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Monthly Archives: September 2011

vExpert Spotlight: David Owen

Twitter Handle: @vmackem

Blog URL: www.vmackem.co.uk

Current Employer: Large UK Solutions Provider 

How did you get into IT in   the first place

The way I got into IT is a slightly a lucky one.

I went to College originally to do a Science qualification, however, there were not enough people to run the class that year so they asked me what my second choice was. As it happened, I couldn’t remember what it was so they just put me in whatever class had free spaces. This happened to be an IT course. As I did not pass any of my GCSE’s I had to start from as low as possible in the course program and it took me 6 years to finally get through the various stages of education to earn a BSC (hons) in Computer Science. Growing up in a council estate made this an even bigger achievement as I was the only one of my friends or family to achieve this.

During my time at uni I worked part time at a call centre for Barclays Bank. Once I got my degree I applied for windows admin job internally and the rest as they say is history. This is also how I ended up moving to the other end of England.

How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2011 vExpert?

Another lucky break saw me working for a large defence contractor as an integration engineer (writing scripts basically). A small project popped up that involved this new and up and coming software called VMware. My manager at the time asked who was interested in going on a course and I was the only one so I went on it. It’s fair to say I fell in love with VMware (and virtualisation as whole) instantly and I have never looked back.

To me this is more than just my job, its my hobby as well (blogging and reading up). Because of this, I enjoy doing things in the community and social media areas as a genuine interest. Amazingly, people are actually interesting in what I have to say, to this day I don’t know why.

Becoming a vExpert while not meaning much to some people means a lot to me not because of my profile in the community or for any kind of personal gain but it is a recognition that a council estate boy from Sunderland with no meaningful qualifications at 16 years old can become recognised by a major company like VMware for my contributions. Obviously the benefits of being a vExpert are welcome also :) .

What would you tell someone who wanted to get a job like yours to do?

If someone wanted a job like mine they would need to understand that while the technical side is very, very important softer factors are important also. Personality, confidence and people skills make up about 40% of my job role. As a consultant, knowing VMware inside out will only get me so far. To go far in this industry you have to have drive and guts to be able to take risks and push yourself both mentally and physically (Well sometimes physically). Most of the people I know in the community while being technically proficient also have a great personality. It is no coincidence that those people are in the jobs that people aspire to.

For me I am only at the beginning of my career with 7 year’s experience. But I’m acutely aware that I need to continually push myself constantly to achieve the goals I have set out for myself. You don’t get given anything in this life and you have push yourself to achieve it. This is not all about qualifications and awards, but practical experience at a constantly high level.

A week in virtualization

Yesterday, we extended enterprise Social and Cloud-based applications to iPad and Android platforms by making available two new mobile apps from SlideRocket and Socialcast. These apps will deliver communication and collaboration tools for the connected enterprise users and allow them to share presentations and collaborate on the go, using their mobile devices. You can find the new apps in the Android Marketplace and the Apple AppStore.

On Facebook, VMware vCloud team has shared a link to a nice blog post by Winston Bumpus on new activity around cloud computing standards. Find it and more cool links at facebook.com/vmwarevcloud

Also, VMware Fusion team has posted a link to an eWeek review of Fusion 4 on facebook.com/vmwarefusion

We have two cool webinars coming up, Architecting a modern approach to data management and Faster Oracle backup and recovery in a virtualized world with VMware and EMC. Head on over to webcasts.vmware.com to register.

Also the VMware Forum is concluded for the United States area, but you can register for on-demand delivery. The Forum will be making stops in Montreal, Sydney, and Beijing next month. Find out more and register by going to vmware.com and clicking on the big grey box that says VMware Forum 2011.

The following VMUGs are going to be meeting over the next week: Tasmanian, Melbourne, East Germany, Calgary, Madrid, Boise, Italy, Central Ohio, New York Metro area, Okanagan, and Detroit. There is also a full-day User Conference in Atlanta on the 24th,  in Chicago on the 31st, in Cincinnati and Southwest Ontario on the 2nd of October, and UK on the 3rd. For more dates and locations, head on over to myvmug.org

The Raleigh vBeers group is meeting up tomorrow night, and you can find out more about vBeers at vbeers.org.

And finally there will be a community party on the 18th of October, the evening before VMware Forum Sydney.  The event was inspired by the VMUnderground party. The attendee registration page is at vmdownunderground.eventbrite.com.

At VMworld Copenhagen, we will once again have a Community TV streaming channel and allow community members to use it to broadcast their own content. If you want to reserve a spot to have a discussion, do a product demo, or just tell the world about your VMUG, you can do so at vmware.com/go/vmworld-community-tv

By the way, the content we recorded on the Vegas show floor is still available, so go check it out at livestream.com/vmwarecommunitytv – that’s also where the new content will populate to.

vExpert Spotlight: Edward L. Haletky

Twitter Handle: @Texiwill

Blog URL: http://www.virtualizationpractice.com

Current Employer: AstroArch Consulting, Inc. 

How did you get into IT in   the first place

Naturally, I have always been interested in programming and one day a friend offered me the chance to play and program a commodore 64. Viola I was hooked. Been developing code and learning more about it every day since then. I was first involved in computational fluid dynamics where I was visualizing complex fluid flows and moved from there to writing low level graphics libraries and eventually high performance technical computing 

How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2011 vExpert?

It all started many years ago when the beta of VMware workstation v0.9 was released with the try it and tell us what breaks approach.  I tried it and it broke but it was a start. Later, I was asked by a manager, "Do you know this VMware stuff?". After saying yes, I found myself discussing server virtualization using ESX 1.5.2 and everything snowballed from there. I have written three books on virtualization and have a few more planned. I am now an independent consultant in the virtualization and cloud computing space, trying to find time to get all my little projects completed.  I consider part of my job, to give back to the community that spawned my career where every day the technology landscape changes with something new and interesting.

What would you tell someone who wanted to get a job like yours to do?

Learn what you can, keep an open mind, and when presented the opportunity leap. I find the key to being a virtualization and cloud architect is knowledge. Not only what is learned, but what you can bring to the table from current and past work. You have to be a self-starter to be an independent and always aware of your brand, namely yourself. I believe giving back to the community is crucial to this brand.

vExpert Spotlight: Damian Karlson

Twitter Handle: @sixfootdad

Blog URL: http://damiankarlson.com

How did you get into IT in  the first place

I've been working in and around IT for over 10 years now. I started in technical sales but got my first experiences in "hands-on" IT about seven years ago. I'd gone back to school as an adult to get an Associates in Computer Networking, and that opened up an opportunity to start working as a software tester for a 3rd party QA & testing company in Austin, TX. From there, I moved into hardware testing of various servers & storage subsystems, and eventually led a team of hardware and software testers that was responsible for testing minor and major hardware & firmware revisions on a major manufacturer's blade servers.

How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2011 vExpert?

I first started working with VMware about 3 years ago. I'd inherited a small VMware server/isolated ESXi environment (on old Compaq whiteboxes, no less), and had the opportunity to lead a major VMware implementation. My team built a number of large VMware clusters and adopted a "virtualization first" policy. Anything new that needed to be deployed went on VMware (where applicable, of course), and anything existing was converted to VM.

I started blogging about a year ago, and focused on how to automate a large scale VMware implementation. I fell in love with PowerCLI, and wrote all that I could about leveraging it for things like standardized ESXi deployments, automating host remediation in clusters without DRS, automating VMware licensing assignments, etc. It was due to my blogging efforts that I was recognized as a vExpert in 2011.

What would you tell someone who wanted to get a job like yours to do? 

I think the most important thing is a true love of technology, and also a clear understanding of how appropriate applications of technology can benefit the business side "of the house". Technology is great, but in a vacuum, it serves no purpose. Its purpose is to enable, improve, and serve as the vehicle for a company's ability to be successful.

Secondly, I'm a strong believer in social media. Get involved, talk to people that are doing what you want to do, help out other folks who may have questions or issues that you may know how to solve. Most of all, get a true understanding of how your unique talents and abilities can be a benefit to you, your family, and those around you.

Top 5 Planet V12N blog posts for week 38

Now that VMworld 2011 Las Vegas is behind us, we can now start ramping up for VMworld 2011 Copenhagen.  I know Frank Denneman is anxiously awaiting the event!  Here are the top 5 posts for the week, enjoy…

 

Andre Leibovici – The Right Hardware for a 10K VDI solution – I have been involved in many VDI designs over the past years, and recently I have been involved in a design and architecture for a 10,000 user VDI solution. I thought it would be interesting to share here the considerations and decisions that goes behind hardware definition for such a large project.  So, first let’s review the requirements, constraints and assumptions that must be followed during the design.

Chris Wahl – NUMA Woes – Battling High CPU %RDY on vSphere 4 – I recently starting seeing a number of alerts on one of my clusters that many VMs were getting a high %RDY for CPU. I thought this weird, as the vSphere hosts are beefy sized HP DL580 G7s loaded with 4 sockets of Intel x7542 processors and there aren’t many VMs running. Typical CPU usage was under 20% per host. How could the VMs be contending for CPU resources in this situation?

William Lam – How to Install VMware VSA in Nested ESXi 5 Host Using the GUI – We upgraded the ghettoDatacenter to vSphere 5 this weekend and one of the things I wanted to play with was the new VMware VSA (vSphere Storage Appliance). Since we only have a single host, running nested ESXi would be our only option and this would allow us to easily deploy three vESXi 5.0 hosts and vCenter to tinker with the new VMware VSA.

Duncan Epping – Multiple-NIC vMotion in vSphere 5… – How do you setup multi-NIC vMotion? I had this question 3 times in the past couple of days during workshops so I figured it was worth explaining how to do this. It is fairly straight forward to be honest and it is more or less similar to how you would setup iSCSI with multiple vmknic’s. More or less as there is one distinct difference.

Greg Mulholland – How vSphere 5 Challenges Storage Design – vSphere 5 revealed around 150 new features many of which are still to be understood. The new storage features however, got plenty of publicity. Storage DRS or SDRS, Profile Driven Storage and VASA, Datastore Clustering , VMFS5, additional VAAI capability and Storage IO Control improvements were the main ones.

vExpert Spotlight: Andrew Mauro

Twitter Handle: @Andrea_Mauro

Blog URL: http://virtual-infrastructure.it/

Current Employer: Assyrus Srl

How did you get into IT in  the first place?

I've started (a lot of years ago) with a Commodore 64, but only with my first experience on a PC (with MS-DOS) I understand that this passion would also be my possible work area. During University, I also played with Linux distributions and this gave me a better understanding of Operating Systems and networking. Things are really change. Now start in IT is simpler and cheaper (I remember how expensive my first PC was and how difficult it was to find good books or good documentations).

How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2011 vExpert?

As most people I've started of course with VMware Workstation and honestly not with the ESX 1.0 (I remember that was not possible, at least in my

Country) to have an evaluation or trial version.

My first virtualization project (for academic purposes) was building a virtual honeynet with Linux UML (it was the end of 2001). My first virtualization project based for a production system virtualization solution was instead with VMware ESX 2.5.

After that I've follow a lot of virtualization projects and recently (around three ago) I've started also to give some contribution to the VMTN Community. This probably has open new perspectives, outside the limits of my Country and my native language (that isn't English). For example, I've tried to applied with success to the VCDX3 path and also to vExpert 2010 and 2011.

What would you tell someone who wanted to get a job like yours to do?

In the IT field and especially in the virtualization area there is a lot to do. The required knowledge is quite huge, but worst (or better. it depends) there are a lot of changes so you cannot stand still. You have always to learn new things.

For those reasons I also think that in this kind of job the collaborations is really important. You can be great, but you can greater in a group of good people.

A week in virtualization

At VMworld Copenhagen, we will once again have a Community TV streaming channel and allow community members to use it to broadcast their own content. If you want to reserve a spot to have a discussion, do a product demo, or just tell the world about your VMUG, you can do so at vmware.com/go/vmworld-community-tv

By the way, the content we recorded on the Vegas show floor is still available, so go check it out at livestream.com/vmwarecommunitytv – that’s also where the new content will populate to.

On Facebook, VMware View team has shared a selection of TechValidate research findings from surveys of VMware View customers. Find out what View 5 users have to say about the new release at facebook.com/vmwareview

Also, VMware Fusion team has posted some perfectly lickable screen shots from their newest release on facebook.com/vmwarefusion

Not to be outdone, the VMware Workstation team published a link to all the new features of Workstation 8. You can find their page at facebook.com/vmwareworkstation

We have seven cool webinars coming up, on topics such as Not all clouds are created equal, to Managing cloud infrastructure with VMware in the federal government, to the Introduction to VMware infrastructure suite in Spanish and Portuguese, as well as Zimbra, Oracle, and Data Management. Head on over to webcasts.vmware.com to register.

Also the VMware Forum is concluded for the United States area, but you can register for on-demand delivery. The Forum will be making stops in Montreal, Sydney, and Beijing next month. Find out more and register by going to vmware.com and clicking on the big grey box that says VMware Forum 2011.

The following VMUGs are going to be meeting over the next week: Philadelphia, South Germany, Salt Lake City, St. Cloud MN, Kansas City, Southwest Indiana, Minneapolis, Montreal, Toronto, Nashville, Edmonton, Cleveland, Manitoba, and Central Illinois. For more dates and locations, head on over to myvmug.org

The Dorset and Hampshire vBeers group is meeting up tonight, and morrow, and New Mexico and London are having vBeers tomorrow. Find out more about vBeers at vbeers.org.

And finally there will be a community party the evening before vForum Sydney.  The event was inspired by the VMUnderground party. The attendee registration page is at vmdownunderground.eventbrite.com – If this link is too long for you, try apacvirtual.com podcast site, and they also have a link to the party there.

vExpert Spotlight: Matt Liebowitz

Twitter Handle: @mattliebowitz

Blog URL: http://www.thelowercasew.com

Current Employer:EMC Consulting 

How did you get into IT in the first place?

I started with computers pretty early as a kid when my family bought a Commodore Amiga.  I eventually moved on to the Windows world and building/assembling my own PCs.  I have to say that it's funny when I think back to my days on the Amiga and what really got me excited.  The one thing that stands out most of all was running x86 emulation software so I could run DOS/Windows 95 on it.  I loved the idea of being able to run two different operating systems at the same time and was hooked on the concept from there.  I eventually went to college and studied Biology but never lost the interest in computers and after graduating, I decided to go into IT.

How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2011 vExpert?

I first saw the original VMware 1.0 product when I "borrowed" a copy during college and thought it was great and really useful.  I was first exposed to ESX with version 1.5 back in 2002 and remember thinking initially it was a bad idea for production workloads.  I quickly came around and have been hooked ever since, using the products from version 1.5 all the way through the latest release.  It's been really interesting to be involved so early and see the evolution of the software and how the industry started adopting it slowly at first and much quicker recently. 

As for the vExpert award, it means a lot to me because it rewards those that give back to the community and I think that is really important.  The VMware community is one of the best I've ever seen so to be rewarded for trying to help them and grow the VMware message is really meaningful to me.  Not only has the vExpert award helped me in my career, it also helps me get tables at crowded restaurants, skip to the front of the line at hot night clubs, and get my own line of premium champagnes.

What would you tell someone who wanted to get a job like yours to do?

First and foremost you need to love what you do.  If you view IT as just a job you go to then it is harder to learn, grow, and appreciate advances in technology.  In the consulting world, you need to be able to speak confidently, have a wide range of knowledge, go from meeting with a network engineer one minute to a meeting with a CIO 10 minutes later, and be able to wear multiple hats at once.  It's a great field and is always challenging and different each day.  In general, there is still so much opportunity in the virtualization space so if this is your passion then don't be afraid to pursue it.

vExpert Spotlight: Jim Millard

Twitter Handle: MillardJK

Blog URL: blog.millard.org

Current Employer: CarterEnergy Corporation

How did you get into IT in the first place?

I’ve been a bit of a nerd/geek all my life, but I didn’t get seriously into IT until I took a Pascal programming course for some fill-in hours in college. That was my Senior year in the Chemistry program, so I finished that major track and went back part-time to get my Computer Science degree while working as a Research Chemist. My company considered it a bit of an investment because scientific endeavors have turned increasingly to computers & automation to become more accurate, precise and efficient. It didn’t take long before I was splitting my time between the typical Chemist tasks and the lab IT tasks; when the company IT guy left, I interviewed for and won the full-time position.

Although I retained some duties as a backup to the research team, I was thrilled to hang up my lab coat and focus 100% of my time on IT. By that time, I’d “cracked the nut” on my career as a chemist (I share 3 US patents), and was ready to move on.

Since that time, I’ve worked for two companies either as “standalone sysadmin” (apologies to Matt Simmons, but that’s what it was!) or on a small team as a lead technologist. Today, like then, I’m an “uberslashie”: Network Admin/Database Admin/ Programmer/Architect/Storage Manager/Virtualization Manager/Security Manager/etc. You name it; I’m ultimately responsible for it. At my organization, when the VMware guy is arguing with the Storage or Networking guy, it’s just me talking to myself…

How did you get into working with VMware and becoming a 2011 vExpert?

I proposed a one-host installation of ESX (2.5) to my company back in 2004 as a skunk-works project to replace several of the desktop machines that we had pressed into datacenter service. While the experiment was a huge success, it was pure luck that we went with VMware instead of the competition: at the time, it was the only Type 1 hypervisor available, so that’s the one I chose. It proved to be a fortuitous choice: I later went to a VMware-hosted seminar where they demonstrated vMotion and had one of those “Eureka!” moments which would essentially change my life forever…

We immediately proposed a second ESX host along with the required Virtual Center and host licensing to get vMotion going—we already had the SAN, so shared storage wasn’t going to be an additional capital outlay—and started putting more and more VMs into play. Today, we’re over 80% virtualized in the main datacenter and have a DR site—something we’d never have been to accomplish without virtualization—that is 100% virtual.

I also became a member of the local VMUG in those early days, and volunteered to join the leadership team in late 2006 as the sponsorship coordinator. I filled that role until the end of 2010 when I moved to fill the newly vacant communication coordinator role.

In my tenure on the steering committee, we’ve grown the VMUG from a couple dozen attendees at small quarterly meetings to hosting nearly 100 members at the “regular” meetings and over 300 attendees at our annual “regional” meeting.

This is my third year being honored as vEXPERT, each year in recognition for the work my team and I do to grow the VMUG and evangelize VMware.

What would you tell someone who wanted to get a job like yours to do?

That’s a really hard question to answer: although it’s true that the way my brain is “wired” helps to me be good at this job, dumb luck played a big part in it.

Because my position requires broad expertise, anyone wanting a job like mine needs to learn a bit about everything. You don’t have to be very deep in all disciplines, but picking one or two that really interest you while keeping “a hand in” as many other disciplines—including non-tech disciplines like writing and public speaking—as you can will pay off. To borrow from The Bard, become “…A Jack of All Trades, Master of Some.”

More Results from the Developer Survey

The VMware Ecosystem Engineering group is running a Developer Survey to enhance our understanding of the tools and interfaces that developers are currently using.  A few weeks ago, I posted some preliminary results that show frequently used programming languages.  (See the August 18th, “Preliminary Results from the Developer Survey” post and the August 9th, “Next Generation Development Tools” post.)

I am always curious about which tools developers prefer.  So, I want to share the survey results from the frequently used IDE and Editor question.  

On average, developers selected 2.1 IDEs or editors.  Eclipse, Visual Studio, and Notepad++ are all popular, but over 40% of the respondents still use Vi or Vim on a regular basis. 

IDE-survey-results

In addition to the selections, seven people wrote in PowerGUI, and two people wrote in Sublime Text.

Thanks again to those of you that completed the Developer Survey!  If you have not had a chance to complete the Developer Survey, please take a few minutes to help us better understand your preferred development environment.    

Please check back for more survey results in future posts.


Matt’s short bio:

Matt Stander is the Product Manager for VMware’s Ecosystem Engineering Infrastructure team.  Matt is focused on providing the best possible tools for the VMware Developer Community and VMware’s partners.  When not collecting or analyzing data on market trends, you can find him on the tennis court or running through Palo Alto.