Containers: The Emperor’s New Clothes

We in IT love our buzzwords and the next best new thing. But am I really the only person who cannot see the point of containers? I mean, those of us who were working in IT during the early noughties at the birth of virtualization in the enterprise will well remember containers—sorry, Solaris Zones—from Sun Microsystems. We should also remember that the questions they were supposed to answer were better answered by the then-newfangled technology called “virtualization” from a little-known upstart company called “VMware.”

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Microsoft Changes Windows Licensing

Mark November 3, 2014, in your calendar as a red-letter day and living proof that leopards can change their spots. On this day, Microsoft changed the terms of Windows licensing for its flagship desktop operating system, Windows Enterprise. In an update to the terms and conditions of its Enterprise edition, Microsoft now offers the option to purchase Windows desktop operating systems on a per-user basis as well as a per-device basis, thereby opening up BYOD (bring your own device). Even more amazing, this user-based license negates the hated VDA (Windows Virtual Desktop Access).

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My VCPN610 Experience

This morning I took the VCPN610 Exam according to plan. What didn’t go according to plan was getting a score of 290 when I needed 300 to pass. So near, and yet so very very far.

This morning I took the VCPN610 Exam according to plan. What didn’t go according to plan was getting a score of 290 when I needed 300 to pass. So near, and yet so very very far.

This one was quite an expensive learning experience for me, so I need to make the most of it and learn what I can.

Lesson the First: VCP Exams are hard. I’ve done Cisco CCNA exams, and MS MCSA/MCSE Exams. I’d put this exam at well above the level of the MCSA, probably a bit above the CCNA, and probably along side MCSE. The exam goes quite deep, and broader than I expected.

Lesson the Second: Time is quite tight. I’m used to getting out of exams well before the end of the time, 30-50% of the allocated time isn’t unusual, even on the harder exams. I’m blessed that English is my first language, and that I’ve sat enough exams through school and uni to just get on with it. This exam took 75% of my time. I had the option to review questions (I wasn’t sure if I would have), but I didn’t have enough time to review them all properly, I’d have barely managed to re-read all the questions. Which leads to:

Lesson the Third: Note questions you are unsure of next time! There is the ability to review a question at a time, and you can jump about. Use it! Many questions you just know the answer to, many could use some thought. Mark and Return.

Finally: There are some areas I really need to look at in some more depth. Things that took more thinking about than they should for me:

  • QoS Where/How it gets applied to work over the physical and virtual networks.
  • The actual GUI process of adding in a logical network.
  • Where do the controllers live?
  • Packet walks for simple (one logical network, two logical network and distributed router) networks.
  • Service Composer
  • Upgrade Paths from vCNS and old versions.

I don’t want to just pass next time. I want a good solid score. I am capable of this, now to get it done.

News: Once More into the Breach, My Friends: Oracle v. Google

In a follow-up to my Oracle v. Google Java spat post—in which I reported that the appeals court has ruled in favour of Oracle, casting doubt on the whole automation industry and the use of Java APIs—it seems that Google has decided to take this to the US Supreme Court. The argument it has submitted to the court is that the appeals court ruling should be overturned in the interest of protecting innovation in high tech.

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VMware Fusion Tech Preview 2014 – Connect To Server Support

This is the second part on our preview of the VMware Fusion Tech Preview. This time we focus on another new feature. The “Connect To Server” support. With this a long anticipated feature comes to Fusion. It gives you the opportunity to connect to your vSphere Server and VMware Workstation shared Virtual Machines. Continue reading “VMware Fusion Tech Preview 2014 – Connect To Server Support”

VMworld 2014: Essential Networking Sessions

It’s that time again. VMworld 2014 opens in San Francisco on Monday, August 25. With fifty sessions covering network virtualization and security this year, it is clear that VMware is once again pushing software defined networking (SDN) and NSX, and that is as serious about the software defined network as it is about the rest of the data center. Unfortunately, I cannot make the conference this year, but I have perused the session catalog to see what sessions I would attend if I could. These cover a cross section of technical and procedural levels and should be beneficial to network virtualization newbies and veterans alike.

So, in no particular order, let’s start with my ten-ish most interesting SDN sessions. OK, so I couldn’t get it down to ten, and there are a couple more that should have made this list, but “my twenty-seven and three quarters most interesting sessions” doesn’t really cut it.

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Infinio – But is it Infinite?

Infinio is a Boston-based company that has a very interesting play on flash acceleration. Having recently sat through a briefing with its representatives, I can say that Infinio’s vision and future are bright.

Why am I saying this? I have got to admit that with this company, I have been laboring under a misconception. I had thought that it was just another flash acceleration company. I mean, it handles read acceleration of vSphere-presented storage, doesn’t it? Well, yes it does, and like all the flash acceleration–based companies, Infinio handles it well.

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VMware Fusion Tech Preview 2014 – Multiple GPU support

VMware Fusion Tech Preview 2014 (TP) has been available since the end of May and it contains a number of pretty cool new features. As I was migrating among continents (from Asia to Europe) I did not really have the time to start testing at the time that the beta started. Now that in my day to day life things are finally starting to get back to normal, I decided to dive in and installed the TP yesterday. Over the next few posts I will try to highlight my experiences. Continue reading “VMware Fusion Tech Preview 2014 – Multiple GPU support”

Will the SDDC Be the Norm in Two Years?

Come on, let’s get real here. The software-defined data center may become the norm in two years in the gilded cages of Silicon Valley, North Carolina’s Research Triangle, and the other “centers of excellence” out there. But in the real world—you know, the one where companies are still using NT4 servers to deliver real and useful work—surely this is not the case.

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