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.

VMware VRDCEX – On HP Mixed Reality (Windows VR)

VMware VRDCEX – On HP Mixed Reality (Windows VR)

So I am at it again… I was very very lucky to get a HP mixed reality headset for Christmas mainly down to the fact I like being purchase savvy and the laptop I purchased (sorry my amazing wife as a present) wasn’t only on offer but it still qualified for the headset for free! I thought again this was going to be a very drawn out process and well due to the work I did with the Oculus well it took me all of 20 minutes to get this up and going! The nice thing is its a little easy to set up if I want to demo this out anywhere!

There are only a few steps some hopefully oblivious you miss and others you need to do but go open my other guide in another tab here! (just for reference)

Step 1. Get all the required files for VRDCEX by cloning/downloading the GitHub Repo and getting the build from here  

Step 2. Extract both these files to a common location, I decided to put these under the below folder but its fine to chose your own

Step 3. Go setup your Windows Mixed Reality Headset as you usually would if you haven’t already done so

Step 4. Go grab the latest copy of Steam and Steam VR once Steam is setup. This essentially works as our translator/interpreter for our Mixed reality headset. so we don’t need any coding. Before we start to configure VRDCEX we need to launch Steam VR just to ensure it can see the Mixed reality headset. You will also need the following plugin from here via Steam. I found I had to reboot once or twice and ensure that playing around with the Mixed Reality portal being open or not

 

 

For any demo’s I usually try and use Standing Only as space is usually limited, you may also get the very cool Portal inspired intro to help you configure the headset… I am not sure if  you will see all this below or if it was because I also have the Oculus available on my machine.

If you have got this far hopefully you will now see the below. Try and put on the headset and just make sure that SteamVR does load before continuing

You can see Steam sees the Mixed Reality and Oculus with their respective components


Step 5. Lets get down to the main bit and install/configure VRDCEX. Firstly go back to Steam and select add game at the bottom of your games list. 

From here select browse and navigate to where you extracted your downloads earlier and select the executable. Hit add selected programs and you should now see this appear in your Steam library.

Step 6 (Optional). Go to your extracted files and find the assets folder and wire mock. Create a shortcut on your desktop for On-Prem_Endpoint.bat. You will also need the latest version of Java JRE. The nice thing about this is until you are ready it allows you to play with the app by emulating vCenter.

I used JRE 8U151 for my configuration 
Double click your shortcut but you will need to override Windows 10 protection as it was downloaded

Check that everything is running by going to https://localhost:8082 before proceeding

Step 7. It sounds odd but go and launch the exe but don’t really worry about your headset. You need to do this as it generates a configuration file under your app data folder that you need to amend. Close the VRDCEX app once its opened and then open the config file. In mine I have put the Wireframe emulator in step 5 but you can put in your own vCenter here at any point.

Step 8. Enjoy…. Go back to Steam and launch your App! Put on your headset and enjoy your virtual datacenter

I have done a little demo video of it running just to show you the subtlety of the way Steam pulls in the Windows controllers VS the Hive or Oculus its really quite clever

 

VMware VRDCEX Live & Tech UG Meetings

Of late I have been a little behind with blogging due to a few bush fires sidelining me during projects and the recent weather in the UK but I really wanted to get this post out along with a few others over the next few days.

I was lucky enough to be invited to not only one but two TechUG meetings and drove some discussions there. I tried to keep this as interactive as possible and after the first live demo success I re ran my home lab slides. If you wanted my slides from that day they are here don’t forget your books!

TechUGNov2017Slides

But the most interesting bit was I decided to live demo of VRDCEX and each time it went fairly well. This is an absolutely awesome project and can’t wait to see it grow. I certainly don’t match up to Alan or Pat’s delivery but I think I will get better with practise.

They are both in 4K so if anything I will use these as testers on things

The next big thing for me is now that I have this going on the Oculus I want to see if I can I get this going on my HP Mixed Reality Headset and then where can I further expand on this. Can I get APIs on here for switches and firewalls etc and then produce smoke coming out of them if they are broken! Again with mixed reality can I look at the server and then expand it out!!!

If you haven’t do so already go grab the files or my post here on how to make this work with the Oculus if you don’t have a HTC Vive

VMware VRDCEX on Oculus Rift

VMware VRDCEX on Oculus Rift

So if you haven’t already seen it Alan Renouf did an awesome live demo with Pat Gelsinger at VMWorld Barcelona. I was fortunate enough to see this on a session at the end of the US VMworld of which I just wish it was more publicised as it was a great session. Well either way if you want a recap here it is below. Its just a shame I wasn’t brave enough to ask Joe Baguley to demo this at UKVMUG this week

So why write this article, I have recently been fortunate enough to be the owner of an Oculus Rift but all the code and demos are written for the HTC Vive or so I thought. I have found a nice workaround without the need of any proprietary  coding to help the adoption of this awesome project. I am also hoping to add to the below with a video how to.

My only little preamble is this may be subject to change as some of this is using beta/alpha software and I achieved this using the following

VRDCEX 0.2a

Latest version of Steam and Steam VR

Oculus Rift with Beta Enabled

Java JRE 8U151

 

Step 1. Get all the required files for VRDCEX by cloning/downloading the GitHub Repo and getting the build from here  

Step 2. Extract both these files to a common location, I decided to put these under the below folder but its fine to chose your own

Step 3. Go get the latest copy of Oculus and enable the following features one you have done your setup. Select the cog at the top and go into settings. Select the Beta submenu and enable the public test channel. Finally go into general and enable unknown sources.


Step 4. Go grab the latest copy of Steam and Steam VR once Steam is setup. This essentially works as our translator/interpreter for our Oculus so we don’t need any coding. Before we start to configure VRDCEX we need to launch Steam VR just to ensure it can see the Oculus.

 

 

For any demo’s I usually try and use Standing Only as space is usually limited

If you have got this far hopefully you will now see the below. Try and put on the headset and just make sure that SteamVR does load before continuing

Step 5. Lets get down to the main bit and install/configure VRDCEX. Firstly go back to Steam and select add game at the bottom of your games list. 

From here select browse and navigate to where you extracted your downloads earlier and select the executable. Hit add selected programs and you should now see this appear in your Steam library.

Step 6 (Optional). Go to your extracted files and find the assets folder and wire mock. Create a shortcut on your desktop for On-Prem_Endpoint.bat. You will also need the latest version of Java JRE. The nice thing about this is until you are ready it allows you to play with the app by emulating vCenter.

I used JRE 8U151 for my configuration
Double click your shortcut but you will need to override Windows 10 protection as it was downloaded

Check that everything is running by going to https://localhost:8082 before proceeding

Step 7. It sounds odd but go and launch the exe but don’t really worry about your headset. You need to do this as it generates a configuration file under your app data folder that you need to amend. Close the VRDCEX app once its opened and then open the config file. In mine I have put the Wireframe emulator in step 5 but you can put in your own vCenter here at any point.

Step 8. Enjoy…. Go back to Steam and launch your App! Put on your headset and enjoy your virtual datacenter

Bonus:- Once you have launched it a few times you should now see this in the Oculus menu!