Today was the second day of VMworld Europe 2018! We started the day of with the General Session with Pat Gelsinger doing most of the talking. 

VMworld Europe 2018 General Session

After an opening statement by Jean-Pierre Brulard it was Pat Gelsinger who took the stage. Pat celebrated 20 years of VMware and explained how they were able to bring innovative technologies to market which helped to bridge across silos within organizations.

However there are still a large number of challenges security being one of the most important ones. To address the growing number of security threats VMware is bundling AppDefence with vSphere and labled it vSphere platinum. With this suite of software security is no longer configured statically by an engineer but rather machine learning is used to learn lock and adapt security policies automatically.

As organisations are looking to extend their on-premise datacenter to form a hybrid cloud VMware is working together with cloud provider partners to deliver on this promise. One of the more prominent partners in this space is IBM. Together with VMware IBM announced a mission critical multi-site cloud service based on VMware cloud foundation. This cloud service is fully managed and does not only deliver VMs but containers as well.

There was way too much information in the keynote to cover in this blogpost so if you are interested go ahead and head over to the VMworld website to see the full keynote.

The rest of the day we filled up our calenders with sessions for all kinds of VMware products such as vCloud Director, Horizon View, vSphere Automation and more! Below is a short summary of the newly aquired knowledge and insights from these sessions.

Architecting Horizon 7 Enterprise

Bryan went to the session mentioned above and what he took home were the following items.

  • Horizon View Security servers will be end-of-life in a couple of releases. So if you are still using them you should consider upgrading them to the Horizon View Unified Access Gateway servers. These are far better than the ‘legacy’ security servers. The ‘new’ Unified Access Gateway servers no longer have a 1-to-1 relationship with the Horizon View Connection Servers, which brings the possibility to have less security servers but still be able to serve an internal and external facing VDI environment. This functionality is mostly powered by the fact that the Unified Access Gateway servers have a DMZ component build in.
  • If you are designing a Horizon View Multi-Site environment please take note that a Multi-Site stretched Active/Active design in which the Horizon View Connection servers are not on the same LAN segment are not supported. If you want to stretch your Horizon View environment across sites you could use a stretched vSAN Horizon View environment with a configured preference for one site, which basically makes it a Active/Passive (but with replication and instant failover) environment.

If you want to know more about VMware’s VDI offerings you could visit the Techzone website.

vCloud Director design studio for navigation patterns in the HTML5 interface

Because VMware is focused on delivering their services through cloud providers more than ever, tools to automate the delivery of those services become really important. We are seeing a lot of development effort being put into vCloud Director as this is a key component to deliver true multi-tenancy to a number of VMware’s products such as vSphere and NSX. To modernize the UI of vCloud Director VMware actively collaborates with their partners to make sure that it becomes as user friendly as it can possibly get. I was actually engaged in one of these sessions and found it to be really valuable to give my feedback. I’ll definitely try to attend more of the design sessions in the future if possible.

Top 10 Automation Requests and how you can save time

Bryan also went to the above session which was held by William Lam. It’s always a nice pleasure to watch William present, he has a fun way of presenting items so that you will remember them easier than if someone would present it the old fashioned way. 

We learned quite a lot at this session in regards to a couple of somewhat ‘hidden’ features in the most recent vSphere releases. For example we did not know that;

  • You could actually inject code, and let alone files or executables into the virtual machine with the use of VMware Tools to manipulate processes or files inside the GuestOS. This can be done with the vSphere Guest Operations API which William talked about on his blog.
  • VMware vSphere Code Capture. A plugin within the HTML5 UI with which you can record the actions you do in the UI and convert that into Powershell code. As far as I understood it is still a fling but very useful nonetheless. We did however know there was a Flex UI fling at some point called Onyx. Code capture is the rebranded next version of this tool.
  • That you can inject USB HID scan codes into the virtual machine without interactively using the VM console and without even having the need to have the OS even beeing booted. 
  • That there is something called ‘Instant Clones’ in vSphere 6.7 which creates “instant” clones of either running or ‘freezed’ virtual machines. This means you could spin up cloned virtual machines within seconds and continue normal operation, but with an extended amount of virtual machines inside your environment. What is a fun fact is these clones actually share the memory pages, even with TPS beeing disabled back in the vSphere 5 era. We are going to read up on this later on, because I am still interested in the what happens when the base disk is removed or altered. 
  • The VM console screenshot functionality. You can take a screenshot of the VM console with an API or HTTPS call and save it for later use.
Preparing for VCDX defence

Both me and Bryan achieved the VCIX-DCV milestone and we were really interested in the session on preparing for a VCDX defense. Even though we are at the beginning of the VCDX journey we got a lot of usefull tips out of this session.

Another interesting VMware certification-related development is that we both passed for the VMware Cloud Provider Specialist 2019 exam while attending VMworld! We are pleased to join the others that have already certified themselves. The VMware Cloud Provider Specialist Exam is an exam that certifies a candidate on its expertise in deploying and managing a VMware vCloud Director environment and demonstrates its knowledge of the overall VMware Cloud Provider Platform. If you want to know more about this certification you can head over to VMware’s website.

Stay tuned for day three tomorrow!

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