Dell community and VRTX

I haven’t had a lot of contact with Dell gear recently, where customers have Dell gear I haven’t been called on to do any host deployments or troubleshooting. That might be a good sign, the best products for customers are the ones that don’t fail and support people never get calls on. I enjoyed visiting Dell and hearing from people who were excited about what they are doing. I also got to say hello to @GMinks who recognised me when we met at VMworld 2011 from my voice on the APAC Virtualization podcast.

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© 2013, Demitasse. All rights reserved. This post first appeared on the Demitasse blog www.demitasse.co.nz

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Disaster Recovery Compliance

The last few years have seen a huge leap forward in disaster recovery for many IT organizations.  The use of Virtualization and lower cost replication has seen DR move from being a nightmare to a standard business service.  As a result a lot of organizations have a green tick where they used to have a question mark on their audit results. As a result the auditors are now able to look a little deeper and start asking whether the DR solution you have is fit for purpose.

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© 2013, Demitasse. All rights reserved. This post first appeared on the Demitasse blog www.demitasse.co.nz

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HP Tech@Work

This week I’m spending  little time with HP, they have flown me to Sydney to attend their Technology at Work event here. There are four streams to the show, Converged Cloud, Big Data, Mobility ad Software and Security. We are being hosted by the Converged Cloud side so we will be focussing there. I’m quite interested in the OpenStack side of what HP has been doing, particularly since they have an OpenStack based cloud in New Zealand.

Naturally I’d also like to take a look at the Mobility series as there are sessions around end user compute and BYOD, it remains to be seen whether the schedule will allow this.  There are a few other Kiwi bloggers coming over, Mauricio Freitas from GeekZone and Paul Spain from the NZTechPodcast so I’m looking forward to a beer with them.

 

Disclosure: Travel to HP Tech at Work 2013 was paid for by HP; however, no monetary compensation is expected nor received for the content that is written in this blog.

© 2013, Demitasse. All rights reserved. This post first appeared on the Demitasse blog www.demitasse.co.nz

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Why do we need storage with special sauce?

There seems to be a lot of companies with new storage solutions, lots of very smart people finding new ways to do make your storage better. Many of the startups are doing something very different to what the big storage vendors have been doing for years. So why are these startups making storage with special sauce?

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© 2013, Demitasse. All rights reserved. This post first appeared on the Demitasse blog www.demitasse.co.nz

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HP PCoIP zero client

Time does fly by when you’re busy. I’ve had an HP T310 PCoIP zero client on my desk for a couple of months and I’ve been using it but hadn’t written about it.  The unit was kindly supplied by HP after I wrote about the T410 on this blog and about thin and zero clients in general on TechTarget. I had been trying to get hold of one for a while as I like this type of zero client.

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© 2013, Demitasse. All rights reserved. This post first appeared on the Demitasse blog www.demitasse.co.nz

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Tech Field Day 9 in Austin Texas

It didn’t seem so long, but it took nearly two days from home to Texas by car, bus, plane and finally car. Getting to Austin the day before the event started was  great plan, I slept from 1am until 11:30 am then hung out as the other delegates emerged or arrived. There were twelve delegates, of whom I already knew half from US trips in the last couple of years. The delegate list is on the even page http://techfieldday.com/event/tfd9/ 

The afternoon and evening passed very pleasantly with renewing friendships and making new friends. One of the recurring themes in the post about these events is how much value there is in just hanging out and talking over beer with the other delegates., it is really true.  It’s easy to find common ground and learn something. After dinner my vBrownBag brother Damian dropped by, another person I like to hang out with and seldom actually do. With all the talking it was again 1am before I headed up to my room.

Wednesday was spent at Dell’s Round Rock HQ, mostly talking about new (or new to Dell) software products. One thing I did learn is that Dell has an active community forum. We also got to see a piece of newly released hardware in the form of the VRTX blade enclosure. On leaving Dell we went for barbeque and Uncle Billy’s

Thursdays was spent at the hotel, four presentations including Infinio’s first public appearance and a while with my friends from Veeam. This was a seriously long day of presentations and a lot of questions.  I may have to watch the recordings to refresh my mind on what I saw and heard. After the last session there was just time to drop laptops back to the room before reboarding our Hummer stretch limmo, which had been our transport for Round Rock, to head for town. Stephen had booked out an old fashioned movie theatre with table service and we watched a 1980’s movie complete with audience commentary. The move was Buckaroo Banzai and took around $6 Million when it was released, it is one of those gloriously terrible movies that are fun to make fun of, and we did.

Today is Friday and we again had an early call to be in the limmo, this time checked out and for me with luggage. We spent the morning at SolarWinds offices and finished with Franklin Barbeque for lunch. Now I’m at Austin airport aiming to get this post out before the fatigue overtakes me and I fall asleep standing up.

Thanks to Stephen for inviting me, Claire for organizing and Tom for shepherding. I’ve seen a lot of presentations on some interesting tech over the last three days. Now I need to let it simmer in my brain for a while. Nearly time to board the first of my 3 flights to get home, another 30 hours until I’m home.

© 2013, Demitasse. All rights reserved. This post first appeared on the Demitasse blog www.demitasse.co.nz

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Alastair is going to Tech Field Day 9

Much excitement in the Demitasse household, well OK it’s just me excited as the rest of the family don’t get to come along.  I’ve been invited to join Stephen Foskett’s band of merry men at Tech Field Day 9 in Austin Texas next month. I’m expecting an experience similar to the HP Tech Day (no Field) I attended in Colorado last year, I even get to see John Obeto and Howard Marks that I met at that event again at this one.  The big difference ere is that there will be seven vendors over the three days, including one that is secret as they are still in stealth mode. I’m expecting a whirlwind of vendors and conversations with my fellow attendees.

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© 2013, Demitasse. All rights reserved. This post first appeared on the Demitasse blog www.demitasse.co.nz

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A new direction

This week I started a new phase.  In the past I’ve done a little consulting work under my own banner or as a sub contactor for small pieces of work.  This week I started a long term relationship with ViFX, a New Zealand based VMware partner specializing in VMware related design and implementation services. When I’m not teaching VMware courses I will be part of the ViFX team. 

I started on Monday & since there were no un-resourced design projects starting that day I have ended up doing a fair mount of implementation work. Rack and stack some servers, do some of the cabling and ESXi setup for them, work with the storage and network teams to make sure everything is working.  It’s been around seven years since I did this regularly so it’s fun to step back into it, driving around the city from offices to datacenters with a laptop and a screwdriver.

I will still be blogging here and on ProfessionalVMware, I suspect the ViFX work will be a fertile ground for blog post material. I will also keep up the AutoLab development and vBrownBag hosting along with writing for other sites.

The biggest change is that I will be based in Auckland for the working week, rather than at home or all over the place teaching.  I will end up spending more time away from home, getting back to the family at weekend. This is better for us than uprooting the family to live in Auckland where housing costs are huge and where my daughters don’t have friends. After six years of me being away a lot we’re pretty well adjusted for it but it still has it’s challenges. On the plus side having a permanent pad in Auckland will make it easy for the family to come up for the weekend or during holidays.

I’m excited about the new direction and getting more hands on with the technologies I teach about.  Maybe I’ll get that VCDX nailed too since I’ll have a few design and implementation projects.

© 2013, Demitasse. All rights reserved. This post first appeared on the Demitasse blog www.demitasse.co.nz

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VCAP5-DTD Exam

I did the VCAP5-DTD exam at Avonmore here in Tauranga today.  You can read about my experience of the exam in this post on ProfessionalVMware.com.

I really like that I can do VMware advanced exams in Tauranga, 25km from home, rather than having to go to Auckland which is 200km. The setup may not be as slick as Auldhouse or Pearson’s sites in Australia but it works and I haven’t had any problems with the test taking environment there. Since they are a lot less busy than the testing centres in the main cities it’s a lot easier to book the long time slot required for the VCAP exams.

One other nice thing was to find one of my past colleagues is now a trainer at Avonmore, one of the fun parts of living in a small city.

© 2013, Demitasse. All rights reserved. This post first appeared on the Demitasse blog www.demitasse.co.nz

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VCAP5-DCA Workshop

Today’s workshop was for the Datacenter Administration exam, the toughest VMware exam I’ve sat. Below are the links I used.

First of all the certification page www.vmware.com/certification

The vBrownBag home page www.professionalvmware.com/brownbags/

vBrownBag VCAP5-DCA Playlist on YouTube

Greg Robertson’s VCAP resource page www.thesaffageek.co.uk/vsphere-5-study-resources/vcap5-dca-dcd/

Chris Wahl’s study sheet http://wahlnetwork.com/2012/07/02/the-vcap5-dca-study-sheet/

Finally my own AutoLab www.labguides.com

© 2013, Demitasse. All rights reserved. This post first appeared on the Demitasse blog www.demitasse.co.nz

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