Oh wow, it’s already 2016.

A bit late, considering it’s already February, but here it is:

My plan for 2016.

  • Shake things up a bitGo big or go home. 2016 will be a year of changes. It’s about time I shake things up a bit, and 2016 will be that year. More details on this to come later, for now I have to keep it under wraps.

  • Get VCIX certified – I’ve signed up for the new 3V0-622: VMware Certified Advanced Professional 6 – Data Center Virtualization Design Beta Exam. This will be my first ever VMware beta exam. If I fail that one, I will try again later in 2016 to obtain the VCIX certification.

  • Keep vSoup on track – We’ve committed, at least to ourselves, that in 2016 we will record vSoup monthly.

  • VMUG – The Norwegian VMUG is up and running, but I would like to get even better attendance records and more community contributions.The sponsors pays the bills, the community contributions brings the most value.
    In the spirit of the Feed4ward program I’ll be happy to mentor/help anyone who wants to present at a VMUG meeting in Norway.
    I intend to arrange at least 3 VMUG meetings in Bergen in 2016.

  • Attend an international industry conference – In 2015 I missed out on VMworld entirely, due to issues out of my control. My goal is to make sure I attend a least one industry conference this year, most likely VMworld 2016 in Barcelona.

  • Code something – My ambition is that some time in 2016 I will code something. It’s very clear to me that even though I’m in no developer by nature, a basic developer skill set is required by everyone these days. Me included. I’ll consider this my wildcard project for 2016, as I haven’t decided on what to do yet, or even how.

In general, I will continue writing and posting whenever I feel like it. I will also focus even more on public cloud offerings, and especially how to integrate then with existing on-premises solutions. Since these are more general goals that are hard to put into a measurable format, I’ll refrain from putting them down in the list as individual entries. Of course, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry; 2016 might just move me into other directions too.

2015: The verdict

Last year, in January, I posted 2015: Let’s DOS IT! and it’s time to do some reviewing (again, inspired by Scott Lowe).

So, how did I do?

  • Master Markdown: I’m happy to say that most of the writing I’ve done in 2015 has been done in Markdown. I haven’t really moved on to really create Markdown based documentation and convert it like I intended, but still, Markdown has become second nature in 2015.
    Score: 7/10

  • Get more organised: Now this one is easy. As mentioned in Todoist: One Year Later I’ve completed 722 Todoist tasks in 2015, giving me a Todoist Master Karma level.
    Score: 10/10

  • Write better blog posts: This one is hard to gauge, and to be honest it’s a really bad goal without any real metrics attached to it. I certainly didn’t increase my blogging frequency in 2015, but I did manage to put a few non-technical posts up on Medium.
    Score: 5/10

  • Get that VCAP-DCD certification: Funnily I did get my VCAP5-DCD certification. I didn’t get it in 2015 though, turns out I actually got it in 2014 after all. For some reason VMware  Education informed me of this now in January 2016. Why this happened, I have yet to find out, other than that there has to have been something wrong with the exam I took in 2014. Pretty bizarre, but at least I can cross that off the list as completed. Can’t give it a perfect 10 though, after all I didn’t pass it in 2015.
    Score: 7/10

  • Redesign vNinja: A bit of a cheat this one, the redesign was mostly in the bag when the 2015 goals were written. I’m still not really happy with it, but it works.
    Score: 5/10

Overall Score 34/50

I can absolutely live with that result, even though I wish the scores were a bit higher. Now I just need to write down a list for 2016 and publish that as well. To be sure I don’t forget, I’ve already put it into my Todoist task list, alongside the review task for 2016.

Now that's awesome: Running Dockerflix on Ravello Systems

Ravello 2016-01-14 13-30-40Dockerflix is a nice little project that allows you to route your Netflix (and other various streaming services) through a SNI Proxy to access content otherwise geo-blocked. Of course, this requires that you have a VM with for instance an US IP to provide the breakout network, and that’s where Ravello Systems comes into the equation. Luckily as a current vExpert I have access to 1000 free monthly CPU hours of personal/lab usage, all with a choice of regions to put the VM in. Perfect.

I created a VMware Photon based VM on Ravello, with an Elastic IP that allows the IP to stick to the VM, even if it’s moved to another public cloud,  and installed Dockerflix. VMware Photon doesn’t come with docker-compose, which Dockerflix is dependant on, check Install Docker Compose for details on how to install it. Once that is installed, run the following command to download and install Dockerflix.

git clone https://github.com/trick77/dockerflix.git

Setup of Dockerflix itself is pretty straight forward, just follow the README provided by the project. Make sure you enable http/https/ssh to the VM with a public IP. Once that was done, I set up dnsmasq on one of the Linux VMs in my home-lab, with the output config the python script provided by Dockerflix.

python ./gendns-conf.py --remoteip [RAVELLO_PUBLIC_IP]

Note: Running this permanently would be a violation of the Ravello vExpert Terms of Service. This is to be considered a technical Proof of Concept, more than a permanent setup. I haven’t investigated the possibility to set up something like this permanently on either vCloud Air, AWS, Azure or Google Cloud Platform, or if you are even allowed to do so. But then again, all you are doing is routing IP traffic…

As far as testing goes, I experienced no problems with bandwidth or anything else. Streaming was perfect, and seamless. The fact that I was routing the traffic through a VM running in the US was not noticeable at all.

Configuring it was a great exercise. Not only did I get to play with VMware Photon and Docker, but it also shows that using Ravello Systems to perform Proof of Concept scenarios is perfectly viable, even enjoyable.