VMworld ’16 TFDx: Ops view of Docker


I was fortunate to participate at VMworld’s 2016 Tech Field Day (extra (TFDx)). One of the presenters was Mike Coleman from Docker.

This presentation was, in my opinion, properly steered towards the correct crowd to get docker in the operations side of the house. Docker has been around for a while now, but the adoption seems to be solely focused on the developer side, which is fine, but the operations side needs to buy into it, if Docker wants to bleed into Enterprise and SMB environments.

Once you deploy an app, the developers build task is completed and now becomes an operational task, aside from updates and such.

This is a great presentation for those that keep hearing about Docker, but have not had the time to read up on it. Starting from a 101 of what Docker is, how it is deployed, and tools to manage.

Few highlights:

  • Containers are not VMs
  • Containers share Kernel
  • VMs are houses (own plumbing, own electric, etc)
  • Containers are Apartments (shared resources like plumbing)
  • Docker engine runs on top of OS
  • It can be run on Physical or Virtual






Again, whether you are a Docker newbie or just curious, you should definitely check out this presentation about Docker.

You can find the Docker videos at the Tech Field Day Website


FlexGroups: An evolution of NAS

Another excellent write up by JP…

Why Is The Internet Broken?


Check out the official NetApp version of this blog on the NetApp Newsroom!

I’ve been the NFS TME at NetApp for 3 years now.

I also cover name services (LDAP, NIS, DNS, etc.) and occasionally answer the stray CIFS/SMB question. I look at NAS as a data utility, not unlike water or electricity in your home. You need it, you love it, but you don’t really think about it too much and it doesn’t really excite you.

However, once I heard that NetApp was creating a brand new distributed file system that could evolve how NAS works, I jumped at the opportunity to be a TME for it. So, now, I am the Technical Marketing Engineer for NFS, Name Services and NetApp FlexGroup (and sometimes CIFS/SMB). How’s that for a job title?

We covered NetApp FlexGroup in the NetApp Tech ONTAP Podcast the week of June 30, but I…

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Cisco UCS Generation 3 First Look.

Worth a read…


I noticed last week that Cisco have just released the eagerly awaited Cisco UCS 3.1 code “Granada” on CCO.

Whenever a major or a minor code drop appears the first thing I always do is read the  Release Notes , to see what new features the code supports or which bugs it addresses. Well in reading the 3.1 release notes it was like reading a Christmas list. There are far too many new features and enhancements to delve into in this post, so I will just be calling out the ones that most caught my eye

Cisco UCS Gen 3 Hardware

At the top of the release notes is the announcement that 3.1 code supports the soon to be released Cisco UCS Generation 3 Hardware.

With the new Gen 3 products the UCS infrastructure now supports full end to end native 40GbE.

The Generation 3 Fabric Interconnects come in 2 models the…

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Expanding Blog topics

microsofts-logo-gets-a-makeoverI started my career supporting a huge enterprise environment for all Microsoft products; however, I have not created any posts on this topic here in my blog.

I have seen a lot of need for knowledge on Microsoft products, specially in regards to interoperability with other Microsoft products and also with other software within an Enterprise environment. This year, I am planning on adding a new “Microsoft” tab on my blog to help others understand more in depth what goes on in your environment.

Some of the topics will include, Exchange, SharePoint, O365, ADFS, DFS, AD Upgrades, DR scenarios, MSSQL, etc.

Stay tuned…

Troubleshooting vSphere PSOD

VMware_PSOD The Screen of Death, as most of us know it as, is the result of a system crash. Windows has his famous Blue Screen of Death (BSOD), and VMware has a purple screen of death (PSOD). Of course there is also a Black Screen of Death, which is usually when Windows systems are missing a boot file or one or more of those files have become corrupted. Although there is a range of colors, the problem for many is How do I fix this? How do I know what caused this?

Many admins start with the obvious and simply reboot the machine hoping it was a hiccup, but chances are, there is a bigger problem going on that needs addressed. In VMware, just like other systems, a core dump file is created when the stop error is generated. This is where you start digging…

Where is my DUMP…file?!?

So, during the purple screen, the host is writing the dump file to a previously created partition called VMKcore. There is a chance that the core dump file won’t be written due to internal problems, so it is always a good idea to take a screen shot of the PSOD. Exporting the core dump file can be done via CLI, manually from vCenter path for both Windows and/or appliance, as well as vSphere Client and WebClient; which is the preferred method from most admin since it is so simple to do.

To export the logs from vSphere Web Client, use the following steps:

  • Open vSphere Web Client > Hosts & Clusters > Right click on vCenter > Export System Logs…


  • Choose the host that had the PSOD > Next


  • Make sure you select CrashDumps, all others are optional



Once you have the dump file (vmkernel-zdump….), its time to look for the needle in the haystack. There are a lot of entries, and this file can be overwhelming to many people, but don’t stress, it is quite simple to find it. The first logical step is to find the crash entry point You can use the time when you noticed the PSOD or you can simply search within the log file for “@bluescreen”.


Once you find this, you will see the exact cause for the PSOD. In the screenshot below, you can see that the error generated is in relation to E1000. You should automatically think vNIC/Drivers, as well as looking online for any VMware KB articles regarding the errors generated. In this case, there is a known issue for different versions of vSphere that have already been patched; so keeping up to date on patches is very important.



The issue that triggered the PSOD in this environment was related to updates (fix) not being applied. The work around was to not use E1000e NIC on the VM but rather VMXNET3. Also, you HAVE to install the VMTools on your VMs. The VMTools have drivers needed for your VM to work properly. In this particular instance, VMTools were not installed on the VM. Once the tools were installed and the vNIC was switch to VMXNET3, the issue was resolved.


Refer to VMware’s KB2059053 for more info.