Welcome to the site.

Here you will find my ramblings of life, faith, kids, marriage and my zoo at home.

Tweet: This heart bleed plugin for Chrome actually works!…

This heart bleed plugin for Chrome actually works! Go install it goo.gl/w2gbD7 http://t.co/9Btz50QnuD

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If I could change the order of my certs... I would.

I often find myself wishing I put more effort into making my blog something useful for anyone other than myself and a catalogue of tweets, but sometimes it is what it is!

That being said, I’ve been working on the permutations of my lab studies with my routers and switches. I’m studying for the CCNP route/switch. I know this is basically backwards since I already have two CCNP certs (CCNP Voice and CCNP Security). Being what it is, I would definitely lay out the following plans if I had to luxury of rewinding my studies:

1:
CCNA Route Switch. The CCNA is just flat out freaking hard. Quite possibly the hardest “associate” level certificate in the technology industry. If you’re thinking about jumping into the networking world – get this one NOW. It will never ever get easier but increasingly harder given the breadth of knowledge one need to attain it.

2:
CCNP R/S – Test 1 – Route. Having taken the video series from CBT Nuggets and reading through the Cisco Press guide on routing, I now realize how much I took for granted and didn’t understand as well as I should have going through NP Security and NP Voice. I thought I knew enough about EIGRP and OSPF to get by. I guess I did since I passed all the test, but now I feel like I get a few concepts in both tracks a LOT better.

3:
CCNP R/S – Test 3 – Tshoot. Learning how to debug effectively helps an engineer cut down on troubleshooting time. Man do I wish I had looked into this earlier!

4:
CCNP Security – The whole track the way it is currently written from CCNA Security through the 4 CCNP level tests.

5:
CCNP R/S – Test 2 – Switch. This would complete out the route/switch. I know it’s a bit odd to finish it up in this way, but this is a hypothetical view back of what I wish I could have done differently! Switch seems a little old hat to me – the only thing that threw me for a loop was VRRP and some of the really advanced HSRP stuff. However, knowing some of these items would have helped with CCNP Voice.

6:
CCNP Voice. Sometimes I marvel that I even got this crazy series of tests completed last year. I finished all 6 if you include the CCNA in the span of 6 months. I was also finishing up a degree and essentially ignoring life and my family during this time. My amazing wife was very patient during this process! The kids – not nearly as patient but still great sports. I would have done the NP voice at the end of everything simply because there is so much that seems to interweave with R/S and security that they seem more connected.

7:
VMware VCP. I would have gotten this last because it’s so ancillary to what I do, but ironically my company wanted it to be the first one I got due to the amount of vm interaction we had. We do a LOT of vmware stuff at my company though, so it makes sense.

8:
Whatever comes next. I’m trying to figure out if I want to get a CCIE or a Master’s degree. Quite honestly, the master’s degree seems a lot easier to attain, but I’m not sure if it would pay as well. However, the nice thing about it is that it never need’s a recert!

Tweet: Doing a call center cut today. We were all thinkin…

Doing a call center cut today. We were all thinking someone had serious BO issues. Turns out this was the culprit… http://t.co/ritXQstfP3

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Tweet: Hot on the heels of heartbleed, cisco anounces mys…

Hot on the heels of heartbleed, cisco anounces mysterios ssl/tls issues on ASA – go update your fw’s firmware goo.gl/EtW0X5

Tweet: Another doozie of a security alert, affecting clos…

Another doozie of a security alert, affecting close to a billion websites called Heartbleed via openssl: goo.gl/vwoXH5

Tweet: attn volunteers: I don’t like you / your event /…

attn volunteers: I don’t like you / your event / your org is an OK response. “oh… this is hard, I quit right before this event” is NOT!

Tweet: #ms released critical patches today, incl this bea…

#ms released critical patches today, incl this beauty: goo.gl/v9R4T4 relating to almost every office app .. ever. even 365

Tweet: #MS released a TON of critical updates including t…

#MS released a TON of critical updates including this beauty goo.gl/v9R4T4 for almost every office app lnkd.in/b4piSb8

Tweet: Working at a customers helping set CUCM pins – use…

Working at a customers helping set CUCM pins – user has a lastname “Kablam”. Had to laugh when I found out it’s a real last name!

Tweet: Why you fly on an airplane with not one but two ca…

Why you fly on an airplane with not one but two cats in travel bags for vacation you are definitely a crazy cat lady #diaadventures

Tweet: For the first time I think I understand why people…

For the first time I think I understand why people deal with traffic to live in SoCal #melntasha2014

Tweet: So excited to finally travel not for work and with…

So excited to finally travel not for work and with my wife. Am also laptop free. First vacation EVER without a computer.

Tweet: On explaining password entropy, a coworker referre…

On explaining password entropy, a coworker referred to a XKCD classic, and I thought I’d pass it along goo.gl/vNKNsy

On the topic of Next-Gen gaming consoles (PS4, XBO, Steam)

So, one of my “things” besides being a ‘foodie’ is gaming consoles. I like to look at the gaming ecosystem as a whole and see where it’s evolving and what directions it is headed in. I ultimately do believe that things like the Oculous rift and other augmentation devices (like google glass) will fill this void in some manner, but until then there are gaming consoles to be contented with.

As a complete disclosure, I’ve owned at least 10 gaming systems in my life not including pc systems set up for gaming. I’m going to stop trolling PC users in their tracks right now – YES – your PC you spent 2 grand on is better than any console system. Stop trying to make other people feel awed at your outlay on a gaming rig. For the last two releases of consoles, I had both an xbox 360 and a PS4. If I had to choose where I tend to be more “fanboy” it would be Microsoft, because the last generation of controllers for PS3 felt cheap and too light. They also tended to have items break off and rattle around inside them (I experienced this with both PS3 controllers). Graphics performance – at least IMHO tended to be a little bit better on PS4, but for the large majority of my PS4 viewing I was looking at 1080i on a 38″ screen, versus 120″ 1080i for the xbox360.

As I tend to do, I went into OCD mode and started planning on what system I was going to get. As a I had recently finished my undergrad, I had all but abstained from gaming for half of 2012 and all of 2013 to keep myself motivated. And it had worked, but I was ready to get some new gaming rig. When I finally had decided to make the purchase, my immediate thought was the Xbox One. However, the deeper I dug, the more I realized Xbox was playing for the long game with this console. What I mean by that is that XBO is a console that wants to not be a console, but a media platform that happens to play amazing video games. Which is super cool. I was stoked.

Then, I realized two major deal killers. Number 1 – XBO doesn’t really like 720p and WON’T to 1080i. The place where I would use it (because of the Kinect2) would be my basement. With a projector. That doesn’t do 1080P – just i. In addition, neither console would do component video out, requiring a handy but expensive adapter called HD Fury, which was ~$250. Or I would need to buy a new projector for HDMI, requiring a new reciever to take the sound to my speakers. I had decided while I “liked” the idea of the XBO, I didn’t $2,000 “like” said idea. In addition, the Kinect2 requires a proprietary cable. Therefore, it can only be ~6 feet away from the Xbox One. This is unlike the Kinect v1, which is extended in my basement 35 feet from the xb360. Aesthetically and monetarily the Xbox one was chucked out leaving the PS4. Or conceivably the Wii-U but I acutally want a system I think people will make games for, so no Wii-U for me, thanks.

I figured I might wait a bit for prices to come down, but Gamestop had (and still has) a pretty decent deal for trade-in systems towards either a PS4 or XBO. It gives you an extra 50% trade-in towards the system price, which for me knocked off $175, and allowed me to pick up the PS4, extra controller, warranty and two games for ~$500.

I must say though, that the PS4 graphics and the new dual-shock 4 controller are way cool. Much nicer feeling than the DS3, and it has a lot of neat features built directly into it. The first “new” that I immediately noticed was the obvious upstep in graphics power. The first game I played, “Knack” was very cartoony (it’s a kid-friendly game) – and I was struck at just how “round” everything that was round looked and “angular” the angular stuff looked. Again – this is on the same TV I played the PS3 on so it’s a fairly even comparrison. Secondly, I noticed how the controllers with the built in speakers really augmented the game. I know that sounds a little bit lame, but I really thought it was a nice touch.

I got around to playing the highly recommended Lara Croft / Tomb Raider reboot. Wow is it phenomenal. I didn’t think it was possible to like a piece of IP more than Mass Effect or Uncharted. I was wrong. This version of Tomb Raider is like the creepier side of Uncharted, but with amazingly upgraded graphics and augmented feedback.

I imagine that I will eventually upgrade the projector and reciever – it’s been on my list for a while, but never a huge priority. It would be nice to be able to use the 128″ screen for kinect without having shadow heads! But for now, I’m very happy with the PS4 purchase.

Boat Across Hades, Bridge from Hell - A UCS and ESXi upgrade story.

“Boat across hades, Bridge across hell” ESX migration format.

While I can’t claim the “Bridge across Hades” portion of this tagline, I will claim the “bridge from hell” portion.

In my new gig last year, my first assignment was bewildering. 2 Cisco UCS Blade Chassis units. Maintenance window was 2 AM to 5 AM on Wednesday.

We ran into a plethora of storage and UCS problems. Firstly, the UCS chassis needed a firmware update. Couldn’t update it until migrated the hosts off.Oh, and we couldn’t migrate a lot of the servers because of HA (High Availability) problems on the cluster. And their systems were overpopulated so they couldn’t go into maintenance mode. And they were migrating to new Storage. And there weren’t enough populated blades to continue the migration. And VMWare doesn’t provide non-ESX-i media anymore – and no one had it at my company or theirs. And their virtcenter was installed on a 32 bit OS so it couldn’t be upgraded to vCenter 5.1

So after literally a week of due diligence, we came up with “Boat across Hades, Bridge from Hell” method.

We had a total of 5 working blades. This solution probably wouldn’t work with less unless you only had 1 or 2 overpopulated hosts in ESX 4.0 .

Step 1 – Install boot to SAN from 1 of your extra blades. At this point we had 3 blades ESX 4.0, and 2 “extra” non used blades. This allows you to connect any ESX which may be currently installed on 4.0 to be migrated seamlessly to 5.1. If you don’t have SAN boot enabled, you’ll have a few more steps than we did. And you’ll need an extra set of hard drives. Install 5.5 (or 5.1 if you must) on your destination host.

Step 2 – Install vCenter 5.1 and it’s supplementary database for Single-Sign-On (SSO). It’s a GIANT PITA. [EDIT - I originally made this post in mid 2013 - the 5.5 upgrade greatly simplifies this - DON'T BOTHER with 5.1 unless you HAVE to!]. Comment me if you want our edited version of the SQL script.

Step 3 – Install ESX1 4.1 in demo mode on one blade. You’ll have 60 days. Depending on your farm of of hosts and downtime availability this should be easily achievable. The trick is to move the server onto the 4.1 ESX and not directly to 5.x because moving it requires downtime. Moving from 3.5 to 4.1 required no downtime. However the big fat hairy disclaimer is that this maintained the old version of the ESX hardware. If you want the 8.x / 9.x hardware version, you will need to power down the VM and upgrade the virtual hardware.

Step 4 – Turn off automatic DRS so nothing jumps around on you. You will need to do this because DRS might notice availability on your host you’re moving from and put more VM’s back on it.

Step 5 – Move your VM’s onto the 4.1 Server using vmotion. This is the bridge from hell – you’re one step closer to a no downtime migration to ESXi 5. When the process is completed – maintenance mode you OLD server (ESX 3.x, 4.x) and begin the 5.5 install boot from SAN on it.

Step 5 – Since you’ll want to get on the new version of VMFS and you don’t want to incur downtime – you now migrate both the VM and the storage to the NEW 5.5 blade you build in step 1.

Step 6 – Lather, rinse, repeat. We were able to achieve a no downtime migration for a corporation in about ~24 hours.

Tweet: This is why I use @wazeoff Many thanks to my Isr…

This is why I use @wazeoff Many thanks to my Israeli peeps to showing it to me years ago http://t.co/lN5v3pa3oN

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Tweet: Just entered to win an AVENTAGE network AV receive…

Just entered to win an AVENTAGE network AV receiver + one-year subscription to Spotify. Check out 4wrd.it/rxaspotify #sweepstakes.

Tweet: Why is it that 50% of all women shopping @HobbyLob…

Why is it that 50% of all women shopping @HobbyLobbyStore seem to try and haggle??

Tweet: Was at a customer site today, they had a funky DNS…

Was at a customer site today, they had a funky DNS resolver. Thought I’d share it. Check the URL name: goo.gl/24iN4V

Tweet: Target attack linked to poor vendor credential man…

Target attack linked to poor vendor credential management – make sure your VAR and staff-augs securityminded! goo.gl/NYkOCX