Goals for VMworld 2014

VMworld 2014 will be my second time at VMworld and because the conference goes by so fast, it’s important to make a list of goals to achieve and work to stick to it. You don’t want to look back on your time at VMworld and say, “I wish…”

My first VMworld was in 2011 and was an amazing experience. I had been using Twitter and been involved with the community for about 2 years and meeting many people I followed and became friends with was a great experience. I had also been a VMUG leader for 2 years and enjoyed the opportunity to meet and mingle with other VMUG leaders.

VMworld 2012 would have also been another first for me as I was honored as a vExpert 2012 and was really looking forward to participating in the vExpert party. However, a category 3 hurricane was bearing down on New Orleans and I didn’t want to leave my family. I hope to join the current ranks of vExpert for Q3 2014 and participate next year.

Now that I’m at PernixData, my time at the conference will be spent completely differently than my first time. As a vendor, you don’t typically get to attend sessions. A fair amount of my time will be spent at the PernixData booth (#1017) demonstrating FVP. So the role as a vendor is going to be a completely different but still exciting. PernixData has built an incredible product and is already changing how datacenter are designed. Not many startups can say that after selling for 1 year. I’m surrounded by such an incredibly talented team and looking forward to spending time with them this week.

So what do my goals for VMworld 2014 look like?
Evangelize PernixData FVP. My primary reason for being at VMworld is to share PernixData FVP with the world so without a doubt, that’s goal #1. PernixData is an incredible product that I really love so it’s very easy and fun. I’ll be at the PernixData booth during the week so stop by and say hi.
Network with VMUG leaders. VMUG has grown tremendously since 2011 and I’m looking forward to meeting new leaders and continuing to learn how to improve the New Orleans VMUG.
Attend vBrownBag sessions. Without the ability to attend vmworld sessions, I’m looking for some avenue to learn while surrounded by so many smart and talented people. The vBrownBag crew has lined up some great speakers for the week and is sure to be a place I spent a lot of personal time. I’ve also recently co-hosted a couple of weekly sessions so it will be great to meet everyone in person.
Network with the VMware community. PernixPros, PernixPrimes, other vExperts, and everyone else in between: I want to meet you. Everyone has a story to tell so I look forward to growing personal and professional relationships.
Blog. I’ve been wanting to do this for years and never set the time aside to do it. With so many new announcements from VMware and partners, it’s the perfect opportunity to kick things off.
Time will fly so make a list of your goals and stick to them!

Enabling Sublime Text for Command Line Use

I have been using Sublime Text 2 on my PC for a few months and now that I have a Mac, I got around to installing it today. I have been used to modifying scripts and code snippets from the command line by using “subl <filename>”. Unfortunately, that didn’t work after installing Sublime. I’ve read other blog and seen people use it so I figured that it was just an error after installation. Let’s fix it!

The first thing we need to do is create a .bash_profile file if we don’t have one already.

touch ~/.bash_profile

Then we can add this nifty alias to our .bash_profile:

alias subl=”/Applications/Sublime\ Text\ 2.app/Contents/SharedSupport/bin/subl”

Finally, reload that bad boy

source ~/.bash_profile

This was a head scratcher but a quick fix.

Enable Software iSCSI Adapter Using PowerCLI

I recently began studying for the VCAP5-DCA (VDCA550) and in the course of administering a 2 host environment, it’s very rare that I have to use PowerCLI. The time it would take to write the script would easily exceed the time to perform the task by hand. But section 7 of the VCAP5-DCA blueprint states that the exam will cover PowerCLI and vCenter Orchestrator (vCO) so as I go work through the blueprint, I intend on becoming very comfortable with many different tasks in PowerCLI.

From what I’ve read about the VCAP5-DCA (VDCA 550 version), the exam environment now contains 5 hosts. Performing the same task on this many hosts in a limited amount of time is a good opportunity to automate as much as possible. I don’t think creating a powershell script for each minute task is a good use of time but over the course of learning PowerCLI, I will post many PowerCLI scripts that coincide with VCAP5-DCA blueprint objectives.

We’ll begin with enabling the software iSCSI initiator on all hosts in the datacenter. If the environment is already setup with NFS storage, there’s a good chance that the the software iSCSI initiator will need to be added to the hosts to connect to iSCSI storage. The script uses a hardcoded username and password since this is a test environment but I wouldn’t recommend doing that in production. To use in your environment, use your username, password, and name of each host. Make sure the name of your hosts matches what’s in vCenter. If it’s in vCenter with a FQDN, mirror the name in the script. Next, open PowerCLI and run the script with .\iSCSI.ps1.

#variables

$vcenter “name”

$username “username”

$password “password”

$listofhosts = “host1”, “host2”, “host3”


#connect to vcenter

write-host “Connecting to vcenter”

connect-viserver $vcenter -user $username -password $password

#Loop through hosts

foreach ($esxhost in $listofhosts)

{

$currentesxhost = get-vmhost $esxhost

write-host “Enabling software iSCSI initiator on $currentesxhost”

get-vmhoststorage $currentesxhost | set-vmhoststorage -softwareiscsienabled $true

}

write-host “Disconnecting from vcenter”

disconnect-viserver $vcenter

Cisco CCNA 640-802 Results

UPDATE: I passed the exam on June 2, 2009

I recently took the CCNA 640-802 for the second time and I wanted to post my performance for each section.

I first took the test on February 19, 2009. I felt about 80% ready for the test when I took it. I didn’t feel that I had a firm grasp on ACLs, NAT, DHCP, EIGRP, or OSPF. But I felt very strong in switching, and basic router operations.

I felt that I was doing ok till around question 13 — it took my by surprise and probably took me 15 minutes to figure it out. I quickly realized that I wasn’t as prepared. Throughout the rest of the test I had a bad feeling.

I finished the exam and it wasn’t that bad — a 778 out of 1000 (825 required to pass). I was pretty impressed with myself. I was a little down but quickly rescheduled for a month later.

Below is the breakdown:

Describe how a network works: 88%
Configure, verify, and troubleshoot a switch with VLANs and interswitch communications: 80%
Implement an IP addressing scheme and IP services to meet network requirements: 33%
Configure, verify, and troubleshoot basic router operation and routing on Cisco devices: 43%
Explain and select the appropriate administrative tasks required for a WLAN: 100%
Identify security threats to a network and describe general methods to mitigate those threats: 80%
Implement, verify, and troubleshoot NAT and ACLs in a medium-size enterprise branch office: 80%
Implement and verify WAN links: 66%

Score: 778 (825 needed to pass)

So, I knew where I needed to improve. Let’s see how I did on March 19, 2009 — a full month of studying 2-3 hours a day.

Describe how a network works: 85%
Configure, verify, and troubleshoot a switch with VLANs and interswitch communications: 66%
Implement an IP addressing scheme and IP services to meet network requirements: 50%
Configure, verify, and troubleshoot basic router operation and routing on Cisco devices: 46%
Explain and select the appropriate administrative tasks required for a WLAN: 100%
Identify security threats to a network and describe general methods to mitigate those threats: 100%
Implement, verify, and troubleshoot NAT and ACLs in a medium-size enterprise branch office: 75%
Implement and verify WAN links: 100%

Score: 776 (needed 825 to pass)

776?! 2 points lower than the first attempt and feeling fully confident and maintaining positive throughout the whole test and finishing with 20 minutes left? Well after losing some sleep last night I believe I identified some things I got wrong and how to make it right. I believe that if I would have gotten the same score on switching and VLANs, I would have passed. As far as scoring so low on the fundamentals of a router — I can’t explain. There’s not much to know — hostname, configuring an interface, setting passwords, vty access, etc.

I really want to retake 640-802 again instead of taking ICND1/2 — If my assumptions on scoring are close to right, I’m probably missing 1-2 too many.

I’m going to think about it over the next few days and make a decision.

If you’re not following me already on twitter, you can do it now. I’m @bdwill.

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