It’s that time again, a new VMUG meeting is upon us. The Washington DC VMUG will be holding a meeting on Wednesday March 12th, 2014 in Tyson’s Corner, VA from 4 to 7pm. That’s only 5 days from today, so don’t wait around, register now. Pay attention to the title of this blog post, “Register, attend, learn!” These are the 3 things you need to do to get the most out of this VMUG meeting, easy right? That’s a pretty broad set of instructions, let’s delve into what’s going down at this upcoming meeting.
This meetings primary theme will be the Software Defined Datacenter or as you have heard it pronounced, SDDC! If you’ve been paying attention at all in the past year, you have most likely heard about or read about SDDC. It’s a super hot topic and one that’s not going to fade anytime soon. What the Cloud is for the end-user and marketing firms, SDDC is for us, the admins, engineers, and architects. Anyone who has spent time in the datacenter, cabling servers and switches, racking and stacking… SDDC excites us. We’ll have an opportunity to hear from VMware‘s Brad Clemmons who will focus on VMware and the SDDC. We’ll also get to hear from Eric Rife from Nexenta, who can speak to Software Defined Storage and how it ties into the SDDC picture.
Here’s the official agenda:
Is It Worth My Time???
I recognize that I’m extremely biased when it comes to this question… I’m one of the DC VMUG leaders. My answer is simple, it’s ABSOLUTELY worth your time. I’ve noticed that this is probably the quickest 3 hours I’ll spend all year, simply because the presentations are A+ and the networking is golden. You will gain insight into SDDC directly from VMware and Nexenta without all of the marketing fluff you might normally see in a presentation. This is for technology lovers, by technology lovers. If you haven’t attended a VMUG before, this is a great opportunity to start. It’s free to register, there are door prizes to be given away and most importantly you get to network with other people just like you. Did I mention there is free food? Register now.
Yes, you read that right… this is a post about Citrix XenServer. “What the heck is a VMware fanboy doing writing about Citrix?” That’s a valid question, but I promise there’s a good reason for this Citrix post on a typically VMware centric blog. I’ve recently had to think outside of the box when it comes to virtualization, as my current position as a Sr. Engineer for a federal client has required me to focus on Citrix more than VMware. I came across a weird issue where my entire XenServer would go offline, most likely because of a memory shortage I think, and when it would start back up all the VMs would remain powered off. After reading that, most of you probably knew this was an easy fix, but not for a VMware admin with little Citrix experience. While I had a good idea that we were probably maxing out our memory and it was shutting down the VMs, I still spent a ton of time troubleshooting that possibility instead of first making sure the VMs could stay online or come back up automatically.
It turns out, this is a pretty easy fix, and one that should probably be configured on any server running XenServer. Now, stay with me, realize that this is a VMware admin making his first attempt at a Citrix related blog post. I thought someone else would find it helpful, so here are the steps.
2. Next you’ll enter your password at the prompt and it will may ask you if you want to continue if you have an invalid security certificate, otherwise it will give you the XenServer prompt. From this XenServer prompt you will first need to set your XenServer to allow auto-start by typing the command “xe pool-list” which will give you your UUID for your VM pool (see screenshot below).
4. After you’ve set your XenServer pool to allow auto-start, next you’ll want to select the VMs that you want auto-start enabled on. Now, this part seems silly to me, why isn’t this just an option you can select? Apparently Citrix disabled auto in XenServer 6.x, because it messed with High Availability (HA) and kicked out some weird results during HA procedures. You’ll need to grab the UUID for each VM that you want to enable auto-start on, so start by running the command “xe vm-list” to get a list of all your VMs and their UUIDs. Then you can type the command in the screenshot below to enable auto-start on that VM. Again, remember to replace your VM’s UUID where it says UUID in the command below.
That’s all you need, your VMs will now automatically start-up in the event that your XenServer powers off inadvertently or there’s a power outage in your server room (both things that have happened to me).
Disclaimer: This post is mainly applicable for XenServer 6.0, 6.0.2, 6.1.0, 6.2.0
I recently had the pleasure of sitting down for a chat with Peter Smith from Infinio Systems. If you attended VMworld 2013 in San Francisco or Barcelona you surely heard about Infinio and their great tagline, “NAS + Infinio = Faster VMs”. In this podcast, Peter and I discuss Infinio, what it is, how to install it and we even get into a little whiteboarding! Thanks to Infinio and Peter for taking the time out of his busy schedule to give us the run down on Infinio. Enjoy!
This is a guest post by vDestination contributor Nick Fritsch
VMware Flings have been around for quite some time now. I personally love VMware Flings b/c many of the ideas that result in the creation of a fling are solutions to challenges that I used to deal with myself, both as a VMware Administrator and a Systems Engineer. My Favorite Flings is an article I’ve been meaning to write for a while now and finally found some free time to sit down and discuss a few of the Flings that are my favorite.
What’s a Fling?
First, a little background about Flings. Flings are ideas that are turned into projects worked on my VMware engineers in their spare time. Flings are the answer to the question, “wouldn’t it be cool if you could…” Even better, Flings are free. Before you go download your favorite fling, be aware that there is no support for Flings so use with caution.
Now, onto my favorite flings. The first is ThinApp Factory. This is a Fling that continues to be updated as new versions of VMware solutions are released. ThinApp Factory helps automate the creation of ThinApp packages. For those unfamiliar with ThinApp, ThinApp is VMware’s application virtualization solution. A ThinApp is a self-contained virtualized application that is portable, agent less and can be executed on any Windows platform. Furthermore, an application executed from within a ThinApp is isolated. Do you still need to run Internet Explorer 6 still but want the security benefits of Internet Explorer 10, with ThinApp, you can run both on the same system, independent of each other. Need to update Adobe Reader across all desktops/laptops in your environment? Virtualize Adobe Reader using ThinApp and instead of upgrading Adobe Reader X number of times, simply create an Adobe Reader ThinApp package and deploy that ThinApp package to your desktops/laptops. Sound interesting and want more information, visit the VMware ThinApp webpage here for more information.
ThinApp Factory makes creating packages a snap
So how does ThinApp Factory help me create ThinApp packages? First, ThinApp Factory is a virtual appliance and can easily be deployed within your vSphere environment or within VMware Workstation. Point ThinApp Factory at your software repository (network share with all your software installation packages [.exe, .msi, .etc] and ThinApp factory will automate the creation of ThinApp packages based upon applications located in your software repository. Need to customize your installation? ThinApp Factory includes recipes that allow for customization as well as the saving of repetitive settings within an application.
Creating ThinApp packages can be time-consuming which causes slow adoption rates for virtualized applications. Think of the Apple App Store, users want their applications now. ThinApp Factory helps automate the packaging process allowing for faster and less error-prone packaging of applications. Want more information? Visit the VMware blogs page here. Want to give it a test-drive? Visit the VMware Flings webpage to download and try ThinApp Factory for yourself. As always, I would love to hear feedback on your experiences using ThinApp factory, both good and bad.
About the Autor
Nick Fritsch is an Associate Systems Engineer at VMware. He is a VCP5-DCV, VCP5-DT and an inaugural member of the EMC Elect community. Nick is an active member in the community both speaking and assisting at numerous VMUGs, presenting for vBrownbag and is active on Twitter @nfritsch. In his free time, Nick enjoys the outdoors, whether that’s spending time with his two wonderful daughters or on the golf course with fellow vGolfers.
What does it take to get to that next level of your IT career? What kinds of certifications will elevate you to the sr. level in the IT field? There are a few that I think will get you there, however these certifications are not for the faint of heart. You really have to bring your “A game.” These certifications take hours of preparation, years of hands-on experience and a lot of discipline. At this point in your career you can’t just chase down any random certification like you did when you were an IT newcomer. You probably are a subject matter expert now and have a more focused track on certifications. There are many great expert-level certifications to get in the IT industry today, but I’ve pointed out what I believe are the best and most desirable. Read the full post.
Day 3 at VMworld is off and running, my body hates me but I’m hanging in there. I had a great start to my day at Lori’s Diner with Larry Gonzalez, vLATAM co-editor and Costa Rica VMUG founder. Today we are pleased to have the vExpert Paparazzi contest sponsored by Train Signal (now PluralSight). Train Signal is giving away a full year of training which will give you access to every course in their catalog as well as any course in PluralSight’s catalog. If you get a chance, stop by their booth #1635 to pick up the new vNerd tshirt (if there are any left) and chat with their stellar staff there. If you know nothing about Train Signal, here’s a quick rundown on who they are and what they do:
Gain instant access to a vast library of IT courses from top vendors including: Microsoft, Cisco, VMware, CompTIA and Citrix.New courses added regularly, keeping you up to date on the latest technologies.
Studying for a certification exam or want to test your knowledge after finishing a course? With TrainSignal, you’ll be able to take practice exams for some of the most popular IT certifications, including CompTIA A+, CompTIA Network+, Cisco CCNA, Microsoft MCSE and the VMware VCP exam.
Offline Video Player
Without an Internet connection? Whether you’re on a plane, train, bus or anywhere else without Internet access, you can still learn! With the Offline Video Player from TrainSignal, you can download the lessons you want to watch anytime, anywhere. Continue your training on the go!
An Added Bonus for Today’s Contest
Today, the final day of the contest, we are not only getting a prize and support from Train Signal but we are also getting more support from our awesome community. Today you have multiple prizes to win, you can win the full year of training, also James Bowling (Houston VMUG Leader/VMworld Speaker) will be giving away a prize pack of his own and EMC Elect will be giving away another Elect Swag Bag full of prizes (thanks to Matt Brender!). Awesome! This is the last day for our contest, so make it worth it and get out there and find those vExperts. The prizes will be given away after 4pm today, so stay tuned to twitter to see if you’ve won your prize.
Thanks to all of our sponsors for this contest, you make these things possible we couldn’t do it without you. Thanks to Train Signal, Infinio and EMC Elect.
Day 2 of VMworld and Day 2 of the vExpert Paparazzi contest. Yesterday turned out to be so much fun with Gabe Maentz taking the Kindle Fire from Infinio Systems. Well, I’m glad to say there are more prizes in line for today. Today’s sponsor is the EMC Elect community. With help from Matt Brender, we were able to put together an EMC Elect prize pack which the winner of today’s contest will walk away with. Here’s a little more about EMC Elect:
EMC Elect is a community-driven recognition and thank you for individual’s engagement with EMC as a brand over the last calendar year. Key Characteristics of an outstanding EMC Elect candidate include:
Engagement – Members are those engaging here on the ECN, on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and in person at events. Commitment – Being a part of the EMC conversation day in and day out, offering thoughtful feedback and staying optimistic in your language Leadership – The kind of people who take every opportunity to engage with their peers and represent others as part of the community.
Double your fun today!
To make this even more fun, see if you can find not only vExperts but any of the EMC Elect superstars! Just like yesterday make sure you share your pics on Twitter with the #vExpertPaparazzi and the #EMCElect hashtag and have fun meeting new people. The winner will be chosen by 1:30 today, a little earlier than yesterday and we’ll announce the winner on Twitter and give out the EMC Elect prize pack at EMC’s booth at 2pm. To help with knowing who’s EMC Elect, here’s a good list for you. Get your flashbulbs out and find those vExperts/EMC Elect!