Nerd Polytechnic

41 0

How to build a XenDesktop LAB / POC / Demo Environment

I have been playing around with Citrix since the dark old days of Citrix MetaFrame, and I tell you this not so you are impressed but so you believe me when I say this product has come a LONG way! Whilst it is under constant pressure from new players in the market like VMware View and Dell vWorkspace it is still the dominant player in a vast number of accounts. Since so many of my customers at Nutanix are running Citrix its important that I can articulate how well the platform runs Citrix, and nothing speaks louder than a killer...

firewall 0

Lab Shortcuts! – Disable Windows Firewall via Group Policy

I hate firewalls in my lab. They just slow things down when you are experimenting in a NON-Production environment. So I normally set my Windows environment up so the firewalls are disabled automatically by Group Policy. So if you want to know how to Disable Windows Firewall via Group Policy check out this video tutorial. If you don’t have time for the video, its super simple. Open an Administrator command line shell and type gpmc.msc. Then open : Computer Configuration -> Policies -> Administrative templates -> Network -> Network Connections -> Windows Firewall -> Domain Profile Set Windows Firewall: Protect all network...

_TqeEHMZ 0

Nutanix cluster install process

One of the things that I love about Nutanix is the ease of install. You can wheel in a few nodes right from the delivery van, rack and stack them and have the hypervisor of your choice booted and ready for virtual machines in less than a hour. It is often something people think is too good to believe, and who can blame them! The word converged has become synonymous with the large “pre-built” “converged” systems that still take a week to get spun up in a data centre. When Lachlan in the Sydney Dell Solution Centre said he was...

sherpablog 0

A System Engineers bag of magic tricks

This week I was in Silicon Valley at the Nutanix mid year kick off. Whilst we had our fair share of technical roadmap sessions and strategy briefings we also had a fun and simple presentation by one of my colleagues here in the US. He just touched on what is in his bag of tricks and I thought since I am obsessed with being prepared for anything I should make up a blog post on what I carry for work. Primarily my job is as a Pre-Sales Systems Engineer, so I spend my time working with customers on discovery and design...

Screen Shot 2014-11-22 at 5.47.09 pm 0

An evening with Dick Smith

If your an Aussie Nerd like I am then you know who Dick Smith is. The Aussie business man, technologist and adventurer ticks a lot of boxes when it comes to being a hero of mine and I was honoured to meet and introduce him to the Manly Warringah Radio Society this week. This is a bit of a watch, but if you get the time its worth it as his story is fantastic and his sense of humour is iconically Australian. This is one of the rare times that I was actually nervous doing a introduction!

Screen Shot 2014-11-19 at 5.11.59 pm 0

VMware Virtual GPU – A beginners guide.

Currently  (November 2014) on VMware there is two ways to deliver GPU workloads to Virtual Desktops on VMware. If your new to GPU this post will give you an overview with both technologies (vSGA and vDGA) and give you some of each solutions strengths and weaknesses. vSGA (Virtual Shared Graphics adaptor) uses a driver, installed within the Hyper-Visor (ESXi) that grabs requests for GPU from the virtual machine and directs it to a GPU. The benefit of this technology is multiple virtual machines can share a single GPU. The limiting factor here is your graphic cards video ram and the...

Flickr:olarte.ollie 0

Throw away the crystal ball and size with real data.

Over the years I have come to realise that every Solution Architect has their own technique for scoping and sizing a solution. It generally involved a finger in the air, a shake of the crystal ball and hopefully some current environment actuals. However, now that the Webscale / Hyper-Converged revolution is well and truly underway we don’t have to oversize environments or predict what an environment will need 5 years out. We can start to deploy just in time compute and storage, which means no more wasted money, power or cycles. So here I have put together some hints and...

6477473783_8220b3e590_b 0

Security starts with education…

Why is it companies spend so much time and money implementing IT security systems, but to date I have never heard of a company putting their staff through basic IT security training. You have to admit that these days IT security has gotten pretty good. Audits, compliance, ethical hacking and pen testing keep systems and developers honest. Intrusion detection systems, firewalls and DDoS protection keep networks secure. I would hazard a guess and say the biggest threat is the one that hasn’t changed… the Users. As a fun experiment when you hear of a organisation getting “hacked”, see if you...

Flickr: bfishadow 9

Automated snapshots of your Amazon EC2 instances EBS volume

  So I am a big fan of automation, however the problem with automation is two fold. On one hand it reduces errors, but also makes failures spectacular. The other uhh.. fold (?) is how much time you spend trying to make a simple task automated. I wanted to come up with a simple way to backup my EBS instance, and got thinking about ssh tunnels, rsync and my MacMini home server. That is until I found this awesome script to do automated EBS Snapshots. https://github.com/colinbjohnson/aws-missing-tools/tree/master/ec2-automate-backup Here is a quick run-through for people new to AWS on how to set...

Flickr:sⓘndy° 2

Moving your blog to an Amazon EC2 Instance

AWS is the new hotness, and I am totally on the bandwagon.. so much so that I have been personally awarded this “cloud ninja” sticker from amazon.. A honour that I will tell my cat about. Amazon has a whole swag of services, of which I am interested in two for this hosting requirement. The first being EC2, which is their Virtual Server product and the second being EBS which is their block storage offering. The cool thing with EBS volumes is they are portable, so you can move them around and map them to different virtual servers. A quick...

Flickr:Wendy Seltzer 0

BYOD or Bust! Can we get rid of the corporate desktop

When I started in the IT industry computers had yet to reach default appliance status. Some family’s had a shared system but really most people would see their company issued desktop as their primary computing device. You might do a bit of web browsing at work, send that email to friends from your corporate address and that did the trick. Between those years and today people started to get personal computers, not shared home machines but their own system. This was a nightmare for Architects and Admins as we had the task of keeping these potentially disease infested computers off...

village_telco_logo 0

Lecture – Village Telco and the Mesh Potato

Glen and I presented the Mesh Potato to the Manly Warringah Radio Society this week. If your not following, the Mesh Potato a wifi router / telephone ATA used as a building block for the village telco project. The Village Telco is an initiative to build low-cost community telephone network hardware and software that can be set up in minutes anywhere in the world.  No mobile phone towers or land lines are required. The Village Telco uses the latest Open Source telephony software and low cost wireless mesh networking technology to deliver affordable telephony anywhere. We just put the video...

0

International Lighthouse Lightship Weekend 2012

With lighthouse weekend behind us for another year I can confidently say the weekend was a great success. Once again the Chase Alive team helped us gain access to the Barrenjoey Lighthouse and it’s keepers cottage. This was a huge bonus as it allowed us to comfortably run multiple stations  from the elements, which this year included some very serious wind. The MWRS team clambered up the hill early Saturday morning to setup a 40 Meter Dipole, A separate 3 beam TH-3 Yagi and a multiband whip. By 10 AM we were on the air and making our first contacts. One of the more unique ones would have...

Flickr:Tanja Föhr 0

Work / Life Balance – What’s in it for the shareholders?

The demands modern businesses place on their employees is continually expanding, yet the methodology many organisations utilise for how their staff should carry out and deliver their work remains largely unchanged. This failure to meet employee needs means the average worker now changes role 12 times during their career, seeking employment that allows them to meet the demands of their personal and professional lives. This essay discusses how work-life balance programs benefit organisations by improving employee recruitment, retention and productivity. By reviewing modern day business challenges we can see how the needs of the business and the needs of the...

7158167502_f82c47f23e_z 0

Why your Windows Foo doesn’t impress the grim reaper

Some of my ranty previous posts have mentioned cloud computing in various ways, and reading back I think it’s funny how much more I know about cloud now. I have spent countless hours researching the topic, working with vendors and resellers and now developing plans for resellers to go to market. Why the change of heart, well it all comes down to the opportunities I have seen it generate and the power I have seen it deliver to end users. The dumb smart phone. Almost everyone is a cloud customer in some way. Don’t believe me, look at your iphone,...

7072944389_8821fb284d_z 0

Cloud stuff..

If I had a jolt cola for every time I have been asked to define cloud computing I would  be on dialysis by now. As I ranted in a previous bleary eyed travel rage infused post cloud computing seems to be the “new hotness”, but is it really and should you care? A blogger by the name of Rands tweeted something along the lines of “you think by writing”, which is how I do my best work. Over the last few weeks I have been writing up a series of definitions to what cloud is and why you should care. My personal...

0

Monitoring your Apple Airport with Cacti

Spent the last few hours messing around with my Apple Airport Extereme and Cacti. Like any self respecting nerd I have alot of IP connected devices, and so I use cacti to keep an eye on things. Cacti is a great network monitoring tool that allows you to use SNMP to monitor devices. I use this to map out what my ADSL connection is doing (Helps me prove issues to my ISP), see what devices are hammering my network and make sure everything is working as it should. Remember.. I am a nerd. We do these things. I wanted to...

0

Dealing with the one who is full of zeal

/ˈzɛl.ət/, “one who is zealous, one who is full of zeal for his own specific beliefs or objectives, usually in the negative sense of being too passionate; a fanatic” Zealots are boring. Like really boring. It does my head in to watch people in glass houses throw stones and today I met the stone thrower. Whilst wondering the floor at a trade show I commented to a colleage about the Apple iPad and how they seem to be catching on. It was then that a Windows zealot pipes up to inform me that they are “rubbish” and “insecure”, and that 120,000 people have been hacked! Hacked...

Peter Thoeny - Flickr 0

Zen and the art of Virtualised Infrastructure….

The IT Industry is probably the most reactive industry on the planet. Sure there is a lot of innovation, but much of that innovation simply fixes one problem whilst creating a new one. Whilst that statement comes across as a cynical view, I think it it is just an abridged way of looking at technology. Think about it. We invent something, it takes off, we then need to invent new things to support the first. This concept is much like many sciences with the concepts and ideas of technology being constantly peer reviewed and improved upon. So what changed in...