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Monthly Archives: November 2011

vExpert Spotlight: Tim Washburn

Twitter Handle: @mittim12
Current Employer: Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice, LLP

How did you get into IT?

Like many other people my love for technology started as a child.  We were allowed to play games on the Mac in 1st and 2nd grade.  It went from those games to computer classes in high school and then to IT as my career.   It’s a wonderful feeling to get up every morning and know you’re going to do a job that you absolutely love.  

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

My journey with VMware started with my current job at Womble Carlyle.   I was given the task of administering the black box in the corner which turned out to be a VMware ESX 2.5 server someone had setup.   I of course knew nothing about ESX and I quickly turned to the VMTN forums.   The people on the forums were extremely quick in their responses and the information was very concise and accurate.   This inspired me to try and help others in the same manner I was helped. This, in turn, led to me being awarded the vExpert in 2010 and 2011. 

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

I think anyone that wants a job in IT must be able to embrace change.   The technology field is constantly evolving and those that can adapt and learn each year always have a great chance to succeed.

vExpert Spotlight: Julian Wood

Blog URL: http://www.WoodITWork.com
Twitter Handle: @julian_wood 

How did you get into IT?

I started playing with computers at primary school in South Africa with yeh old BBC Micro and "programming" in logo and also typing in games from magazines. In high school, I was very lucky to be able to take Computer Studies as one of my subjects, which wasn't offered at most schools. Learned programming in Turbo Pascal, Clipper & dBase along with the basics of tape backups and CPUs.

I was on the FidoNet BBS in the days before the Internet become popular. Networks were things that only universities had and I remember our teacher showing off Windows 3. I then left school and intended to study law, not really thinking my computer knowledge would translate into a career. I got involved in the campus student radio station which was far more exciting than attending lectures so received a letter at the end of the year saying it’s probably best I didn't continue with my academic studies…so that was the end of law!

I was lucky to be involved in a few community radio stations as the broadcasting industry was starting to be privatised and moved to work at South Africa's then only private talk radio station. I started freelancing in the newsroom writing & reading news bulletins and producing talk shows and on the odd occasion used my previous IT skills to replace a printer cartridge or clean a mouse.

This came to the attention of the IT Manager who had noticed support calls from the newsroom had dropped and had realised this was due to me so offered me a job. I did IT during the day and still kept on the news and producing work at night and on weekends. I learned Novell & Windows Networking, NT 3.5, Coax, Ethernet etc. and was connected to the internet for the first time.

A music radio station was bought during privatisation in my home city and I moved back home as the IT manager setting up the newly bought radio station from scratch while still writing and reading the news when they needed someone to fill in and also wrote a networked newsroom contact database program. Although having a great job, I wanted to see the world and expand my horizons and so did my NT 4.0 MCSE and moved to London in 2000 and have been contracting ever since. 

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

I had played with VMware Workstation a little bit and was working as a consultant at a huge bank and they were trialling VMware ESX 2.0.

I went travelling around the world for 18 months and came back to consult at another financial company that had very innovative IT and was spinning off a business unit and had built a "company in a box" by creating a whole virtual environment in a rack with ESX 2.5 on local storage that could be simply wheeled out of the datacentre when it was ready to be moved out. We then built a VM environment for the main company with ESX 2.5 and started an aggressive P2V process to save money and efficiently use hardware way before there was any talk of cost cutting and recession in the financial industry. This environment grew through ESX 3 & 3.5, shared storage with iSCSI and then NFS, migrated to ESX 4, adding VDI and moving to blades and linking up multiple global deployments.

I had been following the blogs of people like Mike Laverick, Scott Lowe, Vaughn Stewart, Duncan Epping, Jason Boche and Gabrie van Zanten and started attending the London VMware User Group. As I had been on the receiving end of so much useful information for many years, I decided to start blogging to have a chance to give something back and share some of the knowledge I had picked up. I presented at a few user group meetings on projects I had been working on and was very lucky and honoured to receive a vExpert award this year.

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

Working in IT presents some of the greatest opportunities available. You get to work on cool technology in a fast paced, dynamic industry with plenty to learn. Don't be passive, be interested, enthusiastic and committed to spend the time to teach yourself as much as you can. With just a PC or Mac and VMware Workstation/Fusion you can set up some amazingly complex environments to play with and learn from. There is a wealth of awesome stuff out there and it is up to you to take full advantage of it all to give you the skills to succeed.

A week in virtualization

SAP AG has announced at Sapphire Now in Madrid today a preferred three-way strategic collaboration with EMC and VMware to develop tools and services that make it easier for customers to adopt cloud and run SAP systems in next-generation cloud infrastructures with increasing levels of automation. The partnership will help deliver even more business agility and scale efficiencies by taking advantage of two key transformational technologies: cloud computing and in-memory technology.

They will also be highlighting this announcement tomorrow during a keynote featuring Vishal Sikka – SAP CTO, Paul Maritz, and EMC's Pat Gelsinger. For more information, you can visit sap.com

As of this Monday, we now have a VMware corporate page on Google+ and John is currently the one running it. You can follow it or +1 it or both at goo.gl/rWcRm

On Facebook, the vCloud team has shared a link to a helpful blog post by our very own Dave Hill on enabling elastic virtual datacenters in vCloud Director. This allows you to add more resources to a Provider vDC when they become constrained or run out. Find it and more cool links at facebook.com/vmwarevcloud

VMware View is currently running a 500/250 promotion, in which you can get 25% off the license list price for a 500-pack of View Premier and 18% off the license list price for a 250-pack of View Premier. Promotion ends December 15, so hurry up. Head on over to facebook.com/vmwareview to find out more.

Also, VMware Mobile has shared a link to a story about Revolution by LG with VMware Horizon Mobile being named as an International CES Innovations 2012 Design and Engineering Awards Honoree. Go to facebook.com/vmwaremobile to find out more about this cool new device.

We have seven cool new webcasts scheduled, covering topics from introductory to advanced, such as best practices for virtualizing your Java systems to roaming desktops, and an introduction to virtualization in Spanish and Portuguese. Go to webcasts.vmware.com to see the full list and register.

The VMware Forum has concluded its tour around the world, but you can still register for on-demand delivery. One last stop is left on the schedule for Vancouver on the 7th of December. You can find out more 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: Maryland, Bakersfield, Central Ohio, East Tennessee, Northwest Arkansas, Indianapolis, North Germany, Philadelphia, and Myrtle Beach.

There will be a full-day user summit in Brisbane on December 5th, and a full-day user conference in Kansas City on December 6th, which will feature our gracious host John Troyer. Also the Dutch VMUG is having their full-day conference on the 9th.

All VMUG meeting and conference dates are posted on myvmug.org

vBeers Santa Clara is happening today on occasion of the Cloud Expo at Bennigan’s Grill in Santa Clara, there’s another in Copenhagen tomorrow, and next week, there is a vBeers meeting in Miami.

vExpert Spotlight: Gabrie (Gabe) van Zanten

Blog URL: http://www.GabesVirtualWorld.com
Twitter Handle: @GabVirtualWorld
Current Employer: Open Line (http://www.OpenLine.nl)

How did you get into IT?

For me it started on the age of 12 with my first Sinclair ZX-81 and before I knew it, I was writing basic programs on ZX-Spectrum, C64 and later on my first 8086. When starting community college I already had a few small companies as a customer for whom I would do their sysadmin tasks. When I graduated, I started as a sysadmin for a printing company where I managed Windows, Dos, Mac, Linux and lots of color printers, copiers and plotters. About a year later I got a job offer from a consulting company and I have worked as a consultant ever since.

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

For me VMware started with VMware Workstation around 2000-2001, followed by GSX a few years later. At that time in my opinion, ESX was Linux based and wouldn't catch on soon. Boy was I wrong. My first project with ESX started where a manager put me on a project to deploy ESX because he thought that GSX and ESX were just all the same. In a few weeks’ time, I got myself acquainted with ESX 2.5.0 and fell in love with VMware. The first step towards vExpert was when I wrote my first blog post about the release of ESX 3.5 and virtual center 2.5:


I remember that at Friday night the download was available and only shortly after I finished downloading VMware removed the downloads again. This meant I had a head start on others in the community and I used all weekend to write my first blog post. At the same time I was also getting more attention within the global company I worked and more often people started asking me to give presentations on ESX for the local teams and before I knew I was asked for presentations outside the company and my first Dutch VMUG presentation not long after that. My first vExpert title was with the start of the program and every year again I get a bit nervous when the new vExpert’s are announced and whether I will be vExpert for another year.

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

When working with VMware products becomes more than just a job but a passion, than you'll quickly grow from being the average guy in IT to the consultant that everybody seems to find when they need answers.

Always keep thinking of what the customer wants and if that great new tech toy you just found, is really any help to the customer.

VMTN forum moderator elections

Volunteer community moderators are at the center of VMTN forums, helping new members find the right communities to ask their questions, making sure that the tone of our discusson threads is always professional and polite, and of course answering those tricky technical questions.

Current moderator team.

The team of moderators gets elected every six months, and if you know someone (maybe yourself?) who would make a good addition to this very active group, just drop me a line and we'll add your name to the ballot. Anyone with a status level of “Expert” or higher (751+ reward points) can participate. The election period is open until November 30th, but nominations will not be accepted after the 28th of the month, to allow the current moderator team a chance to review and comment.

How do elections work? Quite simple: every candidate is discussed in the private VMTN moderator forum, and if nobody vetoes them, they're in.

Notifications to newly-elected moderators will go out on December 1.

vExpert Spotlight: Justin Lauer

Twitter Handle: @Justin_Lauer
Current employer: Tintrí 
How did you get into IT in the first place?

I was the kid who used to take electronics apart just to see if I could put them back together again and have them still work.  I remember always wanting to build my own computer and was thrilled when my dad took me to a custom computer shop to select all the parts.  After I built my first computer, I honed my skills with the help of two computer-savvy friends—one was a DOS genius who ran a BBS and the other was a Windows guru.  I realized then that I had a natural knack for this stuff. 

In college, I made the decision to pursue a career in Information Technology.  I continued to gain hands-on experience through a side business I created in school that involved installing network cards in other students’ computers so they could connect to the school network and access VAX as well as what little Internet existed at that time.  During summers, I started working at technology consulting firm as a computer service engineer, and I was hooked. 

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

I was first introduced to VMware while living and working in Memphis, TN as an IT Manager for a medical practice.  The practice needed a major datacenter refresh and I knew I could do an all-physical refresh or consider virtualizing.  We started experimenting with VMware Server 1.0 and realized how amazing this platform would be for our business. 

I attended my first VMworld on a mission to obtain as much knowledge as I could and then come back to kick-off our first virtualization project.  We virtualized about 85% of our environment in the first 18 months.  Along the way, I became very active in the VMware community.  I happened to meet an amazing VMware employee, Wendy Perilli, at the Gartner Midsize Enterprise Conference.  We discussed my environment and she urged me to submit my story as a session for VMworld.  I spoke at VMworld in 2008 and 2009.  I also became interested in reviving the Memphis VMware Users Group and led the VMUG while I was living in Memphis. 

During that time, I was invited to join the VMware SMB Advisory Council to provide feedback on upcoming features targeted to the SMB audience.  Through that program I met another phenomenal VMware employee, Azmir Mohamed, and became involved in beta testing VMware Data Recovery.  Shortly after that experience, I was asked to participate in the vSphere 4 Customer Activate Program.  Essentially, it was an early upgrade opportunity to test out the upcoming vSphere 4 release.  We went full out and upgraded our entire environment to vSphere before the product was even released. 

Along the way, I had the opportunity to provide customer case studies, customer quotes and video interviews for VMware.com and VMworld.  In addition, I was lucky enough to be the customer keynote speaker at the Chicago Virtualization Forum in 2009.  I was selected as a vExpert in 2009 and later that year relocated to Chicago, IL and joined the EMC vSpecialist Team.  While at EMC I remained as active as ever within the virtualization community, engaging with customers and partners in the field, and at VMUGs and conferences.  I was happy to be selected again as a vExpert in 2010 and in 2011 after I joined Tintrí.

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

My first piece of advice would be to determine which area of virtualization you are most passionate about and focus on that.  That passion should keep you motivated to learn and stay engaged with all the new developments within that focus area.  I’d also recommend getting involved in the virtualization community.  Whether you are a novice or a pro, it is important to connect with other members of the community.  This can be done in so many ways, from VMware events to VMUGs to Tweetups to webinars.  Make every effort to ask questions, share insights and stay connected.  Collaboration opens doors.

Top 5 Planet V12N blog posts for week 44

A lot of my customers are starting to either deploy vSphere 5 and/or starting to look at upgrading or testing this new version in their labs.  Don’t forget about all of the great resources that are available to you as you begin your journey.  Undeniably, VMware has the best technology social media outlet that you can tap into.  From twitter, to blog posts, to the VMTN forums, there are many resources that you can go to for assistance.  If your new to the social media circus, have no fear!  You will find that most people are willing to help out, as it will benefit not only you, but probably someone else down the road.  When in doubt, please engage our GSS team (Global Support Services).  There is a reason your paying for maintenance right?  Happy Hunting!

On with the top 5, some really great posts this week!

Nick WeaverStraighten up with a new UBER tool : Presenting UBERAlign – The idea of creating this came from the lack of a decent free alignment tool out there for VMware admins. Most every other one at there was either something you had to purchase or you had to be a customer of the vender to get access to it. And even after getting access these tools were either (in my opinion) limited in what they did, how they did it, or had become obsolete in a console-less vSphere 5 architecture.

Alan RenoufvSphere Distributed Switch PowerCLI cmdlets – For a long time now when presenting at VMworld or VMUGS I have asked the question – What would you like to see from PowerCLI next ?  The standard answer I get at most of these is vSphere Distributed Switch (VDS) cmdlets!  What’s new ?  VMware have now released some PowerCLI cmdlets as a fling which work with VDS and allow you to do most of the common VDS tasks in your vSphere environment

Andre Leibovici – Printing Architectures for VDI – Part 2 – Some articles get stuck and never get published. I wrote this one a while back and for different reasons the publishing was delayed. However, while reviewing some of the new features in VMware View 5.0 I noticed that the Location Based Printing feature has been extended.

Hany Michael – Double-Diagram: vCloud Director Management Pod in the Public & Private Clouds! – Those two diagrams have been sitting in my PC for ages and I thought it’s time for them to see the light. As a perfectionist by nature I think that they are probably the worst diagrams I’ve designed to date! The reason being is that I am probably missing way too many items and services. It’s a quite rich topic when it comes to the management and monitoring of the cloud (be it public or private) and to top that, VMware is coming out with something new every day that is revolutionary and game changing.

Tommy TrodenHow to setup your first Desktop Pool in VMware View 5 – From a high level, the way you deploy Virtual Desktops to end users is via “Pools”.  You create a pool of Desktops and then you “Entitle” the users to the pool and this gives them the necessary privileges to access it.  In order to grant access to a desktop you first need to have a desktop created in vCenter.

vExpert Spotlight: Niclas Borgström

Twitter Handle: @ViridisIT
Current employer: Viridis IT
Blog URL: http://www.viridisit.se/swe/blog/viridis-bloggar/

How did you get into IT in the first place?

I’ve always had computers as a hobby since back in the days of VIC20, Commodore 64 and the almighty Amiga (started off with an Amiga1000). So my path to working in IT was pretty much set from an early age. I had been working for a few years when I first heard about VMware Workstation and found it to be the absolutely coolest thing I had ever seen! Being able to run different operating systems without dual-boot was awesome, so I played around with a lot of different operating systems for fun. From that point on it was pretty obvious that virtualization was the way to go. I was hooked from day 1.

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

My first encounter with VMware Workstation in early 2000 made me realize that virtualization was truly game changing and without a doubt the coolest thing ever (and I still think that J). My passion ever since the first encounter have been virtualization, I’ve been trying to spread the word like a true virtualization evangelist ever since.

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

For me, to be good or even great at something it needs to start with a true and profound interest in something. You get your hands on some new technology, read up on it and spend a lot of time on community forums to get a better understanding of the product/technology and perhaps even start to share some advice on the forums.

vExpert Spotlight: Scott Vessey

Twitter Handle: @vmtraining
Current employer: Global Knowledge UK
Blog URL: http://vmwaretraining.blogspot.com

How did you get into IT in the first place?

I studied computing right through to degree-level, my third year at university was an industry placement where I fell in love with DOS and conventional/extended/expanded memory management through tools like QEMM – I definitely knew my way around a CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT file! After university I landed a job with Digital Equipment Corp - I ended up working on a project team involved in a multi-site rollout of new servers and desktops. I went on a couple of Windows NT training courses and decided I wanted to be a trainer, I worked as a Microsoft Certified Trainer for over 9 years teaching the MCSA/MCSE courses from NT 4 through to Server 2003, as well as key Microsoft applications such as Exchange.

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

Back in 2006 I had a yearning to learn something new, and with my training experience I was lucky enough to get a job working as a VMware trainer. I had a very steep learning curve, I'd not worked with ESX or VirtualCenter before, or blade servers, or that much networking or storage equipment. I worked really hard to climb that curve and learned an awful lot in a very short space of time, both in terms of hardware and software! I was teaching my first course as a VMware Certified Instructor in less than two months – then VMware released VI3 and I had a whole new load of things to learn about!

I joined Global Knowledge at the beginning of 2009 and started blogging shortly afterwards, then came my contributions on the VMware community forums for education and certification, and I've looked for new ways to spread the word and help people ever since then! These days you'll also find me on Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and other technical and certification forums too – I've presented webinars and published lots of videos on YouTube for the company too, and really enjoyed presenting a session at the London VMUG earlier this year. Like all vExperts, I'm proud to be awarded such a title, being a vExpert is definitely a case of "you get out what you put in!"

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

My job these days is split between delivering classroom-based training, and a variety of other activities that I carry out within and outside the organisation to help us grow our VMware business - I love that mix of technical/sales/marketing, and am still stunned by the power of social media!

Starting out as a VCI can be pretty tough, every VCI has to be sponsored either by VMware or a VMware Authorised Training Center, but the rewards on the technical side are great as you get to work with some really cool technology that's so relevant in computing today. I've not really looked back in the 5+ years that I've been working in virtualisation – it gave me a whole new load of exciting things to learn and educate people about.