Monthly Archives: February 2014

Toronto VMUG Feb 27th full day extravaganza!




In my mind, the three tweets displayed above are a really good gauge on how our February 27th Toronto VMUG full day user conference panned out.  Throughout the day I strolled around and seen lots of people engaged in some deep conversation, whether it be about something they are having difficulty with at work or something that they had just learned about during one of the sessions.  People were collaborating, with the presenters and with each other.  In fact, during the ‘Ask The Expert’ session there were many a time when people were raising their hand not to ‘ask’ but to further comment on a question that was already answered.  All of this collaboration and discussion is in my mind the true value that anyone can get from a VMUG – and it was great to see it all come together in Toronto!

As for the day it all went off without a hitch.  Angelo Luciani ( blog/twitter ) kicked it all off with a brief intro of what was going to happen throughout the day.  From there, Mike Roy jumped right into by delivering a keynote on vCHS which was completely awesome and very well accepted by the crowd.  He went over what exactly vCHS is, how we can leverage it, and topped it all off with some awesome use cases that he has seen from being “in the trenches” with vCHS.  Props to Mike for getting the day off to a great start.

From there the sessions broke out and the vendor booths opened!  Everything from Veeam to VSAN was covered in the breakouts, which seemed to at some points be at capacity!.

Then came the highlight of the day – the lunchtime keynote with Chris Wahl ( blog/twitter ).  Chris was kind enough to come all the way from Chicago to help educate us on how to “Stop being a mine sweeper” and get automating tasks within our environment.  It was a great presentation that had everyone hanging on his every word – and judging by the tweets had Toronto thinking twice about how they are doing things inside their environments.

The conference ended with an “Ask The Expert” session that prompted a ton of discussion around VSAN, NSX, Thin Provision space reclamation, and vCO.  From there, the drawings were had, the sweet homelab was given away and everyone headed down the street for a great vBeer sponsored by Veeam (unfortunately I had to pass due to the 3 hour drive ahead).


As you can see from the tweet above, the place was packed.  503 of the 700+ registered attendees stepped through the doors making it our most attended event EVER!!!  Props to the other Co-Leaders Angelo Luciani and Eric Wright (blog/twitter) who honestly carried this event on their backs in terms of planning and organizing!  As well as a huge hats off to VMUG HQ who kept us all in line!  If you were at the event, please consider coming back to one of our local quarterly meetings where the discussions and content are just as awesomesauce as this one.  Also, to keep informed about future events and get all of the material from this one, be sure to follow @TorontoVMUG on Twitter or keep checking back to

Friday Shorts – VSAN, vExpert, Firmware and Hockey eh!

For just one night let's not be co-workers.  Let's be co-people.  – Ron Burgandy (Will Ferrell) from Anchorman

Less than a week until the mystery VSAN announcement

VMware LogoThat's right!  Have you signed up for the March 6th VMware Now event titled VSAN special online event?  VMware is being pretty tight lipped about what could possible be announced at the event!  I guess we we all have to wait and see!  I wonder what it possible could be!  Anyways, enough sarcasm – just go sign up if you want to be part of the live shindigs!!!!!

vExpert Applications due!

vmware-vexpert-2013Speaking of March 6th, that's the same date as the deadline for the vExpert 2014 applications.  If you haven't already done so you can fill out the form here.  Already a vExpert?  Have a look at the new fast track form you can fill out to re-apply. Another change to the program this year is the application process will actually be open year-round, and the voting and acceptance processes will happen quarterly.  Therefore, if you miss the March 6th deadline you can actually be picked up in the next quarter – but still, I'd try and get it done ASAP.

HP to begin to charge for firmware updates?!?!?!

352px-HP_New_Logo_2D.svgWell, i guess not so much charge, but include the ability to download the newest firmware for HP's server line up within your warranty and care packs!  HP announced this 'not so much' welcomed change a few weeks back on their blog.  Judging by most of the comments I don't believe that a lot of people agree with decision, nor do they have much to say about the title of the post and ainitiative 'Customers For Life'.  Honestly I don't like it – sure a lot of times firmware brings new features and enhancements, and I understand that HP doesn't just want to give this away – but there's also those times when firmware simply fixes something that is broken or patches known bugs – which in my mind, shouldn't have to be covered under a warranty!

Gold x Two

Marie-Philip Poulin, Kim St-Pierre and  Charline LabonteI guess I wouldn't be Canadian if I didn't have at least one post per year talking about hockey eh?  Well, here's one for 2014!  First up a huge congrats goes out to both the mens and womens "Team Canada" for bringing home gold this year during the Olympics.  It's pretty amazing to watch how serious some countries take sports!  And hockey seems to be as important to Canada as beer and syrup.  Seeing bars open up at 6 am for the gold medal game is a great example of how much Canada loves hockey (and/or beer).  Either way, the mass panic that was set during the World Junior Championship in Russia this year which almost had Canada heading into a complete audit of player development from the ages of 4 and up can be silenced now as we see there is absolutely no problem with hockey and Canada at the time being.  

Top virtualization blog voting is underway

top-vblog-2014-2-crop-300x180If you haven't heard Eric Siebert (blog/twitter) has opened up his annual top VMware and virtualization blog voting over at once again.  If you are an avid reader of this or any other virtualization blogs then might I ask that you head over there and cast a vote for your favorite 10 VMware blogs.  Blogging is most certainly not a full time job nor is it a means of retiring anytime soon – It's really something we do simply because we have a passion for sharing information and solutions with the greater VMware community in hopes we can help solve a problem or help people to better understand certain technologies.  Think about the number of times you have googled something and got the solution from one of the blogs listed on the vLaunchPad.  Its a daily occurrence for me!  So give your favorite blogger some props and throw him/her a vote!

Last year mwpreston dot net jumped 86 places, moving from #125 to #39.  A truly humbling feeling to crack the top 50 when the results came out.  I am not striving to be number 1 – Duncan's got that locked down πŸ™‚  However having been listed in the top 50, be it just a number, is pretty awesome in my books.  That said, I'd do the same thing whether I was voted #6 or #600.

So with all that I'm not asking for your vote directly, I won't never do that (unless it was inside brackets, go do that!), I'm instead asking that if there are any blogs you love that stand out head on over and give them a vote.  And hey, need some incentive – Eric, along with Veeam have also sponsored a slew of prizes and giveaways this year well.  So head over, rock the vote, and hopefully win yourself a tablet or some headphones!!!

Need some help, here are some blogs that I've paid close attention to this year, in no specific order.

Also, the blogs of my #vDB brethren – these are always a good feed to have.

Also a huge thanks goes out to Eric who I know puts countless hours into organizing and getting the results together.  Thanks so much for reading this year and don't forget to vote!

Friday Shorts – Log Insight, @vNoob’s tail, ViPR, Best Practices

Tigers love pepper.  They hate cinnamon.  – Alan Garner (Zach Galifianakis) from The Hangover

It's been a while since the last Friday Shorts – no excuses – I've been slacking πŸ™‚  Whatever – here it is!

Log Insight jumps on the free fundamentals training bandwagon

VMW-BXSHT-vCNTR-LOG-INSIGHT_eStoreI'm certainly a huge fan of the 'fundamental' self-paced training that VMware has been offering for free.  In fact, if you go and have a look at the Top Free Courses on mylearn you will see that the fundamental series occupies the complete top 10.  Well, another on you can now add to that list is VMware Log Insight Fundamentals.  This course will give you a great introduction and overview as to what VMware Log Insight is as well as go through some installation, configuration and analysis.  Certainly a great way to get introduced to the product – oh, and for free!

vNoob Guide to Getting Tail

tailI tried to think of a catchy title here but I couldn't think of anything Conrad hasn't already said in his latest post vNoob Guide to Getting Tail.  Now I have no idea how well Conrad does with the ladies, but he certainly gives a great overview on how to use the 'tail' command, not only in Linux but in Powershell as well!!   This is most certainly not your average man page so get ready to be amused by some of Conrad's wittiness!!!  Good job!

Best Practices are only best practices until they are not!

reevaluateHere's a great example on the vSphere Blog on why you always need to re-evaluate any settings or best practices you have implemented in the past.  The fact of the matter is, with every new release comes new best practices – and things that you think you might not need to revisit you do!  Things like your power savings settings in the BIOS no longer calling for High Performance but now being recommended to be set at 'OS Controlled'.

Feel like testing out EMC's ViPR in your lab?  Go ahead!

EMC-LogoEMC has opened the flood gates for anyone to go and grab ViPR for use in a non-production environment.  That's right, if you feel like testing out EMC's take on software defined storage just head on over here, grab a copy and take it for a test drive.  I've often blogged about other companies dishing out NFR licenses for their products and how I think it is a great idea – it gives people the chance to get these bits into their labs and test them out without all of the salesy webinars, conference calls, and pestering emails :).   No matter what the play of EMC is here, I intend to get my hands on this so stay tuned!