The SDDCbox Project — Part #6 — Getting Organized

In my previous article “The SDDCbox Project — Part #5 — Networking Tidbits“, I presented my strategy to use network address translation (NAT) for my SDDC in a box project. Now, as I go further in my endeavour, I feel the need to take a step back and use different applications to get myself organized. Let’s see which apps are on my list of «must-have».

Notion as a knowledge repository

The application at the center of my toolset is Notion. If you don’t know what Notion is, I encourage you to read my review which is available on my blog. It’s a fantastic environment for storing all kinds of information pieces. I use Notion to store articles references, configuration snippets, a to-do list, diagrams, license codes, etc. This app is always on my Mac and ready to support my needs.

Using Notion for storing informations about my SDDCbox project
Using Notion for storing informations about my SDDCbox project

Diagraming with Diagrams.io and OmniGraffle

At work, for my diagramming needs, I rely on the free application, Diagrams.io (previously known as draw.io). It works within many browsers, it is simple to use, fast and does the job quite well. At home, the story is a bit different. I own OmniGraffle from the OmniGroup. It’s a Mac-only app, it’s native and much more powerful and flexible compared to Diagrams.io. Initially, I started my SDDC diagram in Diagrams.io but later switched to OmniGraffle.

Diagrams.io canvas
Diagrams.io canvas
Using Omnigraffle from the OmniGroup is the way to go

Apple’s Numbers as a basic IPAM

Having to keep track of many things like virtual machines inventory, IP address distribution, I use Apple’s Number for that, even if Notion’s table objects could do the job. Each virtual machine in Vmware Fusion gets a general description based on a template built with Numbers. Port forwarding rules, IP address allocation is also stored in a spreadsheet. The other use of Numbers is for documenting performance test results. You can see examples of these in the following screenshot.

Using Apple’s Number for documentation
Using Apple’s Number for documentation

Screenshots with Cleanshot

For documentation purposes, I use the excellent Cleanshot utility which is way more powerful than Apple’s screenshot utility built-in macOS. As an added value, a cloud storage service is available to store screenshots there for up to 30 days.

Screen video recording with Screenflow

For demonstration purposes, I rely on Screenflow, a screen video recording. Cleanshot can record the screen but is not as powerful and flexible as Screenflow. The latter allows for rearrangement of video segments which is very handy. Voiceover can be added and typical video effects too. Very handy.

In a future article, I’m going to present a visual view of the SDDCbox which will contain a layered view and expected virtual machines that will be running.

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