VCDX Defense Workshop at UK VMUG (Interested?)

Simon Gallagher over at vinf.net has come up with the idea for a side-workshop/session at the upcoming UK VMUG in November for people that are actively following the VCDX4/5 track.

The format would be that participants get a 15-20min slot to present their design defence to a “panel” comprising of other VMUG members. including some of whom have taken (and failed) the actual defense process with a view to providing feedback and some questioning. The goal is to allow you to dry-run your presentation in-front of a friendly audience of like-minded community members before you brave it for real.

You would need to commit to come prepared with a Powerpoint version of your defence presentation, the panel won’t have seen your full design documents, and won’t be reviewing them.

To register your interest, please visit: http://vinf.net/2011/09/01/peer-to-peer-vcdx-defense-workshop-at-uk-vmug/ and register your interest on the Poll at the bottom of the page.

VCP4 Practice Exam Android App

VCP4 Practice Exam Android AppThe SLOG is pretty much known because of the VCP4 practice exams that I have put together for people studying for the VCP4 exam. Well, now I am adding to the resources by introducing an VCP4 Practice Exam app for Android phones. It's based on the same questions found on my website, but now offers you portability to practice on the bus/train/plane or where ever you maybe.

The application is still in Beta which is why I am going to limit how many users I will send the application to. It currently has 40 questions, this will be increasing as I make updates to the application. The application is designed for Android phones, I have also been informed it works fine on Android tablets, albeit a little small on the screen. (Work will be done at some point to optimize it for both phone and tablet.)

If you are interested in receiving the Beta Exam app, please drop me an email via my Contact Me page with the Subject "VCP4 APP". Please make sure you input your correct email address, as I will be adding you to my Beta users list and this is the email address I will email the application to. In return, i'd appreciate your feedback on ways I can improve the application.

Version 4 of the app can be downloaded from the following location: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10120315/Exam_Beta_v4.apk.apk

For some screenshots of the app in action  Read the rest of this entry »

Free VMware View training!!

I don't normally post things like this on my blog, but I feel that these courses could offer real value to people who are currently looking into VDI or have just installed it and looking to optimize it for their environment. I will be one of the experts on the on the bootcamp community pages, so I look forward to your questions.

Starting July 19 through July 29th, join the VMware VDI experts for a FREE 9-part bootcamp training series. In these online sessions-VMware will show you how to get started and successfully roll out and deploy your virtual desktops and applications. You’ll learn about key design considerations, storage and networking best practices, PCoIP tuning and how to optimize your base image. They will also touch on VMware's security server for PcoIP, how you can take advantage of powershell to write your own scripts and much more.

Every day VMware will publish a new 45 minute video for you to view. The VDI experts will be on the View bootcamp community pages throughout the course of the July bootcamp to answer any questions and jump in any discussions that come up. VMware will lock the discussions each night and move on to the next video.

At the end of this bootcamp, you will have a good understanding of the VMware View solution, how to roll it out and how to optimize View in your environment. Customers and partners can also register to receive a FREE e-book which is a collation of all of the presentations used during the bootcamp.

And don’t worry if you can’t make it to the session on July 19th-29th-because we will be making these trainings available on-demand and locking all the threads so you can come back and view these at any time in the future.

Become a Bootcamp Survivor by tuning in each day

In order to qualify to become a “bootcamp survivor” you will need to log in and post a discussion thread in any of the bootcamp discussion forums. Qualified community IDs will be posted on the “Bootcamp Hall of Fame” page at the end of the bootcamp.

Bootcamp participants can also qualify for extra community points by blogging about the bootcamp over the course of the program. Post a link to your View Bootcamp related blog post in the bootcamp discussion forum to qualify for an extra 10 points per post, which will be awarded at the end of the program.

Find out more today!

vSoup – Visio is for Girls #12

 

Last week I have the pleasure of being part of the latest vSoup Podcast. It was ace! I had a great laugh recording it with the guys. I spent most the time muting my microphone so you couldn't hear me laughing in the background.  

The vSoup podcast is the mind child of 3 virtualisation professionals all based in Europe. We did borrow one from the US, and we have no plans on returning him any time soon.

If you haven't heard of the podcast before, I suggest you get yourself over to the vSoup website and download their back catalogue. I especially recommend Episode #10 with special guest Stu Radnidge (@vinternals), it's a laugh a minute, literally! 

The vSoup guys are always looking for guests to appear on the podcast, so if you think this is something you'd like to do, then drop them an email or message them on Twitter, I'm sure they'd be glad to have you on…. Unless you are a Fool.

Thin Client vs Zero Client

Thin vs Zero ClientsI was reading a discussion on an internal mailing list today about the differences between Thin and Zero desktop clients for VDI. I thought I would summaries the discussion and share it with you as it certainly helped to get it clear in my mind.

Zero Client

  • A Zero client is a special purpose / built client that uses a SoC or FPGA.
  • It is upgraded using a  firmware image. (Think of it like your  WiFi router.)
  • They all have software and they all run an OS.
  • The Teradici zero client for example runs a RTOS ( Real Time OS ) called Thread-X

Thin Client

  • A Thin Client is a device that has a stripped down custom OS, customized Linux OS or OEMed Windows Embedded OS. 
  • The image is typically larger than a firmware payload and in some cases a little more difficult to distribute depending on the management tools.
  • Some will argue they need to be managed / patched more and in some way that is true.

An example of a Thin Client would be like VDI Blaster where you have a tiny OS installed on a PC which has only one function and that's to get you to your virtual desktop.

In Summary

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VCAP4-DCA = PASS!

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 vexperienced.co.uk, seancrookston.com, kendrickcoleman.com. Checkout Gregg Robertson's great VCAP-DCA & DCD resources page for loads more.

Tips

  • 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. 

VMware View: Transfer Server Functions

Summary 
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. 

Rebalancing

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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Amsterdam vBeers: 3rd Feb 2011

vBeers-smallThe next Amsterdam vBeers will be held on Thursday 3rd of Feb starting at 6:30pm in ‘Herengracht Cafe’ which is placed close to Leidseplein and Dam Square. This venue serves a fine of selection of beers along with soft drinks and bar food.

What are vBeers? Read More

Drinks will not be paid for, there will not be a tab. When you buy a drink please pay for it as no one else will be paying for your drinks.

  • Location: The 'Herengracht Cafe' Amsterdam
  • Address:  Herengracht 435, Herengracht/Leidsestraat
  • Nearest Tram Station:  Koningsplein – Lijn 1,2,5
  • Time: 6:30pm
  • Location: Map

More Info