My Commodore 64 Never lets me down…

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I got a call today from 000-000-0000, a person with a strong accent says “Hello Sir, I am from Technical support. Our servers have alerted us that there is a virus on your computer”


Matt: “Oh, my really? A Virus what should I do?” < Said in my best non-technical dorky voice, which by the way was easy for me

Strong Accent(SA): “You must on your keyboard press Window Key R”

Matt: “So I press Windows Key R… Where is the windows key?”

SA: “Windows key is next to the Control key on your right side of your keyboard”

Matt: “Okay, Control, Control, Control Key, where are you…”

SA: “Did you Press it?”

Matt: “I don’t see a Windows Key… I do see a key that look like a C with an = sign, is that the one?”

SA: “No, its next to the CTRL key…”

Matt: “OH, CTRL, there it is… Okay Pressing C= and R… Okay a Blue screen open… it says LOAD”*”,8,1… Now what do I do?”

SA: “Did you press Windows R… you need to press CTRL and R”

Matt: “OH, CTRL and R… Okay… Pressing… Okay… Blue screen appears… Its says LOAD”*”,8,1…

SA: “Are you sure you pushed CTRL?:

Matt: “Yes, I did… the blue screen says… Commodore 64, 38911 Bytes Free…”

SA: “Are you on a Windows Box?”

Matt: “did you think I was using a windows PC, No I’m on a Commodore 64, its not prone to those Windows Viruses”

SA: “Oh, what is a Commodore 64?”

Matt: “it’s this really great system, that can’t divide by zero”

SA: “Oh….. Long pause… ”

Matt: “You should try one…”

SA: Hangs up…


Next time you call trying to scam a technical professional… Make sure they didn’t grow up with a Commodore computer!

vExpert 2012 – Four years in a row!

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I was fortunate enough these past weeks to be elected as a vExpert for 2012 based on my blogging, virtualization community involvement, and leading the Advanced Technology Network Groups (ATNG).

Thank you very much to Alex Maier, John Troyer, and the internal vExpert staff for doing a fine job with this program. I’m proud and flatter to be part of this great program as it has so many prodigious virtualization folk as members.

Looking forward to 2012-2013:

Blog —

Recently (06/2011) my role has changed from end-user to employee at VMware and blogging material has become a bit more narrowed. I can’t exactly blog about my customers, that is strictly taboo and I have too much respect for them to do so. Finding good content to blog has proven to be a bit more of a challenge. However I still strive to keep an open mind and I know I will find my ultimate niche eventually.


ATNG has been a great group and it has been a blast running it. The foundation members have changed since the original charter and we’re finding it a bit harder to meet, but still there is a desire to be a group that meets regularly and talk technology not sales… (More info – www.atngroups.com)

This Year what will I be up to? —

I am asking myself what will next year bring for me in the way of sustaining a vExpert into 2013? I do know this… I will keep my blog up, I will keep ATNG growing, I will organize a give back event in Phoenix, and I’m always glad to help out Phoenix VMUG (if they need me). If this qualifies me as a vExpert for next 2013 then great, if not no worries I know I’ve done my part J


Thanks for reading… Feel free to comment as I always enjoy reading your feedback and suggestions!

PS – If you want to know more about the vExpert program, check it out here > http://communities.vmware.com/docs/DOC-18314


Veeam’s Gift to VCPs, vExperts, and VCIs

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Thanks Veeam!!

From their website…

Today Veeam issued a press release about their vHoliday Gift. In the release, they say that their vHoliday gift is to offer NFR (not for resale) licenses of their most popular products to VMware Certified Professionals (VCP), vExperts, and VMware Certified Instructors (VCI).

These individuals can receive Veeam Backup & Replication™ v5 with vPower™ for non-production use in their home labs. Any vExpert, VCP or VCI can receive a free two-CPU socket software license for evaluation, demonstration and training purposes. The offer also includes the Veeam ONE™ Solution for VMware management with Veeam Monitor™, Veeam Reporter™ and Veeam Business View™.

If you are a VCP, vExpert, or VCI, you can find out how to register for your license keys in the Veeam Holiday Gift PR.


vmworld 2010 – The Schedule

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Here is my schedule for vmworld 2010…  This year I plan to hit the self-paced labs in the morning, followed up by super-sessions, performance, and cloud computing throughout the week.   Hopefully I’ll have time for lunch and the vendor area!
EA7850  —  Design, Deploy, and Optimize Microsoft SQL 2008
SS1055  —  Partner Track Super Session
TA8102  —  Tuning Linux for Virtual Machines
EA8210  —  Zimbra and The Future for Mission Critical Apps in the Virtualized Enterprise
ALT3005  —  VMware vCenter™ Orchestrator – Orchestrating the Cloud 
ALT2004  —  Building the VMworld Lab Cloud Infrastructure
EA7829  —  Panel Discussion: Virtualization’s Impact on the Delivery of Healthcare IT Services
TA9420  —  vSphere 4.1 Overview
SP9820  —  Getting the Most Out of Your Storage Infrastructure with Client and Server Virtualization
TA6720  —  Troubleshooting using ESXTOP for Advanced Users
TA8133  —  Best Practices to Increase Availability and Throughput for VMware
SS1011  —  How Cisco, EMC and VMware Are Changing the IT Landscape with Vblock Converged Infrastructure
TA8623  —  Storage Super-Heavyweight Challenge
SP9721  —  How to Use Virtual I/O to Provision and Manage Networks and Storage Resources in a Private Cloud
TA6944  —  PowerCLI Is For Administrators!
TA8051  —  Infrastructure Technologies to Long Distance VMotion – What Is “VM Teleportation”?
TA8101  —  Virtual Storage and VMware vSphere: Best Practices and Design Considerations
TA7994  —  vStorage Update for vSphere 4.1 

VMware vExpert 2010

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The other day I was selected as a VMware vExpert for 2010. John Troyer (of VMWARE) is building a great community of vExperts with like minded individuals that are proponents of virtualization evangelism. On another note I nominated my entire Phoenix VMUG Team (Luke, Rob, Duke, and Charles) for the award and they all were excepted ! Congrats Guys, you have earned it.

For those of you that do not know, the VMware vExpert program was created in 2009 to show appreciation for those individuals who have significantly contributed to the community of VMware users over the past year. For more information on the program visit the vExpert site

HP c7000 Mid-Plane Replacement

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If you’re reading this blog, I’m hoping you never have to do this procedure. However the other day we had a c7000 Mid-plane go out.

We first noticed some odd issues with Ethernet NICs randomly disconnecting. Then, our chassis started to fail entire Ethernet pass through modules, it came back online and then a few weeks later just one Ethernet port stayed in a failed state.  Working with HP and our local VAR we tried all the troubleshooting steps and found it was the mid-plane had failed.

This blog post is merely my notes and some of my findings during the replacement of the mid-plane.  I worked with an HP certified technician and he had a punch list from HP to complete this repair. I recommend a certified technician do the repair as you never know what you’re going to run into and we did run into a few gotchas that stumped us all.

Quick Disclaimer – This is not a guide for repairing this device but merely my notes…

First thing – The Plan:

  • 7:00    Migrate VM’s to BC2 (BC = blade chassis) and shut down ESX hosts on BC1
  • 8:00    Shutdown remaining blades in BC1
  • 8:20    Start Repair on BC1
  • 8:40    Test repair on BC1
  • 8:50    bring up Blades on BC1
  • 9:00    TEST applications
  • 9:10    Migrate VM’s from BC2 to BC1
  • 10:00    Finish

The Plan with Notes:

7:00    Migrate VM’s to BC2 (BC = blade chassis) and shut down ESX hosts in BC1

  • No issues, vMotion worked without issues & shutdown 6 ESX hosts via vCenter Server

8:00    Shutdown remaining blades in BC1

  • No issues, shut down blade servers

8:20    Start Repair on BC1

Power down the c7000 chassis, remove all the cards, power supplies and blades

This is a pic where we removed the rear cards.  One thing we were able to do was remove the Ethernet & Fibre Pass through cards without having to disconnect the cables.

Second shot of the removal

Remove the blades and Power supplies

To remove the mid-plane there were four bolts holding in it in place.  We removed them and then pull it till it stops.  The retaining clips needed depressed to allow the unit to be removed and we pressed them in and it removed with ease.  Note: The manual fails to mention this.

Here is a shot of the retaining clips. They help to hold the mid-plane in. At first we could not figure out why the mid-place would not come out.  This held us up a bit as the instructions failed to mention depressing them to allow the mid-plane removal.

Inside the blade chassis – Rear

After removing the mid-plane chassis there are several bolts that hold in this together.  One item you have to do is remove the foam tape in the screen shot below.

This will allow you to separate the mid-plane board from the chassis. This was another gotcha that the instructions failed to mention this step.

Our package came with replacement tape, yours may vary.

After replacing the mid-plane board we reassemble the chassis in this order..

  • Reinserted the Mid-Plane chassis
  • ilo Control Modules
  • Power Supplies
  • Powered on device, wait
  • Inserted pass though modules, wait
  • Inserted Blades and powered them on

9:00    Ensure the Blades on BC1 are reporting in

  • No issues, everything is now working!


9:15     TEST applications

  • No issues, all blades and apps came right up


9:30    Migrate VM’s from BC2 to BC1

  • No Issues, all VM’s migrated perfectly

10:00    Finish

Gotchas / Notes

2 Items slowed us down

  1. The retaining clips on the lower right and left hand sides were not noted in the documentation. We had lots of cables on the left and right side so it made it hard to clearly see where they were.
  2. The tape holding on the mid-plane board wasn’t documented. It took us a bit to figure out that a simple piece of foam tape could hold together, but it did.

Next time I mount a c7000 chassis I’ll remember to mount it about 4U from the base of a rack. The issue we were having was the cabling and PDU power cords were getting in the way of the mid-plane and this made it harder to remove.

Other than these minor issues, the repair went smooth, and it was fun to see the “guts” of a c7000.

06.08.2010 VMUG Event

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The big Phoenix VMUG meeting is tomorrow… I hope you all can make it… some of the buzz will be about the FREE VMware CookBook and the workshop around Building your home lab around Workstation 7.

For all you night owls… I posted my Workshop lab a day early…. Go here to see it…




Network – Edit Hosts file on ESX

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Here are the simple commands to edit a hosts file on an ESX server…

Log on as root
Enter vi /etc/hosts

Press ESC, then i to insert
Edit Text
Press ESX, the :wq press enter to save

Here are some common commands with vi

“you have to enter command mode first using ESC “

i = insert at this charachter

x = delete a charachter

dd = delete a line

yy = copy

p = paste a copied line

a = append to the next charachter

A = append to the end of aline

I = insert at the beginning of a line

:w = write

:q = quit

:w! = force a write (read only files)

:q! = force a quit no changes

Nasuni does a nice write up on the Phoenix VMUG

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Hey if you get a chance check out the blog below, Andres did a really nice write up about the Phoenix VMUG and their product..


I had a chance to watch the Nasuni presentation and they offer are really cool vm appliance that allows for “virtually” unlimited storage for a flat rate price…

When I heard the flat rate price it floored me how cost effective it was…

I currently have a need for some off site storage and we’ll be looking at Nasuni very soon…

WebSite – MXTool Box

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I found this neat web tool today… it was a pretty quick way to do a Who-is and then do simple tests like SMTP, DNS, etc..

One feature I liked the Black list checker… real easy way to see if your domain or the domain your trying to send email to has been black listed.