Recently I sat the VCAP Design exam for Cloud Management and Automation based on vRA7.2. Previously I had sat the version 6 exam and this was based on the traditional split of visio based canvas scenarios and drag and drop questions. I learned that this version of exam has significant changes to it, and in fact there are no more canvas style questions. Indeed most questions are multiple choice with some drag and drop. The time allocation was also less than before, now only 130 minutes to answer 60 questions!
Going into study mode I felt confident having used vRA7.3 for some time now, however there are still slight differences between 7.2 and 7.3 that I had to brush up on. Additionally, due to the architecture of the product I work on, we don’t have a need to utilize all of what vRA can offer, so I also required a refresher on things like approval policies and the vRA portal.
So, where to start? I am lucky enough to have a lab in work where we develop, so I could use that for a “play around”. I created a new tenant and simply clicked everywhere and anywhere to get a feel for all vRA7 has to offer. I also completed some Hands on Labs from VMware. They are an excellent resource and cater for all levels. From here you can also click around – no need to follow the guide :). I did focus, however, on the vRA/NSX integration labs. I much prefer these labs to reading but I also brushed up on the design qualities that are always part of these types of exams. Having sat a few based on the DCV track, I always refer to Paul McSharrys official guide and also the DCD 5.5 Study Pack from Jason Grierson which is an excellent reference. I also should point out that the official exam guide here contains some really important references. Continue reading →
It’s now 6 weeks into the year and i figure it’s finally time to do something that i’ve been meaning to do since late last year… And that’s to to publish my personal objectives for 2018. For me it should be two fold it means they’re publicly out there so i can judge (and be judged) how the year went for me. Secondly i’m sure a lot of my objectives cross over with others in this community so i’m hoping it may spark some conversations and debates as the year goes on.
- VCAP-DCV – So as posted last year (actually oops, that’s still in draft!) well spoiler alert on the 2nd attempt i got my VCAP-DCD, so it’s high on my list to aim for the 2nd VCAP which would of course unlock VCIX for me. This has to be my #1 goal for the year
- About a year ago, like so many others i decided to embark on some AWS certs. I started working through the training but then it totally stalled. As i had an expiring exam voucher i forced issue and its scheduled for 3 months time. I need to set aside sufficient time between now and then to give myself any chance. I’m going for AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate
- Ansible and SaltStack . The scale of things at my new job compared to my old one is staggering. Everything is multiplied by 10x. Therefore it’s going to be essential for me to get much more familiar with configuration management
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Recently I had the pleasure of presenting on vBrownbag with my colleague Konrad Clapa. Konrad is a double VCDX in DCV and CMA and I am very proud that we where able to speak about our vRO and vRA best practices. We have worked together for around 3 years now developing and architecting the Service Catalog for Atos DDC and DPC products. See our session below and get in touch with any questions ……
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A few years ago, I was asked to deploy vCAC (as it was known then). Soon after I found myself part of a team dedicated to creating a new Service Catalog for an SDDC based Private Cloud offering. It was a huge learning curve for me and I was soon immersed in a world of Cloud development with decisions to make based on these new VMware Cloud tools. The one thing that I did learn very quickly was the importance of version control. Coming from an infrastructure background, this was alien to me but it soon became one of the most critical things I learnt about successfully developing a Private Cloud and more importantly – maintaining it!
At the heart of our Service Catalog was vRealize Orchestrator and as requirements for automated Catalog items grew, so did the team. This caused a lot of issues, with many developers working simultaneously on the same product and as a result changes to the same Workflows occurred and relevant changes lost. It soon became apparent we where lacking a sensible way to ensure our final packages was bug free and not overwritten unintentionally. Natively in vRO we can export a package containing Workflows, Actions, Configuration Files etc, but this is not in an ideal format to efficiently review or track changes. It was becoming impossible to keep tabs on what was happening.
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As some of you will be aware, vRA6 will be end of life support by the end of 2017 and as a result i was tasked with deploying a POC for vRA / vRO 7.3 in order to check if our current vRO code was compatible. I expected to see some challenges as we are heavily reliant on vRO for our Service Catalog, however one specific issue I did not expect caught me out.
As part of our Private Cloud offering, we use vRO to request a catalog item rather than vRA. The overall workflow also contains many post request actions such as deploying agents, resetting default passwords etc. All of these rely on the successful deployment passing us the hostname after the catalog request completes. After setting up the POC and running a test deployment I noticed that although the request was successful, the overall Workflow was failing. Looking deeper I saw some differences in the completion details of vRA7.
In vRA6, we used to get the following, where “tyler-prefix04” is the hostname of the newly created VM:
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