May 7th, 2015 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

The PowerCLI Cookbook by Phillip Sellers is an excellent resource for any skill level, whether you are a beginner or looking for a great reference to have with you.

PowerCLI Cookbook by Phillip Sellers

First and foremost, this book far exceeds what I expect out of a technology cookbook. If you step back and think about a (food) cookbook you get the recipe for what you are going to make (i.e. what you are going to do in PowerCLI) and the ingredients to make it (i.e. the cmdlets necessary to perform the task). Phillip took that a step further and began the cookbook with how to actually start the oven, or in this case a simple recipe to connect to vCenter and get started using PowerCLI.

The chapters in the book are laid out very well, starting with basic hosts related tasks, before moving on to vCenter, virtual machines, and other more complex scenarios – the build up in this format makes it excellent for those who are new to PowerCLI, or even VMware for that matter. Each recipie also has a “how it works” section where the components use are explained (no one has ever told me how food flavors work together!).

You could quite literally use the book to just about stand up a complete vSphere environment as all the major topics such as networking, datastores, clusters, and virtual machine management (including using PowerCLI to invoke in guest scrips) is covered.

**Disclaimer – I have a book published with Packt Publishing and spoke to Phillip before he decided to write the book. This book was provided to me by the author but the review was not read, or approved by Phillip, it is simply my opinion on the book and its contents.**

Yummy! – PowerCLI Cookbook Review by Phillip Sellers (@pbsellers)

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April 23rd, 2015 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

**Disclaimer: I am an EMC employee, this post was not sponsored or in any way required by my employer, it is my experience getting to know this particular product.**

One of the upcoming tools I will be working with is ViPR SRM. ViPR SRM is a storage management tool that allows for monitoring the end-to-end health of your environment. I know what you’re thinking, “C’mon now Frapp that sounds awfully marketingy” and you’re right – it does, BUT let me give you an example of why some of the tools in ViPR SRM interest me.

network-is-fineHave you ever went over to a friends cube to chat and they say the app it ain’t no good? The reports are slow, the app keeps crashing, and the chicken taste like wood. Okay, but seriously how many times has someone walked over and said “my application is slow/down/broken” with no further detail, leaving it up to you to isolate what is going on? It has happened to me often. Worse is when you are the personal responsible for storage and someone else responsible for networking does the Jedi hand wave and says the network is fine, it must be storage.

 

That is where ViPR SRM comes it, it can show you the relation from virtual machine, through the hypervisor, datastore, data path to the storage array hosting the virtual machine. Further, for heterogeneous it supports multiple types of applications, operating systems, hypervisors and storage arrays. Of course it supports more EMC products, since it is an EMC product but you don’t necessarily have to run an EMC array to leverage ViPR SRM.

Below are some of the systems supported by ViPR SRM, an updated list can always be found at emc.com.

vipr

While getting ready for the installation, know that you can deploy as either a pre-packed vApp or install the application on 64-bit versions of RedHat, CentOS, SUSE, or Windows; during my post I will be deploying the vApp version which includes 4 virtual machines. The 4 virtual machines each have unique roles as a typical multi-tier application would – there is a web front end for UI and reporting, database backend for storing data, and collector for, well, collecting data. In large environments with multiple arrays you may deploy multiple collectors.

vipr-srm-components

In my next few blog posts I’ll be reviewing the installation of ViPR SRM, and review some of the dashboards and how they might help you in the day to day monitoring, and troubleshooting of your environment. If you’d like to learn along with me check out the ViPR SRM free e-Learning on ECN.

Getting to know ViPR SRM

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January 21st, 2015 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

Today Ravello has announced a new version of their platform. I first met Ravello at VMworld and was impressed with what they were building. Ravello, in my opinion, makes it easy to explore public cloud solutions and get comfortable with a range of technologies out side the traditional virtualization admin world – specifically I am looking at them as I continue my journey in learning DevOps methodologies and tools.

With their new release, Ravello is also close to being able to run ESXi as a virtual machine on AWS – for lab enthusiast this means no more expensive home lab equipment. Fire up your AWS hosted ESXi virtual machines and run your lab for as long as you need and power it off when you’re done.

Ravello also provides you the ability to run native ESXi virtual machines on AWS, I can think of several situations where I could have leveraged this functionality for disaster recovery and/or disaster recovery testing.

Full press release after the break…

Official Press Release:

Ravello Systems, Inc. today announced that it has released a major version of its nested virtualization technology, HVX, which wraps complex application environments in self­contained capsules that can run on any cloud. Founded in 2011 by the team that created the KVM hypervisor, Ravello is driving a fundamental increase in pace for companies by instantly cloud enabling any application.

Delivered as a service, Ravello is a breakthrough offering that enables entire application environments with existing VMware or KVM virtual machines and complex networking, to be deployed on any cloud, without any changes. In addition to seamless cloud usage, Ravello has enabled enterprises to reduce provisioning time for complex application environments from months to minutes. Ravello’s cloud­based smart labs enable enterprises to accelerate their development, test, training, sales and support processes. With the new major release today, Ravello has further enhanced all components of its technology:

1. HVX: nested hypervisor ­ the nested hypervisor now includes nested^2 functionality through support for virtualization extensions such as Intel VT and AMD SVM. This means, in addition to running unmodified VMware or KVM virtual machines on public clouds, Ravello can also run third­party hypervisors such as KVM today and soon ESXi on top of AWS or Google cloud. This enables hardware­less hypervisor labs and OpenStack labs in the public cloud.

2. HVX: overlay networking and storage ­ the overlay networking technology now includes full support for VLANs as well as mirror ports on top of AWS or Google Cloud. When combined with the unique ability to support broadcast and multicast in public clouds, the new networking functionality enables applications to have full layer 2 access and use the cloud just like the data center.

3. Management ­ the Ravello management UI has undergone a complete refresh. It now has a new look and feel, with improved user experience and a unified private library that serves as a repository of all resources such as VMs, application blueprints, disk Ravello Systems went into a successful public beta in February 2013 and launched the product globally in August 2013. Since then Ravello’s technology has been adopted by a wide variety of companies ranging from the Fortune 500 to mid­size and smaller companies.

Ravello (@ravellosystems) releases next evolution of nested virtualization

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October 4th, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

So you’ve made the plunge into the vSphere Web Client after learning about how awesome the Related Objects tab can be but now you keep getting these pesky Getting Started Pages.

vSphere Web Client Getting Started Page

vSphere Web Client Getting Started Page

I mean sometimes they are useful but after a while they are just in the way.  Don’t worry, there is an easy way to get rid of them.

Once you are logged into the vSphere Web Client click on the Help menu on the upper right corner (near search) and select Hide All Getting Started Pages.

Now they are gone, forever!  Well not forever, if you want them back just click on Help >> Show All Getting Started Pages

No Getting Started Pages

No Getting Started Pages

VMware vSphere Web Client Tips – Getting Started Pages Go Away

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September 13th, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

Creating a new VM, easy right?  Except when you consider that via the vSphere client it is somewhere in the neighborhood of 40 mouse clicks.  Log into your EVO:RAIL UI or VMware Hands-On lab at http://labs.hol.vmware.com/HOL/catalogs/lab/1503

evo-rail-login

Once logged in, familiarize your self with the UI.

evo-nav

 

Now that you have the basics, its time to create a VM.

  • Click the Create VM button (1) and enter the VM name in the “Create VM called” text box.  Now click (2) the Upload Image button.  Alternatively you could use a previously uploaded ISO or mount a network share where these are located.

evo-rail-create-vm

  • The left side of the above menu will change, click the Choose File (3) button.  Double click (4,5) your ISO and click the Uplaod Image button (6).
  • Once the image uplaods, click (7) the guest OS pull down, select (8) the appropriate OS and click (9) the continue button.
  • Select your VM size (10) and click (11) the Select VM size button

evo-rail-select-vm-size

 

  • Click the check box (11) next to the network you wish to connect to and then click (12) the Select Networks button.  You can select multiple port groups here if you wish.
  • The EVO:RAIL ui allows you to select a security profile based on the vSphere 5.5 Security Hardening Guide (nice feature add!).  Select a policy and click (13) the Create and Start a new VM.

evo-rail-vm-security

 

  • You’ll be to monitor the progress of the new VM being created from the window you are currently in, or return to the dashboard and see that you have a new task running in the EVO:RAIL ui.

evo-rail-new-vm-monitor

or

evo-rail-new-vm-monitor2

  • Once completed you will see a message that the new VM has been created and is powering on.  Click on the VMS button in the EVO:RAIL UI to see your VM.  You rename, clone, pause, power off and can even launch the VMRC right from the EVO:RAIL UI (Or EVO:X for EVO Experience – create name Matt Brender!)

evo-rail-ui-nav-vm

That’s it….13 clicks.  Can’t argue with the numbers; creating a VM in the EVO:RAIL really is simple!

Creating a new VM with EVO:RAIL

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