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Monthly Archives: January 2012

A week in virtualization

First off, today we released vCenter Operations Management Suite 5.0
This release delivers on the vision of a new approach to virtual and cloud infrastructure management announced at VMworld Copenhagen last October. The VMware  vCenter Operations Management Suite together with vFabric Application Management Suite, and IT Business Management Suite allows our customers to remove the complexity of managing IT across all layers. The three management suites deliver on our mission to simplify and automate IT management in the cloud era and achieve the vision of IT as a Service. Read more on Rethink IT blog.

Also, Last week, Macworld has chosen VMware Fusion for the best way to run Windows on your Mac. And just because they’re so awesome, the Fusion team has announced that they will make the promotional pricing of $49.99 permanent. That is a nice deal for an unlimited personal use license. You can read more on the Fusion Blog.

The VMware Solutions Exchange has opened today, which is a single destination for partners to share their compatible VMware applications and cloud infrastructure products. 

The VMware Solution Exchange (A.K.A. VSX) allows customers to discover, evaluate and expedite the buying process.  You can easily explore VMware partner solutions and developer-provided virtual appliances in a single location, get free trials, watch a demonstration, rate & review, and engage directly with the partner or developer.

For the partners, the VSX will allow to list VMware products or solutions, upload marketing information, and set up free trials through a self-service portal.

All in all, the VSX is awesome for everyone. Go check it out at solutionexchange.vmware.com 

Finally, in our previous podcast, we ran a poster giveaway, where our international listeners could win two awesome vSphere and PowerCLI posters. Here are the winners, who have commented on our thread on Google+

  • Angelo Luciani from Toronto
  • Mourad Boubchir from London
  • Andrew Dauncey from Melbourne
  • and Mike Preston from Belleville

Congratulations, folks! To claim your posters, send me a message on Plus or DM me on Twitter with your shipping address, and the packages will be on the way!

Guest post: vCommunity Trust helps people get VMware training

PaulValentinoThe primary goal of the vCommunity Trust is to help students and community members around the world that are eager to gain experience with infrastructure technologies including virtualization, compute, networking and storage by providing access to hands-on labs and affordable training materials.

The vCommunity Trust Inc. (vTrust) was initially formed to fulfill these needs as a Minnesota nonprofit on Sept. 23, 2010.  The founders, Paul Valentino and Tim Oudin, formulated the initial plan to start the vTrust at The Chieftain Irish Pub in San Fransisco, CA on Sunday evening just prior to day one of the 2010 VMworld conference.  

By August 4, 2011 the vTrust rounded out the board of directors by recruiting Chris Cicotte – Secretary, Caroline Orloff – Treasurer, Matt Leib – Director of Communications, and Luigi Danakos – Director of Marketing; we also obtained public charity 501(c)(3) determination from the IRS, and achieved partner in trust status with GuideStar. Now we’re well on our way to a fully functional lab environment  thanks to contributions from the community, EMC, and ipHouse.  We’ve also received donations of software and exam vouchers from TrainSignal and VMware to help candidates obtain VMware VCP certification.

The vTrust has maintained 0% administrative costs and overhead which has been possible through Google Apps for Nonprofits and contributions from vCommunity Trust volunteers.

We currently use datacenter hosting from ipHouse, and the compute and virtualization server resources required for a lab which will support approximately 25 students concurrently; however, we still are lacking the storage and networking components required to complete the initial build.

The vTrust lab environment will be used to provide hands-on access for students and community members, and it will also provide the resources to develop essential training materials and valuable lab guides that can be found at http://www.vcommunitytrust.org/vprofessional-materials.

There are many ways individuals and businesses may contribute to this cause and we greatly appreciate your support. We honor gifts by including the donors name or logo within our training materials and on our website so that our students and visitors to the site will know who has made an investment in the global community.

We welcome cash donations by mail or through our site at http://www.vcommunitytrust.org/donations, and you can mail your equipment donations to 30883 Montclair Dr, Lindstrom, MN 55045. You can also transfer the rights of technical training materials created by you or your company to vCommunity Trust Inc.

To show your support of the vTrust, you can put a web banner on your blog or web site. You can download the banners from our vTrust Facebook page or we can email it to you if you send your request to info@vcommunitytrust.org.

No matter how much you contribute, all gifts will have a significant impact for increasing interest, awareness and knowledge of new technologies and enabling individuals from all walks of life to embark on a successful career in technology. The ability to have hands-on experience with advanced technologies we feel is the best way to prepare individuals for the workplace.

We thank you for partnering with us and our students to make this a reality.


About the author
Current vCommunity Trust Chairman of the Board and ECMC Enterprise Infrastructure Architect, Paul Valentino has more that fifteen years of experience in the IT industry.  Paul was considered one of the greatest security risks at Xerographics Inc. while working in the Accounts Receivable department because he was in the habit of automating processes using technology without requesting the assistance of IT; therefore, a change in career path was in order.

Over the next few years he transitioned into a systems engineering consulting role providing support, maintenance and system build services to local manufacturing and banking institutions throughout Connecticut. In the late 90s he became the IT Manager of a New York start-up venture specializing in distributed systems.  Eventually he started SYSXPERTS, LLC, a technical solutions consultancy, which serviced many small to mid sized businesses in the New England region in the early 2000s before moving to Minnesota in 2006. Paul's primary professional goal is to attain and share as much technical information as he possibly can with hopes that others will discover they are equally passionate about technology.

A week in virtualization

On the vCloud blog today, there’s a post about How the Software Industry Has Benefitted from the Public Cloud. This is the fourth installment in the “Public Cloud Diaries” series in which the vCloud team is sharing the stories of five companies in the software industry and their journey to the public cloud.

The stories cover an IT Management Software Provider for Small to Medium-Sized Companies, a Spinoff Company from Large Corporation Intended to Provide SaaS for the Construction Industry, a Firm that Develops and Deploys Custom Enterprise Software for Multinational Organizations, a Well-Known Consumer and Enterprise Software Company, and a Young Gaming Company that Creates Social and Gambling Games.

Each story includes an analysis of the customer’s needs and the solution, as well as return on investment, in some cases, as high as 50 percent. Go check it out at blogs.vmware.com/vcloud

ZDnet has published an article about LG promising to offer VMware virtualization on smartphones in the coming months. The author, Andrew Nusca, sees this as the first offensive move in the “bring-your-own-device wars.” According to the article, this will happen in Europe, on the Telefonica mobile network.

VMware’s Horizon Mobile solution will allow you to have two separate identities on your Android smartphone, allowing your corporate IT to control and provision services to your work identity, while your personal profile will remain your own.

As you can imagine, this is a very attractive proposition not just to corporate IT, but also to the end users, and I am personally excited about it. To tell you the truth, I can’t wait to have Horizon Mobile on my phone.

Finally, on YouTube, the vCloud Director team has published a 45-minute presentation covering everything that’s new in vCloud Director 1.5. You will find this informative video at youtube.com/vmwaretv – just click on the vCloud Director playlist on the right.

vExpert Spotlight: Simon Gallagher

SimonGallagherBlog URL:  http://www.vinf.net
Twitter handle: @vinf_net
Current employer: Freelance Infrastructure Architect working in the EMEA consulting team of a major global service provider

How did you get into IT?

Being a Lego nerd as a child architecture and engineering was my main interest as I grew up and I wanted to be a civil engineer designing bridges. I had a passing interest in computers and took a computer science A-level at 16 along with physics and chemistry (oh, and art..!), I quickly picked up Pascal, C and C++ and Assembler and I loved it and spent many hours coding and disassembling other people's code. That, combined with the last economic downturn in the UK laying waste to the engineering and building sector sealed my fate in IT rather than civil engineering.

I achieved both ends of the spectrum in my A-level results (top marks for Computer Science, less said about Art the better ;)), and in 1995 I went to the University of Brighton to be near the beach, oh.. And study Computer Science 

University was my first exposure to the Internet, having only had limited access to bulletin board systems at home and I immediately got it, I recall being frustrated that I couldn't find reviews or details for my 1st car on-line.. Oh how things have changed! I lived in a shared house with some course mates and we immediately set about building the most ridiculous student home network ever, we had Netware, NT 10Base-2 cabling all over the place and shared dial-up Internet to a local ISP (Mistral), they only realised in later years how much money they lost out on through our local cable co's free local call policy as it was set to auto-redial 24/7 :)

Whilst at university a friend and I went into business providing network services to a local SMB reseller, we did everything from cabling to servers, proxies and email systems for small shops to golf courses and schools, it was long hours but it worked well part-time around my studies, I learnt way more doing this than I ever learnt at university and my experiences in infrastructure and networking was far more fulfilling than coding :) although my formal education did give me a good appreciation of documentation and research.

I did a sandwich degree so spent a year working for a reseller/VAR in Brighton, just before I started they were purchased by GE and merged into it's IT services division so I spent a year working on Novell and OS/2 to NT4 migrations for large insurance and retail companies and providing internal 1st/2nd line support for their enterprise network, as part of the prerequisites for the placement they paid for a CBT course and for us to pass at least 3 MCP exams, which I did and continued on to get my MCSE.

When I graduated from university, I went to work for a swiss watch maker in London, providing IT support and doing some IT refresh projects, after a year I was approached about a job with a small managed services company working with EMI music, I was interviewed in the basement of EMI's offices by the founder of Infocom (latterly becoming ioko, and then part of Kit-Digital), the guys were great and offered me the job on the spot, which I accepted and I spent the next 10 years working for what became ioko, initially working on Active Directory and Exchange migration projects for EMI and Diageo.  As the business grew so did my role and I was an early member of our professional services team, doing pre-sales and project delivery mainly in the Microsoft space and latterly virtualization, the company grew into the media/broadcast space and I worked on some great large scale video-on-demand projects as well as traditional IT infrastructure.

Ioko was a great company and I made some excellent friends but after 10 years I was looking for a new challenge, I originally planned to set out on my own as a freelancer but I was offered a job within the cloud practice at VMware,  it sounded like a great role, doing working with early-access customers using vCloud Director and building delivery materials for the field, I met some fantastic people at VMware but eventually came to realise that working for a software vendor in what was evolving back into a project delivery role wasn't for me, I had a number of personal and business projects that I could not carry out whilst working for VMware so I reverted to my original freelance plan, which is what I am still doing today, I enjoy the freedom to work on my own projects and being able to manage my career and personal development more closely.

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

I first read about VMware Workstation in a magazine article in 2000, I was instantly hooked and used it to build various complex network and server labs for my studies, I built my own home-brew version of GSX server using Workstation on a Windows 2000 machine using a whole bunch of batch files to copy about VMDK files and start/stop VM, because I was doing so much AD/Exchange migration work it made the most sense as I could build out complex multi-domain environments and test and roll-back infinitely without waiting weeks for people to build out labs, I could turn up with a couple of laptops and have it done by lunchtime.

I got to build my first ESX server around version 2.5 as it was very hard for a non-large reseller to get evaluation versions in the early days. I built a lot of complex test and development environments for customers, ioko had grown into a sizeable managed services provider and I saw an opportunity to build a multi-tenant environment using ESX 3 to deliver customer solutions faster, cheaper and more flexibly; so we ended up building a very early implementation of a cloud.

Since my university days I have always maintained a large and ever-evolving home lab environment, when I found you could virtualise ESX itself I was blown-away, and I spent a lot of my own time and money on the various incarnations of my vTARDIS project (http://vinf.net/vTARDIS).

Whilst at BriForum in Amsterdam in 2007 I decided to start a blog to try and organise my notes a bit better, and it just grew from there. My blog is http://vinf.net which is supposed to stand for V(ritual) Infrastructure (.net) and I am sure someone told me 4-letter domain names were the most memorable so rather than deliberate over names I tried the JFDI approach and here I am, as unpronounceable as it is ;)

About this time I started attending the London VMware User Group On the advice of a colleague and I was impressed at the technical content and approachability of all the attendees, I had expected it all to be a bit stand-offish and awkward, but it was the polar opposite, I think I hold the (dubious) record for presenting at every London VMUG meeting for 2 years straight, if nothing else it encouraged a whole raft of other people to present so they didn't have to listen to me again :)

In 2011 I joined the steering committee for the London VMUG to assist with finding content and helped organise (and presented at) our 1st ever national UK event, which attracted over 300 attendees. I was awarded the vExpert title in 2009 and 2010 and 2011 and I continue to blog and contribute to LonVMUG and the wider community.

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

The most useful people in any industry are those that just get it done, it's very easy to find a reason to complain and say "it can't be done" it's a lot harder, but infinitely more valuable to say "it's tricky, but here is how I would do it, and these are the implications"; the most appropriate solution isn't always the "best" solution.

Nobody can ever know everything about everything, but don't be afraid to say so; you can blag all you want, but it's going to burn you when you fail. The key to being successful if you want a varied and long career is to know a wide breadth of technology, but have the ability (and technical grounding) to learn specific areas quickly, learn from your mistakes and apply that knowledge. VMware have produced some of the most useful technologies to support this sort of activity, it's so easy to spin up some test VMs and just give something a go.

Initiative is the most important attribute, if you are sitting in your chair complaining "my boss won't pay for training on X, thus I can't do it" then you're in trouble. Formalised professional development is all well and good, but people (employers) don't just give you things unless they have to (or there is a compelling tangible/commercial benefit to them doing so) and they're unlikely to do it on your timescales and say-so. The reality of the world is that if you want to be successful you're going to have to spend some of your own time and money if you want to better your career and knowledge beyond your day-job – you should view it as investment in  yourself, I've used this attitude throughout my career by investing in my own lab gear and study time for industry certifications and it's stood me well.

Interest – if you're not interested in what you do, then this isn't for you – I'd hate to just have a day-job, I need something I'm interested and passionate about or I can't do it well.

A week in virtualization

On Monday, vSphere won the prestigious Infoworld Technology of the Year award, and we are all very excited about that. Infoworld publishes the awards in a series of 25 slides which you can download from their page. Congratulations to the vSphere team!

Last week, VMware has also won in ten out of fourteen categories of the 2012 Virtualization Review Reader’s Choice Awards. We are quite elated over that here in Palo Alto. The categories we won include: Application virtualization, Business continuity, Cloud computing, Desktop virtualization, Mobile, virtualization, and nine others. You can check out the full list and also download the Buyer’s Guide on virtualizationreview.com.

Oh YouTube, our partner team has published a funny little animated film about bringing out datacenter and VM management out of the stone age with VMware cloud management tools. It has cute little cave men running around beating on the servers with clubs and stones, and then happily abandoning all that for our solutions.

The It Support Support Guy is still on a roll with the newest installment called “It’s a wonderful job.”

And just yesterday, we have published a new series of videos about the real-world challenges in IT. There are currently two witty videos with cool South-Eastern soundtracks published on the vmwarerealworld.com page, and I expect there will be more. A little bit of insider info: both videos were shot on location here at our main office in Palo Alto.

Lastly, John has been quite active on the Google+ front. That’s doubly exciting since yesterday’s switch to personalized search on Google. If you haven’t heard, the personalized search (which you can toggle on and off as you please) will present the search results favouring content from your circles on Plus. This means that if you circle a bunch of VMware people, you will see more of our blogs and social posts in the personalized view. From where I stand, that means that you can see more content from the people you already know and trust, which can be a good thing.

So since yesterday, John has created a new VMware and Virtualization public shared circle. If you would like to be listed in it, you have to go and comment on the post on the VMware Google+ page in which John has announced the new shared circle.

vExpert Spotlight: André Pett

VMware Community: a.p.
Twitter handle: @ap_unleashed
Current employer: Netzwerk GmbH (Germany) 

How did you get into IT?

During my apprenticeship as an electronics technician I got myself a Sharp PC-1500 with 2KB memory (for the younger audience, yes it's 2 Kilobytes, not 2 Gigabytes) on which I learned programming. About3 years later – after working as a technician in the US and Germany - I got a job at as a programmer in small company. While working as a programmer I had the opportunity to have projects in a lot of programming languages like BASIC, COBOL, TCL, STEP5, Pascal, C, Assembly language, Perl, … This is something I still benefit from, when it comes toe.g. scripting. In the late 90s I started managing Client-Server infrastructures – mainly OS/2 LAN-Server and Windows environments – as well as Citrix MetaFrame farms (Application virtualization, as it is called nowadays). It then took another few years, before I was hired by my current company, where I work as a Sr. Consultant and – besides other things – started with VMware ESX 3.0.

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

As mentioned before,vSphere is one part of my duties in the company I work for. One of the resources I used to get into virtualization and find help was – and still is – the VMware Communities, which IMO is one of the most active and professional forum. First I only used the forums to find answers to issues I had to solve, later I started "paying" back by helping other users solve their issues. Then – last year in November – I was asked whether I wanted to volunteer as a Communities User Moderater, to which I agreed. In April this year I was nominated for the VMware vExpert 2011 and finally at July, 1st I received the Welcome mail from John Troyer.

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

Love your job and love to work with other people. It may be a long way with ups and downs. However, with dilligence and patience you will reach your goal.

vExpert Spotlight: Barry Coombs

BarryCoombsBlog URL: www.virtualisedreality.com, www.handsonvirtualization.com
Twitter handle: @virtualisedreal
Current employer: computerworld.co.uk

How did you get into IT?

I have always had a passion for IT and technology in general, after studying computing in business at university I joined a technology focused company as a junior in the IT department. After many years working my way through the ranks and being involved with many technologies I discovered VMware and virtualisation. I got the bug and found myself a job with a VMware partner, I have enjoyed many years specialising in virtualisation and related technologies and now enjoy architecting solutions, overseeing implementation and still getting my hands dirty as well as evangelising about the technologies we specialise in.

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

Once I started working with VMware on regular basis I found myself using the community resources an increasing amount , so in late 2008 I decided that I should be giving something back to the community and started my blog virtualisedreality.com. I was extremely honoured to receive the vExpert award in 2010 and 2011 for the work I put into my blog and contributing to the community that I still get a lot from today. In 2011 I started a podcast with Jonathan Franconi on HandsOnVirtualization.com, with the aim of learning more about the technology that surrounds the solutions in the industry I work in and to share this knowledge with a wider audience.

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

I would advise they ensure they work hard, make the most of the opportunities that are given to them and that they set themselves goals and ensure that they achieve them. I would also highly recommend getting involved with the communities, there are many ways you can get involved from the forums to blogging and twitter, by getting involved you will get to meet some fantastic people and it can open the door to some fantastic opportunities.

vExpert Spotlight: Jonathan Franconi

JonathanFranconiBlog URL: www.virtualizationimpact.com & www.handsonvirtualization.com
Twitter handle: @jfranconi
Current employer: VMware / Professional Services Organization / Technical Consultant  

How did you get into IT?

I started my life in IT at a very young age, it had to be around early 1992 or 1993 when I remember my father showing me the new IBM mainframe that was purchased for the family business. A few years later I can remember my father bringing home his first laptop, at the time a 30 pound IBM Thinkpad, from that moment on I couldn't get away from computers. Surprisingly, during my high school years I wasn't sure what I exactly wanted to do with my future career and bounced in and out of Law Enforcement and Information Technology.

It wasn't until I entered college at Pennsylvania College of Technology (Penn State's Core Technology Division) that I noticed that IT was for me. I did some internships at the college, worked the help desk and technical support at the school but it wasn't until a year before I graduated that I found my niche. Virtualization. This was around the time when VMware was just starting to be an idea in our minds, running more then one operating system on a server or workstation. I was amazed at the technology, and more importantly the underlying nuts and bolts that made it all work. I started working with VMware Server and GSX and then the very early ESX products, well before all of the processor architecture enhancements that pushed the virtualization concept from a concept to a reality. 

I graduated Pennsylvania College of Technology and found a position as a Network Administrator at large Law Firm in Pennsylvania and this kept me busy for a few years. I then moved on into another Network Administration position at large Insurance Company that was rapidly expanding its server environment. It was the perfect time for virtualization, I was reading all about of the amazing things VMware was doing with virtualization and what their product was capable of, and from there, the sky was the limit. I began a massive virtualization consolidation project, migrating physical servers to virtual running on VMware ESX 3.0, from that point on and through many version migrations and upgrades to vSphere, I designed and built a 95% virtualized environment. 

In mid-2011 I found myself at a crossroads, and with the type of personality that I have of constantly learning and challenging myself I felt it was time for a change.

My "dream", as weird as it may sound, was to work with VMware technology, whether that was a product that worked with it, or VMware itself. I found myself applying for jobs all around the virtualization field and interviewed with many virtualization centric companies. It was only a few weeks into the process that I accepted a position at VMware, which to say the least, was thrilling moment for me. To be able to not only have an amazing passion for the technology but to also work for the same company was more then I could have ever asked for. 

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

As I said above, I started with Virtualization in college but didn't acutally start applying my knowledge until a few years later once the hardware technology caught up with the software. During my time working with VMware I noticed the incredible community interaction that VMware provided. I started visiting and participating in the VMware communities well before I started with migrations, it started to become a daily ritual. I found myself becoming truly passionate with the technology and with what VMware was able to do in release after release. At heart, I am truly a hardware guy, I love hardware and processor design and  the optimizations that occurred every year after year. Mixing the ever increasing CPU and Memory performance from chipmakers and the amazing technology from VMware, I found myself working not only with products I truly believed in, but also challenged me every single day. 

I always had a huge passion for collaboration and helping others, it's just in my nature. When I learn something new, I always enjoy turning around and helping the next person by sharing the same information. It was close to 2 years ago that I decided to start a blog and post about the topics I was working on. When I hit a wall or issue with something and figured out the solution, I started to write a post on the blog about the problem and how I solved it. Not only did this help others, but it also helped me to remember how I fixed that crazy issue a few months down the road. It wasn't too long into blogging that I found the incredible VMware/Technology Twitter community.

The more I engaged with the social media buzz and got  my blog out there in the community, I became close friends with Barry Coombs (vExpert) from London. He operates the blog virtualisedreality.com and we started talking about creating a core blog and combining our posts and ideas, which is how we ended up with handsonvirtualization.com. It wasn't long after we started the blog that we thought it was time to start Podcasting and interviewing all types of vendors; from storage, networking, virtualization and hardware and really getting into the core of the virtualization stack. Not only did I enjoy this interaction with vendors and different products, but it helped me gain even more knowledge into the vast array of different server/storage/networking technologies. This continued work with the community forums on VMware.com, interaction and support on Twitter and working with customers from all over the world day to day gave me the opportunity to become a vExpert. 

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

I truly believe that you must have some sort of passion for technology, you can't expect to work a 9-5 job and think thats it. I have known many people in IT that think the work day ends at 5:00, in this field your day never ends and if you can't accept that or don't share that same passion, then it's not for you. However, if you have that passion for fast moving, constant learning and challenges then this is the area for you. I tell people all the time, every day that I wake up I always have one goal that I must accomplish, learn at least one concept, technology, maximum, best practice, etc that I didn't know the day before, even it's something small, these little pieces of information keep you fresh and informed. 

I strongly recommend getting involved in the social communities, whether its the VMware communities, Twitter or Blogs. The wealth of information available at your finger tips today is outstanding. Whether you join for relationships, comradeship, support of a product, or for the interaction with incredibly smart and talented individuals, its worth it. It's an amazing journey to the virtualized world, you might as well engage and share the wealth of knowledge!

 

A week in virtualization

While we were on the well-deserved holiday break, the Silicon Valley Business Journal has awarded our CEO Paul Maritz the title of the Executive of the Year 2011. In the interview with the Biz Blog, Paul has emphasized that the ongoing success and growth of VMware is rooted in having “teams of people who work effectively together.” He said the biggest challenge for companies is striking the right balance between having ambitious goals, and being so focused on those goals that you ignore constructive feedback.

For the more technical among our listeners, Sammy Bogaert has published a series of blog posts detailing how to build an ultimate affordable vSphere lab to prepare for your certification exams. It is PC-based, running Windows 7 with VMware Workstation 8. In his twelve-part series of articles, he covers everything you need to know to replicate the setup on your own, from the Hardware, the Workstation configuration, Domain controller, SQL server, vCenter and ESXi setup, to Storage and Fault Tolerance. Complete with step-by-step instructions and many screen shots, this guide will be a great help to anyone working on their Certification prep.

And finally, in an effort to better expose the wealth of content that VMTN community has to offer, we have launched a landing page that lists VMware related podcasts. Some are produced by VMware (such as the Roundtable Podcast today), and some are run by community members. On this page, you will also find a big green button you can click if you want to submit a link to a podcast that you’d like to see featured on this page. The podcast listing is located under communities.vmware.com/groups/podcasts – the location many of you already know.

We plan to extend this approach to more VMTN communities, such as vSphere, vCenter and so on, with the ability for the community members to contribute links to the lists. Links can be internal to the communities, and point to useful threads and documents, or they can be external. As long as they are relevant and helpful, we will publish them. The icons next to the links will help you distinguish VMware resources from external ones.

For now, go check out the Podcasts page and let us know what you think in that community.

vExpert Spotlight: Darren Woollard

DWoollard-VMworld08Blog URL:http://blog.vmote.net
Twitter handle:@dawoo

Current employer:Xtravirt Ltd 

How did you get into IT?

Straight from school with only Commodore VIC20 and ZX Spectrum (48k) experience I landed a position in a local company, their proposition was software for telephone call logging. The first week was spent formatting floppies, copying files onto them, labelling them up and posting. It was a riot. By week two I was bored so read the MS-DOS 3.2 manual, not one I’d recommend for a riveting read. I started building XT / AT PCs, loading the OS and installing their software and soon after moved on…

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

Accelerating through (many) years of support, developing in (Cobol & C) and more support I started a deployment of VMware ESX Server v2.5 booting from SAN (first in Europe) encompassing server consolidation, BC and DR, rather prevalent at the time. I’ve continue with VMware since then as it’s been one of the few products that simply ‘just works’.

The vExpert accolade came by surprise. Before this I was on the ‘Core Customer Program’ and reaped the rewards of VMware’s generosity with licenses, clothing and even a VMworld ticket. Yes I blog a bit, promote VMUGs and contribute where I can but I’ve being doing this since 2006 after presenting at a couple of US VMworlds, writing documents in the Proven Practice section etc..  Inwardly I am still very chuffed though. :)

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

Understand infrastructure concepts first, virtualisation is not a solution it’s part of the route towards utopia.