Category Archives: Products

Articles covering specific products, such as VMware vSphere, vCloud Suite, NSX, vRealize, Horizon Suite.

WaveFront – How to deploy and use – PART I

This blog is contributed by my friend Luciano Gomes, a VMware Technical Account Manager in Rio de Janeiro Area, Brazil. Thank you, Lucky!

Today, I am super excited to share about Wavefront, a new acquisitions by VMware. I’ve been playing with it as it’s been awesome!

First, what is Wavefront?

It is cloud-hosted service, not a product you install in your premise. You send your time-series (metric) data – from CollectD, StatsD, JMX, Ruby’s logger, AWS, anything basically, to it.

You can then perform arbitrary mathematical operations on any number of those series, render charts to see anomalies or KPI dashboards, and ultimately create truly intelligent alerts to proactively watch over your entire stack.

It scales seamlessly, it’s reliable, it’s feature complete, and the support is great. It’s everything you have always wanted but never get. Find more details here.

How to use Wavefront

I will share the instructions in how you can setup your environment and start today to monitor your environment. Yeah, today! Wavefront is a SaaS solution, so you only need to set up a proxy on-premises and connect to Wavefront in the cloud.

Step 0: Prerequisites

  1. Setup your account in Wavefront (You can use a trial here)
  2. A Linux (or Windows) machine to be used as a WaveFront Proxy (need to have Internet Access).
  3. A Linux or Windows machine that you want to monitor (need access to Internet, at least for installing the Agent).
    • If you want to see Application Monitoring, like a MySQL Database, you need it
    • If you want to explore integration, like Zabbix (yeah, we have it OOTB), you need it.

Step 1: Install Proxy

Login in your WaveFront account and click in Browse -> Proxies (Choose Linux) and copy the code.

Go to your Linux machine, that you choose to be your WaveFront proxy, and paste the code. (remember, you need to have Internet access).

Tip: to avoid errors, copy and paste the code in one single line, like below:

sudo bash -c "$(curl -sL https://wavefront.com/install)" -- install --proxy --wavefront-url https://vmware.wavefront.com --api-token 09090099-7405993030033-a403904930907d

If you already are the root, you don’t need to use sudo.

After the installation concludes, go to the same place and check if your proxy is listed.

If the proxy does not appear, check /var/log/wavefront/wavefront.log to verify the installation.

Step 2: Install Agents

Once your proxy is setup, time to install an agent inside the machines that we want to monitor.

Click in Integration, and then Click Linux Host

After that, click Setup

If your Wavefront Proxy is not reachable with the hostname that appears in the code, change it before pasting.

Tip: put the code in one single line, like below:

bash -c "$(curl -sL https://wavefront.com/install)" -- install --agent --proxy-address ahutchings --proxy-port 2878

After this command concludes with success, you can click in the Metrics tab and check if your metrics are available in awesome dashboard, like below:

This concludes the first part of a series of blog post about Wavefront.

Hope you find it useful. Do reach out via Linkedin and Twitter. Thanks for reading!

VMworld and your presentation skills

VMworld scoring system is a proven measurement. It has been battle tested for years and I found it a great reflection of your presentation skills. I explained the system here. While there are cultural difference between US and Europe audience, the ratings are very consistent. You get what you deserve to get.

It’s hard get a high score in VMworld. You’re presenting at the world stage, so the expectation is high. If you are not from US or Europe, you’re presenting to people from different culture. So if you get a high score, you can be proud of your presentation skills and hard work.

Don’t be obsessed with the final score itself. Use the details to improve your presentation skills. The details is a great measurement on presentation skills.

My presentations in the last 4 VMworld (2015, 2016, 2017 US, 2017 Europe) ranges from 4.3 to 4.8. Having done >10 presentations, I have a good feeling on what the audience value.

The website to review the survey and feedback is slow. It also does not render properly. Luckily, you can export the details to Excel. Here are the areas assessed:

I highlighted in red the area that need improvement in my case.

  • As a presenter, I get too excited about the product, as I’m deeply involved on it. The audience loves to see passionate presentation, but I need to be extra sensitive that it does not come across as selling. 1 attendee actually gave me a “strongly disagree“. Now, the feedback system is anonymous, so you cannot reach out to the person to find out why.
  • The audience loves technical depth. It’s hard to compress everything in 1 hour while remaining technical. I thought I have given it enough technical depth. From the feedback, it’s clear they want more.

The green is where the score is >4.8. I use 4.8 as the benchmark that I’ve done well and need to ensure I maintain it.

  • Audience wants to be respected and engaged. I encouraged them to move the front seats, ask questions and provide product feedback before the sessions start. Normally, you have a good 10 minutes before the actual time. I use it for Q&A, sending a signal that I value their Questions more than my presentation. If I do a small workshop and I have more time, I may even give more time until the audience is happy.
  • Audience wants someone who truly knows the subject. If you’re presenting a product, it helps if you are directly involved in the product design. They want to know they can give direct feedback to the person doing the work.
  • Audience wants to be entertained. Let’s face it. Datacenter Infrastructure is dry and boring. We love the technology, but we’d rather watch movie and play games instead of sitting in window-less room watching a presentation. I use humour a lot. Having done >100s presentations, I know entertainment complements education.
  • Audience wants something practical that they can apply. If you download my deck, you notice there is not a single marketecture slide. I don’t even mention the edition of the product, as it’s something I can mention in passing. Every slide has to be about the audience.

The audience also provides raw feedback. This is important as they have to type it, not simply selecting from a drop-down. So I value this more than the score. Some types from their mobile, so you get short feedback. Here are some of them. The audience certainly appreciate your effort and reward you well:

  • e1 was the best speaker I have experienced in all the VMworlds I have attended. He was so excellent that you needed an extra option on the rating scale.
  • Most interesting session I have ever been to after 3 years of VMworld.
  • Best session I have attended
  • Best session overall.
  • This is possibly the best presentation I’ve seen this year. There is a big gap of useful vRealize demos
  • Presenter was excellent (e1)

There are no shortage of generic tips on how to deliver a great presentation. Here is a short post I wrote on it. That’s what I follow, and I hope it works for you too.

May the force be with you in your presentation.

 

Operationalize Your World: import steps

My apology for a long overdue post. Finally managed to put an updated video on how import the dashboards, views, super metrics, XML into your environment.

The video is now based on vR Ops 6.6. It complements the import steps here.

If you’re not familiar with Operationalize Your World, read this.