Friday, November 29, 2013

What's New in Horizon Mirage 4.3

Having to release a newer version of Horizon Mirage from 4.2 to 4.3, there are some new features and with some limitations as well.

Here is the release note for Horizon Mirage 4.3.

You can see that in the What's New section, Horizon Mirage can now manage Persistent desktop from Horizon View.  This was not support for any virtual desktop previously as the dedup functions uses up all the CPU cycle and resulted a over demand on the ESX server.  In this release it is now only supporting full clone desktops.  You will see new upload policy setting as show below:

You can see that you can also disable client end throttling and choose that end point for this policy is optimize for LAN environment.

The next big feature is apply app layer during Windows 7 migration from Windows XP.  Previously only a base layer can be applied for migration and subsequently any new app layer/s need to be applied separately and this result some disruption to the user.  With this after migration, the app layer will also be applied when selected.

From Horizon Mirage 4.2, we were first introduced with the Web Management component just on the Web Help Manager role.  In 4.3 release, we now have a new Web Protection Manager role.  This role allows the administrator who is assigned to be able to monitor all CVD activities and finding any errors were present during synchronization.  You can refer to my previous post on the Web Help Manager.  Here I have provided how the Web Protection Manager screen would look like.

On clicking on the CVD Centralized you get to see events in the of all the CVD in this case I only have one.

Under polices, you get to see all the created policies. You can edit, delete, upgrade or even add new policy of your own.

For Volumes, you can actually block it from use.

Under Reports, it contains any report of issue here.

Clicking on it will show you the details of the report.

You can also search for a device and see all the event activities.

Limitations or not?
We know that there is a File Portal feature for the user in case their endpoint is not available and they would like to access their files.

Upon logging into the File Portal with the user credential, you will see only the standard folders in the user profile typically found e.g. Documents, Music, Pictures, etc.  You will not be able to see any other data from other drives or folder unless you have create a link in these fixed folders.

Here you will understand what I mean.  I have a E: drive which contain data but it cannot be found in the fixed folders in the File Portal.

The reason for this is simple.  If an endpoint is usable by more than one person, ACL is applied only to their respective user's folders however all users will be able to access the E: drive.  So only ACL folders can be found in the File Portal.

Hope this explains.  For those who is interested to try out Horizon Mirage you may download the trial here.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

VCDX Attempts and Fallen

For some of you, you might know I have attempted VCDX defences couple of times and none was a success and after my last attempt recently I have decided to stop doing it.  The reason was not I given up hope, perhaps I have lost more touch toward post sales consulting where I used to do it and feel different from to what I am doing as a Presales.  As all my attempts were submitted with vSphere 4 design which has retired since the last defense, I have no confident in doing a brand new frictional design based on vSphere 5.  Also I can feel the way I perform during defense versus how I face customer were completely difference.  I just cannot bring myself to be the same in a defense environment and felt the different when I did it with real customers perhaps the environment was just different.

The purpose of this article would to share all my 3 attempts and the experience I have gained and each time I always feel I could do better and, Yes I can really do better but it's already over if you know what I meant.  I have improved my design with many iterations each time comments were given what I was weak in.

This is purely my own personal experience and it will differ for different individual.

I submitted 4 times of defenses as early as 2011.  Back then I just moved from IBM to British Telcom and I just tried my luck with one of my design document for defense in Germany with a payment of USD300.  Well of course I was rejected with comments provided on my proposal content.  Indeed these comments were good.  I went through my document bit by bit and improved on it.

The first time I submitted and got through the technical document assessment was for the defense in Canada in 2012.  I was excited at least my document got accepted this time.  Meaning it has some quality else I won't be invited to the defense panel.  15 hours different from where I come from was not in advantage to me.  I arrived few days earlier to adapt to the hours different.  This was my first time in a defense and was not really sure what to expect.  Was grill deep into Networking and mind went blank.  First section after, I can physically feel my brain in my head.  I did a post of this.  Of course I didn't went through.  I was caught off guard on questions outside vSphere.

Second attempt was during VMworld 2012, same as usual after receiving the comments on why I didn't do well in my panel, I improved further on my presentation and as well as my document.  This time it was 13 hours different.  To be frank, the time was affecting me this time round.  I really couldn't perform as well.  And this time I was deeply questioned on Storage which was my weakest spot.  And attempt was also a failure.

I decided to attempt my last when it appears in Singapore this time round where the last time it was here was in 2009.  This time, I am already losing lots of touch with post sales and mind went blank and I also couldn't remember some of my content of my proposal.  This was all my own fault been bad at memorizing and having to do my daily update of the latest version of vSphere to my customers really messed up my brain.

The overall experience in every attempt got me to think deeper.  Honestly I learn more every time it helps in my work during my presales engagement technically but perhaps not as applicable as a post sale consultant.

The forums and the blueprint that are sent to all the candidates when you register for the defense are a must to read.  The videos from certification here is also very good reference.  It helps me to redo my presentation style.

Be very prepared!  Know your document inside out.  You must be able to iterate what you have submitted.  Ask if you do not understand any questions been asked.  Think clearly before answering.  I did twice the mistake in my 2 attempts giving a wrong answer after giving it to realize my mistake.  Rather take sometime to think in your head to answer correctly then to give a wrong one and be penalized.  Lastly, know everything you have put into the design not just vSphere.  You need to know well all aspects that you have place in be it servers, storage and network.  You can be tested by everything here.  Even to the deepest technical questions on why this settings and not the other.  You need to know the details.

You will get deep dive questions if there ain't any more questions the panel have on your design.  That was what I felt I encountered even though I attended the bootcamp hearing that there won't be deep dive questions but more on design.

I personally feel that having no deep dive questions would not be possible.  A cynical cycle might appear just like the army for all Singaporean have to go through as as a trainee.  Your instructor plays hard on you, when you become an instructor you might inherit that and play hard on your trainee.

How your panelist behave is subjective.  The facilitator is just to watch the rules.  He/she is not technical and will not be be aware if the panelist is been "nasty" to you.

In summary, I felt I didn't do well in any of my attempts and I lack the technical knowledge in many aspect like storage and networking.  Also my design could be graded as too simple but comments would never tell you that and I have still submitted the same for all attempts.

Nevertheless, I encourage those who are familiar with vSphere to give an attempt.  Especially post sales consultant who experience it day in day out.  Do not be discourage by it. Even if you have no intention to achieve the certification, an experience of this sort is hard to come by.  If you are doing other roles you might just need more preparation work definitely.

Wishing all future participants all the best.

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