VMworld 2018 EMEA Sessions

The VMworld EMEA show is off to a great start! I’ve got a pretty busy week, with several sessions spread out through the show, so if you’re looking to learn more about Digital Transformation, the Hands-on-Lab Architecture or how to Automate the SDDC with Ansible, come check out these sessions:

LDT1515PE – Transformers: How VMware IT Transitioned to a Services-Based Organization. 5:00PM Tuesday in Hall 8.0, Room 41.

CODE5602E – Enhancing the SDDC with Ansible. 12:30PM Thursday in VMware {code} Power Session Theater, VMvillage.

VMTN5533 – Hybrid Cloud in the Hands-on-Labs. 2:30PM Thursday in VMTN TechTalk Theater, VMvillage.

Hope to see you there!

Ansible SDDC Demo Video

Following on the heels of the release of the VMware SDDC Ansible roles inside the Virtual Elephant GitHub space, here is a recording of several of the roles being leveraged to deploy and configure a set of ESXi nodes (advanced settings, DVS and VMkernel configuration) within a vCenter cluster, deploy an NSX-v Manager through ovftool and the deployment of the NSX-v Controllers.

To avoid any copyright issues, there is no sound or music playing in the background. The video was recorded and then time-lapsed to make it a quick-view of the deployment. Deploying the NSX-v Manager and Controllers were the longest-running tasks, but in it’s raw form the demo video was just under 30 minutes to perform all of the tasks you see in the video.

Leveraging Ansible can greatly enhance and reduce the time it takes a vSphere Administrator to deploy a VMware SDDC environment!

Enjoy.

VMworld US 2018 – Session and Schedule

With the VMworld US 2018 conference set to start in just over a month, my schedule is beginning to take shape. 2018 will be my 5th trip to the US show and I am extremely excited to be presenting again on several different stages in Las Vegas!

Sunday – TAM Day table from 4:15PM -5PM

Come find me to talk about the full vSphere SDDC, including NSX-v, NSX-T, vSphere, vCloud Director and/or the VCDX certification.

Monday – VMTN Lounge from 1PM – 1:30PM

Session ID: CODE5542U – Enhancing the SDDC with Ansible

New engineers are often unsure how to contribute to an Open Source project and timid when it is time to make their first merge request. Drawing insight from the recent Ansible automation efforts within the VMware Private Cloud team, learn how to identify areas within an Open Source project where you can contribute using a real-world use-case. In this session, we will walk through the open source Ansible VMware modules leveraged to fully automate the deployment of the software-defined datacenter, including vSphere, vSAN and NSX components. We’ll dive into how gaps in the current Ansible modules were identified and how our engineers were able to begin writing additional functionality and contributing it upstream. The presentation will also highlight how improvements to our own VMware Open Source projects on GitHub can benefit and be leveraged by our customers.

Tuesday – experts bar from 11:3oAM – 1:30PM

Come find me to talk about the full vSphere SDDC, including NSX-v, NSX-T, vSphere, PKS and/or the VCDX certification.

Tuesday – solutions exchange theatre 3:30pm – 4PM

Come learn about how VMware utilizes multiple public cloud providers, in addition to our on-premise clouds, to deliver a memorable VMworld Hands-on-Lab experience each year! I will go over the VCDX methodologies and how they were leveraged to design the Hands-on-Lab architecture.

Tuesday – meet the experts @ solutions exchange theatre from 3:30pm – 4PM

Come find me to talk about the full vSphere stack, including NSX-v, NSX-T, vSphere, PKS and/or the VCDX certification.

thursday – Transformers: How vmware IT transitioned to a services-based organization from 10:30AM – 11:30AM

Session ID: LDT1515PU

Hot on the heels of the digital transformation process sweeping across IT organizations worldwide, the VMware private cloud architects will discuss how they are leveraging their operational experience to propel VMware IT into a services-based organization. As VMware IT has learned, the digital transformation process is less about the technologies adopted and more about the people involved. In order to drive true adoption, the digital transformation starts with strong leadership, but also requires engagement from those closest to the consumers. Come discover how to drive your organization’s digital transformation initiatives and gain true adoption from a technical practitioner’s perspective. Challenges and lessons learned will also be covered.

Apache Mesos and Marathon Deployment Demo at VMworld

VMworld 2015

Andrew Nelson and Tom Twyman  spoke on Wednesday morning about Apache Mesos and Marathon at VMworld. During their session they showed a demo of a cluster deployment — although they experienced a couple technical difficulties. The session covered the overall basics of how to operationalize Cloud Native Applications using Apache Mesos, Mesosphere Marathon and Docker on a VMware private cloud.

Here is an alternate cut of the demo they showed yesterday.

 

The video walks a user through a deployment of a Apache Mesos cluster using VMware Big Data Extensions, shows the running UI for Apache Mesos, Mesosphere Marathon and Chronos. Behind the scenes, HAProxy has been installed to automatically add any workloads launched and Docker support on each node. After the deployment is complete, a NGiNX Docker workload is launched into Marathon using the API. The workload is scaled from 1 to 6 instances and shows the HAProxy ruleset being updated to include each instance that is running. Finally, the video shows the Apache Mesos cluster itself being scaled while the same NGiNX workload is still running.

A quick 3-minute video showing how versatile Cloud Native Apps on top of VMware infrastructure can be to enable developers to take advantages of the newest technologies for running containers.

VMworld 2015 Tuesday Recap

VMworld 2015

Another great day at VMworld 2015 is in the books. For the first time, I have been able to get a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to run the Hands-on-Lab (HoL) area for the VMworld conference. I spent most of the morning in the NOC area with colleagues monitoring the systems providing the HoL capacity. In a very good way, it was pretty boring. All of the months of hard work leading up to the conference has resulted in a pretty smooth user-experience — not withstanding the WiFi issues which are handled entirely by a 3rd party.

The afternoon saw me do something I had tentatively planned for the past several months — sitting for my VCAP5-DCA exam. Although I did not study to the level originally planned, I decided to take the test while at the conference both due to peer pressure and the convenience offered by doing it here. I had a positive overall experience taking the exam. The questions themselves were not as difficult or obscure as I was worried they would be. Having spent a significant amount of time administrating large-scale VMware private clouds over the past few years greatly helped with my confidence level during the exam itself. The one bit that is always hard is having to know and understand VMware technologies you may not have utilized in your career for whatever reasons. In my case, that mostly revolves around vSphere Replication and VUM — seriously who uses VUM anymore?

All that being said, the most difficult part of the exam is time management. The exam is only 180 minutes + 15 minutes for the survey. It is difficult to know if you are spending too much time on a single question when their difficulty and number of required steps vary so much one from the next. I tried to go through the questions in order, without skipping ahead to find the ‘easy’ questions — mostly because so many of them are based off of previous tasks you likely had to perform. I will say one thing, the lab environment experience was not as bad as I had read others having had.

Here are a few things I would have done differently had I known beforehand:

  1. After starting the exam, immediately log into the vCenter C# and Web Client — login takes several minutes and this will save you time later.
  2. Start the vMA appliance right away. Although I only had one question where the vMA appliance was required, you don’t want to be waiting for it half-way through the exam when you are starting to feel the time crunch.
  3. Start SSH on the ESXi hosts if that is your preferred method for using esxcli.
  4. Monitor how much you drink in the hours before the exam — that or get a catheter. If you have to use the restroom midway through, they will let you, but your time continues to tick away while you are gone.

I am looking forward to Wednesday at the conference. It will be my last day here, but if you see me walking around and want a Virtual Elephant laptop sticker poke me. I’ll be in the Solutions Exchange after the vBloggers session today.