May 12 2014

Gaining confidence to be an effective public speaker

Mike Laverick sent me an email the other day to try and help him promote the VMUG Feed Forward program which is designed to help encourage new members in the community to step up and participate in VMUG events. I was a VMUG leader for several years and one of the challenges is to find people to speak at the events and share their experiences and knowledge. Sure you always get the vendors that will speak at events as they pay to sponsor it but it is also nice to get customers and people who are not paying to be at the event to give their own unique viewpoints.

The challenge with this is many people have a fear of public speaking, if you could talk to them one-on-one they could probably do a great job of saying what they have to but in a larger group setting many people become uncomfortable. The Feed Forward program tries to mentor and help those who might be reluctant to speak at VMUGs to encourage them to step up and provide them with the advice and confidence they need to be successful at it. Some people are naturals at public speaking but I think for most of us we really have to work hard at it to be good. I thought I’d offer some advice based on my own personal experiences with public speaking that might help others that struggle with it or are just getting started.

It’s OK to be scared

I never had really done any type of public speaking at all before I started getting into virtualization. I really never had the desire to do it but sometimes opportunities come up and I’m not one to pass them up no matter how much I might not like it. My first opportunity came about 7 years ago, I was a regular contributor to Tech Target’s Search VMware site and they wanted me to do a webinar for them. Despite never having done one I said yes and started preparing the content. A webinar is a bit easier to deliver as you do not have a public audience in front of you and this one was being recorded only and would be played back later. The day of the webinar I was nervous, anxious and a bit scared leading up to the webinar time, once it started I settled down a bit. It didn’t go as smooth as I would of liked but I made it through it OK. To this day I tend to be a bit nervous before any type of public speaking but as soon as it starts it all falls away and once I get rolling I’m as comfortable as can be.

Know your content

I can’t stress this one enough, if you know your content and know it well you will be just fine, if you don’t know the content then will you will struggle and fumble it. I guarantee the more comfortable and knowledgeable that you are on the material that you are presenting will make a big difference in how smooth you deliver it.

Practice makes perfect

Most of the time I’ll do a dry run, just me speaking out loud going through the whole presentation as if I was delivering it live. By doing this you get a better feel for how the presentation will flow and also see what material might not work right or may need fixing.

Don’t expect to be good at it overnight

It took years and dozens of speaking engagements before I was really comfortable with doing it. You won’t notice yourself getting better at it overnight, it’s something that just takes time as you keep doing it. I guarantee you will get better over time, it may take years but you’ll slowly get better and better at it until one day you realize that you’re quite good at it and even better you enjoy it.

Listen to yourself afterwards

If you want to improve you need to listen and critique yourself, you may have certain speech habits that you are unaware of that may turn off your listeners. Things like saying Right or OK all the time or stumbling and filling in with Umm. Once you realize that you are doing it and how often you are doing it you can try and mentally prevent yourself from doing it next time you speak.

Watch your speed

Some people talk real slow others talk real fast when they are speaking, I tend to talk fast which can make it harder for people to follow what I’m saying. I mentally have to tell myself to slow down a bit when I’m speaking to make sure people can keep up. Once you get going it’s easy to forget this, as a visual reminder write SLOW DOWN on a sticky note and put it in front of you to remind yourself.

Read your reviews

Nobody likes to hear negativity and criticism about themselves but sometimes it’s the only way you can get better. Many events like VMworld and webinars will gather feedback after the session. It can hurt to read it sometimes but it can be very constructive to get the opinions of the people that you are speaking to understand what you need to do better. Don’t take the feedback too personally, sometimes you might get people that are jerks but do your best to see yourself from the audience viewpoint and learn from it.

Don’t be intimidated

It’s easy to get intimidated if you are new to it and you have someone like Duncan Epping or Scott Lowe in the audience watching you. Try and block it out so you don’t get too nervous and start stumbling, it might not be easy but if you fixate on it you’ll get even more nervous.

Engage the audience

I don’t do this as often as I should but engaging the audience can help give you confidence and makes it more enjoyable for them. Build mental break points into your presentation where you stop and ask the audience a question on a specific topic and have them respond verbally or via a show of hands. Doing this can make you more comfortable as you are interacting and becoming closer to them.

Move around

Instead of hiding behind a podium the whole time try walking around a bit in front of or towards the audience, again this gets you closer to the audience and moving around may make you feel more comfortable.

Get help

Having a co-speaker can make it easier as it takes part of the spotlight off you and it allows you to interact in a more comfortable manner. Try and mentor with someone that who is an experienced speaker and can give you advice and feedback.

Hope this helps anyone looking to get into speaking or who is trying to get better at it, if I can help in any way just let me know. If anyone else has any speaking tips feel free to sound off in the comments. You can find out more about the VMUG Feed Forward program here.

May 12 2014

New webinar: Top 10 Tips for Surviving in a Virtualized World

I’m doing a webinar for SolarWinds this week, the info on it is below and I hope to see you there…

The role of the virtualization admin is changing. While their responsibilities to operate and manage the virtual environment continue to grow, they are also becoming the convergence point for other IT teams in the virtualized IT data center. In practical terms, this means that in addition to managing all the changes that occur in the virtual environment they now have to deal with application owners, storage specialists, business owners, database administrators and business leaders.  This will require improved visibility into the extended virtual environment along with innovative management & monitoring approaches. Eric Siebert, virtualization blogger and VMware vExpert, will provide his Top 10 Virtualization Management Survival Tips to help you not only survive but thrive at the center of the of the new virtualized IT world. Join us Wednesday, May 14th @ 1 PM CDT. Spots are limited so save your spot today!


May 12 2014

Time to vote again…

Not for top blog though, the VMworld 2014 session public voting has opened and I’d appreciate your consideration for my sessions. Last year I presented my “Top 10 Thing you MUST know about Storage for vSphere” session which was well attended. I’d thought I’d up the ante this year and submitted one called “50 Things You Didn’t Know About Storage for vSphere That You Should Know”, my other session is in a deep dive format going into a lot of technical detail on storage for vSphere. I also was able to persuade Vaughn to add me to his All-Flash Storage panel to represent HP. If you find my sessions interesting, please give me a green thumb in the voting. You can easily filter my sessions by putting Siebert in the keyword field when on the public voting website.

50 Things You Didn’t Know About Storage for vSphere That You Should Know

Storage is an absolutely critical part of a vSphere environment and is one area that you can’t afford to not know that well. If you start making assumptions and un-educated guesses about the storage for your vSphere environment it will come back to haunt you. Having a solid understanding of the role storage plays in a virtual environment is the key to being successful with vSphere. This technical session will help educate attendees on a wide variety of important storage related topics for vSphere. Come join Eric Siebert, a noted author, blogger & 6 time VMware vExpert with over 9 years experience with VMware virtualization and learn 50 things about storage for vSphere that you probably did not know.

This session will flow in a fast-paced format that will cover 50 quick tips, tidbits, stats and facts on many different technical & educational topics related to storage for vSphere environments. We’ll include a lot of fun facts and focus on things you probably didn’t know about storage for vSphere that you probably wish you knew. You’ll learn one new thing every minute in this session and walk away armed with all sorts of useful (and possibly some useless) information to enhance your storage knowledge so you impress your friends and co-workers.

Storage Demystified: Uncovering the Inner Workings of Everyday vSphere Storage Technologies

Ever wonder what happens behind the scenes when you do a Storage vMotion? Why disk blocks are zeroed? How VM snapshots work? What the different types of virtual disks are? How the UNMAP process works? Why SSDs wear out? How storage acceleration technologies work? We all work with vSphere on a daily basis but many of us don’t really understand the “magic” behind vSphere storage technologies. Aren’t you a little curious? We take for granted that these features work but understanding how they work can enable you to make better decisions when working with them. Knowing what actually goes on behind the scenes can also help when troubleshooting storage related issues.

The goal of this session is simple: Demystify the world of storage in vSphere and do it in a simple, clear-cut way that anyone can understand. We will take a dive deep into some of the storage technologies and features that are part of vSphere, illustrate the processes and steps that happen when you use certain features, and explain the technology in an easy to understand manner. We will also cover a lot of fun facts you probably never knew about storage for vSphere. Come and learn from a VMware vExpert with over 9 years hands-on experience with VMware virtualization and walk away with a much clearer and deeper understanding of how storage stuff works in vSphere.


May 12 2014

My VSAN links page has grown so big GoDaddy had to move me to a bigger server

Well not entirely true, apparently there were so many links in one post that every time I edited it and added more it triggered GoDaddy’s security mechanism’s that lookout for spam and malicious behavior. I use their Linux hosted plan for this site and they use ModSecurity, an open source firewall as their security platform. ModSecurity kept temporarily blocking my IP address whenever I edited my VSAN links post, I’ve been constantly calling into their support to get this resolved. Finally last week my IP was blocked for an even longer time so fed up I called and escalated it. I know from doing research that they can whitelist IP addresses so I was finally able to get them to do that so I shouldn’t have problems again unless my IP address changes.

I did also end up moving to another server platform as well though, I was on their legacy 2G platform which was probably some pretty old servers and moved to their 4G platform which is newer server hardware. The whole move was seamless and I didn’t have to do anything at all. You may have noticed during the top blog voting that my site was very slow and at some point not responding so hopefully this new server platform will be able to keep up better.

I have added a ton more VSAN links and continue to add more every week so be sure and check out my huge VSAN links page for everything you ever wanted to know about VSAN.

Apr 16 2014

If you’re looking up at the clouds you’ll probably notice StratoGen

I’m pleased to announce StratoGen as a new sponsor to If you aren’t familiar with StratoGen I’d like to take a moment to tell you who they are and what they provide.

More and more companies are looking to host either part or all of their VMware environments with a hosting provider for various reasons. There are a lot of advantages to this, the obvious ones are centered implementing BC/DR solutions and reducing CAPEX & OPEX costs. Whatever your reason is for doing it, StratoGen is equipped to handle any size VMware hosting need.

StratoGen is a leading VMware hosting provider with award winning cloud platforms in the US, UK and Asia. From single virtual machines to dedicated private clouds, StratoGen delivers a powerful yet cost effective cloud hosting solution. The StratoGen Cloud is engineered from the ground up to be extremely dynamic and resilient, allowing you to add more servers or resources instantly.

StratoGen hosted VMware services include a 100% up-time service level guarantee. The StratoGen Cloud can be seamlessly integrated with any on-site VMware infrastructure you may have, offering a “single pane” management console for both your hosted and on-site resources. StratoGen offers a wide range of hosted solutions for VMware environments including Hosted Desktops, Disaster Recovery, Private Cloud Hosting and VMware Hosting.

If you’d like to learn more about Stratogen and the VMware hosting services they provide visit their website and if you’d like to experience their offerings first hand they also offer a free 7-day trial.

Apr 07 2014

Post Top vBlog 2014 notes

Another year, another top blog voting in the books. I’m glad I only do this once a year as the entire process from start to finish is long, tedious and very time-consuming. Now that it’s over I can finally start playing the new Diablo 3 expansion I got last week. Here’s some general notes on whats happening now that the voting is over and the results are posted.

  • I’ve updated the vLaunchpad with the new results, because there are SO MANY blogs now (325+), I’m now publishing the top 100 blogs instead of the top 50 blogs to give more people some recognition instead of being lumped into that giant mass of 250+ non-top 50 blogs. The top 100 is up to date, I’m still updating some of the other blogs on the page and adding some additional blogs that cropped up at the last minute. So if you don’t see yourself on their be patient for another week or so.
  • Nutanix has made a nice gesture and wants to reward the bloggers that made the top 50 this year with a special gift. If you made the top 50 be sure and follow @Nutanix on Twitter and DM them your address info so you don’t miss out.
  • I’ll be sending out the prizes courtesy of Veeam for the 5 bloggers that were picked randomly from the top 50 by the end of this week. Each of those bloggers that won are also giving away the same type of prize that they won to one of their blog readers so watch out to see how you can win as well. Chris Wahl has a post on his giveaway for a Pebble Smart Watch, Christian Mohn has a post on his giveaway for a Google Chromecast, Eric Shanks has a post on his giveaway for a Sony MDR-X10 Headphones, watch for upcoming posts from Mike Preston and Duncan Epping on their giveaways.
  • If you made the top 50 and want to add some bling to your website to let your readers know it be sure and check out these officially sanctioned badge images made by Eric Shanks. There is one for the Top 10, Top 25 and Top 50.
  • If you haven’t seen the special Top vBlog 2014 Countdown Show that we did via Google Hangouts be sure and watch the replay.

Well that’s all for now, back to Diablo 3, see you all again next year for Top vBlog 2015 edition.

Mar 27 2014

2014 top VMware & virtualization blog voting results


So the voting has ended, the results have been tabulated and here they are. There were almost 80 new blogs on the ballot this year and 5 new blogs to make the top 25. This year there was over 1400 votes compared to around 1300 last year. You can read more stats about this years voting here. Voters were asked to pick their top 10 favorite blogs and them rank them from 1 to 10. The votes are weighted so a #1 vote is worth 10 points, a #2 vote is worth 9 points all the way down to a #10 vote being worth 1 point. The total points for each blog were added up to determine the results. It’s a pretty time consuming process for me, some of it is automated but I still have to add up votes and drop them into a spreadsheet to determine the winners. This year was particularly taxing as I had to manually weed out some 500+ votes from a suspicious source.

If you missed it live be sure and watch the replay of the special Google Hangout awards episode that we recorded with David Davis, Rick Vanover and  John Troyer as we count up the top 25 winners with lots of color commentary. The vLaunchpad and Planet vSphere-land will be updated soon to reflect the new voting results. Thank you everyone who voted and congratulations to the winners. With so many bloggers out there its a tough scene but I seriously encourage you all to keep at it, the longer you stick with it, the more people notice and will reward you with their vote. You guys are all winners, I know how hard it can be to find the time to blog but do know that your efforts are appreciated and your unselfish dedication makes a difference to a great many of people.

This year we have prize giveaways courtesy of Veeam, I picked 5 blogs randomly from the new top 50, the winners are listed below. I was going to choose 5 random voters as well for giveaways but thought I’d do something different instead. Each of the 5 blogs listed below who won a giveaway has the opportunity to run a contest or promotion on their website to pick a winner from their pool of readers, they can do this anyway they want. Whoever they pick will win the same exact prize that the blogger has won, so stay tune to their websites for more details on how you can win.

Special thanks to Veeam for sponsoring this year and making the giveaways possible. Veeam is about to get its 100,000th customer and is launching an interactive contest for a chance to win a trip around the world and other prizes. To participate, you need to register and predict the location of Veeam’s 100,000th customer on the interactive map.

Here are the overall voting results…

BlogRankPreviousChangeTotal VotesTotal Points#1 Votes
Yellow Bricks (Duncan Epping)1107735774221
Virtually Ghetto (William Lam)26+4559306234
Frank Denneman blog32-1458283129
Cormac Hogan49+5463273531
Scott Lowe blog53-2476264014 (Eric Sloof)64-2437246734
Virtu-al (Alan Renouf)78+144322755
Wahl Network (Chris Wahl)812+4297201162
Virtual Geek (Chad Sakac)95-4359178311
Mike Laverick107-337516889
vSphere-land (Eric Siebert)1110-135115047
Derek Seaman's Blog1224+12229145139
Long White Virtual Clouds (M. Webster)1321+8178104011
My Virtual Cloud (Andre Leibovici)1414015493120
ESX Virtualization (Vladan Seget)1516+112581131
Kendrick Coleman1622+61497485
LucD (Luc Dekens)1715-21146417
VCDX56 (Magnus Andersson)18NEWNEW10557812
Virtualization Evangelist (Jason Boche)1911-81055087
mwpreston dot net (Mike Preston)2039+191065024
CloudXC (Josh Odgers)21NEWNEW754947
A vTexan (Tommy Trogden)2220-2824428
Datacenter Dude (Nick Howell)2317-66043923 (Various)2431+77643524
Erik Bussink2535+106142512
Chris Colotti's Blog2637+11804229
Professional VMware (Cody Bunch)2730+3753956
vXpress (Sunny Dua)28151+1236739111
vInfrastructure Blog (Andrew Mauro)2940+11703740 (Viktor van den Berg)3043+13623559
IT 2.0 (Massimo Re Ferre)3134+3633525
vFrank (Frank Brix Pedersen)3298+66723511
Brian Madden3325-8653504
Gabe's Virtual World (Gabe Van Zanten)3419-15653469
Pure Storage Guy (Vaughn Stewart)3513-22653377
Virtual Langer (Jason Langer)3662+26623322
Technodrone (Maish)3741+45332811
vReference (Forbes Guthrie)3832-6583136
Punching Clouds (Rawlinson)3945+6683112
The IT Hollow (Eric Shanks)4049+95030711
2 VCP's (Jon Owings)4136-5572987
VMFocus (Craig Kilborn)4294+52512787
vNinja (Christian Mohn)4373+30562773
Around the Storage Block (Calvin Zito)4426-18582684
Justin's IT Blog4542-3482667
Virtual To The Core (Luca Dell'Oca)46NEWNEW472654
IT Blood Pressure (Dwayne Lessner)4790+43482594
The Lone Sysadmin (Bob Plankers)4852+4502560
DiscoPosse (Eric Wright)49165+116452428
ValCo Labs (Josh Coen)50126+76542400
vCO Team (Burke Azbill)52NEWNEW532342
VMware Front Experience (Andreas Peetz)53143+90392295
Stephen Foskett, Pack Rat5418-36422242
WoodITWork (Julian Wood)5546-9602241
Tom Fojta's Blog5697+41462201
TechHead (Simon Seagrave)5723-34362174
Perfect Cloud (Rasmus Haslund)58NEWNEW412141
The SLOG (Simon Long)5927-32552121
The Saffa Geek (Gregg Robertson)6051-9462121
VMware Arena (Mohammed Raffic)61NEWNEW442116
Nickapedia (Nicholas Weaver)6259-3472100
vHorizon (Dale Scriven)63104+41422091
VMware Videos (David Davis)6455-9522091
Chris Wolf blog6647-19412051
vTesseract (Josh Atwell)6787+20462050
vmPete (Pete Koehler)68NEWNEW402025
VMware Tips (Rick Scherer)6953-16432012
vClouds (Marco Broeken)7038-32422004
Mike Tabor71NEWNEW392003
UP2V (Marcel van den Berg)7254-18351992
Virtualize Tips (Brian Suhr)7348-25331925
VCritical (Eric Gray)7428-46351875
vSential (James Bowling)75122+47361875
StorageIO (Greg Schulz)7669-7381865
Default Reasoning (Marek Z)77206+129291825 (Roy Mikes)7865-13311804
Hans De Leenheer79155+76311781
MyVirtuaLife.Net (Andrea Casini)80NEWNEW361770
vPirate (Abhilash HB)81NEWNEW301766
vElemental (Clint Kitson)82107+25381751
The Storage Architect (Chris Evans)8363-20341731
I'm all Virtual (Lior Kamrat)84NEWNEW291724
vExperienced (Edward Grigson)8581-4351700
A Day In The Life (Adam Baum)86125+39341693
VMware & Veeam Blog (Karel Novak)87106+19341691
Paul Meehan88NEWNEW421680
SOS Tech (Josh Andrews)89177+88361670
A Crazy Penguin (Andy Wood)9056-34331661
Planet VM (Tom Howarth)9183-8311664
vTricks (Patrick Schulz)92NEWNEW351663
Demitasse (Alastair Cooke)93128+35331651
Ravi IT Blog (Ravi Kumar)94NEWNEW291653
Proudest Monkey (Grant Orchard)95NEWNEW311641
HyperVizor (Hany Michael)96132+36301633
My Virtual Vision (Kees Baggerman)97NEWNEW341631
Virtual Blog (David Hill)9870-28361631
Virtualization Software (D. Davis/S. Lowe)99NEWNEW311632
Aaron Delp Blog100105+5331601
Running-System (Andreas Lesslhumer)101150+49241604
VM Guru (Scott Herold)10266-36361600
50 mu (Rob Koper)10378-25271563
Marco Pol104NEWNEW301565 (Steve Flanders)105NEWNEW311553
VirtualementVotre (Cedric Megroz)106NEWNEW221554 (Florian Grehl)10760-47311540
vmDK (Damian Karlson)108166+58301462
VMware & Powershell (Greg Kulikowski)109NEWNEW311460
Elastic Sky (Paul McSharry)110220+110351451
Virtual Patel (Manish Patel)11185-26291451
By The Bell (Steve Kaplan)112115+3261442
Arnim van Lieshout113120+7311441
vDestination (Greg Stuart)114117+3291420
The Virtualization Practice (Various)11580-35231404
Burdweiser (James Burd)11688-28201395
Vroom Blog (Fouad El Akkad/Alban Lecorps)117NEWNEW241397
Virtual Lifestyle (Joep Piscaer)118140+22291381
Wikibon Blog11929-90281371
Deep Storage (Howard Marks)120139+19271371
Notes from MWhite (Michael White)121NEWNEW251372 (Sander Daems)12276-46341370
Blog VMware (Leandro Ariel Leonhardt)123NEWNEW221357
Storage Mojo (Robin Harris)12461-63311351
vHersey (Hersey Cartwright)125NEWNEW341351
V For Virtual (Aylin Sali)126NEWNEW291353
Vdsyn (Ayan Nath)127NEWNEW221334
VSpecialist (Michael Poore)128114-14291332
Adventures in a Virtual World (Paul Grevink)129160+31251320
VMware Training & Certification (S. Vessey)130175+45241322
vSamurai (Christopher Wells)13133-98281302
Storagezilla (EMC - Mark Twomey)13267-65281300
The Lower Case W (Matt Liebowitz)13375-58241302
vNoob (Conrad Ramos)134135+1281301
Virtual Future (Sven Huisman)135136+1241290
Everything Should Be Virtual (Larry Smith)137NEWNEW211284
What Would Dan Do (Dan Brinkmann)13877-61231283
Virtualized Brain (Manfred Hofer)139NEWNEW231275
Virt for Service Providers (J. Dooley)14091-49301260
Uber Tech Geek (Marc Crawford)141NEWNEW321265
Cloud-Buddy (Bilal Hashmi)142198+56201250
Virtual Tech (Dan Fallon)143130-13271250
Ray On Storage (Ray Lucchesi)144142-2261240 (Arjan Timmerman)14564-81251243
Virtual Insanity (S. Sauer/A. Sweemer)146141-5251242
VMnerds (Jeremie Brison)147NEWNEW261240
William ter Harmsel148NEWNEW271230
Blue Shift Blog (Kevin Kelling)149200+51221220
Cloud Jock (Todd Mace)150232+82211221
The VM Guy (Dave Lawrence)151110-41221210
Get Scripting152NEWNEW221190
vCrumbs (Josh Sims)153NEWNEW241182
VM Dude (Frederic Martin)154144-10221162
Robert van den Nieuwendijk's Blog155174+19221150
VirtualGeekCH (Various)15658-98191152 (Jason Shiplett)157NEWNEW171145
How 2 VM (Aram Avetisyan)158NEWNEW201131
Mike D's blog (Mike DiPetrillo)15984-75261120
VMwareAndME (Santosh Suryawanshi)160NEWNEW181123
vCO Flow (Simon Sparks)161NEWNEW261111
View Yonder (Steve Chambers)16292-70241110
vConsult (Duco Jaspars)16344-119251101
The Data Center Overlords (Tony Bourke)164129-35181101
vCloud Info (Carlo Costanzo)165116-49271100
Michael Ryom166NEWNEW201092
vByron (Byron Schaller)167NEWNEW181094
Thankfully the RAID is Gone (G. Chapman)168170+2201082 (Arne Fokkema)169102-67271060
Amitabh's Virtual World (Amitabh Dey)170NEWNEW211042
Backup Central (W. Curtis Preston)17189-82251040
Virtualised Reality (Barry Coombs)172173+1201045
Everyday Virtualization (Rick Vanover)173168-5201031
Geek After Five (Jake Robinson)17474-100171032
Matt Vogt175NEWNEW281030
VirtXpert (Jonathan Frappier)176NEWNEW261032
Everything Virtual (Simon Davies)177186+9211012
The SAN Man (Archie Hendryx)178171-7221013
Timo Sugliani179NEWNEW251010
Come Lo Feci (Pietro Aiolfi)180NEWNEW141004 (Simon Gallagher)181111-7023980
Gerbens Blog (G. Kloosterman)182156-2615970
Virtual Bits & Bytes (Niels Engelen)183167-1621960 (Dan Frith)184109-7521952
Cosonok's IT Blog (David Cookson)185217+3216940
Jonathan Medd's Blog186146-4016941
rsts11 (Robert Novak)187NEWNEW15942
Virtual Admin Notes (Anton Zhbankov)18871-11717943
Virtual VCP (Rynardt Spies)189179-1023940
VM Admin (Andy Barnes)190219+2919920
Aravind Sivaraman191161-3024900
Storagebod (Martin Glassborow)192159-3320900
NutzandBolts (Mark Jones)193NEWNEW15891
Stretch Cloud (Prasenjit Sarkar)194NEWNEW17890
Virtualize Planet (Ricky El-Qasem)195137-5811893
vNelsonTX (Brian Nelson)196NEWNEW14894
Amit's Technology Blog (Amit Panchal)197NEWNEW18881
Virtualization Eh (Mark Achtemichuk)198184-1417881
vReality (Tomi Hakala)199229+3018880
Ivo Beerens200112-8821861
Techazine (Philip Sellers)201NEWNEW15860
TinkerTry (Paul Braren)202NEWNEW17860
Virtual Noob (Chad King)203127-7624860 (Andi Lesslhumer)204210+615861
vNugglets (Allen Crawford)205138-6717863
yoyoclouds (Yohan Wadia)206131-7521860
I'm Tellin' Ya Now! (Mike Foley)207218+1118850
SnowVM (Rene Bos)208NEWNEW17854
The Odd Angry Shot (Andrew Dauncey)209NEWNEW18850
Virtualization Express (Karthic Kumar)210NEWNEW17850
VMnick (Nick Fritsch)211227+1617851
Virtually Mike Brown (Mike Brown)212197-1520830
GestaltIT (Various)213145-6817820
Knudt Blog (Brian Knudtson)214100-11418810
Andi Mann - Ubergeek215176-3919800
DefinIT (Sam McGeown/Simon Eady)216NEWNEW15800
I wish I could be a VM (Benjamin Ulsamer)217NEWNEW13796
Storage Soup (Tech Target)218162-5621790
Storage Nerve (Devang Panchigar)219231+1216780
The Eager Zero (Michael Stump)220169-5114781
The HyperAdvisor (Antone Heyward)221154-6713781
Tim's IT Blog (Tim Smith)222178-4411782
VMware Admins (Eric Sarakaitis)223213-1021780
Infoworld Virtualization Report (D. Marshall)224183-4112771
Unix Arena (Lingeswaran)225NEWNEW19771
Empiric Virtualization (Joel Gibson)226NEWNEW15761
GeekSilver's Blog227190-3716760
Messaging-Virtualization (A. Pogosyan)228133-9511762
Pascal's Wereld (Pascal Heldoorn)229NEWNEW15762
Rickatron Blog (Rick Vanover)230108-12219760
Tecnologas Aplicadas (Patricio Cerda)231NEWNEW10762
vWilmo (Geoff Wilmington)232NEWNEW18750
Hosting is Life! (Anthony Spiteri)233NEWNEW13743
Hu's Blog (HDS - Hu Yoshida)23479-15512741
Rational Survivability (Christofer Hoff)235121-11412741
VM Today (Joshua Townsend)236124-11215740
VM Trooper (Trevor Roberts)237204-3315741
Orchestrate This! (Magnus Ullberg)238201-3718730
Double Cloud (Steve Jin)239149-9013720
Pivot Point (Scott Drummonds)24068-17216720
Rickard Nobel24186-15520720
Virtual SMB (Will Huber)242199-4318720
Got DeDupe? (Eric Hagstrom)243NEWNEW12720
Jase's Place (Jase McCarty)244119-12513710
Musings of Rodos (Rodney Haywood)24593-15220710 (Martijn Baecke)246181-6514710
vBrowncoat (Gurusimran Khalsa)247NEWNEW18710
Virtuwise (Angelo Luciani)248NEWNEW16711
Storage Tuning (Jamon Bowen)249191-5815700
VMexplorer (Matt Mancini)250202-4815701
Virtualized Geek (Keith Townsend)251NEWNEW15701
Keith Norbie Virtual Ideas252NEWNEW14690
Ken's Virtual Reality (Ken Cline)253103-15013690
Phil the Virtualizer (Philip Ditzel)254164-9015691
Dmitry's PowerBlog255158-9713680
vMackem (David Owen)256NEWNEW9683
doOdzZZ's Notes (Abdullah Abdullah)257237-2010674
VMdamentals (Erik Zandboer)258101-15713660
Sean's IT Blog (Sean Massey)259NEWNEW13650
VMAdmin (Fletcher Cocquyt)260208-5215650
SearchServerVirtualization Blog (Various)261242-1912640
Peacon Blog (James Pearce)262148-11415620
Run-virtual (Richard Garsthagen)263134-12913620
Horizon Flux (Tim Arenz)264NEWNEW14601
Virtually Speaking (Dan Kusnetzky)265226-3915590
Virtual Management (Marco Giuricin)266193-7314580
Juanma's Blog (Juan Manuel)267195-7214570
The Virtual Way (Francesco Bonetti)268NEWNEW12571
That Could Be A Problem (Kyle Ruddy)269NEWNEW9560
VirtuallyLG (Lorenzo Galelli)270207-6315560
Gert Kjerslev271NEWNEW13550
Virtualization Information (S. Snowden)272240-3211550
VMwise (Kanuj Behl)273224-4913550
J Metz (J Michael Metz - Cisco)27450-22411531
Tekhead (Alex Galbraith)275NEWNEW13530 (Mourad)276209-6714530
Peeters Online (Hugo Peeters)277147-13010520
DeinosCloud (Didier Pironet)278215-6311500 (Sean Duffy)279188-9111501
The Foglite (E. Rowe/A. Scorsone)28096-18411490
Virtually Everything (Phillip Jones)281NEWNEW12490
Stuart Radnidge282172-11013480
Tim's Virtual World (Tim Patterson)283NEWNEW8481
Cloud Computing Infrastructure (Bill Carter)284230-546471
Enterprise Admins (Brian Wuchner)285189-9611460
Jume (Bouke Groenescheij)286192-9410460
Poshoholic (Kirk Munro)287153-13410460
VMBulletin (Rick Schlander)288211-7713460
Eprich (Paul Richards)289233-5612450
Malaysia VM (Various)290113-17711450
VMwarewolf (Richard Blythe)291238-5313450 (Patrick Terlisten)292NEWNEW10440
Eck Tech (Adam Eckerle)293234-596420
Virtual Potholes (AJ Kuftic)294223-7111410
Logical Block (Ashish Palekar)295NEWNEW10400
Stu McHugh's Virtualisation Blog296NEWNEW8400
M80ARM - Virt. Warrior (M. Armstrong)297196-10110391
Roger Lund IT/VMware Blog (Roger Lund)298241-579380
Virtualization Spotlight (P. Redknap)299123-1767381
Infotech Consulting Blog (Yendis Lambert)300236-646371
Ruptured Monkey (Nigel Poulton)301194-1077371
The Virtual Headline (Pete Del Rey)302228-747370
vPourchet (Valentin Pourchet)303212-917370
Virtualization Team (Eiad Al-Aqqad)304243-6111361
It's Just Another Layer (Ian K.)305216-896330
Joseph Griffiths306NEWNEW9331
TechProsaic (Hal Rottenberg)307239-688310
ITuda (Lieven D'hoore)308214-945301
Virtualizing the D.C. (Tony Wilburn)309235-746300
VM-Ice (Larus Hjartarson)310205-1058300
Blue Gears (Edward Haletky)311187-1245280
Ather Beg's Useful Thoughts (Ather Beg)312NEWNEW5250
VM/ETC (Rich Brambley)313185-1287250
Virtualization Buster (J. Franconi)314225-897240
vTagion (Brian Graf)316NEWNEW7230
The Solutions Architect (Michael Letschin)317180-1376220 (Mads Fog Albrechtslund)318NEWNEW4200
Virtually Benevolent (Michael Stanclift)319NEWNEW3171 (Filip Verloy)320NEWNEW2120

And here are the top blog category winners…

Favorite Storage BlogVotes
Cormac Hogan427
Virtual Geek158
ESX Virtualization83
Around the Storage Block63
Pure Storage Guy60
A vTexan55
vClouds (Marco Broeken)47
Erik Bussink42
Virtual To The Core31
Got DeDupe?20
doOdzZZ's Notes18
Wikibon Blog17
Vroom Blog16
Hans De Leenheer15
Logical Block11
Hu's Blog9
None of these listed here200
Favorite Scripting BlogVotes
Virtually Ghetto346
VMware & Powershell69
vCO Team42
VMware Front Experience38
Double Cloud32
That Could Be A Problem29
Robert van den Nieuwendijk22
Virtualize Planet22
Jonathan Medd18
Timo Sugliani12
None of these listed here235
Favorite PodcastVotes
Veeam Community Podcast70
Get Scripting57
The CloudCast55
Adapting IT50
Data Center Insiders39
StorageIO Podcast39
Virtualization Security Roundtable34
APAC Virtualization Roundtable33
None of these listed here411
Favorite New BlogVotes
Virtualization Software84
Everything Should Be Virtual47
Uber Tech Geek44
Vroom Blog41
The Eager Zero36
Amit's Technology Blog32
The Virtual Way32
Tim's Virtual World31
How 2 VM29
Pascal's Wereld28
V For Virtual23
Come Lo Feci18
Empiric Virtualization17
None of these listed here436
Favorite Independent BloggerVotes
Wahl Network143
Derek Seaman's Blog107
ESX Virtualization63
The IT Hollow54
VMware Arena51
Erik Bussink43
Gabe's Virtual World30
Uber Tech Geek24
Virtual Langer24
Vroom Blog23
Virtual To The Core21
Virtualized Geek19
The Saffa Geek18
Come Lo Feci17
Virtualization Software16
doOdzZZ's Notes14
mwpreston dot net13
Virtual Patel13
VMware & Veeam Blog12
VMware Front Experience12
vClouds (Marco Broeken)10
vInfrastructure Blog10
The Eager Zero9
ValCo Labs9
Everything Should Be Virtual8
Virtualized Brain8
Jonathan Medd's Blog7
vCloud Info6
Empiric Virtualization5
Tim's Virtual World5
Infotech Consulting Blog4
The Virtual Way4
Robert van den Nieuwendijk's Blog3
Pascal's Wereld2
None of these listed here145

Mar 24 2014

Watch the Top vBlog 2014 Results Show live!


Join Eric Siebert from vSphere-land, David Davis from Virtualization Software, Rick Vanover from Veeam and John Troyer from VMware 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 10:00am PST on Thursday March 27th 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 #TopvBlog2014.

The Top vBlog 2014 Results Show giveaways are brought to you by Veeam:

Veeam is Modern Data Protection—Built for Virtualization and the Cloud. Their customers understand that virtual environments bring unique challenges. That’s why more than 73,000 customers chose Veeam to protect over 4 million VMs. Their powerful, easy-to-use and affordable solutions help solve virtualization challenges – making Veeam the perfect fit for the modern datacenter.

Mar 23 2014

And the results of the top vBlog 2014 voting are…


…not ready to be revealed yet, you’ll have to wait a few days 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 this Thursday with David Davis, Rick Vanover and John Troyer. Stay tuned here for information on how you can watch it, we’ll also be announcing the blogger and voter prize winners (courtesy of Veeam). While you’re waiting here’s a few tidbits of information on this years voting:

  • There were over 1400 votes this year
  • 39% of the votes were from the US, next highest was 10% from the Netherlands followed by 7.4% from India, 6.4% from the UK, 3.9% from Canada and 3.6% from Germany
  • We had voters from 60 different countries including Bulgaria, Cape Verde, Kuwait, Malta, Morocco, Oman, Serbia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Yemen
  • There are 320 blogs in the voting this year, last year there were 243
  • There were some fierce competition this year in the top 10, there were 9 position changes in the top 10
  • There were 5 blogs in the top 25 that were not in there in 2013
  • There were 15 blogs in the top 50 that were not in there in 2013
  • There were 2 blogs that were newcomers this year in the top 25
  • There were 3 blogs that were newcomers this year in the top 50 (4 in the top 52)
  • There is 1 blog new to the top 10
  • Within the top 10 one blogger moved up 5 places from last year, another moved up 4 places from last year while another moved down 4 places and another moved down 3 places.
  • One blogger moved up 19 places from last year to make it into the top 25, another moved up 12 places from last year
  • One blogger in the top 50 moved up 123 places from last year, another one moved up 116 places from last year

That’s it for now, tune in next week to see the full results and find out if Duncan can retain the crown for #1 blogger (hint: Kendrick Coleman made a good run for it but fell way short)…

Mar 11 2014

Some good VSAN related KB articles that you should read

The VMware Knowledgebase is always a fountain of great information. Even if you don’t have a problem with vSphere, there are a lot of general purpose informational and how-to articles that can help you out and educate you. There are a number of KB articles related to VSAN that you should definitely check-out that contain a lot of good tips for using VSAN. I’ve highlighted a few of them below:

vSphere 5.5 Virtual SAN requirements (2058424)

What you need to know before you start using VSAN, do you have what it takes to be able to run it?

Enabling or disabling a Virtual SAN cluster (2058322)

The simple stuff, how to turn VSAN on and how to turn it off.

Horizon View 5.3.1 on VMware Virtual SAN – Quick Start Guide (2073795)

If you want to run Horizon View on VSAN, here’s everything you need to know to do it.

Retaining virtual machines of Virtual SAN Beta cluster when upgrading to vSphere 5.5 Update 1 (2074147)

If you’re already running the Beta version of VSAN, what should you do to upgrade? Hint: You can’t, move those VMs or lose them

Adding more than 16 hosts to a Virtual SAN cluster (2073930)

VSAN can scale to 32 hosts but apparently they found this out late in the game and didn’t fix their code to let you do that. This KB article gives you CLI way to do it.

Virtual SAN node reached threshold of opened components (2071379)

There are a number of objects that are stored on a VSAN datastore for each VM. There is a soft-limit of 100 VM’s per host with VSAN but there is a hard limit of 3,000 objects. You may see an alert if the number of VM’s and associated objects gets to close to the 3,000 limit.

Configuring Virtual SAN VMkernel networking (2058368)

What you need to know to properly configure virtual networking for VSAN on either a standard or distributed vSwitch.

Virtual SAN insufficient memory (2071753)

Uh-oh, not enough host memory to run VSAN. If you have less than 32GB of RAM in a host you may need to increase it depending on the number of disks you are using.

VMware Virtual SAN datastores cannot store host-local and system swap files (2073944)

There is a special vswp VM file object built into in VSAN but you can’t store other VM vswp files on it that are not hosted on VSAN. You also can’t out your ESXi host scratch partition on a VSAN datastore.

Storing ESXi coredump and scratch partitions in Virtual SAN (2074026)

Here’s where to put your ESXi coredump and scratch partitions when using VSAN.

Adding a host back to a Virtual SAN cluster after an ESXi host rebuild (2059091)

The necessary CLI steps that you need to take to add a host back to a VSAN cluster.

Enabling or capturing performance statistics using Virtual SAN Observer for VMware Virtual SAN (2064240)

If you want to see VSAN performance stats, here’s how to do it.

Adding additional hosts to an existing Virtual SAN cluster (2059936)

It’s pretty simple, not sure why they need a KB article for it but if you don’t know here’s how to do it.

vSphere High Availability (HA) fails to restart a virtual machine when VMware Virtual SAN network is partitioned (2073949)

If you want HA to work on VSAN, make sure the VMkernel adapters used by VSAN do not share a subnet with the VMkernel adapters used for other purposes.

Virtual SAN device encounters a permanent error when devices are not readable or writeable (2071075)

Like your VMs and don’t want to lose then, you might want to set your HostFailuresToTolerate to greater than 1.

Want even more VSAN info, also check out my huge VSAN link page.

Mar 07 2014

Git-r-done, only one more week to vote for your favorite blogs

Over 1300 people have voted already for their favorite VMware & virtualization blogs. So if you haven’t voted yet then Git-r-done and don’t miss your chance to win some great prizes courtesy of Veeam while showing the bloggers some love. Voting will close at the end of the day on 3/14.


Mar 05 2014

got VSAN? need Links? Check out the world’s largest collection of VSAN Links


I’ve been collecting links on VSAN as part of my huge vSphere 5.5 link collection and since they are so many I’ve split them out onto their own page and categorized them to make it easy for you to find what you’re looking for. With VSAN set to launch anytime now you’ll want to read everything you can about it so you can start using it. Bookmark this page as it will be continually updated as more links become available every day.


Mar 03 2014

Pro blogging tip – don’t be an ass – show some class


I’ve been hosting the top virtualization blog voting for several years and each year I come across a few inspiring bloggers that try and work the voting system to get their blog ranked as high as possible. This results in dozens and sometimes hundreds of votes that hurt the other legitimate bloggers out there. While this is a popularity contest, it’s aimed at voters who actually read blogs and can judge them based on what they read. It is not a general popularity contest for people who think vMotion is a V-Tech game and have no clue what virtualization is. The voter pool should be your blog readers and not all your family and friends and everyone else you know on Facebook. However if your grandma does know what a vSwitch is by all means have her vote.

What’s an obvious sign of a suspicious vote? When all 10 blog selections include your blog and the 9 alphabetically that come after it and your blog is ranked #1. Repeat this over and over and over with many of them coming from the same IP address and the suspicious votes clearly stand out. I’ve been doing this long enough to know what a legitimate vote looks like and if I have to look at every single vote by hand to make sure the votes are legitimate I will. Fortunately my survey tool collects a lot of data on voters such as their city, country, IP address, referring URL and more to help make it easier to spot suspicious votes. I then delete any vote that looks suspicious and will have a negative impact on the results of the survey.

You may be a good blogger but don’t expect that you’re going to become popular overnight. It typically takes years for you to get noticed and gather a good following. You can accelerate that by putting in a lot of dedication and hard work, not by trying to stuff a ballot box with bogus #1 votes to try and shoot up the blogging rankings faster. If you want to see how it’s done properly ask Chris Wahl, Derek Seaman, Michael Webster, Mike Preston, Marco Broeken and Cormac Hogan who put in hard work and it paid off for them. Try blogging with integrity and don’t try and cheat the system at the expense of your fellow bloggers. If you work hard at it, it will come on its own, it may take some time but the rewards will be better than if you tried to force it and ended up with a ranking that you didn’t deserve.

Mar 03 2014

Take a survey and get Infinio licenses for your lab

Infinio just announced general availability of Infinio Accelerator v1.2 which features support for VMware vSphere 5.5. If you haven’t heard of Infinio you should definitely check them out, their Accelerator product is a pretty slick solution for NAS storage that can give you a big boost in performance by using local host RAM as a storage cache. They offer a free trial version but if you’d like to use it in your lab they are giving away free licenses to the first 100 people that complete this survey.

Feb 27 2014

How you can help support vSphere-land and top blog voting

There is a ton of work that goes into maintaining my websites, I have to gather and sort through lots of links and information, organize it and publish it. In addition the annual top blog voting contest is no small effort either and involves a ton of work collecting data, building forms, processing data, updating websites, building surveys and much more. From start to finish this usually takes at least 30-40 hours of my time.

So as a small favor in return I would appreciate if you checkout the companies that sponsor my family of websites that help make all this possible and also give them a follow on Twitter.


Zerto provides enterprise-class business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) solutions for virtualized infrastructure and cloud. Zerto won Best of Show at VMworld 2011, as well as 2011 Product of the Year Gold Award because our software, Zerto Virtual Replication, is the industry’s first hypervisor-based replication solution for tier-one applications. Zerto Disaster Recovery solutions replace traditional array-based BCDR that was not built to deal with virtual environments. Zerto recently launched a new version (3.1) of Zerto Virtual Replication that you can find out more about here.


Infinio Accelerator lets you separate performance from capacity. For a fraction of the price of hardware-based products, Accelerator offers a software-only solution that extends the performance life of the NAS you already have. Accelerator is a virtual appliance that uses server-side caching to minimize the I/O traffic load on central storage. Infinio Accelerator won a “Best of VMworld” award, being named a Finalist in the Best New Technology category. I recently recorded a webinar for Infinio on right-sizing storage for virtual environments that you might find interesting. They also have another webinar available on 5 ways to get better performance from NAS-Backed VMs as well as a great technical video series on content-based caching.


Unitrends, a leader in enterprise-level data protection, offers the #1 all-in-one backup solution for virtual, physical and cloud. Building on over 20 years of industry firsts, Unitrends continues to lead the market. Unitrends is used by IT professionals for backup of their virtual and physical servers and for performing disaster recovery to remote locations or to private or public cloud. Unitrends not only continues to set the standard in virtual and physical server data protection, but its US-based support team boasts a 99% customer satisfaction rate, further reinforcing its reputation for quality. Unitrends recently acquired PHD Virtual, another leading backup company for VMware environments and is kicking off a fundraising effort to support the Special Olympics.


StratoGen is a leading VMware hosting provider with award winning cloud platforms in the US, UK and Asia. From single virtual machines to dedicated private clouds, StratoGen delivers a powerful yet cost effective cloud hosting solution. The StratoGen Cloud is engineered from the ground up to be extremely dynamic and resilient, allowing you to add more servers or resources instantly. StratoGen hosted VMware services include a 100% uptime service level guarantee. The StratoGen Cloud can be seamlessly integrated with any on-site VMware infrastructure you may have, offering a “single pane” management console for both your hosted and on-site resources. StratoGen offers a wide range of hosted solutions for VMware environments including Hosted Desktops, Disaster Recovery, VMware Image Hosting and VMware Hosting.


SolarWinds mission has been to provide purpose-built products that are designed to make IT professionals jobs easier. SolarWinds was built by network and systems engineers who know what it takes to manage today’s dynamic IT environments. SolarWinds Virtualization Manager delivers integrated VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V capacity planning, performance monitoring, VM sprawl control, configuration management, and chargeback automation; all in one awesomely affordable product that’s easy to download, deploy, and use. SolarWinds believes you should try their software before you buy and we offer free trials that deliver full product functionality. Be sure and try out a free trial of Virtualization Manager so you can find out what you’re missing that vCenter Server can’t provide.

VM Turbo

VMTurbo delivers an intelligent workload management solution providing service assurance and infrastructure efficiency for cloud and virtualized environments. With an emphasis on prevention, VMTurbo delivers an intelligent and automated control plane for cloud and virtualized datacenters. It closes the loop between collecting data and controlling the environment – enabling administrators to automate management of dynamic virtualized environments to ensure service levels, while maximizing efficiency. Easy to deploy and simple to administer, VMTurbo Operations Manager assures application performance, operational efficiency and optimal resource utilization. VMTurbo recently released a new version (4.5) of their Operations Manager product and offers a free 30-day trial so you can experience first-hand a smarter approach to virtualization management.


Veeam is Modern Data Protection that is built for Virtualization and the Cloud. Their customers understand that virtual environments bring unique challenges. That’s why more than 73,000 customers chose Veeam to protect over 4 million VMs. Our powerful, easy-to-use and affordable solutions help solve virtualization challenges – making Veeam the perfect fit for the modern datacenter. Veeam Backup & Replication delivers innovative VMware backup, Hyper-V backup, recovery and replication. This #1 VM Backup solution helps organizations meet RPOs and RTOs, save time, eliminate risk and dramatically reduce capital and operational costs. Veeam has won 55 awards including Product of the Year for 2013 that serve to validate their success in the virtualization industry. Be sure and download their free tool for VMware and Hyper-V backup and also check out the Veeam Community podcast.


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