Friday, 24 June 2011

London VMUG - July 14th

The next London VMware User Group (VMUG) event takes place on Thursday July 14th, at the usual venue of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in London. Sponsors for this event are Arista Networks, Embotics, and Vision Solutions.

The full agenda and registration details can be found on the central VMUG site here: London VMUG

I'm glad to say that I'll be attending the event myself this time, I'm looking forward to being there and meeting up with old and new attendees.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Building a vSphere home lab for VCP/VCAP-DCA preparation

From talking to many individuals who are wishing to achieve VMware certifications such as VCP or VCAP-DCA, most people have to prepare for exams in their own time. One of the important elements of both these exams, particularly the live-lab VCAP-DCA, is to use a vSphere environment to practice using the various administrative tools and interfaces in readiness for the exams.

Some people are lucky enough to have access to a lab environment at their workplace that they can "play" on, but many inviduals end up trying to build their own home lab. This can be done either be using a number of separate physical machines, or building a vSphere lab in virtual machines on products like VMware Player or Workstation, or even the free edition of ESXi.

Whether physical or virtual, generally there are four systems required:
2 x ESXi servers (ESX can be used instead)
1 x Windows server running vCenter Server, SQL Express, and the vSphere Client
1 x shared storage server running FreeNAS, OpenFiler, or similar

There are already many blog articles out there on how to build a virtual vSphere lab:

Here's a very useful site that deals with the software/build process and offers a recommendation on hardware too:

One of my students this week has just told me about an amazing deal for building a virtual home lab system, it's a HP ProLiant MicroServer on sale from EBuyer, with a £100 cashback offer - as of today the effective price you pay is only £137.99:

You will need to upgrade the RAM to 8GB in order to run the required virtual machines, but that's only going to cost an extra £64:

Of course, you might want to upgrade the hard disk to something like an SSD drive for better performance, but that's up to you - the 250GB built-in disk should easily be big enough to accomodate all your vSphere VMs.

Born on the 12th of July...

Something BIG is happening at VMware Towers on the 12th of July - I wonder what it could be...??

Until then, all I can do is quote things that VMware say in public, so here goes:

"Please join VMware executives Paul Maritz, CEO and Steve Herrod, CTO on July 12th for the unveiling of the next major step forward in cloud infrastructure. The live webcast will be followed by additional online sessions where you can learn more about the industry’s most trusted virtualization and cloud infrastructure products and services."

So, if you fancy joining the webcast on July 12th, here's the link: VMware webcast

Thursday, 2 June 2011

First UK delivery of vSphere: Advanced Fast Track training

Global Knowledge will be running the first UK delivery of the new vSphere: Advanced Fast Track training course, starting on June 13th. This is an extended-hours course that covers 7 days of material in 5 days, and includes both the vSphere: Troubleshooting and vSphere: Manage for Performance courses.

I blogged about the course when the details of it were first released:

I'm delivering this course myself, and it offers good preparation for the VCAP4-DCA live-lab certification exam - covering the majority of the objectives in the exam blueprint.

Free VMware vCloud Director webinar on June 3rd

I'm hosting/presenting a webinar tomorrow titled An Introduction to building a private cloud with VMware vCloud Director. It's free to register/attend, I'll be covering the most important elements of how to utilise vCloud Director and vSphere to create your own private cloud.

Here's the registration link:

The session starts at 13:00 UK time, and lasts for 1 hour.