vcap4-dcaThis morning I work up to an email from the VMware certifications team, informing me of my VCAP4-DCA result. I am happy to say, I passed! I was a little shocked, as when I left the exam room I felt sure I had failed. I had spent to long on some tasks and didn't give myself enough time on others. 

It was a lot tougher than I expected, mostly due to the time constraints. You really need to know your way around vSphere with the client and putty.

Some recommendations for people taking the VCAP4-DCA

  • Attend the VMware vSphere troubleshooting course (A must!)
  • If you don't have a lab, get the training DVD's from TrainSignal. They are brilliant at showing you have to complete specific tasks within vSphere, which is much needed for the exam. (Thanks to Trainsignal, for the instant access via their WebPortal)
  • Make use of the brilliant blogger resource available out there. Websites like,, Checkout Gregg Robertson's great VCAP-DCA & DCD resources page for loads more.


  • Don't take too long on each task, if you don't know it, move on. You can always go back to it. (Be aware, some tasks might require actions from earlier tasks).
  • Learn commands that will help you. e.g get-help (PowerCLI), esxcli -h etc . It's difficult to remember all syntax's, so just remember where to find them.
  • Don't drink too much energy drink before entering the room. You won't want to waste time going to the toilet. Although you might find that the last 10 mins are very uncomfortable if you decide to skip that toilet visit!!! (Talking from experience)

Next step for me is the VCAP4-DCD. I think I might find this one more difficult. I have not done as much design work as I'd like as I've always been more of a (vSphere) client monkey. 

London VMware Usergroup – 14th July 2011

The London VMUG Steering Committee are delighted to invite you to our next event. Following on from the success of the new format unveiled at the May 12th VMUG, we will continue with multiple tracks and a vCOPS focused lab, along with a Genius Bar from VMware GSS to answer any burning issues you might have.  Details are below and we are grateful to our sponsors – Arista Networks, Embotics and Vision Solutions.

Please Note: If you wish to participate in the lab, you MUST bring your own laptop/client device please! You will need View 4.6 client installed (or admin rights to install it).
Plenary sessions in Capital
10:00 a.m.  – 10:15 a.m. – Welcome, Alaric Davies, Chairman
10:15 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. – Cloudvision for the Virtualised Environment, John Peach, Arista Networks, Sention System Architect
11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m. – Private Cloud Management Made Simple, Martin Sajkowski, Embotics, EMEA Operations & Colin Jacks Senior Solutions Specialist
11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.  – Break in Sponsor Expo
12:15 p.m. – 13:00 p.m.– Double-Take by Vision Solutions – Christian Willis, Technical Director: Meeting the Availability Challenges of physical, Virtual and Geographically Dispersed Systems 
13:00 p.m. – 14:00 p.m.– Lunch in Sponsor Expo

Track 1                                                                                                                               

14:00 p.m. – 14:50 p.m. - vCOPS Advanced, Mark Stockham, VMware   
15:00 p.m. – 15:50 p.m. - SRM Futures, Mike Laverick                                                
16:00 p.m. – 16:50 p.m.- Cloud: Can You Compete? Mark Craddock

Track 2

14:00 p.m. – 14:50 p.m. - Thinking, Building & Scripting Globally, Julian Wood
15:00 p.m. – 15:50 p.m. - Managing IT as We Evolve to Cloud Computing, Colin Fernandez, VMware
16:00 p.m. – 16:50 p.m. -  How to Save your Time With PowerCLI, Jonathan Medd 

17:00 p.m. – vBeers


I'm sure most of you have heard of vBeers by now. if you haven't, where have you been? You can read more about it here

Simon Seagrave and I been putting this together the new website over the past 6 months, inbetween our busy schedules. It still needs a few tweeks, but we think it's ready to be launched to the world.

The idea of the website is to give vBeers go'ers a common place to check for the next or nearest events. Organizers can be given a user account to the website to allow them to publish the details of their vBeers events. Please contact us if you would like an account. Each post will also be tweeted to twitter via the twitter account @vBeers_org.

As I mentioned earlier, it's still a work in progress. If you think you have any good ideas that might help the website, please feel free to contact either myself or Simon

If any of you have any photos from previous vBeers, we'd love to get a copy of them so we can display them on the website.

We'd also be grateful to those bloggers out there to give this new website a mention to help get the word out.

Simon and Simon

VMware View: Transfer Server Functions

I thought I'd put together some notes on the VMware View Transfer server as there doesn't seem to be to much information easily available on this feature of View.  Essentially it is used to Check-Out and Check-In virtual desktops, allowing them to be used in Local-mode (Offline). I want to show you in a bit more depth what happens when you Check-in, Check-out, Replicate and Rollback your virtual desktops.

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VMware View 4.5: Rebalance

Rebalance: A desktop rebalance operation that evenly redistributes linked-clone desktops among available datastores.

When testing this, customers can often see unexpected results. This is often due to their misconception of how this function of View works. 


Why? View 4.5 looks for the datastore/s that have the highest "weighted available space". The formula that View 4.5 uses to calculate this is:

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VMware View Desktops: IDE or SCSI? BusLogic, LSI Logic or PVSCSI?

confusedI've seen and had many discussions around this topic when discussing VMware View desktop design, so I though I'd gather as much information as I could to help you decide. 

From the information below, I would personally recommend using the following:

  • Windows XP: LSI Logic Parallel or SAS
  • Windows 7: LSI Logic SAS 

The PVSCSI controller will be the controller of the future so you may also want to keep this in mind. Of course you can make your own decisions. Most of the points made are desktop focused, however most will apply outside of a View environment.

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Smartphone Virtualization

I've just seen this news I feel you all need to know about this:

LG and VMware announced this morning a partnership that brings visualization to Android smartphones. The non-nerd premise is this: You've got your standard Android smartphone, with your e-mail, your apps, your phone number. And in a virtual space on the same device, you have another set of apps, corporate e-mail, another phone number — completely sandboxed from your personal stuff, unable to talk to or access its data.

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vSphere 4.1 HA and DRS Technical Deepdive – Book Review

42-15968313I've been hearing little teasers from Frank Denneman (One of the Authors) about this book since way back in the summer when it was first announced.  Now I finally have my hands on a copy. 

Most people would have heard of the two guys (Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman) who wrote this book and most of you will know that these guys are smart, real smart. This is something that has drawn me to read this book. Being a regular reader of their blogs I know that they are very "straight to the point" people. There will be no bullshit. Just good, complicated, technical content.

So far, I've read it on the bus, train, plane, taxi and tram. To be honest, any spare time I've had, I've picked it up and read a little. Usually, with me this wouldn't happen. I've often found many IT books to be too large/heavy. So much so, I don't carry it around with me. This book is a good size, 220 pages. It's really easy to read, it's like reading a long blog post. The language is informal, there is a little humor in there to. The chapters are short so you don't always need loads of spare time to read a section. It could even used as a Toilet Book, you could get a chapter read in a single visit. 

haanddrsI like to think I know quite a bit about virtualisation, I work for VMware so I really should.  I know how to setup/configure HA and DRS and I've done it many many times. Select this setting, click a few drop-down menus and hey presto, HA and DRS does it's thing – Feet up, relax. It's the same for Reservations/Share/Limits, we all have a good idea of what they do, but do you fully understand the impact of the changes you are making? Are you making the right decisions? Read this book and you will be able to answer Yes to both of those questions.

In addition to the in-depth technical information, there are also Pro's, Con's and recommendations for various design configurations helping you to make decisions on what is best for you and your environment.

It's one of those books where you can take as much or as little as you like. If you want a better basic knowledge or HA and DRS, then this book explains everything in a very clear and easy to understand context. If you really want to know how the DRS algorithm calculates the Priority Level of a Migration Recommendation this book will also service you well.

This book is available NOW from the following:

VMware View Log Bundle Generation Redirection

On a couple of occasions in the past few weeks I’ve had to generate log bundles for both and VMware View Connection Brokers and View Composer. VMware provides a simple script, which collects all of the relevant logs for you and creates a tidy zip file for you to send off to VMware Support.

Great! Unless your C drives is running low on space…..

The log bundles created automatically get placed onto the desktop of the user running the script (C:\Documents and Settings\<current user>\Desktop). These log bundles vary in size and can be up to 1GB each. So if your C drive is almost full before hand, it soon would be completely full.

With the help of Ian Gibbs from Virtual Clarity we have been able to find a way of redirecting these logs to a destination of our choice.

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Operation #PinkShirt

pinkshirtHere it is, the post you've all been waiting for…..Well maybe not, but it's here none the less.

What Is Operation #PinkShirt? 

Read on and all will be revealed »

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