VMworld 2017 Day Three

There was no key note on Wednesday morning but instead I attended Chad Sakac, President CPSD at Dell EMC’s 8:30am session – State of the Union: Everything multi-cloud, converged, hyper-converged and more! [PB03334BUS] which was an excellent insite into how customers now want to consume rather than build IT infrastructure. He went through Dell EMC’s VMware Ready Systems & Pivotal Ready Systems which provide a complete platform based upon Dell ECM’s HCI VxRack & VxRail platforms which have both been seen updates announced during VMworld. The Ready Systems are based upon VMware Cloud Foundation and VMware Validated Design. They over a Tested, Validated & documented platform which allow customer’s to reduce their time to value and reduce TCO.

Chad has published a blog post that goes into detail about not just Ready Systems but also Ready Nodes and Ready Bundles.


I also attended Frank Denneman & Emad Younis’s Managing Your Hybrid Cloud with VMware Cloud on AWS [LHC2971BU] which should how easily VMware Cloud on AWS can be integrated with your existing on premises VMware infrastructure and no additional skill sets or tools are required to deploy workloads on a VMware Cloud on AWS based Hybrid Cloud. I really do think that VMware Cloud on AWS opens up some huge opportunities for company’s to start consuming AWS and move their infrastructure to a consumption based model without having to re-skill and re-train their staff. This could be a huge benefit for SME who need to refresh their infrastructure but aren’t ready to move to the a cloud native approach because of legacy applications. It will also all customer’s to burst easily into the cloud and they shrink back when the demand lowers. The Elastic DRS capability which automatically deploy additional hosts and balance workload over the cluster when certain thresholds are reached is really cool and allows customer’s to flex their capacity within hours rather than weeks or months which could be typical for SMEs.

VMworld 2017 Day Two

VMworld 2017 is running at full steam with VMware showcasing their latest and greatest and also continuing to announce industry changing partnerships with huge commitment to grow the ecosystem and simplify the technologies required to shift to a consumption based model and accelerate business transformation.

Michael Dell & Pat Gelsinger’s general session offered a fire side chat format to answer questions from attendees including such topics as support, where they see the future of the industry going and a commitment to open ecosystems. Pat & Michael also confirmed their commitment to synergy between the Dell Technologies strategically aligned businesses.

Also announced was VMware & Pivotal’s new Pivotal Container Service (PKS) – The K is for Kubernetes!

Along with Rob Mee, CEO of Pivotal and Sam Ramji, VP for Google Cloud, Pat & Michael announced the integration of VMware, Google Cloud Platform & Pivotal to deliver a production-ready Kubernetes platform massively reducing the time to deploy and speed to value.

O’Farrell, Chris Wolf, and Purnima Padmanabhan delivered a Phoenix Project esque demo of the combination of new platforms announced including AppDefence, Workspace One & VMware Cloud on AWS.

Across the day sessions expanded on VMware Cloud Services announcement to include Automation Services in Tech Priview and also more information about NSX Cloud.


VMworld 2017 Day One

Well I survived Day One! Such a huge amount of announcements from VMware. I’ve put together a list of the announcements in the last 24 hours and will try and expand on each announcement over the next few days as the brain melting flow of information starts to slow down.

Introducing VMware AppDefense – Expanding beyond micro-segmentation to threat detection and response

NSX-T is here!

Announcing the VMware Cloud Provider Program (not new, just improved!)

VMware Announces New vCloud Director 9.0

vRealize Network Insight 3.5 enhances SDDC visibility, simplifies VMware NSX deployment and scaling

Simplified Management of VMware Cloud on AWS with vRealize Operations

Introducing VMware Integrated OpenStack 4.0

VMware Intergrated OpenStack 4.0 Announced

VMware announced the latest version of VMware Integrated OpenStack (VIO) 4.0.

VIO is VMware’s supported OpenStack distrubution and 4.0 is based upon Ocata.

New features in this release include:

– Containers support – Out of the box container support for the Kubernetes APIs allows developers to deploy containers using a common API but also provides enterprise features such as High Availability (HA), persistent volumes etc.

– Integration with vRealize Automation – Support for OpenStack components in Blueprints and integration into the vRA UI.

– Multi vCenter support – enabling VIO to scale beyond the limits of a single vCenter and provide separate failure domains.

– Better performance and scale and support for live resizing of VMs without having to shutdown the container.

For more information see VMware’s post here:


NSX Announcements at VMworld 2017

Over the next few days VMware will have some major announcements around NSX. We will see updates to NSX-T, VMworld Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Services Secure Networking and a major update to Network Insight.

Along with this VMware are announcing AppDefence which was previously known as Project Goldilocks.

The speed in which VMware is releasing NSX updates and expanding the ecosystem both across VMware and with it’s partners has increased massively over the last year and these announcements show that VMware is positioning NSX as a major product for VMware to integrate with both on-premises and cloud platforms.

NSX-T 2.0 will see support added for cross-cloud/multi-cloud and increased integration with OpenStack and Kubernetes. NSX-T will be the technology that helps VMware deliver on their Any Device, Any App, Any Cloud message.

VMware Cloud on AWS brings some seriously cool use cases for integrating AWS & On-premises environments, allowing bare metal deployment of VMware  SDDC on AWS to extend a customer’s existing environment so they can use the same tools and people to manage both the on-premises and cloud based workloads.

VMware Cloud on AWS will launch in the US initially with support for US West first before expanding to other regions and countries.


VMworld 2017

This week I’ll be blogging from VMworld 2017 in Las Vegas. This is my first US VMworld and it was a last minute decision (I didn’t know I was going until Thursday afternon!). If there is anything you want to know or questions you want me to ask drop me a message and I’ll do my best to find an answer for you!

Looking Back and Looking Forwards

Back in May 2015 I wrote about moving forwards and my decision to join Xtravirt as a Senior Consultant and push my career forward to a new level. It was a big jump of faith for me and I was worried I had made the wrong decision initial. Oh how wrong was I! 18 months later and I’m a Lead Consultant,  VCDX #222, VCIX-NV, NSX Ninja, vExpert 2015, 2016 and vExpert NSX. I’ve presented at VMUGs, participated in podcasts, presented vBrownBag sessions and spoke on a panel at VMworld Europe. None of this would have been possible without the support from Xtravirt, their management team and the amazing people who work for them. 

I set myself an 18 month plan – VCDX-DCV. Less than 12 months into that plan, on the 9th May 2015 I received an email “VCDX-DCV Defense Results” welcoming me to the VCDX programme and awarding me VCDX #222. I never thought I’d be able to achieve it in 18 months, let alone 12. Again, this wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Xtravirt, my colleagues and my VCDX partner, Marco van Baggum.

As part of my journey to VCDX, I developed and gained the skills needed to become a Lead Consultant. Being able to show to my manager how I had met the criteria for the role and how it related to what I’d learned for my VCDX I was promoted to Lead Consultant alongside my colleagues Sam McGeown and Gregg Robertson (now since moved to Dell EMC).


Fast forward to today and it’s my last day at Xtravirt. I’m leaving behind a great team of people and it certainly wasn’t an easy decision. Joining Xtravirt was an incredible experience and has enabled me to take my career in directions I never thought possible in such a small amount of time. If anyone want’s to turbo charge their career and work with some of the smartest and most dedicated people in the Virtualisation community I would highly recommended getting in touch with Mike Jones.

On Monday 31st October I start a new role as Global Cloud Architect at Dell EMC. It presents my next challenge and one that I’ve spent the last several years working towards. It’s going to be a busy couple of months, getting to grips with everything the new job involves and preparing to defend the VCDX-NV, but I will make sure I stay active within the vExpert community, twitter and attend as many events, VMUGs, vBeers and everything else that I can going forwards. I’ll be working with a number of people as a VCDX mentor and part of the VCDX Study Group to help them achieve the goals just like I have.


vExpert Slack – August 2016 Update


As the 2nd half 2016 vExpert announcements are due out on the 19th August I thought I’d better update my original vExpert post.

There are now 384 vExperts on the vExpert Slack and 31 channels covering topics from EUC to OpenStack and everything in between. We usually have around 150-200 vExperts active at anytime. It’s been great fun over the last year and the community is growing day by day. We now have 3 admins looking after the day to day running and I hope to add a forth in the next few weeks so we have someone around 24 hours a day.

To make the process for requesting an invite easier, I’ve created a Twitter account (vExpert Slack) which is monitored by the vExpert Slack admin team and you should get a response a lot quicker than emailing or tweeting me directly. We now have 3 admins looking after the day to day running and I hope to add a forth in the next few weeks so we have someone around 24 hours a day.

When requesting an invite please can you DM (DM’s are open and don’t require the account to follow you) a link to your vExpert profile and the email address you would like the invite sending to. This will save a lot of time and allow us to get an invite out to you as soon as possible. If you don’t get a response within 48 hours please drop me a message. Unfortunately, the vExpert Slack is only open to current vExperts and VCDX.

Cloud Insiders Podcast


This week saw the launch of Cloud Insiders, a podcast that brings the cloud down to earth. Backed by leading cloud and virtualisation solution provider Xtravirt, Cloud Insiders will explore the IT transformation issues facing today’s organisations, and the technology solutions that have been developed to help them.

As an independent partner engaged in IT transformation projects, Xtravirt saw the need for a forum to provide high level discussion and insights available via a podcast to those who make decisions around technology and need to learn quickly.

Cloud Insiders will provide thought-provoking insights into trends facing the cloud computing and virtualisation arena, as observed by industry experts.

The first episode of the podcast went live on 11 May and features guest speaker Peter Grant (Xtravirt CTO) answering ‘Cloud: Does it hold water?’ This inaugural episode covers the business drivers leading to cloud computing, caveats to avoid and trends Peter is seeing in the adoption of cloud into global IT.

I’ll be featuring on the second episode “I’m too NSXY for my shirt” along with Xtravirt’s Technical Presales Consulant, Andy Hind. We will be discussing NSX and how it effects the future of everything and what we predict will happen with SDN.

In addition to Peter, Andy & myself, a number of guests are already lined up to contribute to future episodes which will be released over the coming weeks.

Cloud Insiders brings an exciting concept to the IT community: a platform for users, vendors and industry experts to debate and explore the issues and technologies that are shaping the way we deliver IT.

The podcast is being made available through iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play.

Show notes and free resources will also be available at cloudinsiders.fm.

North East VMUG – Thursday 25th February


I will be speaking at the North East VMware User Group on Thursday 25th February in Newcastle along with Marco Van Baggum from ITQ in the Netherlands. We will be presenting “NSX In The Real World”, where we will talk about how we have deployed NSX in production environments over the last 6 months and any issues we have encountered and answer any questions.

We will be speaking alongside Joe Baguley, Chief Technical Officer for VMware EMEA, who will be delivering the keynote and Duncan Epping, VMWare Chief Technologist – Storage and
Availability, who will be talking about Virtual SAN. Kyle Jenner from SITS Group will also be delivering a session on the importance of a VDI assessment for an accurate design and ultimately a successful project.

Tegile, 10Zig and Simplivity are sponsoring the event and there will be vBeers after at Centurion Bar.

The event will take place at Campus North:

Campus North
Sunco House
5 Carliol Square
Newcastle, Tyne and Wear