VMUG UserCon Sydney 2019 – See You There?

I’ll be presenting at VMUG UserCon in Sydney this year. If you’re unfamiliar with UserCon, it’s a free event run by the larger VMUG groups and brings together a mix of different folk, all of whom are focused on VMware technologies in one way or another. There are plenty of technical discussions to be had, as well as community talks on “soft” skills from people like me. I’ll be doing a presentation called “Build A Personal Brand: How to Start and Maintain a Blog!”. The alternative title is “Become an overnight sensation in just 11 years”. The first title is probably better though (and more accurate). It covers a lot of the basics of getting started with a blog, using it to maintain a voice in the community, and a bunch of lessons learnt over the last few years.

In any case, even if you don’t want to hear me talk, there’s sure to be something there that will spark your interest. The keynote speakers are Chris Wolf and Brian Madden – both very interesting people. The event’s being held at the Sydney International Convention Centre on Tuesday March 19th. And it’s free to boot. So get along if you can. And there’s also an event happening in Melbourne on Thursday 21st. I won’t be there, but I’m sure it will be very good. I know the VMUG teams are working on the schedule, and I’ll post that here as soon as I know it.

VMware vSphere and NFS – Some Links

Most of my experience with vSphere storage has revolved around various block storage technologies, such as DAS, FC and iSCSI. I recently began an evaluation of one of those fresh new storage startups running an NVMe-based system. We didn’t have the infrastructure to support NVMe-oF in our lab, so we’ve used NFS to connect the datastores to our vSphere environment. Obviously, at this point, it is less about maximum performance and more about basic functionality. In any case, I thought it might be useful to include a series of links regarding NFS and vSphere that I’ve been using to both get up and running, and troubleshoot some minor issues we had getting everything running. Note that most of these links cover vSphere 6.5, as our lab is currently running that version.

Basics

Create an NFS Datastore

How to add NFS export to VMware ESXi 6.5

NFS Protocols and ESXi

Best Practice

Best Practices for running VMware vSphere on Network Attached Storage

Troubleshooting

Maximum supported volumes reached (1020652)

Increasing the default value that defines the maximum number of NFS mounts on an ESXi/ESX host (2239)

Troubleshooting connectivity issues to an NFS datastore on ESX and ESXi hosts (1003967)

Random Short Take #11

Here are a few links to some random news items and other content that I found interesting. You might find it interesting too. Maybe. Happy New Year too. I hope everyone’s feeling fresh and ready to tackle 2019.

  • I’m catching up with the good folks from Scale Computing in the next little while, but in the meantime, here’s what they got up to last year.
  • I’m a fan of the fruit company nowadays, but if I had to build a PC, this would be it (hat tip to Stephen Foskett for the link).
  • QNAP announced the TR-004 over the weekend and I had one delivered on Tuesday. It’s unusual that I have cutting edge consumer hardware in my house, so I’ll be interested to see how it goes.
  • It’s not too late to register for Cohesity’s upcoming Helios webinar. I’m looking forward to running through some demos with Jon Hildebrand and talking about how Helios helps me manage my Cohesity environment on a daily basis.
  • Chris Evans has published NVMe in the Data Centre 2.0 and I recommend checking it out.
  • I went through a basketball card phase in my teens. This article sums up my somewhat confused feelings about the card market (or lack thereof).
  • Elastifile Cloud File System is now available on the AWS Marketplace – you can read more about that here.
  • WekaIO have posted some impressive numbers over at spec.org if you’re into that kind of thing.
  • Applications are still open for vExpert 2019. If you haven’t already applied, I recommend it. The program is invaluable in terms of vendor and community engagement.

 

 

Random Short Take #10

Here are a few links to some random news items and other content that I found interesting. You might find it interesting too. Maybe. This will be the last one for this year. I hope you and yours have a safe and merry Christmas / holiday break.

  • Scale Computing have finally entered the Aussie market in partnership with Amnesium. You can read more about that here
  • Alastair is back in the classroom, teaching folks about AWS. He published a bunch of very useful notes from a recent class here.
  • The folks at Backblaze are running a “Refer-A-Friend” promotion. If you’re looking to become a new Backblaze customer and sign up with my referral code, you’ll get some free time on your account. And I will too! Hooray! I’ve waxed lyrical about Backblaze before, and I recommend it. The offer runs out on January 6th 2019, so get a move on.
  • Howard did a nice article on VVols that I recommend checking out.
  • GDPR has been a challenge (within and outside the EU), but I enjoyed Mark Browne‘s take on Cohesity’s GDPR compliance.
  • I’m quite a fan of the Netflix Tech Blog, and this article on the Netflix Media Database was a ripper.
  • From time to time I like to poke fun at my friends in the US for what seems like an excessive amount of shenanigans happening in that country, but there’s plenty of boneheaded stuff happening in Australia too. Read Preston’s article on the recently passed anti-encryption laws to get a feel for the heady heights of stupidity that we’ve been able to reach recently.

 

Brisbane VMUG – November 2018

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The November 2018 edition of the Brisbane VMUG meeting (and last one of the year) will be held on Tuesday 20th November at Toobirds at 127 Creek Street from 4:30 pm – 6:30 pm. It’s sponsored by Cisco and promises to be a great afternoon.

Here’s the agenda:

  • VMUG Intro
  • VMware Presentation:Workspace ONE UEM Modern Management for Windows 10
  • Cisco Presentation:Cloud First in a Multi-cloud world
  • Q&A
  • Refreshments and drinks.

Cisco have gone to great lengths to make sure this will be a fun and informative session and I’m really looking forward to hearing what they’ve been up to. You can find out more information and register for the event here. I hope to see you there. Also, if you’re interested in sponsoring one of these events, please get in touch with me and I can help make it happen.

Brisbane VMUG – October 2018

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The October 2018 edition of the Brisbane VMUG meeting will be held on Tuesday 23rd October at Toobirds Bistro and Bar (127 Creek Street, Brisbane) from 4:30 – 6:30pm. It’s sponsored by Coevolve and promises to be a top afternoon.

Here’s the agenda:

  • VMUG Introduction
  • VMware Presentation by Michael Francis – Project Dimension & VMC on AWS Technical Demonstration
  • Coevolve Presentation – How to securely transform your network using NSX SD-WAN by VeloCloud and Zscaler.
  • Coevolve Demonstration – to show how easy it is to:
    • Build a new branch site on the fly
    • Apply consistent policies across your network; and
    • Integrate NSX SD-WAN by VeloCloud with the Zscaler security platform
  • Q&A
  • Light Refreshments.

Coevolve have gone to great lengths to make sure this will be a fun and informative session and I’m really looking forward to it. You can find out more information and register for the event here. I hope to see you there. Also, if you’re interested in sponsoring one of these events, please get in touch with Brisbane VMUG by email (brisbane@vmug.com) and I can help make it happen.

Heading to vFORUM 2018 in Sydney?

Will you be at vFORUM Sydney this year? Have you considered signing up to deliver a vBrownBag session?

VBrownBag will be at vForum Sydney and are looking for contributors for:

  1. TechTalks: 12-minute technical presentation using at the vBrownBag theatrette.
  2. Interviews: 10-15 minutes of informal conversations

Examples of topics could be:

  • Talking about a project you implemented or led, a problem you solved, something you excelled or innovated, how you implemented / integrated a new solution, etc.
  • Talking about a defining career moment or how you progressed in your career.
  • In general anyone who can offer expertise to the VMware user community.

Audience will be designers, builders, and operators of IT solutions – content should be educational and aimed at a technical audience.

All sessions will be video recorded and published on the vBrownBag channels that have thousands of downloads and views locally and globally.

Complete this form if you would like to get involved.

Dell EMC News From VMworld US 2018

I’m not at VMworld US this year, but I had the opportunity to be briefed by Sam Grocott (Dell EMC Cloud Strategy) on some of Dell EMC‘s key announcements during the event, and thought I’d share some of my rough notes and links here. You can read the press release here.

TL;DR?

It is a multi-cloud world. Multi-cloud requires workload mobility. The market requires a consistent experience between on-premises and off-premises. Dell EMC are doing some more stuff around that.

 

Cloud Platforms

Dell EMC offer a number of engineered systems to run both IaaS and cloud native applications.

VxRail

Starting with vSphere 6.7, Dell EMC are saying they’re delivering “near” synchronous software releases between VMware and VxRail. In this case that translates to a less than 30 Day delta between releases. There’s also support for:

VxRack SDDC with VMware Cloud Foundation

  • Support for latest VCF releases – VCF 2.3.2, and future proof for next generation VMware cloud technologies
  • Alignment with VxRail hardware options – P, E, V series VxRail models, now including Storage Dense S-series
  • Configuration flexibility

 

Cloud-enabled Infrastructure

Focus is on the data

  • Cloud data mobility;
  • Cloud data protection;
  • Cloud data services; and
  • Cloud control.

Cloud Data Protection

  • DD Cloud DR – keep copies of VM data from on-premises DD to public cloud and orchestrate failover of workloads to the cloud
  • Data Protection Suite – use cloud storage for backup and retention
  • Cloud Snapshot Manager – Backup and recovery for public cloud workloads (Now MS Azure)
  • Data Domain virtual edition running in the cloud

DD VE 4.0 Enhancements

  • KVM support added for DD VE on-premises
  • In-cloud capacity expanded to 96TB (was 16TB)
  • Can run in AWS, Azure and VMware Cloud

Cloud Data Services

Dell EMC have already announced services such as:

And now you can get Dell EMC UnityVSA Cloud Edition.

UnityVSA Cloud Edition

[image courtesy of Dell EMC]

  • Up to 256TB file systems
  • VMware Cloud on AWS

CloudIQ

  • No cost, SaaS offering
  • Predictive analytics – intelligently project capacity and performance
  • Anomaly detection – leverage ML to pinpoint deviations
  • Proactive health – identify risks before they impact the environment

Enhancements include:

Data Domain Cloud Tier

There are some other Data Domain related enhancements, including new AWS support (meaning you can have a single vendor for Long Term Retention).

ECS

ECS enhancements have also been announced, with a 50%+ increase in storage capacity and compute.

 

Thoughts

As would be expected from a company with a large portfolio of products, there’s quite a bit happening on the product enhancement front. Dell EMC are starting to get that they need to be on-board with those pesky cloud types, and they’re also doing a decent job of ensuring their private cloud customers have something to play with as well.

I’m always a little surprised by vendors offering “Cloud Editions” of key products, as it feels a lot like they’re bolting on something to the public cloud when the focus could perhaps be on helping customers get to a cloud-native position sooner. That said, there are good economic reasons to take this approach. By that I mean that there’s always going to be someone who thinks they can just lift and shift their workload to the public cloud, rather than re-factoring their applications. Dell EMC are providing a number of ways to make this a fairly safe undertaking, and products like Unity Cloud Edition provide some nice features such as increased resilience that would be otherwise lacking if the enterprise customer simply dumped its VMs in AWS as-is. I still have hope that we’ll stop doing this as an industry in the near future and embrace some smarter ways of working. But while enterprises are happy enough to spend their money on doing things like they always have, I can’t criticise Dell EMC for wanting a piece of the pie.

Brisbane VMUG – BNEVMUG at The Movies – August 2018

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The August 2018 edition of the Brisbane VMUG meeting is a purely social event, with a members-only screening of Mission: Impossible – Fallout. It will be held on Friday 3rd August at the Elizabeth Picture Theatre in Elizabeth Street. This special social event is sponsored by VMware. There’ll be pizza and refreshments from 5:00 pm with the screening starting at 6:00 pm. Parking at the Wintergarden will be validated by the cinema. Be sure to reserve your seat now as seats are limited and available on a first come, first served basis. You can find out more information and register for the event here. I hope to see you there. Also, if you’re interested in sponsoring one of these events, please get in touch with me and I can help make it happen.

Brisbane VMUG – May 2018

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The May edition of the Brisbane VMUG meeting will be held on Tuesday 29th May at Toobirds Bistro and Bar (127 Creek Street, Brisbane) from 4 – 6:00pm. It’s sponsored by Lenovo and promises to be a top afternoon.

Here’s the agenda:

Lenovo have gone to great lengths to make sure this will be a fun and informative session and I’m really looking forward to hearing about their work with vSAN. You can find out more information and register for the event here. I hope to see you there. Also, if you’re interested in sponsoring one of these events, please get in touch with me and I can help make it happen.