The Speed of Change in IT Infrastructure (Opinion)

Over the past 6 months I have been dwelling more and more on the obvious speed of change and development in IT Infrastructure. What do I mean? Well each year there is the new hotness, the next thing/innovation you are told you need or should have.

In most cases the innovations and new tech are ground breaking awesomeness and most certainly offer new opportunities for the infrastructure masses.

I am all for progress, if you are not moving forward and regularly looking for sensible ways to improve what you do and the infrastructure you use then I really do think you are in the wrong industry.

However what I am beginning to take exception to is the insistence each time that if you are not doing/adopting the next new thing in a short space of time you informed you will be irrelevant before you know it. (insert suitable words that exclaim you are not one of the cool kids)


vRealize Automation Infrastructure Tab displays incorrect labels

| 24/07/2015 | Tags: , , , ,

vRAHaving just completed a particularly problem-prone distributed IaaS install, this was almost the straw that broke the camel’s back. Logging into vRealize Automation for the first time as an Infrastructure Admin displayed the infrastructure tab and all menu labels as big ugly references, and no functionality:



Rebooting the IaaS web servers restored the functionality of the IaaS layer but still did not fix the label issue, it took a further reboot of both vRealize Automation appliances, then the IaaS web servers to finally view the correct labels.


Installing and configuring VMware Infrastructure Navigator 5.8

According to VMware, Infrastructure Navigator is

…a component of the VMware vCenter Operations Management Suite. It automatically discovers application services, visualizes relationships and maps dependencies of applications on virtualized compute, storage and network resources.

Effectively it takes a look at the network connections that are running between your VMs (and physical servers) and works out which applications and services are running on each, and the dependencies – both upstream and downstream – for each VM.

This is particularly useful in large enterprise environments where perhaps application developers have not (shock) documented the dependencies for a particular application. I can think of several times when I’ve been 100% confident that (according to all the documentation provided) I can decommission a server, or the service running on a server, only to have to turn it back on due to a production outage – because an un-documented dependency exists.

Effectively, Infrastructure Navigator leverages VMware Tools to run a netstat command on each VM and work out what connections are being used. It comes with a library of already classified services – e.g. MSSQL running on port 1433 is a pretty obvious service. Non-classified services (or services configured for running on a non-standard port) can be easily added to the library to build up a detailed picture of which VMs depend on each other (as well as “unmanaged” servers/services that are out of the scope of vCenter). (more…)