Everything You May Have Missed at VMWorld 2017 from a VMware Certified Instructor

VMWorld Through the Eyes of an Instructor

VMworld 2017 was a few weeks ago, but we got the opportunity to catch up with Vince Rightley, Senior Certified VMware instructor, about his experience at the event. A little background on Vince. He has over 30 years of experience in IT and almost 10 years experience as a Certified VMware Instructor. To say he’s a VMware expert is an understatement. To say he’s a VMware master guru is getting closer.

After attending VMworld for his Nth time, we got the low-down on the big news and insider secrets from VMworld 2017. Watch Vince Rightley’s video recap of his time in Vegas at VMworld 2017.

Like Vince said, there were some big technological goodbyes announced that were equally important to the exciting new hellos (*cough* hello VMware Cloud on AWS *cough*). Below are some examples that he mentioned in the video:

So Long, VMware Linux APIs and Associated Driver Ecosystem

For all of you Linux users, this might be a pretty big deal. “VMware plans to deprecate the vmkLinux APIs and associated driver ecosystem.” Whoop, there it is.

The next version of vSphere will be a terminal release for the vmkLinux APIs and associated driver ecosystem. (For the newbs: terminal release means there will be no new versions, updates or patches after this release.) After this next version, the vSphere kernel native API and associated native I/O driver ecosystem will be the only way to integrate drivers with vSphere.

For more information on VMware compatibility, VMware has provided this guide: here. If you have a really old piece of hardware you were hoping to integrate with the vSphere, you may be SOL.

Goodbye, Flash-based vSphere Web Client

Similar to the vmkLinux APIs, the next numbered release of vSphere will be the terminal release for the Flash-based vSphere Web Client. Despite being difficult to use, many in IT use this tool every day to manage their virtual data center. If you are one of those professionals, the time is now to fully embrace the HTML5-based vSphere Client and vSphere 6.5.

One of the big contributing factors that’s driving VMware to replace the vSphere Web Client is Adobe’s announcement to deprecate Flash. By the end of 2020, Flash will no longer be updated or distributed. All content creators are encouraged to migrate off Flash to an open formate like HTML5, WebGL, or WebAssembly. VMware is ahead of the game and your teams should be ready too.

If you’re unsatisfied with the HTML5-based vSphere Client, VMware is promising to have it fully featured with better usability and responsiveness before the vSphere Web Client becomes unavailable.

If you have questions about this transition, tune into one of Vince’s upcoming classes with open Q&A!

Server room

Farewell, vCenter Server for Windows

Moving to vSphere 6.5 should be a priority for your team as the vCenter Server for Windows will no longer be supported or available after the next numbered release of vSphere. The vCenter Server is the centralized management interface for your vSphere environments. Instead of the vCenter Server for Windows, VMware is promoting the benefits of the application deployment model, the vCenter Server Appliance (VCSA).

The vCenter Server Appliance is considered “a better model for vCenter Server deployment and lifecycle management” by VMware. According to VMware “maintenance tasks and downtime are minimized [when deploying or updating vCenters with VCSA] because there are no longer dependencies on monthly patch cycles with a general-purpose operating system.” The VCSA was introduced with the release of vSphere 5 but has optimized with vSphere 6.5 and vSphere 6.5 Update 1.

Now is the time for IT departments to migrate to VCSA and vSphere 6.5 before the vCenter Server for Windows is unavailable. For help on doing this, we have a full VMware class dedicated to helping students do that and more.

Nice to Meet You Again, vSAN.

While there were a few end-of-life announcements, VMWorld 2017 was full of exciting new releases and integrations. The release that seemed to be mentioned over and over was the unveiling of a new VMware vSAN offering. The new VMware HCI Acceleration Kit, powered by the VMware vSAN software, provides enterprise-level infrastructure but with a more affordable pricetag. This release will assist SMB customers and enterprise level clients to reduce their overall TCO for their IT environment and increase the usability of the data they generate.

This offering has been praised and jointly delivered by brands such as Dell EMC, Lenovo, Fujitsu Limited, NEC Corporation, and Supermicro.

Hello, New VMware Cloud Services

During VMworld 2017, VMware announced a huge expansion of their products and services on VMware Cloud. The new services include:

VMware AppDefence™: This security solution monitors changes to the behavior of your applications by leveraging the vSphere.

VMware Cost Insight™: This service helps analyze cloud spend, cost drivers and savings opportunities.

VMware Discovery™: Discovery is an automated inventory service that gives IT a better organization for their cloud resources.

VMware Network Insight™: This is a network and security analysis service that allows IT greater network visibility. It assists in network troubleshooting and enables better security planning.

VMware NSX Cloud™: This service provides a single management console for networking and security for applications on multiple clouds.

Wavefront™ by VMware: This solution is a monitoring and analytics platform that “handles the high-scale requirements of modern cloud-native applications.”

Image from VMware

Biggest of the Hellos to VMware Cloud on AWS

VMware Cloud on AWS is now available for purchase as of the first day of VMworld 2017. VMware customers can now use the best of both worlds of VMware software and AWS elastic infrastructure. This also allows customers to “run applications across VMware vSphere-based private, public, and hybrid cloud environments” with access to AWS services.

VMware will be the one managing all the licensing and billing for this on-demand service. Have you tried this new service? What did you think?

VMworld 2017 was a lot of information in a short amount of time and Vince Rightley was right in the middle of it! He attended sessions on almost every topic and sessions exclusively for VMware Certified Instructors. Want to preview some of his award-winning VMware courses? Schedule a demo today!

Are you wanting to get your VMware Certified Professional certification from Vince, but don’t know how to broach the topic with your boss? You’re in luck! We have put together a “How to Convince Your Boss to Get Your StormWind Studios VMware Training” template just for you.

Download this template, fill out your information, and send this template to your manager to start the conversation of a VMware training budget.

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Here’s what students had to say about Vince’s courses:

“The class has been fantastic so far, much better than Global Knowledge. Vince Rightley is an excellent instructor and keeps things interesting.”

“Vince leads an awesome vCourse. He was clear about the objectives, made great observations and was easy to understand overall.”

“Vince was great.  Very knowledgeable and made the course content fun and interesting.”

“Vince is adept at making the content interesting and engaging.”

“Very responsive even after class hours. Had a very good learning experience.”

“Vince Rightleys presentation of content and engagement with the class was outstanding.”

This was my first online training and I found the instructor very engaging and well versed in the subject.”

“Vince is an excellent instructor who demonstrated a thorough understanding of the material. He mixed in many real-world examples and scenarios throughout the course that helped us understand the context of the lessons. A+”

“Vince really seems to know his stuff. He keeps things interesting and adds value over just reading the book to us.”

“One of the better instructors I’ve had the pleasure of interacting with.  Knowledgeable, entertaining, and able to impart the information in ways  beginners like myself can understand, while not be beneath the experienced students.”

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Transcript from the video:

Hi. Vince Rightley with StormWind Studios. I just got back from VMWorld last week in Las Vegas, Nevada. And I got asked to put together a quick summary of what went on. Most of you are probably aware of the slogan, what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas so that’s pretty much it. Not going to talk about anything I did while … just kidding. There were a couple of interesting things that were discussed in sessions, and I’ll give you a quick overview of those and point out a couple things, places you can go get some additional information.

Number one, I spent the first day, which was actually before the conference started at VMWorld Certified Instructor Day, VCI Day. We have a day where for all of the instructors that show up. There were about 100 of us- around that, maybe 75 instructors-where we sat down with all the global education people. We had a chance to sit down. Pat Gelsinger came in as well as Ray O’Farrell came in kind of talking about the direction of the company. But we also got to learn about what’s going on from an education standpoint. What’s coming down the pipe as far as new curriculum and so on and so forth. That’s always an interesting day.

And then the actual conference started. A couple of things that were pointed out to me, and some of you may be under NDA, I’m under NDA as well. But this is public knowledge. What I’m about to share with you was either shared at VMWorld or is public knowledge today. But there were a couple of things that were announced at VM World, And it actually was posted to the vSphere Blog, the day that I was traveling out to Las Vegas. And these were probably some of the most interesting things that I heard, and then I’ll tell you a couple of things about VM World.

(A couple of things that were pointed out to me, and some of you may be under NDA, I’m under NDA as well. But this is public knowledge. What I’m about to share with you was either shared at VMWorld or is public knowledge today.)

But there were a couple of things that were announced at VMWorld, actually, it was posted to the vSphere Blog the day that I was traveling out to Las Vegas, and these were probably some of the most interesting things that I heard, and then I’ll tell you a couple of things about VMWorld.

If I go to the vSphere Blog, when I actually look at this … and if you’ve been in one of my classes before, this is one of the ones that we recommend that you take a look at, but I was on an airplane so I couldn’t see it. (takes viewers to blogs.vmware.com/vsphere/) First one, and this is for you Linux people, this is probably a big deal. For you Windows people, it’s probably not a big deal. But it says, VMware plans to deprecate the VM Linux APIs and associated driver ecosystem. Okay. There you go, there’s that.

Then these next two. Goodbye, vSphere Web Client. I’m going to leave that there for now. Anyway. I’ll put it this way, you’re familiar with the Web Client, and in version 6.5 we’re talking about the one that is still Flash-based. In version 6.5 of vSphere we have the Host Client, we have the vSphere Client, which is that HTML5 based client using the Clarity view. The next full release and I forget if they say this on here. The next numbered release not updated release, but the next numbered release be that 7, which I don’t know, 6. whatever.

There will be no more vSphere Web Client. They are going strictly to the vSphere HTML5 Client. The one that was introduced was 6.5. Okay, so no more Web Client. Some of you are clapping, and I can hear you in the background.

This next one was the most interesting to me. vCenter for Windows is going away, the same thing, it’s the next full release. VMware has always been clear in their direction in letting their customers know. Remember back some of you, ESX, then we had ESXi and then they said, hey, ESXi is our plan of where we’re going, ESX is going away and it did. Now, I have stood in front of people in classrooms, and I’ve said, you know, I don’t that the vCenter running on Windows will ever go away, but VMware is pushing us towards this vCenter service appliance. And I’m checking my words now. It is going away.

The next full release will be the last release of vCenter running on Windows. Prepare yourself, come into one of the classes and we talk about the architecture, a little bit about the VCSA. There are many, many features that are built into the vCenter server appliance in 6.5. We have the native backup. We also have high availability for that as well. That’s an enhancement. Be prepared. The next release … after the next release, I should say. After the next full dot release, that will be the last time that you see those two features. I find it very interesting the day that everybody’s traveling to get out to VM World that was posted in the vSphere Blog.

Those were three things that I heard while I was there that I was like those are pretty big announcements in my opinion. The conference itself, if you’ve never been to VMWorld, I would highly recommend that you go. It’s a great time. It’s a busy time. There are sessions from technical to general overview to from a development standpoint all the way up to full products.

I did several sessions on deep dives into some storage technologies, either virtual volumes or vSAN. vSAN was very highly publicized. vSAN is one of VMware’s products that they are pushing. And I don’t mean pushing from a perspective of hey, buy this. Though it’s changing the way that we’re dealing with storage inside of our data centers. There were several sessions on vSAN.

The other one that was interesting to me and there was a big push is AWS. VMware Cloud on AWS was a big push as well. There was a large presence of Amazon web services there. And lots of discussions. This was announced here. Now, some of you if you’ve remembered in the past like last year at VMWorld there was an announcement of VMware Cloud on IBM Cloud services. This was pushed this year and really presented out.

The other one that was interesting to me and there was a big push is AWS. VMware Cloud on AWS was a big push as well. There was a large presence of Amazon web services there. And lots of discussions. This was announced here. Now, some of you if you’ve remembered in the past like last year at VMWorld there was an announcement of VMware Cloud on IBM Cloud services. This was pushed this year and really presented out.

A couple of the cool things. There were a lot of … I don’t know if any of you use the Amazon Alexa or Echo devices, which I do. I use them. As a matter of fact, I was one sitting here. I’m surprised it didn’t light up. But anyway, there were several sessions on how … and I know, as soon as we talk about Cloud services and then we start getting into the geeky part being able to manage that from an Alexa device, which you can, they’re working on that. I went to a session where … and there was a developer … and it was a small session. But how you could actually interact with Alexa and how it interacts with your vSphere inventory. That’s kind to the side, different than AWS. Although, that’s there.

But AWS is actually running on bare metal Amazon hardware. But it is a VMware … I’m going to put air quotes around the management side of it. Four nodes is the minimum, four physical nodes and then there is vCenter, there is Virtual SAN and there is NSX that’s built into it. Depending upon your environment, you may be able to use this a hybrid solution. Some people will even want to use it as a full solution. But it offers lots of flexibility, lots of things that you can do. They’re still working out the pricing pieces, but this was a big thing that was pushed as well. And, again, for those of you that are into the Amazon device, there’s also … and they showed it, I tried to get one but they wouldn’t give it up. They actually have a Dash Button and they demonstrated that where you could push the Dash Button. If you’re not familiar with it, Google it or go out to Amazon and just type in Dash Button. But you could actually push the Dash Button, one push it added an ESXi host to your Amazon Cloud, a VMware Cloud on AWS. It added another ESXi host. If you push it twice, you get two ESXi hosts in your environment. If you did long push, it actually removed one from your environment. It was very cool looking at that technology as well.

Overall, it was a great week. Like I said, it was very tedious as far as lots of sessions and trying to get a lot of stuff in. But it was a great overall week. The main things that I took away though. It was VMware Cloud on AWS. There were several technical sessions that I looked at from a storage perspective with vSAN. Did a deep dive from VVols, virtual volume perspective. And then the announcements that were made in the vSphere Blog. The next full release of vSphere, that will be the last time. I need to clarify that. That will be the last time that there is a Web Client and the last time VMware vCenter on Windows will be supported. Those are things that I thought I’d give you a quick update and remember what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Thanks for watching. Have a great day.

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