VMworld Labs: Hands-On

First off, Happy VMworld everyone! It’s finally here, so let the socialization, learning and exhaustion begin.

I had a bit of free time this morning so I decided to do a lab. I didn’t arrive early enough to get in on the preview like some others, however even after seeing their posts about it the labs floor is quite impressive. From the seats arranged so that everyone can see the projectors, to the apparent “control center” in the middle, it’s an impressive setup.

I chose lab 20…logging in was painless and provisioning of the virtual machines was extremely quick. Access was also very good, initially anyway…more on that in a bit. Progress through the lab was quick, directions were good, screen shots were accurate and quickly identified the key fields that needed to have data entry done.

Overall, I really enjoyed the lab. In the last couple of years I haven’t done very many of them simply because most of the inability to get in. This year I had zero wait, and there were a few free seats around me. The dual monitor thin clients work well and PCoIP is amazing…

On that not so subtle transition, apparently the section I was in was running off the DC cloud. For the first 75% of the lab, I couldn’t tell…in fact, if the WAN (I assume it was the WAN) hadn’t of had some issues, I would have never known. Even when things started to go south and I could tell that latency was through the roof, the session was still usable, slow, but usable. At one point the client lost connectivity, however it quickly regained and started the session exactly where I left off.

I’m incredibly impressed with the labs…it’s my first real work done on a thin client, over PCoIP using a “cloud” infrastructure. If the provisioning of virtual machines works in the private cloud like it did for me today on VMware’s lab cloud, then we have a lot to look forward to in the future!

Outstanding work as always Labs Team, thank you!

PowerShell: DataOnTAP and SID Convertions

This morning while standing up a new vScan A/V server I wanted to look up our McAfee service account.  I knew the account would be a domain account, and I knew it would be a member of the backup operators group on the filer.  With that in mind I ran the following.

Well that’s rather useless… Unfortunately, the OnTAP API doesn’t provide a means to convert a SID to a NTAccount.  This is normally accomplished via the “cifs lookup” command on the Ontap CLI, but that doesn’t help us much from the toolkit.  Fortunately .Net provides a native means to perform this conversion.  This isn’t new to anyone who has been following PowerShell for a while (//o// first posted these function way back in the Monad days), but that doesn’t make them any less useful!

Now that’s more like it!  This is what I Love about powershell.  In the past I would have had to push back on my sales rep, who would have inturn pushed back on the development team.  fast forward a year, and maybe I would have a workaround.  Or I would have had to try and glue a couple third party exe together (yuck). With PowerShell if I don’t like something I simply extend it in script.  No development, nothing complicated, just a couple line of PowerShell.  Best of all I can then provide this to the vendor as a concreate example of what I want in the next release (hint hint NetApp cifs lookup needs to be in the SDK!)

It really is just great stuff.