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VMworld US 2016: The Day 0 Buzz

August 29th, 2016





20160828_043310438_iOSI arrived late last night from London to hot Las Vegas just in time to join up with the VMware community at #vBeers, was great see catch up with the great community.


One of the best ways I’ve found to beat jetlag is to get active in the morning which helps to shock the body clock into submission! I thoroughly enjoyed meeting up again this year with the assembled #vFit crew for a run past the Vegas sights.

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Next up was activity reversal.  I had planned to head to the obligatory #vBreakfast to sample that great staple of Americana, the humble pancake, laced in everything that’s bad for you yet so delicious however I was a little late so went elsewhere.

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HOL-1730-USE-2 – Cloud Native Apps With Photon Platform

    I then had to time head back and take one of the Hands-On-Labs and you can get set up quicker using your own laptop with a BYOD option.

20160828_182236965_iOSThese are the opening times for the week:

07:00AM – 06:00PM  Sunday, August 28
10:30AM – 06:00PM  Monday, August 29
10:30AM – 06:00PM  Tuesday, August 30
08:00AM – 05:00PM  Wednesday, August 31
08:00AM – 03:00PM  Thursday, September 1

As one of my goals for VMworlds is always to look at future technology, One of the ways to possibly get an idea of some of the announcements is to see what labs are new this year. I spotted: VMware Cloud Foundation Fundamentals [SPL-1706-SDC-5] which was described as helping you to “gain a better understating of how EVO SDDC provides an easier way to deploy and operate a private cloud on an integrated Software Defined Data Center system”.

Looks like this may be a more integrated EVO:SDDC offering to be announced.

However I decided to take Cloud Operations With Photon Platform [SPL-1730-USE-2]

Photon Platform is VMware’s announced but not released ESXi platform for running containers natively. The design goals are an API-first Model, so a user-experience for automation of infrastructure consumption and operations using RESTful APIs, a Fast, Scale-out Control Plane allowing the creation of 1000s of new VM-isolated workloads per minute, and supporting 100,000s of total simultaneous workloads as well as Native Container Support(e.g. Kubernetes, Docker Swarm, Pivotal CF / Lattice, and Mesos).

VMware’s other cloud native hosting product, also announced yet not released but open source is vSphere Integrated Containers (VIC) which is for running Docker containers on your existing vSphere Infrastructure. Your developers see a native Docker API yet vSphere deploys a VM per container in the background so your containers can be managed with your existing tools just like VMs so you can back them up, provide networking, manager performance etc.

Photon Platform however is purely for containers and targeted at scale-out container only hosting.

The lab was all about setting up a private cloud on the Photon Platform control plane and then deploying cloud native applications using Docker and Kubernetes.


I also learn about how disks will be handled with a new term called flavours.

There are three kinds of Flavors in Photon Platform; VM, Ephemeral Disk and Persistent disk Flavors.  Ephemeral disks are what you are used to with your current ESXi environment.  They are created as part of the VM create and their lifecycle is tied to the VM.  Persistent disks can be created independent from any VM and then subsequently attached/detached.  A VM can be created, a persistent disk attached, then if the VM dies, the disk could be attached to another VM.  Flavors define the size of the VMs (CPU and RAM), but also define the characteristics of the storage that will be used for ephemeral (Boot) disks and persistent storage volumes.    You specify the VM and disk flavors as part of the VM or Disk creation command.

Opening Acts

Then an afternoon of community goodness, starting with #vBrownbag which runs the now traditional Opening Acts which are moderated panel discussions. I find these great as they set some of the expectations of VMworld and give me a peak at what others consider important. I find this helps to frame the questions I can then ask over the next few days so its a great VMworld primer.

Each panel discussion lasts an hour.

Careers: Moderated by Gina Minks (@gminks)

“Where do I take my career from here? How do I prepare for the next step? What, exactly, do I want to do?” how to cope with imposter syndrome, how to maintain a healthy work/life balance.

New Age / Next Generation IT: Moderaed by Jody Tyrus (@jtyrus)

Containers, network virtualization, cloud-native application…what’s next.


Storage & Hyper-converged: Moderated by Scott D. Lowe (@otherscottlowe)

Pros & cons of traditional, hybrid, all-flash and hyper-convergence.


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Automation/Orchestration/DevOps: Moderated by James Bowling (@vsential)

20160828_221226143_iOSAutomating IT configuration management, new ways for IT to interact and cooperate with software development, and adopting infrastructure as code.


Thanks so much to the #vBrownbag crew for putting these on, it really brings a practitioners view to everything that’s going a as opposed to the sometimes skewed vendor view.

You can see the recordings here:



I also popped over to the annual #v0dgeball tournament which is a fun way to raise money for the Wounded Warriors Project. Pure Storage was the winning team.

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Welcome Reception

VMworld itself kicks off its sales side today with the opening of the Solutions Exchange by a Welcome Reception, at first glance it looks like not much has changed with the move from San Francisco to Vegas with plenty of companies eager to tell you their stories. I will certainly be spending some time investigating later in the week.

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VMUG Member Party

I headed to the VMUG Member party at the House of Blues to say hi to my fellow VMUG members. Michael Dell even made an appearance.

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Then more community socialising with the VMunderground Party which is the tail-end of the Opening Acts. I wasn’t sure what to expect as with what seems like dwindling sponsorships for many activities at VMworld this year VMUnderground was forced to charge an entry fee, I wasn’t sure who would make it but my fears were unfounded as it was great to see so many people and catch up with some social groupings such as fellow South Africans and parents of twins!

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Fitbit said 28,514 steps today. Smile

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