Thursday, June 23, 2016

Re-cap of the NJ/NYC VCDX workshop

The NJ/NYC VCDX workshop was a very successful event that we are very proud of. Even with a last minute cancellation, we were able to get an attendance of 10 very interested VCDX hopefuls. 

The venue, courtesy of Anton Z, was spectacular, and the two VCDX's (Niran Even-Chen and Agustin Malanco) that delivered the workshop were great at conveying the most up to date information while keeping the session lively. We were able to dive deep into the questions that the audience had; several details of the blueprint and the overall documentation process, which had stumbled our group, were cleared up. Thankfully, we were able to stay a bit later than anticipated and in the end everyone came out highly satisfied with the workshop!

I'm sure when we mention it in the UserCon (happening the very next day) more people would have attended if they could. If you are just hearing about this and would like to get involved with a group preparing for the VCDX certification, I'd love for you to reach out - we are still at a point were newcomers can get a lot of value. I'd also like to get your information so that we can prepare an "interested in VCDX" list for the VCDX program and submit a formal request for an official workshop for the area in 2017.

Below some pictures. Attendees were, from left to right:
Anton Z, Niran Even-Chen, Agustin Malanco, Jorvin Martinez, Carlos Munoz, Melissa Palmer, Azarya Shaulov/Ariel Sanchez, Ariel Antigua, Stalin Pena, Mike Martino and Ankit Mehrotra.

If I get any more pictures I'll post them here as well.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Twitter handles from the NJ/NYC area

Twitter is a great platform to rapidly connect with others that shame the same interest. One of the best features is that followers is not the same as friends. Anybody can be a follower, and very few people impose restrictions on others from following them.

I find it works very well for VMware enthusiasts since it's encouraged by the company itself and there are very well established hashtags. Some of the coolest vCommunity efforts have happened thanks to twitter's worldwide reach with simple hastags like #vExpert, #VCP, #VCDX and #vBrownBag.

So without further ado, here are twitter handles of VMware users (everything from customers to partners and VMware employees) that are in the area and maintain a personal and public twitter presence. Please reach out to the official @nycvmug handle if you want anything corrected in this post or you don't want to be listed for whatever reason.

Alex Lopez   @iVirtuAlex
Ankit Mehrotra   @vAnkit17
Anton Z   @iamantonz
Ariel Sanchez   @arielsanchezmor   English, Spanish
Azarya Shaulov   @az_ny
Ben Liebowitz   @ben_liebowitz
Carlos Castellanos @XLinkTech
Elmer Valdez   @_elvaldez
George Varghese   @PianoBiju
Greg Laub   @GregLaub
Ivan ??   @mlgSilver
Janak Panchal   @janak0611
JM Lucier @JMLucien
Jorvin Martinez   @jorvinmartinez
Jose Restrepo   @Jose_RestrepoNY
Matt Liebowitz   @mattliebowitz
Melissa Palmer   @vmiss33
Michael Martino   @wildcard78
Michael Valdes   @valdesnyc
Michael Wilson   @m1kew1lson
Nick Scuola   @NScuola
Niran Even-Chen   @NiranEC
Omar   @vMOmar1
Pawel Czopowik   @PolishPaul
Pete Walker   @vPeteWalker
Prabhu Barathi   @prabhu_b
Stalin Pena   @stalin_pena

Thursday, June 16, 2016

vBrownBag TechTalks in the NJ/NYC Usercon!

This June 23 we're doing a new experiment in the NJ/NYC UserconTeaming up with vBrownBag, we have accepted four technical sessions that will be recorded and put later in the vBrownBag YouTube channel

This is similar to the TechTalks format that is used in VMworld and other conferences. The presenter gets up on a stage and gives a 10 minute, but highly technical, talk. Real state in the UserCon is always at a premium, but working with VMUG we were able to get a space in the "Hudson Foyer" (close to where registration and food is served, which is a high traffic area).

It's time to introduce the speakers. Each one of them has helped the area before in either VMUG sessions or local Social Labs.

  • Prabhu Barathi is an NSX SE covering the NYC area. He's the nicest guy you've met and he's doing an excellent job of helping vSphere administrators embrace NSX. He's going to condense all that experience and present on what NSX can do for your business problems.
  • Julie Starr is a firewall specialist within the VMware Network and Security. She has authored some of the firewall deep dive posts in the VMware blog. We're especially thrilled to have someone this technical go deep on one aspect of NSX and being able to record it for the world!
  • Stalin Pena is a VMware customer working in NYC. He has several certifications, most impressively VCIX-NV, and is currently pursuing his VCDX-NV. We're thrilled that he will offer his session in spanish, which is a first for the UserCon, and we will be able to record it for vBrownBagLatam!
  • Anton Z is also a VMware customer and a long time contributor to NYC VMUG events. He has presented three times, in each displaying the tricks and tips he uses to make sure he gets what he needs out of each version of Horizon View. In this talk he will give his best tips and tricks for the latest version.
Here is the detail on the NJ/NYC UserCon vBrownBag talk schedule. Please make sure to attend and take advantage of the opportunity to get questions answered and make new friends!

Time Speaker Twitter Talk Title
1:10 - 1:20pm Prabhu Barathi prabhu_b "Network Virtualization – what it is and what it isn’t"
1:25 - 1:35pm Julie Starr jmarions "Policy’s Security Groups: the key to NSX’s Service Composer"
1:40 - 1:50pm Stalin Pena stalin_pena "Microsegmentación en VMware NSX" (spanish)
2:45 - 2:55pm Anton Z IamAntonZ "Horizon View - Tips and tricks for power users"

Friday, June 10, 2016

Giveaways details for the 2016 NJ/NYC VMUG UserCon

The biggest VMUG event all year for the New Jersey and New York City region takes place this June 23! Our User Convention (UserCon) is the highest attended event all year, and with good reason. It's in a beautiful venue overlooking the Manhattan skyline with excellent presentations, lots of updates from the many vendors that come into town anxious to get your attention, joined with good food and even greater company.

You can check this event's details here

Please take a moment to register if you haven't done so. This way you can also get a calendar reminder into your work email, and very importantly, plan to take the day off work, since it's a full day event that starts early morning, has breakfast and lunch, and finishes late in the afternoon.

We're very excited to announce the prizes that all attendees will be able to participate for. It's always fun to figure out what our users could be interested in. This year we have given options for both new and seasoned VMware enthusiasts and general IT people. I'm listing them in order of price and quantity:

Every attendee 
Will get a small token of appreciation that we hope all of you will find useful.

The first 20 or so attendees 
Will get a highly anticipated print book - the official VCP6-DCV Study Guide which just recently came out! This is a very popular option so make sure you arrive by 8am to be one of the first to arrive, and take advantage of more time with fellow colleagues.

Three separate SSD winners
Will get one 500GB Samsung 850 EVO SATA SSD! Whether for your desktop, laptop or homelab, replacing a mechanical drive or smaller SSD for a bigger one is always good, and these are probably the best ones out on the market today. Anybody in IT can appreciate this gift. This gift will be mailed directly to the home of the winners.

Three separate VMUG Advantage winners
Will get one code for a free VMUG Advantage subscription. VMUG Advantage has many benefits, but the perennial favorites are the discounts for training/VMworld/certification exams and having year-long homelab licenses. If you are just beginning your VMware journey, this is the push you need. At a possible $2000+ of savings, these are normally a steal at $200, but you can get one for free at this event!

Now come the big three
Inspired by the awesome work @lamw and others have been doing with the Intel NUCs, and realizing that the typical homelab bill of materials is a bit pricey, we've chosen three configurations that will let homelab users of all levels to tinker and geek out. In case you don't win and are looking into building your own, we've left all the component details here as well. Hopefully this is the start of a VMware/NUC community in the area that meets and shares tips in the VMUG presentations!

The NUCs are great platforms to jumpstart your homelab and to learn VSAN, while having a high WAF (wife approval factor) since they feature low noise and electricity consumption. Many people hook them up to TVs and figure out how to make them dual boot systems so they can act as Media Center PCs when not running VMware labs.

All of these will be mailed directly to the winner, so don't worry about walking through public transportation with hundreds of dollars worth of hardware. You just worry about participating in the Usercon :)

One lucky winner gets a "One-node Hybrid VSAN"
An excellent option for running a nested lab or be expanded with similar nodes, perfect for VMware VSAN! It includes:
  • 6th gen i3 NUC maxed out with 32GB RAM and an extra GB NIC through USB adapter!
  • 256GB SSD (m.2) and 1TB SATA Hybrid HD (2.5”) - it may be hybrid VSAN, but these are top notch disks!
  • VMUG Advantage subscription included so you can push it to the limit as soon as it boots!
The component details for this prize are here.

One lucky winner gets a "One-node All-Flash VSAN"
An excellent option for running a high performance nested lab or be expanded with similar nodes, perfect for VMware VSAN! It includes:
  • 6th gen i5 NUC maxed out with 32GB RAM and an extra GB NIC through USB adapter
  • 256GB NVMe SSD (m.2) and 1TB SATA SSD (2.5”) - top quality drives!
  • VMUG Advantage subscription included so you can push it to the limit as soon as it boots!
The component details for this prize are here.

And finally,

One very lucky winner gets the big home lab, "Two NUCs and a Synology"
What nested? You want to run ESXi on bare metal, and that requires dedicated hardware and some solid shared storage. With this kit, you can run DRS and HA tonight, while enjoying excellent upgrade options if you want to play with VSAN in the future.
  • Two 6th gen i3 NUCs, each maxed out with 32GB RAM, each with an extra NIC
  • Synology DS1515+ with 4x3TB 5400rpm drives (one slot open for future SSD or extra drive!)
  • VMUG Advantage subscription included so you can push it to the limit as soon as it boots!
The component details for this prize are here.

In total around 30 people will walk out of the Usercon with even more motivation to achieve more and be better in their VMware journey. We hope to see you there, and hope that you enjoy these giveaways!

As always, please leave a comment with anything we can improve. We definitely want all the input we can get!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

NYC/NJ VCDX Workshop confirmed for 6/22/2016

This year the NYC/NJ area did not get a sponsored VCDX workshop in the official VCDX calendar. Karl Childs, who manages the program, was however very helpful and tried to get one going with one month's time. When that was proving difficult, he was open to the possibility of the local VMUG group arranging a room and doing a workshop in "vCommunity" style.

One of our most active members, @iamantonz, offered a phenomenal space very near to the UserCon location (which happens the next day), and with the Karl's/VCDX program's blessing, a local double VCDX (#142), Niran Even-Chen, graciously offered to cover his transportation expenses and spend an afternoon giving us the workshop!

The vCommunity VCDX workshop for NYC/NJ details are as follows:

Date: June 22, 2016
Time: 12:30 - 4pm (starts at 1 pm sharp)
Address: 2 2nd St, Jersey City, New Jersey (this is actually much closer to NYC than it is for much of New Jersey)
Parking: there is street parking and paid parking in the same building
Who should attend: All people interested in the VMware Certified Design Expert program, either thinking of the future or already in progress
What should I bring: Lots of questions. It would be great if you are familiar with the VCDX application process so you can focus on more difficult questions
Capacity: ~10 attendees plus VCDXs (please coordinate with Ariel Sanchez through twitter to secure a spot)
But I don't have twitter You should! Go sign up.
Cost: In theory this is a free event (although there is no sponsor, we didn't have to pay for the space thanks to Anton). However, we will take the VCDX for dinner afterwards as a token of appreciation for their time and willingness, so if you want to help with the dinner bill you are more than welcome!

Will the VCDXs be able to review my design in this workshop? 
Unfortunately we have limited time, and also, sometimes current VCDXs are also panelists - this prohibits them from performing meentoring duties. I would suggest you join a local or internet group if you would like to share ideas with like minded individuals (contact your VMUG leaders, the #VCDX hashtag, etc.). There is a small core of VCDX hopefuls that have started meeting and most will attend this workshop so it's a great place to make these connections. Additionally, this link is a great place to start in getting a VCDX mentor.

How many VCDXs will attend?
Niran was instrumental in getting this going, as one is the requirement. However, he also brought us some great news - we are privileged and will also have the participation of another double VCDX, Agustin Malanco, VCDX #141. This is an excellent opportunity for the Spanish speaking community in the area since Agustin comes from Mexico and can answer questions in both English and Spanish. 

We are also reaching out for other local VCDXs who may attend - please contact @arielsanchezmor if you can make it. Also, we wiIl be having our big VMUG Usercon the next day, so I'm hoping that any other VCDXs that fly in can also drop in and give a hand and stay for a drink after. 

I will keep this post updated with any and all news. Also, if you are interested in becoming a sponsor and would be interested in providing a venue, paying for dinner, or both, please reach out to us as well!

Your local NYC VMUG leaders

This is a short post so you can recognize and contact the NYC VMUG leaders. All of are available through twitter and in person at the various events. They are friendly and passionate about you taking advantage of this community.

Mike Martino

Jorvin Martinez

Greg Laub

Ariel Sanchez