VMWorld 2014 - Cool stuff you should know about

VMWorld 2014 – Cool stuff you should know about

Here are my VMWorld 2014 notes about the conference’s top new solutions.

Bottom line, I expect most of those features and solutions become popular and although it starts to feel like there is “too much”, that’s our role as IT Professionals, to pick the right tools for use in the right time and place.

  1. EVO: Rail – “Data Center in a Box” – allows hardware and software ISVs to package their multi-suite software appliances into a single kit that includes shrink-wrapped manageability options (no need for vCenter and similar management tools, but they can be used if you have them). All deployed within 15 minutes!
  2. EVO: Rack – “vHardware v2.0“. Yes, “vHardware” is my term to describe the offering of integrated, data center scale hardware to support quick deployment of VMware at mass scale. In the past years it featured products such as Cisco UCS, EMC vBlock, NetAPP FlexPod). I’d say EVO: Rack is the second “vHardware” major effort, now fueled by the new “SDDC” (Software Defined Data Center) standard, including extensible racks including servers, storage, networking (from various hardware vendors) and the complete suite of VMware’s data center management products, all deployable within 2 hours and aimed to allow launching multiple Virtual Data Centers, within a single physical Data Center.
  3. vCloud AirAllows for easy transparent secure migration of VMs into and from the cloud, or across the world into and from other data centers. The policies, including network and security rules of a VM will migrate with it, and be enforced, no matter where it is migrated to. All based on the new vSphere 6.0 (Beta) engine.
  4. vCloud Realize – Management and monitoring of Operations,  Automation, Business, provided on internal external or Hybrid Cloud via vCloud Air.
  5. Contributing to and integrating with Docker containers as well as with Google Kubernetes Docker management software, both are becoming a strong standard for agile development, testing, packaging and deploying software. Essentially you can deploy and maintain Docker containers within the well-known VMware management tools, such as VMware vCenter.
  6. Pay as You Go – packaging of VMware’s products as SaaS or IaaS (some now, others in the future). That’s cool and not trivial for solutions that are dealing with infrastructure.
  7. vSphere 6 Beta now allows migration of live VMs from one GEO location to another one across the world, providing transparent network access to the VMs without any adjustment of their IP network details independently of the actual local network details for each GEO location, all based on VMware NSX technology)
  8. Policy based deployment and enforcement of SDDC: network, storage, availability, etc. Those policies automate the setup and maintenance of our VMs, and reduces the need to create and monitor operation and monitoring related scripts.
  9. Virtual Volumes (Beta): Using the Sphere APIs for Storage Awareness (VASA), it allows for the offloading of VM operations to the most common storage solutions. For example, creating a VM snapshot can be done by the storage system (EMC, NETAPP, etc), using its own means to do what until now, the VMware ESX server had to do. This complements past offering of VMware’s Virtual SAN, which aimed to replace the need for expensive physical storage solutions, by offering many of the SAN storage features through software on top of economic commodity hardware.
  10. Rapid mobile deployment of apps (temporary desktop) streamed from VMware cloud assisted by the Air-Watch technology. As an example, allows one to send a document that requires a specific APP, to another person. If the receiving party is entitled to use the relevant app, it will be available for him as soon as he tries to open that document.
  11. Federated App / Desktop Delivery via VMware AirWatch. As an example this allows a doctor to securely send a patient health test result to another expert’s mobile device, even though the expert works in another hospital. Only the doctor and the expert can collaborate on this document. All done seamlessly. App delivery and usage is streamed through VMware cloud data centers in the background so it seems delivery is instant.

That’s it for now.

Do let me know what you found out so far (I am still going through the VMWorld Brown Bag sessions).

Docker containers to rock CoreOS

Docker containers to rock CoreOS

Check out the “Docker” new slim Linux containers technology, now at the center of CoreOS

CoreOS is an easily scalable SaaS / MSP targeted Linux variant, now available on Google Compute engine as well.

Each Docker container includes a complete App / Service with all its Data Structures, similar to Ca Technology 3Tera.

http://infoworld.com/t/application-virtualization/coreos-uses-docker-put-linux-diet-242218

Going to check it out soon…

How to find your next great book read

How to get any Book Economically + 3 Team Building + 1 Mind Control Must Reads

As always you can get books on Amazon and if you are looking for Audio versions, you can use Audible. In Amazon you get each book separately, while Audible allows you get a bunch of them using their subscription options. But still it is a pay-per-book.

However, if you really read a lot, or need to go through many books, reading just what you need in each one, you need something that is a “read-as-you-can” subscription.

Oyster got it for you. You can read any of its 100,000 titles for ~$10 a month. However, it has one drawback. It is currently restricted to the USA only.

Scribd has become my favourite recently. It has more than 300,000 books available for you to read on almost any device, it has no Geographic restrictions I am aware of, and you can signup to it via PayPal for less than $9 a month. You can keep books on your device and read them offline.

A complementary hack you can use allows you to turn almost any eBook you have on any App or device, turned into an Audio book, read using your phone’s text-read-aloud option. Here is a nice YouTube video on how to do it on iPhone, iPad devices:

Now that you got your Book Tools ready, let me share with you several Team Building Must-Reads I was recommended to read by my Management Empowerment mentor:

  1. The Six Secrets of Change: What the Best Leaders Do to Help Their Organizations Survive and Thrive (Could not find this one on Scribd yet..)
  2. Man’s Search For Meaning: The classic tribute to hope from the Holocaust – This books shows you how you can control the one thing, no matter what happens to you as you try to lead, or simply survive.
  3. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business – Here is this one on Scribd

Here is a last one, which I am going to take a look at soon:

Positive Poker: A Modern Psychological Approach to Mastering Your Mental Game – this one was recommended on the DABCC Radio – Virtualization & Cloud Podcast

What your current recommendations for great team building books or Text to Audio solutions?

P.S.

I just got this question from one of my Blog’s readers: Are you familiar with a good utility for creating an audio book (by using text-to-speech) that can get as input popular formats of e-books?

Here is my response: Great Question!!!

for desktop you could use TextAloud to read out Word docs and such.

On your iPhone and iPad look at SpeakIT! (I got it several days ago, since it is good if you want to turn a quick doc into audio, because it requires you to paste the text, rather than convert a file.

Another Mobile app is File Converter . I tried it several times and it looks awesome! I turns any file to any file. So you can convert from one eBook format to another, AND you can also convert eBooks into audio files! It uploads your eBook to a server, converts it and downloads the audio to your mobile device. Seem to work great! The sound type is pre-defined as far as I see.

Another option is SoundGecko which I use a lot. It converts web pages, PDF files, Blogs (RSS) into Audio using various sound types. You can get the Audio via the SoundGecko App or via a Podcast channel it creates for you.

Do let me know if you found something better..

Now all you need is time to listen all this :-)
I don’t have an App for that (yet).

Learning PowerCLI Book Review

May the Power(CLI) be with you! (PowerCLI Book Review)

Remember the famous line Yoda tells Sky Walker in the first “Star Wars” movie? He says “May the Force Be With You!”

For years I have traded it with “May the cursor be with you”.

Recently since I had a crash on PowerCLI and then on PowerShell, I started looking for good books on PowerCLI.

The first one I found was dated 2011, so it was good, but not good enough.

Then I saw on twitter Robert van den Nieuwendijk was looking for reviewers for his new “Learning PowerCLI” book.

Learning PowerCLI Book Review - Book

This was right on for me and I got free access to the book copy for review, within few hours.

I will be using it through my journey to get more intimate relations with our VMware operations. But I can say the quick “I need to” test came out with flying colors. I mean, you could read the book chapter by chapter, but you would also want to quickly find how to do something specific. In this case I was looking for Data Store latency information and within 5 minutes found the background materials as well as the specific commands.

Having a trusted guide (Robert), I also took on his warm advise to finally look into the automated comprehensive vCheck Script as well as the PowerGUI tool and wonderful set of ready to use packs (more on this on a separate post). One word of caution – I would not use just any library pack offered there, before I take a look at the author and the scripts, and I always run them under a user with read-only permissions, preferring a quick test on a test environment first, just to quickly see it actually works.

This resulted in a quick report I was able to construct within an hour, showing a possible savings of ~ $15,071.

For now I think I’d replace Yoda’s blessing with “May the Power(CLI) be with you” :-)

More on my review of the book soon…

P.S.

What are your favorite Power CLI resources?

20140303-075409.jpg

P.S.

Until 26 March this book is on the packt’s buy 1/get 1 free book sale, along with all their catalog here:

http://bit.ly/1j26nPN

The Hidden Disruption inside Microsoft Windows 8

The Hidden Disruption inside Microsoft Windows 8

It seems that everyone is focusing on the inconveniences and incompleteness of the transition Windows 8 is aiming at.

Let me tell you something, if you are not absolutely enthused about what it brings, keep reading, because you are missing big times.

I finally got to playing with Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2, and more importantly Sky Drive (soon to be renamed to One Drive) as well as the Microsoft store. Up until now, I thought working with Windows 8 would be a time loss. As many say it seemed to be the “Windows Vista” failure played again. So, as many do, I thought I should stick to Windows 7, if I want to get some work done, and avoid playing with something that will be dead in the water soon enough.

If you feel the same, here is what you are missing:

The combination of Sky Drive / One Drive along with the Microsoft Windows App store is the real deal here. If successfully executed, it could lead to (here are just few points) –

1. Less Viruses, as software is gotten through a single more reliable source.

2. Malicious code that still sneaked in, would be removed quickly from all computers through the Store updates.

3. User data as well as Apps and settings can easily migrate across computers, reducing setup or recovery time for desktops and servers.

4. The 3rd party APP developers will look into embedding their data and settings into Sky Drive / One Drive as well.

5. Licensing can be managed much easier, automatically, through the store.

6. The whole desktop APP market and IT APP Management market could be disrupted due to the focal position of the Windows APP store and its built-in ease of deployment and manageability.

Furthermore, I have to say, I like the “Single App on the whole screen”, because it puts away all the clutter of other apps and windows, and lets me focus on what I need to do.

Windows 8 is a bit cumbersome, because it represents a transition period, yet the goal is worthy and I will be spending more time on this new puppy.

How do you feel about all this?