ElasticSky – VMware Hands On Lab Challenge

Recently. I had the pleasure of being asked to come up with an idea for a VMware Hands On Lab (HOL).

The VMware HOLs are an amazing resource for upskilling and trying out new technology.    Although I have my own home lab set up,   I still use the HOLs, especially for final preparation on certifications and client demos.  

As a freelance contractor, I normally spend a bit of time discussing requirements with end clients and  help transform existing platforms to take advantage of the new technologies such as NSX and vSAN.  

Timelines are often challenging with existing applications running in production,  downtime or disruption to operations  is always to be minimised.

My challenge lab is based on this concept.  Specifically,  introducing vSAN and NSX in an existing platform with minimal outage.

The lab can be accessed using this link ,   There is a also a  promotion of winning a Go Pro  too!

A couple of great guides have been released (links below)  by VMware on this subject.   NSX and vSAN are great toolkits to meet customer requirements in a number of ways.  It is great to see brownfield and migration papers such as these.

vSAN migration guide 

NSX Brownfield Guide 

I would like to thank the Hands On Labs team for creating the lab based on my initial idea,  and Phil Peters for his help on whole  initiative.

VMware UN Think community Hangout

Last month I had the pleasure to be part of the first VMware UN Think community Google  Hangout.

Alex Matthews from the Strategic Alliances Team hosted the event. 

Ashish Saxena ( Cognizant) ,  Guy Ratcliffe, ( Fujitsu)   and myself discussed various cloud strategies and the impact to the enterprise business from a number perspectives. 

Video shown below – Thanks to VMware and Alex for the great opportunity.

AppDefense Upskilling useful links & My Mind Map

One of the exciting announcements from VMworld for me was the release of AppDefense.  This is VMware’s new security  product within the SDDC area.
Conceptually, the idea is to  create  a  protected or “Goldilocks zone” for  security products  to scan both infrastructure, network and application based information to understand expected behaviour within the DC.  
Once expected is understood, automation can be used to flag  high risk or ultimately provide orchestrated remediation.
Utilising  the position of the ESXi hypervisor in the datacenter is a interesting approach from a technical perspective.  It has been successfully done within the storage and network space recently with vSAN and NSX.  This product looks equally compelling. 
With its SaaS based approach, and links into 3rd party products it has some very useful use cases.
From a technical perspective there is a lot going on within the simple looking architecture.  
Created at day 1 with support for windows 2012 / 16 guests,  it shows great  promise with planned  Linux support in the coming months.
I created a mind map to help me summarise the key business and technical points into a one pager.  
Hopefully, this is useful to others
The resources  I used to get some understanding of the product are shown below;

VMworld 2017 US – Technical Session Mind Maps

I was lucky enough to make it to the US VMworld event this year.

A great event with some excellent presentations and announcements.

vSAN and NSX have grown considerably.  These products featured heavily in the sessions from an operational and case study perspective.  Both products are now part of  great potential production solutions for many interesting use cases.

The new vCloud on AWS service was launched and more information presented thoughout the event. 


I created a few mind maps for the sessions that caught my interest during the event.


Top vBlog 2017 – ElasticSky Voted #49 

I had a nice surprise this week , Eric Siebert released his voting results for the Top 2017 vBlogs
Every year Eric works hard  with the vCommunity and gathers together the votes for the top virtualisation blogs.
I’m happy to say that my blog   was voted number #49.   
Its great to make the Top 50,  I didn’t  expect to be listed,  thanks very much for  all the voters.
Thanks again  to Eric and Turbonomic for running the event