Microsoft Azure: Schedule an Auto-Shutdown

Today when I was meddling with my Virtual Machine (VM) in Microsoft Azure, I chanced upon this new feature known as “Auto-shutdown” under the section “Schedules” although this was originally released in November 2016. The piece of news can be found here. With this naming, it tells it all that Microsoft is helping us consumers to save some costs! (Thanks Microsoft!) #MicrosoftIsGreat.

Azure-AutoShutDown-01

Clicking on it further brings me into this simple form.

Azure-AutoShutDown-03

As you can see that this form is rather simple to operate which also means that it is missing some features that I can think off immediately upon seeing this.

Azure-AutoShutDown-04

Microsoft Azure team has built this feature to allow you to shut down at anytime at your convenience which is down right the whole purpose of this. I faced with tons of issues with time zone where I set an alarm at 6pm (GMT +7) and after a flight, it does rang only at the specified time zone even I return to my home land which is in (GMT +8).

One of the immediate limitation of this is, once you scheduled a time to have the resource to be shut down. It will be on run on a daily basis, which means that I will need to manually start the Virtual Machine if I need to. Well, a list of awesome features that I hope to see on this Schedules will be:

1) Auto-StartUp – Automatically start the resource if it is not in the Stopped State at a specified time.

2) Allow more granular control such as:

  • Control by Shutting down on a specified day of the week/month
  • Control by Starting up on a specified day of the week/month

3) What is better is, if I can even start/stop a resource by using my Mobile Device (regardless of Email/Mobile Application)

Cheers,
Milton

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

Automation: Using Synology Task Scheduler

As part of the continuous series about “Automation”, I took a look at how my Synology DS 412+ could be part of the story. The situation is where every Monday of the week, my lab environment will need to be shut down as my helpers will be cleaning up my desk area therefore based on my past experiences where they meddle with my electrical appliances and causes it to shut down; therefore I always shut down all my equipment on Monday. However, lately I am getting a little lazy of shutting them down via the readily available web-console so I took a look at the Task Scheduler within Synology NAS.

Let’s take a look at what it offers.

Capture_01

It looks amazing with lots to offer with the hefty price to pay for the tip-top performance that I am enjoying!

Capture_02

After navigating to “Hardware & Power”, I take a look at the “Power Schedule”.

Capture_03

I am able to set the schedule freely!

Capture_04

Within a few clicks, I am able to configure the NAS to shut down by itself at 3.15am on a Monday, prior to shutting down the NAS, I would have use some PowerShell scripts to shut down all the Virtual Machine that uses the NAS and the lab server to be shut down too.

It’s amazing to have all these automatically shut down without manual intervention!

Cheers!
Milton Goh

It’s all about AUTOMATION!–New Continuous Series

Starting from today, I will be continuously exploring ways that I can automate certain manual process that is revolving around our day-to-day life which we didn’t notice that by spending perhaps an equivalent amount of time; we could then increase in Productivity, Efficiency and most importantly saving lots of time!

There was once I saw an article on LinkedIn where there is an image that really storm through my mind right now. The image depicts two guy trying to move a crane of stuffs without any wheels and another guy who came to offer them a pair of wheels to help lighten their load. The replies from the guys that are working is, “I am busy, I have no time for this.”

This directly portrait the kind of life we are heading, there are people who are working aimlessly everyday trying to get things done which has been assigned to them but we never ever had any time or opportunity to look at how we can improve ourselves.

While there is no one way that we could automate certain process, the following will just be some of the primary tools/methods that I will work with.

  • PowerShell
  • C#
  • SSH
  • Telnet
  • Putty

Cheers! Stay tuned…

Milton Goh