Citrix, Uncategorized

Citrix Synergy as CTP

Getting to attend Synergy 2016 is one of the perks that accompanies being a CTP.  You also have responsibilities that come with this but I’m finding the perks seem to outweigh them!

I joined Red Hat last week and I think I’m the only Red Hatter here (I get weird looks with my hat but that’s on purpose).  Citrix is heavily aligned with Microsoft, Microsoft announced Red Hat on Azure and there has always been interest in VDI with Linux.  That being said, I get to come to Synergy as more an outsider than ever before (instead of from the customer or partner side).

CTPs have quite a few meetings lined up when they come to Synergy that start 2 days earlier than the kickoff.  These meetings are no joke and I got plenty of warnings about pacing myself.  They started at 8am promptly and continued to about 7pm two days in a row with few breaks.  The topics are intense and interesting and it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

The meetings are generally with the Citrix product teams and we get to learn and give feedback to new releases, ideas, successes and failures.  Each team is different in terms of how they operate.  I can’t go into too much detail but Citrix is very interested in improving their feedback loops and ensuring that products developed have purpose instead of just throwing things over a wall and surprising people.  This is a good move as it allows a lot more trail and error, and a lot less of “what the f is this thing?” when something in announced.  This is definitely the primary interest I had with my CTP meetings, in addition to the awesome company!

This year I’m not speaking at a breakout but doing some other activities.  I’ll be at the Synergy Showdown #XAonAzure with my team, the Village Idiots, along with Esther, Jarian and Paul from the CTP team.  We will be taking on the wily dutch team but our secret weapon hails from the Netherlands (Esther) so we are a lock in to win😉 !  I will also have a few match.geek sessions if you want to hear me blather on about whatever you want and I’m hosting the education tech chat tables (except for today, Tobias will be doing Tuesday’s due to the showdown).

Today was fun, I got to sit at the bloggers table and get super secret early access the the keynote.  Esther even got me a front row table seat and the view is spectacular.  If you don’t think a CTP has perks, you’re mistaken and this is one of the best perks I’ve ever had.

If you’re here and want to connect, let me know. You can look for a dude wearing a red hat (literally) and it’s likely me or DM on twitter or the Synergy app. Looking forward to the rest of the week and running into old friend and making new ones!

Career, Red Hat, Uncategorized

First week at Red Hat

I recently joined Red Hat on May 16th and spent a few days in Raleigh at orientation.  I can’t think of a time before that I felt as good a fit as at Red Hat.  Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a job to sit on your ass, however, if you work hard, you are rewarded.  The company culture seeps out of people and as best I can describe it, it is basically one of common sense.  Nothing overly crazy, but a lot of thought put into decisions, then once made, they are implemented quickly.

For any of you wondering why I made this move, I had spent the last year at Ericsson working on a very large OpenStack rollout with AT&T.  What we did was great but, my heart lies with presales and I couldn’t pass this opportunity up.  I’ve always tinkered and been a hobbyist with Linux and love the thought of having a career with it.

I have no idea how much I can weld my past technologies with what I am doing today but time will tell and you have to make changes in life.  Nevertheless, I am at Citrix Synergy next week in Vegas, so if you’re out there let me know and we can meet.

OpenStack, Uncategorized

OpenStack Summit – keynotes

Thanks to Champions Solutions Group, I’ve been able to attend the OpenStack Summit this year, 2016, in Austin, TX.  The event is interesting considering my experience with other conferences.  Generally I attend those that are geared towards partners, customers and sales. However, OpenStack is geared to a wide audience, but especially towards the engineers, architects and users which makes me feel right at home.

Highlights included the attendence of 7500 people and also the revelation that 65% of deployments of OpenStack are now production deployments!

OpenStack’s keynotes focused on a few themes.  Donna Scott from Gartner was correct in pointing out “disruption” as a key motivator explaining bimodal methods of deployment (mode 1 being reliable stable and mode 2 more experimental but agile). AT&T presented their challenges and wowed the audience with the rate of growth of mobile data (150,000% from 2007-2015!).  They are adopting a white box solution to lower cost, increase speed and agility. They also talked about a management layer for mult-tenant, complex networks.

Mirantis had a great presentation and poked at Gartner on their past of saying OpenStack wasn’t a real player (but that it’s in the past and happy they are hear).  After some story about Russian and vodka drinking bears, Mirantis made some excellent points.  Namely, people and process over tools and technology.  This is exactly the core of DevOps and if you know me, is a good overall view (I wish they went into value stream mapping a bit but it’s a start!).  They also pointed out that while they are a big AWS fan, there is ENORMOUS market share outside AWS and AWS has a teeny part of it!  They also poked a little fun at the vmware guys (not all, I know many are embracing change) but that adopting agile and openstack without looking at people is a killer.  Namely public cloud adoption seems great because you don’t have to deal with the people, but it’s not cheaper or always better.

We also heard from SAP and VW and Red Hat.  Red Hat stayed on message with the 65% of deployments to production.  SAP explained their addressing the movement of the industry with a customer expecting instant response time with a tweet. VW explained the connected car and the use of cloud computing.

Day 2 had keynotes that focused on containerization.  QUite a lineup of presenters including Cisco, OVH, TWC and liveperson and smartcities (and more) spoke. I think the best highlight was the presentation by Google and CoreOS highlighting tectonic which overlays Kubernetes (  I may have got this wrong, but each kubernetes node can hold many containers and they run openstack components as containers. They demonstrated a horizonv2 to v3 upgrade and also self-healing by killing a neutron and then a nova node.  I was definitely impressed and need to shore up by kubernetes skills!


Citrix, PVS, Uncategorized

Citrix PVS and Managed Service Accounts gMSA

I’m a big fan of Managed Service Accounts because they are much more secure and aren’t easily exploited by human beings.  Basically, Active Directory controls the account with it being responsible for changing passwords.  While use of gMSA (group managed service accounts) is sometimes hit or miss, I didn’t find much on recent use with Citrix other than a vague “we support this” statement.

Carl Webster had a much older attempt with PVS (not sure whether he tried again or not) and I wanted to ensure that this worked on PVS 7.7 (just released).

You’ll need a couple of things

I would leverage a tool for creating and managing gMSA that I got here.
(note: for a quick guide on setting this up, I would look through Derek Seaman’s blog).


Add you PVS server to the list otherwise it won’t work. (I only have 1 PVS server right now, I’m in rebuilding mode…)


For SOAP, you’ll need to make this account a member of the local admins on the PVS server (when you add the account, make sure you select “service accounts” for objects.


For SQL, I am using 2014 with availability groups.  Check out Derek’s blog for a great walkthrough on this.

Your database should have been created already (use the dbscript.exe to manually create the database in PVS)

Grant the permissions needed to your gMSA on the SQL database (I create the account on both database servers just in case (when I test the failover))

Testing failover should work and you will also notice the services are runningpvsconsoleservicespvs

Citrix, XenServer

FusionIO and XenServer

Getting FusionIO cards and XenServer to work seem to be a bit tougher than I thought but it’s possible. I have a few cards, some old servers and a XenServer 6.5 ISO.  I was hoping to use 6.6 but there isn’t a DDK up for that yet.

Install DDK 6.5
Increase the memory (I used 4GB) or you’ll run into errors on the RPM rebuild with out of memory

on XenServer 6.5

install lsof
yum install –enablerepo=base lsof

you’ll want to use the DDK to develop an RPM as specified here –
Now you can download the HP stuff here – I wouldn’t I’d use the sources from FusionIO directly.  Download the Centos5 sources and all the Utilities from here –

Use WinSCP to upload the files to your DDK server
You should upload the Sources directory

run rpm –rebuild iomemory-vsl-*.src.rpm

Copy the rpm in the /usr/src/redhat/RPMS/x86_64 directory on the DDK to the XenServer
Also copy the utilities directory from the downloaded ZIP to the XenServer

rpm -Uvh iomemory-vsl-*.rpm (you may need to do this in order)

You can ignore the dracut error (search for it in the pdf here)

cd to Utilities – run the following (check the order I may be wrong here but it’ll tell you)
rpm -Uvh fio-common*.rpm
rpm -Uvh fio-preinstall*.rpm
rpm -Uvh fio-util*.rpm
rpm -Uvh fio-sysvinit*.rpm

now run


Note the driver version is empty? – now we are in sync with Kyrian’s blog post.

Run fio-status again – I had to upgrade the firmware on mine meaning I had to copy the firmware file *.fff to the XenServer and run


Then reboot and fio-status again. Now I have to wait for some low-level format but that’s ok…


I and listed what I had for /dev/fct* and performed the following command
fio-format /dev/fct0
fio-format /dev/fct1

Then attached them
fio-attach /dev/fct0
fio-attach /dev/fct1

After that fio-status looks good and we mount
xe sr-create name-label=”ioDrive00″ physical-size=320Gb type=lvm device-config:device=/dev/fioa
xe sr-create name-label=”ioDrive01″ physical-size=320Gb type=lvm device-config:device=/dev/fiob

And we are done!


Career, Citrix

CTP 2016!


I’m honored to be chosen as a CTP for the class of 2016!

It is exciting obviously for me, but also Champion Solutions to be able to speak on Citrix solutions for our customers! If you’re in Atlanta, feel free to reach out!

If you’re not sure what a CTP is, they are the top 50 Citrix experts or champions that are recognized for their contributions and technical expertise. There are only 50 people and this year included 6 new members. CTPs get to interact with the Citrix product team, provide input and also speak to the community. The other perk is they give you some discounts on Citrix Synergy which is in Las Vegas this year!

Thanks to all the current CTPs and congrats to all the new ones!

If you’d like to read more about the CTPs,  click here to read the current bios.

There is also a twitter list here.

Career, OpenStack

2016 – Champion Solutions Group

As you may have noticed, this blog hasn’t been updated in a while. To be honest, last year afforded me little time to update, post or even be allowed to describe what I was doing (to some extent).  Most of the content came from my employment at Presidio, a great company to work for.  At the beginning of 2015, I took up a new challenge, wanting to do something new, something with cloud, something with DevOps.

January of last year was when I accepted a role at Ericsson as a Consulting Manager.  If you’re not familiar with the term, it’s used for enterprise consulting (think Accenture-like companies) and I worked for the consulting services at Ericsson.  In fact, we competed with Accenture and I met a few of the people who stuck around at one of my projects, where we won the bid for a large contract project.  Ericsson is also involved in the telco world, working with companies such at AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc.

Initially at Ericsson, I worked from home and was constantly trying to get involved. It seemed this is normal in consulting, but not for me. I honestly felt that if I wasn’t doing something that my job would be in jeopardy so I run presentations on virtualization, containers and devops and reached out to others in the company to learn more.  This paid off and I developed an opportunity in Europe which seemed perfect.  However, at the same time, Ericsson closed a large project with AT&T that I was called in to help.  The project teamed up with Mirantis (Ericsson holds an interest in them) to push OpenStack through automation and involved everything from the code management, CI/CD, automation to the tools, practices and integration.  We would be running with an agile development process utilizing SCRUM.  In any case, this involved me travelling to St Louis repeatedly and not spending a lot of time with the family.  I also seemed to be dealing more with people than the technology (not because that was what I was told to do, but because that’s what most projects are about, people working together).  In any case, I’ll likely share a lot of that later on.  I met some awesome people on the project that I hope to stay in contact with.

So why Champion?  Champion needed a pre-sales person in Atlanta and has not had the best of luck with the role in past years.  I would love to go back to Presidio, but honestly, they have enough people and they are really good. I needed a challenge.  Champion is much smaller than presidio, roughly 150 employees, and based out of Boca Raton, FL.  The culture mattered a lot to me and often at smaller companies, it is vital that people like you and you like them (less important at bigger companies but not irrelevant).  The interviews went well and I had to chose between them and another offer that was actually more senior but involved some travel.  Ultimately I chose Champion and made my arrangement as close to sales as I could (so my pay is aligned with the sales side as much as possible).  I love the idea of sales, you get paid on what you do, instant gratification and you’re in front of people.  Champion is also very interested in leveraging cloud, containers, and new technology and breaking out of the traditional VAR practice of “slinging boxes”.  I love problem solving and the variety of customer issues in my role keeps me excited and on my toes.  So my decision to work at Champion was based on a number of items, but mostly it was based on a good “fit”.

Hopefully I will be posting more content that is interesting this year so please follow the blog if you’re interested and use the tags if you like certain things but not others on my blog.