Just under two months ago I left my role at Xtravirt and started life as a contractor. At that point I was content to live the contractor life for a year or so and see what opportunities came along. I didn’t expect opportunity to come along so quickly! TLDR; I’m joining VMware as part of the PSO NSX practice! I’ve seen VMware as the place that I would end up working for a while now, having worked as a customer and a partner it seemed like a logical progression.
[vRealize Operations Manager 6.6, which was recently released by VMware. We started with an overview of all the cool new stuff and then drill down into individual areas. We then jumped into a Live Demo as usual to see the new features in action. We would highly appreciate if you could spend 30 seconds to fill up this quick and simple survey to provide us your feedback. You can also request topics of your choice through this survey.
As a consultant I’ve had the opportunity to design, install and configure dozens of production vRealize Automation deployments, from reasonably small Proof of Concept environments to globally-scaled multi-datacenter fully distributed behemoths. It’s fair to say, that I’ve made mistakes along the way - and learned a lot of lessons as to what makes a deployment a success. In the end, pretty much everything comes down to getting the pre-requisites right. Nothing that I’ve written here is not already documented in the official documentation, and the installation wizard does a huge amount of the work for you.
The Host Resources Deep Dive book by Frank Denneman and Niels Hagoort has been one of the most widely anticipated books in the VMware community - previous deep dive books by Frank (co-authored with Duncan Epping), tantalising blog posts and captivating presentations have whet the appetite for the last year or so. Having sat through some of these presentations at VMUGs and VMworld I can tell you the depth and understanding that the authors bring to the table is immense.
With the release of vSphere 6.5, VMware upped the game for vCenter High Availability (vCHA) and introduced an active/passive/witness cluster setup to provide a failover cluster for vCenter Server Appliances. The diagram below shows the architecture of the solution. Deploying vCHA can be done in two modes - “Basic” and “Advanced”. You can use Basic mode if the vCenter you want to be HA is managing the hosts it resides on - in this scenario the wizard configures your vCenter and deploys the Passive and Witness nodes for you.
I already have a vRealize Orchestrator workflow to shutdown my workload cluster. What I want to do is trigger that by a voice command from Alexa. Now, the correct and proper thing to do here would be to create a new Alexa skill, write the function in Lambda and connect that to my Orchestrator REST API and execute the workflow. That way I could control the “intents” and “utterances” and have verbal feedback.
In this humble consultant’s opinion, Log Insight is one of the most useful tools in the administrator’s tool belt for troubleshooting vRealize Automation. I have lost count of the number of times I’ve been asked to help troubleshoot an issue that, when asked, people don’t know which log they should be looking at. The simple fact is that vRealize Automation has a lot of log files. Correlating these log sources to provide an overall picture is a painful, manual process - unless you have Log Insight!
I’ve been holding off upgrading my lab to vSphere 6.5 because NSX 6.2.x doesn’t support it. With the release of NSX 6.3 and vSphere 6.5a, I can now upgrade. The sequence of the upgrade is slightly different to the generic one published by VMware because vSphere 6.5 isn’t supported with NSX 6.2. If follows that I need to upgrade NSX to 6.3 (which supports vSphere 6.0u2) before I can upgrade vSphere to 6.
Equal Cost Multipathing (ECMP), for the vSphere admin, is ability to create routes with an equal cost, which allows multiple paths to the same network to be created and traffic can be distributed over those paths. This is good for a couple of reasons - firstly is availability. If we were to lose a host, and an NSX Edge, the route will time out quicker than NSX Edge High Availability - thus providing higher availability for our network traffic.
My vSphere lab is split into two halves - a low power management cluster, powered by 3 Intel NUCs, and a more hefty workload cluster powered by a Dell C6100 chassis with 3 nodes. The workload servers are noisy and power hungry so they tend to be powered off when I am not using them, and since they live in my garage, I power them on and off remotely. To automate the process, I wanted to write an Orchestrator workflow (vRO sits on my management cluster and is therefore always on) that could safely and robustly shut down the workload cluster.