Fast Car Charger and GPS Tracker all-in-one!?

March 13th, 2016
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

So a while ago I was hit up by ZUS Smart to try out their Car Charger (which doubles as a GPS Tracker) and they asked if I’d like to give it a try and write a review. I’m not one to do that normally, but it seemed interesting enough that I said, Sure, why not!

As a disclaimer, they did send me a unit free of charge and I took it through the wringer to find its faults, its flaws and its benefits; because If I’m actually going to put fingers to keyboard, it’s to tell you the straight truth on it. :)

First things first, it arrived looking relatively pretty, aww, that’s sweet!

All dressed up and nowhere to go! Outside the Box the ZUS Smart looking all pretty!

I know what you’re saying, “Derr, I have a charger, I got a free one at some arbitrary event’”  Yea you’re telling me. My car is loaded with STACKS of lighter chargers which I’ve used to charge devices.  Unfortunately, they’ve also done things which are less than desireable:

  • Gotten VERY hot
  • Fuses burned out in them
  • ACTUALLY CAUGHT FIRE BEFORE
  • Chargers with multiple Amp settings been iffy
  • Oh and worst of all, charged either very poorly or not at all

What was pretty awesome about this charger is that it actually did what it said on the tin!

  • Charged fast
  • Charged consistently
  • Did NOT get hot while doing it!

I know it is a lot to ask for and probably weird to expect something to do what it’s supposed to do, but we’ve really grown complacent in our culture to expect little from the things we purchase, so this was a nice surprise!

OMG WAIT! YOU SAID GPS TRACKER?!

Yea, I did say that. Thanks for remembering! :)

This has actually been kind of cool, it remembers where you park your car and communicates that with your phone!  I’ve actually used it while hiking to check like, “Where is the direction of my car” and lo and behold it points in the direction of my car and an approximate distance.  I borrowed some of their stock photos for this, because I didn’t do a screencap of my phone when I was *8* miles away from my car on a hike and had it point to that direction. Mainly because it just works so I didn’t even think to do that notification :)

HEY DUDE WHERES MY CAROutdoors! 

Oh and it integrates its app with the Apple Watch so when I park my car it says, “Hey, you’re parked! Do you want to set a timer!”

I have used this here in Portland as when you pay at the Meter you’re paying for ‘x’ amount of time. So I mark that I paid for an hour at the meter and the app reminds me as we get close to that time so I can get back to my car before I pay a hefty fine!

There have been shortcomings.  When I park in enclosed garages where it cannot get GPS Signal you get a message like this image, where it says, “Hey, take a picture of where your car is!” Which is pretty cool and convenient, as I do that in Airport parking garages as it is!

OUT OF GPS RANGE

So to break down some Pros and Cons so you know where I’m coming from:

PROs:

  • Charges FAST!
  • Keeps track of your cars location
  • Will actually QUICKLY update your location on a map while driving using its internal GPS
  • Don’t have to remember where you parked your car or if your meter is about to expire
  • Integrates with Apple Watch
  • Did I mention it CHARGES FAST?! :)

Cons:

  • It does not work when parked under heavy concrete or out of GPS signal
  • If you unplug the charger it treats it like you’re parked
  • If someone else takes your car you won’t know where it is as it relies on Bluetooth for its initial sharing GPS location with your app

All-in, a pretty hefty little number of features and a much better replacement for those very cheap and often ‘free’ (you get what you pay for) USB car chargers!

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Posted in Reviews | Comments (0)

OMG OMG VMware Announces VSAN 6.2! ONE VSAN to Rule Them All! (Well, Kind of)

February 10th, 2016
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

Wow, we’re finally here! Version 6.2 has arrived and woot is it a hoot! (That wasn’t intended to rhyme, but welcome to the party regardless!

This blog post will be filled with lots of cool things, lots of announcements, and a commentary on the ‘ONE VSAN to Rule Them All’ which is strangely more true than you can imagine!

VSAN now with 3000+ Customers! VSAN OSU Quote

So let’s get started! OMG it’s for all workloads, yada yada. You can read marketing slides. This is one of them, simply saying “Yea we can do this”, a little side note. VSAN currently has over 3000 Paying Customers! Compare that to other ‘enterprise storage vendors’ who have products in the market place. I won’t EXPLICITLY call any out, but as I see various stock prices tumbling and I look at their user bases being similar, it leads me to say, “Hey! VSAN has grown and grown and grown year over year, well done!”

I did include a quote from Oregon State University because I live in Portland now, and I wanna Represent! :) <3

VSAN 6.2 Ready for all vSphere Workloads!

So there’s lots of cool slides I can share. I won’t. I’ll share a few poignant and selective ones, but my real focus here is on what is NEW and what things can be impacted and in general things to watch out for as well!

What’s New?!

What's new in VSAN 6.2!

I’m sure most of you can read, so you’ll see some things in particular which are exciting and I’ll go into greater detail are things like DEDUPLICATION, COMPRESSION, ERASURE CODING! Yea SAP Ready is nice, and blah blah blah….

Most new features you and I care about are ALL FLASH ONLY

I think I should repeat that just in case it was lost in translation.  In the following slides I’ll be including you will be wise to notice in the top right corner the phrase “ALL FLASH ONLY” okay, it’s not in caps on the slide, but I’m putting it in caps for effect. Why? Because if you’re thinking, “Yea, I can do this with a ROBO LICENSE and two servers” No! STOP IT! NO YOU CANNOT! ALL FLASH ALL FLASH ALL FLASH! And if you cannot read caps, “Most of the features I will be discussing require an all flash solution, which requires all flash in your servers as well as an All Flash license. Plan accordingly”

VSAN Deuplication and Compression!!! VSAN RAID5 Erasure Coding!  VSAN RAID6 Erasure Coding

So the above features so heavily anticipated. Deduplication and Compression, and Erasure Coding whether RAID 5 or RAID 6 – These require All Flash in order to work.

ALSO note that RAID5 requires a MINIMUM of 4 nodes and RAID6 requires a MINIMUM of 6 nodes.

I’m sure there’ll be dozens of blog posts released today which go into even further depth on this. So note, these are some of the key differentiators and points of importance should you choose to adopt this. So don’t expect erasure coding in your ROBO instance, that’s still a ‘mirrored’ configuration (Or in your 3 node Essentials licensed system – that’ll not only require you to be in vCenter Server Standard to do more than 3 nodes, but again… you’ll need the all Flash License…)

Oh look! Other protections!

Virtual SAN Core Software Checksums!

Yea, you have other means of protecting your investment… Well, you don’t per se, it’s built in so it will be doing it on your behalf, but it’s good to know that disk scrubbing does run in the background!

What else is new?!!?

Alright, there are some other new things, it won’t all be storage centric things as much as I had hoped!

VSAN now with QOS! VSAN supports IPv6 - Not that anyone cares! <3 VSAN for ANY Application! VSAN Health! VSAN with MORE Health! VSAN Cache and Sparse!

As you can see from the list there are definitely a few other new things, like QoS (Awesome), IPv6 support (Err, who cares?) Enhanced application support (Pretty awesome), better healthchecks (They were already GREAT, and now they’re better?!?) and lastly cache and sparse enhancements, a great way to finalize up the list!

So as you can see not only is 6.2 not a “Point” release it comes with it some pretty AMAZING functionality and capabilities! 

But with any good release it comes with great responsibility…  Be sure you do your homework and research as you adopt down this path so you know what you’re getting yourself into.  You’ll be able to get the spread of economies of scale, compute and storage node calculations, and other jibber jabber differences! 

Get excited because this is one of the coolest things to hit VMware in a long time! <3

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Posted in EVO:RAIL, Oracle, vExpert, virt, Virtualization, vmware, VSAN | Comments (0)

Solarwinds; Rebel forces or the Empire…

November 24th, 2015
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

I often get hit up about various campaigns of stuff like, “Hey check this thing out! Share it with your readers” yada yada yada. However.. this is actually pretty cool. Solarwinds is getting behind all of the Star Wars hype and has some pretty cool looking shirts available, so in this case.. I am sharing it with ya’ll :)

Check out more details here at the It Is your Destiny link!

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 3.17.18 PM

Log Data: You will never find a more wretched hive of faults and dialogs

I find your lack of backups disturbing.

Help me SysAdmin, you’re my only hope.

These aren’t the OIDs you’re looking for

I’m doing this using the raw editor instead of Live Writer, so this post PROBABLY will look horrible, and for that I do apologize :)

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Posted in Baltimization, Free | Comments (0)

Set Phasers to STUN, VMware announces open sourcing of Photon Controller!

November 16th, 2015
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

Some of you may remember the whole, Whoa! When the Photon Platform was announced at VMworld, in addition to PhotonOS and Lightwave open sourced earlier this year?!

Well, in carrying that fashion even further as of TODAY OMG TODAY!!! Photon Controller has joined the ranks of being Open Sourced!

So what does this mean?! Well, if you’re doing some mad hardcore Kubernetes, Cloud Foundry, Docker or Mesos work in your environment you can exploit and expand upon that with the whole Photon Suite, now further exploiting the Photon Controller!

To steal some of the mad slides on this for some architectural vision, feel free to have a lookie loo here! (Oh and lets ignore for a moment where it says CONFIDENTIAL… Hopefully that doesn’t apply anymore since this is officially out of Embargo… :))

image imageimage

For those of you who are VMware centric but are like ‘wtf does this mean?!’ we were initially discussing what each of these things mean and trying to convert it into VMware Data Center type terminology, so hopefully this is accurate, feel free to correct if you disagree!

Think of Photon Machine being kind of like ESXi – So the Hypervisor Element.

Think of Photon OS being like your Operating System which is where your “vm” or Code will operate. e.g., Your Windows or Linux server, except it will be where your code basis runs.

Think of Photon Controller being your VMware vCenter server.

With all that said… Head on over to the Getting Started Guide link to actually get started! It will take you to an annoying document which will require lots of ‘steps’ for you to follow to get it working. They don’t advise you ‘roll your own’ and instead follow the ‘instructions’ because those guide you to where it will work. But hey, I can hope they’ll package this up as an OVA or something sooner than later, because cmon, AUTOMATION CALLED AND WAS LIKE WTF. :)

clip_image005

Nonetheless, get out there, get your Photon on, it’s getting easier and easier to do every day!

<3

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Posted in Cloud, DevOps, Docker, Photon, vExpert, Virtualization, vmware | Comments (0)

VMware Validated Designs!? What the Whaaaaat??! #VMworld #vExpert

August 30th, 2015
by Christopher Kusek (PKGuild)

Oh, well hey there! OMG ITS VMWORLD! Hey guys! I bet you’re wondering WTF I’m talking about! It’s okay. Some of you were expecting this, or are saying, “Finally… I mean, Cisco has validated Designs, and they’ve been doing those technical design guides for DECADES…” But I digress… I mean because VMware hasn’t been half shabby with their NUMEROUS whitepapers on every single topic under the sun for application supportability, capability, design, you name it!

OMG SO WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?!

Alright, alright calm down…

The VMware Validated Designs now provide a Blue print for the whole data center instead of merely being an infinite series of reference architecture, Best Practices, and Guides based upon products in a bubble! 

How does this differ from a validated architecture like VSPEX?

How this differs from a validated architecture is that an architecture will often be presented as ‘IM A VENDOR BUY MY STUFF’ whereas a design basically sets the table that, “Here’s a design… buy whoseever stuff or whatever things you want! (obviously ensure its on the HCL :))”   I hear this come up a lot with friends, partners, colleagues, customers and the best initial comparison I can think of comes to having a house built, a design truly becomes the blueprint for your home.  You pay an architect to produce that and you can then take that deliverable anywhere and have it be built, whereas in the technical sense an validated architecture is like track housing.  You can have it look and feel any way you want, as long as its one of these THREE options.   So you can pick and choose which framework or model works best for you, they’re not mutually exclusive and you can layer the capabilities of one atop the other.   Also consider, HEY you can use this to apply the principles to your existing implementation to see what you might do to improve it!

OMG ARE YOU SAYING ITS WIN WIN?! Yes. I am. But I won’t use those words. You chose to use them. :)

Today there are a few VMware Validated Designs which have been released (with more to come)

And as an added bonus, VMware has ALSO just announced “Feature Walkthroughs

VMware Feature Walkthroughs

What’s cool about the Walkthroughs is that it breaks down various business and technical elements of the VMware portfolio AND has direct links to take you to the hands on labs, so a little for the business and a little for the technical!  It’s a nice bit of fun all packaged up together! :)

For deeper insight into VMware Validated Designs, check out Felicia Jadczak’s post on the CTO Forum,  Introducing VMware Validated Designs

Enjoy! This is just a SMALL portion of things to be announced this week at #VMworld! <3

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Posted in vExpert, Virtualization, vmware, VMworld, vSphere | Comments (1)

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