vBrownBag Submissions Complete!

As a follow-up to my blog the other day about ideas for vBrownBag Tech Talks at VMworld 2019, I decided to post what I actually submitted.

First off, I’d really like to thank the vCommunity, as the response to several of my ideas was really well received. Quite a few members responded that they would be interested in my Panel Discussion idea about being a VMUG Leader. Because of that great interest, that is the first Tech Talk I submitted. A 27-minute submission entitled “Panel Discussion — All Things VMUG.”

The abstract for this submission is as follows: In this “fireside chat” with fellow VMUG and vCommunity Leaders we will discuss trends in VMUG groups across the country. We will delve into what is working for some groups, what doesn’t work, how to grow the Leadership panel of your local group, what to do if your local group has “died on the vine,” and how to keep the USER in your group. This session will include a wealth of Leadership Experience, so you will not want to miss it.

For my 2nd vBrownBag Tech Talk, I submitted a 12-minute discussion entitled “Top 12 Do’s and Don’ts of VMUG Leadership.” For this session, with it being a shorter length, I envision it as a “Lightning Round” of items I’ve seen and experienced in my years of VMUG Leadership across multiple groups. Thus, the abstract for this session is as follows: A Lightning Round Discussion of the Top 12 Do’s and Don’ts in being a VMUG Leader, based upon 10+ years of Leadership Experience across multiple VMUGs, both large and small.

I’m not sure if either submission will be selected, but I’ve enjoyed working on them thus far and really appreciate all of the feedback I’ve received from the vCommunity. As I hear more information on the selection process, I’ll make sure and keep everyone updated.

Potential vBrownBag Tech Talks

I chatted with Ariel Sanchez recently, seeking advice on how I could potentially obtain a FREE VMworld pass this year (surprisingly it is quite difficult for a new VMware TAM to get a pass to attend). As with everything, Ariel had a bunch of great suggestions. One suggestion that really piqued my interest was the opportunity speak at VMworld at a vBrownBag Tech Talk.

For those that don’t know about this opportunity, you can submit to present a 12 or 27-minute Tech Talk through vBrownBag. The link for submissions is found here. There, it specifically says that the submission should be a “presentation by community members on subjects of interest to other members.”

I started thinking “what do I know that is of interest to other community members?” Well, I have been a VMUG Leader in multiple VMUGs (Central MS, OKC, and Orlando) over the past 10 years. I’ve seen really good meetings with great user participation, and I’ve seen really bad meetings where very few showed up and it seemed to be more a Sales Pitch for the Sponsor of the meeting.

I would like to share my experience with the vCommunity, as even though I am now a VMUG Steering Committee member of both Central MS and Orlando VMUG groups (VMware employees cannot be a Leader, but can be on the Steering Committee), I feel I have a good idea of how to drive User Participation in local VMUGs. But I also don’t think my way is the only way, and I am constantly asking other VMUG Leaders for tips and tricks that work for their group.

Therefore, I’m currently thinking of two submissions for vBrownBag Tech Talks…1) A 12-minute discussion of Do’s and Don’ts while being a VMUG Leader, and 2) A 27-minute panel discussion of All Things VMUG (in this discussion, I’d seek out probably 5 VMUG Leaders from other groups and have a “fireside chat” of what works and doesn’t work for their group).

So, those are two ideas I’m kicking around for vBrownBag Tech Talks. What do you think? Is this something that would be of interest to some in the vCommunity? Hit me up on Twitter (@shanfitz) and let me know your thoughts. Thanks!

career achievement – unlocked

I started working with VMware products (ESX 3.0) back in January 2007. Like many IT folks that spent years working with physical equipment in DCs, I still remember the excitement I felt when I performed my first vMotion. It was AWESOME! I remember showing my buddies/co-workers how we could move a virtual machine from one physical host to another, while I was RDP’d into the VM, and only losing one network ping. We are obviously “light years” ahead those days, but that initial taste of Virtualization forever changed my career and made me the IT Professional I am today.

From that one moment, I’ve continued to grow my career over the years, and continued to grow with VMware and their myriad of products. I “resurrected” the Central Mississippi VMUG and really enjoyed learning from the vCommunity about what they were working with, issues they were having, etc. In fact, this became a regular session we would have at our VMUG meetings titled “All Things VMware.” Hearing the community talk and share knowledge with one another is an awesome thing, and one I’m very proud to be part of down to this day.

My continued Virtualization and Engineering roles with various companies/industries made my excitement for VMware’s products continue to grow. I started having more and more friends/colleagues go to work for VMware, and tell me what a great culture they have, and to “nudge” me when VMware had a role they thought I would be good at.

I started to really think that I wanted to be on the inside…I wanted the opportunity to help others use VMware products and help them see the benefits of new technologies as they came out. So I finally applied for a role at VMware. I would like to tell you that I was immediately hired and everything was candy and roses since, but that was not the case (yet).

I don’t recall the exact opportunity with VMware that I initially applied to, or exactly when it was, but my guess would be 5 or 6 years ago. I remember getting a canned email that stated something to the effect that they “found other candidates that better fit the qualifications” of the role, or something like that. Like most folks, I don’t like rejection, but realize that is a part of life. It is what you do after the rejection that defines you.

I moved into different roles since that first rejection…going from an SVP, Manager at a Regional Bank, to an Sr Engineer position at an Oil and Gas Company, to a Sr Virtualization Engineer at a Software/Telco company. All along the way, I received hands-on experience with VMware products in larger and larger environments. The one constant I’ve learned throughout my years working with VMware products is that you have to be willing to learn and willing to change. You cannot stay stagnant…you have to continue to invest in yourself and teach yourself as new technologies emerge.

As I continued to grow in my skillset, I would apply for different roles at VMware from time to time. I started getting further along in the hiring process, but ultimately would see the same result, an email thanking me for applying but no offer. Sometimes the role was canceled for various reasons, sometimes an Internal Staff member was moved into the new role. Whatever the reason, it still seemed to be a rejection to me, but also fueled me to keep pushing and pursuing my goal of working for VMware.

I don’t know the exact number, but I believe it has been at least 5 roles I’ve applied for over the years, but each time, I learned something…perhaps something I should teach myself, perhaps something I should handle better in the process, etc. Ultimately, I took these things I learned and pushed myself to do better. My reasoning was, even if it didn’t help me get a job at VMware, at least it will help me at my current employer and be something I can share with the vCommunity at our VMUG meetings.

Fast forward to just a few months ago, and I saw a LinkedIn post by one of the VMware guys I met at our Orlando UserCon. It was for a role as a VMware TAM (Technical Account Manager) in Nashville, TN. My family and I are very familiar with the area and recently thought about moving there when we sold our house in Mississippi. I thought, “why not give this one a shot?” As I read the job description, talked to existing TAMs to get their feedback, and learned more from close friends that work at VMware, I decided to apply. I went through the process, had several phone interviews, Tech Screen, and face-to-face interview and ultimately received an offer to go to work for VMware as a TAM in Nashville. My start date is this coming Tuesday, February 19, 2019.

To say I’m excited would be an understatement…I can’t wait to get started and to see what all I can learn from others, and possibly share some of what I learn. I am very thankful for my vCommunity friends that have continued to push me throughout my career, and thankful for the companies I’ve worked for that allowed me to continue to grow in my Virtualization skillset. I look forward to working with VMware and continuing to be an advocate for the VMUG community!

powercli – Detach Luns from a cluster

Overview: I recently had the need to remove some old LUNS from the SAN. After a vMotion of all VMs and Templates from the datastores in vSphere that corresponded to the LUNS needing removal, I followed the steps in the KB at https://kb.vmware.com/s/article/2004605?lang=en_US

After unmounting the datastores in the vSphere Web Client, I used the below PowerCLI script to then detach the LUNs.

To SSH or not to SSH — Either way, there is a script!

I’ve had scripts in the past for enabling SSH on all of my VMware Hosts, but recently had a PCI Audit come through requesting that I disable SSH on all hosts in my PCI environment.  Well, that was something I hadn’t done before, but I knew it wouldn’t take long to “reverse engineer” my “enable SSH script” and make a “disable SSH script.”

Below are the different scripts I used for my different environments, and I hope you find them useful.  In the “enable SSH script” it will not only enable SSH, but will also change the default Startup Policy for SSH to “start and stop with the host”…additionally, it suppresses the shell warning you normally see when SSH is enabled on a Host.

In the “disable SSH script” it disables SSH and changes the default Startup Policy back to “start and stop manually.”  Each script is written to function at the Cluster Level in VMware, but you can easily modify it to focus on larger or smaller portions of your environment as needed.

Without further ado, here are the scripts….

Script for Enabling SSH


Script to Disable SSH


VMworld US Content Catalog is now live!

VMworld US Content Catalog is now live! Schedule Builder launches July 19th

VMworld US Content Catalog is now live!

The 2016 Content Catalog allows registered and prospective VMworld attendees access to the VMworld agenda, with the ability to peruse breakouts and note sessions of interest. You can search and filter to your heart’s content by track, category, session format, industry, role, technical level, speaker name, location (US or Europe), and keyword search. You cannot schedule sessions in the catalog.

VMware Social Media Advocacy

PowerCLI – Storage vMotion VMs from One Datastore to Another

SCRIPT SYNOPSIS / REASON CREATED – We are doing a good bit of underlying infrastructure work on our SAN environments, so we needed a script to move all VMs from an “old” datastore to a “new” (or different) datastore. Additionally, many of our VMs had been created as “thick provisioned eager zero” (before my arrival), so I wanted to use this opportunity to “thin provision” all of the VMs when I performed the Storage vMotion. As I looked for scripts to assist with this, I was amazed as how easy this is with just a few steps.


OVERVIEW OF STEPS – This is a very simple script that connects to your vCenter with the supplied credentials and then moves all VMs from one datastore to another datastore, while changing each VM to “thin provisioned” during the process. For my environment, I added the “-RunAsync” option at the end of the command so as to have all sVmotions running at the same time. If you want to run the sVmotions singularly (wait until one sVmotion is complete before starting another one), you can remove the “-RunAsync” option from the command.


PowerCLI – Indentify VMs with RDM disks

SCRIPT SYNOPSIS / REASON CREATED – At the time of this script, we have over 800 VMs across multiple datacenters. In a few of those DCs, we have a small number of VMs that have RDMs attached (for use with Microsoft Clustering). Our current environment is VMware 5.5 hosts, so we still are VERY careful when doing anything (vMotion, etc.) on these VMs with RDMs. Per the article at https://blogs.vmware.com/apps/2015/02/say-hello-vmotion-compatible-shared-disks-windows-clustering-vsphere.html this will be a non-issue for us when we get all hosts upgraded to vSphere 6.


OVERVIEW OF STEPS – This is a very simple script that connects to your vCenter with the supplied credentials and then gets all VMs in the environment, specifically looking for VMs with a disk type of “RawPhysical” or “RawVirtual.” Once the script identifies VMs with these types of disks, it outputs the Parent (VM) Name, Disk File Type, and SCSI Canonical Name. There is an additional line of code that is currently remarked out that can output the results to a CSV file if desired.


"Do or Do Not. There is no Try" – Yoda