Thank You For A Successful 1st DFW VMUG Hackathon!


Thank you to all those who attended!

The DFW VMUG Hackathon on 12/16/2017 was a great experience and if you missed it we hope to see you at one of our 2018 Hackathons.

Also if you want to try and run one for your community, keep reading and the the biggest thing to remember is, “Have Fun and just do it!”

Inspired by many and attending in person the Sept VMworld 2017 Hackathon was a great personal experience for me.  I am very grateful to William Lam & Alan Renouf for setting this up and thanks the VMware{code} Program for supporting the community and sponsoring the event  (Please reach out to current coordinator Elsa Meyer if you have questions regarding the VMware{code} program).

For the DFW VMUG it was “#Game On!” As soon as my friend and vBrownBag LATAM colleague Ariel Sanchez started blogging about it (VMworld Hackathon) and he then through down the gauntlet by kicking off the Pittsburgh #PGHLittleHack.


The DFW VMUG Hackathon was held in mid-December at the University of Texas at Dallas, and so I want to give a big shout out to and thank you to the University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) and John McConnell for hosting the event on the Richardson Campus.

Also big thanks and kudos to Ryan Clair (VMware/Sponsor) and Troy Lindsay (DFW VMUG Customer Member) for running the event with me, including serving as the team captains and resident Hackathon Experts.

Please see Troy Lindsay’s blog for more details and summary write up of the process, the event and lessons learned.  Also Ryan Clair’s GitHub for the project.

Remember, we cannot over emphasize, “having fun and experimenting!”

Running the DFW VMUG Hackathon was a great learning experience and we had a mixed crowd of geeks, experts and DevOps newbies. The planning and setup took a little over a month and guess what?  There are always challenges, which are just more opportunities to refine the process and shine.  We had to reschedule a couple times, lost our original hosting location.  Just as in role playing game like “Fall Out 4“, or a movie like “Star Wars: The Last Jedi“, Things happen, life goes on and we go on to live and fight another day.  The main thing is to have fun and make it fun for others while all the time learning.  To help you with your Hackathon if you do choose to run one, here are some things to ponder.

Top 10 Things To Consider:

  1. Remember – #1 Have Fun!
  2. Find couple passionate hackathon organizers, decide on venue and optionally get a sponsor for lab resources, venue and food.
  3. Join the VMware{code} Slack Channel and start your journey today, then create your own channel — in our case it was dfw-hackathon
  4. Spread the word to all potential participants/interested parties — we used our VMUG DFW Community page for communication and for registrations, and also leveraged our traditional DFW VMUG Social Media sites.
  5. Decide on best method for communications for both organizers and the newly forming Hackathon Community (slack, skype, texts, etc) and blogging. We did interactive publishing of all information we created using Google Doc. This was a living document and contained several iterations and was used to share all Hackathon Information.
  6. Hold weekly planning meetings up until day of event, this helps keep you on track and helps mitigate issues as they arise.
  7. Decide on which projects to work on and of interest to participants of your hackathon (we also sent out a couple  monkey surveys)
  8. Do a dry run before event to ensure everything works (Internet Access, setting up Accounts, Accessing hackathon resources, power, power strips, etc)
  9. Create Hackathon Project Team Slack sub-Channel on VMware{code} in our case it was #team-conductor and also create GitHub Repository for DFW Hackathon Project.
  10. We were fortunate to have VMware sponsor this event so we had 3 hours of lab access to a couple VMware MyLearn Lab Machines already pre-configured, which saved us a lot of time and issues of setting up a lab on-site.
Note:  VMUG is always innovating and we are hoping to make available a VMUG Global Lab based on VMware Cloud on AWS for future VMUG Hackathons – Stay Tuned to VMUG News Letter Announcements.

The event was a very good first step in the right direction towards our DFW VMUG Community learning DevOps and we look forward to continuing our journey and hosting a couple more Hackathon Events in 2018.

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2017 SRE & DevOps Influencers

@DFWVMUG Check out Rob’s reference links to SRE & DevOps Influencers.

Rob Hirschfeld

Seems fitting to start 2018 by finally posting this list I started in May while working on my DevOpsDays “SRE vs DevOps” presentation, I pulled an SRE and DevOps reading list from some of my favorite authors.  I quickly realized that the actual influencer list needed to be expanded some – additional and suggestions welcome.  A list like this is never complete.

Offered WITHOUT ordering… I’m sorry if I missed someone!  I’ll make it up by podcasting with them!

SRE & DevOps Focused

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TODAY !!! Please come join us for the first DFW VMUG HACKATHON 12/16/2017!

Please come join us for our first ever DFW VMUG Hackathon!

  • What: DFW VMUG Hackathon December 2017
  • Date: December 16, 2017
  • Time: 4 pm to 8 pm
  • Where: Universtiy of Texas at Dallas


Please Find Requirements and Information HERE!

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DFW VMUG Meeting Dec 15, 2017 — Please Come Join Us!

You have spoken, and we have listened!

We are excited to announce the final DFW VMUG event of the year for 2017 will be “Performance, Optimization, Retention”.

Don’t miss your opportunity to attend the Dallas-Fort Worth VMUG Meeting taking place December 15, 2017, with limited seating available. Registration is open and available to all VMUG members. This is a great opportunity to meet with your peers to ask questions, discuss trends, best practices, and the latest technology!


Meeting Agenda
• Speaker 1 – NetScout
• Speaker 2 – Pure Storage
• Speaker 3 – Dell/EMCLunch!
• Movie: “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”

Event Location:
Studio Movie Grill
4800 Texas Hwy 121, The Colony, TX 75056

Please plan on attending our awesome vBeers right after the movie


Thanks to our sponsors


Have Fun, Network, Grow & Learn!


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DFW VMUG Hackathon 12/16/2017!

Please come join us for our first ever DFW VMUG Hackathon!

  • What: DFW VMUG Hackathon December 2017
  • Date: December 16, 2017
  • Time: 4 pm to 8 pm
  • Where: Universtiy of Texas at Dallas


Location Directions

The UTDesign studio is located in the Synergy Park North building at

3000 Waterview Parkway
Richardson, TX 75080-3021

(Corner of Synergy Park and Stewart)

Parking entrance on Stewart.

Interactive Campus Map

Locating the UTDesign Studio

For detailed directions to locate the SPN building click here.

Upon entering the SPN building, take a right.

The main office and open lab are on the right wing of the SPN building.


Visitor parking is available in front and back of the building, but guests will be required to display a permit in the vehicle.
Contact Nancy Finch for a parking permit.

Come Learn And Have Fun!

For those interested in attending, please consider do some of the following foundation prep work:

1)     Highly recommend Codecademy Python class at code academy

2)     Also, recommend getting familiar with the Flask web framework.

The Flask Mega-Tutorial, Part I: Hello, World!

If you have any questions, please DM @ryandotclair or @wmichel on the twitters.

Thanks to everyone for contributing and participating, we are looking forward to an exciting and fun DFW VMUG December 2017 Hackathon!

Have Fun, Network, Grow & Learn!


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What is Erasure Coding?!

So a couple things have happened recently that have peaked my interest in Erasure Coding.

Firstly, I have started working on a new project where I am now working with a new Dell EMC hyper-converged infrastructure system know as VxRail.   VxRail was developed by VMware and Dell EMC and utilizes the VMware Hyper-Converged Software (vSAN, vSphere and vCenter).


One of its best-known storage features when using an all-flash configuration for VxRail is Erasure Coding, which can protect data while using less storage space than RAID 1 mirroring.


There is also a VxRail Capacity Calculator you can play with to see the varying results of using all-flash compared to a hybrid configuration which cannot leverage Erasure Coding.


Secondly today, I noticed a vBrownbag colleague of mine Rebecca Fitzhugh wrote on her blog Technicloud, “Understanding Erasure Coding with Rubrik“.


I read the blog and watched the Rubrik video, and I highly recommend you please do check out Rebecca’s blog as she does a great job explaining the subject, and how it is used by the data management company Rubrik.

So in a nutshell what is Erasure Coding?

Erasure coding (EC) is a method of data protection in which data is broken into fragments, expanded and encoded with redundant data pieces and stored across a set of different locations or storage media.  —


In summary:

  1. Data protection technologies are evolving
  2. Erasure Coding seems to be a good alternative for some use cases.
    • Especially when considering using large capacity drives (8TB+), and where a rebuild can take days or even weeks.
  3. Just remember, one-size does not fit all and there are no silver bullets.

As in all things IT, it depends, use the appropriate data protection technology that best makes sense for your particular business requirements.


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I am excited and honor to say I have been selected to be part of the VMware vExpert Cloud Program, this is a specialty program within the vExpert Community.  First I want to thank VMware for creating the program and providing me the opportunity to participate.

I actually started playing with cloud stuff back in 2003 before it was called the cloud.  My cloud computing journey in those days started at Sun Microsystems, and that cloud was the precursor to what is known today as the Oracle Cloud.   These are exciting times at VMware and it is exciting to see all the cloud enablement and innovation going on at VMware.

On Friday, Oct 27th, VMware made the vExpert Cloud 2017 Award Announcement and published the list of all those selected into the program.  This is what VMware had to say about those vExperts that were selected into the program.

Each of these vExperts has demonstrated significant contributions to the community and a willingness to share their expertise with others. Contributing is not always blogging or Twitter as there are many public speakers, book authors, scriptwriters, VMUG leaders, VMTN community moderators and internal champions among this group.


This is a global program and I congratulate all my colleagues selected across the globe into this elite vExpert Cloud Program.

Click here for the complete list and below are some shout outs after a quick glance of some colleagues on the list.

As always, deeply inspired by the VMware Community god’s starting with the mythic VCDX’s:

The outstanding and world famous vBrownbag crew members Jonathan Frappier, and vBrownbag LATAM members from Brazil RicardoConzatti and Valdecir Carvalho.

Texas members Ed Haletky the security cloud guru in Austin,  Emad Younis who use to run the Houston VMUG years back and today part of the Cloud Platform Business Unit at VMware.

DFW members closer to home vExpert Cloud  members  Tim Davis the NSX King and Brandon Bolen the PS Automation Guru!

Congratulations to all the vExpert Cloud 2017 members!



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