Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Multi-Cloud is the new Normal

Back in time a few years with the born of the first public cloud offers there was this fear that every company will get rid of their on-premises environment and will move entirely to the cloud, initiating the debate of private Cloud X public Cloud. 
Very soon it became clear it was not an either-or dilemma.

But this Cloud model still very attractive to some workloads, reasons being due agility, economics, or pure testing this amazing new model.
Since you were keeping your on-premises environment, and now adding a new environment (public) to your footprint, you must need to connect those two worlds in order to share services among them, which became known as hybrid cloud.

Fast forwarding, public cloud offers exploded with a lot of new players out there, offering a broad range of services, prices competition, and geo locality options.
Now companies that experimented the cloud on its earliest days are more comfortable with this model and eager to consume those new services.
Customers realized that each public offer has its own merits and unique features that could benefit their business, so why have to choose a single public cloud provider ???
The reality is now customers are picking the desired services from different cloud providers freely becoming now a Multi-Cloud environment.

To manage this Multi-Cloud environment, teams of specialists with specific knowledge around each cloud capability has been created inside the companies, bringing with them its own set of tools and scripts. As you might imagine the duplication of teams and tools it became clear there’s a new challenge inside the house, the cloud became the new silo.

Once again VMware has been called to save the day, with an inovatted plataform that makes the cloud complexity invisible, allows from a single point of management, governance to run their business homogeneous without worrying about clouds complexity and focusing only on their business.

The VMware Cloud Services plataform, provides several solutions, which can be used independently or integrated to solve the most complex challenges these days.
Cloud Automation Services, CAS, is one of them and comprisses of:

Cloud Assembly
Orchestrates and deliver agnostic multi cloud infrastructure, application and services, leveraging manifest that describes the desired state of your services in a declarative way, which could be programmatically used on CI/CD tools, versioned in line with DevOps principals

Service Broker

Allows aggregation of those offers from different clouds into a single self service catalog to be consumed by users. Enforcing governance, lease dates and approval policies.


Code Stream

Ease pipeline model construction that speeds up software delivery and streamlines troubleshoot of traditional and cloud native applications.

Of course, it's a simplistic description of those services, they can provide much more, this post is just the beginning of a series that will cover these services in details.
Keep posted, the amaziness is coming ….

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Year in Review 2018

I’m alive !!!! After a long winter I’m back blogging, I have no one to blame but me, I could give a lot of excuses about how life is hard, changes on my personal and professional life and blah blah blah, but it won’t change the fact it has been 5 months since my last post.
Let’s dust off those skills and starts with my classical year in review post, even though it’s February already : (

Producing only 16 posts this past year is not a surprise none of them made it to the top 10, it might be search engines are ranking me low or I lost my faithful followers ; )

Generating 43,335 pageview, the traffic is coming from all around the world, 154 countries, US alone being 30% of all my traffic.

It’s amazing how my post about Converter is back to #1, did you run a physical to virtual project last year, please, let me know !!!

Here’s the full list:

#4. VMFS Version – VMWARE Datastore (not ranked last year)
#7. How access NSX through APIs (not ranked last year)
#8. Year in review 2017 (not ranked last year)

I think the only way now is up…let’s get this year starts for real

Thursday, September 6, 2018

vRealize Automation – Highly Available Directories Management

One of the most appealing feature of any application/solution is it’s ability to provide higher levels of availability and resiliency, it becomes even more important when the solution in question places a critical role in your business, like a self-service portal where your clients request any kind of service and been server almost instantly providing agility and faster time to market value to your business.

vRealize Automation, when configured in a highly available deployment, provides this level of availability, enabling clustered services for all it’s components, but there’s one piece of the solution that is common over looked, Directories Management.

As a Tenant administrator, it’s pretty common to configure a directory over LDAP to provide user’s authentication, this way your users could benefit from using it’s already familiar user’s id and password to authenticate into the portal.

The support of user’s authentication in vRA is made through the use of connectors, each vRA appliance is a connector itself, but typically only one connector is configure to perform directory synchronization.

In order to provide Directories Management in high availability you must configure a second connector, with this configuration if one appliance fails the second one takes over the management of user’s authentication.

To configure a second connector, go to Administration / Directory Management / Identity Providers and click on the specific provider.

Click add connector and select the additional connector, make sure both connectors are enabled.
Last piece is to change the IdP hostname to point to your’s vRA VIP address.

Please, be aware that this configuration should be done on each Tenant.
Have you been configuring your Directories Management in high availability ?

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Additional Charges Missing

vRealize Business for Cloud is a great tool for Cloud cost analysis and price visibility details, more and more as companies mature its operational mode it becomes imperative the ability to control its costs and be transparent with end users.

There are situations where additional charges might need to be applied in order to form a more complete pricing policy, I covered it some time ago using vRealize Automation tags;
Last week I was taking the same approach but using vSphere tags instead, my client does not have vRA yet, but for some reason, the charge has not been applied the VMs.

Let's dig deeper into how did I configure this;
On vSphere, I created a tag Category called  "Aplicação" (it's the Portuguese word for application) and some other tags for specific software licenses, all tied to the "Aplicação" Category.

 The VM has been tagged with the appropriate License tag;

Also, my pricing policy was set up to include an additional charge based on the vSphere tag

To make sure vRB was receiving the inventory information correctly I ran the VM Configuration report;

and indeed vRB was identifying the tag on the VM properly.

Everything was configured correctly !!!

Time for a deeper troubleshoot;
vRB does the collection from vCenter and caches the results on its own internal database for faster operations, while checking the collection logs we found that vRB was messing with the fancy Portuguese letters ("ç" and "ã") and caching a weird word instead, so when comparing the values for the pricing policy, they don't match and so the additional charge was not applied.

The workaround was to create tags without those characters or even special ones. This behavior was found on vRB 7.4, so if your idiom uses fancy characters as well be aware of this.
I do have an issue open with VMware for fixing this bug.

Let me know if you faced it too and what idiom were you using.

Who am I

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I’m an IT specialist with over 15 years of experience, working from IT infrastructure to management products, troubleshooting and project management skills from medium to large environments. Nowadays I'm working for VMware as a Consulting Architect, helping customers to embrace the Cloud Era and make them successfully on their journey. Despite the fact I'm a VMware employee these postings reflect my own opinion and do not represents VMware's position, strategies or opinions. Reach me at @dumeirell

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