And Nutanix .Next 2019 is already over. Today I enjoyed the first Keynote again from the Executive lounge and hit the community booth afterwards. I don’t think there was a lot of really new tech in the keynote but I liked seeing it anyway. The interview with Caroline Wozniacki was great she sound like a very humble and down to earth person to me.
In the community area we had way too much fun distributing the 100’s of Nutanix Design Guides that where shipped to Copenhagen. So much fun that I actually forget to go to the sessions where I wanted to go but hey I met some nice people and really felt like Operah with giving away those books.
The closing keynote had two parts, the first with Dr. Katie Boumann who worked on creating the image of the black hole the last few year. I barely understood 20% of what she was saying but I loved hearing about the process. The second part was with Kit Harrington from Game of Thrones, while I never really liked the show I loved hearing all of his stories.
Having arrived in Copenhagen on Sunday I have had plenty of time to go for some sightseeing but yesterday things really started for me at the Nutanix .Next event in Copenhagen. I haven’t done any sessions to be honest but had a full schedule anyway. First we started of at the keynote with the NTC’s getting a shoutout from marketing Chief Ben Gibson and one of us on just before at the celebration of 10 years of Nutanix: Andrea Mauro. Several announcements where made during the keynote like Metro availability for AHV, one minute RPO for Xi Leap and ESXi availability for Xi Leap as well. For me the highlight was Julie O’Brien (VP of marketing ) doing a tech demo on stage.
What followed after the keynote was a lot of networking and offcourse the yearly NTC lunch. While it was only a small group it actually was great to catch up with everyone. Too bad Angelo didn’t have a microphone because he was singing with the music as usual.
In the afternoon I did a roundtable session about a new type of certification that Nutanix is exploring. This was with a small group of ntc’s and I have to say the discussions where great and what is actually the future of us engineers and what does an engineer actually do?
For the evening keynote Angelo got us in the executive lounge (that hadn’t been used a lot during the day according to some of the staff). Too bad the part with Dimitri Vegas and Like Mike wasn’t broadcasted but they made up for that at the awesome party in the evening. They did a great set with lots of oldskool music that got the croud really going.
This year will mark my third visit to the European Nutanix .Next conf, this time in lovely Copenhagen. This year though will be my first time as the Nutanix User Group Champion for The Netherlands. While the sessions will be awesome I am mostly looking forward to meeting the international #vCommunity once again.
My trip will start Sunday evening since the airfield closes to home only flies to Copenhagen on Sunday evening or Monday morning at cr*p o clock. This means I have spare time on onday and Tuesday that I will spend sightseeing if the weather permits. Hopefully I can get some people together to do a guided bicycle ride through town.
If you want to meet up during the event than hit me p on Twitter or look at the community area, there’s a good chance of seeing me there. I will be trying to visit a variety of sessions from architectural deep dives to new technology like Nutanix Mine with a side meal of IoT and the Edge. And I am certainly looking forward to the closing keynote because it sounds like it will be awesome. Maybe not as awesome as the keynote with Dr. Jane Goodall but that one is hard to top anyway.
So will I see you at .Next for some coffee and stroopwafels?
Just like in 2017 and 2018 I have been named a Nutanix Technology Champion for 2019. While I haven’t been involved with the tech as much as in 2017 at least I tried to keep up to speed in 2018 by playing with the community Edition. Besides that I started two things on the Nutanix front in 2018: getting an NPX bootcamp to The Netherlands which I attended in September and trying to start a Nutanix User Group in The Netherlands and that will have it’s first meeting the 1st quarter of 2019! Besides that I attended the Nutanix .Next on tour event in Utrecht and of course .Next EU 2019 in London.
Being an NTC is for me all about the vCommunity, we try to help others but if we need a hand others will help you as well. Just ask Nutanix’ awesome community manager Angelo Luciani and he will tell you all about it 😉
2018 has been awesome but I am 100% sure that 2019 will be even better!
The second day of .Next London started with a good keynote mainly about IoT and what Nutanix brings to the table in that area of expertise. There where some issues before the keynote started but everything ended up really going smoothly. Session wise I did two sessions, both about VDI: deepdive into Xi Frame and the VDI supersession at the end of the day. In between there was a really inspirational keynote with Julie O’Brien interviewing Dr Jane Goodall. At age 85 she still travels the world convincing people they need to work at keeping our world healthy. In between all of this I spent some time at the Community lounge and browsing the solution expo.
The VDI supersession was a good mix of Horizon and Citrix that was very open for questions of the audience. It covered two time slots with a short break in between and it was good to see a couple of former EUC Champions + a Nutanix NTC on stage. The day ended for me walking into a restaurant that had a table filled with speakers & audience of the VDI supersession who immediately invited me over to join them.
please remember this is article is written while I was still waking and sobering up from last nights party at The Tobacco Dock.
The last couple of days where a blast. I came in on the Eurostar on Tuesday and while others had issues with flights being cancelled I had no issues crossing The Channel by train. At 3 PM we started the rehearsals for Wednesdays opening act where we had to juggle a bit with balls. We where being trained by 4 pro’s including brand new World Champion Aguska Mnich that showed how things are done on stage. Too bad they didn’t have a lot of time on stage because backstage they where showing some amazing tricks.
Watch Aguska winning the championship from about minute 49
After this I finished the evening meeting some great community people at the Welcome reception and a dinner with some Dutch Nutanix employees and customers.
Wednesday started at 7.30 am with the last rehearsals for our opening act. It was great fun doing this though the stage was even warmer than the keynote room (usually keynote rooms are cold due to their size, over calling it warm was an understatement). When the keynote ended I went out to Angelo’s awesome community lounge before we went out to the NTC lunch where it was great meeting all the other ntc’s. It was quite a big group this time compared to last year.
In the afternoon I visited my first breakout about Nutanix files and it’s awesome to see how this product has grown over the years. It’s a full-fledged nas replacement now that’s just as easy to scale out as a Nutanix cluster with the same performance.
closing keynote was by Bear Grylls. I expected a bit more energetic person on stage but in fast he even looked a bit shy at some points. His main point: never give up!
This years party had an old style circus theme at the Tobacco Dock and while some of the music and smells where a total sensory overload for me I ended up in the saloon enjoying the (mostly) acoustic music.
This post is fairly similar to my posts for .Next Nice in 2017 and VMworld US of this year. For security reasons I decided to go with the XD Design Bobby again. Since it’s a lot harder to open when on my back I feel it’s a bit more secure while travelling on the London Underground. A couple of other changes also have been made, the bubm bag was replaced by a bit smaller pouch from the same maker and my Sony headset has gone to my wife since I settled on the Jabra Move I got from Cohesity at VMworld. The Jabra just sits a bit more comfortable for me and fits perfectly in it’s own bubm case.
While I already finished my first blogpost of the year I decided it was time for me to write another one. The kind that I usually avoid like a plague to write: a post looking back at 2017 and forward to 2018. For me these kinds of posts are on the same level as stupid lists: I frigging always hated creating and evaded them! Essentially though my monthly flings posts are lists so why wouldn’t I write a the looking back & forward posts as well?
This mentality is exactly something what I started doing in 2016 and certainly continued in 2017: challenging myself to new things. The presenting bit I had already introduced myself to in 2016 but last year I also did my first presentation at a VMUG not in my own country but I travelled to Germany for their UserCon to present three of my favorite VMware flings. After the short vBrownbag at VMworld US in 2016 this was only my second time presenting in English. It also was my first time to exactly hit the spot timewise in the 30-minute timeslot I had. Luckily the base for the presentation was good since I had done it at the Dutch VMUG UserCon (sorry it’s in Dutch) a couple of months earlier together with my good friend Hans Kraaijeveld. I had ten extra minutes though so instead of showing the slide deck I decided to show the tools instead of boring screenshots. Next time I just need to improve on some things and make a script on beforehand (thank you Johan for the Feedback) on what to do, but since I decided to change this the evening before in my hotel room preparation was suboptimal.
Besides the vmug’s I also managed to find me a spot on the vBrownbag schedule for VMworld Europe. I can’t really say that my presentation was a success, I was tired and just didn’t get into the proper flow for it. I did pick up some extra essential experience doing it though. Beside my own presentation I also had lots of fun on the vExpert daily broadcast.
In 2017, I have started being more active on Reddit & VMTN. Specially reddit can be a flamewar every now and then but there are very decent topics and replies as well. On vmtn it’s really hit and miss about quality, some are decent posts but lots also prove that the ts (topicstarter) totally didn’t do their homework or have had any experience with the product they are trying to use.
The most fun community wise I had at the VMware Code Hackathon at VMworld EU. While our project didn’t go smoothly we had lots of fun and everyone learned at least a couple of things. Next time I will just make sure we have our own infrastructure available to us. And those hippie shirts simply rule.
VMworld itself was an awesome community event for me as well. While I still visited some sessions the hanging around with other vExperts and bloggers made it again an awesome event for me. At the beginning of November, I also visited the Nutanix .Next event and while there where less people over there that I knew I made some friends right away (or not Dugi?) and kept having fun with those selfies after I got some comments on looking grumpy at the first one. It was also good to finally meet some of the other NTC’s.
2017 was a year with lots of awesome events for me. I visited not only the Dutch and German VMUG but also managed to squeeze the Belgium VMUG in my schedule was well. Then again VMworld EU and Nutanix .Next and in December I also visited the inaugural Dutch vEUC Techcon that had lots of great content.
In the learning zone, I managed more then I planned for in the beginning of 2017. I had agreed with my manager that it would be a quiet year for me an oh boy I did not keep myself to that agreement. First, there was the Certification ME work I did and got the certifications for: vcp-dcv 6.5, vcap7-dtm design and the vca-dbt exam. Ok this is not learning and doing the exam but by creating and checking the questions one can learn just as much in my opinion.
I did two actual exams in 2017: vcp7-dtm and vcap6-dtm deploy. The first one I passed and the 2nd one I sadly failed on, since it was my first vcap deploy I didn’t expect anything else and overall it was a good experience in preparing for the next one. Something certainly needed is an HD monitor and proper amounts of coffee in advance because the you need to stay sharp and time will be an issue.
As side projects in the learning department I also was active as content checker for three Packt videos and one book:
Learning VMware App Volumes
Designing and Deploying VMware Horizon View 7 and
Managing a Horizon 7 environment
Mastering vSphere 6.5
Again, I learned a lot by working at these projects but they are very time intensive so I don’t know how eager I would be for coming projects.
So, what am I expecting for 2018 personally? Hopefully I will be allowed again to speak at the Dutch VMUG Usercon, I proposed one personal session in the CfP and one session together with Hans Kraaijeveld. Also, I would love to extend my personal session and build it out to a VMworld quality and be able to deliver it there as well. Besides VMworld I would like to visit the BE vmug and Nutanix .Next also again this year.
In the community, I want to keep at least as active since my Nutanix NTC is already extended to 2018 and hopefully I will also receive vExpert again in 2018. The vExpert & NutanixNTC slack channels simply rock. Both have awesome vibes with lots of people always eager to help you with any questions you ask.
I only have one real learning goal so far for 2018 and that is to pass the vcap7-dtm deploy exam. Sadly, it hasn’t been released yet but that doesn’t say I can’t prepare for it either. My ultimate goal would be to become vcdx but that’s something I will only start working on this year, don’t expect me to submit soon. As something for fun, I might try my hands on the nsx certifications even though I am not a networking person or maybe something from Amazon since a lot of VMware admins seem to be heading that way as well.
For the rest, I have only this to add: Happy New Year and have an awesome 2018!
Last week as you’ll probably already have seen I was at the Nutanix .Next 2017 Europe event in Nice, France. During this amazing event, I visited several sessions going from sales talks, via an NDA session to a deep dive. In this post, I will try to give a bit more information about the sessions I followed as far as I can do.
Disclaimer: this overview is based on notes written during the session and my memory and since specially the latter is not failsafe they could be some untrue things in this post. Please send the feedback directly to me so I can adjust them. Also, I don’t have equal amounts of text about all sessions because nothing is equal.
Nice disclaimer, right? This was just if the disclaimer all presenters had to read before starting their sessions. On screen, there was an even bigger one equally to the one showed during the keynote’s.
While this clearly is a sponsored session only the middle part was commercial. Before and after that it was about those six rules and what they are according to them. I will give a bit more explanation about them that also might include my own opinion about them.
The interface is everywhere
It is, just think of your smartphone, Google home, an Echo dot or maybe your home thermostat. Everything has an interface these days. While voice commands where hard years back it has become really mature these days on some of those devices.
Remove the friction
If something doesn’t work flawlessly users will not accept it and the product will fail. Same with doing business, if it gets hard for a customer to do business with you they will go away and take their business somewhere else.
Prepare for abundance
With this they say that we should prepare for more and more data. Everything will have a sensor in the future, from the floor you walk on, trough the shoes you walk with up to the hat you have on your head. This will need to be handled somewhere.
With this they try to say we shouldn’t keep thinking the same way. Change needs and will happen and if you refuse to change you will lose.
If you are not honest this will haunt you. In a world where a single tweet can bring down companies being dishonest might result in that tweet.
If you don’t keep pioneering and developing yourself there is no way forward. If companies keep doing the same repeatedly they will fail in the end. Same with people, if I never learned anything new or would never think outside of the box I would have been unemployed for years already.
This was a fun session to follow and while the 6 points ‘coincidentally’ are generally the direction Nutanix is going they are also what lots of people see happening in the (near) future.
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VMware VDI on Nutanix
This session was meant to be presented by Brian Suhr but he managed to brake his leg the week before so he was replaced by Kees Baggerman of Nutanix and VCDX-DTM Sean Massey. I had to sit in front because I big mouthed Angelo Luciano to sit up front and Sean made me take his place. Me always with my big mouth. While a lot of the content in this session was already known to me it was good to see some of my knowledge once more confirmed and they presented us with some figures I would never have guessed. I always knew that optimizing an image is required but up to 50% performance was new to me. Also, they gave numbers to prove that data locality is essential for VDI. I can’t remember the exact numbers but there was a big difference with or without shadow clones enabled. This was a very good session that showed the audience on how to design a good working VMware View environment on Nutanix.
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Since this was an NDA session there’s not a lot I can say besides that it contained presentations about ideas and product improvements that came out of the Nutanix Internal Hackathons. Only point I have about this session that it contained code samples that where hard to read since the text was too small.
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To start this session had some hard to read blue titles in the PowerPoint and too small text size ssh session screens. Content wise this session was about the tools you can use to manage and troubleshoot your Nutanix Environment like the alerting services, NCC, syslog, Pulse and Prism analysis. Further it went deeper into the thought process and framework required for successful troubleshooting.
Some of the key takeaways from this session where that an admin should always run NCC before logging a case. Also, Pulse should be enabled where possible and allowed. This sends only relevant information to Nutanix that contains no IP or data. This was a great session with heaps of technical information.
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The presenter for this session introduced himself as an engineer but the first five minutes sounded commercial. Luckily, I had an excuse to escape since Sean Massey asked me to record a podcast about automating Horizon View with PowerCLI
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Calm deep dive
Again, this was a good session to follow. Some of it might have been lost on me but Calm looks to be an awesome and easy tool to use. The real nerds will be able to dig deep into it though and can connect it to any automation tool already in use and can even create the json config files automatically using other tooling. Calm itself consists of two docker systems running on Prism Central, by default it will be disabled but once enabled (and maybe the ram for the Prism Central server(s) is expanded it will give access to just about anything you want to automate ranging from PowerShell to SSH, batch or the programming language you might prefer.
Disclaimer: this post was written between 6 am and 7 am without having access to coffee.
So, that was the second and last day of .Next Europe 2017. The rush from day one continued with a great keynote where Nutanix launched their vision on how to handle IoT. The keynote itself started with the outtakes of yesterday’s clapping video which was funny and had a lot of beeps because of all the profanity.
Back to the IoT, within no-time there will be three billion devices but probably more that need to send their data somewhere. This will be way too much to send to the cloud. Nutanix will process this data in the edge and only send the valuable stuff to the cloud. For this even container are too big and even smaller entities will be handling that data. Sherlock is what Nutanix named this functionality and it will handle IoT devices as first-class objects and we will literally go from webscale to planet scale computing.
After this the CEO of Hyperloop came on stage to talk about the progress they have been making. Personally, I really see a future for this tech but I doubt if it can be done as cheap and as safe as what he is saying. The keynote needed with a tale about machine learning with a comparison of Big Blue beating the best chess player in the world years back by brute force to the best Go player in the world being beaten by using machine learning.
The second day of .Next I only did two break-out sessions. The first one was about troubleshooting and the tools and thought paths needed for that. The second one was a deep dive on Calm where we were shown all the bells and whistles wat can be really done with Nutanix’ new automation tool. I ended up in a 3rd session but it started with five minutes of sales crap so I was happy to escape so I could record a podcast with Sean Massey about Horizon View & PowerCLI.
The closing keynote was just awesome. There was some other thing being told but it was all about one of the good causes that Nutanix has been sponsoring during the .Next conference: Not Impossible. This is all about helping people and all started with CEO Mike Ebeling telling the family of a graffiti artist that he would make him able to draw again. Having no idea on how to tackle this he gathered a bunch of mad scientists and ended up doing it with cheap hardware and open source software; The Eyewriter. Their second project was project Daniel where he decided to create a cheap way to make artificial limps for a victim of the fighting in Sudan that had both his arms amputated. He developed techniques so the people in the refugee camps would be able to help each other with cheap 3d printers so artificial limbs went from 1000’s of dollars to 100’s of dollars.
With both these stories it was clear that Mike struck a nerve with the audience because at the end of his talk he received a well-deserved standing ovation. After this Nutanix announced the gathered a combined $11.000 for all four good causes: Not Impossible, Girls in Tech, Movember and the Fabien Cousteau Ocean Learning Centre