Toronto VMUG 11/13 recap: Nutanix, CiRBA and vCO with Mike Preston

It was a chilly day, but we were kept warm among the awesome VMUG community today at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. As our last half-day session for 2013, this was a nice way to wind down a spectacular year and once again Angelo Luciani (@AngeloLuciani) let our team and produced a great lineup of technology and people.

The sessions were very interactive, and the questions were coming from all angles including business process and technology deep dive details. The presenting vendors brought their A-game and they were able to work with the attendees to create a great set of presentations.

Nutanix

We kicked off the half day session with Michael Burnett from Nutanix (www.nutanix.com) talking about their product line and the inner workings of the Nutanix NDFS and overall ecosystem.

I doubt that Nutanix needs an introduction, but if you haven’t seen this impressive converged solution, you need to take a deeper look right away.

nutanix

Image source: www.nutanix.com

While VMware is the focus, it was great to see Hyper-V and KVM added to the hypervisor support list. With founders who came from the halls of Google and architected the famous Google File System, Nutanix has shot onto the scene in the last couple of years and made a distinct impact on the converged virtualization landscape.

Make sure to take a look at the Nutanix suite of converged virtualization solutions, and talk with their team by reaching out on Twitter @Nutanix or through their site here: http://www.nutanix.com/connect-with-us/

CiRBA Capacity Control

Next up was CiRBA who hail from right here in Toronto. They brought their product, CiRBA Capacity Control, is a very impressive suite that offers capacity control, performance analysis, capacity and performance prediction, and much more.

CiRBA-ACCS

Image source: http://www.cirba.com/product/CiRBA-Product-Overview.htm

Since we were a VMUG audience, they presented their product with the clear VMware target features, but they also fully integrate with Microsoft Hyper-V and KVM which extends the support to OpenStack and RHEV. Needless to say, I will be looking much more into what CiRBA has to offer to find out more detail.

The console screenshots were slick and the demo showed off some of the management features and most importantly, their capacity planning and “what if” scenario feature which allows you to look at the workloads you have in place today, and predict how continued growth will affect performance.

CiRBA

Image source: http://www.cirba.com/product/CiRBAs-Control-Console.htm (click for full size)

At this point I have to turn you over to CiRBA (http://www.CiRBA.com) for more detail, and I encourage you to take a look at this tool and see what it’s all about.

Reach out to the team through their contact page (http://www.cirba.com/company/contact-us.htm), and feel free to add comments here on what you think of CiRBA and what they have to offer.

Community time – vCenter Orchestrator with Mike Preston

One of the great things about our VMUG community is the sharing of info among our peers. This was another fine example as Mike Preston, blogger at http://mwpreston.net and soon to be published author (Troubleshooting vSphere Storage) who you may know as @mwpreston on Twitter.

Mike started with the humble statement that he is new to presenting, but I can tell you that Mike’s relaxed presentation style and solid knowledge come across perfectly to the crowd. Even more impressive is that running a live demo of creating a vCenter Orchestrator was the ultimate test that he passed with flying colors.

The message was strong in the presentation that orchestration and automation is not just a “nice to have”, but it should be treated as a requirement for us as IT professionals. There are great free tools like vCenter Orchestrator available to us, so there really is no reason not to investigate how to save time and ensure consistency with orchestration tools.

It was a great presentation with lots of questions, and we gave away 3 Automating vSphere with vCenter Orchestrator books by @Cody_Bunch to some very happy attendees. I am pretty sure that we will see some great automation and orchestration chats coming up in the VMUG community thanks to great books like Cody’s and great presentations like this.

Thank you to all the presenting vendors, to Mike, to the VMUG organizers and to the attendees for making this another great VMUG session. I’m looking forward to planning for an amazing full-day session in February!




DiscoPosse Review: Automating vSphere with VMware vCenter Orchestrator – Cody Bunch

I can say just one regret came from reading this book, and that is that I didn’t do it sooner! If you are new to the vCenter Orchestrator platform from VMware then this should be the first thing you read.

Cody Bunch’s relaxed yet detailed writing style eases you into the amazing capabilities of vCenter Orchestrator. The book walks through a natural workflow of introduction, installation, working with vCenter Orchestrator and then right into some great examples with the fictional use cases for Amazing Smoothies which gives you some great practical deployment cases.

VMware Press does it once again by bringing great authors and great products together. Make sure that you keep your eyes on Twitter and follow Cody Bunch (www.twitter.com/Cody_Bunch) and VMware Press (www.twitter.com/VMwarePress) for great content.

Don’t Hesitate, Automate

I have been a fan of automation since the moment that I realized I could do it. There are few tasks that are really just one-time tasks and as you get into virtualization you will quickly see that the best strategy comes with a new mindset on how to manage your environment.

We typically dip our toes into virtualization with doing more of the one app to one server methodology and we tend to tread carefully with how much we put into the virtualized environment. Within a short time you will find that the adoption rate rapidly increases and you are officially on the road to server sprawl!

Whether you are early adopters with a long history of virtualization or newcomers to VMware and its great technology, you should invest the time to understand how to best manage your environment. Cody’s book will give you the tools that you need to get your vCenter Orchestrator environment up and running and start you towards adding great automation and lifecycle management to your administrators toolkit.

What about non-Scripters?

The question that most often comes up when I introduce automation is “What happens if I don’t know how to using scripting?” This is a valid question, and the answer is simple: You don’t have to know how to script, you have to know how to test!

Much like PowerCLI and ESXCLI, there are scores of scripts available online and lots of great places to go to get excellent people and resources to guide you to the scripts and packages that you need to do what you need to do.

I could go on about the tool, and the book but I’ll let Cody and VMware Press do the talking for me. Very simply, you should head on over to Amazon here and get your copy on order and I can promise that you won’t be disappointed.