Using VMware in the Public Cloud – Oracle Community RoundTable

Back in the day Oracle was not known for its love of all things cloud or virtual, however Larry has had an Epiphany and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is now a well featured alternative to the other major providers. however one thing that may have passed you by is that Oracle and VMware are now on talking terms.

if fact for those of us long in the virtualization tooth, that have now have our godfather John Troyer working with them to help create a friendly face to the big Red.

Oracle has as a result recently instituted a Community Roundtable, this one is about a major new Oracle/VMware initiative. VMware on Bare Metal OCI machines. yes that is correct, just like AWS and Azure and IBM, VMware vSphere can be installed directly onto bear metal servers inside of OCI have a listen to this webinar hosted by the veritable JT, and moderated by my good friend Patrick Rednap. you may also recognize some of the panelists too. 🙂

Panel Guests included:

You can watch the recorded community roundtable now!

Find out more about Oracle Cloud VMware Solution:

Remember to submit your application for vExpert 2021

Hello, this is a friendly reminder the applications for the 2021 vExpert award will close on January 9th, 2021 and awards will be announced on February 11th Everybody has to apply including those that were first awarded their honorific in the second half pf the year.

Also remember this is just for the main vEXPERT award, not the sub-programs, they will open up after the initial awards have been given out on the 19th February 2021.

if you are struggling with your application, reach out to me or another vEXPERT PRO within your country or region, and we will be happy to guide you with your application – it must be noted that this will not guarantee acceptance as you will still have had to do the work necessary

To start your application point your browser to https://vexpert.vmware.com..

Bon Chance Mon Ami.

2nd half applications for vEXPERT 2020 are open

I have had the honour of being a vExpert since its inception,  I currently have the honour of being a member of three sub-programs:

  • Cloud Provider
  • NSX
  • vEXPERT-PRO

This post is to let all my readers that the second half 2020 applications are now open. As a vExpertPro I will be one of those that vote applications.

So what is the vEXPERT program?

The VMware vExpert program is VMware’s global evangelism and advocacy program. The program was designed to put VMware’s marketing resources towards your advocacy efforts. As a honouree you have access to corporate promotion of your articles via the Adovacy.vmware.com site, exposure at their global events, co-op advertising, traffic analysis, and early access to beta programs and VMware’s roadmap.  There are many benefits of having membership of the program and some are outlined below.

What are the benefits for being a vExpert?

  • Networking with 2,000 vExperts / Information Sharing
  • Knowledge Expansion on VMware & Partner Technology
  • Opportunity to apply for vExpert BU Lead Subprograms
  • Possible Job Opportunities
  • Direct Access to VMware Business Units via Subprograms
  • Blog Traffic Boost through Advocacy, @vExpert, @VMware, VMware Launch & Announcement Campaigns
  • 1 Year VMware Licenses for Home Labs for almost all Products & Some Partner Products
  • Private VMware & VMware Partner Sessions
  • Gifts from VMware and VMware Partners
  • vExpert Celebration Parties at both VMworld US and VMworld Europe with VMware CEO, Pat Gelsinger
  • VMware Advocacy Platform Invite (share your content to thousands of vExperts & VMware employees who amplify your content via their social channels)
  • Private Slack Channels for vExpert and the BU Lead Subprograms

For those that are thinking of applying; I will say do. However, please take a look at what is below; this is not TLDR:  but it is valuable as it contains information into what we are looking for in an application.

I wrote this post to give a few pointers as to what a Good Application should look like, which will hopefully enable your application to rise to the top of the cream.

Firstly there are four, but in reality three tracks that you can apply for VEXPERT Status: Source

Evangelist Path
This Path includes book authors, bloggers, tool builders, public speakers, VMTN contributors, and any IT professionals who share their knowledge and passion with others.  One thing to note is that if your activities are not in the public domain, ie you are an internal evangelist for your company, It is recommended that a reference from a VMware Employee in support of your application.

Customer Path
The Customer Path is for leaders who evangelize VMware. VMware are looking for passionate customers who do the work to evangelize within their organization or worked with VMware to build success stories, act as customer references, given public interviews, spoken at conferences, or were VMUG leaders. This point is important, the actives must not be related to your position within the company, or in other words you should not being paid for evangelizing VMware. Again a VMware employee reference is recommended if your activities weren’t all in public.

Partner Path
The VMware Partner Network (VPN) Path is for employees of VMware partner companies who lead with passion and by example, who are committed to continuous learning through accreditations and certifications and to making their technical knowledge and expertise available to many. This can take shape of event participation, video, IP generation, as well as public speaking engagements.  This is the most challenging track as it is the most difficult to draw the line between what is just your day-job and what is above and beyond. This is the only track where a VMware Employee reference is a requirement.

VMUG & VCDX
If you are an VCDX or an active VMUG Leader you will qualify for the vExpert award.

It must be noted that the chapter you are claiming leadership off must be active and that you as the VMUG leader must be actively involved in the organization of any and all events.  VMUG status and any activities you are claiming are verified by the voting team. 

Inactive VMUG leaders will not qualify for the award.

All VCDX applicants will be verified via vcdx.vmware.com.

If you are applying via VMUG or VCDX, you should use the evangelist path and state you are a VCDX or VMUG leader and which chapter.

So how should your application look?

The largest number of people who apply for vExpert utilize the Evangelist path and these guidelines are tailored to an Evangelist application but are valid for the other tracks as well

  • Make sure that your content is about VMware. It does not have to be exclusively about VMware but if you are writing most of the time about Veeam, Microsoft or another vendor, then the chances are high that you will not be selected as a vExpert. At least 50% of your content should be about VMware or have a VMware Bias,  I for example write a lot about HashiCorp’s technologies, but about their use and interaction with VMware technologies.
  • Be honest in your vExpert application, The invigilators are also looking at your content as provided in the application and they WILL check the VCDX directory if you have applied for the VCDX path. If you have chosen the wrong path because you are for example not a VCDX it’s up to the invigilator and the power of your remaining content as to whether you get approved.
  • Don’t use a syndicate blog in your application. This is not original content, if you are a team of creators then only highlight your content.  Any content that is not your copywrite is not yours to claim and therefore will not be given any credit.
  • If you are a member of VMTN please provide the correct VMTN username. You can find your VMTN username if you login to VMTN and select “View my profile”. This will create an URL similar to this one https://communities.vmware.com/people/TomHowarth; your user name is the last section

One point to note: only enter your VMTN username if you actually help people on the community. If you are just a lurker and your only post is from 2006, do not bother as there will be no credit for that.

  • If you are adding speaking to your application,  for example (VMworld, VMUG, etc.), please provide the necessary links, agenda, etc. no evidence no credit, in the words of your high school teachers for full marks show your workings.
  • Another thing to note is that the first half vExpert applications take into account content from January to December, whereas second half vExpert applications will concentrate on July to June timelines ie July 2019 through June 2020.  Keep this in mind when you are providing content links.
  • If you are a blogger, please date your posts in whatever way suits you. But provide links.  If the invigilators can’t verify that the content is from the required time period; again no credit.
  • If you are a VMUG leader please provide the public link to your VMUG profile that will show a Leader badge. This will save time for the voters who doesn’t need to search for it.
  • This should go without saying:  Please only mention content or activities which were created or done outside of your daily job business.

Hopefully, you find these pointers will help those who apply for the vExpert program, the pointers are as valid for 1st or 2nd application and for those that people who have been denied in their first try.

Also if you need help for preparing your application, or even general advice about the programme you can always reach out to a vExpert Pro, these can be found vExpert Directory. If there is no vExpert Pro in your country or region you are welcome to contact me or any other Pros in the directory. I think I can say that everyone of them will be more than happy to help with the application or giving some advice for “how to apply”.

So what are you waiting for apply today

VMware announces its intent to buy Kubernetes Security startup Octarine

VMware has been shopping again, this time they’ve put a deposit on a DevSecOps startup called Octarine to fill a monitoring gap in their Kubenetes platform.

VMware has been out shopping in the Silicon Valley Mall again.  They have given notice of their intent to purchase Octarine a small Venture-backed startup based out of Sunnyvale and Tel Aviv.

Octarine

So what to do know about Octarine?

Well to be fair, prior to the announcement the only thing I knew about Octarine was that is it part of Terry Pratchett’s  Discworld lore and is the Color of Magic and the founders may have been fans.

octarine

OK, let’s be serious.  Octarine is actually a small start-up with offices in Sunnyvale and Tel Aviv, that has during its time as an independent raised at least $9m from various Venture funds and other investors who backed their vision of DevSecOps and to provide a continuous security and compliance lifecycle for the protections of Kubernetes deployments from nasty black hat hackers and other nefarious folks of the criminal fraternity.

How do Optarine approach this?

Octarine Secret Sauce

Anyone who has attempted to deploy Kubernetes or even just containers in general know and understand that traditional monitoring and security products do not provide adequate protection for the types of applications deployed on the underlying container hosts, this is not a limitation of Containers or Kubernetes, but the fact that monitoring and compliance tools were not set up to deal with the complexities of containers. Therefore a new approach was needed,  this is not just a benefit of Octarine, other vendors like Amazic’s Sysdig have answered these questions too, and the answer is to bake in security and compliance from the initial build, all the way through to the final deployed runtime, and then to continually improve on the baselines.

Why is VMware interested in Octarine?

But the real question is, why are VMware interested in this particular startup?  This question is in actuality quite a simple one to answer.  The purchase of Octarine allowed VMware to very succinctly fill a glaring gap in their current security product portfolio,  Carbon Black and AppDefence protect VMs and Native containers but their Kubernetes coverage is woefully lacking and this is a massive gap. Actually, it was a glaring 6 lane freeway of a gap for potential vulnerabilities!

Freeway sized gaps

Especially considering their hype and bluster about Kubernetes at their vSphere 7 and Tanzu product launches coupled with their statement about Containers being first-class citizens on their platforms and Kubernetes being the deployment methodology of choice.

The financial figure for the purchase has not been released but in the grand scheme of how these things are counted, I cannot believe the purchase price was significant, not small by any means but not eye-watering painful to the pocket.

As already stated this acquisition neatly fills a gap in their growing security portfolio, and as such VMware intends for this to be combined with their Carbon Black Endpoint protection which they recently acquired for $1.2B and their more generic AppDefense products that protect Virtual machines and containers.  VMware also intends to bring the functionality of the Octarine platform to Tanzu Service Mesh to provide real-time alerts via their network-based IDS to prevent any attempts at breaching microservices.

Octarine’s ability to report on unencrypted connections, internal lateral movements, and many other types of malicious threats will enable Tanzu users to create finely grained and dynamic policies to automatically protect environments by restricting or isolating compromised micro-services thereby alleviating the risk of a cascading failure of your working clusters.

Obvious the ability of Octarine to protect both containers and Virtual machines is another feather in their cap as far as VMware is concerned.  This all ties into Pat Gelsinger’s (CEO VMware) vision which he elucidated on in March at the release of vSphere7 when he stated that [VMware] is “out to change the security Industry, [as] it’s broken and fragmented with too many vendors. We’re going to make it possible for applications to be born secure, live secure, and die secure”.

Summary

Summary

VMware has been very acquisitive in the last year or so. However, unlike the Maritz Period,  Gelsinger has been very focused on redefining VMware as a company.  Moving into new market sectors, taking the Nicira acquisition that could have been a big mistake, as it damaged what was at the time a very good relationship with Cisco, and turning the fledgling Network Services Business Unit into a $2B a year revenue generator from a standing start by FY 2019. To redefining their Cloud business Unit by off-loading vCloud Air to OVH, sell off other none core products, Zimbra anyone? and redefining the redefinition of the Cloud Business unit when he brought back Pivoal in-house.

But the Security division is his baby.  VMware has never been seen as poor on security like Microsoft, but they traditionally relied on Third-Party products to protect their environments and any security products they had brought, we badly integrated into VMware, remember vShield. Over the last 5 years or so they have been quietly building up quite a decent portfolio of products, they now cover a large proportion of infrastructure with services that can easily slot in and are integrated into a common framework.  Octarine is just the latest in a long line of security product acquisitions that is helping to secure VMware’s position as a vendor that cares about physical security.  Pat Gelsinger joined a company that many were writing off as past its best, and in its twilight years, however, during his time at the helm, it can be argued that VMware has never been more relevant.

How simple Terraform plans make hybrid and multi-cloud a reality: an introduction

Most non-IT people will have heard about the word Terraform, will automatically think of this, changing dead planets into Earth like paradises.

Terraforming Mars will be an escapade in automation, just like terraforming your AWS environment.

But for those of us that work in Infrastructure and Cloud; Terraform is a language definition that allows the deployment of infrastructure as code. There is a loose analogy there, with Terraform you are building your environment exactly as you wish with a pre-configured script to create a predefined end point, just like the science fiction future environment building a new earth from barren rock.

Anybody who has utilized AWS will be aware of Terraform. It was written by Hashicorp and it is one of the primary methods used to automatically build AWS environments in this bold and new DevOps world.

What not a lot of people aware of is that Hashicorp’s Terraform can be utilized to build any infrastructure; all it requires is a provider. Currently Terraform is available for integration into all the major public cloud providers (AWS, Azure, GCP, Oracle Cloud and Alibaba Cloud). It is also available for on-prem environments with VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V.

—– Read More —-

DevOps – The Infrastructure Revolution

Remove term: DepOps DepOpsRemove term: HashiCorp HashiCorpRemove term: Puppet Puppet

According to the good and the great, DevOps is the new reality for Operations. I mean everything is now virtual or encapsulated in light-weight containers. It is all about the App! In this article it is intended to have a brief look in to the rise of the movement that is now called DevOps, investigate where it came from, and where it is now and more importantly is it suitable for the future.

The DevOps Revolution

Big Dev, Little Ops

Today our view of DevOps is big DEV and little OPS, or to be more precise, people who have more a history of development than day to day operations, the focus is more on using code to deploy infrastructure, than using code to make day one and day two operations simpler. Focus has moved rapidly from making system administration simpler through orchestration and automation to the point where the concept of a virtual machine, container or application have been distilled down to several lines of code. Great examples of tools to help us do that are Terraform, PowerShell, Perl, Ansible, Chef and Puppet.

———–Read More———–

Previously published on Amazic World.

Are Containers a first class citizen in the enterprise?

VMware have recently finished their annual VMworld conference. One of their major announcements was that of Project Pacific. This is VMware’s biggest vSphere announcement since the the introduction of their ESXi product back in 2007.

What are containers to Project Pacific?

Project Pacific is effectively a complete rewrite of vSphere to become a Kubernetes deployment engine. What this effectively means is that VMware have made Containers first-class citizens on their platform. Yes it is true that VMware has supported containers in the past, firstly with VMware VIC (Virtual Integrated Containers) then later with VMware PKS (Pivotal Container Service), but these have been very much add-ons to their core product, and seen as an adjunct to Virtual Machines rather than as a fully paid up member of the enterprise club.

Project Pacific
,  VMware move to be an Application platform (copyright VMware)

VMware have struggled with Containers, chiefly because at their enterprise tipping point they were seen as the more valid answer to the then current issues that enterprises needed solving over fledgling container technology from Unix Vendors like Sun MicroSystems (bought by Oracle) with their Solaris Zones product.

————-Read More —————-

VM extremely slow after upgrade to macOS 10.14.6

Currently there is this mega thread VM became extremely slow after upgraded to macOS 10.14.6

2019/08/26: Apple just released a fix for this problem, see also https://www.macrumors.com/2019/08/26/apple-tvos-watchos-macos-software-updates/ So far the reports in the mega thread are positive. “It’s solved on Apple 10.4.6 supplemental update build 18G85.”

2019/08/09: VMware has pushed out an update that mitigates the issue when your VM is encrypted. More details by VMware employee ksc (at the bottom). Note that this does not yet fix all issues!

2019/08/02: There’s an update from VMware .. see at the end of the post.

The latest update from apple for macOS 10.14 (and macOS 10.15) changed something in such a way that Virtual Machines running under VMware Fusion 11 now suffer serious performance problems. So much so that using those VMs becomes very hard to impossible.

Continue reading “VM extremely slow after upgrade to macOS 10.14.6”

create a macOS Catalina VM with VMware Fusion

Update: This is no longer an issue with Fusion 11.5

Here’s a quick note on how-to setup a macOS catalina VM on VMware Fusion 11. Credit for figuring out how-to do this goes to vmtn users Bogdam and intel008 as they are the ones who posted the resolution in the following thread at VMTN: macOS Catalina VMs do not run in VMware Fusion 11.1.0

This thread describes the problems you bump into if you try to upgrade a macOS Mojave VM to the new beta macOS Catalina. Basically if you run the upgrade then your VM will hang on reboot. If you then try to reboot it in verbose mode, so that you can see what happens, you’ll get the following screen.

macOS Catalina boot error

Yikes, that’s no good!

Continue reading “create a macOS Catalina VM with VMware Fusion”

Well it is time to buckle down and finally attempt VCDX

Time to place a line in the side, no more prevaricating – time to attempt the VCDX

I am putting this out there as a poke and a prod for me to get my self in gear and finally attempt the VCDX-DCV. I am not going to kill myself on this as I have a life and work commitments, but realistically I will attempt to submit for the December 2019 defence dates. so submission in September.

So 5 months to sit both VCAPs exams and write my submission.

You may think that I am myself under significant pressure and I am, but I have prevaricated enough over the years.

This is my line in the Sand.