2021-2022 – What happened?

The last time I blogged on here was to see out the Covid-ridden 2020 and see in 2021, I then forgot to blog for 2 years. Sorry about that.

2021 was more of the same, focus on work and home life balance, getting used to permanent work from home and was overall a pretty quiet year. 2022 then saw some changes, some adaptations to be made on a personal and professional level, some losses, and some gains. There was emotional turmoil and a big bang to end when finally everyone got together to share stories, and ideas and generate optimism for the future. Some 2021/2022 items made it to my personal blog at https://johnnyward.me.uk for those interested!

So what comes next…

Well, 2023 will be a big year, watch this space.

Virtual Home Server Part 2

Back in November last year, I posted to this blog with the initial setup of my “home” server (https://www.wardnet.co.uk/virtual-home-server/) which in its former life was a Veeam backup server for an SME. This previous life means that it is a very high spec for its age and it may have a few TB of storage to boot! – Storage is an interesting point here as whilst there is around 8TB total (after RAID) it is not SSD or even high end SAS, therefore this space is at the cost of performance. The good thing here, is that performance is not critical to what I am using the servers for, there’s more than enough capacity and performance to deliver media via Plex for local and remote users and deliver reasonable DB performance for testing of installation processes – which currently relates to my day job. Below I have included an image of the VMWare ESXi Dashboard from today, not too much difference to the one I posted back in November other than the number of VMs has increased from 8 to 13 and therefore available storage has gone down by just around half a terabyte:

But that’s boring… what about the VM setup, anything exciting there?

Well let’s take a look:

Therefore, I have a lab domain setup now (wardnet.local) which I am using for testing out various ERP install/config scenarios, including down to the client layer with the last one in the list being a Windows 10 VM.

Four ERP servers I hear you scream, well, yes, rather… ERP2 is now solely an SQL server delivering the DBs for ERP3 and ERP4, with ERP1 being a self-contained SQL and App for the latest and greatest versions. APPS is actually a SharePoint 2013 Foundation server (DB is on ERP2) which is acting as document storage currently for the ERP servers.

I am also utilising my DC as a mail server with hMail and a .Net based webmail service (with mySQL backend) so I do not need a mail client anywhere! – My hMail implementation will be an extra post on here in the not too distant future I hope.

Extrasphere will be a blog post of its own TBC but it is a free cloning utility for ESXi implementations and works quite nicely.

In Summary, this server has allowed me to get my geek on with virtualisation, networking, server hardware and operating systems deployment from an infrastructure point of view, but also it has allowed me to delve back into the Sysadmin side of things, Domain creation, GPO deployments (Windows Updates, Shared Folders, BGInfo and more), mail server management, SharePoint admin etc. In addition, it has strengthened my expertise in the more recent transition into the application side of things, with many ERP deployment scenarios now tested (and scripted), as well as some real world simulations into config and usage of the ERP systems themselves. So now, I have a platform for testing anything, from Hardware tweaks through to Accounts Receivable invoicing!

HTML 5 Video Code

With the new features of HTML5 being constantly shoved in our faces, I though I’d share a little snippet of code that adjusts the initial volume of a video on a HTML page- this particular example is used at http://www.redsumo.com/blog for the video header on the main page. The video was too loud when the client computer volume was at 100% so, we decided it needed lowering, without re-encoding the video.


<video id=“welcomevid” width=“620” height=“250” controls=“controls” autoplay=“autoplay” onplay=“document.getElementById(‘welcomevid’).volume=0.2;” ></video>

Note the id=“welcomevid” which is required in order to set the volume paramter in the DOM with the getElementById command.

Volume control is 0-1 with 0.5 being 50% etc. hence the use of 0.2 in this example.

WordPress Development

I’ve spent the last 3 days improving my WordPress (and basic web) development skills, almost to a new level. The RedSumo Blog was previously used as a place to post technical findings, a little like how this site started out. There’s posts about PHP, MySQL, Linux etc. But with the way the company has changed, especially recently it was decided to use the blog platform as a way to promote products and services of not just RedSumo itself, but of all the customers who are hosted on the RedSumo servers and/ or designed by the very skilled team.
I have spent numerous hours manually re-coding the “Slicker Press” theme to make the site look a little like a newspaper/ magazine – taking inspiration (on design only!) from The Daily Mail etc.
There’s still a long way to go, however, the site is fully functional and has a few neat little features such as the Yahoo based weather widget, the Featured Posts slider and the customer logos sections.
If you’re interested to see how the developments going, head over to http://www.redsumo.com/blog now!