Review: Learning PowerCLI

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Unless you’re new to vSphere, you’ll probably have heard about PowerCLI. You may already be using it regularly or perhaps you’ve found the occasional use for it and used one or more of the many excellent scripts that can be found on the internet. Either way, unless you’re an advanced user (or even a guru) of PowerCLI, there’s a book that’s been released recently that could be worth a look. "Learning PowerCLI”, by Robert van den Nieuwendijk, was released just a few weeks ago from publishers Packt Publishing. The author has posted many times on his blog with useful scripts, one-liners and tips for using PowerCLI in the past. Several times an issue that I’ve had has lead me to his blog so I was very interested to see if his knowledge and … [Read more...]

VMware vCenter Operations Manager Essentials

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Late last year and earlier this year I had the great pleasure of being a technical reviewer for a book that's now available. VMware vCenter Operations Manager Essentials by Lauren Malhoit (of AdaptingIT podcast fame) has just been published by Packt Publishing. It takes readers through the steps of deploying and configuring vCOps (as many refer to it), through a tour of the dashboard and data navigation techniques, and finally covers some of the more complex integrations with other VMware and 3rd party products that are possible. If you're a user (or potential user) of vCenter Operations Manager then you may want to have a look. You can find out more about the book (and buy it) from one of these links*: Packt … [Read more...]

Fusion HR Link: Process Workflows & Automation

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It's not often that we here at vSpecialist write-up specific vendor technologies, or blog about our workplaces. This is, after all, a generic virtualization blog where we discuss all aspects of IT. However, once in a while, interesting pieces of technological integration comes along that transcends the specific target audience and appeals to the wider IT audience as a whole due to the way the different elements fit together or a new approach. HR Link is one of those occasions. Before I start, in the interests of transparency, I need to point out that I work for Fusion Business Solutions, the developers of the HR Link integration application. HR Link is built on the BMC RemedyAR workflow platform. AR is short for the Action Request … [Read more...]

Pluralsight iOS App offers offline course viewing

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I swapped my TrainSignal subscription over to Pluralsight over the weekend. Following the acquisition of TrainSignal last month, integration of their courseware into Pluralsight has moved along very quickly. As well as providing TrainSignal subscribers with access to Pluralsight's catalog of courses, the iOS app provides a piece of functionality that I've been waiting for - offline viewing on my iPad. Hooray! … [Read more...]

Multimon: Software My Chiropractor Made Me Buy

Well, he didn't exactly do that. The big frown and look of disapproval at the photo I had been instructed to take of my work area told me almost all I needed to know about what he was about to say. I work from home quite often and although I've never had a problem with how my desk is arranged etc, it came up when I needed to visit a chiropractor for the first time in my life. He wasn't too impressed with where my laptop was on my desk and my second screen that I used for my Fusion VM, Twitter and my less used apps. After he explained all of the reasons why, he then proceeded to suggest what I needed to do to remedy the problems that he perceived. I've taken his advice and interpreted it in the way that suits my methods of working … [Read more...]

TrainSignal Online – 1 Month On…

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It's been just over a month since TrainSignal switched to providing their courses only via an online model and binned the idea of shipping DVDs around the world. Although they kept their plans under wraps fairly well (at least they did as far as I know), it shouldn't really have come as a surprise to anyone that they changed their model. You only have to look back another month or so to one of the UK's big high street names going to the wall to see further evidence that physical media is just not as popular anymore. I had been planning to purchase one of TrainSignal's courses just prior to them making the switch. Good job I waited eh? But after giving it a week or so to bed in, I subscribed and I now have access to the whole training … [Read more...]

First Impressions: PHD Virtual Backup 6.2 (with Cloud Hook)

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As I mentioned in my recent Cloud Backups post, I'm trying out a few virtualisation backup products to help me out with a prototype infrastructure that I've been working on. I want to store a backup of the various VMs that I've setup outside the infrastructure that I've setup - effectively offsite. By happy circumstance, PHD Virtual had a beta running for version 6.2 of their backup product that includes "CloudHook". It's a module that enables integration with cloud storage providers for the purposes of backup, archiving and disaster recovery. The 6.2 release covers the backup aspect, and future releases will add in archiving and DR functionality. Thanks to Patrick Redknap, I managed to hop onto the beta and try it out. (Note that the … [Read more...]

TrainSignal Moves to Online Subscription Model

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The first ever TrainSignal course that I "took" was David Davis' VMware vSphere 4 training. I had heard lots about it from a few people on Twitter and several others in person and I wanted to use it to fill in a few gaps in readiness for my VCP4 exam. I've since been through a few other courses and they've all been great. What's changed between then and now is TrainSignal's transition from supplying only DVDs, through adding online access to purchased course, to finally switching to a subscription only model. It's a move that makes a great deal of sense and it'd be worth a subscription to get access to course related to technologies that I don't use as often. There is even an offline player but it's currently limited to desktop … [Read more...]

Diagnosing and Troubleshooting PowerShell Remoting

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I was having a little difficulty with PowerShell remoting the other day and a colleague of mine dug up a link to a forthcoming book entitled "PowerShell Deep Dives" by Jeffery Hicks, Richard Siddaway, Oisin Grehan, and Aleksandar Nikolic. Chapter 1 of the book, "Diagnosing and troubleshooting PowerShell remoting", is available via the publisher's website as a preview chapter and was very useful in solving my issue. The rest of the book looks like it will be interesting too if the chapter headings are anything to go by. Apparently it should be released this Spring. … [Read more...]

New vOPS Server Explorer 6.3

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A new version of vOPS Server Explorer is being launched today by vKernel (who were acquired by Quest and subsequently Dell). The company have a history of releasing free tools to assist vSphere administrators and the new version of vOPS Server Explorer builds on this reputation by bringing in an additional subset of functionality from their commercial product (vOPS Server Standard). Of course, as a free tool, one of its aims is to prove its value and help generate sales of the full, commercial product. I don't think that should stop anyone trying it out though - you can't knock a free tool. I used one of vKernel's early tools to highlight a growing issue for a customer. So, what's new in this version? Environment Explorer This is … [Read more...]