Book Review: Instant VMware vCloud Starter

Full disclosure: Packt Publishing gave me a free copy of the book in order to review it.

So before receiving this book, I hadn’t taken the time to get cozy with vCloud Director.  It was on my vcloud2 list of things to do.  Quite honestly, I knew I would be left with Google to find my way with vCD.  Fortunately, Packt offered up this gem just in time.  This is the first time I’d read one of Packt’s “Instant Starter” books.  I didn’t know exactly what to expect but I ended up pleasantly surprised.  The book reads a lot like installation notes, like those one would create at work, only better.  There are good screenshots throughout as well as explanations of each component.  It’s as if the author walks you up to a summit, points to interesting objects on the horizon, then encourages you to explore them on your own.  This is the first type of book I’ve read like this.  It gets you up and running but leaves many features untouched, but gives you explicit exercises to perform afterward.  So it’s almost like a teaser, in that it gives you a taste of vCloud, a slice, but leaves the rest of the pie for you to finish later.  I used it to get my vCloud environment running in Workstation in no time.  I’ll admit, though, that I was left with wanting more. I had to keep reminding myself of the intention of the author – it wasn’t to walk through every installation and certainly not every configuration piece. It was to bring the reader to a certain point, then let them discover the rest on their own. So in that light, this book meets its goal. I’m impressed with this book and am grateful to Packt for letting me review it. Check the book out here: Instant VMware vCloud Starter

Cheers, Mike



Add transparency in Visio 2010, finally

If your normal Right-click > Format > Fill… doesn’t work to add transparency to a Visio object in 2010, try settingimage the same percentage for both Fill and Line.  In my quick testing, it didn’t work with some objects.  I’ve been looking for this functionality for a bit and finally found a reference to the workaround here.



How to configure SPAN on a Nexus 55xx

I’ve recently needed to configure SPAN a couple times in the lab at work to troubleshoot somespan issues – or at least to see what I could see.  It wasn’t exactly glamorous work, but somebody had to do it.  Now, I had to look it up the first time because it had probably been a good year since I’d done it.  The document I used is here.  Well, the second time I needed to configure SPAN was shortly after the first.  I was annoyed that I had to look at the same document and skip over all the paragraphs to get to the commands, then sort out the FC ports and other commands I didn’t need.  So for my benefit, and perhaps yours, here’s my short and sweet version of how to configure SPAN on a Nexus 5k.

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Open Networking Summit 2013

I’d like to take this opportunity to share a message from ONS 2013 as its conference nears.

Software Defined Networking (SDN) is the buzzword on the mind of every player in the networking and telecom ecosystem; promises to revolutionize networking as we know it and will affect service provider networks, cloud networks and enterprise networks.

Open Networking Summit (ONS) 2013 is the premier conference for SDN and Open Flow and has established itself as the leading event to ‘plug-in’ to SDN.

ONS brings together the entire SDN ecosystem, comprised of thought leaders, business leaders, luminaries, creators, researchers, innovators and engineers, to offer the very highest caliber presentations, tutorials, exhibitions, and latest research to enable the SDN community to interact and share ideas.

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My OTV Take

After my recent DFW VMUG presentation where I spoke on the topic, a friend emailed me and asked what I thought about OTV.

“You mentioned that you were against OTV. Curious on your take on this, as we are using it across two datacenters using N7K, UCS, NetApp and VMware.”

I’d like to share my response to him here.

Please don’t get me wrong.  If one is forced to implement a Layer 2 Data Center Interconnect (DCI), OTV is probably the best solution.  Sometimes, L2 connectivity between data centers is a functional requirement – perhaps even a constraint.  In these cases, one should look at the benefits and risks of implementing an L2 DCI and then make an informed decision on whether they should continue with such a deployment.  Should they choose to deploy OTV, someone needs to accept the risks associated with OTV in its current implementation.

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