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Monday, September 26, 2016

NSX Reference Poster


During the past few weeks, my NSX partner in crime, the Sr. Consultant Anderson Duboc and I have been working on a NSX Reference Poster and now it’s my great pleasure to present you guys with the final result.


There’s a great history of VMware’s reference posters and with the introduction of NSX central CLI we thought it would make sense to create a reference one with the most commonly used commands.

I know from experience that professionals love to have this kind of reference handy, so in case you want to print it yourself a copy, here are the details:
PDF printable version

It’s was designed to be printed in a high-resolution A3 size (no lower than 300 dpi).
In inches: 11.7x16.5
In mm: 297x420

You can always check the NSX Command Line guide for a complete list of commands.

Monday, September 19, 2016

vRealize Automation – Change All Services icon


Some time ago I blogged about how to change vRealize Automation All services icon, despite the fact it was a not supported procedure by that time we could prove it was doable.

Now I’m glad to say that starting with vRealize Automation 7.1 it’s a fully supported procedure, allowing you to change it in your production environment without the fear it will break something.
If you don’t recall, the All Services icon always appears for users which have more than one Service entitled to them.

Before we go one, it’s good to be aware that it’s a system-wide configuration and likewise will affect all your tenants.

You might remember about the blue boring Lego icon, right ? Let’s see how to change it then.

Let’s starting converting the image you want to use as your new icon to a base64code string.
As suggested you could use DailyCoding portal, just upload your image and convert it, save the string for later use.

On a system, wich has cURL installed
Export vRA address to a variable
-        run: export VCAC=[vRA_FQDN]

Get an Authentication token.
-       run: curl https://$VCAC/identity/api/tokens --insecure -H "Accept: application/json" -H 'Content-Type: application/json' --data '{"username":"[Catalog Administrator User]","password":"","tenant":"vsphere.local"}'

Make sure to use Administrator@vsphere.local as it’s the only user authorized to
perform this change so far.

Take a note of your token, in my case, it’s the yellow string I highlighted.

Export your token to a variable
-       run: export AUTH="Bearer [Auth Token]"
Just replace the yellow string with the string you grab on the previous step

Replace the All Services icon:
-       run: curl https://$VCAC/catalog-service/api/icons --insecure -H "Accept: application/json" -H 'Content-Type: application/json' -H "Authorization: $AUTH" --data '{"id":"cafe_default_icon_genericAllServices","fileName":"[filename]","contentType":"image/png","image":"[IMAGE DATA as base64  string]"}'

Just replace the IMAGE DATA as base64 string with the string you got from your new icon.... don't worry it’s a pretty large string.

If you did everything right you should see the new icon

 I know, the icon I choose is not that pretty, but it proves my point ; )

BTW I’m providing the commands to run on a Linux system, if you want to run on a Windows base system, please, check the manual for the exactly commands.

If you like this quick vRA 7.1 new features don’t miss my other posts: Message Board and Execution Information.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

vRealize Automation – Execution Information


How many times have you requested a catalog blueprint and stay staring at the screen waiting it to complete without a clue why it’s taking so long ?!?

Well, that was the case with vRealize Automation up to version 7.0, there was no information about the request status other than “In Progress”.
Starting with vRA 7.1 there’s a new functionality in town, Execution Information, now you can check every phase of the provisioning and see which step takes the longer to conclude your request.

Once you submitted a catalog item, go to Request tab and click on your new request.

On the request’s details page you will see a new link, Execution Information, click on it;

There you can see detailed information of each phase, showing which one been completed, running or waiting to be executed along with time stamps.

This is one of those new features that does not get a lot of attention and publicity, but I believe granular information for a request is a great feature and deserves all the glory.

If you like this vRA 7.1 new features don’t forget to check the Message Board one.


Thursday, September 8, 2016

vRealize Automation – Message Board


vRealize Automation 7.1 brings several new features and functionalities, while the community is covering the fanciest ones, I’m planning to cover the smallers but not less important few of them during the next few posts, so stay tune!!
I also highly encourage all of you to read the release notes for all the news that this particular version brings.

The first post will be about Message Board.

How many of you desired to customize vRA’s Home Screen ? Adding some extra information or another portal ? Well, I heard it a lot during the past couple of years.
With Message Board, vRA is giving another step toward a customized portal, let’s see how it works.

First, you will need to add the new portlet

Find the Message Board portlet and click the Add button

 Click on the Edit button to edit the URL

Beware that it’s a Tenant configuration, which means all user’s within the Tenant will see the same URL content, as such you need to be a Tenant Administrator to be able to see the Edit button.

Just type the URL you desired to show and click Publish
 There are a few limitations about the URL you might want to  publish:
-       Only HTTPS pages allowed
-       No self-signed certificate can be used on your page, due to accept message cannot be shown
-       Do not use redirect to a top level page
-       Some web pages using X-Frame with options DENY and SAMEORIGIN might not work properly

Here’s how it looks like, the cool about is that it allows interact with the page inside the frame itself.

One last thing, you can use Message Board to send a customizable message of the day.
Instead of setting up the URL, just switch to Custom message type the message and click publish

I just loved this new portlet !!!

Who am I

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I’m and IT specialist with over 15 years of experience, working from IT infraestructure to management products, troubleshooting and project management skills from medium to large environments. Nowadays I'm working for VMware as a Senior Consultant, helping customers to embrace the Cloud Era and make them succefully on this journay. Despite the fact I'm a VMware employee these postings reflect my own opnion and do not represents VMware's position, strategies or opinios.

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