middle of blogging for the #vDM30in30 challenge, so I am giving my site a lot more attention than normal so I spotted the problem and set out to investigate.


Saturday, 5 November 2016

TAM Customer Central at VMworld for #vDM30in30

So this is a post that comes on the back of a promise made in Barcelona this year to spread the word about TAM Customer Central, an easy promise to keep given that I think it is such a great resource. 

First off, what's a VMware TAM? Well, he or her is a Technical Account Manager who is dedicated to your Enterprise (this is usually a big company thing) from 1 to 5 days a week, depending on what support level/cost you engage at. Your TAM is your route into VMware and a route for Vmware to help and inform you. Your TAM should feed you all the relevant VMware info in a concise form, should be aware of your issues and challenges, get you experts to assist as needed, offer products and services that may address those challenges and so on,

Friday, 4 November 2016

Thoughts around VMware on AWS - #vDM30in30

It seems like everyone and his dog has written a post about this already, so here's mine.

The biggest buzz at VMworld Europe was actually about an announcement that came out the week before, which is quite something, considering that a lot of nice announcements were made over the duration of the show as a whole. If you've been living under a rock for a while, VMware and AWS are planning to co-operate so that by the middle of next year you can run your VMware VM's natively on the AWS cloud.


Thursday, 3 November 2016

UK VMUG UserCon, November 17th! #vDM30in30

In just a couple of weeks, I'll be attending my fourth UK VMUG UserCon, which is set to be the biggest VMUG event in the UK this year. As usual, the UserCon is being held at the National Motorcycle Museum, close to the NEC and Birmingham Airport. This years date for the diary is Thursday 17th November. With the demise of the physical vForum event, this should be the biggest VMware related gathering in the UK this year. Nothing too special about that though, eh? Hundreds of people turn up at this thing every year. This year though, there's something a little different from my personal perspective, as I'm helping to organise it.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

My Current Homelab Setup

As a confirmed Homelab freak and a#vDM30in30 participant, I guess that a post on the content of my lab would be pretty much expected. I'm a permanent member of staff in a large company, so I do have access to a considerable amount of kit on different continents within which I can play around at times, but I'm still of the opinion that having something to mess around with at home is viable. That said, I'm also a fan of what Ravello got up to in the cloud a while back, so it may come to pass that I don't have another homelab quite like this one again..

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

I'm taking part in the #vDM30in30 Challenge this November

As if my November isn't going to be manic enough, I thought I would have a pop at this years #vDM30in30 challenge and do my very best to create 30 at least moderately sensible and decent blog posts in 30 days, whilst also sharing and reading the content created by other folks engaged in the same challenge.

"Why?" you may ask, well, I'm not sure, it certainly wasn't my idea, but it sounds like a lot of fun and, well, it's there. If I write 30 blog posts a year that's something, so 30 in a month? Interesting concept...

Thursday, 27 October 2016

VMworld Europe 2016 Thursday - 1 week on

The last day of the show is always the quietest day. Some people are travelling home early, there's less sessions around, certainly no parties after hours to plan for, the solutions exchange gets torn down and basically, everyone's knackered.

My Thursday was relatively gentle, as a reflection of all of the above. I did have a few sessions booked, but in the end, I ducked most of them, other than the mandatory TAM session, as everything is available online afterwards and there were still some vendors to see, some conversations to have, some people to catch up with, generally some time to be sociable.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

VMware Europe 2016 Wednesday - 1 week on.


AKA TAM day 2 for me, I’d got so many TAM sessions planned that it was going to prove difficult to keep the step average up!

Wednesday morning saw me wake up to discover a session which I did not have on my calendar when I planned my sessions, although I was rather pleased to see it there, given that it was TAM 3842 – VMware Cloud on AWS. This was most likely a parallel in some regards to the sessions being run out in the main show during the week. The cloud offering is going to be an interesting play – one potential upside being the ability for VMware to increase the iteration of their features due in part to the very limited set of hardware that the AWS platform runs on, the downside to that being that these iterations will be forced upon the users to some degree, so you are going to have to keep up with the pace of development.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

VMware Europe 2016 Tuesday - 1 week on.

This post will focus on the better part of the VMworld Tuesday, from both a time and an enjoyment perspective. Things didn't start too well, I'd not gone to bed too late, but it seemed that I was party to Barcelona's loudest ever relationship breakup which took place outside my window at about 4.30 AM, which meant that I failed to get to the vBreakfast for 7AM (sorry Fred, I definitely will make it one year!) and I've already mentioned my experience with hunting for power to blog about the General Session in another post, but as soon as the General Session had finished then there was plenty more to get stuck in to.

Monday, 24 October 2016

VMworld Europe 2016 TAM Day - 1 week on

Kicking off the conference in the best way possible is attendance at TAM day (or Partner day if that's your thing). TAM day is a relatively structured day with a number of sessions and of course, that access to the other parts of VMworld which are open on the Monday. There's a growing number of people arriving on the Monday who are neither TAM nor PEX attendees, but there's other conference activities to keep them going too.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

VMworld Europe 2016 Sunday - 1 week on.

For whatever reason, I appear to be posting these a week late. I came back from VMworld with a bunch of nearly complete blog posts and a debt to pay to my better half for a bit of family time, given that I had been away from home for the best part of a fortnight, so bear with me, dear reader!

Not sure if this was day 0, day -1 or what, but this is where it all begins for a serious percentage of the VMworld attendees that I know. The normal approach for most people who are going to TAM or PEX things on Monday is to get in on Sunday and then head to the vRockstar party.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

VMworld Europe 2016 General Session, eventually.

I'm looking forward to the General session today, it appears for once that there is more being announced in Europe than we got from Vegas. Given the early release of some training courses, the forthcoming general session is known to contain the release of vSphere 6.5 (and hence VSAN 6.5 also). The recent announcement of the #VMWonAWS setup, using vSphere Foundation, has also garnered massive interest (there's not enough sessions on this and VMware are scrambling to put more on to satisfy the clamouring from the masses).

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

New site launch - OpenHomelab

If you have a Homelab or if you are thinking of constructing a Homelab, if you need to plan on a budget or want to know what everyone else is using, if you've wondered if you're better off with a Cloudlab, but are not sure of the TCO involved, if you are studying for certifications, have a thirst for knowledge or just money to burn, then today sees the launch of a site designed just for you.

The OpenHomelab project comes out of stealth today, May 10th, so go visit the site, make an offer to pitch in with an article, share your setup, add your twopenn'orth to an existing article or just browse some of the fabulous content already created by the community, for the community - you gotta love this stuff!

Your definition of stealth may be different to mine. By stealth I mean a bunch of IT geeks discussing homelabs at a VMUG session in April and subsequently getting stuff online somewhere ASAP.


The Open Homelab Project is the brainchild of Alex Galbraith, who is quite a big thing in IT in these parts, yes, he's very tall indeed. LonVMUG loves community content so when Alex offered to facilitate a session on HomeLabs back in April, with the intention of getting more people involved, looking at the range of options available, sharing the knowledge, giving plenty of people a chance to contribute, then we basically jumped at the chance.
The session was a roaring success, we discovered more people with an interest in home labs than we first though. Discussions continued in to the night over a beer or two and a core of contributors was already plotting what to do next. Before I knew what was going on, Alex and Gareth Edwards had a site shaping up and contributors were already signing up from across Europe. It was very clear that this was a project just waiting to happen.

The Open Homelab Project is now officially in Alpha. The project is in its infancy, but is growing very quickly, so get on board if you have the slightest inclination to contribute something to this project, no matter how big or how small. Everything you will need to get started as a contributor is explained at the site. The community will get out of this what the community puts in. So far, the signs are awesome!

For up to the minute updates, follow @OpenHomelab on Twitter.


Friday, 15 April 2016

vSphere Beta Invitation

The next vSphere beta will be starting pretty soon and like last time, there is a chance for a public signup. If you have deployed vSphere 5.5 and 6.0 in a portion of your environment, then you are a candidate for the beta. The vSphere team will grant access to the program to selected candidates in stages, but as of yet there is no information released on dates or duration. 

This vSphere Beta Program is, again, subject to a Master Software Beta Test Agreement which you will need to complete before you gain access to private Beta community to download software and share information. Unless you are in the private beta forums, you may well know that the beta is on, but won't see any of the details. Folks who want to participate in the program should indicate their interest by filling out the form at the bottom of this post.


Friday, 25 March 2016

Installing a vROps 6.2 Appliance

A post to cover my initial fiddling with vRealise Operations Manager 6.2. Considering I have the vExpert licenses to play with, then installing and configuring some additional monitoring seems like a good idea, especially since the alerting and reporting tools that come baked in to vSphere itself are not that extensive. I've heard good things about this version of vROps, so let's see how easy this is.

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Upgrading to vCenter/ESxi 6.0U2

They're fresh out, they contain a whole load of enhancements, and if you're a vExpert or enthusiast running a homelab, then you'll most likely want to get a look at the new vSphere 6.0 Update 2 stuff ASAP.

Time to quickly upgrade the vCenter Appliance and ESXi hosts to take advantage of the HTML5 interface, built in Host Client, VSAN 6.2 and so on. This is assuming you're not an enterprise with enterprise ways and means, of course...

Saturday, 6 February 2016

vExpert 2016 - Community Edition

Yesterday, VMware announced their list of vExperts for 2016 and I'm both proud and humbled to have been selected for the second time. I'm standing on the shoulders of giants here, as a lot of the people that I have been inspired by and/or helped by over my years in the VMware community are recognised as vExperts again this year, alongside some new faces. Many folks have been vExperts for a long time and their continued dedication to the VMware ecosystem and generosity with their time is rightly recognised. Equally, it's great to see new names appearing on the list, since this reflects the continued growth and strength of the community and the development of the individuals within that community.