Setting an SRM VM Priority from vRO

Recently I was given a requirement to enhance a vRO workflow which added a VM to disaster Recovery policy in SRM. The existing workflow by default added all VMs added to Priority 3 (normal) start up order. My requirement was to allow the user to specify the start up order.

Having a quick look at the environment, I could see that the SRM plugin was used so felt this was a good start – however it soon became apparent that it wasn’t ideal for me given that the information we can get out of the plugin is limited never mind having to manipulate that data. Looking online , it seemed that using PowerShell was the common answer to automating this, but I also had a constraint of not introducing any new plugins. During my online hunt I found the SRM 6.5 API guide and this became a nice resource. By browsing this API guide it became apparent that SOAP API was my only option and I continued to refer to this guide in order to find a solution – https://www.vmware.com/support/developer/srm-api/site-recovery-manager-65-api.pdf.

I decided to write this blog because there seemed a sever lack of info on using SOAP for SRM. Continue reading

GitHub Learning Lab

This has been cross posted from my own blog vGemba.net. Go check it out.

Introduction

At a VMUG last year during a presentation by Chris Wahl he recommended that all ops people like me learn a Distributed Version Control System such as GitHub. I use GitHub for my blog and storing some files, and still had not really scratched the surface of it.

Last month GitHub released a tool called GitHub Learning Labthat is basically an app that starts a bot that leads you through some training on the use of GitHub.

Lessons

So far there are five lessons available:

  • Introduction to GitHub
  • Communicating using Markdown
  • GitHub Pages
  • Moving your project to GitHub
  • Managing merge conflicts

In the Introduction to GitHub lesson you learn about:

Introduction to GitHub

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Coommunity Mythbusters

At the recent meeting the Scottish VMUG Leaders introduced everyone to the Coommunity. The leaders encouraged attendees to speak to themselves and other members of the Coommunity (Colin Westwater, Craig Dalrymple and Martin Campbell) about taking part. It was nice to hear that some attendees did take up the challenge and actively seek out the members to talk to.

Here is some info to help bust those myths,  for those looking to contribute.

I need to be a triple VCDX etc to be able to contribute. Continue reading

Glasgow April 26th 2018 – Slide decks

Slide decks from April 2018 are available below.

Slide Decks

Atif Qadeer – Automation and NSX

Brian Gerrard and Konrad Klapa – Best Practices for vRealise Automation and Orchestrator

Cody Hosterman – Virtual Volumes Deep Dive 

Cormac Hogan – What’s Happening In the World of VMware Storage

Craig Dalrymple – Making Your 1st Restful API call to VMware

Darren Hirons – Windows 10 – Why Change the Habit of a Lifetime?

Lee Dilworth – vSan Update 6.7 and Lessons From The Field

Michael Armstrong – VMware Hands on Labs Behind The Scenes

Rick Cronin – Wavefront Overview

vSphere 6.5 Update 1 Security Configuration Guide Released

This has been cross posted from my own blog vGemba.net. Go check it out.

Introduction

On the 12th March 2018 VMware released the latest version of the vSphere Security Configuration Guide. This is an indispensable guide for securing your vSphere infrastructure which I highly recommend all VMware admins read.

Purpose

I have been following the guide for a few iterations now. Back in the early versions there were a lot of settings that could mean the over zealous administrator could have gone in and potentially caused problems. For example in the v5.1 version of the guide there were 172 settings listed over multiple sheets. In the latest version there are 68. A couple of reason for this are the mitigation change has been eradicated due to code changes or the guidance is no longer required because the software is secure by default.

Also included are some common sense ‘best practices’. This goal of secure by default can be seen in the graphs in the blog post from VMware. In vSphere 6.5 there were 24 settings available to harden the deployment. In 6.5 Update 1 there are now 10 due to VMware coding the guidelines into the code. So for that 68 Guidelines 10 are Hardening settings with 58 Non-Hardening (Audit only + Site Specific). Great job VMware! Continue reading

Glasgow April 26th 2018 – Details

Sorry it’s taken us so long to get a finalised agenda published. Conscious that it’s only 4 weeks until the VMUG we’ve decided to publish the agenda as we have it at the moment. This blog post will be a living document and will be updated as we get the other session extracts

Cormac Hogan – What’s happening in the world of VMware Storage
In my session, I plan to talk about the state of storage at VMware at moment, which includes talking about new features that you may not be aware of that are already in our products, as well as a sneak-peak at some things that “might” be appearing in some releases very soon. This will look at hyper-convergence improvements in vSAN since last year, where things are currently with VVols, an update on IO Filters, a look at core storage enhancements in vSphere 6.5, and some vision at what “might” be coming down the line. A lot of this will focus on how to leverage different data services from the different storage products for your VMs and workloads. I’ll also talk about some of the things we are doing in the persistent storage for containers, namely ‘Project Hatchway’.

Gold
Pure Storage -Virtual Volumes Deep Dive with Pure Storage – Cody Hosterman

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VCAP7-CMA Exam Review

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!

Study Mode

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

vExpert 2018

VMware vExpert 2018

A few weeks later than planned, yesterday was the day many of us were waiting for. vExpert 2018 announcements were due. We had a sneak peak of the application process and it was clear the standards were being rigorously evaluated. Everyone seems in agreement 2018 has been the hardest year yet to make the grade

So after the delay and a frustrating day watching my inbox last night the news I was waiting for finally arrived.

vExpert Announcement

For those that aren’t familiar with the programme;

Program Overview

The VMware vExpert program is VMware’s global evangelism and advocacy program. The program is designed to put VMware’s marketing resources towards your advocacy efforts. Promotion of your articles, exposure at our global events, co-op advertising, traffic analysis, and early access to beta programs and VMware’s roadmap. The awards are for individuals, not companies, and last for one year. Employees of both customers and partners can receive the awards. In the application, we consider various community activities from the previous year as well as the current year’s (only for 2nd half applications) activities in determining who gets awards. We look to see that not only were you active but are still active in the path you chose to apply for. Continue reading

RVTools 3.10 Released

This has been cross posted from my own blog vGemba.net. Go check it out.

Introduction

A utility that I find very useful for checking my vSphere environment is the amazing tool RVTools developed by Rob de Veij. The utility is a comprehensive tool that shows a lot of information from either a vCenter or ESXi host. Some examples of items it can report on are VMs, Partitions, Resource Pools, Licenses, Datastores, Health, etc. Version 3.10 was recently released so in this post I will run through the installation and usage of RVTools.

Installation

The installer is a simple 6.35MB msi file that can be grabbed from the website. You have to submit your details to get access and you will receive emails from Veeam.

The msi is a Next…Next…Next…Finish install:

RVTools Install RVTools Install RVTools Install RVTools Install

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