Uncertainty.    I think we can all relate to this definition right now.

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We’ve all got our schedule; we wake up, go thru a routine.   Maybe you’re a gym person in the morning, or get out and enjoy nature for a few miles.  Maybe you really enjoy that first cup of coffee and the newspaper.  Maybe it’s breakfast with friends once a week.

For the majority of us, our lives are thrown into a level of disarray we weren’t prepared for.  Working from home when we’ve never set ourselves up for that.  School/Daycare closures and our kids are now at home all week.  Business and Restaurant closures, etc, etc.

Technology can help us adapt quickly.  Whether it’s remote work thru a VDI or VPN solution enabling us to do our jobs, or online education for school allowing kids to continue their education, or Online ordering thru our favorite grocery store, technology can help us get thru the tasks.

But past technology, how do we adapt to our changing situation.  How do we still remain productive at work?  How do we still ensure our personal health is being met?  For me, it comes down to 2 key topics:

Finding Your Normal and Redefining Your Schedule

I had the opportunity this past week to join a roundtable on the Nutanix Community podcast to talk about working from home and supporting customers, which was an enriching experience, to hear from folks around the world about their experience and how they were finding their own normal.

You can listen to the podcast here (also available anywhere you download podcasts).

Finding Your Normal

One thing I believe is that even during this time of uncertainty, you have to be able to find a level of normal.  With business closings, your morning workout at your Gym might be cancelled, can’t sit in Starbucks or Panera and knock out a few morning projects, or even happy hour events with co-workers.

Being able to find what your new normal is will help you continue to be productive at work, keep relationships strong, and keep yourself mentally healthy.

Can’t go to the gym?  Grab a backpack and add some weight to it, and do some at home workouts in your garage, living room or driveway.  Do 100 each of air squats, pushups and situps.  Go for a run or a walk.  At our gym we’re provding In-Home workouts for our members daily, with programming we’ve written for folks to do at home, minimal equipment needed!

Can’t get together with friends/family for lunch or dinner, fire up FaceTime/Zoom/Webex/Teams, etc and enjoy the conversation and seeing somebody.  Get out and talk to neighbors (albeit from a distance), don’t forget to interact with people.

Do the same thing with Co-workers, get together for a happy hour virtually.

Family trips cancelled?  Nature is still free (well, there might be a parking fee), but

Date Night?  Get dressed up, get takeout or delivery, light some candles and enjoy each others company.

Find your level of normal, what your ideal day looks like in a crappy situation.

Redefining Your Schedule

When you first start working from home, you’re going to learn what you like and dislike about working in an office setting.   With kids at home and needing to get thru online learning, many parents are now spending more time helping kids that they aren’t used to.

Maybe your work schedule needs to evolve to working earlier for a few hours, take a break, do lunch, work a few more hours, take a break, and work a few more hours.  Find a schedule that allows you to still be productive at work, but that still allows customers/employees to know you’re there working for them.

Maybe your team meetings need to evolve as well to a more dynamic, quick video touch point, but after hours.

Shifting work schedules as an employer will allow your employees to remain productive, while alleviating the stress of working from home.  I can’t stress enough as leaders, we must believe in our employees that they will not take working from home as a vacation, but as an opportunity to continue productivity, if not more.  Sure, there will be those that need help along the way, but providing the ability to allow employees to define their schedule will help overall productivity.

Work isn’t where you do it, but what and how you do it.

What Comes Next

After going thru the podcast, I realized I don’t have it figured out, and it was great to hear the other folks share their experience.  Having worked from home for many years now, I feel fortunate that the COVID-19 outcomes haven’t affected my schedule too much.  Sure, it’s affected my travel to work with customers, but now it’s time to do whatever we can to make sure our customers can continue to be successful for the near future and beyond.  For those of us fortunate enough to remain employed thru this time, use it to become more product and more valuable

Finally, having to spend more time at home doesn’t mean you’re stuck at home.  Make the best of it.  Find a new hobby, learn a new skill.  Re-engage with your family, with your spouse, with yourself.   Don’t forget to step back and take a breath for yourself.  Mental health is just as important as physical health.

Our motto at eGroup is #WeGroup, and I believe that’s pretty perfect right now.  We’ll make it thru this, and we’ll get back to what was normal.  As Red Green said on the Tv show:

“Remember I’m pullin’ for ya–we’re all in this together.”

I recently had the opportunity to deploy 12 Nutanix nodes for a customer across 2 sites (Primary and DR), 6 of which were 3055-G5 nodes with dual NVIDIA M60 GPU cards installed and dedicated to running the Horizon View desktop VMs for this customer. This was my first experience doing a Nutanix deployment using the NVIDIA GPU cards with VMware, and thankfully there is plenty of documentation out there on the process.

The Nutanix deployment with GPU cards installed is no different than without, you still go thru the process of imaging the nodes with Foundation just like you’d do without GPU cards. In this case, each site was configured with 2 Nutanix clusters, one for Server VMs and a second cluster specific to VDI. The VDI cluster was configured in a 3 node cluster, using the NX-3055-G5 nodes, running Horizon View 7.2.0 specifically.

I’ll touch on some details of the M60 card below, and then get into some of the places where I had a few issues with the deployment and how I fixed them, and finally some Host/VM configuration and validation commands.

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eGroup – Together, We make IT happen.  Our slogan, our tagline.  IT is what we do, together.  From our Operations team, to Inside Sales, to Sales, to Pre-Sales, to Delivery.  We do IT, and together.

We announced today that eGroup has been named to CRN Tech Elite 250 list for 2017, which “honors an exclusive group of North American IT solution providers that have earned the highest number of advanced technical certifications from leading technology vendors, scaled to their company size”.  Read the full press release here.

It’s amazing to work at a place that focuses on the team, and making sure that from project to project, customer to customer, our strategy, customer focus and delivery revolves around the team.  Whether its part of our Microsoft strategy, Data Center and Hyperconverged strategy, or our Managed Services

So to my eGroup co-workers, thank you for bringing your A games every day to work!

To the guys on the Data Center Architecture team (Pete, Dave, Joe, Adam and Steven), let’s keep raising the bar, bringing amazing solutions and results to our customers.

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