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Saturday, February 6, 2016

VMware vExpert 2016 Award Announcement!

Once again congratulation to all new and renewed vExpert 2016.  This year we have 1360 awarded with this accreditation.  This is an increased from the first half awarded in 2015 of 754 posted last year.  Almost twice of growth.

This year if you have applied and did not see your name been awarded, you can actually write in as stated to to seek another round of clarity.  Perhaps it could have missed out.  I have been asked by some, this goes down to what did you justify yourself to be awarded this accreditation?  Application does not equal to award if you have not show any evidences of contribution e.g. active reply to discussion group, etc.

For those who are new to this award, this grants you discount to events like VMworld as well as meetup during VMworld if you are going.  There are definitely some benefits.

Many vendors will sponsor NFR licenses for their product and services for one year that inclusive of VMware products while some provide other like Polo T-shirts.  You will also be given a certificate at the end of the year for this award.

So far one of the best service received was from Ravello Systems who grants all vExpert 1000 CPU hours.  This helps many to build their own lab and experience the use of Cloud workload on Google/Amazon.

Once again congratulation to all new and existing once again and carry on your good work!  Keep it going and keep it up!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

VMware VCAP6 Design Beta Exams Available

Wasn't aware till my colleague mention about it here.  Design VCAP exams for the threes tracks namely: Data Center Virtualization, Cloud Management and Automation, Desktop and Mobility has been release.

You can register for the beta exams while seats last.  So if you are keen to do the VCAP6 for any tracks, head over to the page.  At the time of writing, only the Data Center Virtualization and Cloud Management Design is available at USD100.  The date for the exam starts on 15th Feb 2016 onwards.

You will of course need to meet the following requirements.  Using Data Center Virtualization VCAP6 as example, you will need:VCP6 or VCAP5 DCD/DCA.

Upon passing, you will be granted VCAP6-DCD and if you are holding existing VCAP5-DCA, you will be also given VCIX6-DCV if the new certification roadmap announced earlier still applies.

I will head over and register for it and update once again after I taken the exam.  Wish me luck!

Update 8th Feb 2016
Apparently the seats for all VCAP-DCD has been taken up and only left with VCAP-CMA.  Those who have gotten authorization but have yet to booked the exam date has since removed from their authorization from booking from what I know from one of my colleague.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Prometric Online Proctored Exam Experience

Recently I tried the online proctored exam to renewed my Microsoft certifications.  Yes they do have expiry (just like VMware) after 3 years.

Before I go on, why am I sharing this you may ask?  This exam is offered from Microsoft from Prometric.  I am seeing this possible to be row out perhaps in future for VMware as people are not able to make trips to exam center or there are none at their location.  Since VMware exam is also hosted at Prometric, this could be possible.

I made my exam appointment online and schedule it just less than one hour from my exam time.  Yes online exam, can be scheduled as long they are available and not limited to operations hours like test center.  I took my exam at Singapore time 1AM.

During the booking process, you will be task to test your machine to see if it can work and run the application which will eventually be installed on your laptop.  Sadly Microsoft do not support Mac and only Windows 7 and above with also a specific Internet Explorer version.  This test also make sure your webcam and mic on your laptop is working.  Web Cam and Microphone is required for the exam as they need to monitor sight and sound during the exam and record the whole exam duration.

Upon testing, you are sure that it works, go ahead and book the exam.  Once the exam time is reaching in about 5 minutes, you should login to Prometric to start the exam.  You can start the exam earlier as well.   Once log on, it will provide the link to launch the application.  You will first ask to use an ID which contains your Full Name and Photo and take a picture using the webcam.  You can retake as many times to make sure it is clear.  A mic test is also done and once you are good, you will proceed next.

You will be place on a queue for an agent and soon someone will respond to you via text message.  He/she will provide you instructions.

The agent will next ask you to speak a sentence to recognize the volume of your laptop is acceptable via message and also request for your phone number.

They will call you on your phone.  They will check the photo of your ID taken and also view your web cam to make sure lighting is ample for recording.  You will be ask to take a step back from your laptop and empty your pockets (if any) to show you have nothing on you.  Next they will ask you to take your laptop and direct the web cam to your table to make sure it is clear.  You can use your bed if you like to.  The table which you use for exam has to be clear of things.  You must also show the surrounding that you are alone and no one else is there.

Next you will be ask to open your task manager and close every application other than the software that is launched (they can see your desktop).  Once that is clear they will check you into the exam and clicking on it, will expand the application in fullscreen.  Your access to your desktop is now blocked.  Your webcam is kept running so as the mic.  You will end your call now and place the phone within reach but away from you (somewhere behind you).

From now on you are on your own to take the exam.

From the experience, you can use your bedroom and your bed as the exam table.  That's what I did.  I have my door lock so no one will enter the room.  Remember if anyone tries to sneak in there will be sound and web cam recording going on they can trace you from recording and fail your exam immediate.  The agent is not going to monitor you throughout since recording is done throughout the duration.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Microsoft Windows 2016 Licensing Calculation

Windows 2016 is announced and there are many great features included especially containers support.  One of the major improvement is reducing the number of management console as well which is greatly appreciated.

There is also some changes to the licenses. Remember the licensing cost in Windows 2012R2 Datacenter edition was increase comparing to Windows 2012?  Windows 2016 has also some changes not in price but in the way it license stated here.  Refer to Question 7 of the FAQ.

Below is the table to see the pricing since Windows 2012 to Windows 2016.

Windows 2012
Windows 2012 R2
Windows 2016

Taking Datacenter Edition, it seems that from Window 2012 to Windows 2012R2 was the only price increased and Microsoft has kept the cost the same for Windows 2016.  However there are some changes not known unless you read the pricing document.

Do note of the caveats.  For Windows 2016 Standard, it allows two OS Instances running on two CPUs.  For Windows 2016 Datacenter, it allows unlimited OS Instances running on two CPUs.

Source: extracted from FAQ doc above.

As from the FAQ document, it has explained. Referring to the diagram above you might get a little confused like I do the first time.

First, look at the left it tells you how many physical CPU your server has.  If it has 2, then refer to the top row on number of physical cores per CPU.  If it has 10 cores per CPU and you have 2 CPU, you will need more than one Windows 2016 Datacenter edition license.  That is also why it is highlighted in grey.  Doesn't sound right does it?  Yes if you are still using Windows 2012R2, it does not matter how many cores you have as long its 2 CPUs, you are covered with just one license of Datacenter edition.

The new licensing in Windows 2016 has included a core factor which lightly cost more especially in today's context of server CPU which comes with at least 10 cores and above.  Logically no one is going to just use one CPU server so price is going to be different as you will definitely use more than 1 license which also means higher cost.  Unless you try to save licenses by having one CPU servers then your cost of server will increased.

From Question 7 from the FAQ, you will minimum need a 8 cores license for each physical CPU (comprises of 4 x two cores pack).  With each two cores pack can only be used to top up with a CPU has more than 8 cores.  Each server must be licensed with at least 16 cores  (comprises of 2 x eight cores pack).

What this means to me, one physical server including those with one CPU will minimum need to be licensed with a 16 cores license (One Windows 2016 Datacenter edition license).  Additional cores that is in the server need to be licensed in increments of 2 cores pack (1/8 of a 16 cores license = $769).  If an additional CPU has less than 8 cores, it will be licensed with 8 cores license pack (minimum = rip off).

To start how do you proceed?  You will ask yourself the below:
1) How many CPU does one server has?
  • 1 CPU =  one Windows 2016 Datacenter edition license
  • 2 CPUs, less or equal to 8 cores per CPU = one Windows 2016 Datacenter edition license
  • 2 CPUs, more than 8 cores per CPU = one Windows 2016 Datacenter edition license + increment of 1/8 (2 cores pack) of one Windows 2016 Datacenter edition license

Example of some scenarios with Windows 2016 in comparison to Windows 2012R2
1 CPU with 6 or 8 or 10 cores up to 16 cores the price of the licensing will be
1 x $6,155 = $6,155
On Windows 2012R2: $6,155 - SAME

2 CPUs with each 6 cores the price of the licensing will be
1 x $6,155 = $6,155
On Windows 2012R2: $6,155 - SAME

2 CPUs with each 10 cores the price of the licensing will be
1 x $6,155 + 2/8 * $6,155 = $7,693.75
On Windows 2012R2: $6,155 - 25% Increased

2 CPUs with each 16 cores the price of the licensing will be
2 x $6,155 = $12,210
On Windows 2012R2: $6,155 - 200% increased

The more cores you have per processor beyond 8 cores per CPU on a 2 CPUs server, the more expensive it will be comparing to Windows 2012R2.  Very frightening indeed.

If such licensing on cores, will companies adopt Windows 2016 or stay on Windows 2012R2.

Feel free to comment if I missed out or got anything wrong.

If such new licensing releasing for Microsoft wonder if VMware will change any more in licensing since the last one on vMemory was not successful.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

VMware Education Revive VCAP Certification In 6

With the release of vSphere 6, there were some changes to the certification as posted earlier.
VMware announced the retirement of VCAP for vSphere Design and Administration and replaced it with VCIX which requires equivalent of both VCAP category exam with half the exam time.

As announced recently, VMware Education has listen to feedbacks and instead of retiring VCAP certification all together it will still have it valid however VCIX will only been granted to individual with double VCAP for each track in Design and Administration except for VCIX-NV which will be the only direct VCIX certification with no option of VCAP.

With this announcement, individual can now still be recognize in passing one of the category in each track and granted VCAP or VCIX for earning a double VCAP in any track.

The upgrade path for existing VCAP does not change as announced earlier.  To achieve VCIX, existing VCAP with either category need just pass the other category in version 6.

Update 14th Dec 2015
Some asked if this is an auto upgrade for existing VCAP5?  Answer is no.  You still have to take the respective VCAP6 of you category to be upgrade to VCAP6.  Some examples on vSphere below:

VCAP5-DCD + VCAP6 Administration =  VCIX6-DCV
VCAP5-DCA + VCAP6 Administration =  VCAP6-DCA

The same applies unless otherwise stated, passing your VCAP automatically upgrade your VCP.

The next question I am wondering is the VCAP6 are the exam time also 2 hours instead of 4 this time round?  Will check that out.

Update 6th Jan 2016
On a quick check, the Design exam will remain at 2 hours while the administration will be at 3 hours. However this is still at beta stage and can change after it GA.

Friday, November 20, 2015

VMware Thinapp Support Windows 10

Today release of Thinapp 5.2 which will support Windows 10.  This comes as a good news especially where users are migrating from Windows 7 to Windows 10 with little on Windows 8 or 8.1.

This also resolved most but not all bugs.  But this is little problem.

You can download it here.

Friday, November 13, 2015

VMware Support on Guest Upgrade

Many like me are not aware of that VMware only support patches release of OS or minor update release of OS e.g. Windows 7 to Windows 7 Service Pack 1, RHEL 6 to RHEL 6.1 as refer to this KB.

So what does this means?  If you are doing an in place upgrade of OS from Windows 2003 to Windows 2008 which is considered a major update release, this will not be supported by VMware although OS vendor supports this.  To be specific, the whole VM is not supported right after you have did an in place upgrade.

As stated in the KB, it is recommended to install major update release in a new VM.  I see this a hassle as most users would just do an in place upgrade as long their software still works in the latter version.  In such a scenario, during an in place upgrade, any issue will need to be supported by the OS vendor and not VMware.  This is something I am totally caught unaware and not agreeable.

However for customers upgrading form Windows 2003, due to the large demand of such scenario (guess no one really love Windows 2008 and above), VMware has made an exception as stated in this KB.  Thanks to my colleague, Andy Chan for bring this out.

I still see quite a lot of Windows 2003 around even though Microsoft has ended its support.  With exception support from VMware on Windows 2003 major release upgrade to Windows 2008, it should be taken into consideration fast to do it.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

VMware vExpert 2016 Application is Now Open!

If you have been active in contributing in the VMware communities, time to get your presence felt and recognize.  Head on to the link and read what it takes to be one.  For existing vExpert, if you are still keeping up, get it renewed.

Once applied you will received a confirmation email like the one below:

Now sit back and relax and wait for the results.

Friday, October 16, 2015

VMware Horizon 6 Bundle Licensing Confusion

There are some confusion out there on VMware Horizon 6 Bundle.  You can take a look at the available products that are in Horizon Standard, Advanced and Enterprise Edition

Here we will use the Horizon Enterprise bundle as an example as the products which are available in the Advanced Edition will be what we will be going through.

All editions from the bundle except Horizon Standard (only CCU) comes in both Named Users (NU) and Concurrent Users (CCU) licensing.  However there are products in the bundle that has no way in doing a CCU licensing even if you have purchase the CCU licensing.  This is because the way it is used is an active connections or active user and not possible to be a concurrent connection method.

Let's take for example: Horizon View, this can be in NU or CCU.  Reason is simple you can have a fixed number of users who will always access the virtual desktops, that will help with a NU licensing.  However if users are working in shift and sharing the same desktop in e.g. a call center environment, then concurrent connection might be a better licensing and CCU will be more appropriate.  In NU, the user will be tie to the license and replacement can be done once a user leave the company or do not use anymore.  Where CCU licensing, user is not a licensing criteria but rather the active connection that is been connected.  So as a product Horizon View can work in a NU or CCU licensing although in Horizon Standard it does not comes in NU licensing.

Now what products in the bundle will remain NU even if you are on CCU licensing?  They are VMware Identify Manager (vIDM), User Environment Manager (UEM) and Horizon Mirage.  Strangely you might ask.  Let me take Horizon Mirage for explanation since the solution has been there for awhile.

Horizon Mirage is used to managed main physical desktop.  So a user can own many desktops however Horizon Mirage is tie to a user so as long it belongs to one user it will allowed to manage even with one user license.  However since it is managing by user, it will consider this fixed user all the time.  In such, this cannot be use with a CCU licensing.  Unless you always remove the managed device and manage the other user and doing it all over again.  This is a reason why products like Horizon Mirage will remain as NU licensing even in a Horizon Bundle in CCU licensing.

Hope this allows you to plan better in doing a solution for a true End User solution.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Doing a contest seeking Help

This is not related to my blog post but currently participating in a contest and if you can just help me like a post.

Am participating in this contest below.
1) Login to your facebook
2) Click on the comments in the post.
3) Like my comment which looks like the below:

Thank you for your support!