Goodbye 2017, hello 2018        

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:

  • Videos
    • Learning VMware App Volumes
    • Designing and Deploying VMware Horizon View 7 and
    • Managing a Horizon 7 environment
  • Book
    • 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!


VMworld EU 2017 Day 3

Day three, the last one, was a short day for me this year. I had an appointment with the VMware Design studio at 8am but the gates didn’t open until 8 as well and I had to drop my suitcase first so I rescheduled it to 9.15 while talking to the guy that I would have the session with! After this I decided to go to the vmtn area to finish up my powerpoint for the vBrownbag I would be doing by noon. I kept changing and changing stuf and somehow managed to remove the one slide you need when generating output: the output itself. Also during the presentation I never got into a good flow so I wasn’t happy with the end result. After this there where some rumors about horrible queues at the airport so I scrambled to get there but in the end the line to drop off my suitcase took longer then security.

VMworld EU 2017 Day 2

Holy Guacamole (say that loud, sounds good) what a rush VMworld has been so far for me. After the keynote I was one of the guests on the vExpert daily show which is just a chat about VMworld so far,w hat you expect and any new stuff. The most fun we had was with my answer on my favorite taste of icecream: smurfs.

I did a couple of breakouts today. Both have been about Horizon, one was a good overview about the new stuf to expect from VMware and the other a real deep dive into the Blast Extreme protocol. That one helped me a lot about understanding what happens with it. Later in the afternoon I did a quick hands on lab and a couple of vBrownbag sessions. This was before getting a tour at the Mare Nostrum Supercomputer site. This is the 13th fastest in the world and it was really nice to see how this is build. An even more fun part where the old systems they used in the past over there. I will add some pictures of that in a couple of days.

The evening it was time for the Kaiser Chiefs but after a couple of songs and more beers I decided to tap out and head back to the hotel. Stepcount for the day was 16077.

VMworld EU 2017 Day 1

Finally the real event has begun, but before the gates opened I was already on my way to a 7am vbreakfast in La Vid. This is a small cafe just opposite of the Venue where VMworld is being held. The event was sponsored by my good friends of Runecast. For lots of people this was way to early to get up let alone to look alive or being awake. After this Hans and I managed to cross the road dry which was quite a feat because we’ve already had some pretty bad rain.

Since being in a huge room listening to keynotes isn’t my thing i decided to watch it from the vmtn bloggers area. Can’t say a lot of news was announced but it was very cool to see Pat controlling a virtual sddc in a virtual way using a virtual reality headset. After this it was time for me to do the first quick swag run on the solutions exchange to get at least the backpack only the first 100 customers would be receiving. Add a couple of shirts to that and I was off to the Inner Circle session and lunch. It wasn’t a slaughterhouse like last year but they where getting some good feedback gain on how the could and should VMware’s services. I think that there where about 60 customers and partners in the room with at least 20 people from VMware themselves who could answer their questions. It even lead to VMware people talking to other VMware people to collaborate on improvements. Some of these things should have happened years ago but hopefully things will keep getting improved.

Watching some vbrownbag sessions in the vmtn area I decided to skip my first real breakout session but did go to the other one I had scheduled. This was a live whiteboard session by Adam Eckerle and Emad Younis on how to design you’re sso domain and what possible pitfalls are. This was a really interesting session and I loved the fact that they used a live whiteboard (using an ipad) instead of powerpoint.

After this it was time to finish my first and only day of swag hunting this year. I ended up with some lego figures, fidget spinners, t-shirts, bottles and loads more as you can see in the picture below.

while being really really tired I just had to go to the benelux & vExpert parties so Hans and I took the metro, another metro and finally the lightrail to go to Cafe Del Mar club where both where being held. The vExpert one was really low key and without music so talking to people was really easy. The benelux one was more a real party with loud music and everything. Too bad ir was raining so we couldn’t use the outside area. We decided to head back early  to actually get some sleep. At the end of the day I ended up with 25000 steps of which 5000 where from walking back from the Hackathon during the night.


VMworld EU 2017 Day -1

Oooooh what a rush! is a good way to describe monday aka day 1 of VMworld 2017. I started out by waking up early after a night of bad sleep and not feeling well the night before BUT i really felt refreshed and good so I was totally ready to head out for my first ever vcap deploy exam (vcap6-dtm deploy). I failed it with 228 where 300 is required but afterwards I did feel good about it any now have the general idea on how these exams actually go. As others have said before time is a big issue but next time I will be even more prepared for that so I am confident I am going to ace it.

In the afternoon I did one of three scheduled UX feedback sessions for the VMware Design studio. These sessions are not on the regular schedule but you had to know people that knew people who could send out invites, something the vExpert slack channel managed to do! In these sessions they show you mockups of possible User interfaces and you are asked to think out loud about what you would expect buttons to do or where you could find something. I already did a webex session for this in the spring for the html5 client and they really appreciate whatever you say.

The end at the venue for me was a workshop on Cloud foundation where I seemed to be the only one having major performance issues. This made the experience not that good for me but I still got a good general impression of the product.

So the real rush was the Hackathon in the evening. The event was organised but VMware Code was something I was really looking forward to. I ended up with a Dutch team with Hans KraaijeveldIvan de Mes, Niels Geursen Pascal van de Bor and myself. Our target for the evening was having fun, learning new stuff, drink beers and to add some new plugins to the Horizon View vCheck.

One of the scoring points was the amount of empty beer bottles on your table. We drank quite a few of them but they kept cleaning them out so we ended up with this table at the end. That might have cost us some points! I think for the complete team we actually managed all of our goals but because we had major issues getting an environment up and running we ended up creating only two extra plugins and fixed some issues in other ones. We even did two Github pull requests by Pascal and Niels for which Niels actually had to create his account first.

In the end we had a 90 second time slot to present about what we archived. We didn’t do any fancy powerpoint crap for this and just showed the result from the plugins we added to the check and telling a bit about it. Sadly we didn’t get first, second or third place but I did win a judges spot price in the form of an Amazon Echo Dot. That might have been because me wearing my UX design studio shirt and one of the judges being on that VMware team OR it might have been our bribes in the form of stroopwafels. This event I think might be the very best thing I do this VMworld and it hadn’t even really started!


VMworld EU 2017 Day -2

So while VMworld EU starts on Tuesday I already had a full day yesterday. For the Partner Exchange bootcamp day I picked something I had heard about but couldn’t find a lot about: EUC Livefire bootcamp. Livefire is a special group within VMware that helps partners in having success. In the past they had bootcamps for they SDDC and NSX but now they are also building two 4 or 5 day courses for EUC. One design and one deploy training. For me it was a full day learning about the components of Wokspace one because that’s the solution this bootcamp is about. There where some architectural principles in there besides deeper diving into the technical part. It was clear that they are still building the real livefire course but it really looks promising.

In the evening I had a ticket to go to the vRockstar party but my stomach decided it was having none of that so I decided to go to bed early but wasn’t able to catch any sleep before 1 am 🙁

VMworld EU Hackaton join me to have some View vCheck fun!

So for a long time I have been looking forward to the VMworld EU Hackaton. The announcement has now been made and it will take place on Monday evening the 11th from 6pm to officially 10pm but my guess is that it might run a little longer 😉 It will be held at the Valkiria Hub Space and you can join as a member of mine or another team or as spectator, just schedule the right session in the schedule builder.

My Team

So I have signed up to lead a team to improve and expand the Horizon View vCheck I have been building. Since this probably also wil involve the Horizon View Community module I wouldn’t be too surprised if improvements will be made to that as well.

Who am I looking for?

For my team i don’t care how much experience you have with PowerCLI or Horizon view but it might be handy if you at least have some idea when we talk about it. Just bring your laptop and if we end up having learned something by the end of the night it has been a success for me!

Do I need something installed on my laptop?

Yes, make sure PowerCLI (at least 6.5) has been installed and your favorite script editor. I will prepare the connection brokers, composers and other vm’s on my laptop.

Anything else?

Just have fun!

VMworld EU here I come!

Wow just wow, it just got announced that I will be going to VMworld for a second time. Last year my boss let me choose what edition to go to so I ended up in Vegas for the first time. This year I have won a ticket in the Dutch VMUG Usercon lottery by VMware Netherlands (for DUtch readers: ). After the event three potential winners were announced and we had to write a motivation piece why we needed to win the ticket.

I decided to write my piece about how vExperts just belong at VMworld but also what the VMworld experience is about for me: networking with peers, customers and suppliers and gaining knowledge. Another thing I promised is blogging about the event, last year I did daily blogs about what happened the afternoon and night before and the morning of the current day. I am not sure yet how I will do it this year but it might be the same principle because writing a blog after a party late in the evenings might prove to be difficult.

Another thing I mentioned is doing a vBrownbag again. For this I have absolutely no idea yet on the content but there’s quite a few months left so something will pop up in my mind.

So in short: I’ll see you all in Barcelona this year!

VMworld 2016 US Part 4 – the last one!

So right now it’s thursday evening and here I am in my hotel room too damn tired to even go outside. VMworld is a wrap and wow it was awesome. Yesterday I had 2 more sessions. First a quick vExpert session at the Docker booth where we got a nice vExpert embroided hat.Then it was time to get the vExpert Raspberry Pi 3 at the Datrium booth. Men they had big issues on getting them in but succeeded at last so thank you very much for that! I ended with a Rubrik session with Chris Wahl that was pretty good. In the evening it was time for the biggest party of them all at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. To be honest I think the sound of the bands sucked and the music of the dj’s wasn’t good either but I had an awesome time playing all the games, talking to people ad even made a lap in 1 of the 50! Rental cars that wil probably be going back to budget with hardly any tires left.

So today was the last day and I did only 1 session and that was about troubleshooting Horizon and killed the time by doing some labs and hanging at the vBrownbag area where I learned a lot by listening to the sessions. This space just seemed to be vExpert HQ the whole week.

All in all I think this was the best way ever to experience your first VMworld. I really want to thank all vExperts for welcoming me in the community because I don’t think I would have had such an awesome experience without you guys!