I’m still alive!

While updating this site and its plugins, I’ve noticed that my previous post is from May 2020. I couldn’t let that ticker go the full 365 days between updates, so here’s a keepalive post to let y’all know I’m still alive and well. A lot has happened in the last 12 months which has kept me from posting as much as previous years. Fortunately, much of it is good news, so no worries!

That COVID thing

The biggest elephant in the world at the moment is obviously COVID-19. Fortunately, me and my family have been spared from any scary mishaps in that aspect. Everyone is healthy and continuing life as well as is possible with the current restrictions. For me, the biggest impact is probably a 100% work from home (WFH) setup, with very occasional visits to either the office or a customer. I really enjoy it, as it saves me quite some commute time to customers. I do hope we will be able to go to a mix where you can work at least one or two days a week at a customer or at the office, just to keep in touch and see some different faces once in a while.

With a 100% WFH schedule and increasingly fewer friends to visit due to government restrictions/advice, I did not really feel like blogging lately. Yet more screen time, bleh. So there you have it, that’s reason one for the low posting activity. The second one is much better though…

A new house!

2021 Lumberjacking; Chainsaw goes brrr

We moved house in summer 2020! We went from a regular, low maintenance, modern standards house from 2005 in a city, to a “new” house from around 1990 in a small town. Why would any sane person do that, you ask? First of all, who said I was sane… and the second reason is it has about ~24x the amount of land compared to the previous modern house. Dutch modern houses are built on post stamps as a badly translated saying goes, and with a tendency to collect to many bulky machines/toys with a veterinarian as a girlfriend, we wanted more space.

The new house did come with a heavily outdated style and internals. Fortunately, one of the items on my bucket list was to fully renovate a house. So starting August 2020, we first started renovating (read: clearing) a part of the garden that turned jungle. Come October we moved indoors and basically stripped the entire ground floor. Out went the concrete screed floor, water, electrics, central heating, a couple of walls, kitchen, the lot. In went new insulation, floor heating, water/electronics/networking, floors, ceilings, plaster, kitchen, wood stove, etc.

Christmas 2020: Installing the floor heatingIt was quite the adventure, and apart from pouring the new floor, plastering the walls and installing the kitchen, we did everything ourselves. With help from family mostly, as COVID prevented us from “inviting” a bunch of friends for help. It was so much fun actually that halfway through the ground floor renovation, we decided that we’ll do the upper floor as well next winter. So there’s your proof for the sanity part…

There’s still so much work to do that this house will keep us busy for a couple of more years. But it does have so much potential! And there’s something about sheep in your garden that’s pretty relaxing as well…

2020 MSP Projects

A big part of my professional life in 2020 was spent on one big internal project at Open Line. As an MSP, we had three datacenters starting 2020. The ambitious goal was to reduce that amount to two datacenters by November 2020, and I was put in charge of that project. It was a massive team effort, with a combination of WAN migrations, sort-of a customer carve-out, and an uplift of several platforms to our product and services.

I also got to pilot a new, totally vendor semi-supported DC move strategy utilizing a Pure Storage FlashArray Active Cluster migration strategy as opposed to our default Veeam route. Apart from Pure Support freaking out a couple of million times in the weeks leading up to the migration due to some automatic alerts, the storage & compute part of the migration was an absolute breeze. With help from my good colleague Gabrie and his PowerShell magic, we basically flipped the VMs to the new datacenter and networks in a little less than a minute. Now, if only the networking guys were able to migrate that quickly…. 😉

But yeah, that kept me busy. And new projects are stacking up!

Looking back and forward for 2021

Work (both professionally and at home with the renovations) has kept me busy for the first part of 2021. I did find some time to write a couple of blog posts for Tintri, so there’s that. And I will be attending a Tech Field Day Exclusive session with Scality and HPE later this month; maybe something of that will find its way on here in due course.

I do hope that I will find some time and motivation to write more blog posts for the remainder of 2021. So stay tuned, and stay safe!