Imposter Syndrome – My Experience + Sucking the Venom Out

So, something quite insane and personally significant happened this past week.

The week before had been a very difficult week in which I was up till 3 AM multiple nights working on things. At the same time I was dealing with the stress of selling our house and possibly being “homeless” because we didn’t know if timing would be on our side in terms of the move. The tipper was my wife. I’ll tell you one thing, nothing is worse than your wife being mad that you aren’t spending the time to be healthy, or time to take care of the family, because you’re up at 3 AM working. I love my wife. She is without a doubt the best thing that has ever happened to me, so know that putting her in this light is to paint a better picture of the issues that I’m working through.

My last post was on the Amanda Blevins talk at the VMUG Usercon in DFW. In it, one of the things that peaked my interest was when she talked about “Impostor Syndrome.” Either because I was distracted (or because I had 3 hours of sleep) I didn’t look into it or think about it anymore after that.  I do remember she talked about it as an issue in mental health, but I didn’t get what it was, or why/how it would impact my life.

Well the next week, a friend invited to take me to lunch. I had just screwed up and caused an outage for a product. There was a vendor in town, so I thought he wanted me to be part of a group. Over salads, we discussed how we both had been dealing with a lot of stress at home and at work, and how I felt as though I was not able to keep up as much as I wanted to, and many things were weighing on me. “You have impostor Syndrome!” my friend told me. “If you don’t know what it is, look it up.” It was the mention again of “Impostor syndrome” that stuck with me. I left lunch, and on a whim looked up impostor syndrome, and I have that thing to a T.

Impostor Syndrome

I’m pulling a lot of the next part of this blog from information from this: article

“I must not fail”

This thought is really easy for us to get into our head. I think for me failure is a constant, not something that happens now and again. Another engineer and I refer to our automation testing as “Incremental Assessments”. We both appreciate this as it helps us fail fast and learn what we missed. Once the testing shows good it’s then moved into a more production workload.

I always loved learning through trial and error, but lately that became difficult to the point of depressing. It morphed into “Every failure wasn’t learning, it was me failing.” This paired with the normal “Don’t screw up” voice that goes through everyone’s head during a normal workday became a crippling fear. For me this is the hardest to shake. I mean we all fear our own failure, even more, we fear that failure on a public stage where our peers, managers, and senior leadership are aware of said failure.

Remember this is an internal problem. Your own psyche is in a box of your brain, and it may have no bearing on actual reality. For me, people would tell me when I fail, “It doesn’t matter,” or “We know now something we didn’t before.” but it did matter; I still messed up and it rang in my head. How do we get out of our own heads? To combat this, we must listen, and believe. There are people out there that genuinely want you to succeed and grow. If you don’t know these people in your job, find them in your community. The vCommunity is great at this. We all fail, its part of our job. Accepting this and moving on is integral to our career. It may not help as much hearing things from outside of work, and I get that, but you need to hear it and believe it.

“I feel like a fake”

This is so true. I have stated several times I’m not a great automation engineer, I just find what other people have done and adjust to fit our environment. Its what I do best. If I had to start from scratch I’m not sure I’d get far. That’s my mental dialogue. It shows that this has been embedded in me for longer than even I’ve known.

The whole point here is not HOW I did the job, project, etc but that *I* DID it. Of course, others can use this to tear you down or make you feel little, just like any other kind of bullying. This negative feedback doesn’t mean you can’t do it, just that others might be able do it better. I don’t know who out there is the best of the best period, but understanding, and being honest with yourself, and your abilities and contributions is key here.

Remember YOU did the work that was necessary. YOU made the solution work. YOU took what was out there and made it fit the need of the company. Its not about HOW you did it, but that YOU did it, that’s what matters to combat that inner voice. When you feel like a ‘fake’, you feel like you don’t deserve what you have, but, remember you didn’t manipulate things to become that way, and it is not ‘just luck’. I’m blessed to be at a job that continually states they want me there, and are happy I am working there. A lot of people out there don’t have that, and I feel for them. This can be really hard when others don’t believe in you. Believe me, I’ve been there. If that’s you, reach out. Don’t let that negative inner voice win. It is not the truth.

“Success is no big deal”,“It’s all down to luck”

This comes from the previous point, Its about your inner voice downplaying the high points. Removing success as the goal is pretty horrid in my opinion. I know a guy or two that have done the bare minimum and found amazing success, and are they bad engineers? NO! They did exactly what the company needed and made things work for the company. What else were they suppose to do?

“It’s all down to luck”. This is something I’ve really never felt. I’ve always had a bigger issue with being a “fake” in my career. They seem to go hand in hand, but I’ve never felt that luck is what got me to where I am. I understand some may believe this. That somehow they stumbled upon things that “allowed” them to be successful. Unless that thing you stumbled on was a big sack of money, I doubt you stumbled on success. YOU got there.

End Notes

I am religious man. I believe there is more out there than what we see. If you’re not, that’s fine, believe what you need to be believe. BUT believe something, and it’s okay believe in yourself. In my college we discussed the “Worldview” of each person. This was basically created by asking the question, “how you see the world affects everything.” this naturally flows right into the question of “how do you see yourself?” Both are equally important when dealing with impostor Syndrome. Thinking through both can help you combat it.

I think that’s what this all boils down to. Belief. Amanda Blevins had an amazing talk on creating and using your brand, but the majority was based on knowing what keeps you happy and healthy in your career. Again, her mention of impostor syndrome initially put it on my ‘radar’. I summed up her talk as “Be Healthy, Be Happy” because it’s all about taking care of yourself. As Amanda put it, “It’s like the oxygen masks on an airplane, If you don’t put yours on first, you’re not going to be much help to those around you.”

You have to take care of yourself, and the first step is acknowledging you have a problem. I had to have a CIO scream it in my face (well not really scream, but he was loud and visibly worried). Don’t let it get to that point. I really want this to be something to create awareness. Life is more than work, eat, sleep, repeat. Work is more than success and failure. No one can live like that.

If you think you might have Impostor Syndrome, don’t wait, reach out immediately. It’s a warning sign of much worse things to come.

Here are some other points from the link above to help you mitigate the negative effects of Impostor Syndrome. Keep these in mind:

• Recognize impostor feelings when they emerge. Awareness is the first step to change, so ensure you track these thoughts: what they are, and when they emerge.

• Rewrite your mental programs. Instead of telling yourself they are going to find you out or that you don’t deserve success, remind yourself that it’s normal not to know everything and that you will find out more as you progress.

• Talk about your feelings. There may be others who feel like impostors too – it’s better to have an open dialogue rather than harbor negative thoughts alone

• Consider the context. Most people will have experience moments or occasions where they don’t feel 100% confident. There may be times when you feel out of your depth and self-doubt can be a normal reaction. If you catch yourself thinking that you are useless, re-frame it: “the fact that I feel useless right now does not mean that I really am.”

• Re-frame failure as a learning opportunity. Find out the lessons and use them constructively in future. This is a critical lesson for everyone.

• Be kind to yourself. Remember that you are entitled to make small mistakes occasionally and forgive yourself. Don’t forget to reward yourself for getting the big things right.

• Seek support. Everyone needs help: recognize that you can seek assistance and that you don’t have to do everything alone. This will give you a good reality check and help you talk things through.

• Visualize your success. Keep your eye on the outcome – completing the task or making the presentation, which will keep you focused and calm.

Cloning a Machine in Azure

The problem

Coming from my own vSphere engineering standpoint the public cloud makes things which I thought was easy difficult. After looking through some steps in order to basically “clone” a machine, I finally found a way to do this that is a bit easier though it does break some needed rules, and probably isn’t the safest process, but if your like me, it actually clones the machine

The process

To start out you need to snapshot the drive from a machine

  1. From the portal go to the Virtual Machine you want to snapshot, and click “Disks”
  2. From Disks click the OS disk for the machine
  3. Now at the top click, “Create Snapshot”
  4. Make sure to note the name and resource group as that’s the next steps. Click “Create”

Now that you have a snapshot you need to create a disk from that snapshot

  1. From the portal home you will click on the “See all” from the Azure Services
  2. From here go to “Disks”
  3. Click ” + Add”
  4. Select the Resource Group
  5. Input the name
  6. Click the “Source type”  and select “Snapshot”
  7. Select your snapshot
  8. For the drive make it the same size as the snapshot, and a “Standard HDD”
  9. Create whatever tags you need
  10. Create the drive

Now you should have the drive you need to create the machine.

  1. From the portal home you will click on the “See all” from the Azure Services
  2. From here go to “Disks”
  3. Select the Disk and near the top select “Create VM”
  4. From here on out create all the other needed options and create the VM. Dont change anything on the “Disk” field as its pulling the disk your deploying from.

Now the VM should build, and once done the drive is connected to the VM so it cannot be used again.

Log into the machine with your username/password from the origional machine(probably a good idea to change the password)


DFW VMUG Usercon (my experience)

Usercon is an amazing event. Thanks to some of the leaders I was able to volunteer this year and be part of the team. This came with some discussion with the speakers, Talks with friends, hearing good speaker, and some good meetings with vendors in the solutions exchange. The great thing about usercon is that it comes accross as basically a min-VMworld (which it should!). Some of the sessions were almost identical to VMworld, in fact, our keynote was also a talk that was presented there. All of these things are what lead to some amazing talks with community, help with career development, and assist in basic IT needs. These are some of the many things that make this community so great.

The Keynote

Amanda Blevins did our keynote this year. it was focused on building your brand, but even more importantly building yourself as your brand. This was an interesting thought to me, as I had always thought that your brand is how people view you. However, I never truly gave time to think about what building that entailed. Yeah, sure, a Twitter handle and a blog helps, but digging in deep on the idea of “brand” reveals it as basically the perception of you.

Amanda’s talk was pretty eye opening, as I had spent my days busily fighting to prove that I was worth something at work, while at the same time, also selling my house. The endless hours of work tied up with the stress and fear of where am I going, what house will I be in etc. made her talk incredibly timely for my personal situation, and words I was ready to heed. One of the many take-aways I had was to create a sort of “budget” of your own needs and desires. We do this financially (I’ve been doing it daily since I’m buying a house), but we barely ever do this for our mental, spiritual, and physical well-being. To put it in short terms,

  • Sit down in a quiet room and center yourself (or meditate, pray, whatever to quiet the things around you in your life)
  • Now where do you want to go in your career?
  • How do you want to get to that point?
  • How do you want others to see you?
  • What makes you happy?  – This point is critical, as it drives us to achieve the other goals, but we also toss happiness aside for the others. So don’t forget this one
  • What makes you healthy?

I’m the sort of guy that goes all in at projects and issues. “You want my attention, well you got it bubba, Lets do this!!” tends to be my mindset. I’ll take the analogy of Captain Kirk – “leap before you look”. Its gotten me in trouble sometimes, but it is my nature to dive in to resolve issues. This made the idea that your “brand” is linked to your personal “budget” a new thought, but one I’ll be utilizing from now on. I’ll condense whole talk down to its most important take-aways for myself. #BeHappyBeHealthy


I love these people. Some of the best and most wonderful folks to talk to are always around during a usercon. Al Rasheed was the one I was attached to the hip with, as he and I met on the Twitterverse and found him to be a very kindred spirit. We both believe fervently in this community, in the idea of practicing kindness, and the importance of giving back. It was great hanging out with him and talking to him about all the things that he was up to both professionally and personally. Great guy to know.


Paul Bryant is also one of my go-to guys to talk to. I’m sure most everyone knows Paul, hes commonly known as “The NSX Guy!” but one thing a lot of people don’t really know about, is that Paul is a solid, genuine guy who looks out for others, and is a great friend. Even on this day, Paul was pulled aside on an NSX issue and realized the problem and fixed it within minutes. Very impressive… TEACH ME SENPAI!

I actually got to give back a little bit when talking to another person at the show about creating your brand, telling my experience, that was stumbling through setting up a blog, twitter, and then going through a whole ton of stuff where I basically vomited information on devops, kubernetes, containers, etc. Sometimes I guess just having a soundboard helps.

Other people shout outs to this awesome community are to @indylindy22 @KCDAUTOMATE (We will talk about vRA someday!), I got to talk to them at the dinner before the usercon, but not hang out at the event. These two got a vLadies panel together to go over women in the field. I don’t remember the title, which I hate myself for not writing down, but these are two people to know, as they are genuine people, know their stuff, and wonderful to talk to.

Basically, if you can go to a usercon or VMUG get involved and go. These are amazing people with great skills who would love to help you improve, grown, and enjoy life together. Come be part of the party.

vRealize Operations 7.5 Application Monitoring

Application Monitoring

These days there are a lot of different application monitoring solutions. I know cause I’m in the middle of looking through them for a good fit. The hardest thing for an IT operations engineer is having to be woken up at 3AM to fix a “Server Down” situation. However, it’s even more detrimental to for a company to have a customer or a critical application to be down and no one be alerted.

I always think about the old adage, “If a tree falls in the woods but no one hears it does it actually fall?” Well of course it does. The difference is no one knows or cares about said tree. Well if that tree is a tier 1 app. You better know whats going on.

I decided to write this cause I had a really hard time figuring out how to get things setup in vROPS. Yes disk monitoring and other basic management packs are available for vROPS, but I wanted to be able to do more. HTTP get requests, IIS, SQL, ETC.

I know this will probably all change with vROPS 8.0 coming out, but for now this is what I wanted to roll out to test. The process may change or it may stay the same. Once I get my dirty hands on it, I’ll update this post as needed.

Couple of Pre-Requisites

  1. vRealize Operations deployed into your environment
  2. Licensing for the Enterprise edition of vROPS. You can do some OS monitoring with Advanced, but for application monitoring, you will need Enterprise

Application Remote Collector

Here is a video by John Dias on what you need to do to set this up, I’ll go through it step by step as well, so you have some steps on top of the video.

John Dias Video

  1. Log into vROPS
  2. On the dashboard go to “Monitor Applications” and then select “Configure Application Monitoring”Screen Shot 2019-09-06 at 6.43.03 AM
  3. Next you will Select what type of application Monitoring you will use. Either vROPS or Wavefront. For this we’ll use vRealize Operations, and Click “Save” NOTE: This is an irreversible choice. So plan ahead and make sure that you will be using this monitoring through vROPS only for the selection you pick.Screen Shot 2019-09-06 at 6.44.41 AM
  4. This can take a while, but if you haven’t activate the vRealize Application Management Package in vROPS you will be notified to do so.Screen Shot 2019-09-06 at 6.45.41 AM
  5. Just click “Activate” and it will take you to the Administration Tab:Screen Shot 2019-09-06 at 6.46.28 AM
  6. Just click “Activate”, This will take some time depending on the size of your deployment.
  7. Now that it’s activated, On the same tab(Administration) go to “Configuration”, and “Application Remote Collector”. Click the green download arrow to download the OVA of the Remote Collector. This will need to be deployed into your environment.Screen Shot 2019-09-06 at 7.05.19 AM
  8. Once the OVA is downloaded, deploy it to your environment. Probably good to neighbor your vRealize Operations deployment, so that you wont have to deal with those Networking guys. I wont go over the OVA deployment as it’s pretty standard. I will note, that you need to make SURE you remember the password you set.
  9. Power up your Remote collector appliance.
  10. Set a DNS record for the Remote Collector IP.
  11. Once the Collector is up. Open the console
  12. Login with username: root, Password: “vmware”
  13. Create a new password
  14. run: vi /etc/ntp.conf
  15. Add a new line at the bottom pointing to an NTP server – Line will look like: “server”
  16. Run the following
    1. enable NTP
      1. systemctl start ntpd
      2. systemctl enable ntpd
    2. enable start ssh
      1. systemctl enable sshd
      2. systemctl start sshd
  17. Return to vROPS and go to the “Administration” tab under “Configuration -> Application Remote Collector” Click the green “+”Screen Shot 2019-09-08 at 6.39.10 AM
  18. Here is where DNS comes in. I’ve had some issues with getting vROPS to see the collector. On the top line input the FQDN of the collector(IP works as well for setup) input your Username and Password that you set when you created the appliance.Screen Shot 2019-09-08 at 6.56.38 AM
  19. Under “Map vCenters” Select the vCenter from the drop-down and run “Test Connection”.Screen Shot 2019-09-08 at 6.56.53 AM
  20. Now after the Collector is loaded, click, “Configure Agents”. Select the VMs you want to install the agent on, and click the “Install” button (It’s the arrow pointing down). FunFact – You can use shift click to select multiple machines, and use the filter to allow a better selection.Screen Shot 2019-09-08 at 7.01.47 AM
  21. I use a “Common Password” and a service account for my agent deployments.Screen Shot 2019-09-08 at 7.06.29 AMScreen Shot 2019-09-08 at 7.06.47 AM
  22. It’s not very intuitive, but once the agent has finished connecting and has some built in service, you can create a custom built monitoring solution off the “Manage Service” button. It has some built in ports etc. Screen Shot 2019-09-08 at 7.14.03 AM
  23. Now you can setup some other monitoring, For instance some port probes, HTTP probes, or a simple ICMP check to verify the machine is up. These all have some different configurations settings, but you can explore from here.

Now that you have configured an application collector and agents have been deployed, you can go to the “Troubleshoot Application” dashboard and take a look! Here is an example of an ICMP checker when the server is down. Notice availability?Screen Shot 2019-09-08 at 7.30.39 AM On the other ICMP check the availability shows 100 percent. Now you have a metric to track, as well as a map to see all the connections.

For the built in services, be sure to add a display name on it to track the service on the VM in “Troubleshooting an Application” in “Dashboards”. Here is an example of the domain controller. Screen Shot 2019-09-08 at 7.43.26 AM

The Ad check is still collecting, at this point, but it shows the extensibility of the built in Monitoring Service.

I hope this helps get you started, I didn’t go very much over more than the video, but thats kinda the point. I really want to fill in spots that I had issues on, in case others have the same issues. Instead of calls over 3 days, I hope this is a good one stop config for the Applications collector on vRealize Operations 7.5

Thursday @VMworld

VMWorld Certification Experience

So I woke up at 6AM this morning, I had a lot of anxiety about the test so definitely wasn’t ready or well-rested for it. However, I was determined to get a good start into the foray of certifications after I talked with the education people yesterday. Its definitely intimidating to walk up and check-in for something that your hoping to turn out well.

Taking the test was very akin to my other certifications but the main difference that I absolutely loved was my immediate comfort with the test. I know this stuff. Maybe I don’t know it very well, but I do daily tasks within this product. I think  there will be many people out there that will find this same experience. I’d suggest, if possible, investing in a lab, or public cloud test, whatever, before you study for a certification. Don’t let the certification be your first foray into a field. That was my problem when IT became my 2nd career. I decided to just get some certifications, and maybe I could get somewhere. It was the hardest thing I did. Then when I started my first big boy IT job, they didn’t care that I had them. In fact, no one cared about what certifications I got. Let me put it this way.. Certifications is a checkbox for upper level positions, Not a checkbox for entry-level positions. At least this has been my experience.

I missed by 3 questions with 0 studying. That just tells me some studying and I’ll get her done. Regardless a very encouraging time for me, and well worth the money for my own personal growth.

Ask the Experts your Toughest Kubernetes Questions[MTE6161U]

So the Expert didn’t show up to our meet the expert discussion. So I decided to talk to the two guys that showed up and ask them what their exposure was with Kubernetes. My own knowledge is very limited, however, as engaged as I have been through VMworld and all the sessions I attended, I asked if it would help them if I shared what I had discussed with others, and my own experience.

I believe a lot in paying it forward when possible, but its not a great to try to take over something when your not an “expert” in it. However, I wanted to help as much as I could. I just went over some of the Kubernetes discussion I’ve had as well as some training I’ve done with AKS and Kubernetes.

It really helped me realize that maybe I should start doing some talks and start going through the white pages and create presentations. This was a good realization, that there are those out there that can benefit from the things I have learned, even though i’m not an expert.

Machine Learning in Less Than 1 Hour with Python [CODE3331U]

Dan Illson @danillson @cloudjourney

VMworld Video

  • What is Machine Learning??
    • A subset of “Artificial intelligence”
    • “Learning based on experience”
    • a process of identifying patterns in data
    • building models which explain a set of data
    • prediction without explicit pre-programmed rules/models
    • closely related to computational statistics
  • Breaking down machine learning
    • supervised learning
      • Classification and Regression
        • regression I have a theory and i’m trying to test to progress to the smallest integer
      • using existing data to help interpret new data
      • algorithms include:
        • decision trees
        • support-vector machine
        • native bayes classifier
        • k-nearest neighbors
        • linear regression
    •  unsupervised learning:
      • only received data is considered
      • Algorithm families:
        • clustering
        • association
  • Python why?
    • Python and R are what are normally used for Data Science
      • Its easy to start with
        • the syntax is easily human readable
        • available for many systems
        • its popular and easy to get help
      • all functions are presented
      • fast
      • has a comfortable interface
        • including the command line interpreter
      •  many standard libraries for it
  • Lets try some supervised learning
    • We’ll use the “iris” data set that comes packaged with the sklearn library
    • python via the command line interface
    • we’ll use the k-nearest neighbors algorithm:
      • a positive integer k is specified, along with a new sample
      • we select the k entries in our database which are closest to the new sample
      • we find the most common classification of these entries
      • this is the classification twe give to the new sample
  • DEMO!
    • matplotlib
  • Mean accuracy model – how close it can be accurate with the model.
  • Code for today will be posted on within the next weeks time.

Other things to see is NL VMUG video by Jad Al-Zein on the topic, as well as machine learning on python, in Coursera great resource.

Using NSX-T to Modernize Your IT Infrastructure by IBM [CNET3380BU]

VMworld Video

  • Your either disruptive on the network or your disrupting.
  • Utilizing NSX-T allows less disruption
  • With the challenges of new business models, hybrid, multi-cloud reality presents new opportunities, as well as new challenges…
  • New tech and Containers are helping to support and address concrete business needs
  • Introducing new tech and clouds introduces challenges on integrating with existing technology
  • So how can IBM help?
  • IBM and VMware have been partners since 2014 in enabling NSX for vSphere.
  • NSX-T does not need VCenter

Ending VMworld

Well that’s another VMworld in the books. Man I’m tired. What a wonderful time with wonderful people. Its really weird on Thursday that you start feeling like this place is home. The repetition of going from one session to another. The constant insanity of walk/run/sit/type/type more/run/eat/run/sit/type, becomes just 2nd nature. You start seeing things around you as constant, but its not. Its just part of your life, that has now ended, and like a child who’s been told to stop playing at a friends house, its time to go home.

I’ve got some great Ideas for blogs, and I hope to go through those soon! Till then dear readers!

Wednesday @VMworld

VMworld Tips(AGAIN)

First remember that you are on your feet for almost the entire time you’re NOT in a session and in some cases a bit when you’re in there. The continual mantra that comfortable shoes need to be your first item to pack is totally true.


There are definitely other tips to give which I’ll endeavor to share here:

  • Continually verify your session list(Its subject to change)
  • Verify you are in the right place and where you’re going next. This is important when rooms are assigned to the schedule. Its a good idea to grab the sessions you want, but when the rooms are assigned, make sure you don’t have to run across campus to get into a session. Aka, Dont’ be like me
  • Talk to people! I’m going to bring this up almost every day that I can. Its important to recognize that you, YES YOU, are a part of this community. If you’re at VMworld you’re a part of US, and we’re glad to have you! So say hi!
  • Baggage! A lot of people have mental baggage but I’m talking actual luggage here. Check-in/Check-out at your hotel can be a pain. Utilize the bell-hop, or concierge, or whatever they call it at the hotel to hold your bags if the room isn’t ready, or hold them if you checkout on the last day of VMworld, and your flight is later that night.
  • Another word about Sessions. If you see a session you would rather be in, than the one you’re walking to. Go do it! Sure, you’re signed up for another session, but that doesn’t mean you’ll be shot for not showing up. One thing though, if you do this, remove the session from your schedule, as you will still get a survey to fill out. One way or the other, seats are released 10 minutes prior.
  • TWITTER! This little app has changed my life. Take pictures, Use Hashtags, follow people. This is a great resource for everyday growth, and importantly for the community. As I said previously, you’re already part of the community, so say Hi!

Ok imma hop off the soapbox.. Back to sessions…

Zero to App: Building Your First Application in Kubernetes [CODE1804U]

Bill Shetti @shetti

VMworld Video

  • In 30 min we will…
  • VMware Tanzu… the “Obvious answer”
  • Building a cluster in PKS(Usable for the next couple months)
  • The app… Node.js app
  • App deployment is already built
    • Has index.jas
    • Has a dockerfile to show the build of the dockerfile
    • docker buld -t simpleapp was the command he ran and “-t” names the app
    • Tag the app using “docker tag simpleapp: *TAGINfo*)
    • Pushing it to google cloud register with “gcloud push”
    • Now we build the docker image, and pushed it to a container registry
    • Log into the kubernetes cluster
    • verify by using “kubectl –version” or “kubectl get pods”
    • If the pods aren’t coming up, you can always “kubectl describe *PODNAME*”
    • “vke  cluster show bob” shows the information of the kubernetes cluster in vke(pks)
    • PKS brings up a load balancer for you, so in Kubernetes you don’t have to run the node:LoadBalancer but you would run it as NodePort

Why should I use Virtual Volumes? A technical review. [HBI3416BUS]

Cody Hosterman @codyhosterman

VMworld Video

  • vVols are how pure storage was designed, and others.
  • with VMFS you are not protecting applications, you are protecting data stores
  • how VMDL restores VMs
  • as vms SCALE, Challenges arise.
  • what are vVols? Granular storage for VMs.
  • vVols – Every virtual machine has individual volumes on the array
    • every VM gets a config vVol – 4GB – holds the configuration information of the VM
    • Data vVol – for every virtual disk added to the virtual machine there is a new data vVol
    • Swap vVol – is for the vm swap file. sized according to the VM memory
    • memory vVol – if the snapshot is taken with the “snapshot memory” option.
  • What is a Data vVol?
    • A data vVol is essentially a RDM. Just a block volume with whatever file system your guest puts on it. There is no VMFS on them, there is no VMDK encapsulating them. A direct volume. A well-orchestrated one!
    • VMFS Virtual disks are not first class citizens, vVols make virtual Disks first class Citizens. It increases control of your storage.
  •  on the array AND in VMware
  • What about physical to virtual?
  • Move data to Cloud Native
  • The Data Plane
    • how does the host see a vVol? vVols are not connected to a host in the traditional way(Not enough SCSI slots)
    • Protocol Endpoint
  • The Management Plane
  • Provisioning
  • Storage capabilities
  • VMware-Created Snapshots
    • Traditionally, when you took a VMware snapshot of a VM a delta file was created, this hurt performance
    • Now when you take a VMware snapshot the array does the copy. no performance penalty with FlashArray volume copy!
  • vVols is Space Efficient, they are direct RDMs so you can get a lot of space back by going to vVols.
  • Virtual Machine Restore
    • when a VM is deleted or a virtual disk how do you recover? Recovery includes loss of RTO and RPO
    • With vVols you have 24 hours to instantly recover and deleted disk or VM data on the Array itself.
  • VM Cloning – 100% Offloaded
    • when cloning a VM, or deploying from a template –the process is a full volume copy!
    • One API call to the FlashArray = Instant Cloning
    • 50GB virtual Machine? Clone time is 5 seconds!
  • More Insight and More knowledge
    • Ransomware encrypts the data on a VM, With vVols if you see the data reduction go to 5>1 or 1>1 someone encrypted the data, you can respond quickly
  • Encryption and Reduction
    • Pure now encrypts the OS with a special key.
  • Replication
    • vVols and replication
    • there is a concept of a source replication group and a target group. VMs are put into a source and fail over is run against the target.
    • PowerCLI Cmdlets
  • Getting there…
    • Flash-array vSphere client plugin!
      • {Powershell}
      • Migration to vVols – Storage vMotion – Online Migration!
      • More info!

I blinked and was 3 slides behind. Cody goes fast and brings so many great points that I just cant keep up. Watch the video. Man this guy is good.

Is IT Ready to Enable Success in Your Multi-Cloud Environment? [MCO1687BU]

Jad El-Zein @virtualjad Keven Lees

VMworld Video

  • IT Mindset shift IS REQUIRED
  • Clouds are the new silos
  • The goal is blended teams, looking at Service Oriented approach
  • Processes? The good and the bad..
    • Governance or lack thereof is one of the biggest things with Shadow IT, and its needed to maintain the workloads and stay within policies.
    • Provisioning
    • Security and governance
  • Multi-cloud consumption
    • Aligning with Enterprise need
    • VMware Cloud Assembly – Build, Deploy, and iterate on applications
      • Setup your cloud accounts, and zones
      • configure your projects(business groups in vRA)
      • design your blueprints(IaC in CAS)
      • Cloud Assembly – Declarative provisioning and life cycle
      • IaC choice of UI or Yaml Editor
      • VMware Service Broker
      • Infra and App Pipelines
      • Content Marketplace
      • Multi-Cloud Extensibility
        • ABX on-prem with Powershell Support
    • Multi-cloud Operations
      • Self-Driving Operations
      • Intelligent Monitoring and root Cause Analysis(VROPS 8.0)
      • Apps-ops and wavefront are free trials, and cloud health is a trial or POC for testing

Kubernetes and Cloud Automation Services: A Primer [HBO2769BU]


VMworld video

  • vRealize Automation Cloud
  • Kubernetes in PKS
  • Kubernetes Profiles
    • Tag the profiles needed within a blueprint as a constraint for kubernetes within PKS
    • Use tags within the whole platform to define how things provision, Size, region, etc. the tags are everywhere.
  • PKS on the Design Canvas
    • Define the whole kubernetes cluster with an easy drag-drop blueprint
  • On-boarding Existing and External Clusters
    • If Kubernetes is already built you can bring that in so that you can manage kubernetes cluster within the application
    • Master would need to be exposed publicly to be able to manage an already built Kubernetes cluster.
  • Kubernetes in the Marketplace
    • Currently you can do a vsphere cloud.init template that has Kubernetes on ubuntu 16.
    • Don’t need PKS to do Kubernetes things
    • Cloud proxy to deploy on-prem for CAS(Maybe vRA 8 Cloud?)
    • Kubernetes Zones, allow you to bring into your PKS endpoint for Kubernetes
    • You can t-shirt size your deployments
    • You can setup the deployments and allow “Projects” to deploy the needed deployments
    • You can Gui’fy namespaces within Kubernetes, this allows you to hide namespaces from other users.
  • You deploy apps in this under Code Stream.
    • Setting up the pipeline in Code Stream is paramount as anything as Code is needed for specific run times. This includes the app, load balancer, and everything that needs to run for the app.
    • Code Stream works with Gitlab, hub, etc. and when you push a commit to your repo, Code Stream will see it and push that through Code Stream to perform the build and run.

How to not go broke with CI/CD deployments [CODE3452U]

Tim Davis @vTimd

VMworld video

I got to his talk late(*bladder, and sessions were too stacked .. See pointers above*), but wanted to share his talk as its been shared on podcasts and other places.

Deep Dive – Kubernetes Resource Management for vSphere Admins [KUB1208BU]

Michael Gasch and Pranshu Jain

VMworld video

  • Putting Kubernetes on vSphere.
    • Not covering Tanzu or project pacific basically just vSphere
    • Its a good idea to put the kubernetes nodes in Ha as they are not Ha setup.
  • Kubernetes 101
  • Pod is the atomic element of Kubernetes
  • Resource management is the allocation of resources from resource provider to resource consumers
  • – to help with postmortems and outages, 9 out of 10 related to resource management.
  • But why should I care?(other than most outages are from resources)
    • Best Practices doesn’t always transfer to best practices from a higher level
  • Specifying the pod specialization and resources
  • Resource management in the life of a POD
    • Important to utilize namespaces and then refer to those tenants with what resources are available to the tenant
    • By setting the validation in the Yaml with the namespaces it allows us to know the quota of the VMs and we don’t over commit or under commit our nodes.
  • Best Practice for Kubernetes #1
    • vSphere HA is good for Kubernetes clusters.
    • Define an admission policy for HA that will help understand the normal group and the critical(high cpu etc) group
    • Finally DRS using anti-affinity VM monitoring and host issues
  • Placement with Kube-Scheduler
  • Assisting kube-scheduler how???
  • Enforcement
    • Setting resource limits on the linux kernel VMs is critical to maintaining the cluster. So each deployment in yaml as declarative or an imperative command should have the cpu/ram statements in order to change that information

Very dense talk but well worth it. Basically run on VMs, Enable HA, Use resource limitation switches, and watch your clusters.

Prove Your Skills and Validate Your Value with VMware Certification [EDU3684U]

I know this is a more personal session, but its worth mentioning that we all need to “prove our worth” too many times. Its worth having a sign or symbol to raise when someone challenges you and wont listen. We all have those people who will argue and argue. Also as we move into higher and higher positions, this is a needed step in our growth.

Karl Childs @karlchilds

  • There are quantifiable results that show that individuals get benefits other than employer benefits
  • VMware Certification Tracks
  • Good analogy is boulders across a river and you’re trying to get across the river by those boulders
  • What if you miss the exam? or how do you prevent that?
  • Run a Skills Gap-Analysis
  • Download an exam-prep-guide

Things I learned about the Certificate process:

  1. Foundations exam is taken online, and is open book. Still have to pay for it.
  2. The class can be any class. Whether it be for vRA, NSX etc. But it is a REQUIREMENT for the VCP. You can pass all the exams but you will get nothing till you do the class training.
  3. There are lower cost options for the class part. You don’t have to do a 4500$ spend just to get your cert. This is part of the whole #vCommunity mill, but there are those that have done this part much cheaper. Not saying the actual courses aren’t worth it, they definitely are. There are just other options. If you’re a part of VMUG ask your Leader, I’m sure they know.
  4. I’m going to take my vRA VCP tomorrow and take advantage of the 50% off. However, with VMworld fest happening tonight and all the other things, I wont study at all before its there. But it’ll be good to know whats out there, and what the last couple years have taught me.


Taking a huge line of buses to the party was insane. I definitely didn’t want to roll with that. Thankfully a friend shelled out on an uber and we got there while Billy Idol was rockin’. Yes Billy F’ng Idol…zot876z5QyiNSnCqzNyWSg


I have to admit he had to rely on the audience for some parts, but the dude is still killin’ it at 60 #LifeGoals. He’s still the drunk rocker persona on the stage, and he’s still crass, and swearing… but we love him anyway cause its rock n’ roll baby.

Next on stage was One Direction…… I mean, One Republic… Man I’m old.. #InsideJoke

The first song I heard of One Republic was “Secrets” which was the end credits song after “The Magicians Apprentice” movie with Nick Cage… Yup, That movie. Regardless that song holds a specific feeling in my life and whenever I hear it I’m transported to that place. However, my highlight of the night was when we got to hear “Halo” which was written by One Republic front man Ryan Tedder, and Beyonce performed and made popular. Hearing it from a male voice like his was incredibly impressive.

Twitter Life!

I met William Lam! This guy has been a huge part of the community and has always been a force for good to the groups. Thanks man for all you do!

Also PEDRO ARROW, also known as Pete Fletcha, of Virtually Speaking Podcast!

FINALLY met an amazing tech guru, and another leader in the community wether he likes it or not the one and only Jad Al-Zein. His blogs and videos on vRA 7.x saved my hide multiple times. Great guy to talk to, and hes SO EASY to talk to as well!!

Now for bed, lets hope the test tomorrow will come out better than I expect, would be nice to pass, but I’m going to try not to hope for it a ton… even though I know it’ll be hard to sleep knowing I’ll be doing that in the morning.

Tuesday @VMworld

San Fransisco!

I decided to write a bit about the town, I came from a 105 degree Texas over to the west coast. Considering the only “West Coast” thing I knew was a swing dancing step known as the West Coast 3-step(I met my wife Swing Dancing).

ITS COLD. Yeah ok so lows in the 50s is not something I was prepared for, but man the thin hoodie I brought is just not up to snuff for this kind of weather. The highs are really nice, walking .5 miles just to Mascone and an ungodly amount afterwards is really nice here.

THE FOG! OK, so if you’ve seen as many horror films as me you know that the fog is not  a good thing. That’s when the monsters come and when we all subsequently die. I’ve never seen fog like this, the thickness, the smell, its something different.

THE HOMELESS. Ok, coming from Texas almost everyone had a snide comment for me, “Don’t step in the poop!”, “Check the poop map daily!”, and basically a lot of snickering about poop and the homeless people. For one, the homeless people are subsequent to our human nature. Not everyone goes to VMworld and not everyone can do what we do daily, but ANYONE can be homeless. To me the statement, “Homeless are just people without homes” is a real statement. I used to preach to homeless shelters aeons ago, and that feeling of men/women needing shelter, food, and to be treated like actual people is still instilled in me.

Also to everyone that asked, I haven’t seen one poop on the sidewalk OK. GET OVER IT.

The real VMworld

I’d be remiss if I didn’t take a time to state what the best thing about VMworld is. Its the people around you. If you’re at VMworld alone, talk. Find a table with one seat open, and sit in that chair, and talk to them. I’m pretty sure we’re all people, and we all want to help, grow, and befriend new people starting a journey or maybe finding people who are already well past our journey. This is one of the greatest communitites out there and one of my favorites!

General Session with Steve Young and Lindsay Vonn and Ray O’Farrell

  • Started with a video about the future. Very Walt Disney Epcot “City of the Future” Stuff or Spaceship Earth
  • Digital Transformation and Digital infrastructure
  • Tanzu Tees being used as a question for the three keys, Build, Run, Manage for the apps.
  • DellEMC VMware Cloud Partnership and Project. (Previously Project Dimension)
    • Showing project PACIFIC Holy cow! They are writing the private cloud to be Dev-Centric allowing developers to deploy and utilize the software for quick build/run
    • vSphere itself is branded to join Kubernetes itself. Amazing.
    • Tanzu Mission control, Showing clusters in the multi-cloud. The hype is real
    • Basically setting a binding in Tanzu Mission control it can run the fleet cluster in the multi-cloud
    • Unified controller for a unified management platform. IF everything is running on vmware
  • Moving to Connect and protect(Marcos Hernandez)
    • Looking at Tanzu Mission Control Running in NSX Service Mesh
    • NSX-T within Tanzu Mission Control works much like Network Insight and utilized the full force of VMware apps, to show the mapping, the flow, and then uses data analytics to create a list of needed rules.
    • SIMULATION MODE(Totes cool bruh)
    • Now only protected flows work on the wire… BOOM
    • Now utilizing App Defense, and Carbon Black to fix vulnerabilities. VMware has taken no time to integrate their new partners into their productsgP1eUBwHQaChClLuKVS22g
  • Wavefront
    • Utilizing Wavefront to  manage the issues within your multi-cloud environment.
    • Traces showing Distrib Tracing.
    • Now from Wavefront you can connect directly to the component thats having issues
    • Project Magna to fix VSAN issues.
    • Now after we have secured, and fixed our environment, we utilize Cloud Health in the background, and yet again get to it in Tanzu Mission Control.
    • Cloud Health is now used to reclaim unused VM’s and alert when approaching or over budget.
  • Zuora – a Customer story
  • Now we’re moving to the Experience
      • Horizon Desktop as a service (DAAS??)
      • This allows deployment to many different locations, applications, etc. Basically full setup for the employee that just joined, as a virtual machine.
      • Workspace ONE – Employee experience dashboard showing issues, and sets rules via automation to create the ticket run the automation.
      • Workspace
  • Emerging Tech
    • HCX enterprise will allow migrations from one VMC to another accross the nation, The change rate is obviously key here in how it runs but it will be amazing.
    • ESXi on ARM
  • SanJay Poonen, Steve Young, and Lindsay Vonn
    • the sick burns from Lindsay Vonn are worth every penny of the VMworld ticket. AWESOME

Peanut Butter and Jelly: Why Virtual Machines and Containers Go Together [KUB1133BU]

Kenny Coleman @kendrickcoleman and Tristan Todd @tristantodd

VMworld Video

  • Myths about Containers and VM’s co-habitating
    • 5 reasons you should run containers on bare metal, not vms(Diamanti)
    • Myth: Each vm consumes storage plus cpu for a full virtual machine before you spin up a containerized workflow, so the vm ties up resources whether its using it or not
      • A good argument, but you dont need to have specialized hardware to run a specific task.
      • Hardware capability – abstracted vs hard requirement. VMware has done a great job of abstracting the layer so that the hardware abstraction doesn’t run resources when needed.
  • Myth:  Individual containers are stateless and ephemeral. Rather than moving a running container from one host to another as you would with a VM, you just start a new instance on another host
    • Higher availability doesn’t mean that it works against the Kubernetes orchestrator. Kubernetes doesn’t take into account the resources issues or problems like DRS in vSphere.
    • vSphere with Kubernetes provides dual layer scheduling for maximum resource utilization with DRS
    • Bare Metal requires Kubernetes management services to enact cloud native mechanisms in event of maintenance or failures. Expect etcd to rebuild and replicate databases.
    • Kuberenetes master is like vCenter it is your central hub and master, if you lose it bad times. Making that more resilient is great.
  • Because containers are lightweight, one of their advantages is the ability to run a greater number of containers per server, than VMs
    • Scale, All machines can fail, so scaling the repopulation of that machine upon failure is key. Especially on the kubernetes master. If this drops having it built on a VM allows faster response and rebuild.
  • The people using and managing the container environments are likely not the same ones managing the vm environment.
    • This is a dumb statement. This basically is backwards thinking against DevOps stating that no ops and Dev can talk to each other. The whole Beauty of containers is the connection between Dev and Ops together.
    • Its not always a failure in communication as much as you’re speaking a different language than the other. You need to find a common ground and talk to each other.
  • The bare-metal contianer benchmarks demonstrated a 25-30% advantage over VM-based containers in both I/O and CPU processes.
    • Actual VM Benefits vs Theoretical Performace Advantage
    • Off course with #runkennyrun – He was the guy pushing bare metal for so long but now had changed his thought process especially with CSI (Container Storage Interface) that allows different solutions with vSphere. Now if you run this on bare metal you will need to verify that the CSI driver will run on bare metal. in VMware thats already built in(Not GA yet)
  • No mention of security… So lets talk about that
    • VM’s already come with security!
    • Heartbleed, spectre, meltdown and more require OS and firmware updates. How fast can you patch with bare metal automation???
  • Kubernetes on bare metal
  • Kubernetes on VMs(Linux VMs)

How PowerCLI Makes vSphere Configuration Management Easy [CODE2214U]

Kyle Ruddy @kmruddy podcast etc, etc… aka DA man

VMworld Video

  • Configuration Management
  • Runing a declarative IAC to verify a “indempotent” (repeatable) outcome
  • Why configuration Management Matters! SOURCE CONTROL DANGIT
  • Configuration Management Breakdown…
    • Central Node(and repo)
    • Yaml, JSON config file(whatever)
    • Endpoint node
    • Central Node pushes the config file to the endpoint and runs the config to setup whatever config is set.
  • You can use many different configuration managers
  • Ansible Example
  • PowerShell Definition
  • PowerCLI Definition
  • PowerShell Desired State Configuration
    • MOF = Manage Object Files
    • LCM = Local Control Manager
  • PowerCLI DSC = VMware.vSphereDSC
  • DSC for VMware
  • Sample configuration file setting NTPServer
  • DEMO = {Video will be posted once up.}
  • One More Thing…
    • vSphere configuration management exists in other configuration managers. Ansible, Chef, Puppet etc..
    • Ansible sample code.

Automating Hybrid Clouds with VMware Cloud Automation Services [MTE6051U]

Great talk with @virtual_crazo about vRA 8.0 and vRA cloud. Some amazing stuff out there coming out in the next couple of months.


Modern Apps Showcase with Kubernetes

VMworld Video

Showcase leaders:

  • Kubernetes is too interesting, and should be boring.
  • Modern Apps Framework
  • Tanzu initiative trying to modernize apps.
  • Build with Pivotal!
    • With the new stack utilizing pivotal, customers have been able to go from code rolls from every 6 months, to 3 times a week. Also it leads to self healing for the customers
    • Tanzu will lead to building modern applications:
    • 3rd party apps that can run in Tanzu – HASHICORP!! also Pure, and CloudBees
  • RUN
    • Project Pacific – Kubernetes on vSphere!
    • We live in a world where we demand modern and specific infrastructure
    • Verizon model after amazon flywheel to drive faster time to the market, and more capacity for innovation.
    • Articulating the value
    • Strategy for espansion
  • Manage
    • Manage kubernetes for developers AND IT
      • Tanzy Mission control is the central hub that runs and manages the solution
      • The control pane elements bind together to be a solid management platform for the managers of the resource.
  • DEMO.
    • Running a demo on Tanzu mission control First screen shows individual tags, multipls public/private clouds, and resources


I got my Al Rasheed selfy, An amazingly friendly, and wonderful human being:

Met and Selfied with @lost_signal the one and only John Nicholson!

This is what happens when vmworld says, “Quantity is limited” on a free t-shirt:

And I mean Pat… THE PAT

vExpert Party

Finally get to go to a party I’ve been looking forward too for a long time! So many great people to follow on twitter and to talk to. This party didn’t have huge artists or crazy loud music just good people and good discussion. From discussing all the different carreer paths to the new solutions they are playing with. These guys are always around and willing to help. If you use twitter, please setup a follow on the #vExpert tag so that we can all share in our experience, problems, and life. Thats what we are here for as the human condition!

On to the next day.