VMworld Europe 2014 – Day Zero Roundup (Partner Day)

24 hours later I’m sitting in my hotel room, nursing my swollen feet, with a belly full of tapas, reflecting on the ups and downs of my first full day of VMworld, and I can indeed confirm it was in fact brilliant!

The Downs:

  • The lacklustre breakfast at my hotel
  • Mistakenly thinking that “Fira Barcelona” was at the Plaça Espanya, just a brisk 20 minute walk from my hotel, then arriving there looking like the sweaty wreck of the Hesperus and wondering why I couldn’t see any VMworld signs…
    Fira Barcelona

    Fira Barcelona (*cough* easily mistaken…)

    It didn’t take long before I clicked that the actual event was actually at the “Fira Barcelona Gran Via” (North Entrance – Hall 8), which is actually over 3km away! For any other soul who makes the same error, simply jump on the FGC Subway service directly beneath the plaza, and go three stops to the Europa | Fira station. From there you can catch a 5 minute shuttle bus to the conference centre. (I would point out that I’m normally pretty well prepared, but I guess not today!)

  • The vast distances between the breakout sessions and the hang space, which may as well be measured in leagues!
  • Lunch time queues…
  • Distances between evening event venues in BCN!

The Ups:

  • Attending my first VMworld breakout session (TEX2254) on NSX Extensibility; very interesting indeed, though from experience, some of the partners need to consider reducing their virtual edition license costs methinks… (no names referenced to protect the innocent!)
  • Catching up with a number of the #LonVMUG crew at the bloggers hang space and partner lunch
  • Bumping into one or two old colleagues, almost inevitable in our seemingly incestuously small industry!
  • The Expert-Led VSAN Hands on Lab session – there are sessions on all manner of different VMware products throughout the week. I definitely recommend this as you can ask as many questions of the experts as you like. It was more about the interaction than the lab content to be honest (and that was great). Note however, there is only room for about 20-30 people in the lab room so I suggest you get there early for a session if you do want to do one!

    Expert-Led Hands on Labs

    Expert-Led Hands on Labs

  • Brief tweetups around the #vBrownbag area including Alastair Cooke, Josh Atwell, GS Khalsa, (Man)fred Hofer, etc. Always great to put a face to a twitter avatar after so many years. I will definitely be trying to take in some of the sessions there this week. They will primarily be on Tuesday and Wednesday only as I understand it?
  • The unusual rotating balls entertainer at the partner evening event, both mesmerising and creepy at the same time!
  • Eating copious amounts of tasty tapas for dinner whilst setting the tech world to rights, and wondering if I should have stopped before that last bowlful of potatoes!

    Tapas!

    Tapas!

  • Using a HailO cab on the way home. The app makes it incredibly simple as you just hail a cab via the app. They arrive at your GPS coordinates within an estimated time (you can actually see where the cab is on the map), you pay with your credit card via the app, (optionally) automatically including a tip, and it conveniently emails you a receipt so you can claim back your expenses at a later date. Perfect! The icing on the cake was the price of taxis in BCN, which seems to be far more reasonable than those at home in the UK!

First impressions

If today was anything to go by, the rest of this week is going to be awesome!

Finally, it may be obvious but I wont be posting any of my session notes from today as it was partner day, so unfortunately NDAs etc… hopefully tomorrow though!

VMworld at Fira Barcelona Gran Via

VMworld at Fira Barcelona Gran Via (of course!)

VMworld Europe 2014 – The build up…

So I’m sitting in with a cup of strong coffee waiting for my delayed flight to BCN to attend VMworld and I thought I would jot down some quick thoughts.

Having worked with VMware products for fast approaching 10 years, it may sound strange to say, but this is my first VMworld! Historically I worked for a significant period of my career at a VMware competitor, and let’s just say it was a bit tricky to get sign off to attend any paid competitor events… Fortunately my current employer is a VMware Partner who sees the value in VMworld attendance and is sending a number of people, including myself!

I have read through a bunch of posts from people who have been to VMworld in the past and there is some great advice, but I suspect even so I will probably make the cardinal offence of trying to bite off more than I can chew. I have planned to attend quite a number of live breakout sessions, in part because I simply don’t always have the luxury of the time to watch the videos at home. I plan to spend time at the HoLs whenever possible, especially to play with NSX, and I will definitely be hitting the solution hall (in part to get a hands on look at the new EVO kit). Finally I will be trying my best to take as many notes as I can at each session (I may even take a stab at a bit of live blogging), and anything worth publishing / sharing will go up on here, so sign up to the RSS Feed if would like to see any of that. The posts may not be my normally perfectly crafted works of art (cough), so please forgive any mistakes!

In between all of that, the plan is to take advantage of the biggest resource at the event, like minded individuals! 🙂

In terms of the sessions I am signed up for there is a distinct leaning towards technologies around networking and storage, and automation; all of the areas where I think there are the most exciting things happening. A couple of sessions I will also definitely be attending are Ask the Expert vBloggers and Chad / Vaughn’s annual roadshow.

Finally I just want to wish good luck to all the #LonVMUG guys who are presenting sessions or tech talks at the vBrownbag area.

If you are attending and you see me, feel free to say hi. I’m 6’7” tall, so you can’t miss me!

Docker Part 2 – HOWTO Remove / Delete Docker Containers

Docker Logo

So you have been messing with docker for a few minutes or hours, and now you have a bunch of either running or stopped containers you no longer need. How do you get rid of them?

Removing Single Containers

To remove a single docker container, you simply start by listing all of the docker containers (started or stopped) to ensure you know which one to delete:

$ sudo docker ps –a


Then remove the chosen container:

$ sudo docker rm <container name>


If the container is currently running you can simply add –f to stop and remove the container in a single command:

$ docker rm -f <container name>


Unless it’s paused, then you will get an error something like the following:

Error response from daemon: Could not kill running container, cannot remove - Container e4f28eccb0cbcfbf4d78104bfe3e84039f62c5073f7301f8a39bb77a9598ae72 is paused. Unpause the container before stopping


This is easy to resolve. The “docker pause” command was added as of Docker 1.0, allowing for better resource utilisation if you have containers you don’t currently need to be wasting CPU cycles. As of Docker 1.1, running containers are also paused during commit activities, to ensure a consistent file system. Simply check the ID of the VM (with a ps command), unpause it, then remove:

sudo docker ps
sudo docker unpause <container id>
sudo docker rm -f <container id>

 

Removing Multiple Containers

Sometimes we have built up a number of containers and we just want to scrub the lot in one go. If you want to remove all containers (running or not), first you need to generate a list of all of the container IDs, then you pass that list to the docker rm command as follows:

sudo docker rm -f $(sudo docker ps -aq)


Alternatively if you wish to remove only the non-running containers:

sudo docker rm $(sudo docker ps -q)

 

That’ll do for now, but in the next post I will go into how to install your first app…

Docker Part 3 – HOWTO Create a Simple Python Web App in Docker

Docker Part 1 – Introduction and HOWTO Install Docker on Ubuntu 14.04 LTS

Docker Logo

So my background is in VMware virtualisation, but I hear the buzz these days is that I may as well forget everything I know, and that it’s all about containers! 🙂

Joking aside, containers definitely compliment virtualisation, giving you more portability, granular control, and the flexibility to spin up new application instances in milliseconds. For an excellent introduction to docker and containers I recommend you check out Greg Ferro’s post here.  I decided it was about time I had a bit of a play with Docker, and at the same time I thought I may as well document my process and some of the basics for any others in the same position. I will try to keep each post as short as possible, breaking things down into manageable chunks (whilst avoiding the dreaded TLDR!).

Most of my recent Linux experience is with Ubuntu, which works out quite well as apparently this is the preferred distro for a very large proportion of Docker users and images. CoreOS is a very interesting proposition too, but one step at a time…

All of the examples in this post and series are based on:

  • Ubuntu 14.04.1 LTS
  • Docker 1.2.0

I find it very interesting to note the rate at which the docker development team are providing new releases.

  • Docker 1.2.0     22 Aug 2014
  • Docker 1.1.0     03 Jul 2014
  • Docker 1.0       09 Jun 2014
  • Docker 0.9       10 Mar 2014
  • Docker 0.8       04 Feb 2014
  • Docker 0.7       26 Nov 2013
  • Docker 0.6       23 Aug 2013

Not only are they very often, but that appear to be accelerating, with a new point release every month for the last three! This is great as it means more features, bug fixes etc, but it also means that anything you develop and test today may already be out of date by the time you come to deploy it to production next month! Docker’s official line on long term support can be found here, but from the look of it you will never be allowed to fall more than 12 months behind. This suggests that the aggressive release schedule to date is likely a pattern that will continue for the foreseeable:
https://www.docker.com/enterprise/support/

Before you follow any of the steps below, I also highly recommend you check out the link below for your first taste of using the Docker CLI:
https://www.docker.com/tryit

If like me, you like to look up a decent book on a subject to help you get your head around it, I also suggest checking out one of the first publications on the subject (I’m reading it at the moment and will try to get a review done once finished):
The Docker Book: Containerization is the new virtualization

So as for the install, it really is incredibly simple. Personally I like to always create my Ubuntu Server VMs as “Minimal” installs. This is simply done by hitting F4 during base OS install. I’ll assume you can do the basic config of your Ubuntu VM by configuring a static IP address, hostname, DNS, installing VMware tools, completing the latest system updates, etc.

The install process is also detailed here:
https://docs.docker.com/installation/ubuntulinux/

To ensure you have your repositories fully up to date:

sudo apt-get update


One you have docker installed log into the console and run the following to install docker and its dependencies:

sudo apt-get install docker.io
sudo ln -sf /usr/bin/docker.io /usr/local/bin/docker
sudo sed -i '$acomplete -F _docker docker' /etc/bash_completion.d/docker.io


I would prefer using the latest version of docker, which means some extra commands:

sudo apt-get install apt-transport-https
sudo apt-key adv --keyserver hkp://keyserver.ubuntu.com:80 --recv-keys 36A1D7869245C8950F966E92D8576A8BA88D21E9
sudo sh -c "echo deb https://get.docker.io/ubuntu docker main\ > /etc/apt/sources.list.d/docker.list"
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install lxc-docker


As per my previous post you also need to do:

sudo apt-get install apparmor


Check your upgrade has worked by confirming the current version:

sudo docker version


Then you can test the install by creating your first container:

sudo docker run -i -t ubuntu /bin/bash


That’s it!

In the next post I will describe the ways to remove all of the containers you will inevitably create now that you can see the awesome power of Docker! 🙂

Docker Part 2 – HOWTO Remove / Delete Docker Containers

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