Tag Archives: VMWorld

vRealize Operations 8.6 announced at VMworld !

The annual VMworld conference is only live for two hours as I write this, but already my head is buzzing with announcements. The pace is furious this year! My favourite topic gets an update of course…

First of all the vRealize apps are really getting even more ready for multicloud. vRealize Operations now has full support for VMware Cloud on AWS, Azure VMware Service, Google Cloud VMware Engine, VMware Cloud on Dell. For public clouds we get monitoring for all AWS services, including custom metrics and enhancements to Azure and GCP monitoring. Integration with CloudHealth extends costing capabilities to the cloud.

And yes… we have a new UI… Honestly I have mixed feelings about another change in the interface, but apparently it is there to simplify the interaction, so let’s hope that works out. The menu is now simplified based on personas:

new UI in vROps

To be fair there are a lot of changes to improve the user experience. I must admit I always hated the mess of the dashboards section, well that has now been completely redesigned. There is a new dashboard browser and you can manage your own favourites.

Dashboard browser.

And talking about another annoyance … Cloud accounts! Well, here too everything is now neatly under integrations. Very clean and oversee-able.

A great new feature is that in VMC on AWS you can now activate a 30-day trial for vROps Cloud ( SaaS obviously) with one button. It is an integrated experience that comes with self-guided tours that help you improve your TTV (Time-To-Value obviously). I think it will bring Operations to a whole new bunch of customers.

Guide to create a dashboard.

There is support in the on-prem version for the opensource telegraf agents, this was introduced in the SaaS version in v8.4 (they warned you SaaS would have the cool stuff sooner). This means you can pulll data from 200 applications into vROps.

There are more changes like sustainability dashboards and a new cost overview. What stands out is that you can now use regular expressions as criteria for custom groups, we all love regular expressions, right ? As a bonus here is a resource to check those expressions before you use them in a custom group…

Another fine thing is the ability to customise email notification templates more. You can even include fields. I think this will help me greatly in the OTRS integration I am doing for a customer.

There is also great – almost shocking – news on the True Visibility Suite, but I need to see an announcement and confirmation at VMworld before I will write about that. Stay tuned.

As for the release date, an internal source told me “soon, very soon”… I am looking forward to it! What about you? Let me know your questions. And as always at Comdivision we are VMware Premier Partner, we can help you with all vRealize Operations projects! Get in touch!

Security sessions at VMworld 2021

In this second post on VMworld session recommendations, I want to share some picks in security from the content catalog. It is going to be a busy week! See my blog on cloud management sessions I published before.

Although I am an infrastructure guy and I have worked a long time in systems monitoring, I am part of the vExpert Security sub-program. I have done a lot of work in compliance, with the defunct VMware Configuration Manager and lately with vRealize Operations.

man wearing gray and red armour standing on the streets
Photo by PhotoMIX Company on Pexels.com

I want to specialise more in security, seeing what the need is in our industry today. I have done NSX-t training and did the Carbon Black Partner Certification, but I am not an end-user computing specialist, so keep my focus in mind when you read my list.

Also it is a good idea to turn to the community for advice, so I listened to the VMware Communities episode #570 on VMworld security tracks. Zero Trust is important I think, as is incorporating security in our architectures. I do not like the scary stories at any security talk, I do not see their added value. So with all of that in mind, here we go!

A Modern Firewall For any Cloud and any Workload  [SEC2688]

NSX-t has a lot of security features built-in like micro-segmentation, the NSX distributed firewall is one of the latest techniques to secure your environment. I would like to know more.

Anatomy of the VMware SOC [SEC1048]

Practice what you preach, right? So I am interested in hearing what VMware’s own Security Operations Center (SOC) are doing to keep the bad guys out.

Macro- to Micro-Segmentation: Clearing the Path to Zero Trust [SEC1302]

Well there is someone I know here! Victor Monga leads the vExpert Security track and he is talking micro-segmentation and Zero Trust. Should be an interesting talk!

Continuous Compliance and Vulnerability Management with vRealize Automation [SEC2054]

vRealize Automation is still a bit my baby and DevSecOps is a hot topic. I am curious to see how we can achieve continuous compliance in the apps developed internally at customers, without having to setup elaborate scanning after the fact.

Simplified Security with VMware Carbon Black Cloud [SEC2718]

A lot is happening around Carbon Black Cloud (and I hope to blog about it soon….). This is a Meet-the-Expert session to get down in the practical details.

Meet the Experts: vSphere Security Best Practices Straight from the Experts’ Mouth [SEC1388]

If you manage vSphere environments, I think this one is not to be missed. Going to be chockfull of practical tips on how to secure your environment. And that’s what we all need to do, right?

I realise the last two sessions are Tech + Pass (paid) sessions. I think they are worth it and as I explained in my post on cloud management sessions, I am going to pay for access too.

These are not all the sessions on my list, but they give you an idea of what I am looking for in security: architecture, Zero Trust, NSX-t firewall and micro segmentation and Carbon Black Cloud.

Do let me know what you think or what sessions you recommend. And please connect during the event! We have a booth in the partners section with ComDivision, the premier VMware partner in DACH and USA where I get to do a lot of my work.

My personal picks for cloud management at VMworld 2021

VMworld is upon us again, the greatest VMware tech show of the year. I have attended every EMEA version in Barcelona since 2012 and even one in San Francisco in 2013. This year it is online again, like last year, but that should not stop you from attending. When I went over the content catalog a first time I noted 29 sessions as my favourites! And now you can get all that content from the comfort of your home office without distractions like the bars in Barcelona and all the parties… Seriously, I miss the live event too, before attending the last live version so far in 2019 I blogged about why you needed to attend. Well we can still have some networking and all the great sessions!

Memories of San Francisco.

What follows is my selection of sessions that are really worthwhile and that I will attend myself. Not because of the description or because someone asked me to promote them, but mainly because I know the presenters. Many I worked with at VMware or Blue Medora and some I still work with as a contractor or in the vExpert program. One thing I noticed is that some sessions are now only available in the paid Tech+ passes, that is new. There is probably a good reason for it, it is top rated content! Just as I paid for VMworld 2019 myself I decided I will pay for a Tech+ pass to attend them. (Unless someone offers me a rebate hint.. hint…)

A Big Update on vRealize Operations [MCL1277]

This is the session not to miss if you are involved with vRealize Operations – and you should ! Matt Bradford leads the vExpert Cloud Management track with enthousiast and he is extremely knowledgeable on the subject. Peter Haagenson was a colleague at Blue Medora and – although a marketing guy – he is on top of his subject and fun to listen to, even if he ruins my belt every ones in a while at VMworld. Another reason I am happy there are no life encounters this year.

A Cloud Management Journey from Monolith to Modern Apps with vRealize Suite [GWS-HOL-2201-08-CMP]

I am pretty excited about this one as it is a Hands-on Lab Guided Tour. If you have seen some of my previous blog posts you know I cannot praise enough the HOL environment VMware puts at your disposal to learn stuff. The learning is in the doing, so I expect some real good stuff here. Christopher Lewis is another one of those long standing members of the vROps world and has blogged a lot about it.

Different ways of absorbing Hands-on Labs…

Advanced Troubleshooting with vRealize: Your “Go-To” Guide [MCL1271]

Many people still struggle with troubleshooting, even with great tools in vRealize Operations like the Troubleshooting Workbench. I met Tim George at Blue Medora and he has grown to the formidable presence he is today at VMware ! A very accessible guy who is always ready to help. I cannot wait to hear what he has to say !

A Guide to Application Migration Nirvana [MCL1264]

I am intrigued by the description of this session. I still do not know Network Insight well enough, but Martijn certainly does. He is “Mr Network Insight” to me. Let’s just hope he brings stroopwafels and not Dutch beer….

All Your Capacity and Costing Questions Answered [MCL1391]

I am sure this title is correct: I do not know a person more knowledgeable than Brandon Gordon on everything capacity and cost calculations in vRealize Operations. I am curious to see what he will talk about this time. Highly recommended.

An End-to-End Demo – Operationalizing VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize [MCL1442]

Another session presented by an individual I respect a lot in the community, Mr John Dias. I you are running vCloud Foundation and wonder about management, this is the session to follow.

I do not want to dilute the message by listing here all the sessions I want to attend. I am going to make a separate post for security. I do want to point out these special sessions though.

Automation Showdown: Imperative vs Declarative [CODE2786]

Although as usual I have trouble understanding what the session is about, I do know that my fellow countryman Luc Dekens is THE resource on everything powershell and beyond. And although we cannot drive across SF this year to have diner, I am going to try and follow his session…

Decoding VMUG [IC2827S]

I put this one in because I think community is important and in our world none more so than the VMUG. I attended many, many sessions in a lot of different countries and hope we can get to in-person meetings again soon. If you are involved with VMware products as a customer or partner you need to be involved with the VMUG.

Do let me know what you think or what sessions you recommend. And please connect during the event! We have a booth in the partners section with ComDivision, the premier VMware partner in DACH and USA where I get to do a lot of my work.

Orbital Jigsaw community during VMWorld 2020!

OK so you have seen a ton of pictures people post from previous VMWorld conferences, lamenting that it is an online event this year… Well the folks at Orbital Jigsaw have made a big effort to make it more of a community event with live corona-proof interactions!

Their Discord Server will be running a free community event, featuring all tracks, with Watch Parties, BoF Roundtables, and much more, for both days of VMworld in all three time zones. They have been working with the VMWorld event team and the vExperts amongst others.

I will be hanging out in the #Europe #vExperts and #Multi-cloud channels for sure and wherever else time permitting! If you want to chat with me directly there are meeting rooms available, just like the real VMworld, minus the sore feet and queues for lunch!

I am only a user promoting this great effort here. If you want to read more, here is the original blogpost. You can find a link there to sign up. To join the party, this is the address of the Orbital Jigsaw server.

I think Discord is fast becoming the communications platform of choice, I am part of a few servers already. I am a big fan.

Why you need to go to VMWorld (and me too).

VMware’s big tech conferences, VMWorld, are on the horizon again, the US edition in San Francisco, August 25-29, 2019 and the EMEA edition in Barcelona, November 4-7, 2019. These are massive events with a lot of people attending and an incredible amount of things to do. The content catalogue for the US has just been published, but in my opinion the sessions are the least compelling reason to go! Allow me to explain from my 7 years attending Barcelona as a speaker, HOL captain and exhibitor and 1 year in San Francisco.

Networking.

No not NSX or anything. The people thing. Yes even for techies, nerds, and other life forms generally not into interacting with real people. VMWorld has thousands of attendees. There are customers, technical people from large and small organisations from all countries you can talk to, exchange ideas with, you can even HELP each other. And of course a lot of VMware and VMware partner attendees, ranging from your local contacts to PSO engineers, but also R&D engineers, product managers, executives…. Where else are you going to meet these people and talk to them? There are booths, briefings, roadmap sessions, panel discussions and more! And on top of that you get the same from industry partners, most of them have a booth in the Exhibition hall. But that is a paragraph on it’s own. I could spend all my time there and, granted, the last 3 years with Blue Medora I had too.

I could go on and on here, there are so many events and opportunities on the VMWorld floor and beyond. During lunch, at a coffee break and yes the parties. Oh boy the parties. You can go to more than one every night. Especially Barcelona is very dangerous here. I don’t want to sound like your mom, but pace yourself. Everyone goes home exhausted anyway, but I know people who do not have recollections of some days in Barcelona…

Hands-on Labs.

The labs! Oh my God, this is a reason to go all by itself. You know that VMware invented this beautiful thing of having a whole area in the conference dedicated to labs of course. Since then a lot of others try to imitate but the HOLs are constantly evolving and ahead. Of course you can take labs from your coach, but at VMWorld the new catalogue is available! And there are instructor-led sessions and swag… The setting is so impressive! It looks like an evolved version of the bridge of the USS Enterprise…. Connected to multiple data centers, with a team of engineers onsite! You can sit down at a terminal or bring your own device and launch a lab where you can test out a product in a complete vSphere environment that is provisioned on the fly! So you can stick to the scenario or try out some stuff… There are some of the smartest people at VMware behind this and they give tours! I worked the labs both as a floor slave (sorry proctor) and lab captain and I hugely enjoyed it every time! I really wish I could do it again!

Exhibition hall.

I love these at conferences and VMWorld is no exception. VMware has a lot of booth space and demos of course, but everyone is here: startups, VMware R&D, cloud providers, hardware vendors,… There is a welcome reception here and hall crawl, no to be missed because this is where you need extra bags to travel home with all the goodies you got! And again you get to interact with people, see demos, learn things.

Sessions.

Of course there are a lot of sessions to attend. These are great opportunities to hear from engineers or product managers on new products or hear other customers talk about their experience! I did both, presenting on Log Insight back in the day when I had a great customer case in Belgium and presenting with News UK on their very scientific approach to vRealize Operations. For me it is as much fun presenting and interacting with people as following other sessions.

There is so much more to tell, the exams you can take there, the vBrownbag tech talk sessions and more. If you are working with VMware products day to day, VMWorld is simply not to be missed. If you plan a few trainings per year my personal opinion is VMworld is a better value. You can learn but also interact with key people directly. And a tip if you are in EMEA: I really like the Barcelona version! You get the same sessions and activities, not a watered down version and you get Barcelona on top of it! Also there are cheap airline tickets from all European destinations and hotels are reasonable (especially if you reserve everything now!).

So let’s make our mark together! Hope to see you there! And bring comfy shoes…

Visit me VMware booth #VMworld

If you want to check out the new vRealize Operations Manager 6.1 or vSphere with Operations Management (vSOM) or LogInisght v3.0, come and visit my colleagues and me at the VMware booth in the Solutions Exchange at VMworld Barcelona !

imageI am here today – Wednesday – till 19h00 and tomorrow morning – Thursday – 10h30 till 13h30.

Hope you are stopping by for a demo !

Log Insight and customer Milcobel #VMworld

vmw-eml-sig-vmworld14-emea-no-cta-480x86

This year I am not working in the Hands-On Labs at VMworld, unfortunately I got too busy in my local job. But I will be there presenting on vRealize Log Insight and what it can mean for your business. To this end I will tell you the story of our customer Milcobel and how they implemented our log analyser and what unique advantages they get from our product.

I am excited that I am presenting with Tom Findling. He is staff engineer and product owner of Operations Manager. The coolest title in engineering if you ask me.

Come and learn about Log Insight on Wednesday morning at 11:00, Hall 8 room 35 (click the session Id to register):

MGT2470 – Milcobel: Experience and Best Practices with vCenter Log Insight

Hope to see you there. You still have time to register if you click the link above.

Benelux customer briefing and lab visit #VMworld

vmw-eml-sig-vmworld14-emea-no-cta-480x86

Like last year I am organising a VBC on Cloud Operations during VMworld Europe in Barcelona next week. If you are a VMware customer in the Benelux area and you have questions on vRealize Operations Manager (the artist formerly known as vCenter Operations Manager) or Log Insight come and visit us ! We will be running an open format with questions and some presentations on what is to come. Jon Herlocker, CTO Log Insight & vRealize Operatons Manager, and Eran Carmel, Sr Product Manager will be there to inform you.

Please check for more details and free registration at this EventBrite event. Please note that this is not a session in the catalogue. We run an open format, you do not need experience. I will check entries against our CRM system and kick out anyone who does not qualify…

Also this year I decided to organize a Hands-On Labs behind the scenes tour for Benelux customers. This is a unique opportunity to see how we manage this great event with our own tools. Deploying 15000 VMs at the US session ! The visit is scheduled on Thursday morning, so that on the last day of the conference you can have an easy start after the party… Register on Eventbrite.

Hope to see you in Barcelona ! And if you have not registered yet, click the VMworld logo above… There is still time, cheap flights and AirBnB rooms…

VMWorld catalogue available and our Log Insight session approved !

The VMWorld session catalogue is now online, start reading and choosing talks and presentations you want to see . The good news is also that the session Bill Roth and I proposed about a Belgian use case for Log Insight has been accepted for Barcelona. So come and see how the customer found unique value in our log file analyser in this session:

MGT2470 – Benelux Milk Processor:: Experience and Best Practices with vCenterLog Insight

VMworld Solutions Exchange

I think the greatest way to learn at any show is to visit the solutions exchange or whatever name it goes by. At VMWorld vendors have a high technical level of content at their booths and good demos. Nowhere can you learn so much on such a small space (‘small’ is relative here my feet tell me).

Monday night and Tuesday morning I visited. Surprised at the amount of swag being given away, I hope US Airways will understand I had to gather stuff for my unfortunate colleagues at home…. Some observations:

  • PuppetLabs are just a great bunch. They are very enthusiastic, I went to their session this morning and very impressed. This warrants a separate post. They must have bought a t-shirt factory….
  • I was impressed by a demo from Simplivity. As I understand it, they make appliances that run vSphere virtual machines of course and integrate into vCenter. But they have backup software integrated that seems very fast. Connect two and you can backup or migrate to the other machine and with more machines you can buid a federation. You can also backup to a cloud provider like Amazon and encrypt your data on the fly. Deduplication of data is done inline. And aparently they already have some big client names, also in Europe. Very impressive.
  • Of course you need to go over to the VMware booth, even if it is to share the extremely painful carpet experience on your feet, and have a look at new things coming, especially vCAC 6.

Meanwhile I am runing around with my self-printed stickers, The QR code links to this blog…2013-08-27 13.08.11