Go Away Irma

This week has been non-stop worrying about Hurricane Irma.  All I can say is ‘Go Away Irma’.  You’re cramping my style! Apparently it was not necessary to plan for disaster recovery until a week before the strongest hurricane in recorded Atlantic ocean history is going to hit.  All that other planning can just be thrown away.  Let the fire chiefs take over and ring the alarms.  I could use more drama in my life. (Extreme SARCASM).  At this point I still don’t know if I will be working this weekend or not.  

Challenges

I would love to hear from you if you’re having some interesting challenges in regards to disaster recovery.  On a positive note, I am so glad we have VEEAM.  I can’t imagine facing a hurricane and having to use our old backup software. for needed restores.  VEEAM’s byline was ‘It Just Works’ and there has never been more truth in advertizing. 

There will be lots of prayers over the next week and I will be among those praying for safety and for rescue for all people affected by hurricanes this season.  Here’s hoping that we can get back to the normal workplace dysfunction I am used to on a daily basis.

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Finally – VMware Cloud on Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services and VMware have finally launched their much anticipated VMware Cloud on Amazon Web Services. What does this mean for traditional VMware shops?  In my opinion it means that the ease of exploring the cloud for enterprises has become much more likely to happen. In other words this will accelerate the move to the cloud for vSphere deployments everywhere. 

VMware Cloud on AWS Key feature

The ability to manage applications across your private-on-premises cloud and AWS becomes seamless. The ability to see your Amazon vSphere clusters in your vCenter just like any other cluster is awesome.  This is what I have been clamoring for and I can’t wait to try this.

Hurdles to overcome using VMware Cloud on AWS

I hope that this will also mean that I can go out and purchase Amazon Web Services through VMware which is already a trusted partner for our enterprise.  At my enterprise we have been exploring the possibility of moving some services to the cloud but we are running into issues with our legal team and the Amazon Web Services contract.  Amazon has been very resistant to changing any of the legal language that our lawyers are insisting upon.  The result has been that we are stuck in limbo.  I hope to explore this further in the coming months and will update here what I find.

 

 

PowerShell SSL Certificate Script

Do you have to generate more than a few ssl certificates as part of your day-to-day job? Would you like to script it? I have a script for you.  This PowerShell script has proven itself very indispensable when we had to replace all of our sha1 certificates. (Thanks Google!)  I hope you find this script useful and if you do, please leave feedback.  

 PowerShell Code:

Note: You can always modify the script to accept a list of fully qualified domain names if you need to produce a large quantity of certificates.

vCenter Server 6.5.0e Is Out

If you are experiencing the following issue your fix is available with the 6.5.0e release. Even if you are not experiencing this issue it is recommended to go ahead and apply this patch according to my VMware TAM.

vCenter Server 6.5 might fail with an error of the type ERROR: duplicate key value violates unique constraint “pk_vpx_guest_disk”
The vpxd service on vCenter Server 6.5 might intermittently fail with the following error stack in the log files:

YYYY-MM-DDT00:01:24.342Z error vpxd[7F8DD228C700] [Originator@6876 sub=Default opID=HB-host-476@72123-38e1cc31] [VdbStatement] >SQLError was thrown: “ODBC error: (23505) – ERROR: duplicate key value violates unique constraint “pk_vpx_guest_disk”;

–> Error while executing the query” is returned when executing SQL statement “INSERT INTO VPX_GUEST_DISK (VM_ID, PATH, CAPACITY, >FREE_SPACE) VALUES (?, ?, ?, ?)”

The VMware vCenter Server 6.5 vpxd log files are located in the %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\VMWare\vCenterServer\logs\vmware-vpx folder.

The VMware vCenter Server Appliance vpxd 6.5 log files are located in the /var/log/vmware/vmware-vpx folder.

The error occurs because of a database key violation for the GuestDisks updates, causing duplicate entries in the table.

This issue is fixed in this release.

 

Source: VMware vCenter Server 6.5.0e Release Notes

Journey to VCAP6-DCV Deploy Certification

Procrastination can be a wonderful thing when it comes to getting nowhere.But I really want to get somewhere with my journey to obtain VCAP6-DCV Deploy I vow to stop my procrastination journey to nowhere. As part of this vow I have started collecting resources to be successful in obtaining the VCAP6-DCV Deploy.

studying

Like 99% of the people in the world I Googled That Stuff (GTS) and here is the resource list I came up with:

VCAP6-DCV Deploy Exam Info and Blueprint

VCAP6-DCV Google+ Community

VCAP Study Sheet

Great way to make the perfect study sheet

 

Pluralsight VCP6-DCV Learning Path

My favorite way to learn online

VCAP6-DCV Deploy Exam Simulator – Free

VCAP Forum on VMTN

THESAFFAGEEK VCAP6-Deploy & Design

Various Study Guides in no particular order:

TheVirtualPaddy

vCallaway

vJenner

vPentathalon

I hope these will be helpful to you and of course to myself on this journey.

Review of VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale 6.5

I had the opportunity a few months ago to take the VMware vSphere: Optimize and Scale [6.5] class. The class was held at MicroTek Atlanta Training. The facility was very nice and not far from the hotel I stayed at for the week. The instructor was Brian Perry who is the Managing Partner with VUmbrella. He is a member of a very exclusive club VMworld Alumni Elite. Alumni Elite members (21) have attended every VMworld event and now have been given a free pass for life as long as they continue to go to each VMworld event and do not miss one.

The course is broken down into 11 sections. (You can get the outline from the course link above in the first paragraph) Going into this class after reading the outline I was worried that there wouldn’t be enough new material to justify taking this class in the first place. For experienced VMware admins this class is great because it allowed me to test drive many of the new feature of vSphere 6.5 before implementing in my lab.  In my case, whether intentional or not, I had been exposed to many of the more advanced parts of this class through VMware Support requests.  (Just a little training tidbit: If you can’t get your organization to pay for advanced VMware training, use VMware Support to get educated when you invariably have issues in your environment.  Most of the techs are more than happy to explain to you the why behind the what.  The other excellent resource is VMware Hands-On Labs which is free to everyone. If you need some free resources please refer to my previous article Top 13 Free VMware Training Resources)

Training2

Out of the 11 different sections the 4 sections on Optimization and the vCenter Server Availability and Performance were the best for me.  The Optimization sections cover CPU, Memory, Storage, and Network.  They especially get into the use of esxtop to troubleshoot and analyze your environment.  Setting up vCenter HA in the class was a great experience and within a couple of weeks after attending this class it was setup in my production environment.  Great Stuff!

The bottom line is that this class was great especially the instructor Brian Perry. After talking with Brian I think I found my next VMware training class.  VMware vSphere: Troubleshooting Workshop .  His description was that the instructor runs scripts to break various parts of vSphere and you have to fix it.  What better way to learn is there?

Using PowerCLI to Patch ESXi Hosts

I have been looking to automate more processes at work and patching ESXi hosts was definitely in my top 5 PowerCLI projects.  I really like the simplicity of Ben Liebowitz’s script over at The Lowercase w.  I will use this as a starting point for my own script. (Not that it needs too much tweaking.  Good job Ben!)

Please follow the link below to see the script.

Source: Patching VMware ESXi Hosts via PowerCLI! « The Lowercase w