My Monthly Roundup – January 2021

I’m starting something new this year – short blog posts where I recap stuff I have done in the past month. This helps me keeping track of the activities and hopefully, by the end of the year, it adds up to a solid list of achievements.

It also keeps me accountable on some of the projects I spend my time on – are they just silly experiments or do they have a long-term impact?

It’s been a cold January here!

Customer Work

I don’t always blog about my day job – enabling businesses to move to the Cloud – but this obviously takes a big chunk of my time.

This month, I’ve had multiple energy utilities customers onboarding the platform. Most of these customers with high availability requirements would deploy a stretched cluster across multiple AWS availability zones.

One of my other customers is continuing their large-scale migration to VMware Cloud – last week, they’ve moved another couple of thousands of VMs to VMC, mostly using HCX.

I’ve also worked on some interesting designs, such as running VMware Horizon 7 Virtual Desktops on VMware Cloud on AWS, with AVI providing the load-balancing.

Finally, I’ve had several conversations with customers around automating solutions on VMware Cloud on AWS – I would ask first what the customer wants to automate and identify some of the quick wins, before going through the common options (PowerCLI, Python, vRealize Automation and Terraform). It’s interesting to help customers who are moving (at their own pace) from a manual approach to an automated one.

Side Projects

By virtue of being a Field Principal, I get to spend 20% a week on Office of the CTO activities, which I tend to divide between:

  • Innovation
  • Diversity, Representation and Inclusion activities
  • Mentoring

Most of the Innovation projects end up being documented in blog posts. Let’s review some of these:

  • S3 and Content Library project with OCTO Blog published here

This post is just the teaser for a project I have worked with the Office of the CTO ACE team. The ACE team will eventually release a tool that enables customers to build and manage vSphere Content Libraries in S3 (it builds on what William Lam started a few years ago).

  • Terraform/Python with a simulated vCenter post. This is a really cool tool and will help customers get more familiar with automation and coding.
  • NSX L2 VPN API post for a Japanese customer.
  • Mini post on the vRNI and HCX Fling
  • Terraform HCX provider: testing the provider with its creator Antoine.
  • VMware Marketplace API: I’ve been working with our developers to better understand how I can interact with the VMware Marketplace APIs. Blog is coming soon but the code can already been found here.
  • PyVMC update
  • Easy Load Balancing – this is something else I’m working with Antoine and Nicolas Bayle. I hope it comes out in February or March. The idea of the tool is to provide a UI for the automated Load-Balancing project we covered in this post.
  • A brand new VM wizard – this is another project with Antoine. I will have more to share soon hopefully.

One project I am very excited about is a tool that saves the configuration of a VMware Cloud on AWS SDDC and enables customers to restore it. Hopefully it will come out this month. The tool was written in Python with Patrick Kremer.

Talks and Presentations

Coming in February:

  • Integrating VMware Cloud on AWS with VMware SD-WAN (by VeloCloud) with Maxime Saad
  • “VMware Infrastructure-As-Code – Customer Stories” for the VMware France SE team

Coming in March for our internal tech conference:

  • Start Coding Today with Patrick Kremer (where attendees will practice PowerCLI, Python and Terraform in a 25-minute session). No coding skills required!
  • VMware Cloud on AWS Networking Update – where we’ll share some cool updates on the networking and security front on VMC.

Also submitted a lot of sessions for our internal OCTO conference – remains to be seen whether any will be voted in:

  • Build your First Terraform Provider (with Antoine Deleporte and Vladimir Vivien) – hands-on session where attendees will get not just to use Terraform but to build a provider, using Go.
  • How to get your first patent (with Rachel Leekin)– where we’ll share Rachel’s story about patents and how to get one at VMware.
  • “You belong here” (with Roberto Canton and Michelle Kaiser) – session for our first-year CTO Ambassadors who might be intimidated when they first join the program. Session is purely to help others fight off the imposter syndrome.
  • Diversity drives Better Products drives Better Customer Outcomes – a session where I pick the brains of Lynsey Campbell who’s got a lot of fascinating experience on the topic.

Learning

I’ve struggled recently to maintain focus on online courses and Zoom sessions so I decided to read more paper books:

I have read the Terraform book already. It was heavily focused towards AWS but it’s overall well written and the author is clearly an expert. I have done a ton of Terraform in the past couple of years so I didn’t expect to learn that much from it but it did help me to consolidate knowledge on the tool.


Enough for now, I think that’s plenty already!

Thanks for reading.

Posted in VMC

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