Tag Archives: barcelona

VMworld Europe 2017

It’s confirmed- I’ll be returning to Barcelona in September as an official Blogger for VMworld Europe 2017. Thanks again to Corey Romero and the VMware Community team for extending me this opportunity.

Following the 2016 event I’m looking forward to a week of intense learning whilst meeting old friends and making new ones. If you fancy joining me, here’s what you need to know about registering and getting to the event:

What, When, Where?

VMworld Europe is the EMEA leg of the largest virtualisation conference in the world. It offers not only an front-row seat to the latest and greatest offerings from VMware themselves but also the newest developments from the massive ecosystem of suppliers that VMware sit in.

This year the conference returns to Barcelona slightly earlier than usual- on the 11th to the 14th of September. This is just 10 days after the equivalent US event.

Getting that Conference Pass

Registration for the conference is open now and there’s a number of discounts available to help keep the cost down. The Early Bird Rate runs till 20th June and takes 200 Euros off the price. Additionally if you’re a VMUG Advantage subscriber or VCP certified you can get an additional 75 Euro reduction. Finally there’s lower prices for groups (if you want to take your colleagues along) and for Alumni of the event.

Check the registration page on VMworld.com for full details and to register online.

Getting There

Barcelona is served by the city airport – El Prat – with flights from most locations. Once on the ground there is a direct Metro connection to both the conference centre (€4.50 per ticket) and the city, shuttle buses (€5.90) to the city centre, and of course taxis are readily available.

Plane

Easyjet. One of the many airlines that serve Barcelona airport.

The conference centre- Fira Gran Via– is located outside the city centre, and easily accessible on the Metro. In previous years I’ve found this to be a quick, safe, and reliable method of getting around town. The entrance to VMworld is adjacent to the “Fira” station on the L9 Sud metro line (see here for some more info) and free metro passes are usually available for attendees from the conference reception. If not a “T-10 ticket” is currently 10 Euros and valid for ten journeys- you can purchase them at the vending machines in any station (which have multi-language support).

Fira Gran Via

VMworld 2016 at the Fira Gran Via conference centre.

Accommodation

When booking your conference pass for VMworld you can also book a discounted hotel room from their official list, but there are many hotels, AirBnBs, and apartments available in Barcelona. In my experience I would recommend finding a hotel near to a Metro station- locations near Plaça de Catalunya, Avenue del Paraŀlel, or north-east of Plaça de Espanya along Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes are all handy for both the metro links to the conference itself but also the evening events which are held in the city centre and beachfront areas.

W Hotel in Barcelona

The W hotel on the beach- one of Barcelona’s premier hotels. Great views, but you’ll want a taxi to get anywhere.

Questions

If you have any questions, feel free to ask me below or on Twitter and I’ll help if I can. The VMworld organisers themselves can be contacted through the conference website or Twitter, or link in the hashtag #VMworld for community assistance.

Go on, VMworld is less than 100 days away so register now and I’ll see you there!

VMworld Europe 2016 Day 3

Wednesday morning and VMworld continues…

Here’s a look at my sessions from another day in Barcelona.

General Session

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The big announcements of Day 2 gave way to some more detail in the Day 3 Keynote, kicked off by Sanjay Poonen focusing on the digital transformation happening in the EUC world. VMware has 66,000 EUC customers and is promoting an any-app, any-device strategy through the Workspace One platform. Today 50% of business apps are web based, 40% are Windows Client-Server, and Mobile picks up the remainder. We saw a demo of how VMware use workspace one internally to provide access to all these services through one portal.

Sanjay was followed on stage by Ray O’Farrell who gave us further detail about the announcements in the SDDC. The vSphere 6.5 announcement was of course at the forefront, with Ray pointing out the advances that made the interface six times faster than 5.5 and gave a demo using PowerCLI which showed the realtime response of the new HTML5 client. He ran through a demo of the new VM encryption facilities in 6.5 and covered some of the advances in vRealize automation- including new support for containers.

imageNext up was Yanbing Li to talk about vSAN (lower case v, upper case SAN) which also has some advantages in the 6.5 release. First up is Direct-Connect options for 2-node deployments (think remote office/ branch office installs or setups requiring strict isolation of data). In this model the management and witness traffic is split out from the data traffic allowing for the two vSAN nodes to be linked directly together using Ethernet cables.

Secondly, vSAN 6.5 enables iSCSI support, so the storage infrastructure can now be used as a target for physical workloads. Yanbing also talked about the ongoing vSAN beta- future versions of the product are likely to offer data at-rest encryption and nested fault domains. vSAN has passed 5000 customers in 2.5 years, and now VMware hopes more affordable licensing with the offer of all-flash support on that Standard SKU.

Networking and Security was the next topic with Rajiv Ramaswami with the focus on NSX which is now giving 1700 NSX customers Micro-segmentation and Distributed Load Balancing. From my point of view NSX is continuing to gain weight as the product underpinning VMware’s SDDC- most of the presentations this week mentioned NSX in some form – and I expect this market to grow as the Private/Public/Hybrid cloud model expands.

Kit Colbert brought the Wednesday Keynote to a close with insights into container hosting and management VMware style using the Photon Platform. As with everything else here Photon is continuing to evolve and will be offering Kubernetes-as-a-service in Q4 this year. The Photon Controller and Photon OS are both open source- available for download from Github.

If you want to watch the full session yourself, check out the video here:

Day 2 Operations: A vCenter Server Administrator’s Diary [INF9128]

Adam Eckerle and Emad Younis gave this talk, catching up on what’s new in vCenter and how to keep it running smoothly after the install process has finished. I picked up some great takeaways here, and I’ve distilled my pages of notes to come up with the following highlights:

  • There are 5 web based clients for the vSphere environment in 6.5 :  vCenter Client and Web Client, the Appliance Manager UI (formerly VAMI) and so on. There is no support for the legacy Windows C# client.
  • The vCenter appliance upgrade preserves the identity of the old Windows-based vCenter so all connected applications and plugins should continue to operate. If the upgrade needs to be rolled back it’s just a case of turning off and removing the new VCSA and then powering on the old Windows Server and rejoining it to the domain (although any configuration changes made under the VCSA’s stewardship would then be lost) . Upgrades are possible from Windows vCenter 5.5 or 6.0
  • We were shown a demo of extending the disk in the vCenter appliance using LVM autogrow. Also, as of 6.5, the appliance will warn when the disk reaches 80% capacity and will auto-shutdown at 95% to prevent corruption
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LVM Autogrow for logs on VCSA

  • The second half of the session included a whiteboarded overview of PSC migrations and topology. The linear ring topology was highlighted as being preferable over hub/spoke (limited in failover) and full mesh(too complicated) in larger (and expandable) deployments. Check out the poster for more details on choosing a PSC topology.

vBrownBag “The Amazing World of IT in Higher Education”

This time it was my turn to give a presentation, and in this quick ten minute talk at the vBrownBag stage I covered some of the unusual practices that an IT Pro might experience if dropped into a University environment and how various forms virtualisation can be used to save the day. If you want some more details check out my post and video link here.

VMworld Europe 2016 Day 2

Day 2, Tuesday, is when the real meat of VMworld starts- kicking off with the General Session (a.k.a. Keynote) at 9am. We were expecting some big announcements and weren’t disappointed. Here’s a look at some of my sessions today- these are the highlights only and more detail will follow.

 General Session

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Ten thousand attendees from ninety-six countries packed into the keynote arena for the opening General Session. It borrowed many parts from the US event, but with a European slant and the added announcements of the new vSphere and VSAN 6.5 platforms and the AWS deal revealed only last week. Mike Clayville, VP of AWS, joned VMware’s Pat Gelsinger on stage to talk about how that deal is going to join the leaders in the private cloud with the leaders in the public cloud. General Availability of that platform will be mid-2017.

We were treated to demos of some of the new features offered through the Cloud Foundation and Cross-cloud architecture, including spinning up a vSphere cluster sat on Amazon Web Services, and vMotioning a workload between an on-premises Datacentre and the public cloud. One of the interesting features for me was “Elastic DRS”- this harnesses the flexibility of the public cloud and allows vCenter to automatically, dynamically, expand and contract the size of a cluster by adding and removing hosts on the fly as workload requirements change. This could deliver that real promise of an elastic SDDC capable of handling “bursty” loads smoothly, it’s also got the potential of landing you a big bill at the end of the month so hopefully there’s some checks and balances in the configuration.

The Power Hour: Deep Dive, DevOps, and New Features of PowerCLI [INF8092]

Always a fun experience, this session didn’t disappoint. With a star-wars-esque intro with voice over by Alan Renouf, and further sci-fi references added throughout by himself and Luc Dekens, it offered an in depth look into some of the new happenings in the PowerCLI world without making anyone’s head hurt with the complexity.  Announced this morning was the release of PowerCLI-core which offers the opportunity to run PowerCLI on a Linux (including PhotonOS) or Mac platform.

There’s also the announcement of VMware (no longer “vSphere”) PowerCLI 6.5 which is offering many new features including a switch to modules from the traditional snapins, cross-vCenter vMotion using Move-VM (even to AWS!), and improvements around Virtual Disk Management and Horizon View controls. There’s too much to mention it all here, so I suggest keeping a lookout for the session online.

What’s New with vSphere [INF8375R]

With the new vSphere 6.5 announcement this session was really full, with people sitting on the floor round the sides of the room. The session served as a jumping-off platform for the more in-depth sessions this week, but summarised the new features in Migration, User Interfaces, Encryption, ESXi lifecycle, Secure Boot and the Universal App Platform to enable containers within vSphere.

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VMworld Europe

VMworld Europe 2016 Day 1

WP_20161017_09_39_34_Pro_LIMonday is always a quieter day at VMworld Europe; the Keynotes kick the event off fully tomorrow and most of the sessions on Monday are reserved for Partners and TAM clients. However, there’s still plenty going on for us regular attendees.

 

Sunday night once again saw vRockstar provide an “unofficial” opening to the event. Thanks to the team and sponsors (Rubrik, Nutanix, Veeam, and the rest) for putting the event on, it was great once again to see faces old and new- several who I hadn’t seen in person for a whole year.

 

WP_20161017_08_15_49_Pro_LI (2)Back over at Fira Grand Via, my Monday agenda featured a couple of sessions, plus the opportunity to explore the Hang Space and Hands-On-Labs area. Here’s a quick run down of some of the content, in all of my posts this week I’m planning on giving the highlights, and linking into deeper-dive pages (or session videos where available) so you can have a closer look if something piques your interest.

 

Hands-on Lab: SPL-1703-SDC-1: VMware NSX Feature Tour

I worked through the first couple of modules of this, and intend to come back to look at the rest after the event is over. It’s aimed at people looking at NSX and starting a deployment from scratch. The first module was a click-through interactive slideshow of a basic NSX deployment, getting the components installed on a virtual infrastructure. This was extended in the second module where an existing deployment was used to work through adding a logical switch, connecting up some workloads, and checking connectivity. I’d recommend having a look if you have an interest in NSX and aren’t sure where to start. (To find the lab, visit http://labs.hol.vmware.com/HOL/catalogs/catalog/123 and search for “HOL-1703-SDC-1”)

 

Virtual Networking: Moving from Hype to Reality with Deep Traffic Analytics [MGT8486-QT]

Staying on the NSX theme, this was a quick-talk format session which formed a useful introduction both on a technical level but also helped me warm up to the more intense sessions coming later in the week. A half-hour long version of an hour-long presentation it showed how important analytics is to making sure a virtual network is correctly configured and traffic is running as it should.

 

Hands-on Introduction to VMware Cloud Foundation [ELW-1799-FEL-1]

Cloud Foundation was announced at VMworld US in August (plus an announcement of an AWS partnership last week) and this was an ideal opportunity to dive in and get acquainted with some of the new technology through a Hands-On-Lab, with the added benefit of a knowledgeable guide to take the group through it. The product “integrates vSphere, VSAN, and NSX into a single unified stack” that can be run both in a private cloud on-premises but also on a public cloud provider – or both through a elastic hybrid cloud model.

This lab skips the initial setup of the Cloud Foundation and dives straight in with a guided walkthrough of the user interface followed by a practical look at creating and destroying work domains- essentially the independent vSphere clusters carved from the stack and given to a particular task (VDI, generic compute, management etc). A simulated version of this lab is available here – http://labs.hol.vmware.com/HOL/catalogs/lab/2715 .

 

Roll on tomorrow, with the “General Session” keynote kicking off the day at 9am. I’m expecting some big announcements there so it should be good.

VMworld Europe

Travel Changes for #VMworld Europe 2016

For those that have previously been to VMworld (or other conferences) at the Fira Grand Via Barcelona venue there’s a few changes to transport this year. If you’ve walked round the conference centre from the “Europa Fira” metro station to the North entrance used by VMworld (and formerly TechEd Europe) in the past couple of years you’ll have spotted the closed entrance to the metro station ten minutes closer to the front door. Well good news- it’s now open!

The new metro station is served by an all new line that links the airport terminals to the conference venue- as shown in this tuneful video from TMB Barcelona.

So, what does this all mean for VMworld attendees?

Firstly, there are still Airport Bus Shuttles running on Sunday, Monday, and Thursday (see http://www.vmworld.com/en/europe/hotel-travel.html for times). But if you arrive/leave outside these times and want to travel between the airport and the conference venue, you can use this new “L9 Sud” metro line and an Airport ticket.

Secondly, the “Metro shuttles” that have run in previous years from the “Europa Fira” metro station round to the North entrance are not running this year- attendees are advised to use the L9 Sud metro line from “Europa Fira” to “Fira” instead (or you could take the 10 minute walk). Remember- this won’t cost extra on your metro ticket from the city centre because it will still count as the same journey

Finally, if you have a metro map of Barcelona from a previous trip, it’s worth downloading a new one.

Gran Via South Entrance

The South Entrance at Fira Gran Via by the Europa Fira metro station. VMworld is at the other end.

Walking round Fira

On a nice day it’s a pleasant walk from the South entrance to the North one.

North Entrance

The North Entrance to Fira Gran Via in Barcelona