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IT Confessional Series: The New VMware Go Pro: Making IT Admins Look Cooler Since 2012

By: Andy the Angry IT Guy

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of posts we’ll be running from “Andy,” an anonymous IT administrator working for a mid-sized organization located somewhere in the American Midwest. In his previous post, Andy explained how IT administrators and Game of Thrones have more in common than one may initially think.  

Today, Andy shares his thoughts on some of the features in the new version of VMware Go.

Howdy, everyone! I realize it’s been a while since I’ve posted here. Between the recent release of Diablo III and all of the time I’ve spent anonymously bashing the anticlimactic conclusion of season 5 of Mad Men on random internet message boards (plus, you know, overseeing the entire IT infrastructure for the mid-sized organization I work for somewhere in the American Midwest), I haven’t had a spare moment to blog!

Given VMware Go’s recent announcement of new features coming in the updated version, though, I figured it was time to dust off my keyboard and weigh in with some thoughts of my own here. I’ve had the chance to play around with a number of these features as a beta user for VMware Go Pro. Here are my (subjective) thoughts so far:

vCenter-awareness

This may not seem like much on the surface, but it’s amazing the amount of time it’s saved me so far. Increasing our virtualization rate has been the top IT initiative over the past year. This integration allows me to easily access existing hypervisors via vCenter instances, instead of having to do so manually. As we’re steadily adding hypervisors to our infrastructure, it’s a huge relief to be able to streamline the management process.

Virtualization wizard

Underscoring the point I made above, this is another feature that has really helped us accelerate our virtualization project. Whereas previous incarnations of the wizard would only assist with the initial onboarding process for virtualization, this is a much more intuitive wizard. It asks what stage your virtualization project is at, and then makes recommendations accordingly. What’s more, it’s given me a failsafe fact-checker any time my boss asks me what kind of resource utilization we need to broaden our deployment. And if something goes wrong? It’s the machine’s fault, not mine!

Patch status pages

As I’ve stated in this space many times before, I hate patch updates. They are the bane of my existence as an IT admin. Patch updates are like that annoying friend you had in elementary school that would sneak up behind you in the cafeteria everyday, grab your arm, and force you to hit your other arm with it – all while sneering, “Why are you hitting yourself, Andy? Stop hitting yourself, Andy!” Like that kid, patch updates are incessant—and they never stop.

Luckily, VMware Go has gone a long way towards rectifying this problem via their patch status pages. In a nutshell, this feature offers a much more holistic view of your patches – you can quickly identify not only missing patches, but also priority levels for each patch, which machines have them installed, and which don’t.

Group management for patch updates

Sticking with the patch theme, another new feature I really like is group management for patch updates. This allows me to assign specific patches to specific servers (or groups of servers) for specific times. The long and short of this is, I can now easily schedule a big security patch for a development server to occur overnight – lest I risk an army of angry developers accusing me of undermining them by slowing down their server speed during the work day. Conversely, if someone is really bothering me, I can always “accidentally” schedule a patch update to slow them down during the work day… Don’t mess with IT!

View missing patches in a heat map!

This is by far my favorite new feature so far – not so much because it’s a useful tool that allows me to instantly visualize the status of patch updates in my infrastructure (though it is), but because… it’s a freaking heat map! Here’s a bit of advice – when your boss (or better yet, your secret office crush—cough, cough, Liz from accounting, cough, cough) walks by your computer and you want to seem busy instead of revealing that you’ve actually been browsing Reddit for the past 45 minutes, what better way to wow them than with a heat map up on your screen?

What could Andy possibly be doing with that heat map?, they may think. It must surely be extremely important – I thought only government agencies like the CIA and NSA used heat maps. I’d better not bother him, lest I interrupt his concentration on what must be a mission-critical and, frankly, quite impressive-looking project!

Yep, I’ll be ready to ask Liz out any day now at this rate…

Anyway, these are my thoughts on the new VMware Go Pro features so far. Want to try them out for yourself? You can register for a free trial of VMware Go Pro here today! What are you waiting for?

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I hear Liz coming this way. Time to pull up that heat map…