TechHouse570- AnsibleFest 2020- Day 2 Recap

Day 2 had some great moments I captured as much info as I could so lets take a look at the exciting takeaways from day 2 !

Automating The Edge, Connecting Devices, Applications, & Data

Photos Courtesy: Ansible

Edge Computing is becoming the normal and being able to connect everything over a centralized infrastructure. With Edge, it can increase hardware optimization, virtualization, and more!

With automation vastly growing its becoming more common to implement these features to replace traditional IT approaches.

Manage Your Guests With Rest Based Modules For VMWare vSphere

This presentation was quite informative and gave some incredible insight into REST API’s and how to manage VMware modules. For me it gave me some additional tools and different ways to implement these into my own lab to test ! So I would check this out, the demo was spot on!

So what is REST API? It’s an incredible new feature introduced in vSphere 6.0. Designed to bind with multiple languages. Its features are endless and allows you to create & delete virtual machines, create DC clusters, manage hosts & more! It was also announced VCenter will introduce new integrations with Ansible so it’s something to def be on the lookout for!

Creating and Using Ansible Execution Environments

One of the last breakout sessions I truly enjoyed was this! It gave a great overview of how we currently use Ansible in our environments and a much newer way of using them in the future. So, a given scenario would be we would create a playbook, test and then implement into our production environment to automate tasks.

Well with these new nodes being introduced it will begin using containers that has become popular as of late. This way it provides that extra step in checking and verifying what features and functions will work and will package everything together!

This event was definitely an experience and gave me so much incredible information regarding just what Ansible has in store. For me network automation is a love I’ve had for quite some time. And to able to gain additional tools is amazing. Automating our everyday tasks has become the new normal, and it’s here to stay for the foreseeable future. If you haven’t yet I sincerely recommend you watch this event if you couldn’t attend it’s still up ! and check out some of the amazing presentations, sessions and more that give such a detailed look at just what Ansible will be launching in the next few months ! I hope you all enjoyed reading this recap as much as I had writing and attending my first of many AnsibleFest’s!

Best Regards,

Girard

TechHouse570- AnsibleFest 2020- Day 1 Recap

Photos Courtesy: Ansible

To say day one of AnsibleFest was jam packed would be an understatement! It was definitely one of the top events going on detailing some new features in the automation pipeline, and more exciting things to come ! For me this was my first time attending and as I’m learning more with Ansible I felt this event was the perfect platform to do so! There was so much content I could barely digest it all! But there was some incredible breakout sessions, amazing demonstrations, keynotes and more. So, lets not wait any longer, lets jump into the recap!

Ansible 2.10 !

Ansible is known as one of the industry leaders in automation tools and solutions to help make our everyday life easier! So it was incredible to kick off the conference with the announcement that Ansible will be connecting their one of a kind platform with newer container platforms to create the RedHat Open Shift Content Collections! The new resource operator will be deployed with advanced cluster management and was designed not just for simplicity but to work with any platform.

What I love the most is that with the unprecedented times were facing. It takes product integration to a whole new level. This will allow cloud native apps to use bridging containers as a solution to both clusters and nodes across multicluster environments over regardless of who you’re partnered with! And with flawless consistency is a huge win. Keep your eyes peeled as this will be released soon !

Next were some of the breakout sessions that I highly suggest you check them out!

Ansible Automation Platform

This platform was without  doubt designed to take complex processes and simplify automating at cloud level scale. The tools they’ve integrated are awesome and really deliver a much easier approach to automating tasks at every level.

The other amazing part is that you can integrate hybrid environments with agentless deployments to maintain your entire enterprise at a reasonable level without overlooking any tasks.

Ansible Turbo

This was an interesting session whether you’re seasoned or new user to Ansible it was so informative on how to increase the speed of your playbooks and how to run them faster ! There was a few things you never really notice when running them. Such as when a module opens, before doing so it needs to authenticate itself and if an endpoint is a few ms away the authentication itself may not run quick due to lag on the sync side be it LDAP or AD. The live demo was awesome to see so head over and check it out !

Automate Windows Software Management With Chocolatey And Ansible

Now this entire event was hands down a cant miss ! But for me my favorite session was learning how to use chocolatey and what it was ! It’s a package manager designed for Windows similar to what’s used in Linux such as a yum or apt file. This package can be used for automating so any different tasks its insane ! It’s a system admins dream, you can create packages for deploying apps, windows patches & upgrades. Your own PowerShell scripts can also be used and managed in this platform.

If you’re also familiar with writing Ansible playbooks or learning it integrates! And with their new Chocolatey For Business subscription it can tie in if you have a current Red  Hat Subscription and convert your playbooks within seconds. There’s many tasks I automate daily and I loved how both presenters gave so much into the presentation, the demo using chocolatey to create a VM in azure was awesome ! I’ve also looked into how I can add to my environment, the takeaways were endless, and I definitely recommend to put this one at the top of your list!

All things considered Day one was packed with so many sessions, informative demos it was endless! There was also a demo on Ansible Playbooks & Automating Endpoint Protection I want to go back and check out myself as they were the only two I missed! Stay tuned for the day 2 recap of AnsibleFest !

Best Regards,

Girard

TechHouse570- AnsibleFest

Photo Credit: Ansible

This year’s AnsibleFest is shaping up to be an event unlike any other ! Setup as a virtual experience offering interactive sessions. This is going to provide to seasoned users and first time professionals the experience of Red Hat Ansible. The two day event is broken out into sessions, keynote speakers, and incredible product demos to give you full hands on experience with interactive labs !

For me one of the things I’m most excited about to is to dive into learning more about network automation using Ansible, writing playbooks and seeing the platform used in many different ways to apply in my own environment !

The event will be held from Oct 13-14th, and ill be sharing my experience from the event next week. To check out any updates or to register for the event head to https://www.ansible.com/ansiblefest to sign up. I cant wait to share my takeaways from the event check back next week for more details !

TechHouse570- Faces Of The Journey

Photo Credit: A.J. Murray

We all face a journey at some point in our lives be it personal or professional, in some cases both. In this case mine has been to further my career, myself and my craft by becoming better and better every day. My current journey is towards my CCNA and will only continue further! But on that journey, you shouldn’t be alone and for quite some time I haven’t been. I have been fortunate enough to be a part of a group that cannot be put into words. Their passion for this industry and more is shown daily, and I’m honored honored to call them close friends. For anyone looking to become a network engineer, or even starting on their IT journey, this is the group for you! I along with many others can tell you these men and women who face these challenges & struggles daily are a wealth of knowledge, personable and willing to help on every level and I suggest to everyone reading to check out our amazing discord channel you won’t be disappointed with what you find! Also, the same talented individual who created this amazing community also hosts a podcast along with his colleagues that highlights many different topics, areas and provides additional tools to help you grow not just technically but professionally. The Art Of Network Engineering is amassing an incredible following and bigger things are still to come!

Photo Credit: Art Of Network Engineering

Follow All About The Journey & The Art Of Network Engineering

Discord: https://discord.gg/vBAvK7

Podcast :https://artofnetworkengineering.com/

Just last week a new series began called “ Faces Of The Journey” and I was fortunate and honored to be the flagship entry! In the coming weeks you’ll see incredible stories of so many different individuals and their path to get to where they are and quite honestly I’m so excited to hear their own stories ! getting to share mine and sit down with my good friend Tim Bertino was refreshing as always and I want to take this time to thank him. Through our conversations his knowledge and approach to growing in his career are awesome. What that piece did was more than just share who I am. It gave real depth into who I am, captured what motivates me and more. For that it takes true talent and impeccable writing and Tim is a true expert in every sense of the word. He motivates, inspires and is dedicated and I’m forever honored he considered me for his piece. The next person needs no introduction he’s been a friend, mentor in many ways and honestly was a huge driving force behind the TechHouse journey. A.J. Murray is someone once you know him you can’t forget him. A seasoned individual in this industry, and someone who’s always growing, pushing others to their limits, and his guidance along with his tenured advice are just some of the things that have garnered the respect he’s earned. And I cant thank you enough for how you’ve helped me. They say to save the best for last and that’s just what I’m doing. To the Discord community every single person who’s a part of this, and to those who have yet to be a part of it. And to everyone that has helped me on my own journey. Thank you for contributing so much and sharing your journeys with me and with others, for helping and giving everyone that sense of pride. Knowing we can achieve our goals and supporting each other makes this journey all the more exciting. Be sure to check out A.J. and Tims Journey links are posted below !

A.J. Murray: https://blog.noblinkyblinky.com/

Twitter: @noblinkyblinky

Tim Bertino: https://neticaded.com/

Twitter: @TimBertino

Best Regards,

Girard

TechHouse570- CLN Community Spotlight Award

As I sit here writing this I’m beyond words excited, proud and honored to announce I was nominated for the Rookie Of The Year Award one of the three awards given through the CLN Community Spotlight !

https://learningnetwork.cisco.com/s/question/0D53i00000htp1bCAA/announcing-our-latest-community-spotlight-award-recipients

I’ve been waiting to not only write but share this incredible news with all of you ! Ive been a part of the Cisco Learning Community for a while now. And to be a part of such an amazing community of talented, kind and driven professionals is an honor in itself. But to be nominated among my peers and some of the best for this award is truly indescribable. So what is the CLN for those of you who don’t know !?

Smartcloud networking solutions, #306 , 3rd floor , Huda  Maithrivanam,ameerpet, Hyderabad (2020)
(Photo Credit: Cisco)

The Cisco Learning Community is a group of individuals in the IT industry who through tools, training resources, and an amazing forum filled with those who have achieved their certification goals, look to achieve them or are just beginning on their journey. These individuals share their wealth of knowledge and experience with those willing to learn and have the passion and drive to be successful in this industry.

Since joining a while back I’ve been fortunate to not only be able to share my knowledge and experiences with other skilled professionals. But also help to guide those who are unsure of where to go next or are just beginning on their path to an IT career. The individuals I’ve helped and continue to help inspire me and remind me why it is I choose this industry in the first place. The drive to be the best and skilled at our trade.

There are three key awards that the community votes on they are The Technical Excellence Award, The Member’s Choice Awards, and The Rookie Of The Year Award. The award I was nominated for is issued to newer members who embody a positive influence on the community through positive guidance, content contributions among other factors. The CLN nominates based on showing leadership skills, commitment and drive to everyone around them while continuing to grow themselves as an individual. While I’m fortunate to have won this award for the first time this year, it wont be my last! As I intend to continue not only winning awards, etc. For me, this honor is something I will use and continue to use as a positive platform to promote what I’ve always believed in. Giving back to the people who made this community the premier place to grow and learn. And most importantly the professionals who day in out and face the challenges in this industry, those who have climbed on their journey and those who continue to rise to the top. From the bottom of my heart thank you !

Best Regards,

Girard

TechHouse570- Real World Experience

In our industry nothing is more valuable than that real world experience. The opportunity to work on real hardware, troubleshooting real problems and facing those challenges everyday. So now the questions left ? How do you seize those opportunities? Where do you look first to begin ?

For me getting into the industry my path like everyone’s was faced with hardships and obstacles. And though you’ll overcome them getting there seems like it takes forever. Ive said most recently this past week while talking to a good friend, Its amazing how far we’ve come as a community its indescribable. When I got into this industry, youtubers weren’t a thing, communities were hard to come by and knowledge that those did have was guarded like pentagon secrets! But today as technology as grown, the people, the professionals that have made this industry what it is and have given so much are now sharing that wealth of knowledge with the next generation and those to come after it.

My foot in the door for me was working in retail, working in those different organizations gave me that sense of growth. And for that I’m forever grateful. It was a way for me to take those skills I already possessed to a whole new level. And has ive mentioned before where I both personally and professionally found my love of networking. That led me into my many other opportunities and now I share with you ? How do you make your own path ?

Apply yourself, in todays world we have so many outlets to explore from social media, Internships paid, unpaid and more. They say also its about who you know and in some cases.. it is. Word of mouth is a powerful thing, and the more you network the more opportunities it can present you. If you have or are given an opportunity to showcase your skills do it my friends, cause you never know if you’ll be given another. Showcase that passion, that drive, that desire to be the best in whatever you do cause it shows and those that are the hungriest. The ones who thrive on learning at every opportunity given to them, they prove it. Times are changing and the technology with it. If I can ever help any of you in anyway, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me ! Whether you’re finding that first or that next opportunity or studying to get those certifications. Remember to study hard, and win harder. Whatever it is you look to achieve your drive will continue to take you.

Best Regards,

Girard

TechHouse570- Little TShoot With Ben

 I always wanted to be a dad. Its just something that I wanted to accomplish in life. But I hoped one day I would be able to share my experiences and my journey with my son or daughter and if I was lucky, they’d catch the IT bug too! Now as I’m sitting here writing this, I’m a father of 4 beautiful loving children. I could not be prouder of each one of them, how unique they are in their own way. My oldest Alex loves his monster trucks, race cars and Minecraft. But since we’ve started building our first machine together, I love that he’s intrigued & curious! I’m so excited as we continue with our other projects such as setting up a raspberry pi and making our own Minecraft server. They’ll be more on that later stay tuned !

My Soph Monster Sophia not so much into the tech side and that’s ok lol!  She would rather have her tea parties, dress up & take care of her little dollies. And for me I’m one happy dad to oblige! I mean c’mon ? Who wouldn’t want to lab or write PowerShell Scripts for Automation with pink glittery nails ? I love that she’ll watch and I get to explain as best as I can to a 5 year old what exactly it is im doing lol. But its that bond and interaction I share with them that I cherish like nothing else.

Then comes Benjamin and while I hope not to jinx myself… I think he’ll have the IT bug for sure! and for being one I get more and more excited with his interest in seeing what daddy’s doing lol. Me and wife actually made a joke how she could see him with little sunglasses. Cool curly hair about, with his laptop troubleshooting complex problems. While at first it was a quick laugh, the more I thought about it I started crying laughing at how ridiculous it could be lol. From holding him in my arms while managing Active Directory and studying. To his flat footed goody self-running around next to me while I lab on my gear ! Those are the moments I cherish for I know one day they’ll be gone. My youngest MaryClaire while 2 months today will be a teen like the rest of them before I know it ! It goes so quick ! It’s that amazing bond that I share with my kids that makes this all the more enjoyable.

For me not having a dad, I was so fortunate to have a mom who was 800 people in one. But above them all she was my mom, she was loving, caring, and always pushed me to do better in every way. So as I grew into adulthood, I knew exactly what kind of father, partner, & professional I wanted to be. I wanted to share not just in my kids lives. But also share my love of technology with them and show them that are worlds aren’t that different! Ironically today with Minecraft being as popular as it is, that reality is not that hard to achieve! and getting to watch my kids see how it all connects its just awesome in itself! So as technology continues to grow, we’ll grow with it. And together it’ll bond us closer and hopefully spawn the next gen of IT pros, which is better than zombie pigmen cause I’ve tried Minecraft and they’re pretty terrifying. But if not that’s ok too ! As long as there’s love and passion for whatever path they choose, ill support them 100 % along the way.

Best Regards,

Girard

Routing, Switching, And A Whole Mess Of Cables !

Going to school they tell you to pay attention, do your best and the grades will come! Unfortunately, sometimes that’s not always the case especially in IT. It takes time, dedication, and focus along with your own will and thirst for knowledge that will propel you into the right direction. And whatever it is you’re trying to learn will start to flow like water. But along that path to knowledge everyone’s opinions and views can differ ? Some even may make you wonder a bit lol ?

(Photo Credit : DreamTime)

To quote a famous villain we’ve all come to know “Run from it, dread it, destiny still arrives” Was he ever correct. As you can see above it is a situation many of us have faced or have yet to face. We’ve ran from it, we’ve dreaded it and as luck would have it it’s arrived. The inevitable network cable nightmare. Now of course if you’re like me my OCD goes through the roof lol. Of course there’s many ways to remediate this through zip ties, cable management channels, even velcro ties & more. The solutions are endless, and the final result is a neatly organized switch rack or server room worthy of showing off. Its like I had mentioned before, one of the many joys of IT is theres tons of different solutions and multiple different ways of getting there !

Best Regards,

Girard

So Whats Next !?

That’s the question we always face on our journey? Where do we go from here ? What path should we go down? What is it I want to do in this industry? These are some of the questions among others we face at the beginning and even a few years into our careers. Some have those questions figured out, others don’t know where to begin but you’re not alone I too have faced that same path. And sometimes to this day I’m still faced with the same choices…

When I finished school, worked in retail for a few years I knew I needed more. My skills were growing, as a person overall I was changing. I loved networks, every aspect of it I loved ! But where would be a good start for me ? I faced that question… whats next ? And as luck would have it one of the many entry level positions I applied to reached out and began my next step to growth in my journey !

I was hired as a Network Technician and I can tell you the 7 years I held that role I grew so much. My first real venture into networking and it was incredible to say the least ! I’m still to this day so fortunate to have worked in that position. I’ve always believed that in any role, etc you always take something or many things from that role that you’ve learned and apply them to your next position.

This position meant a lot to me in so many ways. I took my already established skills and advanced them to new levels working on enterprise level networking gear. And every day was new, exciting and challenging. My first year or two we refreshed the entire network which consisted of 11 switches, our two core switches and a few Cisco Aironet AP’s. We used Catalyst 6500 series switches which were the first enterprise switches I worked on.

These beauties were beasts! With 9 slots, supervisor card, two redundant supplies and a ton of power. Maintaining these was so much fun. The next big project we also implemented was converting an old Nortel system over to an Avaya VOIP system. There was always the day phone moves, port activations, etc. But working those big projects gave me new tools to add to my arsenal and take with me later on.

You may be indecisive, you may not know where it is you want to go ? That’s ok. It’s all about learning what it is you want to accomplish & setting the goals to get there. And believe me it may not be when you expect it, but youll end up where it is you want to be.

Best Regards,

Girard

TechHouse570- ” Everyone’s Welcome On The IT Journey “

Working in IT as without a doubt for me been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and I’m thankful every day I did. Why you may ask ? What makes IT stand out as opposed to being a doctor or lawyer ? All those questions and more I’m going to answer for all of you.

What’s always made IT stand out to me was the constant change in technology in our world today. How we can connect in so many ways. The troubleshooting, solving a problem others can’t no matter how complex at any level. The best analogy ive ever gotten and use to this day. IT is like the medical field there’s so many niches, paths you can go down. Whether you are pushing the cart or managing security for the White House. From help desk, security, to administration, and my personal favorite engineering. Your path is decided by you. And most people may or may not realize this but in any and every industry. Good IT infrastructure is essential, So whether you’re a doctor, lawyer, construction worker, etc. Were pretty vital to keeping everyone connected in one way or another!

Technology as always been something that no matter what’s been going on in my life, through struggles, good times and bad its always been consistent. So I guess there’s no better place to start any good story than from the beginning. I was fortunate to learn at a decent age what it was I wanted to do with my life. I was about 16 years old and as luck would have it I was in trouble of course lol… I had been grounded and one of my punishment duties was to clean and straighten out the basement. While it sucked, ill never forget what I stumbled upon next. And as silly as it seems sealed the deal as to what I wanted to do with my life without me really knowing it yet lol.

My mom had for whatever reason kept three old desktops in our basement, one was an old Gateway Pentium III, a Gateway PII and a somewhat newer Dell Inspiron. I asked my mom if they worked and she said to figure it out. So I did and once I plugged them in they didn’t power on. I grabbed a philipshead, removed the case off all of them and from there my inquiring mind grew hungry. So I choose to fill it with knowledge of how did a PC actually work ? day after day I would search online and learn of every piece of hardware, what it did, etc. I took the supply out of one of the dead machines and when I tested it on the Dell boom it worked! ill never forget that first feeling of accomplishment and success. And I knew I wanted to keep going on this path because I loved the results it yielded. The following year I enrolled into the Career Technology Center our local vocational school where that hunger I had initially has now grown into what I knew I wanted to be my career path indefinitely. Our 1st year we learned about the fundamentals, things you don’t even see anymore such as what it is capacitors and resistors do. Their outputs voltages, etc. we made tons of projects on electronic boards. This was all before we were even allowed to touch a machine. But by year two and three I was there and by graduation I was on my way or so I thought.

I had got accepted into a good two year school, ill get a job this will be great right ! nope. The school butchered my financial aid, now I cant even afford to go. I had no car, took the bus everywhere, just one thing after another. I felt defeated to say the least. So I looked for something to still apply my skills while I could get back into school and make money I desperately needed, which landed me in the world of retail lol. Now at the time if you told me id be sitting here writing a blog, having a great career, beautiful family and more the 18 or 19 year old me eating a piece of pizza with his Circuit City shirt on would’ve told you you’re crazy. But looking back Im truly thankful for all those opportunities those retailers provided me. It propelled me into the next level of my career which guided me to where Im currently at. And most importantly grew my skills in every way.

No matter what the challenge, the obstacle or struggle always know it can get better. I couldn’t have believed that years ago, but I most certainly know that now. When I started my journey, I would have never believed it would have led me here sharing it with all of you but I’m so glad it did. Everyone’s path will be different, some may be harder than others. But know I believe in you. Through hard work, commitment and dedication you’ll achieve whatever it is you’re striving for. I look forward to sharing more of my journey with all of you. And if you haven’t let everyone know they’re welcome to join !

Best Regards,

Girard