Wow… thanks! I made vExpert

Wow… thanks! I made vExpert

On Friday I was sent some very exciting emails,texts & tweets from the fellow community to say I was honored to be on the following list

vExpert 2016 Second Half Announcement

There are many people I can thank for getting me here one being Matthew Bunce as he has told me on numerous occasions to apply and kind of wish I did it sooner. I also have to say thanks to a few people on the Open Homelab Slack channel such as Andy Nash , Alec Dunn , Kev Johnson , Chris Bradshaw & Chris Lewis of which congratulations is needed for some of these guys too for also making this list

For me this year has been amazing so far to have the community provide me with several awards. Due to this I am planning new and exciting way of provided back to the community and not just with Open Homelab

The only shame for me with this is I doubt I will be at VMworld as I would have to self fund this year and may miss out on the goodies, if any vendors see this and need me to pay postage to get the items please do reach out!

One vendor that has to get a mention is SMS Passcode as I emailed them and had the keys in just over 12 minutes which is just amazing!

Stay tuned for my #vExpert updates!


VMTurbo is evolving to turbonomic

VMTurbo is evolving to turbonomic

So last week I was fortunate enough to attend a blogger briefing with Eric Wright prior to VMworld 2016. I hadn’t heard too many of the rumor prior to the event and to be fair I am still on the come down from vDM that I had been working on with Eric already.

I have recently had a great demo of the solution prior to this announcement and I loved the way it could monitor my environment be this on premise or cloud. So when Eric released the name I was a little confused at first but actually I the more I think about it I think they have got it right… Their product doesn’t just monitor a VM its the whole application/life cycle with it providing an ability to make intelligent decisions on trends and stress that are unique to your environment.



If you break down the name it does all then make sense

turbo– They have retained the faithful green circle from the VMTurbo era which can aid with the brand loyalty. I have seen plenty of rebrands where there is a major switch and this can lead to confusion. Turbo  also relates to real-time performance of the product of which I believe is key to the organisation and they have not lost sight of this.
nomic– This I had to wait for Eric’s explanation and also Chris Bradshaw‘s great blog post. This appears to come from the Autonomic Control that their product offers providing an ability for the systems to manage themselves in realtime and being application aware of which many of the virtual platforms systems out there have no intelligence on this. They just see RAM, CPU or disk usage and don’t also look back at historic trends for comparisons.  The 2nd is economy you are getting out of your current system, have you over provisioned systems and wasting space and even money on cloud resources.

With all these controls it allows you to better manage your environment and maybe even prove the requirement for growth in areas that are not usually spotted.

I am yet to try the product in my own environment but I am hoping to as part of a new blog series I am working on.  From all of this and what I have been informed I can have a more intelligent environment of which I don’t have to balance the loads all over the place with it just becoming a thing of the past. Thus allowing me more time to get on with better and more interesting things within my environment. I believe it will also give me to opportunity to better forecast for when I will need new hardware within any of my environments.  I can also hopefully resize my lab environment as I am sure I have over provisioned VMs and this will let me know where I can pull back some of my resources.

If I can get all the stuff working that I saw in the demo all I can say is I will be a very happy sysadmin and I can only see this aiding more sysadmins out there. So I wish turbonomic the best of luck and hope their re-brand does what they want it to. I have also heard that they should be giving away some nice goodies over at the stand at VMworld if you are fortunate enough to make it there!




vDM Challenge:- Whats Next?

vDM Challenge:- Whats Next?

So now it is over, what is next? Well Season 5 anyone! I know once this becomes available I will be back for more if the judges will allow it 🙂

Although I came 2nd I was offered a great prize of the AWS exams and training from Timothy Patterson and I can’t wait to get started on this. Again a massive thanks to him for this. In the last challenge I have really started to find some great use cases for this rather than just letting Devs loose with it or when trying to fill a gap as I had a very poor understanding of it before

I will also continue to blog my ideas and now feel really invigorated for updates on Open Homelab

I also have a talk coming up for this OHL and maybe this on September 15th for South West VMUG so sign up over here

vDM Challenge 4:- Connecting Clouds (I made it to the final!)

vDM Challenge 4:- Connecting Clouds (I made it to the final!)

Lets open this post with the fact I never thought I would make it this far and I am very proud in myself for doing so. I was up against two great competitors and I think we all did amazing and on that note I suggest you give them a follow as I know they will be brewing up a storm in the industry Katarina Wagnerova and Paul Woodward Jr 

At this point I also want to thank all the sponsors, Judges and also tech partners who made this event and final challenge happen.

For me this challenge was great as I did manage to ‘get my hands dirty’ with the tech and try and show a few things off. Not everything went to plan but it also doesn’t in the real world and you usually have more time!

My key things to take away from this as said in the final webcast is always have a pen and paper and documents these in an appendix. Its just like your school exams, show your working as someone in the community or a peer may be able to help you. If you can also invest in a whiteboard to as for me it just helps blow some of these ideas up and gave me more room to move.

Secondly don’t be afraid to ask for help… this may be a competition but I found we all started emailing one another for help which I think is fine! The whole reason behind this is to build a community and this all starts with the fact we need to ask and help one another.

Alas I didn’t come first but I did come 2nd and I have learnt so much along the way. It has made me hungry for more!  You can see the final defence over here

I also feel I have made some new contacts or better yet friends of which I hope to see at events over the coming months (or maybe years) and share further ideas with

My design is here and yet not my finest hour vDM Season 4 – Challange 4 – Connecting Clouds – Gareth Edwards but I want to congratulate Katarina on coming 1st 🙂 It was well deserved after deploying NSX in such a small environment and time frame. She must now be the NSX queen!

A few other documents I made for my design are here

vDM Season 4 – Challange 4 – Connecting To VPN and Password Management

CHScripts -Password Omitted

I know I am going to be doing a few other blog posts from the scripts as I know I found some interesting bits about deploying the VSA and also images/OVAs with PowerCLI. I also want to get something up about Puppet and AWS

vDM Challenge 3:- Build, Automate, Code, Rebuild

vDM Challenge 3:- Build, Automate, Code, Rebuild

This challenge for me was one of my favourites as although I did get a bit of a slapped wrist from Rene of which was well required to put me in the right direction for the final. But I must say a thank you to him here as I also developed professional from this and went on in my career and in the competition because of it. The bit I liked most is it pushed my into containers at last, although this appeared me be me somewhat misinterpreting the brief as I could have done it more simply I know Eric was glad someone used them in the challenge. It gave me a good view on Docker and also how to automate it of which started a good set of coding basis for the final challenge.

It has also made me think you don’t always need to be using the biggest tools set out there as sometimes the open source ones can work just as good if you put the time and effort into them.

My other thoughts are listed in the paper vDM Season 4 – Challange 3- Build, Automate, Code, Rebuild – Gareth Edwards and the defence can be watched here