RTFM Education – Virtualization, VMware, Citrix

Aug 25 2011   1:20AM GMT

Announcing MIAAS

Michelle Laverick Michelle Laverick Profile: Michelle Laverick

I’m pleased to announce MIAAS (that’s announcement not of its availability as it befits everyone else to do it that way!)

MIAAS stands for “Mike’s Infrastructure As A Service” and is correctly pronounced as “MY ASS”

..and no this is not a joke…

What is MIAAS?

With todays release of vSphere5 I’m pleased to announce a brand new service. MIAAS is a remote lab environment that folks can connect to remotely, and use for practically any VMware related work they like. It comprises of four physical servers and NFS/iSCSI system at the back end. Previously I was constrained by the beta programme.

It been in the pipeline for some months, and has been tested by a couple of vExperts in order to polish it up – and get a feel for what people actually want. I would like to take this opportunity to formally and publicly thank Gabrie Van Zanten, Barry Combs, Miash Saidal-Keesing, Luc Dekens, Arnim Van Liesshout and Richard Gardener.

So there is no ESX or vCenter setup to do. Nor is there any networking to do – vSwitches and storage are already setup. Of course if folks want a more bear bones setup that’s actually easier to do, but I have it all automated so I can reset the entire lab in a matter of an hour so. The idea being is to make you as productive as possible as quickly as possible. So you can get on a do interesting stuff like creating cluster and such like…

How much will cost? Answer: Buttons. I won’t be looking to make a profit with MIAAS. Just cover my power bills, cost of the kit (quite a few thousand), and plough any intitial money made into improving the kit such as more dongles for ILO cards, better quality switch (currently an unmanaged switch with no VLAN support) and perhaps a better storage system.

How did MIAAS come about?

This is a bit of shaggy dog story. Hold tight. In late 2009 I quit being an freelance instructor, to being a freelance writer/author/blogger/podcaster. At the same time I was looking to reduce my costs, so when the SRM 4.0 book was finished I decide to clear out of my costly co-location, and return to base all the free kit I’m “loaned” back to the relevant parties. I spent quite a few £1K on a home lab, figuring that the cost of the outlay would be paid back in saved co-location charges. I was right… In that time I managed to write my View guide using the HomeLab.

Then one of those vendors offered to help assist with those co-location charges, and at the same time send me some new kit. And then in late 2010 the SRM 5.0 project took off, and I added Dell Equallogic to my rack – along side NetApp and EMC. I began to realise that I now had two labs… I christen one the “HomeLab” and the other “ProLab”. Over time I started to think of the best way of using this spare equipment I had home and the MIAAS concept was born?

I’m still not sure if I’m barking up the wrong tree. So if this idea doesn’t work out. I will probably re-purpose the hardware. Perhaps running a 2-node CitrixXen and a 2-node Microsoft HyperV clusters. I’m loathed to flog it on ebay because I will loose money on the initial purchase. Plus I don’t know how long I will remain in the co-location. Depends what happens when my sponsorship runs dry in October.

How do I gain access?

Are you a vExpert? Hello! :-)

Not a vExpert – erm, speak to me in about 1-3 months time.

For the moment I’m only opening up MIAAS to VMware vExperts. Mainly because I’m worried I will be assailed by a squillion emails asking for access next week. You do a have other work to do such a writing articles, podcasts, books, speaking and so on.

If I get no interest from vExperts (most of them have labs of their own I imagine) then I will consider opening it out to the wider community. What I want to avoid is 100 emails day requesting access – I couldn’t cope with that…


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