VMworld Europe has been more than a week ago and it is time for an EUC recap. Past week I saw already a lot of social media notifications on my timelines about VMworld. My employer ITQ made two Virtual Reports in Barcelona which can be viewed at: https://itq.nl/vmworld2017/

All the information I absorbed that week is now processed. I did a lot of new impressions. Like mentioned in my pre-VMworld blog, this was my first VMworld and a second time in Barcelona.

For different kind of reasons I could not visit all of the sessions I blogged about.

I was able visit five out of nine:

  1. An Insider’s View into Windows 10 Management with VMware AirWatch: A Technical Deep Dive
  2. Automating Horizon 7.x Deployments with VMware Cloud Foundation
  3. Be a Power Admin: VMware AirWatch Console Tips and Tricks
  4. Delivering Virtual Desktops and Apps via the Digital Workspace with Workspace ONE and VMware Horizon
  5. CTOs perspective on the Workspace 2020 and beyond: time to act now!

Other sessions I registered for and was able to visit were:

  1. Build and Amplify your EUC Pipeline with First Class Demand Generation Programs
  2. Troubleshooting Top 10 Issues in Horizon
  3. What’s New with the Latest Release in Workspace ONE
  4. The Top 10 Things to Know About vSAN
  5. EUC Showcase Keynote
  6. Goodbye VDI 1.0, Hello VDI 2.0: Planning, Building, Running, and Securing Virtual Desktops and Apps as Part of Your Customized Digital Workspace
  7. Best Practices in Migrating Windows 7 to Windows 10

From the above twelve sessions, my highlights were:

Automating Horizon 7 Deployments with VMware Cloud Foundation

When I look into the near future, this could probably be my working area. This sessions guided us through a wizard with all the steps which are necessary for creating a new VMware Horizon 7 environment based on VMware Cloud Foundation. Normally, creating a VMware Horizon 7 environment on-premises takes one to two weeks. But with VMware Cloud Foundation they say it takes only four hours. That sounds good to me, but for some reason the customers I worked with last years, are not (yet) open for a DaaS solution. I am curious when the turning point will be.

A quick sneak peak of the wizard can also be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a2oZssu8C6M


Be a Power Admin: VMware AirWatch Console Tips and Tricks

AirWatch is completely new for me. In February I took part in a AirWatch Bootcamp course, that is the only level of expertise I have. One of the components in my current project will be managing the new AirWatch environment.
In this session the speakers were guiding you through the first steps after the AirWatch installation.
Before you start creating things in the AirWatch Console, it is good when you have the Unified Endpoint Management (UEM) in scope and Organizational Structure in scope.
Based on those values you can start creating the OU Groups (advice is do not make them device specific) and creating the Smart Groups (which can be device based) within the AirWatch Console.
When the OU and Smart Groups are in place, you can start creating device based (smartphone, tablet etc.) and company based policies (branding).
In the newest AirWatch version a new item is added to the Console. This new item is “Monitoring”. Normally you only had the default main dashboard and some reports. Now you can create custom dashboard items, which will present you for example the patch level of your Windows 10 devices.
Other but not completely new things were the different types of enrollments for specific devices which passes the presentation. My expectations were more or less fulfilled, because I wanted to know the inside outs/pitfalls of the AirWatch Console.

No session recording available.


The Top 10 Things to Know About vSAN

It was Tuesday afternoon and I was talking to some people that were near me in the conference hall and asked them which sessions they had planned. Most of them were not going to the same session. I mentioned that I was going to the “The Top 10 Things to Know About vSAN” session. vSAN has a prejudice, that it is easy to setup. I heard people say, “it is only one click to enabling vSAN”.
I had my doubts if this statement about vSAN is correct. In my opinion, this session makes a point, that it is not that easy. Upfront you need to have a clear understanding what settings you need to set for a specific shared storage environment. A good design, but also technical understanding what vSAN is able to do is a must.
The things you need to know about vSAN in some words are “Object based Storage”, “How vSAN survives different kind of failures”, “vSAN Health Check”, “Troubleshooting a vSAN environment”, “what are valuable statistics of monitoring and logging” and “Understand, but also how to avoid congestion”.

The full session can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ga7df-k3s5Q


Delivering Virtual Desktops and Apps via the Digital Workspace with Workspace ONE and VMware Horizon

This was the latest session of VMworld 2017 for me. My ITQ colleague “Johan van Amersfoort” was one of the two speakers. The main subject of this session was the integration of TrueSSO via VMware Verify in the VMware products Workspace ONE and VMware Horizon. A lot of companies have challenges these days with identity management (user name + password, different kind of multi factor authenticators and also biometric recognition). With a guided demonstration, it was nice to see how all these kinds of identity components seamlessly work with each other.

What made this session really so cool? For sure this was the live demo. All of the other demos that were passing by this week were recorded upfront and you don’t know for sure if response times are correctly. With this session Johan pushed himself to deliver a good testing environment for the demo. Nice job Johan.

The complete session can be viewed here and I know this VMworld 2017 Las Vegas version, but in headlines the same slides: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gEvFqO79yP0


The diversity of subjects of above mentioned session highlights helped me out during the week. After VMworld, my colleagues advised me to visit (breakout) sessions on subjects you are not familiar with, then sessions in your own working area. During the week I had different kind of Workspace ONE breakout sessions planned, but most of them had almost the same context and also the same slides.

On Monday the Solution Exchange was not open yet and during the week I had a lot of sessions and meetings planned. Wednesday in the afternoon was my only possibility to visit it. My impression: a lot of marketing talks and the possibility to win “nice” swag.
The only highlight I had from it was the Runecast & Supermicro booth.
Runecast has nice health/best practices check for your Software Defined Datacenter and hoping for a NFR for it in my own lab environment at home.
A couple of months ago I bought a second hand Supermicro, but it was hard for me to find a PCIe Risercard for it. At the Supermicro booth I talked to a Dutch representative and he was so kind to look for me in their office. After sending him an e-mail, I got immediately response that they have one for me on stock and can pick it up at their office

Next time at VMworld, I will choose for more diversity in breakout sessions and maybe less pre-registrations, then I did this year.

I want to thank ITQ, because they gave me the opportunity to visit VMworld Barcelona this year. It was not only the conference, but also good company, tasteful tapas, an hour bike tour in Barcelona, a rooftop party, mare nostrum guide (supercomputer inside an old church) and a FC Barcelona Champions League match.

Hope to see you all next year.

Sidney Laan

Author Sidney Laan

My passion for IT started during my childhood. I am very happy I have been able to develop my hobby into my profession. As a system engineer, I have been involved with many different virtualized IT environments. With my gained knowledge as a system engineer, I create virtualized IT environments. The combination of my expertise, best practices and the business needs, have always characterised my way of working.

More posts by Sidney Laan
27 September 2017