The DiscoPosse New Year’s Phoenix Project Giveaway: 3 Ways to efficiency, 20 ways to win!


UPDATE: Congratulations to all the winners! It has been great to be able to see your ideas and be sure to share any feedback on The Phoenix Project!

Coming hot off the heels of the very popular 2013 giveaway, I am super excited to be able to bring you this amazing chance for to win a spectacular book thanks to Gene Kim, Kevin Behr and George Spafford, the authors of The Phoenix Project.

The 3 Ways

Before we get to the goodies, I want to bring your attention to the very heart of what makes The Phoenix Project, and the DevOps methodology turn the corner from traditional IT practices. It’s something called the 3 ways.

Truthfully, there is no better way to explain it than how Gene Kim does, so you have a quick field trip to take over to Gene’s site atΒΒ and read a succinct description of what has become the core of successful DevOps practices.

No, Seriously, read the article and come back…

Now that you’re back, let’s get to the really fun stuff. Gene and the crew have kindly given me 20, yes, 20 copies of The Phoenix Project in Kindle format.

I’ve been evangelizing this book since the moment that I learned of it from a VMUG session with Nick Weaver last year. I have read the book a few times since, and the content rings true to me in many ways. It is a great tool to take the concepts of DevOps and see how they can be practically applied to a real business situation.

How do you win a copy of the book?

winningLet’s get interactive here πŸ™‚ I will be selecting 20 random winners from the pool of entries. In order to enter to win this contest, you need to write a comment on this post with an answer to these simple, but fun questions:

  1. Quickly describe a process that you can automate/orchestrate that you do manually today
  2. What tools do you use today, or plan to use to introduce more DevOps and orchestration practice to your organization?

The entries will be accepted until January 15th so make sure you get in there early to add your comment for a chance to win!

Spread the word, tell a friend. The more we raise awareness, the more we all learn together!

New Year’s Evolution, not Resolution

Make this the year that you take action. This is a great time of year when we often find ourselves making resolutions about things that we wish we could improve about ourselves. I encourage you to choose some realistic goals that you work towards by picking processes, activities, tasks and manual workflows that you have in place today. Write them out quickly and define the steps. Now you have a solid base to orchestrate that process by attacking each step directly.

My motto is that a complex task is really composed of a series of simple tasks. There really are very few processes that cannot be effectively orchestrated using a system, and even if the process is not fully automated, you will enjoy the time gained by the manual steps that you can eliminate.

I’m looking forward to some exciting entries, and I want to thank Gene, Kevin and George once again for creating this great book and for sharing it generously with us here!


16 thoughts on “The DiscoPosse New Year’s Phoenix Project Giveaway: 3 Ways to efficiency, 20 ways to win!”

  1. 1. I build servers from a template in VMware and I want to use some kind of automation to add products to them instead of having too many templates.

    2. Today I use Powershell and PowerCLI but I want to start using vCenter orchestrator for more since I run only VMware.

    • Great stuff Pete! This is just the kind of thing that many of us are doing. Feel free to reach out if you want any help with your transition to using vCO πŸ™‚

      I would definitely recommend the vBrownbag which is running an “Automate all the things” series which will be very appropriate to what you are looking to do.

  2. 1.) Add new nodes to a Nutanix Cluser thru the GUI. Wanting to write a PowerShell script to talk to the REST-API

    2) PowerShell VMware Orchestrator, pretty minimal skill but I can work Google pretty good.

  3. 1. We needed to transition our VMs from EOL servers with AMD procs to new servers with Intel procs. Of course, you can’t vMotion the VMs to the new hosts live. With 900+ VMs to migrate, manually shutting down and migrating and powering up was not an option. I looked to vCO to automate the guest OS shutdown, migrate, power up, upgrade VMTools, guest OS power down, upgrade VM hardware, power up and one last restart for the OS to properly configure the new CPUs.

    2. vCO is a great tool that we plan to increase our usage on. We also plan to integrate it into an internal virtualization portal and call workflows using REST. Using this method, we’d also like to call the powershell plug-in to utilize our library of PowerCLI commands as well.

  4. 1. Certainly the deployment of new servers comes to mind, not only the applications within but touching the after thoughts as well such automatically creating backup jobs and monitoring profiles. Second, on a more simple scale, we have mastered the creation of new user accounts but still lack automation on the exchange side of things, mailbox creation, storage group placement, etc. that would be nice to take off the manual plate

    2. vCO and powershell are our main go to tools today, but I’m certainly interested in learning more about puppet and chef in 2014! Also, I need to better understand how to parse and manipulate the XML and Json from the REST returns. All in good time πŸ˜‰

    Great giveaway Eric

    • Thanks Mike! This is something that is definitely getting people excited. I hope to get some major moves in orchestration this year and we can all share our experiences! πŸ™‚

  5. 1. Automating the STIG process for secure environments. I have a template that I use and then tweak upon deployment but creating an interactive script would save my team tons of time in manual edits.

    2. Currently just using pCLI and relatively simple scripts to do multiple changes across many hosts/VM’s. I am excited to deploy vCO this year and am currently learning about Puppet/Chef and their roles within a VMware-centric environment. Pretty stoked πŸ™‚

  6. 1) I’m in the process of automating the rebuilding of Exchange databases when a disk fails (we run Exchange 2010 on JBOD). The HP ACU scripting is proving to be an “interesting” experience

    2) I will be using PowerShell DSC to (hopefully) ensure config consistency for our corporate websites.

    • Nice work Jason! This is excellent stuff and I know the challenges that can come with some Exchange DB work. This is a great example of changing the way we do things with technology to get a business goal solved πŸ™‚

  7. 1) Create a Powershell script that would enable our IT service desk team create new network login accounts on active directory.

    2) I am also in the process of automating monitoring and reporting on our Citrix XenApp 6.5 environment. Powershell script would come in handy in helping me achieve this goal.

    • I like where you’re going with this. I’ve done similar things before for help desk to add accounts and it’s a big time saver and ensures consistency! Good luck with the contest Ono!

  8. Server provisioning/builds are the first thing that comes to mind. Clean up of snapshots left behind by certain backup products would be another task to automate. On boarding/Departure tasks.

    I need to spend more time withPowershell, Power CLI and Orchestrator.


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