Deploying Many VM’s From a Template

I recently needed to deploy a lot of VM’s for a particular scenario. They all needed to be the same but have a unique names and be on the Domain. Now there is a lot of ways to accomplish this, and one way is to build a spreadsheet and manually input all the names. It would work, but would not be the optimal way to do it as I wanted to automate as much as I could.

#Create many VM's from a Template
#Version 1.0

#variables
$vm_count = Read-Host "How many VM's would you like to deploy?"
$template = "Template"
$customspecification = "Join Domain"
$ds = "datastore"
$folder = "VM folder"
$cluster = "cluster"
$vm_prefix = "desktop-"

#Loop
write-host "Starting Deployment"
1..$vm_count | foreach {
    $y="{0:D1}" -f + $_
    $vm_name = $vm_prefix + $y
    $esxi=get-cluster $cluster | get-vmhost -state connected | Get-Random
    write-host "Creationg of VM $vm_name start" 
    new-vm -name $vm_name -template $template -vmhost $esxi -datastore $ds -location $folder -oscustomizationspec $customspecification -runasync
}

Bitfusion at VMworld 2019 with TFDx

AI and ML the next big thing in IT, and at one time is was all hand crafted by programmers. This has created great demand for processing power, but is usually on a monolithic machine that is expensive, and not effectively used. If you wanted to build a way for a computer to recognize a certain object lets say the Internets favorite the cat; how would that be done? At one time that would required a lot of manual work to make this happen, and a lot of processing power. Now this is all done automatically with things such as GPU’s and FPGA’s through a process of inferring and training.

Bitfusion was recently acquired by VMware. I had never heard of this company before the acquisition, but once I learned about them I quickly realized why VMware did the acquisition. They have created a solution that over comes all these issues that I mentioned before, and have done for the AI/ML world what VMware did for the Storage world. Basically this is vSAN for AI/ML. Creating a large pool of resources from devices that are not in the same chassis, but on they are on the same network. It runs in the software layer and in the user-space which makes it very secure. This software breaks out workloads to run across multiple remote nodes to effectively use all available resources all with an overhead of less than 10%. I can see this a great cost effective way to bring more ML workloads into enterprises. It does this by intercepting API calls at the API layer as this is the “sweet spot” for Bitfusion to run. Then it can transfer the data over the network to a remote device such as GPU to be processed, and the application does not even need to be aware of this. This is all done with Bitfusion FlexDirect which the following slides do a good job of explaining what FlexDirect is.

It uses also CUDA to intercept the applications calls.. Then the process goes down the stack to a remote device over the network for processing. Bandwidth is not an issue with workloads such as these as latency is the main concern, and it this has been optimized to minimize latency. Check out the above slide, as it does a great job of explaining the entire process of how this all works. It inte

GPU’s can be really expensive so to make them be cost effective they need to be optimally used. That is what makes Bitfusion such an interesting product in that it can optimally use your hardware investment. I could see an organization using GPU during the day for things such as VDI, but during the night they would go idle. Jobs could be scheduled to run at night and fully use all the GPU’s.

This is just an overview of what Bitfusion is capable of. If you like to dive more into this please watch the following embedded videos, and check out TechFieldDay.com.

Deploy OVA with PowerCLI

It has been a while since I have written anything for my blog. Life has become crazy busy for me the last few months. Between normal work and family time I do not have a lot of free time. The following meme really sums up my life right now.

I have had to deploy a few OVA recently, but wanted to let those that are a little less technical have an easy quick way to accomplish this. Its not that complicated of a script, but it works and gets the job done. By using the Read-Host capability it allows user input into a Powershell script which can really expand Powershells capabilities.

connect-viserver “Your vCenter”

$vmSource = Read-Host – Prompt “File path to OVA”

$vmCluster = Get-Cluster – Name “Name of Cluster you want to use”

$vmHost = ($vmCluster | Get-VMHost)

$vmDatastore = Get-Datastore -Name “Name of Datastore to be used”

$vmName = Read-Host -Prompt “What to name VM?”

$vmHost | Import-vApp – Source $vmSource -Location $vmCluster -Datastore $vmDatastore -Name $vmName -Force

It Is Time For Cloud Field Day 5

I am super excited because it is almost time for Cloud Field Day, and as always it is going to be a big! If you don’t anything about Cloud Field Day then is an event where various vendors come together at a Top Secret location, and show off what they have been up to. As always the event will be streamed April 10-12 at http://www.techfieldday.com

There will be a lot of vendors at the event, but a few that I am excited to see what they have been up to. VMware will probably be showing off what they have been up to with the Amazon Cloud with VMC. Then there are other like Pure Storage which I have a lot of experience using their storage array, but I am curious what they are doing with the cloud. NGiNX will also be presenting , and they are a company that I know has a lot of customers, but I have never been able to spend much time with. So it will be a great time to learn more about them, and see what they have in development.

As you can see there will be a lot of vendors involved in this event, and they will definitely be showing a lot of great content. So make sure to tune in April 10-12 at TechFieldDay.com and make sure to follow me on Twitter @brandongraves08. Reach out to me if there is anything you would like me to ask them.

Countdown to VMworld

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It is finally that time.  That time has finally arrived. It is Sunday night and tomorrow I begin my travels to VMworld 2018, and before this event I wanted to make a quick post about some of the things that will be going on.  The last time I was able to attend was 2016 which was my first and only time. I went in not knowing many people, but through the vExpert program and the vCommunity I was able to meet a lot of great people.

This year there is going to be a lot of great things coming from the event, and The Level Up project is one that is really important to me.  It is a great way to get more active in the vCommunity.  Check out the twitter here.

I will also be attending Tech Field Day VMworld this year.  It will be going on Monday through Wednesday .  The sessions that I will be in attendance will be on Tuesday with Dell EMC, and then on Wednesday Blue Medora, Netscout and Barefoot Networks. Make sure to check it out here.  There will be a lot of content that you will not want to miss out on.

Remember that this week will be a great time to go to some sessions and learn a few new things, but the real value from this conference is the networking.  Make sure to take the time and meet new people and be an active part of the vCommunity.  So if you see me please say hi.  Maybe we can grab a beer and talk about everything going on.  And I hope that I will…

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Nasuni at SFD 16

 

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Nasuni was a new company to me, but they had a great presentation and I really liked what they presented.  They are providing a solution to a real problem that a lot of companies are running into.  The cloud is a great solution to so many problems that IT departments are encountering, but going to the cloud is not always easy as it looks. Nasuni provides a solution that simplifies the distributed NAS.

The first line from the Nasuni website says it best “Nasuni is primary and archive file storage capacity, backup, DR, global file access, and multi-site collaboration in one massively scalable hybrid cloud solution.”  It does this through providing a solution to to have a “unified NAS” on top of public clouds.  It is essentially and overlay that is controlled by using an on premise appliance either through a VM on your current infrastructure or a Nasuni physical appliance and keeps the data locally cached.  This allows that in the event of internet access being down users can continues to access storage, and when internet is restored the data will be synced up.

There are no limits on the amount of files or file sizes.  The files in a solution like this can be access by multiple users and be changing all the time.  To prevent issues files are locked when a user is accessing it.  Once the file is done being accessed the file will remain locked until it is synced up with the cloud.  Through the continuous versioning of files and in the event of malware or such other issues. Files can be rolled back to another version before the incident occurred.  All the data is deduped and compressed for effective storage utilization.  Files can also be encrypted to prevent any data theft.   Managing a solution like this with multiple devices across many sites could be very complex and time consuming, but with Nasuni everything is managed from a single pane limiting operation costs.

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Nasuni looks like a great product that really simplifies the migration to the cloud.  By supporting the big players such as AWS, Azure and GCP they give customers plenty of options on what cloud they wish to utilize.  With the caching device they ensure that data can be always accessible even if there are issues preventing access to the cloud and limiting the amount of data that has to be transferred.

You can see this presentation from Nasuni and all the other presentations from Storage Field Day 16 at http://techfieldday.com/event/sfd16/

 

NetApp OnCommand Insight

NetApp presented on its product OnComand Insight at Storage Field Day 16 this year.  What made the presentation unique from the rest of the presentations was that it was about an analytics and monitoring tool.  The only such presentation at the event.    OnCommand is an on premise appliance that can be setup as a VM in your environment.   Once it is fully deployed it will start reporting information about your environment.  Unlike other similar products it only reports on what it sees in your data center.  As opposed to comparing your environment to other environments.

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OnCommand Insight is always watching your environment, and If an issues arises it can be setup to automatically generate a ticket and alert the proper team of the issue.  It supports Restful API so whatever needs to be done can be scripted out, and Licensing is done by the raw capacity.

They also spoke of the product Cloud Insights.  It is not a direct replacement for OnCommand, but takes many of its features and adds on top of it.  Cloud Insights is designed for the modern Hybrid data center. It can monitor both what is on premises and what is running in the cloud.    As more and more companies go hybrid it is imperative to have a tool that can monitor both and give recommendations on where to run a workload.

One of my favorite features is that is agnostic of what it monitors.  Monitoring is done via plugins and there is a large repository where you can download more.  It reminds me a lot of EMC ViPR SRM as it could monitor more than just EMC products, but NetApp has really gone a step further and its capabilities.

Take a look at the presentation from NetApp and the rest of the Storage Field Day 16 presentations here.

VMworld 2018!!!

It is finally that time of year.  The greatest time of year. It is time for VMworld!!!  August 26-30 is the the time where everyone packs up and spends a week in Las Vegas with some of the greatest minds in Virtualization.

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VMworld is a great opportunity to learn about some of the latest technology in the industry.  The show floor will be backed with tons of vendors.  Some you have heard of and some that you haven’t.  You may find that vendor that has just the solution that you have been looking for.  All the vendors will have lots of information about the various products and solutions that they offer.  It is a great idea to talk to as many as you can.  Always a great opportunity to learn something new, and they usually have some great prize and swag!

The sessions will be excellent as always presented by some of the smartest people you have ever met.  You can take a look of all the sessions here.  If you can’t make it to VMworld they will post most of the sessions on Youtube shortly after.

They will also be offering training sessions on the various VMware products, and if you ready for it you can take one of the certification tests.  Maybe finally get that VCP or VCAP that you have been working on.

The best part of all of this is the networking, and the lifelong friends you will make.  Through VMworld and various other social events I met many great people and friends.  It is a great community to be a part of, and I hope this year I will be able to meet up with as many people I can at the various events.

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Storage Field Day 16

The past six months have brought a lot of changes in my life.  I have been busy changing jobs, and relocating to another state.  With the recent addition of my second child I can easily say I have been really busy.  All my time has taken up with the relocation and kids. Which has not given me much free time to do anything, especially writing. great-im-finally-home-from-work-aaaand-its-bedtime

Thankfully all that is starting to change.  Now that I am getting settled in to my new house, and the kids are getting a little older I am beginning to have a little more free time. With this new found free time I plan on getting back into writing.  With it I have met a lot of great people, and been given some great opportunities.

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Thankfully I have been given great inspiration to kick start my writing off.  I have been selected as a delegate for Storage Field Day 16 in Boston, which is a city I have never been to and I am excited to finally visit..  It is truly an honor to be a part of Storage Field Day.  Not only do I get to see of a lot of great presentations from companies that I am already familiar with such as DELLEMC, Infindat and Zerto.  I will also be introduced to some new ones such as Nasuni and Storone.  The best part of the whole experience is being able to meet the fellow delegates who are some of the smartest people in IT.

You can catch all the action on June 27-28, and you may even catch me on camera.  Watch for updates on this site, and live tweets from me the day of the event.  Should be a lot of interesting content coming out.  For up to date information on companies and delegates take a look at http://techfieldday.com/event/sfd16/.

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