Using Packer with Cisco Metapod

Packer is such a cool tool for creating images that are used with any cloud provider.  With the same packer recipe you can create common images on AWS, Digital Ocean, OpenStack, and more!  The Packer documentation already comes with an example of running with Metapod (formerly Metacloud). I wanted to show an example of how […]

Getting Started with AWS EMR

AWS Elastic Map Reduce (EMR) is basically a front end to an army of large EC2 instances running hadoop.  The idea is that it gets its data from S3 buckets, runs the jobs, and then stores it back in S3 buckets.  I skimmed through a book on doing it, but didn’t get much out of […]

2014 year in review

2014 was huge for me.  I hope it was a great year for you too.  A few highlights: In July, I achieved the CCIE Datacenter certification.  This came after 4 failed attempts on the written exam and one previous failure on the lab exam.  More information on that is here. In November, I finally got […]

Rails API Testing or “You’ve been doing it wrong”

For the last several years I’ve been developing Ruby on Rails applications.  Nothing fancy, and most of them just failed projects that didn’t go anywhere.  During all this time I’ve trolled documentation on testing the app, saying “That would be nice to do one day”, but I’ve finally had enough and I want to change […]

Installing Cisco DCNM on Red Hat Linux

DCNM is Cisco’s GUI for managing MDS and Nexus products.  It’s pretty great for getting a visual of how things are configured and performing. I thought I would go into a little more detail than I’ve seen posted online about installing DCNM on RedHat Linux.  In this example we’ll be installing two servers.  One server […]

The CCIE Data Center Certification Process

  On July 9th, 2014 I passed the CCIE Data Center lab exam in San Jose earning me the CCIE certification.  Hurray!  When my team heard that I had done it, their response was:  If Vallard can do it, so can I!  Ha ha.  So needless to say a few more people have started down […]

1000v in and out of vCenter

I was setting up the Nexus 1110 (aka: virtual service appliance, aka: VSA) with one of our best customers and as we were doing it the appliance rebooted never to come up again without completely reinstalling the firmware from the remote media.  Most of this was probably my fault because I didn’t follow the docs […]

Nexus 1000v – A kinder gentler approach

One of the issues skeptical Server Administrators have with the 1000v is that they don’t like the management interface being subject to a virtual machine.  Even though the 1000v can be configured so that if the VSM gets disconnected/powered-off/blownup the system ports can still be forwarded.  But that is voodoo.  Most say:  Give me a […]

Teaching Kids to Program

I get asked a lot from different parents about teaching their kids to write computer programs.  “What is a good way to get started?” , “How did you get into it?”.  As my oldest child is now 9 I’ve been frequently asking myself the same question.  I feel it is very important that young people […]