Let’s Do It Differently - Voting Time. Again….

Last year I asked you Please do not vote for Me! and I still stand by every single word I said in that post last year – nothing has changed.

I would like to re-iterate who I think you should be be voting for and why:

Try not to make this into a popularity contest.
Judge the bloggers on their content.
Judge the bloggers on their writing skills.
Judge the bloggers on their passion.
Judge the bloggers on who they are – not just because they work for company A, B or C.

This year I would even like to take this one step further (and perhaps I might be making a mistake here – but this is the what I feel is right).

Let’s look for a moment at the current top 25 bloggers and where they have been ranked over the past 4 years.

Top Virtualization blogs over the years

11 of these bloggers have been ranked in the top 25 for past 4 years.
7 of the current top 25 are VCDX’s (which is an amazing accomplishment in its own right)

saluteTo all of those on this list - I salute you. I really do! You guys are doing an amazing job, creating content that is up to date, interesting, and informative, is an extremely difficult job. And of course I would say that the overwhelming majority of the people on the entire list of bloggers do not do this for a living – this is a side project, something they enjoy doing – a passion. All of the hard work and investment is well recognized.

Each of the bloggers in the top 25, are leaders in their field, they are speakers at events, guests on podcasts, authors, well recognized in the industry, and have worked extremely hard to achieve what they have accomplished.

It is time to freshen the ranks, accept new blood, and rejuvenate the community.

“How would like to do that?” - I might hear you ask – well actually quite simple.

I would like to see more new and upcoming bloggers enter the top 25. In 2013 there were 6 bloggers who came into the top 25 from either having no rank the year before, or a rank below 25. In 2012 there were mema lot less.

It looks like we are on the right track.

That is why I will not be voting for any of the top 25 bloggers from last year – but rather choosing bloggers who are
not so high in the rankings – for the sole purpose
of giving them more exposure. I will stick to my guns and vote for the bloggers, based on the principles I noted above.

It is better for them, and when it is better for them, it is better for the community as a whole, and better for us all. I do not think that the traffic and exposure of the current top 25 will take a substantial hit – because they are already well established, and well known. They will keep on doing what they have been doing for past 4 (or more years) regardless of their ranking, which will keep them at their current level of exposure (and hopefully continue to grow and advance) .

What do you think? Please feel free to leave your comments and thoughts down below.

(Disclaimer: I am one of those people who are below the top 25.
I would do exactly the same even if I was ranked in the top 25).


OpenStack Session Voting

I have submitted three different sessions for the upcoming Openstack Summit in Atlanta. This is the first time I have submitted content for an OpenStack Summit, and I am looking forward to attend the event.

I think the content of these sessions will be highly beneficial to all those who attend, and if you would like to hear some more about these topics at the Summit in May, I would appreciate your vote for one (or more) of the sessions.

Voting closes on Sunday, March 2nd, at 22:00 UTC.  You will need an OpenStack Community member account in order to vote.

OpenStack Summit Atlanta

Here are the three sessions I have proposed.

Deploying Redhat Openstack on UCS - Proposed Deployment Architecture

Deploying a robust OpenStack environment is critical in architectural design. If the foundation of your datacenter is not robust, redundant and scalable - you could encounter difficulties down the road.

In this session I will present a deployment architecture for OpenStack using Redhat OpenStack.

The topics covered in this session will include:

  • What are the benefits gained by deploying on UCS?
  • Why Control nodes should be deployed as virtual machines.
  • When should you deploy a OpenStack Role on bare metal only.
  • How the deployment with RHOS simplifies the process? (Foreman)
  • Scaling the architecture.


It is best to plan your deployment upfront and dedicate proper consideration to how your datacenter will look like in the future. The complications of issues arising when your infrastructure grows could be averted by proper planning and design.

UCS and Openstack - The Integration

Cloud is about abstraction of resources - compute, storage, and network, and when consuming resources in the public cloud - you, the customer don't really care about the physical resources.

But as an cloud administrator - that is a whole different story, especially when it is about your private cloud.

At Cisco we have been working on integrating the physical with the virtual - taking your operations to a whole new level.

During this session you will see the some of the work done to integrate UCS hardware - directly into the Horizon dashboard.

The benefits are substantial:

  • being able to control the virtual and the physical under a single interface
  • being able to access a KVM console of a specific compute nodes when disaster attacks
  • being able to dynamically assign more physical resources to your OpenStack cluster with absolute minimal overhead

That is the something every admin would like and Cisco is working to provide.

The session topics will include:

  • Plugin development
  • Integration into OpenStack


OpenStack admins are looking for integration of the a full stack, virtual and physical. The UCS plugin for OpenStack provides that insight into the physical resources, reducing TCO for your OpenStack deployments.

Deploying the Openstack Management Layer - the undercloud

Most of us assume that the underlying OpenStack infrastructure is always in place, but there always comes a time where you have to actually put it there.

There are several ways of doing this. PackStack, KickStack, Cisco even have there own implementation - COI.

But how many servers should you deploy on? 

Can they be virtual or do they have to be physical machines?

What are the benefits/drawbacks of either of the above?

During this session I will go over the advantages of actually deploying the management infrastructure as virtual machines or in other words "the undercloud". 

There are several complications and implications when going down this route. 

  • How should you manage this environment?
  • What virtualization platform should you use?
  • Redundancy and high availability.

This talk will also touch on projects in incubation (i.e. Tuskar)


The management components are the most crucial in your OpenStack infrastructure. Learning how to deploy and protect them in an efficient way will assist you in providing the best service to your customers.


The First Step toward DevOps – Bridging the Gaps

This is a re-post of my article, originally published on The Ravello Blog.

devopsWithout a doubt, the traditional role of IT is changing. Traditionally IT were the ones to make the decisions about all kinds of things, they ruled. Today the end user is now king – and is placing all kinds of demands on IT. Users want mobility, they want their applications to work on all of their devices and not just in the office. In most enterprises, IT is trying to adapt to the evolving needs of the organization as quickly as possible.

The emergence of DevOps culture and its introduction into the enterprise presents a challenge for seasoned IT people. Traditionally developers were responsible for writing the code and IT were the ones who made sure it worked on the necessary platforms. The work was done by different types of people who worked separately and implemented entirely different methodologies and workflows. For example, ITIL for IT services, and Agile for development. With a disconnect of sorts between the two teams.

Open the lines of communication

DevOps blurs the traditional boundaries between developers and IT. DevOps brings together development and operations to achieve a common goal. To succeed it is important that developers and Operations learn to communicate. Simple initiatives, such as including representative from the other team in key meetings, can go a long way to establishing better communications and collaboration. It is important that everyone involved understand and appreciate the roles of their counterparts, how they work, and their concerns.

Change the mindset

DevOps is not just a way of working, it is a state of mind, a culture. The greatest obstacle to the adoption of a DevOps culture can be the existing organizational culture. There is often fear that with collaboration will come a loss of control, or diminished responsibility.

Successful DevOps means a change in mindset – all parties involved need to share responsibility for the success or the failure of the product. Resources need to be pooled with the objective of delivering the best possible outcome in an efficient, timely manner. Your journey towards a DevOps orientated environment can succeed only if it is supported by the organization’s management tier.

Check out and consider adapting some or all of the underlying principles of the Agile Manifesto.

Make informed decisions

Before implementing DevOps in the enterprise, take the time to learn about the pros and cons of the different DevOps methodologies. Make sure you understand the pain points for both developers and IT. It is also important to understand where a change in the way you do things can provide added benefit and also where such a change can cause harm, and plan accordingly.

When I first began looking into DevOps, “The Phoenix Project: A Novel about IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win” was a real eye-opener for me. Written by Gene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford, this book provided insights into how one company transformed their IT department’s operations to achieve greater efficiency and profitability.

Consider attending a conference or seminar on DevOps, for example, a DevOpsDays event, where you can learn from the experiences of others.

There are a wide range of configuration and management tools available today, such as Chef, Puppet, SaltStack, and CFEgine. Start investigating these tools to determine which one offers the best potential for your organization.


DevOps and the Fours Sons

I usually do not mix religion and technology together but there are places where they do have something in common.

The Torah refers to four sons: One wise, one wicked, one simple and one who does not know how to ask a question.

What does the wise son say? "What are the testimonials, statutes and laws Hashem our G-d commanded you?" You should tell him about the laws of Pesach, that one may eat no dessert after eating the Pesach offering.

What does the wicked son say? "What does this drudgery mean to you?" To you and not to him. Since he excludes himself from the community, he has denied a basic principle of Judaism. You should blunt his teeth by saying to him: "It is for the sake of this that Hashem did for me when I left Egypt. For me and not for him. If he was there he would not have been redeemed."

What does the simple son say? "What's this?" You should say to him "With a strong hand Hashem took me out of Egypt, from the house of servitude."

And the one who does not know how to ask, you start for him, as the Torah says: "And you should tell your son on that day, saying 'It is for the sake of this that Hashem did for me when I left Egypt.'"

(Passover Haggadah)

Today I would like to talk about the wicked son and how this relates to DevOps.

The inspiration came from the t-shirt that was given out at the DevOpsDays Israel event last year.


I don’t expect you to understand the Hebrew – luckily most of the English translation is below.

What is the problem that DevOps culture is trying to solve? The complete disconnection between the Development organizations and the Operations organizations in trying to deliver a product. In a previous post of mine The Difference between Dev + Ops I went into the differences between the two cultures, why they don’t care about the same things and what the challenges are – to help them along their way to a utopian world.

What does the Wicked Son say?

"What does this drudgery mean to you?" To you and not to him. Since he excludes himself from the community, he has denied a basic principle of DevOps.”

As long as you are in the state of mind that it is “not my problem”, but “your problem” – that is the opposite of the DevOps culture.

When we all work together to solve “our problem” – then you are on the right path.

So what might your answer be to the Wicked DevOps son?

Please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.


UCS Manager Plugin 0.9.2 (beta) for VMware vCenter

From the official blurb..

Cisco UCS vCenter Plug-in is an extension for the vSphere Web Client v5.1 or higher. It enables virtualization administrators to view, manage and monitor various aspects of Cisco UCS physical infrastructure. The result is a single pane of glass for Virtual Center users to get both physical and virtual infrastructure information for a given hypervisor.


The packages can be downloaded from here.

The Cisco UCS Plug-in can be divided into 2 major components, ucs-vcplugin service and ucs-vcplugin UI. ucs-vcplugin services use UCS Java SDK to interact with UCS domains over XML API interface and the
ucs-vcplugin UI is the flex based extension to the web client, which communicates with the ucs-vcplugin services to populate the UI.

Plugin architecture

You will need to download 2 files (the plugin actually does not need to be downloaded – and can be automatically downloaded during the plugin registration)


In the RegisterVCPlugin-092.zip file you will find an executable - RegisterVcPlugin_092.exe. Run the executable.

You will need to provide some information. If you have already downloaded the ucs-vcplugin-0.9.2.zip file and have made it available to through a web server locally (like I did), then you can provide your own URL.

Enter info

You should use an https:// url and not http – otherwise you will need to make a configuration change in your vSphere Web client configuration on the vCenter server.

use https://

After pressing submit and a minute later (if all the information was correct) you should see the following:


After logging into your vSphere Web Client (and remember this is a web client plugin only) you should see something similar to this.

UCS plugin

To manage the Fabric Interconnect’s, register the UCS with the correct information

register UCS


You can now see a new addition to your Web client


The plugin will automatically recognize your ESXi hosts.

ESXi Hosts

And here you can find a plethora of information.

UCS info

The profile applied, which blade this is (Chassis 3, Blade 8)

You can open a KVM directly to the Blade


You see the firmware as well.


All in all – I find this to be a good integration. It is a read-only interface – which is a good (or bad) thing – depends on your view of the world.

Completely free – but it is officially a beta – so this is not supported and should be deployed at your own risk.