Presenting at VMworld!

I am thrilled to have been able to present at VMworld  this year!  Nothing like a last-minute request to goad you into action…  I received a call about 10 days before the event to cover for another speaker that couldn’t make it, so there was much scurrying and preparation!

I co-presented with Andrew Nelson  for session CNA4725 – Scalable Cloud Native Apps with Docker and Mesos.

You can check out the recording here:

I would love to hear any feedback!

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Cloud Native Applications at VMworld 2015!

Cloud-Native Applications is an exciting new effort at VMware that involves everyone at VMware.  Every business unit is, or will be involved in building and extending products that can support micro services and container-based applications. Cloud-Native Applications will have a large footprint at VMworld 2015.  For those attending VMworld here are a few things to check out as well as a field guide that you may reference (attached).

  • Kit Colbert’s Spotlight session CNA6649-S:  Build and run Cloud-Native Apps in your Software-Defined Data Center
  • 10 Breakout Sessions-Highlighting some popular sessions below
    • Session ID:  CNA5379-Panel: Enterprise architecture for Cloud-Native Applications
    • Session ID:  CNA5479-Running Cloud-Native Apps on your Existing Infrastructure
    • Session ID:  CNA5698-Building your Next Infrastructure Specifically for Cloud Native Apps CNA
  • Office of the CTO Booth located in Hang Space this year.
  • VMware Booth located in the Solutions Exchange
  • Hands-on Labs (Moscone South) HOL-SDC-1630:  Cloud-Native Apps: Bringing Microservices and Containers to the Software-Defined Data Center
    • 2 opportunities to take the workshop from those experts that wrote the lab
    • 08/31 @3:30
    • 09/02 @10:30
  • CNA DevOps Workshop on 08/31 @ 4:30-5:30 (Moscone North, near the general session area, Hangspace):  CNA to host a workshop in the DevOps area discussing the use AppCatalyst, and a Photon VM running  Docker.
  • Customer Meetings (VBC &CNA)
  • VMware Videogame Container System (Location Hangspace/Moscone W. Level 2)  featuring Bonneville and Prince of Persia

With VMware’s company wide effort and large footprint at VMworld, Cloud-Native Apps is definitely something everyone needs to check out this year.  We hope to see you there!


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DevOps, Cloud, and the SDDC…

If you live or work in technology, as I do, then you already know that change in IT is constant.  We all are faced with the reality that the technology you are using will eventually be usurped by something better/faster/smaller/better, and you will need to reducate yourself in the latest, newest, coolest thing.  Taking a page from The Innovator’s Dilemma, far better to do this proactively and ‘disrupt’ yourself, rather than wait for market forces to push you into it.  In fact, I have spent my career trying to, as Wayne Gretzky allegedly once told a reporter, “…skate to where the puck is going,” rather than where it is now.

Continue reading

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Mapping Virtual Machines to Datastores to Storage, Part 2

In a previous post, I walked through the challenges facing one of my customers during a recent outage, during which they needed to understand the mapping of virtual machines to datastores to LUNs.

Due to time constraints, I didn’t have the time to properly test and wrap everything into a nice little package, so the solution I ended up with actually used 2 different scripts… one to collect information on the virtual machines and their datastores, and another to collect information on the SCSI LUNs underlying the datastores. Continue reading

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Mapping Virtual Machines to Datastores to Storage, Part 1

summary of the problem

This past week, I had the (unfortunate) opportunity to help provide some on-site support to a customer suffering through an outage (as a matter of fact, I am again this week).  The customer in question lost a large amount of storage due to an array failure.  This, of course, caused their DR plans to kick in, they declared failover for their critical workloads, and they began the process of recovery.  Along the way, they discovered a large number of workloads did not, in fact, actually have plans for backup and/or DR.  As a result, they needed to quickly establish the scope of the impact, which virtual machines were on which storage, etc.  They didn’t / don’t have any tools appropriate to that ask – ideally they would have some sort of storage resource management view that informs them – QUICKLY – of which VM is on which datastore and therefore which LUN and array.  Yes, you can get this information out of vCenter, but it is a top-down view rather than a storage centric view… mapping datastores to LUNs and arrays isn’t quick, intuitive, or a native feature of vCenter.  They also didn’t have the appropriate vCenter plug-ins from their storage vendor(s) to tie that information together quickly. Continue reading

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Graphy Goodness…

In my previous post, I tried to discuss how the traditional RDBMS, while being very good at storing and tracking certain types of data and transactions, fails to provide value for others, and how graph databases are coming to the forefront of modern architectures for understanding the connected nature of stuff.  Kind of funny, really, since whole books have already been written about the topic, and others have blogged about it (here), and written papers about it (here), but I guess I am just publishing my own process of working through it for myself….  🙂 Continue reading

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Home Lab v. 4.0

Another lab post!

… I love it!

Having assumed the role of a manager this past summer (July, 2013), I find my opportunity to really dig into ANYTHING and satisfy my technical cravings are severely limited.  There is a lot of travel around the division for customer meetings, team meetings, internal meetings, etc., and hardly any for training.  I get that as a manager that is part of the gig, but I must admit that part of me rails against the idea that I have to drop my technical chops at all.

The lab setup described in earlier posts (here, here, and here) has actually spent the past year or so in the EMC lab in Columbia, MD, under the care and feeding of my partner in crime, Larry.  However, feeling more and more like I am losing my technical abilities (and ultimately my credibility), I decided to retrieve those systems and impress them into use once more as my proving grounds.

Home LabThe gear hasn’t changed much…

  • Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5″ Internal Hard Drive
  • Crucial 16GB (4 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1333 (PC3 10600) Desktop Memory
  • AMD Phenom II X4 965 Black Edition Deneb 3.4GHz Socket AM3 125W Quad-Core Processor
  • Diablotek PHD Series PHD750 750W ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
  • SAPPHIRE 100293L Radeon HD 5570 1GB 128-bit DDR3 PCI Express 2.1 x16 HDCP Ready Video Card
  • MSI 790FX-GD70 AM3 AMD 790FX ATX AMD Motherboard
  • Antec Nine Hundred Black Steel ATX Mid Tower Computer Case

The on-board REALTEK NIC drivers gave me a problem for a while, but I found this blog post that describes how to use esxcli to install new drivers, and it worked like a charm (clearly something I probably should have learned before now, but there you go).

I have added an additional couple of drives to each computer – a 100GB SSD as well as a 256 GB 15K RPM SAS drive.   Now each of the systems above has 3 tiers of storage – SSD, SAS, and SATA.  I have also included an Iomega ix4-200d for network storage of templates, bin files, ISOs, home directories, etc.    My plan is to use the Iomega for data at rest, or read activity only…. I have tried to use this particular device for active, running vms, but it doesn’t seem to be up to it.

Instead, I plan to have all 3 systems boot off a USB stick with ESXi installed, and use the 3 internal drives in an implementation of vSphere vSAN.  That will give me 48 GB RAM, 12 cores, and 3 TB of storage with SSD acceleration without shared storage!    Very cool…  I already have vSphere 5.5 installed on all 3 systems, without vSAN, and have tried using the vMotion capabilities between vSphere hosts without shared storage and it works great.  I am using the vSphere vCenter 5.5 appliance for all of this.

Once I have all the cluster stuff settled (HA / DRS / vSAN), my ultimate goal is to get the whole rig installed and running with CoudFoundry…  More on that later.

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