North East England VMware User Group VMUG

North East England VMUG – 26th September 2019

The next North East England VMUG will be taking place on Thursday 26th September at the Royal Station Hotel, Newcastle, and I’m excited to be presenting alongside so many fantastic individuals from throughout the vCommunity.

My session will be covering VMware NSX Data Centre for vSphere (NSX-V) and, more specifically, a real world look at micro-segmentation and the implementation of a zero-trust environment. NSX makes this fairly easy thanks to a number of built-in tools, and we’ll explore how we can use the NSX Application Rule Manager to visualise application dependencies in order to start fleshing-out our Distributed Firewall rules.

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20190320 VMUG Presentation Welcome Slide

South West UK VMUG – March 2019 – VMware NSX and Micro-Segmentation from the Field

That was a blast! On Wednesday 20th March I had the pleasure of speaking at the South West UK VMUG, held at the Bristol and Bath Science Park. My biggest thanks to VMUG Leaders Jeremy Bowman, Simon Eady, Barry Coombs, and Megan Warren for such a great opportunity, and to all who attended my session. This was my first time speaking at a VMUG, and despite the nerves, I really enjoyed it.

Focusing on VMware NSX Data Centre for vSphere and, more specifically, the micro-segmentation of applications with the aid of the NSX Application Rule Manager (based around my previous article). I opted not to perform a live demo during my very first speaking slot, but instead produced a live recording, for which I walked the group through how to utilise the NSX Application Rule Manager to identify application dependencies, endpoints, and service/ports/protocols when implementing a zero-trust environment.

Continue reading → South West UK VMUG – March 2019 – VMware NSX and Micro-Segmentation from the Field

South West UK VMUG – 20th March 2019

The first South West UK VMUG will be taking place on Wednesday 20th March 2019 at the Bristol and Bath Science Park, an event which also marks my first time presenting at a VMUG. No pressure, but I will be following a session by fellow vExpert, Chris Lewis (no relation).

My session will be covering VMware NSX Data Centre for vSphere (NSX-V) and, more specifically, the reality of managing a zero-trust environment for true micro-segmentation of services. NSX itself makes this fairly easy thanks to a number of tools (Application Rule Manager being just one), however, there are always a number of human variables which need to be acknowledged and identified along the way.

Continue reading → South West UK VMUG – 20th March 2019

VMworld 2018 Europe – Customer Panel on NSX Data Center (NET3042PE)

At this year’s VMworld Europe in Barcelona I was invited to take part in a Customer Panel session which saw me detailing my story with VMware NSX Data Centre. Myself and two other panellists covered three very different use cases and stories, and I loved hearing their challenges, why they chose to implement NSX Data Centre, and of course, their implementation road-map, hurdles and successes.

Despite a few nerves, I’m quite happy with my story, and it was a load of fun! A huge thanks to all who attended the session, as well as to those who stayed behind afterwards to discuss their own NSX challenges with me (next time I might need a whiteboard). It was great speaking to you all, and I hope you all took something away from the session.

That was a blast! Thanks for having me, VMworld!

To replay the session, simply visit  Customer Panel on NSX Data Center (NET3042PE). To view the full range of on-demand videos, simply visit https://videos.vmworld.com/global/2018.

VMworld 2018 NSX Data Centre Panel - Members

VMworld Europe 2018 - Gareth Lewis

VMworld 2018 NSX Data Centre Panel - Members

VMworld Europe 2018

VMworld 2018 Europe – Customer Panel on NSX Data Center (NET3042PE)

Not only will this year mark my first ever visit to VMworld Europe, I’ll also be taking part in a Customer Panel session.

If you are interested in hearing my VMware NSX Data Center journey, how we implemented and operationalised NSX; how NSX continues to increase security and application performance, while simplifying troubleshooting and improving network provisioning time, then join me on Thursday, 8th November at 12:00-13:00 to hear more.

To register for the session, simply visit the VMworld 2018 Europe Content Catalogue – Customer Panel on NSX Data Center (NET3042PE).

VMworld Europe 2018

SysAdmin Day 2018

SysAdmin Day 2018

Remember the days when you struggled to find something to do? Out of projects, with no outstanding project work, no issues to resolve, or nothing new to learn. No, I didn’t think so. Me either.

It’s been a busy 12 months. Nothing new for anyone in the ‘the’ industry. From the front-line IT Service Desk ninjas, to the as-back-of-house-they’re-in-the-car-park Storage Admins, the world of IT can often be a world of unsung heroes. So, each year, I make sure my guys are celebrated by taking part in the international System Administrator Appreciation Day.

We make sure we down tools and spend a little time together, celebrating our successes over a game of Super Mario Kart, or simply celebrate with a piece of cake (did I mention there’s cake?) Whilst we all put in a huge amount of effort, dedicating so much time to those out-of-hours projects at the cost of our families and loved ones, it’s important we appreciate each other. For where would we be without our team(s)?

So, welcome to our SysAdmin Day back on 27th July 2018 . A day of retro gaming, fun, catch-ups, celebrations, and did I mention cake?

SysAdmin Day 2018

SysAdmin Day 2018: VR Fruit (and Network) Ninja, David Collins
SysAdmin Day 2018: VR Fruit (and Network) Ninja, David Collins.
SysAdmin Day 2018: One of our teams at Cardiff
SysAdmin Day 2018: One of our teams at Cardiff.
SysAdmin Day 2018: And when our customers and users take part...it's the icing on the...uh...cake!
SysAdmin Day 2018: And when our customers and users take part…it’s the icing on the…uh…cake!
SysAdmin: aka, Tech Hero
SysAdmin: aka, Tech Hero
London VMUG - LonVMUG

London VMUG – 14th June 2018

Thursday 14th June saw the latest London VMUG take place at Tech UK, London, with the User Group marking it’s third outing for 2018 in just six months! Rarely does any event see such heavy hitters as Duncan Epping, Frank Denneman, and Niels Hagoort in one place, but today, we got to see all three in attendance. Add to that line-up further awesomeness in the form of  vCommunity member, Chris Porter, and this was one truly great London VMUG indeed! I’ve been to a number of VMUGs around the UK, however, this was to be my first time joining the London gang.

London VMUG - 14th June 2018 Agenda
London VMUG 14th June 2018 Agenda

Continue reading → London VMUG – 14th June 2018

Computer World Define Tomorrow Huddle

Last Friday I had the privilege of attending the exclusive, and first ever Define Tomorrow Huddle, hosted at the amazing Aerospace Bristol (home of the historic last flight Concorde) by the fantastic team at Computer World Group. The Huddle featured demos from three brilliant sponsors, including Rubrik, Bitdefender and Zerto, all of whom gave a true deep dive of fantastic technologies and solutions.

First up, Mark Shaw (SE Manager Western Europe) and Ed Morgan (SE Western Europe) gave a fantastic overview of Rubrik and their thoughts around the main IT trends for 2018 (that of multi-cloud mobility, how to improve security therein, compliance via policy driven automation, and cost management); a brilliant demo of both the current flagship backup/restore solution, as well as the very exciting and upcoming Polaris SaaS platform, the latter which will see the introduction of a true ‘Unified System of Record’, bringing together all business apps and data, from across multiple clouds, into one common platform. Truly exciting stuff, and something to keep tuned to for future announcements.

What sets Rubrik aside from the more traditional backup and restore products is their SLA-based platform; essentially, allowing administrators to ‘configure and forget’. Automation of said backups is highly adaptive via their REST API driven solution. A great looking solution and one certainly worth exploring.

Up second was Bitdefender‘s Liam Puelo. Now this is a great looking product. Not only do Bitdefender offer layered, next-gen endpoint security for laptops and workstations, mobile devices, physical servers, software defined instances, and virtual desktops (with upcoming support for hypervisor protection), but they also provide centralised BitLocker management and reporting, VMware NSX integration via NSX’s Guest Introspection, and third party patch management for 95 vendors. Truly awesome stuff!

Last (but by no means least) was Steve Blow, Senior Solution Engineer at Zerto, detailing protection, recovery, replication, DR automation and validation for mission-critical workloads. Of course, hardcore VMware fans will be well versed in Site Recovery Manager, however, as architects we need to be aware of all offerings and alternatives, and Zerto has turned some heads in the last few years. Again, their change from the ‘norm’ is quite refreshing, and their protection of VMs via Virtual Protection Groups (VPGs), as well as the compliancy testing (think GDPR, PCI, ISO, SOX, etc.), is quite refreshing.

Zerto

Zerto Scot Blow

Zerto Consistent Protection and Recovery

As always, an amazing event thanks to the guys at Computer World. These events really are exclusive and bring together technical professionals from throughout the UK. If you’re interested in attending a future event, get in touch with the CW team (as soon as you can!) via the Computer World Define Tomorrow Huddle page. Thanks again guys, and I’ll look forward to catching up with you soon!

VMUG USERCON

UK VMUG USERCON 2017

VMUG USERCON

It’s that time of year folks, with the United Kingdom VMUG UserCon 2017 taking place on Thursday 16th November at the National Conference Centre, Birmingham.

This year will see Vice President & Chief Technology Officer, EMEA at VMware, Joe Baguley presenting the opening keynote, followed by an astounding list of technology breakout sessions and speakers, as well as the much coveted VMware Hands On Labs. This truly is an event not to be missed!

Having designed and deployed VMware NSX in 2017, I’m personally looking forward to the NSX sessions, as well as those covering the recent integration of VMware Cloud and AWS, and I look forward to catching up with the old faces, as well as meeting any new ones.

For information on this year’s UK VMUG UserCon, and to follow the agenda as it’s released, simply visit www.vmug.com, or to register click here.