Tuesday, June 5, 2018

vSphere Integrated Containers 1.4 - Upgrade 3/3


Finally, we get to the last step on this journey of upgrading my environment to the latest and greatest vSphere Integration Containers so far.

Today I'll upgrade my Virtual Container Host, VCH, to version 1.4

VCH management and lifecycle actions, like upgrades, are performed through the use of VIC Engine Bundle.
If you haven't that available yet or is using an older version, grab it now.
Engine Bundle can be found on the VIC Getting Start page (https://VIC:9443)

Unpack the binaries from Engine bundle tar file;
Run: tar -zxf vic_1.4.0.tar.gz

Check the VCH version on your environment;
Run: vic-machine ls
As you can see it’s running version 1.3 and has one container running.

The amazing thing about VIC is that interruptions, like upgrades, to VCH, does not cause any outage to the containers, basically because they are running independently as container-vms;
if you are using NAT based port forwarding then communication will be briefly interrupted but if you are using the exclusive VIC feature, Container Network, you are in good shape them.

Now that we know the ID of our VCH we can upgrade it.
Execute the vic-machine upgrade command and specify the VCH's ID we just got from the previous step.
Run: vic-machine upgrade --id "VCH_ID"

In less than 3 minutes my VCH has been upgraded to version 1.4 and as you can see my container kept running for the entire process.


WHAT ABOUT MY CONTAINERS ???

There’s no process to upgrade your running containers !!!
Containers are ephemeral by nature, so if you want a newer version, delete it and create a new one. Welcome to the container world !!!!

VIC containers are based on Photon OS, and with VIC 1.4 comes a new bootstrap.iso version; don't get too excited, it was not this time it got upgraded to version 2.0, but it got some nice minor packages updates.
So any previous container will still be running the old Photon OS version but the new ones will get the new bootstrap.iso version.

For comparison, I just run a new container based on the same image and compared the OS versions.


That’s all folks there are no more excuses to be running an older VIC version if you still unsure about why to upgrade, take a look at the complete list of what's new.

See you
 

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

vSphere Integrated Containers 1.4 - Upgrade 2/3


Hello there, following my series of upgrading vSphere Integration Containers to version 1.4, I'll cover today how to upgrade the vSphere Web Client Plug-in.

Let’s start with some housekeeping:
I’m considering you are running vCenter Server Appliance right, who is running the Windows version anyway ?!?!?
  • You already upgraded your VIC appliance to version 1.4;
  • VIC plugin 1.2.x or 1.3.x is already installed on vCenter;
  • The bash shell is enabled on VCSA; (just check it on vCenter's VAMI page)
 
Copy the VIC Engine Bundle file from the new appliance to VCSA;
Engine Bundle can be found on the VIC Getting Start page (https://VIC:9443)

Unpack the binaries from Engine bundle;
Run: tar -zxf vic_1.4.0.tar.gz

Execute the upgrade script;
Run: ../vic/ui/VCSA/upgrade.sh

Once on the VCSA bash shell, set up some environments variables;
Run: export VIC_ADDRESS="VIC_v1.4_IP"
Run: export VIC_BUNDLE="vic_engine_bundle_version"




Provide the vCenter name, the user with privileges to register plugins, If the plugin version you want to upgrade is correct, just hit yes to proceed


The log is provided on the screen during the process;

If everything ran as expected, just restart the web client services for the new version takes place.

Run: service-control --stop vsphere-ui
Run: service-control --stop vsphere-client
Run: service-control --start vsphere-ui
Run: service-control --start vsphere-client

When logging back to vCenter we see the plug-in has been upgraded


Unfortunately, this new plug-in has no new features, but VCH Creation Wizard has gone through some design improvements, collapsing and sorting some information in order to make the deployment more intuitive and easier.


Now we are missing the last piece of it, upgrading Virtual Container Hosts....keep watching.


Friday, May 25, 2018

vSphere Integrated Containers 1.4 - Upgrade 1/3



On May 15th VMware has released a new version of its own docker implementation product, vSphere Integrated Containers 1.4, as always it comes with enhancements that include but not limited to support for vSphere 6.7 and ROBO deployments, affinity rules (more on that in a future post) and some management portal improvements.

But today I wanna cover the upgrade process, I will break it into 3 phases for easier consumption;

- Upgrade vSphere Integrated Containers Appliance (This post)

To be honest the upgrade itself is not really an in-place upgrade, in fact, the process involves deploying a new VIC appliance and copying the relevant information from the previous appliance to the new one, including management portal, registry configuration and data.

The good thing about it is that it leaves you with an easy rollback option, since the previous appliance is kept intact, in case of any problem, you can just get rid of the new appliance and power the previous one back on and everything will still there just the way it was before the upgrade.

My actual environment compresses of a VIC 1.3 and one VCH connected to it;
obs: you can upgrade from any version later than 1.2.x
I also have a project (cnameetupsp), with a few images, which has been scanned for vulnerabilities and signed by Content Trust (another post I own you guys).


Let’s start downloading and deploying VIC 1.4 since it’s a new appliance, give it it’s own IP address and hostname.
OVA deploy process is pretty standard among VMware’s solutions, so I’m not going through it, but if you still have doubts the product's documentation is your friend.

Important: Make sure to use the Flex-based vSphere Web Client to deploy it, even if you are using vSphere 6.7, because HTML5 Web Client is not ready for VIC yet, although the deployment my succeed the configuration required for VIC to work might not be implemented properly.

 
Once the appliance is deployed access it through SSH. Make sure to enable it during OVA deployment.

Important 2: do NOT go to the Getting Started page of the new appliance, because it will initiate the services for a new set up and would cause the upgrade to fail, if you have done it, just deploy a new appliance ; )


Once on the new appliance console just run the upgrade script;
Run: ./etc/vmware/upgrade/upgrade.sh

The script will prompt you with the information about the vCenter where the previous appliance is provisioned, if you have an external PSC provide their information as well otherwise just leave it blank

Now you need to provide the information about your previous VIC appliance, make sure the appliance is power on and with SSH enabled, if not, power off the appliance and enable it through Permit Root Login within vApp Options.

There you go, just sit back, relax and watch the upgrade process running;
During the process, the relevant files are copied over and the old appliance is shut down.
If you need more information or for troubleshooting needs, the log is saved on /var/log/vmware/upgrade.log

Once it’s done, just power on the new appliance and log in.
As we can see the upgrade was successful, my VCH is connected to the new VIC Appliance

My projects and images are there as well.


The only downside is that my images came unsigned, it’s due as a new appliance comes with a different certificate from my previous one.
So, if you are using Content Trust you will have to plan it accordingly and resigned your images after the upgrade so the users will be able to pull and run them again.

That’s all for today, stay tuned for the remaining upgrade phases; vSphere Plugin and Virtual Container Hosts.


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Friday, May 4, 2018

VMware Cloud on AWS – Test Drive


There's this big buzz since VMworld last year, where the partnership between VMware and Amazon has been announced, creating what's being called VMware Cloud on AWS.
If you are like me, you are deadly curious to put your hands on this beauty, well let me tell you this,  there’s a Hand-on-Lab about it.

HOLs are the fastest and easiest way to test drive the full technical capabilities of VMware products, including VMC on AWS.

As any VMware HOL, there’s a manual you can read the instructions that will guide you through the lab, but if are more a freestyle type of guy, just open up Chrome and it will redirect you to the Cloud Services page.


From there you can consume VMware Cloud on AWS Service with a single click


The creation of your first SDDC could not be easier.


In less than 3 minutes, literally, my SDDC was ready and I could throw workloads on it.


It’s a fully functional service, you can play with all capabilities;


After playing with it, let’s say you are convinced that the solution fits your needs, but you are not sure on how to start and size your environment.

The first approach would be the “Start Small”, get the smaller SDDC possible, nowadays it starts with 4 hosts and increases the number of hosts as you need, Scale-out capability is part of VMC on AWS and just take minutes to spin un a new host to your cluster.

Just fill out a simple form with a couple of information like VM count, storage size, vCPU/core ratio, IP profile….

 
…. and BANG, the recommendation for your environment is presented to you.


I personally love the detailed storage consumption information chart

Along with a Cluster break down information



What else do we need ?!?!?


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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