RTFM Education – Virtualization, VMware, Citrix

August 20, 2011  2:11 AM

Stack Wars: The cloud OEMpires strike back

Michelle Laverick Michelle Laverick Profile: Michelle Laverick

I’m sorry, I just had to rip off the same title of an article I wrote for TechTarget recently. Like my pun? I was inspired by twitter storm as folks tried to think of film titles where they could work in some aspect of cloud or virtualization. My topic is about how the various OEMs are aligning themselves to sell you the entire hardware stack – servers, storage, switches – it’s like all the OEMs suddenly want to be like IBM. Whether or not this approach will take hold or a more flexible pick-and-mix of vendors based on an agreed reference architecture will win out, or the “one-throat-to-choke” argument will win out is anyone’s guess. Perhaps the best measure of which stack beat another is how long it takes from start to finish to get a VM created on fully-feature vSphere deployment would be the best measure…

Read on…

August 19, 2011  4:32 AM

Free Desktop Virtualisation Seminar with Brian Madden

Michelle Laverick Michelle Laverick Profile: Michelle Laverick

Coming to London, Amsterdam and Frankfurt this October, independent expert and desktop virtualisation guru Brian Madden will update you on where the desktop virtualisation market is in 2011, focusing on what’s real and what’s not. Brian will cover an array of topics including user virtualisation, client hypervisors, remoting protocols, disk layering, cloud-based desktops, the consumerisation of IT and much more. Spend just a few hours out of the office to take advantage of a live Q&A, peer networking opportunities and tons of valuable information. Register today!

August 17, 2011  1:09 AM

I come from a land down under…

Michelle Laverick Michelle Laverick Profile: Michelle Laverick

[If you want to read the lyrics – go off to the youtube page, and the lyrics are there as well.]

Sorry, I know that’s a less than classy blogpost title. This all about VMUG’s in Oz, and I’m not think of Dorothy and Munkins by the way…

I’m hoping to attend/speak at both the Melbourne and Brisbane VMUG.

The Brisbane event is at:
Monday, December 5, 2011
Novotel Brisbane
200 Creek Street
Brisbane 4000

and then later that week, The Melbourne Event is at:

Thursday, December 8, 2011
Melbourne Park Function Centre
Batman Ave

I’m hoping to stop along the way in Sydney to see from friends of mine on the Tue/Wed…

August 16, 2011  9:06 AM

Welcome to the Hotel California…

Michelle Laverick Michelle Laverick Profile: Michelle Laverick

Well, I’ve been busy again. Not content with finishing up my book on SRM 5.0 – and also when that is done working on SRM I will be co-authoring a VMware View 5.0 book. Last week I started a 3rd book!

I had some downtime between submitting the 1st manuscript of SRM 5.0 to the publishers and waiting for the review/feedback. Also, when that stuff comes back its relatively simple matter to implement the corrections and recommendations – compared to writing something from scratch… So in the week or two I had free I started on my new book called simply “Hotel California”.

What’s is Hotel California?

The working title of this new book is “Hotel California”. And no, it’s not got anything to do with Cisco UCS (aka Project California). Although by the time I get fully into working on it  it may well do. This “Hotel California” book is ENTIRELY different from ANYTHING I’ve ever written before. So I want to explain what is and where the inspiration came from. You see, I’m not really sure how long its going to take me to finish it – because truth be told is partly a vanity project.

So here’s the concept. I’m writing what I call a “Technical Novel”. In that the book is part fact (about vSphere5, and the other VMware Technologies) but it is also part fiction. The story is about my central character called “Luke Maverick” (that’s a little bit of spoonerism fun for ya – for fun Maverick even has a blog!) and its done in the style of kind of crime thriller – the kind of sardonic side-of-the-mouth detective fiction for which writers like Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett are famous. These writers went on to inspire whole category of film we call “Film Noir“. The idea is to blend fictional story of Luke Maverick with a technical narrative at the same time.

Two weeks ago I wrote the introductory chapter, and last week I wrote a chapter about Maverick’s experiences with doing a scripted install of vCenter5, and using the new auto-deployment feature (aka PXE booting ESX). I’m nearly done with the second chapter, but it still needs some spit and polish. I’m thinking chapter 3 will return to the fictional story, and chapter 4 will be about vCenter Heartbeat Service.

My plan is when the book is completed – is to release it on LULU as paper-book, and also in a digital formats suitable for the iPAD, Kindle and so on. I won’t be approaching a conventional publisher because – well, quite frankly they would laugh at me. There’s precious little market for technical books as there is, but one that is at the same time a  novel at the same time, is somewhat of a radical concept for the publishing industry! Not sure whether I will be giving it away for free, or for a nominal charge. I’m tempted at the moment to do it for charity on a $10 download, or $10 mark-up to the cost price.

What inspired “Hotel California”

The inspiration behind “Hotel California” is many and varied. Firstly, after writing about Vi2/Vi3/vSphere4 (that’s 3 generations of VMware’s “core platform”), I felt yet another book covering the same familiar ground would be boring – mainly for me. I know that what your supposed to do as an author is endlessly rehash previous books quickly to drive the biggest monetary return on your investment of time. But I didn’t want to do that. It would be too tedious, and think I would quickly become disengaged.

Secondly, I thought it was time to move on from the “core platform” of covering ESX/vCenter to Nth degree. Isn’t that old news now? Isn’t that kind of knowledge almost ubiquitous amongst the VMware Community? What I’ve identified is knowledge gap. Many people “know” ESX/vCenter but are largely ignorant of the other technologies in the Cloud Infrastructure Suite. True I’ve dabbled in SRM and View, but I find myself only having passing knowledge of the other products on a kind of WebEX level. The vast majority of them (apart from vCloud Director & vCenter Heartbeat Service) I’ve never even installed. So I want to write a book that is “stack” oriented – that is a survey of the vast array of technologies from VMware, and learn how they integrate (or don’t as the case maybe).

Thirdly, I’ve been looking for away of delivering technical information, in away that both educates AND entertains. There reality is very few people actually read technical books end-to-end unless they are “newbies” seeking to self-educate themselves on a brand new technology. People who have read my books often comment on how they like my down to earth style, practical edge, and humour. In fact, the thing that inspires most emails are the analogies and jokes that occasionally appear in my written work. It seems limiting to me to have to work within the conventions of “technical writing”, and its sometimes a bit stultifying to be stuck in the register/linguistics/dialect of “technical speak”. Somewhere inside me there is a bit of frustrated writer, so in some respects “Hotel California” is opportunity to let my more “creative” side out. The idea being is if I can engage the reader with a fictional narrative whilst at the same time educating them about VMware Technologies, then perhaps they would read my book on the beach. Not least you can pretend to be relaxing, whilst actually your learning more about virtualization and the cloud!

So why “Hotel California”

Hotel California is one of the main tropes in the technical novel. And I was inspired by the CEO of VMware’s reference to the Eagles Song. As you might know there’s line in the song about “You can checkout any time you like,But you can never leave!”. Paul Martiz uses this as analogy to describe the dangers of being locked-in to vendor specific, non open-source cloud computing platform – whether or not VMware represents this is moot. So I thought it would be funny to create a fictional hotel chain called “Hotel California” where my character, Maverick is forced to stay. He works as a contractor for a fictional company called “Corp, Inc”, and is forced to stay in the chain because the company has a corporate account with them. The Hotel California Company has based its reputation for friendliness and customer-services, and the fact that where ever you stay, every hotel is absolutely identical. The idea is create that sense of familiarity that makes you feel right at home. It’s a bit like the McDonald’s concept applied to hotels. Anyone who has been road-warrior like I was, can smile wryly – because you should know what I’m getting at…

August 9, 2011  11:35 AM

Resetting Orange HomePlug Devices [AKA Devolo]

Michelle Laverick Michelle Laverick Profile: Michelle Laverick

I have two DLAN devices on my home network. They are branded as Orange HomePlug, but learned today they are actually rebrands Devolo dLAN units. A couple of weeks ago they gave up the ghost and stopped communicating.

I have one plugged into my WiFi router at the ground floor of my house, and one on the top floor my house where my home lab resides – because of the logistics these ethernet over power units seemed a better solution than dangling a very long ethernet down the length of the house – and I can’t relocate the wifi unti.

Anyway, after googling (http://www.avforums.com/forums/networking-nas/1161996-homeplug-issue.html), led me to download the Apple Mac utility for handling the devices – and also the driver update. The Apple Mac utility basically allowed me to re-pair the two plugs together by setting a secure password for them communicate. This is something the would normally do out of the box with no manual intervention. So basically this utility was used as a frig to get them talking again.

The first adapter it found on the network…

and the second had to be added in by its unique ID printed on the plug itself…

Once they had been found and new password had been set they began to chat with each other. Intermittently. I noticed on the Devolo site there was firmware update, so I decided to apply that. That was a little bit tricker. Firstly, the update only works in Windows. So I had fire up my Windows VM in VMware Fusion, and then plug the plug directly into the Ethernet connector on the MBP. Then using Fusions network controls, I turned off autodetect option to make sure the only thing the Windows VM could see was the on-board MBP nic, rather than the WiFi. Applying the update was nothing more than running the installer…

Since then these unit have begun working again without any glitches for about 2hrs. It’s all very odd given there was no problems for about 3-months, and then they stopped working altogether. I’m wondering if some sort of power problem caused them to pack up. We did have dodgy kettle trip the main fuse to the house – and perhaps that power outage had upset them somehow…

August 9, 2011  3:17 AM

Irish VMUG Meeting – Thursday, August 18, 2011

Michelle Laverick Michelle Laverick Profile: Michelle Laverick

Please to announce that registrations are now open for the Irish VMUG which takes place next Thursday at:

Dell Inc.
Raheen Business Park
Building: Auditorium
Limerick, Ireland

The Agenda includes:

11:00 a.m. – Pre-Lab Registration
11:30 a.m. – 10 Stations, Two People Per Station
1:00 p.m. – Non-Lab Registration and Lunch
1:30 p.m. – Introduction and Tour of Facility
2:15 p.m. – VMware Cormac Hogan on New Releases
2:50 p.m. – Storage Virtualization – Equallogic & Compellent – Justin Rohan/Martin Petty
3:20 p.m. – Break/Refreshments
4:00 p.m. – VIS, Mobile Clinical Computing, Connected Classroom Solutions All VMware Industry Vertical Solutions – Tom Maher/Jeff McCann
4:30 p.m. – VMware View 4.6 Reference Architecture – Mike Hayes/Andres McDaniel
5:00 p.m. – Q&A and Refreshments

Click at the graphic to register!

August 8, 2011  8:44 AM

My first bowl of vSoup

Michelle Laverick Michelle Laverick Profile: Michelle Laverick

Last week it was my pleasure to take part in my first ever vSoup podcast hosted by none other than Chris Dearden, Ed Czerwin and Christian Mohn. We discussed the following topics:

  • VMware User Groups
  • VMware SRM
  • VMworld 2011 Band: The Killers
  • vBeers
  • vSphere Storage Appliance

Recorded before VMware’s recent up dates to their vRAM licensing policy, we took the opportunity to speculate prior to the announcement on what those changes would be, and analyze the situation.

To listen or subscribe pop along to the vSoup website – http://vsoup.net/2011/08/vsoup-a-man-after-midnight-13/

August 8, 2011  8:07 AM

Best of VMworld Europe 2011 USER AWARDS

Michelle Laverick Michelle Laverick Profile: Michelle Laverick

This is your final opportunity to submit your virtualisation use case for the Best of VMworld Europe 2011 Awards taking place on the show floor, on 18-20 October in Copenhagen. Give your IT project the recognition it deserves by filling out our online submission form now before time runs out:

The awards are broken down into five main categories, which include:

  • Best virtualisation and server consolidation project
  • Best virtualisation for disaster recovery project
  • Best remote-office/home-office deployment project
  • Best private cloud project
  • Best desktop virtualisation project

Also, one Best of Show winner will be chosen based on the winning entries for the categories above

Each winner and their case study will be featured on SearchVirtualDataCentre.co.UK, a site devoted to data centre and virtualisation technologies. As an added bonus, all winners will receive a certificate recognizing their achievement, as well as a 50 GBP Amazon.co.UK gift certificate, and be entered to win an Apple iPad 2!

The deadline for submission is tomorrow, 16 September 2011, so we strongly encourage you to submit your entry today!
(*Please make sure the form is filled out completely and accurately or else it will not be considered a valid entry. Also, you or another representative from your company must be present at the show to be eligible to win).

August 5, 2011  8:48 AM

Deadline: Best of VMworld 2011 Awards

Michelle Laverick Michelle Laverick Profile: Michelle Laverick

In case you don’t know the deadline for submissions for the “Best of VMWorld 2011 Awards” is TODAY. Yes, today. Better get your skates on!

Hosted by TechTarget and SearchServerVirtualization.com, the Best of VMworld 2011 Awards will take place during VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas. The awards ceremony will take place from 2:30 to 3 p.m. on Wednesday, August 31 in the Solutions Exchange Theater.

A team of expert, independent judges will evaluate the nominations. The deadline for submission is Friday, August 5. If you submit multiple products, complete one form for each product; provide only one entry per product. Only products that have shipped between September 2010 and August 2011 and are generally available will be considered for categories other than New Technology. Products due to ship between September 2011 and December 2011 are eligible for the New Technology category.


There are six catagories to choose from including:

1. Business continuity and data protection.
2. Security/compliance and virtualization.
3. Virtualization management.
4. Hardware for virtualization.
5. Desktop virtualization.
6. Private cloud computing technologies.
7. Public and hybrid cloud computing technologies.
8. New technology.

For more details see: https://searchservervirtualization.techtarget.com/tip/VMworld-2011-awards-criteria

August 5, 2011  2:16 AM

United Kingdom VMUG User Conference – Nov 3rd, 2011

Michelle Laverick Michelle Laverick Profile: Michelle Laverick

It’s my pleasure to announce the date for the very first UK wide VMware User Group Conference. This has been in gestation for sometime, and its basically a user group of user groups. With all the main user groups in our region coming together for the very first time. This is very much like the one-day regional summits or conferences that I have been attending this year in the US.

Registrations are now open (click at the graphic above!). The steering committee members are building out the agenda and gathering the sponsors, ably supported in this effort by the Global VMUG. So register – and fix the dates in your diary. It starts on Thursday, November 3, 2011 and will run from 8am to 5pm. There will be multiple tracks to chose – that will suit all different types of interests – and some notable keynotes as well, along with Labs. It will be held at:

National Motorcycle Museum

Coventry Road

Bickenhill, Solihull, West Mids, England B92 0EJ

So along side some very interesting sessions, I’m hoping to find time so see some legends of the road!

I’ve agreed to speak and take part in a possible panel session – as well as spend the rest of my time in the “experts/genius bar” too!

I’ve also heard that Joe Baguley, VMware’s new Chief Cloud Technologist for EMEA has agreed to speak at the event too..

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