So last week I attended the UKVMUG and I was fortunate enough to speak there (which is another blog post) but myself and Rob Bishop decided to auction off some of our ‘swag’ bags to raise some money for Charity. I also think this is great as I know some people can’t make it to VMworld as I know I alway wanted to go at the beginning of this awesome journey I am on! Either way here is some pictures of the bags below, we had some awesome prizes such as a keep warm coffee mug, SNES and signed books
After a quick run around at lunch and between all of our sessions we managed to raise an amazing £177 which far exceeded my expectations and a massive thank you everyone who donated and to Kev for donating this for us as VMware would double it
So its that time of the year again, its conference season! I can certainly say I do feel for all the vendors as I for one I am tired after this VMworld and I still have a few events ahead of me!
This year I also challenged myself and I spoke at VMworld a few times and I will put some links in the summary below
Firstly I have to thank the VMTN team and also vBrownBag for giving me to opportunity to speak and also come on a bloggers pass. This has certainly developed me as an individual and also within the community. Also all the guys who put up with me in the apartment for the days there, I will have a separate post on this but happy to say they made my time so much more enjoyable!
The only negative thing (again covered in another post) is the fact one of the guys was pick pocketed in front of us! It happened so fast there was nothing we could really do but it has made me think twice about packing strategies. This did also mean I never made it physically to the Hackathon but I was there in spirit as I thought it was best we all stuck together that evening
So what else happened on day 0 (partner day) as for once I am a customer so not much for me to do this day! Admittedly I also arrived later in the day and wasn’t at the Fira to nearly 5PM as I found a business class flight for less than economy and decided to get the bus due to a bargain £20 return fare. Even in my electric car because of parking I couldn’t travel that cheap. Because of the above we all decided to hop just down the road from where we were staying to the Rubrik party. I have to say it was really well organised and we could actually hold a conversation in there without being too cramped. I also at long last got to put a face to the name such as Patrick Redknapp! I also bumped into some other great people such as the image below, I am sure this is why any of the UKVMUG crews are not allowed all in one place!
I am fully aware this has caused some noise amongst the community, I know for myself anyway all I would love to achieve from this program is being able to spark/ignite the passion of someone out there and get them into the vCommunity.
The reason I say this is I know around a decade ago I would have been the very silent type sneaking into a conference or community event like a VMUG and barely would have interacted with anyone as I was stupidly shy. That is one thing the community has provided me is the ability to open up and actually not be afraid to speak to people. The whole concept of doing speeches I will cover in another post!
So firstly I certainly would not be here if it was for the continued support of my fellow co-hosts on the OpenTechCast and some of them were the spark of all this passion that got me here today.
There are also some other special mentions of which they know but the London VMUG crew new and previous, with a special mention to Jane Rimmer as her phase of ‘you won’t know if you don’t throw your hat in the ring’ is still with me today. I still refer to that if I doubt myself in any applications for things or even roles over the last few years as you will never know if you don’t try.
There are also others who might not know it but I also look up to and aspire even from our brief chats but to name a few Erik Bussink, Andy Nash, Rob Bishop, Mike England, Ryan Harris, Angelo Luciani, Eric Wright, vmiss33 and I have to mention Ariel Sanchez as it was his kind email that got me engaged when I first became a vExpert.
Also a few key others who I believe had some belief in me and their guidance is why I am pushing myself harder this year are Rebecca Fitzhugh, René van den Bedem, Chris Porter, Kyle Jenner
Again it’s so hard to name everyone and I am sure I have missed people and it is not supposed to be that way but in this the point I am trying to make is the community is a powerful thing. Every single little interaction with others and colleagues in the past help you grow and if I can assist, help or mentor someone I will. Sometimes it just that first conversation or belief that drives the passion.
I of course can not forget to thank the hard work from Corey, Elsa, Valdecir, Julia, Katie and Erik who have all helped me along the way.
The other thing that I think stops people is the have the expectation that you have to be an expert in everything especially VMware and every discipline. Please do not think this, I can assure you this is not the case and yes there are plenty of experts out there in some of the specialisms but that is what makes this group great. If you have no idea ask someone! I have also found sometimes being a generalist is better as this can work well and help build bridges. I am by no means a networking expert or a SQL expert but if I can sit these people down and explain to them how the hypervisor works along with the storage background I have (unless you are running VSAN of course) you have a chance to get everyone on the same page especially when you are having issues with your systems.
So finally take that first step by say Hi to someone new at your next event or even try doing a presentation to your peers. Also if you do want a chat if you are worried about your first talk do feel free to reach out as I know for myself along with others we would happily help guide you.
So this year at VMworld I was very fortunate to be part of the Rubrik #vAllStars 2018. I think this is a great thing and was great to see them win yet another best in show. A full list of people included can be found here. I certainly love some of the comical ones!
I have also been made aware these are coming the VMworld in Barcelona so I cannot wait to get a physical copy of my card and also get some of my peers to sign theirs to collect. I also hope to work out what each of the colours may mean if there is anything to that too!
It was great to see myself and quite a few new people to the deck but I wonder if like others I can get on it next year too!
If you want yours signed for any reason catch me at VMworld or even at a local VMUG or tech event.
So this week I have been playing with AirWatch (AKA WorkSpace One) and the latest version. I have been slowly working on fully automated MacOS build and I came across a bit of a snag with deploying some of the application or rather to my surprise, AirWatch could do apps that are not in the App Store.
One main application I have always had issues with is Adobe and getting this to package nicely has always been a pain down for various reasons. I did try and see if this would work with AirWatch natively and well it doesn’t but thankfully digging into some of their code it appears at the time of writing this they are using a Munki backend of which I am quite familiar with. In essence, it’s like SCCM for Windows.
The first point I need to make is I am offering this advice assuming you are correctly licensed for Creative Cloud and you take the relevant steps to ensure it only goes to the intended users despite them needing a registered email to activate the software.
If you want to learn more about AirWatch I am going to be doing a series of posts to complment this one or head over here for more information
TLDR:- Basically you need to create a managed package as the self-service isn’t signed and Apple Gatekeeper blocks this (a few hours wasted here). This then also caused the install to fail in a managed package but you also need to make this a managed install for it to work. Hopefully I can do a video guide soon
TLDR2:- I want to keep working on this and see if I can just get the Creative Cloud App so it reduces the install size
One of the first steps to do is generate the installer for Creative Cloud. You can do this by logging into https://adminconsole.adobe.com/ and selecting Packages at the top.
Once in here select create a package and select Managed package.
Select all the options you need within here such as locale
From here select Photoshop, I know this one works and to be fair most people using the cloud apps will need this. I did try Adobe Reader but again for some reason the install would fail
In this next screen it will confirm the application selected. Use a name that will be displayed on AirWatch, for example, I used Adobe Cloud to make it obvious to my users. It appears that you cannot change this in the main console which would be a nice feature to see in the future.
Once the package has built, download this if it doesn’t start automatically. You will now need the VMware AirWatch Admin Assistant which you can get here. Open this and then drag you Adobe Cloud Install PKG file that is in the build folder of your download from Adobe
The application will sit there for a little while whilst it process the PKG file depending on its size as you may want to push the whole suite. Once it completes it should ask you to reveal this in finder
You should now see a folder with your application name, go into this and it usually has the please edit me at the end
In here you will find a .plist file you need to open this up in an editor and change the unattended_install value to true , I am using Xcode that allows me to select yes. At this stage, you could rename the DMG file and plist to something nicer reflecting this in here but it’s always best to test this as is first
Now due to the size limitation of 200mb at the time of writing this you need to upload the DMG that is within the same folder to a web server you clients can see. I would suggest protecting this still by HTTPS if you can and ensure you have this URL for the next step. In your AirWatch console select Apps & Books from the left and then Native. Within the sub window select App Application
Within this window select upload
In this window select Link and paste the in the URL to your web server hosting this file, select save and continue on the previous window
On the next window we need to upload the plist file you modified so the App Store knows how to install your app, do this by hitting choose file and then locate the file. Once done you will be back at the add application screen and select continue
You should now see the following screen and if possible at this point I add an icon so it doesn’t get the standard AirWatch icon. Fill in your categories and also and other details the like description you want and hit save and assign.
In this screen this selects which users will get the application shown in the app store, Press add assignment and fill in the details you want. I have selected All Devices just for demonstration purposes but do this to a group licensed for Adobe
I have found a bug on this next screen especially on Safari but select the radio button and then save and publish otherwise the assignment may not be saved.
You should now see a list of users this may affect if they are already in the correct groups and press publish
From here head back to the users machine and see if the application now exists, select Install and then confirm the installation
The icon should then change and this next bit can take some time depending on your web server and network
Eventually, this should go green and state installed. If you head into the users application folder you should now see Photoshop and the Creative Cloud Launcher where they can sign in for more applications
So I am going to be honest as many of you know I use Apple devices most the time just down to their simplicity and integrations but recently I have had the chance to use the latest version of AirWatch and a newer based Android Device.
The enrolment process is not quite as slick as iOS where it forces the user to enrol with your companies deployment but it can be as simple as a few taps (7 plus a few more) and a scan of a QR code. You may find as an IT department you still enrol users devices anyway so this won’t bother you that users may try and skip this step. At a guess I am sure some vendors will catch up and have a portal similar to Apple DEP before long.
The actual term for this in the Android world is called “Work Managed” but you will need to ensure you have your Google for Work set up before you do this or you won’t be able to push any applications to the device. This can also negate the need for the Google Play store on the device and your users needing separate accounts or everyone sharing a department account. I will do a separate post on the Android at Work as this also offers some great features.
But back to the enrolment, its as simple as open the box, pop the SIM in the phone, power it on. From here tap ‘Welcome’ 7 times and this will then take you to a hidden screen. Join the WiFi to save data if you wish and then this will download a QR reader. You will need to generate your own code using this guide from here and I found leaving the username password as it was caused the agent to get confused then ask me for that users credentials so I didn’t have to create unique codes. I used this website to generate my QR code
I used my top level group ID as when the user authenticates this should override this if they are in other smart groups. You can easily find this by going to the top of your organisation and then hovering over the name for a moment and this box will appear
Once you have added a user if you have your profiles and apps set up they should start streaming down to the device. I do certainly like the fact Boxer can be setup to auto configure from the user who enrolled and all they then need to put in is their password to start getting their emails. This is also quite nice if you wish to offer a BYOD or let user have their personal account on their phone as the in built client can then provided segregation.
The hidden power of doing it this way is when the user leaves despite being a good or bad leaver if the device is reset you can get back into it as the device is managed by the organisation. I have seen many devices been handed back into IT that have personal Google account on of which we can then not reactivate the device easily without the leavers details.
If you want to learn more about AirWatch I am going to be doing a series of posts or head over here for more information