Public speaking is hard. Standing in front of a crowd and being the center of attention can be a scary thought. Luckily, there are many members of the technology community out there willing to ease you through it. At VMworld 2017 I was fortunate enough to participate in a vBrownBag panel discussion with some giants in the VMware community: Edward Haletky, Simon Long, and Ariel Sanchez Mora. The four of us were talking after the session and decided we would like to formally arrange a mentoring program to help give back to the community that has helped us so much.
VMworld 2017 is upon us and looks to be busy as ever. I’ll be returning to Las Vegas and the place this ride started last year. There has been a LOT happening in my life during the past 50 weeks. I’m proud to say I joined Rackspace in the Specialist Cloud Architecture business, representing VMware products and services. As many of you also know, I joined the vBrownBag crew and will be hanging out at the TechTalk booth as much as possible.
In my article about creating an Azure virtual machine, I walked us through the very basic wizard to create a VM. There is an entire segment of the virtual machine build process dedicated to optional features. These features allow new virtual machines to integrate a VM into an existing Azure environment. When we created our first machine we accepted the default settings, which created new network and storage accounts. That works perfectly for a first look but it wouldn’t be appropriate for use in a real life Azure Infrastructure.
One of the most basic tasks a VMware administrator will perform is deploying a virtual machine. Whether it is creating a VM from scratch or using a template, we’ve all worked through the wizard. As I dig deeper into Azure I can’t help but bring my experience with vSphere along with me. The Azure Resource Manger is a very different experience from the vSphere Web Client but there also quite a few similarities.
I recently created a blog post about Getting Started with AWS. I like what they do and think they’re a great platform but there is more than one horse in the public cloud race. Microsoft Azure is a close second to AWS and getting better every day. Microsoft has many advantages that AWS doesn’t: They are probably already in your datacenter and you probably have an ELA with them. If you do, check and see if there are Azure credits in there.
A little while ago I wrote about getting started with AWS. I have since been reintroduced to Qwicklabs and felt I should talk a little about this resource. I have always been a hands-on learner. I built a home lab to teach myself VMware, I had a Windows domain in my house, and so on. The easiest way to learn AWS is to dig in and with the free tier you don’t even have to pay.
I have been skimming the surface of AWS and Azure for various work projects and as part of my new role as a vBrownBag crew member. I feel it is safe to say that public cloud has arrived for the enterprise. It is a very scary transition for Operations. Cloud reminds/infers layoffs and reorgs. If we don’t manage hardware why have a hardware team. I think education is the easiest way to cut through fear.
Historically, one of my biggest little annoyances with a VMware version upgrade has been upgrading VMware tools. In vSphere 5.5, VMware added the ability to update tools without a reboot. If you were manually kicking off the tools upgrade all you need to do is enter the following features into the advanced settings box /s /v"/qn REBOOT=ReallySuppress? This is great and causes the tool update to only lose one ping instead of requiring a full restart.
On January 31, 2017 Gitlab experienced a massive database outage. They suffered hours of downtime, which they have detailed here. The transparency in that link is breathtaking for a couple reasons. First, any company willing to details their failures and challenges in such public terms gets my kudos. It’s not easy to put yourself on display, warts and all. Second, there are so many self inflicted wounds and unforced errors in the story.
Have you ever received a call from someone that started with “Why is everything so slow”? I think it’s a safe assumption that everyone working in IT Operations has heard some variation of that question. The request could be anything from issue accessing Yahoo mail to a mission critical application unable to communicate with its database. The worst of these calls happen at 2am. Everyone is crabby, nobody wants to take blame or have a finger pointed at them, and there may not be solid supporting data showing slow down.