One question I’m asked quite a lot is what I use for a 3-tier application when I’m testing things like NSX micro-segmentation with vRealize Automation. The simple answer is that I used to make something up as I went along, deploying components by hand and generally repeating myself a lot. I had some cut/paste commands in my note application that sped things up a little, but nothing that developed. I’ve been meaning to rectify this for a while, and this is the result!
Just a quick post today, as I was working with a customer recently and we were trying to retrieve the Custom Properties assigned to a vRealize Automation 7.3 deployed Virtual Machine, similar to the one in the image below. It’s not as intuitive as you’d like it to be because of the split between IaaS APIs and Cafe APIs. Below you can see I’ve deployed a simple CentOS blueprint with a custom property at the Blueprint level (called “BlueprintLevel” with a value of “CustomProperty”) and a custom property at the VM level (called “CustomProperty” and a value of “Test123”).
There are a few NSX Communications network diagrams floating around, but none have really displayed the info in a way I found to be clear or complete enough. To that end, I have been working on a diagram that covers as much of the communications between NSX Components as I can. I’ve currently only covered single site NSX (not Cross vCenter) but I’ll publish an updated version soon including that.
vRealize Automation and NSX integration has introduced the ability to deploy multi-tiered applications with network services included. The current integration also enables a method to deploy micro-segmentation out of the box, based on dynamic Security Group membership and the Service Composer. This method does have some limitations, and can be inflexible for the on-going management of deployed applications. It requires in-depth knowledge and understanding of NSX and the Distributed Firewall, as well as access to the Networking and Security manager that is hosted by vCenter Server.
Something that has come up with customers recently is why and when old data is cleaned up from your vROps instance. I will make the assumption that you have your data retention set to 6 months but the process is the same whether the value is less than or greater than 6 months. When data reaches and or goes beyond the age threshold set in the global settings it will be cleaned away by a daily process “Old Data Cleaner”.
Upon seeing others in the wider community making a blog post like this as a marker in the sand I thought I would follow suit as a way to see what I have learned and goals I would like to achieve in the coming year. 2017 was a good year and a very busy one at that, I got to see a lot of new places on my work travels and met some really amazing, clever and talented people.
Yesterday saw the release of NSX-T 2.1, with some new features and also some usability enhancements. You can check out the release notes here https://docs.vmware.com/en/VMware-NSX-T/2.1/rn/VMware-NSX-T-21-Release-Notes.html As I’m mid-way through this blog series, I thought I’d stick in the upgrade as a little bonus! Download the upgrade bundle Validate the version and status of NSX-T components Check the Controller cluster status and Manager connections are up. Validate the hosts are installed, and have a connection to the controller and manager.
Disclaimer! I am learning NSX-T, part of my learning is to deploy in my lab - if I contradict the official docs then go with the docs! Lab Environment This NSX-T lab environment is built as a nested lab on my physical hosts. There are four physical ESXi hosts, onto which I will deploy three ESXi VMs, a vCenter Server Appliance, NSX Manager, an NSX Controller cluster, and two NSX Edge Nodes.
A little while ago I replaced my three ageing Intel NUC hosts with a single (still ageing) Dell T7500 workstation. The workstation provides 24 processor cores and 96GB RAM for a really reasonable price, while still being quiet enough to sit in my home office. One of the driving factors in retiring the old NUCs was vSAN - I know in the newer generations of NUC you can get an M2 and a SATA SSD in, but my 1st gen.
Last Tuesday I had the privilege of presenting an introduction to the NSX APIs on vBrownBag EMEA - you can view the recording below or on vBrownBag’s youtube channel. During the presentation I showed a mind map of the API, which I’ve made available on GitHub in PDF format I’ve also published the Postman collection and environment I used during the demonstration, which covers some basic configuration and deploy tasks: