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VMworld Europe 2015: The Day 0 Buzz

October 12th, 2015

VMworld Europe on Monday is Partner Day which is a separate track from the main VMworld dedicated to helping partners sell VMware products.

VMworld for most attendees kicks off in earnest tomorrow.

VMware Partner TV has a preview of what’s it about:

Run DMC!

BIG BIG News of the Day is that Dell is Buying EMC and the 80% is owns of VMware! It’s also worth reading a personal note from EMC CEO Joe Tucci, Dell and EMC: Why, and What It Means,  who will retire when the deal is done by year end and hand over the reigns to Michael Dell.

2015-10-12 11.12.31Really unexpected news, rumours started circulated last week and the many many people I spoke to today had no real advanced knowledge.

The industry is going through very turbulent times, HP is splitting at this very moment and Dell and EMC are coming together. Are these the last gasps of industry titans regrouping to battle for the scraps left behind after cloud ate their lunch? Worth a read: Dell. EMC. HP. Cisco. These Tech Giants Are the Walking Dead.

Rumours are circulating that Michael Dell will be coming to VMworld.

My laptop felt a little more at home today!

OK, back to VMworld!


The Hands-On-Labs were also open today so as I’m looking at DevOps/Cloud Native stuff I decided to sit the lab:

HOL-SDC-1630 – Cloud Native Apps Lab

“DevOps, Containers, Docker, Mesos, Kubernetes, Microservices, 12-factor applications, 3rd platform, oh my!” is how it is described.

This was a big ‘ol lab with plenty of content. Labs are in 90 minute slots which you can extend by 20 minutes and topics may not be finished in time so you may need another session to complete.

All the seats were full when I arrived but I was able to use my own laptop and just connect over the internet to do the lab, I could have done it from anywhere in the world. Kudos to the lab team, they’ve done a great job, the layout was great, no delays or any connectivity issues.

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This lab went through a fair amount of background information on what microservices are (splitting apart monolithic applications into many more nimble parts) and listed the 12 factors that ideally make up a cloud native applications. You can read more about them at http://12factor.net/ and in plain English http://www.clearlytech.com/2014/01/04/12-factor-apps-plain-english/

The lab then went through an explanation of containers, Docker (companhy that does containers) and Kubernetes (container orchestrations)

Then onto what VMware brings to the table, they have:

  • Photon OS (linux distro made for containers)
  • Lightwave (access management, think of it as an Open Source Active Directory, vSphere 6.0 Platform Services Controller shares some code)
  • AppCatalyst (pre-build container runtime for developer laptops)
  • Photon Controller (open source control place including Lightwave)

Then the tech playing started, 1st a video to show you how to bring up a container host in 90 seconds.

First up was working with Photon OS and having a look around the repositories, then onto Lightwave and creating two domain controllers, pairing them together and creating, logging onto as and deleted users.

Then onto Docker, run a container, make a change to it, checked it into a repository, pulled and ran the new image, really showing how quickly you can spin up and down and change containers.

The next section was on Kubernetes which is a cluster manager, you have many containers, they need to be orchestrated and Kubernetes is your friend. Unfortunately something went wrong with my installation of everything so I couldn’t see the actual containers working. The lab went through the steps to create a scale-out guestbook container application which had its data in a reddis database.

This meant I could’t get the networking part to work also and configure flannel.

As the lab is over the internet, I wouldn’t mind coming back to work it out sometime.

Then the lab highlighted using vRealize Operations to view Docker Docker Dashboards
and be able to see Docker objects and also then see logs in vRealize Log Insight.

The lab finished with showing Kubernetes with vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC) which is a future new hypervisor built just for containers.

For my effort I even bagged a T-shirt:

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An interesting lab for what I could get working and very far out of my comfort zone so something I would like to spend the time to know. I know containers, microservices is the future but where I work in Enterprise IT, this is still far away but you need to start somewhere and I need to start learning!

Lunch was pretty good today, make a change from VMworld San Francisco!

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Partner Day

As I’m a customer rather than partner, most of the sessions weren’t available to me however there were some open sessions.

I attended:

CNA6813-QT – Should I be Transforming my Legacy Applications into CNA?

Chris Crafford – Practice Manager, VMware

This again was a high level overview of the technologies available and went through what microservice are, the 12 factor apps I mentioned earlier and why they are better for cloud environments. Microservices only manage the data they care about, are accessed only via the service, there are no shared libraries.

Chris mentioned an interesting thing I hadn’t thought of for the definition. Microservices need to be automatically deployed to make them true microservices, its not good enough to just have services that are micro.

Chris went through one of the major tenets of microservices which is all about failure management, assume failure and have an architecture that mitigates the impact of the faults, errors and failures at runtime.

Then Chris went on to talk about migrating legacy applications which must be done as an evolutionary approach. Choose the most business urgent to break out first. Use containers for this new bit and leverage best practices for CI/CD, automating all the steps. Learn and improve and then repeat for the next service that has been prioritised.

Another thing Chris mentioned was some deployments use one microservice per container but this makes management more challenging so consider a business role mapped to a container model instead.

The short session ended with a vCloud Air commercial, VMware funnily enough says it is the ideal target for migration of legacy applications particularly with the recent announcements with layer 2 networking between your data center and vCloud Air and container security with NSX.

vExpert Party

I then attended the vExpert Party which was at the fantastic Elephant Restaurant & Lounge Club, It was great to catch up with VMware’s vExpert shepherd, Corey Romero, and others. It has really struck me with the growth of the vExpert program from 5 years ago when I joined the ranks how many people I don’t know, something to be remediated this week!

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PernixData Party

I then headed onto the PernixData party, Pernix is well known for putting on a great bash and tonight was no different. Pernix is punting their new product at VMworld, PernixData Architect, which is all about harnessing the intelligence from everything flowing through your hypervisor to give you far better insight about your infrastructure. It allows you to see in a simple way what IO your applications require so you can intelligently allocate storage. You can easily see your active data working set so can plan for cache sizes or WAN bandwidth requirements. You can spot poorly working VMs and know from their IO profile whether you need to look at the database configuration for example. Pernix are not just a storage caching company any more!

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My Fitbit says I did 30,635 steps today and my Jawbone phone app says 14,984 so it must be somewhere between the two right?!

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