My Annual Update


Saturday, October 26 2013 08:42 Written by VMGuru

It should be apparent to just about everyone that the amount of time I can dedicate to blogging is pretty much non-existent.  Properly scaling my family and focusing on my career really take a toll against the things I used to do for fun.  That being said, there is a new update for the general community of people that still may find interest in the things I'm doing (Although if your Social Media platform of choice you'll already know this).

I've officially accepted a position within Red Hat as a Principal Product Manager focusing on Red Hat Enterprise Virtualization and Red Hat Open Stack.  I truly feel that these technologies are ripe for market disruption, and I'll be adding my 12 years of virtualization experience to a pool of incredibly talented and intelligent individuals.  I just wrapped up my first week and am looking forward to the new experiences, and definitely hitting some travel destinations I haven't gotten to just yet!

I'm still waiting for my red fedora to show up (They actually ran out at the orientation session prior to mine), but as soon as it's shipped, it will be proudly displayed on the hat rack in my home office that I bought explicitly to show it off (and to annoy my wife who feels it's too geeky, even for me. But her opinion clearly doesn't matter here).


Announcing UmbraWorks


Wednesday, January 02 2013 16:27 Written by VMGuru

Bucket List

I made a significant decision about 1 month ago to very quietly leave my current role at Dell and try my hand at entrepreneurship. I’ve spent the last 30 days silently organizing my thoughts and putting plans in motion to build my own business. Today, I am proud to announce the fruits of my labor with the foundation of UmbraWorks.

I can honestly say that over the past 10 years I’ve had an amazing ride working in the virtualization, systems management, and general infrastructure market. I’ve accomplished more than I ever thought possible, met some amazing folks, and have had a hell of a time while doing it. After talking with close friends in the market, my family, and having a few too many conversations with myself, I determined that the time was right for me to get out there and deliver something fresh and unique to a rapidly changing market.

There is still a little bit of work to be done before we’re ready to make our intentions known to the public, but that doesn’t mean we are keeping our secret plot entirely to ourselves.  If you’re interested in providing feedback, providing access to test equipment, or even just want to stay updated on significant developments, please take a few moments to visit

If I've ever provided value to you in the past, whether through the original Advanced Technical Design Guide books with Ron Oglesby and Mike Laverick, through this blog, or through various roles I've held in my professional career, the only favor I ask in return is to hop over to, check it out, and if you want to learn more and stay informed of updates, please register.

Thank you to everyone who has already helped me get this far, and here's to a very exciting 2013!


...And the Winner is...


Wednesday, July 18 2012 11:19 Written by VMGuru

DellWell, it's been a fun couple of weeks spending time with the family, getting a million items knocked off my to-do list in the house, and home brewing some beer.  Unfortunately I need to drag myself back to the real world and focus on generating an income again.  As of July 26th, I will officially be taking on the role of Product Management Director, Converged Infrastructure Solutions at Dell.  This move is unrelated to the pending acquisition of Quest by Dell, and is independent from my previous position.  But I will be working addresses similar market concerns that are an extension to where I was previously focused.


Understanding the Consumer - Defining Personas


Monday, July 02 2012 12:44 Written by VMGuru

It's amazing how many times I look at a piece of software or some form of device and think to myself "These guys don't understand a thing about who they are trying to sell to".  One of the most fundamental aspects to any product strategy is to fundamentally understand your consumer.  As I defined in my previous post, this is one of the worst mistakes you can make.  I'm a firm believer that if you can relate to your consumer effectively and in a way that drives demand, it significantly lowers the need for expensive marketing campaigns, and word of mouth and community marketing can ultimately drive the initial success of a product.  I was fortunate enough to drive the vEcoShell Initiative for Quest Software (Now a part of PowerGUI at Dell I suppose).  I saw an opportunity with what the PowerGUI team was doing to help enhance the daily administration tasks of the virtualization administrator.  Within a matter of 12 months, I was able to generate over 40,000 downloads to over 23,000 unique customers with absolutely zero marketing simply because I knew the consumer better than anyone else in the market.


Understanding the Consumer - Common Mistakes


Wednesday, June 27 2012 11:25 Written by VMGuru

Now that I have some free time on my hands, I figure I may as well use some of my powers for good instead of evil.  My previous role at Quest Software had me very hands on in working with users, defining product requirements, and even getting into aspects of product design and implementation.  During that time I learned how to be more efficient in how products are created, but most importantly, I definitely picked up a few things that should be avoided at all costs.  Whether you are a product creator or a product consumer, here are a few things you want to look for when analyzing various products available to you.


Look Out Ladies... I'm Back on the Market


Tuesday, June 26 2012 10:55 Written by VMGuru

What can I say?  It's been one hell of a ride with the Quest Software family.  I'll use the standard cliche of "All good things must come to an end", and for me, that day has finally come.  As of June 15th, I have officially listed myself as a Free Agent.  It was not an easy decision, as Quest has been like a family to me, but after talking with my family, the decision was made to spend 100% of my time looking for new employment.  I want to thank all of the customers, partners, and the virtualization community as a whole for the support they've provided both Quest and myself over the last 6+ years.

My first week of unemployment was actually quite busy, as I'm already chasing down two fantastic opportunities that align extremely well to my strengths and personal goals.  This week, I'm volunteering some time to help out an old friend by injecting some ideas and input into a product that I think has a TON of potential, but is currently underserved in the virtualization market.  For those that are interested, check out PowerVI from DevFarm Software and tell me what you think!

Since I've got nothing else to do besides the basics like "Find a job" and "Spend time with the family", expect to actually see a little activity around here while I start to get my name back out in the public, vs. having all of my work be extremely private!

The good thing about being unemployed is that it does make the whiteboard task list a hell of a lot easier.

Find a New Job


VMworld Europe - Copenhagen Photowalk


Tuesday, October 11 2011 09:44 Written by VMGuru

OK, so I've calculated the results, and the response is overwhelming!  There is absolutely an interest in the second annual VMworld Europe photowalk, so I am absolutely organizing it!

What: 2nd Annual VMworld Europe Copenhagen Photowalk
When: Monday, October 17th - 12:30PM CEST
Where: Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark (See Starting Point Map)
Who: Anyone of any skill level.  iPhones to Pro Gear.  Anyone interested in sharing knowledge, seeing the city, and taking photos

If interested in attending, please send me an email to: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or mention me on twitter @VMGuru.

Key Sites

  • Nyhavn
  • Amalienborg Palace
  • Kastellet
  • The Little Mermaid Statue
  • Rosenborg Palace Garden
  • Marble Church

Starting Point - Nyhaven, Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen Start


The Route

Copenhagen Route

Route Map External Link


Capacity and the 4th Dimension


Friday, September 16 2011 14:30 Written by VMGuru

I was sketching out some diagrams today and started to think about how the time frame that we analyze and how it relates to Capacity Management.  The concept of "Working" or "Business" hours actually plays a vital role in how capacity is accounted for and accommodated in the datacenter.

I often relate introducing business hours into capacity management to being a decision point during a breakup.  There is a line that is drawn between "Lets remain friends" and "Never call me again".  With business hours, we need to determine how big of a window we want to consider for the data we care about.  This is going to be different for every organization out there.  For the purpose of simplicity, let's look at a window in which I only care about data between 6am and 6pm.


Capacity Hours


CBT Tracker PowerShell Script - Now With More Zombie


Friday, August 26 2011 15:18 Written by VMGuru

It appears that when I did my site re-design a while back, I left out a few key blog posts.  I was kindly reminded today, that my CBT Tracker post no longer exists, so I've decided to bring it back from the dead, as I was under the impression many people found high value in understanding data growth patterns of individual VMs in their environment.

I took it as a personal challenge this week to leverage PowerShell, PowerCLI and the vSphere API to track the amount of data that changes in a VM over a regular interval window. It turns out VMware does make it quite simple to query what blocks in a VMDK file have changed and what the length of data is as long as you know how to structure the API call.

Download this file ([Zip File containing the CBT Tracker script PS1 File]2 Kb

VMworld 2011 Photowalk Details


Monday, August 22 2011 15:14 Written by VMGuru

It's that time of the year again.  We have a ridiculously large number of VM geeks all converging on a single location for THE event of the year.  After what I would consider a success in Copenhagen, I'm bringing the VMworld Photowalk #vmwalk to the US.  I was actually quite surprised by the number of individuals on Twitter who had mentioned that they have not yet had a chance to "Photograph Vegas".  Well, I'm now providing a great excuse to do so.

When: Sunday August 28th, 11am - 3PM PST
Where: Meet at the fountain straight out the front entrance of the Venetian along Las Vegas Blvd.  (See image below)
Individuals with any skill level who just want to go out and walk around Vegas with a group of individuals and talk shop.  Mobile phone cameras or pro rigs, we don't care.

Photowalk Start
Click image for larger view

The Route: I had originally intended on a 2-Part Photowalk before realizing the temperature was going to be 105* F (41*C), which is hot, even if it's a "Dry Heat".  For that reason, I want to stick to the Strip.  This way water, beer, and even girly slushy drinks served in a yard are abundant.  This will also allow us to step inside a few casino's like the Bellagio, who has a great glass ceiling that is always fun to photograph.

View the route map here

The total route is 3 miles and should take just over 3 hours to complete.  At the end of the walk, I will be buying at least 1 round of cold beverages to those that stick it out to the end at a watering hole somewhere near the Venetian.  This should give any vExperts time to take a shower before heading to the vExpert event being organized by John Troyer.

In order to "Sign Up" for the event, shoot an email to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or send me a message or mention on Twitter (@VMGuru).  Once you have confirmed attendance, I'll provide more direct contact details so you can find me if you get a later than expected start to the day.

I look forward to seeing everyone in Vegas and having another successful Photowalk!


Is PVSCSI Ready for Mainstream Workloads?


Wednesday, July 13 2011 13:00 Written by Mattias Sundling

VMware Paravirtualized SCSI (PVSCSI) introduced in vSphere was a special purposed driver for high-performance storage adapters that offered greater throughput and lower CPU utilization for virtual machines. According to tests PVSCSI offers 12% improvement in throughput and 18% less CPU cost compared to LSI SCSI.

In the early releases it had lots of limitations:

  • FT not supported
  • PVSCSI on boot disk not supported
  • Hot Add not supported
  • Only suited for heavy disk IO demanding workloads due to how PVSCSI handles interrupt coalescing
  • Very limited OS support
  • Not for Direct Attached Storage

All of these limitations are gone now (vSphere 4.1) except the two last bullets.

Lots of benefits:

  • Simplicity, only having one template to maintain
  • Don´t have to worry about changing virtual hw/driver if VM is starting to require higher disk IO at a later state
  • Allows you to run more VMs -> higher VM density
  • Increased disk IO performance

I wouldn´t change to PVSCSI on existing VMs if there is not a demand for high disk IO. But I would like to see more adoption of PVSCSI going forward as most people are basing their decisions on old and inaccurate information.

Please leave some comments on your experiences on PVSCSI (good and bad).

For more info:



Denver VMUG - Introducing "The Wheel of Blame"


Tuesday, June 28 2011 12:16 Written by VMGuru

I'm blogging live from the Denver VMUG event, and I must say, the vibe here is one of the strongest I've felt at a regional event in quite a while.  There is an all-star cast of characters including (but not limited to) Eric Siebert, Scott Lowe, John Troyer, and Andi Mann.  I had the morning keynote slot to kick off the event after a great introduction by John Troyer.  I even managed to unveil my new Grillin' hat, which my wife absolutely despises, making it that much more compelling to wear.

Wheel of Blame


The Experts Conference Coming to Europe


Wednesday, June 08 2011 14:47 Written by Mattias Sundling

The Experts Conference (TEC) is a Quest and Microsoft sponsored conference that focus on the experienced admin with deep technical sessions presented by the experts in the industry. This is an excellent opportunity to learn more, network and have fun!

There are several tracks that you can attend:

  • Virtualization & Cloud
  • Exchange
  • Directory & Identity

To learn more about the Virtualization & Cloud track take a look at:

I am responsible for the virtualization track and we still have some open speaker and blogger opportunities.

If you are interested, please reach out to me: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Twiiter: @msundling

Auf Wiedersehen!

Update: Announcement, there will be a PowerShell Deep Dive track available as well.


Elementary Capacity Management - Adjustments and Tuning


Wednesday, June 01 2011 09:36 Written by VMGuru

Welcome to a slightly belated Part 3 of our elementary capacity management series.  You can catch up on Part 1 and Part 2 respectively.  For this post, I want to discuss the concept of Adjustments and Tuning in the environment.  Adjustments, most simply stated, are shifts that impact the amount of capacity available; either positively or negatively.  Tuning is a type of adjustment that is done to optimize how resources are being utilized in order to gain additional capacity.  It's important to understand that in any type of computing environment there is almost never a completely linear growth trend.  The environment and utilization trend is constantly changing.  If we look at how Adjustments and Tuning can impact the environment resulting in these shifting trends, we can start to understand a much broader set of questions such as the following:

  • If I add more capacity how many more objects can I add?
  • If I add more capacity how will that impact when I will run out?
  • If I lose capacity can I still run the remaining workload?
  • If I lose capacity how many fewer objects can I add?
  • If I lose capacity how will that impact when I will run out?
  • If I optimize my existing capacity how many more objects can i add?
  • If I optimize my existing capacity how will that impact when I will run out?

VMworld 2011 - Cast your votes


Monday, May 16 2011 14:45 Written by Mattias Sundling

It´s time for you to vote for sessions you would like to be presented at VMworld 2011.

Deadline is May 18th so don´t waste any time, go vote today (



VMGuru (Sundling) presenting at Philadelphia VMware User Group


Friday, May 06 2011 12:29 Written by Mattias Sundling

Next week (May 10th) is the Philadelphia VMUG taking place. It´s a full day event and it will be packed with a lot of good sessions and the solutions exchange where vendors show their latest and greatest stuff.

For more detailed information about the location and sessions, see:

I will be presenting 11.30 am on the topic "Top Virtual Performance Lessons Learned".


Download this file (VMUG_Philadelphia.pdf)VMUG_Philadelphia.pdf[ ]3941 Kb

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