London VMUG – January 2018

Today I attended the first London VMUG of the year.

Work commitments meant I missed the intro session and the first sponsor session from BitDefender. I arrived in time to catch the end of Paul Northard’s session on what to expect from VMware in 2018. Paul talked about HCX, and it’s history in a previous form as the VMware Hybrid Cloud Manager. HCX looks very interesting in helping with migrations to VMware incarnations in the cloud, especially combining functions that are similar to vSphere Replication and NSX Standalone Edge, so that VMs can be pre-seeded and then migrated without downtime. To wrap up Paul’s session, Nico Vibert took over, in his new VMC Presales role, to talkabout VMC in AWS, which is clearly going to have a big year in 2018 both for features and for expansion at some point into Europe and perhaps beyond.

After a break, Sam McGeown, presented on NSX and vRA. This was a great session which gave a good overview of constructing security polices And populating security groups in NSX, and how those can be automated in vRA. Sam suggested two different approaches in vRA; one a more out of the box approach and the other requiring a little more customisation in vRA. Sam did an excellent job of outlining the merits and pitfalls of each approach.

After lunch it was time for a difficult decision between Chris Bradshaw’s Coding for vSphere Admin’s session and Nico Vibert’s full session on VMC. As I plan to pilot VMC this year I chose Nico’s session in the end, sorry Chris!

Nico skipped the high level VMC on AWS overview as I think by now most people have seen it. He ran through various customer plans for using VMC, for things like data centre evacuations and DR. Nico then ran through a number of demos. First up was a basic demo of VMC itself, which was actually a good way of bringing some of the audience up to speed if they hadn’t previously caught up with what VMC on AWS actually is. Nico demoed Python integration and then a demo of integrating VMC with Slack. He finished up by demoing using an AWS IoT button to trigger adding a new host to your VMC cluster, which was very cool and got a well earned round of applause.

It was then time for the second vendor session of the day. Tegile presented a case study of their implementation at Honda Trading, migrating them away from groaning HP MSAs.

And to wrap things up, Gareth Edwards got everyone excited by demoing the administration of a vSphere environment using a VR headset. It was really interesting to see the same type of demo from the VMworld keynote working straight from a laptop in stage. The demo sparked an interesting debate about the future of VR for this type of work, and whether it had a valid future or is just a gimmick.

With all the day’s sessions done it was time for Simon Gallagher to wrap things up with the annual London VMUG awards. Well done to all the winners. And then it was off to the pub.

Hopefully I’ll be able to make it to the next event in March. See you then!

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