I recently had a situation where I needed to change the hostname, IP, and domain of around 200 VMs. No problem, I can just script that out, right? Well, the problem with scripting in this case was that the VMs were in an offline state (more on that below). I also couldn’t use VMware customization specs because those are only available during cloning or deployment operations. The answer came in the form of a clever cmdlet called Invoke-VMScript that let me execute code using VMware tools as the delivery mechanism. In this blog I’ll talk about how VMScript saved me countless hours and I’ll give you some tips on using the command, but first a little background…
I have encountered on several occasions where I have lost the root password for an esxi host. While there is not an obvious way to change the local root password on the websphere gui, the following is a method I have learned on how to reset the root password of the esxi host. However, before I proceed, some caveats:
Burnout is something most people in the tech industry are intimately familiar with, but it’s a topic not often discussed publicly. Many people I speak to about it even share a sense of guilt over feeling burned out. “If my coworkers are able to handle their work fine, then I must be doing something wrong”, they say. Managers are often in the same boat, when it comes to burnt-out employees: “They just can’t handle our pace.”
I believe both perspectives have a misunderstanding of what burnout is and how to handle it, something I hope to clear up for both.
There’s a spirit of adventure at conferences. It’s putting on a pith helmet and encountering big, hairy beasts as strange, new industry problems are described. It’s foraging deep into the jungle of new ideas and bringing back delicious, new fruits. It’s discovering new friends and allies, similarly interested in mapping the trails.
Seattle hosts Cascadia IT Conference, and poetry aside, my experience there was fruitful. It’s a journey I’ve made twice now, and each has been rewarding. This year the big idea I bagged was offered up by Paul English: Test Driven Systems Administration.
Geeky + bccs,
I just finished reading “The Innovators” by Walter Isaacson: http://www.amazon.com/dp/147670869X/. You might know the author from his biographies of Albert Einstein and/or Steve Jobbs. I really enjoyed this book and recommend it, particularly for anybody with any interest in technology, especially computer and communication technologies.
Much of the book focuses on teams that complimented each other. Just to share one anecdote that surprised me – all the earliest programmers were women. It seems this “tradition” started because all the early “calculators” were women – seemingly a low prestige profession.
This past week, I had the honor of being invited to speak at SaltConf 2015. I additionally was asked to serve on a panel that discussed using multiple configuration management systems in the same environment.
The panel got me thinking about what DevOps in 2015 means (from a technical sense; the cultural shifts and methodologies will have to wait for another blog post someday!). I believe I’ve narrowed it down to four primitives, which I term the Four Horsemen of DevOps. Since I was at SaltConf, I was naturally thinking in terms of Saltstack. It struck me that each one of these four primitives is served rather well by various Saltstack components.
Like most consultants who’ve been in the game for more than a year or two, I periodically receive opportunities to “convert” to being a full time employee, either with our clients or from third parties who’ve heard of me through the grapevine. It’s always flattering, I always appreciate the gesture, and I always politely decline the offer.
Why? On the face of it, this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. As a consultant, I generally don’t get the chance to gain equity in my clients. Compensation generally takes the form of cash rather than an ownership stake, and as for the rest of the typical fringe benefit suite? Forget it! As a consultant, I frequently find myself sitting next to the printer breathing toner. (“Sorry about that, it was the last available seat we had…”)
Historically, operating systems in the UNIX and UNIX-like family have not only been incredibly stable, but have also been trailblazers in technology. Some have been more renowned for using what’s become tried and true– as well as being slow moving targets that are easier to support. Those in the latter category have at times had a fear of change when seemingly too sudden or divergent from their current standing, but change isn’t always bad. Sometimes it’s just simply that: change, and in the case of SysV Init, the change has been a long time coming.
It’s the beginning of a New Year, time to make those New Year’s resolutions: lose weight, eat more vegetables, write that novel, travel to Europe, get that colonoscopy, etc. But as we all know, doing new things is hard; perhaps stopping things we are already doing is easier, a sort of Anti-Resolution. So I propose these anti-resolutions for IT professionals in 2015:
Stop generating non-actionable alerts: How many alerts have you ignored or deleted from your inbox today? “Alert Fatigue” is a common operations malady. Not only does it waste time and attention, but could drown out relevant alerts that need real attention. This is one of the easiest anti-resolutions: just turn them off.
Stop asking stupid security questions: Commonly used as an attempt to reduce password reset requests or as a cost-saving substitute for multi-factor authentication, security questions fail because people are no better at remembering the answers than their passwords. “What was the name of your first pet?” is a question I would have a hard time answering the first time, let alone later when I needed to reset my password.