Twas the night before my VCDX defense panel

Like many others my journey towards earning the VCDX certification has been a long one. I thought a short write up on the final phase was in order. These are some of the things that I did in the last day before to help me prepare technically, mentally and physically for what awaited me.

 

The night before the defense

This was my second try at the VCDX defense so I was a lot more comfortable with what would be taking place the next morning. But to work on improving my chances and confidence I wanted to make sure that there were no surprises. So the evening before I wanted to make a dry run on getting to the defense location. This was not a big deal because I was able to book a hotel room in the same location as my panel. But still, I did not want there to be any confusion. So I took the long journey down from the 30th floor to the 2nd floor of the hotel where the defense panel would be hosted.

vcdx sign copy

 

The location was easy to find with these posters letting everyone know what was going to take place here the next day. That lead me to the meeting room that I would defend in. I had the room name from my invite but the name did not strike me until I saw it in person. Olympic was the room name, at the time I felt like there would be an Olympic session happening behind those doors in less than 24 hours.

 

room name copy

 

After doing a dry run on finding my way to the meeting location I would need some food and then back to final preparations. So I found a local burger place and grabbed some food. There would be no food eaten that would make me sick or affect my performance in any way. Then it was back to the hotel room to continue preparing for tomorrow. The image below shows what I was facing for the evening. At this point I was just hours from my panel was not going to be learning anything I did not know already. But I needed to revisit some important topics and be sure that I was familiar with all the little parts of my design.

I will need to make sure I remember why I made decisions for or against certain methods or technologies. I should be able to intelligently talk about all options and understand the customer project and the constraints, risks, requirements and assumptions related to this project. Make sure I don’t get confused with other customer projects and then the most important part. GET A GOOD NIGHTS SLEEP!!

photo copy

 

Then the email arrives

If you have ever waited on good or bad news to arrive via email in the past you have some idea of what the feeling is like. You wait for the email to arrive then there is anxiety about opening the email to find out the results. Well in my case I was saved this anxiety. Turns out that I elected to sleep in the day after my defense and traveling back home made me exhausted. So to recover and start off the holiday weekend I grabbed some extra sleep. Little did I know that Mark and the VCDX team kicked butt and got the results out right away to everyone.

After awaking and looking at my phone, the home screen was filled with missed calls and texts congratulating me. Still being a bit confused I raced to my work email and checked, sure enough there was an email from Mark Brunstad. Could this be real and so fast? I opened up the email and then the attachment which the top portion is shown below. I had passed and was now awarded the VCDX certification, after some loud cheering and announcing to the family I was a bit in shock.

vcdx letter

 

Can’t say thanks enough

There a bunch of people that I need to thank for helping me at some point during this journey. But most of all my family and co-workers for supporting and helping with this goal.

 

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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Whats new in vSphere 5.5

With all the crazy media traffic going on this week with VMworld this post will probably get little attention. But I wanted to put something together that summarizes the updates in vSphere 5.5

I’m not going into in depth coverage of each of these you can find that at the link to the VMware PDF at the end of the post. I have offered my commentary on the items that I think are the most interesting.

vSphere ESXi Hypervisor Enhancements

  • Hot-Pluggable SSD PCI Express (PCIe) Devices
  • Support for Reliable Memory Technology
  • Enhancements for CPU C-States

Virtual Machine Enhancements

  • Virtual Machine Compatibility with VMware ESXi™ 5.5
  • Expanded vGPU Support (Now support GPUs from Intel and AMD, good to see the hardware list expand this will only help in adoption)
  • Graphic Acceleration for Linux Guests

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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VMware updates Horizon Workspace to 1.5 what does that mean

Today VMware announced that it has updated Horizon Workspace to version 1.5 and it is available for immediate download. I have been waiting for this update for a bit now and was eagerly waiting to see what would be included in the update.

To keep things simple I have pasted the list of updates and new features below. After that I will offer my feedback on the ones that I feel are most important.

The following information describes some of the enhancements available in this release of Horizon Workspace:

  • Management of VMware® Ready™ Android Devices. Added Android container management for VMware Ready devices.
  • Oracle Support. Added Oracle and Oracle RAC as supported databases.
  • Unified Policies. Made changes to the policy framework for consistency and flexibility. Added a policy previewer.
  • Localized Support. Support for French, German, Japanese and Simplified Chinese localizations.
  • Change in VMware® ThinApp™ licensing tracking. Added per-device licensing support for ThinApp packages.
  • Customizable Getting Started Guide. A Word template with graphics that you can use to create a customized Horizon Workspace getting started guide to meet the unique needs of your end users. See the Getting Started ZIP file.
  • Numerous Bug Fixes. Improved the stability, performance, and scale of Horizon Workspace by implementing a variety of bug fixes.

 

Horizon Workspace Feedback

 

Management of Android Devices – This is VMware’s first official release of a mobile management offering. They have now gotten some of the cellular carries to sign up with their approach and are supporting a modest amount of popular Android phones. I’m glad to see this finally get released will have to get some extensive testing with the solution before I decided if I like the approach or not.

Oracle Support – This I am glad to see, now if they can bring SQL support more people will be happy. The initial Workspace release only support PostgreSQL databases. For production builds it is not recommended to use the local PostgreSQL database that is part of the virtual appliance, this meant customers would have to stand up their own database servers. Since most corporate customers do not typically use PostgreSQL this was a complaint that was commonly voiced.

Bug Fixes – I have not yet read through the bug fix list but being a 1.0 release there was room for improvement. Lets hope that the product continues to mature quickly.

 

What I still want to see from Horizon Workspace

 

As someone that is a big VMware supporter I am often one to complain when I feel that they are not hitting the mark on something. Below are a few things that I feel they need to improve or add to the Workspace offering.

XenApp integration – This is something that was talked about at VMworld 2012 and has yet to make it into the product a year later. This is the ability to take existing XenApp packaged applications and present them via the Workspace portal, to allow your users a single place to access their applications.

Application Presentation – Forget the XenApp integration, it is a nice to have, but I think the ability to present applications directly to an endpoint is a gaping hole in VMware’s offering. This was OK in the past but as both VMware and Citrix advance their EUC offerings this is killing VMware.

Mobile Management – Finally glad to see part of the mobile offering make it into the 1.5 release, but this is only a partial and immature offering. I am still unsure about how I feel about VMware trying to develop something this late in the mobile game. This puts them behind others in the market place and I’m not sure how fast they can improve their offering to close the gaps.

 

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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vCloud Hybrid Service offerings explained

You will be able purchase capacity from VMware’s new vCloud Hybrid Service (vCHS) in two ways when it becomes available to the public around VMworld 2013. I will explain the two different cloud options and what they mean to customers. I have written an in depth guide to vCHS offerings in a post for Petri IT Knowledgebase.

petri-vchs

 

Read the entire post at Petri IT Knowledgebase

 

 

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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How to use VMware VisualEsxtop

Esxtop is a powerful tool and you should be using it, if you are not then start today. It just got easier to use this powerful tool with the release of VisualEsxtop as a VMware Fling from the labs team. This allows admins an easier to understand and work with method to using esxtop. The new Gui that was added allows for people of all technical levels to use the tool and gain insight into their environments.

Upon launching VisualEsxtop you will see some very familiar looking details from the CLI version of the tool. You will be greeted with the same summary at the top as seen with the original tool. The summary gives you a high level view based on the tab that you are looking at. Below I am showing an example showing CPU related details.

summary

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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vCloud Hybrid Service walkthrough demo vCHS

So if you are reading this you are probably interested in learning more about VMware’s vCloud Hybrid Server or vCHS. By the time you finish this I hope that you will be familiar with the basic operation of vCHS and what the user interface experience is like.

Enough with the small talk and promises lets get down to business and see what this vCHS offering looks like.  To access the vCHS portal to manage your environment you simple head over to https://vchs.vmware.com and enter in the credentials that were sent to you when you purchased your capacity.

vchs-login-screen

About Brian Suhr

Brian is a VCDX5-DCV and a Sr. Tech Marketing Engineer at Nutanix and owner of this website. He is active in the VMware community and helps lead the Chicago VMUG group. Specializing in VDI and Cloud project designs. Awarded VMware vExpert status 6 years for 2016 - 2011. VCP3, VCP5, VCP5-Iaas, VCP-Cloud, VCAP-DTD, VCAP5-DCD, VCAP5-DCA, VCA-DT, VCP5-DT, Cisco UCS Design

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