Thursday, December 19, 2013

Friendly BOSH Labels in vCenter

thanks to the BOSH team for showing me how to do this. Cloud Foundry BOSH automatically tags vSphere deployed VMs with various attributions including the job and index. this way instead of justing have a GUID as the name in vCenter, you can add additional columns that are already populated with the BOSH job and job index. we'll be adding this to the documentation for pivotal cf soon. click the image to see the full size.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Send Interactive Commands to a Cloud Foundry App with websocketd

on my way home from work tonight i saw the tweet below about connecting STDIN and STDOUT from remote processes with websocket. i tried it out quickly locally and it worked streaming output of numbers from 1 to 10 sent to STDOUT 1 second apart over websocket using localhost. can i apply this to cloud foundry easily?  it turns out the answer is yes!
you can easily include the small linux 64bit websocketd binary and this script with your app and remotely send commands over websocket that will execute in the app container and stream the STDOUT from the command back over websocket to the browser. this is helpful for sending commands like rake db:migrate or to explore the linux container file system after the buildpack has run. see the screenshot and video below. for the impatient, skip to about 3:00 of the short demo.

more instructions are on github. also see the websocketd project.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Be Direct When You Communicate

"Be direct when communicating" is a common theme I've been hearing the last few days in Pivotal leadership discussions and other places.

When I listened to the Twitter CEO Dick Costolo fireside chat with PandoMonthly (start listening at around 35:30) it crystalized how important this is and how easy it is to fall out of this to appease the feelings of someone you're meeting with. Dick describes how he has a management / leadership training class where they do exercises for this and how many experienced people still yield to the temptation to "migrate along the Y-axis" and give up clarity instead of "optimize for the X-axis." Doing this definitely takes practice, but I'm going to remind myself to think of these axes in my communication. It's totally great if the person feels great about the discussion, but how they feel about it is not as important as receiving and understanding the message. There are certainly many conversations where someone will feel badly about the message, and that's a fine outcome if they receive the message and were unlikely to feel good about it under any circumstances.