Wednesday, October 19, 2016

VMware is all about choices

During VMworld Las Vegas VMware has announced its partnership with IBM, last week the partnership with Amazon has been announced as well, joining vCloud Air and vCloud Air Networks as a broader Cloud Offering Services.

Just to give you a heads up, this post is not intent to go deeper into technical details, and pros and cons for every each solution, in fact, the idea is to give you a high-level understanding of all these solutions and all the buzzwords around it. Deal ?

Also announce at VMworld Las Vegas, VMware Cloud Foundation is VMware’s unified Software-Defined Data Center (SDDC) platform, targeting private and public clouds. 
Based on a hyper-converged solution, it combines VMware’s industry-leading compute, storage and network virtualization (VMware vSphere, VSAN and NSX) into an integrated solution. But it’s not a simple software bundle that you just purchase and get the same software as if you bought them separately. In fact, the power of VMware Cloud Foundation comes from it’s intelligent and native integrated software stack, VMware SDDC Manager, which automates the design, implementation and life cycle management of the entirely stack.

It was the first available VMware’s Cloud offer, it’s made of an ecosystem of partners, who sells and operates reliable cloud services based on vCloud Director as IaaS, DaaS and DRaaS. As you could imagine with a large number of partners it's not unusual that you find different levels of resources, features, pricing models, and so on among them. This nice search page allows you to find each one them and the services the offer.

It’s basics derives from the same principal and services offered by vCloud Air Network, but on this public cloud offer VMware itself is the one managing and operating it, allowing you to consume cloud resources like Dedicated Cloud, Virtual Private Cloud, Disaster Recovery, Government Services, Object Storage and more.

IBM has been the first vCloud Air Network Partner to enable a hybrid cloud solution based on VMware Cloud Foundation, leveraging worldwide IBM Data Center presence, allowing you great flexibility choosing a location near your company, but more interesting, IBM offers a custom portal that allows you to, on-demand, order new vCenters environments, including the provisioning of physical hypervisors, allows the scale-out of physical resources and the life-cyle of this environment. As it provides you dedicated vCenter, you can use all vSphere features and integration that we all know and love. 

This jointly architected solution that integrates the world’s leading private cloud and the world’s leading public cloud, will allows customers to run any application across vSphere based private, public, and hybrid cloud environments and will provide access to the full range of AWS services.
Based on Cloud Foundation too, it offers a nice management portal with pretty much the same capabilities as described in the IBM offer above, but differently this solution is delivered, sold, and supported by VMware as an on-demand, elastically scalable service.
(available mid-2017)

Now if fo some reason you decided to create your own private cloud on premises, VMware will not leave will behind trying to figure how to integrate all those solutions and ensuring all best practices has been considered by yourself. Thinking about those clients, VMware provides VVD, which is an extensively tested solution path with specific information about product versions, networking architecture, capabilities and limitations, allowing you to build and operate a private cloud, significantly simplify length and complicated design process and shortens provision cycles.  

Nowadays challenge is to manage, monitor and secure your application across multiple, private, public and hybrid clouds leads ensuring identity and access, data security and workload mobility, imagine it’s all possible with a single set of tools that you already know from a central location, well that what Cross-Cloud is all about, eliminating all your operational challenges through a range of Cross-Cloud services.

Now the inevitable question…. Which one is better to me ?
There’s no simple answer for that, and the most spoken sentence comes to play.... "it depends" !!!

My best advice is to make your own homework, trying to identify the variables to this equation.
- what are my companies' business objectives;
- what are my technical requirements; 
- which offer allows workload mobility;
- which offer prevent vendor lock-in;

Once you start building your final list of candidates you will then come to cost aspect of it.
But I have no doubt on my mind that whatever your needs are you will find within VMware the perfect fit for your business.

Good (extensive) reading...

Monday, October 17, 2016

VMware Patch Download Center

Today I will show you a quick tip for downloading vCenter and ESXi patches, security and bug fixes.

Do you fell that sometimes it’s hard to find the latest fix released ? Well, not anymore, through VMware Patch Download Center you can easily find the patch you have been looking for.

You just need to select the product and version, you could also add some extra filters, like severity level.

Once you click Search, you will see the patches that matches your query, just hit the download button.

At this point just vCenter, ESXi and Cisco Nexus Virtual Ethernet Module are available, but I expect this list to grow.

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.

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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