Month: February 2015

Offline blogging software – BlogDesk

Summary : It can be overwhelming to maintain a blog and update it regular even with one blog, it become tedious with multiple blogs. So what’s the solution to this problem, an offline blogging software and that’s were BlogDesk comes to our rescue. Typing content directly in WordPress is not user friendly and that’s something for WordPress to improve.

BlogDesk is free and easy to use software, its a popular offline blog editor that can help bloggers to write posts quickly and easily without an internet connection. Downloading BlogDesk to your computer is very easy. Simply select the download option on the BlogDesk website and install the files to your hard drive.

blogdesk-post

 

Installing BlogDesk is super easy and you can find the step here, the latest version as of today is “BlogDesk 2.8”. BlogDesk is a Windows only software supports the following operating system Windows 98, NT, 2000, ME, XP, Vista and 7.

Weblog Systems supported by BlogDesk?
BlogDesk can access all systems and hoster that support the MetaweblogAPI or MovableType interface. These are e.g. WordPress, ExpressionEngine, MovableType, Drupal, Serendipity, dasBlog and Blojsom as well as the hoster Blogg.de, Myblog and Twoday.net. The below youtube videos cover the details on how to configure BlogDesk after installation.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5K4NxmW7Utk

There are lot of options available in BlogDesk, download and install this fantastic software and it would make your blogging experience easy. I have been using it since Jan 2015 and only now had time to blog about this software. An alternative to BlogDesk would be Microsoft’s LiveWriter.

Happy Blogging! 🙂

blogging

New Free Webinars from VMware

I have been shared with the below list of Free Webinars offered by VMware and I wanted to share this useful information with the community. These are very useful training offered at free of cost and I am sure you will make the best use of this resource. 🙂

Content from the link shared.

VMware Support Delivery has announced a new series of webinars for our customers. Customers can join these live sessions on Thursdays. There is something for both beginners and more advanced customers. Anyone that is unable to attend the live events will be able to view the recorded versions of the sessions on the Friday of the same week.

To register to these webinars, open the attached 2015 Webinar catalog [pdf].

All webinars start at 15:00 GMT and will run for 45 – 60 min

26th Feb Journey to the Horizon from View to FLEX
(LEVEL) Beginner – Intermediate
* Wide focus from Horizon View over Mirage to FLEX
* New features in View, technology and features behind Mirage and FLEX
* Best practices for successful implementations and known issues

5th March vSphere Data Protection Extra
(LEVEL) Intermediate
* Broken Comms to vCenter
* Some MCS/GSAN views
* Manual Disk Restore via command line
* VMRun
* Q+A

12th March vCloud Director – Design and Scale
(LEVEL) Intermediate
* Highlight a recommended design
* How you can scale that design without hitting the config maximums and still getting the most out of your setup
* Some commonly encountered issues that occur due to bad practice rather than bad design

19th March vRealize Business
(LEVEL) Beginner
* vRB Standard: “How much does my VM cost?”
* vRB Advanced: “How much does my IT cost?”
* vRB Enterprise: “Are my IT Providers complying with their SLA’s?”

26th March NSX
(LEVEL) Beginner
* SDDC and network virtualization (concepts and connection between them)
* NSX components and features explained
* A typical lab walk-through with commands
* Q&A

9th April SSL Certificate handling in vSphere 6.0
(LEVEL) Beginner
* What’s new in 6.0
* Introduction to VECS and VMCA
* Demo of common replacement tasks
* Q&A

16th April vRealize Automation
(LEVEL) Intermediate
* Tuning for scale

23rd April vCloud Air – Disaster Recovery
(LEVEL) Intermediate
* What’s new
* Architecture
* How does it work
* Use case study

30th April Introduction to vRealize Orchestrator
(LEVEL) Beginner
* Orchestrator Overview
* What’s new in 6.0
* vRealize Orchestrator Elements
* Create a Simple Workflow
* Workflow Parameter Binding
* Invoking/Creating Actions

7th May Database maintenance
(LEVEL) Intermediate
* Backing up your database
* Getting the best performance from your vCenter
* Avoiding corruption on the vCenter appliance
* Q+A

14th May Overview of Storage I/O Control
(LEVEL) Intermediate- Advanced
* Why SIOC
* SIOC features
* Noisy Neighbour
* How SIOC helps
* Shares and increasing priorities
* Recommended latency thresholds
* Limit IOPS and SIOC

21st May What’s new in vSphere 6
(LEVEL) Beginner
* An overview of new features in vSphere 6
* Feature changes from vSphere 5.5
* New best practices

28th May vSphere Networking – Best Practices and Troubleshooting
(LEVEL) Beginner – Intermediate
* NIC Teaming
* Redundancy and Load Balancing
* VLANs
* vDS
* Common Issues

4th June Datacentre to vCloud Air over IPSec VPN
(LEVEL) Intermediate
* Overview of vCloud Air and vCloud Air networking
* Discussion on IPSEC VPN and how it is implemented in vCloud Air
* Setup example to an Edge Gateway in vCloud Air

11th June Migrating workloads to vCloud Air with vCloud Connector and Datacentre Extension
(LEVEL) Intermediate
* What is vCloud Connector and what does it do
* Configuration and setup of vCloud Connector Server and Node
* Copy templates from private datacentre to vCloud Air
* What is the Datacentre Extension
* Additional setup of vCloud Connector for Datacentre Extension
* Demonstration of a vm being stretched to vCLoud Air

Learning fun

ESXi 5.5 host error “vim.fault.NoHost” during rescan.

Summary : During my preparation for the VCAP DCA exam and upon a rescan activity on the host it error out “vim.fault.NoHost”. I had not seen this error before in my lab nor in production.

Solution: I googled and found few useful links, they have occurred interestingly in the older version of ESX and also during an Host upgrade activity. A simple reboot did not fix the problem for me, so the solution is to get the host in to maintenance mode, disconnect and re-connect the host to the cluster, remember this is my lab host so I can play around it with it. This fixed the issue for me, if you still face the same issue. Remove the host from the cluster and add it back to the cluster, remember that by removing the host from cluster you would lose the inventory stored for the ESXi host. 🙂

vim.fault.NoHost

vExpert 2015

I am glad to be part of VMware vExpert 2015 for the second time in a row, congratulations to all fellow vExpert and glad to be part of this elite group.

vExpert 1

I would like to thank and congratulate Corey Romero and the VMware Social Media & Community Team on successful journey of vExpert program. Also watch out for the free stuff that are offered to vExperts. 🙂

My VCAP5-DCA (VDCA550) Exam Experience

VCAP-DCAI would like to share my VCAP5-DCA experience as I learned lot of valuable things along the way that I think could help others in their preparation. I am not the first and will definitely not be the last to share VCAP Exam experience. I completed my VCP5 back in February 2012 on the last day before vSphere Install, Configure and Manage class was made mandatory to upgrade to VCP5. Since then I’ve been planning to write my DCA for a long time, due to various reason I couldn’t properly dedicate time and effort to prepare for the exam. Sadly there was a gap of 3 years between my VCP and VCAP success. 🙁

During a meet up with my Virtualization friends in Nov-2014, we had a discussion about VMware offering 50% discount on VCP and VCAP exam in APAC region and it was the right time to appear for the exam. Then I had to decide whether to go for 510 or 550? it was an interesting choice for me. Even though many had opted for 510, I wanted to give latest 550 a try and registered for the exam on 17-Dec-2014. I just had less than 4 weeks for my exam preparation and due to the lack of time, I couldn’t clear the exam first time around and scored 267 for a 300 pass mark to clear the certification. I was disappointed as it was my first certification I failed at the first go. This exam needs more dedication, practice and preparation.

I took the exam for the second time on 4-Feb-2015, having now known the exam question type, exam pressure I was better prepared for the exam. At least that’s what I thought, I spent more time on the questions and area I had issues at the first attempt. On the exam day to start of with I had issues logging in to my windows box to access exam lab and experienced occasional lag in the lab, nothing that I would like to flag as an issue. Did not experienced any issue during the first attempt, out of 23 questions I had about 10 left during the last 75 minutes.

I had no clue as to how did I end up at that position, time just page out during the DCA exam. I quickly attended the remaining questions and around 3 minutes mark before the closure I had completed 8 questions and I hit finish. It was a long 4 hour exam with out any break (break time at our own cost of time), I walked out of the exam center and eagerly waited for my results. Had lot of eager friends trying to reach me over WhatsApp, text message to check how the exam went for me, in just 15 mins after the exam I got the email from VMware in my inbox. The wait is over, checking the result sounded even more difficult that the actual exam and Wow I passed the exam, I was totally happy on successful completion of exam especially with my VCP expiration date on March-2015. Well that’s my exam experience and I hope you find it useful, I have to endorse what all DCA’s have highlighted “Time management is Key to pass VCAP5-DCA exam“. Try not to leave any question unattended. 🙂

Preparation Tips ?

1. Needless to say that you would need a lot of LAB TIME, grab your copy of blue print and work on each item listed in the objectives.
2. While there are loads of study material available, I would recommend Pluralsight’s (formerly Train-signal) VMware vSphere Optimize and Scale (VCAP-DCA) Jason Nash.
3. VCAP5-DCA Official Cert Guide: VMware Certified Advanced Professional 5- Data Center Administration – This book is official source from VMware and does a great job in covering the topic’s. Even if the book is mainly focused on the older VDCA510 exam, it also contains a chapter highlighting the changes in the blueprints between the 510 and 550 exams which was really helpful. The best part of the study guide is Chapter 10: Scenarios , where you get familiar with exam question patterns. If you can perform the task in chapter 10 couple of times without any assistance or referring any material, then you can confidently approach the exam.
4. Also highly recommend VCAP5-DCA exam VDCA550 study guide prepared by Paul Grevink.
5. http://www.virtuallanger.com/vcap-dca-5/
6. http://professionalvmware.com/2012/11/vcap5-dca-study-outline-pdf/ (Another great PDF guide and a CLI guide)

Exam tips?

1. Time management – As I mentioned earlier time management would be key, don’t write 1 – 23 and ticket on the completed ones, rather capture only the questions you plan to write later in scribble pad. Read the questions carefully so you don’t need to switch back and forth between the reading and lab session screen.
2. Practice all the question from VMware official guide covered under chapter 10.
3. Go through the CLI guide and practice all command lines.
4. Check Interactive Exam Simulation to get the understanding on how the actual exam feels like.

I have captured pretty much all the tips that I think I’ve used for my preparation and hope you find it useful. Good Luck with your DCA exam and hope you would comment. So What’s next? I am preparing for my VCAP5-DCD planning to appear for the exam during June 2015. I will sign off for now.

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