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Go to VMworld 2014 for FREE!!!!

July 28, 2014

nav-tile-vmworld-2014-sf_upIt’s that time again, my annual free trip to VMworld contest is here! It’s a bit late this year, but better late than never. VMworld 2014 looks to be great this year, I’m positive there will be many incredible announcements from VMware and many of their partners. The Solutions Exchange floor seems to get better every year, the booths are incredible and the giveaways and swag get better every year. If this is your first time going, it is sure to be an incredible experience. If you are a veteran, you already know how it will be, and it shouldn’t disappoint. For those of you who are visiting my blog for the first time, welcome and thanks for stopping by. Each year for the past 4 years I’ve been able to give away an all expense paid trip to VMworld, the worlds largest and best virtualization conference (at least in my opinion).

Contest Details
First and foremost, I have to thank my generous sponsors this year, Veeam and Infinio. Veeam has sponsored the full conference pass for the past 4 years, and I can’t thank them enough for being so generous and willing to give back to the community. This year, I also have to thank Infinio for sponsoring the airfare to San Francisco (SFO). Every year I’ve been able to provide a full all expense trip to VMworld, this year unfortunately, I wasn’t able to drum up a sponsor for the hotel accommodations. Understandably, that’s a big expense, however, if you truly want to go to VMworld, you’ll find a place to stay.

By winning this contest, you’ll get a free VMworld 2014 full conference pass (complete with a famous VMworld backpack) and air fare to SFO up to $400. So how do you win? In years past, I’ve done random picks from a hat, need based applications, and a mixture of the two. This year the winner will be the person that can explain why they should go to VMworld in 140 characters or less, Twitter style! A panel of vExperts will judge your entries and we will pick the best entry to win the contest.

How to Enter
To enter this contest simply leave a comment on this blog post (one entry per person), using 140 characters explain why you should win a trip to VMworld 2014 in San Francisco. Anyone on planet earth can enter this contest, however air fare is only covered up to $400 USD. You will have to find hotel accommodations of your own, which there are a lot of options, check Airbnb for a good option. You must leave your full name (please no nick names or Gravatar names), email address and Twitter handle if you have one. That’s it, nothing else to it. After the contest closes myself and a panel of vExpert judges will pick the winner among all of the entries. Again, only one entry per person please, any duplicate entries will be deleted.

The contest is now open and will run through this week closing on August 1st at 9:00pm EST, any entries after 9:00pm EST will not be considered. Again, thanks so much to Veeam and Infinio for sponsoring my contest, I couldn’t do this without you. The winner will be chosen after the contest closes and announced on Monday August 4th on If there are other companies out there that are willing to sponsor the hotel accommodations, please reach out to me on my Contact Me page.

Good luck!

iPhone 6 coming soon… SO WHAT!

July 7, 2014

so whatIf you’ve had a heartbeat lately, you’ve most likely heard or read about the iPhone 6 rumors, leaks, pictures and tons of hype. We haven’t heard more than a peep from Apple on the iPhone 6, but the rumor mill is out of control. Apparently, as Apple fans, this is the phone we’ve been waiting for, a bigger screen, lighter, thinner, faster and paired with the release of iOS 8! This all sounds great, but this is what Apple fans like myself and millions of others have been waiting for since the release of the 3GS! So I say SO WHAT, to all of these rumors and the fact the Apple is FINALLY releasing an iPhone with a bigger screen, its way past due! It’s heartbreaking for me to write this post because I’m a huge Apple fan, I have a MacBook Pro, I’ve owned 4 different iPods, an iPhone, 2 iPads and I’ve been an iTunes lover since first laid eyes and ears on it. So the question is, why is an Apple fan writing a blog post critical of their flagship product? Let’s break it down.

iPhone 6 Rumor Roundup
I’ve rounded up most of the rumored specs and leaks I could find on the web below, take a second (if you haven’t already) and browse through them, then we’ll talk more about it:

There are 2 possible sizes that we know of, a 5.5 inch and 4.7 inch screen. The screen will feature the retina display and will possibly be made of 100% sapphire glass (Read about Apple’s new Arizona sapphire glass plant).

With Apple already having a 64-bit A7 chip using the 28nm manufacturing process, it’s likely we’ll see the A8 chip released with iPhone 6, most likely it will be built with the 20nm process. Yes it will be faster if there is truth to this rumor. As far as RAM goes, doesn’t look like we’ll see an upgrade here, sticking with the 1GB RAM, same as iPhone 5S.

Form Factor:
Here we may see an edge to edge display with a minimal bezel, which could increase the size of the display without drastically increasing the form factor. Apple has tried to do this in the past with the 5 and 5S, making the phone a little bigger but not so much that it made it difficult to reach buttons with one hand. Will the iPhone 6 be the release that finally ditches the home button, don’t count on it. Apple just invested a ton in the fingerprint sensor technology that was released with iPhone 5S.

Good Leaked Pictures/Videos:

Leaked Screen Cover Images

Mockups and Leaked images

Sounds awesome, so why the critical post?
It does sound awesome, only to Apple iPhone owners, why? Because Android users have been experiencing all of these things for years now. Bigger phones, smaller form factors, large beautiful AMOLED displays, it’s nothing new to Android users. So again I say, SO WHAT! As an Apple user I wanted to seen these things with the release of iPhone 4, then 4S, then 5, then 5S… maybe Apple isn’t coming out with a bigger display this time, and the rumors mill has just taken it out of control. Maybe we are starting to believe the lies that the mockups have told us and that’s what we now expect. Either way, I’m fed up with Apple not giving their consumers what they want, and then somehow fooling us into believing our phones are superior.

In the end, I’m holding out hope for the iPhone 6 (hanging onto my 4S for now), not to be the best phone in the world, but to simply put to rest the screen envy I’m having of my wife’s Motorola Droid Maxx (a beautiful phone in its own right). I love iTunes, love the look and feel of the iPhone and feel like the phone build is far superior to any Android phone, I’m just sick of Apple being so far behind the curve.

The Significance of VMware VSAN

April 14, 2014

VMware announced on March 12, 2014 that its VMware Virtual SAN (VSAN) product was moving out of beta and would be generally available to customers. A much anticipated product, VSAN offers a huge list of features and addresses a number of customer use cases. So what is remarkable about this product, other than that it serves up a bunch of disk storage to systems providing high performance and other benefits?

To better understand, let us take a brief detour into how we have arrived at this point. In the past, disks were directly connected to systems as Direct Attached Storage (DAS), as shown in the diagram below.




This addressed most customer needs but also had several critical limitations. Storage availability was tied to host system availability, and available storage capacity on one host could not be used elsewhere. Data protection needed to be setup and configured manually, or with specialized disk adapters.

In order to resolve these issues, storage moved to the network and storage capacity could now be shared between multiple systems. Specialized storage controllers supported high performance, offered large capacities, supported multiple host platforms, and were highly available. However, more effort was involved with the configuration and setup of these network storage systems.

There are two major types of network storage – Storage Area Network (SAN), and Network Attached Storage (NAS). This classification is based upon whether they serve block storage (SAN) or file storage (NAS). The diagram below shows the various components of a SAN storage system.




A summary of the benefits and limitations of DAS, and the solution provided by the network storage approach is listed below.

Over the past few years, the performance of network storage systems has greatly increased. A number of features have been integrated into the storage controllers making them more intelligent. However, newer systems impose larger demands on performance of network storage systems. The storage based on spinning disks is unable to keep up with requests from host systems. Network storage has become quite expensive as well, since it provides a large feature set with most features being rarely used.

During this time, standard systems and disks kept increasing performance and reducing in price. This has created the need for a simple, inexpensive, and policy-driven storage platform, which is what VSAN represents.

The table below summarizes the benefits and limitations of network storage, and the solution offered by the VSAN platform.

VSAN is a distributed DAS solution implemented on multiple systems, but without the major limitations of DAS and network storage. It is simple and inexpensive, but also available and reliable. There are no islands of storage, and performance and capacity scale together. VSAN software enables all the distributed storage to function as a single logical pool. Storage policies can be seamlessly implemented, and solid state disks effectively mask the latency of spinning disks.

The significance of this technology lies in its parallels to other popular technologies. What are these technologies, and why were they revolutionary? Watch this space for Part 2 of the VSAN technology story.

Ravi_PicRavi Venkatasubbaiah is an IT executive and business leader with 20+ years experience helping companies manage adoption of emerging technologies. Ravi serves on the Board of Directors at VMware User Group, and as a leader of the Silicon Valley VMUG chapter. He enjoys working with entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley and India, and is an advisor on Strategy, Technology, and Operations. He currently lives in San Jose and blogs at

Thanks for the votes!!

April 9, 2014

thanksFor those of you who haven’t paid close attention or are new to the virtualization blog game, Eric Seibert over at sets up voting for the top virtualization blogs each year. It seems like the amount of blogs grows more and more each year as new bloggers join the conversation and start putting out great content. My vDestination blog, which does not come close to competing with the heavy hitters, came in 3 places better this year at #114 out of 320 blogs. I garnered 29 total votes, so I wanted to take this blog post to thank all of you who took the time to vote for my blog! I’m humbled that anyone is reading my blog, I try to put out good content that I think people will read, some super technical stuff, mixed with less technical posts and some fluff every now and again. Also, I’d like to take this blog post to apologize for my lack of blogging this year, it’s been a super busy year with my new job and a very demanding client. I’ve never worked more hours or been more busy with my day job in all 15 years of my employment history. Thanks for sticking around, reading and following me on Twitter.

What’s to come?
I have some really great things happening on my blog going forward from where it is today. I’ve gained a couple great new guest bloggers/contributors who have graciously agreed to join the blog and share their talents/knowledge with the world through First off, my good friend from Costa Rica, Larry Gonzalez has really been working hard on the vLATAM page of vDestination along with Celia Cristaldo. Nick Fritcsh of VMware has been recently posting some good content, as evidenced by his EMC World Discount post! Thanks Nick! I’ve also been building a good relationship with Ravi Venkatasubbaiah and he’s come on board and start writing for vDestination. It’s very exciting to have these bloggers onboard and I’m looking forward to 2014 being our best year yet. We a little late to start but you’ll start seeing a bunch of good content coming down the pipe.

New Look
I’m also excited to announce that I’ll be rolling out a new blog format, feel and look on vDestination here in the very near future. I’ve been chained by hosting on so I’m looking forward to self hosting, thanks to all that have helped me realize I need to self host. The new site will be easier on the eyes, easier to navigate and fully integrated with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google+ and possibly more social networking sites in an attempt to reach as many readers as possible. I spend time and money on my blog in an effort to share my knowledge with others who might be looking. A good majority of my first few months of virtualization work was spent hopelessly digging through blogs looking for help to get me where I need to be.

Again, a big thanks to all my readers and followers, I appreciate all of your questions and comments, please keep them coming!

Greg W. Stuart

EMC World Discount Code

April 1, 2014

EMC WorldIt’s been a while since I’ve been able to post on vDestination.  For my return, I thought it would be good to giveaway a few EMC World discount codes to the community.  As a member of EMC Elect, I was given three $150 discount codes to EMC World.  In order to win one of the three codes, you need to have already registered or are very close to registering for EMC World.  Second, comment on this post on why you should receive a discount code.  I will select three winners based upon the replies.

Please be aware that you cannot apply this discount code on top of another discount.  If you have already registered for EMC World and received the early-bird discount, using the EMC World discount code that I am giving away will remove the early bird discount along with any gift you received as part of registering early.  Therefore I would not recommend using this discount code if you are already registered and received a discount greater than $150 or a gift.

The contest ends April 3rd.  The discount code expires on April 7th so you’ll only have four short days to complete the registration using the discount code.  Thanks for reading and make sure to leave a comment in order to be registered to win.

Washington DC VMUG: Register, attend, learn!

March 7, 2014

dcvmugIt’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.

The Agenda
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:

  • Registration, Welcome and Logistics from DC VMUG Leadership
  • Welcome from Venue Host Ashok Nare, CTO, Octo Consulting
  • VMware Presentation – Brad Clemmons, VMware
  • Nexenta Presentation and Demo – Eric Rife, Nexenta
  • Dinner, Ask the Experts Panel, and Door Prize Giveaway.

  • 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.

    How to Set Your XenServer VMs to Auto-Start

    March 4, 2014

    autostartYes, 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.

    The Fix
    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.

    1. First you need to log into your XenServer by KVM in the server room or via ssh, I use a Mac, so I just opened up my terminal app and used the command (see the screenshot below):

    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).

    3. Now that you have your VM pool UUID (it’s the string of letters/numbers , you’ll want to grab it and use it in the following command, replacing UUID with your actual pool’s UUID, then hit enter.

    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


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