3 lessons from the robin and the hawk

I was playing outside with my 6-year-old son and his 2 cousins. It was a great afternoon, gorgeous weather, not too hot, not too cold and all the sudden we notice something amazing. There was a quick high pitch noise coming from our neighbors backyard. We say a small bird, a robin,  flying and right behind him was a hawk.

Initially I thought , it is lunch time and the hawk is getting his lunch. The kids where amaze and how the robin was flying away from the hawk.  The little robin kept flying and moving side to side. While he was doing that you could hear him making a very high pitch noise.

All the sudden we start seeing other birds coming close by and standing on the roof of our neighbors house. I think I counted about 20 birds, then something amazing happen. It was like the small bird(robin), gave the other birds a command and all the other birds around him jumped in and start attacking the hawk.  Then for about five minutes the tables got turned and now the hawk was chased by the small birds.

I remember seeing something similar long time ago in my early teen years back in the Puerto Rico. This was an amazing scene, the kids where all exited and cheering for the small birds, so we start following them all around the neighborhood to see what happen.

At the end the hawk flew away without hurting the bird. I bet that the bird was very happy . All the sudden I wished I could talk to that bird to find out what he felt during the time the hawk attack him and what he learned ( I know it is a little too much but follow me and you will see how the story ends).

Looking at that scene I thought how many times we are like thee little bird. We are free and we fly where ever we want without anyone bothering us, but then something happens. Sometimes a hawk comes our way and everything changes. Here are a couple of lessons I learned from this experience.


Lessons from the robin:

1. When the difficult situation comes your way  (The Hawk) face it.

Many times in our life we are faces with situations at  work, or in our relationships , or with ourselves  and we prefer not to face them.  IF we see ourselves as the robin, he faced his situation, we need to face our situation. Sometimes the situation is a life and death like the robin, other times is not that critical but we need to face it, in order to achieve our victory.

2. Call for help early on.

The robin called for his backup (other robins in the area), and they start communicating with each other while he was trying on his own to deal with his problem. Like the robin we have the option to call for help. Another set of eyes can help us look at problem or situation in a different way.   Relying on your team , family, organization  or friends can help you see your situation differently.

3. Allow others to help you.

When I was watching the robins they were getting impatient to jump in and help, but they did not help until the one being attacked gave them the command (or at least that is what I observed 🙂 ).  This is very important you will have people close to you that may want to help you . They are eager to jump in and help you in your situation, but they need your queue and leadership to know what they need to do.  As soon as you let them in and let them bring their ability and talents you will be able to conquered your situation.

What situation (Hawk) are you facing today that makes you think there is no way out? Think about the little, robin  look for others to help you. Together you will achieve your victory.

Linux Web

Create a webserver for testing purposes

I was working on a project and it required some firewall ports to be opened. The team asked; how can we test the firewall rules are working correctly? There are different ways to test the firewall rules but here is a quick way to test your firewall. A web server with a simple text page. This tutorial will help you install and configure an Ubuntu server with Apache 2.

Steps to configure your web server.

1. Download the latest version of Ubuntu Server

2. Follow the installation prompts to install Ubuntu Server

3. In the packages selection, select OpenSSH server and LAMP

4. After your server reboots, connect to the server via SSH.

5. Edit /etc/apache2/ports.conf add the entry for your web test. Your ports.conf will look similar to this one. Example vi /etc/apache2/ports.conf


6. Change directory to /etc/apache2/sites-enabled and create a new site for each port you want to test firewall connectivity. In my example I wanted to test 80, 443 and 8443 so I created one file for each different site. Use your favorite editor to edit the configuration. Example : vi 001.conf


<VirtualHost *:443>

ServerAdmin webmaster@localhost

DocumentRoot /var/www/html/443

ErrorLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/error.log

CustomLog ${APACHE_LOG_DIR}/access.log combined



7. After you finish with all the files, restart the apache web server: service apache2 restart


8. Create an Index file for your different websites. Example vi /var/www/html/index.html


Text For index HTML page.







Demo Page for Testing Port 80</p>





Author: Carlos Vargas</p>


HDS Rocks





9. Open your favorite Internet browser and navigate to your pages or test your firewall ports

In my example I needed to test port 80, 443, and 8443

http://<youripaddress> (this is the default for port 80)


http://<youripaddress>:443   (this will open the site in port 443)


http://<youripaddress>:8443 (this will open your website in port 8443)


Carlos Vargas Church Church/Iglesia Leadership People

Day 4 of Learning from the leaders of the Bible

The video for Day 4 of Learning from the leaders of the Bible is available online

Learning From The Leaders Of The Bible - Day 4
Watch this video on YouTube.

Carlos Vargas Church Church/Iglesia Leadership

Day 2 of Learning from the Leaders of the Bible

The video of Day 2 of Learning from the Leaders of the Bible series is available now.

You can check the other videos in the series page


Carlos Vargas Hyper-V Virtualization Windows

Install Operating System in your Base Virtual Machine

In this post we will install the Windows 2012 R2 Operating System on our BaseImage Virtual Machine. This will help us to create multiple virtual machines later from a single image.

1. In the Hyper-V Manager, select the VM created in the previous step. Ex: BaseImage and click settings.

2. In the settings screen Select SCSI Controller > DVD > Add

3. Click Image File and point to the location where your Windows 2012 R2 ISO file is located. If you do not have the file you can download it from the Microsoft website.

4. Click the Firmware, then select your DVD ISO and move it up until it is the first one on the list. Then press OK.

5. Press the Start Button and then connect

6. You should see a screen similar to this one where it ask you to press any key to boot from the CD or DVD. Click on the black screen and then press any key.

7. After your installation finishes you should see the Server Manager screen. Close Server Manager.

8. Eject your ISO file by Right click the D: select Eject

9. Browse to C:WindowsSystem32Sysprep folder and double click the sysprep application

10. In the System Preparation Tool Screen select OOBE, Generalize and Shutdown, then press OK.

11. Wait until Sysprep finishes and your BaseImage virtual machine is off.


Now You are ready to clone your virtual machine.

Carlos Vargas Hyper-V Virtualization Windows

Create a Base Virtual Machine in Windows 8.1 Client Hyper-V

Now we have your Client Hyper-V installed and the network configured. The next step is to create a virtual machine so you can use it as a template. We will go thru the process on creating your first virtual machine.

1. In your Hyper-V Manager Application, Right Click in your computer name, then click new >Virtual Machine


2. The New Virtual Machine Wizard will start. Press Next.


3. Type a name for your VM. I selected to store the virtual machine in a separated folder to make it easier to move later. Then press Next>.


4. Select Generation 2 for your VM type and press Next>.


5. For this example I will use Windows Server 2012 so we can use Dynamic Memory. Leave the default settings for memory and press Next>.


6. Select your Network Switch. If you followed my post on Configuring Network for Windows 8.1 Client Hyper-V you will see the Internal Switch. Then click Next>.


7. In the Connect Virtual Hard Disk screen you can select the size for the VM storage. By default this will be a differencing disk so you will not allocate all the storage to the VM. Only what is consumed. Type the amount you want in GB then press Next>.


8. Leave the default to install an operating system later and press Next>.


9. Press Finish and your VM will be created with all the parameters you just specified.


You have a fully functional Client Hyper-V machine, with network and a virtual machine. In the next post we will install the Windows 2012 R2 operating system.

Carlos Vargas Hyper-V Network Virtualization Windows

Configure Network for Windows 8.1 Client Hyper-V

In this post I will go thru the steps to configure the network for your Windows 8.1 Client Hyper-V. This is needed so your VM’s can connect to the network.

1. Open your start screen and look for the Hyper-V Management Tools group. And click Hyper-V Manager


2. Click the Virtual Switch Manager option under Actions.


3. Because this is a new installation there is no network defined.


4. Type a name for your internal switch. In this example I use “Internal” as the name for the switch. Press OK.


Now you have your Hyper-V feature installed and network is configured. In my next post I will share how to configure a base virtual machine.

Are you ready to build your Client Hyper-V VM’s?

Hyper-V Virtualization Windows

Installation of Windows 8.1 Client Hyper-v

In this quick post, I will go thru the steps to install Client Hyper-V via Powershell. In this way you can have a script ready and install it on all your computers.

1. Query your computer for the Hyper-V feature.

Get-WindowsOptionalFeature –online | ? {$_.featurename –like “*Hyper*”}

You can see that the Hyper-V feature and tools are not installed. The state appears as Disabled.

2. Let’s Enable the Hyper-V feature

Enable-WindowsOptionalFeature –FeatureName Microsoft-Hyper-V-All –All –Online

3. After you enable Hyper-V the installation will ask if you want to reboot your computer. Select (Y) to reboot your computer.

4. After you reboot your computer you will see a new group in your Start screen with your tools to manage your new Hyper-V feature

Hyper-V Virtualization Windows

What’s New in Hyper-V in Windows 2012 R2

Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 has some new cool features. While doing some research I found some information about them. Hope it is useful.

Generation 2 VM

The basic architecture of the virtual machine has not changed in a long time. The old BIOS emulation from 1980’s is supported by most applications and it is used to emulate the physical hardware the VM’ use. The hardware emulated by the hypervisor provides support for hardware, such as a specific NIC card or IDE disk controller. Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 R2 supports the new UEFI bios option concept of a totally new architecture based on modern hardware with no emulated devices. This makes it possible to add a number of new features, such as secure boot for VMs and booting off  virtual SCSI or virtual network adapters. The new Gen 2 VM’s are 64bit only and currently limited to Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 operating systems.


VM Direct Connect

Connecting to a running VM over RDP requires an active Local area network connection, which you can’t always have. The VM must have an IP address reachable by the system attempting to connect, this has its own potential management or security issues. VM Direct Connect allows connection via the VM bus. It uses the RDP protocol to connect to the VM. This makes it possible to connect an administer VM’s behind firewalls without the need to have direct access to the VM. It’s also integrated into the Hyper-V management experience.


Extend replication to a third site

A new feature called Hyper-V Replica in Windows Server 2012 is currently limited to a single replication target. This makes it difficult to support scenarios like a service provider wanting to act both as a target for a customer to replicate and a source to replicate to another offsite facility. Windows Server 2012 R2 and Hyper-V now give the option to replicate to a tertiary site. By the same token, enterprises can now save one replica in-house and push a second replica off-site.


Replication frequency options

Hyper-V Replica in Windows Server 2012 provides a fixed replication interval of 5 minutes. This means you can’t replicate any faster, even if you have the hardware to support it. Nor can you replicate any slower, even if you don’t need such frequent copies. Two new options have been added in the Windows Server 2012 R2 release to support more frequent (30 seconds) and not so frequent (15 minutes) replication. This will even support an intermittent connection. By default, Hyper-V Replica will look for 12 missed cycles before it switches into a failed state. With the 15-minute cycle, you buy up to three hours of network downtime.


Compression for faster migration

Hyper-V 2012 R2 has two new options to help improve the performance of live migrations. The first is the ability to enable compression on the data. The second option, SMB Direct, requires network adapters that support RDMA. Microsoft’s advice: If you have 10Gb available, use RDMA (10x improvement); otherwise, use compression (2x improvement). Compression is the default choice and it works for the large majority of use cases.

Online VM exporting and cloning

One of the downsides of Hyper-V in Windows Server 2012 is the need to stop a running VM before you can export or clone it. In production environments, this is simply not an option. Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V removes this restriction. It’s now possible to export or clone a running VM from System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2 with a few mouse clicks. As with pretty much anything related to managing Windows Server 2012, you can accomplish the same task using Windows PowerShell.


Online VHDX resizing

In Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V, it is not possible to resize a virtual hard disk attached to a running VM. Windows Server 2012 R2 removes this restriction, making it possible to not only expand but even reduce the size of the virtual disk (VHDX format only) without stopping the running VM. What you can’t do with this feature: Compress an online VHD. You can make these adjustments from System Center Virtual Machine Manager 2012 R2, Hyper-V Manager, or the command line using PowerShell. You can use PowerShell to set the disk size to the current disk consumption if you want to reduce it to the absolute minimum.


Storage QoS

An interesting feature in Windows Server 2012 R2 is the ability to limit individual VMs to a specific level of I/O throughput. You have two settings for minimum and maximum IOPS. In the initial release of Windows Server 2012 R2, the only number that really makes a difference is the maximum limit. The IOPS are measured by monitoring the actual disk rate to and from the attached virtual hard drives. These feature allows administrators to balance storage IOPS across different VM’s.


Dynamic Memory support for Linux

Microsoft continues to improve support for Linux VMs. In the Windows Server 2012 R2 release, Hyper-V gains the ability to dynamically expand the amount of memory available to a running VM. This capability is especially handy for any Linux workload (notably Web servers) where the amount of memory needed by the VM changes over time. In environments with many Linux VMs, dynamic memory becomes even more critical to efficiently manage the total memory used by all running VMs. Windows Server 2012 R2 Hyper-V also brings Windows Server backups to Linux guests. In the example the Linux guest starts up with 128MB and can dynamically grow as needed.



Shared VHDX

A great feature for cluster VM’s is the use of a Shared VHDX file instead of the traditional iSCSI or Fibre Channel connectivity to a SAN. The VHDX can be on a CSV volume or a SMB 3.0 fully Windows 2012 Scalable File Share. This allows for SQL virtual clusters or Windows File Share Clusters.



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