2014 – It’s A Wrap

2014 was a rollercoaster ride of a journey with tremendous highs and terrible lows.  One of the things I focused on during 2014 was to be ‘more’ concise.  With that in mind, this is what happened in ‘my 2014’.


  • Posted 34 blog posts
  • VMFocus received just over 375,000 visitors
  • VMFocus enters vSphere Lands Top 50 Bloggers list at number 42
  • Passed 200 overall blog posts (this being 206)
  • Entered my third year of blogging
  • Didn’t post in November 2014
    • First time I haven’t blogged in a month since VMFocus’s inception in May 2012




  • Body Fat 8%
    • Achieved and maintained throughout 2014
  • Metabolic Age 22
  • Basal Metabolic Rate 1907 kcal

What’s In A Job Title?

Job TitleWhilst at VMworld Barcelona I had lots of conversations with colleagues, peers and strangers.  One item that cropped up was ‘pre-sales’ versus ‘post-sales’ and who was better.  Quite an interesting topic, which I want to discuss on an upcoming blog post.  Before that happens I wanted to cover job titles in IT, and what they generically mean that a person does.

In this context I’m focusing on the personnel involved with winning and delivering a project, not IT support and ‘business as usual’ operations.

Before anyone gets a bit upset about what they do specifically, this is meant to be a broad stroke blog post.  You will always find some businesses that call a job by another name.  Let me know if you don’t agree with my interpretation and I will update the post accordingly.

Pre Sales Job Titles

Bid Manager – Bring together a group of subject matter experts to write a tender response.  Play ‘tetris’ with words and make sure the tender response is coherent and flows.

Enterprise Architect – Works with clients to formulate a technical business strategy.  Often deeply engaged in business process and understands the internal politics of a customer.

Systems Engineers – Assist Sales people across a broad range of products and help guide clients up to a degree before handing in depth questions to subject matter experts

Senior System Engineers – Sames as System Engineers but normally focus on the ‘key client accounts’

Solutions Architect – Assist Sales people across a broad range of products and are subject matter experts in a particular field.  They help translate business needs into technical solutions.  Commonly Solutions Architect guide the customer to use a particular piece of software or technology to meet the business requirement.  Some Solutions Architects can Lead Architect a project if required.

Note Solutions Architects is fairly new in the infrastructure world, commonly used with computer programming.

Technical Account Manager – Typically a technical person who has become less technical (through choice) but has the ability to create a proposal for a customer which will form a sound basis for further discussion.

Post Sales Job Titles

Project Manager – Focused on deliverables and governance.  Ensuring customers are kept abreast of issues and risks that could affect the project outcomes.

Programme Manager – Are used on larger projects that have inter dependencies between workstreams and involve business transformation projects such as Enterprise Resource Planing solutions.  Responsible for ensuring that the business benefits of the programme are realised.

Technical Architect – Are focused in a particular discipline and are often the subject matter experts in this area.  These are the people who are engaged to create the ‘low level designs’ in there area of expertise, such as networking, storage, Exchange, Active Directory, System Center, Windows Desktop, vSphere, View etc.

Lead Architect – Are used on larger projects that use a wide number of Technical Architects.  Understand how everything ‘fits together’ and use this knowledge to ensure that design documentation is consistent from Technical Architects.  Plus they are responsible for guiding the Technical Architects for the duration of the project.



Top 3 Horizon View Flings

viewclientWhat Is A VMware Fling?

A fling is an application that addresses a specific need which isn’t found within a core VMware product such as Horizon View.  It has been created by a VMware employee to resolve or help with an issue.

VMware Flings are not supported so run at your own risk!

Top 3 Horizon View Flings

1. First place goes to Horizon View Event Notifier , when I was implementing a couple of small Horizon View environments, they didn’t have syslog facilities and this came to the rescue.

This tool connects to one or more existing Horizon View Event Database(s) and allows the user to customize which types of alerts to be notified on. It can be run from any Windows based system and it collects and sends the alerts via email (SMTP) to users that are specified during the configuration process. It allows aggregation of alerts across multiple Horizon View Pods and for near real-time alerting of Horizon View alerts that are otherwise very difficult to be notified on.

2. Second place goes to ViewDbChk, if you have used View, then I can almost guarantee you have had some type of provisioning error!  This fling scans for these errors and allows you to choose whether to remove them from the View Database.

The ViewDbChk tool allows administrators to scan for, and fix provisioning errors that can not be addressed using View Administrator. Provisioning errors occur when there are inconsistencies between the LDAP, vCenter and View Composer databases. These can be caused by: direct editing of the vCenter inventory, restoring a backup, or a long term network problem.

3. Third place goes to XenApp2Horizon, not used this yet, but what a useful tool to save the manual migration of apps from XenApp to Horizon!

The XenApp2Horizon Fling helps you migrate published applications and desktops from XenApp to Horizon View. One XenApp farm is migrated to one or more Horizon View farm(s).

The GUI wizard-based tool helps you:

Validate the View agent status on RDS hosts (from View connection server, and XenApp server)

Create farm

Validate application availability on RDS host

Migrate application/desktop to one or multiple farms (new or existing)

Migrate entitlements to new or existing applications/desktops. Combination of application entitlements are supported

Check environment

Identify incompatible features and configuration

Final Word

These flings take time and effort to create, most of which I would guess are done in the VMware Engineers own personal time.  Therefore, i would like to thank the following people for their efforts:

Keep the good work up chaps!

2014 Top vBlog Results

2014_Award-Banner_Top-50For the last six years Eric Siebert has been running the annual top virtualisation blog poll over at vSphere-Land

This takes a tremendous amount of time on Eric’s behalf to not only market the awards, but to organise gifts from the vendor community.  This year awards included Asus Nexus 7 Tablet and a Google Chromecast.

It was great to see a number of blog’s that I regularly visit rising up the ranks, these include:

Everyone on the list takes time out of their busy schedules to create content to be consumed by others, whether this is for a new product, a how to guide or resolving an issue.  For me, this is something that I never fail to recognise.

I’m pleased to say that VMFocus.com has made the top 50, coming in at number 42.  I know it sounds corny, but I was genuinely shocked by this.  So a thank you to everyone who took the time out to vote for me and everyone else on the list.  We all do appreciate it!

If you fancy watching the results show, head over to YouTube and give Eric Siebert a Like


Changing vCenter IP Address: VUM Error Fix

After changing the vCenter IP Address, I ran into a a couple of issues with VUM.  Which generated the following error messages:

Plug-In Manager Plug-in is unavailable for the following server(s): – VMF-VC01.vmfocus.local

VUM Error 01

vSphere Client There was an error connecting to VMware vSphere Update Manager – [vmf-vc01:443].  The request failed because of a connection failure. (Unable to connect to the remote server).

VUM Error 02

Steps Taken To Resolve – DNS

The first step was to double check my DNS, I had already performed the tasks below after changing vCenter IP Address.

  • Removed reverse DNS zone for old vCenter subnet and added new reverse DNS zone for correct subnet
  • Updated DNS for ESXi Hosts & vCenter
  • Cleared DNS Cache on vCenter and Domain Controller

Steps Taken To Resolve – VMware KB

The next step was to make any amendments to VUM.  This consisted of the following:

  • Checked DSN to VUM database continued to work
  • Stopped vSphere Update manager Service
  • Followed the instructions under VMwareKB101322

Both of the original errors continued to persist, so the next step was to follow a KB for vSphere 4.1

  • Stopped vSphere Update manager Service
  • Followed the instructions under VMwareKB1014639

Again this did not resolve the issue, however it did mention a vCenter Update Manager Utility.


Lunch VMwareUpdateManagerUtility.exe which is located in C:Program Files (x86)VMwareInfrastructureUpdate Manager

VUM Fix 01

Connect to vCenter using the correct IP Address

VUM Fix 02

Select Re-register to vCenter Server and enter the new IP Address of vCenter and your credentials.  Click Apply

VUM Fix 03

Once complete, re-enable the VMware vSphere Update Manager Plug-In and you should receive the trusted Security Warning dialogue box. Which means vCenter and VUM can talk, everyone’s a winner!

VUM Working