New VMware virtual toys… Desktops, HCX and other thoughts

The big message from this VMworld is as to be expected, hyper mobility at both the client end and the server/cloud end.

Any solution, any device anywhere is already very well known for end user computing but VMware have put their money where their mouth is and added support for Chrome devices for Workspace one. It now means that all the major players are supported.

This whole any device scenario gels with something I had noticed in general as I attend various events… more people than ever are utilising tablets and similar devices rather than classic laptops. Some misguided people even had the Ipad Pro *JK

Moving to the cloud side, it delivers HCX technology. The HCX technology allows the migration of workloads between on-premises, cloud or other other solution. We have all been there, where we have to do a migration and the downtime whilst a server is migrated. HCX solves that solution. It provides a way to do away with that downtime. It isn’t available yet, but it’s coming and it will make life very intesting. It is part of VMware’s play to be the glue that connects all the clouds together.

This change (which I assume includes parts of NSX) has vast ramifications. Think about it this way.. If you have one network that expands to cover all your environments where the VM sits is no longer important. It could be on-site, on cloud. No one cares (except the beancounters!)

This also has huge ramifications for DR.  Normally DR, even virtual DR means that failing over requires some manual or automated configuration (ie IP addreses, host names, firewalls, applications etc.)

Reconfiguring that virtual machine, under pressure of a real DR could be a real pain. That pain is about to go away. With the new VMware stack it means that in a DR scenario bringing up the DR instance becomes a much simpler scenario. No having to re-ip or rename virtual machines and then hope for the best.

Interesting times indeed.

Preparing for VMworld 2017

VMware have been gracious enough (or brave enough, depending on your point of view) to invite me back for VMworld 2017. Flights and hotel is all booked but for those VMworld virgins I thought I should post back to my post of items to remember for the Next VMworld.

There are lots of tips in there and it will save you time and hassle if you haven’t done it before!

Really looking forward to it and I am expecting some really good announcements to come out of this years VMworld. It will be especially interesting to see what, if anything, has changed re: VMware IOT offering.

Anyhow, Public service annoucement over!

Doing virtualisation on a budget with ProxMox

Recently VMware announced that the cost per socket is increasing by around $1,000 per socket. To be brutaly honest not everyone can afford the thousands of dollars for an expensive (but really good) platform such as VMware.

If you are prepared to reign in your expectations but get most of the functionality for very little cost ProxMox is worth a look. To that end I have written a group of articles on setting up and implementing a basic ProxMox hypervisor (KVM) setup with integrated AD and tasty features such as live migration (we can’t use the term vMotion right 😉 ).

Try it out and see how you fair. It costs nothing and for those on a limited budget but demanding requirements it may just fit the bill.

Check it out here…

Why the Digital Economy bill is bound to fail.

During the last few weeks I picked up a new client, ARS Technica UK. I was asked to write about the Digital Economy Act and how it is doomed to fail at any significant scale.

Essentially the UK government is trying to stop porn being viewed by those under 18. To those internet savvy people reading this you know it is a trivial exercise to bypass government mandated filters.

The man from Virgin Media, he say no!
The man from Virgin Media, he say no!

The people passing this law may well not have a grip on this new fangled internet technology.

Those that want porn will still get it via VPN, TOR and newsgroups. Even the government admit that people will try to bypass it. As Ernesto at Torrent freak mentioned “It is just about making pornography that bit harder to access”. However to many, myself included this could be the thin end of the wedge of an assault on our civil liberties.

You can read the full article here.


Doing screencasts.. what I learnt

Recently I got asked to do some screencasting for a company (It’s all a bit secret squirrel at the moment). I had never tried screencasting before but I can tell you I have a new respect for those that do it all the time.

I would say the most difficult item to get over is listening to your own voice on playback. No one particularly seems to like it, even those who have recorded hundreds of screencasts. There is not much I can do to fix your voice but I can empart a couple of tips:

  1. Don’t do it on the fly. Having a script helps. I am not advocating recording every single word but having a script helps ensure you keep on track and can help avoid the “errs” and “umhhh’s”.
  2. Dont try and do it all in one take. In post production you can edit out quiet spaces and bloopers. Most casters seem to suggest five minute segments fit quite well.
  3. Inbuild microphones are crap. If you ever think about doing recording splash out on something USB and external. Any of the Blue brand are good enough for casting. You will be looking at around £100.
  4. Pop filters are highly recommended. They help filter out the pops of letters that start with P and other sounds that can get a bit distorted on the microphone. They are cheap enough.
  5. Post production will take a lot longer than actually recording the screencast. Get used to it.
  6. Lastly dont let desktop screen clutter get in the way of the message you’re delivering.

In short it is a lot more difficult to create good quality screencast than most people would think. It is a learning exercise for sure.