Goodbye Twenty Fifteen, Hello Twenty Sixteen.

In a wink of eyes and it is the last few minutes at the time when I am typing or publishing this blog entry before we welcome year twenty sixteen (2016)!

Indeed, in the last 365 days, there are way too many that I have learnt in life regardless of the sources. Let’s pin point to the highlights of the year!

Microsoft Most Valuable Professional (MVP) – PowerShell

On the 1st of April this year, I received an email from Microsoft that I am awarded my first Microsoft MVP award in the Windows PowerShell technical expertise and I am really thrill that my effort and work towards the community has been recognized by Microsoft.

Goodbye AirWatch by VMware

Today (31st December 2015) is my last day with VMware (AirWatch Division). I officially bid goodbye to VMware as I embarked into my next chapter of my life in 2016. Within the 13 months in VMware within the AirWatch division, I have learnt a lot as the Implementation Consultant covering the ASEAN region. I am also happy that I am part of the team that spearhead the whole regional implementation of the mobility solution to one of the biggest insurance company in the world!

It is certainly my lost that I no longer able to work with this whole bunch of folks but I am sure we will all be missed!

Microsoft MVP Summit

In November, I made my way to Seattle, Washington for my first ever Microsoft MVP Summit as a newbie MVP. In the 4 days spent in Microsoft campus, I get to meet up with fellow PowerShell MVPs and Product Group members. It is a whole new experience that is well deserve the 24 hours of flight from Singapore there.

One thing that I definitely missed is the time that I took to walk around the campus under the nice cold weather and different scenery that I enjoyed with my bare eyes! I really wish to be there in year 2016!

This kind of companionship and networking chance is something that one should not missed!

Well Deserved Break – West Coast of United States of America

At the end of November this year, I took a three weeks break and accompanied my family to tour the West Coast of United States of America (USA). So within these three weeks, we have tour the following states:

  • Los Angeles
  • Las Vegas
  • San Diego
  • San Francisco

The weather is really nice in the states and I definitely missed those days when I do not sweat at all! *Grins* Looking at my size, obviously I hate warm weather!

First Ever PowerShell Conference in Asia – Singapore

In September, a few of us (Matt, Ben and Ravi) took the leap to our first ever PowerShell Conference in Asia where we host attendees and speakers from all over the world! We could not be more than happy with the results that we have yearned and through this first ever paid conference that we have organised, we have learnt all the Dos and Don’ts!

This is great lesson and we would definitely have those changes incorporated into the next one in year 2016!

Successfully Built Partners Network

In my career in VMware (AirWatch Division), I have successfully worked with various partners from different countries (Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand) and have successfully foster strong bonds between them and our company. I am really thrilled that all my effort was recognised and been regarded as the trusted advisor to all of them.

So what’s new in Year 2016 that I am working on?

Over the last few weeks of the year, I have been trying to reflect on what I have done and what I should have done within this year. I do know that I definitely could not rewind back to the time but I would like to take this opportunity to pin down some goals that I must achieved within year 2016. Some of the goals is:

Knowledge – Becoming an avid reader

One of the most efficient way to gain knowledge is to be reading and this is one of my short-coming although I should have started being an avid reader years ago. So in year 2016, I would love to cultivate myself to read more! Other than purely reading, I would love to share what I have learnt through different avenues to people so that I could spread out those knowledge and hopefully be the one that influence others to start reading those good books that I have read!

Leadership – One step forward to become the better leader

In my over five years of career, I have worked with many leaders and managers. In the coming year, I would love to work towards the People’s Manager or People’s Leader. Someone that would gain respect from everyone in the organisation and even from Customers or Partners. I certainly know that being a leader is not just by saying but it is by the action! There are more things that I need to learn in order to be handed the authority to lead and excel!

Personality – Ditching the bad habits, cultivating the good habits

Personality is something that was either born with it or it has been cultivated over the years depending on the environment that one has gone through. In this year, I have learnt a lot about my personality and I would be more than happy and eager to have it changed!

There is one thing that I have finally learnt over the last few weeks is that, I have learnt to Forgive and Forget. What doesn’t kill you only will make you stronger!

Lastly, I would be investing a lot more time in DevOps and PowerShell so that I could continue advocating all these principles and knowledges to those people around me like what I have done this year! I believe this kind of knowledge is fruitful and I hope that one day, Windows PowerShell / Automation / DevOps is something that Asia-Pacific can adopt and have it under every IT Pro / Developer belt!

Cheers to all and Happy New Year! Let’s all work hard in year 2016!

Regards,
Milton Goh

Why is my Virtual Machine loading so slow in VMware Fusion?

At work, I am assigned a MacBook Air to use it primarily and since it is running Mac OS, there will be times when I definitely will require a Windows image to do whatever I can’t do on a Mac. So there was this Windows 7 Enterprise virtual machine image that was provided by the IT team and have it loaded into VMware Fusion for use. There was this unbearable pain initially when using the image as it is simply crawling for me! When I meant, “Crawling” is that, each operation you made will take between 10-30 seconds to complete and sometimes it will hung there all the while!

I meddled around with the settings such as adjusting the amount of processor or memory that is allocated but to no avail. I was constantly monitoring the utilization on my Mac to make sure that I am not over-allocating too much to the Virtual Machine (VM).

I found this setting that once I toggle with it, the Virtual Machine went on speeding like crazily fast! (OK, just a little exaggerating here as it really makes a lot of difference!)

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Notice the portion that says “Hard disk buffering”. It is now set as “Disabled” as it works for me. Look at the other options that was available.

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So initially when the Virtual Machine is being configured, it was set to “Automatic” and thus the crawling of the whole VM which totally made the performance degraded.

There are a lot of articles online that tells you that you should disable this if you encounter performance degradation.

Cheers.

Milton Goh

Chance Upon–vSphere Mobile Watchlist (Mobile App)

While I was doing my usual surfing for mobile applications on my devices (iOS on iPad / Android on Samsung Galaxy Note 3), I happened to chance upon this application – vSphere Mobile Watchlist by VMware, Inc. Swipe through the available screen captures provided in PlayStore, I saw some exciting things that I can do with this application so I went ahead to down it.

The application looked like this in PlayStore.

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As what it is shown in the description, “Monitor the VMware vSphere VMs you care about and remediate any alerts remotely”. It is that simple right? Simplified the way System Administrator(s) work now!

Since I have a one-server vSphere environment at home, I quickly login to the environment to test out the application.

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Since my mobile phone and my lab server sits in the same network, I could easily access the vSphere instance without any issue. However, for other system administrators that are on the move most of the time or wish to work on a quick-fix or reboot a Virtual Machine (VM) in the movie theatre, then probably you will need to bypass security layer like connecting to the vSphere environment through VPN.

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After successful login, it just presented me with a very neat outlook (which is something that I like the most, don’t build unnecessary features that complicates things when we can do only this much in a small device like our mobile phone!).

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Clicking on the “+” (plus) sign on the screen will bring you to the list of Virtual Machine (VMs) available for selection. Initially, I have no idea what I should be doing! However, by a few knocks, I finally get to know how this works.

You will need to select the radio button shown on the left of each Virtual Machine listed and it will appear on the dashboard (or main page) of the mobile application.

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I selected a few and head back to the dashboard and you will see those selected are somehow the “highlights” that you may want to view instantly upon logging in using the mobile application.

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In the dashboard, there is two views (on the left which shows more details compared to the lesser details one on the right). It is rather useful if you really have lots of vSphere hosts loaded and you want your attention to be focus on selected VMs on every host. After all, you care for what is most important to you although all of them are equally important but in every environment, there will definitely be servers that has more weightage compared to the rest.

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Diving into the individual Virtual Machine gives you more details of the selected VM. On the glance, it just provides you with information that you want to care most. For example, if you received an alert from your monitoring tool telling you that one of your server are hitting the threshold of 80% in CPU utilization or the available storage is less than 10%. You probably want to validate that piece of information immediately upon login to your vSphere environment. Notice that there is 4 nodes at the bottom, it just means that there are more information if you swipe to the left.

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Page 2 shows you the console view while Page 3 gives you a list of commands that is available similar to what you see on the VMware console used for administering VMware Virtual Machines.

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Page 4 is one of the important one where it shows you all the Tasks & Events pertaining to the Virtual Machine. This will be really useful for troubleshooting purposes.

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Very comprehensive filtering features built in so that the Administrator could filter accordingly to what is the level of details he/she wants to view.

VMware is really good with graphical representation of the information that is gathered which I really really appreciate the team who developed all these. Some of the breakdown of the graphs that you will find.

CPU & Memory

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Disk

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Network

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Want to quickly send the current state of the individual Virtual Machine to your team mates to review or escalate to the next support level? Well, you could easily gather the information and email it over through your mobile!

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Remoting / Accessing the Virtual Machine

If you are at your weep-ends where you really need to login to the server to check out what is happening within the server, then the mobile application has built in something that is as similar to the experience you get during a Teamviewer session.

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Using the on-screen keyboard, it takes a bit of effort though (I am not a fan of working with small screen unless I really have to). It will definitely be more soothing to your eyes when the screen is rotated.

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That’s all for the Virtual Machine section. Now, let’s move on to the Host.

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Similar to the Virtual Machine view, it gives you a holistic view of the utilization of the Host.

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This view gives you all the Virtual Machine that is hosted within the vSphere host and the list of datastore visible to the vSphere host.

The statistical portion of the Host is exactly the same as the Virtual Machine so I will be omitting the screen shot to save some of your bandwidth. 🙂

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Much lesser functionality compared to Virtual Machine but is definitely aligned to the what it has in the VMware console. The Tasks & Events is the same as the Virtual Machine ones and filtering possesses the same as Virtual Machine too.

One very last feature that is useful for System Administrator when administering a farm of vSphere host and Virtual Machine is that, sometime you would want to group certain Virtual Machine and Host into different view as the different group may signify usage for different projects or team. Take a look at the feature “WatchList” where you are available to create new “WatchList” and pull in respective Virtual Machine you would like in this view.

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Select the Virtual Machine or Host that you want and then shift it into the WatchList.

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Do you find this application useful for System Administrator? Is there any features that are lacking from this? Share with me in the comment fields and let’s discuss!

Cheers.

Milton Goh