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New VMware Certification Opportunities

by Harley Stagner on September 23, 2013

There are some exciting new certification opportunities that I wanted to share with my readers.

First, for those who want to prove that they have VMware knowledge in a simple, affordable way, VMware has launched the VMware Certified Associate (VCA) Certification. There’s even a 50% discount right now to get you started.

More info can be found at:

Second, for those of you who aspire to achieve the VMware Certified Design Expert (VCDX) designation, there are some great resources.

If you want to dive deep into Software Defined Datacenter Architecture, you should really check out the VMware vCloud Architecture Toolkit.

It can be found here:

Finally, there is an excellent VCDX boot camp video series starring Rawlinson Rivera, Mahesh Rajani, Ben Lin, Christen Patterson, and John Arrasjid.

The video series can be found here:

Good luck to everyone whatever path you are on.

First Day at VMware!

by Harley Stagner on September 3, 2013

I am very excited to announce that I’m starting my new role at VMware today. I have been fortunate to work with VMware products for many years and help many customers in a consulting role. I have also been able to contribute to and learn from the VMware community through blogging, articles, speaking, and writing books. Now I will have the opportunity to contribute to the VMware community and customers by working at VMware as a Senior Technical Marketing Architect.

I’m sure this new role will bring many new challenges and I’m looking forward to meeting them head on.

This is the Live Blog of OPS-CIM1926 ? 5 Must Know Design Considerations for Planning Capacity When you are 50 Percent or More Virtualized. You’ll find my recap of the session below.


  • Samuel McBride — VMware, Inc.
  • Monica Sharma, VMware, Inc.

This session will discuss capacity planning. Monica Sharma is speaking now. The right management tools allow the ratio of VM per Admin to be much more efficient. We can manage more with fewer resources.

Capacity problem areas can get amplified with higher consolidation.

  • Performance Triage / Reactive Capacity Remediation — Over-commitment / Reservations tend to be common in larger environments
  • It is difficult to cross-reference multiple tools to obtain the most relevant information needed to troubleshoot
  • This leads to higher Mean Time to Resolution
  • Demand forecasting — This is all about capacity waste and stress
  • What are my used vs allocated resources?
  • Do I have the need for burst demand?
  • How can we stay ahead of demand?
  • How can we optimize efficiency …
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This is the Live Blog of INF-VSP1168 — Architecting a Cloud Infrastructure. You’ll find my recap of the session below.

Speakers / Moderator:

  • Chris Colotti- VCDX # 37 VMware, Inc. — Moderator
  • Aidan Dalgleish — VCDX # 10 VMware, Inc.
  • Duncan Epping — VCDX #007 VMware, Inc.
  • Rawlinson Rivera VCDX #86, VMware, Inc.

This will be a panel discussion. The session begins with “Gathering Requirements”

Talk to Customers

  • Gather information and document
  • Categorize (Requirements, Nice to Have, Constraints, Assumptions
  • Conceptualize

Great advice for consultants and anyone going for the VCDX certification.

Some Example Requirements

  • Increase agility / flexibility while reducing costs
  • 99.9% Availability

Some Example Constraints

  • Hardware already acquired
  • Number of NICs dictated per server
  • Reuse existing equipment

Some Example Assumption

  • Sufficient switch ports
  • Storage can handle expected workload
  • Properly trained staff

Historical best practices

  • Understand why it is a best practice
  • It is better to put requirements first and apply the best practices to that requirement
  • Constantly evaluate best practices and question whether it still applies to newer software

Some Use Case Examples (The application comes first!)

  • Server consolidation
  • OPEX savings
  • Resource optimization
  • Standardization
  • IaaS

Conceptualize Your Design

  • Building Blocks — Operations, Time to Market, Compliance

Sizing / Scaling

  • What does the environment look like today?
  • How will size / scaling impact your Design / Project?
  • What is the use Case?

Again, all …
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This is the Live Blog of INF-BCO2655 — VMware vSphere Fault Tolerance for Multiprocessor Virtual Machines — Technical Preview. You’ll find my recap of the session below.


  • Jim Chow — VMware, Inc. Staff Engineer
  • Srinivas Kotamraju — VMware, Inc. Product Manager
  • Shrinand Javadekar — VMware, Inc. Senior MTS

Shrinand Javadekar has taken the stage and is discussing vSphere availability features to date (NIC-Teaming, HA, DRS, vMotion, storage multipathing, etc.). This session will concentrate on continuous availability with Fault Tolerance.

He goes on to define continuous availability

  • Zero downtime
  • Zero data loss
  • No loss of TCP connections
  • Completely transparent to guest software

One of the major limitations of Fault Tolerance as it exists today is the fact that FT can only protect uni-processor VMs. VMware has reached a key milestone in solving …
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VMworld 2012 – It’s All About the Sessions, Or Is IT?

by Harley Stagner on August 28, 2012

For those of you who were concerned that I am working way too much at VMworld 2012, I thought I’d post a quick update on some of the other activities at VMworld. I know, it’s all about the fun sessions, right? Well, sometimes it’s about actual fun also. I’ve been assured that the management team at TBL will not read this post, so here goes nothing :)

The VMworld 2012 Hang Space

This is probably one of the coolest rooms at VMworld 2012. All those worn and weary from the barrage of sessions can relax and take it easy amongst fellow virtualization enthusiasts. They even have a “Charging Valet” where you can drop your device off to be charged while you relax. Pretty cool.

(Read more…)

This is the Live Blog of INF-VSP2448 — Automating Bare Metal to the Cloud and Beyond. You’ll find my recap of the session below.


  • Alan Renouf — VMware, Inc. Senior Technical Marketing Architect
  • Eric Williams — Cisco Systems, Inc. Technical Marketing Engineer
  • Jake Robinson — BlueLock Solutions Architect

Alan Renouf is on the stage and talking about the history of PowerShell and PowerCLI. PowerCLI will be the basis for the automation featured in the presentation. He is discussing some basic PowerShell and PowerCLI cmdlets and how easy it is to create scripts by piping cmdlets into other cmdlets.

PowerCLI Snap-In’s available in the latest PowerCLI release include:

  • Core — Managing vSphere
  • Image Builder — Image Profiles
  • Auto Deploy — Deploying ESXi via PXE
  • License — Working with vSphere Licensing
  • Cloud — vCloud Director Providers
  • Tenant (new in 5.1) — vCloud Director Tenants — You can give these to your cloud tenants

PowerCLI 5.1 — What’s New?


  • Kerberos
  • Linked clones
  • Datastore clusters
  • VCloud object relation


This is the Live Blog of INF-NET2161 — VMware Networking 2012 — Enabling the Software Defined Network. You’ll find my recap of the session below.


  • Milin Desai — VMware, Inc. — Product Management, Networking
  • Sachin Thakkar — VMware, Inc. — Manager, Networking and Security R&D

Software Defined Networking must provide an abstraction layer for the network similar to the way there is a hardware abstraction layer for virtual machines today. The goal is an operationally efficient environment to provision networks quickly and on-demand. With the release of vSphere 5.1 you can define logical networks with features such as vShield Edge, App, and Endpoint, and utilizing vXLAN technology. The vCloud ecosystem framework will allow 3rd party partners to participate in Software Defined Networking with their own solutions. You can configure a vDC in minutes.

Deployment Scenario

VMworld 2012 Live Blog – General Session Day 2

by Harley Stagner on August 28, 2012

This is the Live Blog of the VMworld 2012 General Session Day 2. You’ll find my recap of the session below.

Steve Herrod, CTO, VMware, Inc. is on the stage now. He’s recapping the general session from yesterday about VMware’s strategic direction towards true cloud infrastructure. Today he is talking about end user computing and access to data in new and different ways.

“The days of telling users what to do are over.”

Three phases of transforming end user computing

  • Transform legacy applications into a service that can be consumed by users
  • Broker services
  • Mobile Users


VMware View is a big component of this transformation. With View 5.1 there are more clients for more devices. The user experience is vastly improved. There was even a 3D-Gaming experience running on View desktops in the Hands on Labs. He is announcing a partner ecosystem of appliances like the Cisco ISR G2 plus VMware View for branch office View deployments.

Up next is Mirage. This is a technology that is brought to us by a recent VMware acquisition. Mirage helps to break apart the desktop into distinct components and allows offline access from a managed physical or virtual desktop. Mirage allows in place upgrade to Windows 7 in the background while a snapshot is taken of the machine. After the upgrade, the user reboots and they have windows 7. Mirage also has a copy of a user’s devices and can restore them as a virtual machine. Demo recap.

  • User starts with Windows XP
  • Mirage does in place upgrade of Windows 7 …
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This is the Live Blog of the VMworld 2012 INF-BCO2155 — “vCloud DR for Oxford University Computing Services. You’ll find my recap of the session below.

The presenters for this session are:

  • Aidan Dalgleish — VMware, Inc. Consulting Architect and a fellow VCDX :)
  • Gary Blake — VMware, Inc. Senior Consultant
  • Adrian Parks — Oxford University Computing Services Senior Systems Administrator

This session will discuss the disaster recovery for provider vDC’s in vCloud Director. The solution becomes more complex in the absence of L2-stretched networks (clusters). VCloud Director works with managed objects, so it is absolutely essential that everything in the infrastructure be restored in their current state. Any rebuilds will break the managed object relationships.

Adrian Parks will go over the challenges and requirements for Oxford Computing Services.

  • Over 300 independent units that each do their own thing
  • Devolved IT infrastructure
  • No central mandate

The University now operates a private cloud, offering Infrastructure As A Service to those 300 “independent units.”

Goals for the project:

  • Primary — Protect “Shared Datacenter Virtual Infrastructure Environment” from site failure
  • Secondary — …
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