The DiscoPosse 2013 year-end giveaway – And the Winner is @vmiss33!

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Congratulations to Melissa (@vmiss33) on winning the 2013 DiscoPosse Year-End Giveway and we look forward to hearing about how much awesomeness comes from this great prize pack.

I really need to thank all of you who participated and provided such great feedback on your goals and on the prizes. This community is an amazing one and I am so proud to be among all of you as we grow our knowledge together!

Big thanks to the authors of the books who kindly supported the campaign by spreading the word and I encourage all of you to reach out to them and make sure that you follow this excellent crew of folks who put together these two great titles. These are absolute must read books if you ask me which is why I chose these as great prizes to share!

The Phoenix Project

Mastering vSphere 5.5

And just for fun, here is a little Neil DeGrasse Tyson for you that kind of reminds me of how I feel about community.

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This has been an incredible year for me, and it has been entirely powered by all of you who have supported me and the site. I’m so thankful for the great audience that has shared this year with me, and my peer community who have inspired me in so many ways. Thanks to you, and my amazing sponsors, we have reached a lot of great readers and this is just a start to what we will be seeing as we head into an even bigger year with 2014!

Community in Two Sentences

I like to use this phrase to describe what community means to me:

I am here for you. I am here because of you.

The IT community is a powerful, and wide-reaching group in every aspect of technology. Because I spend my time among many different groups, it is particularly exciting to see how all of my communities converge together like a big Venn diagram of awesomeness. I am truly humbled by it all, and respect the work that everybody is doing to further what we do as we share our experiences.

Let’s get to the giveaway!

This year I hope to share some great gifts with you because I have found great value in these things. What is more fun to me is the way that I want to be able to share it with you.

The prize pack includes the following very exciting items!

Mastering vSphere 5.5 (Kindle edition)

This great book by Scott Lowe, Nick Marshall and Forbes Guthrie, along with chapters contributed by Matt Liebowitz and Josh Atwell, is a phenomenal add to your personal library. You will get some great information on what’s new with vSphere 5.5 with insight into every aspect of how to deploy and manage your VMware vSphere 5.5 environment.

The Phoenix Project (Kindle edition)

I love this book, and I hope that you will to. This is an amazing story that brings the story of how DevOps changed the way that an organization worked, and it is a great way to show you how you too can be a part of it!

The authors Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford bring the DevOps concepts to the reader in a way that really lets you look at how it can apply to what you do. Even if you can’t fully enable DevOps, this is a way to start your journey in your own personal transformation to orchestration, efficiency and making IT better for you and your organization.

Starbucks $10 Gift Card

Because we are powered by caffeine, this is a great way to keep your energy up while you read through your Mastering vSphere 5.5 and The Phoenix Project and make yourself more awesome as you head into 2014!

How Do You Win This Awesomeness?

This is the fun part. I like the interactivity of our community, so I want to build on that for our contest. To enter this contest, you need to do the following:

  • Add a comment to this post with the answer to 2 questions:
  • Question 1: How will winning this prize pack make your life more awesome?
  • Question 2: What is a goal in your IT learning that you have for 2014?

The contest will be open until December 20th for entries, and the winner will be randomly selected from the comment contributors. Please be sure to use an email address where I can reach you to arrange for delivery of your e-books and your Starbucks gift card.

Because these are all electronically delivered prizes, there are no limitations on where you can enter from.

So comment away, share the post, and most of all make your comment super fun because that makes it even more enjoyable! I look forward to seeing your comments, and thank you again for this amazing year!

 




An awesome and humbling honor: Being a Cisco Champion

cisco_champions BADGE_200x200This has been a really incredible year among the IT community for me. As a newly recognized entrant in the Top Virtualization Blogs in 2013 (Thank you to Eric Siebert and my awesome readers!), and a freshly minted vExpert (thanks to John Troyer, Corey Romero and this great peer community!), I am excited to also be a part of the newly created Cisco Champions group

This year is the inaugural year of the Cisco Champion program as led out by Cisco, and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this. This new community is a great addition to the IT social landscape and it will be a great way for myself and my peers to help to share our experiences in the Cisco ecosystem with our readers and fellow IT staffers.

Community = Win!

There is a common theme among the Cisco Champions, vExperts and EMC Elect representatives, and that is the love of community. The IT community is a very strong and interesting one which links us together through social tools (Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+) as well as through sponsored conferences and user group meetings.

By creating and supporting these community peer groups we are able to share information quickly and easily, and the phenomenal thing about our communities is that all are welcome! You can watch these conversations live on social media and you can attend the conferences as customers, partners and contributors.

With the advent of social tools in these communities, we have been able to extend the reach of these thought leaders, technologists, entrepreneurs, engineers, experts and pundits to each other, and to everyone who wishes to join into the conversation. A true open forum has been created and it is what supports the growth and strength of these groups.

Cisco Champions Info

As the list is compiled of all the members, and all of the approval forms and formalities are completed, we will be able to share out the list and Cisco will provide a Twitter list to be able to follow all of the participants in this exciting new community group!

There will be lots of news coming I’m sure about what the program will entail, and what we as Cisco Champions can do to bring the message back to everyone, and also to take the message into this community to fully engage everyone from the customer to the engineer who wrote the very code that makes the system work.

A careful note on this is that we, as Cisco Champions, do not represent Cisco. The title of Cisco Champion is provided to recognize a commitment by its participants to share great product information and to advocate the technologies that Cisco makes available for its customers and partners. This group has been created to allow for a better information sharing and an opportunity for us as technologists to work with great tools and technologies to provide information and guidance on how to make your datacenter or your cloud deployment a better place.

Go here for more information as it becomes available: http://www.cisco.com/web/about/facts_info/champions.html#~overview

Thank you to the Cisco team and to all of you who have made this opportunity possible for me and the other members. We hope to represent you well!




VMworld 2013 Session Voting is Open!

voteIt’s that time of year again! VMworld 2013 is open for registration, and most importantly, the session content has been submitted and is open for voting.

Thanks to Viewers Like You!

viewerslikeyouThere is an important theme here. The content of the sessions is brought to you by our peers, our leaders in technology and the amazing thing about this process is that it is decided by viewers like you.

This is your opportunity to put your vote out there to guide the VMworld experience towards what you would like to see. Having your say in the content that you and other attendees get to see.

This year I have some specific focus on subjects that I’m after and it is with a little bit of sadness that I didn’t put my name in the hat to present, but with all the amazing content that will be there, plus the Virtual Design Master competition, I can say that I’ll be more than busy at San Francisco this year.

How to Vote

It’s pretty simple to participate. Just go here: http://www.vmworld.com/cfp.jspa and login with your VMworld account. Once you are in there you can freely browse the sessions and put in your votes to help to bring the speaker or subject you want to see to VMworld 2013 in San Francisco in August.

This will be another amazing year for VMworld content and an exciting opportunity to network with experts in virtualization. It’s your vote and your experience. Help us to get you to the next steps in your career and your technology journey!

 




2013 Predictions in Virtualization and Server Technology

carnacWell folks, it’s that time of year. Usually people are putting together their best of 2012 stuff now, but I’m taking the different tactic and putting myself out there to predict some changes which will come in 2013.

The usual disclaimer: As with any predictions, these are my own and have no basis on NDA content, inside knowledge nor do the represent those of my sponsors, employer or vendors.

Mostly, I just wanted to put out my thoughts on what will be hot in 2013 and it’s sprinkled a little with the hope for what I would love to have come out this year. I’ve avoided anyone else’s prediction posts to ensure that these are formed from my own desk, and as a result I have to apologize if you see some duplication with other bloggers and vendors who may have said the same thing. With all that said, here we go!

2012 in a Paragraph

There were a lot of really exciting changes in 2012 around virtualization technology in server and cloud environments. Some of the significant events came with strong acquisitions by the big players including Dell, VMware, Cisco, HP and EMC. Clearly the innovation game has been stepped up by not only creating, but in integrating technologies together. Acquisitions dominated the news and the push towards cloud technologies was the top focus for software and hardware vendors alike.

Hot Trends in 2013

The forecast is cloudy. Just like every year seems to be “The Year of VDI”, there is going to be an aggressive drive towards the “cloud”. What will become more apparent in 2013 is the real definition of the cloud, and products that can simplify the path to get there.

Converged Platforms

This is quickly becoming a more populated market. Where Cisco UCS was the pioneer in an untouched region of the datacenter, they have new players in the game with IBM, HP and Dell recently announcing their converged infrastructure platforms.

With converged hardware platforms we will see much more of the true concept of compute node versus servers, networking and storage being treated as independent parts of the server infrastructure.

The growth in is area will come with better pricing in the mid-range customer space. This is clearly one of the fastest growing sectors of the marketplace as we see more and more small to medium customers latching on to virtualization.

And in the large scale customer space we may see some new competitors where Vblock has reigned in its lone presence of the large scale converged infrastructure platforms.

SDDC and SDN

The Software Defined Datacenter (SDDC) and Software Defined Networking (SDN) are clearly getting lots of focus into 2013. One word: Nicira. We were all impressed with the great integration of Cisco networking into the vSphere platform with the Cisco N1000v, so the announcement of the acquisition of Nicira by VMware was clearly a shot across the bow of Cisco.

Beware the buzzword marketers of course because there will be a glut of “software defined datacenter” products that hit the shelves riding the wave of popularity. But while the words drip from the tongues of marketing departments, we have to be aggressive in our research to truly measure the place of these products in the class of the SDDC.

1. OpenStack

If you haven’t already taken a look at the OpenStack platform, you should. Even if it isn’t what is on your radar for deployment in 2013, it is a really important infrastructure movement that will aggressively take hold in 2013. Multiple vendors are jumping in and for those who are looking at cloud technology but don’t want vendor lock-in, this is definitely one of the hottest pieces of technology that people are looking at.

2. Stretched Clustering

Although the cloud platforms are clearly the hottest trends, they may be just that for most. Trends aren’t necessarily the way that many businesses want to lean with their technology. VXLAN and stretched clusters will become a much more common infrastructure design for companies that want to leverage metropolitan sites. This is like the dance lesson before we take on the full cloud design. The key with this is that it moves the networking beyond the physical boundary and makes SDN part of the day-to-day infrastructure.

3. PaaS will catch up to IaaS

With Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) becoming part of the vocabulary in 2012, the next step is for customers to look towards Platform as a Service (PaaS) options as we head into 2013. The ability to develop applications to be deployed without the encumbrances of being platform aware will be something that becomes part of the normal course of doing business. The PaaS movement is fairly new, and I encourage you to take a look at what is out there and prepare for the almost inevitable integration into your environment. Very cool stuff for sure!

VMworld 2013 Predictions

This will be a really exciting year for VMworld with some great announcements and new product enhancements across the whole spectrum. These are as much hopes as predictions, but this is what I can imagine we will see this year at the VMworld events.

1. vSphere 6.0

There will be a new version of vSphere in the pipeline which will either be 6.0 or 5.1, but with my prediction of the full Nicira integration it seems that 6.0 will be fitting as it is a major release. Features that were introduced with 5.1 will also be next generation in 2013, so you will see some impressive gains with technology like vSphere Data Protection, vSphere Replication and with efficiencies in the VDI implementation from the View camp.

2. Horizon Data finally will be released

We’ve been watching since the announcement of Project Octopus for this to be released, and with the Horizon platform being steadily pushed out, the much sought after Horizon Data product will make its debut. For those who are in the Financial Services and Health Care Services, this is going to be exciting. Private cloud data storage with mobility features has been a long awaited feature.

3. vCenter Server Appliance will add Microsoft SQL support

While the vCenter Server appliance is a great option for the small to medium business, but with the more limited database support, and limit of 5 managed vSphere hosts, it isn’t quite ready for prime time in larger environments. This year may be the year which will see the addition of support for Microsoft SQL as a back end database engine and support for larger datacenter implementations. Perhaps we may even see Linked Mode support added 🙂

4. Licensing

This will be a very interesting year for licensing of the VMware suite of products. I am predicting that the will be a drop in pricing of many of the products and more promotions to migrate customers to the vCloud suites.

I can also imagine that there will be either a merger of some of the traditional vSphere editions or we will see features which were only available to the Enterprise+ category becoming available in more editions.

The fight for adoption will be won in the licensing arena. Having the greatest feature sets in your product is one thing, but getting more customers to integrate those features is the key to real marketplace dominance.

5. Focus on vFabric

Much like the increase in focus on the SDN area, I imagine that VMware will be getting more features and more education and application reference architectures in their vFabric product space. The vFabric offering is very exciting

6. Cloud Foundry hits prime time and will get Private Cloud support

The PaaS market space is the next area where vendors will get aggressive. If VMware wants to really throw down the gauntlet to bring application environments on board, the growth of Cloud Foundry support will be a great way to lead the charge. Because the Cloud Foundry community is a fast growing group, it will be a great addition to the Private/Hybrid Cloud offering to bring this product to the fore.

Certification, Education and Community

Education is (as it should be) getting real focus from corporations, vendors and by consultants and independent staffers everywhere; and this is with good reason. The attention to education and certification is helping to drive people to be on top of their game and when that happens, everybody wins. Companies are going to see their IT workforce become more involved and with more competition comes better knowledge, better processes and better service.

Community groups have become increasingly popular, and this will also increase in 2013. I am personally involved with the VMUG organization and I do as much as I can to contribute for the PowerShell community by sharing information. More and more of the blogger community today will become prominent (hopefully including me!) and there will be more, and better information sharing through the technology communities in 2013.

Automation and Orchestration

As Cody Bunch says: “Orchestrate all the things!”. Don’t fear the script, because it will not replace you, but it will actually enable you to do things better, easier and advance your skills and also add to the standard practices in technology for your organization. Although scripting and automation has been a staple among mainframe and Unix since the 70s, the move from process scripting to full datacenter automation and the addition of the Service Catalog will be the real win for you and your organization going forward.

Thank You for a great 2012

This has been a great year for me and DiscoPosse.com thanks to all of my readers, my great sponsors and the amazing communities that I’ve been involved with. I’ve been very lucky to be able to surround myself with the greats of technology and I hope I’ve done well to add value with the things that I’ve done here.

2013 will bring some great new posts, lots of exciting new things for me and for the site and I can’t wait to watch the ball drop at midnight New Year’s eve and kick into the next year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

MerryChristmas