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I’m starting a new role in VDI land

So I have some big news if you’ve not already heard. I’m moving on from Veeam Software where I was the Director of Global Education Services to join Liquidware Labs as Northern EMEA Technical Director. I left Veeam with my head held high whilst staying friends with the Veeam guys. Veeam provided me with an opportunity to show off my talent in vendor land after spending many previous years in the channel. My contributions to Veeam in the 3+ years I was there included: 

  • Helped onboard a ton of Partners in Northern EMEA
  • Authored several whitepapers/techpapers
  • The formation of the Education Services team
  • The ProPartner Accreditation program to train partners on sales and technical education of which Veeam nearly have 12,000 people enrolled. This I was my proudest moment as my team and I received tons of great feedback about this project. Some comments included that it was remarkable that a vendor the size of Veeam could pull off such a program. Even one of our competitor admitted they’d failed at trying to get the same thing off the ground.
  • The new End-user training program which will go live after I left

As you can see moving wasn’t a decision made easily but my reason is simple. I enjoyed my time at the beginning when Veeam was in start-up phase and I was creating a buzz by getting partners hyped up about Veeam. An opportunity came my way to do that all over again with Liquidware Labs and to top of that Liquidware Labs are VDI focussed. You may not know this about me but before joining Veeam I saw myself as a bit of an expert in VDI. For me it was a logical progression. I’d worked with Citrix/Terminal Server/Server based computing for many years in a previous life. So when the concept of virtual desktops started to rear its head in 2006 it clicked with me straight away.  I even have notches on my belt like I was the first VCI outside of VMware to run a VMware View course (when it was still called VDM) in EMEA.  So my heart was always with VDI and I lost my way for a few years whilst I immersed myself with Veeam products but now I’m back. Back to Liquidware Labs; there are tons of start-up vendors I could have approached but I only paid attention to those that the community is hyped about. Liquidware Labs has a good vibe and great reputation. I feel the same buzz about them as I did with Veeam at the beginning.

As you can imagine my blog will change direction to showcase the value I can bring to VDI and Liquidware Labs solutions. If you are not familiar with Liquidware in brief terms we bring solutions that address the following key areas in VDI deployments:

  • Assess – finding out how your virtual desktop environments look like now and understand what can be virtualised and what cannot be virtualised
  • Design – recommend a design (Hardware and Software) from key metrics that are most important when designing a VDI solutions
  • Migrate – transparently migrate users from their physical desktops whilst ensuring the user experience isn’t degraded
  • Validate – enhance the user experience after migration by monitoring key metrics and understanding VDI bottlenecks and issues

As for me I believe that is the right time for me to jump back into VDI. 2007 I presented on tour on a VDI road show in the UK and back then people were just not sold on the idea of VDI. Technology wasn’t there yet, cost of infrastructure or lack of education whatever the excuse was, adoption was low. Since then every year I hear VMware say this is the year for VDI but actually I really believe this is the year for VDI. I based that on activity with partners. Plenty of friends and acquaintances from the partner community are telling they cannot get enough VDI nowadays…

That’s enough for now but watch this space. 

If you have any Liquidware Labs questions that you want my help on my new email address is

Running XenApp in a ESX VM

Back in 2006 I wrote whitepaper outlining my thoughts about running Citrix XenApp virtualised in a ESX VM. The information is probably still relevant so if you want to read it Click Here > Running XenAPP in vSphere (5599)

Recently I had a conversation with someone from VMware and we agreed that: there’s no need to remove vmmemctl, as installing it will not have any negative impact on the VMs by itself. Even if you do not plan to over-provision your ESX hosts in terms of memory, it is in your best interest to have the Balloon Driver as an insurance should memory pressure increase (i.e. because of a host failure and HA restarting VMs on the remaining hosts). If vmmemctl is not installed, ESX will have no other way than to reclaim memory by swapping out Virtual Machine memory, which will be a more severe performance impact. Here a somewhat recent post by Scott Drummonds on that topic:

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