Lab Refresh 2021

I have decided to refresh my lab this year pending some things that I am not going to talk about yet. The kit I Am getting is as follows.

3×360 G9 servers with 64GB ram each. 1 TB SSD and 1TB spinning disk for VSAN

C3000 Chassis with 8×480 G9 with 128GB ram and Fiber channel pass thru. to a 72TB SAN

the entire infrastructure will run VMware 7.x with VSAN and NSX.

I will also be running VRealize automation, VRealize operations Manager

The eventual goal I plan on getting out of this highly overpowered homelab is the following.

Windows 2019 domain

SQL 2019 cluster

SCCM Current Branch with Cloud Gateway

SCOM current branch

SCSM 2019

SCORCH 2019 with integration packs to System center as well as VMware.

The purpose of this is to be able to build demo cases along with reproduce client environments for troubleshooting and consulting.


VExpert for 2021

It is with great humility that I write this. I have been accepted into the 2021 class of VExpert for VMware. I look forward to the experience and look forward to the networking that I will get to do.


How to learn Visio

This is pretty much a rhetorical question as I honestly don’t know if I would get any feedback on this.

I see all these pretty Visio diagrams on the net and I have NO idea how to create those. I have 5 years to learn how to do it in order to meet my goal of VCDX by 55. I have to be able to to not only create physical diagrams but logical diagrams for my design.

I have looked for classes on how to learn Visio but so far have not seen anything legit. if anyone has a class or a good YouTube please let me know so that I can give it a watch.


How to change focus for work

Trying to figure out how to shift from a MS focused career to a VMWare focused career. I know I will have to take a level hit as I am pretty much peaked in the SCCM world but a relative beginner in the VMWare one. I have done a LOT of admin of VMWare but nothing official and nothing really on my resume. I want to start getting VMWare projects and highlighting those in my career so that I can get to an architect level in the VMWare world. Lots to think about and lots to do for that to happen. I have a project coming up where I am updating VMWare Horizon from 6.5 to 6.7/8 and then updating ESXI and VCenter from 6.7 to 7.0 Update B. Hopefully that is the first step.


VRops deployed

I built out (with assistance) a new VRealize Operations Manager cluster. It is a pretty slick piece of software. when deployed with VRealize log viewer, it gives you insight into your entire environment. I have deployed it onto both Windows and Linux VM’s and it is just chugging along gathering every piece of information an admin could possibly want. Log viewer works as a syslog collector as well as an event viewer gathering point. All in all an amazing piece of kit to deploy in a medium to large sized VMware deployment.


Hyper Converged Panda

I have written about my desire for a VCDX in the past. I have found something that will assist me with that. I have foudn that I have access to cheap Colo at the UC Super Computer Center. This means that I can set up a proper lab and RDP into it. so my plans are the following

  1. pick up a Cheap C7000 enclosure and blades
  2. Install ESX on all of the blades
  3. build a SAN (or pick up a cheap san)
  4. build out my lab in that locale
  5. get mini rack out of my office.

I can do multiple things on this infrastructure. build my SCCM test lab. build a minecraft farm for Oliver to play in and maybe run as a fun project, build my ESX and VSAN lab.

My ideal situation would be to get my lab into a strong enough configuration that I can use it as my VCDX project for presentation.

I will update this post with a rack design and visio when I get the chance.


Beginning of new homelab

Have decided to rebuild my homelab on new hardware. I picked up a new NUC i5 with 64gb of ram a 128gb m2 drive and a 1tb spinning disk. 2 gb nics as well. Going to replace one of my dell 710’s with it. My eventual,goal is to replace my entire lab with NUCs. Then get a Synology NAS for the storage .

I’m then going to put Esxi 7 and VCSA 7 along with. Nsx 7


PowerCLI Primer

Picked this up from VMware Trainer blog


Power CLI primer

Just like many of the network professionals out here , I too believe that life is too short to learn all those command prompt tools and stick on to a graphical version of any tool if it is available . But some times the command prompt based tools can be indispensable if you have to do things repeatedly . For creating a single VM per day , I will surely use vsphere client , but for 50 VM per day , I prefer some method by which I can automate the process. That is the role the power CLI is playing in a vSphere environment .
This post is just a basic introduction in to the basic aspects of power CLI. Personally I am preparing this as a reference to me itself so that I will not miss any of the concepts of power CLI for my VCAP-DCA exam .
to begin your experiment with powerCLI , install it to any windows machine on your network . You can download it here 
installation is pretty straightforward . Finish it and open power CLI from all programs –vmware –vmware power CLI . but  wait , if you try to do it , you will be greeted with an error message like this .

Now try to open the same program with administrative privileges , ie right click and select run as administrator , you will find that the same error repeats this time also . But it is now time for us to set the execution policy of the PowerCLI to ” remoteSigned ” it will allow us to run scripts that have written on the local computer . That is exactly what we need to do . The default mode is restricted and that is why we are getting all those red colored scary messages . so go ahead and type this
set -executionPolicy Remotesigned
next time when you bring the powerCLI up , it will greet you in a much more pleasant manner . Remember that you don’t have to run it in administrative mode anymore for normal operations .

Now let us start by connecting to an ESXi host  or a vCenter Server . use the command   connect-Viserver  < ipadress or FQDN >
it will pop up a message asking for the user name and password . There are two option to avoid  it and specify it along with the commands
connect-viserver < ipaddress>  -user root -password P@ssw0rd  or you can use the credential variable  $Credential=Get-Credential and using the value $credential along with the command like  connect-viserver< ipaddress>  -credential $credential 

connect-VIserver -Menu is a nice option to list all your previously connected servers and you can choose one to which you wish to connect .

Life Tech

Beginning my quest for VCDX-DCV

for years now I have debated on MCSE vs VCDX.  with the recent switch by MS away from the tried and true MCSE to the app based certification I have finally made up my mind.  VMware has been a company that has remained the same for many years now.  always having the VCP, VCAP and then the VCDX.  VCDX has always meant that you have reached the pinnacle of your art and achieved a certification to prove it.  I have decided that I want to achieve that cert. I have been using VMWare for many years now and have always felt it was a very mature product.  Something that MS has always wanted to achieve with its Hyper-V offering.  However MS always seems to fall just short of the mark and then they change the entire infrastructure of things and try and force the industry to comply.  I am quite tired of that attitude so have thrown in my hat to supporting the real standard of virtualization, VMWare.

I have signed up to take the obligatory ICM class (Install/Configure/Manage) and will be taking that beginning next week.  then I begin my cert journey towards VCP-DCV (data center virtualization) and VCAP-DCV  then to pick up a project that is VCDX worthy and begin my design docs for that project.


Beginning with Office Pro plus 365 V 2002, Bing will become default search engine for Chrome

Beginning with Office 365 Pro Plus v 2002, there will be an extension for Chrome installed that makes Bing the default search engine.  This plugin can be disabled via the extension control panel.

Be sure to turn off this extension if you do not want Bing to become your default search engine.