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VMware vExpert for 2013

June 10th, 2013 No comments

This is a bit of a delayed reaction to the vExpert 2013 announcements late last month, but I have been very busy and didn’t have time to finish posting the below on the day…

I woke up this morning to a flurry of tweets announcing the vExpert 2013 nominations. I was honoured to have received this title for a second year running now. Four of my colleagues at Xtravirt also received the title, as did 25 or so fellow London VMUG members. In total there were 500 or so people that received this title for 2013, out of 850 applicants. Congratulations to all who were nominated this year around!

Along with the flurry of activity on twitter came the inevitable blog posts. Two of my favourite so far are from @dawoo and @rimmergram.

Jane’s post rang true for me as one topic she covered was the perceived negativity to the announcements from some. I had also noticed a little bit of negativity from others on twitter around the announcements and the greater number of vExperts this year. Of course everyone is entitled to their own opinions. For me, I was just honoured to be able to keep the title for a second year around. This means I was able to keep at my quest for sharing knowledge in 2012 – my main platform being this blog.

Going slightly off topic, I did a look up on Google Analytics the other day, and Shogan.tech has been running for 5 years now! In that time it has received almost 300 000 page views.It started off as a really old version of WordPress running on a humble Dell Optiplex PC at one of my previous abodes, running on top of a VMware Server 2.0 VM (uBuntu Server with Apache, mySQL and PHP). After 6 months of PC issues and website outages, I decided to go the hosted route. It is a great feeling to know that many people have benefited from the content of my blog, and I hope to continue this trend throughout 2013.

For those interested, the official VMware vExpert 2013 announcement blog post and list of people awarded can be found here.

Update – where have I been?

June 4th, 2013 No comments

It has been a nearly two months since I last posted blog updated in a regular fashion, which is kind of unusual for me. Unfortunately for the blog, I have had a lot going on, and blogging has had to take a hit. There is a good reason for that though, my wife and I recently purchased our first property, so we have been busy with the move, but also with completely renovating it.

We have done all of the renovation work ourselves and so far are quite proud of what we have managed to achieve!   Much more to do though, but hopefully there will be more blogging in the near future!

Here is a start to finish progress log of one room we have managed to renovate…

lounge-transformation-low

Categories: The diary of Shogan Tags: ,

vExpert spotlight

December 6th, 2012 No comments

 

The vExpert title is given out to those who have provided a significant contribution to the VMware community over the previous year. Individuals lucky enough to be awarded this title may receive it for a number of different reasons. For the 2012 title, there were three paths possible to become a vExpert.

  • Evangelist path
  • Customer path
  • VPN (VMware Partner Network) path

Having created and run Shogan.tech over the last four and half years or so, providing content to the community around VMware, automation, and scripting (as well as a couple of small little utilities), I was lucky enough to receive the title on the evangelist path this year.

Gregg Robertson (from thesaffageek.com) has kindly been helping out with organising and publishing the vExpert spotlight entries. After finally managing to find a bit of time, I managed to get my entry together a few weeks ago and submitted it. It has just been posted up on the VMware VMTN blog: http://blogs.vmware.com/vmtn/2012/12/vexpert-spotlight-sean-duffy.html

 

 

UK VMware User Group (UKVMUG)

November 18th, 2012 2 comments

 

Last week I was lucky enough to be able to attend the UKVMUG, hosted at the National Motorcycle Museum near Birmingham.

 

Wednesday (14/11/2012)

Travelling up early Wednesday evening, I made it to the venue at about 18h45 – just in time for the Veeam sponsored vCurry evening. Here I met up with a few fellow bloggers and local London VMUG members, such as, Jane RimmerJeremy BowmanDarren Woollard, Julian Wood, Steve Bruck, Stu McHugh, and Jonathan Medd amongst others! An excellent vCurry was had along with a drink or two. After that it was back to the hotel in preparation for the UKVMUG the following day.

 

Thursday (15/11/2012)

Registration started at 08h00 with all attendees receiving a welcome pack and VMUG lanyard with their details. Breakfast and teas/coffees were served and everyone had a bit of time to chat before Alaric Davies (of the London VMUG team) opened the proceedings. After this, Joe Baguley did the opening keynote. His keynote was interesting, and generally well received, keeping everyone riveted as far as I could tell.

 

Proceedings were slightly delayed and led to Alaric asking if attendees wouldn’t mind forfeiting the first coffee break – much to the dismay of most, including Simon Long 😀

Throughout the rest of the day, I managed to attend the following sessions:

  • Nimble Storage | Stress-Free Data Protection for VMware and VDI
  • Alan Renouf and William Lam | Practical Automation for Everyone
  • Mike Laverick | Building my vCloud Director Home Lab
  • Duncan Epping and Frank Denneman | Deep-Dive Discussion Group

 

In-between sessions I managed to chat with Automation gurus William Lam, Alan Renouf and Jonathan Medd. Apart from demoing a small little iOS app I have been working on (for my company Xtravirt),  I bounced some ideas off of Jonathan regarding a small mini-project I have been working on to automate vSphere lab environment deployment. I got some useful advice here, especially with regard to deploying vCenter unattended (thanks Jonathan!) It was also great to meet William Lam in person and have a brief chat about the VMware MOB (which I find extremely useful for a project I am currently working on).

I was also interviewed by Steve Bruck for the vNews podcast – they were interested in chatting about vMetrics – so I managed to get a small plug in for my WordPress plugin there.

 

Finally the closing keynote by Scott Lowe was held, entitled “Staying Sharp and Relevant in IT”. This was an excellent session and provided some great insight, ideas and thoughts into learning new technologies or employing techniques to help study new areas for today’s IT pro.

 

After the event was over, Jane Rimmer from the London VMUG team was very kind to invite Darren and I to a small dinner gathering at a nearby restaurant. This was perfect for me as I wanted to avoid rush hour traffic for my drive back home (120 miles or so). We had an excellent dinner and chat with the likes of Jane Rimmer, Simon Gallagher, Alaric Davies, Hans De Leenheer, some ladies from the US VMUG team, and last but not least, Scott Lowe.

 

All in all the event was a success.

Just for fun, I decided to create pie/donut chart representing the number of #UKVMUGYAY hashtagged tweets vs #UKVMUGBOO (good vs bad) – note that some of the “boo” tweets did seem to be playful – i.e. not really showing dissatisfaction! This was a quick and rough calculation by searching for “ALL” tweets on each hashtag and counting them manually – I may have been a couple out here or there 🙂 This is as of tonight (18/11/2012).

 

Kwikfit – Avoid if you value your safety and money

June 24th, 2012 No comments

So this is a bit of a change to my normal subject matter, but I felt like I should post this up, as this is shockingly bad service that should not go unnoticed.

 

Around 5 or 6 weeks ago I noticed a scraping sound coming from my car’s braking system on the way in to work. I finished the trip, and arranged to have the braking system checked out at lunch time at the nearest Kwikfit branch – Bracknell, in Surrey (closest at the time as I was on client site). I took the car over, and explained to the person at the counter that I had heard a loud, scraping noise coming from the front of the car whenever I applied brakes lightly. They did their standard “free” brake check and called me back about 40 minutes later to say that everything had passed and was 100%, nothing to worry about. They then explained that the scraping sound was probably just a bit of dirt and that they had cleaned the  brakes out after removing everything to check them.

 

On the way back I still noticed the slight scraping sound and thought I would give it a while in case it was in fact dirt, and just needed to come loose – like a small stone for example. Fast forward a few weeks and the noise is still there. I trust Kwikfit’s diagnostic report and advice, as this is their area of expertise – how hard can it be to check brake pads anyway? Things at work have been, and are getting very busy, so I kind of forget about the brake noises for a couple more weeks.

 

Today I thought I better get a second opinion, as the noise has been getting progressively worse over the last couple of days. I send the car over to my trusted mechanic and he comes back to me straight away to say that the front left brake pad is completely worn through and it is plainly obvious that this is what is causing the noise. Aside from that, the brake disc has of course been worn down by the metal-on-metal wear. I need to replace both front brake discs and pads as a set. £200 later I have replaced everything and at the end of today I got my car back – no more noise, and the brakes feel great. I pulled out my Kwikfit diagnost report from around a month back to double check – as I remembered, everything is marked off as “OK” on the brake pad and other components. At the top of the report, you can even see where they marked down that I had reported “Noise” coming from the brakes!

 

I am appalled with the service and bad advice I received. Not only did Kwikfit’s service cost me more money in the end – having more components to replace because of damage, but they also put me and my family’s safety on the line by telling me that there was nothing wrong with my brakes, when in fact, they were completely worn down! I most certainly won’t be using their services in the future, and sincerely hope that they can correct things like this from happening in the future.

For those interested, here is original diagnostic report they gave me – scanned in colour. I have of course blanked out my personal details, but you can see where they marked down the symptoms I had reported, and where they give everything a nice big “OK”.

 

 

vExpert for 2012 (Thanks!)

April 15th, 2012 No comments

 

 

After being put through what some would only describe as torture this morning (interval training with my wife at gym), I arrived home to relax and check my e-mail. My mailbox was filled with Twitter notifications and upon closer inspection it seemed apparent that I had been awarded the title of vExpert 2012! This is an absolutely huge honour for me, and I must say, it caught me completely off guard.

 

I just wanted to send out a huge congratulations to all the new and returning vExpert awardees for 2012! There are so many talented individuals out there putting out an immense amount of great content, discussion, and effort when it comes to all things VMware. I must say, it has been a great year – I have learnt so much from the community, and thoroughly enjoyed being a part of it.

 

A special thanks go out to two people in particular who spring to mind when it comes to the VMware community, namely; Alex Maier and John Troyer. Thanks to you guys for managing and being the driving force behind the whole community! I would also like to send a special shout out to, and congratulate three of my work colleagues at Xtravirt who were also awarded the vExpert 2012 title today – Gregg Robertson, Darren Woollard and Paul Wood. It is Paul and my first year being awarded vExpert status, and Darren and Gregg’s second. Well done all!

 

To finish off, here is the official list of vExperts for 2012, as well as a definition of the vExpert title/award from VMware

 

  • vExperts 2012
  • The VMware vExpert Award is given to individuals who have significantly contributed to the community of VMware users over the past year. vExperts are book authors, bloggers, VMUG leaders, tool builders, and other IT professionals who share their knowledge and passion with others. These vExperts have gone above and beyond their day jobs to share their technical expertise and communicate the value of VMware and virtualization to their colleagues and community.

 

So here’s to another fantastic year ahead for the community and many more to come!