June 2016 archive

Announcing Top vBlog 2016 Category winners!

Below are the winners of the individual voting categories for Top vBlog 2016, see my previous post for the Top 25 announcement. Full results coming soon!

Category Winners-2016-crop

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Announcing the Top vBlog 2016 results

Congrats to all! I will be publishing the category winners later today and the full results very soon. If you haven’t watched the results show you can watch it here.

BlogRankPreviousChangeTotal VotesTotal Points#1 Votes
Yellow Bricks (Duncan Epping)1105444846112
Virtually Ghetto (William Lam)2205314723108
Cormac Hogan330403305417
Frank Denneman blog440320228115
Wahl Network (Chris Wahl)561350227025
ESX Virtualization (Vladan Seget)6137298224433
Scott Lowe blog75-234922269
NTPro.nl (Eric Sloof)891300194725
Virtu-al (Alan Renouf)910132419344
Derek Seaman's Blog107-3255172517
Virtual Geek (Chad Sakac)118-329516527
vSphere-land (Eric Siebert)12120248158216
Long White Virtual Clouds (Webster)1311-2214153917
My Virtual Cloud (Andre Leibovici)14140230147215
VCDX56 (Magnus Andersson)15172236143112
Punching Clouds (Rawlinson)1618221813889
CloudXC (Josh Odgers)1715-2189134224
VMGuru (Various)18257200129628
VCDX133 (Rene Van Den Bedem)193718167128424
IT Blood Pressure (Dwayne Lessner)20266157109411
Brian Madden2128716610667
Professional VMware (Cody Bunch)2229717610249
The IT Hollow (Eric Shanks)23351215798219
Pure Storage Guy (Vaughn Stewart)2419-51358864
My Virtual Vision (Kees Baggerman)2553281177695
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Watch the Top vBlog 2016 Results Show Live!

vsphere-land-top-vblog2016-logoJoin myself along with special guests Eric Wright from Turbonomic 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 10:30am PST on Thursday June 30th right here on vSphere-land.com 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 #TopvBlog2016. Alternatively you can view it direct on YouTube at this link. And in case you missed it here’s some statistics on this year’s voting to get you ready for the results.

Of course all this wouldn’t be possible without the support of our official sponsor of Top vBlog 2016:



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All VMworld 2015 session recordings now available to the general public

I was looking through the 2015 VMworld session recordings looking for a particular session on VVols and backups and discovered that I no longer had to log into my account as a VMworld attendee to view the sessions. VMware always limits the VMworld session recordings to paid attendees except for some select sessions that they release on YouTube shortly after the event. Typically at some point VMware will lift the restrictions so anyone can view the sessions right before the next year’s VMworld. Not sure when they did that this year but it looks like anyone can access last years sessions right now. So head on over to the VMworld 2015 session page and enjoy the hours and hours of great content that exists there.


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The biggest VMUG UserCon in the US is coming soon

If you were asked what the largest VMUG UserCon event in the US was and the 2nd largest in the world would you have guessed Indianapolis, IN? Probably not. I was always curious as to why that was, you would expect much bigger cities like Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas and Boston to be the biggest but the fact is Indianapolis has consistently had the highest attendance of any VMUG event in the US and the 2nd highest in the world. Indy regularly draws around 900 attendees, the next biggest cities in the US are Chicago (800), Atlanta (700), Kansas City (700) and Charlotte (700). The largest VMUG in the world is in the Netherlands with around 950 attendees.

So why is Indy so well attended? After attending several past VMUGs in Indy and talking to attendees I found out that where Indy is located pulls from several states (IL, IN, KY, OH, MI) and well populated areas including Chicago, Cincinnati and Louisville. This centralized location draws people from all over and is what drives the attendance so high at Indy. I’ve always enjoyed going to the Indy VMUG and will be back again this year. Indy is a very laid back city and the people there are very friendly, it still maintains that Midwest small town feel despite having a population of close to a million people. The airport is easy to navigate and not overly crowded, I was surprised at how early all the restaurants and shops shut down in the airport, usually around 8pm.

So if you are attending the Indy VMUG on 7/20 stop by the HPE booth and say hi, we have a cool drone that we’ll be giving away, I’ll also be doing a session on VVols at 11:00am. I expect other bloggers and community people will be there as well from the agenda I can see that Chris Wahl, Sean Massey, Gina Rosenthal, Eric Shanks, Paul Woodward will be there and I suspect you will see a few more.

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VMworld 2016 party band announced and once again I’m disappointed

Just noticed that VMware announced the band without any fanfare this year and it’s Fall Out Boy along with some indie electro band called Capital Cities.


Once again I’m disappointed in the band selection but I’ve gotten used to not expecting anything great as not getting more popular bands has seemed to be the trend the past few years. I did a post last year on this which listed all the bands across the years that have played at VMworld along with the cost to hire them along with a comparison to bands at other vendor conferences (EMC, Oracle, Cisco, etc.). Here’s the band breakdown at VMworld over the years along with the cost to hire each band:

  • 2007 – Smash Mouth – $40K – $60K
  • 2008 – DJ & Tainted Love (cover band) – probably not a heck of a lot
  • 2009 – Foreigner – $40K – $50K
  • 2010 – INXS – ? (prob under $100K)
  • 2011 – Killers – $500K
  • 2012 – Jon Bon Jovi & the Kings of Suburbia – $850K
  • 2013 – Train and Imagine Dragons – Train – $200K-$300K, Imagine Dragons – $400K – $600K
  • 2014 – The Black Keys – $975K
  • 2015 – Neon Trees and Alabama Shakes – Neon Trees – $40K – $45K, Alabama Shakes – $90K – $125K
  • 2016 – Fall Out Boy – $100K – $150K, Capital Cities – $40K – $60K

The cost of the bands this year is on par with last year and in case you were wondering here are some comparisons of who else they could of selected with a roughly $200K band budget.

  • 38 Special – $35K – $45K
  • Blues Traveler – $40K – $40K
  • Cheap Trick – $45K – $70K
  • Creed – $100K
  • Five Finger Death Punch – $50K – $75K
  • Jefferson Starship $15K – $25K
  • Paramore – $125K – $175K
  • Pharrell Williams – $125K – $175K
  • Steve Miller Band– $100K – $200K
  • Slash – $45K – $65K

Well at least I know the band early this year as I will probably leave Wed. evening and skip the party. If you’re around and not thrilled about the band choice there is always the UNParty you could go to instead, or since you’re in Vegas there is plenty of other things to do.

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Reviewing Virtual Volumes (VVols) sessions at VMworld 2016

vvols-vegas-cropThe VMworld Content Catalog has been published and I wanted to highlight the sessions on Virtual Volumes (VVols) and also the ones I found most enticing. Before I begin I wanted to highlight my own session, unfortunately the updated 2016 edition of the session I presented at VMworld last year, Top 10 Things You Must Know Before Implementing Virtual Volumes was not approved this year. It made it through the voting last year and it scored very well in the session reviews but for whatever reason it didn’t make it this year. My session was also full of technical content only not specific to any hardware vendor except for having some examples of showing the setup and config of VVols on 3PAR.

If you take a look at the vendor VVols sessions that did get approved you will notice that most of them had a VMware speaker attached to them so maybe that’s what I should have done as well this year. Oh well, what I ended up having to do is combine my session with another HPE session so at least you will get to see half of my session this year as a sponsor session. I promise you though despite being a sponsor session it will be very technical and educational.

Containers & VVols – a technical deep dive on new technologies that revolutionize storage for vSphere [9617-SPO]

  • Garth Booth, HPSD VDU, Hewlett Packard Enterprise
  • Eric Siebert, Solutions Manager, Hewlett Packard Enterprise

I’ll note another vendor session from SolidFire/NetApp that also did not make it through the voting and used their sponsor session slot.

Making SolidFire Invisible in your VMware Environment [9726-SPO]

  • Josh Atwell, NetApp

So let’s move on to some VMware only sessions, you’ll notice Pete Flecha’s name on a lot of VVol sessions. Pete is a technical marketing architect at VMware who is focused on VVols who took over the role from Ken Werneberg who you might have remembered from last years VVols sessions. The first session I’ll highlight is a partner panel lead by Pete similar to the one last year but with a different focus area, transitioning to VVols (How not the Why). I’ve been invited to that one so I hope you can attend, I like this topic as I have done a lot of research on customer transitions to VVols and trying to learn their experiences with it. We pull a lot of metrics from our arrays via phone home capabilities so we have very good visibility into customer adoption of VVols.

Transitioning to VVols: Partner Panel [8619]

  • Pete Flecha, Sr Technical Marketing Architect, VMware

The next session has been held the last few years at VMworld and is always a good one, here’s the link to last years session. Patrick Dirks leads the VVol development team, he co-presented with us one year on VVols and of course Pete is very technical as well so this one is a must see.

Virtual Volumes Technical Deep Dive [7645]

  • Patrick Dirks, Sr Manager, VMware, Inc.
  • Pete Flecha, Sr Technical Marketing Architect, VMware

This next session focuses on snapshots, while they did suck when vSphere was managing them, they don’t with VVols, attend this session to find out why. I managed the development of a whole technical paper on that topic if you want to find out more and can’t wait for the session.

Snapshots Suck: How VSAN and VVol fix all your operational nightmares [8159]

  • Pete Flecha, Sr Technical Marketing Architect, VMware
  • John Nicholson, Technical Marketing Manager, VMware

In this session Lee & Duncan cover VVols along with VAIO and VSAN, should be a good one to cover the basics on each topic.

Software Defined Storage @ VMware Primer [7650]

  • Lee Dilworth, Principal Architect, VMware
  • Duncan Epping, Chief Technologist, VMware

Finally these last 2 VMware sessions cover deploying database solutions on VVols, haven’t really seen anybody doing that yet so it will be good to hear about running tier-1 workloads on VVols.

Deploying SAP Netweaver and HANA with vSphere 6 and Latest Solutions in the VMware SDDC [7504]

  • Bob Goldsand, Staff Partner Architect, VMware
  • Vas Mitra, SAP Solutions Architect, VMware

Achieving Agility, Flexibility , Scalability and Performance with VMware Software Defined Storage (SDS) and Virtual Volumes for Business critical databases [7549]

  • Sudhir Balasubramanian, Senior Solution Architect – Data Platforms, VMware
  • Mohan Potheri, Sr Solution Architect, VMware

There are also 2 hands-on labs focused on VVols, one is self-paced, the other expert led.

Virtual Volumes and Storage Policy Based Management [SPL-1708-SDC-2]

Virtual Volumes and Storage Policy Based Management Workshop [ELW-1708-SDC-2]

  • Ken Osborn

Here’s an interesting session that is more of a customer case study on a company that us using VVols for both server virtualization and VDI. It’s always good to hear real-world experiences instead of vendors and VMware preaching to you so be sure and check this one out.

VVol and Storage Policy-Based Management ? Is It Everything They Said It Would Be? [9054]

  • Ben Bolles, VP Product Management, Pivot3
  • Jeremiah Francis, Director, Information technology, Financial Advocates

The rest are all vendor sessions with a VMware speaker tacked on, as a vendor session your mileage may vary but hopefully they stay technical, neutral and educational. As every vendor has slightly different implementations of VVols it’s good to see what each vendor is doing.

High-Speed Heroics: Array-based Replication and Recovery for VMware Virtual Volumes [8694]

  • Julian Cates, Sr. Technical Marketing Engineer, Nimble Storage
  • Rawlinson Rivera, Principal Architect, VMware

Virtual Volumes: Why? [8422]

  • Pete Flecha, Sr Technical Marketing Architect, VMware
  • Rajib Ghosh, Consultant Product Manager, EMC

Virtual Volumes in a NetApp Environment [8144]

  • Rhett Bigler, Vmware Technical Alliance Manager, NetApp
  • Pete Flecha, Sr Technical Marketing Architect, VMware

Deploy Scalable Private Cloud with vSphere Virtual Volumes [8840]

  • Pete Flecha, Sr Technical Marketing Architect, VMware
  • Dinesh Singh, Solutions Marketing Manager, Hitachi Data Systems

The SDDC: Full Stack on vSphere 6.0 SAP Business Warehouse Powered By HANA, NSX, vRealize Operations,SDS-Virtual Volumes on Hitachi Unified Platform [8074]

  • Bob Goldsand, Staff Partner Architect, VMware
  • David Pascuzzi, Sr Solution Architect, Hitachi Data Systems
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VMworld Content Catalog is live! Here’s a breakdown by session type and VMware speakers

The VMworld Content Catalog is now live for the US event, there are a total of 609 sessions this year which is broken down into the following type of sessions:

  • 379 – Breakout sessions
  • 70 – Hands-on labs (self-paced)
  • 33 – Hands-on labs (expert-led)
  • 38 – Panel discussions
  • 5 – Spotlight sessions
  • 20 – Solutions Exchange Theater sessions
  • 24 – Quick Talks
  • 10 – PEX Boot Camp sessions
  • 2 – PEX Workshops
  • 29 – PEX Breakout sessions

Any session that has SPO in the session ID means it is a sponsor session, a quick search shows that out of the 379 Breakout sessions, 47 of them are sponsor sessions. A search on “, VMware”  and sorting through the results returns the following session breakdown (math may not be completely perfect):

  • 255 sessions with exclusive VMware speakers
  • 40 sessions with at least one VMware speaker (other is a customer/partner)
  • 47 sessions that are sponsor sessions (paid)
  • 37 sessions left over (non VMware or sponsor)

Note that while you can see all the sessions available right now, the Schedule Builder will not be live until July 19th.

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