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Matthew Hodgkins Blog


System Engineer. PowerShell, Splunk, Monitoring, Metrics, Automation lover. Aussie living and working in the Netherlands.


  1. Testing Ansible Roles Against Windows with Test-Kitchen

    During the development of automation for your infrastructure, you will find yourself doing the same types of processes over and over: Creating virtual machines to run your code against Copy the automation code to the instance Running the automation code against your instance Performing tests against your instance These “overhead” process can take a considerable amount of time that you could be spending writing code. How do we fix this? Improving our automation development workflow...…


  2. Best Practices with Packer and Windows

    Why you should be using Packer Getting Started with Packer Best Practices Step by Step Generic Templates Use guest additions mode of attach Use environment variables to change the action of a provisioning script Keep the OS information in your build script Disable WinRM on build completion and only enable it on first boot Use headless mode Set a high shutdown and WinRM timeouts Conclusion Why you should be using Packer Already know why Packer...…


  3. Ultimate PowerShell Prompt Customization and Git Setup Guide

    Source control and Git keeps getting more and more important for both Developers and Operations guys. Getting up and running with Git on MacOS or Linux is very easy as most things are built in. There are also cool tools like oh-my-zsh to customize your prompt. On Windows, it’s a bit of a different story. Let’s spend a little time installing ConEmu and Git, then customizing it to take our prompt from something that looks...…


  4. 5 Tips for Writing DSC Resources in PowerShell 5

    I have recently been writing some class based DSC resources and have been enjoying the experience much more than (trying to) write DSC resources in PowerShell v4. Using classes really simplifies the development process of the DSC resources, and I believe class based resources will be the norm going forward. As PowerShell v5 RTM has only been recently released back in February 2016, the large majority of DSC resources available on GitHub still use the...…


  5. Windows Metric Dashboards with InfluxDB and Grafana

    Understanding performance of your infrastructure is extremely important, especially when running production systems. There is nothing worse than a customer calling and saying they are experiencing slowness with one of their applications and you having no idea where to start looking. In the 2014 State of DevOps survey survey, one of the questions asked was how is your organization notified of failure?. Here was the multiple choice question asked: Through the survey, one of the...…