Building a Fan-Tunnel

One of my favorite places to sleep when growing up was in a fan-tunnel. I’ve slept in one soo many times it probably led to some of my sinus issues as I’ve gotten older.  It was worth it!!

I’ve built a fan-tunnel to read in with my daughters a couple times a year and thought I’d post a how-to in case someone else wanted to do the same.

A word of warning before building this.  If you accidentally pull on the sheet just a little bit either the books or the books AND the fan will fall forward onto whom ever is laying there.  Both of my daughters have done this and the crying that resulted was no fun at all.  Please see the safe build instructions towards the bottom.

Basic Build Supplies:

  • Queen size (or larger) sheet. Smaller ones work but I’ve found it lacking in space.
  • Box fan – hopefully one with rounded corners (I scrapped my face with the edge of a square one growing up. Had a scar for a long time)
  • 2 x Heavy books of medium width/height (Harry Potter are very good choices)
  • 2 x Medium weighted books of smaller/medium size (Keeper of the Lost Cities works well).


Put the box fan facing the open area of a room. There should be at least a foot behind the fan to pull air in.  The direction the fan is facing should be long enough for the sheet plus 3 feet so you have room to army-crawl in.  TIP: Set the fan on it’s lowest setting and leave it unplugged. This will make it easier to turn on later when the sheet is added.


Place the sheet over the fan so that it hangs over the back edges a little bit.  It helps to have the sides close to the fan as well but they don’t have to be tucked under it.


Put the 2 heavy books on the top of the fan to hold the sheet in place. Leave a little slack in the sheet at the top so you can turn it on.


Turn the fan on low (or plug it in based on my suggestion above).  If you turn it on any higher the sheet will ripple like below.


At the far end, curl the sheet around most of the way and place a book on the edges.  To make the sheet stay full use the books to reduce the opening.  This takes some adjustment to get right and will need adjusted again once inside the tunnel.


Final setup!!   Just army-crawl in from the end and adjust the sheet/books again as need.  I recommend taking a small pillow and blanket in as well.




***  Safe Build Supplies

  • Queen size (or larger) sheet.
  • Box fan
  • Laundry Basket
  • 2 x medium clamps
  • 2 x small bungee cords
  • 2 x Medium weighted books of smaller/medium size


Turn laundry basket upside down and place fan on top. Use same room spacing as above. Place the sheet over the fan so that it hangs over the back edges a little bit.  It helps to have the sides close to the fan as well but they don’t have to be tucked under it.


Use the clamps to hold the sheet onto the top of the fan.  Use bungee cords on back side of fan to hold it to the laundry basket.  This keeps it from tipping forward onto the occupants.


Turn the fan on low (or plug it in based on my suggestion above).  At the far end, curl the sheet around most of the way and place a book on the edges.  To make the sheet stay full use the books to reduce the opening.  This takes some adjustment to get right and will need adjusted again once inside the tunnel.






Emotional Week Doing Disaster Relief

It is tough to put into words what the last week has meant to me but here goes my best shot.

For those of you who don’t know I spent the last week in Texas with Team Rubicon helping with disaster relief efforts. The emotions that ran through my body over the last eight days was the widest range that I have ever experienced.  From being nervous and excited to meet new people to sad/happy in seeing what people have gone through and how we helped them.  Every day was a range of feelings and emotions from being tired to energetic and monotonous to proud.  I could have sworn there was a quick dust swarm at a few houses and the FOB.

It started with meeting others from the region who were going on the American Airlines provided charter flight from KC to Houston. We had hotel access in KC the night before as the flight was supposed to leave very early.  I’m very outgoing but meeting others who have been on week-long operations before made me nervous.  It ended up being awesome and playing Piccolo was crazy fun. At the airport on October 1st we were able to meet everyone else.


Flying into Houston was a bit confusing. I heard for months about how bad it was in Houston but we didn’t see any of that from the air.  I’m sure there was some damage but we expected more.  Once landed we were broken up into groups that were going to different FOBs (Forward Operating Base).  I was supposed to go to Beumont, TX but was moved to Rockport since I was Sawyer certified.  My group loaded into a charter bus and started the 4 hour ride to Rockport.

On the way there we saw a ton of damage.  We saw electric companies with teams of 30 trucks putting in new poles. We passed tent communities made up of those whose houses were no longer habitable. Some were using old semi-truck trailers as homes as well. It was disheartening to see that knowing that I’m living in a nice, new house back in KC.


The first operation I was on was to clear trees and shed from a property. It felt good to get some saw work done after chasing a few work-orders that were no longer needed.  It wasn’t life-changing help for the owner, though, and I thought that’s what we were there for. I was disappointed, a bit sad and confused with the organization of the entire process.  That night the Ops team regrouped, thanked us all for clearing up duplicate/completed orders and stated there would be real work the rest of the week.

Everyday from that point on was another story. On Tuesday we went to a small house with a tree on the roof and a lot of internal water damage. Our strike team consisted of 4 members from my region and 4 from region 1. My region took care of multiple trees and widow-makers that needed to come down and off of the roof. Region 1 took care of the inside. After we cleared the outside I helped region 1 finish the inside by sweeping the rest of the sheetrock and debris out. The house wasn’t livable and the owner wasn’t sure what he was going to do.  The owner was so grateful, though, and thanked everyone multiple times.  It felt good to help someone who really needed it.

Wednesday was a seriously proud, exhausting day. We drove to Port Lavaca to finish working on a WWII veterans home. He was 92, still driving, and came around to shake everyone’s hand.  TR had been working on it for a couple days so we sent 3 strike teams to get it completed. I spent most of my time outside cutting into sections the rolled-asphalt roof that blew off and taking it out to the street. We thought it would take about 90 min but it took 5 hours to complete. I then went inside to pull nails since the rest of the house had been gutted.  It was such a high knowing that I helped someone who fought for us so many years ago. I got tears in my eyes as we presented the owner a TR pin and t-shirt.


Thursday & Friday was more of the same. We gutted the house of a veteran who helped develop Saturn rockets. He told us great stories of astronauts being a PITA or doing crazy things. Between getting medicine and issues with the house his wife was having a hard time. It got pretty bad when one of their sons showed up for the first time since the hurricane hit six weeks ago and his first question was where all of his stuff was at. Multiple of us were ready to put him in his place.  The owners were writing thank you letters so during breaks they took down all of our names and where we were from.  At the end of Friday took pictures (even with their dog, who was smiling!!).  I was working with a couple hard-asses but when they said a prayer for our safety and safe return home, even the toughest of our group had tears in their eyes. It was a sad, proud, honoring ride back to the FOB.


Friday night hit everyone really hard.  We broke early but at dinner a team member stepped in front of the group.  He started talking about his dad, who was a veteran, and how he was pretty miserable. His dad had a bad outlook on everything and didn’t have the motivation to get up and change his stars.  He wanted his dad to get off his ass so bad.  While on an operation he had one of the sawyers cut a couple “cookies” from a tree.  He had everyone sign one for his dad in hopes that would motivate him to volunteer with TR and get his life back in order.  A roaring “Hell-Yeah” came from the group.

Then he got really choked up while telling us about his brother. While the TR member was flying from NY to Houston his brother was admitted to a Houston hospital with a mass in his chest.  His family didn’t know what it was at the time.  The TR member decided to still show up and bust ass all week, which I assure you he did as he was on my team two days.  At this point there wasn’t a single dry eye in the FOB, even on the toughest guys I saw all week.  This really reinforced to me how much TR means to EVERYONE – its members and the communities they support.

On Saturday I became strike team leader for the first time. We finished taking down a garage without Heavy Equipment. It was a tough job as the owner wanted to get into it to save things as we were cutting sections of it apart.  Paul & Will were animals that I had to force breaks onto. When it was done the gratifications to see the roof and walls completely gone carried me all the way through the evening.

Saturday night 9 of us headed back to Houston for the night so we could make our early flight on Sunday.  While going through the airport we had multiple people say they saw us on TV and thanked us for our work.  The delight on my face could be seen from space.  American Airlines staff was so awesome both at the gate and our fight home.  The flight crew shook everyone’s hands and gave bottles of water to anyone who wanted it for their drive home once we landed in KC.

While taxiing to our gate the Pilot informed us that KC Airport Fire team had a special treat for us. It’s hard to say that I felt we deserved it based on the other circumstances that it is used for but it was sure appreciated by all of us.  It help implant into me the feeling that we get when we doing something good for others.


After being home a few days and reflecting on my time in Texas I am no clearer now with my emotions.  What I do know is that almost the entire time I was there I felt like I was genuinely making a difference in the world.  Both in talking with other TR members and helping those in need.  I have a plethora of new friends.  Not just accuantences, but actual friends.  It’ll be tough keeping them with people being all over the US but I have already texted with multiple of them this week.  Also, there is NO WAY this will be the last operation I go on.  I was hooked on what this organization is doing but know I’m fully invested.

PS – I have been donating to Team Rubicon since 2011 and see first-hand where the money goes. Please support me by donating to my Team Rubicon Hurricane Harvey fundraising page.  My goal is to raise $500 by the end of the year.

PSS – Here is a TR commercial that T-Mobile is running during the 2017 MLB playoffs.  Upon returning Sunday I was a dinner with my family, still in my TR gear, when it came on. A couple people looked at the TV, looked at me, back to the TV, back to me, back to the TV.  I just smiled and gave them a nod.


VRA 7.X Directory Config – Failed to connect to

We were having LDAP issues within our VRA 7.3 lab deployment which started directly after an array outage that took down our domain controllers.  During recovery of the domain controllers they were upgraded to 2016 before I was able to look into the LDAP issue within VRA.  Below is how I solved the connector issue that came about because of changing domain controller names.

Basic Setup:

  • VRA Build 5493917 – Compact deployment
  • Active Directory before outage
    • labdc01-0 (Server ’08 R2)
    • labdc02-0 (Server ’08 R2)
    • labdc03-16 (Server ’16 R2)
    • labdc04-16 (Server ’16 R2)
  • Active Directory currently
    • labdc01-16 (Server ’16 R2)
    • labdc02-16 (Server ’16 R2)


The first thing I came across was KB 2145438.  I reviewed the log files but didn’t have any of the errors mentioned within the Symptoms section.  I decided to review the config-state.json files within each Tenant folder and noticed “labdc03-16” listed for the domain server.  I took a snapshot of the appliance, backed up all config-state.json files, changed all instances of “labdc03-16” within them to “labdc01-16”, and restarted the horizon-workspace service per instructions.  I was still unable to logon or verify the directory configuration.

I decided to remove the domain integration and add it back since this is just a lab.  I removed the appliance from the domain within Connectors and deleted the directory from every tenant and tried to add it back to the system tenant.  I received the error message “Connector Communication Failed because of invalid data: Problem connecting to directory:


I checked the /storage/log/vmware/horizon/connector.log and noticed it was failing while trying to bind to “labdc04-16.”  DKmeo4JVYAAay2_.jpg

Naturally, I checked the DC’s for any remnants of this server including Sites & Services, ADUC and DNS.  I couldn’t find anything.  Checked /etc/hosts but nothing there.

I then decided to try grep -R labdc04-16 * starting in /usr/local/horizon/     BINGO!!!  It found it within /usr/local/horizon/conf/ which based on time stamp of file was added 5 months ago when I deployed this lab.


I backed up the file, fixed it with the correct domain controller names, and the restarted the horizon-workspace service again.

I was then able to add the domain back as as a Directory.  All existing rights were still in place so I didn’t have to redo any anything else.

Turns out there’s a KB for this as well – KB2147737


My VMworld 2017 Schedule

This year my schedule at VMworld is pretty jam packed. I have been asked to present a couple times, attend CTAB and be in a video. The following is a synopsis of my schedule and what I’m looking forward to.  I’ll will be chatting with vendors and peers between sessions as well.

Saturday, August 26

  • 8:30 – 4:00  Customer Technology Advisory Board (CTAB) where I’ll be interacting with multiple customers and VMware Product Managers to talk about wants, needs, issues and road maps. This is very valuable to my company, VMware and myself.
  • 4:00 – 6:00   CTAB reception with same group.

Sunday, August 27

  • 8:30 – 1:00   CTAB – Hearing from Chris Wolf, Amanda Blevins and more
  • 2:00 – 3:00  Co-presenting Cloud in Healthcare
  • 3:00 – 4:00   vRops/Wavefront
  • 4:00 – 6:00   TAM Customer Reception
  • 5:00 – 6:00   VMware on AWS reception
  • 7:00 – 10:00   Working door and mingling at VMunderground party.


Monday, August 28

Morning keynote is a must. I like to watch it from the Hang Space in order to be more comfortable and talk with peers about it.

  • 8:00 – 9:00   DevOps Ready IT
  • 9:00 – 10:30  General Session (keynote)
  • 1:00 – 3:00   As I have time I’ll be in the VMUG booth.
  • 1:00 – 2:00   Storage deep dive & roadmap
  • 1:00 – 2:30   NSXaaS Secure Native AWS workloads
  • 4:00 – 4:30   CloudFormation from VRA


Tuesday, August 29

Another morning keynote. This time with Pat Gelsinger and Ray O’Farrell.

  • 8:00 – 9:00  Cloud Management & Beyond
  • 9:00 – 10:30   Keynote
  • 11:00 – 12:00  VMC
  • 11:30 – 12:30   Multicloud management
  • 12:00 – 2:00   Lunch with our customers
  • 1:00 – 2:30  NSX on ACI
  • 2:30 – 3:30   vRNI
  • 3:00 – 5:00   vSAN Customer Summit
  • 6:00 – 8:00   Healthcare Customer Reception


Wednesday, August 30

  • 8:00 – 9:00  CBC
  • 9:00 – 10:00   NSX
  • 11:30 – 12:30   On a panel session – LHC3016PU
  • 3 – 4:30   Video Interview for VMware
  • 3:30 – 4:30   Managing VMC


Thursday, August 31

  • 9:00 – 10:00   Favorite keynote of the week. 3 small keynotes from organic thinkers outside of VMware
  • 10:30 – 11:30   VMC vs BCC
  • 4:00  Fly home

Hyper-V 2016 Shows up as Windows 10 in WSUS

I’ve been working within a POC of SCVMM/Hyper-V 2016 in our lab for about 8 months in preparation for a production deployment.  After WannaCry I was validating patching and noticed the Hyper-V hosts were not getting patches.  We have a WSUS server setup that is pushing all security and critical patches.

Upon looking in WSUS it turns out that host installs via Hyper-V 2016 ISO show up as Windows 10.Hyper-V.png

Here’s what Windows Server 2016 shows within WSUS (both Core & GUI).2016.png

I reported the issue to Microsoft.  They verified the bug and are working on a patch to fix this within WSUS.  They updated the ticket with an estimated release within the September patch cycle (I believe it’s the 19th).

Until then you have to force patches via Microsoft and not WSUS.

Updated – The patch was not released in September and was pushed to October 2017.

Company Culture

Part of my current job is to design and coordinate the integration of back-end IT systems when we acquire companies.  To successfully do this I am in A LOT of meetings with other major departments such as Finance, Enterprise Services Applications, Audit, Facilities, the Business Unit purchasing the company, Marketing, Sales, HR and even the CEO/President of the both companies.

A meeting the other day really hit me in the gut with my current situation. A couple VP’s at the company we bought were complaining of the lack of culture since they were purchased.  They stated that their people were number one priority, followed by customers and then stock holders.  This is how they were able to be successful in business and keep great people working for them over a long period of time.  Now they felt like their people were last in the list.

After listening to their concerns in this area, which mainly revolved around how long it took to get issues resolved (both HR and IT) and the lack of communication about new processes, the HR representative was given a chance to respond.  The direction HR was going to take to fix this was to educate them on how much charity work our company does, how the users can get involved with charities of their own or the ones the company works with, and other special moral boosting actives we do within offices.

I didn’t think this was a very good response at all.  Neither did our CEO/President, who responded by telling them that nothing has changed so far within their company and if there’s a culture problem than it has to do with the managers there, who are the same managers as before the acquisition.

This exchange made me sit back and think for a minute.  I have been in the office of this company a few times during the acquisition process and completely agree that they do have a great culture.  You could feel it when you walked in the office.  People were working hard but still smiling.  They talked to each other in a polite manner at a minimum.  Twice I saw disagreements and then later that day the individuals were talking like nothing happened. So what was it that makes people see these perceived changes in culture?

The meeting made me take a look at my own experiences and what I think goes into a “culture” at work.  Personally, culture at work has multiple parts and the sum of those parts will make each person decide if the culture is to their liking or not.  These parts may include:

  1. The freedom to make decisions and have managers back them
  2. Managers who communicate well, both in praise and criticism
  3. Clear direction on where the company is going and actions/decisions that back it
  4. Ability to work from remotely, as in from home or anywhere you can connect from
  5. Working with other forward-thinking managers/peers
  6. Able to attend training classes and/or local free events
  7. Having peers that you enjoy being around, not just working on a project/technology
  8. Being rewarded for hard work above and beyond the norm
  9. Ability to move to other positions within company
  10. Using work time to volunteer at charities

I have worked at four different companies (two divisions within one of them) and each had a different feel when I started than when I left.  Some shifted over long periods of time while others changed quickly.  A shift over time can be bearable for most but a quick shift is usually fatal for the company as it can lead to employees leaving quickly.  Some examples of changes that lead to a quick change in culture are:

  1. A new manager that tends to yell a lot, isn’t clear on direction of company or goals.
  2. A realignment of resources without a clear layout or goals for it.
  3. A manager who uses improper ways of “encouraging” staff, such as criticizing in front of peers.
  4. When the economy tanked in 2008, our team quit going to lunch together most days, causing a change in the relationship between everyone.
  5. Peers leaving to advance their career with another company.
  6. When good employees leave and are replaced by others who don’t want to learn or work as hard.
  7. Outsourcing parts of the

It’s a tough time for managers as they need to know what drives each employee and how to recognize when a good one is unhappy BEFORE they submit their resignation.  It really comes down to how you “feel” at work.  Different things make different people happy.  But when you are happy you will stay with a company longer and go the extra mile.

Shaking and Scared

Let me start by stating that I have no official training in either the psychological or physical disciplines.  This is nearly a blog about me.

I’m not sure when it may have started but the first time I noticed it was late summer of 2007.  Or, rather, my wife noticed it.  We would be sitting somewhere, I’d be thinking about work and my wife would notice my left hand shaking.  I didn’t know what caused it for sure but it didn’t take long to realize that it only happened when I thought hard about work, which was often.  It would show up anyway.  Dinner, watching TV or even while trying to go to sleep at night.  I wasn’t sure if it was stress, lack of a proper diet, lack of sleep or any something else that changes within your life when you work long, hard, stressful hours.

Work became so stressful, and not because of the actual work, that I looked for another job.  It was a difficult process after spending 11 years at one company and moving up 4 positions.  An amazing thing happened after I found another job though. I landed in a very good situation where there was 5 very strong system administrators. It was such a drastic change for the better that within a couple of weeks my shaking went away and I didn’t notice it again for at least 3 years.

I continued to work at this job until the economy tanked. We didn’t lay anyone off but we turned into “maintenance” mode since most of our income was advertisement based.  I only noticed the shaking one time while there.  That was during a very stressful data center move. No one ever said anything to me about it but I did see it when we were moving a blade chassis into my Jeep while 3 helpdesk admins where holding a tarp to keep the rain off of us.  🙂

In a chance encounter, shoveling the snow off my driveway at 11 pm, I started talking to a neighbor that I had never talked to.  Turns out that he was looking for a well-rounded infrastructure and VMware products systems admin to manage an environment that supported all of their developers.  It was a cool step that I couldn’t pass up.  This environment was so much fun to learn in, advance to a bunch of cool technologies and have great support from my manager.

There was only time each year that was stressful. We had a conference for all of our clients and I was in charge of setting up lab systems and a portal for them.  It was a ton of fun but a lot of stress to get done in time.  Every year we made improvements that usually meant changing the way we did almost everything.  I remember my coworker asking me about my hand at least once a year.

By now I contributed my shaking to stress.  It was the only correlation I could come up for it. I would blow it off and not worry about it at all.  That is until my dad started having issues.  Doctors weren’t sure what was going on as all tests came back negative.  He was shaking a lot, sliding his legs and moved into a deep depression.  We finally got him to a few different doctors who diagnosed him with Parkinson’s.  It was a rough time for him and the entire family.

I spent at least one day a week with my dad. We’d talk, shoot pool or what ever I could get him to do.  I spent most of my time watching him and his mannerisms.  I would look back and see if there was any indicators from his past that would have let us know this was coming.  At the time it was just data gather. It would soon start to haunt me.

I ended up leaving this GREAT job for another. Four of the admins from the second job above had moved on to a VAR.  They were trying for years to get me to come over.  I finally decided that I was ready for a new challenge.  It was great for about the first 9 months and then I realized I didn’t like most of what I was doing.  I don’t think it was completely because it was a VAR but more the VAR I was at.  We had a limited product set we could sell because of partner agreements and the management style was about 400% outside of my comfort level.  Next thing I knew my hand was shaking almost every day.  I was back to the same point from the first job above only this time it was getting worse.

At this point not only was my hand shaking but I was constantly tired and my head was so congested that I would almost black out while driving to work.  I was hacking a lot of phlegm all day, every day.  This triggered something else in me.  I started looking at all of my physical issues and comparing them to my dad.  I was seeing way too many similarities.  Since this time I’ve really fallen into a depression.  It’s caused relationship issues between me and my wife, concentration problems at work, me not treating my friends very well and not being as good as a father to my kids as I should be.

I finally went to a doctor to get a full physical and blood work done.  Nothing came up and I was told to get another hour of sleep at night. Since that time I have not talked to a doctor about my issues.  I really need to find one that is willing to listen and help me rather than just push me down the line.

I still didn’t really like what I was doing at my new job, though I was good at it and getting a lot of recognition.  I wasn’t happy there and I haven’t gone for medical assistance in any way other than a therapist now and then. I’m honestly scared to end up like my dad.  He was a mechanic for ever. The manly guy who provided for his family and all of a sudden he couldn’t work any more.

I know I need to take control of this.  I’m not sure how.  I know I need to talk to someone but my family has never been much of a feelings type. Don’t get me wrong.  We talk A LOT.  Just not about our feelings.

This post may not help others.  It’s more about getting my thoughts out.  If anyone reads this all the way through I’d like to say thank you for reading.  If anyone has any recommendations I am all ears.  I know at this point I just need to make it a priority to get help but as most of my hard working family has done in the past I’ve just tried to keep my head down and “work off” the feelings.

I guess what I’m trying to convey is that work is important but not as important as our health.  We should pay close attention to that aspect of our lives.  Even more so than our career.  It is very hard to do that when you are trying to provide all that you can for your wife and kids.  We all must make sacrifices and some times that means making sure you will be around to support them in the long run, not just the next few years.

Questions you shouldn’t be affraid to ask your boss

One of my favorite topics lately that I’ve heard on a few podcasts is about job changes and career choices.  There is so much to take into account in looking for a new job or evaluating an opportunity that you weren’t looking for.  It’s been fun to hear people help others realize their potential and direct them to job options that they never thought they would qualify for.

I get email from recruiters almost weekly for open positions.  Over 90% of these jobs would be taking a step backwards in my career, and not by a single step. I’m not sure what they’re search methods are but these recruiters need to do a little leg work before contacting potential candidates.

A friend recently contacted me about an open position that he felt I was not only qualified for but would love to be in and able to grow within his company.  After a few texts and emails I finally took his call so I could hear about this <sarcasm> “once in a lifetime” </sarcasm> opportunity.  It turns out the position would allow me to do a lot of the tasks that I used to do and really miss.  Things I used to do at my current company. Before I went to a VAR and realized I didn’t like a fair amount of what was required for my position (you never know until you try).

I’ve talked with a couple people that I really trust as to whether I should take this job opportunity or not. Anyone who follows me on Twitter knows there are a lot of annoyances where I currently work.  I’d classify them as annoyances as each of them in their own right wouldn’t make anyone want to leave the company.  One of my good friends finally said, “If you like that other position so much why don’t you ask your boss if you can be put into the same type of position where you currently work?”  Huh?  What?  You mean that is allowed?

I thought about what my friend said and decided to look into it.  Then I looked at the team that was currently labeled to do the same type of work within my business unit.  Once I did, though, I found out that they didn’t do that type of work anymore, and haven’t for almost two years.  They were spending all of their time doing financial analysis on how the company could cut back instead of actual architecture work.  I didn’t want to do that (neither did the other 4 who left the team already) so I didn’t ask the question.

Another side story to this was that I was “promoted” to a new “role” on a new team to do the same type of work that I’ve already been doing for nine months.  They wanted to make a presentation our of my promotion a couple days ago, at the same time I was deciding if I was going to accept the job offer above.  I didn’t want my current boss to do a presentation for this promotion for me to turn around in a few days or weeks and resign.  I felt the right thing to do was to ask for some time, which I did.  He really appreciated what I did.

The fallout was that a couple hours later I had my boss and two higher levels of management asking me to stay.  They asked what I would be doing at this other job.  Once I told them they responded with “We really don’t want you to leave. We’re forming a new team to do that here and we’ll move you to it now.”  Wait, what?????

They’ve been talking about a re-org to a new model for over 12 months but there’s been little to no movement.  I talked to one guy on the “IT Transformation” team for 15 minutes one day but that was it.  I had no idea what was going on, where they wanted me to fit within this new model (which ended up being the team they tried to promote me to) and when it was going to be implemented.  Lucky for me I now had the proper people to ask questions of.

For the next 30 minutes I was able to ask them anything, and I did.  It was great to not only hear managements responses to my questions but see their body language when answering.  It became pretty easy to tell when they were confident in their answers and when they were trying to convince themselves as well as me, which is helping me make my decision.

Here’s a list of things I felt I needed to ask to help me decide if I should stay or take the offer above:

  1. I don’t like the current role I’m in.  Can I move to a role somewhere that allows me to do XXXX???  Be specific as you may not know where else in the company that people do that type of work.
  2. Are there any organization changes being planned that may change what I currently do or allow me to do something different?  What is the time frame for these changes to be implemented?
  3. How confident are you in the current management (all levels) to move the department/business unit/company forward?
  4. Does the company have enough talent to fill the positions needed to complete the transition?
  5. Is the company going to financially back the changes they are implementing?  (Especially if the answer to #4 is no.)


In my case there is a lot of changes in organizational layout and processes planned.  These changes will require all business units to change the way they interact with our systems and people.  It’s going to take a large army of very good people at a lot of levels to get it done.  I have more on this but this post is already WAY too long.  Maybe I’ll add them into the next post which will contain my decision on whether to stay or go.  🙂

VMworld Day 3

Tuesday keynote at VMworld included the announcement that VMworld 2016 will be in Las Vegas.  I personally like this as hotels are cheaper (unless my wife comes and we stay at the Cosmopolitan), lunches always include a hot option (instead of cold boxed lunches we’ve had in San Francisco), and the WiFi in the conference center always works.  WiFi back in 2012 wasn’t too bad here in SF but the past 3 years it’s been borderline atrocious.

The other announcements were all around software version releases and new products released earlier in the year, such as Photon.  There was a lot of EUC talk around Workspace Suite and VMware even brought up a Microsoft rep to talk about the work VMware and Windows are doing with Windows 10.  It was a bit awkward after Microsoft being basically kicked out of the Solutions space years ago.

VMware Identity Manager was release a few weeks ago.  They have a lot of plans for it in the near future which will take it beyond traditional IAM space.  It will take some time and very few specifics were released at this time.

I hit up a lot of great sessions on NSX, vRA and deep dives into vSphere 6.  Most of the data I received came from the VMware User Group (VMUG) Leader lunch.  Special guests Pat Gelsinger, Raghu Raghuram and Kit Colbert.  We were able to have a Q&A session with them where we could ask about any question. One of my favorites was how VMworld is trying to help educate college students on Virtualization since most come out with little to no knowledge of what it is. When those students get out of college and into the IT world they have to learn on the job, which is very tough on the company hiring them. VMworld is working to donate software and education material to help bridge this gap.  One VMUG group is actually working with ITT Tech on a program and had a couple students attending VMworld with them.

The other awesome thing they talked about was that Photon will be open sourced as they believe other vendors will be heading in the same direction as well.  The base system running containers should be as small as possible and might as well be available to all.

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