May 7th, 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.**

There were two software related announcements at EMC World this week which I found very exciting. Building on the free for no production use of RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines from VMworld 2014, EMC announced the same for ScaleIO. ScaleIO allows you build your own Hyperconverged Infrastructure solution (HCI). This is the same software used in the new VxRack from VCE which was also announced at EMC World.

CoprHDIn addition to ScaleIO, EMC also announced CoprHD which is an open source version of EMC ViPR (@coprhd). ViPR (which is also free for non production use) is a solution that allows you to manage multiple arrays and present those as virtual volumes to hosts. In addition to managing the arrays, it also provides a self-service and automation at the storage layer. EMC ViPR also supports ScaleIO, assuming this carries over to CoprHD you could deploy a fully managed, and automated storage solution on commodity hardware for test/dev or QA (I hope they publish more specific guidelines on just what they mean by “non-production”).

Last, but not least, the community version of the VNXe which you can use to provide full block and file servers on commodity hardware. The vVNX will later come in a supported ROBO and cloud edition.

My hope is that CoprHD, ScaleIO, and the community edition of the vVNX will lead to more solutions being open sourced and offered in a free to use model. CoprHD should be available on GitHub by June, ScaleIO by the end of May, whereas the vVNX is available now for download.

 

New free software from EMC to build your own SDS solution

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September 23rd, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

Automate all the things – right?  Well why would I want to manually go to a webpage, download and run the installer when all I need is a few commands to do so.  For those users that have not yet seen Chocolatey, it is a command line package manager/installer; you can get more information from their website here (https://chocolatey.org/), not to dissimilar to yum or apt-get (though probably with less packages).  Installing chocolatey is easy, no need to download anything manually – there is a simple command for that (from an elevated (e.g. run as administrator) Windows command prompt):

@powershell -NoProfile -ExecutionPolicy unrestricted -Command "iex ((new-object net.webclient).DownloadString('https://chocolatey.org/install.ps1'))" && SET PATH=%PATH%;%ALLUSERSPROFILE%chocolateybin

chocolatey-cmd-install

The command above will download and install all of the required Chocolatey components (note it set your PowerShell Execution Policy to unrestricted, now may be a good time to set it back to something a bit more secure).  Now to install new packages, all you have to do is issue another simple command:

choco install packagename

The package name will vary, you can check out all the packages here.  In my case, I want to install Vagrant and VirtualBox so I can start (trying) to play around with CoreOS and Docker.  To install VirtualBox…you guessed it

choco install virtualbox

You may receive administrative prompts during installations, quite normal as you would receive those if you were manually downloading the installers separately.  Chocolately will now start downloading the necessary files and install the specified package, in this case VirtualBox

choco-install-virtualbox

As you can see here, I now have VirtualBox installed.

virtualbox-installed

 

Now I want to install Vagrant, so again a simple

choco install vagrant

In this case, I also wanted to demonstrate installing multiple packages in a single line, so as you can see here by putting in an && between commands it will install the first package, then the second.  For example

choco install vagrant && choco install console2

The && allows you to run multiple commands back to back, useful if, for example one package has to be installed before the other or you just know that you want multiple packages.  As you can see here I now have both Vagrant and Console installed.  Note that Vagrant was not added to my path, so to be able to run vagrant from any directory I manually added this in.

choco-install-vagrant-console2

 

So, now with really 3 simple commands, I am ready to use Vagrant to stand up a VM in VirtualBox.  Two more commands and I am good to go:

From the directory you would like to create your vagrantfile in

vagrant init hashicorp/preciese32

This will create your vagrant file, you can find a list of publicly available boxes ready for download at https://vagrantcloud.com/discover/featured .Next,

vagrant up

In a few minutes, you’ll have a new VM in VirtualBox!  You now have the foundation in place to start using Vagrant.

vagrant-up-ubuntu

vagrant-up-virtualbox-vm

 

Setting up Vagrant and VirtualBox on Windows with @chocolateynuget

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September 11th, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

ViPR-logoI was setting up ViPR to use Active Directory to authenticate users and one option was a bit unclear. You use the Search Base and Search Scope options to define which AD users ViPR will authenticate.  The Search Scope option provides two choices:  One Level and Subtree.  I was a bit confused by One Level, would it search just the specified OU/CN or would it search up to one level below?

One Level will search JUST the specified base DN, so for example to allow only users in ou=corp,dc=domain,dc=local you would use that as the search base and set the search scope to one level.  If you wanted users in all OU’s under corp you would just set the search scope to Subtree.

There is another very useful option when setting up the Authentication Provider; Group Whitelist.  You can populate the Group Whitelist with only those groups (and thus group members that you want to be able to log in.  Say for example you wanted all users except sales to have access to log into ViPR, and sales was in an OU nested under corp.  If you set your search base to ou=corp,dc=domain,dc=local and search scope to subtree they could log in.  However, if you added/created in AD group that did NOT include sales and placed it in the group whitelist field those user accounts that were not in the group, in this case sales, would not be able to authenticate.

vipr-ad-search

There you go, easy peasy AD integration in ViPR!

EMC ViPR Authentication Providers Search: One Level vs Subtree

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September 5th, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

Notes from the How to Build and Deploy a Well Run Hybrid Cloud #INF3037-SPO session at VMworld: IT has to transform into a service broker (or as I have always thought of it, IT is a service provider).  By working with the business IT should be able to provide the services needed to its users, whether its providing internal/local resources or public – IT can/should be the broker to those resources. emc-hybrid-cloud-reasons Why hybrid?  That is what businesses want; enterprise apps are still being deployed privately – security, control, and licensing are some common reasons.  Building a hybrid cloud allows IT and the business to leverage either resource as needed allowing IT to operate as a service provider (ITaaS) EMC-ehc-pub-priv

 

By enabling ITaaS with EMC Hybrid Cloud for VMware, businesses can expect

To reduce their budget by saving on external services that business units or departments may be using as “shadow IT” services that is outside the control of the IT group.  ITaaS also enables IT to spend more time working on innovation, rather than maintenance by enabling self service and real time access to resources by the user.

How does an IT organization transform?  First, by providing standardized services, IT as a service consolidates IT resources across the enterprise and provides cost-effective IT applications and infrastructure.  Forward-thinking IT organizations are taking this further and providing their business consumers with a choice of internal and external services, and so become brokers of IT services to the business.  IT as a Service also delivers more agility and transparency than traditional IT by providing clear pricing and published service levels for IT services, which can be directly delivered to business consumers through a self-provisioning portal that ties into automated deployment of IT processes.  As you can see below, automation is a key tenant of a well run hybrid cloud (but also a well run IT organization – see my previous post here – The 5 most important factors in IT)

EMC-ehc-itaasThere are several components to build a successful, well run hybrid cloud – enabling cloud services such as a self service catalog, monitoring and transparency.  A management layer to deliver automated services, monitoring, capacity planning and reporting.  All of this running on compute, network and storage services.  EMC’s Hybrd Cloud for VMware leverages vCloud Suite to deliver the automation and self service required for IT to become a true service provider.

At the Cloud management layer, vCenter Orchestrator connects the virtual environment with the elements of the software defined data center…enabling integration and functionality across the compute, networking, and storage components.  VCO also opens the doors to integration outside of the private cloud.  Integration across the data center is possible with VCO’s extensible set of scripts, api’s, and ecosystem of connectors. EMC ViPR connects your physical storage into the private cloud, with storage automation and orchestration that enables you to add storage to your private cloud through the vCAC self-service portal.

EMC-ehc

One of the challenge of a hybrid cloud is deployment time and how soon the benefits of the cloud will be seen by lines of business. In traditional cloud deployments, IT does the deployment internally through a fully custom integration. The argument has traditionally been that custom is necessary to meet all needs of the business and IT, this is no longer true. Why is there such a time difference?

EMC-ehc-deploy

EMC has developed a more standardized approach based on predefined architectures will speed adoption and will help meet business requirements without lengthy custom engagements. This predefined solution stack is optimized for cloud and virtualization and decreases the software integration and configuration time.  In the Planning phase, EMC will help you determine the exact solution for your needs.  Speaking of needs, here are some questions you should consider when planning a hybrid cloud deployment:

EMC-ehc-questions

 

 

How to Build and Deploy a Well Run Hybrid Cloud #INF3037-SPO w/ @vmtyler & @rick_vmwaretips #VMworld

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August 27th, 2014 by JFrappier

Jonathan Frappier Virtxpert

Notes from the How to Build and Deploy a Well Run Hybrid Cloud #INF3037-SPO session at VMworld: IT has to transform into a service broker (or as I have always thought of it, IT is a service provider).  By working with the business IT should be able to provide the services needed to its users, whether its providing internal/local resources or public – IT can/should be the broker to those resources. emc-hybrid-cloud-reasons Why hybrid?  That is what businesses want; enterprise apps are still being deployed privately – security, control, and licensing are some common reasons.  Building a hybrid cloud allows IT and the business to leverage either resource as needed allowing IT to operate as a service provider (ITaaS) EMC-ehc-pub-priv

 

By enabling ITaaS with EMC Hybrid Cloud for VMware, businesses can expect

To reduce their budget by saving on external services that business units or departments may be using as “shadow IT” services that is outside the control of the IT group.  ITaaS also enables IT to spend more time working on innovation, rather than maintenance by enabling self service and real time access to resources by the user.

How does an IT organization transform?  First, by providing standardized services, IT as a service consolidates IT resources across the enterprise and provides cost-effective IT applications and infrastructure.  Forward-thinking IT organizations are taking this further and providing their business consumers with a choice of internal and external services, and so become brokers of IT services to the business.  IT as a Service also delivers more agility and transparency than traditional IT by providing clear pricing and published service levels for IT services, which can be directly delivered to business consumers through a self-provisioning portal that ties into automated deployment of IT processes.  As you can see below, automation is a key tenant of a well run hybrid cloud (but also a well run IT organization – see my previous post here – The 5 most important factors in IT)

EMC-ehc-itaasThere are several components to build a successful, well run hybrid cloud – enabling cloud services such as a self service catalog, monitoring and transparency.  A management layer to deliver automated services, monitoring, capacity planning and reporting.  All of this running on compute, network and storage services.  EMC’s Hybrd Cloud for VMware leverages vCloud Suite to deliver the automation and self service required for IT to become a true service provider.

At the Cloud management layer, vCenter Orchestrator connects the virtual environment with the elements of the software defined data center…enabling integration and functionality across the compute, networking, and storage components.  VCO also opens the doors to integration outside of the private cloud.  Integration across the data center is possible with VCO’s extensible set of scripts, api’s, and ecosystem of connectors. EMC ViPR connects your physical storage into the private cloud, with storage automation and orchestration that enables you to add storage to your private cloud through the vCAC self-service portal.

EMC-ehc

One of the challenge of a hybrid cloud is deployment time and how soon the benefits of the cloud will be seen by lines of business. In traditional cloud deployments, IT does the deployment internally through a fully custom integration. The argument has traditionally been that custom is necessary to meet all needs of the business and IT, this is no longer true. Why is there such a time difference?

EMC-ehc-deploy

EMC has developed a more standardized approach based on predefined architectures will speed adoption and will help meet business requirements without lengthy custom engagements. This predefined solution stack is optimized for cloud and virtualization and decreases the software integration and configuration time.  In the Planning phase, EMC will help you determine the exact solution for your needs.  Speaking of needs, here are some questions you should consider when planning a hybrid cloud deployment:

EMC-ehc-questions

 

 

How to Build and Deploy a Well Run Hybrid Cloud #INF3037-SPO w/ @vmtyler & @rick_vmwaretips #VMworld

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