vExpert for 2012 (Thanks!)



After being put through what some would only describe as torture this morning (interval training with my wife at gym), I arrived home to relax and check my e-mail. My mailbox was filled with Twitter notifications and upon closer inspection it seemed apparent that I had been awarded the title of vExpert 2012! This is an absolutely huge honour for me, and I must say, it caught me completely off guard.


I just wanted to send out a huge congratulations to all the new and returning vExpert awardees for 2012! There are so many talented individuals out there putting out an immense amount of great content, discussion, and effort when it comes to all things VMware. I must say, it has been a great year – I have learnt so much from the community, and thoroughly enjoyed being a part of it.


A special thanks go out to two people in particular who spring to mind when it comes to the VMware community, namely; Alex Maier and John Troyer. Thanks to you guys for managing and being the driving force behind the whole community! I would also like to send a special shout out to, and congratulate three of my work colleagues at Xtravirt who were also awarded the vExpert 2012 title today – Gregg Robertson, Darren Woollard and Paul Wood. It is Paul and my first year being awarded vExpert status, and Darren and Gregg’s second. Well done all!


To finish off, here is the official list of vExperts for 2012, as well as a definition of the vExpert title/award from VMware


  • vExperts 2012
  • The VMware vExpert Award is given to individuals who have significantly contributed to the community of VMware users over the past year. vExperts are book authors, bloggers, VMUG leaders, tool builders, and other IT professionals who share their knowledge and passion with others. These vExperts have gone above and beyond their day jobs to share their technical expertise and communicate the value of VMware and virtualization to their colleagues and community.


So here’s to another fantastic year ahead for the community and many more to come!


London VMUG Meet up – 26 January 2012


Welcome session attendance - Photo credit - Chris Kranz (@ckranz)


Today’s meetup was the first London VMUG that I have attended. In the past they have unfortunately landed up on days where work commitments took precedence. Running a few minutes late due to a long walk from Bank Underground Station to the venue, I arrived (to my luck) to find that the Introduction had also kicked off a few minutes late, setting most events forward fifteen minutes. I snuck in through a door near the back to listen to the welcome session.


First Sessions of the morning


Attendance was good from what I saw today – all the sessions were quite full and well attended. Symantec did an interesting presentation on ApplicationHA – a talk followed on by a live demo showcasing Application High Availability. The demo entailed bringing down the SQL Server Instance on a VM at first, allowing ApplicationHA to restart the service to sort it out again. This was followed on by another demo – deleting the entire Database and allowing ApplicationHA to pick up the problem and sort out SQL Server by leveraging Backup Exec to restore the Database. Symantec were also kind enough to offer up some NFR licenses for lab/testing use at the end of their presentation. Its a shame I didn’t get a chance to visit their stand during the break, as I was keen on taking a closer look at this in my own home lab environment.


Next up Chris Kranz and Alex Smith did an informative and interesting set of sessions entitled “Would you like fries with your VM?” and “DevOps & Service Management” respectively. They were interesting talks involving some interesting discussion around the traditional “IT Admin” role, compared with the “Virtual Admin” and “Cloud Admin”. Summing up – IT professionals should stay on top of their game and adapt to survive in this ever evolving industry! Alex also shared some interesting experiences and chatted about DevOps and Service Management along with a few other acronyms – determined to drill these into everyone’s head!


During the break I was able to meet up with Gregg Robertson and Jonathan Medd – there was some interesting chat in the short break, after which the next set of sessions began.


Midday Session


This was a set of sessions that conflicted for me – I was really keen on both. I have had a brief look at Auto Deploy before (whilst studying for VCP5), but I also really wanted to see the VMware View session (End User Computing : Today & Tomorrow – Simon Richardson). I ended up attending Alan Renouf and Max Daneri‘s “How to build 1000 hosts in 10 minutes with Auto Deploy” session – there were quite a few slides to go through, but a good overview of the PowerCLI cmdlets used for setting up Image Profiles (working with VIBs), Rule Sets and Auto Deploy in general was given. Max then handled a great demo showcasing Auto Deploy at work.


Post Lunch Sessions


I went to the “Stop the Virtualization Blame Game” session by Xangati (Ben Vaux) next. This was of interest to me, as a couple of weeks ago I deployed the free “one host” Xangati VI monitoring appliance in my lab at home. There were unfortunately a few issues with the projector in our room, but there was still a good talk about how the product works and some interesting questions were answered by the team. Xangati also had a demo set up in the main vendor / lunch area for live demos throughout the day. The product aims to give SysAdmin’s a “single pane of glass” view of the entire VI / VDI environment – where everything can be monitored and looked after. They monitor stats realtime and also offer a handy “record” feature which allows events / issues in environments to be captured, and replayed later on to see what went wrong. Interesting stuff, and I’ll definitely be playing with this product further in my home lab.


The next session I attended was the “Private vCloud Architecture Deep Dive” with Dave Hill and Aidan Dalgleish. This was an interesting and fairly in-depth session discussing the whole VMware ecosystem: vCloud Director 1.5, vShield, Chargeback etc etc. A “reference architecture” was presented on and discussed along with the three network pool methods and their various pros and cons (VLAN-backed, Port group-backed and vCloud Network Isolation Backed (VCNI)). I also wanted to attend Michael Poore’s session on Orchestration, however these two sessions conflicted and I unfortunately had to decide at the last minute as to which one to view!


The final session had me attending the Embotics lab – I had a quick try out of their V-Commander product to see what benefits it offered. I really wanted to see the Cisco UCS presentation so I did unfortunately miss this one. However I will definitely be catching up on this with the slides that will hopefully be made available soon. Gregg Robertson also did his VCP 5 Tips and Tricks presentation, which I hear went down well – I skipped this one as I was lucky enough to fit in an exam and get my VCP 5 done earlier on this month. Whilst on the topic of VCP’s Jonathan Medd surprised everyone as he casually snuck off during lunch to Global Knowledge to write his VCP 5 exam… and passed!


Ending off with vBeers just down the road, I managed to catch up and have some great conversation with a few other guys, including Gregg RobertsonJonathan MeddDarren Woollard, Jeremy Bowman, Michael Poore et-al (sorry to those whose names I omitted i.e. fogot!) All in all, a great day was had with some interesting content!


Edit – the slides are now up from the VMUG – they can be accessed here.

Nominate your top VMware & Virtualization blogs for 2012


This morning I came across a link to regarding blog nominations for the top Virtualization (look at that, I spelt Virtualization with a “z”!) blogs of 2012 happening between 23/01 and 07/02. I missed out on the blog nominations for the list earlier on in January, but will still be voting of course. It will be a tough choice, as there are so many talented and deserving bloggers out there. My voting strategy will involve choosing five well known blogs that I enjoy reading and think deserve a vote, along with five other blogs that deserve more attention that what they get (in my opinion). I’ll try spread the votes out one by one, so that there is a good mix of points for both sets of blogs.


Best of luck to all the bloggers nominated! I see there are some nice TrainSignal VMware View and vSphere training DVDs up for grabs to voters, so make sure you get in there and cast your votes before the cut off time.


Cast your votes

Original post by Eric Siebert over at vSphere-Land discussing the nominations