Tag Archives: 2016

Apple MacBook 12″ 2016 Model. Inc USB C Hub

Apple MacBook 12″ 2016 Model. Space Grey

Post Crimbo clear-out continues. This is my wife’s laptop, that she has barely used, after acquiring it in an incentive at work in Oct 2017.

Spec:
Core M5
8GB Ram
512GB SSD

Fully boxed with charger and a Hootoo USB-C hub (SD Card reader, HDMI out, USB-A etc).

Condition:
I can’t see a single mark on it. Has been kept in a sort of frosted plastic case (included), but has been very lightly used, in any case.

Battery cycle count is just 23 . . ….

Apple MacBook 12″ 2016 Model. Inc USB C Hub

Apple MacBook 12″ 2016 Model. Inc USB C Hub

Apple MacBook 12″ 2016 Model. Space Grey

Post Crimbo clear-out continues. This is my wife’s laptop, that she has barely used, after acquiring it in an incentive at work in Oct 2017.

Spec:
Core M5
8GB Ram
512GB SSD

Fully boxed with charger and a Hootoo USB-C hub (SD Card reader, HDMI out, USB-A etc).

Condition:
I can’t see a single mark on it. Has been kept in a sort of frosted plastic case (included), but has been very lightly used, in any case.

Battery cycle count is just 23 . . ….

Apple MacBook 12″ 2016 Model. Inc USB C Hub

Macbook Pro 15 2016 + LG Ultrafine Monitor

For sale is my Macbook Pro 15, it’s the top spec 2016 touchbar model in perfect condition with no marks on it anywhere. It’ll come in it’s original box with everything it came with including the 87w usb-c charger and cable which I’ve not really used.

Worth noting it is just out of the Apple care warranty period.

The specs are;

i7 6820HK Quad core
16GB Ram
512GB Nvme SSD
Radeon Pro 455 GPU

Cycle count is currently only at 61

The 21.5″ 4K LG ultra fine monitor will also come in it’s…

Macbook Pro 15 2016 + LG Ultrafine Monitor

Macbook Pro 15 2016 + LG Ultrafine Monitor

For sale is my Macbook Pro 15, it’s the top spec 2016 touchbar model in perfect condition with no marks on it anywhere. It’ll come in it’s original box with everything it came with including the 87w usb-c charger and cable which I’ve not really used.

Worth noting it is just out of the Apple care warranty period.

The specs are;

i7 6820HK Quad core
16GB Ram
512GB Nvme SSD
Radeon Pro 455 GPU

Cycle count is currently only at 61

The 21.5″ 4K LG ultra fine monitor will also come in it’s…

Macbook Pro 15 2016 + LG Ultrafine Monitor

Apple MacBook 12″ 2016 Model. Inc USB C Hub

Apple MacBook 12″ 2016 Model. Space Grey

Post Crimbo clear-out continues. This is my wife’s laptop, that she has barely used, after acquiring it in an incentive at work in Oct 2017.

Spec:
Core M5
8GB Ram
512GB SSD

Fully boxed with charger and a Hootoo USB-C hub (SD Card reader, HDMI out, USB-A etc).

Condition:
I can’t see a single mark on it. Has been kept in a sort of frosted plastic case (included), but has been very lightly used, in any case.

Battery cycle count is just 23 . . ….

Apple MacBook 12″ 2016 Model. Inc USB C Hub

Apple MacBook 12″ 2016 Model. Inc USB C Hub

Apple MacBook 12″ 2016 Model. Space Grey

Post Crimbo clear-out continues. This is my wife’s laptop, that she has barely used, after acquiring it in an incentive at work in Oct 2017.

Spec:
Core M5
8GB Ram
512GB SSD

Fully boxed with charger and a Hootoo USB-C hub (SD Card reader, HDMI out, USB-A etc).

Condition:
I can’t see a single mark on it. Has been kept in a sort of frosted plastic case (included), but has been very lightly used, in any case.

Battery cycle count is just 23 . . ….

Apple MacBook 12″ 2016 Model. Inc USB C Hub

Apple MacBook 12″ 2016 Model. Inc USB C Hub

Apple MacBook 12″ 2016 Model. Space Grey

Post Crimbo clear-out continues. This is my wife’s laptop, that she has barely used, after acquiring it in an incentive at work in Oct 2017.

Spec:
Core M5
8GB Ram
512GB SSD

Fully boxed with charger and a Hootoo USB-C hub (SD Card reader, HDMI out, USB-A etc).

Condition:
I can’t see a single mark on it. Has been kept in a sort of frosted plastic case (included), but has been very lightly used, in any case.

Battery cycle count is just 23 . . ….

Apple MacBook 12″ 2016 Model. Inc USB C Hub

Want a DevOps success story? Try employee net promoter score

The 2016 and 2017 State of DevOps Reports both identified employee net promoter score as a valuable metric correlated with DevOps success stories. It’s basically a measure of how many employees would recommend the company to their friends.

Why eNPS matters

The 2016 State of DevOps Report found higher-performing DevOps organizations had a higher proportion of promoters than low performers.

“High-performing workplaces foster the most employee engagement,” the report noted. In fact, employees in high-performing organizations were 2.2 times more likely to recommend their organization to a friend as a great place to work and 1.8 times more likely to recommend their team as a great working environment.

The 2017 State of DevOps Report went on to suggest that transformational leadership was highly correlated with employee net promoter score (eNPS). Transformational leaders excel at balancing being of service to employees, while building alignment around shared enterprise goals, which leads to DevOps success stories.

Measuring eNPS

It is relatively easy for a company to regularly survey employees, but much harder to get actionable feedback for improving culture.

“One strength of eNPS is that it is a simple form of measurement that can be asked in a single question format or in a survey with other culture and engagement questions,” said Mila Singh, a culture strategist at CultureIQ, based in New York.

Because it is a short, simple question, asking it a few times a year doesn’t cause survey fatigue. Singh’s research indicated that engaged employees are 12% more productive than disengaged counterparts — another key factor when looking for DevOps success stories.

Getting the most from eNPS

We are finding there is a power in and value around human-to-human interactions.
Dominic Pricehead of R&D and work futurist, Atlassian

Many cloud services have found ways to improve the utility of eNPS. These include tools and services that analyze why employees respond in a particular way. At the same time, some DevOps leaders — like Atlassian — have found that adopting meeting strategies with an emphasis on honest introspection and openness is a better way to promote DevOps culture.

For these companies, eNPS can measure how these strategies work, rather than be a tool to refine DevOps success stories and culture more directly.

Organizations might just have to do an eNPS survey annually. Singh recommended more frequent checks in concert with new wellness and collaboration initiatives. But frequent surveys could become an added burden on employees and management if the score is not changing all that much.

Organizations can also work with third-party services to anonymously poll employees with follow-up questions that ask for suggestions to improve company culture. Companies can also run focus groups to address some of the issues that can stand in the way of a DevOps success story.

Dominic Price, head of R&D at AtlassianDominic Price

Prior to measuring eNPS, though, enterprises will want to build a culture of continuous feedback, where the primary strategy for employee engagement and retention focuses on growth and development.

“Employee engagement doesn’t need to be an over-the-top bonding exercises,” said Jakub Slamka, chief marketing officer at Nicereply. “The key is asking for feedback consistently and acting on it to create constant improvement. The best tools help management do that in a way that’s not time-consuming.”

Bringing better feedback to meetings

Atlassian does eNPS surveys to get a sense of their overall employee engagement. Dominic Price, head of R&D and work futurist at Atlassian, found the company can get much more effective feedback, though, if it uses a new style of meeting, called a health check.

Teams hold health checks monthly or quarterly on an opt-in basis. Health checks are different than traditional retrospectives in that they focus on identifying common values, giving each other honest feedback, and promoting teamwork and sharing DevOps success stories in a way that simply can’t happen on a Slack channel.

“We are building this muscle around culture, ways of working and designing Agile processes,” Price said. “We are finding there is a power in and value around human-to-human interactions.”

Dell EMC VDI helps university expand application access

By 2016, computer labs at the University of Arkansas had become so high maintenance that they took up an inordinate amount of the IT staff’s time.

It was difficult to repair hardware, update software and protect against malware on about 400 physical desktops in about eight labs. Plus, some applications were only available on certain computers in specific labs, which limited student access.

To solve these problems, the university deployed a combination of Dell EMC and VMware products to provide virtual desktops and a revamped infrastructure to support them.

“VDI greatly reduces the cost and the need for maintenance … so this frees up the IT resources across campus to do more important things,” said Stephen Herzig, director of enterprise systems for the university in Fayetteville, Ark. “And this ‘any device, anytime, anywhere’ concept that we have frees the student from geography to get the application that they need.”

The university began the Dell EMC VDI project in December 2016 and, by March 2017, had delivered virtual desktops to thin clients in several labs. Herzig’s team chose a mix of rack servers, thin clients and virtualization software (see sidebar, “Hardware and software”) for its VDI deployment.

Had we just done a plain, vanilla VDI, we wouldn’t be talking.
Stephen Herzigdirector of enterprise systems, University of Arkansas

The combination of these technologies allowing scalable, flexible VDI was what made the approach so innovative. The university essentially developed its own type of hyper-converged infrastructure, and the vendors collaborated on that infrastructure’s delivery, before a similar bundle was commercially available. Dell EMC and its subsidiary, VMware, now offer VDI Complete, a package of hyper-converged infrastructure appliances, software and thin clients from the two vendors.

“Had we just done a plain, vanilla VDI, we wouldn’t be talking,” Herzig said. “It was the way we went about it and making all of these technologies work in concert with each other.”

‘A vision we were aligned with’

The university chose Dell R630 servers for their high density; one rack hosts 1,000 desktops and up to 2,000 applications. And for students in the schools of architecture and engineering that needed graphics-heavy apps, for example, the R730 servers allowed the virtual desktops to support GPUs. (Plus, at the same time as the Dell EMC VDI project, the university moved many of its devices from Windows 7 to Windows 10, which tends to require more graphics processing on basic applications.)

“We wanted to have the most rich experience and allow everyone on campus to be able to use [VDI], so that meant we needed to cover everybody,” said Jon C. Kelley, associate director of enterprise systems at the university. “Having a GPU for literally every desktop helped with even the base-level stuff on Windows 10.”

Before choosing Dell EMC VDI services, the team had looked at Hewlett Packard Enterprise for infrastructure and Citrix for VDI software. But IT staff members were already familiar with Dell, and they felt more attracted to Dell EMC’s philosophy, which pushed the commoditization of hardware and the value of software abstraction, Kelley said.

In addition, VMware’s vision of simplified desktop delivery with major end-user visibility, using its NSX and vRealize Suite products for cloud infrastructure management, resonated with IT, he said.

“An individual having data and needing to manipulate that data using applications — while wanting to have access to both, wherever you are — was a vision we were aligned with,” he added.

Users work in a computer lab at the university.
Users work in a computer lab at the university.

A bundled approach to desktop virtualization and its back-end infrastructure can help organizations reduce complexity, said Rhett Dillingham, vice president and senior analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy.

“VDI has been one of the more complicated technologies to plan for and deliver at scale,” he said. “To have a single vendor not just deliver but support that is key. The ability to call a single vendor and have them run triage and manage resolution of all issues … is a drastic simplification.”

Teamwork made the dream work

To ensure that the Dell EMC VDI project went smoothly from planning to implementation, members of the university’s communications, desktop support and IT infrastructure teams formed a group that met regularly.

“That was really crucial because we needed buy-in from desktop support,” Kelley said. “A lot of those people were pretty resistant to the VDI concept. Getting them to understand, ‘Oh, it frees up my time to do other things, and I also still have control over the imaging and things like that,’ was really key.”

The IT staff nailed down the overall architecture first, then deployed the thin clients, created a management cluster and used contractor services to help them deploy NSX. Lastly, they built the compute nodes, which store and run the memory, processing and other resources for the deployment’s virtual machines, and added them to VMware Horizon to enable virtual desktop provisioning.

“The university IT team was really strong,” said Andrew McDaniel, director of VDI Ready Solutions at Dell EMC. “They got deep into the deployment and took on responsibility for doing quite a bit of the work themselves.”

The biggest challenge was figuring out how to organize billing for the on-demand access to software and services, because the university has a central IT department and several additional, distributed IT groups that support specific colleges and departments.

“When you’re using Workspace One and deploying apps, there is no static number,” Herzig said. “How do you bill for that?”

The university is experimenting with two models. With one, a group pays a specific fee per year per endpoint, and the central IT department provides and maintains the thin client and monitor, as well as covers back-end infrastructure and licensing costs. In the second, the group buys its own thin clients and monitors, which it is responsible for maintaining, and pays a reduced yearly fee per endpoint to cover infrastructure and licensing.

The Dell EMC VDI deployment was so successful that within only a couple months of deploying the first virtual desktops, the IT department amassed a long list of other groups at the university that wanted to implement them too. Herzig’s team continuously works to deliver virtual desktops to more groups and plans to implement VDI for faculty desktops and student and faculty mobile devices.

“From day one in the labs, we have had virtually no complaints,” Herzig said. “And typically if you’ve got 30 machines, you’ve got a couple that are down for one reason or another. Well, that problem is gone. The support people spend a lot less time fiddling with lab machines trying to bring them back up or solve problems or help users deal with connectivity issues or application issues.”

As more organizations see how this type of bundled approach to VDI can be successful, they may be more willing to adopt the technology, Dillingham said.