RTFM Education – Virtualization, VMware, Citrix

July 2, 2012  10:23 PM

New England VMUG – Summer Slam

Michelle Laverick Michelle Laverick Profile: Michelle Laverick

In a couple of weeks time I’m jetting of State ‘O Maine for the first time. This makes me very happy not least because I’m massive John Irving fan, and a lot of his books are set or partially set in the State. I first got to hear of the NEVMUG “Summer Slam” from a good friend of mine, Hans Berndhart (employee 60-something at VMware). The Summer Slam is everything you’d expect from a regional VMUG summit. It’s one of the biggest in the country, but adds its own unique spin in the format of lobster bake-off!

I will be staying the country after the NEVMUG to spend a couple of days in the Maine area before heading of Portland and Salt Lake City to do some work out there…

Registrations are now open for the NEVMUG, with a more details agenda to be released shortly.

June 29, 2012  10:20 PM

Go to VMworld 2012 for FREE!

Michelle Laverick Michelle Laverick Profile: Michelle Laverick

Yes. Free…!

Over at vDestination.com there’s a competition and the prices is an all-expenses paid trip to VMworld in San Francisco. It’s not yet clear if the competition is open to folks outside the US, but I don’t see why not.

*VMworld 2012 Full Conference Pass
*Air fare to SFO up to $500 USD
*5 nights hotel accommodations (Sun-Thurs)

There’s also some runner up prizes too:


June 27, 2012  12:19 PM

London VMUG – 19th July – Agenda Released

Michelle Laverick Michelle Laverick Profile: Michelle Laverick

Next months agenda for the London VMUG has been released – and they are now open for registrations. Two things I will highlight. The rather excellent Mr Lee Dilworth is speaking about VMware Availability Update: vSphere Replication, Stretched Clusters and BCDR. Lee is my main contact point for all things SRM related. So when I don’t know an answer to an SRM question, he’s the person flood with email. Another first for the London VMUG is an NDA session from VMware. This is something I saw happen at the Columbus, Ohio VMUG in April. I suggested it to the London VMUG as something they could do as well (in fact something that all VMUGs could potentially offer). There obvious restrictions and requirements to attend the NDA session. So if your attending you’ll need to look at those closely to make sure you can meet them.


  • Centrix Software Presentation
  • Fusion-IO Presentation
  • Whiptail Presentation
  • EMC Labs Throughout the Day
  • Lee Dilworth – VMware Availability Update: vSphere Replication, Stretched Clusters and BCDR
  • Darren Woollard and Gregg Robertson – vSphere Nerdknobs
  • Chris Evans – The Storage Architect’s View
  • Chris Gale – Fusion-IO More Desktops. More Virtual Machines. More Data-Intensive Applications. Faster. Cheaper. Simpler.
  • Matt Northam and Simon Hansford – Government Can Run vCloud, How Skyscape Did It
  • Martyn Storey – VMware NDA Roadmap Session      
  • PLEASE NOTE:  Entrance to the NDA session is strictly dependent upon the following criteria: Signed, personal NDA; Photo ID and proof of where you work; not working for a vendor, partner, or competitor

June 26, 2012  4:21 AM

Mike chats to the VMware Product Management Team

Michelle Laverick Michelle Laverick Profile: Michelle Laverick

Yesterday it was my very good fortune to do a 2hr web-ex with VMware’s Product Team. The subject the feedback I collected from the forums – and my powerpoint (first delivered at the North/South Carolina VMware User Summit) about “What VMware should do next”. If you interested its a two-part videopodcast that I upload this week.

It was a bit scary – I assumed the PM’s would want to take me through their roadmap – which wouldn’t have been very interesting since I’ve signed the NDA and did it a couple of months ago. Instead they put little ole me in the driving seat, and told me to go for. Little bit daunted for a nano-second – I thought “heck, this an opportunity of a life time”.

So a number of very positive things came out the web-ex. Folks, VMware is listening, and what’s more reacting to customer demand. Secondly, I did get a little bit of inside track some things coming through the pipeline. Of course, I’m bound by NDA – and I don’t think the PM team don’t want their thunder stolen months before VMworld in Las Vegas. All I can say is the next 18 months are going to be very, very interesting. Oh! What a tease I am ;-)

Following on from this a couple of the PMs in the web-ex have emailed me today following through with some specific chats they would like to have about specific product features and issues.

June 12, 2012  6:35 AM

Deep in the Heart of Texas with Dell – (Day 2 of 2)

Michelle Laverick Michelle Laverick Profile: Michelle Laverick

Note: DTC Poster!

Note: Dennis Smith of Dell TechCenter Team, in his MASSIVE TRUCK!

In the evening I was left to rest and recuperate for about an hour! That evening I met up with Justin King of VMware (aka @vCenterGuy).

He’s a brit who has lived/worked in Austin, Texas for more than decade, and currently is in the Technical Marketing group in the VMware Product. I first met Justin a year or so ago when I was VMware for on-site beta of the VMware Site Recovery Manager 5.0, when he was alighned to the vCenter Heartbeat Service.  Much of what we talked about is off the record so I can’t share here. But I was able to have a sneakpeak at the new “Web Client’ vSphere. As you probably know the vSphere Client that’s a 32-bit C# application is going away eventually, and will be superseded by this new “Web Client”. It’s there right now in vSphere 5.x but at the moment its more “Virtual Machine Administrator” UI rather than “vSphere Administrator” UI. I would have to say I’m quite impressed with this new direction. Personally, I’m a bit tired of having upgrade my vSphere Client everytime vSphere moves a release. Hopefully, this new direction will stop the Apple Mac people on the VMTN forums bleating on about not having a Mac version of the vSphere Client!

The next day I picked up the thread with Dell…

Dell VIS Creator


VIS is the umbrella group that includes VIS Creator and Dell AIM

Dell VIS creator is cloud automation layer that sits in the IaaS end of the market – and seeks to add chargeback, service catalogs, self-service etc above infrastructure layer. As with all these solutions the intention is to hide the “gory details” of the plumbing. What distinguishes it from say VMware vCloud Director is its willingness to recognise other virtualization platforms and well as physical servers – still being an important part of the “provisioning” process. Additionally, it offers an auditable/trackable way of advertising public cloud resources.  Despite this it is angled primarily at the Private Cloud, rather than Service Providers.

As you can see from the graphic above it contains all the stuff you normally expect to see with sort of cloud automation. Over on the left you have the 4 core business processes that you could call the “lifecycle” – Requisition-to-Provision-to-Manage-to-Retire. Service Blueprints are definitions of types of resources you could call up from the Service Catalog – such as Linux VM running Apache or Windows VM running SQL 2012.

Note: Show Global Blueprints that have been newly created, and awaiting for approval by the Enterprise Administrator

I was also shown how with a little bit of scripting (PowerCLI/PowerShell) you could add the provisioning of a desktop from either VMware View or XenDesktop. These Service Blue Prints can have “Cost Profiles” attached to them – or you can have these “Cost Profiles” attached when resources are reserved during the deployment phase.

The “Business Groups” are how VIS Creator handles what people can do and see. This allows you to put your folks into roles, assigned to Business Groups – so only the right business units can see the right items in the Service Catalog – it can also be used to assign policies that control – leases, limits and quotas for resources.

Resources can be grouped together so in the Capcity Usage pages you can see what quantities of memory and storage are allocated and unallocated.

Over on the far right is the provider targets that can be used – virtual, physical and public. The interesting thing about VIS Creator is how “agnostic” it is about the source of those resources – it doesn’t give a damn if you use Xen, KVM, VMware, HyperV…

Note: Here we have an executive summary of resources available by Virtual providers and Physical providers

What it lacks is something that’s common to many technologies of this type – it doesn’t have its own special methods of handling the network (such as network pools, mac-in-mac abstraction) or storage (datastore clusters, or storage pools). Rather it piggy back of the back of what ever the provider targets can accommodate or offer. I guess you could argue that this “lack” of a feature says more about the strategic design behind the technology. It’s not VIS job to worry about those underlying technologies – that’s the role of the providers. However, I can see how some of the work within the VNA team could be harnessed here. VIS Creator speaks to VNA that then speaks agnostically to the underlying physical network. That would be quite interesting.

We also had a brief discussion about Dell AIM (Advanced Infrastructure Manager) which ties into a workload management play. Essentially, AIM also the portability of workloads from P2V, P2V, and V2P. It does this by using using SAN LUNs to hold the data, and then pointing either the VM or physical server to the LUNs in question. Of course, this means kissing goodbye to our beloved virtual disks… But if you think about the idea of VMware Volumes (where VMFS/VMDK’s give way to vVOLS presented directly to the VM) then there might be more legs in this idea than first seems. The aim of AIM (did you see what I did there…) is to free Dell customers from vendor lock-in allowing them to flexibly move from one platform to another – when it comes to Physical-to-Physical I’m assuming the direction of travel would be from HP/IBM to Dell. Not the other way round!

There’s also a HA/DR play here. Once the workload is portable you could move it from one failed server, to functioning one – or from site to another site. As a 100% virtualization guy, I don’t see the benefits – but I can imagine my customers might who by the nature of their business will never be 100% virtual on any platform…

The Unmentionable

There was something I was shown at the end of the day. A management system. Erm. Anything more represents a breach of an NDA. But lets say it ties into the recent blade offering that incorporates the Equallogics Storage Blade

Time in the Dell TechCenter

To finish of the day I went for BBQ lunch with the guys from the Dell TechCenter, and was given a little tour of their neck of the woods. I was given the tour by Peter Tsai (@supertasi). That’s where the photo at the top of this post was taken.

June 6, 2012  10:25 AM

TruthInIT Comes To London – 20th June

Michelle Laverick Michelle Laverick Profile: Michelle Laverick

I’ve been contacted by fellow Stephen Fosket about an event that’s coming up soon.  In case you don’t Stephen is the man behind the “TechField Days” – two of which I’ve attended in Boston last year, and Silicon Valley this year…

He’s running his popular “Building Virtual Infrastructure” seminar. It’s a day-long event where he talks about servers, storage, and networks in support of virtual server workloads.

Register here: http://truthinit.com/bvi-london.html

He’s also tentatively planning a Storagebeers gathering in London on the evening too!

Attendance is free for qualified end users, and he promises solid, independent, thought-provoking content!

Even better, he’s traveling with W. Curtis Preston (aka “Mr. Backup”), and he’s got a great seminar too! He’ll be presenting Backup Central Live in London on June 19 and Birmingham on June 21. Learn more here: http://truthinit.com/technology-users/seminars/backup-central-live.html

May 29, 2012  7:09 AM

VMworld 2012: Vendor Neutral Sessions

Michelle Laverick Michelle Laverick Profile: Michelle Laverick

This is my personal list of vendor neutral sessions at VMworld that I’m going to vote – and I encourage you vote for yourself.

Filter on “Eric Sloof”
1478 Hosting Microsoft SQL Server 2012 on vSphere 5 – Best Practices
1479 Tuning Windows 8 for Best Performance in VMware View 5
1616 Mythbusting Goes Virtual
1871 Snapshots Deepdive

Filter on “Gabrie Van Zanten”
1335 Health Check of Your vSphere Environment

Filter on “David Davis” (or Kendrick Coleman)
2911 Pass the First Time – VCP Certification Bootcamp
2921 Cloud for Dummies – No BS Guarantee
2927 Building a vCloud Director Home Lab – Stories From The Trenches
931 Top 25 Free Tools for vSphere Management – NEW in 2012

Filter on Luc Dekens
1329 PowerCLI Best Practices: The Return!
1328 vSphere Automation Q&A

Filter on “Jesse Drugan”
1572 Large National Retailer Discusses a Successful Migration of SAP from Big Iron to Commodity Hardware by Utilizing VMware Technology

Filter on “Luigi Danakos”
1726 From Zero to Social in Six Weeks
1348 View Gotchas

Filter on “Phillip Reynolds”
1919 VMware Zimbra: A SMB Success Story of Manageability, Scalibility, and Compliance
1923 Level the Playing Field: Enable SMB Organizations to Grow and Compete with VMware View

Filter on “Howard Marks”
2247 Using Server Side Flash Caching

Filter on “Jonathan Medd”
2112 Transforming Your Automation Scripts with Advanced PowerShell / PowerCLI

Filter on “Julian Wood”
2286 Help, My VDI Project is Hell!

Filter on “Darren Woollard”
1887 VMware Fusion, it’s Not Just Another ‘App’

Filter on “Tom Howarth”
1293 Highly Available View Envionment, On Two ESX Hosts

May 29, 2012  6:40 AM

Vote, Vote, Vote for VMworld…

Michelle Laverick Michelle Laverick Profile: Michelle Laverick

Today voting has opened for sessions submitted to VMworld 2012. I’ve got 4 candidates in the running.  If you

1465 It’s YOUR Cloud Journey: Bumps in the Road, Without the Bullets

This a very personal presentation which expresses my opinons about the cloud. The presentation is already online at SlideRocket and to be honest I’d be very surprised if this session gets past the content team – that’s mainly because its a polemic by yours truly – plus I’ve deliberately tried to create a Powerpoint presentation that contains no bulleted lists, charts, industry stats. 

1476 Rumble in the Jungle: VMware SRM vs. Stretched Clusters Smackdown

This a joint presentation by Scott Lowe and myself – where we go head to head on virtues of SRM and VMware-HA stretched clusters. I’m known as Mr SRM (as well as Mr RTFM!) so expect the sparks to fly!

1755 VDI – Millstone, Milestone, or Stepping Stone

This a joint presentation between myself and Jeff Drury of mstates.com. It’s part of two presentations were hoping together which build on some of the work I’ve done recently with View 5.x/ThinApp 4.7.x – and Jeff’s real world experiences of deploying and developing VDI solutions.

1757 VMware SRM – Where Theory Meets Practice

This a joint presentation between myself and Jeff Drury of mstates.com. Last year I spent some time in Salt Lake City & Portland advising Jeff’s customers about the SRM deployments. The sessions is intended to build our own set of “best practise” – relating them directly to re-world experiences…

If you search on the Key Word of “Mike Laverick” you should find each of the four sessions.



May 27, 2012  5:12 AM

Mike’s Music – A Compendium!

Michelle Laverick Michelle Laverick Profile: Michelle Laverick

Well, it’s been a very long time since I’ve done a “Mike’s Music” post. Mainly because one of my favorite music shows (Jool’s Holland) has been on a break – and then when the show came back I was bit uninspired… Anyway, the previous episode had a stonking return to form which is what inspired this post. It was one terrific performance after another – without the need for effusive personal testomonies or the need for “judges!”

I’ve got quite a lot of selections from youtube – so lets take this to a read more page…


Ren Harvieu was discovered on MySpace by manager Paul Harrison and producer/songwriter Jimmy Hogarth after uploading demo tracks, which Harrison and Hogarth listened to. She started recording an album but in May 2011, before it could be released, she broke her back in an accident where someone jumped over a hedge and landed on her.  She spent two months in hospital recovering movement in her legs. On December 5, 2011, the BBC announced that she had been nominated for their BBC Sounds of 2012 poll. After releasing “Through the Night” (single) and “Open Up Your Arms”, her first album Through the Night was released on Kid Gloves Records on 14 May 2012.

Tom Jones is, of course a man who needs introduction. I think Tom has moved on from his days in Vegas and being inundated by women’s panties. He’s really maturing into a new phase. I think he might have the talents to be in the same league of Johnny Cash and his now legendary “American Recordings”. I first heard this song performed by white-noise band “The Jesus and Mary Chain” – and is originally a Leonard Cohen song (I’m currently listening to Cohen’s new album…). The Tower Song is followed by a number with Jools Holland on the piano – Travelling Shoes is a bit of gospel

The Punch Brothers are a progressive bluegrass band. The band consists of Chris Thile (mandolin), Gabe Witcher (fiddle/violin), Noam Pikelny (banjo), Chris Eldridge (guitar), and Paul Kowert (bass). Their style has been described as “bluegrass instrumentation and spontaneity in the strictures of modern classical”. What I like is they can just play there instruments really well!

May 14, 2012  9:33 AM

Columbus Ohio & Austin Texas Bound…

Michelle Laverick Michelle Laverick Profile: Michelle Laverick

I’m getting all setup for my next trip to the US of A. First stop is to speak at the Columbus, Ohio Regional Conferrence/VMUG on the 22nd May. The agenda for the meeting has been released over here and it will be held at:

Hyatt Regency Columbus
350 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43215

I will be speaking about SRM again, and hope to have an updated deck of slides based on a recent NDA/Roadmap session with VMware that I did a week or so ago. Lets just say the future is very bright and very interesting. I will be joined by fellow vExpert and virtualization guru, David Davis who will be doing a separate talk about the VCP5.

Other notable sessions that I hope to attend on the day is VMware session on “A Vision for User-Centric Computing” by then I suspect that next version of VMware View will have been released, and we will be on the cusp off, or even released some of the new raft of EUC offerings from VMware. So I will be hoping for less chalk/talk, and more a look at the technologies in the flesh. Another notable session will be delivered by Tom MacKay dubbed a “VMware NDA Session”…

Once I’m done in Ohio, I’m getting an internal flight down to Austin,Texas where I will be spending a couple of days with Dell. Were still working on specifics – but I hope it will be similar to the sessions I enjoy with the Dell Equallogic team in Nashua, New Hampshire. I imagine some that content will be NDA based, but there will plenty of stuff I can share, and we are also planning an on-site “Vendorwag” podcast…

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