March 2015 archive

Announcing the Top vBlog 2015 results

Below are the results for the overall voting for the Top 25, full results will be published soon:

BlogRankPreviousChangeTotal VotesTotal Points#1 Votes
Yellow Bricks (Duncan Epping)1109176730243
Virtually Ghetto (William Lam)220667431480
Cormac Hogan341564343727
Frank Denneman43-1486299343
Scott Lowe blog550493278215
Wahl Network (Chris Wahl)682494276853
Derek Seaman's Blog7125455260539
Virtual Geek (Chad Sakac)8914312577108 (Eric Sloof)96-3394214718
Virtu-al (Alan Renouf)107-335917978
Long White Virtual Clouds (M. Webster)11132314177633
vSphere-land (Eric Siebert)1211-1285150516
ESX Virtualization (Vladan Seget)13152247148543
My Virtual Cloud (Andre Leibovici)14140301146830
CloudXC (Josh Odgers)15216286142221
Mike Laverick1610-628514058
VCDX56 (Magnus Andersson)17181319137712
Punching Clouds (Rawlinson)183921224110713
Pure Storage Guy (Vaughn Stewart)193516177100618
Justin's IT Blog2045252149859
vInfrastructure Blog (Andrew Mauro)2129817395217
Datacenter Dude (Nick Howell)2223113490834
LucD (Luc Dekens)2317-61718987
A vTexan (Tommy Trogden)2422-21588405
VMGuru (Various)2524-115981613

And below are the winners of the individual categories:

Category Winners-crop


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What Virtual Volumes does not support

VMware finally released the list of supported and non-supported vSphere features and VMware products with their new Virtual Volumes  (VVols) storage architecture. I’ve been looking for this in their documentation for VVols and have not found it so I’m glad to see it’s finally available so you can see exactly what is supported and more importantly not-supported that may impact your plans to deploy VVols.

Right now the one non-supported feature that sticks out and is a big one is storage array replication which is not part of the current VASA 2.0 specification. I’m not sure when VMware will support this, hopefully it will be soon as it currently limits VVols adoption. You will probably see storage array vendors supporting this on the array side before VMware supports it through their Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM) in vSphere. Note that while storage array replication is not currently supported vSphere Replication is as it is host based and sits above the VVols architecture. Also note though that while vSphere Replication is supported with VVols, SRM is currently not supported with VVols so it may be of little use to you.

Full-scale adoption of VVols will likely be slow in most shops as they both get experience with the new architecture and VMware along with storage array vendors improve feature support for VVols over time. But one thing to keep in mind when it comes to un-supported features with VVols its not all or nothing with VVols and you can continue to use VMFS right along side VVols to utilize features that currently are not supported such as FT and storage array replication. Also remember every vendors implementation of VVols is different and you should check with them to see what storage array features they support and do not support with VVols.

Below is the list of Not Supported features, expect this to shrink over time, be sure and check out the post on the vSphere blog for more details and the source for this information in the VMware Knowledge Base.

Virtual Volumes (VVols) Not Supported and Interoperable Products and Features

VMware Products
  • VMware vRealize Operations Manager 6.x
  • VMware vCloud Air
  • VMware Site Recovery Manager 5.x to 6.x
  • VMware vSphere Data Protection 5.x to 6.x
  • VMware Data Recovery 2.x
  • VMware vCloud Director 5.x
VMware vSphere 6.0 Features
  • Storage I/O Control
  • NFS version 4.1
  • IPv6
  • Storage Distributed Resource Scheduler (SDRS)
  • Fault Tolerance (FT)
  • SMP-FT
  • vSphere API for I/O Filtering (VAIO)
  • Array-based replication
  • Raw Device Mapping (RDM)
  • Microsoft Failover Clustering (MSCS)
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And the winners of Top vBlog 2015 are…

…not ready to be revealed yet, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to find out. I’ve tabulated all the votes and applied points to the votes and have computed the results. We’ll announce the winners on a special live Google Hangout tomorrow with David Davis, Rick Vanover, Simon Seagrave, John Troyer and Scott Davis from Infinio. Go here for information on how you can watch the live results show. While you’re waiting here’s a few tidbits of information on this years voting:

  • There were over 2200 votes this year (1400 last year)
  • Approximately 32% of the votes were from the US, next highest was 7% from the UK, followed by 6% from the Netherlands, 5% from the Turkey and 4% from Australia and 4% from Germany
  • Votes came from all across the US except for Maine, Vermont, Montana and Wyoming (no voting available via pony express)


  • We had voters from over 60 different countries including Ukraine, Thailand, Seychelles, Slovakia, Romania, Portugal, Philippines, Peru, Oman, Nigeria, New Caledonia, Malta, Mauritius, Latvia, Iran, Iceland, Egypt, Cyprus, Cote D’Ivoire and Azerbaijan.


  • There are 411 blogs in the voting this year, last year there were 320
  • There were 7 position changes in the top 10
  • There were 4 blogs in the top 25 that were not in there in 2014
  • There were 2 blogs that were newcomers this year in the top 25
  • There is 1 blog new to the top 10

That’s it for now, tune in tomorrow to see the full results and find out if Duncan can retain the crown for #1 blogger.

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Watch the Top vBlog 2015 Results Show Live!

Join the vChat gang, Eric Siebert from vSphere-land, David Davis from Virtualization Software and Simon Seagrave from TechHead along with special guests Scott Davis from Infinio and John Troyer from TechReckoning as we countdown the top 25 bloggers based on the results from my annual VMware/virtualization blog survey. This event will be broadcast live via Google Hangouts at 9:00am PST on Tuesday March 31st right here on so bookmark this page, get the popcorn ready and come back when it starts. If you want to tweet about this event please use the hashtag #TopvBlog2015.

Of course all this wouldn’t be possible without the support of our official sponsor of Top vBlog 2015: Infinio


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Infinio Whitepaper
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VMTurbo is giving away a great home lab just for watching a webinar

Register for the VMTurbo 5.1 Release Webcast and get THREE CHANCES to win a Turbostack Home Lab, valued over USD $1,600.00!


Now I would encourage you to watch the webcast even if they weren’t giving away a pretty cool home lab kit (that’s what they call it in the UK) as VMTurbo makes a great and unique product for vSphere environments. If learning about a great product wasn’t enough, you also have a chance to win something that you can try it out on. Their Turbostack Home Lab includes everything you need to get vSphere up and running including a host, external shared storage and networking to connect it all together. Below is what is included:

  • Intel NUC with Intel Core i5-4250U
  • G.SKILL Ripjaws Series 16GB (2x8G) 204-Pin DDR3 Memory
  • SAMSUNG 840 EVO 250GB SATA III TLC Internal Solid State Drive
  • Synology DS415+ Diskless System DiskStation 4-Bay NAS
  • 2x Dell 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5″ Hard Drive
  • Cisco SG300-10 10-port Gigabit Managed Switch
  • Rosewill 7ft. Cat 6 Network Cable

Now if you aren’t familiar with the Intel NUC, it stands for Next Unit of Computing and is designed to fit a lot of computing power in a small little package. This is great for a home lab as it requires very little space and both noise and power consumption (65w) are very low. You can read the specs for this cool little unit here.

The Synology DS415+ is a great mini storage array, I’ve owned a Synology unit and have always been impressed with them. It’s a very versatile unit that supports both iSCSI and NFS protocols and can be used for a variety of things beyond your vSphere lab. It holds up to 4 drives, supports SSDs and up to 24 TB (6 TB HDD X 4) of space.

So what are you waiting for, grab some popcorn and a beer, go watch the webinar, learn about a great product and maybe you walk away with some cool kit.

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New paper on VMware Virtual Volumes (VVols) from Evaluator Group

Want to know more about VMware Virtual Volumes (VVols) and get an analyst perspective of this exciting new VMware storage architecture? Well you can, Evaluator Group has a new paper entitled “Evaluation of HP 3PAR StoreServ Storage with VMware VVOLs” that details their experience and opinions after some hands-on experience with VVols running on 3PAR. The paper includes the results of a basic performance comparison that they performed between VM workloads running on VMFS and the same workloads running on VVols.



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vBlogger Spotlight: William Lam


While we wait for the Top vBlog results I thought I would shine the spotlight on several prominent bloggers in the community to give you some insight into their experiences with blogging. Today’s spotlight is on William Lam, automation wizard extraordinaire and voted last year as the #2 vBlogger in the world. Let’s face it we all have a lazy side and automation makes an admins job so much easier. Thanks to William and his great tips and scripts we can all become big fat lazy vSphere admins. After all wouldn’t we rather be working smarter than working harder and the great content that William posts on his Virtually Ghetto blog makes that possible. William debuted at the #25 spot in the 2011 Top vBlog voting and quickly moved up into the top 10 in 2012 before rising to #2 last year. William is also a genius when it comes to nesting ESXi and getting ESXi to run on a Mac Mini to help out all those home labs out there. So without further ado enjoy a Q&A session with William Lam:

What year did you start your blog?

[William] virtuallyGhetto was started in 2010

What inspired you to start a blog?

[William] In the early days when I was a system administrator, I spent quite a bit of time on the VMTN Community Forums helping answer questions related to VMware automation and scripting. As part of my day job, I did a lot of Automation and I found that many of the questions that were being asked were things that I had done before or things that I was currently working on. I figured that I could help others by sharing some of the solutions and experiences that I had so that the greater community could benefit overall. With my replies, I usually ended up providing a fully functional script that exercised the task or operation so the OP gets the information they needed but also got a working example so that it helps them out in their current situation. All of this was done on the VMTN Community forum and some static HTML pages that I was manually updating which kept track of all the scripts that I had written. As you can probably guess, this made searching and notifications of new content pretty challenging.

I eventually decided to start a blog after multiple comments from my friend Duncan Epping who really encouraged me to give this blogging thing a try. He had always been a mentor/supporter of my content and had even blogged about my scripts on more than several occasions. I figured by having a blog, I could make it easier for people to search for solutions to their questions and help foster a community around VMware automation and scripting which did not really exist back then.

Describe your early blogging experiences and how you have evolved over the years?

[William] I had initially only focused on vSphere Automation as a topic for my blog. However, being a technologist and loving to learn about new things and solving problems I quickly expanded beyond just vSphere Automation. I started to explore other areas and products in VMware’s portfolio such as storage, networking and management. Other popular topics that I have been writing about are Nested Virtualization, Mac Mini for home labs and just doing cool and sometimes not supported things with VMware products. I definitely enjoy variety and you can see that with the content over the years.

What has kept you blogging over the years and not quitting at it?

[William] For me personally, it is the continue sharing of information with the community and the constant learning of new things that really keeps me going. I really enjoy learning about new technologies and in turn I can share that knowledge which can help someone solve a problem. You get this circular effect that only makes our community stronger.

What was your best experience or fondest memory related to blogging?

[William] Honestly, there are so many it is hard to just pick one. For me, the best experience I could get from blogging is just a simple note from a reader saying how one of my articles or a script has helped them solve a particular problem. I really do enjoy reading those emails and makes it all worth it at the end. I guess a nice runner up is hearing from VMware Engineering and GSS Support that they use several of my blog articles on a regular basis 🙂

Any advice for others who are new to blogging?

[William] Do not start a blog to just start a blog. Write about something that you are very passionate about. There are still so many topics within the VMware and Virtualization community that have been unexplored in great detail, try to really differentiate yourself from what others have already done. Lastly, it is all about the content! The more unique and interesting content that you can produce the larger the reward in terms of readership, engagement and longevity of blogging.

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VMworld 2015 Call for Papers now open!



It’s that time of year again, time to submit your best session ideas for VMworld for that oh so slight chance that it might get accepted. Below are the timelines for the whole CFP process.

  • Call For Papers opens March 24, closes April 28
  • June 12 (+/- a few days) Speaker Resource Center opens
  • June 23 Content Catalog goes live
  • July 14 (August 18 in Europe) Schedule Builder launches
  • 2 weeks prior to each show room assignments are announced

And of course some tips for making the best possible submission. From previous experience I can tell you to have a catchy title as it’s your sessions curb appeal. Many people won’t make it past your title and you miss a chance to interest them with your abstract if you have a boring and un-interesting session title. As a former content committee judge I can also tell you to spend some time on your abstract and don’t rush to throw something together without thinking it through. I’ve seen lots of session proposals that lacked any real detail about what the session was about. Here are some additional tips that VMware provides:

Tips for Creating Effective Titles for Submission

  • Do not use abbreviations or acronyms under any circumstances in the titles of your submissions.
  • Do not use competitor or other company names in your submission titles. If you are highlighting other companies within your session, you can adopt these names within the session description.
  • Start with the Benefit: Ex: Shorten Adoption Time by Using VMware’s XXX.
  • Use clear and concise language that attendees will immediately understand. The agenda will eventually host hundreds of sessions and attendees need to easily identify sessions of interest. Straight forward language like “Introduction to”, “Deep Dive” and “Case Study” are popular examples because they quickly tell the attendee important information about the session.

Typical Reasons for Abstract Rejection

  • The abstract is poorly written—ideas are not clear, goals are not established, there are grammatical errors, etc.
  • The content is not relevant to the indicated audience.
  • The session value is not clearly identified.
  • The session topic is not unique or overlaps with another more appropriate abstract.

Tips for Writing Winning Abstracts

  • Avoid beginning your session description with the phrase, “In this session we will…”, or “In this session you will learn…”. It does not add value and becomes tedious on an agenda of several hundred sessions. Instead try a rhetorical question, or an interesting industry data
    point to start your session abstract.
  • Ensure that what you submit will be what you present. Nothing will upset attendees more than signing up for a session that is not what it is advertised to be.
  • Your abstract should generate enthusiasm‐ make sure your content is relevant, but also generates excitement. What invaluable information will be shared during the session?
  • Thoughtfully leverage the tags in the system for topics, level, and roles. Who is the target audience? What products or topics does this session cover outside of the track name? What roles would specifically benefit from this session? Do not check every check box if your session is applicable to all.
  • Be Original – Attendees want to see new presentations that cover the latest innovations in technology. Take the time to create well‐written titles, abstracts, outlines, and the key takeaways for your submission. A thoughtful proposal will have a better chance of being
    selected and if accepted, will be seen by thousands of attendees once published in the course catalog.
  • Be Educational –VMware requires that sessions focus on the educational value of the presentation. Be sure that your proposal doesn’t sound like a sales pitch but rather an exciting opportunity for attendees to learn something new.
  • Be Timely – Make sure your topic is relevant to the audience you’re targeting. Review the content topics before submitting a session.


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