Team vGlobo – v0dgeball – VMworld 2012

Come one! Come all! Watch the spectacle that is v0dgeball at VMworld 2012!

This year, a number awesome vPeople have come together for a brief time to create an amazing team of dodgeballers to dominate the tournament: Team vGlobo


The team is comprised of:

  • Bill Hill
  • Arjan Timmerman
  • Brandon Riley
  • Gabrie van Zanten
  • Chris Emery
  • Josh Townsend
  • Jason Shiplett
  • Mike Ellis
  • Dwayne Lessner
  • Joseph Boryczka

If you’re interested in watching the awesomeness that is Team vGlobo, please come and check out the tournament:



Links (for your clicking pleasure)

In all seriousness (if you made it this far), the v0dgeball tournament is something that I am very proud to be a part of. The proceeds for the dodgeball tournament go to the Wounded Warrior Project. 

The Wounded Warrior Project provides support for US service men and women injured while serving our country. They provide a ton of services and support, which includes:

  • Stress recovery
  • Family support
  • Career transition
  • Employment placement
  • Adaptive sporting events
  • Assistance with government/insurance claims
  • And so much more

At the time of this post, the v0dgeball 2012 project has raised $10,705.00 for the Wounded Warrior Project. How cool is that?! Really!? Just thinking about the impact that $10,000+ can have to thank and support servicemen/servicewomen for their amazing sacrifice is awe inspiring.

I cannot thank Chad Sakac, Fred Nix, and EMC enough for organizing such a fun and honorable activity for the VMworld participants… and for all of the participants of the tournament. 

Team vGlobo is honored to take the floor, throw some balls in faces of opponents (there’s a joke in there somewhere), and support such an amazing organization. 

Go Team vGlobo!!!


VMworld 2010 – Take Away Message

Hard to believe that VMworld 2010 is over. It seems like it was a long time coming and, now that it is over, it feels like a long time to the next one.

So, while I am sitting at the airport waiting for my flight, I thought I would take a minute to appreciate everything I have experienced this week and try to lump it all together into the all important “moral of the story”.

The conference was chalk full of amazing content. The sessions (at least the ones I was able to attend) were amazing. The labs, well you probably know how I feel about the labs by now (psst… they were AWESOME!). The blogger access and role was amazing! The people made the show.

Years ago, VMware was a hypervisor company. You want to run multiple OSes on single hardware platform, no problem. However, under the guidance of Paul Maritz, the VMware company is changing their goal. No longer is it server virtualization. Instead, it appears to be one of digital abstraction and corporate transformation. Now that corporations have adopted the core virtualization strategy of virtualizing their server environment, they can move on the path of more flexibility.

The major focus on the workstation transformation to a VDI/View based device was front and center. Users and technology are changing the way applications are setup and presented… for the good and the bad (I feel like I could soapbox on this sometime, but I will save that for another time).

While VMware is a company concerned about making money, I really feel like the products they push onto the market are truly meant for changing the paradigm of corporate computing. Other vendors are more concerned about publishing a product to make a buck.

So, the moral of the story is: The corporate environment is changing. Technologies are being developed to ensure easy and secure access to data and mission critical applications. Now is the time to acknowledge the changes and prepare to welcome them into your environment. VMware is providing the core structure for allowing this access.

I appreciate all of the opportunities I was privy to this week and the direction of the company we all depend on.

Thanks for an awesome conference VMworld!

This blog entry was brought to you by the letters: V, M, W

VMworld 2010 – What Does A Golden Ticket Get You?!

Alright… One perk to my awesome tour of the lab environment was that I was the lucky recipient of a Golden Ticket. For those of you that have no idea what I am talking about or was not in attendance at the final General Session this morning, let me explain.

The Golden Ticket was a surprise prize for doing all kinds of things at VMworld 2010. I received my Golden Ticket after the interview in the VMworld Lab. Some people around me received their tickets for:

  • Asking a question to someone in the Information booth
  • Finding John Troyer somewhere in the Moscone campus
  • GeoCache style
  • Being cornered by the lab architect at the VMworld party and given one
  • etc…

Around 200 tickets were handed out to us lucky recipients. However, no one really knew that they entitled us to… just show up for priority seating to the General Session. So, show up we did. I found myself sitting in the third row (behind one row of fellow Golden Ticket holders and the presenters themselves).

At the beginning of the session, we were told that the Golden Ticket would not be announced yet… but, just wait.

The presentations during the General Session were really neat… and had absolutely nothing to do with VMware… which was alright. Instead, we were presented with 3 differing views of how we, as humans, can/may expect to interact with out digital world.

Low and behold, at the end of the presentations, the Golden Ticket holders were informed that their prize was an Emotiv EPOC Headset (please see Emotiv’s Web Site).

Due to inventory issues, (specifically, they only brought 100 and I was #110), I will be receiving my device in the mail in 6-8 weeks.

So… get this, I got a freeking brain scanner for attending VMworld. How sweet is that?! Sadly, I did hear some people grumbling about the prize not being an iPad. Really!? Cmon folks… don’t you realize the significance of this? This device is amazing. While you may not have an immediate need, please play with it and marvel over what it can accomplish for a very reasonable price point. Plus, just be appreciative that you walked away with something cool. Show a little class, thank you very much. I, for one, am very appreciative for the chance to get a Golden Ticket and for the awesome EPOC. I cannot wait to open it up and play with it.

VMworld 2010 – Labs – From The Inside

First off, I would like to take a moment to thank Mr. Irish Spring for the level of access provided today! You are a saint among men! I really appreciate the transparency and the conversation about everything! This was an amazing opportunity for me and I appreciate it.

Second off, I have a very sweet spot in my heart for labs like this (see PDX VMUG Performance Lab – 2010 I organized).

So… I was sitting in a session when my phone “blew up” (aka – I saw a tweet that the lab had just hit 100,000 VMs deployed). That’s a huge deal, right!? So, I thought I would write up a couple (or 8 ) questions for me to interrupt some important person’s day and ask for a response. Fate, so it seems, was on my side. When I went to the lab environment, Irish Spring was ready and willing to answer my questions. However, not only that, he offered a tour of the area, answered every single question (and more), and let me participate in the celebration of both the person that completed the 30 labs first as well as the person completing the 11,000th lab.

Instead of just answering the questions, Irish and I had some very exciting conversations. The following are the questions I had asked. However, I would not call that the end of this posting by any means. These labs go much deeper… to levels that most people do not realize.

Question and Answer

Q1) Which lab was #100,000 VM deployed on? View 4.5

Q2) What did the person win? A Golden Ticket and a coffee mug

Q3) What were you and your team thinking when #100,000 hit? Completely amazed by the speed of accomplishing such a feat. We were nervous before the labs and completely caught off-guard.

Q4) Projected lab count for VMworld now that you have hit 100,000? Around 14,000 attendees and around 140,000 VMs deployed (at this rate).

Q5) How has the lab performed compared to your expectations? Surprisingly, the East Coast based datacenters have been performing better than the SFO based datacenter.

Q6) Any failures / failover events? 2 instances

  1. (VirtualBill – I can confirm this as I was in the labs when it happened) There was a network issue on the first day that caused some of the sessions to hang/stall. Paul Maritz showed up at the exact time. But, he was able to witness a failover to another site until the issue resolved itself.
  2. We lost a rack of compute nodes in the SFO datacenter. The conference power was not consistent enough and a rack went offline. However, HA kicked in and only 2 sessions were truly lost. All others hosted on the compute rack were offloaded elsewhere and the sessions resumed! Once the rack was brought online, all of the compute nodes were restored and HA moved the operations back to the rack.

Q7) Any changes for the VMworld Europe setup? The scale of the lab setup is much smaller. So, the sheer size is dropping. The entire lab setup for Copenhagen is going to be leaving from Moscone West by this coming Sunday for arrival (via sea) on site. Additionally, a direct circuit between VMworld Europe and Ashburn, VA is going to be setup… although, it will still be accessed via Cloud methodology… just fewer hops to ensure proper connectivity for lab operation.

Q8) Any ideas, yet, for the next VMworld setup? Good model to keep? (now, I just want to make this very clear that this is not any official direction from VMware, or anything like that. This is just a “pie in the sky” commentary. Under no circumstance should you consider this an option as to what may happen in VMworld 2011) Obviously, this is a great model to keep for next year. However, I think it would be neat to host 3rd party labs in a duplicated, but similar environment.

Alright… now that the Q&A is over with, I would like to take a couple moments of your time to try and enlighten you to some aspects of the Lab environment that you may not be aware of… but that everyone needs to know. This is a massive undertaking that was done to benefit ALL OF US!

Lab Setup and Operations

The team of workers that put on the Lab environment for VMworld are amazing. Simply amazing. This entire setup (from planning months ago to execution this week) was completed in their free time. Seriously, these guys (and gals) have their usual day jobs. They got together of their own free will and in their free time to get this put together for us. That is time they spent away from wives, husbands, children, family, friends, and other personal commitments. Au Gratis.

I completely understand the time commitment for putting together a lab environment. However, to the scale of the VMworld 2010 labs, is just mind boggling.

Once everything was ready logistically, the VMworld lab team got access 72 hours in advance of VMworld. 3 days to ensure 480 clients setup properly, connectivity, connections, and services. Amazing…

Cloud Setup

Many of us know, already, that the Labs are being provided via 3 cloud locations. Moscone West, Ashburn (Virginia), and Miami (Florida). However, what most people do not realize is that the Labs are operating in a true cloud configuration.

Obviously, the Ashburn and Miami locations are remote… but what about the Moscone West location? Believe it, or not, the local datacenter is being accessed as a WAN environment. No 10Gb connectivity from the lab environment. The connections are technically being accessed via a secure VPN tunnel to the datacenter itself. So, while the lab hardware is technically a couple hundred feet away, the connectivity to the infrastructure is identical to the East Coast locations. This is truly a cloud environment!


Look all around the lab… or picture yourself looking all around the lab. Got it?! Every computer interface you have seen (projections and terminals) as well as many you have not seen are completely custom. The lab environment is so complex and custom, many developers spent their free time developing the environment you use to interact with the labs as well as monitoring and administration services. This is thanks to Clair and Curtis. I was privileged enough to get a tour of the operations center and see some of the interfaces first-hand. The interfaces look production ready. Hard to believe that this is not a member of a money making product right now.

Custom Monitoring and Administration

Via the use of common APIs in the framework products used to provide the Lab environment, developers were able to create some amazingly simple and informative monitoring and administration utilities. The view into the Lab environment from the tools allows for a fairly minimal amount of admin staff.

Client Stations

The client stations are using the new View 4.5 product for presentation. To think about where we have come… in 2007, the labs were comprised of a handful of laptops. This was to address the primary lab needs… the desktop products. A mere 4 years later, we are using cloud infrastructure, thin clients, and 480 simultaneous clients.


So, for all you lab workers and organizers at VMworld 2010 labs, I would like to take a moment to thank you, on behalf of the VMworld attendees, for your personal sacrifice to make the lab environment work so well. The end result was amazing. You have had an impact on the careers of so many people. You should be very proud of what you have accomplished.

VMworld 2010 – Labs – Monumental Day

Today was a monumental day… and, amazingly, I was there for 2 of the 3 big happenings!

100,000 Virtual Machine Deployed

Per Irish, the 100,000th VM was deployed to someone (I never did ask for the person’s name) running the View 4.5 Installation lab. They received a golden ticket as well as a cool mug.

All 30 Labs Completed

Randomly, while talking with Irish, Mr. Ron Davis (@ronsdavis for those Twitter fans) approached us and let us know that he had completed all of the labs. He is, officially, the first person to complete all labs this year! Ron would be returning later for a little more formal recognition, interviews, etc…


11,000 Labs Completed

On, what appeared to be the way out at the time, Irish received notice that the Lab was almost at 11,000 labs completed. I stuck around and I was able to see that monumental moment. Plus Irish introduced me over the sound system and I awarded the prize to Mr. Kirk <cough_cough_cough> (sorry, I forgot your last name) (wamp wamp wamp). Mr. Kirk won a rubber chicken, a mug, and a golden ticket! The 11,000th lab was vSphere Performance and Tuning.

IMG_20100901_153252 IMG_20100901_153035

I know the picture on the right may be difficult to see… but, the thermometer is over 11,000 Labs completed.


Congratulations, VMworld 2010 Lab crew, for such awesome results! All of the other targets are well on their way to being smashed!

VMworld 2010 Deep Thoughts – By Jack Handy

This is my second VMworld experience… last year being my first… both in SFO (that is San Francisco for those not used to IATA/Airport codes). So, I feel like I have a very good basis for comparison.

Session Pre-registration

2009 – Totally! It is absolutely awesome. I loved this because I knew exactly what I was doing from minute to minute. This allowed me to get a ridiculous amount of information from the sessions (100+ pages of notes). However, it was a bummer for the people that did not get approval to attend until it was too late (wamp wamp wamp)

2010 – Suck! I believe I have come up with a plausible explanation for why VMworld did not allow for pre-registration of the sessions. But, whatever the model, it has not been good to me. In the past 3 days, I have attended… 3 sessions. I should be 5 deep by end of day 1. The lines have been ridiculous and time wasting. Lucky for me, I have other things that I can use to keep me busy… plus, I have comfort in knowing conference material is going to be made available post-VMworld. So, I can catch up then.

Just for you math-y people, in theory, by attending a 1 hour lab, you are actually consuming 2.5 hours of the time here:

  • Roughly (not scientific), 30 – 45 minutes to wait in line for your next lab
  • Each session is 1 hour
  • After each session, you have 30 minutes to get to the next session
  • If you attend a session, you get out with 30 minutes before the next one. If the next session is popular, you will not get in because people are already there.
  • The process begins again. This time, you can wait for the following session.
  • 1 hour for session + 30 minutes to get to next session + 1 hour for missing the next session = 2 hours 30 minutes.
  • Alternatively, you can bail on the last 15 minutes of the session you are in and miss on some important information.


2009 – Uh… yeah right

2010 – YEAH! Getting into the blogosphere surrounding the VMware ecosystem has been one of the most rewarding experiences in my personal interest environment. I have been blessed with access to some neato areas, content, and experiences… which I get to share with people online. Plus, the other bloggers have been amazingly nice and cordial. None of them have seen me before, but that does not really matter. I am definitely in good company here. This has been the second most best thing this VMworld.

Social Media

2009 – What’s a Twitter?

2010 – The social media influence is everywhere. I know that blogging is included with Social Media, but I wanted to split that out. Vendors, customers, VMware, VMworld Staff, and their mothers are Tweeting and blogging about everything going on. Contests, event announcements, rescheduling, etc… being connected to the social-sphere adds a level of depth to the conference that is great. I never thought I would have a Twitter account (don’t get me started)… and I am not too sure what to do with it once I am done here. But, I am glad I have it for this week.

The People

2009 – Yeah… so, I did not really know anyone. I was new to the VMUG in Portland and I was not even sure if they were going to be coming. Someone in the group “Had better ways to spend his training money”. He’s here in 2010, by the way.

2010 – Knowing and seeing the PDXVMUG people has been amazing. It seems as though they are some of the most connected people here. The social aspect of the conference really seems to have improved the entire experience. I have met some new PDX people and gotten to know VMUG people even more. I experienced the beauty of a Veeam Vodka party with them, and it was a blast. Hard to believe that I knew no one last year and this year, I am seeing so much more because I talk to people.

Look… these kinds of events can be taken one of two points of view:

  1. This is a highly technical conference. I am hear to learn about stuff
  2. This is a community event in which there is massive amounts of information and people.

2009 was option 1. I learned a lot, but I felt like a little island in a sea of 14,000 people. This time around, I am trying to embrace the community feeling. More social, hanging out with cool people, and writing about what is going on to contribute what little I can to everyone who wants to read about it. People here have the same interests and there is always something to talk about with VMware. You may teach something to someone or thay may impart some knew nugget of knowledge to you.


2009 – Meh. Nothing to write home about. Just conference food, right?!

2010 – Awesome! The hot lunch options have been excellent! So far Greek, Steak and Rice, and fried chicken have been amazing. Definitely an improvement.


2009 – Borderline. The infrastructure issues that led to non-functioning labs, only 1/2 labs working, and a small amount was pretty tough to swallow. Plus, some of the labs were more along the lines of point and click on an HTML image map versus anything of function (ex: installing ESX 4.0)

2010 – Simply amazing. The level of redundancy and technology involved has led to a spectacular environment. Please see my Lab preview posting for more details! The labs have turned out to be the logical destination when a session is not available. 

– FYI: at this very moment (around 1:10p, the labs just handed out lab number 100,000! Amazing work!)

Solutions Exchange

2009 – Fine

2010 – Fine… with iPads everywhere.

VMworld Party

2009 – A lot of fun… by myself. The Foreigner concert was great. The ice carving was a little so-so (too long). I love that it was held at Moscone… so close to the hotel.

2010 – Not too sure yet (another 5-6 hours away yet). INXS is going to be performing, which should be awesome. Looking forward to meeting up with bloggers and PDXVMUG people. Everything else is left to the imagination at this point.



As mentioned above, the VMworld conference is more than just sitting in informational sessions and meeting with people that want your money. It certainly can be if you want. But, if you go the extra mile and get waist-deep in the environment, it can be something even better.

The level of insight I feel like I have in the direction of the virtualization industry, the IT industry, and the VMware roadmap is invaluable. I feel like I can come away from this event with a better understanding of what we need to do to make sure my company is on top of the game, I am a better VMware admin, and a solid/growing network of other VMware junkies.

VMworld 2010 – TA 6720 – Troubleshooting Using ESXTOP for Advanced Users

Alright everyone. About 1 billion people have been taking sessions (or 17,000 depending on who you ask). And, many of those people are bloggers. So, I am not going to bore you with a minute by minute run down of what the class content was. Instead, I think that my time is better spent discussing the quality of the class.

The session was led by Krishna Raj Raja, a Staff Engineer with VMware. Right off of the bat, he said that any one of the specific topics he was going to discuss could be a breakout session in and of it self. He, literally, was not kidding. Not only was the information broad, it was definitely deep as well.

ESXTOP and (resxtop, for those rCLI folks) is one of the most important tools a VMware Admin could ever have in their pocket. The amount of information gleaned from such a tool is immense. However, as the detail of the lab shows, there is a learning curve to understanding what the values mean (composition and interpretation). But, once you overcome that curve, your environment profile has just become a million times more clear (your mileage may vary).

Krishna immediately established himself as an expert of the subject matter, which was great. It was evident that he was not just reading from a slide deck… but, instead, knowing intimate detail about what he was presenting.

Some of the new features of the 4.1 ESXTOP release include:

  • The ability to kill a specific world (not suggested… only used in conjunction with VMware technical support.
  • Power Management counters
    • These are not enabled automagically as the power management functionality needs to be enabled in ESX first.
  • Power management per VM (experimental)
  • VAAI specific statistics (storage operation offload to SANs)
  • NFS specific statistics
  • Disk information now reported using vScsiStats output (minor change, but important to know)
  • Memory cache/swapping statistics

This session content was spectacular. I have an immediate use for this in my environment to help establish a baseline in our existing storage environment before moving to a new SAN environment.

I would definitely suggest adding this to the essential, must attend list for every VMworld. Keeping up to date and polished up on this subject will prove to be invaluable in your future endeavors.