Use the cloud to manage your cloud

Since hybrid clouds are all the rage right now it seems appropriate that there is a public cloud service that lets you easily manage your private cloud. Platform9 has just launched product to do exactly this.

Meme-Cloudinthecloud

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© 2014, Demitasse. All rights reserved. This post first appeared on the Demitasse blog www.demitasse.co.nz

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VMworld USA 2014

With  two weeks to go until I leave for the conference my schedule is starting to fill up. Like a lot of people VMworld is a busy time for me with too much to do and not enough time.

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© 2014, Demitasse. All rights reserved. This post first appeared on the Demitasse blog www.demitasse.co.nz

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VeeamON

I’ve been a fan of Veeam since the long distant days when FastSCP was the killer app for getting ISOs onto datastores. Veeam has been a great supporter of various community activities I have organized, from the vBrownBag Tech Talks, the VMdownUnderground party to the AutoLab.

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This year Veeam are holding their own conference, VeeamON. Three days of Veeam goodness, lots of discussion of Availability for your IT. I will be there making some vBrownBag Tech Talk videos and soaking up the Veeam green.

You can read what a few of my friends have to say about VeeamON: Marco Broeken, Andrea Mauro and Eric Seibert. Hopefully they will all make it to the conference and we can catch up there.

© 2014, Demitasse. All rights reserved. This post first appeared on the Demitasse blog www.demitasse.co.nz

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Different focus with AWS

AWS-Logo

 

A few weeks ago I attended the AWS Essentials and Architecting on AWS courses. Both were really good courses and lead by John Balsillie who is a friend from VMware training days. The biggest thing I noticed is that the conversation was on a different level to the VMware courses I have taught. vSphere courses are for Infrastructure people, AWS courses are for Application people.

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© 2014, Demitasse. All rights reserved. This post first appeared on the Demitasse blog www.demitasse.co.nz

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Demitasse vSphere Operations Workshop

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago I am now offering my own workshops. The first workshop is for people who work with vSphere but mostly care about what is inside the VMs. This workshop is for support and admin teams who need to know how vSphere works. This is a great place to start learning about virtualization and working with VMs. We will look at what VMs are, how to use VM features effectively and how to avoid problems with VMs. The areas covered are all about operating in a virtualized environment.

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A central feature of these workshops is that they do not have fixed content; we cover what the people in the room need. I usually cover the basics of virtualization and what a VM is along with fundamental VM operations. If your team needs to know more about Snapshots we will spend more time there. If we need to dig into how networking is setup on vSphere then we will go there. There aren’t a lot of slides but there will be a whiteboard and a lot of discussion.

The other central feature is hands on time, actually using a vSphere environment and seeing the results of the changes you make. When we come across questions like “what happens if I ….” then we do that thing in the lab. Unlike a production environment we have full access and don’t mind breaking things. We can see things like how vSphere HA works and what happens on datastores when we take snapshots.

I like to keep the workshop groups small, to make it easy to have a conversation. Usually three to eight attendees makes for a good workshop, enough for a conversation and small enough that everyone takes part. This workshop is usually two days long and I can deliver the workshop where you are, even in a smaller town. If this workshop sounds like something that would help your team then drop me an email alastair@demitasse.co.nz. For a look at where and when I am available take a look at my schedule page. I can run the workshop at your office, or at an offsite training centre. The attendees can all be from your company or a couple of companies can be combined into a single workshop. For more details there is an outline document for this workshop here and outlines of all my workshops here.

© 2014, Demitasse. All rights reserved. This post first appeared on the Demitasse blog www.demitasse.co.nz

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Learning Moments–HA didn’t work

I’m starting a new series of blog posts, these are all about when things went wrong and needed to be fixed. The point of these is to help you learn from other people’s mistakes and avoid them in futurePrint

The Problem

This learning moment came from a health check that I did with a client. They had a small VMware estate with only three ESX servers and a small SAN. They asked for a health check because they had been let down by VMware High Availability (HA) when one of their ESX hosts crashed. None of the VMs on the failed ESX server had been restarted on the remaining ESX servers. Rather disappointing.

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© 2014, Demitasse. All rights reserved. This post first appeared on the Demitasse blog www.demitasse.co.nz

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Start of a new era for me

For the last eight years I have been a VMware Certified Instructor (VCI). This certification allows me to deliver VMware’s official courses at VMware Authorized Training Centres (VATCs). Over that eight years I’ve taught over two hundred courses with students all over the Asia Pacific region and had a great time. When I started I thought that VMware would be my focus for two or three years and then there would be something new. I’m surprised to still be primarily working with VMware after eight years. I was also surprised to find that I enjoy delivering training and am better at it than I expected. Now it is time for a change.

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© 2014, Demitasse. All rights reserved. This post first appeared on the Demitasse blog www.demitasse.co.nz

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My career is random

I have read a few blog posts by my friends talking about how they planned their careers and chose what community activities to get into and what work to do involved in order to get into a dream job. Now I thought I’d share my experience, which is altogether different. My career is essentially a chaotic and random thing that progresses without much planning.

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This is a random picture, linked to the photographer

The problem with a lot of planning and clear goals is that concentrating on those can prevent you seeing other opportunities. The biggest changes in my career have come about from chance conversations and being in the right place at the right time. Back in 1997 I became a Citrix specialist after helping troubleshoot an issue on one server. Being a Citrix specialist got me a much better contract rate when I relocated to England for a couple of years. While I was in England a chance conversation introduced me to VMware. A few years later when I was again self-employed a chance comment in a classroom lead me from being a student of VMware to being an Instructor. A series of other chance meetings have led to other changes: Meeting Cody Bunch at the CXI party in 2011 lead to me being part of vBrownBag. Meeting Stephen Foskett at the same VMworld lead to me being a Tech Field Day delegate. vBrownBag TechTalks came about after twitter grumblings about rejected VMworld sessions. Each instance was a random meeting or comment along with being open to opportunity.

For me having long term career goals just doesn’t work. Plans never seem to work out the way I thought but the results are always awesome in some form. Don’t take this to mean that you shouldn’t plan and that planning is a bad idea. Having goals and pathways to the goals is a great idea. I do always keep an eye on what is developing and invest in my own skills. Just keep yourself open to other things that crop up along the way. Career plans should not be cast in concrete, they should be flexible and must change as the world changes.

© 2014, Demitasse. All rights reserved. This post first appeared on the Demitasse blog www.demitasse.co.nz

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New Project, Notes for Engineers

I’ve started a new project called Notes For Engineers. It is a video training blog which will feature frequent updates of small learning pieces. A feature of these videos is a hideous pink colour scheme that is inspired by the giant pink post-it note that I am using in some of the videos.

Post-It

I am going to do videos with people who are building infrastructure and who have experience to share. These are an interview format with a guest who explains a problem they solved or a piece of technology they have implemented. Some of these will be about new products or new ways of using products. I hope to learn a lot by producing these, hopefully you will too.

I have a series of videos in the pipeline that are about the basics of virtualization taken from workshops I do with operations teams who need to know about VMware. These are starting with a few videos about how VMware snapshots work and the issues around using snapshots. I’ll also look at thin provisioning and HA configuration. A lot of these videos are saving you from explaining the same thing to each team member who doesn’t specialise in virtualization, just send them to Notes For Engineers.

If you’d like to appear in a video let me know, the more people whose experience I can capture the better. If you have an idea for a tutorial on a virtualization basic then let me know. If you are a vendor looking to explain your product to the people who will build solutions with it then also get in touch with me. You can reach me as alastair@demitasse.co.nz

© 2014, Demitasse. All rights reserved. This post first appeared on the Demitasse blog www.demitasse.co.nz

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North East Asia

In April I got to visit two new countries in one week, teaching Nutanix courses in Seoul and Tokyo back to back. My week was 20,000KM flying, six airports, two hotels and a lot of different cars. I met a lot of Nutanix staff and even more Nutanix partners. One of the things I really like about my work is going different places and meeting different people. This week definitely delivered both people and places.

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© 2014, Demitasse. All rights reserved. This post first appeared on the Demitasse blog www.demitasse.co.nz

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