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.

VDM Season 5 – Challenge 1

VDM Season 5 – Challenge 1

So it’s that time of the year again and Virtual Design Master is on again. I have decided to throw my hat in the ring again and take part. The first challenge was a very interesting one and had me stumped a little bit as it was so open. I tried to get in here what I can but a few personal demands found me struggling for the time which is a major shame.

I feel I should have asked way more questions and made fewer assumptions by getting these answered. Either way it’s inspired me to write another post about why I think you should do this before if not during your VCDX training or wanting to become an architect.

Either way I have enjoyed submitting this paper and just hope I can defend it to get through to week 2 as I know some bits may be missing. I wanted to get more automation/DevOps in there but I didnt have enough time to re look into Puppet, Ansible or Terraform.  It also does not help having a personal war with my own nerves knowing I got 2nd place last year so have already set myself a very high bar to achieve

Challenge 1 – Terraforming is just the beginning

Fancy giving it a go yourself here was our brief VDM-S5-Challenge-1

Wireless Meshing Fun with Meraki

Wireless Meshing Fun with Meraki

I have come across a recent project of which requires me to think completely outside of the box.

One of the challenges are getting internet between buildings of which can not easily be modified or even have holes drilled.

This is where the Meraki MR series comes in. It appears buried deep inside the code they are still true to their heart of why they were born & RoofNet. I was able to have one AP on my gateway and managed to connect another to it as a mesh partner and then use the network port to present to a switch and get an IP.  It also re broadcast the wireless signal for me in that area.

The speeds of course were not great but I am using a new AP with a 6 year old AP and I wasn’t expecting miracles but it proves a point. My next plan it to try this with a few of the newer APs to see what kind of speeds I can get out of them. Maybe see if I can even daisy chain them to be able to spread wireless even further.

It was all inspired from the below posts but I may even be able to segregate each building with its own firewall or layer 3 switch.


Life with the Moto G4 Plus….

Life with the Moto G4 Plus….

So as many of you know I am a massive fan of the fruity based products and you would very rarely catch me using anything else… Well I must say in my efforts of trying new MDM solutions  I have been testing out the Moto G4 Plus and I have to say I am very very impressed.

I think this is for several reasons one being its running a non bloat version of Android much like the Pixel. The second is has dual SIM so it means I don’t always have to carry round two phones. Yes I am one of these odd people who still have a personal and business phone number.

Last point is the build quality for its price. It feel very sturdy and its all the little things too like the additional sim trays in the phone so you can use a nano sim in the phone. It’s the little things included and one less thing to buy. The fingerprint scanner also works very well indeed.

From an MDM integration perspective this works very nicely with the fact I can have personal applications and work related ones all on the same phone. I also can feel content in the fact they are sandboxed off between one another.


VCSA 6.5 Installation Errors

VCSA 6.5 Installation Errors

If like a few of you I rushed off to install the latest VCSA, you may have come across some errors. I attempted multiple installs prior to consulting with Google and then came across this article by Olivier Gosselin.

With my limited French I was able to get enough out of this to spark an idea. The first thing I did was of course try was using an IP as the host name but it still failed. I can only assume this was still down to DNS and the NTP server.

Most of you would think this is not an issue but for me it was as I was starting from nothing. I also thought this was a good time to start my domain again too.

I fired up a new Windows 2016 DC on local disks attached to another server, then I got the bare basics up on including an A record for the VCSA. From here I tried the install again. I pointed the DNS and NTP to this server also using the default SSO settings and it worked!

This has made me want to try and install one more time later this week to see if this is a bug or not. The main thing that puzzles me is what does this mean for completely clean installs for a new site or even customer…. is there still an assumption here you have the DC, DNS and NTP all configured elsewhere. I know some sites I have gone to the DC is set up on the new environment and how can you do this if lets say you have a nice new 3 node VSAN… don’t you need the VCSA to create this in the first place?



ICYMI:- Open Tech Cast TFD Special

ICYMI:- Open Tech Cast TFD Special

In case you missed it Alex was lucky enough to attend Tech Field Day 12 and was able to get some interview whilst he was there. I highly suggest a listen as I loved the dongle debate and will be listening to this again. Remember to subscribe as there are more episodes to come!