Virtually Anything

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Here We Go….2021


As I prepare for a new year (2021)…I need to reflect on 2020. Last year has been one the most uncertain years for anyone. Most of the world started 2020 with excitement and loads of plans to accomplish. We all like to put in some solid goals for the year. Regardless of where in the world we as based COVID-19 had an impact in our daily lives. This seemed so unreal…felt like this was a movie and things that we only thought off and watched open the big screen has just become a reality.

Although last year was difficult for the worlds population, it was great to see countries come together to fight this virus. We have seen business re-invent themselves as well as individuals. We all tried to stay informed and tried our best to try and live a normal life with this virus that floated around. We had nations enforcing complete lockdowns to help reducing the spread of the virus, which meant that we needed to change the we work and lived.

Home became the office and the office became home…this posed to be difficult for many household and we all started to work even more that we did when we had to go into the office. We learnt how to manage home and work life in the same space.

We started to use technologies that in some parts of the world seemed to be used too, but for others it became the new norm. Digital platforms such as Zoom & Teams became the gateway and medium for us to have our meetings and have visual sanity. Collaboration tools became so ever important to our lives and the internet just showed us…how we needed this to be able and stay connected.

Technology has really played a huge part of keeping the sanity of people and business operational while we are in this pandemic. To all the companies and individuals around the world that have brought these technologies for free for a limited time just to help companies and people to stay connected….Thank You!

As for 2021…we need to ensure that the momentum that was started last year continues. I’ve spent sometime last year attending virtual conferences and assisted clients with their journeys to the cloud. We have seen that adoption of cloud growing exponentially in South Africa and I assume around the world.

We just need to continue evolving ourselves…I really enjoyed the vendors that provided free training to help build skills and gain new skills. Let’s don’t stop.

Hopefully this year I can get more posts done 🙂

Finally…I would like for the following:

Business needs to become more agile.

People need to adopt technology. 

KubeAcademy Pro

Source – KubeAcademy

So in my previous post, I shared a few links to start of some training to better understand Kubernetes. One of the links was to the Kubernetes Academy provided by VMware. There was a lot of entry level / beginners training to get you familiar with Kubernetes.  So VMware is now offering the advanced stack of training, done by instructors and subject matter experts. This is really awesome as we get to widen our knowledge and understand the platform as it will be part of our day to day activities.

“KubeAcademy Pro connects you with industry leaders for free so you can advance your skill set regardless of where you are on your Kubernetes journey. Whether you’re a systems administrator new to Kubernetes or an operator ready to manage clusters, KubeAcademy Pro includes a breadth of courses for a wide range of roles.

KubeAcademy Pro instructors are made up of VMware Kubernetes architects, field engineers, trainers, and developer advocates who bring their experience helping customers adopt Kubernetes, as well as their own experience learning Kubernetes.”

Read through the article below:

Sign Up for Access to great content for FREE!!!

Source – KubeAcademy – Courses Catalog

Carbon Black

VMware Carbon Black Cloud is a cloud-native endpoint protection platform, that combines the intelligent system hardening and behavioural prevention, all done with a  single lightweight agent and an easy to use console. VMware Carbon Black Cloud has various modules for an administrator to manage endpoints.

Meet Carbon Black

Source – YouTube – VMware Carbon Black

What products make up VMware Carbon Black Cloud?

VMware Carbon Black Cloud

Endpoint Standard

Enterprise Endpoint Detection and Response

Audit and Remediation

Managed Detection

VMware Carbon Black On-Premises Products

App Control

Endpoint Detection and Response

Source – VMware

VMware Carbon Black Cloud Workload Essentials

“VMware Carbon Black Cloud Workload delivers agentless protection for vSphere workloads that is easy to operationalize, while reducing the attack surface and strengthening data center security posture. This cloud-native solution provides foundational workload inventory, hardening, and vulnerability management capabilities to protect workloads running in virtualized environments.

This solution helps teams protect their workloads by:

  • Integrating natively with vSphere to simplify operations with a more unified solution
  • Prioritizing vulnerabilities with risk scores based on real-life exploits
  • Providing the necessary lifecycle context
  • Enabling agentless protection to intrinsically build security into your core infrastructure

Secure Your vSphere Workloads

Helping customers more effectively secure their virtual workloads is a critical objective for VMware. As part of that strategy, we are offering a free trial of VMware Carbon Black Cloud Workload Essentials to current vSphere customers through April 2021.”

Source – YouTube – VMware Carbon Black

Azure VMware Solution

Source: VMworld – Azure VMware Solution

This solution is really exciting, as this is designed built and supported by Microsoft and endorsed by VMware. We’re in tough times, and it is great to see that large vendors such as Microsoft and VMware come to the party to provide combined solutions that will benefit the customers, and now can seamlessly extend or completely migrate their existing on premises VMware workloads to Azure without the requirements for re architecting their applications. This will allow clients to then benefit workloads and services provided by Azure and consume directly on a VMware platform.

The partnership between Microsoft and VMware allowing customers currently that have VMware on their private datacenters, to have the same experience in Azure. So how is this achieved, this allows VMware to utilize a solution known as VMware Cloud Foundation Which will run natively on Azure’s compute and storage. Azure VMware Solution is VMware Cloud Verified, basically it allows customers to have confidence to use VMware capabilities on that platform that has been vetted by VMware.

The technologies that will be used on Azure VMware Solutions are VMware vSphere, HCX, NSX-T & vSAN. These products are the foundation for a software defined datacenter for customers worldwide. For Azure VMware Solution it has limited availability to certain areas in the world. Availability in the US East and West Europe regions are live and hopefully we will get these services down in South Africa soon in the near future, as we do have the Azure datacenters locally. 

Use the link below to check out pricing and availability in your region.

What is Azure VMware Solution by CloudSimple?

Source: Microsoft – Azure VMware Solution by CloudSimple

Azure VMware Solution by CloudSimple is a fully managed service that empowers you to run the VMware platform in Azure. This solution includes vSphere, vCenter, vSAN, NSX-T, and corresponding tools. Your VMware environment runs natively on Azure bare metal infrastructure in Azure cloud locations. The service includes all the features required to consume the VMware platforms efficiently and securely.

For more information…use the link below

How to run native VMware workloads in Azure 

VMware on AWS


More than 20 years ago VMware provided us with a revolutionary solution, known as  virtualisation. This has helped us reduce costs with the datacenter, by reducing power, the hardware footprint as we as the need to purchase more hardware. A few years ago we have seen the era of the Hyper-Scalers, such as AWS.

Clients worldwide want to use/consume these offerings/services, but at the same time have their own trusted solutions from VMware. We have seen that this need has created the partnership with VMware & AWS. This has been a huge impact of the world of IT. We are now truly embracing the Hybrid Cloud.

One of the biggest challenges out there is, legacy applications that are running on the private cloud. In order to move these applications to the cloud there will be a need to refactor the application which can be costly and lengthy. By leveraging VMware Cloud Foundation, all the trusted products such as vSphere, vSAN & NSX are used to create a connection to the AWS cloud, giving you the same look and feel, while consuming AWS native services.

VMware Cloud on AWS – Overview

“VMware Cloud on AWS is an on-demand service that enables you to run applications across vSphere-based cloud environments with access to a broad range of AWS services. Powered by VMware Cloud Foundation, this service integrates VMware vSphere, VMware vSAN, and VMware NSX along with VMware vCenter management, and is optimised to run on dedicated, elastic, bare-metal AWS infrastructure. With this servivmwaece, IT teams can manage their cloud-based resources with familiar VMware tools”

VMware Cloud on AWS

VMware Skyline

“It would awesome to proactively monitor problems in my VMware environment.” Heard that before? Well, there is good news…. VMware Skyline. This is not a new product, mentioning of this product was made around 2017, yet many clients and partners are not aware of this and that they qualify for this product based on the SnS agreement that have with VMware. There is no license costs.

To get this going in your environment, you will need to deploy the Skyline appliance and start collecting product metadata to start learning your environment. There is a fair level of Machine Learning in this solution.Most products are support, unfortunately at the time of writing this post NSX-T is not supported, but I’m sure we will have it in the next few releases.

You can use Skyline log assist, that will assist with the timing consuming process for an Engineer to upload log bundles. This is an automated process and will reduce clients effort.

Above is the capabilities based on your support contract

Want to give a try and have a look and feel….There is a VMware Skyline, Hands on Lab available for you to try out before you implement. Just search for Skyline.

VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud

As most of the datacenter’s have become software defined, I’m not surprised the we have Software Defined – Wide Area Network (SD-WAN). In December 2017, VMware acquired VeloCloud, the market leader in cloud-delivered SD-WAN that enables enterprises and service providers to deploy flexible, secure WAN connectivity

Traditional WAN is complex, expensive and requires lot of skilled resources to get all sites connected and ready to work, this could takes months to get this accomplished.

Source: VeloCloud

SD-WAN simplifies the connectivity between branches, giving users a better experience with a cost effective technology.

Source: VeloCloud

As you can see below, there are only a few components that will provide you with an efficient SD-WAN solution.

  • VeloCloud Orchestrator. Delivers network-wide business policy creation, distribution, and enforcement based on applications, traffic, and network conditions.
  • VeloCloud Gateways. Deployed at cloud data centers around the world, these gateways provide scalability, redundancy, and flexibility; optimize data paths to all applications, branches, and data centers; and deliver network services from the cloud.
  • VeloCloud Edge. A compact, easy-to-install device that provides secure optimized connectivity to applications and data.

Below, you can download the Software-Defined WAN Dummies guide. This is will give you a great insight into SD-WAN, I will be posting more around that architecture and the technical bits in future posts.

SD-WAN for Dummies Download
VMware SD-WAN by VeloCloud: Vision, Differentiator, Future

All about that Cloud…

We have all of these terms thrown around these with regards to “The Cloud”, so I thought it would be best that we get some close to accurate definitions of the private cloud, public cloud and hybrid cloud. Most of us there has their own way to provide these definitions, but I found the below definitions from Azure, which really has a good flow to define these types of clouds. We can definitely talk more around when and how to consume these, but as you will know it purely depends on the business needs. I will write a follow up blogs later on, around when and how to consume these clouds.

Private – Public – Hybrid Cloud

What is a private cloud?

“The private cloud is defined as computing services offered either over the Internet or a private internal network and only to select users instead of the general public. Also called an internal or corporate cloud, private cloud computing gives businesses many of the benefits of a public cloud – including self-service, scalability, and elasticity – with the additional control and customisation available from dedicated resources over a computing infrastructure hosted on-premises. In addition, private clouds deliver a higher level of security and privacy through both company firewalls and internal hosting to ensure operations and sensitive data are not accessible to third-party providers. One drawback is that the company’s IT department is held responsible for the cost and accountability of managing the private cloud. So private clouds require the same staffing, management, and maintenance expenses as traditional datacenter ownership.”

What is a public cloud?

“The public cloud is defined as computing services offered by third-party providers over the public Internet, making them available to anyone who wants to use or purchase them. They may be free or sold on-demand, allowing customers to pay only per usage for the CPU cycles, storage, or bandwidth they consume. Public clouds can also be deployed faster than on-premises infrastructures and with an almost infinitely scalable platform. Every employee of a company can use the same application from any office or branch using their device of choice as long as they can access the Internet.” 

What is a hybrid cloud?

A hybrid cloud is a computing environment that combines a public cloud and a private cloud by allowing data and applications to be shared between them. When computing and processing demand fluctuates, hybrid cloud computing gives businesses the ability to seamlessly scale their on-premises infrastructure up to the public cloud to handle any overflow—without giving third-party datacenters access to the entirety of their data. Organisations gain the flexibility and computing power of the public cloud for basic and non-sensitive computing tasks, while keeping business-critical applications and data on-premises, safely behind a company firewall.

Using a hybrid cloud not only allows companies to scale computing resources, it also eliminates the need to make massive capital expenditures to handle short-term spikes in demand as well as when the business needs to free up local resources for more sensitive data or applications. Companies will pay only for resources they temporarily use instead of having to purchase, program, and maintain additional resources and equipment that could remain idle over long periods of time. Hybrid cloud computing is a “best of all possible worlds” platform, delivering all the benefits of cloud computing—flexibility, scalability, and cost efficiencies—with the lowest possible risk of data exposure.

VMware Cross-Cloud Architecture

It’s time to go Virtual Conferencing

Virtually Packed Conference Hall

Every year, most IT professionals plan and gear up for a pack year of IT conferences. There is a lot of really great conferences held globally. So there is a need to plan travel to these events is key. This year, everything has changed, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All, if not most conferences has been cancelled from being hosted physically. This had to change the way vendors would host their annual conferences. Virtual Conferencing is the way forward.

There is a lot of pros and cons related to this. By going virtual there is larger audience that can be targeted, which will also allow individuals that don’t have budget for travel. The interaction with experts and networking and connecting with like minded individuals from around the world is limited to digital, which I will really miss and these conferences are places where I get to meet friends from abroad that I have met attending conferences since 2011.

This year, we have seen that most of these events have no charge associated to attending them, which is great, but I do understand that this also creates a huge financial impact for vendors, conference facilities etc. I’m grateful that many that will be able to attend will understand the value that these conferences bring to self development and helping your organisations grow and  be more relevant, sharing your experiences.

I had to request vouchers for my flights from the airlines as I had made my bookings in advance so that I could get my flights and accommodation at a better rate, Some of my friends globally have been unlucky, as they could not get a refund or vouchers. 

My upcoming trips that I was really looking forward to attend was VMware Empower, Dell Technologies World, Veeam ON & VMworld. This year I will be attending these conference from the comfort of my home.

Below are some of the vendors that have gone virtual and have no fees for registration.

  • VMware Empower 2020
  • VMworld 2020
  • Veeam ON 2020 
  • Carbon Black Connect 2020
  • vForum 2020
  • Dell Technologies World 2020
  • HPE Discover 2020

There are many more virtual conferences out there, so such online to discover more. This is a first for many vendors to convert their annual conferences to virtual.

Just get onto google and search for the events and register. And if you can’t attend there is always the on-demand content from these events to catch up!

Hope you meet you virtually at the upcoming events! 

COVID-19 “A World Pandemic”

Businesses had to change their strategy

It seems that we are in a movie and we can’t seem to get out of it. Reality check, we are not, this is real and this is happening globally. In South Africa we got our first case in March and our government acted quickly to enforce a national lockdown. With all of the hysteria of individuals wondering what’s going happen and how do we ensure we survive the lockdown, people have forgotten to plan for working remotely.

What has fast-tracked “Digital Transformation”? COVID-19

Great meme doing the rounds

Many companies have prepared for disasters and having world class disaster recovery sites…but many have not have planned having everyone from their organisation working from home. This pandemic, has most organisations thinking out of the box and on their feet to come up solutions to keep the business operational.

Many software vendors have come to the party and have provide business with extended trail periods so that business can stay operational so that the worlds economy won’t coming crashing. This show of good faith will also create a great presence in the organisation and for them to adopt that technology. 

Solutions like Zoom, Microsoft Teams & VMware Horizon have offered great service to the world. We have seen many organisations trying to find a way to still be in communication with their staff and still needing the collaboration between teams in the organisation. 

We have seen the remote working in South Africa being really successful and staff being more productive. We needed a push in order for the change, but honestly I did not wish that COVID-19 was the push.

Cloud adoption is growing extremely fast, organisation are having more of an interest in O365, Azure & AWS. In South Africa, we know have the presence of Hyper-Scalers such as AWS & Azure that are on our shores and we are seeing a good up take of moving to the Hyper-Scalers some workloads and data will reside within the South African borders.

On my next post, I will focus on VMware on Hyper-Scalers in South Africa

Together we can overcome this crisis

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