VMworld 2017 Roundup: Day 3

Upgrading to vSphere 6.5 the VCDX Way [SER2318BU]

Rebecca Fitzhugh, Melissa Palmer‘s session aimed to explain the VCDX-style approach to upgrading vSphere 6.5. First, you have to ask yourself why you want to upgrade? Upgrades shouldn’t happen “just because”. There should be demonstrated business value, such as: extended support life-cycle, compatibility with other technical services, or taking advantage of new features like vCenter Server HA or VM encryption.

The VCDX way means that you use a distinct methodology. Consider whether you want to re-host (i.e. in-place upgrade) or re-architecting, for example. Also plan the upgrade end-to-end before implementation starts. Make sure you actually validate post-implementation so that you can better answer the inevitable question: “Did it work after the upgrade?”.

It’s important to follow a design process, like: assess, design, deploy, and validate, making sure requirements identified in the assess phase are met in the validate phase. Perform a current state analysis against your existing environment so that you can figure out the dependencies and steps required to successfully upgrade. Tools and services that can help include: vROPs, vSphere Optimization Assessment, vCheck, or the vSphere Health Check (PSO).

Make sure that your design, if you’re re-architecting, covers the common design qualities: availability, manageability, performance, recoverability and security. Understand how your organization ranks these design qualities and why? That will help drive and prioritize design choices, including the definition of key success criteria (which you should define from the outset).

Rebecca and Melissa then took the audience through a couple of design scenarios, illustrating how the VCDX approach can be applied to drive a successful vSphere upgrade.

VMware CTO Innovation Panel: What’s Next? [FUT3025PU]

A cadre of VMware CTOs, specifically Ray O’Farrell, Christos Karamanolis, Shawn Bass, Mike Wookey, and Cameron Haight, took questions from the audience. They chatted about how VMware works on driving innovation. A major way that’s done is via VMware’s “Innovation Engine”, which is how VMware fosters innovation, encourages cross-department collaboration and solves product challenges. It’s quite encouraging to see that VMware has a focused view on which departments are innovation/R&D focused and which are product focused. It allows those innovation-focused areas to be detached from product enough to stay agile and flexible enough to work on different initiatives. Some of those initiatives make their way into product via that “Innovation Engine”.

Aside from that illuminating overview, the CTO’s fielded questions from the audience about futures for their respective areas. While they couldn’t deliver promises or guarantees, naturally, they were fairly forthcoming about their drive to continue to push the company forward.

Delivering Infrastructure as Code: Practical Tips and Advice [DEV2704BU]

Peg Eaton delivered this session, which was dominated by DevOps overview and methods. DevOps principles include speeding up flow through value streams, fast feedback loops, and continuous improvement and experimentation. For me this was familiar ground (yes, I agree you should store your infrastructure related code in source control) so I ducked out a little early. Still valuable information for the audience, all of whom, except for a lone person, identified as ops/admin and not developer.

vExpert Reception

The vExpert Reception this year was held at the Las Vegas Pinball Hall of Fame. Unfortunately Pat Gelsinger was unable to visit with us this year, but it was still lauded as a great event where vExperts were able to catch-up or meet for the first time, bonding over technology and old-school pinball! Thanks to the VMTN and especially the vExpert crew for putting this on, it was appreciated!

Done Like Dinner

That’s it for day three of VMworld 2017 US. If any of the sessions I’ve covered here are of interest to you, VMware typically makes session recordings available shortly after VMworld concludes.

Stay tuned for further round ups and reports from VMworld 2017 US.

Dee Abson

Dee Abson is a technical architect from Alberta, Canada. He's been working in the field of technology for over 20 years and specializes in server and virtualization infrastructure. Working with VMware products since ESX 2, he holds several VMware certifications. He was awarded VMware vExpert for 2014-2019. You can find him on Twitter.

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