See you at both the Minneapolis and Indianapolis VMUG Usercons

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I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be speaking at not one, but two VMware User Group‘s (VMUG’s) in June/July. There will be lots of great speakers at both of these events which you really don’t want to miss out on. My session is titled: The Secret Sauce Behind VMware’s Internal VMware Horizon Desktop Deployment – In this session, I’ll be revealing how VMware deployed and run their own Horizon environments.

Make sure you register to guarantee your space and also keep an eye out for a couple of vBeers which we are planning on arranging in and around these events.

If you are attending either of events please be sure to come and say hi!

vGamers.gg is LIVE – The Virtualization Gaming Community

vGamers.gg

I’m happy to announce that vGamers.gg is finally LIVE! vGamers was created to provide an opportunity for virtualization enthusiasts and professionals to game together. We noticed that a large number of the vCommunity also like to play computer games, whether on a PC or via gaming consoles and many would love to be able to play with other members of the vCommunity. So, to facilitate this, we have created the vGamers Discord community.

We’ve been running the Discord community in BETA for the last month or so whilst we get the website up and running and we’ve already accumulated over 60 members. These members are playing a variety of games, from First-Person shooters like PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fornite to MMORPGs such as World of WarCraft.

vgamers-screenshot

Now we invite EVERYONE from the vCommunity to join in the fun. It’s FREE! Instructions on how to join the Discord community can be found on the vGamers.gg website. Please follow our Twitter account: vGamers_gg to get all of the latest updates. If you have any questions, feel free to tweet me, Katarina Wagnerova or Craig Dalrymple and we’ll happily help you.

Looking forward to gaming with you all in the near future.

See you at the Central Ohio and Wisconsin VMUG’s in April

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I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be speaking at not one, but two VMware USer Group’s (VMUG’s) in April. I am very excited as these will technically be my first (and second) time speaking at a VMUG. I’ve run a VCDX Workshop before at the UK VMUG, but never had my own speaking session. There will be lots of great speakers at both of these events which you really don’t want to miss out on. My session is titled: The Secret Sauce Behind VMware’s Internal VMware Horizon Desktop Deployment – In this session, I’ll be revealing how VMware deployed and run their own Horizon environments.

Make sure you register to guarantee your space and also keep an eye out for a couple of vBeers which we are planning on arranging in and around these events.

If you are attending either of events please be sure to come and say hi!

VMware CIO Innovation Award – OneDesk

I thought I would share some pretty exciting news with you guys, I’ve recently received an award internally within VMware for a cool project that myself and my colleague Aresh Sarkari have been working on for the past 6-8 months. The project in question is called OneDesk. I’ll explain more about OneDesk shortly.

CIO Innovation Award

The award we won is called the VMware CIO Innovation award. Here is the description of the Innovation category:

 The team which best accomplished the goal of creating and developing new products and/or services.

simon long- cio 2017 inovation award v2

VMware & Dell Technologies CIO, Bask Iyer & Simon Long – CIO 2017 Innovation Award

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Simon Long – VMware CIO 2017 Innovation Award

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luckily for me, our CIO, Bask Iyer was kind enough to present the award in person. It’s always a great feeling to get recognized for hard work. I’m very glad that other people within VMware also see the value of the project we’ve been working on.

OneDesk

The project myself and Aresh have been working on is called OneDesk. For those of you who attended our VMworld session: The Secret Sauce Behind VMware’s Internal Horizon Desktop Deployments you’d have heard us talking about it during our session. For those of you who were unfortunate enough to miss it, I’ll explain all about it now.

What is OneDesk?

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The Secret Sauce Behind VMware’s Internal Horizon Desktop Deployments

ADV1255BU – The Secret Sauce Behind VMware’s Internal VMware Horizon DesktopThis year at VMworld, myself and my colleague Aresh Sarkari had the opportunity to talk about a project we’ve been working on for the past few years. We’ve been re-redesigning and deploying VMware’s internal Horizon Desktop environments.

Session Summary

“How does VMware architect its own global VMware Horizon desktop environment?” “Has it encountered the same obstacles we are facing?” Over the past two years, VMware has been re-architecting and deploying its virtual desktop infrastructure with VMware Horizon, VMware App Volumes, and VMware User Environment Manager running on top of the full VMware software-defined data center stack (VMware vSphere, VMware vSAN, VMware NSX) and integrating with VMware vRealize Operations Manager and VMware vRealize Log Insight. In this session, the lead architects will reveal all.

Our session (ADV1255BU – The Secret Sauce Behind VMware’s Internal VMware Horizon Desktop) includes the following sections:

  • Where we we? – Why did we need to kick off this project (from the beginning)
  • What do we need? – Revisiting the business and technical requirements (from 3:05)
  • How do we do this better? – How do we design this new infrastructure making sure we don’t hit the same issues again (from 5:13)
  • Where we are today? – A look at what we architected and deployed  (from 9:12)
  • What did we learn? – What challenges did we face along the way (from 30:45)
  • Where do we go from here? – How can we improve upon what we have built (from 41:51)

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My VMworld 2017 Sessions

VMworld 2017Hey, another VMworld is almost upon us. I am fortunate enough to be talking again this year. Below you’ll find the information about my sessions. Be sure to register if you are interested in attending.

VMware Cloud Foundation and Horizon VDI with Todd Simmons and Simon Long [PBO3160GUR]

Get your questions answered on deploying Horizon 7.1 on VMware Cloud Foundation. Chat with Cloud Foundation expert Todd Simmons and Horizon expert Simon Long. Group discussions are a great way to join together with peers, guided by VMware experts, and discuss a VMware key topic. Come to this session prepared to dive in, engage, and share best practices.

The Secret Sauce Behind VMware’s Internal VMware Horizon Desktop Deployments [ADV1255BU]

“How does VMware architect its own global VMware Horizon desktop environment?” “Has it encountered the same obstacles we are facing?” Over the past two years, VMware has been re-architecting and re-deploying its virtual desktop infrastructure with VMware Horizon, VMware App Volumes, and VMware User Environment Manager running on top of the full VMware software-defined data center stack (VMware vSphere, VMware vSAN, VMware NSX) and integrating with VMware vRealize Operations Manager and VMware vRealize Log Insight. In this session, the lead architects will reveal all.

Hacking Public Speaking – Tips to Help you Rock It [VMTN6694U]

There are so many awesome people in our vCommunity who are afraid of public speaking and think they would not be good at it or would not have anything to share. This session showcases 4 different members of the vCommunity: Edward Haletky, veteran book author, podcaster, blogger and renowned vSphere security expert; Simon Long, double VCDX at VMware; Ariel Sanchez, vCommunity addict who works as TAM for VMware in Pittsburgh, and Thom Greene, ruler supreme. All of them will give you their best tips to help you be great at public speaking NOTE: Community TechTalk taking place in VMvillage.

Automating Horizon Deployments with VMware Cloud Foundation [PBO1254BU]

A major focus for VMware Cloud Foundation is the automation of the deployment and maintenance of the backend infrastructure for the VMware Horizon virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). This session covers the built-in automation of the deployment of VMware vSphere, VMware NSX, VMware vSAN, VMware vRealize, and VMware Horizon components that VMware Cloud Foundation offers. It will also describe the integration of VMware App Volumes in this infrastructure and the ability to dynamically build this infrastructure with the growth of your desktops, resulting in turnkey VDI deployment. All you need to bring are the desktop images.

VCP Practice Exams Are Back!

vcp6.5 dcv examsJust over 8 years ago, I was working hard to learn all I could about VMware’s vSphere technologies. A big part of this learning process included creating VCP Practice Exam that I could use to help me learn all of the different products and features that I needed to know to pass the VCP Exam. What was unexpected, was the popularity of the VCP Practice Exam that I had created and shared on this Blog. I even had official VMware trainers recommending my blog to their students looking to sit the VCP Exam. And still, to this day, I get customers & colleagues coming up to me and thanking me for the work I did on my blog as it really helped them improve their knowledge and eventually pass the VCP Exam.

After offering VCP Practice Exams for both vSphere 4 and vSphere 5, other priorities meant that I never got around to continuing on this trend with vSphere 5.5 and vSphere 6.

However, today, I am pleased to announce that my VCP6.5 DCV Practice Exams are now available to everyone. I’ve personally created 150+ mock exam questions based on the objectives documented in the VCP6.5 DCV Exam Guide.

As with all of my previous exams, all of the questions are created by me. Unfortunately, this might also mean that some of the answers maybe not be completely correct. Yes, I am human, I make mistakes. This exam is still in BETA, as such, some question/answers may be incorrect or misleading. Feel free to provide feedback via the Contact Me page.

These VCP6.5 practice exams are designed to engage the thought process. DO NOT waste your time trying to memorize these questions/answers as they will NOT appear in your VCP exam. Instead, if you are unsure of an answer, go and revise the feature/product. This will ensure you have a better overall understanding and should be able to cope better when being asked other questions around those products/features.

I’ve created two types of Exams:

  • Section Exams, which only have questions specific to each section of the exam guide.
  • A Full Mock Exam, which simulates the actual VCP Exam. You will be given a time limit of 105 minutes in which to answer 70 questions picked at random from all 10 sections.

Section Exams

Full Mock Exam

Exam will contain 70 random questions from all categories with a time limit of 105 mins

Start Mock Exam

Catch Me At Both The Boston And New York City EUC VMUGs

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I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be speaking at not one, but two VMUGs in June. You can catch me at the EUC-focused VMUG events, called EUC Explore. I am very excited as these will technically be my first (and second) time speaking a VMUG. I’ve run a VCDX Workshop before at the UK VMUG, but never had my own speaking session. There will be lots of EUC Expert speakers at both of these events which you really don’t want to miss out on.

As soon as the agenda is released, I’ll share it with you. So make sure you register to guarantee your space and also keep an eye out for a couple of vBeers which we are planning on arranging in and around these events.

  • Boston Summer VMUG and EUC Explore 2017 (Thursday, June 1st, 2017) – Register here
  • VMUG EUC Explore – New York City (Friday, June 16th, 2017) – Register here

If you are attending either of events please be sure to come and say hi!

Thanks To All My 8000 Twitter Followers

I’ve just been reading a recent article titled: The Top 50 Overall VMware Influencers, I have to say, it’s such an honor to be included amongst some many massive names within the Virtualization industry.

After checking my Twitter account stats I had noticed that I managed to break the 8000 Twitter followers barrier!! And I just wanted to say thank you to all of you, hopefully, most of which are also readers of my blog.  I endeavor to continue tweeting/Blogging useful content and information for you all.

 

8000 twitter users

 

My Top 3 Features In The Horizon 7.1 Release

vmware_horizon_viewThis week VMware released a major update to Horizon (View).

I’ve been using Horizon 7.1 for a few weeks and I wanted to share my Top 3 features with you. They are in no particular order.

1. VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business (Beta)

This is something I’ve been waiting for, for a long time. With the Horizon Desktop I use internally in VMware, this is the only thing that has been stopping me from going ‘all in’ 100% VDI. Until now, I’ve been making my Skype for Business calls via the client which is installed on my laptop. Now I can finally move everything inside the virtual desktop, including my voice and video calls.

Making Audio/Video calls in a virtual desktop has a long history of pain which goes back to my early days here at VMware. If you were to install the Skype For Business client into a virtual desktop environment and use it as if it was installed on your local PC/Laptop, you encounter an issue which we term ‘Media hairpinning’. What happens here is, all of your Audio/Video traffic gets streamed via the virtual desktop infrastructure, rather than going point-to-point or ‘end user’ to ‘end user’. For example, we might have two users on the West coast of the US. Their Horizon environment is located on the East coast. When they Skype called each other, User A’s  Audio/Video would travel from their end point on the West coast, to their virtual desktop on the East coast, to User B’s virtual desktop on the East coast and then to User B’s end point on the West coast. (See below)

media hairpinning

The distance that the traffic has to travel can cause Audio/Video performance to be really poor. What we ideally want is for the Audio/Voice traffic to got direct, from User A to User B, point-to-point.

No media hairpinning

And this is essentially what the VMware Horizon Virtualization Pack for Skype for Business does for us.

As mentioned above, this feature is currently in Beta. Do not let that deter you, I’ve been using it for a little while and it seems to be functioning really well. When testing it with my colleagues, they are unable to tell if I am calling from my laptop or within my Horizon desktop. From the end user perspective, there are a few things that I’ve noticed which have slightly different behavior from the native client. For example, my mute button on my headphone lead no longer mutes me in the client and when someone is talking in a group chat the little window which usually shows the profile photo of who is talking doesn’t seem to update. Honestly, this isn’t a problem for me.

If you use Skype For Business within your company, I highly recommend that you test it out even whilst it is in Beta. The requirements are very basic and configuration is very straight forward unlike the old LyncVDI Plugin.

You can read more about it here: https://blogs.vmware.com/euc/2017/03/vmware-horizon-virtualization-pack-skype-for-business-beta.html and download the software and documentation here: https://communities.vmware.com/community/vmtn/beta/horizon-skype4business-beta/overview

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