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Today was the first day of BriForum London taking place once again at the ETC Venues St Pauls. This is my third BriForum my thoughts and comments on previous years events can be found here >>

As usual the event was kicked of by Brian Madden himself discussing that state of the EUC industry this year was summed up into 3 elements, 1. People are saying 2014 is the year of DaaS, whilst it may not be the year of mass adoption of DaaS, like it never has been the year of mass adoption of VDI, it is certainly the year when people are talking about DaaS and we are having to answer questions regarding VDI projects being deliver on premise or in the cloud as DaaS. 2. Was the end of Citrix’s Monopoly with XenApp now VMware have announced the ability to publish apps from RDSH via Horizon View 6, 3. With Citrix’s announcements regarding Workspace Services being based on a hybrid cloud model this sets the standard for the future of EUC with the other vendors either already talking about similar solutions or bound to be following suit this year. 

Over the years Brian’s keynote has gone from the delusion of VDI to reality as price and technology has changed to make it more possible.

The favourite aspect for me at BriForum is the technical sessions, below you are able to see some of the doodles I made during these sessions, as per Dell SF when I first did these they have gone down well on twitter!  My favourite sessions from today were the XenDesktop sizing with Helge Klein which was relevant to any VDI / RDS based solution really and the thin client session with Shawn Bass and Andrew Morgan. As ever I do feel the majority of the content is focused to Citrix users / use cases with very little VMware Horizon specific or slanted content. For me this hasn’t really detracted from the event but it would be nice to see some View specific content like we do with the Citrix Content. 

The vendor hall is full of a variety of vendors but this year is certainly the year of the storage vendor with Nimble, Tintri, Pure Storage, X-IO, Fusion IO and Atlantis in attendance, there is also nVidia and AppSense amongst others. For me as ever it was good to catchup with Nimble but Pure Storage was also interesting if you require a all flash solution and I look forward to learning more about their technology in the future. For me there is always a big thumbs up to vendors who can go through a whole pitch regarding their product by selling the benefits of their product and not the weaknesses of the competition and this was certainly the case from Pure, maybe not some of the others in the room. Missing from the hall again in my opinion is VMware, Citrix and Microsoft themselves this was the same as last year as well, I really feel this conference would be a great place for these vendors to sing from the rooftops around what they are doing. 

Im looking forward to tomorrow and getting into some more technical conversations and if you are at the event please be sure to say hi. 

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The Wednesday session follows a night of partying for most with Veeam’s bond style party leaving many feeling a little worse for wear after a late night / early morning drinking. The Wednesday session has traditionally been the opportunity for the VMware CTO previously Steve Herrod to wow us with technology and demonstrations, this year without anybody in an overriding CTO position the lead fell to Carl
Eschenbach COO with Joe Bagley and Kit Colbert joining for demonstrations. During the demonstrations there were a number of technologies covered with a focus largely on automation utilising VCAC, as well as business integration with the VMware IT Business Management Suite. I really enjoyed the demos and explanation alongside them although they possibly went on for a little too long to keep me fully engaged. I did miss the demonstrations around EUC that in previous years we had seen by Vittorio Viarengo, who has since left VMware.


Most of my time today was spent in the solutions exchange engaging with various companies, I spent a long time with Fusion IO discussing the use of their cards in VDI environments and also their soon to be released ioVDI software, with the ioVDI software the FusionIO flash placed in your server is intelligently utilised to offload most of the reads and up to 80% of the writes in your VDI environments. For more information check out the link below. We can see that Fusion IO has its place in your stack whether it is delivered through one of their OEM partner agreements raw inside your servers or as part of a larger intelligent appliance like Nutanix. I think in the raw form it has its place in non-persistent desktops and it will be interesting to see if there soon released software could also offer a solution for storage of persistant desktops.

Next on my list was Dell whom I do a lot of work with in a professional capacity, I spent a long time talking to Sean Copeland Solution Manager for Desktop Virtualisation solutions, we spoke regarding the Dell VRTX shared infrastructure platform that now features ivy bridge processors and when configured as a VDI solution with Horizon View can now deliver up to an increase of 36% in user density for Windows 7 and a massive 61% for Windows 8 over previous processors. I really like the idea of using the VRTX for smaller infrastructures or branch offices and Dell are putting together references architectures to cover these scenarios. Sean heads up the team that creates the reference architectures for Dell’s VDS division, I look forward to engaging with these guys in the future particularly on the subject of SMB VDI and the many possibilities with the solutions in Dells toolkit.

I also met with a number of people from Dell’s DaaS business, it was interesting to learn Dell are one of Desktones biggest customers particularly after VMware announced the acquisition of Desktone yesterday. Dell have recently enhanced their platform with the latest features of desktones offering. For me it was interesting to learn Dell can offer a lot more than a desktop as a service but also the ability to create supporting server infrastructure with your VMs like domain controllers, file servers etc and that it is also possible to buy a desktop on standby service to act as a DR for your production VDI environment.

Whilst on the Dell stand I also took a look at the new Venue tablets and I must say I do like them a lot, I am a big fan of my Surface RT but the Venue with a Core i3 / i5 processor and Windows Pro, still in a tablet form factor this would offer amazing flexibility especially with the options for rigid keyboard and battery dock and the desktop dock. My decision maybe down to Surface Pro 2 or Venue now.

After the Dell stand I visited Nutanix and met with Steve Kaplan (@ROIdude) who is vice president of channel for Nutanix. We discussed how Nutanix are growing and attracting a lot of big virtualisation community names into their business included Steve 5 times vExpert himself. Nutanix certainly seem to have a very strong proposition that is attempting to radically change the way we think and implement our virtualisation solutions. With their Google based, software driven, intelligent block based solution you get the benefits of being able to scale your solution as you need it, whilst getting not only capacity but performance through their intelligent software based tiering and protection over the different storage mediums and compute nodes in the group.

My final notable vendor of the day was Atlantis ILIO, I met briefly with Gregg Holzrichter VP of Marketing to discuss SMB virtualisation, I had previously understood Atlantis offered a storage accelerator for VDI however it is more than that. The intelligence in Atlantis is the way it de-duplicates and optimizes the data that is written to your existing SAN, meaning that Atlantis can help companies from big to small, at the SMB level by utilizing Atlantis you may be able to host your desktops on your existing SAN whilst Atalantis is able to help you achieve the performance that is required by VDI, if you are a larger company with an all flash array for example Atlantis can de-duplicate the data written allowing you to get greater density out of your expenses flash array. I won’t pretend to fully understand this technology yet but I am determined to learn a lot more particularly the use cases and costs for SMB.

Prior to the VMworld party I attended Andre Leibovici’s session on designing enterprise class VDI environments, this was a really good session that gave lots of good pointers for what you should look for when designing your VDI solution.


The day closed with the VMworld party in the main hall which had been changed into the Super Club, the theme was pretty similar to last year to be honest but with a roller disco instead of pedal kart racing, the music was delivered by High on Heels a UK based group that delivered dance music with a DJ, Singer as well as a number of musicians, the violinist was particularly good I thought and they played music I liked. Following them was the headline act Taio Cruz who played a short 30 min set of some of his songs, I’m sure if you are a fan of his it was very impressive that he was in attendance for me it was a good opportunity to catch up with a few people prior to leaving early to miss the mass exodus.

Tomorrow I fly back, I’m unsure if I will make it to the conference for a short time tomorrow but I will follow up with a blog post over the weekend summing up my VMworld 2013 experience.

Today’s steps were 17,272, approximately 7.7 miles.

With a show as large as VMworld I think it is important to set your agenda and goals prior to attending, as well as the usual networking I have set myself a SMB VDI challenge.

As I find myself working in this space quite often I have decided to use VMworld to gather the thoughts and opinions of as many vendors and attendees that have experience or opinions of VDI specifically with Horizon View in the SMB / SME space.

Whilst there are now a wealth of products on the market that can help you with your VDI deployment sometimes it isn’t clear if these are all applicable to the SMB space, so I am keen to learn what does work and what doesn’t work when you are trying to virtualise your desktops in an SMB / SME environment.

When working in the SMB / SME space, budget is often one of the biggest constraints and this makes the importance of choosing the right components even more important, often solutions that claim the lowest cost per desktop may assume creating a larger amount of desktops than your typical SMB solution. Also making decisions about what is and isn’t really required to make a successful VDI solution are all more imperative.

Below are just some of the questions I will be looking to answer, of course from my own experiences I have my own thoughts on these matters and would love to compare notes, but I am looking to go with a open mind and gather the thoughts of many. I will then be looking to compile a complete SMB / SME VDI resource to share with your all, the must have tips and tricks and an A-Z of the vendors you need to be considering in this area and why.

Example Requirements


100 desktops for a small SMB or as a building block for a larger company. Existing vSphere Essentials + for server virtualisation.


300 desktops for a medium SMB


800 – 1500 desktops for a large SMB / small SME.


SMB VDI projects come in all shapes and sizes, from the smallest sub 100 desktop deployments up to the larger 1000-1500 desktops rollouts. But all of these solutions will tend to start with a proof of concept and a gradual rollout. I am interested to know how people move from proof of concept to full roll out and interested from the vendors how to the deal with scaling deployments.

Assessment and Monitoring

Is it needed? Do you know the tricks of the trade to virtualise hundreds of desktops without assessment? Failing finding this magic trick what are the best tools to use and once your desktops are virtualised how do we ensure there continued success?


I think most people are aware that one of the key components to a successful VDI project is the storage, what does work, what doesn’t work. Is flash a must have and what is the average IOPS per user.


Just how do you manage the user persona? Is View Persona management good enough or is a dedicated persona management solution a must have, if so what product?

Persistent or Non-Persistent

One of the constant debates when it comes to VDI is persistent or non-persistent, I think we would all like to live the non-persistent dream but is it realistic and if it has to be non-persistent what technologies need to be used to enable this, how is patch management managed, how much storage is required? 

Desktop Optimization

Have you got the secret ingredient to optimizing your View Desktops, did you take a step too far?


What is the right recipe for dealing with applications in VDI, installation in the golden image or application virtualisation with View or maybe a hybrid approach?

View Configuration

Just how many View Connection Servers and Security Servers are required, how much memory and CPU do these need in the smallest of deployments, what load balancers will bring these components together?

Thin Clients

Are they all the same, does one product really stand out from another?

Deployment Strategy

I am a big fan of utilising departmental champions to ease the deployment of VDI, but what has and hasn’t worked for you?

So if you are a vendor in this space that would love to tell me about your successes and share your must have white papers, or if you work with SMB’s or for an SMB and want to share your experiences I want to hear from you at VMworld. Likewise if you are just heading down this journey lets catch up and compare notes.

I’m really looking forward to VMworld and I look forward to sharing with you all my findings of my SMB VDI Challenge!

Who’s up for the challenge? Contact me on twitter @virtualisedreal or fill out this form

Vendors Currently on Board

Below is a list of vendors who are up for the challenge and I will be catching with at VMworld.

Name Product VMworld Stand #
Nutanix Converged Storage and Compute G318
Fusion IO NAND Memory and Software Based Storage Solutions S217
Nimble Hybrid Storage Solutions E513
Atlantis ILIO In memory storage technologies S108
Dell Cloud Client Computing Wyse / Dell DVS Solutions D208
SimpliVity’ Building block approach to virtual infrastructures P308


I have recently worked with one of my colleagues (Josh Herbert) to setup demonstrations of every component of the Horizon Suite for a recent seminar I presented at. We presented the Seminar alongside Peter Von Oven Senior VMware End User Computing Specialist and wanted to ensure that customers not only understood what the Horizon Suite could do for them but also see for them selves in scenario based and hands on demos. The main points we wanted to get across was the fact that VMware did much more than just VDI and that a number of restrictions that have traditionally been around VDI no longer exist.

Regular readers of my blog will have seen my 8U mobile rack that I use for seminars before


For the end user computing seminar the rack was upgraded to incorporate a Dell PowerEdge R720 so we could install the NVIDIA GRID K1 GPU for the 3D demos utilising VMware Virtual Shared Graphics Acceleration vSGA. We use a mobile rack to allow us to taken our seminars on tour to various different regions. Also installed in the rack is a R620, Dell EqualLogic Storage and Force10 switching. 

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We put together a number of demonstrations including utilising a Dell Wyse P45 Teradici Zero Client with 4 screens running 3D CAD demos utilising the NVIDIA GRID K1 card a vSGA, seen in the short video below.

We also had the Dell Wyse P25 the baby brother of the P45, it is also a Teradici Zero client with the ability to run two displays. The demo showed HD video but also the functionality of Horizon Workspace including Horizon Data and Horizon Application management over multiple devices, on display on the day was IOS and Android devices as well as using the Surface RT for web based demos of Horizon Workspace as well as the tech preview for View.


One problem we have been seeing is many customer either have or are looking at investing in Microsoft Lync at present, traditionally using Lync for Video and Voice inside a VDI desktop whilst possible has been unsupported and the results were mixed. With Lync 2013, the Microsoft Lync Plugin for VDI, View 5.2 and a Windows based Thin Client these restrictions can be lifted. To show this we had a live demo between two Wyse WES7 thin clients connected to View desktops taking part in live video calls.


Amongst the other demos we  had a live demo of a Windows XP laptop being migrated to a Windows 7 laptop utilising VMware Horizon Mirage, whilst all users data and settings remained intact. Using the same environment we were also able to demonstrate application layering, fixing a broken application in the base image and recover user data all using Mirage.


I am intending to record a number of demos around Mirage and Horizon Workspace and will place a copy of these online when I have done so.

Below you will see a short video we put together showing the demo environment that we used.

BriForum London kicked off yesterday taking place near St Paul’s Cathedral at the ETC Venues conference facility. Once I stopped trying to follow google maps to get there (Which was trying to take me somewhere about a mile away) I joined the registration queue and quickly headed into the opening keynote by Brian Madden. The first part of the keynote was a review of what was said last year during the keynote, with the end concentrating on the improvements that have happened since, that are starting to make VDI a more cost effective and viable solution from where we were in the past. These included hardware offloaded graphics processing and single instance block storage.

Brian was keen to push that VDI only works in persistent mode, as users want to customise their desktop and install their own apps as they always have done amongst other reasons. I don’t agree fully with this sentiment, whilst having a persistent desktop is certainly an easier option to get you VDI project off the ground we won’t be making full use of the benefits of a VDI solution and moving forward when we are looking to allow the user to become decoupled from one device (or desktop source) the movement of data, apps and customisations will be increasingly important. Admittedly if you are a power user and need to be installing your own applications that aren’t part of an enterprise app store like Horizon Workspace a persistent desktop maybe your best and only option unless you are going to look into solution like Liquidware Labs Flex Apps, but most task and knowledge workers in companies from my experience are not concerned by not being able to install applications (or potentially have ever been able too) or only being able to select from the enterprise catalogue. With the wide variety of persona management solutions around there is no reason why user customisations shouldn’t be persistent between non persistent desktops. By having a non-persistent desktop configured correctly with persona management and application layering technologies we are able to refresh the base image for security and consistency on a regular basis without issue and the desktop itself becomes worthless meaning there is no requirement to back it up, unlike a persistent desktop which presumably is persistent because it has some worth to an individual or the business.

After the keynote we were given the opportunity to engage with the vendors attending the conference, I was very disappointed to not see VMware and Citrix attending this year, this event is a great showcase for these companies especially when there is so much focus on end user computing from VMware at the moment. I really enjoyed chatting with a number of vendor’s especially, AppSense regarding their DataNow and MobileNow products, Atlantis ILIO, nVidia with their GRID GPUs, Nutanix with their block based compute and storage platform and Xangati with their Virtualisation monitoring product. The vendor hall in my opinion could be 2 or 3 times the size for this event, what better opportunity is there for End User Computing focused vendors to have a dedicated audience of End User Computing professionals to talk too and wow with their wares, where are the likes of Dell Wyse, DevonIT, Liquidware Labs amongst others?

A key part of any BriForum is the breakout sessions, where industry experts share their knowledge, in the morning I joined Jack Madden’s session regarding Enterprise Device Management (EDM) this is a relatively new subject area for me so I was pleased to learn more as Jack walked us through his new book that will be out shortly. My next sessions was AppSense’s Bring Your Own Dad (Device, Application, Data) session. I was keen to attend AppSense’s session after enjoying theirs so much last year, they seem to know how to engage the audience and mix knowledge with live demonstrations, a lot of vendors need to learn from these guys, as when talking to a technical audience the sales pitch won’t cut it. My remaining technical sessions of the day were regarding RDS 2012 and Storage improvements in vSphere 5.1 which I really enjoyed and I am hoping to catch up with presenter Jim Moyle today to discuss further how Atlantis ILIO assists in VDI solution as Jim works for Atlantis. I also attended the vendor session by Nutantix and Streamcore, I’m not sure what went wrong in this session as it appeared to finish 45 minutes early and I would have loved to have seen a live demo by Rob Tribe during the Nutanix presentation as his passion for the product and technology always comes across really well. The StreamCore presentation was just that “a number of slides” and unfortunately wasn’t very engaging.

Overall I had a good first day and even managed to pop into the new Giant bike shop downstairs during a break, I know Brian is a cycling fan (after discussing over beers at the last BriForum) and would recommend he pops down! Today I will be looking forward to attending Ruben Sprujit’s from PQR’s sessions as they were amongst my favourites last year.

VMworld EMEA Day 2

October 12, 2012 — Leave a comment

The second day at VMworld EMEA started with the Steve Herrod’s keynote speech this time focusing on end user computing a great passion of mine.

The keynote discussed the importance of flexibility and allowing the end users choice in devices to ensure they were able to be more productive.


Steve Herrod recapped the improvements in the View 5.1 release, going over functionality such as the storage accelerator and enhancements in PCoIP.

He went on to introduce the Horizon Suite, a collection of solutions we have previously seen or been aware of, but now coming together into a comprehensive suite of end user computing focused solutions.


For the first time we saw Project Octopus renamed as Horizon Data, we will also see tight integration with Horizon Application manager and this will offer the first opportunity for for us to see the HTML5 remoting technology AppBlast in action for tablet users connecting into their View desktop via the Horizon Suite. No dates were announced for the availability of the Horizon Suite but it is currently in Alpha.

The next subject of the keynote was VMware Mirage which has come from the Wanova acquisition, as we have come to expect Vittorio Viarengo, Vice President Marketing for End User Computing came on stage to show us how Mirage works from an end users perspective. The demo entailed a laptop being upgraded from Windows XP to Windows 7 whilst the user was still using it, a simple reboot and the laptop booted into Windows 7 with the applications and data still in place, the desktop was then moved into a view desktop when then laptop was damaged and finally from View to VMware Fusion.


I really enjoyed hearing about the announcements surrounding end user computing, it proves VMware are no longer a one trick pony in the end user computing space and that this is a serious direction for VMware.

Finally we saw a new addition to the CTOs keynote with the diamond sponsors being invited to stage for a quick fire demo, the audience were then given a chance to complete polls and vote for their favourite demo, with the winner getting a $10,000 to a nominated charity. Dell, Cisco, HP, EMC and NetApp all took part and EMC won with a VVol demo on the EMC vplex by storage god Chad Sakac. EMC will be donating the money to a down syndrome foundation in Madrid. However VMware announced they would also donate to all the other charities.


Following the keynote I spent a lot of my time in the Solutions Exchange talking to various vendors, I had a long chat with Devin Hamilton of Nimble and it was really great to see how far they have come in the last year, their team has grown substantially, they have recently announced the ability to add disk shelves to their SANs to allow not only grid based expansion but now frame based to allow you to have the flexibility to grow the environment to your needs. They have also worked with a number of partners including Cisco to have their SANs included in many of the VMware Rapid Deployment Program solutions for View. I’m looking forward to doing some blog posts on the Nimble SAN shortly.


I also spent some time with the guys from Fusion IO, they seem to be doing very well at the moment with their cards being featured in a number of solutions and reference architectures for VDI, one example of this is how it is being utilised in the Nutanix solutions. I will hopefully be working with Fusion IO to do a blog post on using their product in a View solution shortly.


I was also given the opportunity to speak with David Angwin marketing director of Dell Wyse and Rafeal Colorado Cloud Client Computer Marketing Director to discuss end user computing with Dell. Dell had a very large end user computing presence at VMworld EMEA in my personal opinion this was at the loss of the storage division who had little to no presence at the show which was a big shame especially with all the competitors being heavily represented in that space.


Dell were announcing 2 major new products at VMworld EMEA the first was its new Desktop as a Service solution now available within Europe from its Slough based datacenter, the solution is built around VMware View and pricing starts at £29 per month. I’m going to be interested to see how this works and how partners will be able to integrate with it to build complete cloud solutions for their customers, watch this space.

The second as mentioned yesterday was the announcement of the new Tera 2 thin client, the new P25 and the unfortunately named for the UK market P45 are now available, with the P25 being dual screen and the P45 being quad screen. They have also expanded support for their T50 ARM SoC thin client to include PCoIP support.


I was only able to fit one lab in today and that was the delivering optimal performance with VMware vSphere 5.1, there was some good content in this lab but I think it spent a bit too long covering the Java application that we were using to cause the problems that we were then fixing. But overall I felt I recovered ground that I had previously looked at but equally it was good to refresh these skills and there were a number of elements that I was able to take away.


The focus on the evening was a number of parties, the first being a small Xsigo champagne reception where it was good to catch up with a number of friendly faces on a balcony room near the conference centre. The second being the VMworld party making place in a transformed hall 8 at the Gran Fira venue, the party had an 8 bit computer game theme, there was pedal kart racing, costumes, retro games, pool tables and more. There was also a live band ‘black rock’ who in my opinion weren’t that good, more screaming than singing and didn’t fit well with the theme of the party, I think a good DJ would have gone down better if there wasn’t going to be a big name band. All together I did enjoy the party their was good food, a memorable theme and it was good to catch up with other VMworld attendees.





Today was the first day of VMworld EMEA in Barcelona after yesterdays partner day. The morning kicked off with a keynote by Pat Gelsinger CEO and Steve Herrod. The keynote started the same as VMworld US earlier in the year with live music and drumming coming from the large VMworld 2012 drums.


See the video below

During the keynote there were several announcements mostly around the vCloud Suite management, including VMware vCloud Automation manager which comes from the acquisition of Dynamic Ops.


I really liked the look of this product and it will be interesting to see how in the future it integrates more highly with vCloud director. There were also live demos of vCloud director and its refreshed UI and lots more.


My first session was regarding Zimbra 8 VMware’s mail and collaboration platform. This session was a little basic but gave a good overview of the latest version and the updated UI. I also liked the UC elements that have been integrated utilising partnerships with Mitel and Cisco.


After my first session I headed over to the labs via the solutions exchange hall


My first lab of the day was surrounding vCloud Director, i really enjoyed this lab it gave a good overview not only from and administrators perspective but also as a cloud consumer.


I spent a lot of my time today in the Solutions Exchange hall chatting to many of the companies. Next generation storage has a heavy presence, Tintri, Nimble, Violin Memory and Fusion IO are amongst the ones I have enjoyed learning more about the most. It certainly is becoming and increasingly crowded market place though.


Whilst in the solutions exchange it was good to catch up with Dell and see the new quarter height blades unfortunately the Equallogic storage blade wasn’t on display.


It was also good to catch up with the Embotics and see their latest release of vCommander, they definitely win best USB stick award.


I stopped by the Teradici stand who were displaying a pre release of RDSH utilising PCoIP for a brokered RDS session. This is something that I think some of my customers would use when available. They also had a collection of the now available tera 2 thin clients available including the 4 DVI Wyse P45


Probably my favourite session of VMworld so far was VMware View Storage and Thinking outside the box, covering the usage of local flash based storage to bring down the costs of VDI. Wish one fusion IO card they could comfortably get 200 users per box and 500 when pushing to the Max. They also had a live environment white box for us to connect to and test it.


My final lab of the day was auto deploy where we utilised auto deploy to upgrade a vSphere 5.0 host to 5.1. Most of this was done through the new vSphere web client with the repository configuration etc being completed via Powershell. I haven’t done much with Auto Deploy but compared to my experience with it during previous VMworlds and training courses the improvements in 5.1 seemed to have made it easier to use than ever before.


Day 2 kicks off tomorrow with a second end user computing focused keynote.

Dell have recently released their latest VMware integration tools for EqualLogic, as usual in the first instance these tools are for early production access so unless you are happy being cutting edge I would wait for them to move from EPA before installing in production environments.

I haven’t had a chance to install this release just yet but from the release notes you will see the following changes

1. New name for the virtual appliance as it contains more than just HIT/VE it will now be referred to as VSM/VMware standing for virtual storage manager
2. The new VSM contains the MEM multipathing module and the SRM storage adapter as with as the host Integration tools
3. Finally we get support for managing multiple Equallogic groups, and this has been a problem for a number of my customers
4. The ability to manage replication from directly from VSM
5. Support for the recently released version 6 firmware

There are a number of updates which can be seen in the screen shot below. Keep an eye on my blog as over the coming weeks I will be working on a video covering this and version 6 of the firmware.


It seems a number of people finding my blog are searching for VMware Visio stencils so I have put this page together to keep track of all the Visio stencils that maybe of use to anyone that works with virtualisation on a daily basis.

The official VMware Visio Stencils can be found attached to the bottom of the following post on VMware communities by Maish Saidel-Keesing

The guys over at have a number of packs containing icons and imagery for presentations and diagrams. This includes a set of Visio stencils

Veeam have a pack of Visio stencils for virtualisation administrators

A collection of Visio stencils for Citrix products

The Dell Visio stencil collection covering servers as well as storage

I will continue to add to this page over the coming weeks, but as ever if the above links haven’t helped you take a look at Visio Cafe for the most comprehensive collection I know off.

VMworld Europe Day 2

October 18, 2011 — Leave a comment

Today was day 2 of VMworld Europe for me, the show was open to the general public today and today was the start of the sessions and solutions exchange.

I hit the labs at 8am and took the Cloud Reporting lab


To be honest I was looking for a lab regarding vCenter ops in a private cloud rather than vCloud Director reporting but however it was good to look at vCenter chargeback and probably my first look at orchestrator as well.

I was then quickly onto the Troubleshooting View session, there was a lot of good content in this session surrounding what to look for when troubleshooting View, particularly when looking in the the agent, client and connection server log files. I look forward to being able to take a closer look at the slides from this session and looking into the relevant logs.



Upon leaving this session there was a helicopter outside the Bella Center toeing a rather large Trend banner! It seemed to have the desired effect with lots of people watching.


I was then onto using vCenter Ops in real world situations, there were two customers presenting with very compelling results for the product, one in an extremely large environment with many PB’s of storage. vCenter Ops is something I have been looking into a lot recently and this session really helped me understand the value it can give to a customer, I’m looking forward to getting hands in with vCenter Ops Suite 5 that was mentioned in the session.





After this session I then took some time out to meet with a few of the people from the community, it was good to catch up with Mike Laverick and Scott Herold amongst others, I then managed to have a flyby visit of the Solutions Exchange area, on the top of my list was Tintri and Nexenta storage vendors. I plan on doing a separate blog post regarding these vendors shortly so I will save that for another day.

I was then off to the main event of the day Steve Herrods Keynote, I sat with the rest of the London VMUG bloggers, in the blogger and press area. There was a number of demonstrations and announcements during the keynote, the demonstrations that stood out for me were the AppBlast, Project Octopus, ThinApp Factory and Project Horizon Mobile.


AppBlast is a technology VMware are working on that allows legacy applications to be delivered to any HTML 5 browser, the example in the demo was Excel being delivered to an iPad.

Project Octopus is VMware’s answer to DropBox in the enterprise, Steve Herrod asked how many people in the audience used DropBox, to which most people put their hands up, he then asked how many people were supposed to use it, very few people put there hands up. Dropbox is disallowed by many IT departments. Project Octopus has similar syncing and sharing capabilities but allows IT to be in control behind the sciences, it also others options on where the data is stored etc.

ThinApp factory is a new automation and self service portal for creating thinapps, you get a web front end to allow the automatic creation of thinapps from windows installers, it is also able to track updates to these applications and repackage the applications, on the user side of the application they are given an Enterprise Software App store allowing them to choose what applications they need and installed the streamed thin app on demand.

Project Horizon Mobile is the mobile virtualisation platform that has been discussed for some time. The demonstration showed how IT could send a business phone down to a users phone, allowing the user to keep business and personal phone configurations and applications separate.



The main announcement for me was vCenter Operation Suite 5.0 there was a short demo, but I look forward to finding out more and getting some hands on time when released, I plan on blogging more about the announcements when I have had more time to review them.



After the keynote it was onto the solution exchange area again, I caught up with Gina Rosenthal and David Glynn on the Dell stand discussing mainly Dell EqualLogic Storage.

Finally for me it was into the vExpert tweet up, it was good to meet some new faces and catchup with some of the more familiar ones.

Tomorrow I am looking forward to getting some more labs under my belt and attending some deep dive sessions.

Below are a couple of videos from the keynote, he first shows the very impressive visual effects used at the start of the keynote the second is a short video of some of the things VMware engineers are working on at the moment