vExpert 2017 Award Announcement

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Today is a special day for me, I’ve been awarded vExpert 2017 from VMware and I’m so thrilled to make the list again, this being my second year as a vExpert.

To see the full list of vExperts and find out more about the program see the Announcement here.

I believe that becoming a vExpert is all about the community, and this last year I have tried to really get to know the people out there, and have now made new friends at the London VMUG as well as led the CloudCred team on the charge up the leader board. I’ve set questions for Cloudcred, Attended many events, all the UK London VMUG events, Airwatch and EUC events, VMworld 2016 Europe and the UK VMUG usercon. I used to be shy and intimidated by talking to people at these type of events but by taking the jump to get involved has been so rewarding for me, meeting people, seeing  then present and chatting over food and drink has been inspirational to me.

I’m really looking forward to continuing my journey with both VMware and the London VMUG and seeing where it takes me, only last week I was having vBeers with my good friends Chris Bradshaw and our very own London VMUG leader Dave Simpson

I’ve met a number of great people who have supported me on this journey and hopefully Ive supported them on their journey’s, far too many people to mention here (but I will try) so a big thanks to The London VMUG team, The Open Homelab project The Open Techcast team,  (hope to be a podcasting guest soon guys)

The following people for inspiring me (in no particular order)

A really special mention must go to NoellGrier @CloudCredGeek who as the Cloudcred admin must be really sick of all my emails about bugs, suggesting improvements, problems with tasks and why I can’t complete any tasks at the moment!

vmss2core – Fling from VMware

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Whilst working on a call with Microsoft this week they needed a full memory dump from a server.
The windows server wasn’t being particularly cooperative with running a program to make it blue screen and produce a complete memory dump so the support guy advised me of a rather cool way to get my memory dump.

Basically you can snapshot, or in my case suspend the server, then using a cool fling from VMware called vmss2core you can take a copy of the suspend file (VMSS) and convert this file to be a core dump file.

What’s more the vmss2core tool can produce core dump files for:

  • The Windows debugger (WinDbg)
  • Red Hat crash compatible core files
  • A physical memory view suitable for the Gnu debugger gdb
  • Solaris MDB (XXX)
  • Mac OS X formats

So to run the file you simple point vmss2core.exe at the VMSS file you have copied off your ESXi host and it will convert it for you.
To run the file you simply type vmss2core -W .vmss
There are different options depending on what format you want the dump file in.
For more information see the following PDF snapshot2core_technote

So in my case I entered vmss2core -W D:\memorydump\suspendfile.vmss
And just 6 minutes later it had taken my 16GB suspend file and created a 16GB memory dump.

vmss2core1vmss2core2

My biggest problem was finding a place where I could:

  • Copy my 16GB suspend file to.
  • Have sufficient space to create another 16GB memory dump file.

In the end I simply added a new 40GB disk to a server temporally to allow me to save my suspend file, convert it and upload it to Microsoft.

To download the Fling simply go to https://labs.vmware.com/flings/vmss2core
The instructions can be found http://www.vmware.com/pdf/snapshot2core_technote.pdf

Don’t forget as it’s a fling to go back and check for updates regularly, the current version was dated January the 13th so just three weeks ago.

vBeers – Guildford, UK (Thursday 2nd February 2017)

Last Thursday I had the pleasure of attending the first “vBeers in the Country” organised by my good friend Chris Bradshaw. I decided I should go and support this inaugural event which was being held in Guildford at The Britannia. So It was completely by accident that I bumped in to our very own London VMUG leader Dave Simpson in the nearby car park trying to work out how much off peak parking costs in Guildford.

A pleasant evening was had by all as this photo shows and we had a good chat and catch up over food and drink.

vbeers

So who knows what happens next, we may go viral or better yet get a sponsor and then you will definitely want to come to the next event if you missed this one. Better still if you know of a great location put yourself down as an organiser. If you think you would come to an event in Winchester then please let me know (add a comment or message me) and if there is interest I will find a venue.

Chris has put a great guide together on how to arrange a vBeers event on his blog at http://isjw.uk/vbeers-trying-out-a-new-gathering/ and for more info on vBeers check out their website.