Apr 082014
 

As part of the vExpert program this year a whole flurry of vendors have some NFR licenses and VIP programs going on. This is an added benefit to the 1 year licenses that VMware grant vExperts.

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I know there are some vendors with similar programs that are not listed below out there but here are the ones that caught my eye and I have applied for. Ill add some more to this post when I come across them.

solar winds visualization manager

Veeam – Up to 2 sockets of Veeam Backup and Replication

PernixData – PernixData FVP licenses.

Pluralsight – 1 years free training. How awesome is that, cant that the guys enough for this program as it comes in so handy to have this at your disposal.

Loginvsi – ive been going allot with VDI/EUC lately and Loginvsi is a pretty great tool to simulate user actions for things like load testing.

HP StoreVirtual VSA lic – Get in touch with @HPStorageGuy and he will hook you up.

Some other free bits
Tintri – Thanks to the Tintri guys for this free shirt. Maybe I should get a tattoo with my twitter handle. :-/

Thanks so much to the vendors who run these programs and free stuff. I know you get a lot back from these sorts of things through blogs and word of mouth but to have a more permanent license than a 60 day eval is critical to us guys and gals active in the community.

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Apr 042014
 

Naïve would be a massive understatement if I were try and inform the community that the 2014 VMware vExpert announcement has been made. But I wanted to share a few thoughts and thank a few peeps.

After some confusion (an initial rejection email) I was listed on the vExpert list. After initially having vExpert in 2011 & 12 I lost out in 2013 but im delighted to be involved again.

Some 754 vExperts made the cut this year which is a fairly big number. This prompted the inevitable “well who didn’t didnt get vExpert” comments. I can understand where that perspective comes from, but for me its great recognition for all the peeps that take time out of their day to day lives to try and get involved in what is growing and highly social community. If the criteria was narrowed to a much higher level of scrutiny then this would alienate people and only allow a small % of people to get access to the benefits that the vExpert program brings. If that means the vExpert club is it not as “exclusive” then im happy with that. There are plenty of ways to elevate your self profile if you make the effort and are good enough.

But as I mentioned above I know first hand that rejection emails were sent out. So not everyone who applied got into the program so those 754 are well deserved in my opinion.

Jeramiah Dooley (https://twitter.com/jdooley_clt) will be doing some interesting stats on the numbers over the years which he said he will post at some point.

A massive thanks to the VMware social media team and in particular Cory Romero who personally sorted the rejection error within minutes of me emailing him. And ofcourse a huge congrats to the new and returning vExperts.

p.s. There is also a slightly different aspect of the program this year in that there are quarterly applications. Q2 applications are already open, so if you have done some VMUG presos or managed to really tick some of those community spirited tasks then why not apply?

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Mar 272014
 

There has been a ton of hype over this years top virtualization blogs.

Ive had this blog for a couple of years but this is the first year that ive featured in the top blogs. vmackem.co.uk ranked at #256.

While this may not seem the highest, im actually really pleased. There were 320 blogs in the running and I would have been happy to come anywhere in the list. Ive not blogged much since I joined my current company which has been a combination of having a lot less time and trying to remain impartial and not seem like a ‘corporate blogger’ (ref to a argument I saw on twitter between Chris Evans and Duncan Epping).

While there are a ton of interesting things that have come out of today list, I wanted to highlight a few things that caught my eye.

Well done to everyone that featured in the list. The level of self sacrifice and effort that goes into this community is simply awesome and long may it continue to grow.

Last but not least this wouldn’t happen at all with out the efforts of Eric Siebert and the crew putting all this together.

Now to get my blogging cap on and try and get up the ladder for next year!!

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Jan 212014
 

Jacob-James_Newcastle-Upon-Tyne_United-Kingdom_1

Well 2014 has continued at the same momentum as the back end of 2013 for me. A slightly slower pace would be nice but as they say ‘its better to be busy than bored’.

But if like me you want to get out of the rat race for a day and come and learn some cool tech and experiences from the community then defiantly come along to the North East England VMUG.

This is my first VMUG on the leadership team and you will also get the pleasure (more likely displeasure) of my voice as MC for the day.

Also for the first time we have a round table session before the main show. For those that have attended the London VMUG these have proved hugely popular down south and having a community discussion really gives you a knowledge of where the industry is at and what innovative things people are doing. There’s no specific topic so we will just chew the fat on what is hot right now and has the communities interest.

It would be great to have a big crowd there for this event and show the North East is as eager to participate in the community as the rest of the country. There will also be some top speakers with Lee Dilworth and Hani El-Qasem speaking along with Michael Armstrong covering some great topics.

So come Join us on the 13th of March at the CastleGate for a great day.

Register HERE

Agenda:

11:00 Hot Topic Round Table: Join Us for a Roundtable Discussion on the Community’s
Hottest Topics
12:00 Registration, Food, and Drinks
12:30 VMUG Introduction
12:45 Nimble Presentation: Nimble Customer
13:30 Networking Break
13:45 VMware Presentation: vSphere 5.5 – What’s New
14:30 Networking Break
14:45 Community Presentation: “Home Labs” with Added Demo – Michael Armstrong
15:30 Networking Break
15:45 VMware Presentation: vSAN
16:45 Meeting Close and Raffle
17:00 vBeers at Bridge Hotel – Sponsored by 10Zig

A big thanks to Nimble Storage and 10Zig for sponsoring the event.

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Dec 232013
 

I know the title is a little cheezy… sorry ;-)

An of advantage of Vblock using Panduit as its cabinet supplier means the custom cabinet and cable management components that Panduit supply to VCE allows for optimal space and cable management based around a set exacting standards. It allows for maximum efficiency when building out the physical components into the cabinets.

However, there are sometimes DC requirements that go beyond what is a standard option within the Vblock configuration. Being that Panduit don’t just supply cabinets but a whole range of DC options means that VCE can meet almost any DC requirement no matter how demanding.

One of my customers who use a Colo DC required that the Vblock must be supplied and fit into a cold aisle containment row. The DC did have a supplier for their default cabinet cold aisle containment but unfortunately that company had gone out of business.

We deployed the Panduit Net-Contain Containment System.

imageimage

Panduit and VCE worked together to scope and deploy the Vblock and Cold Aisle Containment system.

IMG_9094IMG_9097IMG_9104

Those familiar with VMAX with know that its mandatory to use EMC cabinets are are actually a different height from the Panduit cabinets used in the rest of the Vblock. Panduit produced custom built panels at the top of the VMAX Titan racks to fill the void and ensure non of the cold air escaped. Floor panels designated for expansion are also covered with floor to roof blanking panels which are easily removable.

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Nov 112013
 

I’ve been meaning to post this for a week or so no but the day job has gotten in the way yet again.

I’m happy to announce that I have been accepted onto the leadership team of the North East VMUG.

When Michael Armstrong (@m80armhttp://www.m80arm.co.uk/) joined VMware it left a position on the leadership team which I promptly applied for. I did think that working for VCE may cause an issue but as long as there is a customer/non-partner on the leadership team its fine for me to be involved.

As many of you might be aware (as if you know me you probably meet me there), I have been a regular attendee of VMUGs since about 2008, mainly the London VMUG (when I used to live in the warmer climate of Bournemouth). Since I moved back to the North East I have been a regular attendee of the North East England VMUG which has been gaining in popularity.

Being on the leadership team is great for me on a personal level, it allows me to combine 2 things that I’m very passionate about, the North East of England and Innovative cool technologies.

I have a few ideas that I will put to the rest of the leadership team but my main goal is to spread the word about VMware and its affiliated technologies to the North East. I get the same feeling about the North East VMUG as I did back in the early days of the London VMUG. Tons of potential and the people involved that can turn that potential into a reality.

I’m still to learn what exactly is involved but im very much looking forward to providing my services to make this VMUG the best it can be.

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Sep 242013
 

Its fair to say its been a while since I have posed anything on my blog.

As im sure many of you will know, sometimes real life gets in the way of these types of pursuits. As a result I was not awarded vExpert 2013 Sad smile

However, this will be changing!! I have decided to make time and get back into the community as much as I can. VMUGs are an awesome way of not only gaining some useful information but are a great incentive to be active in the community, and you meet some cool peeps.

On the 3rd of October I will be speaking at the North East VMUG for the first time. As I have been revising for some certs recently I thought VMware certification would be a good topic to cover.

VMware certification has come along way since I first became a VCP (way back in 2008 now,im getting old) and with the latest announcements around the new Associate qualifications there is a wealth of levels you can now cover.

As im pursuing my VCDX currently (fairly early in the process) I thought it might also be fun to have a little interactive session with the audience, a mini defense task perhaps. The person I think did best job will get a copy of John Arrasjids (and others) VCDX Boot Camp book.

As you can see the line up is awesome (well, ignoring me obviously), so im sure it will time well spent.

  • Joe Baguley, VMware – Keynote
  • David Owen – Training & Certification
  • Andrew Wood, Atlantis Computing – Delivering on the VDI Reality
  • Dan Watson, VMware – NSX
  • vBeers: We will adjourn at 5pm and reconvene at The Bridge Hotel for vBeers and a buffet courtesy of SITS Group

If you are North East based and can make the 3rd please do come along.

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Jul 242012
 

I’m very happy to announce that I will be joining VCE as a vArchitect.

I am very exited to get on board with VCE and as I have been a huge fan of the concept from day one and have always made sure I kept a close eye on how things progressed and how the uptake of Vblock took off.

VCE represent a huge opportunity for me to develop my career to the next level and although im sure there will be tough challenges ahead I look forward to being part of the VCE team that take them to massive & further success in the future.

I would like to thank my previous employer. I started there at a time when their datacentre practice was very embryonic and helped it grow to a viable mature practice with a great outlook for the future.

Also, those who follow my blog probably noticed a bit of a decline in posts over the last year. Work commitments made it very difficult to be a regular blogger but im hoping that I will be able to raise the bar once again.

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Jun 212012
 

When following the Cisco Cheat sheet for deploying the Nexus 1000v for deploying the Nexus 1000v in L3 mode, make sure one of the first commands you run (or when applying your config) is ‘feature LACP’ without it you cannot activate your LACP port channel.

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I set up something similar to the above, the port-channel is between the server ports and the 5k (2ks acting as fabric extenders) and setup to load balance using LACP. This is design was only recently supported by Cisco as previously you would have had to load balance traffic on the port channel via MAC-Pinning.

This annoying little oversight caused me an hour of grief on a customer site as the port-channel on the 5k and 1k would not become active until this feature was enabled.

To enable this feature:

n1000v# config t

n1000v(config)# feature lacp

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/docs/switches/datacenter/nexus1000/sw/4_2_1_s_v_1_4/command/reference/n1000v_cmds_f.html#wp1404742

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Apr 302012
 

Because I’m just so kind and generous, I’ve decided to give away my VMware Workstation 8 Licence I got for passing my VCP 5. I already have a Workstation licence and although I’m sure I could find a use for it I thought that someone out there might have a greater need for it than I do.

image

Whoever leaves a comment on this page on the subject of what is their favourite VMware product or feature and why (and I think is the best answer), will win the licence.

(dont write and essay, just a line or 2 will do)

UPDATE 15/05/2012:

I have selected Matts comment as the winning comment. Storage vMotion (even back in the 3.5 days) got me out of many a perils situation and with the improvements today along with Storage DRS it’s up there among my own personal favourites.

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