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VMworld Buzz: Day 0

VMworld Europe kicked off today in Copenhagen with Partner Day which is where VMware’s partners get to hear their special dose of VMworld info which is more tailored to helping partners sell & deploy VMware solutions.

I arrived early afternoon and after a quick look around decided to get stuck into the Hands on Labs. The labs set up is pretty good, you get your badge scanned and go into a queue which is displayed on a TV. When your name gets highlighted you go to the entrance and get escorted to your assigned lab seat. There are two monitors and a thin client device. Your friendly usher then helps you get set up if it’s your first lab and makes sure you can get started. You select which lab you want to do and it is pretty much available immediately.

HOL-screensHOL1

I decided to get networky and so started with HOL07: Using Virtual Distributed Switches and Network I/O Control on Your Network.

The lab countdown was set for an hour and it took that much time. It was all about some of the advanced configuration possibilities of vDS and NIOC. The lab started going through some of the settings to control bandwidth on the vDS port groups. It then moved onto NetFlow and Port Mirroring. NetFlow is new to vSphere 5 and is a networking protocol that collect IP traffic information and then send it to a collector for traffic flow analysis. Think of it as Syslog for network information. You can analyse any traffic within a vDS, either VM to VM on the same host, VM to VM on different hosts or VM to something physical. The lab set up NetFlow and then you installed an application which was a collector to view the traffic.

Next was Port Mirroring which is where you send a copy of network packets seen on a switch port to a network monitoring sniffer device on another switch port so you can see exactly what your network packets are up to. Quite a bit of the lab time is actually taken up with doing the software installations so you are not frantically busy the whole time. I was hoping to see some more features of vDS rather than focusing mainly on monitoring but it was still an interesting lab.

Someone had a sense of humour at least when they advise what to do with this error message!

HOL-Error

“You may see the above error when bring up your VM. If you do, please thank Microsoft and select “Restart Later”

I then joined the line again and stayed with the networky theme and did HOL06: Optimizing Your Virtual Network Structure and Consolidating Network Management. In this lab you set up a standard switch and then non-disruptively migrate it to a Virtual Distributed Switch. This lab was good as it showed the procedure very simply and you also would get a good overview of how a vDS works if you haven’t had much experience with them. Next the lab went through the steps of installing, integrating and configuring a port on a Cisco Nexus 100v. The lab timer countdown was an hour and a half but I finished it in half the time.

The only thing which I found difficult with the labs was that it’s actually very dark and with an unfamiliar keyboard I had difficulty seeing what keys to type!

Labs are open at the following times but remember as the labs take an hour or so you need to be there an hour before closing.

  • Tuesday 18 October: 08:00-15:00
  • Wednesday 19 October: 08:00-18:00
  • Thursday 20 October: 11:00-16:00
    Here are some pictures of the pretty cool display screens in the labs which visualise how many VMs have been deployed.

HOL-S1HOL-S2IMG_0696IMG_0698

I then continued the networking theme but in a more social way at the partner reception and met up with John Troyer, Jason Boche, Gabrie van Zanten and Virgil. I had also seen Darren Woollard, Michael Poore, Ed Grigson and Greg Robertson.

Off to the VMUG party now to meet some more people and then very much looking forward to tomorrow when the conference kicks off in earnest.

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