Technology, Infrastructure and Cloud Focused.

Father of 3 lovely children, geek, infrastructure expert, technical architect and all round technologist.

Archives for October 2016

Weekend Work: Timber Garden Planter Trough

In the latest series of my weekend posts.  This time we look at making a garden planter or vegetable trough.

A friend asked me to make them one for the garden, when doing my research it turns out these are fairly expensive.  I looked around for some designs and inspirations and decided to form an “X” shape planter.  I made this planter from swan treated timber I purchased from Wickes (see below).

The bottom of the legs I cut with an angle of 30 degrees (but this should have been 45 degrees) and was fairly simple to build and assemble.

Bear in mind I am not a carpenter or a skilled DIY’er I am just learning as I go along.  These type of planters within the UK can cost upwards of £150+ and in total the project cost for the material came in around £90.

As normal the timber was purchased from Wickes and I lined the planter with some left over weed matting with a number of drainage holes made at the bottom.


Here are a few pictures from the build

Working of small rough plans one problem I could not work out was the correct angle of the legs.  I used a framing square attached to each leg to gain the correct angle.

But if I needed to make one in future I think I would lay them out on a work bench and build a jig to position them:

Garden planter supports

DIY Garden Planter

I decided to have three supports on the side braced with a number of battens towards the bottom.

Side supports for garden planter

Installing the sides was a straight forward process ensuring to leave a slight gap between the sides.

End caps for the garden planter

For each end I used the same timber as the sides (19mm x 100mm timber) angled at 45.  In the picture above I had to make a small fix to one of the legs to stop the planter from wobbling.

Microsoft cloud Consortium – Digital Transformation Wrap Up

As some of you remember I had the pleasure of attending and presenting at a recent Microsoft event around their cloud stack, you can view the post here I wanted to share with you some key points I took away from the delegates and the Cloud Consortium companies that were present:

Cloud Adoption

My slot was the down to earth realisation of moving work loads to the cloud, the pitfalls and challenges compared to the marketing view point of just right click and move.  I have always had a preconceived view that topics such as governance, application architecture and analysis and cost control is common sense when thinking of cloud migrations, however this was not the case and was surprised to get a warm reception that the slot was very interesting.  In summary the audience were split into the people that had some work loads in the cloud (test/dev or proof of concept) but only for the want of understanding, seeing how the IT governance or architecture would look, network security and then see how they need to adapt their IT organisation and culture to the cloud mindset.

The other side of the audience wanted to look into cloud transformation but either didn’t know were to start, what type of workloads to put in a cloud and then how the operational, cost and security model would look.

Another question I always ask is that the cloud is not the answer to everyone, it is not the silver bullet people think about, in fact most people just focus on that “lift and shift” of IaaS models rather than the true power and scale of PaaS.


When speaking with people on their cloud views the general consensus is trending towards my thoughts on Infrastructure that Infrastructure Ops is a thing of the past having big Infrastructure teams to manage the hardware, updates etc…


So many people appear to be interested in different cloud models, the issue for them is trying to work out a strategy and identifying the quick wins or the non-cloud ready applications (generally legacy applications).

Will it last

Of course the issue with a number of clouds is the perception that the SLA’s will be 100% and never have any outage, I guess my concern here is no one can really provide that SLA and outages will always occur it boils down to your HA design and continuity plans.

The presentations can be downloaded from clicking on this link with a summary of the different tracks and topics covered in the picture below.  I urge you to take advantage of these excellent set of companies all ranked very high and very competent within their own areas:

Cloud Consortium presentation tracks

What is the Cloud Consortium?

Microsoft decided to form a group of top ranked Microsoft partners that specialise in Office 365, SharePoint, Azure, Skype for Business, M/S Project, BI and Unified Communications to enable its customers to seamlessly migrate to the cloud.  This gives customers the benefit of managing a single point of contact and single supply chain.

Let me know your thoughts, experiences and views on the different types of cloud.