RTFM Education – Virtualization, VMware, Citrix

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February 2, 2012  3:26 AM

Vote, Vote, Vote…

Posted by: MikeLaverick

OK. Its perhaps a bit early for the presidential elections – but it’s never too early to vote in Eric Siebert’s every popular popularity contest. If you vote for me, I promise to cry and thank my mom & dad…

Eric  has once again started a poll to ask people to vote for their favorite VMware & Virtualization blogs. On his vSphere-Land page you can see the results of the previous voting. This year Eric has added some extra categories for which you can vote.

This year the voting is sponsored by TrainSignal and you have chance to win copies of their vSphere5 and View training videos.

You can vote here: http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/786135/Top-VMware-virtualization-blogs-2012

Eric suggest you use this criteria in your voting:
Longevity – Anyone can start a blog but it requires dedication, time & effort to keep it going. Some bloggers start a blog only to have it fall to the wayside several months later. Things always come up in life but the good bloggers keep going regardless of what is happening in their life.
Length – It’s easy to make a quick blog post without much content, nothing wrong with this as long as you have good content in the post that people will enjoy. But some bloggers post pretty long detailed posts which takes a lot of time and effort to produce. The tip of the hat goes to these guys that burn the midnight oil trying to get you some great detailed information.
Frequency – Some bloggers post several times a week which provides readers with lots of content. This requires a lot of effort as bloggers have to come up with more content ideas to write about. Frequency ties into length, some do high frequency/low length, some do low frequency/high length, some do both. They’re all good and require a lot of time and effort on the bloggers part.
Quality – It all comes down to whats in the blog post regardless of how often or how long the blog posts are. After reading a blog post if you come away with learning something that you did not previously know and it benefits you in some way then you know you are reading a quality post. Good quality is usually the result of original content, its easy to re-hash something previously published elsewhere, the good bloggers come up with unique content or put their own unique spin on popular topics.

January 31, 2012  8:38 AM

SRM 5.0 Book: My Personal Errata

Posted by: MikeLaverick

At the moment I’m working through the typo corrections for the second pressing of the SRM 5.0 book. In the main these are little corrections in the text. But occasionally, I come across something a little bit more major. You would not believe how much work goes into the review process – but even the most rigorous process – its still possible for something to slip through the net. I guess its testament to how reading something on screen is never the same as reading in the printed hard-copy format.

There will be an official errata but in the interest in turning these around rapidly I wanted to blog about them here.

I intend to main this page as find errors or mistakes. If you spot any technical errors or mistakes like this – let me know and if I think they warrant it I will include them on this page…

page 1: Argggh!
Well, would you believe it there’s typo on the 1st page. I write “While its entirely plausible, care must be taken to build solutions that use technologies in ways that have not been tested or supported by VMware.”. I think I constructed a convoluted sentence, and got myself tied up in knots. I should have said “While its entirely plausible, care must be taken to NOT build solutions that use technologies in ways that have not been tested or supported by VMware.”

iSCSI Chapters and Static Discovery
There’s a couple of chapters where I cover iSCSI in EMC Celerra, Dell Equallogic and HP P4000 – where I state that the iSCSI Software Initiator does not support “static discovery” of target. Actually, if you look into the static discovery tab after using a iSCSI SRA you will see entries populated there.

page 85: Creating a snapshot for SRM Test
This is in the EMC Clariion section. Since the GA of the EMC SRA its come to my attention that the snapshot is automatically created and named for you. All you need is to be licensed for Snapshot Manager and have a “Reserved LUN Pool” (RLP) from where the storage for the snapshot is taken.

page 91 – At the Protected Site – (With thanks to Michael Armstrong)
This typo was found my Michael Armstrong. In it I refer to carrying at task out on a EMC Clarrion at the Protected Site. Step 1 however, erroneously says that “in my case, this called “New_Jersey_Cluster1″. That should, of course read “New_York_Cluster1″. As a consequence the graphic (Figure 4.22) is incorrect as it shows me selecting the “New Jersey” storage group in UniSphere, when it should have the “New York” storage group selected instead.

page 209 – vSphere Replication and IP Pools
In the beta programme the set-up of VR required the use of IP Pools. This was subsequently dropped in the release candidate and the GA. This reference slipped through the net. To be clear, VR does NOT require IP Pools.

page 218 – NFS and iSCSI
In the VR chapter I have a screen grab where a VM on local storage in the Protected Site being replicated to local storage in the Recovery Site. However in the text I say that one VM is on NFS storage, and the other is on iSCSI storage. That isn’t the case. It’s not a showstopper – if you remember VR does not care what the datastore type is…

page 228 – SRM Communication on port 80
My explanation of why the SRM installer uses Port 80 in the book isn’t a bad one. But after publication I found a better explanation which I blogged about recently. It’s largely of acedemic interest this one, but in the interests of being as technically accurate this better…

page 237 – Invalid Site name mentioned
This is a cosmetic error. Throughout the book I make reference to site of New York, New Jersey and later still Washington DC. For some bizarre reason I name check “Chicago” here. That should really read “New Jersey”.

page 258/259 – Screen grab error.
This is one in the area of a production error. With so many images its easy if you add a new image to get the numbering of the figures jumbled up – and this one slipped through the net. Below are the actual images you should be seeing for 9.43 and 9.44

Figure 9.43: SRM can support the installation of multiple SRAs from multiple vendors.

pg 265 – Recovery Plans and Connected CD-ROMs
This is not so much an error, but a failure of mine. Looking back I think I could have probably explained the source of this problem using less words! All I was trying to say was – as with VMotion, SRM can get unhappy with CD-ROMs left connected to the VM. The example I gave was where an error in a VUM update left the VMwareTools .iso connected to a VM I was trying to recover. In hindsight I think I would recommend using PowerCLI on a regular basis to check for connected CD-ROMs and then running a script to disconnect them. Sorry for getting lost in the detail!

pg 306 – How to do addy ups and take-aways…
Here there is slight miscalculation. I talk about although you might have 10 VMs that make up an application, you might decide to recovery all 10, but only power on 7 – because 7 VMs is enough to make the application meet its minimum QoS demands. Oddly, I precede to say that this will lead 2 VMs left over if one of the other 7 fail. I do, of course know that 10-7 = 3, not 2. What can I else can I say? :-)

pg 342 – Ch-ch-changes in the Recovery Site
Bit of poor phraseology here I think. All I’m trying to say is now that we have looked at how changes in the Protected Site affect your SRM configuration, I’m going to look at changes in the Recovery Site to outline the impact there.

pg 461 – RDMs can be greater than 2TB in size…
This is a real howler. It is possible in vSphere5 to have RDMS that greater than 2TB in size. Remember you do need the right sort of RDM to allow the guest operating system to be able to use is own GPT framework – you need a pass-through RDM…

January 10, 2012  1:27 AM

Toronto VMUG User Conference – 7th Feb

Posted by: MikeLaverick
User Groups

Good news! The Toronto VMUG has its announced its date for its User Conferrence – it’s on the 7th Feb to be held at:

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Hyatt Regency Toronto
370 King Street West,
Toronto, Ontario M5V 1J9

Map & Directions are here…

Agenda has yet to be set but I will be speaking – mostly a key note… Click at the big image above to register and keep an eye on the event as the agenda is worked on…

January 9, 2012  2:27 AM


Posted by: MikeLaverick

Today I received my first hard copy of the new SRM 5.0 book. Certainly nice to see it in the flesh, compared to having it on my IPAD on via the Kindle App. Along side the final book was stack of F&Gs… What’s F&Gs you ask? It standard for “Folded & Gathered Sheets”.

These are like little “pamplets” each one went put together as whole becomes a completed book during the binding process.

Publishers use F&Gs to allow the author to record any corrections wanted in the second printing of the book. The author (that’s me) marks his or her changes directly on the F&Gs and then sends them back to the publisher. I’ve got to return my F&Gs by the 14th Feb at the latest. [Yes, it seems odd to have chosen Valentine's Day as the cut off point] Of course this could be all done digitally but the publishers have found this hard-copy method is the most precise way of relaying corrections.

Anyway, if you spot any errors or typos in the book please feel free to send me them to me, and I will endeavor to include those in the F&Gs. You can send me your corrections by email to mikelaverickATrtfm-edDOTcoDOTuk or tweet them to me at @mike_laverick. Just give me a sample and page number and I will take a look.

January 6, 2012  3:25 AM

Mike’s Music: Caro Emerald – A Night Like this

Posted by: MikeLaverick
Mike's Music

One of my favourite musos is Jools Holland. He has a regular “New Years” show called the “Hootenanny” [Incidentally, its not live but recorded before New Year, and its become a thing a fun to spot continuity errors - such as people wishing each other happy new year... before 12 O'Clock has struck].

I was catching up on the show some days after the show. Everyone was great – he has the best guests. But this lady from the Netherlands really struck out. I think she has a very classy voice, and of course Jools Holland’s Big Band is a great accompaniment.

Sadly, the video won’t play embedded on my site – but it will take you to youtube to view it…

Another great track by her is “That Man” – which apparently is played a lot on Radio 2 – I should listen to that station more!

This song has kind 20s/30s retro feel about it which I really like… Makes a change from the X-Factor approach to music!


January 4, 2012  9:18 AM

SRM 5.0 “Rough Cut” VMworld Edition…

Posted by: MikeLaverick

If you were at either of the VMworld events last year, you might have been lucky enough to pick up an early “rough cut” edition of my book. At the same time you should have received a voucher that would allow you to access to digital copy of the completed book. Here’s how you redeem your voucher.

1.    Go to http://www.pearsonitcertification.com/vmwoffer

2.    Complete web form, including the unique code displayed there (sticker w/ code was affixed to the coupon)
3.    Submit the form

Pearson will be processing the form submission over the coming weeks – so you will receive an email in the next week or so with instructions on how to download the ebook…

January 3, 2012  4:50 AM

SRM 5.0 Book Released on VMware Press

Posted by: MikeLaverick

I’m pleased to say that my new book on SRM 5.0 has been released on the VMware Press. It’s one of the first books on the press which VMware has founded with the logistical help of Pearson Publishing. I started working with the very early betas of the product towards the end of last 2010, so for me this work has been really years worth of work. I originally started out with self-publishing the SRM books, and its great to finally have big company like VMware and Pearson behind the work.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the very many people who helped me along the way. No author is an island, as anyone who has written anything of length will tell you. I’d like to thank Carmel (my long suffering girlfriend) who puts up with my ramblings about virtualization – and had a huge influence in the previous books on SRM. I’d like to thank Joan Murry of Pearson for making the process so smooth, especially in the early stages. I’d like to thank the many people at VMware who helped as well (you know who you are!), a special mention goes to Lee Dilworth here in the UK who has been my primary link every since the alpha edition of SRM 1.0 shipped many years ago. I’d like to thank Jacob Jensen who manages the BC/DR group at VMware – it was his backing in 2010 who helped kick start the process.  I’d like to thank the vendors too – especially Luke Reed of NetApp, Alex Tanner of EMC and Will Urban of Dell. A special thank you goes to Dell Equallogic – who was a new vendor to the book, and helped immensely in the process of getting their kit up and running, and getting me up to speed.

Finally, I’d like to thank my readers. Honestly, I wouldn’t do this if I didn’t think it would be read. It means so much to me when folks email or stop me at events to say thanks. As an author you can spend many lonely hours at your desk, never really sure if you stuff is actually hitting the mark or helping. So it means so much when those emails or thanks yous come through.

You can buy the book either digitally or as hard-copy from many sources. The book actually started “shipping” from the printers to the retailers on schedule on the 28th Dec. It does however take time for the retailers to update their various websites to change the status from “In stock from…” or “Pre-order…”. With digital editions such as the version for the Kindle, it is available to purchase and download immediately.



Barnes & Noble

Waterstones (UK)

WH Smiths (UK)

Blackwells (UK)

As for me – well I’m working on the completion of another book co-authored with Barry Coombs (UK vExpert), about View 5.0/ThinApp4.7. That will be a “community” based project that will be self-published, with all monies raised going to UNICEF. We’re currently in the early “reviewing” stage at the moment, but we hope to have it available by the end of March (if not sooner). After that? Well, I think I will be dividing my time equally between creating videos and writing book based on my “Hotel California” idea. That’s a biggy. I don’t expect it to be finished until the end of this year, beginning of next.

January 2, 2012  9:29 AM

VCP5: Old Dog learns new tricks…

Posted by: MikeLaverick

Well, its the New Year, and time for this old dog to learn a few new tricks. I’m speaking of getting ready for my VCP 5 test. The clock is already ticking because my current VCP expires at the end of Feb. How to prepare?

As former VMware Certified Instructor I really value the importance of training. But it might  come as surprise to hear that a man of immense my talents (and even great humility) needs training. But this time around I really think I will benefit for a couple of reasons. Firstly, for the last year or so I’ve been a “user” of vSphere5, but mainly from the position of it being a requirement to run SRM5 and View5. I’ve had my nose firmly in a book – not reading, but writing firstly my recently release SRM 5.0 book, but at the end of last year, I started work on a View5.0/ThinApp4.7 book with fellow vExpert, Barry Coombs. So for me at least vSphere5 has just sat there in the background – first as a beta, then a release candidate and then as GA.

That’s in marked contrast to nearly every other year that I’ve been involved with VMware Technologies. Previously, I would have been working with vSphere5 as part of the prep for actually teaching the new courses, or in the processes of writing (yet) another book on ESX5 and vCenter5. This time around I find my circumstances are very different. I haven’t spent days & days in front of the product that would normally have built-up my knowledge of ALL the changes, and ALL the new features to such a degree that I could just book the eggzam, and pass it on first go with virtually no prep before hand.

With that in mind I started to scope around for a place to do the course – that was both within commutable distance. I’m good twitter-friends with Scott Vessey who works for GlobalKnowledge.

He’s positioned himself very nicely as the go-to-guy for anything VMware Education or Certification related. For while I talked about doing the full “Install & Configure” course, but Scott rightly persuaded me that man of my experience would feel a bit bored by the content – and that I was better off attending the “What’s New” course. I’ve taught that course for Vi3/vSphere4 so I know what I will be getting. My plan is to use the course to get quickly up to speed on the new features. When I get back to my desk I will play around with these features in my lab(s). They’ll be a double-bonus there – firstly, if something goes pear-shapped on the eggzam front I will already have the course qualification I need for resit. Hopefully, it won’t come to that and I will pass first time. At least in this case I won’t need to pass the “instructor” score, now I’m mere student!

Anyway, I plan to blog about what I’ve learned on the course – and with luck it also might inspire me to write an article for TechTarget about those new features and what my take is on them. I will also keep you updated on the eggzam front itself – because I’m sure there are plenty of people like me who have left it to the last minute.

December 14, 2011  7:04 AM

London VMUG Meeting – 26th Jan, 2012

Posted by: MikeLaverick
User Groups

Click to Register…

Da When:
Thursday, 26 January 2012 Time: 10:00 – 17:15

Da Where:
London Chamber of Commerce and Industry
33 Queen Street
London, EC4R 1AP

Da Beers!
Time: 17:15
Pavilion End,
23 Watling Street, EC4M 9BR

November 25, 2011  4:32 PM

VMTN Subscription Movement Miniwags – Josh Atwell

Posted by: MikeLaverick
Chinwag, VMTN Subscription

I first met Josh Atwell at RTP, in North Carolina – I just happened to be in town, and got to speak at the VMUG he runs there. Josh is a Husband, Dad, Golfer, & Audiobookphile. VMware VCAP-DCD/VCP/Engineer/Architect – and does a lot of work for Cisco. He also runs a blog called: http://www.vtesseract.com/

In this miniwag about the VMTN Subscription I asked Josh about his personal experiences of having to use 60-day evals, and whether there was any possibility that the VMTN Subscription could “undermine” the partner programs because they get NFRs licenses as part of other benefits.

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