Dont Forget: Raising the Bar, Part V – Today, 12pm EST, 9am PST

Dont forget, VMware is holding their webcast to announce something big today. A majority of us bloggers are pretty sure this is the release of vSphere 5 announcement as well as some deep dives into some of the features. Should be a big and exciting announcement. Here is the itinerary (times are in EST):

  • 12:00-12:45 Paul and Steve present – live online streaming
  • 1:00-3:00 five tracks of deep dive breakout sessions
  • 1:00-3:00 live Q&A with VMware cloud and virtualization experts

More info and a link to register can be found in my previous post HERE.

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VMworld 2011 – Vegas Baby!

As everyone is well aware, VMworld 2011 is about 2 months out. I know we are all looking forward to seeing everyone, learning new stuff, and of course, the event being in Vegas doesn’t make things any worse. For those of you that don’t know, VMworld is VMware’s annual event to showcase its products and upcoming advances in virtualization. This year, it is at the Venetian, in Las Vegas, NV and runs from August 29th through September 1st. I will be attending VMworld for the first time this year, and I think this will be a really good year to go. For those of you that haven’t asked to go, or are still trying to convince your boss to send you, VMware has stepped in and offered to help. VMware has taken the time to create a template justification letter again this year to help you help your company see the value of this event. Here is what VMware has to say in regards to their letter:

You already know how important VMworld 2011 is for your organization. Covering every aspect of virtualization and cloud computing, this once-a-year-event will provide essential opportunities for hands-on instruction, product evaluation, networking and brainstorming. The business impact of your VMworld participation, including increased simplicity, agility and cost efficiency, makes this one of the best IT investments your company will make all year.

To help your boss understand the importance of sending you to VMworld, as well as the return on investment it will bring, we’ve put together a justification email for you to use. Feel free to add or edit to fit your own situation—for example, by referring to specific issues, concerns or initiatives within your organization for which VMworld will be especially valuable.

VMware has also put up its latest Content Catalog on the VMworld site giving you an idea of what sessions and labs will be available this year. It may be a good idea to look over this list and see if any of the content aligns with any strategic directions or initiatives your company is currently involved in or looking into. It can definitely help with the justification of your trip if you can prove that there will be content that will not only benefit you, but also the technological direction that your company wants to steer in.

Lastly, I have a pretty strong feeling that VMworld 2011 is going to be the first time to really get some hands on with vSphere 5. As I previously posted, I’m fairly confident that VMware will be officially announcing vSphere 5 on July 12 and that means the labs and sessions should be packed full of content from this new technology. The rumors surrounding vSphere 5 and what advances it will bring definitely make it a product to see and evaluate for deployment in your environment. I’d also expect to see a lot of sessions on migration to ESXi from ESX since vSphere 5 will be an ESXi only product.

I hope to see everyone there, and hope that a few of these links may help people convince their company of the value of this event. The Justification Letter can be found HERE and the Content Catalog can be found HERE.

Raising the Bar, Part V (Hint, Hint)

VMware blasted out a webcast invite yesterday for the “unveiling of the next major step forward in cloud infrastructure.” The event is July 12, 2011, less than two months before VMworld. There’s a lot of speculation as to whats going to be announced, though it appears quite obvious what Paul Martiz and Steve Herrod are going to be showing off. Lets look at the obvious:

  • The Event Title: Raising the Bar, Part V – AKA Part 5, like vSphere 5
  • The reference to “the next step forward in CLOUD INFRASTRUCTURE.” vSphere is constantly branded as the infrastructure to the a cloud based environment.
  • The event is less than two months from VMworld 2011, where VMware will be able to have multiple sessions on it, as well as labs.
  • The session catalog for VMworld includes some sessions that discuss technologies not currently available on vSphere 4.1 U1.
Needless to say, I’m signed up to see whether or not I’m going to be right, but if I were a betting man, I’d be putting my money that in a few weeks we will be laying eyes on vSphere 5. Feel free to join me and a ton of other virtualization professionals to hear what will be announced. Below is the full invite as well as a registration link.
Raising the Bar, Part V
July 12, 2011
9 a.m. Pacific time 

Register for this free online event »Please join VMware executives Paul Maritz, CEO and Steve Herrod, CTO for the unveiling of the next major step forward in cloud infrastructure.Paul and Steve’s 45 minute live webcast will be followed by additional online sessions where you can learn more about the industry’s most trusted virtualization and cloud infrastructure products and services.

Join us and experience how the virtualization journey is helping transform IT and ushering in the era of cloud computing.

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XenClient 2.0 Tech Preview: What Xen Client 1.0 Shoulda Been

As Citrix Synergy 2011, Citrix showed off and released the Technical Preview of XenClient 2.0. Full of new features, such as increased memory support for VMs, support for Linux (although experimental and limited to Ubuntu 11.04 x86), Citrix has also added a slew of new systems to the HCL, including a few desktop systems, as well as more laptops. I have installed it and am playing with it and can definitely say that it’s an improvement of 1.0. In fact, part of me wishes Citrix would have held off on releasing XenClient until this version. In my review of 1.0, I expressed these concerns already, but it looks like Citrix is moving in the right direction. There are some bugs, but again, this is a Tech Preview, and hopefully Citrix will iron them out prior to full release.

With that being the case, I’m going to hold off on putting out a review until the full 2.0 is released to the public. The new HCL can be found HERE, and the Release Notes can be found HERE. Lastly, you can download XenClient 2.0 Tech Preview HERE.

Happy Memorial Day

I just wanted to take the time out today to wish all my readers a Safe and Happy Memorial Day. I also want to take this time to thanks each and every one of our service men and women, both past and present for doing what they do to keep us safe and free. And lastly, I want to give a special thanks to the families of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. God bless you all.

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Transitions and Reflections

I wanted to put together a quick post to let everyone know where I’ve been and what has been going on. Its been over a month since I’ve added any new content to the site, and while I have a lot of great things coming, they are being put second to some recent developments. The reason for my lack of additions to the site is that I have been offered and accepted a position with TD Bank, N.A. as a Technical Engineer III for Virtualization Engineering. Over the next month, as my old company completes the merger and conversion of systems to our new company, I will transform and transition into my new role. That said, the conversion activities have gobbled up a large amount of my time between projects, travel and still trying to keep things together. I am very excited about my new role, and please to know that an entire group to head virtualization in the US was created specifically for myself and my colleagues to build and tie together the direction of that technology and move it forward.

Things may be bleak around here until I get through conversion and things settle down. I do have a lot of content in the works, both of technical and conceptual natures that I hope to share shortly. We all know the struggles of balancing work, our personal lives and relationships, as well as our hobbies, such as my blog. I do want everyone to know I do remain committed to keeping this project going and add as much to the virtualization community as I can. I sure know I get a lot from others in the community and its nice to give back.

On a more exciting note, I also received word that I will be attending VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas, NV this year. I am looking forward to the huge amount of information and fun activities that come along with great events like these.

Lastly, I wanted to thank everyone who has taken the time to read and respond to the content I post here. This start out as a place for me to store my thoughts on many topics, as well as resolutions to problems I had found. It has since grown faster than I thought it would, with weekly visits averaging around roughly 150. I am also getting involved in discussions on other blogs and have since met a lot of very knowledgeable people, both through the digital and the real world. I look forward to continuing to grow those relationships, as well as meeting many new people.

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vSphere for iPad: The Review

April 12, 2011 Leave a comment

A few weeks ago, VMware snuck the vSphere Client for the iPad quietly into the Apple App Store. I decided to download it and give it a spin to see how viable a management option is was. I went through the steps for install and gave it a shot performing basic day-to-day management task that admins may have to perform. Here is what I experienced.

Installation:

The app itself is easy to find in the App Store and is easy to download. However, it’s not as simple as downloading and pointing it to your vCenter server. To be able to access your vCenter server, you need to install and configure the vCenter Mobile Access on your server. This is where my first gripe comes in. The vCenter Mobile Access is an ‘as-is’ technology that is still in technical preview, which means it has no official support outside of the technical community. Installation of the vCenter Mobile Access piece is fairly straight forward as it comes in an OVF virtual appliance package. Deployment of an OVF is fairly simple, just follow through the prompts, name and point it to a location where you want the new VM to live. Once the deployment is complete, the VM will get a DHCP address if available. I configured a static address as I view this as best practice.

Configuration:

Once you have the IP Address for the vCenter Mobile Access system setup, you can browse to its management have via http://IPADDRESS:5480. Here you can configure passwords and also make your IP changes if you prefer. The default password is passwd and I strongly suggest changing it.

Next you will need to configure your iPad vSphere client. Return to the home screen and select Settings. From there, scroll down and select the vSphere Client from the left. On the right, you will need to enter the IP Address of your newly deployed vCenter Mobile Access virtual appliance.

Using the vSphere Client:

Once you launch the client, enter your vCenter server hostname or IP, as well as your login credentials, much like your standard vSphere client.

From there you will see a listing of your host, as well as some basic details, such has total host and total VMs, as well as a listing of each host and the number of VMs on that host. You can select hosts or VMs to get more detailed information. Once thing I did like was the data displayed about VMs, allowing you to quickly see if snapshots are in use on a VM and the status of the VMware Tools, all in one spot. Inside the app you can perform basic task such as rebooting host and placing them in maintenance mode, among other things. You can also perform pings and trace routes on selected machines, as well as examine their performance data.

Final Thoughts:

While the vSphere Client for iPad is definitely a slick little device that looks really pretty, its uses are limited. I do think eventually it could be a pretty good standalone management tool, but for now I view it more as a monitoring tool for your vSphere environment. The fact that connectivity relies on a Virtual Appliance that is in a “technical preview” state also doesn’t help its case. I would have much rather seen VMware release a vSphere client for OSX or Linux with the same functionality as the Windows counter part, rather than rush to be the first to have a management app on the iPad. The View Client for iPad was second on the scene to Citrix Receiver but its a very well put together app that’s full of functionality and thought, where as the vSphere client feels rushed and a little lacking. I would definitely recommend give it a try if you have the time and availability in your environment. I hope VMware continues to develop this and it gets to the level of functionality that its Windows counterpart has.

Visit your Apple App Store on your iPad or iPad 2 to download the app. The vCenter Mobile Access virtual appliance can be found HERE.

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