VMworld 2019 Europe was one of my favourite years yet. It was action packed and I am still writing up stuff to post as so much went on!
Not only were the announcements, sessions and workshops awesome – I actually got to see one of my personal heroes – the inimitable Bear Grylls. His motivational speech about tackling self-doubt and encouraging innovation was exactly as you’d imagine it to be. I felt a real synergy with what he was talking about and I came out of there wanting to climb a mountain…an innovation one! (I don’t know what that means, but I know how I felt that day.) I may even run an Ultra Marathon in 2020 to keep the mind and body all in check!
That week in Barcelona was exceptional and my personal highlights included:
Meeting Pat Gelsinger at the vExpert Party
Taking part in VMware Odyssey Hands-on Lab competition
On December 12th, VMware’s largest virtual event for IT professionals will be here to give you a special post-VMworld update. This special online event will bring you the latest announcements on VMware’s leading solutions, with insights from the pros you’ll certainly benefit from hearing. A few of these people below I always make an effort to see at events and you get the luxury of being and to dial in straight from wherever you are
Check out the action-packed agenda:
Keynote: Tech in the Age of Any
Joe Baguley, Chief Technology Officer EMEA, VMware
Digital Workspace Session: Why We Need to Put the Employee Experience First Today
Spencer Pitts, Chief Technologist EMEA, VMware
Live Q&A Session
If all of this still isn’t enough to convince you to join, everyone who signs up will also have the chance to win a FREE TICKET TO VMWORLD 2020 EUROPE*. Simply register today, attend the webcast and you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win one of three full conference passes to next year’s event.
Take it from me, vForum Online is something you don’t want to miss and don’t miss your chance to attend next year!
It was also really relieved to see that they are still doing their .Heart initiative to support charity especially for the people who do not want to come home with bags of swag. It’s also great seeing their support to Women in tech and a great way I can invest in the future by being here.
Another big thing I want to keep my eye on is the https://www.nutanix.com/theforecastbynutanix as I am sure this will have some interesting content soon
Their new campaign is about all being together and very much all in the 3’s Invisible, Trusted & Autonomous
It was interesting to hear the journey of AHV and how it sits alongside VMware to make each other resilient. I believe this is where they feel where some workloads can then burst into the public clouds with ease and then still work alongside what people are used to
The next thing up was all about XiLeap and making DR easy or rather not needing to think about it. I would highly watch the playback of the keynote about this as it was interesting see the RPO down to 1min over the internet and the floating internet address to still access the files. The humour of a dragon taking out your data centre with dragon fury was great but not something many of us could have planned for.
Now what was a bit of surprising news on this linked to their key tag about freedom of choice was you will soon be able to replicate an ESXI VM into the cloud with XiLeap
There are also some new data centres opening in due course
This was all followed up by a hardware portfolio refresh with Optane and an all NVMe node. It seems they are going to help accelerate this with HPE and their GPU platform to soon follow up with the lineup
Basically Greenlake is the as a service offering only charging customer for what they use like a cloud regardless of what is possibly onsite. Again this was all baked down to giving the customer choice
AVH Sync Rep and Metro availability with cross cluster live migration in the work could really help with in house systems. To me this I think will tie in with Karbon to make Kubernetes easy to manage and keep things all in sync. This followed into file and how to keep your data secure. It was also intriguing to see how they are tying in with hardware vendors to really go down to low level code to interface with the storage sub systems.
I did manage to grab a short clip of the live cluster migration with again something close to my heart gaming, it was quite cool to see this flip between clusters and storage with no downtime. I will hopefully have this up soon.
I am also interested to go to a few session to get some more information about Mine to see how the tiering works. It would be interesting so see if its as good as the marketing and I can forget about back up and data tiers
For me in my current role it was great to hear about the challenges from another Energy firm close to home and how they are trying to enhance their business.
Another section I want to cover in more detail is going to be their secure products and autonomous technologies of which I will probably cover in another post. Great to see how big enterprises could use servicenow and become hands off from the environment. It’s also nice to see how BlueMedora ties in and has the application aware monitoring.
Support insight also seems to be what Nimble Infosight did for the SAN world with health and support. It would be great to see this in action more but for new users its nice with the promise of how it ties them to a KB with real data
No major shock for me as I have been waiting for this but it will be interesting to see Nutanix on AWS fully in action in production. Welcome to see the tie in with the Amazon hardware on bare metal but the unique proposition here was you can utilise your current VPC and Credits already in place with Amazon. It will certainly save time for anyone who already has an investment in AWS and easy to get up and going in as little as 30 minutes.
I managed to grab a quick clip of the initialisation of this service below
The hibernate function seems interesting as it will collapse the cluster and put all the VMs and storage into S3 and you can bring it back for seasonal and burst workloads.
Well that was it for the morning key note and I hope to get more content throughout the day
So its has really been a busy few months of which will warrant a post soon but we are back with the OpenTechCast and its conference season! I will promise to get a few more posts here and also what I have been up to but do catch up with our latest episode here
So I thought at long last I would do a post as life has started to settle down for 2019 despite my best efforts to get some posts out! I was a little sad to see so little and already quite a way through the year! But I had to focus on me and the family for a little bit.
TLDR:- Went in for scans, Had a busy Christmas, Did the Newcastle VMUG, Flight landed. Had rubish news and was rushed in for surgery for a tumour, Tried to recover (But I am useless at sitting still), Helped out with the vExpert Applications, Opened a vExpert shop, Found surgery was a success it was not anything too scary and now on the long path to recovery! Now to start a cool VMware project
I think the above summaries the last few months the best I can without boring everyone who bothers to read this blog but will also help me when I think why did I not blog later in the year! If you do want any more context than the below then always grab me and I can bore you at a conference.
Basically, just after VMworld Barcelona, I noticed something odd on my back of which I thought was a spot/ingrown hair and decided for once to go to the doctor due to the fact a few weeks later it was still growing and had no head on it. I was sent off for scans and referrals of which the last one was around Christmas of which the very kind doctor said due to the fact they were not 100% sure of what it was and the fact it was starting to push on my spine and I was sloughing badly it was best to have it out and within 6 weeks!
The next few weeks were a blur with kids and Christmas and trying to finish projects and of course new ones for 2019! In between this, I was trying my best to perfect my VMUG presentations and thought I had not heard back maybe my surgery letter got lost in the post. To be fair the NHS can really shine sometimes as once I followed it up it was delayed due to an influx of things due to this time of the year and I was followed up not long after saying could I come in within a week so it could just get done (a week before the VMUG at this point).
I spent the weekend finalising my presentation and helping with the last few vExpert mentoring applications for vExpert Pro, then a quick flight up to Newcastle and back. During this time we also had some bad family news of which I won’t write too much about on here as I know the topic can sometimes upset people but its a hard thing for people with families and wanting a family to go threw, especially if you already have kids around and you have to stay strong in front of them. I also know its quite taboo and still think for me personally we should be able to talk about it as the mental toll it takes on you and a relationship is unreal! Remember its ok to not be ok, go find family or friends to talk about it, I did and it helped massively
The next morning after landing late due to this news we had myself and my wife spent most of the day in hospitals for me and her, got the news we did not want an hour and a bit before my surgery, even to the point the surgeon I had was so supportive over what we were both going through, a little shocked over the fact I wanted to still go through what I was just about to but he helped me every step of the way! I am the most useless patient at the best of times. Some may say it was selfish but I saw it as if it was a bad thing (yes the thing some can’t talk about and as a family already been through it) growing in there I needed to be around for my family more than ever now! It also gave me a massive excuse also to ensure I was around to support one another for the next two weeks. Once I explained our past to my surgeon before I knew it I was face down on the table and was kept awake due to the location and it was all over and done with within the hour and I was on my way back home.
The next few days were an emotional rollercoaster with everything that had happened and it was by no means easy hence why I stopped blogging and never got round to writing up the VMUG.
I also got time to re-read some of the blogs about career burnout and work-life balance, especially the one from Bilal. I just knew I had to focus on this for the next few weeks during recovery and I know most others would have taken an opportunity to do more but I knew my family needed me.
Fast forward a few weeks and it was time for the stitches to come out! I could not wait, as much as I loved playing the Resident Evil 2 remake I even went back into work a few days and worked from home as I could not stand sleeping all day and watching daytime TV/Netflix but I knew this was key to my recovery! I am just stubborn and get bored by myself. Also due to the timing I was gutted to give up my place to vRetreat but it clashed with the stiches coming out.
This was the major turning point for me as I knew my physical and mental health really now just needed a massive overhaul. A few days later I got the letter stating it was not anything serious but a very odd growth and due to the depth they went, they do not anticipate it coming back. At this point, it was just in time for me to then be able to focus on the vExpert applications and make notes for the team to help approvals and it also was the start of the recovery journey for me.
My brother bought me a gift of which was possibly a bit of a joke between us as he knows I hate fads and exercise but I must say the Joe Wicks plan he got me with the extra support has been nothing but amazing! I am not even halfway through it and I have seen a massive improvement in my mental and physical health. I have lost many kilos and then put on loads of lean muscle but I have found my get up and go attitude I felt I had lost! I also found that I am much more ready to take on the day and more alert but also much less stressed and enjoying more time with the family. I have even started to run with my wife and now able to keep up with her on 5/10k runs if she is on a short one training for her half marathons. I could not even do a few minutes without feeling I was going to pass out before.
So what does this mean for blogging and the rest of the year…
For one it means I am going to be much more ambitious! I want to take on new challenges such as the CloudCred Pro of which I will be doing live streaming events. Such as the exercise, I did not even think I would last or enjoy a few weeks but I am loving it. Amazing what you can do when you really push yourself.
I want to look at my career path and where I am either staying or heading as it always super interesting at work even if its not always VMware related
I want to mentor more people where I can and spark the fire/passion of community or even just getting up and giving it a go
Try and make it to a few more major events and maybe even do a major talk if I can get the guts to do this. I would love to look at things such as vRetreat, Tech Field day and the likes.
I can’t thank my mentors (one being my boss) and friends enough! Many of them know who they are and I know a few have said some great comments/constructive critisiums of how I can become a better engineer and person and the main thing I need to do is just believe in myself and they have all said I will go far if I do! I certainly hope over the next few weeks especially after this workout plan I will have the mental and physical confidence to start taking on their comments and push hard to achieve the goals we have spoken about
Finally, I couldn’t have got to where I am today without the support of my family especially my amazing wife! She is my rock and I know we are always there for each other no matter what, despite how hard it is! The best bit is she has instilled this into our kids and I know if daddy is not always as strong as he should be they will pick me up and cheer me up too! All it takes sometimes is a hug!
So sorry to have bored you with this post or upset anyone (not my intention) its been a while coming but again this has really helped me mentally to express what a year so far! If you are struggling yourself do reach out as I am more than happy to talk and help! Anyway onwards and upward to living and loving life! Go grab it and enjoy it!