Some news for 2018 and a new job

Some news for 2018 and a new job

A few of you may already know some of the below but I wanted to put a few notes up about the start of the year and some of my achievements after my goal post mainly so I can look back on this

First things first I have moved to a new role and one week down I am already loving it. It was an incredibly hard decision to make and I have even gone for a sector I haven’t had that much experience in but tech is tech and the way the cloud is accelerating things I thought there was no harm.

I have left what others would describe as a very comfortable (yet busy) life at Commercial and started to work for one of the UKs biggest green energy suppliers Ecotricity. Commercial were a great company but Ecotricity have some amazing projects lined up some of which I have some experience in and some where I really feel I can push myself onto the next level. I am also hoping that this can elevate and expose me to more architecture decisions so that I can learn from them and of course gain experience so I can take that movement from engineer to architect.

I have also recently had my first NTC (Nutanix Technology Champion) call after being selected as a candidate late 2017. After the role change I have found some more time for the lab again and I now have my first 3 node Nutanix cluster running alongside the rest of my stuff. I will be writing an NTC post very shortly.

I have already eluded to it before but I also want to see what else I can get done with the VR stuff and see what else I can integrate with it. I really want to get better with APIs as have recently seen a few Meraki ones based on the below video and something like turning off the kids WiFi would be great



I am also super excited that VMware on AWS is coming to Europe soon so hoping I can get on a workshop on it this year and this along with AWS and Azure of course. I then want to see if I can tie all these and Nutanix together somehow and lets not forget about Oracle & Ravello.

I know myself and the team and also hoping to make a some more podcasts for OpenTechCast and I know I have a few things to do for the lab including a Xeon upgrade once I can find a suitable motherboard. If you have any ideas for the podcast do reach out!





Using Nexmo SMS to let you or your users know its all gone wrong!

Using Nexmo SMS to let you or your users know its all gone wrong!

So recently I have made one of my scripts a bit more user friendly with PowerShell that uses Nexmo as an SMS Gateway. I am hoping to keep working on this and hope it helps the community out too. I have written this in such a way that you can pass outputs from other scripts or monitoring software! My primary reason was to let users or manager know an application was down or we had maintenance

I still hope to do a few more bits for this over time

  1. Ability to pull in a CSV or file to text users if AD is offline
  2. Better granular monitoring/output if you send from multiple aliases eg infrastructure, storage team, etc
  3. Write a module for vCheck for better integration
  4. Suppress the outputs on screen and maybe have a switch for this
  5. Write another health script for my new Nutanix cluster and output errors via this
  6. Maybe try two way interaction to allow response from listed number to run a restart of a service

Either way the script is held here over at GitHub so keep and eye on here for any updates

I have tried to do my best to allow for numbers to be held in multiple ways in AD such as +44 or with a leading 0 or not and the scripts responds accordingly

Below is a video of this in action too!


VMware VRDCEX – London VMUG

So we started the new year with a bang and I have a whole post about the 1st LonVMUG anyway but I thought I would get this up and online. I did my 1st ever ’45 minute’ session and I am sure I now have the bug… I am already thinking what can I do next if the committee will let me back

It was a great session and it was nice with it being interactive as I have already fed some of the ideas back but here were a few of the top ones. The main thing to stress is this was done on a HP mixed reality headset so these are far more affordable than the Oculus and the Vive so anyone can give it a go. Also due to the app it does run on quite a few machines.

  • Try and make it AR compatible, maybe so you can see the hosts in front of you
  • Read a QR code from a device to get an exploded view
  • View stats or performance metrics within the experience
  • One great one from the community was to use this for training and the ability to dive into devices and make it interactive or even allow for remote training.

This tweet did also amuse me but I don’t think Pat has anything to worry about

I may re-upload this but here is the video of me looking silly anyway!


Starting 2018 with some goals

Starting 2018 with some goals

So if you haven’t already read it go get the amazing book by Melissa called IT Architect Journey. Initially I had set some soft goals whilst at VMworld last year whilst speaking with her but now I think is the best time to do this as I know I am going to be going through some great changes in the coming weeks of which I hope I can share soon! This year is the full evolution from engineer to architect for me or at least I hope so!

So yes firstly go get this book if you haven’t already as its also on sale

Then a copy of the below chart

So from the above I am going to have 3 key points I want to work on but break these down into three further sub components so I can measure my progress

  1. Achieve a recognised qualification
  2. Get better with people and presenting
  3. Work on my documentation

So how can I then have a subset of these to develop some skills and below is my ideas for achieving recognised qualification

  1. Cloud Exam – Pass an Amazon AWS exam or Azure equivalent
  2. Infrastructure –  Go for my NPP or VMware exams
  3. Start NPX or VCDX – I want to write a whole post about this as I think the NPX is a great path way to VCDX especially for us in the UK

So my next set of goals is getting better with people and presenting

  1. Attend and present at a local user group
  2. Attend a major conference and see if I can present or even a vBrownBag
  3. Collect a full RFP and understand the requirements from my business/client

Finally I want to work on my documentation

  1. Keep blogging and update the OpenHomeLab along with key posts on community forums
  2. Work on a good template I can share with my colleagues and even the community for system/infrastructure designs
  3. Maybe enter Virtual Design Master for a 3rd year or guest judge so I can work on the concepts of the above

And when do I want to have all this done by…. 2019! Why not be ambitious as I have done some of this before. Anyway I can always pull these out further and as part of my architect journey I may well want to look at another goal such as networking or project management and of course best of luck to anyone with their goals.

A 3 for 1 offer to start the new year

A 3 for 1 offer to start the new year

So during the downtime over the holiday period I managed to get a few episodes of the podcast done! Here they all are below to help you get back to the work

EP08:- UKVMUG 2017 EP1

EP09:- UKVMUG 2017 EP2

And finally the below

EP09:- UKVMUG 2017 EP2

The only thing that makes me sad about this one is 3 of the recording still need work due to corruption as I would have loved to get the one from Angelo and Daemon Behr out! I really do need to find somewhere in the UK to get his book as I never got an Ebook from VMworld 🙁