New Year New Goals for 2017

For the year 2017 I have 3 certification I would like to achieve.  Not only to advance my career, but to also further my knowledge and my passion for technology. Some people may feel that certification are not really necessary or serve no real purpose.  That you shouldn’t need a certification to just prove you know something,  certifications are a great way to containerize what you should learn about a subject.  I feel by not pursuing a certification I would not get as deep into learning about a technologies as I should.

AWS Certification is my first goal of the year. I think it is going to be an very important skill going forward in IT.  The cloud is everywhere and is constantly growing, and AWS is currently the market leader. I think of cloud as a automated way to run a data center.  When you need to accomplish something such as deploying a VM or provisioning networks, you do it by utilizing and automated tasks.  There are some real private clouds, but in general is seems most private data centers are still doing this the old fashion way.  Manually deploying new VM’s or configuring the network by hand.  That is why AWS is so important because they have already designed an automated way for you to deploy your workloads.  Leaving you to architect and design how to run your workload on top of it.  The real skill is knowing how to use AWS, and understanding the entire compute stack.  With understanding the entire stack  you can really go anywhere in IT.

Next on my list is the VCAP-6 DCV Implementation.  VCAP stands for VMware Certified Advance Profession.  Before you can pursue these certifications you must have first earned you VCP or VMware Certified Profession.  I have a real passion for virtualization, and I love everything that goes along with it.  My long term goal is  to accomplish the VCDX, but I know that is still very far off.   There are many steps to this goal, and VCAP is just one of many along that journey.  With the implementation certification I will show I understand how to fully deploy vSphere into the datacenter.  On the surface the  deployment does not really seem all that difficult until you realize how many settings or “nerd knobs” there are with it.  To accomplish this I hope to get some real off site training.  If this happens it will be the first time in my career that I will have had actual training on something.  I always find it ironic that companies are willing to spend millions of dollars on equipment, but not 5,000 dollars on actual training.  I will also use Pluralsight which I have a free subscription with for being in the vExpert program.  Thank you Pluralsight for giving that to us.  Finally I will read lots of blogs and white papers.  The VCAP tests cover so much that you really have to learn all you can before taking the test.  It shows that you have real knowledge and are a subject matter expert on it.

Finally my final goal for the year is VCAP6- DCV Design.  Design is probably one of the hardest parts of IT.  When  you ask what is the best way to do something the infamous answer in IT is “it depends”.  Because its not always a one size fits all.  Best practice does have its place, but the real knowledge is knowing what the best way to do something, and not just the best practice.  I think that this test will be the hardest for me.  My career has always been focused on the doing and the the designing.  It will be a learning curve, but will be good challenge and really further my skills.

Accomplishing these 2 VCAP test will give me the VCIX or VMware Certified Implementation Expert.  Proving that I now have the knowledge to deploy vSphere in the Data Center.  Hopefully I will be able to accomplish all 3 of these goals within the year of 2017.  If I do then maybe I will move on to the VCIX-DTM or some other challenge.  If you have any career advice please leave a comment below.  Thanks for reading this post and have a good 2017.

vCenter Server Resource Missing or Invalid

Recently I was trying to deploy an OVA file.  After selecting the storage I recieved the following error. capture

I tried downloading the OVA again, but still had the same issue.  Luckily it was an easy fix.  I was trying to deploy the OVA at the Cluster level.  What I needed to do was deploy the OVA at the ESXi level in vCenter.  Hopefully in a future vSphere update this will no longer be an issue.

VMware Quick Tip: Installing a VIB

Usually you use VMware Update Manager to install VIB’s such as Dell’s Open Manage.  You can also SSH into a host and use ESXCLI.

First upload the Offline .Zip file to your datastore.  Then you will need to find the mount point.

esxcli storage filesysem list

Now that you install the VIB.

esxcli software vib install -d “/vmfs/volumes/Datastore/DirectoryName/PatchName.zip

Now verify

esxcli software vib list

 

Whitepaper with Liquidware Lab and Roundtower

I have recently been working on a project to implement Liquidware Labs ino an exsisting  End User Computing environment.  The desktops are non-persistent and roaming.  This allows for a user to login to a thin client in one room, then move to another room bringing that desktop along with them when they login.  The system was already setup using VMWare Horizon View 6.2 and Microsoft Windows 7 for the desktops.  For hardware it was using Cisco UCS for the compute and EMC XtremIO for storage.  All inside an VCE Converged vBlock.   Everything was online and running, but it still had a few requirements that were not being met.  Such as printer mapping and profile roaming.  We were not sure exactly which direction to go, but  I was lucky enough to work with Eduardo Molina and Roundtower who directed us to use Liquidware Labs.  They helped us a lot with the implementation and training to get everything up and running.  I was lucky enough to be part of a whitepaper, and you can read more about it in this here.

 

Find Block Size with vscsiStats and Other Storage Statistics.

Ever wonder what block sizes your VM’s are using for writing and reading to disk?  I always have and I recently found a way to get this information out of the ESXi hypervisor.  You can also get a lot of other data such as random and sequential writes, latency, and a few other items.

  1.  Connect to the host with SSH.
  2. Enter the command “vsciStats -l” This will list all the VM’s on that host and its disk.
  3. vsciStats -s will start that stats collection.  You can pair this down by using the -w for the world group id and -i for handle id.
  4. vsciStats -p ioLength -w 123456 would display the block sizes for that particular VM and drives.
  5. -h will give you a list of all the possible variables to use.

Set NTP on all host in vCenter

Here is a Powershell script that will set NTP on all the ESX host connected to your vCenter.

First connect to the vCenter using Connect-VIserver then run the following code.

 

#Get Host
write-host “Gathering ESX Host”
$esx = get-vmhost

#Configure NTP server
write-host “configuring NTP”
Add-VmHostNtpServer -VMHost $esx -NtpServer 10.10.16.220

#Allow NTP queries outbound through the firewall
wrtie-host “Setting Firewall Permissions”
Get-VMHostFirewallException -VMHost $esx | where {$_.Name -eq “NTP client”} | Set-VMHostFirewallException -Enabled:$true

#Start NTP client service and set to automatic
write-host “Starting NTP service”
Get-VmHostService -VMHost $esx | Where-Object {$_.key -eq “ntpd”} | Start-VMHostService
Get-VmHostService -VMHost $esx | Where-Object {$_.key -eq “ntpd”} | Set-VMHostService -policy “automatic”

 

Configuring ESXi 6 (vSphere Setup Part 2)

This is part 2 of a series on setting up vSphere.  If you missed the first part you can find it here.

Now that you have installed ESXi 6 it is time to start configuring.

  1. Once the host reboots you will be greeted with this screen.  Press F2 to go to the setup screen where you will login with root and the password you provided earlier.2016-06-03 14_17_49-OFFICE - TeamViewer - Free license (non-commercial use only)2016-06-03 14_19_16-OFFICE - TeamViewer - Free license (non-commercial use only)

 

2. Now its time to configure the management network. Go to Configure Management Network and then to Network Adapters.

2016-06-03 14_21_00-OFFICE - TeamViewer - Free license (non-commercial use only)2016-06-03 14_21_17-OFFICE - TeamViewer - Free license (non-commercial use only)

3. Make sure all the NIC’s you want to use for management are selected.  Since this is in an nested lab I only have one to use.

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4. Now for a test lab this option is not really needed, but here is where you can configure the VLAN for the management network.

2016-06-03 14_24_53-OFFICE - TeamViewer - Free license (non-commercial use only)

5. Set the IP to static and fill in the appropriate IP information for your environment.  Unless you want to you use it is best to disable IP6.

Capture.PNG

2016-06-03 14_42_05-OFFICE - TeamViewer - Free license (non-commercial use only)

6. Set the appropriate DNS  and hostname information.

2016-06-03 14_41_36-OFFICE - TeamViewer - Free license (non-commercial use only)

7. Setup the custon DNS suffix which would be your domain name.

2016-06-03 14_43_42-OFFICE - TeamViewer - Free license (non-commercial use only)

8.  Now its time to reboot the host so all of the configuration can take affect.

2016-06-03 14_44_36-OFFICE - TeamViewer - Free license (non-commercial use only)

In part three of setting up ESXi I will go over the deployment of the VCSA.

 

Installing ESXi on Bare Metal (vSphere Setup Part 1)

Installing ESXi is a simple and straight forward process, but there are a few things you need to keep in mind.  The hardware compatibility list is very important.  You should always make sure your hardware is on it if you are using it in an production environment. In a test environment the setup will probably work, but there could always be some issues you may encounter.

We will cover the following items.

  • Check hardware compatibility
  • Download the ESXi image
  • Create bootable image
  • Install
  • Configure

Hardware Compatibility

  1. Check for hardware compatibility here.  If your system is not listed and your using this for test  then have no fear.  You will probably be able to install and run everything without and issues.

2016-05-20 14_19_24-VMware Compatibility Guide - System Search.png

2. Go into the BIOS and make sure the CPU virtualization support is turned on.

Download ESXi

  1. Download ESXi from the VMware website.

2016-05-20 14_20_47-Evaluate and Download VMware Products for a Virtual Infrastructure - VMware _ Un

Once you have the ISO you can burn it to a CD or create a bootable USB drive.  If you want to create a bootable USB drive Rufus works really well for that.

Installing ESXi

  1. Choose the ESXi installer or wait for it to default to that.

2016-05-20 14_25_06-VMware ESXi 6 - VMware Workstation

2.  You will see two different progress screens.

2016-05-20 14_25_24-VMware ESXi 6 - VMware Workstation

2016-05-20 14_25_35-VMware ESXi 6 - VMware Workstation2016-05-20 14_27_18-VMware ESXi 6 - VMware Workstation

3. Press enter then F11.

4. Choose location to install it.

2016-05-20 14_30_55-VMware ESXi 6 - VMware Workstation

5. Choose language

2016-05-20 14_31_34-VMware ESXi 6 - VMware Workstation

6. Choose password

2016-05-20 14_32_40-VMware ESXi 6 - VMware Workstation

7. It will not scan your system for its hardware.

2016-05-20 14_34_46-VMware ESXi 6 - VMware Workstation

8. Press F11 to insall.

2016-05-20 14_35_43-VMware ESXi 6 - VMware Workstation

9. Wait for the progress bar.

2016-05-20 14_36_36-VMware ESXi 6 - VMware Workstation

10. Press enter to reboot.

2016-05-20 14_38_00-VMware ESXi 6 - VMware Workstation

Now ESXi is installed.  In my next post I will show how to setup the configuration on a ESXi host.

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