As I’m writing this, it’s day 3. I feel like im caught in a time vortex - revisiting the past while thinking about sessions from the present knowing that i’m about to enter the future. Time travel is a blog for another day.
Yesterdays sessions were -
MGT5952 – What’s New and What’s Next in VMware vCloud Suite MGT5905 – How VMware uses vRealize Suite to Manage Its Engineering Labs: A Deep Dive MGT5956 – Automating SDDC using Blueprints: A foundation for DevOps MGT5973 – Automate the Deployment of NSX and Micro-Segmentation: A Deep Dive INF5211 – Automating Everything VMware with PowerCLI: A Deep Dive
Clearly the day of the deep dives, so, lets dive right in!
MGT5952 – What’s New and What’s Next in VMware vCloud Suite
This session was a bit of a surprise. I’ve learned a valuable lesson this year - When VMWare indicates its about a suite of products - don’t assume that the product you’re hoping for is going to get most of the attention! This was a great session - but really provided more of an overview of the upcoming additions to the vRealize Suite as a whole. This included enhancements to vRealize Operations, enhancements with SRM 6.1, and several other products. This wasn’t as much of a tech heavy session unfortunately - so not a lot to dig into here.
MGT5905 – How VMware uses vRealize Suite to Manage Its Engineering Labs: A Deep Dive
This session was purely informational. There wasn’t a lot of technology deep dive here unfortunately, and really seemed to be designed to highlight the business benefits of the vRealize Suite. A lot of time was spent discussing the strengths of IT vRealize Business Management (ITBM) and the “show back” concepts from a costing perspective. vRealize itself was heavily leveraged to automate deployments for teams deploying both single and multimachine blueprints. Fine grained governance controls within vRealize Automation allowed the engineering teams to ensure that users didn’t have to worry about the resources they were utilizing - since the policy controls in place took care of all of that for them.
It was an informative session for sure - but it didn’t scratch that tech itch I was looking for. But then it was time for my next session…
MGT5956 – Automating SDDC using Blueprints: A foundation for DevOps
This session was the session I had been waiting for.
Actually, before we jump in - a funny story about this session. I’m pretty sure the name was changed at some point. I entered all of my sessions into my calendar when I reserved then, and this session is currently still in my calendar as “MGT5956 - vRealize Automation Blueprint Unification”. This made it extremely confusing when I arrived at my session, and found it titled “MGT5956 – Automating SDDC using Blueprints: A foundation for DevOps”. Tricky VMWare. I see what you did there.
With that said however, inside, the beast was the same. I loved this session. Real meat and potatoes content around the future of vRA. The GUI of “mystery vRA product version” looks amazing. Greatly improved integration with NSX is clear, and a very “Application Services” feel is also apparent in the workflow. Adding of XaaS, Machines, Software components, and Network & Security components are all as simple as dragging down into a canvas and creating the linked relationship with the environment. It really feels like a greatly improved version of Application Services!
The canvas is really an interesting part as well, because it really gives you the opportunity to visualize the relationship between all of the components you are deploying. You can literally see the virtual wires for NSX that you are deploying to, the NIC relationship to those wires, the works!
Additional features include the ability to fully export your workflows individually into “Blueprints as code”. This creates some interesting dynamics in my mind around the potential of sharing these blueprints in various community forums. Find someone who does SQL deployments better than you do and posted it on the internet? Fantastic. Like Alan Renouf said at a session, its not stealing - its sharing. VMWare is really working to create community shareable technology and a consistent theme i’ve seen in all of my sessions is a real value placed on the community aspects of the product suites.
The speakers were very cagey on any sort of timelines for release, and whether or not this is a real product - or simply a plugin. By the looks of it - I suspect we were seeing early pictures of the next version of vRealize.
This session was so good - that i’ll be copying this part of this blog post into its own featured article. Can’t say enough good things about it.
MGT5973 – Automate the Deployment of NSX and Micro-Segmentation: A Deep Dive
This session, was a sneaky one. If you read the title - it suggests the concept of automating the deployment of NSX and Micro-segmentation as the same line item. WRONG. The session was about automation of the NSX environment, and then separately automating concepts around Micro-Segmentation.
It’s really great to see the amount of focus VMWare is putting into its API’s. REST API’s are really the way of the modern IT suite - and VMWare is definitely all in.
The deep dive focused in on ways to automate your NSX configurations through the API and also through vCO/vRO workflows. Chaining workflows were discussed including the creation of an Logical Distributed Router, and then subsequent subnets below that for virtual wires. The idea of then taking these concepts and plugging them into micro-segmentation workflows really gets my brain moving around how we can leverage these concepts in my company. I’ll likely be making a post in the very near future about some ways to automate the creation of security groupings. Stay tuned!
INF5211 – Automating Everything VMware with PowerCLI: A Deep Dive
Holy *#&@. This session was cool.
Alan Renouf and Luc Dekens really have a passion for both the community aspect of VMWare, and their roles in their respective companies. Alan has pretty legendary status in the PowerCLI community and currently owns the product suite.
This session dove pretty heavily into utilizing PowerCLI pretty quickly. It touched on some of the tech preview items specific to PowerCLI, the one im most excited about being vRealize Operations. As a platform owner - I love the idea of being able to pop in and run a simple command to output problem machines. I don’t need a fancy GUI; I just need a list of systems and their symptoms based on my requested information. Alan and Luc literally demoed this very concept utilizing PowerCLI’s new integration. It was awesome to see, and I plan on actively refreshing Alan’s blog (https://www.virtu-al.net) until he posts the scripts used in his session so I can hijack them as well.
Remember - as Alan says, its not Stealing - its sharing! 5/5 Session. Easily in my top 5 favorites of my time here at VMWorld 2015.
Well that wraps up my thoughts on Day 2! Day 3 was pretty amazing as well - and had a lot of sessions that I really felt like I pulled some great value out of. Looking forward to posting it tomorrow!
Stay labbing, Stay automating!